Extraordinary Stories

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The "Meeting Of The Theatrical Minds" Story

Rob Broucht and Debbie Reynolds taken in 2010 at the Fulton
Theatre in Lancaster, PA.  Taken from Rob's Facebook Page.
It was an ordinary day.  Looking at my Facebook page and there is Rob Broucht staring back at me standing alongside Debbie Reynolds.  Photo of Rob and Debbie was taken in 2010 when she came to Lancaster to appear at the Fulton Theatre in "Debbie Reynolds: An Evening of Songs and Stories."  
Rob's autographed program from 2010.  Facebook Photo.
I have written a few stories in the past which tell of Rob and his "Hole In The Wall Puppet Theater" which was recently renamed the "Lancaster Marionette Theatre" located on North Water Street in downtown Lancaster, PA.  I have known Rob for years since his mother was the assistant minister at St. James Episcopal Church in Lancaster.  When my three children were school age, Mary Lou was the director of the Sunday School and Rob helped his mother produce musicals which they took on the road to foreign countries to share with other churches in the world.  
Rob and his mother Rev. Mary Lou Broucht.
Carol and I traveled to Italy with Mrs. Broucht and Rob in 2010 with an adult group and celebrated Rob's birthday in San Gimignano.  Rob has been part of the theatre for about as long as we have known him so it didn't surprise me that he knew Debbie Reynolds even though he was probably closer in age to her daughter Carrie Fisher than he was to Debbie.  The reason the photo was in the Lancaster paper was due to the death of Debbie Reynolds, just days after her daughter Carrie died.  
The Lancaster Marionette Theatre.
Rob states in the newspaper article that Debbie was a major influence on his career path even though he had never met her until their meeting in 2010.  He said his first exposure to musical theatre was "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" which Debbie Reynolds did in 1964.  He said he always felt he knew her.  I remember Debbie Reynolds best for her 1957 film "Tammy and the Bachelor" when she sang the song "Tammy" which reached #1 on the Billboard music charts.  It was part of my 45 record collection when I was a collector.  
LDub at the Lancaster Marionette
Theatre.  I'm wearing a pair of Rob's
marvelous colored framed glasses.
As for her daughter Carrie, I remember her most for her roles as Princess Leia in George Lucas' science-fiction film Star Wars.  I'm sure there will be many feature news stories an maybe even a short TV program about Debbie Reynolds and her daughter Carrie Fisher and perhaps Rob will once again get to relive his memorable experiences with one of his favorites.  It was another extraordinary day in the life of an ordinary guy.

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