In 2009 I had the opportunity to see Carrie Fisher’s one-woman show, Wishful Drinking, and thanks to my wife’s theater connections we had front row center seats on opening night in Seattle. I’ll admit I didn’t know much about her beyond her portrayal of Princess Leia but I was excited to be that close to someone whose movies I’d seen more times than I could ever count. We got drinks beforehand (it was the theme of the show, after all) and settled in.
When Carrie Fisher came on stage and began to sing a show tune style song while tossing glitter into the first few rows of the audience I realized it was going to be a really good night. She was engaging, sardonically witty and just plain enjoyable. She not only made fun of herself but also poked fun at the audience. At one point she demanded that a probable critic put his notebook down and just enjoy the show, and he was so affronted he walked out of the theater. Not fazed at all, she kept working in jokes about him for the rest of the performance.
About an hour into the show Carrie came to the front and asked for a “victim, er, volunteer” to come and join her on stage. I offered myself as tribute, jumped up on the platform and couldn’t stop smiling. I remember a mannequin with a Leia wig came down from the ceiling and I was supposed to try to walk to it and kiss it, at which point it was quickly pulled back into the rafters. She made a little fun of my seduction abilities, then had me read a card taking the show to intermission. The moment I was done she put a wig on my head, pulled me down to her height, planted a big smooch on my cheek and fell on top of me on a couch she had on stage as the curtain went down to a huge roar of laughter. After Carrie apologized for the shock (I didn’t mind) a production manager took our picture and I was released back to my wife who was jealous on several levels.
I’ve been sad today upon reading about her death, but I’m incredibly grateful to be able to reminisce about the night I met Carrie Fisher. There’s probably still glitter in that sweater.