Tag Archives: Shirley MacLaine

La-dee-da. La-dee-da.


Who has the #55 quote on AFI 100 Movie Quotes list?  Answer:  Diane Keaton from the movie Annie Hall.   Of her four Academy Award nominations, that is the role that won her the statue beating out Anne Bancroft, Shirley MacLaine and Marsha Mason.

I am getting ready for my interview with Diane this Friday and I want to make sure I can ask something better than “Where did you get that hat?”

Last night I watched The Godfather.  Today Annie Hall.  Tonight Marvin’s Room and maybe Reds.  If I have time, I’ll pop in GF II and III.  She has had quite the career…


Hey. Am I interviewing Diane Keaton?

Diane Keaton Ken and Lily Shirley and Ken Stage Floor Katharine Hepburn 

Seriously.  That is the question I asked my staff this morning.  Am I interviewing Diane Keaton?  And the answer was,  “I think so.”   Diane Keaton will be at the Paramount on November 6 and I wasn’t clear on exactly what all would be happening that night.  I know she is giving a talk and evidently then she is going to sit down and chat with me. Does anyone out there have a question they want me to ask?

How exactly I got this job is beyond me…

I remember as a kid watching Lily Tomlin on Laugh In and never in my life did I think I would interview her one day.  One of my favorite movies is Terms of Endearment and now I watch the movie and pinch myself that I got to spend the evening with Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger.  And here we go again.  Diane Keaton.  I’m going to be hanging with Annie Hall.  Kay Corleone.   Wow.

I am really looking forward to talking with Diane about her interest in restoring historic buildings.  It will be great to show her our beautiful Paramount and talk to her about the restoration projects currently underway. Speaking of which, if you would like to help ongoing restoration projects, you can “Take Action” by going to our website at www.austintheatre.org .

It will also be fun to talk to Diane about Katharine Hepburn , one of the women who inspired her.  Hepburn played the Paramount in 1941 – 5 years before Diane was born.  Oops.  Did I go too far?

Tonight I met Debra Winger


I was scared to death because I have heard so many rumors about her… difficult… wild…even mean. Well, the woman I met backstage was delightful and real.  I might as well have been talking to my sister.  She made me feel that at ease.

Sometimes you meet a celebrity and the dissappointment is such a let down.  Considering one of my all-time favorite movies is Terms Of Endearment, I didn’t want to ruin the fantasy I had created about the actress who played Emma Greenway Horton.  I am happy to report that having now met both Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger that movie remains in my list of top five.

 Speaking of movies, we gave the audience the choice to watch An Officer and A Gentleman, Terms of Endearment or Urban Cowboy.  Backstage, Debra laughed and teased me about picking such obvious choices.  “Those are like TV wallpaper and everyone has probably seen them dozens of times.”  To her credit many of her movies – even the lesser known ones – are true gems.  However, the joy of seeing one of her classics on the big screen again was too hard to resist.  The audience decided on Urban Cowboy.

Evan Smith was terrfic with his interview.  I learned a great deal watching him.  While I remain satisfied with my interview with Shirley MacLaine (first celebrity interview in my career), Evan’s preparedness reminded me that I can still do better next time.  And speaking of next time… Carol BurnettLily Tomlin? Glenn Close?  Hmmm…

Best Enchiladas in Austin


Did you know that the Dart Bowl Cafe has the best enchiladas in Austin? I am now a believer.

We’ve never had an official staff holiday party.  In the past we would sometimes piece together a pot-luck before Thanksgiving but even that felt more like a staff meeting with food.  So this year we got out and went bowling.  I had my doubts, but in the end it was a blast.  I work with a great group of people.   And they let me win… 

 In other news… Shirley MacLaine is delaying her return to Austin so that she can shoot a film in Italy.  It seems the Writers Strike is causing all kinds of last minute changes to production calendars.

Shirley MacLaine follow-up


We’re still working to bring Shirley MacLaine back to Austin but maybe not quite as soon as we had hoped.  I found this interview from WNYC that she did recently with the release of her latest book, Sage-ing While Age-ing  : http://www.wnyc.org/shows/lopate/episodes/2007/11/05

She is a very facinating woman.   I hope you enjoy listening to this interview with Leonard Lopate… clearly a better interviewer than I…

Ghost Stories…

Paramount Interior shirley-maclaine-with-ken-and-ken.gif

The day after Shirley MacLaine commented on the “wonderful energy” of the Paramount, a reporter from the Statesman came to interview me on the ghosts that supposedly haunt our theatre.  I say supposedly because I have never seen one… but our head custodian has, and he sat in on the interview as well.

