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Onna White

Subject: Music

(1922–2005), choreographer. The Nova Scotia–born dancer performed in several musicals before creating the choreography for a 1955 revival of Guys and Dolls. She later created the ...

White, Onna

White, Onna (1922–2005)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to American Theatre (3 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Performing arts, Theatre
Length:
62 words

..., Onna ( 1922–2005 ), choreographer . The Nova Scotia–born dancer performed in several musicals before creating the choreography for a 1955 revival of Guys and Dolls . She later created the dances for numerous Broadway shows, most notably The Music Man ( 1957 ), Take Me Along ( 1959 ), Irma La Douce ( 1960 ), Half a Sixpence ( 1965 ), Mame ( 1966 ), 1776 ( 1969 ), and 70, Girls, 70 ( 1971...

White, Onna

White, Onna (24 March 1922)   Reference library

Paul R. Laird

The Grove Dictionary of American Music (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Music, Social sciences, Regional and Area Studies
Length:
224 words

..., Onna ( b Inverness, NS , 24 March 1922 ; d West Hollywood, CA , 8 April 2005 ). Dancer and choreographer . After dancing with the San Francisco Ballet, White made her Broadway debut in Finian's Rainbow ( 1947 ); choreographer Michael Kidd hired her as an assistant. White danced in other shows and assisted Kidd on Hold It! ( 1948 ), Arms and the Girl ( 1950 ), and Guys and Dolls ( 1950 ). White appeared in Silk Stockings ( 1955 ) at about the time she launched her own career as a choreographer in New York City Center summer revivals....

White, Onna

White, Onna (1922–2005)   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the American Musical

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Performing arts, Music
Length:
239 words

..., Onna ( 1922–2005 ). Stage and film choreographer . A highly respected choreographer on Broadway and in Hollywood, she had plenty of hits and misses over a period of two decades. White was born in Nova Scotia, Canada, and began her career as a ballet dancer, eventually performing with the San Francisco Ballet Company. She appeared in such Broadway musicals as Finian's Rainbow ( 1947 ), Guys and Dolls ( 1950 ), and Silk Stockings ( 1955 ) and served as an assistant to Michael Kidd who directed the first two; White later recreated his choreography...

Onna White

Onna White  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
(1922–2005), choreographer.The Nova Scotia–born dancer performed in several musicals before creating the choreography for a 1955 revival of Guys and Dolls. She later created the dances for numerous ...
Pete's Dragon

Pete's Dragon  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
(Disney 1977). A large, lumbering musical with plenty of stars, songs, and scenery, the movie was overproduced and not as much fun as it should have been, yet there were ...
Half a Sixpence

Half a Sixpence  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
(Broadhurst Theatre 1965). A British import with a very English story and a music hall-like score, the happy musical comedy was one of the few West End products that decade ...
Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
(NBC-TV 1958). The familiar fairy tale classic was given a very musical treatment with star performers and lots of dancing, opening up the tale to include the whole village in ...
Great Waltz

Great Waltz  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
In a Broadway season that was dominated by the all-American, smart and sophisticated Anything Goes, one of the most spectacular and elaborate stage productions of the 30s, The Great Waltz ...
Bye Bye Birdie

Bye Bye Birdie  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
Generally regarded as the first Broadway musical to reflect the rock ‘n’ roll phenomenon of the 50s, Bye Bye Birdie opened in New York at the Martin Beck Theatre on ...
Gigi

Gigi  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
The golden era of MGM film musicals was drawing to a close when this most delightful of films was released in 1958. The original story, by the French novelist Colette ...
Mame

Mame  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
Broadway legend Mary Martin was the producers’ first choice for the lead in this musical, but she was living in Brazil at the time, and turned the opportunity down. Composer ...
Oliver

Oliver  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
Soon after it opened at the New Theatre in London on 30 June 1960, Oliver! was an instant success, winning rave reviews and ecstatic audiences. With book, music and lyrics ...
Finian's Rainbow

