A Childhood Pal of Danny Kaye Returns

PlayBlog   A Childhood Pal of Danny Kaye Returns
An unrehearsed, 50-year-old, three-part medley provided a pleasant postscript to the Dec. 21 matinee of Danny and Sylvia at Off-Broadway's St. Luke's Theatre on West 46th Street.

Brian Childers and Kimberly Faye Greenberg, who play Danny Kaye and his songwriting wife Sylvia Fine, invited to the stage a member of the audience, Susan Gordon, who played Kaye's daughter in his Red Nichols biopic, "The Five Pennies."

Then, the new trio broke into the movie's most felicitous musical collision (all authored by Fine) — Gordon doing the title tune, Childers doing Kaye's "Lullabye in Ragtime" and Greenberg taking over Louis Armstrong's "Goodnight—Sleep Tight." Of the three, the Oscar nomination went to the title tune, which lost 1959's Best Song Oscar to another star-and-child duet, Frank Sinatra and Eddie Hodges' "High Hopes."

"Danny was wonderful," Gordon recalls. "I worked on the picture for nine weeks, and he sorta adopted me. There was a rapport off-camera that was as good as it was on-camera. Looking back, I'm sure part of that was to help create the on-camera relationship. He was lovely, and, at the end of the movie, Danny gave me a present — a gold charm that said 'Susan, Danny Kaye.' That was the kind of relationship it was."

Once the filming was completed, the two of them never crossed paths again. At 59, Gordon is a married businesswoman, a mother of six and grandmother of two.

— Harry Haun

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