An Evening with Al Pacino

Ruth Eckerd Hall was advertising it as “Pacino: One Night Only” back during the latter part of last year; an evening of conversation, film clips and Q&A with the acting legend. It would be an “Inside the Actors Studio” type-setting, an interview with Al Pacino hosted by Steve Persall, the film critic for the St. Petersburg Times. We quickly purchased tickets and anxiously looked forward (at least I anxiously looked forward, my wife just waited) for the date to arrive. Then one Sunday morning in early November, I was reading the New York Times and there I see an ad in the Arts and Leisure section announcing Al Pacino will be performing on Broadway beginning November 13th and running through February 2011, in William Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice!” Hmm, it was during this period, Pacino was scheduled to appear at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. How can he be in two places at the same time?  Even an acting legend cannot perform that kind of magic. Soon the dreaded letter arrived from Ruth Eckerd Hall; Pacino’s appearance was postponed due to other commitments and will be rescheduled for a later date to be announced. It stayed that way for almost six months until we received notification that a new date had finally been set, May 31st. Oorah!

There are few people who deserve the status of legend.  In a time when the media deems every reality TV cast member a star or long time TV sit-com star, like say Betty White, a legend, true legends are indeed rare. Marlon Brando, Humphrey Bogart, John Wayne, Bette Davis and the recently deceased Elizabeth Taylor are legends. Betty White, not so much (I am not picking on Betty White, she certainly has endured, as much as I am on the silly “Entertainment Tonight” style media that uses the terminology so indiscriminately). Al Pacino fits the category of a true legend. Continue reading