It was an all-night love fest Monday, December 16, 2016, when DO40 members from all over descended on LIPS Restaurant in Manhattan to honor their own: Karin Baker, Joy Serio Dunbar, Teak Lewis, Patti Mariano, Sasha Spielvogel and Marilyn D’honau (with a special Nicole Barth Legacy Award, donated – and awarded – by Artie Siccardi).

DO40 Legacy Honorees Patti Mariano, Karin Baker, Sasha Spielvogel, Joy Serio Dunbar, Teak Lewis and
Marilyn D'honau; with hostess Anita Gillette

There was hardly any room left in the huge restaurant!  The show started a bit late, as our servers had so many people… to serve!   But everyone made it in, including DO40 Legacy Honoree Teak Lewis from the Actors Home in New Jersey, and Norma Doggett Bezwick, coming in by subway from Queens (Norma, now 90, from the original movie Seven Brides for Seven Brothers!).   A veritable smorgasbord of Broadway “kids” and their friends were snuggled close to each other, including St. Luke’s producer Ed Gaynes, Lee Roy Reams, Harvey Evans, Virginia Seidel, Jean Preece, Joyce Nolen, Susan Sigrist, Carol Eiger, Kathy Conry, Lori Tan Chinn, Bob Alexander, Penny Worth, Carolyn Kirsch, Felicia D’amico Velasco, Linda Rose Iennaco, Juliet Ewing and so many more DO40 members and new faces!

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!

The Legacy Awards Honoree table along and a packed house at LIPS Restaurant!
L to R:  Karin Baker, Teak Lewis, Joy Serio Dunbar, Marilyn D’honau and Patti Mariano

And although we took time to honor those we have lost over the years, including founding member John Mineo just a few weeks ago, we celebrated our strengths, and proceeded to have a great time, and also enjoy the performances of the many “gender delusionists” who gave us numbers from The Music Man, West Side Story and Gypsy (featuring hostess Anita Gillette in a cameo as Louise!). 

Performers Tina Burner, Pattaya Hart and Holly Box-Springs performing You Gotta Get a Gimmick
with hostess Anita Gillette as Louise!

Many, many photos to come of each and every table and all our DO40 family, and video clips from the evening, which will be shared on our member-only page of our website (which will be totally redesigned in 2017!!!!!).  It actually seemed like a sports event, but this time EVERYONE left with that winning feeling!  People poured out on the streets hugging and kissing each other in quite a show of solidarity, all as friends, peers, and community members of an important non-profit organization.  We look forward to working closely with our membership in 2017 and building upon our existing Legacy and most importantly, to promote all of our creative artists AND to pay it forward to the next generation.

Pattaya Hart channeling Chita Rivera in "America" from West Side Story

Special Thanks to Hostess Anita Gillette, who did a superb job juggling honorees, speakers, drag queens and an OCD and ADD DO40 President! Kudos to the backstage “crew” and front-of-house-volunteers: DO40 Board Members Patrick McCarthy and Nancy Dalton, Ginger Tidwell, Leni Anders and Martin Waitt.

RIP: Luigi, Phil Black, Gretchen Wyler, Marge Beddow, Tony Stevens, Louise Quick, Nicole Barth, Gene Gavin, Jeanie Jones Snow, Johnny Nola, Terry Violino, Svetlana Grody, Joe Frazzetta, Terrence Murphy, Gus Andros, Iva Withers, & DO40 founding member John Mineo.

The Three Dancing Musketeers: All former DO40 Legacy Honorees
Harvey Evans, Larry Fuller and Lawrence Merritt after the show!

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Photo By Jeff Eason, Wilsonmodels, Inc