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TICKETS ON SALE NOW FOR DO40’S FIRST SPRING EVENT
OF OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON!
RUTH PAGE: A WORLD APART
Monday, March 23rd - 7PM
St. Luke’s Theater, 308 West 46th St., NYC
Featuring ballet greats from all the major dance companies, including New York City Ballet,
the Joffrey Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, and the Chicago, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh Ballet Companies
Dancers Over 40 honors this Chicago ballet superstar who wanted to make dance – and ballet – accessible to everyone. A dance innovator who refused to be pigeon-holed into just one type of dance, Ruth worked with all the greats, and was the first American to dance with Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes in 1925. Prokofiev, Gershwin and Ravel played for her, Isamu Noguchi designed her costumes and she commissioned Aaron Copland’s first ballet score.
Dancers Over 40 board member Andrew Wentink and DO40 member Lawrence Leritz are the great minds behind this panel. Lawrence danced in her company and Andrew curated all of Ruth’s materials for the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts, knew Ruth for many years and wrote extensively on her career. Scheduled to pay tribute to Ruth in person or in recorded messages are dancers from the New York City Ballet, the Royal Danish Ballet, the Joffrey Ballet, the Chicago, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh Ballet companies, and guests including Patricia McBride, Kirsten Simone, George de la Pena, Dolores Lipinski, Patricia Klekovic, Cynthia Roses, Suzette Boyer, Helene Alexopolous, Tom Gold, Dean and Bil Badolato, Metropolitan Opera coach Gildo D'Annuncio, dance scholar Joellen Meglin, and Dakin Hart, Curator of the Isamu Noguchi Museum.
Tickets: $45 for non-members ($65 for premium seats); $25 for members of Dancers Over 40 with discount code. Reservations: Telecharge, 212-239-6200 or www.telecharge.com; DO40 members call 212-947-8844 or www.broadwayoffers.com with discount code. St. Luke’s Box Office open 2 – 6pm daily, at 308 West 46th Street. For more information on DO40 and this event, call the DO40 Hotline at 212-330-7016.
Dancers Over 40 gives back to BC/EFA
at our DO40 SONG & DANCE CONCERT:
Come Back Once More So I Can Say Goodbye
Monday, June 8th - 8pm
The Ailey Citigroup Theater/
Joan Weill Center for Dance
405 West 55th Street, NYC
Dancers Over 40 and longtime DO40 member Sasha Spielvogel, choreographer/director of Labyrinth Dance Theater, are collaborating to present Come Back Once More So I Can Say Goodbye at the Joan Weill Center for Dance/Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater on June 8th at 8:00 p.m. This is a benefit for BC/EFA and the Anti-Violence Project. The evening features Ramon Flowers, Fernando Carrillo, Michael Leon Thomas (featured left, Klaus Lucka, photographer) and baritone Jose Arturo Chacon, who have appeared in other D040 performances. Additional cast members include George Marcy, Michael Blake, Patrick McCarthy, Felicia Norton, Rajika Puri, and special appearances TBD by Marty Thomas and Rachelle Rak. The multi-talented Don Slepian will create the visuals and live music.
Come Back Once More So I Can Say Goodbye is an evening-length dance and music concert with live newly-written music, vintage recordings, historic footage, political sound bytes and stunning visuals. The project examines what it was like to live through the AIDS plague and fosters an appreciation of our forebears as they experience the passion, dangers, political struggles, loss and hard-earned freedom that epitomized gay life in New York City from 1965-1995. The evening may have a short awards ceremony, courtesy of LaDuca Shoes. They would like to partner with DO40 to present their first awards to dancers who have excelled in their field and brought dance to thousands of performers over the years. Tickets will be on sale at the St. Luke’s Box Office in May, and on telecharge (see phone numbers in Ruth Page article, above). Ticket prices, $25.00 for members; non-members $50.00, $75.00 and $100.00.
A WONDERFUL OUTPOURING OF LOVE CELEBRATING
THE LIFE, LOVE AND FRIENDSHIPS OF NICOLE BARTH
Friends, Family, DO40 Members and more came together Sunday, January 18th
at the Glass House Tavern to show their Love for Nicole
Videos to be posted shortly (for Members Only).
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The family requests that donations be made to Dancers Over 40, P.O. Box 2103, NY, NY 10101
or here on this website by clicking the DONATE button:
Approximately 100 people attended a celebration of the life of DO40 Legacy Award honoree Nicole Barth Sunday in NYC at the Glass House Tavern. Guests included her BFF of over 55 years, Valerie Harper, Nicole’s daughter Leslie and husband John and their children Jessica and Sam, Anita Gillette, and more dancers than a ballet teacher could shake a stick at!
Nicole and BFF Valerie Harper at the DO40 Cares
Song and Dance Concert, 2010
Speakers included Valerie, Ron Young, Paul Berne, Marilyn D’honau, DO40 president John Sefakis and Nicole’s partner, Artie Siccardi, who was extremely instrumental in making all of this happen. Dancers from the 50's, 60's, 70's and beyond came to celebrate Nicole, and a photo slideshow highlighted her life, career and friendships. DO40 president John Sefakis presented a video highlighting Nicole’s long association with the group, including an interview on Thirteen/WNET’s MetroArts/ Thirteen, her acceptance speech receiving her 2009 DO40 Legacy Award and speaking at the 2010 Awards explaining how important the organization is to creating a family where dancers can feel at home, wherever they meet.
