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3 August 2003

This is the third time in a year, I believe, when I have combined Judy Garland and Ethel Merman in the same trip to Los Angeles. Not bad for a couple of dead performers!

The first was when I came to see The Big Voice and at the same time went to see the Judy Garland exhibit at the Hollywood Museum.

Then there was that abominable "Judy's Scary Christmas," which we walked out of. That was another Big Voice weekend.

This time it was Lorna Luft's show and, tonight, The Big Voice again. Steve and Jimmy have rewritten parts of the show (removing my song, for one thing...the critic in me has to admit that substituting a new song strengthened the show, even tho I hate to see my participation in the show end). I wanted to see it in its new incarnation.

But first there was the day. Michael and I got out of here early and drove to Santa Monica to Patrick's Roadhouse, apparently a good place to celebrity-spot. We weren't there for that, tho (in fact, it wasn't until I read the link above that I remembered Michael had told me that often times you find celebrities there). It was closed when we got there, so we went for an hour's walk aong the beach until it opened. Such a nice walk along the edge of the ocean. I do love the waves and the smell along the beach.

We had a great breakfast with abysmal service (we were in no hurry)...oatmeal with fruit for both of us...and we just soaked up the "somewhat eccentric, somewhat rough around the edges" atmosphere.

Then a drive home through Malibu Canyon, a scenic drive, during which both Steve and Walt called on my cell phone. Walt had just landed at Burbank Airport and wanted to know where to meet us, and Steve was "bored" and wanted something to do. We all made plans to meet at Michael's.

We had a nice visit with Steve, who finally had to leave to go get food (the rest of us weren't hungry). Walt, Michael and I then sat around and blubbered through It's My Party, the story of a man with AIDS who throws himself a party right before committing suicide--it's based on a true story.

Finally we met some friends of Michael's at a restaurant and had a lovely dinner prior to The Big Voice. It was nearly full house tonight and it was fun to see the show again. Steve and Jimmy are leaving on a cruise on Tuesday and won't return, now, until I am on my way to Australia, so this is the last chance to see them in awhile.

Now it's off to sleep. Tomorrow I'm taking a trip down memory lane before I fly back to Sacrameto. But details of that will have to wait until tomorrow night.


The lingering afterglow suggests that the biggest voice in question belongs to neither God nor Merman, but to both performers and their witty, inspiring confessional.

~ David C. Nichols, Los Angeles Times
review of The Big Voice, God or Merman

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The Big Voice, God or Merman...again

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