Dear theatre friend,
So many of you have responded with effusive thanks for my missives (but fewer with tales of your own!) I must admit, I started sending these more frequent letters to cement my connection to the only family I felt comfortable in– my theatre friends. I know that had we been sitting next to each other at a play, we’d have a meaningful, interesting conversation. If I’m bringing joy, that’s wonderful– but I’ve been finding joy, too!
Speaking of joy, a former delightful seat mate, Marty Boorstein, sent this link to Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”, played by The Rotterdam Philharmonic– individually, from their homes. Please listen, and marvel at the ever-resilient human spirit!
Marty also told me the link to an article about meeting Prince Philip, in yesterday’s letter, was broken.
Here’s the rest of the tale of our encounter at Hollywood Palace:
The palace protocol people instructed me that if the Prince wanted to meet me and extended a hand, I was permitted to shake it– but otherwise, no contact. If he asked a question, I was permitted a brief answer, but no lengthy conversation since he had many to greet.
Out of the crowd, the tall Prince approached surrounded by his handlers. He took my hand, and didn’t let go during the following interchange– The Prince asked why I was there– “I come to see plays on the Fringe and bring one to New York.” “The Fringe?”– was it possible he hadn’t heard of it? I then asked if he’d gone to any Fringe plays– at this point, he looked at me as if I were raving mad, and turned to my partner, “Do you see these things with her?” He replied, “I do, I find the variety quite stimulating.” The Prince turned back to me, and still holding my hand, said with a broad smile, “In my experience, husbands and wives who have the fewest interests in common get along best.” I laughed and called him a cynic! Our enjoyment of the moment was fortunately captured by the palace photographers and I never forgot his playful humor.
This was underscored when, the following year, I was again invited to his dinner and he sauntered over to ask in an accusatory tone, “are you still seeing all those plays?” More shared laughter!
I wrote to the New York Times on the occasion of Prince Philip’s 90th birthday, when an article appeared about his often embarrassing lack of diplomatic turn of phrase. I thought it unfair and wrote of my experience meeting a gentleman of enormous charm and humor. Good for the Times– they published my contradictory letter.
Yes, because of the theatre, I’ve met terrific people and had great times. At the Edinburgh Fringe in 2006, under a tarpaulin, I saw “Particularly in the Heartland” by an American company, the TEAM, led by the now-famous director, Rachel Chavkin. The tarps were given out so that the audience wasn’t bombarded by eggs, which figured prominently in the script!
Rachel’s name came up again as a participating artist of The Trickle Up, described in this New York Times article –a subscription effort, started by the multi-talented Taylor Mac, to benefit the decimated theatrical community.
My last digital tip of the day– one of my favorite movie houses, Film Forum, will be streaming their films on Kino.Now– I know, who needs another service? But, this one has a terrific library of films. Hope you have time to indulge!
I’ll think of other tales from my lifelong love affair with theatre and the arts if I don’t get more from you– please, please write a vignette — helping us keep our connection alive for however long it takes.
And, once again, thank you for reading.
Carol Tambor publishes a monthly newsletter, which announces worthy shows coming to New York, along with occasional information about London theatre and, of course, the Edinburgh Fringe.