ADOLPH GREEN’S 100TH - THE BAND WAGON
Monday, December 1
When unemployed actor Adolph Green (The Bronx) teamed up with NYU theater major Betty Comden (Brooklyn), who’da thought it would be the start of a six-decade partnership? An “overnight” sensation after #1 fan Leonard Bernstein enlisted them to write book and lyrics for On the Town, Comden & Green were soon tapped by Hollywood, where they spent a decade writing the greatest movie musicals ever made, all the while going back and forth to Broadway to wow ‘em again and again (two of their smash shows – On the Town and On the Twentieth Century – are being revived this season, along with The Band Wagon at Encores! and Peter Pan on live TV). Tonight, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Adolph’s birth (on December 2, 1914; he died in 2002), we present the Comden & Green movie that epitomizes the already-vanishing Broadway, show biz, and New York he loved.
Starring FRED ASTAIRE, NANETTE FABRAY, OSCAR LEVANT, JACK BUCHANAN, CYD CHARISSE
*Introduced by Adolph’s son, Vogue theater critic Adam Green, who’s currently at work on a memoir of his father.
(1953, Vincente Minnelli) Washed-up Hollywood song-and-dance man Fred Astaire aims for a Broadway comeback – thanks to a socko script by Comden & Green stand-ins Nanette Fabray and Oscar Levant – but battles with artsy director Jack Buchanan – as well as chilly co-star Cyd Charisse, until the two find themselves “dancing in the dark” in Central Park. Add Fred’s “Shine on Your Shoes” routine in a 42nd Street arcade, the hilarious “Triplets,” the Spillane-spoofing “Girl Hunt Ballet,” still more great songs by Dietz & Schwartz, and a scintillating C&G screenplay. Now That’s Entertainment! Approx. 103 min. Archival 35mm Print.