Hellzapoppin'
(Universal 1941)
Wed, Jul 31, 10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Sheffer Recital Hall, The Shedd Institute
Adapted from the 1938 musical of the same name, Hellzapoppin' is a fairly strange setup. Shemp Howard begins is the projectionist of a cinema, displaying on its screen what appears to be the start of a song-and-dance number including classily dressed performers walking down a staircase. The staircase collapses as in a fun-house ride, sliding them all straight to hell, where they are tortured by demons. Ole and Chic arrive in the midst of the mayhem by taxi, and after a bit of funny business, step back to reveal that it's a movie sound stage. They work for Miracle Pictures, a company using the slogan "If it's a good picture, it's a Miracle!" A screenwriter played by Elisha Cook, Jr. outlines his script for the screen adaptation of Hellzapoppin', and the rest of the movie depicts Cook's script…which is too ridiculous to put in writing. In fact, it is so ridiculous, the screenwriter is sued by the director. The film has a fabulous (and long!) Swing dance sequence performed by Whitey's Lindy Hoppers and a host of songs by Don Raye and Gene de Paul. [adapted from Wikipedia]
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Sheffer Recital Hall
The John G. Shedd Institute for the Arts
285 E Broadway
Eugene, Oregon
541-434-7000

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