Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Happy Holidays!!!!

Firstly Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it and Happy Holidays for anyone who doesn't!!!

Secondly, i'm not sure where the time has gone it doesn't seem that long since i last posted, was quite a shock to read the actual date.. Between Uni, Anneliese, Ian (not so new boyfriend) and everything else (like seeing Top Hat and turning 26) time seems to be going much quicker than i anticipated!

Hope everyone is enjoying the festive season, i'm looking forward to spending christmas and new year with family including going to Switzerland on the 27th, skiing for 10 days! Anneliese included :)

One of my friends very kindly photoshopped the 'Roberta' pic to put me in instead of Ginger :D nearest i'll get to Fred ;)

Better job than i could have done!!!

Little Christmas Cheer


I've been getting christmassy watching Holiday Inn, being a fan of Fred and not of Bing i prefer that to White Christmas!!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Smoke Gets In Your Eyes

Thanks to Huey for the Inspiration for this post!
Ok so its clear to see that my dress is not an exact replica, i liked the strap design of the 'Never Gonna Dance' dress in Swingtime more than the strap design of the 'Smoke Gets In Your Eyes' Dress plus i didn't happen to have Bernard Newman to make it for me, but i thought i'd share these recent photos so you can compare instead the two dresses :) I had mine made by a dress maker for a not inconsiderable sum and its pure silk although Ginger's gleams better!

If you look carefully in the second picture it is just possible to see what book i am holding ;)

Thanks very much also to Arianna for the following link http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/exhibitions/exhibition-hollywood-costume/inside-the-exhibition/ if anyone is in the UK, i know i'm definitely going to make the effort to go and pay a visit, anything to see any of Ginger's costumes!!!

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Top Hat revised review

After now having seen Top Hat on Stage a fabulous 8 times and 2 more visits at least in the offing, unfortunately i booked for the 10th November for what i thought would be Summer Strallen's final perfomance and then heard from no less than the producer himself that she's agreed to extend until November 24th, whoever takes over the role of Dale is going to have to be very good, Summer is amazing!! I've written an alternative review to the one i wrote all the way back in April (seems such a long time ago haha!) Fred and Ginger still are and will always be the best ;) (although Tom Chamber's understudy Alan Burkitt is worth seeing as Jerry)

Being a massive fan of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers I’ll freely admit I was rather sceptical about whether I was going to enjoy seeing Top Hat on stage, I could say even if it’ll never quite live up to my beloved Fred and Ginger I have become rather fond of it, which makes a nice difference as generally I like either the stage show or the movie, rarely both!

Top Hat on Stage is a whirl of sophistication, fabulous dancing and a whole host of Irving Berlin songs, 5 from the original movie with a further 10 songs added to boost the production.

The choreography is sublime and while my favourite choreography from the movie did not make it into the stage version, what replaces it is a pleasure to watch.

Chambers is no Astaire, Fred after all was Peerless, but he does come a very close second! Whilst Strallen steps very nicely into the role of Dale, played by Ginger Rogers in the original 1935 movie, I noted with interest that aside from a couple of lines of ‘Isn’t it a Lovely Day (To Be Caught in the Rain)’ and what is included in the finale, Strallen sings none of the songs from the original movie, whilst Dale in the movie sang ‘The Piccolino’ in the stage show this number is handled splendidly by the Ensemble (who incidentally are one of the best I have had the pleasure of seeing)  and Vivien Parry in the role of Madge.

Parts of the stage show that stood out for me were Chambers own choreographed dance with the Hat Stand ‘Hattie’ which is reminiscent of Astaire in ‘Royal Wedding’ (1951), ‘Wild about You’ sung by Strallen to Chambers in his room in an attempt to scare him, it backfires as he ends up scaring her! And the fabulous ‘Outside of That I Love You’ performed by Martin Ball as Horace and Parry.

Any scene with Stephen Boswell as ‘Horace’s’ Valet ‘Bates’ or Ricardo Alfonso as ‘Alberto’ is worth a mention as the providers of much of the show’s comedy

The essence and magic of the 1935 film is perfectly captured by all of the ensemble as well as the fabulous leads and a trip to the Aldwych to see Top Hat on Stage should definitely be a fixture on everyone’s calendar who’s ever loved a stage musical. This one is a pure winner and deserves to run and run.

