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.)


David said...

You apparently have mastered the Coco Peru stare.

I would have been a hot mess at that event.

kitchenbeard said...

Joseph looks positively tickled.

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Dear Kitchenbeard,
He couldn't wait to get home and send the photo of him and Angela Lansbury to his mother.

ewe said...

That is so funny. When i looked at that photo, the first thing i thought was JMG was sending that to his mother too. lol. Cute. I guess i would do the exact same thing. And to everyone else too.

RawForReal said...

Father Tony,
Thanks for the Memories. Luv'd Bea Arthur since I first saw her when she did guest shots on "All in the Family" with Archie & Edith. I absolutely luv'd the Labor Day "Golden Girls" marathon, too. I got my snacks and spent most of the day in bed watching it.

Thanks again, Fr. Tony

JP said...

wow! It's so great that you were able to go to this. Thanks for sharing :)

Father Tony of the Farmboyz said...

Dear JP,
The benefits of blogging are not cash, but access to things like this. I am frequently amazed and delighted at where I find myself.