The Eternal Unger and opera-loving celebrities

Of course by now you’ve heard of the death of Arts > Television > Tony Randall, Half of the ‘Odd Couple,’ Dies at 84″ href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2004/05/19/arts/television/19RAND.html”> Tony Randall at 84.
I used to see Tony Randall at the Met all the time: performances, dress rehearsals, even just hanging out in the cafeteria. He was quite the opera buff, aruguably more so than our other frequent-operagoing pet celebrities: then-mayor Giuliani, fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, and actress Joanne Woodward.
Other auspicious sightings: I saw Kofi Annan in a private box for Norma, the night before he won his Nobel Peace Prize. Sharing the box with him were Henry Kissinger and John Negroponte. Draw your own conspiracy theory.
Once, during a gala performance of L’elisir d’amoreattended by then-Argentine president Carlos Menem, Senator Christopher Dodd came back late from intermission. I quietly let him into the auditorium just as Dr Dulcamara was singing the following lines:
Idol mio, non pi rigor.
Fa felice un senator.

“Make a Senator happy”. I bet Ted Kennedy uses that line all the time.

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One comment

  1. roy edroso

    I saw Mr. Randall once, about seven years ago, at the TKTS booth in Times Square. He was preparing to cross Broadway — leaning forward, legs flexed — but still had time and attention enough to notice me staring at him. He was, I shit you not, wearing a deerstalker cap and a hound’s-tooth cape over a business suit.
    He noticed me and winked. I said the first thing that popped into my head: “Keep up the good work, Mr. Randall.”
    “Thank you, sir!” he cried in that rich, plummy voice we all know. “I will!” And with the green light he dashed, cape flying, across the street.
    With this, as with everything he did, he exceeded my expectations. What a great actor, and what a great gentleman. RIP.