I saw it with friends yesterday as well as Anneliese and i'm happy to say that they enjoyed it almost as much as i did!

Now i can happily say roll on Venice (and Verona) where we are visiting next week, we're staying by the Lido in a 1930s style hotel, very excited!!

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Movie Posters

One of the Working Titles's for Twenty Million Sweethearts, glad they didn't stick with it!

Magnificent Doll (1946)

Lady in the Dark (1944)

Alternative Poster for Lady in the Dark (1944)

Bachelor Mother (1939)

Dream Boat (1952)

Alternative Poster for Dream Boat (1952)

In Person (1935)

A second alternative poster for Lady in the Dark (1944)

Alternative poster for Magnificent Doll (1946)

Another poster for Magnificent Doll (1946)

And another!

Oh, Men! Oh, Women! (1957)

Stage Door (1937)

Star of Midnight (1935)

The First Travelling Saleslady (1956)

Vivacious Lady (1938)

Teenage Rebel (1956)

Been sorting through my collection of photos (far to many haha) and came across these movie posters, i love this direct link to the past especially as so many posters are in colour regardless of the fact that so many of the movie's themselves were in b&w!

Monday, 17 September 2012

The Wonders of Insomnia

I'm sure Insomnia has no real wonder haha but while i was unable to sleep last night i went hunting through google images on the off chance of finding some 'new' Fred and Ginger photos and came away pretty pleased (even more so because i didn't visit ebay once!)

Getting steadily colder over here which isn't doing much for me, but Ginger and Fred are still making me smile so thats a plus :) Hope everyone else is good!!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Lela's Book

While searching for erosenplatt's blog last night - http://thegingerrogersresouce.blogspot.co.uk/ (not showing up on blogspot search for some reason :/ I came across 'Ginger Rogers and the riddle of the scarlet cloak' i know some of ya'll have this already but for those who don't (like me sadly) it is available to read online right here http://archive.org/details/gingerrogersridd00roge

These archive.org people are going up in my estimations everytime i visit the site!!

Also remembering all those who lost their lives on the attacks on 9/11 may they RIP

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Hurricane Isaac

Hope if any of you live in the path of Isaac that you're all safe, the views on the breakfast news looked pretty wild over here, although 21st century Europe seems to be rediscovering ww2 bombs all over the place..

Thursday, 23 August 2012

the wonder of eBay..

Taking a little advice from people i have just been browsing eBay for photos of Ginger, have even bid on a few :) if anyones feeling rich, although i was browsing ebay.co.uk most of the photos for sale (buy not not auction) are from the United States, nice variety of prices to! I also found someone selling a Press Book for 'Flying Down to Rio' $150 is a little steep for me though

Photo i hadn't seen from the 1940 Academy Awards, Ginger with Jimmy Stewart and ?

They look like they could have easily started dancing!!

Press photo for Heart Beat (1946) Ginger with Sam Wood

Now that's not a scene we saw in the movie!! Ginger and Jacques Francois

Ginger and Fred during the Swingtrot, Barkleys of Broadway 1949
I may have lost control of my senses hehe, an original print from Hat Check Girl was to good an offer to pass up, even if it did cost $49!!!

Tuesday, 21 August 2012


Fabulously happy after being busy with it with what seems like forever my dissertation is finally in, results due back in september.. no point worrying about things i can't change however!

I'm quite excited now that once summer holidays are over (start of Sept) i can get on making something of all that research i did on Adele Astaire in Boston. For something that started as a ruse to get into the archives i'm hoping this could lead to more research, hunt for Hat Check Girl anyone?!

