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.