Turnabout Theater in Los Angeles

TwoMantonsDuring the mid-fifties after my 1955 concert at the Wilshire Ebell in Los Angeles, I was approached by the artists of the Turnabout Theater Harry Burnett and Forman Brown who had established a legitimate theater organization of Puppeteers and actors. They presented performers of different kinds- singers, dancers, mimes; some very well known such as Lotte Goslar and Elsa Lanchester.

I was contracted for a run of several weeks at the Theater on La Cienega Blvd in Los Angeles California. I shared the bill with the wonderful folk Singer, Odetta.

I performed three dances. One was a theater piece, Andaluza Sentimental, a composition by Ernesto Lecuona using  castanets, accompanied on the piano by Forman Brown.  Another dance, the Zapateado de Estampio unaccompanied, and one popular Spanish song and dance selection called Maria Salome which I presented as Tonadillera, (singer)  combined with a flamenco stylized dance arrangement of Tientos and Bulerias. It was standard fare in my repertoire at the time and  I went over well. As it was an Actors Equity house I was able to use my membership for the engagement. I returned twice more in appearances before the Turnabout folded after many years.

I derived publicity out of it with reviews in theatrical publications and it augmented my reputation. It was a pleasant experience and an unusual one for a Spanish dancer.