Annie Gaybis Actress, Singer, Dancer

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So exciting! ... So much "fun!" So many changes in rehearsal studios. OMG!

We started in one that was so perfectly located on Santa Monica and Beverly Glen but between the owners dog who always wanted someone to kick this dirty filthy plastic Evian bottle around and once you kicked it for him a few times would plant himself in your way till you did it again which interferes with your dancing--no kidding--and then nannies with their children coming in, then planting themselves under a tree covered patio talking loudly and staring in at us and the adorable little children coming in and out of their baby classes unfortunately trying to twist the door handles and crying when they wouldn’t open. 

And you got to see it because all the doors were glass...so...we had to move...and so we did to the Hollywood Dance Center...a veteran establishment....where Walter Painter said to me this classic line and if you have taken or rehearsed at this dance center you will relate... "Well you got past the stairs –that’s a good start" as I climbed and climbed this major staircase...and then...finally...over to Stage 25 at Paramount where they built an exact costly replica of our stage - a platform with legs about three and a half feet off the ground…complete with stairs...and then the venue...the Beverly Hilton...on the same stage where they hosted "The Golden Globes."

  

There are no small parts... Just small spaces.

    
The booking manager of the hotel said he enjoyed this more than "The Golden Globes" and he was right it was great...we should have toured. The opening number was so Fosse and the costumes designed at Hargate were adorable. Of course something always goes awry and this time it was costumes...two of the girls--we were only five--couldn’t stand how they looked in their garters and fishnet. One was going to quit the number...yes, quit the number. Called the choreographers and the costumer in the eleventh hour...and the funny thing is I thought she looked fabulous...not an ounce of "fat" on her anywhere, but their was no talking to her...and even before we got to the "step class" staircase at Hollywood Dance two dancers had to drop out because of "knee" issues...and if they hadn’t dropped out before we got to the Hollywood Dance Center, their staircase would have finished them off.
  

This was Burlesque

 

 The show produced by Emmy Award Winner Gary Smith starred Michael Feinstein. I have known Michael when we were both starting out in Hollywood and he would be playing in piano bar/lounges. Michael is still so unfazed by his success and has retained his boyish looks and personality that always made him endearing to me. He is such a talented pianist and his voice has gained so much strength over time. 

Such A Happy Time Doing The Show With Michael

They had made the room to look like a beautiful nightclub from the 40"s...heavy drapes in burgundy and burgundy and dark gold tablecloths...and the best part...was they "fed" us (when you dance "eating" is important)...though some dancers think otherwise... ooh! They had outside our dressing room...beautiful tea service in silver with china cups and elegant silverware ...sandwiches done so beautifully with cookies (a no-no for me but not the "boys" and the crew). 

I loved performing here. We were treated like "stars" and wonderful parking and great security. If you notice on the film, I was in a black and white outfit for "Show Me How You Burlesque." Well, this was the only time in my life that the wardrobe I was fitted in "stretched"...oh, yes, it was pleather--something like fake leather and every time I wore it...it got looser on the top and looser in the waist...so as you can see as time went on a bra was added peek-a-booing under the bustier...the waist got safety pinned and the blouse got tied "higher and higher." Our costumer Joni Berry announced to one and all that when the show was finished the burlesque costumes were "history." 
  

 

The audience reception was just so great...Choreographers Miriam Nelson, Joe Tremaine and Ted Sprague were very complimentary to me after the show, which was really pleasing and made me feel so good. The one review I saw called me "adorable." Another said "best in the show." Well, how nice is that. When I was getting fitted at Hargate one of the owners told me that I needed to go see Miss Stevens for a proper fitting of a bra, so, three of the five of us went off to see--and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to have the fit of their lives--the people that work their "live" to fit you correctly...you sign in...the store is huge and then they take you behind pink bar-style doors and look at you...no measuring like on Oprah and...when they were finished with the three of us...and I mean no false modesty will work in that place as they actually place you into your bra.....it was like we never knew until now how to properly take care of a bra and yes, like Oprah we all went up a size.....so five bras later.....oh yes, go visit Miss Stevens in West LA it is a conservative shop....no Trashy Lingerie place...and go with your girlfriends if your a girl. You will have a hoot....
   

Terry Baldwin, Dancy Gregory, and moi
(Pre-show Before Opening NIght)

 So I loved, Loved, LOVED singing and dancing in this show...loved the choreographers...the cast...the stage...oh, and on our opening night...their wasn’t a party...so I ended up at Kate Matalinis and it was quite empty except for one person sitting there after having a wonderful performance of her own in La Mirada...Mitzi Gaynor...herself, in person and my husband and I sat with her and I told her everything...and I mean everything and you know what boys and girls...Miss Mitzi knew Miss Stevens...amazing!


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