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 and company also headlined at New York’s Rainbow Room, Chicago’s Chez Paree, and the impeccable Ciro’s on the Sunset Strip. Club-goers by the thousands grappled with the intensity of Cole’s signature mash-up of East Indian dance with jazz. Then suddenly it was over, and few heard of him again.
In a talk by arts•meme‘s Debra Levine, a fellow at The Center for Ballet and the Arts, you’ll revisit a world disappeared, where starting in 1934 Jack Cole brought concert dance to night clubs.
* * *
“Jack Cole, Whose Jazz Choreography Electrified American Night Clubs”| The Center for Ballet and the Arts, 20 Cooper Square, New York City | Oct 25, noon, luncheon served | RSVP here