- Welcome to my thread!
- Saw Gray in GIRL CRAZY at the Muny co-starring Ann Reinking. After we were having a drink at the Chase Park Plaza hotel and Reinking was there with her lover Bob Fosse. They were hooting and hollering bout how bad the production was. Not Dolores, just the production.
kcguy, saw Dolores Gray in 42nd STREET tour too.
- love it R1! ;)
- I love her in this number from It's Always Fair Weather.
- You concede what to her?
- That she went by Dot and not Doe Doe as reported by one of her former actor friends.
Dot wins this round.
And we will meet for luncheon at 21 next Wednesday. 2-ish when the pre- matinee crowd has thinned out of course. I am in the mood for some of their chicken hash and one of Rudolph's killer spicy bloody mary's.
- Was Miss Gray always orange? Anytime I ever saw her (in Sherry and in Bloomingdale's) she was kind of ferocious looking. Her mother was supposed to make Madame Rose look like Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. She did sing like a demon though.
- Everything about that number at r4 is sensational!
The pinnacle of MGM's powers are represented there in the song, the gown, the art direction, the choreography, the cinematography, the anonymous boys...and of, course, Dolores.
What a shame for us (and Dolores) that it was also at the very decline of the genre.
- Were those the same chorus boys from Judy's Get Happy number?
Did they enjoy working with Dolores more?
- OP, that's a great clip. The choreography is sensational. (Michael Kidd, right?) So's the song. Is the rest of the score that good? (Harold Rome?) Thanks a lot. Has Encores ever produced the show?
- I'd forgotten to mention that those flying, leaping, flipping, cartwheeling chorus guys were another reason why I loved that number so much, but R8 said it all perfectly.
- No R10 Encores has never done it. Saw a production in summer stock with Anne Jeffreys and Tom Poston. The Muny in St. Louis when I was 11. When I was in college, John Goodman played Destry in a production at the SMS (Missouri State) Tent Theatre. Show has never had a Broadway revival either.
- R12. There's usually a good reason for no Broadway revival. And Michael Kidd dancers aren't exactly a dime a dozen these days, particularly for Encores evenings, which don't get a lot of dance rehearsals. And who do Gray's role?
- My favorite number of Dolores' , came near the end . YT her doing " I'm Still Here" . Best version ever. She was 73, but her voice as strong as her MGM days.
- I think "I Say Hello" from Destry is one of my favorite recordings of hers. It's such a short song, but so pretty.
Mufti at York did Destry several years ago. I thought it held up pretty well. I think it's a perfect vehicle for Encores. Now who should play Frenchy? Megan Hilty?
Can't think of any that could match Gray's voice, one of the best. Very sorry I never got to see her on stage.
- [quote] And who do Gray's role?
Why, me of course!
- I Say Hello is indeed gorgeous. What a pity she never got to record "Here's That Rainy Day" or "Sherry". She had several recording contracts over the years. One would think her manager would have been more on the ball.
Here's "Here's That Rainy Day" from 1977
- It's a shame FOLLIES was the only Sondheim she did. She could have killed as Joanne in Company. Her Ladies Who Lunch is one of the best I've heard.
- She seems a bit mismatched with George Sanders here. It's like his small voice and his nationality influence her "British" accent and more muted singing.
Still, she looks sensational in that gown, even with the worst lighting known to man.
- A more girlish Dolores, with John Raitt. She was way more versatile than the campy, "draggy" vamp persona Lypsinka borrowed.
- I think the only major revival of Destry was in London in the 1980s with Alfred Molina and his soon-to-be wife Jill Gascoine in the lead roles.
- She's adorable as Annie Oakley here. What a shame Freed didn't sign her earlier. She would have been preferable to Betty Hutton.
Any more recollections? I presume Gray played the Merman role. Was it beefed up for Dolores?
- Any funny/dishy stories? She could be a pistol, right? I know some of the broadway lore - slapping Michael Kidd maybe? What about Hollywood? She worked with Bacall, Joan Collins and June Allyson. There had to be some fireworks....
- When you never quite become an A-list movie queen...
... you try harder.
- Dolores reminds me a bit of Kay Thompson.
Looking at youtube videos just now, I happened to find a piece of an old Milton Berle show on which the two appeared together.
- She was in Designing Woman with Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall, here's a non-musical, passive-aggressive scene that always makes me laugh.
- Alison Bevan could do it. In fact she's played Frenchie before. Is she too old now? She has the voice for it.
- She replaced Lansbury in GYPSY in London. Would loved to have seen that.
- Dolores! Kismet
- Did Michael Kidd choreograph Thanks A Lot? The Number is from It's Always Fair Weather which he co-starred in. That film also has the fabulous Cyd Charisse number Baby, You Knock Me Out. But IMO very little else to recommend it.
