Kitty's stories were a verbal arcade of the brightest and best of Broadway. At 96, some might think her time had long ago passed her by. She once told me that she believed the golden era of the Broadway musical was long gone and would not make a comeback, except through the occasional revival, because there was neither the talent, nor the interest in such things today. I said I hoped she was wrong, but I feared she might be right.
Any journalist will tell you that the people you meet are the best part of this business. And I have been doubly blessed. Not only have I been fortunate to meet world leaders, but also talented performers from the Broadway stage — a place I dreamed of becoming a part of, before I entered the world of journalism.
I could live vicariously through people like Kitty Carlisle Hart, who knew the people I wished I knew, and some I actually came to know. That golden age — those magical years in the '30s and '40s when scores of shows ran simultaneously on and off-Broadway — will never live again except in the memory of those who were there and lived to tell and write about them. If those days are never to be again, at least we can know what they were like through books like Steven Bach's "Dazzler," a biography of Moss Hart, and through the stories Kitty told to those who wanted to hear them.
I wanted to hear them and to pass them on. She would have liked that. And I do so without a government grant.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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