Wednesday, February 22, 2012

George Marcy!

George Marcy

“Beauty travels on light feet!” Goethe. 

Every body has the right to be who they are, what they want to be, to live love whomever they choose as long as you don’t hurt the other guy. Live my friend, love and be happy.
George Marcy

Happy Wednesday!

For someone who is not a dancer, I seem to be caught up in the world of dance. I am excited by all the research on Hello, Dolly!  
Yesterday on my way to Lincoln Center to spend an afternoon perusing press clippings, I ran into author/dancer Ronald Young, who appeared in the original company of Hello, Dolly! First audition in New York right out of Oklahoma and he is working in Broadway's biggest hit for the next two years...until he left the company for Mame. 
George Marcy
He has a new memoir on his life as a Broadway dancer called, The Only Boy Who Danced. GET THIS BOOK! I cannot put it down. Ron, if you see this, I want to do a blog feature on you. Ron is in town for an event for Dancers Over 40 on March 12th. 
That will be hosted by Carol Lawrence (who I am interviewing tomorrow!). 

Carol as you know was the original Maria in West Side Story. Also in that cast was the marvelous George Marcy. I always love seeing this man around town. His exuberance for life is extraordinary and contagious. I am so excited to be celebrating George with you today.  
 
Three to Make Ready was the first Broadway show George saw. A revival of Billion Dollar Baby was the first (tho it was at a Cafe theatre) show George was in. The first Broadway show he did on Broadway was 'TOP BANANA' a musical about Burlesque. Working with the old masters (Phil Silvers, Rose Marie, Kaye Ballard, and some old great comics, Joey and Herbie Faye from burlesque) was an education.He  made the movie as the featured dancer.

He knew nothing about musical comedy except he wanted to be a dancer/singer on Broadway. 
But it didn’t matter. 
It was Broadway, show biz. 
He loved it so much that nothing could be wrong. 

He saw all the glamor, the beauty of it all. 
And he knew it didn’t come easy that it all required a tremendous amount of study and hard work to be on that stage. He was a little frightened by it all, but that’s what he desired, that was his world. 
 As a child he was learning to play the violin and he was a good study. He was brought up in Home for Boys and Girls who had no parents or were not able to take care of their children.
It was the depression and times were rough. His folks passed away at the early age of 7 and 9 (a year and 3 months apart) but he remembers his mother playing some Italian opera, not too much. At the Home called Highland Heights he had the opportunity to learn to play the Violin and he took it. He got to play second violin in the orchestra. Also had a few lessons on the drum and fife. They used to send him to Woosley Hall in New Haven, CT when the Symphony Orchestra’s used to play. He was very young and traveled himself and was scared to death in getting home as it was so dark and he had to walk all the way which was a couple of miles. He knew he was getting a good education but sometimes as children do, he dozed off at times. But he looked forward to it all. Violins lessons every Monday night. He played in the High School Symphony Orchestra, second violin that is. He wasn’t good enough, according to him, to play first violin. But he was there right in the middle of it all. 
George had art appreciation and studied music. He was an alto.

First professional job? He thinks it was a revival of Billion Dollar Baby at Monte Proser’s Café theatre with Carol Bruce, Bob Fosse, Sheila Bond.
His thoughts on Arts in Education. It’s plus all the way through. To have that under your belt one only becomes more creative, with great understanding of what they can do. Your inner self becomes alive and no matter what you do having that as a base of knowledge you have the strongest foundation one can have. You also get a great sense of security as a performer having all that in you.

Have you ever felt like you were born in the wrong era? What other period of time do you relate to and why? Yeah! I always felt I was ahead of my time. I sometimes think I still am. But I can relate to the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s. The beginning of the Jazz Age. But even then I feel I could have been a bit much. Scared to death but I was outrageous, very open and free, so hungry .

 
Your thoughts on Carol Channing (All my blogs focus on Carol Channing’s Foundation For The Arts)

You are talking of one of the greatest icons in Musical Comedy.
An entertainer that very few can match. She was a brilliant comedienne a once in a lifetime performer. You will never see the likes of her ever again. How lucky to be able to be a witness to her during my life time. She was lovely, beautiful, funny, genius, whatever, it was all in one brilliant package. Need I say more? What? She should have received the Kennedy Center Honor a long time ago. How can they let one of the greatest entertainers of our time slip through their minds?
 
Most recent appearance:
My most recent appearance was about a 1 year and 1⁄2 ago when I did my One Man Show in Cabaret.

Next appearance:
Dancers Over 40/Broadway Cares Benefit, March 12, Alvin Ailey Theater, 8 p.m.

What is your biggest success in Show Business
West Side Story, where I played Bernardo for over 850 performances. Also that I was able to play Conrad Birdie in Bye Bye Birdie, El Gallo in The Fantasticks and when Gower Champion saw WSS and asked me if I wanted to be the standby for James Mitchell in Carnival as Marco. I got the chance to be on stage with some of the greatest performers ever, to work with them, on the same level. If that isn’t success what is it?

 
What was your lowest low and how did you surpass that?
 I don’t remember having a lowest low.

What one change would you like to see in today’s industry?
I love Musical theater and there was nothing wrong with tradition. I love the way the shows were on the “Great White Way.” They had a sense of style, of comedy that lasted through the years. It seems, not that I go to the theatre that much any more, to have gotten that anyone, with any kind of presentation can get on Broadway. I suppose it goes with the times. I am prejudice. I think you understand what I mean....I loved it the way it was.

