Legendary Hollywood funnyman and director, Garry Marshall, is taking his act -and his talents- on the road. He’s bringing his career’s worth of accomplishments and applying them to a centuries old genre… to the San Antonio Opera with his production of Elixir of Love. Here, in an exclusive interview, entertainment heavy-hitter Marshall weighs in on life, opera, the golden age of television and even, Lindsey Lohan.
You’ve seen his name and face for decades on both the big and small screens. Garry Marshall. That’s Garry with two R’s. He’s been the wit behind the wit for epic luminaries like Lucille Ball, Danny Thomas, Dick Van Dyke, Joey Bishop and Jack Parr, to name a few, and his career has always been on a consistent high with producing such TV hits as Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley and Mork & Mindy. Then there are the films. Like Pretty Woman, The Princess Diaries, Beaches, and most recently, Georgia Rule with Jane Fonda and Lindsey Lohan. And he’s still a busy guy. I caught up with him in between his production meetings in Los Angeles where he is still very much in demand as an A-list director. Charting familiar territory, he brings his directorial talents and love of opera for a limited engagement to the Lone Star State.
“I’m Italian. I love my wife very much, have daughters, grew up with sisters, and am a Scorpio. Of course I love opera,” muses Garry Marshall. And what’s not to love with his latest endeavor? Elixir of Love is about an age-old conundrum. A shy young man, with nothing to his name, falls in love with a rich and beautiful woman. Simple enough. Then, to complicate things, a con artist’s “magic elixir” is given to win her affections, questioning whether true love needs help to work its magic. “I started with opera when Placido Domingo asked me to do The Grand Duchess in Los Angeles at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion a few years ago. He thought comedy directors should do opera.” Marshall goes on to say, “It’s just like Richard Gere explained to Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman about opera, ‘Either you get it or you don’t.’” Garry Marshall definitely has a high get-it factor.