Bruce Vilanch Honors Toni Basil At PDS’s Gypsy Award Ceremony

Broadway World
BWW Feature: PDS’s Star-Studded Luncheon and Gypsy Award at The Beverly Hilton Hotel International Ballroom
Valerie-Jean Miller May. 5, 2018

Bruce Vilanch, Toni Basil

There’s a certain feeling that invades my consciousness when I attend a r’s Event…

It starts with the rs, Choreographers, Divas from all mediums showing up in a corner of the lobby; all of whom have pre-paid to attend, with all money raised being given to The Actor’s Fund and rs in need; in a bevy of energy and mutual admiration of others gathering.

The ambience cannot be described. Put some wild-and-crazy rs together, covering decades of working together and weathering brutal rehearsals, live performances, injuries, touring, and surviving in a very competitive business and you end up having a love-in. We are a unique family of misfits and artistic, diverse and creative souls.

Our President, , BWW Feature: PDS’s Star-Studded Luncheon and Gypsy Award at The Beverly Hilton Hotel International Ballroomwas side-crackingly funny, and had a lot of choice comments that would be best not quoted here, but had the crowd in an uproar. Joni Berry, the glue that holds all of this together, introduced one of the best honoree lists in PDS history. Honored this year were George Chakiris, Barrie Chase and . What a marquee that would be!

Past honorees, beginning in 1987, have been Hermes Pan, Donald O’Connor, Sammy Davis, Jr., Debbie Reynolds, Cyd Charisse, Ann Miller, Mickey Rooney, Shirley MacLaine, , Juliet Prowse, Gwen Verdon, Ann-Margaret, Sandy Duncan, , Dick Van Dyke, Carol Burnett, Onna White, Sandy Duncan, , Marge Champion, Gregory Hines, Rita Moreno, Florence Henderson, Jane Powell, Rob Marshall, Carol Lawrence, Ben Vereen, Bob Mackie, Leslie Caron, Carl Reiner, Mary Tyler Moore, and Carol Channing, among others.

The show, produced by incredible, noted rs/Choreographers, Lee Hale, Charlene Painter, Ted Sprague, Joe Tremaine, Anita Mann Kohl and Tommy Peel, is a tribute to who, what and why rs have been influential as a part of the Entertainment Industry.

BWW Feature: PDS’s Star-Studded Luncheon and Gypsy Award at The Beverly Hilton Hotel International BallroomDick Van Dyke started off the festivities, which has become a yearly tradition. He was honored in 1999 by the PDS, and is always exhuberant and gracious. Joe Tremaine also lent his comments to the purpose of the event. HONOREES this year were Barrie Chase, who was Fred Astaire’s “Personally Chosen Partner” in numerous films, introduced by Julie McDonald. Her film clips, edited by the incomparable Lee Hale, were varied and unique. She marked a time-period of that contributed to advancing as a narrative to moving the plot of a film forward.

, who had us all in stitches, introduced , honored next, for bringing “street dancing” into the mainstream, with her mixture of hip-hop and ballet, was delightfully entertaining in recalling her early history and background as a member of a family that included a family vaudeville act and father who was a band leader in Las Vegas.

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