Friday, August 08, 2008

I Drink Your Milkshake

Had a very unique theatrical experience Wednesday night when I went to see Theatre 40's production of "The Manor" at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills.

It's an "interactive" show that unfolds as audience members move from room to room in the mansion. The audience is divided into thirds and led by different "servants" through the house. All audience members see all the scenes, just in different orders. I was in the group led by "Ellie, the mute maid." She'd snap her fingers to get our attention and off we'd go.

The show is based on the real life story behind the mansion -- as they say in the introduction, "the names have been changed to protect the guilty."

Greystone Mansion was built on a ridge in Beverly Hills in the 1920s by oil magnate Edward Doheny as a gift for his son, Ned. The Doheny name was tarnished when they were ensnared in the Teapot Dome scandal. Ned Doheny was accused of delivering a bribe to the U.S. Secretary of the Interior and was killed in a murder-suicide inside the mansion.

I last visited Greystone Mansion, now owned by the City of Beverly Hills, in 1975 or 1976 as a student at MOBOC -- an experimental "traveling" school without classrooms I went to for the 7th and 8th grades. I so miss the 70s.

Celebrity Sighting: Saw Bryan Batt, from the cast of "Mad Men" walking down the street near where I live on Wednesday. I shouted from my car that I like his work on the show and he thanked me and waved.
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