The much-anticipated benefit for the Provincetown Dog Park starring Lily Tomlin was a huge success. All day long tropical disturbance Danny dumped rain on our little town, but an hour before the event in a huge white tent out on MacMillan Pier, the rains stopped. In the lowering evening light, eight hundred people walked out the pier promenade and found their seats. The air was so still and humid, I worried the evening would be more like a Bikram Comedy night.
No worries. About a half hour before the show started at 8p, the winds came up and started whipping tent flaps, swinging the two huge IMAX screens suspended over the huge long crowd, and adding a full sail of breathless excitement to the room. On our darkened little spit of land, in the middle of the roiling sea, the crowd was defiantly good-natured with Mother Nature. It had the feeling of a revival, survival tent.
Stage One Productions of Boston planned a jam-packed, fun-filled evening. After remarks by the creators of the dog park,event sponsors Eukanuba dog food, and a various welcomes from local business owners, I took to the stage in full yellow rain gear, complete with a Captain's Courageous rain hat. It was like Deadliest Catch meets Laugh-In. I had the sheer pleasure of introducing Lily, who did a medley of her favorite characters updated for the event. Ernestine, the phone lady, was answering calls for an insurance company and the refrain was, "No, not covered."
After her hilarious set, and group chanting that the top of the tent not blow off, I took questions from the audience for Lily. We plowed through the raffle drawing and then Lily received a lifetime achievement award from the Provincetown Theater. Lily unfurled the document but it was blank because FedEx had not been able to deliver the real embossed parchment due to the storm. She went from there. She was given the key to the town. I forgot to introduce the town manager who gave her the key, and mid-proclamation, Lily asked, "Who are you?" Luckily our town manager has great timing and a great sense of humor. She and the poor woman who was supposed to read all the Whereasses for Lily Tomlin Day, got interrupted mercilessly by Lily and me. We apologized profusely later.
The after party at the Crown and Anchor porch restaurant was a chatty, home town affair and Lily stayed graciously to the end. It was a thrill for me to appear on the same stage and work with Lily. It was a highlight of the summer for many and a dream come true for me!