Friday, April 13, 2012

beyond fred, ginger & gene

Few television remakes of musicals already made for the big screen are worthwhile. The rare exception is Gene Saks' 1995 TV version of
“Bye Bye Birdie,” which is superior to the dismal '63 film because it goes back to its source - Michael Stewart's libretto for the 1960 stage musical.

In fact, it uses Stewart's script; there was no adaptation.

Best of all, there is no Ann-Margret in it.

Instead, the spotlight is back on the lead female character, Rosie, played tartily by the perfectly cast Vanessa Williams.

Every number in this "Birdie" is memorable - the score is intact! plus a few added numbers! no deleted songs! - but the showstopper remains Williams' "Shriner's Ballet," choreographed by Ann Reinking who makes it fresh and new while occasionally paying tribute to Gower Champion's staging of the number for the Broadway original.

The number: “Shriner’s Ballet”

The Composer: Charles Strouse

The choreographer: Ann Reinking

The dancer: Vanessa Williams

The cinematographer: Glen MacPherson

The editor: Eric Albertson

The production designer: Charles C. Bennett

1 comment:

John Kaiser said...

Oh, what I would give to be a Shriner.