Once upon a time, a long, long time ago – back in the mists of time – 1984, to be exact, I did a show called A Winter’s Tale (A Dickens of a Christmas Carol); an original musical version of Christmas Carol. The show was book, music and lyrics written by David James, with additional lyrics by David’s adopted son Doug James, and David’s protégé Kelli James.
It was a magical experience.
I made lifetime friends and lifetime memories in that show. We made a cast album. And for the next three years, at Christmas time, we would once again grace the stages of Los Angeles with a production of A Winter’s Tale. On Christmas Day, we would have a matinee and after the show, we would bring the tables from the Hollingsworth and Cratchit scene onstage and invite the audience to join the cast in a Christmas repast. Since then other theaters have gone on to produce A Winter’s Tale, but we were the first.
A magical time.
But, as they say, time marches on; time flies, time waits for no man …
One of my lifetime friends from A Winter’s Tale is Richard Denton. Richard had sent me an e-mail on December 7, 2014 reminding me that 30 years ago that night, the first performance of A Winter’s Tale took place.
I thanked Richard a butt-load for reminding me just how old this fat old lady is.
Since we were going to be spending Christmas in Los Angeles, I e-mailed Richard to see if he wanted to get together while we were in town. I also asked my sister if she would like us to bring our VHS tape of A Winter’s Tale down to LA? Both Richard and my sister answered in the affirmative. (We also ended up bringing our VCR player, because who has VCR players anymore?)
So one night, my dear husband, my sister, her husband and her 2 boys, gathered around the TV and watched A Winter’s Tale. Oh, I was so young back then. We were all so young back then.
I am the babe with the hair piled on top of her head, to the left, Richard is at far right (with a plate).
The next night, I had a date to have dinner with Richard. My sister and her boys were going to dinner with friends they had met during the Billy Elliot tour; and my husband was opting out in order to spend a quiet evening with my sister’s husband.
Knock, knock, knock on my door.
Enter Richard Denton. He comes in and tells me he has brought me a special Christmas surprise.
Enter David James.
I was on the verge of tears. I haven’t seen or heard from David for many, many years.
We went out to dinner and ended up spending about 3 hours talking; revisiting old memories, talking about our lives now and just enjoying each others’ company. It was pure joy for me.
Thank you Richard.
Best. Christmas. Present. Ever.