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Radio City Music Hall Corps de Ballet

Mary Lou Barber - New Board Secretary

DO40 2008 Flea Market

DO40 XMAS Party

The DO40 Salute to the RCMH CORPS DE BALLET was another

Radio City Corps de Ballet - 2008

Radio City Music Hall Corps de Ballet today

Dancers Over 40 ‘s annual Holiday Party expanded this year to include a reunion of the Radio City Music Hall Corps de Ballet, featuring performers from the Hall’s great years, 1932 to 1974. The Corps worked four shows a day, 365 days a year, and from their ranks came Nora Kaye, Patricia Bowman, Melissa Hayden, Helen Tamaris, Dania Krupska – and DO40 member Kelly (Carole) Bishop – her first job in NYC when she arrived in the 60’s. Featured on the panel were Selma Hoffman Rosner (1939 – 1944), Vivian Smith Shiers (1938 – 1942), Paulette Knox Harwood (1945 – 1947), Ann Buchan Chaoui (1954 – 1962) all the way to Rosemary Novellino Mearns (1966 – 1978 – the final show). It was held at the Alvin Ailey Dance Studios on West 55th Street, and a gala evening it was!

The place was packed with over 100 members, supporters and Friends of DO40, including Kelly Bishop. And although Tony Mordente couldn’t make it to the event to moderate, he certainly was spoken of-and-about by MANY of the Corp ladies (including a rollicking opening salvo by Janice Herbert)! He sent a lovely note: “I have nothing but great memories from the ‘Hall.’ I remember Margret Sande, Leon Leonidorf, Russell Market and Miss Sande's assistant, Janet. My first big paying gig, and they were so supportive. I loved being surrounded by so much beauty. I loved that there were so many very good dancers on that stage at one time. The ‘Corp’ made me feel very at ease. They made it fun doing 4 shows a day and 5 during the Easter Show. They made the time pass way to quickly. Please send pictures!“ Well, Tony, here they are!

DO40 Holiday Party Photo

The ladies of the 1950s with their iconic poster from 1954

Click Here to see more DO40 Holiday Party Photos

DO40’s New Board Secretary,
Mary Lou Barber

Mary Lou BarberDO40 is very  happy to welcome Mary Lou Barber as Board Secretary. Another new member who joined last year after attending  DO40’s events, Mary Lou volunteered at the DO40 BC/EFA Flea Market and at the Jack Cole event in October.  She’s one of our younger members, who is thrilled to learn the history, legacy and lives of our members. 

Mary Lou has had a successful performing career, participating in national tours of Cats, 42nd Street, A Chorus Line and Sophisticated Ladies. Her regional and stock credits include Me and My Girl, My One and Only, and  Singin’ in the Rain at Gateway Playhouse, Paper Moon at Ford’s Theatre (Washington, D.C.), Of Thee I Sing at Arena Stage (Washington, D.C.), Rhapsody in Gershwin at Stamford TheatreWorks (Connecticut) and Showtune and The Music of Jerry Herman at Riverside Theatre (Florida). She has performed in Side by Side by Sondheim, A Grand Night for Singing and Cole, directed by Karin Baker at Blowing Rock Stage Company, NC.

Mary Lou frequently collaborates with director Bill Fabris, choreographing for Westminster Choir College, Omaha Symphony and the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players.

Other choreographic credits include Oklahoma! for Augusta Opera, Patience and Trial By Jury for New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players, and Rhapsody in Gershwin for Stamford TheatreWorks.  Also, Mary Lou has fond memories of dancing in the Princeton Ballet and Jazz companies with Bebe Neuwirth.


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Theater Talk Link

Dancers Over 40 Raise $2,500.00
at the BC/EFA Flea Market – Twice as much as Last Year!

With a battalion of volunteer members and friends, DO40 participated in their second Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Flea Market.  Pandemonium reigned, when customers lined up 50 minutes earlier than the official start time – and they were ready to spend!  Cool heads prevailed with DO40 Board member Karin Baker laying down the law as to how things were going to be run.  She and her husband, Greg, have been participating in the BC/EFA Flea Market for years, and Karin taught us a few helpful tips.    

2008 Flea Market/Equity Fights Aids

The gang around mid-day:  Nicole Barth, Marge Beddow, Georgie Marcy, Jamie Sanchez, Kathy Seng Gurland, Harvey Evans and James Dybas.

