Lee Wochner: Writer. Director. Writing instructor. Thinker about things.


24 hours of degrees of separation

Yesterday, I took my kids to see “Iron Man 3.” I’m watching it and thinking that the bald bad guy is looking pretty familiar — then I see that it’s James Badge Dale, son of my friend Grover Dale, in a very large role. Grover is a distinguished Tony-winning choreographer and dancer, and someone I’ve known for almost 10 years. I met Badge once, at Grover’s house — a house that previously belonged to Gloria Swanson. Later I tell the kids that I’ve met that bald guy. They show no reaction; they don’t care about this sort of thing any more. They also don’t care when I tell them I once spent the day with War Machine, aka Don Cheadle.

Then today someone I know calls me and says, “Have you ever heard of the Odyssey Theatre?” (This is someone from the professional but non-theatre part of my life.) I assure him that I have, and have been there many times. He asks if I can possibly get him tickets to the play that Megan Mullally and Nick Offerman are doing there. As it turns out, a long time ago, I did an event with Megan Mullally, but even closer to that, I know the director of the show. (But no luck — nobody who doesn’t already have tickets is going to be getting tickets to that show.)

Then tonight I get home and decide to watch the episode of “Mad Men” I taped on Sunday night. That guy in the one scene — yes, it’s Kit Williamson, a playwright/actor friend.

Finally, I’m reading the LA Times tonight and I come across this news item:


Actor fills tenant role in Beverly Hills

Actor Chris Meloni has leased a gated compound in Beverly Hills at $20,000 a month.

The Spanish-style house, built in 1929, belongs to dancer-actor-choreographer Grover Dale.

The 6,000-square-foot home features a courtyard entry, four fireplaces, a card room, a den, an office, four bedrooms and six bathrooms. There is a guesthouse and a swimming pool.

Meloni, 52, is in this year’s films “42” and “Man of Steel.”Often associated with his cop roles on “NYPD Blue” and “Law & Order,” he will star in the upcoming TV comedy “I Suck at Girls.” Last year he played a vampire on the series “True Blood.”

Dale, 77, appeared in the musicals “Li’l Abner” and “West Side Story” and the films “The Unsinkable Molly Brown” and “The Landlord.” He choreographed the musical “Billy” and shared a Tony Award as co-director of the anthology “Jerome Robbin’s Broadway.”

Brent Watson of Coldwell Banker’s Beverly Hills North office was the listing agent. Dana Cataldi of Partners Trust in Brentwood represented Meloni.


Which led to this thought: “Even the house of someone I know is making headlines.”

Leave a Reply