Love, Light and plain old Joy at the
Ninth Annual 2017 Legacy Awards
And Holiday Dinner at Lips Restaurant
Monday, December 11, 2017

DO40 Prez John Sefakis, Mary Jane Houdina, Leni Anders, Carol Lawrence, Ron Young, Pat Michaels, Bert Michaels

From DO40 Legacy Honoree Mary Jane Houdina’s opening number, “Broadway Baby,” to DO40 Legacy Honoree Ron Young’s closing song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” A LOT OF STUFF HAPPENED!  Applause, first of all, and a standing ovation!

This year’s speakers really, really, spoke “from the heart” (a few from the planet Zandor, but that’s another story altogether!), and moved the audience sometimes to tears.  Larry Fuller, Lee Roy Reams, Lawrence Merritt, Cathy Conklin-Rosenbluth, Craig Sheafer and Artie Siccardi presented in no uncertain terms why Dancers over 40 is such an important component of the History, Legacy and Lives of our dance and theater community – and why it’s so important to preserve all we do and donate our events (via video) to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts.  You can’t find this information – and history in books, folks!

Mary Jane Houdina performing “Broadway Baby” to open the evening’s festivities!

Also on hand to lead the festivities, 2012 DO40 Legacy Honoree Carol Lawrence (who mentioned in her opening remarks that all the men present at the dinner whom she worked with handled her better than any of her three husbands!)  Also, for some LIPS flavor, super entertainer Sutton Lee Seymour belted out Medleys of shows our honorees had worked on, including West Side Story, Cabaret and Annie.  Add to that the illustrious speakers – Sue Delano, Harvey Evans, James Dybas, Nancy Dalton Flowers and Norma Doggett-Bezwick (7 Brides for 7 Brothers, 1954 movie!) and you got quite an earful!

Norma Doggett-Bezwick (7 Brides for 7 Brothers, 1954!) speaking for Leni Anders

This was the first time DO40 has ever honored a husband and wife team.  And what a team!  Pat and Bert Michaels have been together for 54 years of marriage, a bunch of kids and a slew of Broadway shows!  Who could ask for anything more?

DO40 Prez John Sefakis presents the Legacy Award to Pat and Bert Michaels

Tons of DO40 members were in attendance, including Ken Urmston, Robert Alexander, William Becker, Carol Eiger, Darlene Larsen, Linda Iennaco, Lawrence Leritz, Patty Mariano, Joanne “Toots” Mariano, Thom McCroberts, Ann Murphy, Sandra Nance, Virginia Seidel, Susan Sigrist, Felicia Velasco, Joanna Rush, Joy Serio Dunbar, and of course, speakers Harvey Evans, James Dybas, Nancy Dalton Flowers, Sharon Wendrow and Norma Doggett-Bezwick.

Harvey Evans speaking about Bert Michaels

Special thanks to volunteers Sharon Wendrow, Nancy Dalton Flowers, Austin Peek and Patrick McCarthy for running around with tons of last minute things to do and set up.  We’d also like to thank LIPS Restaurant for offering DO40 a fantastic deal for a 3 course dinner and beverage!  No where else in the city could be find such affordable pricing!  The Legacy Awards are our priciest event, close to $6,000.00 to produce – and we made money this year!  Well, 651.16 after expenses!!

Entertainer Sutton Lee Seymour belts out a Cabaret medley.

And now we must fundraise for an even MORE expense event:  the 40th Anniversary and Reunion of Bob Fosse’s DANCIN’ – Tuesday, March 27th, 2018 at St. Luke’s Theater (40 years to the DAY it opened!).  We need to raise money in order to fly in the dancers needed to fill our Act I panel.  Act II we will feature DO40 member Kevin Winkler’s newly published book on Bob Fosse, BIG DEAL: Bob Fosse and Dance in the American Musical, coming out March 1st from Oxford University Press, and with a panel of Fosse dancers to ask KEVIN questions!

Ron Young performing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”

We have received a challenge grant from the Artistic Director of the East Lynne Theater Company in Cape May, NJ for $1000.00.  We are soliciting donations NOW from members and friends to meet that goal.  Remember, you can also buy an ad in the Playbill to honor the dancers.  ½ page ads are $500.00; full page, $1000.00.  Broadway Cares has already kindly given us additional money, $1500.00 for their full page ad already!  Thank you Tom and everyone at BC/EFA!  Now THIS is FAMILY.  And so are the Legacy Awards.  A community of dancers finding support and love amongst their peers – SO rewarding, we’re gong to do it again next year!

Dinner before the show!


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Photo By Jeff Eason, Wilsonmodels, Inc