Sunday, January 30, 2011

ROBBLOG #215

I was watching American Graffiti (I & II) the other night- in High Def no less, when all of a sudden I remembered that I had met Cindy Williams a year and a half ago. In this classic film, Cindy- who would eventually be Shirley Feeny and Ron Howard- who was to be Ritchie Cunningham, played boyfriend and girlfriend. They were young. My- but they were young.
Ron even had hair!

Anyway, it was the summer of 2009. I first met Cindy on the telephone. She was performing at Drayton’s King’s Wharf Theatre in Penetanguishene and I was interviewing her for Swisssh.

She was very nice on the phone. We seemed to hit it off right away.

As I remember, my first question was about Boo Boo Kitty, the stuffed black cat that appeared in many episodes of Laverne and Shirley. I had set the question up as if I was asking about Penny Marshall. You know, saying that I had heard for years that someone on the set- not mentioning anyone’s name, was a real “bee-otch” to work with.
She wents quiet on the phone.
Then I said- “So tell me Cindy Williams. Is it true Boo Boo Kitty was a real Diva-Bitch?
She laughed and laughed.
Then she spilled the goods on that black rascal.

Cindy on Stage at King's Wharf
 Apparently Boo Boo Kitty’s first appearance wasn’t scripted. She was just shoved under Shirley’s bed with a bunch of other stuffed animals that the “girls” had won at a Carnival. I think she told me either her of Penny dropped a line- something like that. The cameras kept rolling, so Cindy ad-libbed a situation. She grabbed Boo Boo and the rest was stuffed kitty history.
She told me she still has Boo Boo Kitty. A stage hand gave it to her on the final day of the show. Since she was off the Laverne and Shirley show by that time- even though the title stayed the same, the stage hand would have had to present it to her at a later date.
I am just surmizing here.

She was excellent in the Drayton Entertainment Show which was a farcical comedy- the name escapes me now. She was terrific after the show too as we accompanied her to her vehicle out in the parking lot. She suggested we- my husband Tom and I, go to a restaurant in Midland down by the dock with her and the cast.

So we did.

We followed Cindy- a.k.a. Shirley Feeney, along St. Vincent Street into Midland.
I will never forget saying to Tom-
“...who would have thought in a million years that we would be following Shirley Feeney to a restaurant in Downtown Midland!”
Small world.

She even paid for my Bloody Caesar. I will never forget that.
What a sweetheart. We didn’t talk TV or movies- just other stuff.

Maybe Drayton will have her back. She’s friends with Artistic Director- Alex Mustakis, so the chances are good. I haven’t seen her name appear in any press materials that I have received this year from Drayton regarding their 2011 Summer lineup, so maybe not this season.

Still, it was strange watching someone in a High Def movie filmed years ago that I had met- in person, just a year or two ago.
Much better than High Def.
It was not exactly “kismet”- but something close to that.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this post Rob! I can totally relate to your excitement and wonder about coming into contact with Cindy Williams.

    When I found out that she was going to be playing the lead in our production of "Moon Over Buffalo", I was thrilled!

    I often do the publicity shots for our productions and I knew that I'd be meeting Cindy for a photo session at the King's Wharf Theatre.

    It was one of those glorious, sunny days in Penetang. I brought my husband along for the journey - he was even more excited to meet her than I was! Getting a good shot was a bit challenging because our stage wasn't completely set at that point. Nonetheless, Cindy was so gracious and a real pleasure to meet.

    I also had an opportunity to join the cast for a post-show cocktail when the show transfered to the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse. A bunch of us found a lovely patio in Waterloo one evening and we sat and chatted for hours. It was a great time.

    When I see photos from that time I too think, 'what a small world'! Indeed, who would have thunk that one day I'd be clinking glasses with Shirley Feeney, at a restaurant in Waterloo. I think she even paid for my chardonnay!

    Cheers!
    Valerie O'Brien (aka Drayton Marketing)
    ;o)

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