Monday, August 18, 2008

MUSICAL MONDAY - 42nd Street

Last night I watched the movie 42nd Street. Is that the worst musical to ever grace the silver screen?

A musical show is being planned. The main starlet, Dorothy Brock, is hired, thanks to her wealthy sugar daddy Abner, becoming a producer.

Then the director is hired. Julian Marsh, who has lost all of his money in the stock market crash and has been told by his doctor that anything stressful, like directing this show, will give him another nervous breakdown. Julian takes the job anyway.

Now all we need are lots and lots of chorus girls, which require a very long audition process. All the usuals are there, including “Anytime Annie” (played by Ginger Rogers), who for some reason has taken to acting like a wealthy matron, complete with a monocle. I don’t get it, but she adds much needed personality to the dullness of the movie.

In walks, Peggy Sawyer. This is Peggy’s first audition ever!!! Anytime Annie takes Peggy under her wing and by sheer luck (and bit of prodding by the lead star, Billy Lawler, who is taken with her) Peggy is hired as one of the chorus girls.

During the relentless, and apparently all night long rehearsals, Peggy faints and she meets Pat, Dorothy Brock’s secret boyfriend. On this particular night, Dorothy is taken out by her sugar daddy and leaves Pat standing by the stage door.

Pat then gets the great idea to ask Peggy out for a late supper. After the supper, Pat escorts Peggy back home, some thugs drive up, tell him to stop dating Dorothy and then punch him in the face. Peggy takes him up to her room, when the landlady barges in and says the man has to go. Peggy, for some reason, gets really dramatic and says, “If he goes, then I go.” The landlady says some thing along the lines of “Whatevah, bitch, see ya.”

So Peggy stays the night at Pat’s apartment. The sexual tension is rising as Pat lifts Peggy up, carries her to his bed and…. leaves her there to sleep.

Dorothy breaks up with Pat, because her “success is his failure.” And Pat is all like “Whatevah, bitch. I’m moving to Philly. See ya.”

As luck would have it, the show’s preview location has changed from Atlantic City to Philadelphia. The cast moans and groans and Anytime Annie (or someone that looked like her) say “It’s Philadelphia P.A. until night time when it becomes P.U.”

Well, Pat shows up and he and Peggy get into a cab where she heads off to the cast party. Dorothy sees this and gets in a right fowl mood!

At Dorothy’s own party, Abner (the sugar daddy) is drunk and acting like fool, Dorothy gives him the what for and he makes some statement about the fact that since he paid for her salary to get her into the show, then he owns her… or something.

She gets mad and starts to throw shoes and champagne glasses then calls Pat to ask him to come over right away. Which he does. Peggy sees him go into Dorothy’s room. So do two of the show’s producers who are off to get Julian Marsh, the director.

Peggy pounds on Dorothy’s door to warn Pat, but is greeted by a drunk and angry Dorothy, who falls down and breaks her ankle and can no longer go on tomorrow night.

Julian is about to have a nervous breakdown, when Abner walks into the theatre with the new lead of the show, Anytime Annie. Annie then breaks down and says she does not have enough talent to pull of the show and he should hire Peggy.

Yeah, that is right, make the star of the show the girl who had never been on stage and fainted in rehearsal.

Just before the show, Dorothy hobbles in to Peggy’s dressing room. At this point, I was ready for a good backstage cat fight!! Dorothy said “When I first heard you were taking my place, I wanted to rip all of your hair out!”

Yes! This will be a great cat fight!

Dorothy continues, “…but now I am marrying Pat and I have everything I need. So, good luck to you. I know you can do it.”

What???? If you think that is a let down, just wait for the show. Watch this:

Did you watch the clip? Isn’t it the worst? Peggy flops around on stage like she is lost, and her voice is mostly off-key. In one number we go from happy tap dancing to an attempted rape and murder back to a glamour girls dancing scene. What???????

Of course, the audiences love her and deem Peggy to be the next star of Broadway.

Whatevah, bitch. See ya.

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