Annie Gaybis Actress, Singer, Dancer

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“Ol' Blue Eyes”

You know there are shows that you like to do and then there are shows that you LOVE TO DO....This is one THAT I LOVED...Everything was done first class...

Did the audience like it? The audiences LOVED IT!

 

For starters: Gary Smith who has produced everyone and everything including The Emmys, AFI Tributes, etc. etc. Rene Lagler who did the sets and lights. He has worked with them all...from The Three Tenors to a Pope...Nelson Kole a musician’s musician who conducted and arranged "all" the music (except Frank Sinatra Jr’s that was the "real deal") and Nancy Gregory, whose work has won her a Grammy and a Clio. My friend and co-dancer on so many really big shows. She choreographed and conceived this entire production and even managed to take part in it....

We rehearsed at one of the oldest dance studios still going strong...The Hollywood Dance Centre. This is the one with the staircase from hell...one of the dancers put off having a knee replacement so she could dance in this show...another had a recurrence of a bad knee problem right before we opened and in the dressing room would always be sitting with an elevated leg taped to a cold compress...that’s how much she wanted to do the show....

 

"TAKE BACK YOUR MINK," Starring ANNIE GAYBIS
(Personally Fitted For My "Take Back Your Mink" Costume by "the" Bob Mackie)
  

I mean how can you go wrong with the music of Sinatra...and we had the real deal...his son... he sounds just like his Dad...and his back-up musicians are superb. And how was Frank Jr. backstage "inquiring minds want to know"? I know… I know, I would want to know the lowdown too. He is very humble very understated...I am not kidding...very polite...and yes like his dad...loves women.

And for me one of my backstage highlights was getting personally fitted for my "Take Back Your Mink" costume by "the" Bob Mackie. For some reason everything that Janet Strong our costumer put on me just didn’t do "it." Bob Mackie...also fresh from a knee replacement (I am completely cutting out grand plies in ballet class) comes in looking just like you would imagine: blue blazer, khakis and light blue perfectly pressed collar open at the neck shirt.

 

"STYLE," with ANNIE GAYBIS
"3rd girl from the left" and behold .... once again, I am "that girl"

He comes in...and his main fitting room is filled with endless Emmys and there are all these floor to ceiling designs thru-out the studio: sketches from Carol Channing to Carol Burnett as Miss Wiggens and the one that he did of her with the curtains and the curtain rod for that legendary take-off of "Gone With The Wind." He told me the actual costume is now in The Smithsonian. He had me wear the choker I take off in the video from his personal collection and both he and his assistant Joe found my costume from somewhere in the archives ...and it fit beautifully like, "Voila!"

If Frank was looking down he would know we did everything... HIS WAY!

 


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