Saturday, April 11, 2009

First Class Cabin

Last night I watched Cabin In The Sky, a 1943 all-black musical starring Ethel Waters, "Rochester" Anderson, and Lena Horne. Turns out, it was a re-telling of Goethe's Faust (why do we always say "Goethe's Faust"? Who else's Faust would it be? Am I missing something? I took two years of German). The cast was terrific, and it had some great Harold Arlen songs - "Happiness Is A Thing Called Joe" and "Taking A Chance On Love" among them.

I really enjoyed it, and this morning as I was cleaning, Zach and I enjoyed listening to it with the commentary track on, which explained about how it was a product of its time, blah blah blah.

With and without commentary I was entranced by John W. Bubbles, who had a small but central part as the slickster Domino Jones. Bubbles was a vaudevillian, and apparently was the "father" of 'the rhythm tap' - which is basically using your heels more and doing it in the Jazz Style. He's the one who taught this style to Fred Astaire, according to the internet.

Anyway, here he is doing a fun number from last night's movie.

It was talented then, it is talented now.

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