Saturday, August 02, 2008

Frida 'n' Reta

This was the night of 1,000 Frida's just around the block from me. Galeria de la Raza was sponsoring a Frida look-a-like contest of some sort and there were Fridas on cellphones, tiny Fridas, bigger than a barn full of hay 'n' more Fridas, feisty Fridas, frumpy Fridas eating tamales at the Roosevelt, Fridas smoking, Fridas spitting, Fridas talking to their homies in a white 1940s roadster, Fridas reading Proust, Fridas in 49ers jackets, Fridas named Fred, Cantonese Fridas, Yiddish Fridas, feline Fridas, and a duo-browed Frida named Lulu.

When I came home, I popped in The Pajama Game, a rare example of second generation Warner Brothers proletarian musical. Unions, large women, a Foy, a factory, and -- perhaps most importantly -- Reta Shaw. The fact that there ever was a Reta Shaw and that she was captured singing and dancing is one of the rare joys of life. I plan to write more about her soon.

Please feel free to talk about her among yourselves in the meantime as I prepare for a very early Sunday morning flight and raod trip.

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At 10:44 PM, Blogger The Blue Elephant said...

Being a former factory work and having had a time study man watch us and time our work, and having a union organizer father, you can understand that PAJAMA GAME is one of my favorite musicals. Saw it on stage too, with Janis Paige.

At 5:26 AM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Blue - And, of course, it was the famed launching pad for Shirley Maclaine. The movie is a rare opportunity to see why Carol Haney was so wonderful.

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Reta Shaw also co-starred with Hope Lange, Edward Mulhare and Charles Nelson Reilly in "The Ghost and Mrs. Muir" tv series. With "Scruffy."

I was in a high school musical production of "The Pajama Game." The show book is dated, but the score had some great numbers.

At 7:28 PM, Blogger Ladrón de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Mike - Reta was also a maid in "Mary Poppins" and the TV version of "Meet Me in St. Louis" and had a role in "The Ghost and Mr. Chicken". The fact that the book of "The Pajama Game" is dated is part of what appeals to me, and it has an amazing score.


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