Anyone who enjoys Irving Berlin’s WHITE CHRISTMAS will remember the wonderful dance numbers Vera-Ellen did with dancer JOHN BRASCIA (1932-2013) They do an amazing rehearsal dance on a bare stage – and boy, do they dance up a storm in the ‘Abraham’ number.
Then we see them in the number called ‘Mandy’, another breathtaking powerhouse of dancing.(Choreography by Robert Alton).
The only other film in which John BRASCIA had a featured part was MEET ME IN LAS VEGAS, in which he is teamed with Cyd Charisse in the wonderful ‘Frankie and Johnny’ number.
Brascia had a breezy smile and a style similar to Gene Kelly.
His career in film musicals was short lived – he had uncredited parts in SUMMER STOCK and CALL ME MADAM. And after White Christmas and Meet Me in Las Vegas, his dancing career on film was over.
He had appeared in the Broadway show,HAZEL FLAGG ( based on NOTHING SACRED) in 1953 and won an award. But he did not do any other Broadway musicals.
He teamed with another dancer Tybee Arfa and they were known as Brascia and Tybee ( and they were briefly married).
Their success came from appearances in nightclubs and on many television shows.
Brascia also danced with Vera-Ellen in her 1955 Las Vegas spectacular.
( Just think, Vera-Ellen doing her own singing.)
Not only Vera-Ellen, but Cyd Charisse remembered this young dancer when she did some TV shows and there is a clip of Charisse and Brascia on You tube.
As time went on,John hung up his dancing shoes and took up writing. He wrote and produced the 1980 film,THE BALTIMORE BULLET.
I guess,if he had wanted to, he could have made more movie musicals, but I will always remember him in White Christmas and Meet Me in Las Vegas.
A wonderfully detailed overview of John Brascia’s career can be found at http://classicfilmaficionados.com