Tag Archives: musicals

Fred Astaire’s Birthday

Dancer, choreographer, singer, and actor Fred Astaire was born on May 10, 1899. He was credited by many as the greatest popular music dancer of all time, and is acknowledged as a main influence by scores of professional dancers. Fred Astaire’s stage and film career lasted for 76 years, during which time he starred in 31 musical films.

After achieving roles in many Broadway productions, Fred Astaire received his big break when he landed a small role in the Joan Crawford film, Dancing Lady. He went on to become one half of American film’s most beloved dance team alongside Ginger Rogers. The pair starred in ten films together, including: The Gay Divorcee (1934), Top Hat (1935), and Follow the Fleet (1936).

Fred Astaire died of pneumonia on June 22, 1987 at the age of 88 in Los Angeles, California, leaving behind his legacy of one of Hollywood’s greatest talents.

Sources: Wikipedia, Biography

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West Side Story Opens on Broadway

On this day in 1957, West Side Story opened on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theater. A reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet that takes place on the west side of Manhattan in the mid-1950′s, the musical follows the love affair between Tony, a Polish American and member of a white working-class gang called the Jets, and Maria, the sister of the leader of the Jets’ rival gang, the Sharks from Puerto Rico.

With its controversial, socially relevant story line and innovative choreography, music, and theatrical style, West Side Story received positive reviews and ran for 732 performances, one of the longest initial runs in the history of Broadway.

Learn more about this classic musical at the official West Side Story website.

 

Sources: Wikipedia, History.com, West Side Story

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