We barely arrived in time at The Folly Theater on May 15, 1998. Through many wrong
turns and missed exits, we turned up a little later then we really wanted to. We expected
to show up about 7:15, only getting there a little closer to the 8:00 showtime.
As we entered the building, I was amazed at how beautiful it looked. For me, this
was the first time I had ever been in a real theater. I walked by "Will Call" and then into a
large hallway. The first thing I noticed, besides a giant double staircase leading to the
layered balcony, was that there were lots of huge posters of Mr. Peck on the wall. These were
so awesome! As we were admiring the posters, a young gentleman approached us.
"Are you Jeff Lang?" he asked.
I answered yes and he went on to explain that he worked for the theater and had
seen my page. He said he enjoyed it very much. I thanked him as he was short on time
and had to go. We continued on.
Having to wait in the hallway a bit, we took a few photos of the show that maybe I
can put up shortly on this page. Anyway, we finally ventured into the theater itself. It was
amazing! The sheer size alone was enough to make you take notice, but its beauty was
beyond any other building I have ever been in! Over the loud system, music from various
GP movies was playing. Among other notable selections, I could certainly pick out the
themes from "Arabesque" and "To Kill a Mockingbird".
While getting settled into our seats (which were front row, a little off-center, in
other words, AWESOME!), another man, this time middle-aged, approached us. Once
again, I was asked if I was Jeff Lang, and let me tell you, I was more than happy to reply!
Never before have I been recognized this much! Back to what I was saying, this man
explained that he was on the board of directors of the theater and had heard that I would
be attending. We conversed for a bit and then waited for the show to begin.
As the lights went down, two ladies and a gentleman came out and introduced
each other, finally introducing the man who would be introducing Mr. Peck. That man came
out and told a story of his favorite GP movie, "Gentleman's Agreement". He then
introduced Mr. Peck, but first showed film clips from many of his movies. This was great
because not only were they good clips, but because this is the closest I have come to
seeing any of his films on the silver screen.
After the clips, Mr. Peck came out to an outstanding round of applause. When the
cheering finally died down, he proceeded to tell several stories about a few of the clips
shown. I won't ruin it by telling you all of the stories, you will just have to go and hear
them yourself. Trust me, it will be ten times better for you to hear them from him instead
of reading them from here!
A little while later, the question and answer portion of the show began. Some
When asked who his favorite leading lady was, Mr. Peck replied,
"You know I'm not going to deal with that head on. They were all wonderful... some of
these ladies are still very much alive. I'm going to weave and dodge around that one."
When a man asked a very long question, it was met with, "That is a two-part question.
I'm afraid you'll have to break it down so that I don't have a senior moment'."
A man asked who he thought did the best impersonation of him. Mr. Peck seemed to
recognize who was asking the question. "There was this guy named Rich Little, but I
don't think he did that good of a job." The man was actually Rich Little, who then smiled
and said, "Oh, I think I can do a better job then him!". Very funny.
And of course, my favorite, for obvious reasons, occurred when I got a mic. Keep in
mind that I had not yet met him. Like a stuttering fool, I fumbled my way through the
question, "Mr. Peck, h-w-wh-h-wh-how do you feel about the Internet and its ability to
allow your fans to communicate more freely?" He looked straight at me and asked, "Are
you Jeff Lang?" This may have been the third time in the evening I had heard this, but it
was certainly the most powerful! Shocked, I managed to utter a form of the word "yes".
The crowds attention had turned my way. He then greeted me and explained to the
audience what I had done, citing me as the "reason I'm famous on the Internet". He also
explained how touched he was by all the birthday greetings, you, the visitors of my page,
sent him "since I had to endure another birthday last month". I was still in total shock, all
I could seem to do was grin. "I haven't met with this young man yet, but I will be meeting
him backstage after the show. See you in a little bit." The audience once again
applauded, as I sat there, still dazed and confused.
A few more questions were answered after that, but I honestly can't tell you what
was said! I was still feeling the effects of what had just happened! Before I knew it, Mr. Peck
said it was time for the show to end. He told one more story, the one about how he and
Veronique first met. Afterwards, he brought out Veronique and ended the show with the
Irish poem found at the top of my index page. He then left to another astounding round of
At this point, I was getting up from my seat as the young lady that earlier brought
me the mic told us to follow her to the backstage area. Filing through some tight spaces,
we finally made it to the back. It was amazing! I mean, remember, this was the first time
I had seen a large theater, but to see the backstage area was just as jolting! We were led
down a corridor and told to wait a bit as Mr. Peck was getting ready. The anticipation was
mounting and I could feel my heart rate increasing with each passing second. It seemed
like an eternity but I was finally given the go-ahead. As I turned into the hallway, I saw
him standing coolly in the doorway, and then he greeted me, "Hello Jeff!" This totally
floored me! He then greeted my mother and invited us into the room. Veronique was
standing there as well and I greeted her. He then once again thanked me for the page,
saying it meant a lot to him. We then sat down and I gave him the gift we had bought for
him. He said he enjoyed it. He also asked how we enjoyed the show. More was said, but
at this point, I can not truthfully recall it! I can remember the face and the voice, but the
words are something different.
About that time, Rich Little came in and greeted Greg, to which Greg introduced
him to me. We shook hands, and Rich presented Greg with a portrait he had done for him
that sure beat down my gift! :) Anyway, Greg started to speak with Rich and at that point
I started speaking with Veronique. Greg started autographing some of the items I brought
along and before long, his tour manager told him he had to leave. My mom managed to
step in and ask if we could have a few photos and Greg gladly obliged. I said goodbye to
Veronique and then turned toward Greg. We shook hands again and I mentioned maybe
seeing him again sometime, to which he said, "Yes, that would be nice." As we walked
out, the last thing I saw was Greg's face. That was the end of an evening I will never
forget. I recently got the photos back and you might notice one of me with him peppered throughout my site.