Remember the Tap Dance Kid on Broadway?

In New Jersey in the eighties they ran a lot of commercials for Broadway musicals. I remembered this one for “The Tap Dance Kid” because it featured Alfonso Ribeiro who I had seen on TV. The show opened in 1983 and would run for 669 performances before closing in 1985. Ribeiro left the show in 1984 and was replaced by his 10-year-old understudy, Savion Glovere. This commercial probably came out after the replacement (you can see a disclaimer at the start of the ad), but it still features Ribeoro in all his mid-eighties glory.

Enjoy the Original Commercial for Sweeney Todd on Broadway in 1979

This commercial brings back memories of growing up right outside of New York City. Almost daily I would be his by commercials for Broadway musicals like Cats or Annie and it piqued my interest in a attending a music. When I finally did get to see one I was not disappointed.

This Sweeney Todd commercial is kind of creepy, which makes a lot of sense and would have been a lot for my young brain to process. Although I would not have known Angela Lansbury from her work in “Murder, She Wrote”, which is still years away, I would have known her from the Disney classic, “Bednobs and Broomsticks”.

This commercial is from the original run of Sweeney Todd, which has gone on to be a powerhouse — Playing around the world pretty much non-stop since its debut.

Little Shop of Horrors at the 50th New York Film Festival

Ellen Greene

The first proper musical that I watched in my early years was Little Shop of Horrors and it will forever remain as my favourite filmed musical. For the younger me, Ellen Greene was glorious – sure, she had a very strange singing voice, and her love of dentists made her weak, but, WOW, she was really something.

Fast forward to my much older, married self and I’m still in awe of this lady and here’s why – singing after a viewing of the directors cut of the film at the 50th New York Film Festival in 2012, this is Ellen Greene singing emotionally to “Somewhere that’s Green”.

Thanks to Youtube, we can also see composer Alan Menken perform a medley of tracks, though he isn’t quite as alluring!

If you’re as much of a fan of the movie as I am, you’ll probably want to watch the full 37 minute Q&A session that has Frank Oz, Ellen Greene, Alan Menken and Kurt Galvoa talking about the film and its recent restoration. At the end of this video is a recording of Howard Ashman singing a song that wasn’t used in the final film.

Be sure to check out my previous post about the animated Little Shop series too!

This is Probably the Best Musical Short Film from the 1960s extolling the Virtues of Karo Syrup that you are going to see Today

karo-syrup

This gem from 1962 is a surprisingly long and entertaining advertisement for Karo Syrup. In it, a newly married housewife, who is not thrilled with the idea of cooking, gets a lesson about how easy and imaginative cooking can be from an enchanted pot. Of course, food is just a matter of throwing together whatever two things you want and finishing it off with Karo Syrup!

We had a bottle of Karo in my family’s kitchen when I was growing up that must have been up there for a decade. I can only imagine my Mother ran out and bought it after some strange hallucination involving talking crockery inspired her to want to cook delicious shiny foods. This enthusiasm was quickly dampened by her families lack of appreciation for nice-looking hot dogs served with apple slices.

Abandon your dreams lady. All your kids want is pizza and chicken served from a bucket.

The other Back to the Future musical

bttf_musical

2015 will see the debut of a Back to the Future musical at London’s West End. Bob Gale, co-writer on the stage adaptation says that he and Robert Zemeckis “…can’t think of a better way to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the film.”.

I agree, except I was sure I’d seen a BTTF musical elsewhere. A quick search later and I was right, a theatre in Hertford, England staged an “amazing new musical production featuring a real Delorean car and dazzling special effects!”.

I’m sure the West End show will be a good one, but just in case they need any help, perhaps they should take cues from these fine folk:

For more about the new ‘Future musical, take a look this recent Retroist post: 5 big questions about the Back to the Future Musical