Yes that show again!! I went again yesterday afternoon specially for the matinee as they had a question and answer session with Irving Berlin's daughter Linda Emmett after the show which came included with the ticket, being me I wasn't going to let such an opportunity pass by!!
I can't say I learnt much from the Q&A Session, except that I know more about Irving Berlin than I realised haha! Although I was unaware that he headed an army unit for 'This is the Army' in Italy during ww2 after D.Eisenhower saw the show in London and gave the go ahead to go and perform for those fighting on the front line (I'm also not entirely sure how I never knew he wrote that song, i've loved it for longer than I can remember!)
I will admit i didn't actually ask any questions, however when Follow the Fleet was mentioned with 'Get Thee Behind Me Satan' being one of Linda's favourite songs I did venture the information that of course that song was originally written for Ginger to sing in 'Top Hat' which she didn't know, so nice to think that she learned something!! I then mentioned about how when 'Follow the Fleet' was released in the UK in 1936 the word 'Satan' wasn't allowed to be used and so the word was cut from the song creating some very wierd cuts and can be viewed in the extras on the UK dvd release.
This led to her reminiscing of the first time she saw Top Hat on screen, in Paris before ww2 and then having the privilige of seeing it after it had been restored again in Paris, sounded amazing i'd love to see Top Hat (and indeed all of Ginger and Fred's movies) on the big screen!
Someone addressed me afterwards as 'The Irving Berlin Expert', I was kind enough to reply no, just Fred/Ginger related information!!
It was also the first time I'd seen the new cast, although Gavin Lee who replaced Tom Chambers as Jerry was off sick with a chest infection so they had the fabulous Alan Burkitt who also understudied Tom and who is an amazing dancer, I saw Alan play Jerry last year on the recommendation of one of the stewards and he is definitely my fave 'Top Hatter'!! Kristen Beth Williams (seen till recently in 'Nice Work if You Can Get It' on Broadway) was really good, but i'll hold passing judgement until I have seen her again, at least another 3 times as that's how many times I saw Charlotte Gooch who she replaced! (I saw Summer Strallen in the role 10 times..)
I was disappointed to find yet again that information about Ginger's film debut year was incorrect, however they have promised to correct it on the reprint, I also mentioned it to Kenny Wax, the show's producer and he said that he'll see Ted Hartley who wrote the article that includes the incorrect info in the next week or so and get it changed. I was kind enough to suggest that Ted Hartley may have been referring to Ginger's debut year of dancing on screen with Fred as the article is entitled 'RKO's Happy History with Top Hat' although if so it still needs clarification! Its about time Ginger was given the full respect and credit that she deserves after all and I find it sad that its not always the case