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DO40 Tops Itself Again
– with an Utterly Amazing Night
Celebrating the Life and Times of
Broadway Producer David Merrick

FINALE! – OVER 4O (!!) PARTICIPANTS!

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MEMBERS ONLY VIDEOS!

We don’t know how many other ways to say it – you can’t read about this stuff in dance and theater books!  An SRO audience listened, laughed hysterically to the point of tears, and roared with approval for our panelists AND performers Monday, April 29th at St. Luke’s Theater honoring – yes, honoring – prolific Broadway producer David Merrick (88 Broadway shows – over 30 of  them musicals).

The evening opened with 22 cast members from the original 42nd Street (and a few replacements!) tapping to the show’s opening number.  DO40 member and former Gower Champion assistant Karin Baker helmed the show, guiding the dancers through not only this number, but a little of “Dames” and the finale of the evening, “Lullaby of Broadway.”  Also, performing, co-host Anita Gillette, singing from Carnival, and Ernestine Jackson, singing from Hello, Dolly!  And in between - stories, videos, panels, videos, stories, and another panel!

FINALE! – OVER 4O (!!) PARTICIPANTS!

Side-splitting tales from director/choreographer Dan Siretta, actor Tony Roberts, America’s all-time heart throb John Davidson and lyricist Tom Jones (The Fantastics, as well as 110 in the Shade and I Do! I Do! with Merrick) were other highlights.  America’s first Tiger Lily (1956’s Peter Pan with Mary Martin), Sondra Lee, had chain rattling stories about Merrick, and Karin Baker quipped that he hired and fired her 5 times, often calling her 3 days later asking, “Karin, where are you?”

END OF THE 42ND STREET NUMBER BY THE ORIGINAL CAST

DO40 member Allyson Tucker-Mitchell and husband Brian Stokes-Mitchell sent a video cheering on Dan Siretta, their choreographer for Merrick’s Oh, Kay! – the show where they first met in 1990!Virgina Seidel reminisced about her time in Very Good Eddie and Leni Anders in Carnival and Do Re Mi.

There was a very special panel of the “toreadorables” from Gypsy, all from the original cast (Merrick’s third Broadway show at the time) – Marilyn D’honau, Marie Wallace and replacements Lucky Donovan and Lane Bradbury.  Co-host and moderator Anita Gillette was a replacement and the Merm allowed her to stay in the cast while she was pregnant – as long as she could still do the splits!

AFTER THE SHOW CAST PHOTO

Act II’s panel included Teak Lewis (Breakfast at Tiffanys), Ann Johnson (Do Re Mi) Bob Fitch (Promises, Promises, Mack and Mabel, How Now, Dow Jones), John Davidson (Merrick’s last show, State Fair) and Karin Baker and PR maven Josh Ellis from 42nd Street.

42nd Street alumni and tap dancers extraordinaire included Doreen Alderman, Carol Banninger, Joel Blum, Mary Cadorette, Ron DeVito, Denise DiRenzo, Jeri Kansas, Ginny King, Terri Ann Kundrat, Maureen Mellon, Sandra Menheart, Bill Nabel, Tony Parise, Jean Preece, Vicki Regan, Lars Rosager, Linda Sabatelli, Nikki Sahagen, Mary Ellen Scilla, Alison Sherve and David Storey. And note, 42nd Street had ONE PRODUCER, David Merrick, not 20 or 30, as you can see from the size of the TONY-winning plays and musicals when they come to the stage to pick up their award.  DO40 showed the tape of Merrick picking up his TONY for 42nd Street alone – thanking everyone, yet getting in a dig to the community by saying “where would you be this season without 42nd Street?”

DO40 MEMBER AND GOWER ASSISTANT KARIN BAKER TOOK THESE KIDS THROUGH THEIR PACES!

It was a sold out show, standing-room-only crowd that spilled from the back of the house to down the sides.  DO40 President John Sefakis had videographer Manny Santiago come to the front of the stage and shoot THEM, as many stood and mentioned the Broadway shows in which they performed.  DO40 tapes these events for the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at the Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, so EVERY dancer counts!

