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MAD ABOUT MUSICALS
June 12, 2018  | By David Bianculli

TCM, 6:00 a.m. ET

 

Tuesdays and Thursdays this month, TCM devotes all day, and even some of the night, to the Hollywood musical. The action starts very early today, at 6 a.m. ET, with 1943’s Best Foot Forward. The best treats come a little later, though, and are well worth stacking up in the queue of your DVR. There’s Gene Kelly dancing and swashbuckling (dance-buckling?) his way through 1948’s The Pirate at 2:30 p.m. ET, showing off his ambitious, sometimes dangerously athletic choreography. At 8 p.m. ET, to kick off prime time, there’s 1949’s On the Town, with Kelly leading his fellow fleet week sailors on a whirlwind tour of Manhattan (spoiler alert: The Bronx is up, and the Battery’s down). And at 10 p.m. ET, there’s 1943’s Cabin in the Sky, an important period black musical in which good and evil (in this case, angels and devils) fight for the soul of a gambler. It’s the cast, not the story, that makes this musical so mandatory: Co-stars include Louis Armstrong, Ethel Waters, Eddie “Rochester” Anderson and, as not-so-sweet Georgia Brown, a very young Lena Horne (pictured).

 

 
 
 
 
 
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