By Peter Alachi
Written by Richard Baer, “Serena Stops the Show”6 explored the rare talent of Elizabeth Montgomery as dancer and singer. In it we watch Serena, in a revealing short dress, sing and dance to the tune of “I'll Blow you a Kiss in the Wind.” The song was written by Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart, who also guest-starred on the show, and was choreographed with psychedelic lights that transformed the Stephens's living room into a nightclub1. Even though Darrin hated it, the song became a hit of the annual Witches's Cosmos Cotillion.4,5
This was not the first time that we saw Montgomery's alter ego sing and dance on Bewitched. In season four's episode "Hippie, Hippie Hooray," Serena put on brief but memorable performances of "Rock-a-Bye Baby" for Tabitha and the “Iffin'” song for Darrin and the Tates.3 Since then, Montgomery was flooded with offers to sing and dance at nightclubs and to appear on TV variety shows and specials,1,2 but she was convinced that “would involve more rehearsal time than I can afford. And I wouldn't want to go out and fall flat on my face because I hadn't prepared sufficiently."1
Montgomery Wailing as Serena
Despite her doubts, Montgomery was reputed to be capable of singing and dancing with the best of them2, something that was recognized immediately by her husband and show director/producer, Bill Asher. It took some convincing from Asher to get her to do it. Bill knew that she often took comfort in her role as Serena and he was confident that with her “depths of talent” she would do a fine job.2,4 The opportunity came up during their Christmas break in 1969; Bill suggested the “sing/dance” idea to Liz and assured her that “it can be quick and very casual," especially since it was Sam's uninhibited cousin, Serena, who would be performing.2 Montgomery listened intently as she reminded herself that Bewitched' lasting success and production quality were “Bill's Department!”4 And so she agreed! When Serena finished her performance, the number became an instant hit and was described in one article as being “ splendidly executed.”2 Montgomery joked that while she'd always thought of some big Miami Beach or Vegas hotel for her singing engagement, she had to settle for “Joe's Bistro in Toluca City!"1 She later commented that she had fun doing it even though she was “scared to get up and sing and dance as Liz Montgomery or even as Samantha, but as Serena I didn't mind. Serena will do anything!”2
And so with “I'll Blow you a Kiss in the Wind,” Asher got his way and Montgomery fulfilled a secret desire to sing and dance one more time,1 thus pleasing generations of fans for years to come.
© 2008 by Peter Alachi
Peter Alachi teaches Biology at Salem State College and is the author of two booklets about Bewitched in Salem available at http://palachi.com .
1 “Bewitched Star to Make Singing Debut in Series.” Simpson's Leader-Times Feb 14, 1970
2 “Elizabeth Montgomery Fine Singer, Dancer.” The Record Newspapers, Troy, NY Feb 21, 1970
3 “ Hippie, Hippie, Hooray .” Bewitched' Fourth Season. Sony Pictures.
4 “Lovely Liz Satisfied with Bewitched Role.” Syracuse Herald-Journal. March 24, 1970
5 “Paris 7000 Takes Hemingway Style.” TV Scout Delaware County Daily Times Feb 19, 1970
6 “Serena Stops the Show.” Bewitched' Six Season. Sony Pictures.