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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A ton of talent is tossed in the last of the Sylvia Fine Kaye series of musical theater tributes where snippets of shows are seen and a few are more greatly profiled than the others. Among the shows which get major attention are the Rodgera and Hart period pieces "A Connecticut Yankee" and "The Boys From Syracuse", the Irving Berlin musical revue "As Thousands Cheer", a Jerome Kern relic called "The Girl From Idaho", his more well known "Leave It to Jane", and George Gershwin's "Lady Be Good". Any musical that has Elaine Stritch singing about all the husbands she's bumped off is a classic in my book, and when Donna McKechnie, Kaye Ballard and Roberta Peters get together for "Sing For Your Supper", you might find yourself singing along. Patti La Belle really waves her seat with "Heat Wave", and the magnificent dancer Greg Burge (whom we lost way too soon) is excellently presented in "Fascinating Rhythm". Florence Henderson sings the standard "They Didn't Believe Me", the only remembered song from "The Girl From Idaho", and Dick Van Dyke and Donna McKechnie are fantastic with "Thou Swell" that takes classic old English and mixes it with the new lingo of the 1920's. TV's nervous waitress "Flo" (Beth Howland) shows off her musical theater roots with a jazzy "Cleopatter" which Fine mimics in her usually wry style. As for the "Show Boat" segments, it might have been nice to have seen it re-created by some of the Broadway performers, but since the film had been out of circulation, it must have been a nice surprise for those who hadn't seen it, only the Howard Keel/Kathryn Grayson version.
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