Jail bait from Hollywood choreographer Alex Romero

Dance · Film · Reviews
A new book “The Man Who Made the Jailhouse Rock: Alex Romero, Hollywood Choreographer,” author, 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 ...

Dance DNA: The Nicholas Brothers honored at the Alex 1

Dance · Film
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 ...

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

Dance · Language & ideas
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 ...

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

Film · Reviews · Theater
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

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 ...

Mae I entertain you, asks Ms. West

Actress, singer, comedienne, playwright, screenwriter and sex symbol — no, we’re not describing  arts∙meme. Rather, it’s the inimitable movie star Mae West. Movieland’s most provocative purveyor of dirty double-entendres did her job while strapped into an hour-glass figure. West made a name for herself in vaudeville and on the New York stage before moving to ...

Cleopatra enters Rome, courtesy of Hermes Pan 1

Dance · Film
Excerpted from John Franceschina’s recent Hermes Pan biography, On 10 May 1961, Pan worked out an agreement with [“Cleopatra” producer Walter] Wanger in which he would provide choreography for the film at $2,000 a week, guaranteed for no less than fifteen consecutive weeks. In addition, he was guaranteed credit as “Choreography by Hermes Pan” on ...

Merry Christmas, Adolf! ~ love, TCM 3

Dance · Film
Achtung, baby! Righteous programming, this Christmas night, from Turner Classic Movies: choreographer/director Alan Johnson’s TO BE OR NOT TO BE (1984), a remake of the Lubitsch political satire, well selected on this day of off-the-grid distribution of North Korea spoof, “The Interview.” Johnson and the great Mel Brooks collaborated on this promotional video for the ...

Mitchell Leisen’s first design project? A costume for Martha Graham!

Dance · Film
Los Angeles has long been an arts beehive, dating back to the 1910s when modern-dance goddess Martha Graham and film director Mitchell Leisen converged here. We enjoyed receiving this amazing Los Angeles dance-film anecdote from Norton Owen, a friend of arts·meme and the Director of Preservation at Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival. Writes Norton: I am ...

God dances, courtesy of director Charles Walters, on TCM

Dance · Film
Fred Astaire wants to be a dancin’ man in THE BELLE OF NEW YORK (1952). Do you think he succeeds? Part of Turner Classic Movies Friday Night Spotlights devoted to the dancing movies, and more, of director Charles Walters.