THE Jack Cole PROJECT, a new musical entertainment by director/choreographer Chet Walker, presented at Queens Theatre in the Park (located in Flushing MeadowCorona Park) opens tonight, May 3, 2012.
THE Jack Cole PROJECT is a musical tribute to the father of theatrical jazz dance, Jack Cole. Queens Theatre has partnered with WALKERDANCE founder Chet Walker who is spearheading this new project. Jack Cole, whose work-often uncredited-ran the gamut from Broadway and movie musicals to nightclub acts and television variety shows, is best known for his work with Marilyn Monroe, Rita Hayworth, Betty Grable and Ann Miller and his unmistakable style was seen on screen in such films as Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Gilda, Some Like It Hot, No Business Like Show Business and Les Girls and on stage in Kismet, Man of La Mancha and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Cole influenced legions of dancers and choreographers-Bob Fosse, Gwen Verdon, Jerome Robbins and Alvin Ailey to name a few. The show will recreate works in the style of Jack Cole as well as create new works based on Mr. Cole’s Hollywood, Broadway, and nightclub periods.
Ray Cullom, Executive Director of Queens Theatre said “As a new center for development of new and innovative performance work, this is at the heart what we do at the theatre, and to have found such a generous, willing and renowned collaborator as Chet is overwhelming. It is sure to be an exciting production that we hope might have a future life in the city-perhaps even on Broadway”.
Chet Walker is a protégé of Bob Fosse and began performing on Broadway at the age of 16 in the first revival of On The Town and then went on to work with Fosse on The Pajama Game, Pippin, Dancin’ and Sweet Charity. His company, WALKERDANCE recently became the first resident dance company in the history of the Queens Theatre.