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"SAMANTHA ON THE KEYBOARD"



Poor Little Tabitha... from now on "Naps are OUT!" and it's work-work-work as a virtuoso concert pianist! That is if Dr. Smith...uh...I mean, Johann Sebastian Monroe has his way!

Jonathan Harris as Mr. Monroe (aka "Sir") steals the show here basically playing the same character he played while stealing that other show he was a regular on, "Lost in Space." With those arched eyebrows, menacing voice and Superior than Thou attitude, camp just oozes out of his every uptight pore. Whether donning ear-muffs to protect his brittle-free eardrums or dryly commenting, "Mrs. Stephens, you are playing a piano... you are not PLUCKING a CHICKEN!," the man is a SCREAM...(literally!)

This fairly entertaining episode has some funny bits with Sam trying to play a scale; Mr. Monroe emulating the posture of his idol, the Maestro, as they sit on the couch; and Monroe rudely commenting to Sam, "Why am I wasting time with you when I should be working with her!" But amid all the schtick, saracasm and laughs, a definite favorite moment would have to be one where actually not a laugh is to be found... the high school scene where Sam discovers Matthew (Gerald Edwards) and his proud papa while Liszt's "Liebestraum" wafts hauntingly through the air is both lovely and quiet in all its simplicity. Later, Sam tries to recreate the moment with her Big-Note rendition of "Born Free," a song EVERYBODY learned to play in the 60's, leaving one to be thankful for small favors... at least it wasn't "A Time For Us" or Theme from "Love Story!"

GUEST STARS: Fritz Feld appeared in dozens of movies, including "Hello, Dolly!," as basically the same character he plays here, complete with his trademarked "pop!" He also had a previous acting history with Jonathan Harris, appearing many times on "Lost in Space" as the character, Zumdish. Gerald Edwards went on to be the voice of Weird Harold in the 1972-79 cartoon, "Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids."

LISTEN FOR:In a clever musical touch, when Sam zaps into a coat the sound effect is a piano chord!

© Review Copyright 1997 by SCOTT VIETS

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