Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another Hollywood star dies

Kathryn Grayson is not one of my absolute favourites: like many people I find those trills a little hard on the ear though I cannot help thinking that the obituary in the Daily Telegraph is more than a little unkind. (The Guardian is a little kinder.) I enjoyed her version of Lili Vanessi/Katharine in Kiss Me Kate with Howard Keel as Fred Graham/Petruchio. Did the studio really want Laurence Olivier for that role? Thank goodness Ms Grayson's good sense prevailed. Even so, I must admit that the stage production brought over from Broadway in the wake of 9/11 was, in many ways, superior. One got much more of a feel for ensemble work, so necessary for a play. The film is essentially about the four stars with one superlative dance sequence by Bob Fosse. But it is fun, especially in 3-D with the old-fashioned red and green spectacles. And Howard Keel is superb as is Ann Miller in the Lois/Bianca role.

Here is Kathryn Grayson in a less well-known part, singing to Gene Kelly in Thousands Cheer:

Well, I couldn't possibly have her singing the United Nations March, now could I?

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