Do you remember what it’s like to receive a handwritten letter? An actual letter, not an email or a super long text.
I’m talking about an honest-to-goodness paper letter from someone sharing their thoughts, feelings, or maybe just what they’ve been up to since you’ve last spoken.
I miss the days when my mailbox was filled with more than just bills and junk mail.
In High School we didn’t have text messaging; hell, we didn’t even have phones. Ok, so I’ve just dated myself here but stay with me anyway, ok? For us, texting was a handwritten letter folded so intricately we could have passed for Origami Masters.
So what do Origami and high school notes have to do with anything?
Well, it seems I’m not the only one nostalgic for the days of taking pen – or pencil – to paper.
On Monday, February 26th, I arrived at the Broadway Theater District in Downtown LA at the Theater at Ace Hotel. It was an uncommonly cold night here in Los Angeles.
Even so, there was a line down the street to enter the historic building. As I finally walked into the theater, I was a little giddy, a little in awe – have you seen that place? It’s amazing! – and a whole lot excited about what was about to happen.
I was there for an event called Letters Live.
What’s that you ask? Well Lucy, let me ‘splain.
Letters Live started in England in 2013 and became so successful, they finally brought it to the States. Walking in, this was all I knew:
- Mark Hamill would be there,
- There would be letters from different people, both past, and present.
What I experienced was something I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
Not only did I see Luke Skywalker (eek!, still can’t believe it!), but Anjelica Huston, Stephen Fry, Ian McShane, Jake Gyllenhaal, Isla Fisher, Catherine Keener, James Corden, Shirley Manson, Jarvis Cocker, Reggie Watts, Annabelle Wallis, and Aisha Tyler brought the letters to life on stage. Oh, and as our hidden voice behind the curtain introducing each performer, Tyler was perfect!
The whole theater laughed with Jake as he read a letter from a non-pig farmer to the government asking to be paid to not farm pigs. We mourned – ok, cried, there may have been tears – with Katharine Hepburn as Anjelica Huston read the letter Hepburn wrote to her lover Spencer Tracy 18 years after his death. Danny Huston brought Kurt Vonnegut to life as we listened to his letter to the US Government defending his son’s choice not to serve in the war. Aisha invoked the spirit of Maya Angelou who shared advice with her reader.
Each performer held the entire theater the entire time they were onstage and everyone read at least two letters.
The best thing about this event is that it was a fundraiser that benefitted two worthwhile charities. 826LA is a local non-profit that supports young writers and Women for Women helps marginalized women in countries afflicted by war and conflict.
So although this was a one-night event, I seriously don’t think the organizers would miss the opportunity to bring it back – especially considering it was completely sold out on a cold and rainy Monday night.
When it does come back, and I absolutely think it will, do yourself a favor and get tickets. They don’t need to be front row. As you can tell from my pics, I was up in the Balcony, and I still had an amazing time.
Just get there!
Here’s a tip – I found “Buy One, Get One Free” tickets on AXS, so I enjoyed a pretty sweet discount on my seats!
Speaking of which, if it’s at the Theater at Ace Hotel again, do yourself a favor and go. It’s such a stunning venue! I’ll do a full write-up of it another day. It deserves to have a whole post all its own. But for now, take a look at the inside of the theater in the pic above. They don’t make them like this anymore.
Until next time,