June 26, 2014 / 6:30 PM
LECTURE + BOOK SIGNING - "Fred and Mr. Astaire"
With Michael Lasser, Music Historian and Host of National Public
Radio's "Fascinatin' Rhythm"
Katharine Hepburn said, famously, of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers,
"He gives her class. She gives him sex." And, yes, she did what he did,
only backwards and in high heels. Except he also choreographed and
then taught her the dances. So what! They are the greatest dance team
in movie history. Yet despite their enormous appeal, it's pretty clear that
Astaire has always been the first among equals -- an unequalled dancer,
a durable leading man, and a great singer. Songwriters yearned to write
for him and he introduced more important songs than any other performer.
He was a star for thirty years yet he always played essentially the same
character. Call him Fred. Lasser's talk uses recordings and videos to
illuminate the twosome that became one -- Fredandginger -- as well as
that motion picture nonpareil, Fred.
Lasser will sign copies of his book America’s Songs II: Songs from the 1890’s
to the Post War Years in the lobby of the museum following the program.
Books are available for purchase in the Museum Shop.