This story relates to Victoria, but in an unexpected way. When Marilyn Miller remarked that she loved the Colette audio tape best (see last Thursday's blog), it brought this story to mind.
I saw Isabel Keating on the stage in New York portraying Judy Garland. She was incomparable and won awards for the performance. I wanted to share with her the kind remarks that Leslie Caron, who performed Colette for us and recorded Gigi as well, had told me about Judy Garland. I'd never done such a thing before, but I wrote Isabel a letter, relaying Madam Caron's remark and sending her the Victoria tapes featuring Leslie Caron. It simply went off to The Imperial Theater.
The response I received from Isabel was delightful. (My niece wisely reminded me that actresses are people, too.) That correspondence opened up a lovely exchange for us of notes and Christmas cards. And I made it a practice to see Ms. Keating on stage anytime I could--once even traveling to New Jersey's Papermill Playhouse.
When Isabel's good friend Mark Berman presented his original musical composition The Genesis Project, she invited me to attend the premier performance. We hugged each other like old friends. Isabel is diminutive, like Judy Garland was, but effervescent and very engaging. My husband couldn't get over how darling she was in every way. What I would have missed if I hadn't written that letter and shared Leslie Caron. My dream is to get these two friends together sometime. And it just might happen when Leslie Caron comes to the U.S. to promote her new book Thank Heaven. (More about that later...)
You can meet Isabel on her website and on her blog. And you can hear her incomparable voice and experience her talent in her recordings of many books. Check the offerings on Amazon by searching on her name. I adore Blue Christmas. Maybe it reminds me of how much I enjoy her Christmas notes, often on cards she's created herself. (These days they are signed Isabel and Mark.)
Oh, how all the threads of our lives embroider our days. It never ceases to amaze me. I'd love to hear a story of when you did something that brought you rewards you never expected.