...or in Dreamland, but only in this film for the cast
What a pity the excellent cast and staging talent used here was thrown away on a B- movie length and style opus which only offers minor (and more than a little stereotyped) pleasures when so much more was promised.
Male lead Fred Brady (looking and sounding like Bobby Van - which may tell you the level of star power involved) plays Eddie Dolan a wanna-be broadway producer who has hired on to stage a wealthy community theatre benefit in hopes of making contacts to finance the show he wants to do on broadway - especially when he finds a talented singer in Jinx Falkenberg in his cast, screen daughter of rich Gene Lockhart.
Naturally, comic confusion and jealous repercussions (Brady's girlfriend, Marjorie Reynolds is also in the show) ensue. Reliable studio character second banana Allen Jenkens turns in yeoman work as Dolan's assistant/stage manager - and while he's a perfectly dreadful stage manager, he's a great comic presence that more than once shows what a fun film this almost was.
The real gem of the film though is Spring Byington (years before her TV series, "December Bride") as the wife of Dolan's potential investor. Byington's character has a secret - unimportant to the plot but much brighter than the mother's "secret" in THE MAN WHO CAME TO DINNER. Suffice to say that her smile lights up every set she graces and screams "this is a STAR" whenever she's on the screen. She plays the role for all it's worth and once again leaves us asking why the film as a whole isn't better.
Choreographer Jack Cole had by this point not yet finally lost his legendary screen assistant Gwen Verdon to broadway, but she WAS making her stage debut in something called SHOOTING STAR this year (it closed on the road) and is not in evidence on screen here. The uncredited male dancers get the best of Cole's attention and most of his signature moves. It's a pity they aren't to greater effect, but the whole film is very minor entertainment.
For free on late night TV (most of us apparently have discovered the piece on the same Turner Classic Movie screening), it's worth sticking a tape or DVD-R in the machine, but don't hold your breath for a major DVD release or big screen showing unless someone is kind enough to put out a discount Spring Byington box or run an Allen Jenkens Festival.
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