Manhattan Merry-Go-Round

2017. MANHATTAN MERRY-GO-ROUND (1938-USA). With PHIL REGAN, LEO CARRILLO, ANN DVORAK, JAMES GLEASON, TED LEWIS and HIS ORCHESTRA, CAS CALLOWAY and HIS COTTON CLUB ORCHESTRA, JOE DIMAGGIO, KAY THOMPSON, HENRY ARMETTA, LOUIS PRIMA and HIS BAND, GENE AUTRY. A genuinely once-in-a-lifetime cast makes this musical comedy a real treat. It’s based on the hit radio show heard coast to coast from 1932 to 1949. Leo Carrillo is amusingly cast as Gordoni, a gangster who constantly and humorously fractures the English language. The fun begins when Gordoni and his band Of Runyonesqus hoods take over a record company. Its star attraction has been crooner Jerry Hart (Phil Regan, radios famed “Singing Policeman”). Hart is a girl- chasing heartthrob known as “Kid Romance.” However, he truly loves company secretary Ann- Rogers, and the pair plan to wed. Complications arise when Gordoni orders Hart to abandon Ann at the altar and to charm a famous but temperamental opera star into agreeing to record. Along the way, Gordoni and his boys lasso some top-notch real-life talent to make records for them. Included here are song-and-dance man Ted Leis, author-actress-singer Kay Thompson, hi-de-ho bandleader Cab Calloway and singing cowboy Gene Autry. Each sparkles while performing trade- mark-style musical numbers, with the Calloway sequence a standout. James. Gleason is especially good as tough-guy underling “Danny The Duck,” who speaks perfect Brooklynese. The there is a cameo appearance by a young New York Yankees’ centerfielder named Joe diMaggio, who does a cute comical bit with Henry Armetta. 87 minutes. Musical