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Lyric Theatre

59 SW Flagler Ave., Stuart, FL, 34994
(772) 286-7827

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Lyric Theatre
59 SW Flagler Ave.
Stuart, FL 34994
(772) 286-7827
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USER REVIEWS
Jan 13, 2011 - AgingRapidly
An Evening with Burt Reynolds

To listen to Burt Reynolds talk about his life is to be welcomed into the warm embrace of an old friend. At least, that’s how the 500 people who filled the Lyric Theatre (Stuart, Florida) to capacity felt last night. This historic venue with its worn wood rafters and stucco walls lent itself to the homey atmosphere, which emanated from a stage set replicating “Burt’s Place.”

The appeal of Burt Reynolds has always been his “just one of the guys” persona. Although he is respectfully referred to as Mr. Reynolds by his staff and students, to his fans, he is Burt. Burt – his name has been spoken with admiration for fifty years and counting. That’s quite an accomplishment for a Florida boy who, by his own admission, had more interest in a football than a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The one-man show, “An Evening with Burt Reynolds” offers an honest and, sometimes, painful glimpse into the life of one of the most enduring screen legends of our time. By painful, I am not referring to Mr. Reynolds’ much-publicized love life, although he did briefly touch on that area with just the right amount of humor. No, by painful I am referring to his insistence on doing his own stunts back in the early days of his career. Blessed with the hubris of youth, he thought he was invincible. Now, at nearly 75, his body reminds him daily of the folly in diving from waterfalls and jumping from rooftops. There was a particularly funny moment, when Burt reached for his right knee and remarked he could trace his film history by his aching joints.

Combining narrative with a slide show of pictures beginning with his childhood in South Florida and moving through every phase of his life, Burt Reynolds proved to be the consummate storyteller. He is, as they say, a natural, and his love for the art of acting – and for his family and friends – was evident in every word. Among the many recognizable faces projected on the screen were President and Mrs. Reagan, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, Dom DeLuise, Jerry Reed and Charles Nelson Reilly to name but a few. Each picture was accompanied by a witty and personal story told with such obvious affection that it was impossible not to feel emotional.

By the time the two-hour show ended, every audience member had a new memory to take home and cherish. For me, one of the best moments came when Burt talked about his film, “Navajo Joe,” a spaghetti western made in 1966. He reminisced about the horse he rode in the movie, an old nag with no tail, no mane and no star quality.

As Burt played an Indian in the film and the horse was not the requisite Pinto breed, he suggested to the wrangler that the horse be painted in the appropriate patchwork effect and a tail and mane be added to “dress him up.” The result was astonishing in both appearance and horse pride. The pony became a loyal companion throughout the shoot and Burt remarked that never had a woman looked at him with such adoration.

I beg to differ. I had only to look to my right and left (or in a mirror) to know that there were/are/and always will be many women looking at Burt Reynolds with love and lust in their eyes.

Burt Reynolds is still the handsome bandit of his early films. He carries his age with dignity and just the right amount of rakishness. For fifty years, he has entertained with humor and grace. I hope he will continue to entertain by spending many “An Evening” in theaters around the country with all his fans.

On the back of the program is a quote by Frank Sinatra: “He (Burt) is the one the ladies like to dance with and their husbands like to drink with. He is the larger than life actor of our times. He is gifted, talented, naughty and nice.”

Ain’t that the truth!

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