That’s what Etel would write in the opening night card for every show I did at her Illinois Theatre Center in Park Forest.
I remember my first audition there, for “Blue for an Alabama Sky.” After that show, I never had to audition for her again. Etel had a role for me every February (the theatre did six shows a season, including an African-American playwright’s piece in honor of Black History Month). If I could carry a tune, she would have cast me in one of the musicals during the season as well. But we all know that I can’t sing. Still, she inspired the confidence in me to sing THREE songs during the production of Charlayne Woodard’s “Pretty Fire.”
She was hilarious, curt, sweet, cranky, kind, and most of all — talented.
Rest in Peace, Etel Billig.