A: It's longer than I thought it would be. As soon as I get you out I'm going to deliver pages 1374 to 1500 to Doubleday. I'm hoping to get it finished by the end of the year â€¦ . It will probably be in two volumes â€” which is unreasonable, considering that I've led a very quiet life and not much has happened to me. I guess the only thing is that I tend to go on and on when I'm on my favorite subject.
For my first assignment, Bruce sent me to interview Delores Hall, star of a Broadway musical with an all-black cast, Your Arms Too Short to Box With God. I went to the theater, watched the show, then met Delores backstage. The first question I asked her was: "Is that your real hair?" She smiled good-naturedly at my lack of diplomacy and didn't answer, but made me feel completely at ease. She led me outside the theater, and without embarrassment, asked me to hail the taxi for us. Then she directed the driver to a favorite soul food restaurant, where she stuffed herself while I conducted the interview. She was as gracious in my company as she had been on the stage while bowing to a standing ovation. Later, her role in the show won her the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical.
Slender, graceful, and radiantly attractive, Laredo is still adjusting to her recently acquired status as a major international artist. For 14 years she was married to the acclaimed Bolivian-born violinist, Jaime Laredo, and during most of that time she was known primarily as his accompanist. Shortly after their marriage broke up in 1974, her career began to soar. That year the first of her Rachmaninoff recordings was made, and it won rave reviews. Her Lincoln Center debut with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in December 1974 caused such a sensation that she was quickly signed up to perform with the Boston, Philadelphia, National Symphony, Cleveland, and Detroit orchestras. "After 15 years," recalls Ruth, "I was an overnight success."
Married to Stuart Scheftel, a wealthy executive and producer, she has one son from a previous marriage, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, the hugely successful young director who was nominated for a Tony Award for Whose Life is this Anyway? Miss Fitzgerald is the first actress ever to receive the Handel Medallion, New York's highest cultural award.
WESTSIDER RICHARD THOMAS