Gus Giordano – father of jazz dance – dies at 85

Gus Giordano 1When leafing through the Chicago Tribune this morning, I was surprised to read about the death of Gus Giordano, the father of jazz dance, at the defiant age of 85.  I had direct contact with Gus back in the 80’s, when I was music-directing for Northwestern University’s Waa-Mu show.  Each year, Gus was always the choreographer, and I was always impressed in how well he was able to work with the Waa-Mu cast.  And he was always a warm and good-natured guy.  I’m very sorry to see that he has passed away, but he definitely has left a cultural mark, his jazz-dance style being incorporated into everything from musical theatre to music videos.  Bravo!

The Chicago Tribune has a fitting obit online.

“Wicked” is “Popular”!!!

Wicked” marks its 1,000th-Performance!!

Tonight marks a momentous occasion in Chicago theater history – for the first time a big Broadway show has reached its 1000th performance (that’s a “1” followed by 3 zeros).  And the show is still selling well, having just made another 3 months of tickets available.   Wicked, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz seems to have really hit a nerve especially with teenage girls, with themes of trying to fit in, and realizing that it’s better to be true to yourself rather than be popular. 

The Uptown Theatre – a wondrous but heartbreaking slideshow

I would give anything to be able to have witnessed the 4,300-seat Uptown Theatre back in its glory days.  It really must have been amazing.  This slideshow is heartbreaking in the sense that it really brings to light the total neglect of this movie-palace treasure. 

A deep thank you to you could just include it was made by Ian Sklarsky, that for creating this beautiful video, and for keeping the memory of this beautiful building alive.