The Conga line dancing off the stage of the El Portal theater and leading the audience into the lobby was reminiscent of Danny Kaye leading the hypnotized audience at London’s Royal Albert Hall in the ’50s.
I wasn’t there at the time, but Warren Cowan, Danny’s longtime (25-plus years) publicist was a witness to this and many other Kaye concerts. He was at the El Portal last Saturday night applauding Brian Childers as Danny Kaye starring in “The Kid From Brooklyn.” Of course, no one can really be Danny Kaye — because there were so many Kayes, Cowan remnded me. But Childers does an amazing carbon, performing several of Kaye’s memorable numbers. He is truly amazing.
Also on hand and agreeing that Childers’ carbon capabilities are memorable was Suzanne Hertfelder. She represents the Danny Kaye-Sylvia Fine material — for their daughter Dena and she has given the “Kid From Brooklyn” company rights to use the numbers — a blessing for audiences who knew — or will now, hopefully know, Danny Kaye. He is legend and luckily the talented Chllders reminds us of his genius by his performance. (See Bob Verini’s review in today’s Daily Variety).
Among those on hand who also recalled Danny Kaye — and his performance was A.C.Lyles , a seventy-year veteran of service at Paramount who witnessed Kaye performing on those studio stages in “White Christmas” (1954) with Bing Crosby, Rosemarey Clooney and Vera-Ellen, directed by Michael Curtiz. Other Danny Kaye admirers on hand included Anne Jeffreys who recalled another of Kaye’s talents — as a great Chinese chef — he entertained international and Hollywood royalty with this specialty in the specially-designed kitchen in his Beverly Hills home.