"Meet Nikolai Nikolaevich!...The Not Yet 'Re-Fined' Danny Kaye!", 2013 Yiddish Book Center
Sunday, September 29 at 2pm TALK
Meet Nikolai Nikolaevich!...the not yet 're-Fined' Danny Kaye!
A rare look at Danny Kaye's early work. A multi-media presentation by film historian Bruce Lawton.
Shortly before Danny Kaye met his soon to be spouse and muse, Sylvia Fine (a collaboration that would yield exquisite, timeless moments of cinematic alchemy), the young veteran tummler signed with the comedy film factory, Educational Pictures in late 1937. There, he made his screen debut in four little known 'two-reelers' before the company folded a few months later. The piquant character Kaye created for these film shorts was a debonair, exuberant, hypersensitive, malapropism-prone, highly-strung and often manic Russian - seemingly an aristocrat, clearly an expatriate - likely the victim of some pogrom - boldly trying to get along in his adoptive country with nervy elegance. That one can deduce all this about Nikolai Nikolaevich without ever being told a thing about him is a credit to the twenty-something Kaye, working at full-throttle in these short subjects. While he would never revisit the character of Nikolai (upon reaching screen stardom, he dismissed these early works), it doesn't change the fact that as Nikolai, Kaye delivers a fantastic virtuoso portrayal.
Film historian Bruce Lawton will be on hand to introduce and speak about Kaye and share these rare early delights.
Cost: $10 | General Admission $8 | Member $6 | Student