Show Publicist: Diana Roth, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Other Contact: Shaunda Miles, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 2014 | 7:30 p.m. | BYHAM THEATER
PITTSBURGH, PA: The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is pleased to present GENE KELLY: THE LEGACY An Evening with Patricia Ward Kelly on Wednesday, May 21, at 7:30 p.m., at the Byham Theater. This event is part of the Cohen & Grigsby Trust Presents series. Tickets($20-$40) are available at www.TrustArts.org, by calling 412-456-6666, or in person at Theater Square Box Office, 655 Penn Avenue.
Gene Kelly was a joyous performer. A legendary dancer, director and choreographer, he brought astonishing grace, athleticism and masculinity to the big screen. He continues to delight and captivate us, yet we know little about him.
During a unique evening, Patricia Ward Kelly, his widow and biographer, presents an intimate portrait of this dynamic and innovative artist who created some of the most memorable and iconic scenes in film history.
“Truly personal — a rarity in tributes like these. I felt privileged to be there.” ̶ Leonard Maltin, Entertainment Tonight
|Patricia Ward Kelly (Don Flood)|
Patricia Ward met Gene Kelly in 1985 in Washington, D.C., where she was the writer for a television special about The Smithsonian for which he was the host and narrator. Soon after, he invited her to California to write his memoir. They fell in love, married, and were together until his death in 1996.
“I am very happy to be bringing the show to Gene’s hometown of Pittsburgh,” says Patricia Ward Kelly. “So much of who Gene was and what he accomplished is rooted here in his steel town upbringing and in the upheaval that he and his family experienced during the Great Depression. The theaters and movie houses that Gene frequented as a young boy (including The Byham in its previous incarnations) played an important role in his creative development, so it is an honor—and a kind of coming full circle—to bring his Legacy to the place where it all began.”
It is also, according to Kelly, an opportunity to show sides of her husband not well known by the public. “Many people know and love the person they see up on the screen, but few know the many dimensions of the man and his work. They do not know that he was fluent in French, was a Shabbos Goy who spoke Yiddish, studied economics, memorized and wrote poetry, frequently read a book a day, did The New York Times crossword puzzle in ink. That’s one of the things that is most rewarding for me about doing the show—sharing the little lower layers that make Gene come to life for people in new and interesting ways. Gene was very guarded and revealed little about himself in interviews. That he let down his guard and entrusted me with his story was a great privilege.”
|Photo Courtesy of Gene Kelly: The Legacy|
She adds, “Each time I do the show, I learn new things from the audience and am touched by the personal stories that people share with me when I greet them before and after. He inspired many; others tell of being moved by a particular number or describe the way Gene’s work affected them at a certain time in their lives.
Some remember being introduced to Gene’s movies by a parent or grandparent, and, of course, there are many for whom he was a first ‘love’—a crush that, in some cases, has lasted for decades. So, in many ways, the experience is very reciprocal. People often ask me if it is difficult to do the show because it is so personal and emotional. In fact, sharing the stories helps to deal with the absence, as Gene remains current and continues to influence new generations.”
Currently, Patricia Kelly serves as sole trustee of The Gene Kelly Image Trust and as Creative Director of Gene Kelly: The Legacy, a corporation established to celebrate Kelly’s artistry worldwide. She lives in Los Angeles where she is completing the definitive book about her late husband.
GENE KELLY: THE LEGACY, currently on tour in the U.S. and abroad, premiered at sold-out evenings at The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and New York City’s Lincoln Center.
More details about GENE KELLY: THE LEGACY can be found at
ABOUT THE PITTSBURGH CULTURAL TRUST
The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has overseen one of Pittsburgh’s most historic transformations: turning a seedy red-light district into a magnet destination for arts lovers, residents, visitors, and business owners. Founded in 1984, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a non-profit arts organization whose mission is the cultural and economic revitalization of a 14-block arts and entertainment/residential neighborhood called the Cultural District. The District is one of the country’s largest land masses “curated” by a single nonprofit arts organization. A major catalytic force in the city, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is a unique model of how public-private partnerships can reinvent a city with authenticity, innovation and creativity. Using the arts as an economic catalyst, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust has holistically created a world-renowned Cultural District that is revitalizing the city, improving the regional economy and enhancing Pittsburgh’s quality of life. Thanks to the support of foundations, corporations, government agencies and thousands of private citizens, the Trust stands as a national model of urban redevelopment through the arts.
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