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Can't Stop the Music, Can't Stop the Dance!
Diversity All Around Us...
Diversity Thrives at DO40! Mature Dancers everywhere,
every size, shape, color – and all that jazz!
Wednesday, October 14th, 7pm
St. Luke’s Theater, 308 West 46th St., NYC
DO40 honors and explores diversity October 14th at St. Luke’s Theater as we showcase a wide range of performers, directors and choreographers. First up, DO40 Advisory Board Member Jerry Mitchell’s Broadway-bound show, Gotta Dance – the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who have three things in common: they love to dance, they have something to prove and they are all over 60! They battle pain, prejudice, self-doubt and each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of twenty thousand screaming fans at a national basketball team’s half-time show.
(Photo Left) DO40 members Jerry Mitchell and Lori Tan Chinn.
(Photo Right) DO40 member Lenora Nemetz as Velma Kelly, 1977.
The panel (cast members fresh from rehearsal!) will be moderated by broadwayworld.com’s Richie Ridge. Some of you may remember Richie from Broadway Beat, the local cable show that interviewed everyone under the stars – including the stars (!!!) with Bradshaw Smith.
The cast features Tony Award winner Lillias White, Tony Award nominee Andre De Shields, five-time Emmy Award nominee Georgia Engel, Haven Burton, DO40 member Lori Tan Chinn, stage and screen star Stefanie Powers, as well as DO40 member Lenora Nemetz (original understudy to Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera in the original CHICAGO).
DO40 is also pleased to present a special panel with Yaël Tamar Lewin, author of the Janet Collins biography, Night’s Dancer, about the first African-American ballerina to perform at the Metropolitan Opera. And throughout the evening there will be live performances by the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company, The National Asian Arts Project as well as a special performance from our June DO40 CARES dance concert, held at the Ailey Citigroup Theater.
Also featured, a celebration of African-American, Hispanic and Asian artists including DO40 member Gus Solomon jr’s dance company Paradigm, and members of his company, Carmen de Lavallade, Sarita Allen, Hope Clarke and Karen Brown (Dance Theater of Harlem, Complexions, Ailey, Dunham Companies), as well as Dr. Mel A. Tomlinson (Dance Theater of Harlem, Ailey, NYCB), Gemze de Lappe (Agnes de Mille) Gayle Reese (Ailey, Donald McKayle, Talley Beatty, Agnes de Mille) Fernando Carrillo (Ailey II, Ballet Hispanico), Solomon Dumas (Garth Fagan, Ronald K. Brown, Ailey II), Jill Williams (The Clark Center), Complexions Ballet, Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company and Baayork Lee and the National Asian Arts Project. (Photo Left) Gus Solomons, jr and Carmen de Lavallade, "Dancers Among Us," photo by Jordan Matter.
If you are interested in the History, Legacy and Lives of these talented individuals and dance companies, you cannot miss this event!
Members, $25.00 with their 2015 – 2016 discount code/membership card; non-members, $45.00. Members call the telecharge number 212-947-8844 or go online to www.broadwayoffers.com. Non-members call telecharge at 212-239-6200 or go to www.telecharge.com. The St. Luke’s Box Office is open 7 days a week, 2 – 6pm (save phone and online charges by going to the box office!).
The Annual DO40 Membership Meeting
is a Hit with Members!
New members mingled with our regulars, speakers illuminated the audience about their projects, and DO40 Prez John Sefakis introduced the 2015 – 2016 season at DO40’s September 21st annual membership meeting at the Ripley/Grier Studios. Casting guru Carol Hanzel took to the floor to talk about mature dancers and the casting process for the last half of the meeting. Q & A covered internet casting tools for performers, what to put in resumes and types of photos needed for the mature dancer.
It was a very neat and tidy two hours. Long time member Denise Pence spoke about the Rehearsal Club and their ultimate goal of producing a documentary, Joanna Rush and director/choreographer Lynne Taylor Corbet promoted Joanna’s one woman show, Kick, to be performed at our favorite theater, St. Luke’s on Sunday nights at 7pm, and then there was a lot of cross talk, that was reminiscent of 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon!
Joanna Rush realized she was in Boys from Syracuse with DO40 member Norma Doggett-Bezwick (the girl in the green dress in the movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers!). Norma has had such a long career, it took her a while to focus one of her later shows. One would not think the two would have performed together. Norma is now 90 – and Joanna is definitely a few generations removed! It was one of Norma’s last shows, and one of Joanna’s firsts!
(Left) Casting Guru Carol Hanzel gives our members the scoop on casting for mature performers
(Left photo) DO40 member Denise Pence talks about the parallel missions of The Rehearsal Club and DO40.
(Right Photo) DO40 Prez John Sefakis lays out the 2015 - 2016 DO40 season
In the crowd, Karin Baker and hubby Greg, Patti Mariano and Joanne Mariano, Denise Pence, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Leni Anders, Joanna Rush, John Sheridan, Patrick McCarthy, James Dybas, Michael Isaacs, Ann Murphy, Nancy Dalton, Paul Berne, Gene Gavin, Sasha Spielvogel, Cherylyn Jones, Ken Urmston, Roseanna Mineo, Norma Doggett-Bezwick and DO40 Prez John Sefakis. A sizeable crowd, considering we did have to change the date at the last minute! The meeting was also a great tool to recruit more volunteers for our tables at the BC/EFA Flea Market! See you same time next year (give or take a Jewish Holiday in between)!
(Left Photo) DO40 Board Member Patrick McCarthy can't stop binge carrot crunching....
(Right Photo) DO40 members Norma Doggett-Bezwick and Leni Anders
LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO THE BROADWAY CARES/
EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS FLEA MARKET!!!
DO40 RAISES $2400.00 THIS YEAR –
A DEFINITE LABOUR OF LOVE!
L to R: Joy Serio Dunbar, karin Baker, Sharon Wendrow, Lawrence Leritz,
DO40 Prez John Sefakis,
Carolyn Kirsch, Robert Reader and Lawrence Merritt
Sometimes it did feel like a very, very long O’Neill play, with a cast of 19 characters moving in and out of scenes – some never to be heard from again! And talk about crowd scenes! Mobs descended an hour before the official opening. We had barely cracked a plastic container before people began to beg for Playbills and tchotchkes still packed in our boxes! We had FIVE, yes, count ‘em, FIVE tables to man this year, and only one item at $100.00 (that author Ken Bloom bought!). Broadway World maven and man about town Richie Ridge bought one of our Ballroom posters for $50.00. (Richie will be moderating our Gotta Dance segment at our Diversity panel and performances October 14th at St. Luke’s Theater!) DO40 raised a respectable $2400.00 – and we are talking a LOT of 2 for a dollar Playbills here!!! Love to BC/EFA mover-and-shaker Valerie Lau-Kee Lai for getting all of our goods to Shubert Alley from our midtown location (as none of the DO40 crew are in any condition to lift and move all this stuff!!!)
A gaggle of gypsies participated throughout the 10am – 7pm ordeal. And, shhhh!! Don’t tell anyone! We found a great bathroom nearby!!! We won’t divulge the information here, since they may not want the, ah, publicity! But needless to say, it was a Godsend to have a loo so near to use!
(Left) Lori Tan Chinn, Susan Sigrist, Denise Pence, Paul Berne and Nancy Dalton Flowers
Big thanks to board members James Dybas and Patrick McCarthy, and of course, Ms. Karin Baker, price-maker extraordinaire, Thomas McRoberts, in from Virginia, Carolyn Kirsch and Robert Reader from Connecticut Sharon Wendrow, who schlepped in from Long Island, Ruth Feingold from Queens, Susan Sigrist, Lawrence Leritz, Denise Pence, Paul Berne, Patti Mariano, Joy Serio Dunbar, Lawrence Merritt and Nancy Dalton. Special Guest and long-time DO40 member Lori Tan Chinn added star power to our table! (Watch Lori on Orange is the New Black and look for her at our Diversity panel talking about being featured in DO40 Advisory Board member Jerry Mitchell’s Broadway-bound show, Gotta Dance!)
Sharon Wendrow, Lawrence Merritt, Lawrence Leritz,
Carolyln Kirsch, Robert Reader, Joy Serio Dunbar
We made some new friends, especially with the American in Paris table across the way from us! Some of the cast bought our Balanchine panel posters (of Patricia Wilde and Carol Sumner) and ballet shoes in our bin, called DONNA MCKECHNIE (did not wear these) SHOES!
