Sunday, March 26, 2017

Artistic License

"You're a Jew?!"

What better musical for the Fearless Four to see than "An American In Paris"? "SJG: The Musical" is still in development, but only for the past 59 years. One day, it will happen. Once I get the tap dancing, the singing and orchestration down, see you at the Tonys. But back to "An American In Paris" and the Fearless Four. Make that the Fearless Three and Me. Fearless isn't the first word that comes to mind when describing the SJG. I'll take Formerly Fearful, Currently Managing. However you label us, we are four dancer gals who can't stop dancing. Dance-wise, we just can't help ourselves. We've been at it forever and as long as we're upright, we'll keep spinning. I'm just honored to spend time with Carrie, Nadine and Joan, a stunning octogenarian who has the best stories ever. "See that corner," Joan said, shlepping us through Hollywood because she loves to drive. Joan is the only person I know who loves to drive. "When I was in school," she said, "I was walking home from Hollywood High and a man in a Cadillac drove by and honked and waved hello. It was Dean Martin." "Did he want you to hop in?" I asked. "No! He just letting me know Dean Martin was driving by." "He wanted you, Joan, admit it." "He did not!"
To and from "An American In Paris," the four of us discussed so many things about Los Angeles and how much it's changed. Oh, and speaking of change, let's talk about "An American In Paris." The musical is "inspired" by the movie. To that they should add "loosely." The story has changed so much, the gals and I were a little confused. At intermission, we stared at each other. A bright and bouncy fantasy starring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron has been transformed into a somewhat gloomy post-war romance whereby the Leslie Caron character is a Jew and three guys -- one of whom might be gay -- worship her. But which one is truly in love-love with her? Which one loves her out of duty? Which ones loves her for inspiring him? I believe there's a term for this. Artistic license. So there's that. But we went with it. As dancers, we're flexible, although not nearly as much as we once were. Personally, I would've kept the original story. But the ballet, the sets, the Gershwin songs are spectacular, so what's not to love?

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