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Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Cavett Show at Harrah's Rincon Casino

Well, I was disappointed.

Not with Dick Cavett . . . he was his usual fine self . . . brilliant raconteur, great interviewer, commentator, and personality.

Debbie Reynolds looked beautiful, as always; she dressed beautifully, as always. In contrast, her daughter, Carrie Fisher, should be ashamed of herself for the way she appeared. Very much overweight, unkempt red hair (badly dyed) that looked like she had just rolled out of bed, barely combed, if at all, a floppy black sweater and black slacks, kludgy (and ugly) black sandals, and a big black overcoat, all of which looked like Early Salvation Army. She looked atrocious and it stood out noticeably when contrasted with her mom.

The interview itself generated a number of "inside show biz" stories . . . Carrie Fisher doesn't like the way Harrison Ford kisses - she got two strippers in to see her dad, Eddie Fisher, while he was all but comatose in a hospital, two days before he died; Debbie Reynolds was not overly fond of Gene Kelly . . . but, she acknowledged, that was because he was a demanding perfectionist and she was only 19 at the time; that Shirley McLaine was originally cast in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," with a heartbroken Debbie coming in second. However, Hal Wallis had some type of legal/contractual problem that precluded McLaine from playing the part so Debbie got it by default; that McLaine then called Debbie and chewed her out. They had been close friends and the impression was that they still are . . . though the air was rather blue at that time. Debbie did a number of her fairly decent impressions of other celebrities. The audience seemed to enjoy that.

So, to pick up on Hollywood celebrity stories it was "just okay." That was both Evelyn's analysis as well as mine, post-show. I didn't go for either Debbie Reynolds or Carrie Fisher (I don't care if I ever see Carrie Fisher again; she left a bad impression with me). I went for Dick Cavett. I worship the man and his work.

He has, however, attempted to grow a mustache and a Van Dyke beard. They do not flatter him at all. He needs to lose the beard and mustache.

There were a couple of technical issues. Cavett had his lapel mike on his left lapel . . . but Debbie and Carrie were to his right . . . so when he spoke to them he was off mike and his words were somewhat muffled; when he turned toward the audience, he came through loud and clear. Secondly, they only had one video camera. This was disconcerting because in a long shot, you'd see all three, if they zoomed in on Debbie, then you missed seeing the other two. Both Evelyn and I, and I suspect the rest of the audience, watched almost all the program on the tv monitors rather than the live stage presentation. The setting on stage was set just like in a television studio, lots of big lights and reflectors and kleig lights above. Just too far away to view comfortably. The tv monitors worked well . . . but two, or even three cameras would have been so much better.

Of greater concern to me . . . and on a negative note . . . the food lines were huge! Originally, we wanted to go to the buffet and have a leisurely meal. We would have had to have brought a tent and sleeping bag before we finally got served . . . so we opted for the Cafe. The lines were also long there and the service was so poor at Harrah's Cafe that we did not have time to finish our meal before show time. Evelyn and I each got about one bite of our sandwich and then told the waiter to bring us boxes to take our food with us as show time was upon us. We got the boxes and a bag, went to the auditorium where we were then told we could not take the bag into the auditorium with us. A security guard showed us a place in the corner where we could stow it and pick it up after the show. Fine. We relied upon his advice.

After the show, there was great difficulty locating our sack of food. We were both starving. Finally, a young lady located a bag and brought it to us . . . we went to Valet Parking and waited for our car to be brought around.
I decided, "let's picnic while we wait," and opened the bag.

Wrong bag, wrong food boxes.

I had ordered a French Dip sandwich with au jus, and fresh fruit; evelyn had ordered a barbecued pork sandwich with cole slaw. Someone got our bag of food . . . we got theirs. Spaghetti and meat balls, onion rings, and bbq chicken.

It was a night I will not long remember. Cavett was good, but that's about all that was. The regular ticket price was $65 per seat.

The show, even with Cavett, is not worth $65 a seat. I won't go back, not even on a press pass. It's a waste of my time.

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