Tag "Gene Kelly"
The multi-talented Donald Chan is a conductor, musical director, pianist and composer. His repertoire includes 75 or 80 musicals. He has guest conducted at the American Conservatory Theater, the Seattle Repertory Theater and the Cleveland and Seattle Opera Houses. Donald was the musical director for the St. Louis Municipal Opera, the largest theater in the United States, for 12 years. Today, with director/choreographer Joey Mc Neely, he travels the world bringing the real version of West Side Story which he has conducted more than a thousand times. Luckily for us he is currently bringing his experience and expertise to the stage at the Asolo Repertory Theatre. Although he has worked with Gene Kelly, Ethel Merman, Chita Rivera, Carol Lawrence, Joel Grey, Sid Caesar, Len Cariou, Clark Terry and Shelly Manne to name a few, Donald is soft spoken and self-deprecating. In this show listen to him talk about the outrageous schedule he kept during his time at the St. Louis Municipal Opera and his decision to courageously follow his passion to be a musician and a conductor, so clearly the right choice, even though it disappointed his father who wanted him to be a dentist, also hear Pam Wiley’s review of the Asolo’s production of West Side Story and some of its glorious music.continue reading
The second half of my interview begins with Betty talking about the impact that her husband’s decision to talk to the House on Un-American Activities Committee had on their lives. She describes the rejection they experienced and how it caused them to create a cabaret act which they toured in Europe and Las Vegas – where ironically the blacklist didn’t exist. She also talks about their courtship and marriage (she doesn’t believe in love at first sight, but that’s what happened); and describes her first hand experience with the dictatorial nature of the movie studio system. Listen to the life of a courageous, creative and candid woman and hear her singing with Gene Kelly, Jimmy Durante and her husband Larry Parks.
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