The infamous Debbie Reynolds performed her Las Vegas show at the Plaza Del Sol on Saturday, October 3. Her variety act of song, impressions and stand up comedy was a thrill for the Northridge patrons. Ms. Reynolds, now 77 years young, still has the spunk and enthusiasm of a twenty year old. Her spirit and charisma radiates from the stage and touches each member of the audience.
Ms. Reynolds began her career as a beauty pageant queen where she was discovered by Warner Brothers executives. She rocketed to stardom in 1951 for her role in “Singin’ in the Rain” and she has been a household name ever since.
Reynolds’ show was gracious, heartfelt and a hoot! From impressions of some of her favorite Hollywood stars to heartwarming renditions of classic tunes, Reynolds won our hearts. Her interpretation of “Somewhere over the rainbow”, a tribute to Judy Garland, was transformed into an entirely new song. When a young starlet sings it, the song is inspiring and optimistic, but when a woman who has passed the prime of her youth sings it, there is an air of nostalgia and a twinge of sadness. So many songs were sung, yet that one number pinched the tightest.
A saddening observation was made during this legendary performance however. One would think that a celebrity with the stature of Debbie Reynolds would pack a 500-seat house no problem and yet, the house was maybe fifty percent full; and although Ms. Reynolds seemed gracious and thankful for her fans coming out, it was shocking not to see a stronger reception for this very talented performer.
Perhaps a lack in advertising is to blame for poor turn out. Budget cuts have made it necessary for the performance hall to cut back on “unnecessary” expenses, meaning advertising. But I feel it’s more than that. To the young artists of today, don’t miss the opportunities to learn from the great performers of the past. Take the time to educate yourself on who came before you. These are the people that shaped the entertainment industry as we know it, they deserve some credit and you might just learn something.
Debbie Reynolds was a burst of energy and a radiant light. It was an honor to be in the presence of someone who had lived such an extraordinary and successful life. True to her title, America’s Sweetheart won us over again.