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Variety (1941) - Legitimate: Gene Kelly to Coast For Picture After Directing Abbott Show's Dances




  • Producer David O. Selznick had signed Gene Kelly to Selznick International but then failed to find a suitable project for the dancer. Selznick then sold Kelly's contract on to MGM where he appeared in his first picture, For Me and My Gal (1942).


Gene Kelly to Coast For Picture After Directing Abbott Show's Dances

Gene Kelly, who is staging the dances for George Abbott's new musical, 'Best Foot Forward,' will continue briefly in the title part of the producer's other show, 'Pal Joey,' when it reopens with a matinee performance Monday (1) at the Shubert. However, George Tapps will take over the role in a week or so and continue it for the balance of the New York engagement and on tour.

Dancer will be busy with the 'Best Foot' staging assignment until the show's New York opening, scheduled for Oct. 1 at the Ethel Barrymore, after a Philadelphia tryout. He then goes to the Coast on a picture contract. First assignment isn't definitely set, but he has been told it may be the next Alfred Hitchcock picture for David O. Selznick. It's slated to go into production about Nov. 1.

Kelly last week succeeded John Lonergan as dance stager for 'Best Foot.' It made him the second newcomer to get a dance directing assignment on Broadway this season. Other is Charles Walters, who with his former dancing partner, Dorothy Fox, will stage the dances for 'Let's Face It,' new Cole Porter musical to be presented by Vinton Freedley-W. Horace Schmidlapp and Richard Krakeur. Walters staged the dances for one previous musical, the Dennis King show which folded on the road last season before getting to New York.