For Lenny: Episode 7
Leonard Bernstein was Mr. New York. Standing ovations at Carnegie Hall, the toast of Broadway... he even lived for a while at the Dakota for godsake. And he loved this town.
"New York, New York, a helluva town - The Bronx is up but the Battery's down - The people ride in a hole in the ground - New York, New York, it's a helluva town".
I've known those lyrics (from Bernstein's On the Town) since I was about five years old, thanks to an unconventional childhood involving lots of MGM musicals, and an extremely inappropriate crush on Gene Kelly, who starred in many of same, including the movie version of On the Town. My friends were obsessed with Rob Lowe and I was in love with Gene Kelly - go figure.
It's a helluva song, New York, New York. And this sweet, silly tribute by Lukas Foss, written to celebrate LB's 70th birthday, captures everything we love to love about this great big, bustling, exhilarating, exasperating city. I still have a crush on Gene Kelly. And New York City.