Well, dear readers, these here notes are usually a bright and breezy thing to write, but a little less so tonight. For those who’ve been around this here site for the past fifteen years you know that I’ve always had fun talking of my long-time hairdresser Teddy. I’ve been going to Teddy since 1971 – that’s forty-five YEARS. I’ve followed him wherever he’s gone, from salon to salon. I’m not sure he had anyone who’d been with him as long as I had. We were the same age, both natives of Los Angeles and I know he really liked me and I certainly adored him. It was always fun to go get a haircut from Teddy – we’d dish about everything and laugh a lot. He’d always tell me about the trendy jernts he frequented and who he was hanging out with. I saw him in November and was planning on going in this week to be coifed. Sadly, that won’t be happening. Yesterday I awoke to the news (seen on Facebook) that Teddy, out of nowhere, died. I couldn’t even process what I was seeing (something was on my newsfeed), but I went to his page and there were already a plethora of posts about it. Going back to the earliest of them I saw one from the salon saying he was in intensive care and they were asking for help in locating any of his family. I don’t think at this point there is still anything out there about the why and the how, and we’re all waiting to hear about that. Teddy has always been a party person, a person of energy, he was trim, and while he was always dieting, he ate regularly and well, from what I understood. I know he was devastated by the death of his long-time friend David Bowie recently. I had too many things to do to let it get to me too badly, so I just kind of put it away for a bit. I knew it was not going to be a wonderful day and it certainly wasn’t, and I knew sitting at the Robby Awards, knowing I would basically be losing every single one (more about that later – but basically it was an exact replay of last year – one show I was involved in won one award and a well deserved one – the cast of Inside Out), just wasn’t going to be an evening filled with much joy.
Teddy appears in both my memoirs. I gave him copies of all my books – I’m not sure he ever read them, although I know he read the first memoir. One of my favorite memories was rushing over to him after he’d been gone for six months with David Bowie – my hair had grown to unruly proportions and I wanted to look good for the Grammy Awards (the year I was nominated) – he coifed me beautifully and off I went. I brought him several people over the years, most recently Sandy Bainum. He was a completely one-off person – there was never anyone even remotely like him. I hear his voice in my head as I’m writing this. I see his face and his impish smile. I’m fairly pragmatic about deaths, especially if the person is over eighty – I see nothing to be sad about those kinds of long lives lived. But Teddy’s death got to me in the way that Laurie Beechman and Michelle Nicastro’s got to me. They were all like family. When I got home from the Robby Awards it just hit me like a ton of bricks and it’s just not going to be the same without Teddy to coif me. Here we are about eight to ten years ago.
Wish it were a better photograph – I do have some others but can’t find them at the moment. But here are two classic Teddy photos.
RIP dear Teddy. You have no idea how much I’ll miss getting coifed by you and our forty-five years of gabbing.
I was in kind of a fog for the rest of the day. We did a Costco run and then I just went and had an omelet and a bagel, then came home. I didn’t have all that much time as I had to get ready and then be at the El Portal at four to oversee everything for the Robby show. I got the piano set, talked to the tech folks about the set-up, lighting, and how I wanted everything, and they did a really good job. It was fun to see all my chums – Jason Graae, Carole Cook and her ever-lovin’ Tom Troupe, JoAnne Worley, Bruce Vilanch, Sharon McNight, Linda Purl, Robert Yacko, Stephanie Fredericks, Amanda McBroom and George Ball, Misty Cotton, David Engel, Zach Ford, Valerie Perri and, of course, our very own Sami Staitman. Rob was there, of course, and Gerald Sternbach was on piano. So, that cheered me up a bit. We did a sound check with just about everyone and I chatted with them about pacing and keeping everything moving. The audience began arriving at six and they had ninety minutes to drink and have some finger foods. The show began at seven-thirty.
The first award of the evening told me everything I needed to know about how the rest would progress and that was proved to be correct. The first award was for music and lyrics. I knew I would not be winning – the award went to Jason Robert Brown. Then a few awards later I was thrilled that my cast for Inside Out won best ensemble in a musical. I felt that if anything I was involved in had a chance, it would be that award. They graciously thanked their fearless leader, which was sweet. Sami was the first performer – she was nervous, of course, but she did a really good job, all the more amazing because of accompaniment that rarely resembled what she’s used to hearing. That’s never easy. But she got one of the loudest applause of the night and a couple of people in front of us turned around and told her she was fantastic. To make a long story short, all other awards went to others, as I suspected they would. It’s a shame that the Kritzerland shows never win anything, because there’s really never been anything quite like them in LA cabaret history, but alas, we’ll just keep on trucking and be happy our audiences love us. But it’s nice to get so many Kritzerland nominations and certainly they’re appreciated. Anyway, it was a fun evening and I was happy that it went really smoothly with nothing embarrassing and no one overstaying their welcome. Highlights, for me, were Sami, of course, and Valerie Perri, the best I’ve seen her, Carole Cook being her usual hilarious self, Jason singing his go-to ballad from Falsettos, and Linda Purl showing everyone what great singing is all about. Vilanch and McNight were ideal hosts and very, very funny.
After the show, I yakked with some friends in the lobby, then just came straight home. Then I had my little Teddy meltdown, and I’m fine now.
Today, I have to finish casting the show and choosing songs, never heard from the guy who said he’d let me know today, so I can’t wait on him any longer. I’ll eat, hopefully pick up packages, and just attend to things.
The rest of the week is meetings and meals and doing and going and I have some serious thinking to do about a few things, which I’ll be doing.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, finish casting and choosing songs, hopefully I’ll get the final two blurbs today so we can get the book finished and to the publisher, and then I’ll relax, I suppose. Today’s topic of discussion: Yesterday nuts, today cheese – your favorites, your least favorites. Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, sad to have lost my long-time coiffer, the wonderful Teddy.