BACKSTAGE WITH TONY ROBERTS, DO40 PREZ JOHN SEFAKIS,
JOEL BLUM(BACK) BOB FITCH AND DAN SIRETTA

Tales of Merrick’s generosity (scholarships for dancers, raises for cast members) and frugalness (the 42nd Street commercial! Unpaid for years! Finally resolved!) abounded. We’re just saying – you HAD to be there. OR be a member of Dancers over 40, since one of the big perks is the member-only page of our great website, www.dancersover40.org, where members can view ALL of our panels, performances, socials and more by putting in their user name and password! So spread the word to friends on ANY coast – even the south of France – or Switzerland (where DO40 board member Catarina Valente resides!). We are here for you – to promote your History, your Legacy and your Lives – and pass it on to the next generation.

CO-HOSTS LEE ROY REAMS AND ANITA GILLETTE

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DO40’S 25TH ANNIVERSARY SPRING 2019 EVENTS!

A FUN, INFORMATIVE AND SHARING
DO40 PERFORMANCE SEMINAR
FEB 17TH AT SHETLER STUDIOS

Back Row, L to R, Kristine Nevins, Lee O’Connor, Patrick McCarthy, Joanna Rush, Claire Porter and
Gayle Stahlhuth; Middle Row, L to R, Marcella Ravell, Katharine Buffaloe-Harris, Sharon Wendrow,
Deborah Jean Templin, Lora Martens, and Roseanna Mineo; Front Row, L to R, Virginia Seidel,
DO40 president John Sefakis and Eileen Casey; On the floor, Yvonne and Roger Puckett
(not pictured, Karin Baker and Darlene Larson)

What a great night of sharing at our first-ever DO40 performance seminar!  Once the panelists were settled down at their table, everyone realized they knew each other from one part of the entertainment business or another!  And the information they shared with the group was just as interesting and important to each of them as well. 

Actor/playwright/DO40 board member Patrick McCarthy, Singer/Actress Roseanna Mineo (DO40), dance monologist Claire Porter (DO40), Actress/Singer/Dancer/Writer Joanna Rush (DO40), actress/playwright and artistic director of the East Lynne Theater Company in Cape May Gayle Stahlhuth (DO40) and actress/singer/playwright Deborah Jean Templin all shared their History, their Legacy and their Lives with the group and explained how they evolved into doing what they now produce artistically, whether it be a play, one-person show, speaking engagement, workshop, cabaret act or dance event. 

Our panelists, L to R: Patrick McCarthy, Deborah Jean Templin, Claire Porter, Joanna Rush, Roseanna Mineo and Gayle Stahlhuth

DO40 board member Katharine Buffaloe-Harris spoke about how to parlay this event into our Legacy Project and ArtsWorkplace, by submitting a current photo and short bio for our website.  Instructions will be up there as soon as we revamp that current dropdown menu!  We are looking for members to share their stories not only with our regular audience, but also with a larger cross section of the arts community, through colleges, universities and arts centers.  And learning how to present your accomplishments through a performance medium was something DO40 members thought extremely informative and helpful.

DO40 member Karin Baker brought members up to date on the April 29th HUGE DO40 event, The Dancers of David Merrick.  More and more panelists and performers are being added every week!  And yes, tickets are on sale NOW!  (See Merrick article for information and our website home page for the ticket “link/buttons!”)

Special thanks to Katharine Buffaloe-Harris for thinking up this event, and volunteers Sharon Wendrow, Lee O’Connor and Patrick McCarthy for helping with the set-up. 

Patrick McCarthy speaking about the Actors Fund Legacy Project and his involvement

Panelists Roseanna Mineo and Deborah Jean Templin

DO40 president John Sefakis with 2018 Legacy Honoree/DO40 member Sharon Wendrow

Panelists Patrick McCarthy and Deborah Jean Templin

DO40 LEGACY AWARDS –
TENTH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Legacy Honorees (L to R) Lawrence Leritz, Lori Tan Chinn, Virgina Seidel, Larry Ross and Sharon Wendrow

CELEBRATING OUR 25TH ANNIVERSARY AS AN ORGANIZATION –

The Legacy Table (L to R Larry Ross, Sharon Wendrow, Lori Tan Chinn, Virginia Seidel and Lawrence Leritz

AND FIVE WONDERFUL DO40 MEMBERS!

