Friday, November 16, 2012

Nov 17th - English Music Hall - Closed Set, PART 2

     ... continued

A little while later, Julie came back to her chair in the production area and sat down to rest. There were quite a few guests in the audience that evening and someone who works on the show brought his daughter up to meet her. When some of the people in the audience saw this, they followed, and began asking Julie for her autograph. At that point, one of the pages came down and bawled people out.
“You are not allowed on the stage!” he told them.

Vivian had to explain to him that she had only been speaking to Lorraine, but a few minutes later Julie’s private secretary, Joan, came out. She was very angry and said that someone had used her name to get onstage.
“No one is EVER allowed onstage,” she said, repeating what the page had said.

Even though it was all a big mistake, Vivien started to cry. When Julie saw her, she came to the front of the stage and looked down at Vivian.
“Is there something the matter?” she half-whispered to a stagehand, “Why is she crying?”

Just at that point, I had to leave again! But the show tonight was so good (also having so many songs from the 20s and 30s, a period I love), that I made up my mind to come back again. I just needed to find a ride. I ran back to International House and got a key to the front door so I could get in if the taping continued after midnight. Then, I went to my room and put some cookies in a bag....


Ruth and Vannie Schaufelberger at ABC Studio
November 1972.
You can see the edge of the patio that leads into the
studio, and the parking lot where some of the
opening of the first show was filmed. 
When I arrived, Julie was working on a new scene, but a few minutes later, they took a dinner break and the crew turned on all the lights in the studio. 

Someone pointed out Julie’s fan mail secretary, Claire Priest, so I went over to sit and talk with her. She introduced to a mother and daughter who were visiting from Florida. Ruth Schaufelberger was a retired school teacher, and her daughter, Vannie, was just about my same age. They were big Julie Andrews fans, not fancy people, but as the old expression goes, “salt of earth,” decent, kind people. Ruth and Vannie were so thrilled to be at the studio. It was a lifetime dream come true for them to watch Julie Andrews at work. They were very respectful as well...

During this time the lighting and camera crew were testing the lights. There was orange lighting that turned yellow and then gray, but on the monitor it appeared to be orange against total blackness – a wonder to see the difference of effect!

The entraance to the studio that I
passed through so many times.
I just don't remember all the ironwork.
To the right was the area with the food
machines. To the left, going down
the walk, is the area where Ruth
and Vannie took their photo.

***
By now, I was very hungry so I stopped at the covered patio outside the studio door and bought a small can of hot spaghetti from the vending machine that had hot meals. It cost $1.00. I also bought some corn chips and a Butterfinger bar....

When I returned, the crew had moved two walls of the set and hung some chandeliers on stage. ...

The crew also set up some seats on the studio stage, right in front of the little stage scene they’d built. They wanted to have the same people onstage that had been in the scene they taped yesterday, but some of the people were missing. Bill Harbach was standing onstage looking over the small, private audience for people they could use. I wished they could choose me.  Julie’s stand-in, Sherri, was chosen... 

For the next scene, the audience was supposed to smoke, making the place look like an old English Music Hall. When Rich Little came on stage and looked around he said, “That smoke looks great on the screen. It looks like the theater is on fire.” It did!

Julie peeked out of the curtains. “Hello!” she giggled.  When she came out from behind the curtains, she was dressed all in pink lace, with pantaloons and a hooped skirt. She had flowers on her head and little curls on either side of her face. She curtseyed like a little girl (and seemed to feel like one).
“Aaaaahhhh,” said the audience.... 

From the Ruth and Vannie Schaufelberger Collection
The pair got their hoops together, and began to practice a routine that left us all, including Julie and Alice, in hysterics. They began with their hoops together, each trying to look like an angel (with a bit of mischief).  Then, they began to sing. Julie went way up and off-key, while Alice was singing low. Then, Alice went off-key against Julie’s high notes. At that same time, they went on turning together, tip-toeing around. At one point, they put their hoops over each other and hugged as the hoops fell, making a crashing sound, and hurting Julie’s foot – fake, of course.
“Now,” said the director, “Julie, you’re off-key.”
“I am?”  Laughter in the house.
....
Finally, Bill Davis said, “Come on, now. We want to get finished and go home tonight.”
I was surprised by how quickly everyone settled down. Julie and Alice did the number again. We laughed, but it wasn’t nearly as funny as it had been.

                                            To be continued...
.
Please note: This article has been edited down. The complete account will be included in a new book presently in the works.

All Photos here are for entertainment purposes only. 

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