Friday, May 26, 2006

O! What a Beautiful Luncheon!

At a recent lunch, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center President Judith Lisi sat munching on her usual Caesar salad and sipping an iced tea, politely conversing with the other folks at her table.

Okay, so the table was in New York City’s fabled Rainbow Room and the lunch was being held to promote the multiple Tony Award-nominated musical The Color Purple. Oh yeah ... her conversation was with Oprah – that Oprah.

Lisi, a guest of the producers, sat next to Winfrey and Oprah’s friend Gayle King at the head table.

A member of the board of the League of American Theatres and Producers, Lisi was in New York for the annual spring conference and was thrilled with the opportunity to chat up Winfrey, one of the lead producers on the Broadway smash. “I have had occasion to meet a lot of famous, important people. But I’ve got to say, I was really thrilled to meet Oprah. When I talked to her, I felt like I really knew her.”

Lisi was particularly moved by Winfrey’s address to the assembled crowd of show biz people. "Oprah spoke of her longtime connection with the Alice Walker book, her deep commitment to the production and the ‘moment of surrender’ that she believes ultimately brought her the role of Sofia in the film version and propelled her career forward."

Hey, Judy! Do you remember what you had for dessert?

- Paul B.

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