A partial look at the guests at the restaurant – SRO for Nicole!
Host Richard Skipper went around the room to gather reminiscences from the guests. Over 75 people signed the guest book, including DO40 members Denise Boockvor, Joy Serio Dunbar, Leni Anders, Sharon Wendrow, Eileen Casey, Carolyn Kirsch, Penny Worth, Lori Tan Chinn, Patti Mariano, Joyce Nolen, Kristine Nevins, Joanne Mariano, Lawrence Leritz, Karin Baker, Marilyn D’honau, Ellen Fluhr, Bert Michaels, Richard Korthaze, Lawrence Merritt, Nancy Dalton, Alice Tierstein, Virginia Seidel, Harvey Evans and Diane Nicole. Special Thanks to the planning committee, Leslie and John Skinner, Ron Young, Richard Skipper, Valerie Harper and Artie Siccardi. And extra special thanks to Artie Siccardi for all his support and generous donation to DO40 in honor of Nicole.
DO40 president John Sefakis, Eileen Casey, Penny Worth,
a newly tall Lori Tan Chinn, Denise Boockvor and Nancy Dalton, clowning it up for Nicole!
For those who want to learn more about Nicole’s life and the interview she did with friend of DO40 Richard Skipper, go to this link:
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Please help us make this 2014 – 2015 season yet another one to remember! We have a lot of events going on, starting with our annual Membership meeting September 15th, the Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS Flea Market September 21st, our Joe Layton Event October 20th, our DO40 Fundraiser at the Triad Theater, “Accentuate the Positive: An Evening with Johnny Mercer” and to end 2014, our annual DO40 Legacy Awards honoring our own. And that’s only half of our season!
2015 brings another Casting Seminar for our members in April, a very special panel on ballerina Ruth Page on March 23rd, helmed by DO40 members Lawrence Leritz and Andrew Wentink, and our DO40 CARES Song and Dance Concert to benefit Broadway Cares/EFA on June 8th. That’s a whole lotta stuff for a tiny organization like ours, so we really need all hands on deck! If you would like to volunteer for any of these events, please call the DO40 Hotline at 212-330-7016 and leave us a message or email us at email@example.com. We simply cannot do it without you!
The 2014 Dancers Over 40
...a Huge Hit!!
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Should move to (off) Broadway soon!
2014 Legacy Award Honorees Paul Berne, Carolyn Kirsch,
Eileen Casey and Penny Worth
Dancers Over 40’s last event of 2014 turned out to be the one with the most performances of the year! And one of the shortest events of the year (that wasn’t hard to accomplish!). Nicely packaged into a 90 minute presentation, we honored those members who hold a special place in the world of dance and all have contributed to promoting Dancers over 40 and the History, Legacy and Lives of our community: DO40 Advisory Board Member Jerry Mitchell, DO40 founding member Eileen Casey, those “killer-diller” gypsies Carolyn Kirsch and Penny Worth and Paul Berne. These five individuals’ careers span over 50 years in show business, and have worked with all the greats – Robbins, Fosse, Bennett, Champion, de Mille, Gennaro, Layton and more.
(Left) The room at LIPS right before the show.
Host Richard Skipper entertained the audience with his patter, and drag queens from LIPS restaurant and the best of NYC entertained by performing Broadway production numbers from shows many of the honorees were noted for! (It did take DO40 member Norma Doggett-Bezwick – from 7 Brides for 7 Brothers, the movie – a few minutes to realize the performers were not exactly biological women!) Skyla Versai performed “I am What I Am” from LA CAGE and a rare number from LEGALLY BLONDE for Jerry Mitchell, and Tina Burner and Brenda Dharling did a medley from CHICAGO that included “All that Jazz,” “Roxie,” and “Nowadays/Keep it Hot.” Tina Burner also performed a clever number called “I’m 50!” which included a medley of numbers from the great shows of the 70’s and beyond.
Performers Tina Burner and Brenda Dharling perform a medley from CHICAGO,
“All that Jazz,” “Roxie” and “Nowadays/Keep it Hot!”
A total “love fest,” which sounds corny, but it’s true. Each honoree had deep affection for each other, and their speakers spoke eloquently about them: Robert Reader for Carolyn Kirsch, Lawrence Merritt for Eileen Casey, Harvey Evans for Penny Worth, Carol Carlin for Paul Berne and Nick Kenkel for Jerry Mitchell. Former winners in the audience: Norma Doggett-Bezwick, Larry Fuller, Ken Urmston and Lawrence Merritt. An entire contingent from the Gay Men’s Chorus came to cheer on fellow member Paul Berne, and Real Housewives of New York’s Heather Thomson was also in the house. A special thanks to LIPS restaurant for having us – and giving us such a reasonable rate for a wonderful three-course meal!
Performers, Honorees, Host and DO40 Prez all on stage for the “Finale!”
L to R: Brenda Dharling, Paul Berne, Carolyn Kirsch, Jerry Mitchell, Eileen Casey,
Penny Worth, Tina Burner, John Sefakis, Richard Skipper and Skyla Versai
A FANTASTIC EVENING OF ENTERTAINMENT
BY DO40 PERFORMERS AND CREATIVE TEAM!
