Barbara Eden and Hal Linden exchange lifetime of ‘Love Letters’
By Emily Sorensen
Love and friendship will be in the air when TV and stage stars Barbara Eden and Hal Linden take the stage for “Love Letters,” 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts, 15498 Espola Road.
The two-person show, written by A.R. Gurney, tells the story of two people who write letters to each other beginning in childhood and through adulthood.
Eden, of “I Dream of Jeanie” fame, and Linden, of the “Barney Miller” television show, will be bringing their well-honed “Love Letters” rapport to Poway. The duo have performed the show together many times. “Whenever she gets a call to do it, I get a call [from her] to do it,” said Linden. The duo have been performing in the show together for nearly five years.
The show is unusual for theater, said Linden, because of the lack of interaction between the characters. “It’s two people sitting at a table on stage, reading letters [out loud],” said Linden. “And yet it works. You get to know the people, and become attached to them. It’s an amazing piece of writing. It breaks all the rules of theater.”
“It’s a beautifully written piece, and it has a fabulous arc for the actors,” said Eden.
The show, which takes place on the East Coast, required some research for Eden. “I had to learn about the East Coast,” said Eden. “I didn’t know anything about boarding schools.” Both characters in the show attend separate boarding schools.
“My character is a poor little rich girl,” said Eden. The characters start writing notes to each other as children in elementary school, and the notes turn into letters as they age. “My character starts at 8, and ends up as a U.S. Senator,” said Linden.
Though the roles have been played by actors of all ages, Linden said he felt the characters work best when played by older actors. “Then you’re looking back [on your life],” said Linden. “It’s a very interesting acting job.”
When not coming together for “Love Letters,” both Eden and Linden keep busy with their careers. Linden is touring with a concert of Broadway and Big Band music, something he’s been doing, and evolving, for over 40 years. “[My concert tour] has been very successful on this run,” said Linden.
Eden, too, will be keeping busy when she’s not performing “Love Letters,” beginning filming a movie in November with Sally Kellerman, then doing personal appearances, followed by performing in the comedy play “Social Security” in the spring.
Tickets for “Love Letters” are $48 for adults, $13 for children 18 and under with the purchase of an adult ticket and $41 seniors 62 years and older.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.powayarts.org, by calling the box office at 858-748-0505, or at the box office. noon – 5 p.m. Fridays and 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Saturdays.
For more information, visit www.powayarts.org.
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