Ear: Broadway

"Hollywood calls Astorian," was the headline local artist Bill W. Dodge proposed. "Well, not totally accurate," he added with a smile. "It's Broadway calling me."

"Most localities know me from my appearances at the Astoria Sunday Market, and regular shoppers at Fred Meyer. Those shoppers are my extended family," he revealed.

"But a recent call from the Columbia River Maritime Museum has created a new point of attention from my quiet life at the easel. They received a call wanting to locate 'Astoria's Bill Dodge' for permission to use my art image, 'Identified Flying Objects over Broadway' for an upcoming film being produced in New York.

"The musical is currently titled 'The Prom,' and will star Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman, among many other award-winning Broadway performers.

"The scene that will incorporate my art will show young Broadway performers at a famous theatrical restaurant, waiting for a review of the show in which they have just performed." A portion of his image is shown.

While the name 'Sardi's' is never mentioned as being where the scene takes place, the script writer personally included Bill's artwork in the background "to create the thrill of waiting for all important New York theatrical reviews are revealed," Bill told the Ear.

Of note: The signed reproduction of Bill's painting, which actually does hang at the real Sardi's in New York City, was purchased by none other than the famed restaurant's owner, Vincent Sardi, himself.

By the way, did you know Bill is the only known person to have ever been born in a motion picture studio? "It was at the Charlie Chaplin Studios in Hollywood," he explained. "I thought I was escaping Hollywood's glamorous lifestyle when I moved to Astoria in February of l990."

"A part of that move," he added, "involved Academy Award-winning film star Joan Fontaine, who has never discussed the end of a relationship that finalized here in l990."

If Sardi's isn't your thing, Bill Dodge will be at Luminari Arts, 1133 Commercial St., at the second Saturday Art Walk.

"But I still won't reveal any Hollywood secrets," he swears with an impish grin. "I'll keep those private until I'm not around."

Elleda Wilson is an editorial assistant for The Astorian and author of the award-winning In One Ear community column. Contact her at 971-704-1718 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com.

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