There would be no finale with hand-hugging, superlatives splaying or even an appearance by the solitary star following the Friday evening and Sunday afternoon, audiences were forewarned by “Before I Forget”‘s Kirk Douglas at his theater. The celeb-laden group — family and friends, business and social — had to content themselves with a post-curtain champagne toasting, telling each other what a magnificent performance they had watched and discussing the relevance of the stories Kirk Douglas did not forget to tell.
Some of the principals, like family, remained briefly. The Douglas clan on hand included Michael and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Cameron, Joel and Jo An D., Peter, Lisa, Tyler and Kelsey, Kirk’s first wife, Diana Webster and husband Don, and Kate Burton, wife of the CTG’s Michael Ritchie. Also Constance Towers and husband John Gavin, Neiel Adams, Nancy Olson Livingston, Oliver Stone, Ron Meyer, and director Jeff Kanew, who presented Kirk with an ice cream cone at the show’s finale–a tribute to the “gift” his father gave him after his first play. (Michael Douglas made the presentation Sunday night).
“That’s one reason I could never do Broadway,” Angie Dickinson said after attending the initial Douglas performance. “Can you imagine doing that eight times a week and then going back stage for more?” And Angie certainly had a reason to heap praises on Douglas that night — she’s known and praised the many phases of Kirk Douglas since she played his wife in the 1966 “Cast A Giant Shadow.”
While the film’s theme was set in Israel the duo had their marital scenes in Rome, she recalled. “I was proud to play his wife,” she said, but with a laugh, she didn’t choose to recall anything off-screen about their relationship. (Just as she maintains her privacy with any/all relationships.) Angie and Kirk’s friendship still goes deep — including attending his bar mitzvah at age (his) 83 — and, of course, friendship with Anne, his wife of 50 years.
And Angie also sits in the adjoining seat to Kirk at the poker games held (irregularly over the years) at the Frank Sinatra homes, with players including Veronique and Gregory Peck, Felicia and Jack Lemmon, Pat and Larry Gelbart. Of course everyone hopes Kirk Douglas will try to remember some more in further performances of “Before I Forget.”
Also, I was sorry to learn from my comperes in Germany that the German Vanity Fair closed down a few weeks ago due to the whole financial crisis still affecting German media. They, like other fourth-estate-ers, are searching new (rare) print outlets.