An Inside Story From 30’s Hollywood To Now At Miles Memorial Playhouse

Friday, 16 Nov 2012, 12:50:00 AM

Brenton Garen

The unique multimedia show is a story about three women’s journey of moving forward after their well-known husbands passed away.
Photo by Paul Wasserman
The unique multimedia show is a story about three women’s journey of moving forward after their well-known husbands passed away.

Santa Monica’s Miles Memorial Playhouse this weekend presents the guest production “Tap Dance Widows Club,” which will combine live dance with user and artist-generated multimedia that explores the changing perception of death.

Tickets are still available to performances tonight at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 4 p.m.

It is an innovative flagship work by Louise Reichlin & Dancers, who will bring together multiple dance forms in this unique multimedia piece featuring 10 dancers.

An inside story from 30’s Hollywood to now, the production came about when Louise Reichlin (widow of Alfred Desio), Loretta Zerby (widow of Jon Zerby), and Katherine Hopkins-Nicholas (widow of Fayard Nicholas) met to share memories, photos, and videos of their well-known husbands.

Reichlin, whose husband died in February 2007, said the production was about the positive baggage people carry when a loved one is no longer corporal but still present.

“The experience of death to the person who was closest is something we rarely talk about, and yet the experience and richness of their lives is something that should continue to feel and enriches and adds to the world, and our place in it,” Reichlin said. “Since the loss of my own husband, I have become aware that perhaps half of our culture shares this kind of presence after their personal losses, although death and this common bond are rarely mentioned.”

She said one of her goals of the production was to encourage the audience to think about how a lost loved one has enhanced their life and changed their outlooks and perceptions.

“‘Tap Dance Widows Club’ is joyous and contributes so many stories of how dance illuminated these lives when the well-known tap dance husbands were alive,” she said.

From earlier showings of the production, Reichlin said audiences were left feeling moved and inspired.

“It is an uplifting work, as well as entertaining,” she said.

She said the Miles Memorial Playhouse was a great venue that lends itself well to dance and multimedia.

“We use a large area on the floor as well as the stage, where we can also project,” she said. “We have had to wait a year and a half to get it, not only because it is a very busy theatre, but also because of needing to move around the configuration of the house. The audience, seated on chairs on risers, gets a great view of the entire space and projections.”

The Miles Memorial Playhouse is located at 1130 Lincoln Boulevard in Santa Monica.

General admission tickets are $20 while students and seniors can buy tickets for $17.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.LAChoreographersAndDancers.org.

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