Friday, March 17, 2006


The only way I know? GW students in bright green are bar crawling all along M Street on this one day of the year I'm embarassed about my mostly Irish heritage, mostly. The rest of the year I really don't think about it. On this "holiday," if I'm really bored and so sick of winter that I could kill myself with the handle of a butter knife, I pull out my LETTERBOX copy of Finian's Rainbow and marvel at the breeziness of this 1968 movie musical. The flick was produced at a time when the major studios were smashing themselves over their heads with sledgehammers trying to make money out of a dying art form (just try to watch Dr. Dolittle, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Star!, Hello Dolly! and Camelot to see what I'm talking about). Francis Ford Coppola of all people lensed this 40's property on a relatively small budget and delivered the goods. I remember seeing it, first run, at the Rialto Theatre in New Hampshire over summer vacation, and it added about 2 billion DNA strands into my musical comedy homochromosome. Notice how REAL SINGERS were engaged to play the parts (not like Camelot!) Notice how the whole thing TAKES PLACE OUTDOORS. Notice the not-so-subtle take on RACE RELATIONS through 60's sensibilities. And revel in the BEST 11PM SONG EVER TO GRACE THE BROADWAY STAGE when Tommy Steele's (annoyingly overacted) Og the Leppercon sings to Susan the Silent. And not a mug of green beer in its entire 141 minutes. (Oh yeah, Fred Astaire's there too.) That's entertainment. I'm turning into such an old fart.

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