Monday, September 10, 2007

Stokes & Studs

Today, I was at THE luncheon in Chicago... if you're a part of the theatre community, that is...

At noon today in The Standard Club, The Actors Fund gave Chicago legend Studs Terkel their Medal of Honor for his tremendous body of work.

Studs spoke. He told hilarious stories - - many of which I hope will be in his forthcoming memoirs - - and at one point, he made me horse laugh when he said...

"Alfred Lunt and Lynne Fontanne received an award in this room. And if it's good enough for them, it's good enough for me."

He was smart and witty and charming and the room was FILLED with Chicago theatre heavy-hitters.

And one Tony-Award Winning heavy-hitter.

A Broadway star who flew into Chicago to present the medal to Studs.

The President of The Actors Fund - - Brian Stokes Mitchell

When I introduced myself to him as the Executive Director of Season of Concern, he thanked me for my work (SOC shares office space with the Chicago office of The Actors Fund and we award a large grant to them every year), and then he said it...

"Call me Stokes."

I immediately said, "My musical theatre friends are going to DIE when I tell them that I met you."

He said, "Well, I don't want them to die!!!"

What I wanted to say was, "My musical theatre friends will KILL THEMSELVES when I tell them that you asked me to call you Stokes."

Of course, he asks EVERYONE to call him Stokes, but that's beside the point.

He's my buddy, now. Stokes.

And he is handsome and warm and friendly and intelligent and a brilliant President for The Actors Fund. It was a thrill to meet him and to hear all of the wonderful Studs Terkel stories.

What a lovely way to start the week.

P.S. When I talked to Charissa after the luncheon and told her who I met, she said, "Stokes & Studs," to which I replied...

"Sounds like a gay bar in the West Village, doesn't it?"

8 comments:

Bob said...

He made me fall in love with him a little bit when I saw him do his show at Ravinia a few months ago. A handsome, handsome man.

Stephen Rader said...

Bob - He is so nice and kind and wonderful. They had a photographer at the event, so I should have a few "Stephen & Stokes" pics soon. :)

Lance Noe said...

I heard that "stokes" likes to be "stroked" by mens. any truth to this rumor?

Palm Springs Savant said...

Oh I do hope you post those pics Stephen...I'm guessing you had a glow about you...

Stephen Rader said...

Lance - Who am I? Larry Craig?!?! I don't know!!!!!

Rick - You can bet your sweet ass - - and it IS sweet, by the way - - that I will be posting those pics the second I get them! :)

khbronson said...

I snorted out loud when I read "Call me Stokes".....deja vu on some of our past conversations! I'm so jealous you met him!

Michael said...

Yes Stephen, you ARE Larry Craig. The Democratic Larry Craig.
I don't know what that means...more coffee......
And HELLO Bob........

Stephen Rader said...

khbronson - You would have loved him. Something tells me that he'll be back in Chicago for more SOC / Actors Fund events, so I'll be sure to arrange a meeting with my new buddy Stokes. Isn't that a hoot?!?!

Michael - I am so not Larry Craig. I admit when I've had a cock in my mouth. Hell, I ADVERTISE when I've had a cock in my mouth!!!