27 January 2007

after the fall

2 weeks ago Billy & I went to Santa Monica Playhouse to see Evelyn Rudie in a backstage musical she wrote. back in the days of "Playhouse 90" Kay Thompson pickd 7-year-old Evelyn to become the original Eloise. she soon became the highest paid child star of her time. by age 14 she'd become an extra in "Bye Bye Birdie" & retired. however she became involvd in theater. her work at the playhouse over the decades has made her one of the important names in the community as well as in the history of the boards in LA.

the most touching moment in her current musical is when she calls out the names of child stars who endurd varying degrees of tragedy. it's a long & painful list. I rememberd Evelyn today when I saw "Little Children." so few child stars have a second act in the lights. but now we can add another.

little Jackie Earle Haley was big. his roles in "Day of the Locust" & "Breaking Away" assurd him of at least a footnote in Hollywood history. then like so many others he disappeard. we now know that he delived pizzas & drove a limo. but he made it back onto the big screen. & his performance in "Little Children" is complex & deep & compelling. it qualifies him for a long career as a character actor.

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