Sunday, June 14, 2009

Carol Burnett answers your (dumb) questions.

I saw Laughter and Reflection with Carol Burnett at Massey Hall on Friday night. It was an honour and a joy to see her live, candidly answering anything the audience threw at her. Other than a few clips from The Carol Burnett Show, Friday's show consisted solely of a question and answer period. I have mixed feelings about this format. The quality of the show is largely dependant upon the quality of the questions, and there were definitely some time-wasters. Luckily, Carol was usually able to spin dead questions into relevant answers.

Almost everyone started their question with "My family and I? We're all really big fans? And we just want you to know? That we watched your show every week and we think you're really great. Thank you so much for being here tonight." Which is all nice and fine and everything, but I'll bet that Carol already knows that you're a fan because you bought a ticket to see her tonight, so you can probably just get to your question.

And then sometimes - quite often, actually - the question was either "Can I get your autograph after the show?" or "Can I come up on stage to give you a hug?" to which Carol would politely say, "Oh, honey, I wish there were some stairs here so you could come up, but..."

Thank goodness there were no stairs.

I wanted to ask her, "What would you say is the number one thing you need to accomplish to make a sketch work?" but I wasn't surprised that they never got around to me. There were so many people there and everyone was desperate to ask their question.

One of my favourite stories Carol told was about re-shooting a scene from Annie, after she had had chin surgery. The director wanted to re-do one of the musical numbers, taking it from when Carol had gone into a closet (when they'd filmed it months earlier), and picking it up when she came out of the closet, to which Carol predictably offered, "But when I went into the closet two months ago, I had no chin...and now, I have a chin, so..." And the director, John Houston, gave her the best direction of her life: "Well, just come out looking determined."


You can see Carol's interview on The Hour here. She talks about the chin story, it's great.

It was a lovely evening at the theatre. Since returning from New York I've decided I want to start to take advantage of all the wonderful theatre we have right here in Toronto. Speaking of which, I'm FINALLY going to see Janna play Maria in The Sound of Music on Saturday. Can't wait!

1 comment:

The Delusional Romantic said...

I was at The Hour for her interview and almost peed when she told the chin story! I guess what we learned from that is if you look determined then nothing else is noticeable. Thanks John Houston!