DO40 SALUTES “A SALUTE TO JOHNNY MERCER”
AT THE TRIAD THEATER NOVEMBER 18TH
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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
A Night of Comedy, Tears and Great Adoration for a multi-talented, and multi-faceted man:
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CURTAIN CALL: DO40 Prez John Sefakis, Barbara Dare Thomas, Nicole Barth, Marianne Tatum,
Wakefield Poole, Patti Mariano, Susan Lowrance, Bruce Vilanch, James Dybas, Lynn Summerall,
Jill O’Hara, Walter Willison, Lawrence Leritz, Loni Ackerman, Bob Becker, Jane Coleman,
Shirley Nelson Holst, Bob Fitch, Edie Cowan (not shown: Grover Dale, Mary Zahn, Roger Puckett,
Terrence Mann, Carolyn Kirsch, Sondra Lee, Lillian Colon)
People flew in from coast to coast to coast to be there! Jacksonville, San Diego, Baltimore, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Connecticut (well by train for that one!) all to honor their “leader,” Joe Layton. Host Bruce Vilanch opened the festivities with a monologue – a Joe Layton monologue, filled with drama and as we say now, “shade” about many, many performers. Noel Coward was the best at it, Bruce said. Especially the story about the horse on stage and the ingénue. Bruce worked with Joe on Bette Midler’s Clams on a Half Shell and then on the Alexis Smith/Lisa Mordente classic, Platinum.
Wakefield Poole, Bob Fitch, Lynn Summerall, Susan Lowrance, Grover Dale, Sondra Lee, Bruce Vilanch
Joe’s career was traced from his first show, Oklahoma, where he met Richard Rogers, to The Life and Radio City Music Hall, in 1994 when he succumbed to AIDS. Friends, assistants, dancers, singers were all in attendance. There were special moments of heartfelt song, with Walter Willison, Marianne Tatum, Loni Ackerman and Jill O’Hara singing songs from their respective shows.
The show ran a bit long. As a matter of fact, we are about to submit the DVD to the Guiness Book of Records as longest panel/performance in DO40 History! Three and one half hours, not counting intermission! Our first panel ran 2 hours (including Mr. Vilanch’s opening monologue!)
Lillian Colon, Roger Puckett, Barbara Dare Thomas, Walter Willison, Lawrence Leritz,
Terrance Mann, Marianne Tatum, Mary Zahn
||If awards were to be given for most enthusiastic, it would be a three way tie, with Sondra Lee, Grover Dale and Bob Fitch, neck and neck at the finishing line! We threw up pictures on the back cyc of relevant shows while the panelists were talking, and it worked quite nicely, like here, with Grover Dale, 50 years apart, yet both exuding enthusiasm and commitment!
Grover Dale talking to Bruce Vilanch
Lawrence Merritt, Nicole Barth, Wakefield Poole,
Lynn Summerall, Carolyn Kirsch, Jane
Celebrities Lesley Ann Warren, Lisa Mordente and Angela Lansbury sent video clips in their absence, and Susan Guthrie Lowrances audio tapes of Joel Grey, Elliott Gould, Joe Tremaine and Florence Henderson tied in nicely with a Streisand “Happy Days are Here Again.”
Act II concentrated on Dear World and George M! panelists, with clips, songs and many stories about how Joe worked with the material to make it better – especially in the case of Dear World.
The George M! gang took their places right after the Dear World kids.
James Dybas, Wakefield Poole, Jill O’Hara, Lynn Summerall, Patti Mariano, Loni Ackerman
Although the show ran long, there wasn’t a boring story to be told. Maybe a little off topic when Carol Channing came up (Bruce Vilanch offered to host a separate Channing panel to expand upon Carol’s work in Lorelei!).
Moderator Walter Willison, DO40 President John Sefakis and Host Bruce Vilanch
This was one of the most difficult events to produce, as many panelists and moderators were not from the area. But put a few dancers on stage to talk about a show, well, you can’t go wrong. You can go long, but not wrong!
DO40'S ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING
HIGHLIGHTS OUR 20TH ANNIVERSARY!
The students of Marymount Manhattan College perform an excerpt from George M!
It was fun, food and frolic at the DO40 Annual Meeting at Ripley Grier Studios in NYC Sept. 15th. DO40 president John Sefakis introduced members, board members and friends - all of whom are working tirelessly to create a great 2014 - 2015 season. James Dybas, Karin Baker, Andrew Wentink and Sasha Spielvogel presented details of our upcoming events. And DO40 Prez John Sefakis unveiled the new DO40 logo… Dancers Over 40…and Friends!, to broadcast a bit more clearly our intent to involve a community of people who love dance, and want to support mature dancers…and DO40! Don’t worry, we won’t be DO40AF – too complicated to type! The meeting ended with students from Marymount Manhattan College performing a number from George M!, transcribed by DO40 board member and teacher at Marymount, Bethany Elkin.
The audience - L to R, Greg Kayne, Karin Baker Kayne, Paul Berne, Ruth Feingold, Norma Doggett-Bezwick, Leni Anders, Andrew Wentink, Lawrence Merritt (back row) Patrick McCarthy, Roger Ellis, Daphne Foreman, Ellen Fluhr, Ken Urmston and Robert Alexander (not pictured, Eileen Casey, James Dybas, Bethany Elkin, John Sefakis)
In the audience, DO40 member Norma Doggett-Bezwick, cast member of the original 1954 movie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, DO40 Legacy Honoree Paul Berne and a gaggle of gypsies!! Special thanks to the students from Marymount for donating their time and effort to dance for us!
