Category Archives: events

Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine: Two Kids from Brooklyn exhibit


Walt Disney Concert Hall Sat Aug 24 – Sat Feb 15 2014

Time Out says

Opening at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in the Ira Gershwin Gallery on August 24, this exhibition from the Library of Congress in DC will celebrate the careers of mid-Century entertainer Danny Kaye and his musical wife, Sylvia Fine. The exhibit will feature a wide variety of relics, from music holographs and typed lyric sheets, to scripts, photographs, letters, recordings and more. A series of video stations will show clips from Kaye’s many show-stopping on-screen performances. Free and open to the public, this impressive collection of entertainment history is not to be missed.

Venue details


Walt Disney Concert Hall


111 S Grand Ave
between W 2nd & W 3rd Sts
Downtown (Eastside)
Los Angeles

Venue website:

Opening hours:

Box office noon-6pm Tue-Sun


Tickets $25-$175; parking $9

Event phone:


Event website:

Good for:

Culture vultures. History buffs. Take your parents

Event type:

Exhibitions. Public art

Review: New York Pops 30th Birthday Gala

April 29th, 2013

Carnegie Hall

By Joel Benjamin


What better way to celebrate any occasion, let alone a 30th anniversary than in the company of Jule Styne, Danny Kaye and Frank Loesser? Steven Reineke, the Pops’ Music Director, led an energetic program of the Broadway masterpieces by the two composers performed by a who’s who of stage personalities. A touching video tribute to Danny Kaye, introduced by his daughter Dena, was shown midway in the festivities. This stroll down Kaye’s life only proved what a great man he was and why he will always be missed.

Jule Styne’s Gypsy Overture was a perfect slam-bam opening. It was followed by a medley of songs from that show performed by the youngsters of the Camp Broadway Kids.

Three legendary songs from Funny Girl were sung with extraordinary power by Stephanie J. Block (“Don’t Rain on My Parade”), Betsey Wolfe (“The Music That Makes Me Dance”) and Laura Osnes (“People”). Although, let’s face it, no one can eclipse Ms. Streisand, these three singers came close.

Laura Benanti was tender in “Neverland.” It was a special thrill to hear Leslie Uggams sing the song she made famous 46 years ago, “My Own Morning” from Hallelujah, Baby. If anything, Ms. Uggams sang it with more depth and heart now. She was glorious. Megan Hilty repeated her Encores! role from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes in an applause milking “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.”


The second half of the program featured the music of Frank Loesser, beginning with a sweetly tender “Inchworm” sung by Kelli O’Hara with the help of the Ronald McDonald House Rockin’ the House Band and Chorus. Donna Murphy was equally touching singing “The Ugly Duckling.”

More upbeat was the “Fugue for Tinhorns” from Guys and Dolls given a humorously tough guy interpretation by three Broadway stars: Nick Adams, Will Chase and Max von Essen. Keeping up the light mood was Liz Callaway who was absolutely hilarious in “How to Succeed/I Believe In You” wittily using an iPhone to bring the songs up to date. (You had to be there!)


The Most Happy Fella, Loesser’s major operatic achievement, of course, had to be represented. Kelli O’Hara sang “Somebody, Somewhere” in an operatic voice that was both surprising and thrilling while Anthony Warlow’s “Rosabella” caused many tears to flow with his moving interpretation. Not to be over-shadowed, the great Marilyn Maye took “Joey, Joey, Joey” and made it her own, a quiet anthem to a wondering soul.

Maestro Reineke chose to end the program with Victor Herbert’s “Festival March” which opened the Pops very first concert 30 years ago, utilizing all the performers to make this an uplifting ending to a great concert.

The New York Pops – 30th Birthday Gala
April 29th, 2013
Carnegie Hall

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WWD: Dressing With Don Loper at New York Pops Celebration

DRESSING WITH LOPER: For tonight’s New York Pops 30th anniversary celebration that will honor her late father Danny Kaye, Dena Kaye wore a dress of her mother’s from the Fifties. The emerald green and black striped Don Loper gown is in such “incredible” condition that she hopes to stage an exhibition to give the designer his due.

