…with one of the few photos ever taken of me as an adult (which I am reluctant to post, but I guess I didn’t look too bad for being 33–half my life ago now)…
…I DID work with Mr. Howard Keel, in 1979, at the now-defunct Melody Top Theater in Milwaukee WI.
We did a ‘turnover’ every two weeks, and Mr. Keel had been rehearsing “Paint Your Wagon” the previous weekdays.
When he came off of dress rehearsal, he walked immediately back to the shop (where I, the Assistant Scenic Designer/Scenic Painter, kind of lived most of the week in that shop).
He asked one of my people if he could speak with me. I came out from the back of the shop…a little bit scared, because I knew “STARS” could be angry about the smallest things.
He asked, “Why did you paint the floor?”
I answered, “Because it is turnover, and dress is today. We repaint it overnight.”
“But why?”, he continued, and smiling, said, “You erased all my cues!”
He and his family, who had accompanied him to summer musical theater, were some of the most patient people, with very well-behaved children.
A great man (in my estimation) from an even greater time…when celebrities actually acknowledged those who made their lives better…on stage.
Shortly, I was called by IATSE Local 18, Milwaukee, to go to Chicago to work a few weeks on “The Blues Brothers”. But that’s quite another series of stories I will tell.