15 Minutes Magazine - The Magazine of Society and Celebrity

Celebrating Our 17TH Year!

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No. 115 / 2017
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Power Benefits
Arlene and Alan Alda
Arlene and Alan Alda
Ari Seth Cohen
Ari Seth Cohen
Milton Glaser, Arlene Alda and Joel Grey
Milton Glaser, Arlene Alda and Joel Grey
Jeffrey Solomon and Audrey Weiner
Jeffrey Solomon and Audrey Weiner
David Solomon and Heidi Albertsen
David Solomon and Heidi Albertsen

Joel Grey singing to the audience 
Joel Grey singing to the audience

JEWISH HOME LIFECARE
Joel Grey Stayed
In The Movie Despite
Bob Fosseís Resistance

W
HAT did Bob Fosse have against Joel Grey?

When it came to casting the lead in Cabaret on Broadway, Joel was a shoo-in with Hal Prince. He remembers when the famous director told him, "Iím doing a show about Berlin in the 30s and thereís a part that would be perfect for you." He was right," Joel said. "It changed my life."

Next thing he knew, there was going to be a movie. Bob Fosse was going to do it but he didnít want Joel as the impish emcee. Joel was heartbroken. Perfect for the Great White Way but not good enough for the big screen?

As Joel related, Fosse came to NBC and confronted the suits behind the project. He came in furious with a chip on his shoulder. "Gentlemen, itís either Joel Grey or me."

The gentlemen responded, "Okay, itís Joel Grey."

Joel didnít explain Fosseís reluctance. But he is still amazed. "I donít think itís ever happened to an actor before. I had a great time with Liza Minnelli and we made a really good movie" (even with Fosse in the directorĎs chair, tinged with a trace of tension).

Joel, 83, told the story at the Jewish Home Lifecare second annual "8 Over 80 Gala," celebrating New Yorkers in their 80s and 90s at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.

The eight honorees, besides Joel, were photographer/actor Arlene Alda, 82, Alan Aldaís wife; jazz artist Barbara Carroll, 90; graphic designer Milton Glaser, 85; Charles M. Diker, 80, founder of Cantel Medical; accountant Irwin Hochberg; Pat Jacobs, host of The Jewish Home Show for 43 years on TV and radio; and Fred and Rita Richman, founders of the Richloom Fabrics textile group.

Milton Glaser, 85, recalled how he helped save the heart of New York in the 70s, when life in the city was in a sorry state. No one called it Fun City anymore.

"People were desperate to get out," he said. "The amount of aggression, not to mention the dog poop on the streets, was a manifestation of the cityís loss of belief in itself."

Glaser, a co-founder of New York magazine (with Clay Felker), designed the graphic for the stupendous "I Love NY" state campaign. "I love the idea that something Iíve done has had the effect that it was part of the transformation of the city."

Barbara Carroll said she gravitated to the piano at age 3 and 4, desperate to play. Later when she listened to Teddy Wilson and Nat King Cole, she realized thatís what she wanted to play. "At that time," she said, "nice Jewish girls were not playing jazz piano, okay? Thatís the way it was."

Even now at age 90, she said, every time she sits at the piano itís a new experience.

Jewish Home Lifecare is a 166-year-old nonprofit geriatric health and rehabilitation institution, serving 12,000 older adults each year in their own homes and on three campuses in Bronx, Manhattan and Westchester. More on this unique eldercare at jewishhome.org.

 
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