Saturday, August 05, 2006

Pics From the Reading
We're all familiar with the NY bookreading by now im sure?! but from a great friend and reader of HP4U we've been sent some brand new and great candid photo's of the stunning JK Rowling and couldn't resist but include the start of his report of the first nights reading. Also! For pics, be sure to check them out HERE!!

Six thousand fans aged 8 to 80+ moved to the edge of their seats as the lights dimmed in the Radio City Music Hall in New York City on Tuesday evening. This was the first of two Harry, Carrie and Garp readings to benefit The Haven Foundation and Doctors Without Borders (Medecins sans Frontieres) featuring the celebrity super-authors JK Rowling, Stephen King and John Irving.

The fans’ anticipation was rewarded by a guest appearance from comedy actress Whoopi Goldberg who introduced the readings and started the laughter that would continue for the next two and a half hours.

Each author was introduced by a separate personality, and a short video-clip, shown on four large screens above the stage. Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates (Dolores Claiborne) introduced Stephen King who then walked, eerily backlit, through stage mist towards the audience, and grinned menacingly.

Each author in turn had a mini-set which was wheeled on to the stage during the introduction. Stephen’s set resembled a homely garden scene with a high-backed wooden chair in the middle but he quickly dispelled the homeliness by wondering aloud if the chair was ‘wired’ (see The Green Mile). He read his short story entitled The Revenge of Lardass Hogan, a famous pie-eater. By the end of Stephen’s piece, the audience had learned a hundred ways to vomit and as many places to store it!

John Irving was next, with his set at the opposite side of the stage; this time an elegant but rather old-fashioned gentleman’s lounge or study with fireplace, chair, wooden globe and bookcase. He read from his novel ‘A Prayer For Owen Meany’, telling how the diminutive Owen managed to completely subvert the Rector’s plans for a Nativity play, and achieved his life’s ambition to play the role of the baby Jesus (at age 11). John’s imitation of Owen’s falsetto voice had the audience in stitches and we all realized that no-one really has the slightest idea what a Turtle Dove is supposed to look-like.

At the press conference the same morning Stephen King and John Irving said that they felt like a ‘warm-up act’ for JK Rowling. Sad to say that, famous as those two authors are, they were the guest band for the main event.

A third set was wheeled on to centre stage during the video clip and JK Rowling walked-on from one side to thunderous applause from thousands of fans. The Queen of Magic sat in a high-backed, red-upholstered chair, opened the American edition of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince at chapter 13 and began to read.

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