Page 28 - Montecito Journal Glossy Edition Winter Spring 2012/13

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spr ing
Bill Soleau was coming in from New York to do
Love, Love, Love
in the spring of 2010. The week before it was to go at the Granada,
Michael got a phone call from Rodney Gustafson on a Saturday
morning. Rodney explained that he had given the material to Soleau,
who read it and really enjoyed it and wanted to talk about it. “He
asked us to come up the following week so that we could all meet,”
Michael recalls. “We did that. We were invited to the post
Love, Love,
party at the Granada. We met George Martin, who’d come from
in March, 2013. A one-act show, hoping to create word of mouth to do
the bigger show. Then, in April of this year, we got the phone call. ‘Ah,
what are you guys doing in October? We’ve got a slot; we’ve got to fill it.
Let’s fill it with
An American Tango.’”
Guy credits Margo Cohen-Steinberg, Lillian Lovelace, Leni Fe Bland,
Arlyn Goldsby and a few other ballet backers for helping make it happen.
“It’s pretty stunning when you think about the journey this thing has
taken,” he says.
England. Soleau came bounding in wearing a sport coat, jeans, and
tennis shoes, with a notebook and a copy of the
magazine cover
with Veloz & Yolanda. He spoke as if he knew the material backwards
and forward and began explaining what he couldn’t do and what he
could do.”
“He was the first person besides us that got it” Guy says. “You
can’t imagine what that was to me after decades of trying to beat it
into people’s brains. We didn’t have to tell him a thing. He knew it
and was way ahead of the curve, having already written a number of
choreographic pieces for my show, and having done that while he was
working on
Love, Love, Love.”
Conversations were ongoing as to when the show could potentially
open. “We’d had a couple of false starts,” Guy says “and as we all know,
it takes sponsors; it takes patrons. Fortunately, in April of this year, that
perfect storm came together for us. Margo Cohen-Steinberg is the one
who took the reins on this. First, there was talk of a shorter performance
Frank Meets Iolanda
Frank Veloz met Iolanda Casazza at a dance club in a converted
basketball court in Hell’s Kitchen; the club was most likely supported
and run by the local Catholic Church. Frank was known as “the champ”
because he regularly won the dance contests. He was also something of a
small-time hoodlum. But, he knew how to
. He would fill out his
card and let the “lucky dames” know when they would get to dance with
him. Iolanda came up to the club from Little Italy one night with her
girlfriend, Franny Galleo.
Yolanda, as she was to be called, was an athletic 15 year old when she
met Frank, who was 17 or 18. She thought he was the most egotistical
person she’d ever met.
Frank did not put Yolanda’s name on his dance card, but he
confronted her on the dance floor in the stag and deer contest. This was a
(from left) Guy Veloz, the youngest of four children of Frank and Yolanda Veloz; Michael Roush, co-producer of
An American Tango
in Santa Barbara; Yolanda Veloz, another of the Veloz’s
children (she is also archivist of her parents’ costumes and mementos); and Jean Veloz, who married Frank and became his dance partner after the breakup of Frank and Yolanda’s marriage