Having posted last week the video of Patricia Morison recreating her Broadway role from Kiss Me Kate in the 1958 TV adaptation, a thought occurred to me. Readers of these pages who pay close attention might recall that I've posted a video of her here previously, two years ago.
Here's part of what I wrote at the time --
This is from the famous 1971 Tony Awards broadcast, which celebrated the 25th anniversary of the awards by bringing back the original stars of each of the past 25 Best Musical winners to recreate their most famous numbers. It was a remarkable show, and remains (to me) one of the best TV specials ever.
In this famous number, the original King of Siam, Yul Brynner, returned to perform "Shall We Dance?" from The King and I. The original Anna, Gertrude Lawrence, was no longer around, but Patricia Morrison (who played the role in a revival) stepped in. (She was the original female lead in Kiss Me Kate.) Happily, it includes the King's soliloquy that precedes the dance.
What's so remarkable about this number is that everyone by this point knows what's coming. Yet when the King holds out his hand, and ever so slowly moves it inchingly towards her waist, and she hesitates, finally lifts the hem of her gown -- and they go whirling around the stage, two very different cultures finally coming together, the audience just explodes in release and joy, as they do here. It's one of the magical moments in Broadway history.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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