Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Night with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks & Charlotte Rae.

Charlotte Rae called us and said she wanted to take us out last night because Estelle Reiner, Carl Reiner's wife, was scheduled to sing a private cabaret at the Gardenia down on Santa Monica Blvd. But, she said, Estelle wasn't really feeling very well, so it was possible that some of the family members -- and extended family members would, instead, fill in and make it a nice evening. Sure enough, Carl got up and emcee'd the night.

First, their daughter, Anne, sang. My favorite songs were written by Leonard Cohen. I hadn't heard much of Leonard Cohen before and it's always great to be introduced to amazing songs by a writer I've always read about but hadn't explored much. He has a terrific way with words. And Anne did a wonderful job on them.

We sat close to Mel Brooks, who we'd met very briefly one time before at the late Stan Freeman's one man show about Oscar Levant.

Brief story: That night, our "dates" were (Dear) Abby Van Buren and Lucille Ball. Lucy kept asking us, in her husky voice, "Which one IS she??" Afterwards, we went out to dinner and Jim totally set Abby up. He told her that Stan loves to get comments about his performance. So, she said to him, "You know, Shtan," (she had this lateral lisp, so all her "s"'s were like "sh"), "I have an idea for your show."

Immediately, Jim jumped in and said, "Well, who are YOU to give advice?"
So, Anne sang. Then Carl sang a couple of songs, jokingly. And then Mel got up and did a few numbers. It was really cool. Very warm and sweet. They even took video of the crowd saying hello to Estelle, so she could "join" us.

Steve Schalchlin, Mel BrooksMel and Steve.

Jim told Mel about "Zero Hour" and the story about how he had auditioned for the musical of "The Producers" and before he even got in to see the main casting director, he was told that he "wasn't right for the part."

Carl Reiner, Charlotte Rae, Jim Brochu, Mel BrooksCarl Reiner, Jim Brochu, Mel Brooks & Charlotte Rae.
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Faithless Love - Blake Zolfo & Steve Schalchlin

Listen to us sing! One final show on Thursday, June 22, 2017 at 7pm at The Metropolitan Room.