Friday, September 7, 2018
BURT REYNOLDS IS FINALLY AT PEACE
This is how I choose to remember him.
I met Burt the week that the COSMO centerfold came out. I was as dazzled as everyone when I saw that hairy hunk with the twinkle in his eye. I received a call from his press agent at the time asking me if I wanted to meet him. Are you kidding?
An interview over cocktails was set for the following day at the now-defunct Frascati's restaurant on the Sunset Strip. Frascati's was a darkly-lit Italian restaurant in a former house or beamed lodge where Sunset and San Vicente met. I had done many interviews there.
I walked in and couldn't find him. I kept searching, and then I spotted him in a semi-hidden nook seated at a table with two chairs. I remember, because I'd wanted a booth to be more comfortable.
He stood up as I approached.
"Hi there," he said, extending his hand and doing that cute thing with his mouth...you know...the smirk/twitch.
I was gone.
I remember he had on jeans and boots. I know there was some sort of shirt, because I couldn't see all the hair. Darn.
The interview lasted for about an hour, and then we went into deeper conversation. I was mesmerized because he was introspective, serious, and thoughtful. He never lost his sense of humor, but he ceased being the eye candy and became a complicated soul. Our conversation went on for four more hours. I walked away not only reeling from his magic, but so impressed by him as a human being.
For years we ran into each other. I even had lunch at his house. He was on a high ride and it seemed as if he was enjoying all of it.
And then it crashed. He had turned into an egotistical, unreliable, over-spending, disturbed person. As it began happening, many people tried to help him. He lost friends, he lost some of the best women in the world, and he eventually had to leave Hollywood.
I was angry at him for changing, but now I understand that demons, a sense of not deserving success, whatever you want to say, overtook him and he couldn't come back. It's a very sad story, but after I lost my anger toward him, my heart came back, full of bitter-sweet compassion.
Rest well, Burt. No more pain.
Friday, August 31, 2018
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
NO ONE I KNOW!
HERE ARE TWO OF THE REASONS I WENT:
Lucie Arnaz was opening the new Birdland Theatre on her birthday......
|Photo by Michael Childers|
And, here's the view from my hotel room on Central Park South
When I got off the plane at JFK, I was stunned by the massive use of advertising by MISSION IMPOSSIBLE FALLOUT. They had multiple screens running clips all along the walls from the gate to baggage claim.
Right after landing, John Monahan and I ran to the theatre to see THE BAND'S VISIT.
THE BAND'S VISIT won ten Tony Awards. I think it deserved MANY of them, but not all, compared to some of the other musicals running. It is a peculiar, challenging piece, and the second I realized that was what it was going to be, I totally gave myself over to it and understood the deeper meaning of isolation, loneliness, pride, and communication through music. Katrina Lenk, who won the Best Actress Tony was really great.I loved the music, too.
After an experience like that, there's only one thing to do----go to Ray's Pizza!!! My God, do I love Ray's.
The next morning it was off to the Hamptons because Lucie was playing Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor before coming into NYC. YES, I WAS A JITNEY VIRGIN! It's bearable, but I did learn about the upgraded ones.
First stop, Southampton. My charming hotel was there. It's the Southampton Village Motel, and it has been completely upgraded and looks like it's out of the pages of Joss & Main. You can walk anywhere from there.
The Blue Duck Bakery is divine for lunch and sweets
|Main St. Southampton|
The it was off to Sag Harbor to meet Lucie.
Lucie wasn't in the lighthouse.
|She wasn't on the beach.|
|Not at the harbor either|
|YES! SHE WAS REHEARSING AT BAY STREET|
I took my dinner break at The American Hotel. I'd always wanted to go there. It's perfect Americana.
|Perfect Crab Cake in the bar|
The next morning, Lucie, her conductor, Ron Abel, and I drove back to NY. Talk about moist heat hitting you in the face.....
This is what Central Park looked like 30 minutes before Lucie's rehearsal at Birdland was supposed to start. It didn't get any better. Major Monsoon.
But that doesn't stop New York. Lucie's opening the Birdland Theatre was a BIG DEAL. The room is the pride and joy of Gianni Valenti and Jim Caruso (who is booking it). Friends even flew to NY from Palm Springs to celebrate Lucie's birthday and the opening.
Lucie was absolutely dynamite, debuting her new act, "I Got the Job," featuring songs she auditioned with and/or sang in her Broadway shows. She got three standing ovations.
|The Happy Kids|
Welcome to the party.................
|Jim Caruso, Ann Hampton Callaway, Lucie, Marilyn Maye, Mark Sendroff, Gianni Valenti|
|Now add Billy Stritch!|
|Jim Caruso cuts the cake, with Raissa Katona Bennett and David Friedman looking on|
|Shawn Moniger and David Friedman|
|Ann H, David Zippel, John Monahan|
|Billy and Marilyn|
|I love Billy. He knows it.|
|Garrett, Raissa David, Shawn|
|Ann et moi|
|Doug Denoff, Richard Jay Alexander, Mark Sendroff|
|John, me, Barbara and Bernie Fromm--all from Palm Springs|
AND, THE NEXT DAY, WE STILL HAD ENERGY!
Along came The Met, with its incredible Catholic Fashion exhibit, plus St. Patrick's mass, Bergdorf windows, BOYS IN THE BAND, and HELLO, DOLLY with Bette Midler.
We love Soft Serve
|View from the Met Roof|
BOYS IN THE BAND's direction, by Joe Mantello, was beyond brilliant. The play not only holds up, but is as moving as it was originally.
|Gianni Versace-Met Catholic|
AND, WHAT DO YOU DO AFTER ALL THAT?
You go with John to meet David Zippel and his sister, Maureen, at Virgil'sBBQ!
OH, YES. ALONG THE WAY, THIS STUFF HAPPENED, TOO.
Dinner with Marlo Thomas and Kathie Berlin at Nello
|Rockfeller Center had TVs showing the soccer finals|
Had seats, but when Katherine McPhee had to pull out because she received the sad news of her father's passing, I chose not to see the show.
|Bergdorf salutes New Orleans|
|Very cool Versace|
|I never forget to light a candle at St. Patrick's|
And, then, I saw what was happening in front of Trump's home in New York. Streets are blocked; poor Gucci is getting no business; traffic is insane; part of 56th is closed.
END OF NEW YORK.
LEAVING FOR CHICAGO IN A FEW DAYS. KIM NOVAK IS APPEARING AT THE RAVINIA FESTIVAL WITH THE CHICAGO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA PLAYING THE SCORE FROM VERTIGO LIVE WHILE THE MOVIE SHOWS.