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2007-01-27 @ 9:46 p.m.
cabaret savant


I have a date tonight. With a very, very old friend. We met in 1972. It was love at first sight, because they were naughty and divinely decadent and just totally fabulous to a very young and innocent 14 year old Catholic School girl. Who are they? Why Bob Fosse's movie “Cabaret”, of course. How many times have I seen it? Well, I’ve actually lost track over the years, but its well over twenty-five times I’d say. Of course, I’m not like those Trekkie or Star Wars geeks. I mean I’ve never gone into a theatre wearing a green fur monkey suit or fake alien ears. Because we’re talking Fosse here. But I did obtain a few private Cabaret costume items for my personal use. You know, like a sparkly sequined head band like in “Money Makes the World Go Around” and my bangs might have briefly been trimmed like Liza Minnelli’s and there might have been a couple of pseudo-waif-like 1931 Berlin photo shoots in my bedroom....


BUT THAT’S IT!!!

But looking back, I have absolutely no idea why a movie about Nazis, whores, homosexuality, indiscriminent sex, men dressed like women, women dressed like men, men singing love songs to gorillas, and racial discrimination ever become my anthem at such a young age. I mean what was wrong with me? Was I in just training for my future with the weird artsy crowd? There were other movies out that year like: “Butterflies are Free”, “The Poseidon Adventure”, “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things”...lots of good homespun movies. But “Cabaret” just struck a chord and I became obsessed with it.

I kinda miss that obsessiveness with movie stars I had as a kid, because it was almost like having a full time job in a way. Listening to the entertainment news, desperately hoping to hear some shred of news about your favorite. Going down to the grocery store and picking up a Rona Barrett magazine and looking for pictures of Liza with Desi Arnez. Just stupid stuff that seemed so damn important when you were 14. I mean haven’t had a movie star crush in years (other than a mild infatuation with Johnny Depp, but than again that was probably more of a middle aged hormonally based carnal thang rather than, gee, I hope Johnny Depp will marry me someday. Since how could I ever possibly compete with Johnny Depp’s stunning French model wife when she probably weighs about 93 pounds and smells like gardenias and roses when she poops.

But my obsession was total and complete. I bought movie memorabilia from “Cabaret”. I had all the recordings from it. Me and my first gay boyfriend in high school had the whole “Money” number choreographed and only dared to perform it once for a kid who was only about 9 and probably had no idea whatsoever what we were doing. But I used that opportunity to get very close to my gay boyfriend by applying the official Cabaret makeup to his lovely and very sensuous lips (he was Spanish and quite lovely to look at).

Oh, how I wanted to seal the deal...right then and there...but I never did. Story of my life, it seems. But that didn’t keep me from telling him that he was “Divinely decadent” and rather amazingly, he shared my obsession with “Cabaret” which I guess told me, there was a distinct possibility that he was pinch hitting for the other team.

Dang, why did I keep missing those clues in the Seventies??

But besides being obsessed with the movies I was also obsessed with the stars. I went to see Liza Minnelli at Lake Tahoe with the aforementioned gay boyfriend. I was so mad when the waiter kept flirting with “Jorge”. I was like WTF. Talk about being in denial. But then when Liza came on stage, we all (me, “Jorge” and probably the gay waiter) were all so totally enthralled that all jealousy just fell away. Because my goodness. I think I was actually levitating above my seat during the entire show, I was so excited. I only saw Liza once, but Joel Grey was different story.

I think Joel was probably responsible for my life-long affection for Jewish men. I had the biggest crush on that cute little twinkly-winkly. He was very kind to me over the years. He used to play in San Francisco all the time and I used to see him in just about everything he did. I remember the first time I talked to him on the radio, I was such a major geek...just babbling and saying, “You’re so great. I’ve seen “Cabaret” 900 times. Blah blah, blah.” And he ended the conversation with, “Well, when you come see me at the Fairmount Hotel, be sure to give me a call after the show”. I think I may have had an orgasm right there. Can you imagine Joel Grey giving anyone an orgasm? So I went to see the show and he had gotten me two front row seats. He smiled down at me alot. And then after the show, standing with my gay boyfriend once again, I timidly called him in his hotel room and we talked for about 3 minutes. Why? Only because frooking Mikhail Baryshnikov had stopped in to chat! Yikes!!

Probably the most embarrassing thing, and yes this is embarrassing, was the time I saw him at this venue in Marin County. I chatted with him after the show. By then I was a little older and not such a flibbergidget. So after he greeted his fans he was getting into his limo and somebody from his party asked if anyone knew where this certain restaurant was. I DID! I DID! It was our family’s favorite restaurant, San Rafael Joe’s. So they asked if I would be willing to drive there and the limo driver could follow me and I said “Yes”. I was totally thrilled. Joel Grey, star of my favorite movie of all time, would be following me in his limo. Holy shit. So we started out. It was kinda dark. I was coming from a place I wasn’t really very familiar with. So I made this turn and suddenly we’re in the middle of this large dark empty parking lot. It was the courthouse parking lot behind the Marin Civic Center. Shit. Shit. Shit. So I made a wide turn and in my rear view mirror I’m watching the limo slowly turning behind me. Shit. Shit. Shit. They probably thinking I’m trying to carjack Joel Grey or something. But I finally got on the right track and got them to the restaurant. I immediately jumped out of the car when we got there and apologized profusely, but they just went into the restaurant without saying anything. And that, I believe, is why they invented GPS.



Joel and I before my apparent botched car-jacking attempt.


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