Quite a night for our honorees - and DO40 - at LIPS Restaurant last night A packed house of friends and family honoring Lori Tan Chinn, Lawrence Leritz, Larry Ross, Virginia Seidel and Sharon Wendrow. Speakers included Mary Alice, Jerry Mitchell, Host Jim Brochu, Joan Cohen and Mimi Turque. This was our tenth annual Legacy Awards, happening during our 25th Anniversary season! Quite humbling numbers for our small non-profit! Many wonderful DO40 members and supporters in the audience, including Producer Ed Gaynes, Mercedes Ellington, Baayork Lee, Lada Edmund, Karin Baker and husband Greg, Lora Martens, Kristine Nevins, Joy Serio Dunbar, Darlene Larson, Joanne and Patti Mariano, James Dybas, Teddy Kern, Robert Alexander, Carol Eiger, Sandy Nance and more!

Before the start of the ceremonies at LIPS Restaurant

Wonderful support during the evening from DO40 board members Eileen Casey, Sasha Spielvogel, Katharine Buffaloe-Harris (a saint at the door!) and Richard Korthaze, along with volunteers Ava Paul and Jeremy Hernandez. And of course a huge shout out to our fabulous host, Jim Brochu, who knew our audience well, and had them in stitches, and Marti Gould Cummings, who supplied the talent for the evening. As always, photographer Jeff Eason and videographer Manny Santiago were on hand to document the evening (which we always donate to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts).

Speaker for Larry Ross, Ms. Mimi Turque at the podium at LIPS Restaurant

A lot of "new people" in attendance, some of whom had never heard of DO40 (go figure!). Well now they do! And many were eager to join DO40 as card-carrying, dues-paying members!

Lori Tan Chinn accepting her Legacy Award, with DO40 president John Sefakis

Best Joke of the Night from Host Jim Brochu: At Heaven's Gate, Saint Peter asks a new arrival "How much money do you make a year?" The man answers '100,000.00.' "Ah," Saint Peter says, "a doctor!" The next person comes forward and St. Pete asks the same question, "How much do you make a year?" and the person answers '250,000.00.' "Ah! A Lawyer!" The next person arrives and is asked the same question to which the reply is "25,000.00." St. Peter asks "Have I seen you in anything?" Our History, Our Legacy, Our Lives!!

DO40 president John Sefakis with DO40 Advisory Board member director/choreographer Jerry Mitchell, who spoke for Legacy Honoree Lawrence Leritz

HUNDREDS of pictures will be posted in a Photo Gallery on our website, www.dancersover40.org, and, for those who are members, a video of the event on our member only page of the website.  It pays to be a card-carrying, dues paying member of DO40!

DO40 Board Member Larry Ross accepting his Legacy Award

Virginia Seidel accepts her Legacy Award

Sharon Wendrow accepts her Legacy Award

Click for all the photos from this Legacy Awards Event

Click to view the Members Only Videos of this Event

A GRAND NIGHT OF SONG AND DANCE CELEBRATING
DO40S 25TH ANNIVERSARY SEASON
AND BROADWAY CARES/EFA

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MEMBERS ONLY VIDEOS!

Over 30 DO40 members, students and dancers of all ages and ethnicities joined in a
loving tribute to our community, while honoring DO40 members John Mineo,
Christopher Nelson, George Marcy and Gemze de Lappe

A great night of song and dance Monday, October 15th at St. Luke’s Theater in NYC, with not only DO40 members, but also DO40 choreographers, working with their dancers and young students to pay it forward to the next generation.  A totally diverse group of creative artists, from all over the U.S., flying in from OK, IL, FL, CA and even Poughkeepsie, NY!  Truly a working and loving testament to preserving our History, Legacy and Lives. We are celebrating our 25th Anniversary Season and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and also honored four of our members who recently died, founders John Mineo and first president Christopher Nelson, as well as board member George Marcy and long-time member and Agnes de Mille assistant Gemze de Lappe.

