schlemiel! schlimazel! hasenpfeffer incorporated!
remember laverne & shirley, lenny & squiggy? what about the happy days gang? and mork from ork? nanoo nanoo.
guess who was speaking at the opera america anniversary dinner tonight at the city club? actor, director and producer garry marshall. apparently he always speaks at opera conferences when they happen to be in LA.
sounds pretty random doesn't it? perhaps unbeknownst to alot of people, garry marshall has directed a couple of operas, namely the grand duchess for LA opera and the elixir of love for san antonio opera. so that's the connect.
the dinner felt somewhat awards show-y. a celebration of the company's 40th year in business, a retrospective on the history and contributors to the company plus acceptance speeches. as well, lots of fete'ing all around for marc scorca, opera america's president, who's celebrating his 20th year with the company. scorca had earlier played interviewer with placido domingo for the afternoon's "in conversation with: placido domingo" session.
after pimping himself out for opera gigs when he's in-between movies, garry marshall spoke about when he first became interested in directing operas. you could see it in his movie pretty woman, specifically the scene where julia roberts gets asked what she thought of the opera, la traviata. julia drying tears from her eyes says, "it was so good, i almost peed my pants!" richard gere had to cover her social gaffe by saying to the little old lady, "she said she liked it better than pirates of penzance."
and pretty woman was JUST on tv before i headed out to the dinner. what strange timing.
it was surreal to be in the same room as garry marshall. cuz, come on, the man's a legend. i grew up with his shows and recall hours of laughter. his most recent movie which coincidentally i watched on the plane ride down here, valentines day, however, was no laughing matter. it was a stinkah. but i ain't gonna tell the man that.
he also recalled a run-in meeting with director james cameron. he asked if cameron would ever direct a live opera? cameron's reply? if he can't film it, it doesn't exist for him. then they talked about filming opera in 3-D, like avatar. can you imagine? like opera singers aren't already larger than life.
marshall closed his talk by thanking everyone in the rooom for the work that they do to elevate the artform of opera and to keep it alive and vibrant. because the country needs it more than ever. and because the world needs it.
"the magic is still there in opera. keep doing that magic"