On Your Toes

On Your Toes

Musical
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On Your Toes

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Description:
On Your Toes (1936) is a musical with a book by Richard Rodgers, George Abbott, and Lorenz Hart, music by Rodgers, and lyrics by Hart. It was adapted into a film in 1939.

While teaching music at Knickerbocker University, Phil "Junior" Dolan III tries to persuade Sergei Alexandrovich, the director of the Russian Ballet, to stage the jazz ballet "Slaughter on Tenth Avenue". After becoming involved with the company's prima ballerina, Vera Barnova, Junior is forced to assume the male lead in "Slaughter". Trouble ensues when he becomes the target of two thugs hired by Vera’s lover and dance partner to kill him.

On Your Toes marked the first time a Broadway musical made dramatic use of classical dance and incorporated jazz into its score.

Background

On Your Toes was originally conceived as a film, and as a vehicle for Fred Astaire. His refusal of the part, because he thought that the role clashed with his debonair image developed in his contemporary films, caused it to be produced as a theatrical performance. Richard Rodgers wrote: "Astaire at that point in his career was a pretty chic fellow who usually wore white ties and tails, and the producers felt that there was no chance in our script for him to appear that way."Grimmond, Peter. Oxford Companion to Popular Music, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-280004-3 Astaire thought that the ballet background in the...
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