By Kareem Cervantes
Patricia Ward Kelly gives an inside scoop on what inspired her to bring this production to life. Launched in 2012 in celebration of the centennial of the birth of her husband Gene Kelly, “I expected everyone was going to do something, and I wanted to create something that represented him the way he wished to be remembered,” said Mrs. Kelly.
“This production is a very intimate look at the man as a creative artist, and a look at what drove and inspired him to create what he did,” said Kelly. “It’s a very personal and moving experience for me. Every time is different. I build a connection with the audience because they always bring something to every show, and I take just as much away because of what they bring to me.”
When asked what audiences should expect from this very special evening, she responded, “I hope audiences come away with the depth of Gene’s knowledge and ability as an actor, dancer, director, the magnitude of his mind, his humanity, and the decency and integrity of this guy.”
“What’s really lovely about the show is meeting the people who tell me their stories,” said Kelly. “It’s a very personal experience hearing how he touched them at a specific point in their lives, why he inspired them to become dancers, choreographers, or directors. It’s a very communal experience … It’s a celebration, and everybody is participating.”
When asked if her husband were sitting in the audience, what would he think of her show, Kelly responded, “He would make sure I was walking properly since I did go to the Gene Kelly School of Walking,” she said with a laugh. “I’ve tried to focus on the things that were particularly salient for him. He said to me, ‘I’d like to be remembered for changing the look of dance on film and if anybody is going to do that, it’s going to be you.’ I hope that he would feel that I had accomplished that.”
After a sold-out, limited engagement at The Pasadena Playhouse in early March, Patricia Ward Kelly returns by popular demand to give audiences a second dose of personal memories, never-before-seen videos, images, and untold stories of one of the most iconic performers of our time.
The Pasadena Playhouse presents Gene Kelly: The Legacy, An Evening with Patricia Ward Kelly for three added performances only – Friday, April 18, at 8 p.m. and Saturday, April 19, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. For tickets call (626) 356-7529 or go to PasadenaPlayhouse.org or visit The Pasadena Playhouse boxoffice at 39 S. El Molino Ave. in Pasadena.