Patricia Ward Kelly, wife and biographer of the late Hollywood legend Gene Kelly, will visit Sydney with the acclaimed show Gene Kelly The Legacy show 12 February 2020 at the State Theatre. In her one woman presentation, Patricia presents an intimate portrait of Gene Kelly – the dynamic and innovative artist who created some of the most memorable and iconic scenes in film history.
The show will offer a unique perspective on classic film and Hollywood. As the wife and biographer of legendary dancer, director, choreographer Gene Kelly, Patricia brings rare and very intimate portraits of the celebrated artist to the stage. Gene and Patricia Kelly met at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. in 1985, when he was the host/narrator for a television special about the museum and she was a writer on the project. Soon after, he invited her to California to write his memoir and the two married in 1990. During the course of their decade together, Patricia Kelly recorded her husband’s words in some format nearly every day. This remarkable personal account provides the background and impetus for this remarkable show.
“Gene wanted to be remembered for changing the look of dance on film and for creating a particularly American style of dance,” explains Patricia Kelly. “He was also a true Renaissance man who spoke multiple languages, wrote poetry and very often read a book a day. These are just some of the little known dimensions to Gene that I reveal in the Legacy show. He was also very romantic and audiences experience this when they hear his voice in rare recordings and when I read the valentines and notes he used to leave for me around the house.”
“Toward the end of his life Gene travelled with his own one-man show and I will never forget the effect he had on the audience. He sat in a chair onstage and, even in a very big hall, people had the feeling that they were in the living room with him just having a chat. That had a big impact on the way that I designed Gene Kelly: The Legacy. It isn’t really a show per se; it is more of a conversation. I want people to feel that kind of intimacy.”
Gene Kelly was one of the most loved and respected leading men during the Golden Years of Hollywood. He was an acclaimed actor, singer, dancer, choreographer and director. He starred in some of the most loved Hollywood film including Anchors Away, Ziegfeld Follies, An American In Paris The Three Musketeers, Singin’ In The Rain and many more. Gene Kelly’s also appeared on stage and television through his career but will always be remembered for his enigmatic screen presence in some of the great musical films of all time.
In recognition of his contribution, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences presented Kelly with a special award “in appreciation of his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer; and specifically, for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film.” In 1995, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Clinton. Frequently described as the best musical of all time, Singin’ in the Rain was one of the first 25 films selected by the Library of Congress for its National Film Registry. Kelly died in 1996 at the age of 83.
Lovers of film and Gene Kelly fans will no doubt relish the opportunity to hear Patricia Ward Kelly share some rare and familiar stories and film clips, previously unreleased recordings, personal memorabilia, and insights culled from Kelly’s hours of interviews and conversations with her husband.