Meet Marilyn Meme•roe

Dance · Film · Language & ideas
From Wikipedia: Memetics is a theory of mental content based on an analogy with Darwinian evolution, originating from the popularization of Richard Dawkins’ 1976 book The Selfish Gene. Proponents describe memetics as an approach to evolutionary models of cultural information transfer. The choreographer Jack Cole, a creative genius, had the ability to perpetuate the meme ...

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. ...

Matt (Harold Henry) Mattox, memorialized

Dance · Film · Theater
by 
MATT (Harold Henry) MATTOX b. Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA, August 18, 1921 d. Perpignan, France, February 18, 2013 “I’ve never classified myself as a jazz teacher, I prefer to talk about ‘free-style dancing,’ which means I have a choice of movement for any piece of music,” said Mattox in a 1993 interview. To prepare for his ...

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 ...

Carol Channing, “Gentlemen”‘s original Lorelei

Film
In the video below, the iconoclastic singer-comedienne Carol Channing delivers two songs from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.” She’s playing Lorelei, a role she originated on Broadway. Darryl Zanuck, the studio head of 20th Century Fox studio, did not engage Ms. Channing for the 1952 movie. The plum role went instead to you-know-who — a huge gamble ...

Preparing our Letters of Transit for TCM Classic Cruise 1

Film
The moment arrives soon for the first-ever … er, the first annual Turner Classic Movies TCM Classic Cruise. We fly to Miami on Wednesday and set sail this Thursday for a fun long weekend of floating film geekdom!  Destinations: Key West and Cozumel. Getting our letters of transit in order is a huge challenge — ...

Please do not discriminate.

Film
Like “Gentlemen”? Read more: Girl power

Ronni Chasen’s restaurant renaming

Architecture & Design · Film
Gaining her first p.r. experience by promoting her brother Larry’s blaxploitation movies, Ronni Chasen soon joined the renowned entertainment publicity firm, Rogers & Cowan. The powerful p.r. macher, Warren Cowan, became the young woman’s mentor, and by some accounts, her lover. Urban legend has it that early in their ten-year working relationship, Cowan took his ...

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 ...