The moves in both numbers are very reminiscent of Judy's Get Happy from Summer Stock so I wonder if Kay Thompson was involved with all of them?
- Lullaby of Broadway
- Dolores is perfection as Madeline the artificial tv hostess of "The Throb of Manhattan" in Its Always Fair Weather, and as for that song "Thanks a lot but no thanks" with that dress - and the line "I've got a man who's Clifton Webb and Marlon Brando combined" ..
and the scene where she tips the plate of ravioli into Greg Peck's lap in the restaurant in Designing Woman,
and her catty Sylvia is as good as Roz Russell's in The Opposite Sex, Pity she did not do more in Hollywood in the 50s. (shes in Minnelli's Kismet also).
She must have been a terrific Mama Rose in Gypsy. Pity she was not in Folles when I saw it (it was Eartha Kitt).
Her "Warm Brandy" album is fun though.
- Dolores did not write: "I've got a man who's Clifton Webb and Marlon Brando combined."
- Thanks A Lot, But No Thanks was choreographed by Jack Cole.
I read somewhere that Dolores fought to do it "her way" rather than his - that seems to be a recurring theme in her career and it may be one reason why she didn't have a bigger one.
- British MT star Hannah Waddingham looks a bit like Dolores. She could easily play Frenchie.
- From all that I have ever read about her, she was a huge cunt and difficult to work with. Hence, her career. Or lack thereof.
- And I believe there's something in the notion that her very difficult stage mother instilled some very ugly behavior in Dolores as well. She also wasn't born with MGM looks and went to great trouble to look like a Hollywood starlet of the period without notable success. Still, a vocal knockout.
- Even with that stentorian voice, her mouth was too big for her face and she was not camera friendly as a leading lady. She was in some wierd space and MGM never knew what to do with her plus she came at the tail end of the musical era. A double strike. She could have been a fun "Ann Miller second banana" type of character if MGM musicals had lasted longer. She would have had a chance to build an oeuvre.
- She was more camera friendly pre-nosejob. Like Ann Miller, her nosejob was not necessary at all.
- Did he FUCK her??
- Great body, great voice, great personality, hideous face.
The Sarah Jessica Parker of her era, except at least she wasn't going around yammering on to everyone about how pretty she was all the time.
- Remember the old Ed Sullivan blooper when he said, "Stand up Dolores Gray, who is starving on Broadway in Destry Rides Again!"
- Dolores Gray fans who don't own this DVD are living without the light Simply fabulous.
- By the time she got to MGM, she looked very middle-aged. Maybe it was those severe and brassy hairdos and the unkindness of Technicolor. Or maybe she was just...middle-aged. So she was obviously not gonnna be the leading lady type.
But she looks so much sweeter and fresher in that clip with a ponytail, bangs and John Raitt at r20. Wasn't that the same time period?
Btw, that clip proves rather conclusively why the talented Mr. Raitt never had much of a screen career.
Yes - that clip was about late 1952/1953 - not much more than a year before It's Always Fair Weather.
- La Gray deserves to be DL canonized on the basis of this photo alone.
- She's the tops on "You're The Top" with the original male lead of ANYTHING GOES, William Gaxton.
- I adore her now that she's dead.
- More Dolores! "I'm Still Here."
- Love the ponytail!
- I've seen listings for a DVD of her appearances on the "Bell Telephone Hour." Shows like BTH and the Ed Sullivan Show brought people like Dolores Gray into homes across America. Today, there is no way to see musical stage performers except for a few minutes at the annual telecast of the Tony Awards.
That's not quite true. The last Anything Goes did the title number on "The View" and Blow, Gabriel, Blow on Letterman, for example.
- Mack The Black. I prefer it to Baby Gumm's.
- Best appreciated with an orchestra pit between her audience & herself
- Was Dolores interviewed when her walker, Dick Kallman, was murdered?
- [quote] The last Anything Goes did the title number on "The View" and Blow, Gabriel, Blow on Letterman, for example.
Comparing a musical number on "The View" to Broadway appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show is like comparing apples to aardvarks.
Sullivan had someone from Broadway on his show every Sunday night. Not all on stage, however. He would introduce Broaways stars, producers, directors, and choreographers who were seated in the audience. They would stand up for a bow. He brought Broadway to the nation in prime time, not daytime or late night.
A song performed for Whoopi, Barbara, and Sherri can't be compared to that.
- I would like to know what [R56] asked too. I only knew of that case when I read about it on DL. Would be interesting to know her thoughts/input. Must have been devastating.
- 24: Gray was first choice for Maggie Prescott in FUNNY FACE.
