In reference to my last blog and my incredibly classy taste in music, I will admit to one shameful phase in my life when I thought I needed to like something to be accepted: The Boy Band era. No, I’m not talking about the Jonas Brothers or One Direction or whatever whippersnappers listen to these days (says the twenty year old). I’m talking about N*Sync, 98°, The Backstreet Boys. Yes, I, too, tried to understand and enjoy the inherent magic of Justin Timberlake, but now that I am older… I wish my parents had forced me to listen to members of the Rat Pack.
Last night, I watched “Under the Streetlamp” and they are the closest thing to a boy band that will ever receive my stamp of approval. The programming was basic in its cinematic experience, so I won’t be discussing the the filmic aspects, but there were a few referential surprises to cinema which made the entire program worthwhile.
The tap dance performance of “When You’re Smiling” by Shonn Wiley was the cherry on top of Under the Streetlamp. I loved hearing his story about his regimented Marine father teaching him how to dance as a young boy with inspiration from Gene Kelly, James Cagney, and Fred Astaire. Below, I have a link to view a fun performance of both Astaire and Kelly in The Ziegfeld Follies if anyone would like to draw similarities between the dancers of the Golden Era and Wiley’s own rendition:
Michael Ingersoll’s performance of “Save the Last Dance for Me” was breathtaking and he captured the essence of the song’s backstory. Since I found out the backstory from my roommate last night as we were watching, I thought I would share it with you! The writer of the song, Doc Pomus, was reflecting on his personal feelings at his own wedding. Pomus had polio and was bound to his wheelchair. If you listen to the lyrics, it is Pomus’ way of telling his wife to have fun dancing with other men at the wedding, but to remember who she will be going home with and who she belongs to in the end.
If KACV airs Under the Streetlamp in the future, I would highly recommend this program for lovers of the American classics… especially the 50s and 60s. These men are highly trained and professional in their singing and their performance and the barbershop quartets receive a bit of a revival.
Until next time…