James’ Brand New Blog

Eddie Escaf: Great Londoner, Doc in two High School Projects & a double-date bowler

- September 21st, 2012

Eddie Escaf

The late Eddie Escaf in an undated photo

Eddie Escaf made contributions in many areas of London life — and the obituary by colleague Hank Daniszewski reveals some details completely new to JBNBlog. Early on his career, Gordon Lightfoot sang at the the Escaf family-owned Country Fare restaurant but apparently Eddie (& likely his brother Fred) turned down his request to back the launch of the icon-to-be’s recording career.

Eddie died on Aug. 31. He was 82.

The Grand Theatre is dedicating this year’s High School Project production of My Fair Lady to Escaf’s memory. He was often on stage back in the London Little Theatre days & a tremendous supporter of the Grand & London arts in general . . . & among his late roles in a distinguished amateur theatre career were playing Doc in the first High School Project production West Side Story (1997) and then returning almost 10 years later when it was reprised in 2006. Eddie must have been well into his 70s when he was Doc 2.0. Wow. A bow & a standing ovation from JBNBlog. The Grand Theatre media release providing details is included a litle later.

One of Eddie’s less heralded roles had him starring on a double date with my parents at an unidentified bowling alley in the London region. The time must have the early 1950s. Eddie was apparently dating my mom’s younger sister (the late Sheila Thibaudeau Lambrinos).

At some point, Eddie & Sheila went out bowling with my parents who had married in 1951. (Maybe that was the deal . . . Sheila could go on a date with cool Eddie if her big sister were there, too.) At one of our chance meetings over the years, Eddie recalled this incident affectionately because it had been a fun date with Sheila, a live wire like my mother. While the  high spirits of the Thibaudeau sisters was part of the revelry, the truly memorable bowling was by my father. To Eddie’s recollection, dad could bounce the ball from alley to gutter to the next alley & beyond with a bowling technique all his own. Dad, I regret not going bowling with you . . . or if we ever did, you had adopted a more conventional & less memorable approach to the pins.

Here’s the Grand on Eddie & his roles on & off the stage there:

This year’s High School Project is dedicated to the memory of Eddie Escaf. Eddie was involved in the very first High School Project, West Side Story back in 1997. He played the role of Doc and both the students involved and the audience who came to see the show loved him. When West Side Story was remounted in 2006, we were thrilled that he was able to do a reprise.

Eddie was a strong supporter of The Grand Theatre long before the birth of the High School Project, and he truly valued the involvement of youth in theatre and became a strong advocate of the HSP. That legacy continues as Eddie requested that donations be made in his memory to The Grand Theatre, and we have been touched by the many donations that we have received to celebrate and remember him.

It seemed only fitting that this year’s High School Production of My Fair Lady be dedicated to the memory of Eddie Escaf. We will miss him.

 

Categories: Entertainment

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3 comments

  1. SusanR says:

    Thank you, James, for supplying the details. I didn’t know it was a double date!

  2. james.reaney says:

    Sadly, none of the four is with us to confirm details about any strikes, spares & misses (other than Eddie’s recollections of dad’s life in the fast lanes). What a night that must have been.

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