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[[continued from previous page]] brilliance there was that element missing which would make everything work - youth.
But to all my mattering Max kept saying, "Wait and see! Wait until she gets the right clothes and the makeup and gets in front of an audience."
So we opened in Philadelphia with Miss Conklin wearing the right clothes and after ten minutes of the first act it was plain even to Gordon that she wasn't going to work out. She gave a marvelous performance but she wasn't the girl I had written.
When the final curtain dropped, Max said, "We better tell her at once before her friends get back there and rave about how great she is and how she'll murder Broadway."
As we made our way through the departing audience to the inside stage door of the theatre, "Max," I said, "please remember that Peggy is an extremely sensitive girl- and she's worked very hard, and-"
He cut me off with a snort of contempt. "Are you trying to tell me," he asked, "how to treat a star? I've been working with actors since before you were born! Don't try to teach your grandmother how to suck eggs!"
With this homely admonition ringing in my ears we stopped before Miss Conklin's dressing room door and Max knocked.
"Come in," said the actress, and we entered.
Miss Conklin at her dressing table looked up smiling through the mask of cold cream with which she was removing her make-up.
"Peggy, honey," Max said, "you're too old."

FREDERICK LOEWE
Since his enormous successes with the scores for the musical Paint Your Wagon, Brigadoon, Gigi and My Fair Lady, Fritz has developed the point of view- and why not?- of a prince of the realm.
He is completely indifferent, for example, to the mail he receives. "Bad news I don't want," he says, "and good news I don't need."
He has gambled magnificently; I watched Fritz drop enough in the Casino of the Hotel Internationale in Ocho Rios in pre-Castro Cuba for the syndicate which ran

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[[start page]]

the operation to open up a place in Havana with Fritz's losses.
For years he has rented a splendid yacht each summer which never moves more than a quarter-mile or so out of the harbor at Cannes - to a berth for lunch, along with a half a hundred other yachts in a sort of sea-borne picnic ground. Fritz rightly prides himself on his luncheons which feature never less than sixteen different cheeses. As he is, generally, on land or sea or on the Riviera or in Palm Springs, London or Paris, a munificent host.
My first meeting with him took place before the days of this splendor.
Our meeting came about because I needed incidental music for a play and a mutual friend suggested that a chap called Frederick Loewe could do it. I telephoned him and made a date to discuss my problem that evening at his flat in West 48th Street. It was, he warned me apologetically, a long hike up to the top floor.
As I began to climb, I heard someone playing a piece I recognized as Beethoven's piano Sonata in C Minor, and playing it beautifully. As I climbed it got louder. I had no doubt as to where the music was coming from; when I had puffed up to the top floor it was really crashing.
"What power! What sensitivity!" I thought as I stood enchanted outside the door listening and waiting for the break before the final movement.
When I knocked, Fritz's voice, which I had only heard on the phone, called, "Come in!"
As I opened the door a wave of whiskey smell hit me. A completely naked girl was seated with her back to me at the piano, her hands poised on the keyboard as she gazed up at her stark naked conductor facing her from the top of the piano where he sat tailor-fashion, his legs tucked under him.
He put a finger to his lips and beckoned me to a chair; then he swept down a hand and led the nude pianist into the last movement of Beethoven's "C minor" perhaps the most spiritual music ever written for the piano.
Since then I have had innumerable adventures with Fritz in various parts of the world, but none, to my mind, as surprising as my first.

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