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Papa Joe Mambo's Cellar Full of Noise
I know a place where the music is fine and the lights are always low
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What can I say - it's a Broadway showstoppers kinda week...

"As Good As It Gets - Video" Dept.:

As much as I like SOUND OF MUSIC, I've always been more of a WEST SIDE STORY fan - both of which were directed for film by Robert Wise. It's not SoM's fault - well, actually, it is - I was forced to play bass in a pit orchestra in a horrible stage production of this one and it was excrutiating. I'm digressing.

Rita Moreno is another one of those signature, "A-Number-One, top of the list, Queen of the hill, at the top of the heap" actresses for me. Although she was already a featured performer in two *huge* movie musicals before this (SINGIN' IN THE RAIN and THE KING AND I), this is the number that made her a star.

When the counter-melody/middle-eight kicks in at the 2 min mark and the ballet begins I'm gone. Staccato, flammenco... I'm totally gone. This is what Heaven must be like.

Blues Bros. - Shake a Tailfeather!

This one is partly for WENDYSLIPPERS, who, as yet, is LJ-deprived, but it's very especially for my dear friend the shanmonster.

"As Good As It Gets - Video" Dept.:

Two choreographed by the one and only Bob Fosse. The fact that Fosse really *really* hated popular form-dances like The Frug and The Monkey in the 60's comes through in the sarcastic choreography he doles out in the pieces here. Still, nobody could make his dancers look better, or sexier, when he was firing on all cylanders.

The 6 min RICH MAN'S FRUG sequence from SWEET CHARITY'

For the longest time, I had *such* a crush on Suzanne Charney, the leggy lead dancer in this. Dig her crazy-intricate arm work in the first sequence, and the insane neck isolations that she's doing in the last number - so good that your eyes are drawn to them like a point of light. Something about leggy Broadway dancers scarred my future expectations as a child, and I'm probably still carrying the damage from that. Watch for a very young Ben Vereen dead centre in the second "sketch" in this, and then leading the "Oh Yeah"'s and doing the crazy jump-splits he did every night on stage (twice a day for weekend matinees) for half-a year in the Big Finish.

and for desert - Sammy Davis Jr in THE RHYTHM OF LIFE sequence.

Sammy didn't need Frank, didn't need Dean, and never needed Lawford. He not only brings his game to this, he transcends the Rat Pack in it (and that is the highest of high frigging praise those of you who know me well know I could offer him).

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