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August 19, 2010

DANA IVEY CAST AS VIOLET VENABLE IN TENNESSEE WIILLIAMS FESTIVAL IN PROVINCE TOWN


for information on Dana's career, click here.
 
This blog is taken from an email to David Kaplan, curator of The T. Williams Festival In Province Town: 

We just spoke and, while fresh, I thought I'd let you know my connection to Dana.  We never met but I had a wonderful relationship with Dana's mother, Mary Nell Santacroce and her step-father Dante Santacroce.  (Back in 1974, I was actually a cute, curly haired 180 pound 21 year old living in Atlanta)

I had just come off my first Equity tour of MAN OF LA MANCHA and Dante directed me in a memorable production of THE SUBJECT WAS ROSES.  Mary Nell coached me in this role and Dante was a wonderful director and became a friend as did Mary Nell.  I was hungry for more coaching and felt I needed to get a more solid foundation by getting into a good liberal arts school. All my instincts told me I was not ready for a professional career. I was 21 and incredibly insecure.  Response to my work in both plays I did in Atlanta had been extremely positive but I was well aware of the well trained competition I would be facing and was in search for solid experience--this came in the form of a Drama scholarship at Birmingham Southern and I was enrolled and in rehearsals for Claudius in HAMLET by the 1974 fall term.                                                                                  

Mary Nell arranged a lunch at Harry Ellerbe's.  It was just Harry and me and his older sister who was quietly charming but distant.  She served us in the beautiful breakfast room and then disappeared.

I had no idea Harry had been the original "gentlemen caller" in The Glass Menagerie and he never brought it up--I only found that out a few years ago.

We enjoyed our lunch and he had many simple, solid pieces of advice for a young actor.  He drove home the point that actor's today do not treasure the "words".  This remained with me.

Just, if not awkward, pass on my deep affection to Dana for Mary Nell and Dante.  I feel they must have both passed away at this point.

Mary Nell was quite wonderful as "the land lady" in John Houston's WISE BLOOD and did appear in several films.  She would have worked non-stop in Los Angeles but chose to remain in Atlanta.

Dearest David, sorry to have allowed this little note to grow into a 'bio tale' but it just flowed...........   I know how busy you are but once I begin a tale it sometimes happens!  Hope the T. Williams Festival is coming together.  My Sciatica should be better soon but, regretfully, I will miss the 5th Season.  Very disappointed but health has to take the front seat this year. 

Best to you and Jerry and Spot,
Glenn

For those who can make it to Province Town, here's a link with info:  http://www.twptown.org

August 08, 2010

Baez in Baton Rouge

Thursday August 5, 2010 was my first opportunity to see  one of my life long inspirations.  A social conscience with a voice that must have aroused envy amongst the most modest of angels.  My fellow fans and travelers to see Joan Baez in Baton Rouge were Diane Tune and James Gunter.  All Alabamians.
 
Growing up in and around Birmingham, Alabama I had some relatives who made it necessary to hide Joan's recordings along with other such "subversive" artists as Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, and The Mamas and The Papas) under the mattress in my bedroom. These LP's all lay there quietly as in a bunker awaiting further orders.   I  listened to Pete Seeger at the home of a trusted friend.  Patti Page seemed free to sing about little doggies in windows at will. Was it that pretty blonde hair that gave her clearance?  These hidden treasures (Pete got lucky) all burned in a house fire December 5, 1970.  They were later replaced with money I earned cutting grass or re-capping tires at my father' Goodyear dealership.
 
By late Thursday August 5, 2010 while the band loaded for their late night trip to Phoenix I got the opportunity to sit down with Joan for a few minutes.  We returned from Baton Rouge the next morning.
 
Here are some photos from a memorable night in Baton Rouge
 
Glenn Shadix shares some time with Joan Baez after the show.
Glenn Shares some time with Joan Baez after the show.
 
Joan Baez playing to a packed house in Baton Rouge
Joan playing to a packed house in Baton Rouge.
 
The Baez Band
 
     John Doyle----------Guitar, Vocals
     Dirk Powell----------Fiddle,Banjo
     Todd Phillips--------Bass
     Blair Woods---------Tour Mgr.
     Jim Stewart----------Merchandizing
     Emma Vasseur-----assistant to  Ms. Baez
 
 

The bittersweet lone mic as Joan leaves the stage.