Wednesday, April 24, 2019


Bird Dog put this up over at Maggie's, and it's fun.

But let's look at the changes since 1942, almost 80 years ago.

Tap dancing.  My 2nd granddaughter takes tap (her older sister takes ballet), but let's face it - it's a curiosity now.  No one does this. I learned a bit as a theater major in the early 70s, and I had a roommate who was actually good at it and still used it after college in his career.  (I just looked him up to see what he was still doing and that is absolutely going to be the subject of another post.) But even in 1973 it was outdated, passe. Couldn't do this today.

That costume, especially the hat, and secondarily the low inseam, is weird.  Necklines, waistlines, and hemlines go up and down for women, but this has never come back, seldom even in direct imitation trying to capture the era. Costumers choose different 1942 hats and pants to do that.

That strong left hand piano/blues intro is in the composition background of a lot of music since then, but pretty much long gone. Also, it is all on a stage, with a curtain, which is only used in very limited contexts now. People put live shows on stage, certainly, but the stage itself is not a focus.  In the early ages of movies and even TV, there was still this convention that entertainment takes place on a stage. Using pianos as set props is a Busby Berkeley thing, see below for a more extreme version

One hundred men dancing with a woman (or one hundred women dancing with a man) also never happens.  It is sort of a cool thing, that could endure a retro re-use, but it still just isn't done now.


Sam L. said...

I do most enjoy Busby Berkeley musicals!

Donna B. said...

Her pants are constructed in the fashion of men's pants at the time. If you look at the back of the pants you can see that the inseam is fine. It's the extra room in the front saddle that went out of style, hopefully never to come back for men or women.

Those dancing pianos and their swaying 'players' made me a bit dizzy!

james said...

Unless my eyes deceive me, the ultra-low inseam is quite popular these days, albeit associated with an ultra-low waistband.

Which brings to mind the other long-lost fashion item--the codpiece. How long will it be before those reappear on the streets?

Grim said...

Who would even think, today, of putting dozens of grand pianos on mechanically-rotating platforms, artfully arranged? They would synth the pianos, and autotune the only 'singer,' if they weren't autotuning the lip-synching actress paid to pretend to be a singer.

Drake's Place said...

^ Grim - yep, the days before CGI.