Original George M! cast members Karin Baker, James Dybas and the students
of Marymount Manhattan College with DO40 board member and Marymount teacher Bethany Elkin
THE BEST EVER DO40 FLEA MARKET FOR BROADWAY CARES/EFA!!!
DO40 RAISES A FUNDRAISING RECORD $3500.00!!!
DO40 board members James Dybas & Bethany Christine Elkin,
with DO40 member Penny Worth, DO40 Prez John Sefakis and
DO40 Sales & Marketing Director Lawrence Leritz.
As usual, an exhausting 12 hour day for DO40, with members taking four hour shifts to man the (FIVE!) tables this year. Last year's total of $2,000.00 was shattered, thanks to the donations of our many members: Joe Ahumada, Margaret Shuette, Felicia D'Amico Velasco, Sharon Wendrow, James Dybas, Sutton Foster (if you were there, you'd get it...!!), Paul Berne, Penny Worth, Chuck Kelley, Teddy Kern, Luna Borromeo, Marti Hespen, Patti Mariano, Skip Randall, Virginia Seidel, Andrew Wentink - and volunteers on the front lines Sharon Wendrow, Patrick McCarthy (pulled a full day's work!) James Dybas, Bethany Christine Elkin, Penny Worth, Lawrence Leritz, Teddy Kern, Patti Mariano, Karin Baker, Roger Ellis and Lawrence Merritt. But Damn those Environmentalists!! They screwed up the whole city - and left us short volunteers who couldn't make it in to the city to assist! The March on the West Side and to 42nd Street tied up traffic - and people -- for the whole day! We love you guys for trying your best to get in!
Amidst the hubbub and hullabaloo of the crowds, DO40 members Lawrence Leritz
and Karin Baker take a brief time out from the selling frenzy (see shopping hordes!) to pose for a picture.
Special thanks to new boss-of-the-day Valerie Lau-Kee Lai of BC/EFA and of course to Tom Viola, for his support of DO40 over these past seven years. We're happy to be able to give back to our community-at-large!
For those of you on Facebook, please go to our page, www.facebook.com/dancersover40, as we have posted a bunch of pics of the day!
OUR THIRD FREE CASTING SEMINAR – FOR DO40 MEMBERS ONLY!!
More news on this as it develops. Casting Agent Lakey Wolff, an ardent DO40 supporter, will round up yet another marvelous panel to help assist our members in finding print, TV and dancing opportunities!
UNCONDITIONAL LOVE FOR …THE TEACHERS WE LOVE!
DO40’S LOVEFEST PANEL & PERFORMANCES
HONORING THOSE THAT PREPARED US FOR OUR CRAFT
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(Trying to do that “Selfie” thing like the Academy Awards, but after almost 4 hours, this is all we could muster! Bella Malinka, Alan Onickel, Nicole Barth, Marilyn D’honau, Bob Boross, DO40 Prez John Sefakis taking the pic, Mary Cadorette-Harris, Jose de la Cuesta, Karin Baker, Carolyn Kirsch, Jessica Black, Francis Roach, Amy Burgmaier, Carter Poust, Chuck Kelley, Lester Holmes and DO40 board member Kathy Seng Gurland)
They said it couldn’t be done! They said nobody could do it! We tried, and despite a few bumps in the road, succeeded in getting most of the great teachers of our generation(s) together for the first time!
DO40 honored Gemze de Lappe, Bella Malinka, Marilyn D’honau, Bob Audy, Phil Black, Matt Mattox, Chuck Kelley and Luigi. Unfortunately, Gemze landed in the hospital the week before the show, and could not appear. She sent her love to all, and we all signed a get well card in the lobby for her. Phil Black, of course, is at the Actors Home in New Jersey, and a few panelists had to be changed last minute as well. But aside from these surmountable obstacles, we got it done! Videos! Singing! Dancing! Acrobatics! All Live!
DO40 founding member Eileen Casey opened the show with a rare 1997 video from a DO40 concert featuring Marilyn D’honau, Michon Peacock, Gary Gendell and Bill Thompson – and choreographed by Tony Stevens. Eileen noted that our 2014 – 2015 DO40 season marks our 20th anniversary as an organization. And they said it couldn’t be done! They said nobody could do it!
(Notice their feet do not touch the ground!!! Gene Castle, Patti Mariano, Karin Baker and Tim Falter,
in “All Aboard for Broadway” from GEORGE M!)
DO40 member Karin Baker got together her George M! gang to restage a portion of All Aboard for Broadway (Joe Layton brought Bob Audy in as a consultant and to coach Joel Grey). The number featured Karin Baker, Patti Mariano and Gene Castle from the original company, and newcomer (“the kid” learning the role) Tim Falter. Tappers extraordinaire Lynn Schwab and Tony Waag did a tap rap of Holi Coles’, Amy Burgmaier sang “Satin Doll” to her teacher, Luigi, as Francis J. Roach danced, and DO40 Legacy Award honoree Billie Mahoney sent video greetings from Kansas City, and intercut her talk with clips from her “Dance On” local television series from the early 80s that featured Luigi. The evening ended with a DO40 video clip from the 2010 DO40 CARES concert, a dance choreographed by Luigi and danced by Erika Black. The dance faded midway through and out came Jessica Black, Erika’s twin sister, to continue to dance the music to the end, and present Luigi with flowers.