The biggest hit was our container labeled SUTTON FOSTER (did not wear these) CLOTHES! Followed by the McKechnie bin and the ANGELA LANSBURY (did not use these) POCKETBOOKS! AUDRA MCDONALD (did not wear these) SCARVES! If we only could have asked for a dollar for each time someone took a picture of the boxes, we would have reached $5,000.00!
Our always popular STAR-POWERED clothing bins!!! (Photo Right)
And when asked where the clothing really came from, of course we told the truth: donated by the relatives of Nicole Barth and Louise Quick…..
And of course, a big thank you to all of you who donated the goods we sold (and a lot that we still have!). Some of you delivered goods to our midtown location and didn’t write down who you were! Two events, down, and two more to go to finish out the Fall portion of our season! Our Diversity panel is less than two weeks away! Make sure you get your tickets now!!!
(Left Photo)Thomas McRoberts and Susan Sigrist
(Right Photo) Joy Serio Dunbar and Thomas Roberts hawking our Joe Layton Posters of Bette Midler and Diana Ross!
Karin Baker and James Dybas
AN (ALMOST) HALLOWEEN TREAT FOR DO40 MEMBERS!
Special $30.00 Seats for Ruthless!
Friday, October 30, 2015
St. Luke’s Theater, 308 West 47th Street, 8pm
St. Luke’s producer Ed Gaynes has generously offered discount seats to DO40 members for this hysterically funny, totally over-the-top musical. A sort of Gypsy meets The Bad Seed. Ruthless! is the story of Tina Denmark, a charming and diabolical 8-year-old who was “born to entertain,” her overbearing agent Sylvia St. Croix and a crazed mother -- and grandmother -- who all yearn for the stage. The original Tina Denmark (1992!!) was Laura Bell Bundy (Legally Blonde) – and understudies who followed were Britney Spears and Natalie Portman! Use your new DO40 membership discount code for this extra-added benefit! Tickets on sale now! – However, you must have your NEW DO40 discount code to buy these discounted tickets! So join or renew soon!! Members call the telecharge number 212-947-8844 or go online to www.broadwayoffers.com. St. Luke’s Box Office is open seven days a week, 2 – 6pm (save online charges by going directly to the box office!).
PHIL BLACK MEMORIAL SET FOR SUNDAY
AT BROADWAY DANCE CENTER, 322 West 46th Street, NYC
On the morning of June 5, 2015 at the Actors Fund Nursing Home in Englewood NJ, the Jazz and Tap teacher Phil Black passed away after fighting Parkinson's disease for over 20 years. For over 40 years there wasn't a Broadway dance musical produced that didn't have at least half of its dancers trained by Phil. Until moving to BDC in the early '90s his studio on the corner of 50th St. and Broadway was a second home to thousands of aspiring professional dancers. It was said if you could ace his advanced jazz class you were ready to dance on Broadway.
Well respected by artists like Chita Rivera and Ben Vereen, Phil trained veteran performers such as Greg Burge, Jennifer Lopez, Goldie Hawn, Irene Cara, Danielle Brisboise, Cynthia Onrubia, Charlotte d'Amboise, and Eddie Mekka. As a choreographer he won 2 Emmy awards, one for The Tap Dance Kid and the other for Unicorn Tales, that he staged and choreographed for the 1964 Worlds Fair. Until the end of the night club era he was constantly in demand as a choreographer and performer. Phil performed with Judy Garland at Brooklyn's Town and Country, with Flip Wilson and also Mickey Rooney in Sugar. And again, many of our members took class with him, and he was a DO40 Legacy Honoree. We felt it was important to include both Phil and Luigi here, even though these events are not produced by DO40. For more up-to-date info, go to the Phil Black Appreciation Society on Facebook.
Dancers Over 40 Honors our own, at the 7th annual
DO40 LEGACY AWARDS AND HOLIDAY DINNER
Monday, December 7th 2015, 6 – 9pm
LIPS RESTAURANT, 227 East 56th St., NYC
We’re back at LIPS for the FIFTH time in our SEVEN years of honoring our own at our LEGACY AWARDS and Holiday Dinner! The date is SET! Monday, December 7th (quite a day to remember!), 6 – 9pm, featuring yet again, an impressive roster of recipients, all of whom have contributed decades of brilliant dancing to the American stage and are always there to support DO40!
Some of these performers began their professional careers when Eisenhower was president! And actually they all have overlapped in some way or another over the years, either on a Broadway Stage, Ballet Company, or Radio City Music Hall! Definitely over 100 years of performance between them all!
Tickets will be on sale at the St. Luke’s Box Office in November, and on telecharge as well. Members, $35.00 with their 2015 – 2016 discount code/membership card; non-members, $50.00. Members call the telecharge number 212-947-8844 or go online to www.broadwayoffers.com. Non-members call telecharge at 212-239-6200 or go to www.telecharge.com. The St. Luke’s Box Office is open 7 days a week, 2 – 6pm (save phone and online charges by going to the box office!).
MONDAY, DECEMBER 28TH at 7:30pm
A TRIBUTE TO LUIGI AND BENEFIT CONCERT
At The Peter Norton Symphony Space,
West 95th & Broadway
Many, many of our members studied with Luigi, and DO40 has honored him with a Legacy Award in 2011 and featured him at our TEACHERS WE LOVE panel in 2014, so we thought it fitting to publicize the “official” Luigi event here on our website. “100% of all net proceeds raised from the concert will be given to an organization for dance TBD in the name of Eugene Louis ‘Luigi’ Faccuito, to establish and provide classes and workshops, nationwide and worldwide, for teaching Luigi’s jazz technique and style.” - Elynn Diamond, Executive Producer/Producer, with Rick Traum, Associate Producer.
Headliners include (as of this newsletter) Melba Moore, Tony Award Winner & Four Time Grammy Nominee and Donna McKechnie, who received a Tony Award for her performance in A Chorus Line. There will be over 20 featured Broadway performers, all donating their singing and dancing talents for the event. (at right, Eugene Louis "Luigi" Faccuito)
The evening will be directed and choreographed by Tomé Cousin with musical direction by Daryl Kojak. (Poster by Carol Sessler, www.carolsessler.com) More announcements will be made in the upcoming weeks! Check Dancers Over 40’s facebook page weekly as information is updated on a regular basis there! Tickets ($85.00) are on sale now at the Symphony Space Box office (or call to order at 212-864-5400), or paste this link into your computer to buy online: http://www.symphonyspace.org/event/8973/Dance/luigi-a-benefit-tribute-concert.
WHAT WE’RE WORKING ON FOR SPRING, 2016:
BIG DEAL!! A EVENING OF FOSSE AND VERDON –
WITH DO40 MEMBERS FRONT AND CENTER!
(Photo from the Fosse/Verdon Legacy, LLC)
This Spring, DO40 hopes to bring together a gaggle of gypsies and DO40 members to ponder all things Bob Fosse and Gwen Verdon! DO40 members Kevin Winkler and John Gilvey are both more than half way through writing their books on this dynamic duo and they will discuss their progress and how they came to write about this legendary team. Winker’s book is titled BIG DEAL: Bob Fosse and Dance in the American Musical, and John Gilvey’s, Brains and Talent: The Life and Allure of Legendary Entertainer Gwen Verdon. We are working with the Fosse/Verdon Legacy, LLC to bring you more information on their workshops, their mission and their hopes for the future. Scheduled for April/May, 2016, St. Luke’s Theater, 308 West 47th Street. More information to follow, of course!
YES! DO40 CARES IS BACK! ONE NIGHT ONLY!
(If we only knew which night!!!)
The Dance Guild of America has chosen a portion of our DO40 CARES 2015 dance concert to be performed at the Guild’s annual concert series to be held Dec 3 - 6 at the Ailey Citigroup Theater. Stonewall, choreographed by DO40 member Sasha Spielvogel/Labyrinth Dance Theater will be presented one of those dates. When we find out which one, we’ll let you all know!
SOLD OUT. STANDING OVATION.
A WONDERFUL WAY TO END DANCERS OVER 40’S
20TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON!
