I Dream of…Lalume?

Yes, ladies and gents, Jeannie is singing and dancing (and take note: showing her navel). Barbara Eden was one of the four stars to take part in the 1967 TV production of Kismet, that glorious ’50s operetta by Wright & Forrest using the themes of Alexandre Borodin. Jose Ferrer starred as Hajj, Anna Maria Alberghetti was Marsinah and the telecast featured an utterly atrocious performance from George Chakiris as the Caliph. (So hard to believe this man won an Oscar).

Anyway, as Lalume, Barbara vamps it up as a sex-pot love interest for Hajj. Bored with her disinterested husband, the villainous Wazir (Hans Conried), she gets to tear things up with that great showstopper, “Not Since Nineveh” in the role created on Broadway by Joan Diener and immortalized on film by Dolores Gray. Much to my surprise, she’s actually quite good (if you can forgive the general cheesiness in the orchestrations and staging). Eden later toured in productions of Woman of the Year and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. (Both of which she apparently taped for TV. Anyone seen those?) Enjoy this little treasure trove.