I hope that you all witnessed her vast movie knowledge, unassailable comedic timing, flamboyant Mae West impressions, and signature hat at 42nd Street Moon’s We’re in the Money. If you missed it, you missed a great dame! Moon Artistic Director Greg MacKellan and Jan had a grand time on stage discussing old Hollywood, mostly Pre-Code Hollywood.
It’s always nice when you can make a history lesson both informative and fun. With Jan quoting some classic lines from films before Hollywood’s Donna Reed-ification, our evening’s lecture definitely fell under “infotainment.”
As Jan recites Joan Blondell’s infamous line from Footlight Parade, “as long as there are sidewalks, you’ve got a job,” she instantly gives us a sense of the language and humor we lost due to the Motion Picture Code of 1930.
Jan and Greg quickly schooled us in some of the lost songs of the time period as well. After the history lesson finished, we got some examples of those lost songs.
Justin Torres and Sarah Kathleen Farrell sang of love, sex and salami in, “Breakfast Table of Love.” Darlene Popovic donned a tux for the gender bending, “I’m One of the Boys.” And while Alexandra Kaprielian espoused the virtues of “Marahuana,” Nina Josephs got in touch with herself with, ”I’m in Love with a Tune” — a tune written many years before Bernadette Peters would get in touch with herself on Saturday Night Live singing “Making Love Alone.”
I asked Jan why she decided to take part in 42nd Street Moon’s fundraiser. The answer was simple, “I believe in what they do… keeping the great music and musicals alive!”
Is this the only involvement we will be seeing from Jan? I don’t think so.
Jan has a brilliant idea for staging How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. She had this to say:
So Moonies, what do you think? Would this make an interesting addition to our repertoire? Leave a comment and let us know.
Oh, and now one of those pop quizzes I promised you!
What do the movies Victor/Victoria, Guys and Dolls, Mary Poppins, and Brigadoon have in common (other than being musicals)?