Jack Cole rocks Rita Hayworth’s world in “Tonight and Every Night” (1945) 1

Dance · Film
The ditty she sings is inane (remember, it was the War!) and the costume is not her greatest. But Rita Hayworth does her thing prettily enough. Life changes when a monster-dancer joins her on stage — Jack Cole. Choreographers: Pay attention @ 1:43.  That is how to make an entrance — sliding in on your ...

Marie Bryant put a bun in Betty Grable’s oven 5

Dance · Film
The silken jazz dancer, Marie Bryant (1919-1978), seen here jiving with the great Harold Nicholas, was, for a time, rehearsal assistant to Jack Cole. That’s interesting. Cole’s performance group was all white. It wouldn’t be otherwise. But he clearly relied on Bryant for special tasks. Asked what she did for Jack Cole, Bryant replied,  “I ...

Dueling bio-pics: right-wing ladies on parade

While delighting in Meryl Streep’s microscopic replication of Margaret Thatcher’s facial tics and bug-eyed pronouncements in “The Iron Lady,” do not neglect a prior film, “The Reagans,” which stars the great Aussie actress, Judy Davis. “The Reagans,” a hugely fun, educational and entertaining docu-drama, dates from 2003. The massively ambitious undertaking, a made-for-television movie, traces ...

John Singer Sargent dresses Rita Hayworth for “Put the Blame on Mame” 2

Dance · Fashion · Film
“The designer Jean Louis, supposedly inspired by John Singer Sargent‘s famous portrait of the décolleté Madame X, created for Miss Hayworth a fetishistic black satin strapless gown, with elbow-length gloves, and the dance director Jack Cole devised the strip-tease routine in which she flung those gloves to her audience. The director, Vidor, expected the filming ...

Quiz: Find Tippi Hedren in the photo 1

It was quite a moment, on TCM Classic Cruise, when the stars & celebs gathered on deck for the launch of the Celebrity “Millenium,” … and out waltzed Tippi Hedren, beyond fabulous in a zebra-striped cruise outfit. Tippi just pops out of this fun foto, which also features Ernest Borgnine, Eva Marie Saint, Robert Osborne, ...

To Palm Desert to see Janet Jackson

After a weird and crazy night of windstorms in Los Angeles, we’re departing power-free Los Feliz and heading into the sandstorms of the California desert, east of Palm Springs. An amazing experience awaits us; we’re seeing Janet Jackson perform in a very small and intimate space, the McCallum Theatre of Palm Desert. Stay tuned to ...

Let’s learn about marvelous Myrna Loy

Very much looking forward to an upcoming “Evening at the Barn” program  … it’s a book talk concerning the gorgeous Myrna Loy. Loy projected such an interesting persona — I want to learn how the super-sophisticate, Nora Charles, evolved out of a woman born in Helena, Montana. In my next life, for your information, I ...

Michael Jackson visited Martha Graham studio 2

Dance · Music
“And then he’d have to go back to whatever he’d go back to. And it just went wrong. Who knows what happened?” Michael Jackson lived the life he lived. He navigated a tangle of destiny and choice, as do we all. Jackson was born into a certain family, a certain fate, and he was a ...

Academy to celebrate Vanessa Redgrave in London Nov 13

This Sunday in London, Meryl Streep, Ralph Fiennes, Joely Richardson, James Earl Jones and Eileen Atkins will honor the magnificent British actress, Vanessa Redgrave, in the first-ever European tribute to an actor by the Los Angeles-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The evening is dedicated to celebrating Redgrave’s elegant and soulful dramatic range ...

Dancers we love …Tanaquil LeClercq 1

Tanaquil LeClercq, American ballerina (1929 – 2000). Watching the “American Masters” docu on Jerome Robbins and learning of the close friendship and artistic relationship between Robbins and LeClercq … then finding this Irving Penn study of the New York City Ballet ballerina, who was a great natural beauty.