by: Sandi Durell
The New York City Dance Alliance Foundation, under the auspices of its Founder/Executive Director Joe Lanteri, honored triple threat CATHERINE ZETA-JONES at a star-studded evening at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts last night (September 29, 2013) in “Bright Lights Shining Stars Gala.”
Since 2010, the Foundation has awarded over 8 million dollars in scholarships, promoting education by investing in the next generation of professional artists by way of its partnership with colleges and corporate sponsors.
Born in Wales, Catherine Zeta-Jones is a multi-award winner in film (Chicago), on stage – Tony Award (A Little Night Music), having begun her career in London and on television. Video clips reminded the audience of her spectacular career.
Yes, Catherine Zeta-Jones had to be a triple threat to make her London West End debut at about the age of 18 as Peggy Sawyer in “42nd Street.” Commemorating that, was a special performance, choreographed by Randy Skinner, featuring Mara Davi in “Go Into Your Dance.”
This was just one of many tributes in an evening filled with star performances including Charlotte D’Amboise and company in “All That Jazz;” an improvisation by remarkable10 year old Luke Spring (A Christmas Story); a “Send in the Clowns” tribute sung by Joanne Borts; “The Best Is Yet To Come” performed by Adrienne Warren (Bring It On).
In addition, a unique dance piece performed by Clifton Brown, “The Calling,” enthralled. Felicia Finley (Mamma Mia) sparkled in “Hit Me With Your Best Shot,” as choreographic creations by Kelly Bruke, Manny Castro, Joey Dowling, Denise Faye, Jessica Lang, Kelley Larkin, Suzi Taylor and Andrew Turteltaub came alive throughout the evening, many featuring the young shining stars of tomorrow from all over the country.
Listening to Catherine Zeta-Jones’ acceptance was like sitting at the kitchen table having a cup of coffee with a friend – she is modest, unassuming and grateful.
Learn more at www.nycdance.com
Photos: Sandi Durell