Friday, July 28, 2006

“FANTASIA” at the Radio City Music Hall…1941

My oldest sister gave me the gift of a lifetime in 1941. It was my 8th birthday and her gift to me was an enchanted afternoon at the world-famous Radio City Music Hall in New York City. We were there to enjoy the live stage show and the ground-breaking Disney musical, “Fantasia”.

The movie portrayed cartoon characters performing their skits to classical music. Leopold Stokowski conducted the Philadelphia Orchestra and I sat in a trance as the music wrapped around me. It literally felt like the music was carrying me up and into the movie that was enfolding.

I particularly remember “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” featuring Mickey Mouse as an aspiring magician who gets himself into and out of a bunch of predicaments. At one sequence he is practically over-run by a battery of brooms carrying buckets of water.

Then there was the “Dance of the Hours” with lumbering hippos, crocodiles, ostriches and elephants… up on tip-toes, twirling their huge bodies in time to the music. The juxtaposition between the clumsy animals and the dainty dance that they were performing was charming. We clapped with delight.

“Fantasia” never became a box office success but it was an enormous treat for me and I loved it. However, the memory that burns the brightest happened at the finale of the live stage show. Two comedians were sparring with each other and playing to the audience. At the end of their performance they came close to the front of the stage and one man said, “I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here”. His partner chimed in with, “and I thank you from my bottom, too”….while proceeding to turn his back on the audience, dropping his pants and "mooning" the lot of us.

How shocking! How crude! How DELIGHTFUL!! My virgin 8-year-old ears were burning but I thrilled to the naughtiness of it all. I couldn’t wait to get home to share the experience (in great detail and with many embellishments) with all my young friends!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Happy days Ginnie. I loved that movie when I was a kid. BTW I was in New York about 20 years ago and had nothing to do one wet afternoon, so I went on the tour around 'Radio City' and found myself talking to an English lady who had once been a 'Rockette'.

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would have died!

I guess Yellow Submarine was like Fantasia to me.

Bambi broke my heart. I saw Marilyn Monroe's last movie, The Misfits, in the same old theatre. I was so over my head back then.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a great story! And how risque for 1941!
But look at the impression it made....all these years later you vividly recall every detail. I'm sure your sister couldn't have given you a better gift.

6:57 PM  

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