Sometimes you plan for something special and the results are even more wonderful than your wildest dreams. This was the case when Project Angel Food hosted a fun-raising event on January 31 at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater, just up the street from our kitchen. Project Angel Food Does Hello, Dolly!
We attended the second performance of Hello, Dolly! with the amazing Betty Buckley. The Tony Award-winning Broadway legend from Cats, Sunset Boulevard, Triumph of Love and television’s Eight is Enough is spectacular in the role of Dolly Levi. But we were most blown away by her generosity of spirit, not only as a performer, but as a person.
Here’s how the evening unfolded: Our group met for cocktails and a toast to longtime Project Angel Food supporter Carol Channing (the original Dolly) an hour before the show; we enjoyed the production from prime seats in the orchestra; then after the show we were ushered backstage for an exclusive tour from the stage manager. Finally, our group gathered onstage, where we were greeted by Betty herself. Hello, Betty! She was stunning, her blue eyes sparkling with warmth and generosity as she strode toward us as if to greet old friends.
“I thought of you all during this performance and the important work that you do,” she said with grace and conviction. “In many ways, the theme of Hello, Dolly! coincides with Project Angel Food. We all need to stick together and take care of one another. That’s what you do.”
Betty posed for photos and, though she’s on vocal rest in between shows, answered all our questions about making Dolly her own with more nuance and depth than we’ve seen before. Audiences and critics alike are applauding her for her performance. We, at Project Angel Food, on the other hand, are applauding her for her thinking of us while she was on that stage. Then, for putting on a Project Angel Food hat and spending nearly 30 minutes with us on the Hello, Dolly! stage for an unforgettable evening.
Make sure you are on our mailing list for upcoming events. Because after a night like this one, you’ll want to make sure to join in on the next one, to quote Dolly, “before the parade passes by!”