Happy 81st Birthday Shirley MacLaine! Charity Hope Valentine “Sweet Charity” film, 1968

Today we send heartfelt happy birthday wishes to Sweet Charity taxi dancer star and Academy Award winning film actress friend Shirley MacLaine born April 24, 1934.

ShirleyMasterAsSweetCFBShirley MacLaine in title role costume as Charity Hope Valentine starring in Bob Fosses celebrated Hollywood roadshow Technicolor musical film Sweet Charity.  Having left shoulder applied tattoo of single arrowed heart reading the name of her no good boyfriend “CHARLIE”.

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Gwen Verdon candid photographs at home, 1960s

Pictured below are three candid black and white photographs of four time Tony award winner Gwen Verdon at her New York City East Side and 91 Central Park West homes.  Gwen Verdon is featured enjoying the company of her two adored white deaf tabby cats, standing outside her gated organic gardening terrace, and window cabinet seated between a figurative pair of Napoleonic soldier cast candlesticks.

GwenWhiteCatsPhotographer emboss stamped lower right reading “GEORGE LAKE N.Y.C.” measuring 8 by 10 inches overall.

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Gwen Verdon “Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus” Sweet Charity, 1966

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus officially announces today that they are eliminating elephant acts from their shows and all elephants will be relocated to their Center for Elephant Conservation.

The circus plans to phase out elephant acts by 2018.  Their 43 elephants will live at the company’s 200-acre Center for Elephant Conservation in central Florida. Twenty-nine animals are already there, and the other 14 will arrive as they are phased out from the circus. Elephant acts have been showcased by Ringling Bros for more than a century.

Pictured below are two original black and white press call or news print publicity photograph proofs featuring Gwen Verdon in full costume as Charity Hope Valentine in the original 1966 Tony award winning Broadway “musical smash” hit Sweet Charity conceived, staged and choreographed by Bob Fosse.  Gwen Verdon is pictured gallantly waving her right arm atop a Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus performance used elephant with side promotional panels reading “Sweet Charity.”GwenRinglingBro Continue reading

Gwen Verdon “She’s a Sweetheart!” Sweet Charity, 1967

Pictured is Gwen Verdon backstage as Charity Hope Valentine during the original Broadway “musical smash” hit Sweet Charity conceived, staged and choreographed by Bob Fosse at the Palace Theatre. Charity is showing a brassiere shoulder strap and wearing a light colored terry cloth robe with noted Broadway Stage Manager Paul Phillips in foreground. The provided 1967 news-wire corresponding press caption does not use the word tattoo, it is described as a “heart painted on her arm” by Phillips. The top center left shoulder hand painted single arrowed heart reads the name of her no good boyfriend “CHARLIE” appearing in Central Park New York City during Scene One, Act I.

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Bob Fosse “Sweet Charity” Choreographer Tony Award, 1966

Overview image of Bob Fosse’s fifth bestowed nickel patina Tony Award medallion reading: “The American Theatre Wing presents to Bob Fosse, Choreographer For Distinguished Achievement in Theatre, “Sweet Charity”, 1965-66.”

FosseSweetCharityTonyMeasuring 3 inches in diameter, mounted on a custom square presentation wall display with black velvet fabric surround. Continue reading

“Big Spender” Fan-Dango Ballroom Girls, 1966

 Good looking, so refined.

BigSpender Brian Cummings colorFeaturing the ten original Sweet Charity girls of the Fan-Dango Ballroom where Charity Hope Valentine works a taxi dancer in the Times Square theater district of New York City. Dancers pictured in colorful full stage costume during celebrated musical number “Big Spender” from Act I, Scene 3 with Helene Gallagher, Thelma Oliver and the Fan-Dango girls. Continue reading

“The Musical Smash at the Palace” Gwen Verdon starring in Sweet Charity, 1966

In 1965, The Nederlanders turned New York City’s famed Palace Theatre into a legitimate theatrical stage for the opening of Sweet Charity starring Gwen Verdon.

Gwen Verdon played the title role of Charity Hope Valentine, a taxi dancer at a dance hall called the “Fan-Dango Ballroom” in Times Square, New York City.

Today the Palace Theatre has 1,740 seats and is one of The Nederlander Organization’s nine Broadway theatres.

Below pictured front cover of the 1966 original Broadway production program of Sweet Charity reading in part: Continue reading

Bob Fosse manuscript Pal Joey, 1963

Bob Fosse’s well-used personal working manuscript having front cover centered handwritten label reading “Pal Joey” and lower right side “Bob Fosse.” This was used by Fosse durring the highly acclaimed 1963 musical theater revival. The original 1940 Pal Joey Broadway production was directed by George Abbott and starred Gene Kelly.

The Pal Joey 1952 revival was met with greater success than the original production. It opened on January 3, 1952 and closed on April 18, 1953, after 540 performances. Bob Fosse was the understudy for Joey Evans.

Then some ten years later in 1963 Pal Joey was produced off-Broadway for 15 performances at New York City Center and starred Bob Fosse as Joey Evans, Viveca Lindfors as Vera, and Kay Medford as Melba.

See Pal Joey manuscript detail label images Continue reading