Broadway legend, dancer, singer, actress and choreographer Ann Reinking turns 62 today. Reinking is in town helping Thodos Dance Chicago (TDC) rehearse for the return of last season’s premiere The White City: Chicago’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, which they are performing this Saturday at the McAninch Arts Center at the College of Du Page (tickets: 630.942.4000).
Last night I had the unbelievable luck and privilege of being invited (thinks to Jay Kelly of LC Williams and Assoc who handles PR for TDC) to a private gathering at Artistic Director Melissa Thodos and her husband Rick Johnston’s home in the Gold Coast in honor of Ms. Reinking. The small gathering of twenty or so people included a few TDC board members, Emmy-winning filmaker Chris Olsen and an array of Chicago dance legends: Ron De Jesús, Cheryl Mann, Michael Anderson, Stephanie Martinez Bennit and Broadway and Chicago theater veteran Mitzi Hamilton. I especially enjoyed having a fun, “off the record” conversation over wine with Hubbard Street director Glenn Edgerton and was honored to sing Happy Birthday to Ms. Reinking (we joked that she was cringing inside at the group being so off key).
Many thanks to Melissa, Rick and Jay – and a happy birthday to Ann!