HAPPY 86th BIRTHDAY

Today we send happy 86th birthday wishes to Hollywood star Tab Hunter!  

A product of Hollywood’s Golden Era, Tab Hunter became Hollywood’s “golden boy” and starred in over 40 feature films. One of Hunter’s first films for Warner Bros was The Sea Chase (1955), supporting John Wayne and Lana Turner. Oblivious to his sexuality, Hunter remained the all-American boy-next-door who guys envied and girls desired during the 1950s and 1960s. Being so popular that when he recorded a song called “Young Love”  it knocked Elvis Presley off the top of the charts and prompted the creation of Warner Records today known as Warner Music Group, as well as the purchase, by Jack Warner, of a popular baseball musical from Broadway for Hunter to star in. “Warner, as a gift, bought Damn Yankees! for me,” he notes in his biography Tab Hunter Confidential: The Making of a Movie Star, adding how much he enjoyed working with his costars, the assistant director Stanley Donen and choreographer Bob Fosse.

Joe Hardy a lovestruck baseball player portrayed by Tab Hunter on screen in 1958 for the Warner Bros movie musical Damn Yankees opposite leading lady Gwen Verdon as Lola the Devil’s seductress assistant. Lola was is the Tony Award winning character Verdon originated on Broadway with future husband and choreographer Bob Fosse.

Below is Tab Hunter’s heartfelt recollection of first seeing Verdon perform live with Jack Cole’s dance troupe in a Los Angeles nightclub and then working with Gwen filming Damn Yankees.

Thoughts of Gwen…

I first laid eyes on Gwen at Ciro’s night club on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood. She had become the talk of the town as the lead dancer with the very exciting Jack Cole Dancers. I was hypnotized by her red hair whirling above those beautiful, long legs that seemed to start at her neck and go on forever. I have never forgotten that evening. At the time I was still in high school with no aspirations to be an actor.

A few years later I was under contract to Continue reading

Gwen Verdon, Marvin’s Room Miramax Films 1996

The life-affirming reminder of the gift we give ourselves when we love unconditionally is Marvin’s Room, Scott McPherson’s dramatic comedy about two estranged sisters who are forced back into each other’s lives by health crisis. The play has been presented in many incarnations, including an Off Broadway run in 1991, a year before Mr. McPherson’s death from AIDS complications at age 33, before his 1992 death he finished writing the screenplay later produced by Robert De Niro with Miramax Films in 1996. The seminal play has not been performed on a Broadway stage since. This month on 42nd street the Roundabout Theatre Company opens Marvin’s Room at the American Airlines Theatre.

In honor of the June 29th Marvin’s Room play revival we visit film scenes from the 1996 motion picture directed by Jerry Zaks with actress Gwen Verdon playing Ruth Wakefield, Marvin’s sister, starring award winning actors Meryl StreepLeonardo DiCaprioContinue reading

“On the Riviera” Gwen Verdon 1951

Version 2

Gwen Verdon in solo Stage dance performance On the Riviera, 1951

On the Riviera, 1951 20th Century Fox, directed by Walter Lang

Please join Verdon Fosse Legacy Wednesday, January 20, 7pm at the All That Jack (Cole) MOMA film series for a screening of On the Riviera with introduction by Nicole Fosse.

On the Riviera, 1951 starring Danny Kaye, Gene Tierney, Corinne Calvet, and Gwen Verdon. 89 min.

Though unbilled in the main credits, Cole protégée Gwen Verdon features prominently in this dance-rich Fox Technicolor movie, as she leads nominal star Danny Kaye on a world-dance tour that includes Cole’s signature version of Hindu jazz in “Rhythm of a New Romance.” Cole’s dark side surfaces in the creepy, pseudo-whimsical “Popo the Puppet.” As Busby Berkeley had done 20 years earlier, Cole completely commandeers the mise en scène from the mediocre director of record for an amazing finale, aptly titled “Happy Ending.”

Version 2Gwen Verdon & Danny Kaye in On the Riviera, 1951

All That Jack (Cole) MOMA Film series

January 20–February 4, 2016

The choreographer Jack Cole (American, 1911–1974) stands Continue reading

Remembering

Today we remember the accomplishments of a Broadway star, Tony Award – winning actor and Tony Award – nominated director, Roger Rees (May 1944 – July 2015).  Last week at exactly 7:45pm for one minute the marquees of Broadway theatres in New York were dimmed in his memory.BobFosseRogerReesCover

Studio promotional press photograph reading “ILLUSION AND REALITY – Director Bob Fosse shares a moment with Roger Rees who plays film director Aram Nicholas in Bob Fosse’s  Star 80 Warner Bros.”

Roger Rees began his film career in 1983 when Bob Fosse cast him opposite Mariel Hemingway as director Aram Nicholas in Star 80.  A film about the tragic life and death of Playboy Playmate Dorothy Stratten. His last Broadway appearance was the starring role of Anton Schell in The Visit, opposite Chita Rivera, which opened 23 April 2015.

Star80LobbyCardReesCharlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, said, “We are so fortunate that Roger Rees has graced our stages through the Continue reading

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” Continue reading

Happy Birthday Michael York! “Cabaret” film lobby cards, 1972

Today we send happy birthday wishes to star Cabaret actor Michael York born March 27, 1942. British writer Brian Roberts was Michael York’s title character role in Bob Fosse’s 1973 eight time Academy Award winning musical film Cabaret. The film is set in 1931 Berlin and the Kit Kat Klub where Liza Minnelli is entertainer Sally Bowles and Joel Grey plays the Emcee.

Pictured below are five promotional printed Cabaret (United Artists, 1972) movie theater display lobby cards featuring Michael York with his co-stars Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey, each measuring 11 x 14 inches overall.

MichaelYorkCabaretA

Continue reading

Bob Fosse “Everybody loves a winner! Cabaret … Winner of 8 Academy Awards!” 1973

The 45th annual Academy Awards were televised live by NBC on Tuesday March 27th 1973.  The ceremony’s Best Directing Oscar statuette was bestowed to Bob Fosse for his film Cabaret.

“WINNER OF 8 ACADEMY AWARDS”

Cabaret (Allied Artists, R-1974). One sheet publicity promotional two color printed movie theater poster measuring 27 X 41 inches overall.

Cabarat8AcademyAwardsFB Continue reading

Bob Fosse “All That Jazz” film dance scenes, 1979

Tonight there will be an All That Jazz screening as part of the Dance on Camera Film Festival 2015 at Lincoln Center, Walter Reade Theater: 165 West 65th Street. Running approximately 123 minutes, 1979 wide release.

eight dance scenes, original All THAT JAZZ film lobby cards.

“Bye Bye Life” Choreographer Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider)

AllThatJazzHand

Continue reading

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Bob Fosse!

Robert Louis “Bob” Fosse born June 23, 1927
“Bob Fosse Fine Tuned”BobTunedTVBWWeb

LIFE magazine 1986 as published pages 26 and 27 Volume 9, Number 13

Cabaret, All That Jazz, Pippin, Sweet Charity, Lenny, Star 80, Dancin’, Liza with a Z (for television). Film director, choreographer actor, dancer, writer. Driven. workaholic, enigmatic. Continue reading