A COLLABORATION WITH LABYRINTH DANCE THEATER
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Come Back Once More So I Can Say Goodbye
Conceived and Choreographed by DO40 member Sasha Spielvogel,
Artistic Director, Labyrinth Dance Theater
Music and Videos by Don Slepian
It’s extremely important to our organization to promote the History, Legacy and Lives of the mature dance community and to pay it forward to the next generation. That has become part our mission statement and new logo. But it also reflects what DO40 did at our sold out song and dance performance - DO40 CARES: Come Back Once More So I Can Say Goodbye. There are generations who have never felt the loss, the grief or the joy of camaraderie from being a part of a generation who fought – and won -- so many battles in the fight against HIV. Our Dancers Over 40 mission statement also applies to the History, Legacy and Lives of the LGBT community – and that story needs to be told and retold, as it will continue to be dismissed in school textbooks, along with much of the civil rights, feminist and American Indian movement in this country.
Cast Curtain Call & Finale
This was much more than just a dance concert; much more than a one-night benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the NYC Anti-violence Project – it’s a document to be preserved at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts, and another way to fight for equality and for the younger generation of dancers to learn from their mature counterparts. We are extremely proud of DO40 member Sasha Spielvogel for all of her hard work, and proud of all the dancers, musicians and technicians for creating this wonderful evening.
“Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.” --Old English Proverb
A note from DO40 President John Sefakis:
First and foremost I would like to thank DO40 member Sasha Spielvogel (and Artistic Director of Labyrinth Dance Theater) for her commitment to this project and for agreeing to this joint concert offering. And to our DO40 board, greenlighted this project, knowing that we had never attempted an event like this before. Sasha’s pieces have been seen in DO40 concerts from 1999 on – including at our first DO40 CARES concert in 2010 at the Baryshnikov Theater and here at Ailey in 2012. Due to the financial constraints of putting up shows like this, small non-profits have few opportunities to showcase new – and mature – talent and explore important current topics of interest to the communities involved.
This was not your typical “come-the-afternoon-before-to-rehearse” kind of show. Sasha and I have a regular table at the Applejack Diner where all of this was discussed over the past year. Sasha had worked on some of these pieces previously and then new pieces were added and brought into the concept. Dancers gave up a lot of their free time to help, and many hours of rehearsal to produce this piece. And they did not just learn dances. They learned history. The younger dancers heard personal stories “from the trenches,” from the people who were there – and still dancing, right next to them. They learned bullying is not a new subject, and that discrimination…does not discriminate. This was truly a joint effort to preserve the History, Legacy and Lives of all of us who were affected over the past decades by injustice and intolerance. To all the DO40 volunteers, dancers, the tech crew, musicians and friends of DO40, I thank you so much for your all your hard work.
Choreographer and DO40 member Sasha Spielvogel during the Curtain Call,
with gifts from the cast and DO40
Seen in the audience: DO40 Advisory Board member Larry Fuller, DO40-ers Ken Urmston, Gene Gavin, Norma Doggett-Bezwick, Carolyn Kirsch, Karin Baker, Patti Mariano, Lawrence Merritt, Ruth Aronowitz, Paul Berne, Sharla Herbert and more. But this audience was special. More diverse, more age range. And so vocal of their love for the show! It was a seamless evening, a storytelling, merging and conjoining the generations in song and dance. The Photo Gallery and Video Clips will go up the end of June (remember, only DO40 members can watch the concert in the comfort of their own homes on our website!). A thrilling way to end DO40’s 20th Anniversary Season!
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RUTH PAGE EVENT KICKS OFF
DO40’S 20TH ANNIVERSARY
CLICK HERE TO VIEW 84 PHOTOS OF THIS EVENT
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CURTAIN CALL: Joellen Meglin, Dr. Mel A. Tomlinson, Helene Alexopoulos, George de la Pena,
Cynthia Roses, Suzette Boyer, Lawrence Leritz, Andrew Wentink, Patricia Rozow, Bill Reilly,
Gildo di Nunzio, Patricia Klekovic, James Dybas, Dean Badolato, Dolores Lipinski, Bil Badolato
An impressive array of nearly two dozen dancers from ballet, Broadway and film, and distinguished curators and historians came from all over the country to celebrate the great American dance pioneer Ruth Page in DO40’s tribute “Ruth Page: A World Apart,” at St. Luke’s Theater, on Monday, March 23, 2015.
The evening began with a brief introduction by program coordinators DO40 member Lawrence Leritz and DO40 Board member Andrew Wentink, both of whom worked with Ruth Page, Leritz as a dancer in her The Nutcracker, and Wentink as her archivist/editor for 17 years. Three panels with video interludes followed in which Ruth Page, who died in 1991, and many of her famous collaborators from the dance, music, and art worlds spoke about Page and her career.
The first panel, “Ruth Page and Dance in Chicago,” featured Dolores Lipinski, Patricia Klekovic, Gildo Di Nunzio, Bill Reilly, Dean Badolato, Bil Badolato, Tom Gold, Lawrence Leritz, and moderator James Dybas. The panelists reminisced about working with Ruth Page at the Chicago Opera, in regional industrials, in her Chicago Opera Ballet (in Chicago and on tour), and in Page’s lavish production of The Nutcracker. All remembered her as a unique character both charming and demanding, who had a lifelong impact on their artistic and personal lives.
Panel #1: Gildo Di Nunzio, Bil Badolato, Dean Badolato, Patricia Klekovic, James Dybas,
Dolores Lipinski, Lawrence Leritz, Bill Reilly, Tom Gold
“Ruth Page Ballets ln Stage and Television,” moderated by Andrew Wentink, featured Cynthis Roses-Thema, Suzette Boyer-Webb, Patricia Rozow, Mel A. Tomlinson, Karen Brown, Helene Alexopoulos, and George de la Pena. These dancers discussed working with Ruth Page, as well as ballet masters Larry Long and the legendary Frederic Franklin, on revivals of her ballets for the Cincinnati Ballet, the Dance Theater of Harlem, and in the Peabody Award-winning television production of The Merry Widow. Among the many fascinating topics raised in the discussion was Page as a champion of African American dancers since the 1920s. Both Mel Tomlinson and Karen Brown acknowledged the petite mid-westerner as a great influence on their performing careers.
Panel #2: Cynthia Roses, Mel A. Tomlinson, Karen Brown, Andrew Wentink,
Helene Alexopoulos, Suzette Boyer, Patricia Rozow, George de la Pena
The last panel was something of a departure for the usual DO40 tributes – an historic and scholarly appreciation of its subject and her place in American dance history. Dakin Hart, Senior Curator of the Isamu Noguchi offered a compelling insight into the artistically productive and personally intimate relationship between Ruth Page and the great Japanese-American sculptor/artist Isamu Noguchi. Jan Schmidt, Curator of the Jerome Robbins Dace Division, gave an overview of the vast collection of research materials donated by Page to the The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Preservation of and online access to hundreds of rare and historic films of Ruth Page’s work and dance research around the world dating to the early 1920s, was discussed by Nancy Watrous, Director of the Chicago Film Archives. Dance historian Joellen Meglin, the last presenter of the evening, explained the personal journey of researching her new biography of the fascinating Ruth Page for Oxford University Press.
Panel #3: Joellen Meglin, Jan Schmidt, Moderator Andrew Wentink, Nancy Watrous and Dakin Hart
The evening ended with the beautiful and romantic finale of the television of production of Page’s The Merry Widow, featuring Patricia McBride, Peter Martins, Rebecca Wright, George de la Pena, Warren Conover, Larry, Long and members of the New York City Ballet. The enthusiastic audience, which included a large contingent of Ruth Page’s family, left feeling delighted by an evening spent learning so much about this American dance original.
DO40 President John Sefakis (right) with Ruth Page event creators DO40 member
Lawrence Leritz (left) and DO40 board member Andrew Wentink (center)
Born in Indianapolis in 1899, Ruth Page made her professional debut on Broadway in 1917, then with Anna Pavlova’s Company on its tour of South America in 1918, and at Chicago’s Auditorium Theater in John Alden Carpenter’s The Birthday of the Infanta in 1919. She danced ceaselessly for the next 40 years, with Adolph Bolm’s Ballet Intime, on Broadway in Irving Berlin’s Music Box Revue, with the Chicago Allied Arts, Diaghileff’s Ballets Russes, the Metropolitan, Ravinia, and Chicago Operas, the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo, Les Ballets Americains, choreographed for all but one of those companies, choreographers the 1947 Broadway show Music in My Heart, and served as director/choreographer for the various manifestations of her own Chicago-based companies well into the 1970s. Among hundreds of dance works to her credit are landmark Americana ballets, dances with words and music, and her innovative opera-into-ballets.
