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This Question Made Me Think of GEORGE CHAKIRIS and JOHN BRASCIA
Last Edit: BroadwayTonyJ 02:14 am EST 01/15/22
Posted by: BroadwayTonyJ 02:04 am EST 01/15/22
In reply to: Did any of these stunning Charleston dancers do Broadway? - DistantDrumming 11:30 pm EST 01/14/22

Chakiris and Brascia did some outstanding dancing (uncredited) in the 1954 film White Christmas that made me notice them instantly. Chakiris, of course, became a Broadway and film star after dancing unnoticed in a number of Hollywood films.

Brascia danced the role of Willie on Broadway in Hazel Flagg. When I saw White Christmas for the first time on TV, I recognized John from somewhere but couldn't remember where. Decades later, I realized I had seen him on The Ed Sullivan Show, dancing with Helen Gallagher in the "You're Gonna Dance with Me, Willie" number from Hazel Flagg.

When I saw White Christmas for the first time on TV, I obviously also recognized Chakiris as having played Bernardo in the '61 West Side Story. The White Christmas film has some really bad continuity problems because Chakiris apparently plays two distinctly different characters in the film. He is a member of the dance ensemble with Vera-Ellen in a number performed at the general's inn midway into the film but then later appears in Rosemary Clooney's New York nightclub act much later in the movie. Both roles are small, but he has such a distinctive look and is such an incredible dancer that it is very noticeable that he is playing two distinctly separate people in the same movie.
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