The panels were insightful, as were the videos. Phil Black Student Paige Dana Polisner noted in her video clip (taped at the Phil Black Students’ Reunion in March, 2014) something that could be applied to many of the teachers honored:
“He alone had the ability to get us where we wanted to go. We knew it was because he cared so deeply he was harsh, and in truth, he believed in us way more than we did, and he settled for no less than what he knew, even when we didn’t, what we could do. So he prepared us equally for both the best and the worst of what the business had to offer….. but his students endured even when they couldn’t, even when their dreams and hearts and bodies were broken… and this way Phil readied us not just for Broadway but for life. He made us resilient, strong and flexible of mind as well as in body. In short, he made us “something else,” something bigger and better than the person we were when we walked in his door – and for that, we are eternally grateful.”
Bob Audy, Luigi, Chuck Kelley
PHOTOS of the event to be posted shortly!
Another Wonderful Holiday Event and Awards Show--
Filled with Love, Reminiscence and Melancholy.
DO40 Honors its Own – the 2013 Legacy Awards
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(l to r: Bob Avian, Tracy Everitt – accepting for Skip Randall – Lawrence Merritt,
Chita Rivera and Ellie Quick, accepting in honor of her sister, Louise)
DO40 presented its fifth annual Legacy Awards at their Holiday Dinner, this year again LIPS restaurant in NYC. Honorees this year were Chita Rivera, Bob Avian, Lawrence Merritt, Skip Randall and Louise Quick (posthumously), with a special Honorary Award to BC/EFA Executive Director Tom Viola. Speakers Lisa Mordente, Baayork Lee, Larry Fuller, Teak Lewis, Harvey Evans and Tracy Everitt were all eloquent and heartfelt in speaking the praises of all these wonderful people, who have given so much to their profession – and to DO40.
A special video montage was shown in honor of Legacy Honoree Louise Quick, who died November 1st. Her sister Ellie flew in from Colorado, along with her daughter Ashley and other family members to accept Louise’s award. Both Chita Rivera and Lawrence Merritt offered stories about Louise and shared their love for her. There was humor and heartache, laughs and gentle tugs at the heartstrings.
(Clockwise at the Honoree and Speakers’ table: Chita Rivera, Lisa Mordente,
Tom Viola, Lawrence Merritt, Baayork Lee, Peter Pileski, Bob Avian and Joe Tremaine)
Hostess for the evening was Broadway and Off-Broadway Diva Christine Pedi. She regaled the audience with story after story as well as impressions of the great stars singing holiday songs. Tracy Everitt filled in for Legacy Honoree Skip Randall, who was unable to fly in from New Mexico with his wife. Skip was in Call Me Mister and Make Mine Manhattan in the ‘40s with a young upstart named Bob Fosse…
(Chita Rivera – center – with Louise Quick’s sister Ellie and her daughter, Ashley)
Also in the audience, former Legacy Award winners Nicole Barth, Bella Malinka, Ken Urmston, Larry Fuller, George Marcy, Harvey Evans, Joe Tremaine, Lee Roy Reams and Norma Doggett-Bezwick. Members roamed the tables finding old friends they hadn’t seen in decades. And our newest – and youngest – board members, Roger Ellis and Bethany Elkin, were on hand to help out with our video set-up and round up loads of volunteers from Marymount Manhattan College. It’s so important for the younger generation of theater and dance students to understand the importance of the history, legacy and lives of our community.
Our volunteers for the evening – l to r, DO40 member Lawrence Leritz, Marymount Manhattan College students Tim Allen, Allison Scott, Liane Zelinski, Katrina Colletti and new board members – and teachers at Marymount – Bethany Elkin and Roger Ellis. Not pictured, DO40 members Leni Anders, Diana Baffa-Brill and Eileen Casey, and DO40 Board Members Teddy Kern, James Dybas, and Gitana Garcia)
The special honorary award to Tom Viola was so very important, as BC/EFA has played a central role in the growth of DO40, and with their yearly funding, have allowed us to produce the panels and performances we have today. We are like a sister organization, giving back when we can, through our dance concerts and at the BC/EFA Flea Market every year. DO40 has donated over $10,000.00 to BC/EFA in the seven years we have participated in that event.
(Hostess Christine Pedi, along with Harvey Evans, speak the praises of BC/EFA Executive Director Tom Viola)
Also in the audience... Patti Lupone and Matt Johnston, John Breglio, Patricia and Bert Michaels, Denise and Steve Boockvor, Marianne Selbert Troy and hubby Hector, Steve Jones and Valarie Pettiford of the Verdon/Fosse Legacy, LLC, Carol Maxwell, Felicia Velasco, Lori Tan Chinn, Roseana Mineo, Jodi Moccia, Frank Davis, Rose Dennis (in from Pennsylvania), Kim Greenberg (in from Rhode Island), Karin Baker, Carolyn Kirsch, Penny Worth, Ellen Fluhr, Mary Six Rupert, Loida Santos and cast members from every 1950s, 60s and 70s show imaginable! An impressive crowd. An impressive evening!
DO40 is so fortunate to have a membership of such dedicated people!
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Life is Beautiful! The Girls are Beautiful! The Audience was Beautiful! The Show was Stunning! DO40’s Biggest – and Best – Panel and Performance!
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Joel Grey, Sandy Duncan, Don Correia, Marge Champion, Donna McKecknie and Ben Vereen.
Monday, October 21st was a luminous night for DO40, panelists, performers – and especially the sold-out audience who attended Dancers Over 40’s latest panel and performance, this time honoring Director/Choreographer Ron Field. Along with seven members from the original production, on hand were Marge Champion, Sandy Duncan & Don Correia, Joel Grey, Donna McKechnie, Lee Roy Reams and Ben Vereen. A star-studded night, indeed for DO40!
