Dan Yaden, Sr. - 1976 (March) - Age 22 - As Alfred (left) in "My Three Angels" - Starring Cesar Romero as Joseph (center) - With Michael Osker as Jules (right) - Cirque Dinner Theatre - Seattle, WA
The 6 weeks I spent rehearsing and performing this show were by far the most fun I had during my years in the theatre. At the time, the Cirque Dinner Theatre was under renovation throughout the backstage and greenroom areas. Under normal circumstances the star would have a dressing room by himself, but in this case Cesar was asked if he would mind sharing a dressing room with the two other "angels" in the show. He agreed. I sat to his left in front of the makeup mirror and Michael Osker sat to his right.
During the run of the show we heard fabulous stories of life on the stage, in films, on radio, and on television. The stories spanned from his song & dance and Cisco Kid film days of the 1930s/40s when he hung out with close friend Tyrone Power, to the 1960s Batman television series on which he played the Joker, and simultaneously through the Disney movies as he aged and was frequently cast as the grouchy old bad guy. In the 1970s his focus was primarily stage and television.
Cesar didn't volunteer to talk about his past, or give free advice about how you should be performing, but he was generous with his time, experience, and knowledge when he knew you were genuinely interested in what he had to share. And I can easily say I learned more in those 6 weeks about life in the professional theatre than during the entire four years I spent studying it in college.
I didn't see Cesar again after the show was over, but we exchanged Christmas cards and he would give friendly encouragement about keeping your chin up in a less-than-kind profession. Cesar died in 1994.