Greetings Ladies! Thank you
for visiting my website. I wanted to create a page just for you, and I
hope you enjoy it!
Something wonderful happened
to me one summer afternoon in Vermont in July. I was playing the role
of Dolly Levi at the Weston Playhouse. Weston is a picturesque New
England town and home to the Vermont Country Store. One matinee day, as
I walked from the Victorian cast house to the theatre, I saw bouquets
of ladies throughout this quaint town, all dressed in purple and topped
with radiant red hats. A surreal picture was brought to life before my
eyes: Grand ladies in red and purple, strolling the great lawn of the
playhouse, sitting in the town square gazebo, and rocking easily in
rockers on the front porch of the Vermont Country Store. There was
laughter in the air and so much color illuminated against the summer
greenery. A spell was cast over me.
It was several weeks later when I first shared this encounter with these ladies with Philip Fortenberry, my Musical Director. He was speechless. Speechless because that very same magical day that I saw the ladies in Weston he and my orchestrator, Keith Thompson had been keeping a promise and had followed through on a wish from their mentor, professor, and dear friend whom they both had known since they attended college together in Mississippi. Her name was Virginia Scott and sadly that Summer she had passed away. She was a grand lady who loved the Broadway community. One of her final wishes was that in celebration of her life Purple and Red balloons be released at midnight in Times Square. Again, Red and Purple and intrigue.
With determination, I set out to discover more about The Red Hat Society and these vibrant ladies. I read two charming books by their founder and Queen Mother, Sue Ellen Cooper. The ladies adopted a poem entitled WARNING, by Jenny Joseph, which inspired their dress code of red hats and purple dresses as well as their “Hattitude” for frivolity. Their hearty philosophy, at age 50, is that life is just beginning, again. Energized, I was challenged to seek a collection of songs with poignant lyrics that would embrace the wisdom and gratitude in how we ALL, men and women alike, have earned our “laugh lines and our cry lines.”
I am thrilled and honored to introduce Keith Thompson's EAT, DRINK, AND BE MARY! - perhaps a new humorous Hattitude, and VIRGINIA’S RESPONSE, a very special offering set to the words written by Virginia Scott. It is her direct response to the Jenny Joseph poem, WARNING. At Virginia’s request, both WARNING and VIRGINIA’S RESPONSE were read as part of her eulogy. Virginia was not a member of the Red Hat Society, but Virginia’s personal response, indeed, illuminates independence, true character and vitality.
There is comfort in earning and sharing the wisdom, acquired through the years, and giving one’s self permission to live life to the fullest, however individually defined.
If you follow this link it will take you to the FAIR WARNING page,
where you can listen to three songs, read more about
the recording, see the artwork, and of course, purchase the CD.
AS SEEN IN THE RED HAT SOCIETY LIFESTYLES MAGAZINE
NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2006 ISSUE