As a teenager, Dena Kaye would visit the designer’s Beverly Hill boutique which was next door to Romanoff’s, a popular haunt with the Hollywood crowd in the Forties and Fifties. Known for wearing patent leather shoes and serious black suits, Loper dressed Lucille Ball and Ella Fitzgerald, among others. “Whenever I would visit my mother during on of her fitting in the salon, he would admonish me with, ‘Don’t wear trousers when you come in here, dear,’” Kaye said. “Don Loper is one of the unsung great designers of glam clothes of yesteryear in Hollywood. Some of his dresses are in the LA County Museum.”

Taking in “Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity” at the Met Sunday, Kaye stopped in her tracks in front of a 1865 Monet painting that featured a woman in a hauntingly familiar dress. “I said, ‘My God, that’s my dress,” she said.

Retrieving her mother’s dresses from years ago including some Yves Saint Laurent also brought back memories of that designer. “I once had lunch in Paris with Saint Laurent, Pierre Berge and my mother in the Sixties,” she said, though the details of that occasion were lost on her younger self. “I could tell you what I wore — a very cool black shiny raincoat with black knit sleeves. I saw it in the Saint Laurent exhibition last year in Paris. I wish I still had it today.”

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Eye For Film: Danny Kaye Sandwich joins ‘The Woody Allen’ on Carnegie Deli’s menu


Danny Kaye was UNICEF’s first Goodwill Ambassador, before Audrey Hepburn, and his films, from White Christmas, starring with Bing Crosby, to The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty, with Virginia Mayo and Boris Karloff, have become timeless classics. When thinking of Hans Christian Andersen, for many people, his face and voice come to mind. And if you ever wondered if the pellet with the poison is in the vessel with the pestle, you should definitely watch the Court Jester duel with the real Ravenhurst, Basil Rathbone. The sandwich “that made Broadway Danny Rose famous – The Woody Allen with lotsa Pastrami,” according to Carnegie Deli’s menu, is now joined by another famous Brooklyn boy, The Danny Kaye.

Anne-Katrin Titze: What would you tell young people who haven’t heard of Danny Kaye to describe your father?


Dena Kaye: I would tell them that my father was very unique. He was unique in his profession because he could sing, he could dance, he was a comedian, he was a dramatic actor. He was unique because he did so many different venues – he was on stage, he was in movies and on the radio. He was unique because in 1954 he was appointed UNICEF’s first ambassador to the World’s Children. He was the first celebrity to really take on a cause. He paved the way for Audrey Hepburn and Harry Belafonte. He had a whole life outside his profession. He had a baseball team [as part-owner of the Seattle Mariners] he conducted orchestras, he cooked.

AKT: Which explains the sandwich?

DK: He loved authenticity and he loved corned beef on rye. And I love turkey with coleslaw and Russian dressing so that’s the father/daughter sandwich.

AKT: What events to celebrate your father’s legacy are we to look forward to this year?

DK: CBS Sunday Morning will be doing a segment on Fathers’ Day. We’re just planning the events for the fall. There will be something with UNICEF Trick or Treat, the Danny Kaye Humanitarian Award will be in January. In the fall a lot of DVDs of his movies will come out, iTunes will come out.

AKT: Some of the movies that haven’t been around for a while, like Wonder Man, one of my favourites? [Danny Kaye plays twins, one of them a ghost who takes over the body of the other. There should be a special screening of Wonder Man in Prospect Park in Brooklyn, aka ‘Potato Salad’ in the movie].

