Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mae West: Larry Ceballos

The choreographer most often associated with MAE WEST is Ned Wayburn, though he never used her name on any of his advertisements. Naturally, Mae worked with other talented dance captains including this ambitious five-foot-four Latino, who was grooming her for big things in Greenwich Village in the summer of 1922.
• • In September, Let's Remember Larry Ceballos • •
• • Born in Iquique, Chile on 21 October 1887, Larry's birth name was Hilarion Ceballos.
• • In addition to creating dance numbers for Mae and the cast of The Ginger Box Review, Larry Ceballos had worked on Broadway. Months before Black Friday, he had completed one of his film shorts for Vitaphone — — "Larry Ceballos' Roof Garden Revue" [May 1929]. He also directed the motion picture "The Gay Nineties" [1942].
• • Larry Ceballos died in Los Angeles in the month of September — — on 12 September 1978.
• • According to biographer Emily Wortis Leider: The Ginger Box served up wall-to-wall Mae West. In addition to featuring her as Circe, turning her lovers into swine, it presented Mae West as a Broadway vamp (played to Harry Richman's victim), Mae West singing "I Want a Cave Man," Mae West clowning to Tommy Gray's "I'm a Night School Teacher," and torching a song whose regretful tone she would later rule out: "Sorry I Made You Cry."
• • The numbers were staged by Broadway director and choreographer Larry Ceballos [1887 — 1978]. At five-feet-four, the Chilean dance master was barely taller than Mae. But since Larry Ceballos had collaborated before with the Austrian composer Arthur H. Gutman [1891 — 1945], Dupont managed to drag both of these worthy gentlemen onboard for his ill-starred maiden voyage.
• • The libretto credit went to Paul Dupont, and the music credit went to Arthur H. Gutman. Promotional material printed by Jerome H. Remick & Co. indicated the first number was to be Mae's introductory song "Come Over" followed by "Canoodle-Ooodle-Oo," then "Eugene O'Neill, You've Put a Curse on Broadway" — — also meant for Mae. Four more songs were prepared for either a soloist or the ensemble; these were: "California Poppy," "Sister Teams," "Big Chief Hooch," and "Cottage for Two."
• • Come up and see Mae every day online:
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1 comment:

  1. L.hormozian11:24 PM

    Larry Ceballos was my grandmas brother, they danced together in the Zeigfield Follies. He was quite a colorful character.It's nice to see he got the credit he deserved for all the wonderful things he