The Vreelandesque Thompson was more perfect for the role, but ...
imagine Gray's version of "Think Pink".
You know it would have been fucking fabulous.
- I wonder if she was ever approached to play Dolly Levi? I think she woul dhave been good.
- Why didn't Dolores do Funny Face? Was that her choice or Paramount's?
- It was MGM's decision.
Dolores was one of the final three choices for MAME. She referred to the loss of the role as something from which she never recovered.
I don't think it's coincidental that she never did any Jerry Herman musicals. And she did crap like "Wildcat" in stock.
- She was also up for THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN but lost that role to Tammy Grimes. Did Dorothy slap Meredith Wilson?
- R65 No, but I'll slap you for misspelling my name.
-  who was the other finalist for Mame? I'm assuming one was Lansbury.
- I really love her "Rose's Turn." She really milks that monologue. It's pretty creepy.
- R66- damn! I can't believe I did that!
Theatre queen heading head in shame.
- I thought Kaye Ballard was one of the three finalists to play Mame. Or is that a DL legend?
- Kaye Ballard maintains that she was on of the three finalists (Lansbury and Gray as the other two) but she also tells of how she was told that she couldn't convince as a resident of Beekman Place, so it's hard to believe that she got down to the final round.
- "Here's That Rainy Day" is a remarkably sophisticated song musically. I bet it's hard to put over well, but I love Dolores' version.
- Ballard was also a finalist for Gooch and made it to the wire, only to lose to Jane Connell.
Maybe she's confusing that with the title role....
- But wasn't Judy Garland Jerry Herman's first choice for MAME?
- Hard to imagine Nanette Fabray as a very exciting Mame. And then she never even replaced on Broadway or played her in stock.
- R77. By then she was pretty deaf too. Hey she could play Berthe.
- Fabray wouldn't even audition. She was offer-only. Gray did audition, which probably made the loss greater as she probably considered herself one of the final two.
- What could possibly match Gray's gilt-crowned, dazzling performance?
A sassy , bare-chested Jack Cole jazz-dance number, of course!
- Mr John Epperson (or his houseboy) just posted some more Dolores clips to youtube.
It's interesting to compare the styling between these two numbers (both from a 1956 special) and the effect on how young/mature Dolores appears.
"Always True To You In My Fashion" from KISS ME KATE
and a medley of "I Get A Kick Out Of You (ANYTHING GOES), "Down In The Depths (DUBARRY WAS A LADY), and "Just One Of Those Things" (JUBILEE)
- Good times with Dolores Gray and Director/Choreographer Michael Kidd!
"After one of the performances (DESTRY RIDES AGAIN) Kidd and Gray had a heated argument in front of the cast. He called her a 'slut.' The word had been in the script. It had made Boston (tryout) audiences gasp. She asked him to take it out. It had upset her when it was part of the show. It outraged her when Michael Kidd applied it to her. She upped the verbal ante. She slapped him. He SLUGGED her.
It made headlines. A Herald-Tribune reporter flew to Boston to report on the backstage rodeo. After a performance, he saw Kidd accousted by Gray's mother,who slapped him hard across the mouth. A companion dragged her into her daughter's dressing room from which she called out, " You haven't heard the last of this, Michael Kidd. I will kill you, Michael Kidd."
Normally it would be the producer's role in such a situation to restore peace and harmony. David Merrick, however refused to fly to Boston.
Merrick's reply to Miss Gray's agent: "Are you crazy, Lester? I couldn't buy publicity like this for $5,000 a week. Let 'em fight it out."
-From the unauthorized biography "David Merrick - THE ABOMINABLE SHOWMAN" by Howard Kissel 1993.
- Didn't I tell you Dolores's mother was a real career for poor Dolores?
- R83. Shouldn't that have read career killer?
- Michael Kidd looks like the type who'd slug a woman.
- [quote]Merrick's reply to Miss Gray's agent: "Are you crazy, Lester? I couldn't buy publicity like this for $5,000 a week. Let 'em fight it out."
That's great. You gotta love David Merrick. Kidd and Gray probably deserved each other.
[quote]But wasn't Judy Garland Jerry Herman's first choice for MAME?
No, he dearly wanted her to go in as a replacement after the show became an established hit. But cooler and wiser heads prevailed. Garland was in no shape to do six shows a week, even if they gave her the matinees off.
- R86. The show queens would have gone wild if they had arrived at the Winter Garden for Wednesday and Saturday matinees to find a sign that told them that Iva Withers or Betty Garrett would be going on for Judy. Bloodshed everywhere!
- Saw her in FOLLIES in London in 1988. She sang I'm still here but she wasn't that great.
