Born to Dance
Time Out saysPlanned as a revue with Cole Porter numbers, this evolved into a full-fledged musical with On the Town plot: three sailors on shore leave (Stewart, Silvers, Ebsen) become involved with a trio of girls (Powell, Merkel, Langford). Reminders of the original conception surface in a series of specialty acts - a ballroom dance duo, comic monologues for store floor-walker and switchboard girl, a Chaplinesque mime by a cop with a yen to be an orchestra conductor - which are surprisingly good and cleverly integrated with the main action, concerning Stewart's efforts to resolve a romantic misunderstanding with Powell and to secure her big break as a dancer. The grand finale is one of Powell's rather mechanical tap numbers, complete with spectacular chorus, on the foredeck of a battleship, but she comes up with much more inventive routines to 'Rap Tap on Wood' and 'Easy to Love' (the latter in rapturous response to a crooning Stewart in moonlit Central Park). Cole Porter's excellent score also includes 'I've Got You Under My Skin', and a delightful Gilbert & Sullivan pastiche for Raymond Walburn's gallant captain and his crew.
Cast and crew
Una Merkel, Raymond Walburn, Frances Langford, Alan Dinehart, Sid Silvers, Virginia Bruce, James Stewart, Eleanor Powell, Buddy Ebsen, Reginald Gardiner
Jack McGowan, Sid Silvers, BG De Sylva
Roy Del Ruth