by sally mierop
"A Christmas Carol" - The Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York City
I wrote to Roddy mentioning that I had purchased tickets to "A Christmas Carol." He wrote back and kindly asked if I would come backstage so we could meet.
Arrived at The Theater at Madison Square Garden 7:15pm, November 26, 1997.
The play was fabulous! And of course, our RM was wonderful. Don't believe any of those theatrical reviews on RM. There could be NO other Scrooge. He looks and acts the part.
After the show, we were lead to a lady with blonde hair waiting by the fruit cart. We told her that we were here to see Mr. McDowall. She asked us our name and checked her small notepad and said we were right here on the list and had been looking for us. She motioned for us to sit down by his other visitors(a lady and her son, whose family were old friends of Roddy, we found out later). She left to check with Mr. McDowall. When she returned a minute later, we were all lead to his *dressing room* down the hall.
He had recently gotten out of the shower(clothed now, naturally) when we arrived, and he was just putting his socks on when the door opened. :-) He was taken aback for a moment on who I was. He said, "And who is this?" I MADE him think for a moment. He looked down and then up and said, "Sally." And I said, "Yes, Roddy." We shook hands, then I introduced my husband, Paul, and he welcomed all of us in.
He took our photograph(Paul's and mine) and then a photograph of his friend and her son. I was quite flattered by that incident. Imagine Roddy taking *my* photograph! I told him we brought our camera too. So we took two photographs of Roddy and I together - arm in arm. :-) The last picture I took my heels off and said, "Wait! Let's see how tall he really is!" His reply was, "5'9" and shrinking"(with a chuckle). We didn't get to ask really much of anything else. He chatted with his friend for a few minutes then, while I was checking out his bulletin board on the wall, which contained his letters from various friends wishing him well.
He told us that he was invited to be in the Macy's parade but turned them down because of his voice. His voice was becoming raspy that night after the play. (He would have been seated next to Hal Linden during the parade in the Alice in Wonderland float.)
It was getting late(about a half hour in his dressing room) and Roddy said we had better leave before we were locked in.
When we were outside the theater, his friend asked if she could give Roddy a lift to his hotel. Roddy said he had a car. She then left with her son. A few fans were outside seeking autographs and Roddy gladly signed. He posed for a photograph with another fan and then they left too. At Paul's insistence, I gave Roddy a hug before we parted. Roddy wished us "Happy Holidays." I, in turn, commented he was "wonderful as usual" and that I would tell his fan club he said hello. We walked away into the cold, windy night. And when we turned back, he was gone.
I sent him a thank you note the next day for inviting me backstage.
A few weeks later, I received a personal note from Roddy thanking *me* for coming to the show.
Will there be a "fourth" encounter in the near future? Only God knows!
Copyright © 1997, 1998 by Sally Mierop. All Rights Reserved.