September 28th, 2020

carole lombard 01
  • vp19

A table read (for a great cause) 'Becomes Her'

Is this a table read for "To Be Or Not To Be"? It very well could be, what with Carole Lombard laughing at Jack Benny (turned away from us), with young supporting player Robert Stack across the table...and of course, that's director Ernst Lubitsch laughing uproariously at the end.

Table reads are plenty of fun for actors, as they explore scripts they're either thinking of doing or will do. This screenwriter can vouch for their value, as you can learn what's right (or wrong) with your script with the help of some talented readers.

As we enter yet another month of the coronavirus pandemic -- we sadly learned today the worldwide death toll has surpassed one million -- technology has given the table read new life. Thanks to Zoom and similar apps, you don't have to assemble in person to read a screenplay. Just get a group of folks (professional actors if you're lucky), supply them a script and you're on your way.

For several years, I've been honored to have the lovely Kelli Maroney as a Facebook friend. Her resume includes several iconic '80s movies, notably teen favorites "Fast Times At Ridgemont High" and "The Night Of The Comet." I was hoping to get Kelli to take part in my Oct. 24 table read for my rom-com "Stand Tall!" -- I wrote the role of older sister Maureen Cossitt with her in mind -- but despite her interest, she had to decline; she gets plenty of Halloween-related assignments around that time. We'll cross paths some other time, I'm sure.

But that doesn't mean I can't promote another table read for her, one for a good cause. Earlier this month, there was an all-star table read for charity of "Fast Times At Ridgemont High," and parts were read by the likes of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, Ray Liotta, Julia Roberts and others (it's at On Wednesday, Maroney will participate in a table read of her own, adapting the 1992 Robert Zemeckis dark comedy classic "Death Becomes Her" (a film this Goldie Hawn fan enjoyed back in the day)...

...with the co-star of her late '80s cult film "Chopping Mall," Barbara Crampton and other notables including Bryan Cogman from "Game Of Thrones":

Best of all, this benefits a truly worthy cause...

...RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network), the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization. It created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673) or During the coronavirus pandemic, its services are desperately needed. While the table read is free, contributions to RAINN are strongly encouraged.

It's at 7:30 p.m. Pacific (10:30 Eastern) Wednesday. Learn more at or (There's been talk about a remake for some time now, so get yourself in the mood just in case it happens.)
  • Current Mood
    cynical cynical