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[[image - black & white photograph of travelers with their luggage; at top left of photo, a sign reads "Bienvenido a CHILE . . . KLM"

[[note]] Catherine Ayers   Georgia Burke    Elizabeth Foster [[/note]]

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14 Sec. C - Sunday, May 2, '54 DETROIT FREE PRESS

[[image - black & white photograph of Ella Gerber]]
Ella Gerber

She Keeps 'Porgy' Running Smooth 

Free Press Music and Drama Critic

Back stage at the Cass Theater, during performances of 'Porgy and Bess' and at all odd hours in between, is a vivacious brunet who keeps a firm finger on the feverish pulse of production.

For Ella Gerber, acting coach and stage manager, it is a chore which started as a five-weeks engagement and by Wednesday night will have extended itself to a full two years.

THERE IS A CERTAIN serenity that has come to her through her daily dealings with the controlled madness of a swiftly-paced production. An instance was a recent Saturday night when Cab Calloway was unable to appear.

"You'd think it would be a simple matter to send his understudy, Joseph Attles, in to take over, wouldn't you?" she asked.

[[Image: partial face of a man]]

"Well, sir, that shift in
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[[re]]sult was, before understudy [[?]] ye Marshall (who was last [[?]] here in "Carmen Jones" [[?]] the Civic Light Opera) ar- [[?]] back stage, Joy McLean [[?]] dragooned from her place in the chorus, stood in for the [[?]]ce scene and kept things going without a falter in the singing.

TESE ACTORS, Miss Gerber [[?]]ts, are something quite special. There is hardly 10 per cent them who ever acted before Porgy,'" she said.

Most of them were concert opera singers, and their acting would scare a jaybird off [[?]] bush. And just look at them now . . . the most versatile organization I have ever seen."

And those who are seeing the opera during its three weeks stay here (it opens its final week Tuesday night) will agree heartily. There isn't a trace of the amateur in any of them.

Theater-goers will remember Miss Gerber as the star of "Pins and Needles." She has also directed a Broadway show in 1950 (Design for a Stained Glass Window) and has handled four summer stock companies in the East.

Hollywood and Japan were on her beat also. A busy woman with a filled-up life indeed.

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[[newspaper clipping]]

August 7, 1954 Courier
[[image: black & white photograph of three women in dresses, and two men in suit and tie. J.McL on the right]]

On the Ball – When the "Porgy and Bess" cast hit Los Angeles last week, the logical [[??]]ing was to give the stars a party and that's what hap[[p]]ened. Among those having a ball were (left photo) Vera Frances, Leslie (Porgy) Scott, Bandleader Don Johnson, Suzette Harbin and Joy McClain

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