Remembering our dear Eli...
Eli Wallach was a founding friend of Bay Street Theater, and he and his dear wife Anne, never missed a show--nor an opportunity to meet with the casts and crews, or celebrate with rounds of photographs. Eli was aglow with a constant smile and a bounding energy in every step. Even through last summer, he would come through the lobby doors with a smile for everyone and an instant story or replay of that winter's activities. "I made four films this year!" he would joyously report, with the energy and kick of someone half his age. And that's why the news of his passing today hit hard. To those who knew him, Eli was never old.
And because of his pure joy and joie de vivre, I for one, always forgot his true age. It didn’t matter to him, nor to Anne. At least not publicly. They simply brought joy and laughter to everyone--and anyone who wanted to share the moment. Our founding Artistic Director Sybil Christopher adored both of them and they her. They looked out for each other in later years as Sybil slowed down and all took their time reaching their seats. Watching them enter our theater before Sybil passed, I watched and thought--there goes a bit of history--American theater royalty.
We love you Anne. We will forever miss your dear Eli, and we are forever grateful to you for allowing him to be our Eli.
Rest in peace Eli.
Your Bay Street family
Anne Jackson, Sybil Christopher, and Eli Wallach at the opening of
ENTER LAUGHING in 2011. Photo by Barry Gordin.
Anne Jackson, Eli Wallach, Lauren Bacall and other friends at the dedication
of The Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach Theater in 2010. By Barry Gordin.
Bay Street's 99-seat second stage, known as The Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach Theater, was named in honor of Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach and their lifetime achievements in the theater arts. The dedication took place in 2010 with appearances and videotaped tributes from their friends and colleagues. Appearing live on stage were legendary artists including Lauren Bacall, Zoe Caldwell, Brian Murray, Patricia Neal, Joe Pintauro, Peter Riegert, Murray Schisgal, Jerry Stiller, Anne Meara, and Betsy von Furstenberg. Messages will also be included from Barbara Cook, Harvey Keitel, Mike Nichols, Al Pacino, Kate Winslet and more.
Posted: June 25, 2014