Although ostensibly the biography of impresario Sol Hurok, whose musical gift was his ability to spot talented musicians, the real raison d'etre of TONIGHT WE SING is to showcase a brilliantly talented cast portraying the extraordinary and temperamental performers whom Hurok championed.
David Wayne gives a relatively uninspired portrayal of Hurok, and Anne Bancroft plays his wife, who walks out of and back into Hurok's life, but the real stars here are Tamara Toumanova as the great Anna Pavlova, Issac Stern as violinist Eugene Ysaye, and Ezio Pinza, who leavens the proceedings
with his comic portrait of Russian bass Feodor Chaliapin, a man with a passion for practical jokes. It's the music and not the acting or the story that matters here. TONIGHT WE SING's producer was actor-comedian-toastmaster George Jessel, who had a secondary career as a filmmaker and was the man
behind many notable movies, such as NIGHTMARE ALLEY, THE DOLLY SISTERS, and DANCING IN THE DARK. Musical pieces include: love duet (from "Madame Butterfly" by Giacomo Puccini, sung by Peters and Palmer, whose voice was looped by Jan Peerce), "Le Cygne" (by Camille Saint-Saens, danced by Toumanova
as Anna Pavlova), "Vous Qui Faites L'Endormie" (from "Faust" by Charles Francois Gounod, sung by Palmer, Pinza), "Sempre Libera" (from Giuseppe Verdi's "La Traviata," sung by Peters), "Qu' Attendez-Vous Encore" (also from "Faust," sung by Palmer, Pinza), "Andante Le Triste Vero" (from "Madame
Butterfly," sung by Palmer), "Addio Fiorito Asil" (from "Faust," sung by Palmer), "Mattinata" (by Ruggiero Leoncavallo, sung by Palmer). Stern, as the famed violinist Eugene Ysaye, played "Valse Caprice in E Flat" by Anton Rubinstein. Toumanova danced in "Valse Caprice," "Dragonfly," "Pas De
Deux," and "The Swan." Stern played Felix Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto (first and final movements), and "Processional" from Modest Mussorgsky's "Boris Goudonov" was also featured.
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- Rating: NR
- Review: Although ostensibly the biography of impresario Sol Hurok, whose musical gift was his ability to spot talented musicians, the real raison d'etre of TONIGHT WE SING is to showcase a brilliantly talented cast portraying the extraordinary and temperamental pe… (more)