Monday, January 25, 2010

A public display of affection . . .

Carl Kasell called my cell on Friday and left a message saying that  he was safely installed at his hotel, Staunton's Frederick House.

And, he added, a fine hotel it is.

I, of course, saved the message. And not because Carl Kasell's voice is famous. I saved the message because when I listen to that voice, I feel a rush of affection.

For me, the whole tone of the next day's doings seemed an exercise in mutual affection.We WMRA folks thought we were there to enjoy Carl Kasell; Carl Kasell seemed to think he was there to enjoy us.

Photographer Steven Johnson was there as the official WMRA photographer. I could blather on for paragraph after paragraph about the fun we had on Saturday, but I think I'll let Steve's pictures do most of the talking, instead.

Mingling in the upstairs lobby, before taking the stage at Blackfrairs. Note that Carl is wearing a name tag, because, until he opened his mouth, no one knew who he was.

On stage at Blackfriars

Thanking an audience volunteer, after she'd assisted him with one of several magic tricks he performed.

The public, displaying affection. Morning Edition host Bob Leweke and his wife, Tracey Brown, are second row, right.

Taking a question

The end. Or, maybe, the beginning. The audience stood both times.
American Shakespeare Center's Director of Marketing, Erik Curren, and his wife, Lindsay, are third and fourth from the right. (And we couldn't have done this without Erik's help and the hospitality and help of the entire ASC crew. Bravo!)

It is a rare and lovely experience to finally met someone who's professionalism you've long admired; whose voice has guided you through decades of cataclysmic events; and to find out that he is also a very, very, very nice, unpretentious and warm person.

Thanks for coming, Carl. Thanks for coming, every one of you who was there on Saturday. Thanks to Frederick House, The Staunton Grocery, The Dining Room, and Blackfriars Playhouse. It was a grand party.

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