Charisse, Reynolds, Etc. to Honor June Allyson in LA, 11/2
A bevy of MGM film greats will gather November 2 in Hollywood to salute stage and cinema veteran June Allyson. The program, entitled Hollywood Salutes June Allyson with Legends of the Silver Screen, will include appearances by Cyd Charisse, Gloria DeHaven, Kathryn Grayson, Margaret O'Brien, Debbie Reynolds, and Esther Williams.
The reunion of these legendary performers will be produced by Paul Ryan and Karen G. Cadle, the same duo behind SAG's Celebrity Master Class series.
"June Allyson has the distinction of being one of the undisputed original industry icons. After starting out on Broadway, she was soon discovered by Hollywood, and established herself as one of the brightest stars in the remarkable stable of talent at MGM studios and would become one of the first top motion picture stars to have her own weekly television show, 'The Dupont Show with June Allyson,'" according to press materials.
Allyson passed away in July of this year; she was 88 years old. The actress made her Broadway debut in the 1938 revue Sing Out the News, and then performed in the ensemble of the Jerome Kern-Oscar Hammerstein II musical Very Warm for May and the Richard Rodgers-Lorenz Hart musical Higher and Higher. She was in the chorus of Cole Porter's Panama Hattie, but also understudied Betty Hutton. When Hutton came down with the measles, Allyson went on and made a favorable impression on legendary director George Abbott, who cast her as "Minerva" in the hit 1941 show Best Foot Forward. She would head to Hollywood for the 1943 film version, and launch on her film career (she had earlier appeared in some films as a young dancer). She returned to Broadway once more, in 1968, as a replacement performer in the hit play Forty Carats.
Allyson appeared in over five dozens film and TV shows. Among her films were movie musicals such as Girl Crazy, Two Sisters from Boston, Till the Clouds Roll By, Good News and The Opposite Sex. She had one of her most notable roles with Jo March in 1949's Little Women; other credits included The Bride Goes Wild, The Three Musketeers, The Glenn Miller Story, Executive Suite, a 50s remake of My Man Godfrey, and A Stranger in My Arms . From the 1960s, she appeared in mostly TV shows and TV movies, including "The Incredible Hulk," "The Love Boat" and "Murder, She Wrote."
The reunion will take place at the El Portal Theatre, located at 5269 Lankershim Blvd. (818) 508-4200. Tickets for the Thursday, November 2nd event are $40, and are available by calling (818) 995-1048, or by e-mailing Karen@karencadleinternational.com. The evening begins at 7:30 PM. Arrivals at 6:30 PM. A VIP champagne/dessert reception will follow with 40s era attire optional.