A filmed performance (in CinemaScope) of the highly popular Broadway hit that was basically a collection of skits, sketches, songs and dances built around a flimsy plot to meld them all ... See full summary »
A filmed performance (in CinemaScope) of the highly popular Broadway hit that was basically a collection of skits, sketches, songs and dances built around a flimsy plot to meld them all together which, for the most part, worked. The plot involves a performer/producer (Ronny Graham)who finds himself in financial difficulties on the eve of opening night because a big check is needed before the curtain can go up. But a wealthy Texan says he will put up the money, if his daughter is in the show and he can see it first. End of plot, but the beginning of the careers of some young and talented people who have had careers across many decades. Ertha Kitt sings four songs, including "C'est Si Bon" and "Santa Baby" in and around some funny skits; "Trip of the Month", "Snake Charmer", "Crazy Man" and "Oedipus Goes South." Graham and Mel Brooks (in his Melvin Brooks days)are credited with most of the sketch material and just the title of the "Oedipus" bit suggests Brooks. There is a burlesque of "... Written by
Les Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
okay summerstock show, but we get to see some "new faces"
The film opens with "Lebeau" from Hogan's Heroes (Robert Clary) running around for some reason, we're not quite sure, since the sound is so bad, although that might just be the copy I got from Amazon. Who knew he started out as a professional singer ? We see a very young Alice Ghostly and Eartha Kitt when they show the faces of the performers to come. June Carroll (the producer's sister ) sings Penny Candy, Alice Ghostly , who we all know from Bewitched, sings, and actually has a hell of a voice! And WHAT is with that dress on Virginia Wilson, who keeps popping in to introduce the next number? It looks like her top is about to drop down on a trap door.
A lot of this is very "okay" many of the performers do their bits in a very serious manner, without expression or any emotion, so some of it is almost painful to get through. Clary, the "emcee" does several numbers, and E. Kitt does a naughty version of Santa Baby. Paul Lynde performs in a couple good "bits", but they would have been funnier if they had ended on a funny line about halfway through. The best number was the Lizzie Borden number "You can't chop your papa up in Massachusetts" some clever stuff. There's a very thin plot line someone's father keeps promising to pay someone some money or something, but that very thin plot line seems to have been tacked on later. Interesting to see all these young actors before they hit the bigtime, but I'm glad I didn't pay to see this one in a theater.
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