Entertainment Theater

Good Instances and Bum Instances Made These Theater Veterans Even Stronger

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When the songwriter Bob Merrill instructed her about his new musical, “Henry, Candy Henry,” she flew again to New York to audition. That 1967 manufacturing’s choreographer requested if she wish to be a swing. “I had no thought what a swing was,” Lopez mentioned. “I assumed a swing was, like, you sit on a swing.” (She and Daniele hooted in unison.)

“Henry, Candy Henry” turned out to be one other flop, however that choreographer was none aside from Michael Bennett. A couple of years later, Lopez could be one of many dancers whose tales shaped the spine of his traditional present “A Refrain Line.” She originated the position of Diana, who sings “What I Did for Love” and “Nothing” — the latter drawing from Lopez’s time on the Excessive Faculty of Performing Arts in Manhattan.

It’s to these adolescence that, as soon as once more, Lopez reaches again when requested who her boosters had been. First was her mom, who mentioned that younger Priscilla had labored too exhausting to get into the elite faculty and mustn’t stop. One other early supporter was her appearing trainer Vinnette Carroll. “As horrible as Mister Karp was, that’s how great she was,” Lopez mentioned, referring to the trainer who makes memorable operating appearances in “Nothing.”

Bennett performed a key position in Daniele’s life as properly. He noticed her dancing in “Guarantees, Guarantees” in 1968, and took her underneath his wing. He included a few of her options in “Coco” the next 12 months, and made her one in every of his assistants in “Follies” (1971). She additionally performed the younger Vanessa in that manufacturing, however her elevated obligations didn’t intrude along with her impish humor. Certainly one of her dance companions, Steven Boockvor, was driving her up the wall along with his jokes, so she determined to strike again within the “Loveland” quantity. “We had been taking a look at one another intently for a very long time,” Daniele mentioned, “and sooner or later I went …” She lets a string of spittle dangle from her lips. “Michael mentioned, ‘What are you doing?’ I mentioned, ‘I’m sorry, I had an issue in my mouth and I used to be drooling.’”

Within the Nineteen Seventies, Lopez and Daniele participated in “The Milliken Breakfast Present,” a collection of business musicals bolstered by the likes of Ann Miller, Robert Morse, Gwen Verdon and … Michael Bennett. One 12 months, Lopez was Chita Rivera’s understudy. “It was a run-through and he or she had some appointment or one thing,” Lopez mentioned. “Michael mentioned, ‘Priscilla, stand up right here. Do it!’ I went [to a jaunty tune] bump-bump-bump-bump.”