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D040 News - Page 3
DO40’s December 12th Holiday Luncheon a Boffo Hit!
The Second Annual DO40 Legacy Awards brings
Dancers Over 40 proudly honored five of its members Sunday, December 12th at a holiday luncheon that was filled with laughter and melancholy, song and – a little nudity (tasteful, of course…)!!! This event brings together members, friends of our honorees and the general theater crowd, many of whom haven’t seen each other in, well, ages! Even DO40 founding member John Mineo was in the audience. John moved to Japan with his wife and son a few years ago.
Richard Korthaze, producer Ed Gaynes, Fred Curt, Harvey Evans,
Honorees Fred Curt, Harvey Evans, Stuart Hodes, Richard Korthaze and Ken Urmston come from a variety of backgrounds, each with a special charm, a diverse dance history, and a story to tell. Also, producer Ed Gaynes, who helped DO40 launch its popular yearly panels by donating St. Luke’s Theater on West 46th Street for our use, was honored. Ed performed on Broadway in GREENWILLOW and FIG LEAVES ARE FALLING and a variety of other shows before going into producing. A very special DO40 Thank You to Ed!
The effervescent Nicole Barth charms the DO40 audience explaining the importance of the Legacy Awards
The lovely Carol Channing (Richard Skipper) sang, and opened the show with “Elegance,” dedicated to the honorees, and then DO40 president John Sefakis welcomed the crowd. But it was 2009 Legacy Award winner Nicole Barth who stole our hearts – and minds – with a moving, extemporaneous speech about why the Legacy Award was so important to her, and to tonight’s winners. Nicole said she keeps her award near her door, so that when she comes and goes from her apartment, she always sees it – a reminder of her dance career -- past, present and future and what a part of community DO40 provides for her, and all members. (Video clips of the Legacy Awards are now on DO40’s youtube channel, www.youtube.com/dancersover40. Nicole’s clip is first up on the channel. Click Playlists and chose 2010 Legacy Awards to watch the other eight clips.)
Jane Coleman speaks fondly about her friend, honoree Richard Korthaze.
Jane Coleman regaled the audience with a touching story about her friend and honoree, Richard Korthaze, and their mutual friend (and DO40 member) Terry Violino, who died a few years ago. I don’t think Richard was ready for such a poignant, yet funny story about Terry. The audience roared. Other notable speeches were given by Kurt-you-beat-me-for-the-part-in-Dames-At-Sea-Peterson, for Harvey Evans, and Harvey’s own acceptance speech comparing tap dancing to another form of pleasure (again, go to the videotape!l).
House Left at the Luncheon – see Father Ben Urmston center right
Larry Fuller and Gemze de Lappe lovingly spoke of their friends Ken Urmston and Stuart Hodes, and Virginia Seidel was adorable speaking about Ed Gaynes. Harvey Evans talked about fellow nominees Fred Curt and Ken Urmston, about how instrumental they were in Harvey’s early career. Harvey then went on to acknowledge all the honorees for their contributions to dance – and theater. Also, Ken Urmston’s brother, Fr. Benjamin Urmston flew in from Cincinnati for the occasion, and Ken’s PIPPIN castmate, Diane Duncan, flew in from California to speak about him.
The lovely Carol Channing (Richard Skipper) presents DO40’s new “mascot” -- a very young Harvey Evans.
But the night would not have been complete without that important visual – the “unveiling” of DO40’s new mascot – a 3 foot by 4 foot B/W photo of a young Harvey Evans on the cover of AFTER DARK magazine, circa 1971 – naked -- except for a sailor hat (see Dames at Sea!) which conveniently had the DO40 Logo on it! DO40 donated the picture to Harvey, and he immediately took it home and put it in his closet – hoping for a Dorian Gray moment, no doubt!
The 2010 Legacy Awards “Marquee,” with lucite awards
These incredibly talented men have shared their History, their Legacy and their Lives with Dancers Over 40 over the years, volunteered for DO40 and just about every other service organization in the arts, and just plain made the world a better place for being here. DO40 was honored to honor them this year at our second annual awards event.
What a day! Yuckky, humid, cold...and then it rained, it stopped, it rained, it stopped. TONS of shoppers, who started at 9am - NOT 10am as directed! We were pooped before we started! Our tiny band of volunteers served admirably all day long, selling SMALL ticket items - none over $20.00 to reach a reputable total of $1,004.00.