Adele Astaire

Needless to say I am also glad i now have the time to watch entire movies instead of various clips, its far to long since i watched any Fred or Ginger movie :( I've been listening to lots of music instead, as well as listening to 'Ginger: My Story' whilst finishing my dissertation :) I am truly grateful to youtube, especially since i had to move all my movies off the laptop and on to my external harddrive, clearly i need to take time to sort out photos at some point, knowing my luck there'll be duplicates

I went and saw Top Hat (yes again) last night with Anneliese, making use that for Kids Week children under 16 go free with a full paying adult, i won't say too much because its this performance i'm reviewing elsewhere :) but The Original London Cast Recording is now on sale although i recommend if people want to buy it they get it off Amazon, i paid £15 at The Aldwych and its £8.99 on Amazon :( My two favourite tracks needless to say are two that were added to the show, 'Wild about You' and 'Outside of That I Love You'.  I also learnt that Summer Strallen who is currently playing the role of Dale will finish at the start of November while Tom Chambers in the role of Jerry is contracted until Feb 2013, currently the show runs till next April, good luck to whoever replaces them is all i can say... haven't heard anymore on whether it'll go to Broadway, anyone else?

Anneliese with Tom Chambers

Possibly the nearest she'll get to 'The Jerry Travers' hehe at least they pronounce that right, i still haven't asked why they don't pronounce Tremont the same way on the stage as in the movie, it'd be interesting unless of course they don't know lol

Thursday, 19 July 2012

Belated Birthday Wishes Ginger xxxxxxxxxx

Feeling very sad that was unable to blog for Ginger's birthday on Monday, i did manage to tweet (and got a follower back! if anyone uses it follow me @fredngingermad) but i was working all day monday and haven't really had a break since :( Almost at the end of a second weeks residential working with young people which has bee exremely tiring but very rewarding :) looking forward to 2 weeks rest before i go away for another week's residential
Took Anneliese to see Top Hat on Saturday, i had to stop her from singing along! I took he round to the stagedoor earliar and she met the two leads :) I'm taking her again in August because overhere they have kids 'week' for tickets to west end shows allowing 1 child under 16 with every full paying adult and am rather chuffed as have been asked by one of the companies who work with London's Theatres to review Top Hat for them :)

Friday, 29 June 2012

Greetings from Boston

Just in Boston until Saturday, before move on to Washington DC :) 
The Ginger exhibition is happily still there and according to the guy i spoke to today is likely to be there until the end of August, but that sounds like it'll be it :(
It was very nice to step back inside, i've mainly been watching the video taken on the set of Vernon and Irene Cast;e i found out however that you have to be working on a research project to get access to the Archive collections, but as they say where there's a will, there's a way and uni can expect an article on Adele Astaire in the near future, maybe it'll get me nearer to my career dreams :)

Hope everyone isn't suffering too much in the heat!! It appears to be just as warm at home as it is here, just my luck!!

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Nice to Be Remembered

Sorry for not posting in a while, trying to get my dissertation sorted and waiting to hear about a couple of weeks work that i have coming up in July, as well as spending time with my daughter, fitting in travel, packing up my flat in Leicester to move back home, going to see Top Hat (yes again!!) and getting ready to go away again on Tuesday :)

I've been doing some shopping on eBay and have scanned in the covers as they are clearly too nice not to share ;)

Picture Show and Film Pictorial Vol. 49 No. 1273 October 6th 1945

The first of Ginger's Life Covers, what i didn't realise until it arrived in the post was how big Life Magazine was! Hence why Life is cut off at the top, not to mention Ginger's name at the side :/

I was informed last night that the Cast Recording for Top Hat on Stage is being recorded at the end of the month and will be available for sale in a couple of months, looking forward to it especially the songs that were taken from other shows, the best of the bunch is definitely 'Outside of That I Love You' performed by 'Horace and Madge' much looking forward to that :) The Stage show definitely gets better, i really enjoyed it last night, although that i got asked by 3 of the orchestra how i was might have helped a little hehe!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Top Hat On Stage take 2

So on the 19th May, one month after it opened in The West End i went and saw Top Hat on stage again, I was deeply disappointed that i'd missed both the Press and the Gala nights that happened on the 9th and 10th May thanks to confusion over lectures and that i didn't have anything suitable to wear (in Leicester sadly my beautiful dress was at home in Cambridge) not to mention the money side of things having the possible chance to meet Ava Astaire would have made up for a lot but ah well that is life.

