Hi-Jinx: Tommy Rall

Another of the great, but lesser known, film dance stars, Tommy Rall, who died this month. As a youngster, he was in a group of dancing teens called the “Jivin’ Jacks and Jills” at Universal Studios, which included Donald O’Connor. He was trained in ballet, and his amazing high jumps, pirouettes, and flips rival anything else seen on the screen. He appeared in movie musicals almost every year in the 50s, but somehow he never made it into super-stardom. O’Connor thought Rall was one of the greatest dancers living, a better dancer than either Gene Kelly or Fred Astaire.

Here he is with Ann Miller in “Why Can’t You Behave?” from Kiss Me Kate, where he mixes dance with some practical jokes in a fun character piece.

Click on the image to play.


“You’re The Top”: Dai Vernon Edition


The influential magician Dai Vernon, known by his peers as “The Professor,” was feted by  his contemporaries at a tribute roast in 1987.  Cabaret singer Pat Cook sung an homage to the 93-year-old magician to the tune of Cole Porter’s “You’re The Top,” but with revised lyrics by Cook. The clever Cook went on in later years to write a Broadway show and is presently the Director of  BMI ‘s Musical Theater and Jazz division. If you’re a fan of magic, you’ll get a kick out of the lyrics Cook wrote for the occasion.

Thanks to magician Michael Ammar who captured the event on film and uploaded it onto YouTube.

“Come To The Supermarket”: Kim Grogg




The verbally dexterous and tuneful Kim Grogg wrapped her pipes around Cole Porter’s witty patter song, “Come to the Supermarket”, with gusto and panache this past week, singing at the Metropolitan Room’s season finale of Everything Old is New Again Live, produced by David Kenney of WBAI radio, and Frank Dain of Cabaret Scenes Magazine.

The show, which also featured the talents of performers Kevin Dozier, Maria Failla, Penny Fuller, Lindsey Holloway, Pucci Amanda Jhones, Hilary Kole, Kristoffer Lowe, Marissa Mulder, Kurt Peterson, Jacob Storms, Eric Sweeney, KT Sullivan and Jacob Keith Watson, will return to the Metropolitan Room in October.

This first season has been a real crash course in great cabaret for listeners like me, a cabaret novice, so thanks, David and Frank and all the wonderful artists who have appeared this season.

Although the first live season has now ended, fear not Everything Old is New Again junkies: David’s radio show will still continue to be heard every Sunday night from 9-11pm on WBAI 99.5 FM, NYC, featuring “The Great American Songbook.”

Click on the gray triangle above to hear Kim Grogg wrestle to the ground Cole Porter’s “Come to the Supermarket.”