Video clips from Ron’s shows were interspersed with performance pieces by the CABARET cast, Donna McKechnie, and the “Dueling Duanes,” Lee Roy Reams, Harvey Evans and Lawrence Merritt, all of whom portrayed Duane in APPLAUSE.
Cast members from the original Broadway version of CABARET: Marianne Selbert, Bert Michaels,
Patricia Michaels, Rita O’Connor, Carol Hanzel, Steve Boockvor and
Bonnie Walker – staged by Marianne Selbert – with their “original selves” shown in the background!
The panel segments whisked by – no one noticed 3 ½ hours passed! The CABARET cast with the wonderfully honest, witty and direct Joel Grey, and moderators Harvey Evans and Lawrence Merritt; The Fabulous D’honau Sisters – Marilyn, Lillian and Dorothy, Lee Roy Reams – and that was just Act One!
L to R: Marianne Selbert, Patricia Michaels, Bert Michaels, Moderator Harvey Evans,
Joel Grey, Moderator Lawrence Merritt, Rita O'Connor, Steve Boockvor, Bonnie Walker and Carol Hanzel.
Act Two’s panels included segments with Marge Champion, Sandy Duncan and Don Correia, moderated by Harvey Evans and Marianne Selbert, and insightful discussions with Ben Vereen and Donna McKechnie. Donna led the panelists and performers into a sing along that included songs from ON THE TOWN and CABARET.
L to R: Marilyn D'honau, Lillian D'honau, Dorothy D'honau and Moderator Lawrence Merritt.
The audience was ablaze with the best of the best – DO40 members, Legacy Award honorees, new facebook fans and Friends of Dancers over 40 (FODO 40’s as they are known!). Ben Vereen singled out his ballet teacher from the High School of Performing Arts, 2011 Legacy Award honoree Bella Malinka, and Gary Gendell, Carolyn Kirsch and Legacy honorees Ken Urmston and Nicole Barth were also in attendance, and spoke from the audience with reminiscences of Ron and his work. Fosse biographer and DO40 member Kevin Winkler, Harry Haun, St. Luke’s producer Ed Gaynes, Virginia Seidel and a gaggle more of gypsies going back at least 45 years filled out the crowd.
Harvey Evans, Lee Roy Reams and Lawrence Merritt in front of their younger selves
performing on an Anne Bancroft Special in the 60s.
Special thanks to our new – and youngest -- members from Marymount Manhattan College and Broadway Dance Center, teachers and students, Roger Ellis, Bethany Elkin, Tim Allen, Kevin Breseley and BDC blogger Mary Callahan, none of them over 30 – but all of them involved in DO40 to learn about the History, Legacy and Lives of the performers, choreographers and artists who came before them.
Act I Finale, APPLAUSE, with Harvey Evans, Lee Roy Reams
and Lawrence Merritt leading the cast members of Act I.
From DO40 member Karin Baker: “It was a fabulous event! It was a pleasure to help take tickets and just to hug so many older dancers!!! Thanks so much Harvey and Larry for making it a dream come true. I felt very proud and happy to be counted as a dancer who has a legacy to offer along with all those talented people on stage. We were all a part of something special that doesn't happen today. I must have hugged over fifty people last night!!! I never had the pleasure of working with Ron, but I had worked with almost everyone who was up there. I auditioned for Ron when I was eighteen and almost got a job at the Latin Quarter. Now I wish I had actually gotten the job. But I do remember how much fun his audition was. It felt last night like he had the right and proper send off! Thanks DO40, for making it happen!!!”
Ben Vereen waxes nostalgic about Ron Field and his Emmy Winning TV Special,
with Harvey Evans and Marianne Selbert.
From new DO40 member Barbara Wasson: “I just wanted to tell you how wonderful the tribute to Ron Field was the other night! I'm still trying to take it all in because it was so incredible. To be in the company of so many talented people, people who have inspired and entertained me since I was a little girl; to spend an evening extolling the amazing art of dance and choreography; it was nourishment to my soul! Everyone was so friendly and delightful. It's a privilege to be a part of this fun organization. If you ever need someone to stuff envelopes, lick stamps or run for coffee, I would be an enthusiastic volunteer. Again, thank you so much.”
Don Correia and Sandy Duncan.
From DO40 Board Member James Dybas: “What a terrific evening! Everyone was saying that it was the best ever. I have to say, Harvey Evans did a great job tonight, he really kept it moving and knew exactly when to stop a panel discussion and move on. He really does his homework!”
Act II Finale from ON THE TOWN and CABARET, led by Donna McKechnie.
From DO40 member Leni Anders: “It really was a spectacular event – and worked well being at 7:00pm. It was the best organized event we’ve had, and really ran smoothly…. Congratulations – they get better every time.”
Curtain Call with the Cast (Joel Grey and Ben Vereen absent).
MEMBERS - See Videos of this event now!
View 121 Photos of this event!
MEMBERS - CLICK HERE to view the videos of the concert!
Everyone - Click here to view 227 photos of the concert
Download full cast list
Curtain Call/Finale with Tony Sheldon, Carol Lawrence, DO40 Prez John Sefakis and Liliane Montevecchi
THE STORY OF OUR LIVES
Hosted by Carol Lawrence,
DO40 ends the 2012 - 2013 season on the highest note!
