Stars On The Desert - Stars at "Expecting Mary" Premiere support Desert AIDS Project

Gloria Greer

Stars at "Expecting Mary" Premiere support Desert AIDS Project

Kudos to Jim Casey and Kim Waltrip for their production of Expecting Mary, a feel-good film now at the Camelot Theater in Palm Springs that is bound to become a Christmas Classic. It was given its premiere (before going into general release the next day) at the Camelot Theater on Sept. 9 as a benefit for the Desert AIDS Project. Thanks to the generosity of Jim Casey, executive producer and president of Integrated Wealth Management, all premiere tickets were underwritten by IWM and all funds collected from ticket sales went directly to DAP.

Expecting Mary happily breaks from most current Hollywood traditions. There is no violence, no four-letter words, no computer generated action and in contrast to today’s youth oriented films, writer director Don Gordon accepted Linda Gray’s suggestion that every cast member - except the runaway teenager - be over 60! As a result, some of Hollywood’s finest and most prolific performers are in this film and every scene is a gem. In addition to Emmy nominee and Golden Globe winner Gray (Sue Ellen on the old Dallas TV block buster) the cast includes Oscar winner Cloris Leachman, Grammy and Emmy winner Della Reese (Touched By an Angel), Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Lainie Kazan, three time Golden Globe winner and four time People’s Choice recipient Cybill Shepherd, and Academy Award nominee Elliot Gould. With pros of this magnitude under the experienced direction of Don Gordon ( The Hurricane, Wyatt Earp, The Assignment, the play adaptation of Rain Man and the HBO film Gulag), the filmmakers were able to do the impossible - film this high quality movie in 18 days!

Unforgettable characterizations and a script filled with comic surprises made me laugh and cry and feel good at the same time. And here is a little secret. I was asked to moderate the Q & A after the film with the producers, and co-stars Gray, Reese and Kazan. Thank goodness I had a handkerchief with me. If I hadn’t I would have looked like a clown with streaked eye make-up from happy tears.

I’m not going to give away the story. Take yourselves to see it.

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