Next Thursday, it will be one year since my friend Hall Parrish passed away. I first met Hall when I came to Greensboro to do The Fantasticks in 1974. He was one of the most talented actors with whom it has been my good fortune to work. Not only was he an incredible comic actor, he was also a powerful dramatic actor. We did Annie Get Your Gun together twice, Charlie's Aunt, and, my personal favorite, Bus Stop. The picture above is a production photo from Bus Stop. Hall played Dr. Lyman and just broke the audience's collective heart every night.
Hall and I used to go to the Farmer's Curb Market together on Saturday mornings in the summer. He taught me about German Johnson tomatoes and half-runner beans. We also shared a love of mysteries. He read the first three Amelia Peabody mysteries when he was going through chemo.
Hall and his life partner, Stephen Gee, founded the Broach Theatre along with David Bell more than 20 years ago. I'm currently in rehearsal for my second play there, Gulf View Drive. It's the third play in the Nibroc Trilogy by Arlene Hutton. Opening night will feel strange without Hall, but I'm hopeful that it will be difficult to dislodge the spirit of a great actor from his theatre. You are missed, my friend.
Dear in death, thou hast thy part Yet in life, to cheer Hearts that held thy gentle heart Dear. --Algernon Charles Swinburne