Another year, another performance! And another lovely hosting gig by the luscious Carol Lawrence, and featuring new member Liliane Montevecchi, and long-time member Tony Sheldon….and the Paul Taylor Dance company and a Margo Sappington Ballet…and much, much more!
This was one of the most diverse entertainments DO40 has ever produced. The evening was a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Dance for PD® (Parkinson’s Disease), housed at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn. There was tap, jazz, ballet, modern, songs, duets, trios, and comedy… Tonight! (well, last week).
Opening Number: The Story of Our Lives, featuring (l to r on barre: Nicole Barth,
Tom Sinibaldi, Joy Serio Dunbar, Donna Rubin, Stas Kmiec, Michael Gorman,
Elen Fluhr, Troy Barnes; center, Ron Young Marilyn D’honau and Diane Nicole)
The evening was a benefit for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Dance for PD® (Parkinson’s Disease), housed at the Mark Morris Dance Center in Brooklyn. There was tap, jazz, ballet, modern, songs, duets, trios, and comedy… Tonight! (well, last week). Margo Sappington and Mark Stuart provided two outstanding duets, “Fly Me” and “Night and Day,” that wowed the audience with their lifts and fabulous choreography.
Fly Me: Sarah O’Gleby and Adam Perry
Night and Day: Veronika Verterich and Vitali Krauchenka
And to promote DO40’s Legacy Project, hostess Carol Lawrence introduced the G.I. Jive, performed by DO40 members Bambi Jones, Juliet Ewing and Mary Lou Barber. This number, an excerpt from a longer, Johnny Mercer Songbook directed by DO40 member Karin Baker, was performed at the Lilian Booth Actors Home in NJ for their residents. (Choreography by cast member (not shown) Patti Mariano.) The Legacy Project seeks opportunities for DO40 members to perform, do workshops and speak at colleges, universities and arts organizations around the country.
“Guys -- I really didn't anticipate how much fun I would have doing the benefit this year. Thank you for asking me, and let me know if I can ever help again.”
Two different kinds of solos moved the audience in much different ways. Troy Barnes’ 2 Tears in a Bucket was a roller coaster of emotions, while Tony Sheldon lamented in song the travails and pitfalls of the “universal” Dancer over 40.”
Left: Two Tears in a Bucket - Troy Barnes
Right: What’s a Boy Supposed to Do? - Tony Sheldon
DO40 was honored to have the Paul Taylor Dance Company join us this year. The excerpt from “Cloven Kingdom” was impeccably danced by members of his company. A special thank you to Mr. Taylor for his largesse.
Cloven Kingdom: Michael Trusnovec, Robert Kleinendorst, James Samson and Sean Mahoney
For a taste of humor, or as one could describe it, a choreographic comic dialogue, the effervescent Claire Porter (from last year’s “Lady Lamp”) gathered a band of her merry men (and women) for an inside look at air travel, before – or after – the Sequester!
At the Gate: Jim Martin, Matt Buffalo, Susan Thomasson, Claire Porer and Sabatino Verlezza.
Always stunning, the beautiful Karine Plantadit, a new DO40 member, performed an original piece by choreographer Christopher Huggins. Karine performed in both Twyla Tharp shows on Broadway, MOVIN’ OUT and the Sinatra COME FLY AWAY.
Blue Lady: Karine Plantadit
Click here to read the rest of the article on The Story of Our Lives event.
A FUN EVENING OF TAP AND TALK,
HONORING JUNE TAYLOR & THE ROCKETTES!
Members Only - Click here to view 19 Videos of the Event
Click here to view the 74 Photos of this Event
They said it couldn’t be done. They said nobody could do it! Yes, TAP! was back again at St. Luke’s Theater and on the DO40 agenda, filled with performances and panel discussion, with plenty of video…and live “dish” for every dance and theater enthusiast to savour!
The Curtain Call!
Rare 50’s and 60’s footage of the June Taylor Dancers was provided by Craig Horwich, June Taylor’s nephew (Marilyn Taylor was his mother, Jackie Gleason his stepfather). Craig is head of Jackie Gleason Enterprises, and Jackie played an important role in the career of June Taylor. Panelists Mercedes Ellington, Diana Baffa Brill, Jane Defalco, Karen Prunzik and Horwich recalled the days of the June Taylor Dance School on 56th & Broadway, where just about everyone took class – ballet, tap, jazz, modern – you name it.
Setsuko Maruhashi, Kimberley Corp, Eileen Woods, Mary Lilygren Kane,
Katherine Corp and Madeline Jaye
The Rockettes panel – and performers -- stuffed the stage of St. Luke’s like a Carnegie Deli pastrami sandwich! Ann Murphy, Mary Six Rupert, Jean Preece, Jennifer Jiles, Joyce Nolen, Maryelle Scilla, Sandy Scilla Gendell, Jeri Kansas, Dottie Bell, Lillian Colon (the first Latina Rockette), Eileen Woods, Madeline Jaye, Mary Lilygren Kane, Setsuko Maruhashi (the first Asian Rockette), Kimberley Corp and Katherine Corp, six of whom performed a precision and unison dance to, what else? New York, New York!