- An amazing talent. Check out her "Thanks a Lot but No Thanks" in IT'S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER, one of the best MGM musical numbers.
A friend worked with Dolores in a tour of 42nd Street and loved her.
- She definitely was a "Love her" or "Hate her" kind of gal. Nothing in-between.
Apparently she willed her estate and money to Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids. She knew who her fans were at the end. Gotta love her for that, no?
- [quote] She knew who her fans were at the end
Not just her fans. Many of her friends were gay.
I wish someone would do a biography. There was one on Kay Thompson recently, so why not Dolores?
- I wonder if Dolores got along with Ann Miller when they made The Opposite Sex? Did Annie ever comment?
- R89, I love that number too, it's a little underrated, IMO, but definitely one of the best. I posted the clip @ R4.
They remained friends, it seems.
[quote] Gray and Miller became fast friends while rehearsing their very realist cat fight for the film. "Dolores was such a joy to work with," says Miss Miller. "She was statuesque and brassy on and off screen and had this delicious sense of humor."
[quote] After her only non-musical in the deal, Designing Woman (1957), directed by Vincent Minnelli and co-starring Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall, Freed dropped Gray. "It was sad," says Miss Miller, "that Arthur didn't have more faith in Dolores. She really would have been a great asset to M-G-M." As far as her being a trouble maker, Miss Miller said, "Well, she certainly wasn't alone in that category."
- I can't imagine what musicals Dolores (or for that matter Ann)would have done for The Freed Unit post-1957 so her contract termination is really moot.
Could either of them fit into Gigi??
- She could have done GYPSY!
- Sunday bump for more Dolores dish.
- I did a google search for the story that Jack Wrangler (the porn star) used to claim that Dolores Gray was his mother. Apparently, it was his way of... getting laid. He obviously had a thing for show queens
- Here's a quote I found about "Evr'y Time We Say Goodbye", which Dolores sang in her Broadway debut, SEVEN LIVELY ARTS
[quote] How right he was. Cole Porter's matching of words and music in this song is especially felicitous: the use of the repeated note Cno matter how Dolores Gray disliked this device) is as successful here as it was in "Night And Day".
Can you believe it? 19 year old Dolores Gray, in her first appearance on Broadway, and who only sang a REPRISE (the song was introduced by Nan Wynn in the first act), decided to advise Cole Porter on what was wrong his song - a future classic.
The seeds of her "downfall" were sewn from the beginning, it seems.
- Btw, Dolores left SEVEN LIVELY ARTS after a month, due to material being taken away from her. Balls of steel, that woman.
- R101. "Balls of steel" may ultimately account for her "meh" career. She was a true talent who should have gone further. A lot of the blame seems to belong to the ultimate stage mother, who probably instilled some of her pigheadedness into Dolores's brain.
- What surprises me about her career is that she didn't return to London more. She headlined at the London Palladium, Talk Of The Town etc. But she never did DESTRY there or any of the "Great Lady" shows of the 1960s.
On reflection though, her pigheadedness may have made her turn down any offers to do Herman shows after losing MAME to Lansbury.
- R103. But she did return to London, at least twice that I know of. She replaced Lansbury in her Gypsy production and closed the show within a few weeks and she also played Carlotta in Follies, to almost zero acclaim, and got replaced by Eartha Kitt. Admittedly those appearances were thirty years after her Annie acclaim, but even so, she barely created a stir. She may have some cabaret turns and she did appear (I think) at oen of the Royal Palladium events.
- [quote] to almost zero acclaim
Is that your own recollection?
Dolores was sick on her opening night of GYPSY, to the extent that intermission had to be extended, which torpedoed the chance of glowing reviews. She did the show for four months.
She was very well received in FOLLIES.
[quote] "From the moment the ageless Dolores Gray sings 'I'm Still Here,' you know 'Follies' will be around for a good time yet," wrote Rosalie Horner in The Daily Express.
[quote] "For Dolores Gray, a vast pink-and-white figure in skin-tight beaded gown, to bring the house down with I'm Still Here, some 30 years after Annie Get Your Gun and
10 years after Gypsy, is the stuff of theatre legend. She knows it, and so does the audience, " wrote Patricia Morgan, Nationwide News.
[quote] One of Sondheim's wittiest song- lyrics — precisely entitled "I'm Still Here" — is put over superbly by Dolores Gray. (Illustrated London News)
- [quote] There is also Miss Gray, beloved here 30 years ago in ''Annie Get Your Gun,'' who was imported to sing one song and bring down the house, which she did like a home run hitter. The audience was fairly salivating as she strutted with the pride of an old chorine in simply surviving, smiled and began: ''Good times and bum times, I've seen them all, and, my dear - I'm still here.'' (New York Times)