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The new version of The Scarlet Pimpernel opened on October 10, 1998 with Douglas Sills continuing in the role of Percy and Rachel York and Rex Smith joining the cast as Marguerite and Chauvelin. Shortly after the new opening, on November 8, 1998, we gathered with leaguers and cast members to celebrate the first anniversary of the opening of the original show (November 9, 1997) at Sam's Restaurant on 45th Street. This was the first of many brunches and gatherings organized by Kelly and Amy Gargan.
Michael Halling was the first cast member to arrive at the brunch and here's a picture of Michael and Kim.
Kelly and Amy had attended the performance at NBC's Today Show during the previous summer and, in a sleep-deprived state, had assigned various cereals to the Bounders. Russell Garrett is shown here with the box of Froot Loops. No one could decide if Elton was frooty or loopy. Percy, however, is just "grrreat". Douglas, who didn't sit much, just circulated through the crowd, was persuaded to sit on Lori's lap. Kelly was so nervous before this event, she barely slept the night before and was advised to begin drinking as soon as she arrived! The girls did a wonderful job and the brunch was a huge success.
Another brunch was organized, by popular demand, for February 7, 1999. Once again, we returned to Sam's Restaurant and had a great time. This brunch was nicknamed "brunch no-frills" and also became an opportunity to celebrate James Dybas' birthday, complete with cupcakes and a trick birthday candle. A few pictures from this brunch: Bill and me, Kim chatting with Rachel York, Amy, Eric and Jeff and Rafaele and Douglas
Here we go again with another brunch, March 7, 1999. When this one was originally planned, it was thought that Douglas would be leaving The Scarlet Pimpernel on this date. We had actually learned the day of the February 7 brunch that he was staying on until the show closed at the Minskoff Theatre on May 30, 1999. The show would then embark on a brief summer tour before returning to the Neil Simon Theatre in the fall. So, on March 7, Douglas received a crystal heart as a gift from the League with this message: "To Douglas, whose kindness touches each heart and reaches into every soul. From the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel."
Here are a few assorted pictures from the Minskoff Theatre days:
Colleen Rosati, Amy Gargan and Kelly Honigwith Scarlet Pimpernel jackets I made for them for holiday gifts.
The League on the Today show. This is taken from a video.
Douglas with my friends, Jay and Rafie. They are teaching Douglas to sign "I Love You".
Truth be told, the guys had more fun teaching Rachel to sign!
Kelly with T. Doyle Leverett and James Dybas.
The end of the run of the show at the Minskoff Theatre was approaching and another get-together was planned. As with the March 7 get-together, it was decided that it was necessary to choose a larger restaurant to accomodate the number of Leaguers expected to attend. Kelly and Amy were joined by Sal Italiano in the organization of both the March 7 and May 29 celebrations and they were held at the Broadway Grille. In a picture by Phyllis Palemire, here are Douglas, Kelly and Phyllis' son, Charles, at the party. Stephen Hope and Bryan Batt enjoy the party. Here's a picture of me with Stephen Hope. You can read Douglas' remarks at the party here on Kelly's site.
On May 30, 1999, The Scarlet Pimpernel played its last performance at the Minskoff Theatre. Terry Richmond posted this sign on the wall next to the stage door, thanking Leaguers for their support during the Minskoff run. T. Doyle Leverett had been involved in a serious automobile accident and we were so happy to see that he was able to return to the theatre to watch the final performance. The cast also had T take a final bow with the cast at curtain call. Colleen and I greet T outside the theatre. Mark McGrath performed the role of St. Cyr during the run of SP2. Colleen and I made a rather unusual gift for Mark. Actually, this started out as a joke but we eventually made a decapitated St. Cyr doll for Mark. Colleen dressed the head with a wig and authentic-looking blood and I dressed the doll in a costume similar to St. Cyr's. As you can see, Mark thought this was quite funny!
After the closing, we were fortunate enough to attend Terry Richmond's cabaret show at Don't Tell Mama in Manhattan. Here are Kelly, Terry and Kim. Thus begins the fun of seeing "alumni" from SP at other venues and in different productions!
On the return of the show to NY, we then moved on to Version 3.0!