I took the copy of the programme that i'd purchased at the opening on April 19th so i didn't have to buy another but this time they also had the Souvenir Brochure's for sale, although i had to wait until the interval to buy one. I was however able to buy Kathleen Riley's book 'The Astaires Fred & Adele' which i have been dying to get hold of since it was published, bookstores and amazon.co.uk had assured me that it had a UK publishing date of May 24th and that i didn't have long to wait and knowing my luck they will all sell it cheaper than the £18 ($28) i paid however it was well worth it (i've already finished it, could someone please write a new book on Ginger!!)

I again was fortunate enough to have a front row seat but this time to the far left of the stage, the guy sitting next to me was very friendly and asked why i'd come to see the show, I explained that i adore Top Hat (the film) and Fred and Ginger and that I'd seen the show before forgotten my open mind and had decided that i should give it another chance, there are rumours folks that Top Hat is in rehearsal to open on Broadway, fact or fiction it would be interesting!!

I think because this time i knew more or less what to expect that I enjoyed the show far more this time, it still grates that they don't pronounce Tremont correctly but slowly the dances are improving :)

When i got hold of the Souvenir Brochure and was able to read it i gained a far better understanding of why there are so many differences between the film and the show, especially in terms of choreography. An article written by Ava Astaire Mckenzie included a comment that i thought summed it up rather well,
"My only real reservation was that the actor chosen to play the male lead would not be playing Fred Astaire, but would be portraying the character of Jerry Travers that my father played in the movie"

It reminded me how the first time i saw the show i wondered why they'd put Summer Strallen in a blonde wig, because Dale could have had any colour hair, Ginger of course was a blonde but the idea is that Summer is portraying the character of Dale, then again with all those different hair styles (and they pretty much followed the different Hair Styles Ginger had in the movie) a wig clearly was the quickest option!

The brochure also explains why you can't just transport film choreography to the stage, Chambers and Strallen are not afterall Astaire and Rogers. Main changes are to the Top Hat, White Tie and Tails number where there is no shooting of anyone and to the Cheek to Cheek number where the fabulous lifts are missing
In the No Strings number where Dale storms upstairs to find Jerry dancing, Jerry is no longer dancing with a statue as in the movie but is now dancing with a hat stand which is reminiscent of Fred doing exactly the same thing in Royal Wedding (1951, Wedding Bells in the UK)

Thanks to the brochure and also remembering that this is the stage show and not the movie i did enjoy it much more this time then the first time, i was amused to notice that during the Top Hat, White Tie and Tails number where he wasnt required on stage, the guy playing Horace was sitting in one of the boxes, where as the "producer" of the "show" (think of the movie here) he was in the right place hehe!!

I went and said thankyou to the orchestra again after the show, i was fairly touched to be remembered by a couple of them!! They asked if i'd enjoyed myself more this time and were glad to hear i had and then asked if i'd managed to get any autographs the last time which i sadly replied i hadn't. They did offer to get my programme signed and return it at a later date but then suggested that if i wasn't in a rush i could go round the back to the stage door where i'd likely get a chance to meet some of the actors :)

As I wasn't in a rush i was more than happy to take up their suggestion stopping on the way to try and get another hoodie, although unfortunately they've been popular so i was unlucky there, but there is always next time.

I joined a few other fans waiting round at the stage door, i then realised apart from the programme the only things i had with me were books on Astaire, and if i wanted to be able to read the signatures then in the books they were gonna have to go. I'd tweeted Tom Chambers a few days earliar about being in awe because he is quoted in the book 'Dancing on Astaire' and decided that would be good as any for them to sign (hopefully the author won't mind too much!!) i thought that'd be better over Hyam's book

I almost missed meeting Summer Strallen because without that blonde wig she looks so different!! Fortunately other people were also outside to meet her otherwise i may have missed that opportunity completely (incidently her rendition of 'Better Luck Next Time' was much improved compared to the Opening Night in April) She was nice however as was the person who lent me a pen (silly thing not to carry when seeking autographs hahaha)

