Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Carnival




A weird thing happened to me while in NYC. My daughter and I were at the Gershwin Theater waiting for Wicked to start. It is apparently quite an historic theater with memorabilia displayed and many, many photographs of all the actors that have performed there over the years. Across the second floor lobby I spotted something familiar - I said (out loud) - "There's Horrible Henry!" My daughter followed me, having no idea what I was talking about. There, in a glass case were four worn-out puppets. So what?

During my senior year in high school I had the starring role in the musical Carnival. I played a waif named Lili who wanders into a carnival and befriends the people there. A puppet show was central to the plot and there were four puppets - Horrible Henry, Renardo, Marguerite and Carrot Top. I loved working with the puppets so much that after the show closed my father asked the director if he could buy Horrible Henry for me. He couldn't because they were rented. The fact that he wanted to do that is special to me because people just didn't buy things much back then like they do now.

Anyway, here in the glass case were the original puppets. They had been owned by Jerry Orbach - who worked the puppets and did all the voices. You may know the late Orbach if you've ever seen "Law and Order" on TV. The only famous song from "Carnival" was Love Makes the World Go Round. The original Lili was Anna Maria Albergetti and it was later made into a movie called "Lili" with Leslie Caron.

It was kind of surreal to see those puppets after so many ( and I mean many) years, and strange that they, of all things, would be displayed. There wasn't that much memorabilia! Don't be too impressed though, because "Carnival" was the beginning and the end of my acting career. The photos show me and the puppets then -and now at the Gershwin Theater.

5 comments:

Kelly Jene said...

How neat! A new memory to add to the old one.

CJM-R said...

That was so sweet of your dad to want to buy the puppet for you.

What a cool story and how nice for you to see the puppet again after all of these years.

I actually saw Ana Maria Albergetti in West Side Story in the theater in the round when I was a kid. It was the first play I had ever seen.

Mary said...

What a nice bonus to your trip. The moment you saw the puppets again will be a special memory for you.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

How sweet that you saw them there. It must have made the outing even more special.

chasing fireflies said...

Auspicious!

How interesting that you saw the puppets again, and how wonderful to go visit NYC!