Go Into Your Dance, with Lee Roy Reams, James Dybas, Karen Prunzik,
Karen Calloway, Kathy Callahan and Gabriela Zucckero
Performances abounded! A snappy Spanish tap number, featuring Linda Rose Iennaco, Barbara Massey and Kathy Conry, a recreation of Go into Your Dance from 42ND STREET, with Lee Roy Reams, Karen Prunzik, James Dybas, Karen Calloway, Kathy Callahan, and Gabriela Zucckero, and the solo, star 11pm slot (at 10:45 – we finished on time!) with Luke Spring, the 9-year old tap prodigy from A CHRISTMAS STORY.
Mary Six Rupert, Jennifer Jiles, Lillian Colon, Maryellen Scilla, Dottie Bell,
Sandy Scilla Gendell, Joyce Nolen, Jeri Kansas, Jean Preece and Ann Murphy!
Kudos to Karin Baker for organizing, compiling and rounding up these bevvy of beauties! Moderators Harvey Evans, Mary Six Rupert and Lee Roy Reams led the panels. And the audience was included in the discussion, with a shout out to the tappers/performers in the audience right before intermission.
June Taylor Panelists Mercedes Ellington, Diana Baffa-Brill,
Craig Horwich, Jane Defalco and Karen Prunzik
Most special moment of the evening: Before Craig Horwich left to fly back to Chicago, he thanked us for honoring his aunt, saying that this is the way she – and his mother -- would like to be remembered, by their peers and fellow dancers. Priceless.
Craig Horwich, with the original Plaque from outside the June Taylor Studio, NYC
…and Dapper Tapper, Luke Spring
Dancers Over 40 is dedicated to preserving the History, Legacy and Lives of our creative community, while sharing the knowledge with the younger generation just beginning their careers. To that end, the event was videotaped and donated to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at Lincoln Center’s Library for the Performing Arts.
The Lovely Ladies of Spanish Tap: Kathy Conry, Linda Rose Iennaco and Barbara Massey
MORE DO40 NEWS!!
Our Facebook page continues to be hugely popular, with over 31,000 fans as of this newsletter. Please, look us up at www.facebook.com/dancersover40, post your thoughts, events you think are appropriate for our community, and remember to visit the page often! Our Facebook presence is another way that you and DO40 can continue to promote the History, Legacy and Lives of our members, friends and fans!
We’re always looking for volunteers! DO40 is always on the lookout for members with sales and marketing skills, accounting, fundraising and PR, as well as writing skills. If you think you can help, just call our DO40 Hotline (212-330-7016) and leave a message or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. And please let us know if you think you could contribute to a panel or social event! We can’t possibly know all the talents of our members, so please give us a call or call our Hotline and let us know your interest in our upcoming events. They are always announced yearly, so there is plenty of time to develop ideas and decide on participation. We can’t do it without you! But if we don’t hear from you, we’re hoping you will participate by attending all of our events. And please tell your friends and fellow dancers!
Membership dues are just $45.00 annually for NY/NJ/CT residents and $35.00 out of the area. We now have our member-only site, so it will be increasingly important to be a member – wherever you live. We’re working to get you the best “bang” out of your dance buck in these tough times. This year, the DO40 membership discount code is on the back of your membership card, good for all events and our member only site. Just go to www.dancersover40.org and click on the JOIN/DONATE button where you can pay by credit card with Paypal. You may also download the membership form and mail in a check if you don’t prefer the Paypal option.
Our ARTSWorkplace page on our website is really working! We had three casting directors call us and post auditions for our members this year! The feedback from those who were chosen was great! If you haven’t sent in a headshot to be posted on ARTSWorkplace, please email or snail mail one as soon as possible. Please include a resume as well, which we will keep on file and not disclose without your approval.
And our Legacy Project is up and running! As you saw from the brochure included in your membership renewal mailing, we have revived this very important DO40 educational tool. We are looking for those who have teaching, speaking and performance abilities and DO40 will do the promotional outreach to universities, colleges and arts organizations around the nation. So it’s no matter if you are in Missouri (Hi, Billie Mahoney!) or in Hawaii (Hi, Dorothy and Bobbie!), Connecticut (the lovely Carolyn Kirsch) or New Jersey (her partner in CHICAGO crime, Penny Worth), we will promote you and your History, your Legacy and your Lives to educate and entertain in as many venues as we can find!
SO YOU THINK YOU CAN TAP?
TRY CLASSES WITH DO40 MEMBER LINDA ROSE IENNACO!
And bring your DO40 Membership Card for a 10% discount!
Panelist, performer and tap teacher Linda Rose Iennaco has announced her tap classes for the Fall, and is offering DO40 members a 10% discount to all her classes (Jazz, too!) Go to www.danceandfitness.net for more information!
TAP Basics: Wednesdays - at Studios 353, 353 West 48th St. 2nd Floor
TAP Advanced: Saturdays - 10:00 to 11:10 at Studios 353, 353 West 48th St. 2nd Floor
Patrick Wenning offers DO40 members Physical Therapy discount
DO40 continues its ARTSLegacy series honoring all of our members. These written transcripts will also be donated to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, and eventually into a compilation suitable for publishing. This is an added benefit for people who do not live in the tri-state area, or who are in NYC and might not be able to participate in our panels. This month we present Teak Lewis. We invite other DO40 members to volunteer their writing/interviewing skills and join us in this new venture. These interviews can be done by phone, so no need for interviewers to travel – or for members wherever they are in the country to dress up for the interview! Call the DO40 hotline at 212-330-7016 or email us at email@example.com if you are interested!
Click Here to read our latest ARTSLegacy interviews!