DO40 members Nicole Barth, Lawrence Merritt, Mary Lou Barber, Carolyn Kalmus, Penny Worth and Board members Kathy Seng Gurland, George Marcy, Harvey Evans, Gregg Mayer participated, as did our other friends, Patt Mariano, James Dybas and John Fahey.  Members who stopped by to say hello were Marge Beddow, Sasha Spielvogel, Felicia Velasco, and  Joe Ahumada, who donated a TON of stuff that made lots of money – thank you Joe – and Brian!  Next year, Bette!!!

  Bebe Newwirth signing autograph

Bebe Neuwirth autographs the
Broadway Musical Books at the DO40 Table

The Fabulous Bebe Neuwirth stopped by our booth and introduced her fiancée to us all.  Bebe – smiling! And very happy!  Get a picture!  She also signed some of our Broadway Musical books that brought in a few hundred dollars and were also signed by Donna McKechnie, Bernadette Peters, Lee Roy Reams, Barbara Cook and Sandy Duncan, thanks to Harvey Evans. 

Nicole Barth and James Dybas

Nicole Barth and James Dybas are on
the frontline, selling like crazy.

T-shirts!  Posters!  Books!  Playbills!  CDs!  Librettos!  Star Photos and autographs!  It was an amazing mix of products.  A big thanks to George Marcy, Bick Goss and Gitana Garcia – without their materials – and their friend’s materials, we never would have reached our goal!   And remember, we’ll need more “stuff” next year!  So keep looking through your closets and drawers! 

More Musings by Marianne


Pink Flower

Well, it’s almost that time again – time for another new dance competition show on TV!  And there go my Monday nights.  Why?  Because I’m totally hooked.   I think it’s just fabulous that dance is so hot these days.  Dancers are now IT!  We’re no longer low man on the totem pole.  We’re actually garnering admiration, acquiring stature - and, dare I even say it?… respect.

And it feels good.  After all, I am a dancer, always was, always will be.  How very gratifying that our particular discipline has now finally been acknowledged and validated.

That’s why these shows please me so.  I enjoy them every bit  as  much as the general population, and   probably  even  more – because I know what it takes to do what they do, how very hard  it is to make it look so easy,  and to manage to accomplish it all in nothing flat – very impressive.

I also think the judges have done a terrific job of educating America about dance.  I have a non-dancer friend who said she has learned a great deal about dance just listening to the judges’ critiques.  And that’s a very good thing; with each succeeding season, America does seem to be voting smarter.  

How I chuckle when I think back to the 80’s, when I was choreographing TV commercials. I can still hear those ever-so-wise pundits from the ad agencies telling me, “Dance is over now – this is the end of it – there won’t be any more dancing on commercials”.  Yeah, right.  I defy you to turn on the TV now and NOT see a dancing commercial – they’re dancing about soup, they’re dancing about real estate, they’re even dancing about Emergency Rooms!  Isn’t it wonderful!

So, here I am, relishing the popularity of dance.  But as I’m watching these splendid young thoroughbreds, there’s a bittersweet pang.  I look at those gorgeous costumes on those gorgeous bodies, and I can feel the weight of those beaded dresses I used to wear onstage.  And as I watch the women move so effortlessly in those 4” heels, I remember how terrific it felt to dance high on my releve and be in total control of my body. 

Now don’t get me wrong - I’m in pretty good shape… for my age - or any age for that matter.  I’m sure many women of my “vintage” would kill for my 115 pound body.  But, I know it’s not the body of my twenty-year-old self.  And sure, I can still get my leg up over my head, but now I pay the price.  My knees aren’t at all happy on stairs, my arabesque is more like a tendue since spine surgery, and those 4” heels will never grace these cranky feet again.   Those big jumps across the floor at the end of ballet class that I used to adore, will never again be a part of my life.

Sunny Road

So be it.  Things change.  You adjust.  You move on.  Life is not stagnant.  There are new interests, new abilities.   And yet, at the same time, I feel I’m dancing better now than I ever have; certainly not technically, but as a complete dancer.  Wouldn’t it be something if the dancer of our younger days could merge with the mature dancer we are today?  Ah, dream on…

So, although I’m a different dancer now, once a dancer, always a dancer.  And my dear husband claims I still have the best legs on Broadway.  He may not really mean it… but at least he says the right thing.  Smart man.


Find out more about Marianne


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