Kirsten

Kirsten Larvick is a documentarian and archivist. She is influenced by interests in mid-century political and cultural history, non-fiction filmmaking and the preservation of personal heritage and cinema art legacies.

A Dancer’s Life: Meet Mollie Fennell Numark, Part I

Born in England at the onset of The Great Depression, Mollie Fennell Numark embarked upon a dancer’s life under unlikely circumstances. Shaped by experiences from a world faced with vast uncertainty, her disciplined career brought her from the great stages of England to the most renowned American nightclubs of the mid-20th century. Mollie remembers her… continue reading ›

A Dancer’s Life: Meet Lawrence Merritt, Part II

At this time, you were in Philadelphia rehearsing the upcoming Broadway show Nowhere To Go But Up and during all this the Cuban Missile Crisis was unfolding. You didn’t know what was going to happen, but you returned to New York City to open. The show must go on. Lawrence Merritt: Well, the show flopped… continue reading ›

A Dancer’s Life: Meet Lawrence Merritt, Part I

From gin joints to Broadway, dancer, actor, and singer Lawrence Merritt has performed throughout the world over the decades, partnering with some of the greatest stars in the history of entertainment arts. His reflections support his vast experience, all taken with a healthy dose of sharp wit and incredible recall. Here Lawrence breaks down a dancer’s… continue reading ›

Remembering Francois Szony: A conversation with Ferenc Szony

A pioneer in the field, Francois Szony (1926-2020) brought adagio to new heights over the course of what would be an unusually long career. Born to Hungarian parents in Budapest where his father operated a restaurant in a major train station, Francois and Giselle began performing together at an early age. At their mother’s insistence,… continue reading ›

Honoring Bernadette Brookes (1935-2020)

With big eyes, full lips, and long legs, the statuesque and talented Bernadette Brookes enjoyed her fair share of notice over the decades. It was her infectious sense of humor and child-like wonder, however, that endeared her to those who knew the actress, showgirl and songstress. An introvert who loved inspiring a smile, Brookes once described… continue reading ›

Jack Silverman’s International Theatre Restaurant

During the 1950’s and ’60s, Jack Silverman owned and operated Jack Silverman’s International Theatre Restaurant on Broadway and 52nd Street (sometimes promoted as on Broadway and 53rd Street) in New York City. A native of Romania, Silverman (1886-1974) immigrated to New York as a boy. His first foray into professional work was in banking and then… continue reading ›

On the Road with the Winged Victory Singers

John Hemmer: “The biggest struggle in my career was trying to stay alive and find work. I had a great entry into professional singing work as a replacement singer for the 4-part harmony group, the Four Voices. But, after the Four Voices broke up in the early 1960s, that was really hard, because, first of all,… continue reading ›

Lucille Ball Sings Wildcat

In 1961 singer John Hemmer was enjoying success as a new member and replacement singer in The Four Voices, a Columbia Records signed all-male harmony quartet first formed in the 1950s. The group won popularity through appearances on the Arthur Godfrey Show, later touring across the United States, and also appearing on other broadcast variety shows of… continue reading ›