DK: I can’t say, yet. But a lot of them will be re-released on DVD and are coming out on iTunes, which is wonderful. The whole goal is to bring a new generation. There was a wonderful piece in the New York Times, that talked about how you could learn a little from my father because he was very anarchical but he was also respectful. Some young comedians could learn a little bit from that today. [“Kaye’s brand of humour seems tame today, but it had an anarchic quality that would sit well in the 21st century.” A Brooklyn Jester Had an Enduring Comic Brew That Was True by Neil Genzlinger; Published: April 8, 2013]

Danny Kaye Sandwich – Corned beef, mustard, turkey, Russian dressing, coleslaw and sliced pickles on rye with Dena Kaye. Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze
Danny Kaye Sandwich – Corned beef, mustard, turkey, Russian dressing, coleslaw and sliced pickles on rye with Dena Kaye. Photo: Anne-Katrin Titze

I wouldn’t call Danny Kaye’s sense of humour tame. The anarchic quality stimulates you to think differently.


AKT: You are a journalist, you have travelled all over the world. Do you have people quote your father’s famous lines to you in different languages?

DK: I never say who I am. If somebody happens to know who I am… “The vessel with the pestle”, some people of a certain generation might. In other countries, I don’t know. That’s a very good point.

AKT: Especially the Court Jester used to be on TV a lot. I remember seeing it dubbed in German and French. It had a cult following not only in the US.

DK: My father was somebody who could sit with the royalty and he could sit with the milkman, who used to come to the house when you still had milk delivered. He was just an authentic person. Delicatessen sandwiches are not fancy. That’s my father, he was not a snob.

Corned beef, mustard, turkey, Russian dressing, coleslaw and sliced pickles on rye! In honor of the Danny Kaye Centennial, Carnegie Deli, established in 1937, added this new, yet traditional sandwich on their menu. “It’s down-to-earth as my father was,” said Dena Kaye, “he was not a pastrami person.” She is planning a number of events throughout the year to celebrate her father’s legacy as entertainer and humanitarian.

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Wall Street Journal – Pop Arts: Balloons, Songs and Sandwiches

Remembering Danny Kaye—and the Emperor’s New Clothes


Describing someone or something as “the emperor’s new clothes,” while a little bit dusty, is still occasionally used on the social circuit, mostly because there’s so much artifice and so many people on the make.

Naturally, it has been overtaken by other, less historical phrases—for instance, “phony,” thanks to Holden Caulfield; “he’s such a Ripley,” thanks to Patricia Highsmith, and, more recently, Matt Damon; “count with [or, alternatively, of] no account,” thanks to wherever that came from; and, the old chestnut, “that outfit is just plain ugly and you’re an idiot for wearing it.”

We were reminded about “the emperor’s new clothes” on Monday because the New York Pops were celebrating Jule Styne, Frank Loesser and the centennial of the performer Danny Kaye.

This is kind of inside baseball—what isn’t, frankly?—but growing up, we would watch Mr. Kaye in “Hans Christian Andersen,” a movie (now out on Blu-ray) for which Mr. Loesser wrote such tunes as “Inchworm,” “No Two People,” “Anywhere I Wander” and “Wonderful Copenhagen.”

He also wrote a variation on “The Emperor’s New Clothes” called “The King’s New Clothes,” in which the king wears what he believes is “all together the most remarkable suit of clothes a tailor ever made.” Everyone else agrees, and only a young boy will tell him the truth that, actually, it’s “all together the very least the King has ever worn.”

Do we really have to spell it out for you? The king was naked!


Situations like this happen all the time in New York, though usually with less public displays of nudity. But sometimes you just can’t tell if an artist is the second coming or just an old bag of bones recycling someone else’s one-trick-pony routine.

Take, for instance, a dinner on Monday to celebrate the relaunch of A Small World, a social-media website for the elite that may have been the Emperor’s New Clothes when it first popped up several years ago. (Facebook FB -0.72% ultimately drowned out its noise.)

At this dinner in Chelsea, there were lots of pretty girls in flowy dresses. The affair was meant to bring attention to the travel focus of the site: At each place setting was a postcard you were meant to fill out with memories of your greatest trip. And dessert involved a cake pop, alone without the stick, hand-painted blue to symbolize the globe, wrapped in a balloon you had to pop with a pin.

Was this the wave of the future in party planning? Or just a shoulder shrug?

