MARILYN CARMINIO ON
Wednesday, June 16, 4:00 pm
Misty Copeland and
The story of the ballet’s most
unusual pair will be the subject
of Ms. Carminio’s presentation
on that date. Women’s Club
members can join us on Zoom
to hear this gifted lecturer
speak on the American Ballet
Theater’s principal dancers
Misty Copeland and Roberto
Bolle. Ms. Carminio began as
a teacher, and went on to hold
positions in magazine publishing
such as Cosmopolitan, Elle and
New Woman. She has the ability
to create successful programs
with state of the art technology
combined with ardent research.
The program on Misty
Copeland and Roberto Bolle
promises to be exceptionally
interesting. Ms. Copeland is the
first African American female
principal dancer with the ABT.
Emerging from a background
that did not expose her to
ballet, she ultimately earned
a scholarship when she was
thirteen years old and went on
to become a legend.
Roberto Bolle is an Italian dancer
who was lauded by Rudolph
Nureyev. The 6’2” Bolle was a
principal dancer with La Scala
Theater Ballet. His performances
in Romeo and Juliet and Swan
Lake are legendary in the world of
ballet, and teaming up with Misty
Copeland for Romeo and Juliet
was an outstanding ballet event.
This promises to be an
extraordinary Zoom program
by Ms. Carminio and we urge
all Women’s Club members to
sign up for on Wednesday, June
16th at 4 pm. Contact Judy Paris
On Wednesday, April 14th, the Women’s
Club was treated to another Gloria Beck
spectacular program in the person of comedian
Mel Brooks, presented by theater historian
and lecturer John Kenrick. A veteran of stage himself,
Kenrick gave an entertaining and thorough
resume of the life of Mel Brooks, starting from his
Starting from his birth in 1926, Kenrick
traced Brooks’ career from his childhood in
Brooklyn as Melvin Kaminsky to Mel Brooks
the comedian who dared to be different and
tweak some beaks. The youngest of four sons,
Mel is known to have said, “I was the baby of
the family, so I just thought I was adorable.”
In his childhood, movies made a real
impression on him. After seeing the film
“Frankenstein” he ultimately made a comic
version called “Young Frankenstein” where
the main character was comedic rather than
frightening. Brooks recalled sitting in the second
balcony watching “Anything Goes” as a
young man and was so thrilled that he cried
with happiness. The genre of musical theater
became one of his ambitions.
At Eastern District High School, Brooks’ goal
was to be President of the US. He disliked war
and is known to have said “War is too noisy.”
Dropping out of Brooklyn College, he decided
to pursue a career in show business, mainly
from the writing end to begin with. He hooked
up with Don Appel who introduced him to Sid
Caesar. Caesar needed a writer and Brooks
filled the bill and became part of the brain trust
of “Your Show of Shows,” with featured writers
Neil Simon, Larry Gelbert and others. All the
writers competed for Caesar’s favor.
Brooks married Florence Baum in 1953 and
had three children before she divorced him in
1962. Continuing his career writing for show
business, he met Carl Reiner and the two of
them became best friends. Their mutual comic
genius suited each other and spawned “The
Two Thousand Hear Old Man” among other
works such as “Did You Know Jesus?” Cary
Grant and the Queen Mother of England were
big fans and expressed enjoyment of his albums
After meeting Anne Bancroft in 1964, they
immediately fell in love and had a longstanding
marriage. She said about Brooks, “Whenever I
hear his key in the door, I know the laughter will
start.” They had a son, Max, who was a comedy
writer for “Saturday Night Live” and also writes
zombie stories. Brooks’ and Bancroft’s marriage
lasted until Anne passed away in 2005.
Mel proved himself a comic genius of importance
when he made “The Producers” starring
Zero Mostel and Gene Willder, with Dick
Shawn playing Hitler. Kenrick quoted Brooks
saying, “I’m the only Jew who made money on
Hitler.” Kenrick also spotlighted Brooks’ film
“Blazing Saddles” where he plays an Indian
chief who speaks Yiddish.
Brooks, in his long and distinguished career,
earned many awards including an Oscar for his
screenplay of “The Producers.” His acceptance
speech included the line, “I want to thank Hitler
for being such a funny guy on stage.” You gotta
love a guy like that!
BY VICKI MAZEL
When the weather
Was cold and shivery.
Many residents ordered,
We’d call the stores,
On the phone,
Stop ’n Shop, Prime
Looking out windows,
We'd do a stake out.
But by dinner at night,
We’d still order take out.
Family would visit,
Food from the daughters….
But Buffy still had
A big bunch of orders.
Our kitchens refinished,
Our ovens we save.
We might get daring,
And use the microwave.
We, who made banquets,
For so many years,
Are happy with a sandwich,
Midst big cooking fears.
So place your orders,
Sing it like a ballad.
Me? Tuna on rye toast,
With a small salad.
A Man Called Mel…
26 NORTH SHORE TOWERS COURIER ¢ June 2021