Her staging of The Nutcracker became a Chicago tradition and featured some of the world’s great dancers as guest artists. She danced with great partners Bentley Stone, Walter Camryn, and Harald Kreutzberg, and worked with the greatest composers and designers of the 20th century, including Aaron Copland, Darius Milhaud, Jerome Moross, Isamu Noguchi, Antoni Clave, George Wakevitch, Nicholas Remisoff, and Andre Delfau. Her ballets have been revived and performed by ballet companies throughout the United States including Chicago, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, New York, and the Dance Theater of Harlem, as well as in Europe. Ruth filmed her ballets throughout her career and several, including Frankie & Johnny, The Merry Widow, and Billy Sunday were made into award-winning television films. She is the subject of two award-winning documentaries: Ruth Page: An American Original (Otter Productions) and Ruth Page: Once Upon a Dancer (Thea Flaum Productions). The Ruth Page legacy lives on in several major archives including the Dance Division at Lincoln Center, the Ann Brzel Dance Collection at the Newberry Library, and the Chicago Film Archives, as well as at the dynamic Ruth Page Center for the Arts in Chicago.
DO40 board member (and panel moderator) James Dybas with
Ruth Page ballerinas Patricia Klekovic and Dolores Lipinski
CLICK HERE TO VIEW 84 PHOTOS OF THIS EVENT
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A WONDERFUL OUTPOURING OF LOVE CELEBRATING
THE LIFE, LOVE AND FRIENDSHIPS OF NICOLE BARTH
Friends, Family, DO40 Members and more came together Sunday, January 18th
at the Glass House Tavern to show their Love for Nicole
Videos to be posted shortly (for Members Only).
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The family requests that donations be made to Dancers Over 40, P.O. Box 2103, NY, NY 10101
or here on this website by clicking the DONATE button:
Approximately 100 people attended a celebration of the life of DO40 Legacy Award honoree Nicole Barth Sunday in NYC at the Glass House Tavern. Guests included her BFF of over 55 years, Valerie Harper, Nicole’s daughter Leslie and husband John and their children Jessica and Sam, Anita Gillette, and more dancers than a ballet teacher could shake a stick at!
Nicole and BFF Valerie Harper at the DO40 Cares
Song and Dance Concert, 2010
Speakers included Valerie, Ron Young, Paul Berne, Marilyn D’honau, DO40 president John Sefakis and Nicole’s partner, Artie Siccardi, who was extremely instrumental in making all of this happen. Dancers from the 50's, 60's, 70's and beyond came to celebrate Nicole, and a photo slideshow highlighted her life, career and friendships. DO40 president John Sefakis presented a video highlighting Nicole’s long association with the group, including an interview on Thirteen/WNET’s MetroArts/ Thirteen, her acceptance speech receiving her 2009 DO40 Legacy Award and speaking at the 2010 Awards explaining how important the organization is to creating a family where dancers can feel at home, wherever they meet.
A partial look at the guests at the restaurant – SRO for Nicole!
Host Richard Skipper went around the room to gather reminiscences from the guests. Over 75 people signed the guest book, including DO40 members Denise Boockvor, Joy Serio Dunbar, Leni Anders, Sharon Wendrow, Eileen Casey, Carolyn Kirsch, Penny Worth, Lori Tan Chinn, Patti Mariano, Joyce Nolen, Kristine Nevins, Joanne Mariano, Lawrence Leritz, Karin Baker, Marilyn D’honau, Ellen Fluhr, Bert Michaels, Richard Korthaze, Lawrence Merritt, Nancy Dalton, Alice Tierstein, Virginia Seidel, Harvey Evans and Diane Nicole. Special Thanks to the planning committee, Leslie and John Skinner, Ron Young, Richard Skipper, Valerie Harper and Artie Siccardi. And extra special thanks to Artie Siccardi for all his support and generous donation to DO40 in honor of Nicole.
DO40 president John Sefakis, Eileen Casey, Penny Worth,
a newly tall Lori Tan Chinn, Denise Boockvor and Nancy Dalton, clowning it up for Nicole!
For those who want to learn more about Nicole’s life and the interview she did with friend of DO40 Richard Skipper, go to this link:
CLICK HERE TO VIEW 71 PHOTOS OF THIS EVENT.
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Please help us make this 2014 – 2015 season yet another one to remember! We have a lot of events going on, starting with our annual Membership meeting September 15th, the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Flea Market September 21st, our Joe Layton Event October 20th, our DO40 Fundraiser at the Triad Theater, “Accentuate the Positive: An Evening with Johnny Mercer” and to end 2014, our annual DO40 Legacy Awards honoring our own. And that’s only half of our season!
2015 brings another Casting Seminar for our members in April, a very special panel on ballerina Ruth Page on March 23rd, helmed by DO40 members Lawrence Leritz and Andrew Wentink, and our DO40 CARES Song and Dance Concert to benefit Broadway Cares/EFA on June 8th. That’s a whole lotta stuff for a tiny organization like ours, so we really need all hands on deck! If you would like to volunteer for any of these events, please call the DO40 Hotline at 212-330-7016 and leave us a message or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We simply cannot do it without you!
The 2014 Dancers Over 40
...a Huge Hit!!
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Should move to (off) Broadway soon!
2014 Legacy Award Honorees Paul Berne, Carolyn Kirsch,
Eileen Casey and Penny Worth
Dancers Over 40’s last event of 2014 turned out to be the one with the most performances of the year! And one of the shortest events of the year (that wasn’t hard to accomplish!). Nicely packaged into a 90 minute presentation, we honored those members who hold a special place in the world of dance and all have contributed to promoting Dancers over 40 and the History, Legacy and Lives of our community: DO40 Advisory Board Member Jerry Mitchell, DO40 founding member Eileen Casey, those “killer-diller” gypsies Carolyn Kirsch and Penny Worth and Paul Berne. These five individuals’ careers span over 50 years in show business, and have worked with all the greats – Robbins, Fosse, Bennett, Champion, de Mille, Gennaro, Layton and more.
(Left) The room at LIPS right before the show.
Host Richard Skipper entertained the audience with his patter, and drag queens from LIPS restaurant and the best of NYC entertained by performing Broadway production numbers from shows many of the honorees were noted for! (It did take DO40 member Norma Doggett-Bezwick – from 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, the movie – a few minutes to realize the performers were not exactly biological women!) Skyla Versai performed “I am What I Am” from LA CAGE and a rare number from LEGALLY BLONDE for Jerry Mitchell, and Tina Burner and Brenda Dharling did a medley from CHICAGO that included “All that Jazz,” “Roxie,” and “Nowadays/Keep it Hot.” Tina Burner also performed a clever number called “I’m 50!” which included a medley of numbers from the great shows of the 70’s and beyond.
Performers Tina Burner and Brenda Dharling perform a medley from CHICAGO,
“All that Jazz,” “Roxie” and “Nowadays/Keep it Hot!”
A total “love fest,” which sounds corny, but it’s true. Each honoree had deep affection for each other, and their speakers spoke eloquently about them: Robert Reader for Carolyn Kirsch, Lawrence Merritt for Eileen Casey, Harvey Evans for Penny Worth, Carol Carlin for Paul Berne and Nick Kenkel for Jerry Mitchell. Former winners in the audience: Norma Doggett-Bezwick, Larry Fuller, Ken Urmston and Lawrence Merritt. An entire contingent from the Gay Men’s Chorus came to cheer on fellow member Paul Berne, and Real Housewives of New York’s Heather Thomson was also in the house. A special thanks to LIPS restaurant for having us – and giving us such a reasonable rate for a wonderful three-course meal!
Performers, Honorees, Host and DO40 Prez all on stage for the “Finale!”
L to R: Brenda Dharling, Paul Berne, Carolyn Kirsch, Jerry Mitchell, Eileen Casey,
Penny Worth, Tina Burner, John Sefakis, Richard Skipper and Skyla Versai
A FANTASTIC EVENING OF ENTERTAINMENT
BY DO40 PERFORMERS AND CREATIVE TEAM!
DO40 SALUTES “A SALUTE TO JOHNNY MERCER”
AT THE TRIAD THEATER NOVEMBER 18TH
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L to R: Tony Sheldon, Juliet Ewing, Patti Mariano, Bambi Jones, Anita Gillette and Joyce Nolen –
hidden at the piano, David Hancock Turner!
