2023 DO40 LEGACY AWARDS CELEBRATION
MONDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2023
The entire cast of characters! Our Legacy Award Honorees, Jean Preece, Joanna Rush, Jill Cook, Joe Ahumada and for Gene Foote, Michael Bunch along with host Michael Musto, DO40 president John Sefakis and our talent for the evening, Yasmin, Egypt and Bootsie Lefaris!
This was one of the best, most entertaining and heartwarming DO40 Legacy Awards ever! And DO40 has been producing these for 15 years! The honorees, Joe Ahumada, Jill Cook, Gene Foote, Jean Preece and Joanna Rush, all deserving and diverse in their talents, brought their friends and families (and theater families, as well) to celebrate their lives both on and off stage. And the performing talent! Egypt/Rovin D. Sena, Yasmin Delano/Ovidio Luis Ortiz and Bootsie Lefaris/Justin Keller were phenomenal and had the audience cheering and crying at the same time. They performed numbers from CHICAGO/Hot Honey Rag, FUNNY GIRL and a medley of I want to be a Rockette and A CHORUS LINE– all in honor of our awardees and ALL the audience members in attendance who have performed in those shows over the years.
At the dining table with host Michael Musto and DO40 prez John Sefakis and the honorees Joe Ahumada, Jill Cook, Joanna Rush, Michael Bunch in for Gene Foote and Jean Preece
Yasmin Delano and Egypt performing Hot Honey Rag from CHICAGO in honor of Gene Foote and Jean Preece
Bootsie Lefaris performing from FUNNY GIRL in honor of Joe Ahumada
Egypt performing I Want to Be A Rockette and bringing up former Rockette and Legacy Honoree Joanna Rush from the audience to do a fan kick!
Newly formed Girl Group, the 2 1/2 Degrees (get it?) performing MAYBE, with Legacy Honoree Jill Cook in the lead!
And then the special performances! DO40 members and former Legacy honorees James Dybas and Patti Mariano performed from 42nd Street, Legacy honoree Joanna Rush performed a monologue from her one woman show NO MALARKEY, and Legacy honoree Jill Cook performed a 60’s girl group number, “Maybe” in honor of all the drag queens of the world! Audience members from each of the honoree’s tables found each other connecting in ways they never thought imaginable. Jean Preece met former Legacy honoree Mary McCatty and found they both had been Rockettes – but 30 years apart! Newest members Kenneth Ard and Damon Evans mingled with cast members from CATS and VIA GALACTICA (!!!) Baayork Lee from ACL was there, along with Laine Sakakura (FOSSE, Chita Rivera’s A DANCERS’ LIFE, BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE) to cheer on Legacy honoree Joe Ahumada, Karin Baker, Gower Champion’s assistant on 42nd STREET spoke for Jean Preece, Director Choreographer Lynne Taylor-Corbett for Joanna Rush, Brian Albert for Joe Ahumada, Bway baby Susann Fletcher for Jill Cook and accepting the award for Gene Foote, Michael Bunch and DO40 board member Eileen Casey. Gene is being released from the Village Rehabilitation Center tomorrow, and couldn’t attend, so Michael Bunch called him on WhatsApp so he could see the audience cheering him on!
Michael Bunch speaking on behalf of Gene Foote, video calls Gene "live" to show him the audience response to receiving his Legacy award!
The food was great, the staff terrific (our 13th year there), but the camaraderie, the kinship and the respect shown to each and every audience member AND our honorees was Extraordinary (as they say in PIPPIN! – and Gene Foote was in that original Broadway cast, among other Fosse shows, HOW TO SUCCEED, SWEET CHARITY AND CHICAGO). Special thanks to our host with the most, celebrated journalist and bon vivant Michael Musto, who did a bang-up job, and managed to change outfits more often than Beyonce did in her Renaissance tour! When we heard BABS couldn’t make it to honor Joe Ahumada, whose last show on Broadway was FUNNY GIRL, we immediately turned to 2023 GLAM Award Winner Bootsie Lefaris to fill the gap! And gap she did fill! Performing just about every number from Babs’ 60’s FUNNY GIRL Legacy, she had the audience in the palm of her, well, rather long-handed fingers!
Joe Ahumada accepts his Legacy Award from DO40 prez John Sefakis
Jill Cook accepts her Legacy Award from DO40 prez John Sefakis
Jean Preece accepts her award from DO40 prez John Sefakis
Joanna Rush accepts her award from DO40 prez John Sefakis
DO40 members James Dybas and Patti Mariano performing a short portion of 42nd STREET in honor of Jean Preece
This is the most moving – and most expensive event DO40 produces, and we need your support as a card-carrying, dues paying member or Patron to be able to continue to produce these wonderful evenings. JOIN/DONATE/RENEW your membership now! Come share your History, your Legacy and your Life with us. And you don’t have to be over 40 to join - or be a dancer (we added "…and Friends" to our name so you all could participate/socialize and attend our events with a member discount)! Our youngest member is 16 years old; our oldest, 94! Each and every one of us has a story to tell – and DO40 uniquely produces events panels and performances that cannot be found anywhere else – nor told by anyone else! Many of these stories never make it into books or academic papers. They are stories told from the heart, from the original sources- and we preserve those on video and donate each event to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts. Like they say in the commercial, “PRICELESS!”
See the videos on the members only page!