(Los Angeles, CA) September 24th-The hot Fall night was a perfect setting for the hot, sultry vocals of Debbie Reynolds in her one woman show "Alive & Fabulous". And at 78 years young, Ms. Reynolds still got it. It was a star studded event for the Thalians 55th year anniversary celebrity charity benefit at the EL Portal Theater in NOHO. The gala began intimately, in the early evening with arrivals of some of the hottest stars of the 30s, 40s, 50s, and decades thereafter.
Thalians and their friends and families, walked the red carpet with the grace and elegance only old Hollywood can showcase, arriving in glitzy glamour and boas to match. The Thalians club, a charitable organization, continues to raise money for the mental health, pediatrics and geriatrics.
The incredible Susan Claassen –imitating the famous Oscar award winning costume designer, Edith Head, greeted each guest on the red carpet, pinning folks with golden stickers, and posing with some of the greats such as Mitzi Gaynor, Stephanie Powers, Barbara Luna, Anne Jeffreys, Carol Connors, Joe Tremaine, Nigel Lythgoe, and the golden gal of the evening, Ruta Lee.
The EL Portal was decorated with notable collectibles, from Reynolds’ own collection-for the silent auction, tasty treats, and champagne and wine for guests to enjoy.
Reynolds began her show with a song, proving she’s still alive and fabulous, showcasing her vocal talents, quick step, never missing a beat, and witty humor. Her two man orchestra, drummer and pianist and musical director, Gerry Genuario and Joey Singer, accompanied her songs and movie clips featuring her in notable roles such as ‘Tammy’, earlier works, Grace Adler’s mother Bobbi Adler, and a classic star blooper reel. Reynolds, had some cutely outfitted 10 year old dancers from her DR Studios, perform flawlessly on stage. Reynolds established the DR Studios in the 70s, in North Hollywood, for rehearsals and dance classes. Also known her skills of celebrity impersonations she showcased and poked fun at some, filling the theater with laughter and adulation.
Reynolds known for her scandalous marriages, such as to Eddie Fisher, actress Carrie Fisher’s father, usually throws an insult or two his way. But she did no such trashing, for Eddie Fisher passed away just days before the gala. She ended her show singing her famous recorded hit, “Tammy” from the film “Tammy and the Bachelor.”
The evening followed Reynolds’ performance with champagne and desserts such as chocolate covered strawberries, lemon pastries, and madelines. A decadent cake with a 55 numeral candle was presented for Ms. Reynolds to cut, celebrating the Thalians, started by Reynolds and Ruta Lee 55 years ago.
Debbie Reynolds, born Mary Frances Reynolds, a Hollywood legend, grew up in the Burbank, North Hollywood area and came back to the theater she frequent as a child, for a rare performance for fans and friends.
Reynolds’ show now in its 3rd consecutive year will run from September 23rd to October 3, 2010 at the EL Portal Theater off of Lankershim and Weddington.
Reynolds is best known for her nominated roles in classics such as "Singing in the Rain" and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown” and recently her Emmy winning role on the hit show "Will and Grace."
Reynolds has been in the business for 60 years, garnering many awards as well as a Lifetime Achievement award. She started as a teen singing sensation on the big screen at 16 after entering a pageant at 15 and being discovered. She was a contract actor for MGM Studios doing what she loved the most, musicals. She has been singing ever since and keeping in shape, continues to do so for years to come.