At the copa, Copacabanoffee, bananas and toffee were always the fashion…
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Copacabana was first released by Barry Manilow in 1978 and was inspired (according to Wikipedia) by the Copacabana Hotel in Rio de Janeiro, where Manilow and Bruce Sussman discussed whether there had ever been a song called “Copacabana”.
At the copa… Copacabana
The hottest spot north of Havana
Discovering that no-one had worked it into a song title (although there was a Groucho Marx movie in 1947 which they conveniently overlooked), they went about writing it. But it wasn’t until 1985 before it appeared in a movie musical of the same name, starring Barry himself. The plot features Lola, (she was a showgirl), who is a contestant on a radio show along with Manilow’s character, Tony Starr.
And while she tried to be a star
Tony always tended bar
Across the crowded floor, they worked from eight til four
They were young and they had each other
Who could ask for more?
It seemed inevitable that a stage version was an absolute necessity, and debuted in Plymouth, England* in 1994, moving to the West End later that same year. The US had to wait a nail-bitingly long SIX years before it opened in Pittsburgh in 2000, and Sweden had to wait until 2005 for a translated stage version!!! I’m certain that there were many Swedes who turned to cooking during that long endurance test.
*Plymouth is a hitherto unrecognized hub of quality musical theatre in Great United Britainfordshire
OK so enough show talk. More food talk. And this is GOOD food talk because we are super grateful to Keith’s wife Gina for this Banoffee Pie recipe!
If you haven’t heard of Banoffee Pie before, it is an English dessert made from bananas, cream and toffee (the latter is made from boiling cans of condensed milk until they get thick and gooey), layered on a base of crumbled biscuits mixed with butter.