Curtain call: Top L to R, DO40 prez John Sefakis, host Kurt Peterson, Sarah Rice, Karen Murphy, Clark Bason, Anthony Marciona, Josh Ellis, Richard Sabellico Bottom: Jesse Luttrell, John Sheridan Beecher, Jane Coleman, Charles Kirsch, Diane Coupé

Dancers over 40 presented a very special and intimate salute to Dame Angela Lansbury, Monday, May 15th at 8pm at the Actors’ Temple Theatre in NYC – and it was the highlight of the Spring season. The evening, hosted by Kurt Peterson (Dear World) featured cast members and associates from Dame Angela’s ground-breaking musicals Mame, Dear World, Gypsy, Sweeney Todd and her last musical appearance in A Little Night Music. Panelists included John Sheridan Beecher, Anthony Marciona and Richard Sabellico (Gypsy), Sarah Rice (Sweeney Todd), Diane Coupé (Mame), Karen Murphy (A Little Night Music) and Jane Coleman (Dear World), and performances by Jesse Luttrell, Sarah Rice, Kurt Peterson and Karen Murphy.

The Finale with Karen Murphy

Also attending and offering remembrances of Dame Angela’s career were longtime friends, performers and associates, including columnist Rex Reed and actress Sondra Lee (Hotel Paradiso, Hello, Dolly and more), Broadway publicist Josh Ellis (The King and I revival), personal assistant Clark Bason, along with special guest Charles Kirsch (Backstage Babble). Lots of video clips and notes from cast members and DO40 members unable to attend – Ron Young, Carolyn Kirsch and Mary Zahn (Dear World, Mame), choreographer Larry Fuller (Sweeney Todd) and Mame dance captain Diana Baffa Brill.

The magnetic Jesse Luttrell

DO40 members in attendance included Lawrence Leritz, Ken Bloom, Patrick McCarthy, Sasha Spielvogel, Loni Ackerman Kennedy, Eileen Casey, Jamie DeRoy, Penny Worth, Virginia Seidel, Joe Ahumada, Dennis Birchall, Leslie Burgin, John Sheridan, Damon Evans, Ellen Fluhr, Linda Rose Iennaco, Kathleen Conry, Ann Johnson, Remy Holzer Kirsch, Charles Kirsch, Karin Baker and Greg Kayne, Patti Mariano, JoAnn Mariano, Thomas McRoberts, Karin Baker and Greg Kayne, Darlene Larson, Anthony Marciona, Leni Anders, Sharon Wendrow, Bobby Hedglin-Taylor, Sandy Nance, James Dybas, Jack Hagan, Jean Preece, Margaret Schuette, Roger Preston Smith, Joshua Ellis, Barbara Wasson and David Wynen. Brava performance on the keyboards by musical director Fred Barton, and such great support from DO40 volunteers on the board of directors, Bobby Hedglin-Taylor, Patrick McCarthy, Sharon Wendrow, Leni Anders, Ken Bloom and Sasha Spielvogel. These events can’t be produced without public – and private – assistance, and DO40 is committed to building a community of support for mature artists and paying it forward to the next generation, and in this case it is by presenting panels and performances like these. Our History, Our Legacy, Our Lives!

The beautifully melodic Sarah Rice

DO40 felt it necessary and an important event to produce as we videotape each show to donate to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts. We were so blessed to document dance legends Marge Champion, Gemze de Lappe, Iva Withers, Norma Doggett Bezwick, Jane Powell, Ann Reinking, Harvey Evans, Tony Stevens and two of our board members who passed away this year, Richard Korthaze and Lawrence Merritt (Dear World). This is an integral part of our mission: Our History, Our Legacy, Our Lives.

Host, moderator, performer, bon vivant Kurt Peterson

Dancers over 40 is an all-volunteer, membership-driven non-profit arts organization dedicated to preserving the History, Legacy and Lives of our mature creative community, and sharing that knowledge with the younger generation. DO40 was proud to raise over $5,700.00 this year for BC/EFA at their 2022 Flea Market in September. For more information on how you can give back to the community and join DO40 as a member, go to www.dancersover40.org and click on the JOIN/RENEW/DONATE button, or contact our Hotline for more information at 212-330-7016. You don’t have to be … Over 40 to join! Give back to give forward.

Panel #4 with moderator Kurt Peterson, John Sheridan Beecher, Anthony Marciona, Charles Kirsch, Sarah Rice and Richard Sabellico

Panel #2 with Karen Murphy, Jane Coleman and moderator Kurt Peterson

MAME discussion with Diane Coupé and host Kurt Peterson

Panel #4 with moderator Kurt Peterson, John Sheridan Beecher, Anthony Marciona, Charles Kirsch, Sarah Rice and Richard Sabellico

Jamie DeRoy, Sarah Rice and Virginia Seidel

Broadway Babies and DO40 members, Eileen Casey and Penny Worth

DO40 president John Sefakis with the Legendary Harry Haun

Watch the Members Only Video of the Event!

Photo By Jeff Eason, Wilsonmodels, Inc