Smooches to Karin Baker, Marcus Galante and Roseanna Mineo, for doing the early morning shift and schlepping (as Ms. Mineo often does as Mazeppa!) all the merchandise down to the Alley -- and for their valiant efforts (THIS time successful) in controlling Prez John Sefakis' annual Flea Market ADD attacks! Love to Suzie Sigrist and Marti Hespin for staying long past their allotted times. Same for Frank Davis and Larry Merritt. The Demings (Sean and Claire) made an appearance and brought more merchandise to sell - along with a unicycle! And more thanks to our new NYU intern, Travis Artz, who did a great job at the Playbill table and kept the crowds coming -- and returning! And our ever lovable Norma Doggett Bezwick made an appearance, doing the time step across 44th Street. You can't keep this Seven Brides veteran from dancin'!!!!
We received GREAT feedback on our table, and lots of DO40 literature was handed out, new friends made and some contacts renewed. People LOVED our clever signage and t-shirts! The t's jete'd out of there FAST! Look for them on all NY street corners - and all corners of the world!
And thanks to ALL who donated merchandise -- Diane, Terrence, Jemela, Mimi, Kathy (Luna), Claire & Sean, Karin, Marcus, and of course to all of those people who BOUGHT! Until next year!
A PANEL ON THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER MICHAEL BENNETT
With Bob Avian, Baayork Lee, Kelly Bishop, Larry Fuller, Margo Sappington and Alice Playten.
Moderated by FOLLIES veteran and dancer extraordinaire, Harvey Evans.
And also… DO40 MEMBERS and Friends Carolyn Kirsch, Dottie Frank Danner, Steve Boockvor, Nancy Dalton, Karin Baker, Rita O’Connor, Joy Serio Dunbar.
“Last night was triumphant! Seeing divine former students, like Baayork Lee, friends, like Steve Boockvor and Elvind Harum, and the program itself, brilliantly thought out, perfectly executed. Plus something magical, it thrust me into the dance world one generation after my own, the taking over of Broadway by my students, dancing better than I could dream of. Last night replays in my brain, an endless loop of delight." -- warmly, Stuart Hodes
Bob Avian, Larry Fuller, Kelly Bishop, Margo Sappington Joy Serio Dunbar, Baayork Lee,
There actually WERE more Michael Bennett dancers in the audience than onstage Monday, May 17th at St. Luke’s Theatre, when Dancers Over 40 presented its Spring panel event on the director/choreographer. People flew in from London, Los Angeles and Las Vegas (and probably more places we don’t know about!) to witness this reunion/get-together/lovefest. The History, Legacy and Lives of all these dancers were truly inspiring. And the stories! Worth waaaay more than the price of admission! We HAD to end at 11pm, but we could have continued indefinitely!
Panel #1, with Bob Avian, Baayork Lee, Larry Fuller, Joy Serio Dunbar, Alice Playten,
Moderator Harvey Evans navigated the theatrical waters of Michael’s career, first as a performer in West Side Story, and on to A Joyful Noise and through to Ballroom. Bob Avian handsomely guided the panel along and supplied endless anecdotes – and CORRECTIONS – to some Bennett myths! Kelly Bishop and Baayork Lee spoke of Michael’s generosity, while others his sense of humor – and much more (you had to be there…!).
Michael supported his dancers and helped them to continue and some, to bigger and better things, like choreographer Margo Sappington. Baayork has continued Michael’s Legacy to this day, as has Bob Avian, making sure his and Bennett’s work will continue to be seen.
A Standing ovation at the end of Panel 2 – and the evening – for Bob Avian.
Michael’s childhood friend from Buffalo was in the audience -- Jack Greenan, who has known Michael since he was 5 years old and danced with him on the local Buffalo TV station, where at 12 years old, Michael choreographed the teen show there. There were clips from Hullabaloo, Henry, Sweet Henry, Promises, Promises, Coco, Follies and, of course, A Chorus Line. Comedian Seth Rudetsky also appeared, to “deconstruct” the "Turkey Lurkey" from Promises, Promises, and had the audience laughing out loud about all those “head pops” in the number, not to mention the incredibly exacting and furiously driven “propeller arms” of Donna McKechnie!
It was a fitting and fabulous end to a great DO40 season that began with The Unsinkable Peter Gennaro, and on to our first DO40 Legacy Awards and DO40 CARES dance concert to Benefit Project Achieve and BC/EFA. All this, friends and members, available because of your dues and donations. We simply cannot do it alone! Our newsletter, website, youtube channel and facebook page take hundreds of hours of (wo)manpower! And most of it is volunteer. But there are costs involved, and we thank Bob Avian for his recent generous donation to DO40 – and also announce his inclusion on our DO40 Advisory Board. Thank you again, Bob!
This is one event that the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts will savor for years to come!
More Michael Bennett event photos to come!
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