BWW Review: Dancers over 40 presents: We're Still Here - BROADWAY BABIES BREAK OUT
The dynamic introductory host for this "Love Fest" was Loni Ackerman. "Song and dance concert to celebrate our 25th Anniversary season (2018 - 2019) and Broadway Cares/Equity fights Aids" (Dancers Over 40 and Friends, 2018). It featured 33 dancers as well as special guests and speakers. Among those memorialized and given special tributes, George Marcy a DO40 board member was eulogized movingly by Carol Lawrence. Ms. Lawrence gave a heartfelt tribute to her mentor, George Marcy. She spoke at length of Marcy's kindnesses and invaluable help within her career. The "star" quality that Ms. Lawrence possesses shone through as she took the stage and told the audience how very important Mr. Marcy had been in her life. He would be truly missed by her and those who knew him well.
Music and lyrics: Jerry Herman
Dedicated to DO40 founder John Mineo
The love and dedication to their craft was evident in the performance of Carolyn Kirsch and Penny Worth. This duo brought to us the best of "song and dance" which is the backbone of Musical Theater. Their voices carried the delight and enthusiasm which characterized their careers. Their choreography was reminiscent of the vaudeville shows that still delight audiences today.
Sweet Georgia Brown
Performers : Gary Flannery and his students
Choreography: Bob Fosse
Gary Flannery and his students were outstanding as they danced in perfect synch. The traditional Fosse white gloves and bowler hats completed a stellar performance as validated by the spontaneous and boisterous applause. I was particularly impressed with the joy and energy that was evident within each performer as they "gave their all" for us.
Performer: Ramon Flowers
Music: Mighty Real, Sylvester, and James Wirrick
Choreography by Sasha Spielvogel with Ramon Flowers
Dedicated to DO40 board member George Marcy
Ramon Flower's Drag Queen persona held the audience spellbound throughout his dancing. The powerful choreography with the accompanying music left no doubt as to the seriousness of the devastating HIV/AIDS epidemic in its beginnings. The time period was fraught with worry, confusion, and despair. As the piece progressed, Ramon removed all the accouterments of physical beauty and decoration. At the end he was left with only himself devoid of artificial comforts. The culmination brought the stark reality of this condition to its final end. The audience rewarded Ramon Flowers with their understanding of exactly what he was attempting to relay by a resounding applause. This was truly a performance for the ages.
Other pieces including "Alone" (U.S. premiere) choreographed by Lawrence Leritz, premiered by The Hamburg Ballet and performed by Abigail Mentzer (Pennsylvania Ballet), Laura Kaufman (An American In Paris), Chad Sapp (Broadway Bares); and the highlighted New York, New York performed by Yuka Notsuka with the choreography of Luigi, recreated by Francis J. Roach, among others, gave this evening the well-deserved celebratory atmosphere.