BOOK REVIEW: ‘Alex Romero, Hollywood Choreographer’

Dance · Film · Reviews
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elvis-jailhouse-850
A new book “The Man Who Made the Jailhouse Rock: Alex Romero, Hollywood Choreographer” by Mark Knowles, briefly reviewed:

Alex Romero was one of the last of the Hollywood Studio staff choreographers who never received the attention or success he deserved. As if his life story is not remarkable enough, his talents were well known and used by Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Jack Cole, Hermes Pan and his credits range from spending time with stars like Janet Legh to help her with her role as a ballerina to creating “Jailhouse Rock” for Elvis Presley. Author Mark Knowles keeps the book warm and wonderful using excepts from the many year’s worth of interviews he had with Mr. Romero and has created a loving and fact-filled tribute. The detailed credits and Chapter Notes are delicious “icing” on this cake.

Let’s have a look at “Jailhouse Rock.”

Review reprinted from Amazon.com

Photo courtesy of Mark Knowles.

 

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Pass half your life with Richard Linklater @ the Aero Theatre!

featured · Film

boyhood-full

Bring your blankie and your bottle of scotch to the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica Friday February 6 for a nearly five-hour movie marathon as the American Cinematheque spools two of director Richard Linklater’s insightful cinematic sagas of the American male.

First up, the “aging in real time” BOYHOOD, a mere 165 minutes. Then follows the much-admired director’s rock-and-pot comedy, DAZED AND CONFUSED (1993), a tidy 102 minutes long.

The director will appear in-person for q&a between the two films.

Attending the Aero evening will itself be a rite of passage. You may be so old when you hobble from the theater, perhaps Linklater will nab a camera capture of your own life gone by you. We’re kidding of course, we loved experiencing “Boyhood” and recommend attending to enjoy one of our most prolific and free thinking filmmakers.

Richard Linklater double feature | Aero Theatre | Feb 6, 7:30 pm


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Dance DNA: The Nicholas Brothers honored at the Alex Theatre 1

Dance · featured · Film

nicolases

What caused these two dancers, each bringing his own qualities and characteristics, to meld and synergize into a ballistic dance unit known as The Nicholas Brothers?

Sly Stone said it best: “It’s a family affair.”

This was the implicit message delivered across an incredibly fun Sunday evening spent with the two handsome and talented gentlemen — on the left the great Harold NIcholas, at right, his big brother by seven years, Fayard Nicholas.

stormy weather The lively event, produced by Tegan Summer of Prospect House Entertainment and hosted by Stan Taffel, was powered by a hearty posse of Nicholas friends, fans and family.

Scions Tony and Paul Nicholas appeared graciously and dancing granddaughters Cathie and Nicole hoofed winningly to live music by Chester Whitmore and the Opus One Orchestra.

Kudos arrived from the likes of director Debbie Allen, tap expert Rusty Frank, choreographer Miriam Nelson, dancer Desmond Richardson and fellow hoofer Dick Van Dyke, the latter transmitted in a charming video.

The tribute enjoyed selections of home movies from the family vault, darling footage of the duo as kid hoofers — they were fantastic dancers from the get-go. The hands-down high point of the evening: footage of Fayard and Harold Nicholas horsing around a movie-studio back lot with a beaming Fred Astaire.

Good god. A troika of greatness.

Thank you, Tonia Barber, for the photo.

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Jerome Robbins, in 1947 the king of high/low art

Dance · featured
Sept. 7, 1947 Ballerinas following the steps of Jerome Robbins, who choreographed
In this photo dated September 7, 1947, choreographer Jerome Robbins coaches chorus kids in ballet. He’s preparing dancers for “High Button Shoes” [music Jule Styne, lyrics Sammy Cahn, book Stephen Longstreet, direction George Abbott, choreography Jerome Robbins]. The show opened October 9 1947 at the Century Theatre on Broadway, then moved to London’s West End ...

The gorgeous sound of Godard’s ‘Goodbye to Language’ 1

featured · Film · Language & ideas
godard-flowers
The handwritten scrawl below comes from the pen of cinéaste-provocateur Jean-Luc Godard. The influential director, still working in his eighties, shares the scenario for his startling new movie, “Goodbye to Language” (“Adieu au langage”), now in an exclusive run at the American Cinematheque’s Aero Theatre through much of next week. Godard’s 43rd film, a ravishing ...

Michael Hayden neon sculpture to pop once more on Pershing Square

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
Generators1d-72dpi-Photo Courtesy of Michael Hayden
Generators of the Cylinder , 1982, Michael Hayden. 270′ x 11′, Cylinders: 4′ x 4′ x 2′, Infrared sensors, holographically etched polycarbonate, stainless steel panels and neon lights Michael Hayden’s iconic light sculpture, “Generators of the Cylinder,” an ultra-bright neon rainbow, will be re-lit for the first time in nearly a decade during a special ...

‘Kinetic Los Angeles’ heralds impact of Russian ballet in California

Dance · featured · Language & ideas
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This startling and marvelous image of a ballerina garbed in an unprecedented and surely unreplicated costume graces the cover of “Kinetic Los Angeles: Russian Emigres in the City of Self-Transformation.” The journal, the 20th edition of the esteemed “Experiment,” has just been published by the Institute of Modern Russian Culture at the University of Southern ...

Killing us softly: Roberta Flack in concert @ Pepperdine

Music
robertaflack
Songstress Roberta Flack, who forged such a striking presence in seventies pop music as a songwriter/performer, will grace the cozy Smothers Theatre stage at Pepperdine University next month in an evening of concert music. She is the first artist to win Grammy Awards in two consecutive years, for “The First Time Ever I Saw Your ...

REVIEW: Daddy Dearest: Chris Lemmon’s touching tribute to Jack

Film · Reviews · Theater
Lemmon_sorokoff
A charming and winsome theatrical evening with a couple of talented Hollywood men … In “Jack Lemmon Returns,” now on through month’s end at the Broad Stage’s intimate “Edye” theater, Chris Lemmon shares his family photo album sprung to life. It’s the actor/musician’s one-man show of memories and anecdotes about his father, the hugely accomplished ...

Learn the rich story of Hollywood’s “Poverty Row” studios

Film
bischoff
We always enjoyed hearing from our friends at Larry Edmunds Bookshop.The Lare is hosting a fun book talk next Saturday by two co-authors, friend of arts·meme Marc Wanamaker and historian E.J. Stephens. The duo’s new paperback tome, “Early Poverty Row Studios” is the latest Arcadia Publishing Images of America volume.Writes “Larry Edmunds:” The history of ...