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On 27 November 2018 at 19:11 | updated on 19 January 2019 at 21:30

Roller Skating in musicals

Roller Skating in musicals

Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rodgers and Donald O'Connor set milestones in history of skating musicals with their outstanding performances. Onlineskating did some researches to make these memories revive.

By  Alexandre CHARTIER

Review to musicals on skates

Shall we dance (1937)

1937: Shall we dance (Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers)

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performed in this piece. This scene is doubtless the oldest on skates since Charlie Chaplin in "Modern Times". These two actors skate on old quads with a strap system which only rolled very badly. They start with a tap dance and continue with a ballet on quads. They act clumsiness which proves their incredible abilities on quads. A duo that deserves an honoured place in the history of musicals!

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1944: Pin Up Girl (Gloria Nord with the Skating Vanities)

Pin up Girl (1944)Pin Up Girl is an US- American romantic musical. Betty Gable acts the hostess of the local USO cafeteria, Lorry Jones/ Laura Lorraine, in Missoula Missouri. She also plays a role as a singer and gives autographs to soldiers and provokes big excitement.

The main part on quads is shown from minute 21:40 and lasts 4 minutes. This piece shows lovely moments with the Skating Vanities. In the middle of the scene you can see the superstar of this era: Gloria Nord. She's performing a solo and frees the stage for a typical duo of this time. This duo is presented by Tony Mirelli and Rose Piccola and they show an acrobatic masterpiece. The choreography is made by Gae Forster and Gloria Nord.

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I love Melvin (1953)

1953: I love Melvin (Donald O' Connor)

Donald O' Connor already acted in "Singin' in the rain". Some of you may remember the mystic scene "Make'em laugh", in which he presented all his artistic talents. How could it be different, regarding to his roots! He has been on stage for the first time only a few weeks after being born.

One year later you could see him in "I love Melvin". He is sharing a scene with Noreeen Corcoranen and they sing "Life Has Its Funny Ups and Downs" together. He shows some tap dancing and other artistic performances on quads. The moment when he walks down the stairs after his tap dance performance let it look like his wheels wouldn't spin!

1955: It's always fair weather (Gene Kelly)

In this musical Gene Kelly plays a former soldier of the second world war who dreams about being a lawyer. 10 years after finishing his military service he's meeting his former comrades Hallerton and Valentine again. These three don't have anything in common anymore, but they still rout out a villain. Ted is falling in love with a tv-show producer and shows his feeling through a legendary dancing scene on his quads.
His athletic past is explaining his special abilities on quads. He played ice hockey and American football, did gymnastics, swam and danced... perfect requirement for his future career.
We are fans!

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1968: Funny Girl (Barbara Streisand)

Affiche Funny Girl (1968)This musical got played since 1964 and in 1968 it also got played in the cinemas. Barbara Streisand acted as Fanny Brice, the star of the Ziegbeld Follies, who was waiting for her husband to get out of prison. Her scene on quads is coined by her clumsiness and humour.

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1984: Xanadou (Gene Kelly and Olivia Newton-John)

Affiche Xanadu (1980)

Inspired by the beauty Kira (Olivia Newton-John), Sonny Malone (Michael Beck) is establishing night club with the clarinettist Danny McGuire (Gene Kelly). This musical shows several dances on quads with a great number of actors. It is the last chance to see Gene Kelly at the age of 68 acting on quads in a movie. The title of this movie is having its origin in the name of the nightclub it takes place. It got criticized by the "Golden Raspberry Award" as the "worst movie in history". Nevertheless, it got a huge commercial success.

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1984: The Rink (Liza Minelli and Chita Rivera)

This musical tells the story about the rink owner Anna (Chita Rivera). She decides to sell her decayed skating rink to a construction company. Accusing to her daughter Angel (Liza Minnelli) the realization of her projects got more complicated.

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Starlight Express (1984)

1984: Starlight Express

Starlight Express is a rock-musical that got created by Andrew Lloyd Webber (music) and Richard Stilgoe (lyrics). The originality of the show: all scenes are played on quads! Starlight Express got very successful. This musical is still being performed all over the world.

You know more musicals on skates? Write us an email! 

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Released  on 27 November 2018 - Read 3619 times

By :
Fondateur et webmaster de rollerenligne.com. Alexandre est un passionné de roller en général et sous tous ses aspects : histoire, économie, sociologie, évolution technologique... Ne le branchez pas sur ces sujets sans avoir une aspirine à portée de main !

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