Be like that.
That's so like you...
Good friends of ours are photographers. About a month ago I received an e-mail that said “Guess who was at our studio today?” I opened the email and there was a photo of Keith and Lynda Carter. That’s right television’s Wonder Woman.
Then I am told that the photos are to promote her Cabaret Tour. And then they tell me that she is coming to Los Angeles and they are going to see her. And taking the hubby and me. And we will get to go backstage after and meet her.
I plugged in my camera battery to start the charge.
When you think of Lynda Carter you think Wonder Woman. However she did win the title of Miss World USA representing her home state of Arizona in 1972 with singing as her talent.
So let’s get past all that and get to tonight!
If you are ever going to refer my blog to someone, perhaps this should be the time. I can’t imagine I will have many posts so celebrity laden in the near future. Yes, I know I live in LA. Yes, I do take celebrities for granted. And to be fair, I am horrible at recognizing celebrities and getting their names right. Unless they are from my childhood.
So we begin with Florence Henderson walking in with Freda Payne. They stop by the table to be introduced to our photographer friends. When the name “Freda Payne” is said out loud, my head explodes with her hit “Band of Gold” and I break out in goose pimples. When she shakes my hand and says hello, I nearly jump out of my seat.
As she and Florence walk away I keep gasping, “Freda Payne! Freda Payne!” and pointing to my arm awash in goose flesh. My kind friends point out “And Florence Henderson.” Yes, but you can expect to run into Florence Henderson, you never think you might run into FREDA FUCKING PAYNE.
I am now on seriously high celebrity freak out alert.
I have been in this situation before. I was introduced to Gore Vidal at a benefit a long time ago and he introduced me to his “dearest and oldest friend Betty. Betty Bacall.” More familiarly known as Lauren Bacall. I stammered. I stared. I think I forgot to close my mouth and drool slid out. I took a photo (with my own camera) for a friend, of her sandwiched between Gore and Betty. I could not bring my feet to move forward and get a photo of myself with the two of them. I am a celebrity cripple.
So as to hide how badly I want to rush forward and grab them and explain every moment of my life they may have influenced, I hang back. I nod politely. I speak nothing. If you know me, you know that is RARE.
So Flo and Freda have gone to their table. Next in the door is Bruce Vilanch. That Muppet scares me so I am able to remain calm as he passes by.
I am seated with my back to the door. My seatmate’s eyes all light up and they say, “Who is that? Jim, turn around you’ll know.” I casually turn my entire body to view the door. OHMIGOD. It’s Joan Van Ark! Joan Van Ark! Joan Van Ark! Yes, I actually did repeat it three times as I wiggled in my seat to keep myself from bolting directly at her.
I loved Knots Landing! If Michelle Lee or Donna Mills had followed her in I would have been forced to stand up and squeal like a girl. Will Joan be seated over on the other side with Flo and Freda? It's seems to be the celebrity side. That's where they took Bruce off to. No. Joan will be seated DIRECTLY BEHIND ME. I think I wet myself a little.
Then another woman came in to join Joan’s table. Slightly older, a little harder to recognize. The table once again asks me who it is. I can’t place her without staring. And I am so overwhelmed with celebrity reluctance I can’t bring myself to stare. After she is seated with Joan Van Ark. Oh my god, JOAN VAN ARK is still sitting RIGHT BEHIND ME. I hear the other woman’s voice. In that instant I had my answer.
I leaned in to my table and whispered loudly over the music, “Renee Taylor. Fran Drescher’s Mother on The Nanny. I. LOVE. HER.”
Finally the lights dim. Thank god I won’t be able to see any more celebrities enter as I did not being an extra pair of underwear and it is seriously all I can do to commit to doing some Kegel excises right at the table to keep from wetting myself.
Lynda Carter sings for about an hour and a half. She is surprisingly impressive. Her voice reminds me of Linda Ronstadt but not quite the same full range. Her stage presence is very personable. She seems almost selfless in her banter. Favorite performances, Patsy Cline’s “Crazy”, the jazz number based on a Charlie Parker solo “Cloudburst” and finally a number made famous by Rita Hayworth “Put the Blame On Mame.”
Near the end of the show Lynda graciously announced all the other celebrities in the audience and I was shocked to find out I had missed some. Les Moonves and his wife Julie Chen (I thought that Asian woman looked familiar). They were seated at the table in front of us with Lynda's husband and two children. Hi Les! Hi kids! Hey Chen-bot!
Gospel, jazz and blues singer Linda Hopkins who’s sequined jacket I had been eyeing all night trying to figure out why I was staring at that sequined jacket on that woman. Another singer, Andrea Marcovicci who in the dark I had wondered if it was a young Cloris Leachman (but then I also wondered how did Cloris get that time machine working so soon?). And all the rest of the people I mentioned earlier, thus confirming it really was Renee Taylor seated right behind me with Joan Van Ark (JOAN VAN ARK! RIGHT BEHIND ME!).
After the show was over, we were escorted back to the green room where Ms. Carter had gone to change. Funny, the room was actually painted green. I hate the color green on walls. I could never work in that kind of hostile green paint environment.
And finally, my dear friends and husband went to work snagging people to take photos with me because as you can already imply, I still could not speak or move or engage people (even non celebs) in normal conversation.
Without further ado, here’s my evening in pictures...
Florence Henderson makes me look like Shrek in comparison to her petite frame. I seriously considered editing this photo to enlarge Florence and make me look normal size.