Backstage at the Bijou

British-American actor Maurice Barrymore

Image via Wikipedia

by Zoltan James

My first assignment for The Times, I’m backstage at the Bijou watching vaudevillians entertain the raucous audience when The Amazing Maurice, chalky face, elegant in black tux and moustache, bends my ear. He points center stage. “That’s Fannie Brice, kid.” He winks and straightens. “I follow her.”

The portly manager motions Bert & Bubbles, the comedy team. “Next.”

“What about Maurice?” I say.

The manager’s face flushes white. Backstage falls silent. He says, “Maurice? He died last year.”

# # #

Remember. Make every hour your happy hour and may you have a blessed All Saints Day, a Hallowmas, All Hallows, All Souls’ Day, and a All-Hallows-Even.

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