Alan Johnson / Mel Brooks dance-clips party at the Paley Center 1

Dance · Film
Ed. note: Guest writer Julie McDonald, senior agent and co-founder of McDonald Selznick Associates (MSA), contributes this story about a tribute event for the choreographer Alan Johnson. Sunday evening I attended a career retrospective of the great choreographer, Alan Johnson, held at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. Having attended a prior celebration ...

How George Martin found first dance job — in the Yellow Pages

Dance
Debra Levine lectures on Jack Cole’s “The Gladiators” dancers: Rod Alexander, Jack Cole, George Martin A wonderful sliver of dance history sourced at New York Public Library for the Performing Arts concerns Jack Cole dancer George Martin. Said Martin, in an interview, apropos the start of his dance career: “My mother took me to see ...

Norman Bel Geddes interior-design sketch for Palais Royal

Architecture & Design · Dance
Norman Bel Geddes (American, 1893-1958) Geddes’s design of a dancing couple for the Palais Royal Cabaret Theatre Ca. 1922 Watercolor on paper Courtesy Norman Bel Geddes online database, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin Jack Cole danced at the Palais Royal in December 1933. It was Cole’s first nightclub gig. The building, which ...

Alma would be happy. Celebrating the UCLA dance department, the nation’s first 7

Dance · Reviews
It was nearly an uproar; a spontaneous outpouring of love and appreciation filled the room when the image of Alma Hawkins, the founder and guiding force behind the dance program at UCLA (now called World Arts and Cultures/Dance), was flashed on an on-stage screen. “A Celebration of UCLA Dance 1962-2017” was not the anticipated turgid ...

Dance double to Merle Oberon

Dance · Film
A revealing story captured in a comprehensive oral history conducted for the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, in 2003, with George and Ethel Martin, the two great Jack Cole dancers. Ethel kicks it off, with a small assist from her husband. Ethel: Jack [Cole] told me, ‘I know Kenny [Williams]’. He was ...

Seeking Jack Cole at the Rainbow Room

Architecture & Design · Dance · Music
It was a lovely holiday event, a swellegant affair. First Republic Bank of New York, generous supporters of myriad arts organizations, threw a reception at the Rainbow Room high atop Rockefeller Center. Rocking the Room were the Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats, whose youthful big-band sound boomed beneath the clatter of cocktailers while the crazy ...

Jack Cole’s nightclub act: a talk by Debra Levine Oct 25

Dance · Language & ideas
A review headline screamed, “Cyclone Hits Slapsy Maxie’s.” The performance?  Jack Cole and His Dancers at the Wilshire Boulevard supper club in 1948. In the house: Frank Sinatra, Robert Walker, Jimmy Durante, Lucille Ball, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Jimmy Dorsey, Max Baer. Also attending, according to the review, “Bullets Durgom still without a toupee.” Cole ...

Why and when Ethel Martin started wearing hats

Dance · Theater
Yet another delicious show-business nugget from the plain-spoken Jack Cole dancer Ethel Martin, courtesy of the New York Public Library of the Performing Arts: So out of working for Jack [Cole] at the Casa [the Casa Manana, Billy Rose’s night club] , Jack held auditions for Something for the Boys. He took me. He didn’t ...

Love for Ethel Martin

Dance · Film
Yes, love for Ethel Martin, the career-long Jack Cole dancer whose consistent, forthright and outspoken advocacy for Cole is nourishing my research. I agree with Ethel’s assessment whole-heartedly; she saw in Cole a great Unsung Genius. She devoted her career and all of her feisty spirit to him. In turn, I am doing my best ...

At Central Opera House, Cole choreographed ‘Bonanza Bound’

Architecture & Design · Dance
The former Central Opera House at 205 East 67th Street in New York City, pictured above. Here Jack Cole labored to create dance numbers for a notorious Broadway bomb, Bonanza Bound (1947). The turkey, however, had top talent behind it. A very rare musical flop by  Comden and Green. After their astonishing rise from cabaret ...