Saturday, July 23, 2011

From My Collection: MGM Musical Stars

Here's a memento from a special evening in my life: the opening night of a series of MGM films at the Tiffany Theater in Hollywood, circa the late '70s.

The film shown that evening was AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (1951); I briefly recounted some of the details about the screening in my 2008 review.

There were a number of MGM musical stars present that evening. Starting across the top of the schedule are the signatures of Virginia O'Brien, director Vincente Minnelli, and Mel Torme.

Mr. Torme, incidentally, was a big movie fan and was in the audience of films I attended in the L.A. area on at least a couple of occasions; in particular I remember him being present at a Filmex screening in Century City.

In the center are the signatures of Tom Drake and Betty Garrett, then Ann Miller is below them, and at the very bottom musical director-producer Saul Chaplin. Chaplin was an absolutely lovely human being, and I highly recommend his autobiography THE GOLDEN AGE OF MOVIE MUSICALS AND ME; I have a signed first edition on my shelf.

I have a memory that Donald O'Connor was present, but since I don't have his autograph I'm not completely certain he was there. (Update: My father says he was definitely there!) I did see him on stage in the early '80s as Cap'n Andy in the touring Houston Grand Opera revival of SHOW BOAT!

My first movie loves were Julie Andrews and then MGM musicals, so needless to say this was a remarkable event, seeing so many of my musical heroes in person. It was particularly meaningful being able to express our appreciation to Mr. Minnelli with a standing ovation at the conclusion of his film AN AMERICAN IN PARIS.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Newer›  ‹Older