Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Top Hat (1935) vs Top Hat on stage Part 3

Top Hat (1935)
Top Hat on stage
Part 3
Hotel Suite

The scene starts off almost identical for both the movie and the stage show, Horace talks about how Bates says that 'a square tie is the only possible tie to be worn with evening clothes' and that he prefers the butterfly, Jerry says he thinks Bates is right to which Horace replies 'Bates is never right' Cue Bate's appearance where he introduces himself to Jerry saying 'We are Bates' Jerry's reply is 'And we are Jerry Travers' Bates asks Jerry if he can make a personal observation, Jerry says ok as long as it's not too personal, it turns out that Bates merely wants to compliment Jerry on his excellent taste in ties!

We find out in this scene that Bates entered Horace's life in very different ways between the movie and in the stage show.

In the movie Bates was 'found' when Horace sent an old pair of shoes to the Salvation Army, Bates returned wearing them and has been wearing Horace's good ones ever since.

However in the stage show it transpires that Madge 'gave' Bates as a sort of wedding gift and that Bates is a bit of company for him when Madge is away. After this we learn that Horace has got himself into a spot of bother but what it is we don't yet find out.

In both the movie and the stage show Horace tells Jerry that Madge is insisting that they fly down to Italy for the weekend, Jerry points out that he has a performance Monday night and can't possibly go, Horace tells Jerry that they must go... A friend is visiting and there is something in the air, Jerry must surely know how wives are, Jerry of course doesn't

In the movie Jerry leads us into 'No Strings' by telling Horace 'In me you see a youth who is completely on the loose, no yens no yearnings, no strings, no connections, no ties to my affections...' and thus into the chorus first, then the verse followed by the chorus again

However in the stage show Jerry tells us 'No thanks Horace, many a man who has fallen in love with a dimple, makes the mistake of marrying the whole girl' before leading us straight into the verse and then the chorus

In both however Jerry goes in to the tap number fairly quickly, in the film we move to Ginger's room where we see her being woken up, reaching for the phone 'This is Dale Tremont, I would like to speak to the hotel manager, immediately'
On stage as part of the set we see the part where the bar is turn round, above we see the specialist dancer following Jerry's every move and below we see an annoyed Dale being woken up by the noise and thus the telephone call

Horace is marched to the telephone by Jerry in both and is excited because 'some girl wants to see him' and tells the hotel manager that she can't come up here and that he'll come down himself

In both the movie and the show Jerry finds an object to dance with, in the film it's a marble(?) statue whilst in the show it's a hat stand (reminiscent of Fred dancing with a hat stand in Royal Wedding (1951), 

In the stage show this is how Dale finds him, easy access as Horace has thoughtlessly (or helpfully depending on your viewpoint) left the door open, in the movie Dale is left having to knock on the door although as Jerry doesn't hear her she is left to open it herself and his face is an absolute picture

In Top Hat (on stage) Dale makes her presence known by telling Jerry that 'You make a lovely couple' his reply is a simple 'Why, Thank you', Turns out 'Hatty' is both Stylish and Contemporary but 'thin' ;-) Hatty incidently got her name because when Dale asks 'if she has a name' Jerry promptly hangs his hat upon her

Fred's affliction now differs, in the movie its 'St Vitus Dance' but in the show its become 'Tapititus' possibly because modern audiences wouldn't get the reference, however the cure remains the same, one thing can stop Jerry 'his nurses always put their arms around him' Dale's answer shows the change of the times, in 1935 she says she'll 'call the house detective but in 2012 this has changed to the hotel manager.

Also in the stage show Jerry points out that Dale hasn't said 'good night' she turns to him and says 'No, I didn't', in the film Jerry merely calls good night to Dale as she walks down the stairs, another difference here of course is that in Top Hat on stage the entire scene takes part in Horace's hotel room whereas in the movie Jerry and Dale move into the corridor

This aside Jerry still discovers the sand when he's about to drop his spent match in it, In the movie Horace meets Jerry in the corridor actually carrying the bin complaining that the phone call was actually for Jerry and that someone (Dale) has made a complaint, the same happens in the show except on this occasion Horace enters his room to find Jerry already scattering the sand on the floor

It would appear that Jerry has met the complainant, that she is lovely and that she wants to sleep and that in turn he has appointed himself her official 'sand man'

What follows is one of the loveliest of sand dances ever, The dance critic Arlene Croce in 'The Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Book' calls it the 'Sexiest Scene' on film, it definitely translated very well onto the stage!!

On film Jerry's dancing not only sent Dale and Horace to sleep it sent him to sleep also, on stage however Hatty returns to him and he merely puts his finger to his lips saying 'shhh'

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