Gordon and I went to the Los Angeles Theater last night to see Easter Parade put on by the LA conservancy’s Last Remaining Seats program. We toured the theater before the show. I keep forgetting just how spectacular theaters were in the ‘good old days’. Even the bathrooms were remarkable. The problem was–men were oohing and aahing over the women’s room while women were peeing. It wasn’t a big deal; the stall doors were floor to ceiling so anyone could have been peeing. In the main meeting room downstairs from the stage were costume exhibits; we saw dresses worn by Garland in Meet me in St Louis, Easter Parade, and that farm thing she did with Gene Kelly. She was tiny! She couldn’t have been more than 5 feet tall and more than 90 pounds. Except for the bust the dresses could have fit a pre-teen girl. I felt like the incredible hulk next to them. We got our pictures taken at the sideshow exhibit then went into the theater. I sighed when I read the program; a barber shop quartet was doing a set before the movie. In the past, most of the acts put on by the conservancy were pretty lame and I was sure this would be a bore, too. Was I ever wrong. These guys didn’t sing ‘Sweet Adeline’; they did a capella versions of Queen songs, even some Vanilla Ice. And they were all great singers. They call themselves Bank of Harmony so if you’re looking for an interesting act for an event you might consider them. They were followed by a fashion show of movie costumes provided by Greg Schreiner, a producer and collector. We saw costumes worn by Susan Hayward, Arme Hammer, and even the harem girl costume worn by Streisand in Funny Lady. That was fun. Then Leonard Maltin, the film historian and critic, talked about the history of the movie. I didn’t know that Gene Kelly was originally supposed to play the Astaire’s part but he broke his foot. Instead of delaying production six months or so Fred Astaire, who’d said he was retired from movies, was asked if he’d come out of retirement. Astaire said he would just so he could work with Judy Garland. And they were a hit. I don’t think I’ve ever seen the opening segments of Easter Parade before. And I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen it without commercials. I loved it. Lots of fun.
We didn’t go to Clifton’s for the trivia game after the movie. We didn’t have any fun the last time and they made us play with strangers which was creepy. Next Wednesday is our last movie of the series. We’ll be seeing Wings at the Theater at the Ace Hotel which is now considered hip. Think I’ll sneer at the hipsters. I can suck my teeth and yell at them to “get off my lawn.” It takes so little to amuse me these days.