I considered at some point during Top Hat on stage's West End run doing a detailed comparison of Top Hat (the movie) and Top Hat (the stage show), somehow its now almost the end of the UK tour and I've only just started putting pen to paper... The aim is to post comparisons scene by scene and I will warn in advance that it could take some time, however for now here is the comparison of the 'opening'
Top Hat 1935
Top Hat on Stage
Top Hat (1935) starts with credits that include us, (the viewers) first seeing Fred’s feet coming into view and then Ginger’s feet dancing into join them. Audiences in 1935 knew that Fred and Ginger together equalled dancing and that wherever the movie happened to be set that their characters would be American.
Top Hat on Stage however sets their opening on the stage of a New York theatre where ‘Jerry Travers’ is performing for the last time for the foreseeable future on Broadway. The number being performed here is ‘Puttin’ on the Ritz’ a song that tells the listener all about life on ‘Park Avenue’, interestingly for a show set in 1935 the version sang was adjusted for the 1948 movie ‘Easter Parade’ Maybe they felt that a life on Park Avenue was more appropriate than Lennox Avenue.
At the stage door we learn from Jerry’s manager answering questions from Newspaper men, that Jerry is West End bound and the following week will be starring in a new review at ‘The Prince’s Theatre’ London (interesting to note that Fred and Adele starred in ‘Funny Face’ 1927 at the same theatre). When Jerry comes out he is asked what can we tell our readers when they might see him again.
We learn that Jerry has spent the last 4 years on Broadway, it’s like home and that he will be back!
Next scene should be up tomorrow, after that it depends on how fast I can scribble it (I may need to keep the film playing during the entire time ;-) shame I can't do that with the stage show also!!