“On the Town” Cast Members Recreate Iconic Gene Kelly Dance Number

Hi, I’m Tony Yazbeck, and I’m currently playing the role of Gabey in the Broadway production of On the Town Cast members Cory Lingner and Eloise Crop have recreated the song “Main Street” from the film version of On the Town to help celebrate the birthday of one of my biggest inspirations, Gene Kelly. He was born August 23, 1912 and he would’ve been 103 this year. It’s remarkable how many lives this man has touched and young artists he’s inspired We’re happy to celebrate a part of this incredibly performer’s legacy with a musical that sheds light on one hell of a town. Enjoy!

6 thoughts on ““On the Town” Cast Members Recreate Iconic Gene Kelly Dance Number

  1. I honestly have to admit that although the dancing is fine it just looks too professional. When you watch Gene Kelly dance you feel his joy doing it, but when you watch Cory Lingner it just looks so technical and therefore less natural. Sometimes doing less is better, e.g. the arm lifting like in ballet doesn't suit the role (for me).

    I hope you get what I mean.

  2. What I really loved the most was Cory Lingner's GORGEOUS singing! What a wonderful voice and delivery. But of course no one can dance the way Gene Kelly did — no one.

  3. This was wonderful! I love when people recreate the great dances from the Golden Age of Musicals. It reminds me of musicians who will transcribe solos that the great jazzers of ages past laid down. It's also no different when yet another orchestra does another recording of another symphony or concerto by one of the big-name classical composers or when people recreate the ballets right down to the costumes and choreography.

    I might be stepping on toes when I say this, and I don't care: Gene Kelly was not perfect. I absolutely love Gene Kelly's work, but was he the best singer out there? No. Granted, his technic was better than Astaire's, but there were plenty of guys in Hollywood who could out-sing him. Did his singing do the job amazingly? Do I still get goosebumps while watching and listening to For Me and My Gal, Summer Stock, Singin' in the Rain or any of his other movies? Yes! Do I have recordings of him in my recording library? Yes!

    Did Cory Lingner sing differently than Gene Kelly? Yes! Did it fit the style? Yes. Does he normally sing for the stage and not the silver screen? Yes. Is his voice different than Gene Kelly's? Yes. Does any of this matter? No. Did Mr. Lingner sing the crap out of the song? YES! Did he and Eloise Kropp do the same dance? Yes. Did they occupy and move through space slightly differently than Gene Kelly and Vera Ellen? At times, yes. Even in a live group dance, I don't think you would notice those differences if you weren't looking for them, and even if you did, I doubt they would even matter–especially because they have different builds than the original dancers and might need to move differently to achieve the same thing. Did they do it wrong? No. Besides, whoever transcribed the dance did a great job doing it. I'm not much of a dancer, but as a musician, I know that transcription is as much of an art as it is a science. Whoever did it nailed it, and the pair recreating it did a stunning job.

    The camera work was excellent, too. I challenge anyone watching this who thinks they did anything less than a stellar job to put their money where their mouths are and try recreating this masterful art themselves. Mr. Lingner and Ms. Kropp's job was fantastic. End of story. I had goosebumps on my kneecaps and smiled like an idiot the entire time I watched it. It was great, period, end of sentence. No qualifiers. The movement was clean, timing was in the pocket. Mr. Lingner's pitch was fantastic, especially on the altered thirds ("on Main street") thirds, vibrato tasteful, breaths were in logical places and were in time, he transitioned between registers beautifully. There was one time. ONE TIME. When his voice almost cracked. Wow. There's one flaw that I didn't even notice the first time I listened. Who cares? He had better vowels than Kelly or Astaire ever did. People try too often to compare artists to each other, rather than celebrating their work. The arts are not about competition. The arts are about bringing people together. Bravo to you Mr. Lingner and Brava to you Ms. Kropp! You left me wanting more! I hope you recreate another classic movie musical dance soon!

  4. Thank you. This was after all the American Dream in music. This was a time when Betty Comden and Adolph Green could express a unity among Americans. Now: You give a new space to the original . You should make it more even. I love what you two have done theatrically and in dance. . Resize your work in the comparison section. You deserve it.

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