Backstage brawl for Michael Kidd & Dolores Gray’s mother

Dance · Theater
We’re always looking for good show-biz stories involving the estimable Dolores Gray. Jack Cole, who worked with Gray on several projects — Kismet, Designing Woman among them — had a few select words about Gray … and her mother. In this case, the story concerns Gray’s hiring for Destry Rides Again, the Broadway musical adaptation ...

Dance-trance at Lincoln Center 2

Dance · Language & ideas
Everyone has the right to respond to our crazy age as best they can. And who am I to say that the eighth annual staging of “9/11 Table of Silence Project,” a “prayer for peace and healing” choreographed by Jacqulyn Buglisi for 100+ dancers, is not a valid expression of grief and anguish in still-traumatic ...

Gorgeous! Ruth St. Denis headdress in Denishawn costume show 1

Dance · Fashion
The headdress from Ruth St. Denis’s 1919 Chinese-inspired “Kuan Yin,” with buttons, feathers and artificial pearls. credit David Dashiell for the New York Times. Dance writer Gia Kourlas writes in the New York Times about an exhibit of 30  costumes worn by Denishawn dancers under the aegis of Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn. The ...

Be-thigh-ed themselves in India

Dance · Fashion · Film
What prudes! It’s just a little leg! Okay, it’s a lotta leg…The clipping at bottom is from the Los Angeles Times, Nov 9, 1954.

arts·meme birthday gift from laemmle theatres: $1.00 popcorn!

Dance · Film
At arts·meme, we love Laemmle Theatres. That’s where the good movies are! And we are very appreciative of the nice gesture from the respected theater chain’s head honcho, Greg Laemmle, who extends a special offer to arts·meme newsletter subscribers: $1.00 popcorn! Just print out your newsletter, or bring it on a smart phone, slap down ...

Ain’t there anyone here for love? Ladies, let’s do this! 1

Dance · Film
Okay, Messrs Weinstein, Schneiderman, R. Kelly, Richard Meier, Charlie Rose and the rest of you sexual predator power-guys! Formidable glamazon Marilyn Monroe, in Jack Cole’s “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend” from GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES (1953) wants to share her version of gender politics. A big boomerang of woman power heading your way, back at ...

Dance-dwellers at the Villa Carlotta

Architecture & Design · Dance
When the call came from Hollywood in January 1941, the choreographer Jack Cole, leading his three-member troupe, repaired to Los Angeles tout de suite. So quickly did Cole dispatch his dancers Anna Austin and Florence Lessing to Calilfornia, that Austin wrote in her memoir, “We did not have time to take makeup off.” We had ...

A smoking dance number! ‘Two Cigarettes in the Dark’

Dance · Film · Music
It was so much fun to receive this dance number (above) from our friend the pianist/performer Peter Mintun, a very niche expert in old-tyme American popular music — the stuff of cafe society. The lead tap dancer (unidentified) and chorines deliver performances that can best be described as ‘smoking.’ “Two Cigarettes in the Dark,” by ...

A Jack Cole audition for KISMET (1944)

Dance · Film
The choreographer Jack Cole is most known for his Oriental dance numbers in KISMET (MGM, 1955) directed by Vincente Minnelli. But a decade prior, also at MGM, Cole choreographed KISMET (1944) starring the non-dancer, Marlene Dietrich. Dancer/ballet instructor Joan Bayley, who went on to become choreographer’s assistant to Robert Alton, auditioned for Cole as a ...

Last hurrah, 70 years ago, for Jack Cole at Florida’s Colonial Inn

Dance
Seventy years ago today, February 14, 1948, a display ad for the erstwhile Colonial Inn in Hallandale, Florida, ran in the Ft. Lauderdale News. The Inn was neither colonial nor an inn. It was a “carpet joint,” a boozy, broad-filled gambling joint whose boss man was notorious. The club would soon be closed down by ...