Friday, December 09, 2005

Missing Ed

I went to my sister's house for ThanksGiving. While there we watched Chorus Line on DVD. My sister's S.O., Ray had discovered that his principal (he is a teacher) conducted the show on broadway for many years, so he wanted to see what it was all about. And also because Ray is now exploring musical theater, just as he spent some years learning about Opera.

So anyway, we watched the movie and I was pointing out who was who and what they had done. I pointed out Nicole Fosse and tried to explain who Bob Fosse, so strange to me that anyone would not know. I also mentioned that Terrence Mann of the magnificent baritone voice and stage presence, had been in Les Miz etc... and was a theater legend of sorts. Ray was impressed that someone who played such bad guys could also make "Larry" so likeable in the movie.

So I went on line at their house to see what else Mann had done, it had been years since I had really paid attention to the theater in NY. I had forgotten that he was in Assassins, a show I had done in Ft Lauderdale. I couldn't remember what part he had played and I HAD THE CD and had listened to it many times. My guess was that he played Czolgosz and I was right.

After talking theater for a good part of the day, I went home and started looking around at links on Al Gore's internets. I was looking for information on the revival of Assassins and read a bit about Sondheim, who is someone I admire very much and whoes music I had just sung a week before at a concert.
From there I started googling old friends in Ft Lauderdale and decided to see if I could find my friend Ed Dellicarpini who had directed Assassins and who was one of a handful of people from Florida I really missed.

I found out I was way too late. Ed died of AIDS two years ago. I am so sad and so disapointed in myself for not following through a few years ago when I was feeling like I should call him. I know it sounds (reads) weird, but I am a tiny bit psychic or maybe just intuitive. I should have listened to the little voice in my head that told me "call Ed, you want to speak to Ed because you miss him so much".

The last time I saw Ed was at the memorial service of my friend Michael (in 1997) who I blogged about a few days ago. Michael and I had a falling out several years before he died and we never really made it up. He had been my best friend, soul mate (his words) and mentor for years, but when it was time for me to leave the nest neither one of us handled it well. We had several screaming angry fights and after I left florida (I had been divorced from my husband and "divorced" from my best friend and mentor and I couldn't stand to be there anymore, amoung other reasons.) and Michael never forgave me, at least not that I knew.

So I just cut everyone off, because I didn't think I mattered and I didn't want to be tempted to move back there. I knew that there were several people who could make me want to move back and Ed was one of them. It had only been a year since I moved away. So even though was said to each other "let's keep in touch", we did not.

I first met Ed when I was doing a production of Baby at Broward Community College. He was a student there but older than some of the other people in the cast, some where between their college age and my age of about 33 or 34. Ed was one of those people who had been wounded by something or someone and put on a cynical shell to protect himself. He was funny as hell and his humor tended to run to imitations of PeeWee Herman and scathing comments about other people.

I think, if I remember, that Ed came along in the Gillen Brey package. Gillen is one of those people who decided we were going to be friends and that was that. Where I am reserved with people, Gillen is a big puppy who comes up and jumps all over you demanding love. She and Ed were best friends, they thought with one brain and directed Assassins together.

So Ed came along with Gillen and over time he and I formed a mutual affection that suited both of our reserved natures. We once went to Metro Zoo in Miami to take pictures, as we were both camera nerds. That was a really wonderful day and the day Ed introduced me the Secret Garden cast CD. I listened to it for several years and I still do from time to time. I believe it is Lucy Simon's finest work, one of the most beautiful scores for a musical ever. Lilly's Eyes, nuff said.

Several years after I got to know Ed and Gillen and Diane Woodle, Diane, Gillen and I were riding in a car and talking about how Ed needed to get tested, considering how often he left our company to "go walk amongst his people". I forget exactly who confronted him, but he didn't want to know and said he would not get tested. He reconsided at some point and indeed we found out he was HIV positive sometime in the mid 1990s. Of course we were all sad, but at the time Michael had been living with full blown AIDS for almost 10 years. But we forgot that Michael was drivin by the need to stick around and run everyone's life (to our advantage more than not. He really cared that everyone be doing well before he died). We didn't think about friends who died after a few short years. Now the standard would be that everyone would live for at least 10 years. After all Michael had been diagnosed in 1987 when the drugs and treatments were almost non existant.

So I thought Ed would be around for a lot longer and it was a selfish idea that the world would accomodate me. In the end I hear that Ed shut a lot of friends out, except Mickey and as Kevin said, "good for Mickey" for refusing to be shut out.


Here are some pics of Ed and various other friends. This one below is Ed as Booth and Kevin Bogan as Charles Guiteau. I can't come up with the name of the guy playing Czolgosz, but it will come to me or I will find a program later.

Ed and Val greeting some kids who want to meet Dorothy.

This is Ed in Candide, you can guess the character I think.

Ed getting made up for Sweeney Todd, my first production with The Fort Lauderdale Players and the show that introduced me to Ed and to Kevin who's talent and beautful voice I immediately admired.

Ed and Sam decided that there should be at least one pregnant women in Sweeny so they stuffed my costume and the director decided to go along with the idea. I ended up with Sam and Ed on stage most of the time and they were brutal with the attempts to make me laugh. Staying in character was a challenge. After one performance a woman walked up to me and said how angry she was that the director would allow a pregnant woman to move the house. She was very relieved to find out that I was just good at acting pregnant, not actually "with child".

As usual I couldn't make a serious face for the picture. I had to mug instead. As you can see our "back story" was that Ed was my older abusive husband. Being in this production is one of my favorite memories even though my only claim to fame was singing in the letter quintet.

Our trip to the Zoo.

Love you, Miss you Ed.


bill said...


I just came across your blog. I knew Ed back in 1988 or so. I was also good friends with Gillen Brey and much of the BCC Theater crowd from 1986 to 1989. Sorry to hear about Ed's passing. He was a talented guy.

I've been trying to find out what happened to that old group. Please contact me if you have any contact info for Gillen.

TeresaInPa said...


I do not have Gillen's information, however you can google Kevin Bogan and will find him at a church in MO. He might know where to find her.
I assume she is still in south florida and can be found there doing some sort of theater. However she is also working in the medical field the last time I knew as office staff.
Good luck and tell her I said hello if you contact her.
Give her a link to this poor neglected blog.
= )

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Genie said...

I just came across your blog while researching genealogy which includes Delli Carpini's from Gallo Matese, Italy. My lineage is also from the town where Ed's dad was born. I will send the link to other family members who would enjoy hearing such great things about their cousin and seeing the photos.
Everyone says I should blog as I travel Italy meeting cousins and experiencing the best food ever, maybe one day...

Genie said...

PS I too shared a Christmas Day birthday as Ed did!

Anonymous said...


Ed was a wonderful person. I am so glad you found him here on my little blog. I do not write as much as I should.


Anonymous said...

I met Ed in the summer of 1981, when I lived in the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity house at Northwestern University. We saw each other almost every day from the middle of May until mid - August, when he left the Chicago area to move back to Fort Lauderdale. I looked him up in Fort Lauderdale when I was in the area. I think the last time I saw him was in the late 90s. I treated him to dinner at his favorite Chinese restaurant. He recorded the funniest answering machine messages of anyone I know. Thank you for posting the news of his passing. I read this blog several years ago, but I am just now posting a comment.