Southern California boasts a number of locales where one may revisit the films of the 1940s and '50s, from one-screen movie houses to glittery tributes hosted by some of Hollywood's biggest guilds and organizations.
But finding a slice of long-ago Tinseltown in a swimming pool, as compared to a cinema, is rather rarer. You can, though, at least once a year, when the Aqualillies stage their annual tribute to silver screen legend Esther Williams.
"Stage," though, might erroneously suggests an actual traditional stage of some sort, but the synchronized swimming troupe performs in a more fluid, aquatic setting. That setting in 2016 will be the pool at The Rooftop at The Rooftop at The Standard, Downtown LA, and the date is one that fans of Esther Williams will know well: Monday, Aug. 8.
What to do, where to go and what to see
The swimmer and movie star was indeed born on Aug. 8, 1921, and after the 1940 Olympics were canceled due to WWII, the exceptional athlete went on to rise (and rise and rise) in the fabulous field of cinematic swim-taculars. Soon, Esther Williams became synonymous with intricately choreographed pool scenes and elegance in the waves, a mantle worn by no other star.
That elegance will be on delightful display on Aug. 8 courtesy of the popular group, which has performed in music videos, special events, and splashy affairs around the world.
The annual tribute to Esther Williams, on her birthday, is free, and early arrival is strongly suggested (you may also want to RSVP on Facebook, to give the Aqualillies a heads-up you'll be there).
This is "the only public event we host all year," says the troupe, so if you've longed to see the swimmers perform live, this is your moment.
It definitely is a happening twinkly with Hollywood heart, and the memory of a performer who raised the art of pool-based performance to something truly memorable, and even a little magical.