June 9, 2008
The other night, at the Fred & Adele Astaire Awards, one of the best Texans of modern times, the talented Tommy Tune, was given the Douglas Watt Lifetime Achievement Award at Manhattan Center on 34th Street. The irony was we enjoyed a show about dancing where the stage was littered in front with sound boxes so big that you couldn't see anyone's feet. The best thing about this evening was the emcee, Lee Roy Reams, ubiquitous actor/star from La Cage aux Folles. Lee Roy opened "big" with a number of hugely presented songs about dancing.
November 2, 2008
Fred Astaire by Joseph Epstein Yale University Press / 224 pages / $22 Fred Astaire, writes Joseph Epstein, the veteran critic and essayist, "was the very model ... of the democratic dandy, itself an innovative figure." He adds that G. Bruce Boyer called Astaire in his movie roles "the democratic ideal: a classless aristocrat." If T.S. Eliot calling the mature Henry James "a European of no known country" isn't the same thing, it's close enough. Astaire's career is full of paradoxes like these.
April 27, 1995
SIGN in a coffee bar:Life is shortDon't sleep through it* * *GINGER ROGERS, who died this week at the age of 83, will no doubt be remembered best for her dance partnership with Fred Astaire, who died in 1987.A few quotations from Ms. Rogers' 1991 biography, "Ginger: My Story," help recall a long and lustrous show business career:* "While our union (Astaire-Rogers) had a special kind of magic and produced a unique enchantment, it was not the be-all and end-all of my career. . . . Fred and I were colleagues, and despite occasional snits . . . we worked together beautifully.
June 18, 2008
CYD CHARISSE, 86 Dancer and actress Cyd Charisse, the long-legged Texas beauty who danced with the Ballet Russe as a teenager and starred in MGM musicals with Fred Astaire and Gene Kelly, died yesterday. Ms. Charisse was admitted to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on Monday after suffering an apparent heart attack, said her publicist, Gene Schwam. She appeared in several dramatic films, but her fame came from the Technicolor musicals of the 1940s and '50s. Classically trained, she could dance anything from a pas de deux in 1946's Ziegfeld Follies to the lowdown Mickey Spillane satire of 1956's The Band Wagon (with Mr. Astaire)
September 30, 2007
FUNNY FACE 50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION Paramount / $14.99 Funny Face offers an object lesson in beauty, class and charisma, courtesy of an actress who had all three in abundance. Already in 1957, at age 24 and with just three major films behind her, Audrey Hepburn was a Hollywood original, a glamorous pixie who somehow retained a regal bearing that engendered respect and a gaminelike quality that made men and women alike adore her. Paired here with Fred Astaire, she plays a beatnik-ish bookstore clerk who, reluctantly, becomes the new face of a fashion line.
March 14, 2002
Through the artwork of Howard County students, the first meeting between famous people such as Fred Astaire and Count Basie is depicted in papier-mache figures, while puppets of Joan Crawford and Bette Davis stand together for the first time on a stage in front of an adoring audience. Nearly 400 pieces of such artwork from county kindergartners to high school seniors will be displayed at Howard County Center for the Arts in First Encounters: Students' Responses to Memorable Meetings. Opening tomorrow, the exhibit was inspired by First Encounters: A Book of Memorable Meetings by Nancy Caldwell Sorel and illustrated by her husband, Edward Sorel, and features 65 meetings between famous people.