Bosom Buddies DO40 members Penny Worth and Carolyn Kirsch

Host Loni Ackerman and DO40 members Carolyn Kirsch and Penny Worth spoke about John Mineo, choreographer Lawrence Leritz about intersection of his life with Gemze de Lappe, choreographer and DO40 board member on choreographing George Marcy's last performance in 2015, a written note from DO40 advisory board member Chita Rivera and a surprise appearance and heartfelt reminiscences of "Georgie Porgie" by advisory board member Carol Lawrence. Loni Ackerman dedicated her last number, I'm Still Here, to Christopher Nelson, who performed in the original Broadway company of FOLLIES. The cast then came on to sing "We're Still Here" for the curtain call.

Gotta Get a Gimmick with DO40 members Eileen Casey, Roseanna Mineo and Nancy Dalton Flowers

A smorgasbord of talent and styles, from tap, jazz, modern, ballet, comedy and song, it was an evening of something for everyone! Broadway numbers from MAME, I AM WHAT I AM, ANYTHING GOES, GYPSY AND LA CAGE AUX FOLLES performed by Penny Worth, Carolyn Kirsch, Mary Jane Houdina, Nancy Dalton Flowers, Eileen Casey, Roseanna Mineo and Lawrence Merritt – modern dance choreographed by DO40 board member Sasha Spielvogel in TABOO, ballet choreography by DO40 member Lawrence Leritz with ALONE, comedy courtesy of Claire Porter and more! Tons of DO40ers in the audience as well as supporters and potential new members!

DO40 member Gary Flannery and his students in an homage to Bob Fosse

Special thanks to St. Luke's producer Ed Gaynes for the use of the hall - now in our 10th year at this venue! Kudos to our advisory board, dance committee and volunteers, especially, Joy Serio Dunbar, Patrick McCarthy, Katharine Buffaloe-Harris, Nancy Dalton, Eileen Casey, accompanist Steve Webber, SM Robert Levenstein and all the DO40 volunteers front and back of the house. We cannot do this without the support of members, donors and patrons....like you!

DO40 Advisory Board member Carol Lawrence reminiscing about her dear friend and
former DO40 board member George Marcy, with DO40 president John Sefakis

As you know, we donate video and hard copy of all of our events to the Jerome Robbins Collection at the Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts, to preserve our History, Legacy and Lives. Please join us if you can by going to www.dancersover40.org and clicking on the JOIN/DONATE button. As DO40 Advisory Board member Chita Rivera says, "We Simply Cannot Do It Alone!"

DO40 member and choreographer Christopher Anderson and his dancers performing “Heatwave”

In the audience with DO40 president John Sefakis with Lisa Biagini,
DO40 choreographer Sue Samuels and long-time DO40 member John Bate

DO40 members Mary Jane Houdina (performing Anything Goes) with former DO40 board member Karin Baker

Before dress rehearsal with DO40 choreographer Lawrence Leritz
and his dancers Chad Sapp, Abigail Mentzer and Laura Kaufman

DO40 SMASHES RECORD WITH $4,500 COLLECTED
AT THE SEPTEMBER 30, 2018 BC/EFA FLEA MARKET

Left to Right Back: Sasha Spielvogel, Larry Ross, Patrick McCarthy Tom McRoberts, Susan Sigrist;
Front, Lawrence Merritt, John Sefakis, Karin Baker, Lawrence Leritz, Joy Serio Dunbar, Sharon Wendrow and a whole lot of BC/EFA volunteers! )

We were all stunned when the totals were tallied! Who would have thought 2 for 1.00 Playbills (and more!) 3.00 sheet music 2.00 books and CDs, Sippy Cups and our posters from our DANCIN' and WEST SIDE STORY events would bring in so much revenue! In our 12 years in participating in the BC/EFA Flea Market we have never broken the $4000 barrier! This is a testament to volunteerism at its best, across generations, membership and friends, lots of preparation and dedication by all who donated, worked the tables and attended the event. Special Thanks to Broadway Cares/EFA for helping us with the pick-up of our goods, and giving us volunteers throughout the day to man our Playbill tables.

Lawrence Leritz and Karin Baker man the front tables, as Joy Serio Dunbar hawks our signed cast posters!!

