News About Streisand, Debbie Reynolds, and Holly Woodlawn
A letter just came in from my writer friend Gary LeGault way out in LA LA Land:
"I wanted to provide you with an update on the script I wrote for the Brolins, which you were so kind to have mentioned in your blog. Barbra never formally acknowledged my manuscript, but in the late spring our mutual acquaintance, Joe Goodwin, called and asked a number of questions, culminating with, 'Would you be willing to change the story in any way?'
"I said, 'No, I don't think so. It's perfect.' That put the kibosh onto the project. Afterward, I learned that Streisand decided to resume her cause celebre, The Normal Heart, and is now practicing her movements in a wheelchair as a disabled doctor. Too bad, but I work very hard on my writing, and although some minor edits are necessary, usually the plot and characters are tightly woven, and I'm not about to have someone whose specialty is acting, dictate how the story should be told. Dumb, I suppose. But that's where it stands. I told Joe Goodwin that if the subject ever comes up again, to tell Barbra I'd be happy to make any changes within reason.
"Now, about the new play, Wind in the Widows. Last week, I was invited onto Skip E. Lowe's Hollywood talk show, which is our cable equivalent of Joe Franklin's televised interviews with personalities on their way up and/or down the ladder. 'Widows' was originally written for Debbie Reynolds, who is reluctant to do a musical at her age, then Holly took over until finally, owing to 'artistic differences,' Ms. Woodlawn withdrew and was replaced by Julia Stoddard, the young actress who played the ghost of Marilyn Monroe in Doctor Noguchi.
"Skip E. Lowe came running to see it on opening night, and we weren't quite ready, I'm afraid. He also asked me, 'point blank' on his show, whether I'd like to direct a movie starring his friend, Mamie Van Doren. 'Mamie Van Doren?' I asked, 'Is she a serious actress?'
"Tonight is Holly's birthday party. We were rather unhappy at the time of our breakup, but I left a portrait taken from the original publicity for 'Widows' outside her door, and she called to invite me to her party. She's sixty-four, this year. I've attached a copy of her portrait and the publicity from our ill-fated collaboration.
"I've also attached a photo of me and Debbie together. I sat in the front row on opening night last year of Ms. Reynolds's one-woman show with my new script and Garbo's head in a basket, which she accepted over the footlights, asking, 'What is it?' I said, 'It's Garbo's face, for your museum.' Joe Goodwin was there that night to help me schmooze Debbie and even offered to marry her from his seat in the auditorium. 'Marry?' she quipped. 'And what would we do together? I'd have to throw a towel over it.'