Dancers Over 40’s New Series a HIT!!
In the Company of Friends: Dancers Talking to Dancers
Opens to Raves May 20th at the New Dance Group Studios
Ann Pimm, Linda Ravin,
The audience laughed cried, gasped and clung to each and every word of the first panelists in DO40’s new series IN THE COMPANY OF FRIENDS: DANCERS TALKING TO DANCERS. Ann Pimm, in the original company of PAL JOEY and KAYE POPP, the original company of BEST FOOT FORWARD, (1941, 1942) and Stuart Hodes (Martha Graham Dance Company, DO RE MI, PAINT YOUR WAGON) and George Marcy (DAMN YANKEES, WEST SIDE STORY) entranced the audience with stories and anecdotes, artfully guided by their moderator, dancer/actor/ singer Harvey Evans (FOLLIES, NEW GIRL IN TOWN). Younger member Linda Ravin (SUGAR BABIES) was astonished by the ladies vivacity and enthusiasm. Nicole Barth, Ron Young and Ronnie Stratton were mesmerized by the stories, bringing Nicole to tears at times.
These women had dance partners who moved on to choreograph and direct many of our DO40 members later on in the 50s, 60s and 70s. There were lots of ooohhs and ahs when Kay Popp mentioned her young 16 year old partner Stanley Donen who was in both PAL JOEY and BEST FOOT FORWARD. And when the discussion turned to Gene Kelly and his wives (Ann was close to Jeanne Coyne, who eventually became Gene Kelly’s wife) the audience was more attentive than if they were waiting for the envelope to be opened for best musical at the TONY Awards!
Here’s moderator Harvey Evans flanked by audience members Jeanie Charnin, Ron Young, Lee Hooper and Nicole Barth. They all learned a thing or two about their mentors, their friends and their choreographer/director friends Sunday afternoon!
Harvey did a bang-up job as moderator, engaging everyone – and even keeping DO40 Board Member and panelist George Marcy to the issues at hand! George’s honesty and humor brought the house to tears – and cheers, as he performed a twenty minute set after the panel discussion – and brought Ann and Kaye up with him to do a soft shoe to “Bye Bye Blackbird!” The AVERAGE age of the panel was 84 ½. George brought down the number – he’s GOING to be 80 this year. He was the “kid” on the panel!
Ann Pimm, Kaye Popp,
Panelists Ann Pimm, Kaye Popp and George
Terry Violino, Stuart Hodes, Marilyn D’honau
Also present were DO40 board member Richard Korthaze and DO40 member Terry Violino who were in the revival of PAL JOEY in the 50s. This production was more widely acclaimed than the original with Gene Kelly. Frank Pietri (WILDCAT, SEESAW, BALLROOM), Marge Beddow (REDHEAD, LITTLE ME), and DO40 members Teak Lewis, Nicole Barth, Ron Young, Lawrence Merritt, Gene Gavin and Marilyn D’honau added their twinkle to the afternoon. If you added up all the shows and number of performances these dancers danced on Broadway, it would stretch longer than the run of CATS and PHANTOM!
The cover of LIFE Magazine, 1943, with
The afternoon’s discussion was taped for posterity. It is being donated to the Dance Collection at the New York Public Library at Lincoln Center. This is the first in a series of panel discussions featuring our members – our most precious commodity!! Our next panel will be in the Summer and feature our DO40 Fosse dancers through the ages – from the 50s to the 70s. Raffle prizes of a year’s membership to Gold’s Gym and an mp3 player ended the afternoon with a bang! Well, not counting George Marcy’s 20 minute set!
The audience during the buffet/lunch
Moderator Harvey Evans
Sell it Georgie!!!!! We’re goin’ home!