Monday, January 10, 2011

Musicals Monday

I love Julie Andrews.  Maria Von Trapp, Mary Poppins, some of my favorite songs and movies are by her.  Victor/Victoria was a very different musical for Julie Andrews.  Definitely not your grandmother's Julie Andrews, but one that I love.

In 1934 Paris, soprano Victoria Grant (Julie Andrews), can't get a job as a singer and is having trouble making ends meet.  Gay cabaret singer Carole 'Toddy' Todd (Robert Preston) may befall the same fate as Victoria as he was just fired from his singing gig at a second rate club.  To solve both their problems, Toddy comes up with what he considers an inspired idea: with Toddy as her manager, Victoria, pretending to be a man, gets a job singing as a female impersonator. If they pull this scheme off, Toddy vows Victoria, as her male alter ego, will be the toast of Paris and as such be extremely wealthy. That alter ego they decide is Polish Count Victor Grazinski.  The Count auditions for the city's leading agent, Andre Cassell, who, impressed, gets him a gig performing in the city's best nightclub.

In the audience on the successful opening night is Chicago nightclub owner and "businessman" King Marchand (James Garner), a stereotypical macho male who falls in the love with the woman he sees on stage.  King is shocked to learn that that woman is a man named Count Grazinski. While King tries to reconcile his romantic feelings for "Victoria" (in truth, King doesn't truly believe the Count is a man), his business associates won't tolerate his change in sexual orientation. Victoria, as herself, in turn falls in love with King. To pursue something with him as a woman would mean giving up this lucrative career. But the career may also come to an end in a jail term if the authorities find out that Victoria and Toddy have committed fraud in this impersonation. Written by Huggo

For your Musical Monday, I've decided to show the best song of this movie, The Shady Dame From Seville, sung by two different people.  First you will see the Julie Andrews version, and then the version by Robert Preston.

The authorities are about to discover that Victoria and Toddy have committed fraud.  As a "swan song" to their act, Toddy (Robert Preston) dons Victoria's clothing and performs the song as the finale of the movie.  I apologize that the few talking parts are in Spanish.  I couldn't find a decent English version!  The singing is all in English though, and it's worth every minute!

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