Friday, May 28, 2010

Dorothy Loudon sings "Vodka"

On the night of the 1983 Tony Awards, the Uris Theatre (where the ceremony was taking place) was renamed for George Gershwin. Throughout the evening performers sang the composer's material, including Dorothy Loudon's fearless, showstopping performance of "Vodka!" from the 1925 musical Song of the Flame. Gershwin and Herbert Stothart (who won an Oscar for his underscoring in The Wizard of Oz) shared duties as composer; Otto Harbach and Oscar Hammerstein II cowrote the book and lyrics. The show was an operetta spectacle set against the backdrop of the Russian Revolution. A film adaptation was released in 1930 and is now believed to be lost.

Loudon mines comic gold with the material, a performance that many still recall fondly from the telecast. It never fails to make me laugh (especially her outrageous ad libs). Enjoy:

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