DO40 adds a new venue to our list of performance establishments! The Triad Theater was just the right place for “A Salute to Johnny Mercer,” staged by Karin Baker, with choreography by Patty Mariano. Celeb hosts (and DO40 members, of course!) Anita Gillette and Tony Sheldon sang and told tons of Mercer stories and introduced our quartet of performers -- Juliet Ewing, Bambi Jones, Joyce Nolen and Patti Mariano. David Hancock Turner was at the ivories (and banjo) and offered his voice to some Mercer tunes as well. The list of classic Mercer songs is longer than you think, and this production highlighted as many as could fit in the allotted 90 minutes! (Yes! DO40’s shortest and most condensed show ever!! LOLOL).
Our Mercer “Panel” – Anita Gillette, Tony Sheldon, Debbi Whiting and Michael Kerker
Keeping true to our “roots,” there was a short, mini-panel after intermission, featuring hosts Anita Gillette, Tony Sheldon, Debbi Whiting (granddaughter of composer Richard Whiting and daughter of Margaret) and Michael Kerker, president of ASCAP. Stories were spun, dish was served! Did you know Mercer turned down writing the musical to the Rose Tattoo with Jule Styne? You had to be there for the inside scoop. Tony Sheldon is a veritable encyclopedia of entertainment! And Anita Gillette had known Mercer socially for a brief time as well.
At one of the very chic banquettes, DO40 board member Andrew Wentink and
DO40 Legacy Award honorees and Advisory Board members Marge Champion and Larry Fuller
History galore. And we were there to help preserve Mercer’s legacy, to promote and allow our DO40 members to continue their creative lives by performing and working on this production. Thanks to all who worked on the show, onstage and off! We simply cannot do it – alone!
Hosts Anita Gillette and Tony Sheldon
A Night of Comedy, Tears and Great Adoration for a multi-talented, and multi-faceted man:
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CURTAIN CALL: DO40 Prez John Sefakis, Barbara Dare Thomas, Nicole Barth, Marianne Tatum,
Wakefield Poole, Patti Mariano, Susan Lowrance, Bruce Vilanch, James Dybas, Lynn Summerall,
Jill O’Hara, Walter Willison, Lawrence Leritz, Loni Ackerman, Bob Becker, Jane Coleman,
Shirley Nelson Holst, Bob Fitch, Edie Cowan (not shown: Grover Dale, Mary Zahn, Roger Puckett,
Terrence Mann, Carolyn Kirsch, Sondra Lee, Lillian Colon)
People flew in from coast to coast to coast to be there! Jacksonville, San Diego, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Connecticut (well by train for that one!) all to honor their “leader,” Joe Layton. Host Bruce Vilanch opened the festivities with a monologue – a Joe Layton monologue, filled with drama and as we say now, “shade” about many, many performers. Noel Coward was the best at it, Bruce said. Especially the story about the horse on stage and the ingénue. Bruce worked with Joe on Bette Midler’s Clams on a Half Shell and then on the Alexis Smith/Lisa Mordente classic, Platinum.
Wakefield Poole, Bob Fitch, Lynn Summerall, Susan Lowrance, Grover Dale, Sondra Lee, Bruce Vilanch
Joe’s career was traced from his first show, Oklahoma, where he met Richard Rogers, to The Life and Radio City Music Hall, in 1994 when he succumbed to AIDS. Friends, assistants, dancers, singers were all in attendance. There were special moments of heartfelt song, with Walter Willison, Marianne Tatum, Loni Ackerman and Jill O’Hara singing songs from their respective shows.
The show ran a bit long. As a matter of fact, we are about to submit the DVD to the Guiness Book of Records as longest panel/performance in DO40 History! Three and one half hours, not counting intermission! Our first panel ran 2 hours (including Mr. Vilanch’s opening monologue!)
Lillian Colon, Roger Puckett, Barbara Dare Thomas, Walter Willison, Lawrence Leritz,
Terrance Mann, Marianne Tatum, Mary Zahn
||If awards were to be given for most enthusiastic, it would be a three way tie, with Sondra Lee, Grover Dale and Bob Fitch, neck and neck at the finishing line! We threw up pictures on the back cyc of relevant shows while the panelists were talking, and it worked quite nicely, like here, with Grover Dale, 50 years apart, yet both exuding enthusiasm and commitment!
Grover Dale talking to Bruce Vilanch
Lawrence Merritt, Nicole Barth, Wakefield Poole,
Lynn Summerall, Carolyn Kirsch, Jane
Celebrities Lesley Ann Warren, Lisa Mordente and Angela Lansbury sent video clips in their absence, and Susan Guthrie Lowrances audio tapes of Joel Grey, Elliott Gould, Joe Tremaine and Florence Henderson tied in nicely with a Streisand “Happy Days are Here Again.”
Act II concentrated on Dear World and George M! panelists, with clips, songs and many stories about how Joe worked with the material to make it better – especially in the case of Dear World.
The George M! gang took their places right after the Dear World kids.
James Dybas, Wakefield Poole, Jill O’Hara, Lynn Summerall, Patti Mariano, Loni Ackerman
Although the show ran long, there wasn’t a boring story to be told. Maybe a little off topic when Carol Channing came up (Bruce Vilanch offered to host a separate Channing panel to expand upon Carol’s work in Lorelei!).
Moderator Walter Willison, DO40 President John Sefakis and Host Bruce Vilanch
This was one of the most difficult events to produce, as many panelists and moderators were not from the area. But put a few dancers on stage to talk about a show, well, you can’t go wrong. You can go long, but not wrong!
DO40'S ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
HIGHLIGHTS OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY!
The students of Marymount Manhattan College perform an excerpt from George M!
It was fun, food and frolic at the DO40 Annual Meeting at Ripley Grier Studios in NYC Sept. 15th. DO40 president John Sefakis introduced members, board members and friends - all of whom are working tirelessly to create a great 2014 - 2015 season. James Dybas, Karin Baker, Andrew Wentink and Sasha Spielvogel presented details of our upcoming events. And DO40 Prez John Sefakis unveiled the new DO40 logo… Dancers Over 40…and Friends!, to broadcast a bit more clearly our intent to involve a community of people who love dance, and want to support mature dancers…and DO40! Don’t worry, we won’t be DO40AF – too complicated to type! The meeting ended with students from Marymount Manhattan College performing a number from George M!, transcribed by DO40 board member and teacher at Marymount, Bethany Elkin.
The audience - L to R, Greg Kayne, Karin Baker Kayne, Paul Berne, Ruth Feingold, Norma Doggett-Bezwick, Leni Anders, Andrew Wentink, Lawrence Merritt (back row) Patrick McCarthy, Roger Ellis, Daphne Foreman, Ellen Fluhr, Ken Urmston and Robert Alexander (not pictured, Eileen Casey, James Dybas, Bethany Elkin, John Sefakis)
In the audience, DO40 member Norma Doggett-Bezwick, cast member of the original 1954 movie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, DO40 Legacy Honoree Paul Berne and a gaggle of gypsies!! Special thanks to the students from Marymount for donating their time and effort to dance for us!
Original George M! cast members Karin Baker, James Dybas and the students
of Marymount Manhattan College with DO40 board member and Marymount teacher Bethany Elkin
THE BEST EVER DO40 FLEA MARKET FOR BROADWAY CARES/EFA!!!
DO40 RAISES A FUNDRAISING RECORD $3500.00!!!
DO40 board members James Dybas & Bethany Christine Elkin,
with DO40 member Penny Worth, DO40 Prez John Sefakis and
DO40 Sales & Marketing Director Lawrence Leritz.
As usual, an exhausting 12 hour day for DO40, with members taking four hour shifts to man the (FIVE!) tables this year. Last year's total of $2,000.00 was shattered, thanks to the donations of our many members: Joe Ahumada, Margaret Shuette, Felicia D'Amico Velasco, Sharon Wendrow, James Dybas, Sutton Foster (if you were there, you'd get it...!!), Paul Berne, Penny Worth, Chuck Kelley, Teddy Kern, Luna Borromeo, Marti Hespen, Patti Mariano, Skip Randall, Virginia Seidel, Andrew Wentink - and volunteers on the front lines Sharon Wendrow, Patrick McCarthy (pulled a full day's work!) James Dybas, Bethany Christine Elkin, Penny Worth, Lawrence Leritz, Teddy Kern, Patti Mariano, Karin Baker, Roger Ellis and Lawrence Merritt. But Damn those Environmentalists!! They screwed up the whole city - and left us short volunteers who couldn't make it in to the city to assist! The March on the West Side and to 42nd Street tied up traffic - and people -- for the whole day! We love you guys for trying your best to get in!
