Saturday, November 12, 2005

Part 2

The show that Betty was doing is a One Person show that she created and has done all over the United States. (Los Angeles, Palm Springs, San Francisco, Florida, Dallas, New York, etc., etc…..) The three of us had probably seen this show more than 60 times; Charley Berliner had designed the original set for Betty waaaay back when she first did the show in L.A., at Theatre West. I had taken many many ‘professional’ photographs of her show during performances in L.A. and San Francisco, and had put together a huge group of her personal photo’s as a display in a number of theatre Lobby’s, including L.A., Palm Springs and San Francisco….So you could say, we were all familiar with it and loved it very much!

It was a very thrilling experience to now see her do this terrific show in London, England! I sat there in this funny little place and thought to myself…’How great is this? Here I am in London, ME…in London, seeing “Betty Garrett And Other Songs”'... (Betty ultimately named her autobiography the very same name as that's available at Amazon & Ebay, I might add)…

'WOW!' That I actually was in London was almost like a miracle to me…and only Betty could have pulled this off….funny thing is, many of us from Theatre West felt this way. Charley and Cousin Carol and myself…none of us had ever been to London before.

And this was the first night of an almost magical two weeks, which included doing many of the things that most people do their first time in this great great city….The Tower Of London, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, (which was very close to the Hotel), Hyde Park, (which I could see from my Hotel Room), Carol & I went to Regent’s Park,(where I took this photo of this exquisite bird, as well as The Black Swan photo, above…, Harrods, just down the street from the Hotel. I wanted to see Kew Gardens because they have a Cactus Greenhouse, which was absolutely thrilling, and I wanted to go to The Tate Museum. This is one of the great museums of the world.

And we all wanted to see as many plays and musicals as we could, particularly things we would not see in the states, if possible. Some things were truly memorable and others were truly awful. There was a musical about Leonardo de Vinci, called “Leonardo”. It was truly terrible, but still worth seeing because there was no way it would be going anywhere, at all, let alone crossing the ocean.

One of the most exciting things that four of us got to see was Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical, “Sunset Blvd.”, based on the film “Sunset Blvd’” with Gloria Swanson & William Holden. I’d heard a lot about this production and was determined to see it. It was opening while all of us were there in London and I had heard that tickets were almost impossible to come by because those first weeks of performances while we were still going to be in London after the show had opened, were already sold out! But through the concierge at the hotel, I was able to arrange for tickets, before ever leaving on the trip. Patti Lupone was starring in it and Charley B. was very very interested to see it because he had read about this elaborate mechanical set that they had built, that moved in a completely new way….what they had done, had never been done before on any stage. (One entire set lifted up and the second set moved out from underneath and the action of the piece was happening in each set, simultaneously, like a ‘split screen’ effect, only this was not film...this was 'live theatre'...!)

To our great disappointment the opening of ‘Sunset’ had been postponed because of mechanical troubles with the set….it seems that somehow the two way radio’s in the taxicabs going by the theatre, were interfering with the signals inside the theatre and this fantastic set was moving completely at the wrong times which was not only dangerous to the actors, but ruined the show, as you might well imagine! They had postponed the opening for two weeks!

I was truly heartsick about this because that meant that there was no possible way I could get to see this show. I was deeply dejected that we would NOT get to see Miss Lupone do her stuff as Norma Desmond, the Silent Movie Star…..but Charley was not to be denied. One day before we met up with a few of the other Theatre West-ers, he had gone by The Adelphi Theatre to see if there were any previews and if there were, could he possibly get one ticket, anywhere in the theatre. Well, he had indeed been able to get one single ticket for the only performance that was available. He told us this as we got into a cab to go somewhere…I don’t remember where, and of course I insisted that we go by The Adelphia to see if maybe possibly there might be another single ticket.

God was with us. Because of the postponement, a special Fund Raising performance where tickets were at least twice as much as the price listed on the ticket had been turned back….the people unable to go because of the change of date. So the Box Office had a couple of seats here and there, and Charley and I found there was a pair, together that they did not want to break up and which were a little better than his original single, which was not refundable. Cousin Carol bought that ticket from Charlie, and we bought the pair, and another friend bought one of the last singles available, all for that performance.

Happy? Happy as a pig in shit! We all were very excited that yes indeed, we would get to see this heavily touted production…..

(To be continued-Part 3...I PROMISE I will get to The Cotswolds.... maybe....I just get caught up in the memories, you know?.....)

Links to this post:


had this to say:

oh - I can't stand the suspense.....

I lived in the Cotswolds for years....

Cotswolds - now [stamps foot]

oops, sorry :-)


Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 4:13:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

You know Craziequeen, it was such a great trip that I need to tell quite a bit about it, more for me I guess..but, you made me laugh! Oh I envy you having lived in The Cotswolds..did you love it? And why did you move?

Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 4:20:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Great story! I want to go to England! I'm looking forward to the next part. I'm glad it's bringing back all those great memories for you!

Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 5:33:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I can't wait for the rest. Hurry
Michele sent me.

Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 6:21:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Oh I so love England. I've been there three times and I was lucky enough to see London with a native (also in the arts actually!). The first time I was there was on a tour and it was just a big city with really old buildings. But seeing it with my friend made me fall in love with it. I am looking forward to the Cotswolds, but don't hurry at the expense of London stories, okay? :)

Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 8:43:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I want to go to England; hibs and one daughter have been there and they love it. Enjoyed reading part 2 - can't wait for part 3-4-5.....?

Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 9:32:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Hello, Michele sent me! :) I'm am loving all your fabulous pictures and stories...

Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 9:59:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

hello michelle sent me

Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 10:50:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

i love visiting you so much, this sounds like it was fabulous! what luck on the tickets!! today i come, not from michelle, but because i want to ge to the costwolds!

Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 11:09:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

The Cotswolds are lovely .. all that rolling countryside, but living a scant 25 miles from London, I tend to avoid it if I can ... which is a shame as I should take more advantage of it ... I feel a concerted effort coming on!

Hello from Michele this fine Sunday (well, it's fine near London!)

Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 11:15:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Hi to all:
And thanks for coming by, weather through the wonderful Michele or, wherever...
Everyone who wants to go to England should!
Everyone who wants to go to The Cotswolds,should,most definitely! Beautiful Beautiful area with one more special thing around every corner than you can count in '100 Things About Me'. Hope that sentence made sense. It takes me a while to gather everything, then write it, and then post it, too, plus occassionally I have to do other things, you know? So, more will be revealed in good time.
And again, I thank you all for the very kind inspire me to continue!

Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 11:18:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I lived in the less salubrious parts of London for 18 years, but it is a fantastic city to visit.

The first place I went when I left was the Cotswolds - on a little 50cc bike aged 16. A fantastic experience.

I've moved around the UK a fair bit since then, but now live not that far away in Somerset. I love the Mendips & thre Cotswolds, but don't think I could cope with living in one of the "quaint" villages - too many American tourists making inane remarks all the time:-)

Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 11:19:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Michele sent me. I wish I could relate to the rich experiences that you described.

Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 11:36:00 PM PST 

Anonymous mar
had this to say:

I have never been to London, thanks for the virtual visit! and the great stories, can't wait to keep reading.

Saturday, November 12, 2005 at 11:42:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Oh goodness, take your time, I'm loving reading every bit of this! I feel like I'm finally in a land I've never visited before. Pure bliss.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 12:08:00 AM PST 

Anonymous mar
had this to say:

I am back because Michele sent me this time!

Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 12:28:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

That's funny about the taxis interfering with the sets. How did they figure it out? It couldn't have been that obvious.

Visiting from Michele's.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 12:50:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 12:50:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

oops, had to delete a comment, did not realize my daughter was logged into blogger. she visits your blog with some regularity, having discovered you from Michelle. of course, i came from there too this evening. i am enjoying your stroll down memory lane!

Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 12:52:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Glad I am not the only one up at this hour!
Evil cat is now sleeping on my lap with my robe wrapped around him.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 2:19:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

hi, i'm here from michele's :)

Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 2:21:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Mrs. Aginoth--I hope I'm not one of those inane Americans!

Layman--I wish you could too, but...

Mar--Thanks so much!

Jane--Thank you so much..Your are in my thoughts, Jane.

Mar--Michele sure has us runnung into each other!(lol)

Capt. Typho--I don't know exactly, I just know that because it was happening intermitently and at odd times, they finally figured out that it was the Radios in the passing taxis--It took a while for them to come to that, if I remember correctly...

Faira--I visited you earlier and thank you so much for your comment. Hope your daughter will be back, too!

Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 2:24:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

So when are you due back in the UK OOL?

Michelle sent me

Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 3:39:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Thanks for visiting Lam(b) today. Great pictures. I wish I were there!

Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 10:11:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

i've always wanted to go to jolly old england. specially to see all those great shows on the west end! seems you were really meant to watch sunset. how exciting!

michele sent me today. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 10:47:00 AM PST 

had this to say:

Hi OOL, back again from Michele's. I am sure you are never inane:-)

Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 12:34:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Question - if we get all the US bloggers over here, or UK bloggers over there - would that be a PARTY or what???

here from Michele's - still waiting for the rest of your story :-)


Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 12:39:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

Greetings from Teh Blogfather! Your flat screen TV is ready. You can steal Ribbiticus' too ;-)

Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 1:23:00 PM PST 

had this to say:

I am ready for my close up Mr DeMille :)

Michele sent me BUT I am blog rolling you I want to come back later and read some of your older posts :)

Sunday, November 13, 2005 at 1:49:00 PM PST 

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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