Champagne with Dame Judi Dench

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Every week, I like to pull a random play from my overflowing shelves and reread it. Amy’s View is one of the best plays I’ve ever read… and seen. David Hare wrote a compelling story about two strong, deeply flawed women who enjoy one of the most complexly drawn mother-daughter relationships I’ve ever witnessed.

I had the privilege of seeing it on Broadway in 1999 and, because my best friend had toured with Ms. Dench in Twelfth Night in Africa when they were teens… I got to go backstage.

There is nothing more refreshing than seeing one of your theatre idols in person… and be the recipient of their graciousness. Dame Judi Dench offered me and my date champagne… in real champagne glasses.

Now, I’ve had the great fortune to be invited backstage to several actor’s Broadway dressing rooms  and NEVER have I been offered champagne in a crystal flute (usually it is plastic cups). Dame Judi graciously chatted with the small group in her dressing room as she poured expensive bubbly into heavy flutes. She was down to earth, interested and interesting. One of my recent fascinations in life is the differentiation between interested and interesting.

I think there are A LOT of interesting people out there. And there are a lot of people who are truly interested in listening to what others have to say; however, rarely do I find someone who is both interested and interesting.

Dame Judi Dench was both. She not only regaled us with a few fun theatre anecdotes, she also chatted with everyone…asking questions and really engaged and listened to the answers. Amy’s View also starred an excellent Samantha Bond in the titular role. And both women went on to play M and  Miss Moneypenny in several James Bond films, a franchise of which I am an enormous fan.

Perhaps, one day, champagne with Dame Judi and Daniel Craig on the set of a James Bond film… now there’s a happy thought!

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