Over at the New York Pops Gala, celebrating the symphony’s 30th anniversary, none of the performers, including Donna Murphy, Kelli O’Hara, Liz Callaway and Laura Benanti, tackled “The King’s New Clothes.”

Ms. Murphy, instead, sang “Thumbelina.” Ms. O’Hara did “Inchworm.” Ms. Callaway sang something from “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” also a Loesser musical.

Afterward, they all retired to the Plaza, where a black-tie gala dinner was in session. A big presence here was Mr. Kaye’s daughter, Dena Kaye, who was wearing one of her mom’s vintage Don Loper dresses.

Ms. Kaye splits her time between Aspen and Paris, and is currently in the midst of writing a memoir about moving to France later in life. She was in town for the Pops event, and also for the christening—if that’s the right word—of the Danny Kaye Deli Club at the Carnegie Deli earlier that afternoon.

Mr. Kaye was—who knew?—a consummate chef, and his sandwich is a combination of his and his daughter’s favorite kinds of sandwiches. His: corned beef on rye with yellow mustard; hers: turkey, coleslaw and Russian dressing. “We all thought it would be a good idea,” said Ms. Kaye of the sandwich. “Whenever I am in New York, I’ll get that sandwich.”

Ms. Kaye said that the Pops concert was “magical. The whole goal of the centennial is to have people know his work.”

Did she miss hearing “The King’s New Clothes?”

“I love that song,” she said.

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Examiner – The 30th Birthday Gala for New York Pops Glitters With Stars


Carnegie Hall was filled to the rafters for the concert celebrating the Collaborations of the Past, Present and Future. Musical Director-Conductor Steven Reineke, as always, was his charming self as Paula Zahn, not only hosted, but showed her other talents playing cello during the evening festivities. The stars came out to sing and, yes, they all shined several glittered with gorgeous outfits of sequins and jewels.

The evening was devoted to honoring three icons: Jule Styne who collaborated with Stephen Sondheim, Bob Merrill, Adolph Green & Betty Comden and Leo Robin; the songs of Frank Loesser and the inimitable entertainer Danny Kaye. The legacy of these great artists formed the basis of an evening filled with talents from Broadway and beyond.

Danny Kaye’s daughter Dena Kaye provided heart-warming historical information about her Dad while a video of his movies and concert performances brought to life the entertainer’s multi-talents. And just yesterday a new sandwich appeared on the menu of the Carnegie Deli – the Danny Kaye Club!

After a rousing opening by the Camp Broadway Kids who appeared on stage and in the aisles, in a medley of tunes from Gypsy, recent Tony Award Nominee Stephanie J. Block (for her role in The Mystery of Edwin Drood), hit home with a resounding “Don’t Rain on My Parade” (Funny Girl), followed by Betsy Wolfe with “The Music That Makes Me Dance” (Funny Girl).

Also a Tony Nominee for her role on Broadway in Cinderella, Laura Osnes sang the poetic “People,” while the sweet vocals of Laura Benanti rang through in “Neverland” (Peter Pan).

Another icon was on board with “My Own Morning” (Hallelujah Baby!), by it’s original owner, Leslie Uggams, who won a Tony Award for her portrayal, bringing the audience to their feet.

The ever-sparkling personality of Megan Hilty proved that “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” (Gentlemen Prefer Blondes).

From Ronald McDonald House, students sang background vocals while the lovely Kelli O’Harasang “Inchworm” from Hans Christian Andersen, with additional backup by the Rockin’ The House Band.
Charming two time Tony winner Donna Murphy gathered up some of the Broadway Camp Kids to relate “The Ugly Duckling,” followed by three gamblers from Guys and Dolls with “Fugue for Tinhorns” – Nick Adams, Will Chase and Max Von Essen.

Seems like the evening was just filled with Tony Nominees as Rob McClure (Chaplin) proved his capabilities in playful song and dance with an adorable “Once in Love with Amy” from Where’s Charley?

One of the purest voices around is Liz Callaway, her exciting soprano soaring with “How to Succeed/I Believe in You” (How To Succeed . . .). Daddy Warbucks himself – Anthony Warlow (Annie) was on hand with a resounding “Rosabella” from The Most Happy Fella.

