|THE LAS VEGAS DAYS - 1957-1958
"This Week's Cover catches pert featured dancer Lizanne Truex, a member of the standout
cast in Monte Proser's "New Musical Comedy" The blonde, pixie-ish performer is one of the
finest dancers to ever set talented feet to Las Vegas boards and she's been a mainstay of the
Trropicana cast ever since the plush hostelry opened. Photo by Mike Nagro." (August 9,
1958, page 7)
Boy, Mike Nagro did a beautiful job, for the above photo nicely captures the essence of
Lizanne's work - light, airy and definitely elfin. This one is worthy of a wall poster.
UPDATE: 04-08-08: I used those same terms in a conversation with Lizanne and she said
that the old Broadway adage was true, in that while the rehearsals could be murder, once
you got on stage, magic occurred. She said that there were occasions when she didn't just
dance to the music, she danced ON it, and that Mike had the knack of capturing the exact
moment. That sure is the case here. This photo IS magic.
(The Las Vegas info was a lesson in humility for me, as I thought that since Lizanne did
not appear in many more movies, she quit the business. Quite the contrary, as per Larry
Billman's excellent emails, the little mutt was all over the place off screen and especially in
Las Vegas, where she made quite a mark.)
There has to be a special place in the heavens for research librarians. Those at UNLV
patiently plowed through all their copies of "Fabulous Las Vegas" and photocopied each
page that mentioned Lizanne's Tropicana work, no matter how slight. That amounted to
38 issues (114 pages) covering September 7, 1957 to June 21, 1958.
The magazine listed all the casinos and their shows, mentioning everybody from the stars
to the supporting cast, along with a short description of the content. One thing I noticed
was that while most of the dancers were simply strung together, Lizanne, and when she
had a partner, was often singled out by a semi-colon break.
(I got quite a kick at the copywriter's reference to her as "pixie-ish" because I thought I
was the first one to use that description of her, only to find that she charmed someone with
that persona 50 years earlier.)
Rather than labor at scanning the sheets, I've just clipped the pertinent text and the dates
they appeared. You have to pity the poor copywriter, who eventually ran out of
superlatives when describing Lizanne and began repeating himself, therefore, there will be
some gaps in the dates. Few other dancers were so praised, unless they were Lizanne's
(For a scanned view of the magazine's style, click HERE.)
This is not the end of it as Lizanne was also in a revival of "Can Can" at the Hacienda
hotel in 1957. There is also a distant hope that there are some promotional stills for these
shows floating around.
|Mike Nagro, photographer
Courtesy Academy of Dance on Film