Here's a cool convoluted thing I just learned. What I was a kid, there was a version of
on those 99-cent Happy Time Records. I finally got a copy when it was reissued as simply
on Mr. Pickwick Records, which cost a little more.
I later found out that Alice was played on that recording, produced in England, by none other than
). What I did not know was that this was an adaptation of the 1947 Broadway musical version created by the legendary
This production was originally conceived in 1932 and was staged for television in 1983 with
as Alice. The DVD is available
Who knew that such a rich legacy was on a 99-cent record you could buy at Grand Union or Kwik-Chek?
A BRIGHT COMEDIC DAY FOR KNIGHT IN "STARSTRUCK"
Posted on Jun 09 2010 by Greg
We recently watched a classic episode of the iconic TV series That Girl
in which Ann and Donald go on a car trip to meet her parents and encounter comical mishaps along the way. It was carried off brilliantly, in the tradition of film and TV buddy/road comedies that feature a bickering couple. It worked on That Girl
and it worked to legendary proportions in It Happened One Night
It also works, Disney Channel style, in StarStruck
, a romantic comedy with pop music starring Sterling Knight of the Channel's series Sonny With a Chance
and Danielle Campbell of Disney XD's Zeke and Luther
The basic story is another wish fulfillment tale for youngsters: a young girl accidentally meets a rock star. There's a fair amount of misunderstanding and teen angst, but the heart of the film is the "two for the road" sequence in which the two stars share mishaps and begin to care for each other. It's surefire when you have a duo with chemistry. Fortunately these two have it.
Campbell is a capable young actress with a lot of potential as a lead who can clearly carry a film, but Knight steals every scene in a role that he apparently won by default (he replaced the errant Cody Lynley
). Knight -- who revealed in a Bonnie Hunt Show
interview that he got his name from Disney and Hollywood legend Sterling Holloway
-- has a true flair for playing the spoiled jerk who you can't dislike, a knowing self-parody of the pretty boy showbiz idol. As he does on Sonny With a Chance
, Knight makes the comedy count in a way reminiscent of Michael J. Fox
when he became the center of Family Ties
. It will be interesting to see where his talent takes him,
The songs are, of course, loaded with appealing hooks that cement them into your head as they were skillfully designed to do. And it's also worth mentioning that the score was by David Lawrence
, who also did the High School Musical
films and is the son of Steve Lawrence
and Eydie Gormé
The DVD is available with or without a CD soundtrack (a nice option) but is not overloaded with extras other than a few music videos. An audio commentary with these talented young stars would be most welcome.
DISNEY'S "ENCHANTED" WITH A SPOONFUL OF "SUGAR SUGAR"
Posted on Jun 07 2010 by Greg
One of the greatest singing voices in the music industry, as well as the advertising industry, is that of the great Ron Dante
. Not only has he lent his singing and producing talents to The Archies, The Cuff Links
and hundreds of commercials from Coca-Cola and Dr. Pepper to General Tire and Appleby's, he also is a Disney fan who has created music for The Little Mermaid
series among other things. Oh and he produced albums for Barry Manilow
But he'll be immortlized as the singing voice of Filmation's Saturday morning CBS cartoon, The Archies
(which got over a 40 share at its peak), capable of astounding range that lends itself to multi-tracking perfectly. Forty-one years ago, "Sugar Sugar" from this cartoon group was the number one song of the year, eclipsing yes, The Beatles
Anyway, I couldn't have been more delighted to hear him singing as well as producing again for Disney on the recent album Happily Ever After
, a collection of studio versions of romantic Disney songs. Most are fine reproductions of these tunes by several excellent studio singers, but for the Oscar-nominated "That's How You Know" from Enchanted, Ron Dante does a Caribbean arrangement very reminiscent of his Kirshner days, recalling such songs as "Sunshine" and "Throw a Little Love My Way."
The Ronster's still got it, as his other recent albums
also prove. But it's as cool as it can be to hear him doing one of the best Disney songs of recent years. You can download "That's How You Know" alone here
or get the whole Happily Ever After album here
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