Thursday, September 22, 2016

It's Always Fair Weather

Why hello pen and ink! It's been a while. Yes I still love you. No you aren't as easy to correct as digital art.

Betty Comden described this cynical follow up to On The Town as a study of "the corrosive nature of time on friendship." This forgotten musical flopped in 1955 but fascinates in 2016. Several of the creatives hate each other off screen as well as on and the tension is palpable.

Dolores Gray plays Madeline Bradville, the self-absorbed host of a reality television show. She's introduced with a bland ballad titled "Music is Better than Words," than vanishes. The story isn't about her. It's about the three unhappy soldiers and Gene Kelly's romance with Cyd Charisse. Then, at the last minute Dolores Gray re-appears to sing the bizarre and fascinating 11 o'clock number "Thanks a Lot but No Thanks." Any fan of musical theatre and/or camp should click the link and watch it right now. Gray complained that the role was "an ageless, sexless caricature" but she scorches the screen in this song.

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