Not Pic of the Day 6-24-08 Here's to the ladies...

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Not Pic of the Day 6-24-08 Here's to the ladies...

Postby jgh » Jun 24, 2008 6:30 am

who raise up their skirts! - 'Leading Lady'

It seems like every generation thinks they have invented everything important… slang, scandal, and sex in particular. I grew up in the Sixties, and we were sure we invented mind-altering chemicals and dirty dancing. “'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

The history of the Can-Can certainly proves that point. There are ancient Egyptian reliefs that depict dancers high-kicking over the heads of their audiences. In South Brittany in 1549, the “Triori” was introduced… women dancing alone and kicking their legs skyward. In 1822, the high-kicking tradition was formalized as the Can-Can in the clubs of Paris. Though the Can-Can was originally a dance for both genders, it developed into a stage show danced by a chorus Line of women.

Proper society was scandalized. At times it was outlawed as immoral and indecent. In an era when women’s clothing was designed to obscure the shape of the their bodies, the exposure of an ankle was considered erotic – and the Can-Can’s exposure of legs was considered by some to be an invitation to wholesale debauchery.

Perhaps the most famous, or infamous, club in Paris was the Red Windmill in Montmarte – the Moulin Rouge. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec immortalized the location and the dance – and turned it into a cultural icon and tourist trap - with his drawings.


In the 1950’s, the Can-Can once more entered public consciousness in an unexpected way. First, John Huston made a film called Moulin Rouge, starring Jose Ferrer as Toulouse-Lautrec and a quite attractive Zsa Zsa Gabor. Then in 1954 Cole Porter wrote a successful musical called Can-Can.

A forgettable Frank Sinatra film of the musical (and weren’t they all forgettable… except maybe for Robin and the Seven Hoods???) was in production in 1959 when Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev visited the set. He was apparently disturbed by the overt sexuality and made some irate comments. Reporters ate it up… and reports of the incident usually included a picture of dancer Juliet Prowse – a sure fire way to draw attention to the “Dirty Dancing” of the day.


Most recently, the Moulin Rouge and the Can-Can was featured in what is undoubtedly my favorite movie musical, Moulin Rouge. A wonderful blend of old sets and modern musical sensibility creates a kaleidescope of images.


I was so taken by the film I recommended it to all my friends - once more reminding me why one should never recommend one's favorite films to one's friends. To a person, they despised it. Ah, well... at least my DW shares my affection for the movie.

So what does this have to do with hostas? It seems that hostas that stand upright and show off their legs have consistently ranked high in the popularity polls. 'Sagae', of course… and 'Krossa Regal' and 'Regal Splendor'… and 'Gold Regal' and 'Alex Summers'… and 'Montana Aureomarginata'…

And one that doesn’t seem to get mentioned as often, but is very attractive and a fast grower - 'Leading Lady'. She really kicks up her skirts and shows off her legs!

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Not Pic of the Day 6-24-08 Here's to the ladies...



Postby newtohosta-no more » Jun 24, 2008 6:46 am

Another interesting read, Jim. And, the newer musical version of 'Moulin Rouge' is one of my DD's favorites too! I do actually know others who enjoyed it very they are out there! :lol:
Oh...the hosta! Beautiful pics for sure. :wink:
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Postby flowerchild59 » Jun 24, 2008 7:47 am

I was one of those who despised the film Moulin Rouge, recommended to me by my daughter. I thought if they just remade it as a period piece it would have been wonderful musical. I hated the "modern" music they had in there......ugh, it was horrible. Blch.
As for leading lady, she is one of my favs and is in a prominent spot in my "naughty" bed.
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Postby fenceberry » Jun 24, 2008 10:45 am

I'm afraid I'm one of them that loves Moulin Rouge and had the same experience when telling friends. The way the Police song Roxanne was filmed and cut is masterful. And how could anyone not love the movie's version of Like A Virgin!
If my hosta Marilyn Monroe ever grows up I think she will be an awesome leg showing beauty, too.
I have to go pop Moulin Rouge into the dvd player now.
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Postby loisf » Jun 24, 2008 1:23 pm

Jim, after your glowing recommendation, I asked my daughter about Moulin Rouge. She loved it and couldn't believe that she hadn't "forced" me to watch it yet. She was sure I would love it too, our tastes being very similar. Happily for me, she owns it, so I will be able to see it soon. Thanks for the tip.
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Postby Kent » Jun 24, 2008 3:01 pm

Wonderful again!!!!

I also loved Moulin Rouge the movie, the music, editing and the over the top use of color was just awesome ...I think I watched eight or nine times.

Thanks Jim!

... and yes, Leading Lady would make a fine Can-Can dancer!

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Postby JaneG » Jun 24, 2008 3:30 pm

Thanks Jim! Today you chose one of my favorites! So I grabbed the camera and went out to get some shots of mine. I don't remember when or where I acquired this hosta, but after a couple seasons she really grabbed my attention!

