is a production by Cause
in association with Nancy
Jackman and Rosemarie
It is a Location Theatre Project, a new form of
theatre, which was presented in The Rossi Salon, 30
West 56th St, starringLouise
Lasser and Stephen
It is an interesting concept, and the two actors
were just fine. We congratulated them after their
performance at a reception in the hair salon.
I was invited to a charming Italian
1496 Second Avenue, for a delicious press luncheon
to announce the 3rd
SR Socially Relevant Film Festival to
take place at the Bow Tie Cinemas Chelsea from March
14-20. Appropriately, the restaurant served bow tie
pasta as the main course! In the first two years,
108 films from 33 countries were seen.
a short speech explaining the purpose of the
festival, and its origin and history. The festival
has four competition categories, and a list of of
eight feature length narratives and eight
documentaries were distributed. The other two
categories are short films and screenplays. Where my
schedule permits, I hope to attend the festival.
MoMA is presenting All
That Jack (Cole), Jan 20-Feb 4,
an eighteen film series, featuring the choreography
and staging of Jack
influential on screen during the 1940s and the
Was a Lady,
USA, 1945, features Ann
a student in a private girls school, who wants to
become a Broadway star. She works in a burlesque
show, while hiding her identity. It is a silly story
redeemed by her magnificent dancing.
The Thrill of Brazil,
USA, 1946, also features Ann Miller, but in a
secondary role. The film stars Keenan
Wynn and Evelyn
who contribute little to the ridiculous plot.
However, the final dance number of faux Brazilian
type dancing is a joy to watch.
Tars and Spars,
USA, 1946, stars four wonderful actors. Alfred
his film debut after starring on Broadway in Oklahoma,
followed by other stage triumphs, and sings a
beautiful song with is mellifluous voice. Janet
already a film star, later became a Broadway star in The
and plays Drake's lover. Marc
a remarkable dancer, steals the film when he
performs a Russian style dance number at the
beginning of the film. Sid
in his film debut revealed his enormous talent as a
comedian, which led to a successful career on
The unbelievable plot is about men in
the Coast Guard during World War II, who want to see
action against the Germans.
USA, 1955, features four wonderful singers, Howard
Keel, Ann Blyth, Vic Damone and Dolores
to them, and the beautiful songs, plus the exotic
choreography and staging by Jack
the film is enjoyable. Based on a Broadway show,
which actually won the Tony Award for Best Musical,
the tale of a poet who survives many incredible
adventures in a mythical Middle East is far fetched
and unbelievable, and not very funny. But the music,
based on the works of Borodin,
is enchanting, and the Stranger in
sung as a duet by Blyth and Damone is still one of
its finest creations.
Let's Make Love,
USA, 1960, is about a French billionaire (Yves
who learns he is being mocked in an Off-Broadway
revue. He visits a rehearsal and sees a chorus girl
What follows you can imagine. It is quite an
enjoyable film and the two stars are delightful.
There is a funny scene with Montand wanting to learn
to tell jokes, sing and dance, and he hires Milton
Berle, Bing Crosby and Gene Kelly!
However, this was the last film with a Jack Cole
choreography, and his sixth film with Monroe.
This series has been one of the best
at MoMA, thanks to dance critic/co-curator Debra
who introduced every film with still photos and
intelligent comments. She also invited wonderful
choreographers, dancers and writers to share the
stage with her. It is a tribute to Jack Cole for his
brilliant, imaginative, and inventive choreography.
Every film enthusiast owes a debt of gratitude to
MoMA, which is one of the treasures of New York.
A commercial film Embrace
of the Serpent,
Colombia, 2015, was filmed in the Amazonian
rainforest. Based on a true story, a shaman, the
last survivor of his people, over forty years,
beginning in 1909, forms a friendship with two
different scientists, who are searching for the
psychedelic Yakruna plant. The horrors they
encounter, first as a young man with one scientist
and a guide, and then years later as an old man with
another scientist, are realistically shown. It is
wonderful to travel the world by film. I would not
like to have ventured with these scientists in the
jungle. It is a fascinating film, exquisitely