One in a series of evenings and special screenings presented as part of The Paley Center for Media’s Producer’s Circle series. This evening honors George Gershwin and Kay Swift, influential composers and romantic partners for a decade. Pat Mitchell (President and C.E.O., The Paley Center for Media) offers opening remarks before introducing musical director Aaron Gandy, the evening's moderator.

Gandy offers a comprehensive commentary on Gershwin and Swift's personal and professional lives, as well as the pair's connections. He also introduces the evening's performers: singers Jimmy Ray Bennett; Klea Blackhurst; and Christine Ebersole; and pianist Joseph Thalken.

Live performances include: Bennett singing Swift’s “Whistling in the Dark” from "The Little Show"; Blackhurst singing “Up Among the Chimney Pots” from Swift's "The Nine-Fifteen Revue"; Bennett and Blackhurst singing the title song of Swift's “Fine and Dandy”; Ebersole singing “Can This Be Love?” from “Fine and Dandy”; Blackhurst singing “Nobody Breaks My Heart” from “Fine and Dandy”; Thalken playing a selection from “The George Gershwin Songbook”; Bennett singing Swift’s “Sawing a Woman in Half” from a 1935 Radio City Music Hall stage show; and Ebersole singing “There's a Boat Dat's Leavin' Soon for New York” from Gershwin's “Porgy and Bess.”

Clips featuring Gershwin and Kay’s compositions include: Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers singing “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” in the 1937 film “Shall We Dance”; Swift talking about Gershwin's work habits on “American Masters: George Gershwin Remembered” (1987); Leslie Uggams singing “Someone to Watch Over Me” in “’S Wonderful, ‘S Marvelous, ‘S Gerswhin” (1972); Nancy Reed singing “Do, Do, Do” on “The Paul Winchell and Jerry Mahoney Show” (1954); Mikhail Baryshnikov on “American Film Institute Tribute to Gene Kelly” (1985) introducing a clip from the climactic dance number of the 1951 film “An American in Paris” featuring Kelly and Leslie Caron; an audio recording of “Can’t We Be Friends?” from “Dixie Tenor and the Dixie Show Steppers” (1929); Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra singing “Can’t We Be Friends?” on “The Frank Sinatra Show” (1958); Swift talking about her musical “Fine and Dandy” on “WCBS American Musical Theatre” (1960); various uses of the song “Fine and Dandy” in several productions, including “Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project” (2007), the 1974 Oscar telecast, “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In” (1968), and “Family Guy Presents Stewie Griffin: The Untold Story” (2005); Gershwin playing “I Got Rhythm” for Rudy Vallee on "The Fleischmann Hour” (1932); Ethel Merman singing “I Got Rhythm” on “Texaco Star Theater” (1949); Judy Garland singing “Embraceable You” in the 1943 film “Girl Crazy”; Michelle Lee, Jack Gilford, and Jim Backus singing “Love is Sweeping the Country” and Carroll O'Connor and Cloris Leachman singing “Of Thee I Sing” in "Of Thee I Sing" (1972); Swift talking about her familiarity with “Porgy and Bess” on the “WQXR Gershwin Special” (1960); a clip from a rehearsal of “Porgy and Bess” (1935); Willard White singing "Oh Lawd, I'm on My Way" from Trevor Nunn's production of “Porgy and Bess” (1993); John Bubbles telling about playing Sportin' Life in the 1935 production of “Porgy and Bess” to host James Morske on “American Musical Theatre” (1961); Swift talking about how news of Gershwin's brain tumor and subsequent death affected her on “American Masters: George Gershwin Remembered” (1987); and Astaire and Audrey Hepburn singing “’S Wonderful” in the 1957 film “Funny Face.” Mitchell then offers closing comments.

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  • DATE: May 15, 2008 Thursday 6:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 1:27:55
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: B:92306
  • GENRE: Seminars


    • Pat Mitchell … Host
    • Aaron Gandy … Moderator
    • Christine Ebersole … Performer
    • Klea Blackhurst … Performer
    • Jimmy Ray Bennett … Performer
    • Joseph Thalken … Performer
    • Fred Astaire
    • Jim Backus
    • Mikhail Baryshnikov
    • John Bubbles
    • Leslie Caron
    • Ella Fitzgerald
    • Judy Garland
    • George Gershwin
    • Jack Gilford
    • Audrey Hepburn
    • Gene Kelly
    • Cloris Leachman
    • Michelle Lee
    • Dirk Martin
    • Ethel Merman
    • James Morske
    • Trevor Nunn
    • Carroll O'Connor
    • Nancy Reed
    • Don Rickles
    • Ginger Rogers
    • Dan Rowan
    • Frank Sinatra
    • Kay Swift
    • Leslie Uggams
    • Rudy Vallee
    • Willard White
    • Paul Winchell