Usually, an honoree’s appearance onstage is saved for the end of the evening, but that wasn’t the case on Sunday night at the Wilshire Theater where Doris Roberts opened the “All-Star Salute to Doris Roberts–Building It Together” by assuring the audience that she is not ill “and I still look good on the red carpet.” Indeed, Doris does look great on the red carpet where she can be seen regularly on opening nights, supporting artistic and civic events.
Doris did not return to the stage until the finale when “family” Ray Romano brought her back and Camille Saviola serenaded her with “You’ll Never Know” — how much we love you. The program, produced and directed by Gary Grossman, boasted this cast of performers: Lil’ Cesar, Sally Kellerman, the trio of Gabrielle Wagner, Nayo Wallace and James Black, Allen Barton, Jason Alexander (in his priceless routne of would-be-starring performances on B’way), Mandy Barnett, Bryan Callen, Ruby Hinds, the hilarious Fred Willard and Lea Thompson, not to mention Romano and Saviola. Gerald Sternbach directed the music-filled program. The audience of 1400-strong raised upwards of $70,000 to re-start Camelot’s Not-For-Profit Theater Company of the Beverly Hills Playhouse and the Milton Katselas Acting School, which counts Doris as a regular Saturday class attendant along with thesps Joan Van Ark, John Glover, etc. “Baby” is the next planned production for the super-enthusastic group.