And our volunteers! It took four days of organizing all the materials, weeks of donations from members and non-members and a full 9 - 7 day of enthusiasm and energy to pull this off! Here we go! Donations: Marti Hespen, Kathryn Doby (UPS from Los Angeles!), Harvey Evans, Lori Tan Chinn, Virginia Seidel and people we didn't even know leaving off materials in our lobby! Preparation: Ellen Fluhr, Leni Anders, Karin Baker Kayne, Virginia Seidel, Ken Bloom, board members Patrick McCarthy, Nancy Dalton, Eileen Casey and Katharine Buffaloe-Harris. Volunteers at the event: Ken Bloom, Larry Ross, Joy Serio Dunbar, Lawrence Leritz, Bobby-Hedglin Taylor and husband David Andrew Taylor, Lawrence Merritt, Sasha Spielvogel Patti Mariano and sister Toots Mariano, Susan Sigrist, Virginia Seidel and a rotating bunch of next-gen-ers from BC/EFA!

DO40 members and Legacy Honorees all! -- Lawrence Leritz, Harvey Evans and Sharon Wendrow

Apologies if we left anyone out - it's late and we're pooped! DO40 is here to pay it forward to the next generation while creating a community of support for mature dancers and creative artists. And that also means supporting OUR supporters, like Broadway Cares/EFA, The Actors Fund, Actors Equity, SDC, the Equity Foundation - people and organizations who share our vision of a better place for all of us to work, live, share and love. Peace out! (As we all used to say, back in the day!)

DO40 member Virginia Seidel

We see a movie in the making with this end-of-day photo with DO40 member and Legacy Honoree Virginia Seidel! Unsold items packed up and ready to go back into storage after 10 grueling – yet exhilarating (did we say that already?) hours! A real trouper to stay to the end to guard our valuables! She was so tired she didn’t even realize we to

SEE THE PHOTOS FROM THIS EVENT!

DO40 MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS

2018 DO40 MEMBERSHIP MEETING:
TIME TO STRETCH AND JETE INTO THE 21ST CENTURY
WITH STRETCH CLASS BY DONNA FLAGG AND
Q & A WITH CAROL HANZEL
AT SHETLER STUDIOS, NYC

What a fab group assembled Sept 17th to hear about DO40's 25th anniversary season, take a little stretch class and hear from casting guru Carol Hanzel about the state of "the biz!" Equity and SAG members from 1959 to the present! Umpteen Broadway shows between them all! Special thanks to DO40 member and LASTICS © teacher Donna Flagg and Carol Hanzel for their support and sharing their knowledge.

(Almost everyone!) At our NYC DO40 Membership Meeting - Back: Martha B. Warschau, Marlene Thorn Taber (Marty Clarke), Roseanna Mineo, Dancy Dalton Flowers, Patrick McCarthy, Sharon Wendrow, Lawrence Leritz, Carol Hanzel, Donna Flagg, Diane Nicole, Joy Serio Dunbar; Front: Joyce Nolen, Lawrence Merritt, Leni Anders, Sandy Nance; Not pictured, Darlene Larson, Eileen Casey, DO40 Prez John Sefakis
Lastics © class taught by DO40 member Donna Flagg

And Carol Hanzel, always there for us to dispense the latest in casting information for us! Members had questions of how to submit, where to submit and whether you even need an agent in these internet-y times!

Casting Guru Carol Hanzel addresses the troop’s questions!

DO40 continues its ARTSLegacy series honoring all of our members. These written transcripts will also be donated to the Jerome Robbins Dance Collection at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, and eventually into a compilation suitable for publishing. In this issue we present DO40 members and current DO40 Legacy Honorees Virginia Seidel and Lawrence Leritz. ARTSLegacy is an added benefit for people who do not live in the tri-state area, or who are in NYC and might not be able to participate in our panels. The questions can be answered by phone or by computer, so no need to travel or to dress up for the interview! Call the DO40 hotline at 212-330-7016 or email us at dancersover40@aol.com if you are interested! 

READ MORE ABOUT VIRGINIA SEIDEL & LAWRENCE LERITZ

Click here for information and stories on DO40 members who have recently passed away.

Background photo from the Original West Side Story cast ready to rumble!” Photo courtesy of Photofest