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Dedicated to the work of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger and all the other people, both actors and technicians who helped them make those wonderful films.

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Submitted by: Roger Mellor

TRS on stage

Did any US PnP readers see the disastrous stage musical of of ''The Red Shoes'' that briefly played in NY some years ago?

Here is a review I found on the www. The musical is referred to in the BBC2 Arena TV doc on PnP produced in the early 1980s, when the interviewer, Gavin Millar asks EP if it could ever come near to the movie, and after an incredibly long pause which goes on forever, EP wistfully says ...................................... "No" - Roger

The Red Shoes (Gershwin Theatre NY, December 17) was a sad, unneeded, Monarch's Notes version of the classic 1948 Powell-Pressburger film. Much has been written about the differences of artistic vision during the show's lenghty gestation period, and the result proved that too many cooks can indeed spoil the soup. Nearly everything the film did vividly, in Technicolor, was watered down. The gorgeous original locations and intense studio sets were reduced to pretty, pastelly drops of European opera houses, superimposed by flimsy, mobile window panes. The film's important secondary parts became tiny walk-ons, and its carefully delineated and motivated leading characters were given only key lines in the musical. Unfortunately, the dismal songs by Jule Styne and Iyricist Bob Merrill (using the pseudonym Paul Stryker) gave no further insight into these puppets. George la Pena's Grisha came off best, with the showiest part, and Margaret Illmann's Vicky danced well. The titular ballet was given a Russian setting, so it was disconcerting to hear themes from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (!!!!!!!) accompanying it! Nothing was as memorable musically as Brian Easdale's film score, or the Tchaikovsky intrusions, which only made things worse. Did its FIVE performances prove the project was mistaken from the start? I'm not sure: look what happened to the perfect 1938 film of Pygmalion.

From American Record Guide 13th March 1994 v57:n2. p31(2)

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