Amidst the hubbub and hullabaloo of the crowds, DO40 members Lawrence Leritz
and Karin Baker take a brief time out from the selling frenzy (see shopping hordes!) to pose for a picture.
Special thanks to new boss-of-the-day Valerie Lau-Kee Lai of BC/EFA and of course to Tom Viola, for his support of DO40 over these past seven years. We're happy to be able to give back to our community-at-large!
For those of you on Facebook, please go to our page, www.facebook.com/dancersover40, as we have posted a bunch of pics of the day!
OUR THIRD FREE CASTING SEMINAR – FOR DO40 MEMBERS ONLY!!
More news on this as it develops. Casting Agent Lakey Wolff, an ardent DO40 supporter, will round up yet another marvelous panel to help assist our members in finding print, TV and dancing opportunities!
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FOR …THE TEACHERS WE LOVE!
DO40’S LOVEFEST PANEL & PERFORMANCES
HONORING THOSE THAT PREPARED US FOR OUR CRAFT
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(Trying to do that “Selfie” thing like the Academy Awards, but after almost 4 hours, this is all we could muster! Bella Malinka, Alan Onickel, Nicole Barth, Marilyn D’honau, Bob Boross, DO40 Prez John Sefakis taking the pic, Mary Cadorette-Harris, Jose de la Cuesta, Karin Baker, Carolyn Kirsch, Jessica Black, Francis Roach, Amy Burgmaier, Carter Poust, Chuck Kelley, Lester Holmes and DO40 board member Kathy Seng Gurland)
They said it couldn’t be done! They said nobody could do it! We tried, and despite a few bumps in the road, succeeded in getting most of the great teachers of our generation(s) together for the first time!
DO40 honored Gemze de Lappe, Bella Malinka, Marilyn D’honau, Bob Audy, Phil Black, Matt Mattox, Chuck Kelley and Luigi. Unfortunately, Gemze landed in the hospital the week before the show, and could not appear. She sent her love to all, and we all signed a get well card in the lobby for her. Phil Black, of course, is at the Actors Home in New Jersey, and a few panelists had to be changed last minute as well. But aside from these surmountable obstacles, we got it done! Videos! Singing! Dancing! Acrobatics! All Live!
DO40 founding member Eileen Casey opened the show with a rare 1997 video from a DO40 concert featuring Marilyn D’honau, Michon Peacock, Gary Gendell and Bill Thompson – and choreographed by Tony Stevens. Eileen noted that our 2014 – 2015 DO40 season marks our 20th anniversary as an organization. And they said it couldn’t be done! They said nobody could do it!
(Notice their feet do not touch the ground!!! Gene Castle, Patti Mariano, Karin Baker and Tim Falter,
in “All Aboard for Broadway” from GEORGE M!)
DO40 member Karin Baker got together her George M! gang to restage a portion of All Aboard for Broadway (Joe Layton brought Bob Audy in as a consultant and to coach Joel Grey). The number featured Karin Baker, Patti Mariano and Gene Castle from the original company, and newcomer (“the kid” learning the role) Tim Falter. Tappers extraordinaire Lynn Schwab and Tony Waag did a tap rap of Holi Coles’, Amy Burgmaier sang “Satin Doll” to her teacher, Luigi, as Francis J. Roach danced, and DO40 Legacy Award honoree Billie Mahoney sent video greetings from Kansas City, and intercut her talk with clips from her “Dance On” local television series from the early 80s that featured Luigi. The evening ended with a DO40 video clip from the 2010 DO40 CARES concert, a dance choreographed by Luigi and danced by Erika Black. The dance faded midway through and out came Jessica Black, Erika’s twin sister, to continue to dance the music to the end, and present Luigi with flowers.
The panels were insightful, as were the videos. Phil Black Student Paige Dana Polisner noted in her video clip (taped at the Phil Black Students’ Reunion in March, 2014) something that could be applied to many of the teachers honored:
“He alone had the ability to get us where we wanted to go. We knew it was because he cared so deeply he was harsh, and in truth, he believed in us way more than we did, and he settled for no less than what he knew, even when we didn’t, what we could do. So he prepared us equally for both the best and the worst of what the business had to offer….. but his students endured even when they couldn’t, even when their dreams and hearts and bodies were broken… and this way Phil readied us not just for Broadway but for life. He made us resilient, strong and flexible of mind as well as in body. In short, he made us “something else,” something bigger and better than the person we were when we walked in his door – and for that, we are eternally grateful.”
Bob Audy, Luigi, Chuck Kelley
PHOTOS of the event to be posted shortly!
Another Wonderful Holiday Event and Awards Show--
Filled with Love, Reminiscence and Melancholy.
DO40 Honors its Own – the 2013 Legacy Awards
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(l to r: Bob Avian, Tracy Everitt – accepting for Skip Randall – Lawrence Merritt,
Chita Rivera and Ellie Quick, accepting in honor of her sister, Louise)
DO40 presented its fifth annual Legacy Awards at their Holiday Dinner, this year again LIPS restaurant in NYC. Honorees this year were Chita Rivera, Bob Avian, Lawrence Merritt, Skip Randall and Louise Quick (posthumously), with a special Honorary Award to BC/EFA Executive Director Tom Viola. Speakers Lisa Mordente, Baayork Lee, Larry Fuller, Teak Lewis, Harvey Evans and Tracy Everitt were all eloquent and heartfelt in speaking the praises of all these wonderful people, who have given so much to their profession – and to DO40.
A special video montage was shown in honor of Legacy Honoree Louise Quick, who died November 1st. Her sister Ellie flew in from Colorado, along with her daughter Ashley and other family members to accept Louise’s award. Both Chita Rivera and Lawrence Merritt offered stories about Louise and shared their love for her. There was humor and heartache, laughs and gentle tugs at the heartstrings.
(Clockwise at the Honoree and Speakers’ table: Chita Rivera, Lisa Mordente,
Tom Viola, Lawrence Merritt, Baayork Lee, Peter Pileski, Bob Avian and Joe Tremaine)
Hostess for the evening was Broadway and Off-Broadway Diva Christine Pedi. She regaled the audience with story after story as well as impressions of the great stars singing holiday songs. Tracy Everitt filled in for Legacy Honoree Skip Randall, who was unable to fly in from New Mexico with his wife. Skip was in Call Me Mister and Make Mine Manhattan in the ‘40s with a young upstart named Bob Fosse…
(Chita Rivera – center – with Louise Quick’s sister Ellie and her daughter, Ashley)
Also in the audience, former Legacy Award winners Nicole Barth, Bella Malinka, Ken Urmston, Larry Fuller, George Marcy, Harvey Evans, Joe Tremaine, Lee Roy Reams and Norma Doggett-Bezwick. Members roamed the tables finding old friends they hadn’t seen in decades. And our newest – and youngest – board members, Roger Ellis and Bethany Elkin, were on hand to help out with our video set-up and round up loads of volunteers from Marymount Manhattan College. It’s so important for the younger generation of theater and dance students to understand the importance of the history, legacy and lives of our community.
Our volunteers for the evening – l to r, DO40 member Lawrence Leritz, Marymount Manhattan College students Tim Allen, Allison Scott, Liane Zelinski, Katrina Colletti and new board members – and teachers at Marymount – Bethany Elkin and Roger Ellis. Not pictured, DO40 members Leni Anders, Diana Baffa-Brill and Eileen Casey, and DO40 Board Members Teddy Kern, James Dybas, and Gitana Garcia)
The special honorary award to Tom Viola was so very important, as BC/EFA has played a central role in the growth of DO40, and with their yearly funding, have allowed us to produce the panels and performances we have today. We are like a sister organization, giving back when we can, through our dance concerts and at the BC/EFA Flea Market every year. DO40 has donated over $10,000.00 to BC/EFA in the seven years we have participated in that event.
