Since I highlighted the song this week in my current summer music series, I thought another spot should be thrown its way. Whimsical, eye-popping, and definitely boundary-pushing for 1979, this dance sequence had it all. As Alan Arkush described, “A depiction of coast-to-coast sex that’s the real show-stopper.” Dean Treadway did it justice in his piece from 2011:
“To me, “Take Off With Us” was the musical event of 1979: it begins as a spoof of the old show-stoppers Fosse might have had to choreograph as part of The Pajama Game or Damn Yankees, but then it violently explodes those big marketing expectations by segueing into the darkly sexual “Airotica,” which would have problems bringing in the family crowd on Broadway even these days. With “Take Off With Us,” Fosse and Burns seduce us with show biz, and then smushes the sordidness of it all in our faces.”
Dean’s is a great examination of Bob Fosse’s genius, in general, and this stunning song and dance number, in particular. All That Jazz remains Fosse’s best film, and finest hour, in my opinion. Bar none. So glad the Criterion Collection will finally be releasing this, with all the features it so deserves, later in the month. For this Friday, and the start of August, his Forgotten Movie Songs #3 post will do just nicely.