Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

La Mirada Theater Presents Mitzi Gaynor In RAZZLE DAZZLE!

Mitzi Gaynor will bring her incomparable brand of showmanship back to the stage in this new theatrical production, a glittering multimedia one-woman tour-de-force of music and memories from her show-stopping life and career. RAZZLE DAZZLE! MY LIFE BEHIND THE SEQUINS is an intimate and affectionate love letter to that fun "razzle-dazzle" era of show business featuring Mitzi's often hilarious recollections of famous friends and costars including Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Ethel Merman, Marilyn Monroe, Irving Berlin, Rodgers & Hammerstein, Marlene Dietrich and more. Interspersed with dazzling television & film footage and rare personal photos, embraced in a concert setting, this two-act multimedia theatrical extravaganza is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience the electrifying magic and incredible spirit of a true entertainment icon. MITZI GAYNOR in RAZZLE DAZZLE will perform two performances only - on Saturday, May 14 at 2pm & 8pm at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd in La Mirada.

For the first time, Mitzi shares personal stories, moving reminiscences and behind-the-scenes anecdotes from her life and remarkable show business career including those of starring in such classic motion pictures as There's No Business Like Show Business, Les Girls, The Joker is Wild, making the blockbuster adaptation of Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific and performing in her Emmy-winning television specials and nightclub & concert appearances that secured her place as an entertainment superstar.

Who, with 17 films to her credit, became one of the top singing & dancing motion picture stars of all time? Who conquered television with 9 show-stopping spectaculars garnering 17 Emmy® nominations and blockbuster ratings? Whose dazzling triple-threat talents made her arguably the top female nightclub and concert attraction of the era? The answer to all these questions is simply Miss Mitzi Gaynor.

The road that led Mitzi Gaynor to international superstardom began in her native Chicago where she was virtually born into the theater. Her mother was a talented dancer and her father a virtuoso musician. Family members and teachers alike were quick to notice and nurture the natural born performing talent of young Mitzi who relished the hours of dance & performance training she was receiving. Her instructor, the acclaimed ballerina Madame Kathryn Etienne, knew from an early age that the young performer was destined for stardom and encouraged the child's family to seek that stardom in Hollywood.

The family moved west on a dream, and 12 year old Mitzi was soon discovered by legendary theatrical producer Edwin Lester who selected her for the corps de ballet of the Los Angeles Civic Light Opera. Mitzi honed her craft in countless productions in Los Angeles & San Francisco including Roberta, Naughty Marietta, The Louisiana Purchase, Song Without Words, The Fortune Teller, The Great Waltz and debuted on Broadway with The Gypsy Lady. Mitzi's vibrant performances were capturing the attention of composers including Cole Porter and Irving Berlin when noted film director Henry Koster and producers Sol Siegel and George Jessel arranged a screen test that resulted in a contract at 20th Century Fox.

She made her motion picture debut costarring with her childhood idols Betty Grable and Dan Dailey in My Blue Heaven. The studio, quick to capitalize on the vivacious talent that would later propel Mitzi to the top ranks of show business, cast her in a succession of audience pleasing comedies & musicals including Golden Girl, Bloodhounds of Broadway, We're Not Married and The I Don't Care Girl.

Following this period, Mitzi met the man who would not only become the guiding force of her professional life but also the great love of her personal life, influential agent and marketing genius Jack Bean. Thus began a more than fifty year marriage and career partnership that would result in motion picture classics, dazzling television spectaculars and legendary nightclub and concert appearances that led the Los Angeles Times to deem her "the nation's #1 female song and dance star."

Encouraged by Bean, Mitzi delivered a star-making performance alongside Ethel Merman, Dan Dailey, Donald O'Connor and newcomer Marilyn Monroe in There's No Business Like Show Business. Following that film's success, she was signed to a lucrative Paramount contract, negotiated by Bean, which would yield three film hits, The Birds and the Bees with George Gobel & David Niven, Anything Goes with Bing Crosby & Donald O'Connor and a praiseworthy dramatic turn in The Joker Is Wild alongside Frank Sinatra.

Now an established box-office star, Mitzi was cast alongside Gene Kelly in the lavish, globe-trotting MGM musical Les Girls, but perhaps her greatest film success lie just on the horizon. 20th Century Fox was preparing the film adaptation of one of Rodgers & Hammerstein's most lauded and successful musicals, South Pacific, and nearly every motion picture actress in Hollywood was vying for the role of Ensign Nellie Forbush.

The film's director, the legendary Joshua Logan, had remembered catching a glimpse of Mitzi during a theatrical audition earlier in the decade. Convinced he had found his "Nellie," Logan championed her for the part. The composers concurred and Mitzi won the coveted role in a whirlwind of worldwide publicity.

The film opened in 1958 to critical acclaim and international box-office success. The soundtrack, featuring Mitzi's performances of "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair" and "A Wonderful Guy" amongst others has never gone out of print and remains to this day a perennial seller. For her performance, Mitzi was nominated for a prestigious Golden Globe® Award as Best Actress in a Musical.

Following that success she returned to the big screen in Happy Anniversary, once again with David Niven, Surprise Package with Yul Brynner & Noel Coward and For Love of Money with Kirk Douglas and ushered in a new era of acclaim as a live performer.

In 1961, once again with Jack Bean's encouragement, Mitzi made her nightclub debut in Las Vegas. An instant sensation, she smashed all records at the famed Flamingo Hotel where each night more than a thousand customers were turned away. LIFE magazine noted "Mitzi fractures Las Vegas...she began at the top and climbed even higher" and The Hollywood Reporter proclaimed her "flawless and devastating." Great success followed in each city she appeared from Miami Beach to Philadelphia, Reno and Lake Tahoe and for the next four decades Mitzi would perform a new show each year and tour the U.S. and Canada with a high-energy concert act that would solidify her reputation as one of the greatest live performers of the era.

A highly-sought after guest on the nation's top television programs, Mitzi made several memorable appearances in the medium. In a 1964 appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, in which she had top billing over The Beatles, Mitzi's sizzling song and dance numbers made headlines. She also performed to great acclaim on several Academy Awards broadcasts where her show-stopping 1967 rendition of Best Song nominee Georgy Girl, before a TV audience of 65 million, was met by wildly enthusiastic applause. Around this time, she began her long association with noted costume designer Bob Mackie. Mitzi was his first star client for whom he designed an entire show. He would continue to design the lavish, razzle-dazzle costumes that would remain a staple throughout her performing career.

ABOUT THE SCHEDULE AND PRICING

MITZI GAYNOR will perform on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at 2pm and 8pm.
Tickets range from $40 - $80 and can be purchased at La Mirada Theatre's website, www.lamiradatheatre.com or by calling the La Mirada Theatre Box Office at (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310. Student, Senior, Children and group discounts are available.


Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

Related Articles View More Los Angeles Stories

More Hot Stories For You