Shirley MaClaine landed at Bass Hall this past weekend sharing with us family photo's, movie clips and her personal reflections on them. Dressed in a fun red floral pantsuit with matching floor length jacket the Oscar Winning Actress spent more than two hours seated in front of the largest video screen I have ever seen and told stories to us as if we were looking at these photo's and clips in her living room. Her conversational style made you feel as if you were sharing memories with an old friend.
The Seventy-Seven year old Actress, Author, Novelist and Dancer has been nominated for and won, more awards than I could ever list here, but here is a sampling. She has been nominated for six Oscars, winning one. Six Emmy Awards, also winning one, won the GLAAD Vanguard Award and was nominated for the Golden Globe twenty times, winning seven, and this is a greatly abbreviated list.
She gave us insight into her relationships with celebrity friends like Fred McMurray (My Three Son's) “He was so tight, never picked up a check.” On working with Debra Winger, “There was nothing good about that experience, she's a very talented actress, but a very troubled person.” And on her close friend Elizabeth Taylor, she shared an experience when she walked into Taylor on hands and knees picking up dog poo in MaClaine's Malibu living room. Taylor shared, “Oh, Shirley, this is what I want, to be a housewife picking up dog poo!”, “That was Elizabeth.” MaClaine told us.
On the extraterrestrial, MaClaine shared that she had discussed UFO's with multiple Presidents and when she asked them what they knew, they told her they had asked but were told that information was on a need to know basis and evidently they didn't need to know. She also shared of her friendship with an astronaut who told her he had seen other “crafts” when in space.
On politics she told us about the five hours she spent with Fidel Castro in which he wanted to know everything about America. Nothing political, more cultural. She also shared about her trip as head of the first delegation of American women allowed in Communist China.
MaClaine followed her visual presentation with nearly an hour of question and answers with the audience, much of which was dominated with questions about her spiritual beliefs and beliefs in extraterrestrial's.
I have never been to a bad night of theater at Bass Hall, and this was a great, unique opportunity to spend what felt like an intimate night of reminiscing with a Hollywood Legend.
Upcoming events at Bass Hall include Chicago Starring Seinfeld's John O'Hurley and 9 to 5 Starring Diana Degarmo, who was runner-up on season three of American Idol. Look here in the coming weeks for my interview with Degarmo about Idol, her life since, and her role in 9 to 5. Tickets for all the upcoming events at Bass Hall are available at www.basshall.com .
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