Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How To Host A Party Full Of Celebrities.

Charlotte Rae poses next to an image of herself from an old "Car 54, Where Are You?"
Not that you want that. But if you do, we stumbled onto the secret.

Myself, living in the bonus round, since I don't know when the bell will go off, I am trying to meet all the people I have admired over my lifetime. So, getting them all into the same room is a great shortcut.

So how did we do it? We aren't famous ourselves except among a few theater folk. And we certainly are not wealthy. So, how did we do it?

It all happened by accident. We invited a friend over and told him to ask a few friends to join us.

First of all, it helps to know at least one celebrity. Being in show business your whole life, you're going to meet some celebrities (not that celebrities are the be-all and end-all of anything -- in fact, usually they aren't; they're just people who got famous for one reason or another, but this post is about celebrities and we've been asked, so here it goes).

In our case, Jim has been around theater all his life. It also helped that our three Off-Broadway shows were popular in New York among entertainers, getting great reviews and even a few awards here and there. So, that gives us a little bit of a leg up.

The first one happened when we became friend with Robert Osborne. You know him even if you don't know his name. He's on TV every single day as the host on Turner Classic Movies. Bob is a great person. Smart, kind, knowledgeable and beloved. Somehow or other, he saw one of our shows, probably Zero Hour, and we became friends.

But, he travels around the country a lot and, until recently, was in New York very infrequently. When he did get into town, he struggled to see all his New York friends. So, we told him one time, just off the top of our heads, "Why don't you let us have a small reception at our apartment and you invite all your friends that you want to see? That way you don't have to run all over town. You can see them all in one place."

And he did.

The next thing you know, Angela Lansbury and a host of other people are standing at our front door.

Another great friend is Charlotte Rae, who also became a fan of our work. Charlotte lives primarily in Los Angeles. A year or two ago, it was her birthday, so we invited her to have her birthday party here and just invite all her friends. Soon, we were packed with celebrities, all having a drink and dipping hummus and chatting like magpies.

We repeated this for Charlotte this past Monday night when she was in town. Since it was her party, we let her control the guest list. This way, if any of our own friends felt left out, it wasn't our fault. We weren't doing the inviting!

Charlotte Rae with Steve Schalchlin.
Broadway star Annie Russell, Alicia Stein (widow of composer Joe Stein),
renowned photographer Margery Gray Harnick & legendary lyricist Sheldon Harnick.
Broadway legend Lee Roy Reams with Jim Brochu.
Charlotte Rae with my doctor, Anthony Urbina, MD.

Dance legend Marge Champion with Charlotte Rae.
Radio and TV personality Frank DeCaro with partner, Jim Colucci with Jim Brochu.

Jim Brochu with Cagney & Lacey star, Tyne Daly
"All My Children" star Jennifer Bassey, Jim Brochu, actress ("Tootsie") Barbara Spiegel.

Tyne Daly, Charlotte Rae,
singing legend Marilyn Maye (who holds the record for most appearances on Johnnie Carson Show).

Actor/comedian Taylor Negron.
Jim Colucci, Marilyn Maye, Frank DeCaro.

Famed musical director and pianist David Lewis, Broadway Tony winner Karen Ziemba, Lee Roy Reams.

Tony nominee Tony Sheldon with world famous singer/songwriter Steve Schalchlin.

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