Gordon and I went to Hollywood last night to see 42nd Street at the Pantages. We left early so we could get a decent parking place–and it’s always nice to have a drink at some of the new places opening up on Hollywood Blvd. Gordon had gotten a pre-parking pass for $12; normal price used to be $15 so we thought we’d save $3. The new parking rate in now $18 so we saved $6! I no longer had to feel guilty about buying booze. We tried the bar at W but there was no place to sit. We went to a little wine bar a few doors down but we were ignored. Gordon snagged a menu and there wasn’t anything that sounded good so we appreciated being ignored. We walked out with a clear conscience–although whoever owns that bar should train his employees better. We ended up at 33 Tastes. I ordered a craft beer called Delirium Tremens because the name amused me. Gordon instructed the bartender how to make a Roy Rogers. Kids today! They don’t know anything! Then we watched baseball games while we waited for our potato skins. The guy next to me was from KC so he was watching the Royals while we watched the Dodgers. He was happy because his team was winning. Us, not so much. The Cubbies were killing the Dodgers. The potato skins were marginal but they kept me from chewing on Gordon’s arm. The bartender asked if we were going to 42nd Street. We said we were and he said he wanted to see Book of Mormon. I told him he’d probably enjoy it; it was a young man’s show. He didn’t seem to be the musical theater type anyway. It was time for us to leave.
I hadn’t seen 42nd Street in twenty years and I didn’t really remember much about it; I don’t think I liked it much. I liked the show last night. The cast was another collection of super-talented, no-name actors. And it was funny! I howled when the Director goes up to the ingenue and screams at her that a 100 jobs, $100,000, basically life as we know it, was on her shoulders and she had to learn 16 songs and dance numbers in a day and come back a star! So she does and there’s a happy ending. The tap production numbers were show- stopping although where we sat I couldn’t see the dancers’ feet. I think the only good spot for that would have been the first balcony. Oh well, I enjoyed what I could see.
I do remember the movie. It was presented at the first version of Last Remaining Seats about 30 years ago. I remember that director’s speech was serious although the audience howled. Sort of dated. The best part of that evening was when Ruby Keeler, the young hoofer from the movie, was interviewed after the film. She was in a wheelchair; apparently tap dancing raised hell with leg joints, particularly hips, and Gordon says hip replacements weren’t being done back then. She was a charming little old lady and seemed to appreciate the applause. She died shortly after that.
In conclusion, there is no conclusion. I liked the musical better than the movie. It was the parody we all saw as snarky 20-somethings. I liked it. Go see it.