Kudos to producer Vicky Von Der Lancken for setting up “From Sammy With Love” (we wrote about the show and performers in issue 16, 2016), and then finding a date for the one-night-only performance at New York’s Apollo Theater. Great artists, great show!
Considered the queen bee of entertainment in Sweden, Von Der Lancken has a long track record of successful shows — early on as an artist herself and later, since the late 1980s, as a producer. She’s worked with all the major names in Swedish entertainment, from the immensely popular Lill Babs to Povel Ramel and Hasse Alfredsson, two of Sweden’s most beloved artists in modern times.
One of Sweden’s renowned producers, the late Lars Schmidt, contacted her and actor Jarl Kulle to “discuss the future of” the legendary Oscars Theater in 1997. She had previously passed on the opportunity to take over Oscars, but this time she became a theater manager overnight. That was in 2004, an ownership she shares with 2Entertain — a partnership that since 2009 extends to the equally celebrated Chinateatern, a private theater in Berzeli Park, just around the corner from the King’s Garden and Stockholm’s busiest shopping streets. Guys and Dolls, Some Like it Hot, My Fair Lady, Singin in the Rain … the list of Von Der Lancken’s successful productions goes on an on. She has been honored with several awards and medals, but one gets the impression her most important reward comes from working with the artists and a happy audience.

Love indeed
A one-night show in New York can’t possibly be a profitable venture but in this case it was a rather heartfelt show of gratitude to, and love for, the two artists who were instrumental in the immense success of Singin’ in the Rain at the Oscars Theater. Both performers had members of their U.S. families in the audience on the night of the show at the Apollo.
Rennie Mirro and Karl Dyall were interchanging the role of Sammy Davis, Jr. who grew up with his grandmother just blocks away. As Mirro faked a conversation between Sammy and his grandmother, I couldn’t help but notice a special tone in his voice — and his own paternal grandmother was in the audience. It’s good to be reminded there are people everywhere with heart and brain in sync.
The performance could have been at any theater in Midtown Manhattan but this show was no doubt for Karl and Rennie with love from Vicky. We wonder not why Von Der Lancken was honored with the “Smilbandspriset” (the Smiling Award) in 2011 — received from the hand of H.M. the King for “making Sweden a happier place.” Thanks for adding New York to the list, Vicky.


The performers, Rennie Mirro and Karl Dyall arrived in New York a day prior to the U.S. performance after an evening in Karlstad where the show was performed in Swedish. They rehearsed at the Apollo all day, then left the day after the show to continue their Swedish tour — 36 hours after they left New York they were on stage at the Concert Hall in Västerås, Sweden.

Ulf Barslund Martensson