Lain's Log

Jerry mania!

April 14/12.

I never imagined I'd get another chance to see my childhood idol, Jerry Lewis again in my lifetime, but it happened at Casino Rama in Orillia on Friday night - (the 13th - always a lucky day for me). Sincere thanks to my old pal, Media Relations manager Jenna Hunter for generously offering to comp me in, despite my strong request to accept my credit card number! Without her major league box office clout, could NEVER have had such a fabulous close-up view of Jerry's 86-year-old antics. Haven't been this excited about a show in years!

Audience members were advised not to take photographs, but this is pretty much how he looked at the show. Just terrific!

Beforehand, around 6 p.m., checked into the Stone Gate Inn to get changed for dinner & show.

It's a lovely, all-suites hotel. (this is the pretty lobby)

Then, (dressed in black velvet), over to the Grape & Olive for a delicious 6:45 p.m. pre-show dinner.

For those who think I don't eat, - I DO! Ordered the maple butter seared salmon, sweet potato fries and broccoli. (didn't have the sauces...a bit too much), but everything else was incredible!

On the way out of the restaurant, the sun was just setting. Received a text from Kate, saying she's been accepted into Ryerson's journalism course for September! Wow. Friday the 13th rules again! Congrats Kate! Fabulous news.

Next, over to Casino Rama,

 to look for a parking space. (not easy to find)!

The slot machines were calling out to me! Loud & clear. But it was almost showtime.

And Jerry was calling louder!!!!! "Hey LAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINEY"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And when Jerry yells your name,
and commands you to be an audience member, I'm afraid slot machines are the losers!

This shot was taken just moments before entering the showroom to see Jerry, for REAL!!!

My seat number? 13!!!!!!!!! - At exactly 9 p.m., 16 orchestra members made their way to the stage, and then, we heard, "Ladies & gentlemen, - Jerry Lewis!" (somebody sent me this horrible shot). When I saw him step out from stage right, my heart was racing and I think I led the standing ovation. It took several minutes before the applause subsided and Jerry was finally able to launch into a series of jokes. Sometimes, sadly, he forgot the punchlines altogether, admitting to one and all, getting old sucks, big time.

He had me caught directly and dead centre between laughter & tears throughout the entire performance, discussing his health woes,

his memories of great times with Rat Pack pals Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. & Frank Sinatra,

and the longtime special relationship he shared with stage & screen friend/partner & "surrogate brother", Dean.

He showed clips from the past, including the infamous surprise 1976 MDA telethon reunion with Dean, (set up by Ol' Blue Eyes). Not a dry eye in the house on that day!

I'd been hoping against hope he'd perform CUTE from Cinderfella (my all-time favourite Jerry scene), but since it's SO physically challenging, I didn't expect it would happen. However, Jerry delighted everyone when he called for a bar stool, sat down, and recreated his famous typewriter scene from Who's Minding the Store? (1963).

I never saw him perform it LIVE before, so it was a real treat. Just beyond phenomenal. No, it didn't quite have the inane energy of this unforgettable movie version, but I DEFY any other 86-year-old to EVER do it better!

Jerry invited audience members to approach microphones, set up in the aisles, to ask him questions. He tried to verbally tackle about 40 queries. (None screened or rehearsed). Most turned out to be requests for autographs or photos, which didn't thrill him in the least. But about 8 fans asked thoughtful and legit questions, receiving kind and intriguing responses in return. (autograph seekers were comically threatened or asked to take a hike, in true ornery, combative Jerry fashion). Look out!

I left the showroom in an emotional state, feeling I won't see Jerry in person ever again. Worth the trip to Orillia, for sure. (My late Uncle Ev used to say, "Once you're in with Lainey, you're in for LIFE").
It's true.

Before departing the casino, I played 2 cent slot machines for a few minutes (made 8 bucks in the process).
Then bought two items in one of the gift shops - a sparkly blue necklace and a hand-crafted stone, containing a colourful, glittering dragonfly and the word WISH carved on the side of the rock. - To quote George Harrison in A Hard Days Night, they "loom large in my legend." (Dragonflies, I mean). Will explain why some other time.

Meanwhile, back at the hotel, Craig Ferguson was patiently waiting for me - on a mega flatscreen TV in the living room, (ha ha!)

and on ANOTHER flat screen TV in the bedroom!

Made myself right at home, throwing clothes all over the place,

filling the bathroom with every product I could possibly drag here from Toronto, then taking a hot & bubbly Jacuzzi,

using the mini-kitchenette to make a drink,

peeking in thru the fab French doors to the large comfy bed, (with a chocolate left on the sheets!),

finding a fluffy white robe in the closet & wearing it after the Jacuzzi, - and then,

back to the laughs with Craig & special guest

Sean Hayes ("Jack" of Will and Grace fame),

(who plays Larry in the new Three Stooges movie - Oh, a wise guy, eh?) - Why I oughta see you on the big screen real soon!
As for YOU, Jerry, - wherever you are,

cheers and thanks for ALL the laughs! What a night!

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At April 15, 2012 at 1:33 p.m. , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you had a wonderful time! Sometimes it's so important to have a few days to one's self. And congratulations to Kate!


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