Finian's Rainbow  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
Conceived by E.Y. ‘Yip’ Harburg, this stage musical opened on Broadway on 10 January 1947. With book by Harburg and Fred Saidy, music by Burton Lane and lyrics by Harburg ...
Music Man

Music Man  

Reference type:
Overview Page
Subject:
Music
Despite studio chief Jack Warner’s reported efforts to get a male superstar such as Cary Grant to play the lead, Robert Preston was eventually invited to recreate his magnificent Broadway ...
Hansel and Gretel

Hansel and Gretel   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the American Musical

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Performing arts, Music
Length:
166 words

...Alec Wilder (music) and William Engvick (lyrics) wrote the tuneful score, which included “What Are Little Boys/Girls Made Of?,” Much Too Happy Dancing,” “Market Today,” “Eenie Meenie Mynie and Moe,” and “Men Rule the World.” Paul Bogart directed the sixty-minute romp, and Onna White did the zesty...

Pete's Dragon

Pete's Dragon   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the American Musical

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Performing arts, Music
Length:
239 words

...in the live-action feature and his performance was more endearing than some of the overblown ones by the humans. The songs by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn ranged from tuneful to annoying but there was a nice balled for Reddy to sing called “Candle on the Water.” Onna White did the vigorous, hyperactive choreography and the unimaginative direction was by Don Chaffey . It is a movie best enjoyed by children or adults who remember seeing it as...

Half a Sixpence

Half a Sixpence   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the American Musical

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Performing arts, Music
Length:
373 words

...zesty songs were “Money to Burn,” “If the Rain's Got to Fall,” “She's Too Far Above Me,” “Flash Bang Wallop,” and the jaunty title number. Although not as popular as in London, the show still ran a very profitable 512 performances. Gene Saks was the efficient director, and Onna White provided the vigorous choreography. Half a Sixpence (Paramount 1967 ) may have been overlong and overproduced for such a simple, affecting tale but much of the production was first-class fun so one learned to overlook its faults. Cross adapted his stage libretto into a...

Oliver

Oliver   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the American Musical

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Performing arts, Music
Length:
511 words

...groups, from professional regional theatres to schools. Oliver! (Columbia 1968 ) was given prestige treatment by Hollywood, hiring the distinguished British director Carol Reed to helm this, his only musical, spending big bucks on recreating Victorian London, and securing Onna White to choreograph the huge production numbers. It certainly was big, and the lively movie translated into a big box office hit. Curiously, Columbia did not cast any stars, using the stage actor Ron Moody who had played Fagin in London and giving the plum role of Nancy to singer...

Great Waltz, The

Great Waltz, The   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the American Musical

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Performing arts, Music
Length:
643 words
Illustration(s):
1

...Wright and George Forrest wrote the lyrics for Strauss' music and came up with songs such as “Pitter Patter Polka,” “Louder and Faster,” and “Love Is Music.” The movie's only saving grace is the singing, which is expert, particularly that of Mary Costa. This time around Onna White devised the choreography. Producer Max Leibman presented a television version of Strauss's life also called The Great Waltz (NBC-TV 1955 ). Billy Friedberg and Neil Simon wrote the teleplay, and the cast featured Keith Andes as Strauss . Leibman and Bill Hobin ...

Music Man, The

Music Man, The   Reference library

The Oxford Companion to the American Musical

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Performing arts, Music
Length:
1,071 words

...and bold. Critical raves for the script, score, and the cast (particularly Robert Preston in his musical debut) made the Kermit Bloomgarden production the biggest hit of the season, running 1,375 performances. Morton Da Costa directed with a flair for the rustic, and Onna White did the inventive choreography, which included a marvelous dance in the library that started with stiff, restricted moves and built into a frenzy of bodies and books. The musical toured with great success and then became a perennial favorite with all kinds of theatre groups....

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