Sunday, October 25, 2015

Love Letters

This is a revised re-post.  I first wrote this piece in 2006.  I was reminded of it last night because I finally saw LOVE LETTERS.  This version starred Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw.  They were both terrific.  I'm friends with Ryan and went backstage after.  Thrill of thrills, I got to meet Ali MacGraw.  Like every Jewish boy of my generation, I fell in love with her in GOODBYE COLUMBUS. 
So I thought I would reprise my LOVE LETTERS post.  But it was shocking how many of the people I had listed are now gone.   Thus I've had to sprinkle in a few new pairs.  Enjoy again for the first time:

LOVE LETTERS by AR Gurney is an enormously successful play. Ingenious in its design, an actor and actress sit at tables or stand at podiums and just read love letters. So no blocking or rehearsal or memorization is ever really needed. Actors can easily rotate in and out of the piece and frequently do. This can result in prestigious A-level actor pairings but there have also been productions by Charlton and Lydia Heston. Since I couldn’t attend either of those I shall wait to see LOVE LETTERS until one of the following pairings is announced:

Ann Coulter & Al Franken

Woody Allen & Mia Farrow

Donald Trump & Megyn Kelly

Bruce Jenner & Caitlin Jenner

Marc Cherry & Nicollette Sheridan

Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner

Billy Bob Thornton & Angelina Jolie

Tom Cruise & anyone

Mary Tyler Moore & Triumph the Insult Comic Dog

Regis Philbin & Kelly Rippa

Dr. Laura & Dr. Phil

Liza Minelli & David Gest

Donnie & Marie

Paula Abdul & Simon Cowell

George W. Bush & a mannequin

Andrew Dice Clay & Amy Grant

Bjork & Bob Dylan

Kermit & Miss Piggy

Matt Lauer & Ann Curry

Jennifer Aniston & Brad Pitt

Pamela Anderson & Rick Salomon (divorced for the third time)

Stephen Collins & anyone

And of course, Broadway’s favorite stunt casting duo, whether they fit the roles or not….

Nathan Lane & Matthew Broderick


MikeK.Pa. said...

I was going to add Clint Eastwood and an empty chair but that one's already been done.

Alanfg said...


Kevin from VA said...

Hi Ken

Question unrelated to your "Love Letters" Post. Maybe a Friday question? Your Post on the Drew Carey Show got me to thinking about a show he co-starred on prior to the Drew Carey Show. The show was on NBC and called "The Good Life". It lasted less than half a season but man I thought that show was funny and always wished it had lasted nine seasons instead of TDCS. Another sitcom for me that was cancelled way too soon was a show called "The Texas Wheelers" which had Jack Elam, Gary Busey, and Mark Hamill. A couple more are The "Rounders" with Chill Wills, and "Run Buddy Run" both of witch go way back to the 1960's. My question for you Ken is going back to the days when there were only three networks, are there any shows that you admired or enjoyed and thought were cancelled way too soon?

jcs said...

Some years ago THE GETAWAY aired late at night on TV in my neck of the woods. Steve McQueen and MacGraw showed terrific chemistry; they probably would have been a great pairing for LOVE LETTERS, too.

Tom Quigley said...

Back about 20 years ago when I still lived in LA, I was in Tower Records' Northridge store around Christmas time looking a over the holiday CD selection and happened to turn to my right -- and there stood Ali McGraw, looking as pretty as I remembered her from the 70's, also browsing. I was too self-conscious to say anything (not even a nervous "Happy Holidays!") but went back to looking at the CDs. They say you get used to seeing celebrities in LA, but every now and then, you see one you never expected to see in person, and know only as a dreamy celluloid image on a giant movie screen. She was one of them.

YEKIMI said...

Speaking of updating: How often do you update your "favorite links" to the right of the page? I click on some of them and see that the last entry on some of them was in 2010, 12, 13 or 14. Some are even gone when I click on the links. I can see the others running their sites not updating it every day or couple of weeks or so, but a year or more is pushing it. {RichBroRadio, GreatBigRadio, HyLitRadio are fantastic; good enough that I've decided against starting my own online radio site. I can't compete with them!]

Joseph M. said...

Dear Ken,

I love posts like these because they set of a creative spark in me. I can't read a list like this without wanting to add a few ideas of my own, so here goes.

People I'd like to see in "Love Letters":

Kirstie Alley and George Lopez
Barack Obama and John Boehner
Sarah Silverman and Larry the Cable Guy
Pat Robertson and Chelsea Handler
Chuck Lorre and Roseanne
Chuck Lorre and Brett Butler
Chuck Lorre and Cybil Shepard

I'd like to mention that this is not meant as a shot at Chuck Lorre. Track down his essay in the book "The First Time I got paid for It" for a hilarious anecdote about creative integrity and "Beany and Cecil."

Joseph M. said...

Another perfect "Love Letters" pairing:

Whoopee Goldberg and Michael Richards.

Tom said...

I suspect Bjork and Dylan would do it.

Old Hippy said...

George W. Bush & a mannequin

I sure hate to be the mannequin having to carry GWB. That would be a tough part.

Bryan Thomas said...

Wow, you know Ryan O’Neal. Very cool. I love SO FINE and WHAT’S UP DOC and CHANCES ARE. I have also enjoyed a number of his other works but those especially are favorites. I always wanted to work with him. Anyway very cool.