Unlike many Leading Ladies, this one is no diva, she doesn't require any special attention or try to overshadow anyone else. She just keeps giving a spectacular performance, over and over.

When I moved last year mine got whacked into four sections and shared with my sister. This is 1/4 of my previous plant after being mercilessly spaded apart just last summer. She didn't miss a beat!

Here's a couple pics of mine. One sexy shot under her skirt of those great legs! And a shot from the front . . . she's looking a little ragged in this one, some tree droppings, bird droppings, and surrounded by weeds, but she's still a shining star!


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Postby playinmud » Jun 24, 2008 3:55 pm

Jim, love this thread.

I'm a huge fan of the art of that era (they greatly influenced my own artwork), but not a fan of any of the movies (sorry). My college major was art, with an art history minor. I love the painters of light, the impressionists. Toulouse-Lautrec's painitings of imodest dancers, Degas' ballerinas, Monet's water lilies and haystacks, Manet's shocking "Luncheon in the Grass", Mary Cassatt's children, Renoir's portraits. All of them full of color and life. Of course there was a bit of whacky behavior going on behind the scenes, like Van Gough cutting off his ear and giving it to Gaugin as a gift. Nonetheless, great stuff. Pulling this back to hostas...Abba Dabba Do is one that really kicks high and shows off its undies, unfortunately the name doesn't fit well with the theme. LOL, oh well!

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Postby jgh » Jun 24, 2008 4:48 pm

Abba Dabba Do, the hosta, does fit this category... and the name actually kind of fits the theme...

don't tell Wilma, but that phrase was coined by Fred Flintstone when he dropped by the Rubbles and surprised Betty coming out of the shower...

the rest of the story will be told in an upcoming episode of Swingtown...
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Postby thy » Jun 24, 2008 5:30 pm

Shaking my head .... :wink:

Dont you forget Josephine Baker and the banana shirt :-?


Great hostas

Got my son an Abba Dabba Doo few years ago... just for thesilly ...just like him is a lovely hosta

Now it is planted in a huge dark grey pot.. :o it is georgeous
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Postby renaldo75 » Jun 24, 2008 7:19 pm

I've seen bits of the newest film near the end. I was only slightly confused even though I liked it. Hopefully it'll be one of those that I see more of someday. That's how I saw all of Fargo. I'd catch the movie a little bit earlier each time I'd happen across it on tv. Eventually after a couple of years I actually saw it from the beginning. It's a favorite. Think you can work the Coen Brothers into one of your NPOTDs, Jim?? :wink:

I do have Leading Lady. It's very nice & very large compared to the other hostas still in that 2004 holding bed. Hopefully it'll find a permanent home one of these years.

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Postby Arlene » Jun 24, 2008 9:22 pm

Sooo, one of you hybridizers who turns up a nice tall hosta that shows "her" legs nicely should name her Can Can Dancer . . . maybe one with red stockings. Shocking!

I spent a nice hour at my daughters' house this afternoon watering my pots and it struck me again how much I like Sagae and all the Sagae-reminiscent plants that stand tall and proud . . . Abba Dabba Do, Regal Splendor, and one that I seldom see mentioned, Lacy Belle.
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Postby John » Jun 24, 2008 11:01 pm

Don't forget HIGH KICKER! With her red legs and ruffly skirts~~~
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Postby baja220 » Jun 25, 2008 5:48 am

I've never seen LL before. Wow, she's a beauty!!
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Postby hagranger » Jun 25, 2008 5:57 am

Once again a history and hosta lesson all rolled up in one ... errr skirt?
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Postby playinmud » Jun 25, 2008 10:03 am

LOL! Jim you're a hoot! Poor Wilma, I guess she sent Fred to the dino house. :o

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Postby loisf » Jun 28, 2008 9:52 am

Jim, I saw Moulin Rouge last night. WOW! What a great film. The colors were so vibrant; the action, non-stop. I loved that the actors did their own singing. And, being an opera fan, I loved the operatic form... overture, mistaken identity, fast story development, etc. Thanks again for recommending it. Lois
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Postby GrannyNanny » Jun 28, 2008 4:35 pm

(To be sung to the original Cancan melody)

I cancan and you cancan,
So why should not we two cancan?
Who cancan like you cancan?
Who can, two cancan like you can?

They do it in the follies,
All the little dollies,
In their pretty -- in their pretty folderollies,
When they do the polka to the cancan.

Can't remember those two dotted lines, and can't find it on the net, either. Anyone else remember this?
Great post, Jim, as usual. Phyllis
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Postby FreakyCola » Jun 29, 2008 1:41 pm

Gitchi gitchi ya ya da da (hey hey hey)
Gitchi gitchi ya ya here (here oh)
Mocca chocolata ya ya (ooh yeah)
Creole Lady Marmalade (ohh)
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