Wednesday, 11 April 2012

If you could see her through my eyes

The great "Emcee" Joel Grey celebrates his 80th birthday today, and an exhibition dedicated to him opens in New York tomorrow.

Joel Grey/A New York Life examines the enduring impact that performer and photographer Joel Grey and his adopted city have made on each other. Through rare artifacts from his stage and screen career, objects from his personal collection, and his own photography, the exhibition offers a unique look at New York through Grey’s eyes. It will include posters, playbills, and costume pieces from Grey’s iconic productions, combined with a selection of his New York City photographs. Together, they dramatize how the breadth of his artistic work has been nurtured and inspired by his life in New York City.

With an illustrious career in the New York theatre spanning nearly six decades, Joel Grey is known for his Tony and Academy Award-winning portrayals of the Emcee in both the Broadway and film versions of Cabaret. In addition to his work for stage, screen, and television, Grey is also an accomplished photographer. Working behind the camera for nearly 40 years, he has made New York images—including some taken with his cell phone—that focus lovingly on the urban environment, including candid details of street life, signage, and New York's built environment. In accentuating overlooked moments and the multitude of everyday details of the city, Grey’s photographic work provides a quiet and poignant counterpoint to his life in the spotlight.

Facts about Joel Grey:
  • He is the son of Mickey Katz, the famous "gurgler" of the Spike Jones Orchestra.
  • His daughter is actress Jennifer Grey, the star of Dirty Dancing.
  • He originated the role of the Wizard in the musical Wicked.
  • In 1991, he played Adam, a devil, in the final episode of Dallas.

"I think there's nothing like live theatre. Everyone wants to be part of it. So why not try it?"

"The fact that I got away with singing and dancing for a long time is still a miracle to me."

On old age: "I really don't deal with my self or my life by the numbers."

"I don't need to be on the stage to live."

Joel Grey, born 11th April 1932.

Joel Grey/A New York Life is at the Museum of the City of New York 12th April - 7th August 2012

More about the exhibition


  1. Yay!

    Many years ago, I saw Mr. Grey in a New York City Opera production of Kurt Weill's Silverlake, and bought a silk-screened poster which he had signed. (Like this one.) Sadly, I later lost it in a fire. Anyway, LOVE HIM!

  2. Some facts here, we should use them as our wish.

    1. "When you wish upon a star"... Jx

  3. He is the son of Mickey Katz, the famous "gurgler" of the Spike Jones Orchestra.

    That’s what I love about this blog…educational as well as entertaining.

    1. Daaaahling - I do try my best! Jx


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