(Hostess Christine Pedi, along with Harvey Evans, speak the praises of BC/EFA Executive Director Tom Viola)
Also in the audience... Patti Lupone and Matt Johnston, John Breglio, Patricia and Bert Michaels, Denise and Steve Boockvor, Marianne Selbert Troy and hubby Hector, Steve Jones and Valarie Pettiford of the Verdon/Fosse Legacy, LLC, Carol Maxwell, Felicia Velasco, Lori Tan Chinn, Roseana Mineo, Jodi Moccia, Frank Davis, Rose Dennis (in from Pennsylvania), Kim Greenberg (in from Rhode Island), Karin Baker, Carolyn Kirsch, Penny Worth, Ellen Fluhr, Mary Six Rupert, Loida Santos and cast members from every 1950s, 60s and 70s show imaginable! An impressive crowd. An impressive evening!
DO40 is so fortunate to have a membership of such dedicated people!
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Life is Beautiful! The Girls are Beautiful! The Audience was Beautiful! The Show was Stunning! DO40’s Biggest – and Best – Panel and Performance!
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Joel Grey, Sandy Duncan, Don Correia, Marge Champion, Donna McKecknie and Ben Vereen.
Monday, October 21st was a luminous night for DO40, panelists, performers – and especially the sold-out audience who attended Dancers Over 40’s latest panel and performance, this time honoring Director/Choreographer Ron Field. Along with seven members from the original production, on hand were Marge Champion, Sandy Duncan & Don Correia, Joel Grey, Donna McKechnie, Lee Roy Reams and Ben Vereen. A star-studded night, indeed for DO40!
Video clips from Ron’s shows were interspersed with performance pieces by the CABARET cast, Donna McKechnie, and the “Dueling Duanes,” Lee Roy Reams, Harvey Evans and Lawrence Merritt, all of whom portrayed Duane in APPLAUSE.
Cast members from the original Broadway version of CABARET: Marianne Selbert, Bert Michaels,
Patricia Michaels, Rita O’Connor, Carol Hanzel, Steve Boockvor and
Bonnie Walker – staged by Marianne Selbert – with their “original selves” shown in the background!
The panel segments whisked by – no one noticed 3 ½ hours passed! The CABARET cast with the wonderfully honest, witty and direct Joel Grey, and moderators Harvey Evans and Lawrence Merritt; The Fabulous D’honau Sisters – Marilyn, Lillian and Dorothy, Lee Roy Reams – and that was just Act One!
L to R: Marianne Selbert, Patricia Michaels, Bert Michaels, Moderator Harvey Evans,
Joel Grey, Moderator Lawrence Merritt, Rita O'Connor, Steve Boockvor, Bonnie Walker and Carol Hanzel.
Act Two’s panels included segments with Marge Champion, Sandy Duncan and Don Correia, moderated by Harvey Evans and Marianne Selbert, and insightful discussions with Ben Vereen and Donna McKechnie. Donna led the panelists and performers into a sing along that included songs from ON THE TOWN and CABARET.
L to R: Marilyn D'honau, Lillian D'honau, Dorothy D'honau and Moderator Lawrence Merritt.
The audience was ablaze with the best of the best – DO40 members, Legacy Award honorees, new facebook fans and Friends of Dancers over 40 (FODO 40’s as they are known!). Ben Vereen singled out his ballet teacher from the High School of Performing Arts, 2011 Legacy Award honoree Bella Malinka, and Gary Gendell, Carolyn Kirsch and Legacy honorees Ken Urmston and Nicole Barth were also in attendance, and spoke from the audience with reminiscences of Ron and his work. Fosse biographer and DO40 member Kevin Winkler, Harry Haun, St. Luke’s producer Ed Gaynes, Virginia Seidel and a gaggle more of gypsies going back at least 45 years filled out the crowd.
Harvey Evans, Lee Roy Reams and Lawrence Merritt in front of their younger selves
performing on an Anne Bancroft Special in the 60s.
Special thanks to our new – and youngest -- members from Marymount Manhattan College and Broadway Dance Center, teachers and students, Roger Ellis, Bethany Elkin, Tim Allen, Kevin Breseley and BDC blogger Mary Callahan, none of them over 30 – but all of them involved in DO40 to learn about the History, Legacy and Lives of the performers, choreographers and artists who came before them.
Act I Finale, APPLAUSE, with Harvey Evans, Lee Roy Reams
and Lawrence Merritt leading the cast members of Act I.
From DO40 member Karin Baker: “It was a fabulous event! It was a pleasure to help take tickets and just to hug so many older dancers!!! Thanks so much Harvey and Larry for making it a dream come true. I felt very proud and happy to be counted as a dancer who has a legacy to offer along with all those talented people on stage. We were all a part of something special that doesn't happen today. I must have hugged over fifty people last night!!! I never had the pleasure of working with Ron, but I had worked with almost everyone who was up there. I auditioned for Ron when I was eighteen and almost got a job at the Latin Quarter. Now I wish I had actually gotten the job. But I do remember how much fun his audition was. It felt last night like he had the right and proper send off! Thanks DO40, for making it happen!!!”
Ben Vereen waxes nostalgic about Ron Field and his Emmy Winning TV Special,
with Harvey Evans and Marianne Selbert.
From new DO40 member Barbara Wasson: “I just wanted to tell you how wonderful the tribute to Ron Field was the other night! I'm still trying to take it all in because it was so incredible. To be in the company of so many talented people, people who have inspired and entertained me since I was a little girl; to spend an evening extolling the amazing art of dance and choreography; it was nourishment to my soul! Everyone was so friendly and delightful. It's a privilege to be a part of this fun organization. If you ever need someone to stuff envelopes, lick stamps or run for coffee, I would be an enthusiastic volunteer. Again, thank you so much.”
Don Correia and Sandy Duncan.
From DO40 Board Member James Dybas: “What a terrific evening! Everyone was saying that it was the best ever. I have to say, Harvey Evans did a great job tonight, he really kept it moving and knew exactly when to stop a panel discussion and move on. He really does his homework!”
Act II Finale from ON THE TOWN and CABARET, led by Donna McKechnie.
From DO40 member Leni Anders: “It really was a spectacular event – and worked well being at 7:00pm. It was the best organized event we’ve had, and really ran smoothly…. Congratulations – they get better every time.”
Curtain Call with the Cast (Joel Grey and Ben Vereen absent).
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Curtain Call/Finale with Tony Sheldon, Carol Lawrence, DO40 Prez John Sefakis and Liliane Montevecchi
THE STORY OF OUR LIVES
Hosted by Carol Lawrence,
DO40 ends the 2012 - 2013 season on the highest note!
Another year, another performance! And another lovely hosting gig by the luscious Carol Lawrence, and featuring new member Liliane Montevecchi, and long-time member Tony Sheldon….and the Paul Taylor Dance company and a Margo Sappington Ballet…and much, much more!
This was one of the most diverse entertainments DO40 has ever produced. The evening was a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Dance for PD® (Parkinson’s Disease), housed at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn. There was tap, jazz, ballet, modern, songs, duets, trios, and comedy… Tonight! (well, last week).
Opening Number: The Story of Our Lives, featuring (l to r on barre: Nicole Barth,
Tom Sinibaldi, Joy Serio Dunbar, Donna Rubin, Stas Kmiec, Michael Gorman,
Elen Fluhr, Troy Barnes; center, Ron Young Marilyn D’honau and Diane Nicole)
The evening was a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Dance for PD® (Parkinson’s Disease), housed at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn. There was tap, jazz, ballet, modern, songs, duets, trios, and comedy… Tonight! (well, last week). Margo Sappington and Mark Stuart provided two outstanding duets, “Fly Me” and “Night and Day,” that wowed the audience with their lifts and fabulous choreography.
Fly Me: Sarah O’Gleby and Adam Perry
Night and Day: Veronika Verterich and Vitali Krauchenka
And to promote DO40’s Legacy Project, hostess Carol Lawrence introduced the G.I. Jive, performed by DO40 members Bambi Jones, Juliet Ewing and Mary Lou Barber. This number, an excerpt from a longer, Johnny Mercer Songbook directed by DO40 member Karin Baker, was performed at the Lilian Booth Actors Home in NJ for their residents. (Choreography by cast member (not shown) Patti Mariano.) The Legacy Project seeks opportunities for DO40 members to perform, do workshops and speak at colleges, universities and arts organizations around the country.
“Guys -- I really didn't anticipate how much fun I would have doing the benefit this year. Thank you for asking me, and let me know if I can ever help again.”
Two different kinds of solos moved the audience in much different ways. Troy Barnes’ 2 Tears in a Bucket was a roller coaster of emotions, while Tony Sheldon lamented in song the travails and pitfalls of the “universal” Dancer over 40.”
