Thursday, November 4, 2010
Visiting with Edward Herrmann
I had a lovely day yesterday. I took the train up to New Haven to join my friend Lauren Yarger for Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance at Yale Rep. Fortunately it was a gorgeous day (unlike rainy old today).
The nearly two-hour ride up gave me a chance to appreciate the colorful countryside and read another great book from my friend Angela, Bruce Watson’s Freedom Summer. Lauren picked me up at Union Station and we drove around the scenic one way streets trying to get to the Rep. (With all the single direction streets and roadwork, New Haven is a driver’s nightmare.)
I had been to the university before but never to the theatre. What a great space -- a former church, the perfect place for the sacred ritual of theatre. I went to see Edward Herrmann, whom I met in 2002 when I interviewed him for my book Working on the Inside: The Spiritual Life Through the Eyes of Actors. I’ve never been an Albee fan and the three long hours of Balance did nothing to change my opinion (I’m tried of alcoholic dysfunctional families. I know them too well!), but it was great to catch up with Ed after the show.
In my book, I quoted Paul Baker, founder and former managing director of the Dallas Theater Center, describing Ed as “always very intense and pleasant, with excellent manners” and “always in a good temper.” That has certainly been my experience. Ed has taken part in two Broadway Blessings, even though he has a two-hour drive each way from his home in Salisbury, CT. Afterwards he always sends me a note thanking me for all I do for the community. I hadn’t seen him since his fabulous portrayal of all the characters in Act II of Our Town at Broadway Blessing 2006. He greeted me warmly and we had a nice chat backstage, then he headed out to get a sandwich before taking a nap to rest up for the evening performance.
Lauren and I crossed the street to Bangkok Gardens for our own Thai meal, then she dropped me back at the train station and I headed home. I even brought back a doggie bag so I can have that delicious dinner again tonight before journeying out to The Scottsboro Boys. Life is good!