DO40 HALLOWEEN MEMBERSHIP MEETING:
WHEN “BOO!” IS A GOOD THING!
(SINCE IT’S NOT COMING FROM THE AUDIENCE!)
ANOTHER SUCCESSFUL GET TOGETHER AND DISCUSSION
OF OUR HISTORY, OUR LEGACY AND OUR LIVES.
Although not everyone was in complete costume (some more than others!), DO40’s first Halloween membership meeting was a hoot! Honors for best costume went to 2019 Legacy Honoree Candy Brown, with a “chip” on her shoulder, that being the one chorus dancer in every new show who had one! Very clever! Candy earned a free 2021 – 2020 membership! Costumes represented were ACL, Fiddler on the Roof, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Susan Stroman, 70’s disco, Luigi Jazz and a Cell Block Tango lady thrown in at the very last minute!
After honoring our dear friend and DO40 Advisory Board member Marge Champion (passing at the age of 101) with a short video from our 2008 Gower Champion event, we moved on to our main topic, Jack Cole and the huge David Merrick Flop, MATA HARI. Cast members Francine Storey and board member Eileen Casey discussed Jack, the show, David Merrick – and even rats in the alley! DO40 member Bill Reilly in Florida, also in the show, is not ZOOM-savvy, so he gave us a bunch of memories he had of the show, from colliding scenery to gun powder going off in the audience! A Jack Cole video summary also featured many of Jack’s ensemble, including Gwen Verdon, George Martin, Julie Newmar, Mitzi Gaynor and an tribute by Alvin Ailey.
Then it was on to our youngest member of Dancers over 40…and FRIENDS, 13 year-old Charles Kirsch, who has his own podcast on Apple, Spotify and more called Backstage Babble. He is interviewing DO40 members and has already spoken with Mary Jane Houdina, Eileen Casey, Anita Gillette, as well as old time members Lee Roy Reams and Sondra Lee. Check out his podcast for other interviews with Charles Busch, Rita Gardener, Josh Bergasse and Joel Grey! Thanks to our Cast Us! Hire Us! page on our DO40 website, Charles got to see the depth of our “talent!” We still need more DO40 members to be engaged and enshrined on that page, so contact DO40 and send in a photo and brief bio summary ASAP!
DO40 President John Sefakis hosted, along with ZOOM co-host Jason Alan Harris, with a surprise guest and spur of the moment performance by Stella D’oro, the Queen Mum of Vaccine for Project Achieve/The New York Blood Center and Columbia University’s HIV Vaccine Trials Network – who opened for DO40’s CHICAGO reunion at our Alvin Ailey dance concert in 2012 reuniting the 1975 Cell Block Tango Ladies: DO40 Advisory Board member Chita Rivera, DO40 Legacy Honorees Candy Brown, Cheryl Clark and Michon Peacock, as well as Candace Tovar and Joan Albright (substituting for DO40 Advisory board member Graciela Daniele and Pam Sousa).
Our next event will be held in December – our annual DO40 Legacy Awards. However, due to the pandemic, we are unsure if we can secure a venue, if even only for a small dinner to honor our three recipients, Dennis Birchall, Jeri Kansas and Francis J. Roach. We would ZOOM that event to members and friends. TBD and TBA for now!
Members who participated included JoAnn Mariano, Patti Mariano, Leni Anders, Tom McRoberts, Jane Barbara, Ken Bloom, Charles Kirsch, Joshua Ellis, Francine Storey, Kathryn Doby, Jeri Kansas, Robert Sacheli, Candy Brown, Martha Warschaw, Christine Colby Jacques, Joy Serio Dunbar, John Gilvey, DO40 Prez John Sefakis along with DO40 board members Eileen Casey, Nancy Dalton Flowers, Sasha Spielvogel and Patrick McCarthy – and with Susan Sigrist (we think) on the phone!
The DO40 Halloween Meeting will be posted on the member-only page of our website shortly for ALL of our members to view (our August 25th meeting is up and running as well)! Of course, since we ARE over 40, it took about 20 minutes for some members to get their video to work and NOT focus on their noses or apartment ceilings! Technology called, and we didn’t pick up our landline!
The Holidays are upon us! And what better a gift to your loved ones than a membership to Dancers over 40…and Friends! Remember, you don’t need to be a dancer, or over 40 to join (just ask 13 year-old new member Charles Kirsch)! Just visit www.dancersover40.org and click on the JOIN/RENEW/DONATE button (you can donate any time, of course!) – and let us know if you’d like to give a gift of community to someone you love!