The Glitzy Glossy Return of The Golddiggers 2010

By: Aug. 12, 2009
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Talk about golden hits from the past, The Golddiggers played 5 performances only on the El Portal Mainstage in NoHo, August 6-9, and they have become a great big hit all over again.

Directed by Joe A. Giamalva, this was a memorable but far too short evening for fans of The Golddiggers. They are all gorgeous to look at and can still sing and kick up their heels. Palm Springs Follies & Riff Markowitz, take notice!

These ladies are not the Golddiggers of those 1930s Busby Berkley films, but the glam gals (6 of the original 12) who first performed on The Dean Martin Show in 1968 and became an instant sensation, staying with the show into the early 70s, then moving on to their own show and specials due to popular demand and eventually touring with Bob Hope in his USO ventures.

To commemorate their years with Martin, the 6 gals performed a bevy of old standards including "You Make Me Feel So Young", "Three Coins in the Fountain", "I Love Paris", "Welcome to My World", "Strike Up the Band" and "New Faces", sometimes accompanied by original clips of The Dean Martin Show and Bob Hope's USO Tours on a screen behind. There was also a fun medley of TV themes from popular series of the 60s and 70s. It was not all music, however. They filtered questions from the audience, which included TV luminaries like Peter Graves, Connie Stevens (see photo above), Joanne Worley, Earl Holliman, Ann Jeffreys and Jane Kean on opening night, and invited a gentleman onstage to dance with them in a sort of "Dean For a Day" reminiscent of "Queen For a Day". Comedians Ronnie Sperling and Jerry Hauck assisted the ladies with the audience participation segment and did a 20-minute audience warmup at the top. The comedians' routines were light and amusing in the style of 60s television. There was a big emphasis on game show addiction, and the two poked fun at themselves - one resembled "the son of Don Rickles" and the other Brad Pitt: pitiful. They lent appeal, but by no means possessed the magnetism of those glamorous, ageless Golddiggers.

One especially hilarious clip utilized in the show was from The Carol Burnett Show, in which Carol, Vicki Lawrence and cast parodied the silly & sexy antics of the Golddiggers, calling them the Goldgigglers. The ladies concurred at how honored they were that legendary Carol Burnett had spoofed them.

One of the audience questions was, what the gals claimed to be the most frequently asked question of all: Did Dean Martin actually drink during the tapings of his show? The answer, of course, was an emphatic NO! His drinking glasses were filled with only apple juice.

For all you R-rated enthusiasts, this, sorry to say, was a totally clean show, devoid of rude and lewd remarks. When the gals referred to themselves as sex objects in their day, they called it innocent sex. Pretty refreshing by today's raw and risque standards, I'd say!

The El Portal and the Golddiggers make an elegant match, and I certainly hope to see more of these gals in future gigs, as they left spectators begging for more. They bring back the golden age of entertainment, and oh, how super-satisfying that is!

(The 6 ladies represented of the original 12 are: Jackie Chidsey, Nancy Sinclair, Rosie Cox Gitlin, Suzy Cadham, Sheila Allan, and Susie Ewing.)


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