Saturday, December 17, 2005
Having a Photographic Memory for Muggs and Just how BIG is Miss Patti's mouth?
Last Saturday night, I was treated to another visit to the Tale. Its fortunate indeed when my friends enable my addiction to Sweeney. At the stage door, my photographic memory for faces was in high gear and I recognized two people - first a guy I ushered with at the Majestic Theatre in San Antonio and the second a certain maestro. We had a nice chat. It is fun to meet a fellow theatre junky - especially one from home where most people would ask "Sondheim who?". Out of the stage door came Maestro James Conlin. I started exclaiming, "oh, it's the maestro!" The kids around me were wide-eyed with wonder (probably were just trying to figure out who was this "celebrity"). When he got close to me, I called out to him and he stopped and spoke to me. I told him how much I enjoyed An American Tragedy and he seemed pleasantly surprised to be recognized. I was proud of myself that for once my photographic memory actually worked in sync with my not-so-developed memory for names. When Patti came out, I asked her if the Maestro was there to convince her to perform at the Met. She laughed and said no, that he was conducting her in LA in 2007. I said "oh yes, I'm looking forward to Mahagonny." She smiled and moved on...then she came back to me and asked "You recognized Maestro Conlin and you're an opera fan?" I said, "But of course!"
On Monday night at the Met stage door, I spoke with Maestro Conlin again. He said that it was nice to see me again and we chatted about Sweeney Todd. He said it was really interesting and so good. I asked him when they would start Mahagonny rehearsals. He said "Well, that's supposed to be a secret!" I replied that it was in Playbill. And he shook his head and said "Oh that Patti has a big mouth and leaked it to the press". Somebody (probably Lois) asked about it and I said that it was with Audra McDonald too and he looked at me and said "You know that Audra is in it too?" and I said "Well, Maestro, it was in Playbill!". He just kept shaking his head, but he had a smile on his face. I hope Patti didn't get in trouble! (By the way, Monday night was Maestro Conlin's 250th performance at the Met. Quite an accomplishment.)