Friday, March 18, 2016

Does It Ring A Bell?

Happy birthday, Broadway and TV star Sutton Foster.  But this post isn't to celebrate her birthday so much as discuss this piece about her show Bunheads.  It only lasted one season, from 2012-2013, and I was sorry to see it go.

It was about down-on-her-luck Vegas showgirl Michelle Simms who decides to move to a city called Paradise, California and marry an admirer.  He dies, stranding her in this quaint town. She gets to know the people there, in particular four teenage girls who are taking a ballet class.

The show featured dances and songs, and was filled with fast, funny dialogue.  There were serious problems, however.  For instance, new characters kept being introduced before we even felt we knew the original characters. Also, the town and most of the characters were too quirky for their own good.  Worst of all, it often seemed Foster was in a different show from the four girls, though their interaction was the best things Bunheads had going for it.

Anyway, this article offers a selection from the show which was one of its best sequences, where one of the teenagers works out a number from Bells Are Ringing in front of Michelle, who's in a bad mood for other reasons.  We get to see flashes of the famous Broadway star Foster here.

Okay, fine, but we get this claim:

...a hungover Michelle casts off a “Sing out, Louise!” to one of her charges. Only the most well-steeped in their musical history would get the Gypsy allusion, coming from Michelle in a fit of maniacal-stage-mother pique. Either way, Foster always made it work.

Well-steeped in their musical history? If you're even a moderate fan of musicals you know Gypsy--it's considered one of the greatest shows, and is regularly revived on Broadway.  And "Sing out, Louise!" is a classic line.  It's like saying you have to be steeped in theatre history to know "To be or not to be."


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