On Friday April 23, 1993 I attended Monmouth Players’ production of Moss Hart and George S. Kaufman’s You Can’t Take It With You. Monmouth Players is the oldest established community theater company in Monmouth County, New Jersey, having been founded by a self-described “small but tenacious group of theater buffs” in 1953.
Their You Can’t Take It With You was pretty good. According to my review, published in the Two River Times of Red Bank, NJ, it was a “spiffy production…well acted and very well directed”. I praised several cast members, including Gail Lynne Mauriello, who played daughter Alice, and the actor playing Grandpa, whom I mis-identified in the review. (For what it’s worth, 18 years later, it was Eric Walby who “couldn’t have been better.”)
Ms. Mauriello was “marvelous,” I wrote. She was “unaffected throughout and radiant in her love scenes.” (Italics added.)
After the review appeared, someone called the paper about the Grandpa-actor screwup, leaving a phone number but no name. About 10am the following morning I called the number and asked the sleepy-sounding woman who answered to convey my apology to Mr. Walby. She accepted on his behalf.
Ending the conversation, I said, “Sorry for calling you so early…sounds like I woke you up.” There was a pause. Then: “You can wake me up any time, Mr. Dorian. You’re the only man who ever called me radiant.”
To this day I have never met Ms. Mauriello or seen her in another play. But I have never since used ‘radiant’ in a review. The word isn’t mine anymore; it belongs to her.