A FANTASTIC EVENING OF ENTERTAINMENT
L to R: Tony Sheldon, Juliet Ewing, Patti Mariano, Bambi Jones, Anita Gillette and Joyce Nolen –
hidden at the piano, David Hancock Turner!
DO40 adds a new venue to our list of performance establishments! The Triad Theater was just the right place for “A Salute to Johnny Mercer,” staged by Karin Baker, with choreography by Patty Mariano. Celeb hosts (and DO40 members, of course!) Anita Gillette and Tony Sheldon sang and told tons of Mercer stories and introduced our quartet of performers -- Juliet Ewing, Bambi Jones, Joyce Nolen and Patti Mariano. David Hancock Turner was at the ivories (and banjo) and offered his voice to some Mercer tunes as well. The list of classic Mercer songs is longer than you think, and this production highlighted as many as could fit in the allotted 90 minutes! (Yes! DO40’s shortest and most condensed show ever!! LOLOL).
Our Mercer “Panel” – Anita Gillette, Tony Sheldon, Debbi Whiting and Michael Kerker
Keeping true to our “roots,” there was a short, mini-panel after intermission, featuring hosts Anita Gillette, Tony Sheldon, Debbi Whiting (granddaughter of composer Richard Whiting and daughter of Margaret) and Michael Kerker, president of ASCAP. Stories were spun, dish was served! Did you know Mercer turned down writing the musical to the Rose Tattoo with Jule Styne? You had to be there for the inside scoop. Tony Sheldon is a veritable encyclopedia of entertainment! And Anita Gillette had known Mercer socially for a brief time as well.
At one of the very chic banquettes, DO40 board member Andrew Wentink and
DO40 Legacy Award honorees and Advisory Board members Marge Champion and Larry Fuller
History galore. And we were there to help preserve Mercer’s legacy, to promote and allow our DO40 members to continue their creative lives by performing and working on this production. Thanks to all who worked on the show, onstage and off! We simply cannot do it – alone!
Hosts Anita Gillette and Tony Sheldon