How do you deal with receiving invitations from friends/colleagues to events that are either too many or too costly to attend?
If I don’t know them I ignore the invitation. Or sometimes I do go depending on what their show is all about. My friends? I try to be there no matter what the cost is.

Are you happy at the point you are right now in your career?
YES! And excited about doing Broadway Baby at the benefit for DO40/Broadway Cares event.

Do you feel you have achieved what you set out to do?
Pretty much.
 
What do you do to remain positive when life's hiccups get you down?
I say a little prayer and thank God that I can still do what I love to do in life.

How on earth do you reach theatregoers now that newspapers are obsolete and there are so many channels on TV you can’t pick the right ones to advertise on and with the web being so hit and miss. That’s anybody’s guess. Word of mouth. Do what Judy Holiday did in one of her flicks. Rent a huge poster, plaster it on Broadway, 7th avenue, Columbus center with lights so that the people can see. lol

A genie pops out of the lamp, he grants you three wishes. What are those wishes?
To be six feet tall, thin and very rich.

If you could travel anywhere in the world and spend some time there, where would you choose, and what would you do?
I can adjust to just about anywhere, but I would love to go back to Italy, Paris, London and possible hit Scotland, Norway, Germany.

What would you ask God if you could right now?
Grant me peace and that I do a good performance on March 12.
 
What is the last stage show you saw. Local or professional.
Follies!

If you could change places with anyone in the world for 24 hours, who would that be and why?
I never thought I would want to change places with anyone. Joking around, I thought Anita Eckberg, a six foot blond, looking that gorgeous, I would have anything in the world I wanted. But I am happy with whom I am.

When do you know it’s time for a George Marcy show?
The need to get on stage and to perform.

Do you make a living at this or do you have a survival job?
I am retired and no I do not have survival job.

What is your favorite compliment?
You don’t look your age!

Thank you, George, for the gifts you give to the world! I cannot wait to see you perform Broadway Baby on March 12th!
  
DANCERS OVER 40 presents "DO40 CARES: It’s Not Where You Start…


A Song-and-Dance Performance to Benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Project Achieve/Columbia University and the NYC HIV Vaccine Trials Unit

Monday, March 12, 2012, 8pm
The Ailey Citigroup Theater/The Joan Weill Center for Dance
405 West 55th Street, NYC
Hosted by Carol Lawrence. With Special Guest Chita Rivera and the merry murderesses from the original 1975 "Cell Block Tango" Broadway production of CHICAGO, in a first-ever reunion!

Choreography by: Larry Fuller, JT Horenstein, Claire Porter, Amy Seiwert, Joy Serio Dunbar, Mark Stuart Dance Theatre, Sasha Spielvogel, Thomas/ Ortiz Dance and Bob Fosse.
CALL TELECHARGE 212-239-6200 or telecharge.com. Tickets: $30, $50  and  $100. For 20% Member Discount: call TELECHARGE 212-947-8844 or BroadwayOffers.com with member discount code.
For more information, please visit their website: www.DancersOver40.org.

Dancers Over 40 (DO40) will present its second-ever song and dance concert entitled "DO40 CARES: It’s Not Where You Start…" to benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS the NYC HIV Vaccine Trials Network on Monday March 12, 2012.
Carol Lawrence hosts, with Chita Rivera bringing her merry murderesses from the original Fosse CHICAGO of 1975, including Pam Sousa, Michon Peacock, Cheryl Clark and Candy Brown. Featured Guest and current reining Broadway gypsy Rachelle Rak will also perform a Fosse number, her highly acclaimed “I Gotcha.”
Members of DO40 will be heavily represented, as both dancers and choreographers along with guests from the ballet and modern dance worlds, donating their performances for these important causes. 
DO40 performing members in addition to George Marcy will be DO40 Board Secretary Mary Lou Barber, as well as Performance Artist Claire Porter and a special sequence of the Cell Block Tango by Stella D’oro, the “Queen Mum” of HIV Vaccine for Project Achieve, one the
recipients of the evening’s fundraising efforts. 
 DO40 Members Joy Serio Dunbar, Patti Mariano, Nancy Dalton and Nicole Barth, Lori Tan Chinn, Ron Young, Jonathan Cerullo, James Dybas, Steve Petrillo, James Horvath, Lawrence Merritt and Ken Urmston divvy up the opening and closing numbers of the show, along with a few MORE surprises!
Go to www.DancersOver40.org for more information, or visit the Dancers Over 40 Facebook Fan Page, www.facebook.com/dancersover40 to interact with members and fans. Also, visit the DO40 youtube channel, www.youtube.com/dancersover40 to watch video clips of previous panels and performances.
DO40 is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. 
Tickets are tax deductible to the extent of the law.
NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED.  FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY!

Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!

Tomorrow'sblog will be... My Exclusive Interview with Dawn Hampton!

Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

  Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!


Now, GO OUT AND see Carol Channing: Larger Than Life  now in theatres.


Please contribute to the DR. CAROL CHANNING  and HARRY KULLIJIAN FOUNDATION FOR THE ARTS

TILL TOMORROW...HERE'S TO AN ARTS FILLED DAY
Richard Skipper, Richard@RichardSkipper.com

                                
This Blog is dedicated to ALL the Broadway Dancers Over 40, past, present, and future and the gifts they give to the world







1 comment:

  1. It is nice to see an article dedicated to this important topic. Thank you for sharing.
    beltone hearing aid reviews

    ReplyDelete