Saturday, April 7, 2018

Alexander's Ragtime Band! (1938) (80th Anniversary!)

Alexander's Ragtime Band! (1938) - 20th Century FOX
Director: Henry King
Lyrics & Music: Irving Berlin

Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Ethel Merman, & Jack Haley

This 1938 classic 20th Century FOX musical is named after the famous Irving Berlin tune; "Alexander's Ragtime Band" (song released in 1911). Through-out this entire film it is adorned with an all classic soundtrack from Irving Berlin. A movie that chronicles a man and his band featuring ragtime music. The bandleader being Alexander (Tyrone Power) who infuriates his wealthy family in going in his music journey. Along for this ride in the ragtime band is; Charlie Dwyer (Don Ameche) whom is best friends with Alexander and Davey Lane (Jack Haley). This starry eyed group of fellows find themselves working any and everywhere to get their music heard and to build a name. During one of these evenings they run across a brash singer; Stella Kirby (Alice Faye). Stella is rough around the edges and likes it that way. Alex along with his best friend Davey hear the beautiful voice of Stella and decide the best plan is to bring her voice as the lead vocalist that they do not have.

After some pushing Stella agrees to join their band and see where things go. They both see that one needs the other. Alexander before their premier show goes into the dressing room of Stella and talks to her about toning her looks down to be taken seriously. Stella detests the idea of changing herself but begrudgingly decides to try it his way. The evening goes over as a huge success for them all. The band playing the new music of ragtime and quickly are booked at bigger venues with notoriety. Success always seems to come with a price which in this film shows as the pressure mounting on being bigger and better than their last gig and writing tunes equally memorable. Personalities within the band clash and the passion between Stella and Alexander goes on the rocks. This band ushers in the sound of swing in the early 20th Century. Stella goes her own way by becoming a soloist singer traveling on her own. The band eventually finds another bright light in a singer named; Jerry Allen (Ethel Merman). Her bright personality and voice wakes the depressed and directionless Alexander and Davey. Do the hearts of Alexander and Stella come together again or perhaps does love come in the name of Jerry? This is for a musical film buff a "must see" motion picture that showcases so many stars and lends each to several lovely musical numbers. The musical numbers in my book are solid and are worth seeing.

Great songs that are featured within this classic film are; Alexander's Ragtime Band, Everybody's Doin' It Now, Now It Can Be Told , This Is the Life , When the Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabam' , For Your Country and My Country , Oh! How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning, Say It with Music , A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody, Blue Skies, Pack Up Your Sins and Go to the Devil , What'll I Do, Cheek to Cheek, Easter Parade, and Heat Wave among others. 

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Act, Sing, Laugh: Hollywood Immersion

I feel very grateful and blessed to have, in February this year, been part of the Hollywood Immersive - Acting Immersive program in Los Angeles, which was a tremendously inspiring, enjoyable and rewarding experience. In this life-changing acting intensive, beautifully and brilliantly coordinated by Lilly Dawson and Adam Rotenberg, almost every morning of the 8 day program, the alarm would ring at around 6.20, alerting us to the fact that the crisp mountain air of Griffith Park and the Hollywood Hills awaited us.

Training rigorously in acting and expression with some of the best teachers one could find, four days in a row at the world-renowned Beverly Hills Playhouse, truly felt like heaven. And relaxing at 2am in the outdoor spa at the Villa where we resided (after a quick splash in the cool pool), subsequent to performing a wonderfully comedic scene at the phenomenal Skylight Theatre in L.A., were some of the highlights of a night and trip I believe I will never forget!

Stemming from this, my roommate, friend and wonderful cinematographer for the Hollywood Immersive program, Joshua Hoareau from Cine Studios, subsequently edited together for me my 2018 Acting Showreel: 

Feeling further uplifted and enlightened by the entire 'Immersive' experience, I subsequently composed some of my best dance footage in this 2018 Dance Demo reel:

What a ride!


Sunday, February 11, 2018

In Pictures: Anita Louise

Here is our 65th installment of this very successful feature to "Love Those Classic Movies!!!" This article is simply an enjoyment via beautiful pictures of our favorite golden age classic stars. Not a lot of writing at all or tid bits or extras just simply as it is stated, "in pictures!" Hope you enjoy the leading lady Anita Louise whom brought life to such classic motion pictures as; Marie Antoinette, The Little Princess, The Third Alarm, The Sisters, That Certain Woman, Madame Du Barry, A Midsummer Night's Dream,  These Glamour Girls, Going Places, and countless others.

Enjoy Anita Louise "IN PICTURES!"