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Crazy and Crazier, Part 1 — 7 Comments

  1. About 15 years ago Harold Prince's revival of "Show Boat" dominated the Toronto theatre scene. Promos were so pervasive on television that when an ad popped up for a touring company of "Crazy for You" my five-year-old daughter said "What's that? That's not Show Boat!"

    You are so right about that time machine. Looking forward to the next installment.

  2. Welcome, CW! I believe this is your first comment here. We first "met" through the '50s Monster Mash blogathon, when I commented on your fine post on This Island Earth. I urge my readers, if they haven't already, to check out your excellent blog forthwith. (They'll have to scroll down a ways to the TIE piece, but it's worth the trip, as is everything in between).

    And while I'm at it, thanks for embedding that IB Tech sequence from The Cat and the Fiddle ('34); what fun!

    That tour of Show Boat barged into Sacramento too, and I was (as Ring Lardner or Damon Runyon might say) disappointed more than somewhat. I hope you were able to see that tour of Crazy for You; my friend Jimmy Brennan was the star, and he later directed me in the show here in town.

  3. I appreciate the kind remarks for my blog very much.

    I definitely saw "Crazy For You" when it played the Royal Alexandra Theatre back in '95. My friend, Deann DeGruijter, a Shaw Festival and CBC radio actress, stole the show. She's one of those Carol Burnett type-can't take your eyes off her kinda gals.

    The coolest thing about "Show Boat" was that all of the fellows playing the dock workers had all played Joe in some production or other at some point in their lives. The combined voices on "Old Man River" knocked you out of your seat.

  4. Great post and I can't wait to read the rest.

    I'm especially curious about the three film versions. I know the 1932 one with Wheeler and Woolsey, and of course the 1943 one with Mickey and Judy, but am drawing a blank on the third (unless it was called something else).

    Since you mentioned three parts of Hollywood musical history, I'm thinking it showed up at the end of the 1950s or the early 1960s, when the musical was slowly dying out.

    Or maybe it was a version for TV? I know there were quite a few musicals for TV back then, including some original works.

    But don't tell me. I could look it upon IMDB but that's no fun. I'll just wait for whenever you get to it.

  5. Kevin, those are all good guesses. I wasn't being deliberately coy, but now that I've created the suspense: Readers, if you've figured out the "mystery", let's not spoil it for Kevin, okay?

    I will say this much: No, it wasn't a TV version. On that score, I agree with what Pauline Kael said: "There's something spurious about the term 'made-for-TV movie'. What one makes for TV is a TV program."

  6. Jim, at long last I'm able to give your GIRL CRAZY series my undivided attention (as undivided as my attention ever gets, anyway; there's a reason my blog is titled TALES OF THE EASILY DISTRACTED! But I digress… :-))!

    After having read about the original GIRL CRAZY with Ethel Merman and Ginger Rogers to start with, sign me up for that time machine if it ever becomes reality! Your affectionate, factual, fun post reminds me pleasantly of my dear late mom's memories of seeing Broadway musicals live with her beau-of-the-time. Granted, Mom also swore she'd seen THE PRODUCERS live on Broadway in the 1960s in addition to seeing the movie, despite our attempts to convince her that THE PRODUCERS wasn't turned into a smash Broadway musical until 2001. I'm pretty sure she had unwittingly mistaken another of the late, great Zero Mostel's stage hits for THE PRODUCERS. 🙂 Anyway, great post, Jim; I'll be reading Part 2 shortly!