Bev Blackwell's Account of the Cleveland Concert

May 19, 1995

(a.k.a. The Kiss)

Now that a little over a week has passed since I went to Cleveland with a
group of friends from AOL to see Mandy Patinkin in concert, I thought some of
y'all might be interested in some of the details ...

He was simply magnificent. Dressed in black, with only a pianist for
accompaniment, he sang for nearly 2 solid hours. His voice was in great
shape, and so was he :)

We had first and second row orchestra center seats ... we were so close to
the stage we could reach out and touch it! ... and he knew we were all coming
and where we'd be sitting.

He did a very eclectic mix of music, from Beat Out That Rhythm on a Drum (to
open the show), to "Experiment" (to close it). In between, he did Over the
Rainbow, Me and My Shadow; Jitterbug Waltz (pure heaven!), Taxi, I Dreamed a
Dream, Bali H'ai, You've Got To Be Carefully Taught, Children Will Listen,
Drop the Big One, Sam You Made the Pants Too Long, Yossel Yossel ... I can't
even remember them all. 

So, here's my big news about the concert: I was on the front row, dead center
of the stage. He'd been interacting with us all night, winking, smiling,
stuff like that. About midway through the concert, he started singing Honey
Bun from "South Pacific" and called someone up to the stage from one side of
the audience to lead her side in a particular line, then someone from the
other side to do the same thing for another line. Then he stood in front of
us, looked down at our rows and said he needed someone to help him with the
Twirly Whirly line and did a little bump 'n' grind move (the lines go, "Her
hair is blond and curly; her curls are hurly burly; her lips are pips ... I
call her hips twirly and whirly). Well, all my friends starting calling,
"Bev! Bev! Bev!" So he said, "OK, Bev... "

I got up on stage, he stood me next to him and said, "When I get to the line
*twirly and whirly* can you do this?" and did the little hip roll again. I
said, "You mean like this?" And did a *really* good bump 'n' grind .. and you
shoulda seen the look on his face! He said, "Well, uh, yeah!"

Now he goes back into the song, and when it's my turn, I give 'em a bump 'n'
grind that makes the house go nuts (this is a huge theater and it was filled
to the rafters). Into the second coda, I'm behind him, and he's really
belting it out ... and I started doin' a shimmy from the back of the stage
forward, everything's moving (meaning me), and the house just loses it,
screaming, clapping, applauding, I mean taking it downtown ... he can't see
me, of course, but when he sees the audience's reaction, he turns around and
sees what I'm doing.

I really wish I'd been paying attention to him more, 'cause a lot of the rest
of it is a little hazy ... 

My friends told me the rest of this part: they tell me that when he turned
and saw me, his jaw dropped open almost to the floor, and then he grinned
BIGTIME, just looking me up and down. He got behind me and seemed to be
trying to decide where to grab me, but things were moving quite a bit :) ...
he finally did put his hands on my hips (I remember *that* part clearly),
then swung me around and we did the dirty boogie for a few moments ... then

Then .... 

He wrapped his arms around me and planted a big kiss right dead center on my
lips! Completely spontaneous! And this wasn't just a little kiss ... it was a
bigtime looooooonnnnnnnnggggggggggg HARD sloppy full-mouth kiss -- actually
bruised my lips just a little, just enuf so I could still feel it the next
day, and the day after that. But I still can't figure out how he got that
mike out of the way so fast :)

We danced a little more, and then ... HE DID IT AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!

As he escorted me to the steps, he called out "We're gonna have to take Bev
on the road with us!"

After the show, we went backstage by private invitation and he spent nearly
an hour with us ... he remembered our screen names, asking first for Jen,
then asked about BevSouth. He looked at me, I was grinning and he said,
"BevSouth? You're BevSouth?" So he grabbed me and gave me another big hug.

None of us could believe how engaged he was with us. He wanted to know where
we were all from ... answered all our questions ... autographs, he even asked
someone to take a group photo of us with him and for us to send it to him!

[He signed my program, "To BevSouth, you gotta come on the road, my twirly
whirly baby ..."]

The final coup d'grace: We've left the theater, it's clear he's very tired
now, and we're trying not to be obnoxious or fawning ... we're all standing
out in front of the theater, waiting for our rides (two of our group live in
Cleveland, so they performed shuttle duty), and a limo rounds the corner,
pulls up to the curb and stops ... it's Mandy again, just stopping to say
g'bye and thanks!

We were all completely floored. What a wonderful weekend, one that I'll never
forget, not as long as I live ...

Beverly, Twirly Whirly Baby :)

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Last updated on October 4, 1995