In his new book, Fortune In My Eyes, producer/activist David Rothenberg writes about his extraordinary life.
Yesterday, I quoted the book about the not-always-so-lovely-to-work-with Lauren Bacall.
And then there’s Liz.
According to Rothenberg, she was the picture of grace, even when being stared at and dissected like a specimen.
“I was Elizabeth’s date at the opening night of Hamlet at the O’Keefe Centre…
“We were seated on a wide aisle, which enabled us to escape at intermission to a protected area backstage. However, the second-act curtain rise was delayed about twenty minutes, as the entire audience paraded themselves past our seats to gain a glimpse, a close-up of the fabled Elizabeth.
“People were uttering comments right into her face as if she were an inanimate creature. One woman was critical of her hairstyle, another uncomplimentary about her dress.
“I turned to her and asked if she was okay. Her hand dug into my arm, and I watched her–in her mind–go away.
“She had developed the capacity to withdraw into her own head, to turn off the world’s judgments, an extraordinary maneuver of survival…
“I was with the world’s most glamorous woman in the most celebrated theatrical production of its time, and I was starting to feel that this was not the world I wanted to be in.
“I loved the work, but the offstage drama was beginning to take its toll.”
And that’s why I never took Liz to an opening night!