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Original dancers talk about Follies and Company, and Bennett clips

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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
PalJoey's Henry Sweet Henry post reminded me of these clips from the youtube video of the Dancers Over 40 Michael Bennett presentation posted a couple of years back, that I don't believe were mentioned in any of the long Follies, or Company threads. I posted them in his thread, but thought I'd bring it out to its own for anyone who missed it. The entire presentation is on Youtube and worth watching (it's disheartening that for clips, they seemed to have to use what was on youtube, but the stories are great).

I'll just post the chunks that are relevant to these two shows, but for any Bennett, or dance on Broadway fan the whole thing is worth watching sometime you have a few hours to kill. (Thanks PJ for making me think of them! And I had no idea Margot Sappington left Promises Promises, before she could be one of the three Turkey Lurkey girls at the Tonys because she went to choreograph Oh! Calcutta! and dance the nude pas de deux in it, after Bennett recommended her when he finally decided to turn down choreographing it.)

This is from part 8 which is largely about Coco (some good stories about Hepburn)--note that the man on the left--beside Bob Avian and Baayork Lee is Evita, etc, choreography Larry Fuller who Bennett persuaded to move onto choreography. At the 5 minute mark Carolyn Hirsh talks about learning Tick Tock for the national tour of Company and taking over from Donna McKechnie and just how difficult and great the number was:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOFytXEiCeA

which continues here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpXJDrhd-mg where she shows her original costume.

(McKechnie did some of the choreography for the Company anniversary concert which was after her health issues so obviously it's not danced full out--and has no swinging down poles--but you do see some of Music and the Mirror in it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhzU49_IO2o )

The Follies stuff starts here with much praise for Bolero D'Amour (I still think it should never be cut), and working on the show. Everyone seems to think the staging was the best they've ever seen or been in, and the score brilliant (Avian calls Sondheim the modern Mozart), but everyone seems to side with Bennett that the libretto was just too depressing

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LfwRR61UO2A

and continues here (I didn't know it was Michael's idea to join the three numbers at the end of the montage) ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OdjrYD1o-a0

(It goes on from there to Seesaw, Chorus Line, etc)

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EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
TheatreDiva90016 Profile Photo
TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
No need to g bumping your own thread...
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post. <<>> -whatever2
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DAME
Broadway Legend
joined:4/15/04
I had never seen this Diva. Sometimes one just needs a good bump.
HUSSY POWER! ------ HUSSY POWER!
EricMontreal22 Profile Photo
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
The brief Seesaw bit fascinates me (because that show has an odd fascination over me). I had always read that Bennett, out of kindness, kept Grover's name on as co-choreographer when he replaced him, but Grover left, but the cast says he remained on and did some of the numbers himself (I guess because of the rush, they had a lot of people choreographing different numbers)
PalJoey Profile Photo
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
I just love how complicated his relationships were.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
EricMontreal22 Profile Photo
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
Right wasn't Fuller actually his boyfriend and not just roomate as mentioned? I'm sure they didn't wanna get too into all of that out of respect, but...
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Hest88
Chorus Member
joined:6/10/08
Oh Eric, thank you!
EricMontreal22 Profile Photo
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
You're welcome! I know it's been online for a while, but it seems to have flown under the radar, and I think is pretty fascinating (I've watched some of the other videos from the same source--on the men of Fosse and the Peter Gennaro and they are worth checking out, but I think this is the one I found the most fascinating--it's too bad they didn't ask Avian about Scandal! though).

It's interesting that they put so much emphasis on Tick Tock, and Bolero D'Amour--two moments that are so often cut from their respective shows and I think are all too often now considered as being somehow redundant, or at least not important, to the shows, when I think here they make a strong case for, at least in Bennett's choreography, being so integral to the show (as one of the dancers says, Tick Tock basically sums up Company completely in under five minutes). Also had no idea Avian did the original Losing My Mind staging (they probably mention that in Everything Was Possible, and I've forgotten).
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HorseTears
Broadway Legend
joined:3/25/05
I just "discovered" the DancersOver40 videos this weekend. What an amazing resource. It's so wonderful to see these great gypsies discussing their careers.

I just watched the Peter Gennaro series tonight and was shocked to learn how much of the choreography from West Side Story was his. They even read aloud the contract he signed with Jerome Robbins, effectively agreeing that any choreographic work that Gennaro did during the rehearsal/development process for WSS, would be Jerome Robbins' property. Really appalling. I guess Laurents wasn't the only asshole on that creative team.
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CarlosAlberto
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/10
HorseTears can you provide a link the Peter Gennaro series. Is it online? I learned about Gennaro's involvement with WSS through PalJoey. Like most people I thought Robbins did it all and was quite impressed that a white Jewish man really got those latin dances down pat!
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PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
I posted Peter Gennaro's contract with Jerry Robbins in one of the long West Side Story threads.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
HorseTears Profile Photo
HorseTears
Broadway Legend
joined:3/25/05
CARLOSALBERTO: Here's the playlist for the "The Unsinkable Peter Gennaro!": http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLF8498114DE0C38EC

It gets really good after part 12 when Carol Lawrence and Chita Rivera start discussing WSS.

You can see all of Dancers Over 40 playlists here: http://www.youtube.com/user/dancersover40/playlists. I subscribed right after watching that great tribute to Michael Bennett.


PALJOEY: I think I found the thread you're referring to. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing your first-hand view of theatrical history there. It was truly fascinating to read. I skipped lunch just to read through the whole thing! Loved hearing about how dedicated, passionate and respectful Debbie Allen was. Oh, to have been in the room when Chita coached her! Seriously, though, thank you so much for contributing.
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HorseTears
Broadway Legend
joined:3/25/05
ignore. double-post.
Updated On: 1/23/14 at 04:37 PM
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sondheimboy2
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
I read that one of the reasons why Grover was kept on was that Bennett saw Anita Morris (Grover's girlfriend who was assisting him with the show) and wanted her for the show and she might not have stayed if her boyfriend just got canned.
"A coherent existance after so many years of muddle" - Desiree' Armfelt, A Little Night Music "Life keeps happening everyday, Say Yes" - 70, Girls, 70 "Life is what you do while you're waiting to die" - Zorba

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