Steven Reineke has great taste in artists and saved the best for last – the marvelous Marilyn Maye who recently celebrated and celebrated and is still celebrating her 85th Birthday! Looking, as always, perfectly striking, accompanied by Tedd Firth on piano, she sang “Joey, Joey, Joey (The Most Happy Fella) and “Luck Be A Lady” (Guys and Dolls) which culminated in standing ovations.

Many made their way to the Plaza Hotel for the reception and dinner to complete the evening. Oh, what a night!

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Danny Kaye Sandwich Joins The Carnegie Deli

Iconic entertainer and humanitarian Danny Kaye was honored as his namesake sandwich joined the menu of the famed NYC staple in his Centennial year. On Monday, April 29th, Dena Kaye, Danny’s only daughter with his wife and collaborator Sylvia Fine Kaye, joined the staff of the Carnegie Deli for a sandwich cutting ceremony, officially inducting the Danny Kaye Deli Club sandwich onto the menu for all to enjoy.

Renaissance man Danny Kaye is known to most as a star of stage and screen, singer, entertainer extraordinaire and true humanitarian. However, the beloved American icon, who entertained children of all ages in films like White Christmas and Hans Christian Anderson, is far less well known for his culinary talents.

A bona fide Chinese chef whose frequent dinner guests included luminaries from Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn, to Frank Sinatra and Henry Kissinger, Danny surely had a sophisticated skill set and palette. His very favorite food though, like Danny, was much more fun and lighthearted. Down-to-earth and simply delicious, Danny Kaye loved the sandwich.
Last night, the NY Pops honored Danny with a tribute concert at Carnegie Hall. This all comes in a year of activities celebrating the Centennial of Danny Kaye in honor of his legacy.




dannykayesandwichjoinscarnegiedelii7-3zcg0g4yl Master of Comedy!

Dena Kaye wants you to remember her talented father, as well she should. The only child of Danny and Silvia Fine, she has donated a collection of his works to The Library of Congress. “I realized there are generations who don’t know who he is,” she said. “The job of the centennial is to reacquaint people with who he is. Ultimately, what is going to live on about my father is his work.” Think “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,” “The Inspector General” and “The Court Jester.”


Danny Kaye was a versatile American actor and comedian on stage, television and in films including “White Christmas” and “Hans Christian Andersen.” He received countless accolades during his lifetime including the Kennedy Center Honors and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. His wife, Sylvia Fine, played a major role in his success, writing the music and lyrics for his songs and artfully managing and producing his engagements.

A who’s who of Washington’s film mavens showed up to honor his legacy at a soiree hosted by Sheila and Ed Weidenfeld at The Library of Congress to celebrate the Centennial of Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine.

A look back at the humor of Danny Kaye: What’s my Line

With Beverly Sills: Danny Kaye at the Library of Congress

In conjunction with the exhibition Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine: Two Kids from Brooklyn, the Library of Congress will screen some of Kaye’s most popular films this weekend. This means a return of 35mm film to the Mary Pickford Theater, once one of the area’s premiere repertory programs (and one which I used to help program). Titles screened in the Coolidge Auditorium will be from DVD, and include The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947), with an introduction by Dena Kaye and Q&A session before the film; and Hans Christian Andersen (1952). Titles screening at the Pickford Theater will be from 35mm archival prints, and include The Court Jester (1955), Knock on Wood (1954) and The Five Pennies (1959). Disclaimer: These opinions do not necessarily reflect those of my employer, the Library of Congress.

All screenings are Saturday, March 23. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty screens at 11:00 am, with an introduction and Q&A with Dena Kaye. Hans Christian Andersen screens at 2:30 pm. At the Coolidge Auditorium, Jefferson Building, Library of Congress. Free. The Court Jester screens at 9:00 am. Knock on Wood screens at 12:30 pm. The Five Pennies screens at 3:00 pm. At the Mary Pickford Theatre, Third Floor Madison Building, Library of Congress. Free.

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