Kennedy House Youth Services Inc. is excited to announce a special fundraising gala, Gene Kelly: The Legacy an Evening with Patricia Ward Kelly. Gene Kelly was a legendary dancer, director and choreographer. His work continues to be an inspiration to artists and athletes around the world. His vision and artistry, in such films as An American in Paris and Singin’ In The Rain have delighted and captivated us, yet we know little about him. During this unique evening, Patricia Ward Kelly—his widow and biographer—shares intimate stories of her husband’s life and career.

Biographer and film historian PATRICIA WARD KELLY is the widow of Gene Kelly. She and Kelly met at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. in 1985, when he was the host/narrator for a television special for which she was a writer. Soon after, he invited her to California to write his memoirs and they were together until his death in 1996. Currently, she serves as Sole Trustee of The Gene Kelly Image Trust and Creative Director of Gene Kelly: The Legacy, a corporation established to commemorate Gene Kelly’s artistry worldwide. She lives in Los Angeles and is completing the book about her late husband.

A Personal Note from Patricia Ward Kelly

 I had the privilege of recording Gene’s words nearly every day for over a decade. Some of these sessions took the form of lengthy, formal interviews; others were more intimate—hastily scribbled notes on cocktail napkins and sugar packs as we sat listening to music in piano bars late into the night. While our conversations covered many topics over the years, once concern always stood out: how Gene wished to be remembered. Though he is perhaps best known for his brilliant dancing and captivating screen presence, Gene wanted to be recognized more for his innovative work behind the camera and, particularly, for “changing the look of dance on film.”

Gene was often very modest and found it difficult to express his contribution in the first person. In one characteristic summation, he said casually, “I took things as I found them and when I left them they were different. I have to take a little credit for that.”  He frequently left notes for me to find in books and other publications; marginalia that revealed his thoughts about a number of subjects. Often, the markings provided a kind of trail for me to follow to understand him better and to learn things that he could not comfortably say about himself. Leafing through a copy of Magill’s Cinema Annual after Gene died, I found the following passage that he had marked in brackets: “As a choreographer and a director, Kelly explored the possibilities of dance on film in a way that transformed the musical and gave birth to a wedding of cinematic and choreographic techniques that remains unsurpassed.”

Though it was wrenching to see Gene’s familiar squiggles in the margins next to the words—as they reminded me both of his presence and of his tremendous absence—I was glad to know that he had read and noted such a fitting tribute to his achievements and that he had thought to share that moment with me.

Gene Kelly: The Legacy an Evening with Patricia Ward Kelly

Kelly’s compelling presentation, which will take place March 23, 2017 at 8pm at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in Toronto, combines rare and familiar film clips, previously unreleased audio recordings, personal memorabilia, and insights culled from her hours of interviews and conversations with her husband. This special live program makes for a remarkable experience praised as “a real treat” by Variety and hailed as “endearingly entertaining” by the Hollywood Reporter.

Special ticket offer for BUZZ readers, $20.00 tickets, just enter BUZZ  as the Promo Code

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theBUZZ TV Interview

This exciting show is sponsored by Investors Group and will support the Kennedy House Youth Shelter. This homeless shelter is located in East Toronto and provides shelter and support to homeless youth between the ages of 16-24 who have complex needs. The shelter has a 33 bed capacity and is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The shelter encourages young people to work on goals they have identified for themselves and guides them in securing long-term housing, employment and education. The program respects the uniqueness of each individual and works to increase their capacity to achieve success, health and independence while overcoming systemic and personal barriers. Thanks to the incredible support from Investors Group, all proceeds from this event will help youth in our city to battle homelessness. By attending Gene Kelly: The Legacy an Evening with Patricia Ward Kelly, you will be helping to change lives forever. 

About Kennedy House Youth Services Inc.: Established in 1971, Kennedy House Youth Services has a forty five year history of providing therapeutic residential care to troubled youth in the Greater Toronto Area. Since our inception, we have worked with close to 10,000 youth through our various programs. In addition to our youth homeless shelter, Kennedy House currently operates five group homes for youth boys and girls, a day treatment school program, a secure custody facility for young men experiencing conflict with the law, a bailiff program and an after school program for vulnerable youth.

 

 

 

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.