I then caught Martin Ball who is playing Horace, he'd spotted me tapping my foot in time to the music from the box he even remembered where i'd been sitting, that impressed me, he was very nice and was impressed that not only had i seen it twice but that i have plans to come and see it again, he suggested that maybe i should try out different parts of the theatre and see where offers the best viewing point, he asked about why i liked the show and i explained about being a major fan of Ginger and Fred, he was awfully nice and personalised his autograph :)

I then got chatting to the other two people waiting for Tom Chambers, i envied them dreadfully as it emerged that one of them had met Ginger and the other Fred, oh how i wish i'd been born in the right place at the right time, they were fairly amazed at my apparent amount of knowledge and suggested that if i ever went on Master Mind, i could choose Fred and Ginger as my specialist subject fairly easily ;) They did ask more than once why i hadnt managed to attend the press night, boy could i kick myself for not being able to attend, if i'd known in advance that Ava was going to be in attendance (not to mention the daughters of Irving Berlin) then i likely would have got myself there even if just outside

Took quite a wait before Tom came out, i don't know how popular S Club 7 has ever been on the other side of the pond but Rachel Stevens who has had a fairly decent career in her own right came out and i didn't even notice who she was, i grew up with their music so am very annoyed with myself and trying to keep a low profile on not noticing her, my best friend is already appalled with me...

When he did get out however it was entirely worth the wait, what i most appreciated was him not only remembering my tweet about him being quoted in 'Dancing on Astaire' but when he learnt that it was my second time of seeing the show and that i'd seen the opening night in The West End he asked what i thought had changed, got better etc, he was also impressed to hear that I have already planned to go and see it again,when he signed my book he put thank you :) he also got what i meant when i said physically he's like Gene Kelly, being like one dancer is better than being like no dancer i guess haha! I do think he plays a good Jerry, even if he is no Astaire he is on par in technical dancing skill and i look forward to seeing the continued improvements

I did get quite a kick out of waiting because it reminded me of what it would have been like in the 1920s/30s/40s when everyone left through the stage door, like how we see 'Josh and Dinah' leaving the theatre in 'The Barkleys of Broadway' very grateful to the orchestra for the directions, if i could dance anything decently i would have been doing it!! Excitement was rather high, so however was the cold, London at 11pm in May is not particuarly warm!! If not Dancing i was definitely Floating on Air!!

My ticket is already firmly booked for June 20th, this time from the right side of the theatre and a friend is showing interest in joining me to see it in July :)

Saturday, 19 May 2012

He Flirted, She Laughed, They Danced so Divine

Ok so its not quite how Ginger wrote it but its my idea of Ginger and Fred :)

I'm not haing much luck at the moment, as i've unfortunately got another year of school left (long story but the university has already admitted they've let me down this year) but i do have some nice things to look forward to as well as a few weeks work over the summer :)

I'm off to see Top Hat again tomorrow night, hopefully this time i'll be able to just enjoy it and if not i'm taking 'Fred and Ginger' by Hannah Hymas to read at the interval ;)

I also (a little while ago) booked flights to go back to Boston!! So the exhibition better still be on :) I don't fly until the 26th June so a little while yet but as i deferred my dissertation i have to write that first.. 4 days in Boston and then 5 days in Washington DC and then a weekend to recover before i start 2 weeks work with 800 16 year olds ;) Very much looking forward to it though :)

Amazing the Pair of them

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Happy 113th Birthday Fred!!!!

I had kinda realised that most of my recent posts have been much more Ginger related and today being Fred's Birthday gave the perfect excuse ;)

My absolute favourite photo of Fred, there is something about his expression which just makes me melt

 Something about Fred that 'reeks of class' whatever he happens to be wearing and Sexy to go with it ;) something that very few others seem to manage,

 I did think that Fred looked at his best in the 10 movies made with Ginger (a very small selection choosing just 1 pic from each movie took forever!!)

 Happy Birthday Freddie, a wonderfully talented man, thanks for the legacy