Monday, September 14, 2009
Bea Arthur Remembered
Today, Joe and I attended the star-studded memorial service for Bea Arthur at the Majestic Theater on 44th Street. Angela Lansbury hosted, and participants included Adrienne Barbeau, Zoe Caldwell, Norman Lear, Rue McClanahan, Ann Meara and Jerry Stiller, Rosie O'Donnell and Chita Rivera. Two hours of ribald recollections, funny stories and videos. The incredible Angela Lansbury, an octogenarian who moves with the coltish fluidity of a sixteen year old, opened the celebration by wonderfully belting out the song from Mame that was Bea Arthur's big solo, The Man in the Moon is a Lady.
I also had a chat with Michael Buckley from "What the Buck", caught up with Michael Wilson of the Hartford Stage Company, traded beauty secrets with Coco Peru and met a very handsome young man named Eric Garcia who plays piano and sings several nights a week at Chez Josephine on 42nd Street, the location of the after-party where I got the picture of Anne Meara seated across the table from Norman Lear.
The good news announced at the celebration by Executive Director Carl Siciliano is that the Ali Forney Center is naming its first housing facility the "Bea Arthur Residence"
Here are some stellar pics.
(Update: I've added some of Joe's pics to the batch, and here is his report.)