On The Town - A near-forgotten Bernstein classic.
February 11, 2006 10:28 AM   Subscribe

If you caught "On The Town" on Turner Classics this morning, you saw a great Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly Hollywood musical from the team that would later produce what many consider the apotheosis of that form, "Singin' In the Rain". What you didn't see was a faithful adaptation of the show as it originally appeared on Broadway. When Hollywood got ahold of it, many of the original Leonard Bernstein songs were dropped as reportedly being "too sophisticated" for movie audiences, and replaced by a number of, to my opinion, lesser songs. Only a couple of the songs from the stage version survived the transition to the screen.

When Hollywood got ahold of it, many of the original Leonard Bernstein songs were dropped as reportedly being "too sophisticated" for movie audience, and replaced by a number of, to my opinion, lesser songs. Only a couple of the songs from the stage version survived the transition to the screen.

The music for the original stage musical was Leonard Bernstein's first full length Broadway production, derived from an earlier ballet "Fancy Free". No cast recording was made when the show was originally produced in 1944, but Bernstein and most of the original cast reassembled in 1960 to record a concert staging that is still in print on CD.

Though Bernstein's Broadway reputation rests largely for most people on "West Side Story", those willing to search out On The Town will delighted by what they'll find. 70s TV staple Nancy Walker is a stand-out with "I Can Cook, Too" and "Come Up to My Place" (the rare song to make it into the movie). There is also the haunting farewell song "Some Other Time" and a number of extended dance accompaniments. On a song by song basis, I don't think that the film can hold a candle to the numbers from the original stage version.

The heyday of the American musical is long past and all the well-known greats have been done to death, so its great to know that forgotten gems like this one are still out there to reward the determined seeker.
posted by hwestiii (8 comments total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: two IMDB links and five amazon links?



 
Dude, [more inside] is your friend.
posted by goatdog at 10:30 AM on February 11, 2006


[more outside]
posted by Mikey-San at 10:30 AM on February 11, 2006


Wow, five Amazon's and two IMDB's. Sweet work, dude.
posted by fenriq at 10:32 AM on February 11, 2006


uhh...are you cutting and pasting? that middle section is quite repetitive.

uhh...are you cutting and pasting? that middle section is quite repetitive.
posted by cloudstastemetallic at 10:32 AM on February 11, 2006


Whoa, that wasn't all supposed to be on the front page. What did I do wrong?

Sorry for the mess.
posted by hwestiii at 10:33 AM on February 11, 2006


what fenriq said. not good choices of links.
posted by terrapin at 10:35 AM on February 11, 2006


Not only bad choices for links, but apparently lovely amazon referral links...

[this will not end well...]
posted by slater at 10:43 AM on February 11, 2006


Leonrd Bernstein + google = Leonard Bernstein OFFICIAL SITE !!111!!!one!.

put some effort in.
posted by Frasermoo at 10:44 AM on February 11, 2006


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