Left: Two Tears in a Bucket - Troy Barnes
Right: What’s a Boy Supposed to Do? - Tony Sheldon
DO40 was honored to have the Paul Taylor Dance Company join us this year. The excerpt from “Cloven Kingdom” was impeccably danced by members of his company. A special thank you to Mr. Taylor for his largesse.
Cloven Kingdom: Michael Trusnovec, Robert Kleinendorst, James Samson and Sean Mahoney
For a taste of humor, or as one could describe it, a choreographic comic dialogue, the effervescent Claire Porter (from last year’s “Lady Lamp”) gathered a band of her merry men (and women) for an inside look at air travel, before – or after – the Sequester!
At the Gate: Jim Martin, Matt Buffalo, Susan Thomasson, Claire Porer and Sabatino Verlezza.
Always stunning, the beautiful Karine Plantadit, a new DO40 member, performed an original piece by choreographer Christopher Huggins. Karine performed in both Twyla Tharp shows on Broadway, MOVIN’ OUT and the Sinatra COME FLY AWAY.
Blue Lady: Karine Plantadit
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A FUN EVENING OF TAP AND TALK,
HONORING JUNE TAYLOR & THE ROCKETTES!
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They said it couldn’t be done. They said nobody could do it! Yes, TAP! was back again at St. Luke’s Theater and on the DO40 agenda, filled with performances and panel discussion, with plenty of video…and live “dish” for every dance and theater enthusiast to savour!
The Curtain Call!
Rare 50’s and 60’s footage of the June Taylor Dancers was provided by Craig Horwich, June Taylor’s nephew (Marilyn Taylor was his mother, Jackie Gleason his stepfather). Craig is head of Jackie Gleason Enterprises, and Jackie played an important role in the career of June Taylor. Panelists Mercedes Ellington, Diana Baffa Brill, Jane Defalco, Karen Prunzik and Horwich recalled the days of the June Taylor Dance School on 56th & Broadway, where just about everyone took class – ballet, tap, jazz, modern – you name it.
Setsuko Maruhashi, Kimberley Corp, Eileen Woods, Mary Lilygren Kane,
Katherine Corp and Madeline Jaye
The Rockettes panel – and performers -- stuffed the stage of St. Luke’s like a Carnegie Deli pastrami sandwich! Ann Murphy, Mary Six Rupert, Jean Preece, Jennifer Jiles, Joyce Nolen, Maryelle Scilla, Sandy Scilla Gendell, Jeri Kansas, Dottie Bell, Lillian Colon (the first Latina Rockette), Eileen Woods, Madeline Jaye, Mary Lilygren Kane, Setsuko Maruhashi (the first Asian Rockette), Kimberley Corp and Katherine Corp, six of whom performed a precision and unison dance to, what else? New York, New York!
Go Into Your Dance, with Lee Roy Reams, James Dybas, Karen Prunzik,
Karen Calloway, Kathy Callahan and Gabriela Zucckero
Performances abounded! A snappy Spanish tap number, featuring Linda Rose Iennaco, Barbara Massey and Kathy Conry, a recreation of Go into Your Dance from 42ND STREET, with Lee Roy Reams, Karen Prunzik, James Dybas, Karen Calloway, Kathy Callahan, and Gabriela Zucckero, and the solo, star 11pm slot (at 10:45 – we finished on time!) with Luke Spring, the 9-year old tap prodigy from A CHRISTMAS STORY.
Mary Six Rupert, Jennifer Jiles, Lillian Colon, Maryellen Scilla, Dottie Bell,
Sandy Scilla Gendell, Joyce Nolen, Jeri Kansas, Jean Preece and Ann Murphy!
Kudos to Karin Baker for organizing, compiling and rounding up these bevvy of beauties! Moderators Harvey Evans, Mary Six Rupert and Lee Roy Reams led the panels. And the audience was included in the discussion, with a shout out to the tappers/performers in the audience right before intermission.
June Taylor Panelists Mercedes Ellington, Diana Baffa-Brill,
Craig Horwich, Jane Defalco and Karen Prunzik
Most special moment of the evening: Before Craig Horwich left to fly back to Chicago, he thanked us for honoring his aunt, saying that this is the way she – and his mother -- would like to be remembered, by their peers and fellow dancers. Priceless.
Craig Horwich, with the original Plaque from outside the June Taylor Studio, NYC
…and Dapper Tapper, Luke Spring
Dancers Over 40 is dedicated to preserving the History, Legacy and Lives of our creative community, while sharing the knowledge with the younger generation just beginning their careers. To that end, the event was videotaped and donated to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at Lincoln Center’s Library for the Performing Arts.
The Lovely Ladies of Spanish Tap: Kathy Conry, Linda Rose Iennaco and Barbara Massey
MORE DO40 NEWS!!
Our Facebook page continues to be hugely popular, with over 31,000 fans as of this newsletter. Please, look us up at www.facebook.com/dancersover40, post your thoughts, events you think are appropriate for our community, and remember to visit the page often! Our Facebook presence is another way that you and DO40 can continue to promote the History, Legacy and Lives of our members, friends and fans!
We’re always looking for volunteers! DO40 is always on the lookout for members with sales and marketing skills, accounting, fundraising and PR, as well as writing skills. If you think you can help, just call our DO40 Hotline (212-330-7016) and leave a message or email us at email@example.com. And please let us know if you think you could contribute to a panel or social event! We can’t possibly know all the talents of our members, so please give us a call or call our Hotline and let us know your interest in our upcoming events. They are always announced yearly, so there is plenty of time to develop ideas and decide on participation. We can’t do it without you! But if we don’t hear from you, we’re hoping you will participate by attending all of our events. And please tell your friends and fellow dancers!
Membership dues are just $45.00 annually for NY/NJ/CT residents and $35.00 out of the area. We now have our member-only site, so it will be increasingly important to be a member – wherever you live. We’re working to get you the best “bang” out of your dance buck in these tough times. This year, the DO40 membership discount code is on the back of your membership card, good for all events and our member only site. Just go to www.dancersover40.org and click on the JOIN/DONATE button where you can pay by credit card with Paypal. You may also download the membership form and mail in a check if you don’t prefer the Paypal option.
Our ARTSWorkplace page on our website is really working! We had three casting directors call us and post auditions for our members this year! The feedback from those who were chosen was great! If you haven’t sent in a headshot to be posted on ARTSWorkplace, please email or snail mail one as soon as possible. Please include a resume as well, which we will keep on file and not disclose without your approval.
And our Legacy Project is up and running! As you saw from the brochure included in your membership renewal mailing, we have revived this very important DO40 educational tool. We are looking for those who have teaching, speaking and performance abilities and DO40 will do the promotional outreach to universities, colleges and arts organizations around the nation. So it’s no matter if you are in Missouri (Hi, Billie Mahoney!) or in Hawaii (Hi, Dorothy and Bobbie!), Connecticut (the lovely Carolyn Kirsch) or New Jersey (her partner in CHICAGO crime, Penny Worth), we will promote you and your History, your Legacy and your Lives to educate and entertain in as many venues as we can find!
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN TAP?
TRY CLASSES WITH DO40 MEMBER LINDA ROSE IENNACO!
And bring your DO40 Membership Card for a 10% discount!
Panelist, performer and tap teacher Linda Rose Iennaco has announced her tap classes for the Fall, and is offering DO40 members a 10% discount to all her classes (Jazz, too!) Go to www.danceandfitness.net for more information!
TAP Basics: Wednesdays - at Studios 353, 353 West 48th St. 2nd Floor
TAP Advanced: Saturdays - 10:00 to 11:10 at Studios 353, 353 West 48th St. 2nd Floor
Patrick Wenning offers DO40 members Physical Therapy discount
DO40 continues its ARTSLegacy series honoring all of our members. These written transcripts will also be donated to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, and eventually into a compilation suitable for publishing. This is an added benefit for people who do not live in the tri-state area, or who are in NYC and might not be able to participate in our panels. This month we present Teak Lewis. We invite other DO40 members to volunteer their writing/interviewing skills and join us in this new venture. These interviews can be done by phone, so no need for interviewers to travel – or for members wherever they are in the country to dress up for the interview! Call the DO40 hotline at 212-330-7016 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested!
Click Here to read our latest ARTSLegacy interviews!