Let us close this Greenwich Village obsessed week with a little dancing. This is the magnificent duet between Bob Fosse and the great (and unsung) Tommy Rall from the 1955 musical version of ‘My Sister Eileen’. What has this to do with the Village? Well, the story is set there. And that’s it. But it’s a good excuse to see this joyously inventive dance number and to wonder why Rall–who Fosse once said was ‘the only dancer who scared me’–wasn’t heralded as the great he was. He lived a long life, passing in 2020 at the age of 89 and received little to no tribute.
By the way, just because this is a musical version of ‘My Sister Eileen’ doesn’t mean that it’s ‘Wonderful Town’ (the famous musical version of ‘My Sister Eileen’). That version opened on Broadway two years before this one was made and apparently Harry Cohn wanted to buy it for Columbia Pictures (Columbia had made the original non-musical version of the movie in 1942). When the price was deemed too high Cohn, who still controlled the film rights to the original non-musical version, angrily decided to blow off the Bernstein/Comden-Green score and have a new one written by Jule Styne and Leo Robin. So there! Thus there are two musical versions of ‘My Sister Eileen’ when one certainly should have done the trick.