At “Oscars Outdoors,” gentlemen still prefer blondes 1

Dance · Film
It was a super-special 60th anniversary screening, at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Science’s “Oscars Outdoors” summer series, of 20th Century-Fox’s comic classic from 1953, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” the movie that blasted off the career of Marilyn Monroe. And the flick’s funnier than ever. Lead actresses Monroe and Jane Russell zing out hilarious ...

George Chakiris to introduce GENTLEMEN at Academy; Debra Levine to discuss Jack Cole

Dance · Film
Sixty years after appearing as a chorus dancer behind Marilyn Monroe in “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” George Chakiris will host the Academy’s “Oscars Outdoors” screening of GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES Saturday night, August 3, 2013. In the photo at right we see George, a young man with fake grey highlights spraypainted in his hair. ...

That pink dress! Costuming Marilyn Monroe for “Diamonds”

Dance · Fashion · Film
At right, Travilla‘s design for Marilyn’s iconic pink dress in “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” from GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) whose 60th anniversary we are honoring with a screening at the Academy’s “Oscars Outdoors” series Saturday August 3. The classy pink dress, lined with felt, was a replacement design for an original, much less ...

Jack Cole, Hollywood director 2

Dance · Film
On the camera crane works Jack Cole (in white sweater, click photo for detail), directing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend,” exactly as he did for all four GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) dance numbers (Two Little Girls From Little Rock, Ain’t There Anyone Here for Love, When Love Goes Wrong, Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best ...

George Chakiris remembers West Side Story in advance of 50th anniversary screening @ Hollywood Bowl

Dance · Film
Prior to next week’s “West Side Story” night at the Hollywood Bowl — a screening of the ten-Oscar-winning, Bernstein-Robbins-Sondheim-Laurent film celebrating its 50th year anniversary — it’s a great pleasure to post L.A. renaissance guy Tom Gregory‘s lovely interview with Bernardo, er… the wonderful George Chakiris. At the Bowl, the Los Angeles Philharmonic will play ...

Jack Cole & Marilyn Monroe reunite at Jacob’s Pillow

Dance · Film
It was my great honor to join a panel at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival on Saturday, August 14, 2010, to honor the peerless jazz choreographer Jack Cole, whom I revere and about whom I have written. As a former Denishawn dancer, Cole had a distinct history at “The Pillow.” Here I contribute a snippet about Cole’s choreography for Marilyn Monroe ...

Jane Russell remembers “Gentleman” Jack Cole 2

Dance · Film
“Yes,” answered Jane Russell last Wednesday evening, nodding emphatically when asked if choreographer Jack Cole had directed the dance sequences in Howard Hawks’s “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” (1953). Russell’s brown eyes flashed and she became animated on hearing Cole’s name. The brunette bombshell of the 1940/50’s, appearing at a Hollywood Heritage event this past week, chatted ...

Marilyn dances . . . 1

Dance · Film
The first man to impersonate Marilyn Monroe may well have been her dance coach, Jack Cole. Anticipating the iconic Marilyn, he brought out her exceptional femininity through dance. Monroe copied him in return. A star was born. Monroe’s six-movie collaboration with Cole began with 1953’s “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” the breakthrough film that made her a ...