In Memoriam #10
2014 DO40 Legacy Honoree Paul Berne’s Broadway career included Come Summer, I Had a Ball, Her First Roman and, most memorably, Hello, Dolly, where he performed for five years, dancing with Martha Raye, Ethel Merman, Phyllis Diller, Ginger Rogers, and Betty Grable. He was in the Hello, Dolly company that Martha Raye brought to entertain the troops in Vietnam in 1968, performing the entire musical all over the DMZ with full costumes and sets, an experience that was a high point of his life. He appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and in the movie of Sweet Charity. He leaves his partner, Dylan Ftera, of Manhattan; a sister, Margaret Carolyn Glomb, of Arkansas, as well as nieces, nephews, and many, many friends. The family has graciously asked that donations in his memory may be made to Dancers Over 40.
Long-time DO40 member Gene Bayliss, 89, died on Thursday, September 15, 2016 at Chandler Hall Hospice Pavilion from the effects of Parkinson's and Parkinson's dementia. He was the last remaining of 11 children, and together with his wife of 56 years, Madeline, had 6 children, 15 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.
Originally from Alabama, Gene made New York City his base for the early dancing days in commercials and live TV shows. Gene added director and producer credits as well for Voice of Firestone, Dinah Shore, Dave Garroway and CBS Children and Repertory Theater Shows. Television also broadcast his performing arts touch for the Michigan Thanksgiving Day Parade and the Miss USA, Miss Universe, America's Junior Miss, Mrs. America and Mrs. World pageants.
His love of Broadway was memorialized with his staging for the show stopping "Telephone Hour" and "Lot of Living" numbers in Bye, Bye Birdie and for Carnival. Gene recreated these shows internationally and in over 150 regional and summer stock tours. His last professional performance was A CHORUS LINE at the summer Musicals at Richter in Danbury, Connecticut
He served as vice president of the Connecticut Ballet School and also loved supporting the creation of new theatrical works and supporting new talent.
Broadway dancer James Maher died at the age of 78 in Columbia, SC, on November 23, 2016, after a long illness. He appeared in many Broadway shows, including HELLO, DOLLY! ONCE UPON A MATTRESS and FIORELLO! and later worked in retail displays.
He was an inveterate collector and raconteur. Jim met everyone who was anyone on Broadway. It seemed every day carried an air of glamour and mischief. From dancing in HELLO DOLLY! to looking out of his apartment window for excitement at the back door of the Forum of the Twelve Caesars, he never knew what adventure to expect. “I would look out at the ice sculptures in the driveway and see Mike Todd dragging Elizabeth Taylor over his shoulder. And she would be kicking and screaming at him. It was quite a sight!”
The immediate family has designated memorial donations be made to Dancers Over 40 or the University of South Carolina School of Music Opera.
Annette Macdonald, 76 was a prolific and award-winning choreographer, dance professor, dance historian and film maker who died peacefully at age 76 on March 6th at the Plum Tree Care Center in San Jose after suffering from Dementia and Parkinson's Disease.
After graduating from Fremont High School in 1957, Macdonald took her burgeoning love of dancing to Berlin to study under world-renowned dance instructor Mary Wigman and revel in that city's vibrant dance community.
Returning home, Macdonald graduated from U.C. Berkeley with an emphasis in Dance Ethnology and was soon performing on the Mississippi Queen steamboat as a solo tap dancer and historical jazz dancer.
From the Southern Mississippi River, it was a short trip to the Caribbean where Macdonald would begin studying the rich mix of African, Latin American and North American influences in the area's music and dance which became the thesis for her master's degree from Cal.
Macdonald became the African-Caribbean Dance professor during more than 33 years at San Jose State. She choreographed a wide variety of productions in the South Bay, from Broadway shows to interpretive dance performances.
It was in the classroom as a dance professor and on stage performing that allowed Macdonald to communicate her love of dance. Graced with a boisterous laugh, dazzling energy and boundless enthusiasm Macdonald brought a greater understanding of the role of dance in cultures throughout the world.
In 1982, expanding her work from teaching, performing and research into filmmaking, Macdonald, with Allegra Fuller Snyder, produced the award-winning "When the Fire Dances Between the Two Poles: Mary Wigman 1886-1973." Seven years later, her film "Dances of Mexico: Animal Origins" won an award at the Chicago Film Festival.
Macdonald worked as a consultant and researcher on the 2001 PBS "Dance in America" three-hour documentary "Free to Dance."
She also retired from San Jose State that year and worked on a documentary film of legendary Hollywood choreographer Jack Cole and a second documentary on the ballet and musical theater career of Gemze de Lappe.
Macdonald is survived by her brother George Macdonald of Carmel and her sister Suzanne Breyman of Rancho Cordova, CA.
2009 DO40 Legacy Award honoree and member Fred Curt passed away in April, 2017 after an illness. He has been in show business most of his life, since becoming a Broadway dancer in his teens. After years touring and on Broadway, Fred went to Hollywood, where he danced in just about any musical you can think of. "Carousel"? Fred's in it. "Mame"? Fred's there. "Hello, Dolly!"? Fred again. He knew Fosse. He knew Chita (he was her first dance partner). Fred knew *everybody,* and EVERYONE knew Fred. He had a wonderful and wicked sense of humor, and a sea of anecdotes dotted with the oldest and corniest jokes anyone has ever heard. (Fred was there when most of those jokes were invented.) And *kind." Fred was always available to help not only the actors for whom he was responsible, but many were the new dressers who learned at his feet, and so many students not just of the theatre, but life--he was one of the most alive people you'd ever want to meet. His laugh was such a warm welcome to all who heard it, and his smile was easy and widely-shared.
Rest well, dear, dear Fred. Show 'em how to dance in heaven. Put together that great big MGM musical in the sky!
Christopher Nelson & John Mineo
DO40 at Shetler Studios Penthouse April 2, 2017
Theater history buffs - THIS is where you needed to be Sunday night, with the men and women who steadfastly danced throughout the heyday of Broadway, sharing recollections and love for DO40 founding members Christopher Nelson and John Mineo who recently died within months of each other. Chris, the first DO40 President and John Mineo met with Eileen Casey, Zoya Leporska and Frank Pietri to form the organization over 22 years ago. Speakers included current DO40 President John Sefakis, Shelley Frankel, Joy Serio Dunbar, Steve Boockvor, DO40 board member Eileen Casey and John's wife Kyo Mineo.
From the audience, reminiscences from Carole Schweid, Carolyn Kirsch, Ken Urmston, Denise Pence Boockvor, Julie Pars Cadenhead, Darlene Larsen and Alan Gruet, Chris' partner. Also in the audience, Patti Mariano, Jeff Richards, Sandy Nance, Joel Benjamin, Virginia Seidel, and DO40 board members Nancy Dalton, Dick Korthaze, Lawrence Merritt, Sasha Spielvogel and Patrick McCarthy. We also toasted to our other members we have lost over the past four months: Chuck Kelley, Bob Audy, Gene Bayliss, Dennis Cole and James Maher.
Dancers - be you 40, 50 or 60+ please step up and claim your history and legacy as well, by becoming a member of Dancers Over 40. Dancers UNDER 40, please come and LEARN from our current members. You can't find these memories in ANY theater book (or documentary - unless Rick McKay interviews them after coming to our panels!).