May 3,1943 - November 29,2017


Dennie started dancing while growing up in Batavia, Illinois. In the fall of 1962 he went off to the University of Arizona where he danced with Orchesis and Folklanders and appeared in his first musical, Kiss Me, Kate! He also danced at UofA in The Most Happy Fella, My Fair Lady and Camelot. His first stage appearance in the Chicagoland area was as a Busker in My Fair Lady for Playmakers in November 1964. Dozens of playbills document his continuous involvement in area productions for the rest of his life. Following are just a few of his career highlights.

In the Spring of 1968 he was dancing in Funny Girl for St. Procopius College-Community Productions in Lisle when he met lifelong friend and colleague Verna Esposito. That July he danced in the Miss Illinois Pageant at Aurora West High School and the following month appeared in West Side Story for Morton Grove Music Theatre.

In November of 1971 he made his first appearance as the title character in Fiddler On the Roof with Playmakers. Fall of 1972 found him playing Marvin in Sweet Charity for Grove Players. By Spring of 1973 he was choreographing for Playmakers. In the Fall of 1976 he portrayed Dream Curly in Oklahoma! for Playmakers at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.

In the summer of 1980 he appeared in Hair for Star Shine Productions at the Norris Center. That November he made his debut with Wheaton Drama in My Fair Lady serving on the costume crew and playing a Busker once again. He appeared in A Chorus Line twice—in the Spring of 1981 for Morton College Theatre and in the Summer of 1986 with On Cue Productions as Bobby. The first of many collaborations with Tempo Players occurred in Spring of 1987 in The Music Man.

In the Fall of 1992 Choreographer Wendy Kelly enlisted Dennie to dance in Amahl and the Night Visitors for Elgin Community Theatre under the direction of Richard Pahl. This fortuitous collaboration  precipitated Dennie’s move to Elgin and involvement in the theatre community there. He portrayed the Fiddler once again for Encore Musical Theatre at ECC in 1995 while also choreographing the production.

Other remarkable achievements of that decade include his appearance as Vincent in Follies for Wheaton Drama, designing and building costumes for No Center Aisle’s A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Forum, providing costumes and wigs for The Importance of Being Earnest at McHenry County College, and costumes for The Night of the Iguana at ECC and Little Shop of Horrors for Tempo Players.

Celebration Of life

Dennis Taylor Celebration of Life gathering at Vero Voce in St Charles, Illinois.

Opening remarks by Diane McFarlin

“What A Funny Boy He Is” by Alex Rybeck & Michael Stewart (Dawn Harkins, Vocalist, and Doug Orlyk, Pianist)

Ron Foley, Dundee Post Office

Sue Lewis, Iguanatherapy

Carrie Pahl, Niece and Playmate

Marcia Steinbrecher, Wheaton Drama (due to technical difficulty, Marcia’s complete remarks were cut short. If you see her, be sure to ask about Dennie’s stint as a human mannequin and run-in with the police. We are also missing remarks by Sharon Thomas who worked with Dennie at AT&T for many years)

We are missing the beginning of these remarks by Verna Esposito, a longtime friend and theatre Colleague. She is recounting her first meeting with Dennie when she was called in to replace the leading lady in Funny Girl for St. Procopius College-Community Productions in 1968.

“For Good” by Stephen Schwartz (Dennie’s Divas – Joan Curto, Allison Kurtz, Kim Mason, Christine Pfenninger, Barb Rieger and Lori Skubich with Doug Orlyk, Pianist)

Closing remarks by Diane McFarlin