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Al Pacino | by Paul Zollo
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Al Pacino

I was very lucky today

to meet the great Mr. Pacino

and see him

onstage here in L.A.

in Oscar Wilde's "Salome,"

in which my good friend,

Geoffrey Owens (pictured

here in my stream) is also

starring.

 

I took this photo, and many

others of Al, outside

of the Wadsworth Theater

in Westwood, which is

on the west side of L.A.

 

Al came out after the show,

and met some lucky fans,

including me,

who got to shake his hand,

and tell him how great he is,

as if he has never heard that

before.

 

He kindly posed

for a few photos - when I asked for one,

he smiled and stretched

out his arms, and that

photo came out okay,

and will no doubt be

included here in the future.

But this one - taken

while he was talking

to a friend - was better.

 

Pacino has genuine,

palpable star-power -

when you meet him you

just want to hug

him and thank him for

all his great work

over the years. After

photographing him, I

said to the woman

beside me, "He has

real star-power, doesn't

he?" And she

heartily agreed, and

said, "Yeah, it's

the real thing."

 

One woman, upon

confronting this iconic

man in the flesh,

literally swooned,

and fell back, caught

by people behind her.

In all my years in

Hollywood, I have only

seen women swoon like

this twice before -

with Kris Kristofferson,

and with Gregory Peck.

 

I met a woman whose name

was Christina Pacino,

and told me she had been

married to Al's dad,

and confirmed that Al

is a kind, warm-hearted,

soft-spoken and genuine man.

 

He played the main role of Herod. Onstage he was remarkable-

funny, intense,

dynamic, totally

commanding the stage. He

used a kind of high-

frequency, flutey,

Brooklyn-inflected

voice, and was comic

and tragic and a wonder

to behold.

 

Also in the show were

Kevin Anderson as

John the Baptist,

Roxanne Hart as the

Queen,

and the luminous

and exceedingly

lovely Jessica Chastain

in the title role. Her

famous dance was

erotic and charged

and pretty amazing.

 

The show was directed

by Estelle Parsons,

the mother of our

friend Martha, and though

I saw her I didn't get

to talk to her.

 

Geoffrey was also

quite good, though his

part was small. He sat

onstage next to Pacino, and

looked great, but

this was very much

Pacino's show.

 

Like his great

documentary,

"Looking for Richard,"

Pacino had the

rehearsals for this

show filmed for

a documentary

which is due

next

year.

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Uploaded on May 14, 2006