When asked to write a special Thanksgiving piece on the legendary showstopper "Turkey Lurkey Time" from Promises, Promises, I instinctively agreed. But as time passed, I began to have serious reservations about taking this on. This song is beloved by musical theatre fans across the world and its impact has extended beyond the Act One finale of Promises, Promises, including a memorable performance in the movie "Camp" and a recent mash-up with the Scissor Sisters' "Let's Have A Kiki" on "Glee."
"Turkey Lurkey Time" was a seminal achievement for choreographer and future director Michael Bennett and is hallowed ground, which I really don't want to desecrate. Who am I, someone who doesn't like dance, to write about "Turkey Lurkey Time"? No disrespect to the art — I understand that this is one of my limitations — but it seems 99% of the time, once the choreography starts, my eyes glaze over.
I pulled up the popular YouTube clip of Donna McKechnie leading the original Broadway cast of Promises, Promises in the number at the 1969 Tony Awards, closed the door to my office and sat quietly for a moment to clear my mind.
It's a 1960s office holiday party — very "Mad Men" — and three office "girls" are doing a little dance for everyone as they sing the song.
I start watching other versions of "Turkey Lurkey Time" to broaden my sense of the song. YouTube user "FabTV" has a good-quality video from the original Bennett production, but with a somewhat different cast, notably deficient in the Donna McKechnie department. The short clip I find of the City Center Encores! production is slick and sexy, but less compelling, and the footage from the recent Broadway revival recalls why the number made so little impact on me in the first place. I check out the "Glee" version and love Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Colfer doing "Kiki," but there's barely any "Turkey Lurkey Time" at all. The "Camp" version is a fun homage to the original.
|1 | 2 | 3 Next|