In truth, I openly admit to a certain feeling that our theatre is “alive” in some way.  I have been there many times alone at night and have had the overwhelming need to announce out loud to “no one” in particular that I am here to help the Paramount and not to harm it.  Our head custodian, Tony Johnson, however has a few rooms in the theatre that he no longer goes into alone.  He claims to have had dozens of experiences but only two of them have been what he calls “scary”.  You can read all about Tony’s ghosts and the legend of Walter Norris, our former Head Projectionist, in the article due to come out October 28th.

Shirley MacLaine is now “haunting” me, but in a very good way.  She called me today – Ken, it’s Shirley!  Let’s talk. – about coming back to do a three-day seminar so she can really get into the subjects she touched on during her talk at the Paramount on Sunday.  She wants a portion of that seminar to take place at the theatre because of its “good energy”.  So I am working with her to see if we can make it happen. 

If you are interested leave a comment here with your email so I can let you know if it makes.  She is a fabulous lady who clearly wants to bring about change in the world…  and I will always take her calls.

My evening with Shirley MacLaine

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This is what I always thought my job would be like.  Hanging out with celebrities.  In truth it has never been that way… until tonight.  You see, I don’t come from a theatre background.  I was hired because of my fundraising experience.  Usually I am as excited to see the show as you are… I almost never go back stage and when I do I feel very out of place and way to shy to actually talk to the celebrities.  But tonight Shirley MacLaine talked to me…

Yes.  Shirley really did take a cab from the airport to her hotel.  We had a car at the airport but she and the driver missed each other and she took a cab.  I was scared to death because I did not know what mood she was going to be in when I met her in the hotel lobby before the show.  Turns out I had nothing to be scared about…

From the moment I introduced myself she was a complete professional and an absolute sweetheart… and sexy to boot!   When I mentioned that the Roaring Fork was filled with diners who were excited about her show, she said “Well let’s go in and say hello to them.”  So we did.

Then she asked to see the theatre so she could  “make a few adjustments to the lighting and sound if needed.”  The moment she stepped onto the stage her comment was, “Oh my what a lovely theatre.  It has such great energy.  What a beautiful space.”

Her talk went very well and I think my interview was OK.  She really made me feel at ease and at some point I just realzied I needed to follow her lead.  I certainly didn’t expect her to suggest that we should “spend the night” together!!!  That was too funny and several audience members told me they could see me blushing from their seats.  By the way, if you go to this website about Shirley, you will see under the trivia section the part about her “love of horses”.  I wasn’t making it up.

BUT, here is the great part.  After the show she made an appearance at the Stephen F. Austin for a private meet-and-greet with our Century Club members. After gracioulsy taking pictures and signing autographs she grabbed my hand and simply said, “It’s time to go. I need you to lead me out of the room.”  So I did.  At the elevator I assumed I was saying good-bye but she grabbed my partner’s hand again and said “Aren’t the two Kens coming up for a visit?”

So we spent almost three hours with Shirley (she said I could call her that) and her friend Rex from Dallas.  We talked about politics, Hollywood, the Rat Pack, her new book (she gave me her number and told me to call her when I finished it), Austin,  Santa Fe, my daughter, UFOs, Debbie Reynolds, Barbara Walters, Rosie O’Donnell, Kathy Griffin, Joan Collins… my head is swimming.  She ate a ceasar salad… I was afraid I might throw up so I sipped water. 

She wants me to research the possibility of her coming back to do a two-day seminar about all things UFO and such.  She really wanted to go into more detail with the audience at the theatre, but time would not permit.  I think we might see her back in Austin soon.  By the way her website is www.shirleymaclaine.com .

Her new book comes out November 6th.  It is called Sage-ing While Age-ing.

All in all it was a night I will never forget… with a woman I will never forget. 

It is 1AM but I  probably won’t fall asleep for hours.