If you've been in extreme circumstances- it doesn't have to be cancer, it can be the death of a spouse, AIDS, anything- and you've been lucky enough to survive, it's incumbent on you to live the best possible life. What's the point otherwise?
-Laurie Beechman, as quoted in The Washington Post, 1996
Take your time browsing the 4 guestbook volumes which are filled with wonderful memories of Laurie Beechman and her work. Before you leave, please be sure to take a moment to sign and add your voice to this site.
November 10, 2000 9:08 PM
from Los Angeles, CA
Thanks Faith for your wonderful tribute to Laurie. Laurie and I went to the same high school (though we attended a few years apart) and kept in touch throughout the years. She was a big influence in my career and is still a major inspiration to me. It warms my heart to read all these guest book entries and to know that she touched so many people - just as she has touched mine. Keep Singing you angel of love and inspiration!
November 7, 2000 11:41 PM
I saw Laurie only once and I thought she had the voice of an angel. When I heard of her passing I couldn't believe it. She will be truly missed. She will live on in the hearts of everyone who knew her.
November 6, 2000 7:36 PM
from Los Angeles, CA
She had a remarkable voice!
November 2, 2000 9:13 AM
Janet Perrella D'Alesandro
This note is to Laurie's family: I am one of the Perrella girls who grew up next door to you. I remember Laurie well...in fact, I remember putting out the trash, and if she was practicing her singing, I would just sit down and listen. The clarity of her voice always struck me. It was like a clear bell and it always gave me chills.
I watched her career for years. My sister, Anne, did go to see her in Le Miz in Phila. a few years ago and spoke with her. I wish I had gotten the chance to see her in a live show...I also wish I could have interviewed her, as I worked as a writer for the Inquirer earlier in my career and I always thought hers would be a wonderful story.
She impressed me on an ongoing basis and I saw her on Oprah talking about ovarian cancer, which is why I am writing today.
My sister in law, Diane, to whom I am very close, was just diagnosed two days ago with the same disease. I am filled with many emotions and can't write too much at this point, but I thought of Laurie this morning...how brave she was and how that contributed to her fighting the disease.
If her family gets this (I remember Dolly well...and how she included me in some of shows she produced...I remember Jane, too, teaching me cartwheels on the front lawn and hanging out), please send positive thoughts to Diane. She is only 47, has two children, and is facing Stage III ovarian cancer. She is a strong woman and our family loves her very much.
I believe the positive energy of the universe supplies faith to us and I know Laurie's spirit is part of it. I will tell Diane Laurie's story. Thank you. Janet Perrella D'Alesandro.
October 26, 2000 1:42 PM
I AM SO , SO SORRY !!!" I was shocked when I heard about her passing !! I am a true Grizabella fan & I have heard Memory so many times , um...I cant remember now ,Haha!!! I never new about this until I checked into this website & I just wanted to show my deepest simpathy !!
October 15, 2000 10:18 PM
from Raleigh, North Carolina
I am inspired by Ms. Beechman for her talent for living. I never saw one of her shows; I have only heard her wonderful voice. Among all of the lights, she was so good at being human. She went through the pain knowing that miracles still happen. Like my own mother who died from ovarian cancer, she always lived for the moment as positively as possible and hoped for better things. That is the best any of us can do. Your friends miss you. I hope my mom, Irene, meets you in heaven.
October 14, 2000 3:44 PM
from Las Vegas NV
Laurie was a gem that comes along very rarely. I was fortunate to count her as a friend back in the days when we were all struggling. I fellin love with her the first time I heard her sing.
October 9, 2000 7:56 PM
Theatre is a very wonderful thing and if not for people like Laurie, the world of these beautiful arts would not be as alive as they are today!
October 4, 2000 8:18 PM
I first heard Laurie Beechman's voice at a club in Orlando, Fla. I immediately feel in love with her.I bought the first cd and all those that followed.In my move from Orlando to Savannah,I lost "Listen To My Heart"..It was like losing her all over again.
October 3, 2000 9:15 PM
from yarmouth Port, MA
I saw Laurie in Cats in Boston, MA.. Her performance touched my life. I went back 3 times to hear her uniquely wonderful voice and from a distance see her soul-filled eyes. Years later I saw her on TV singing "Climb Every Mountain". Then even later I heard her sing as a professional ice skater performed. Laurie kept popping up in my life at unexpected times, and strangely enough, I felt as if I had known her all along. I have 3 of her CD's and they are treasures to me. I read her obituary in the Cape Cod Times and was greatly saddened. I felt as if I had lost a dear friend. To this day, I feel a closeness to Laurie. Just today I was in the parking lot of a local beach on Cape Cod. As I started my car, the CD came on and Laurie was singing. A tourist stopped me and asked who the singer was. He and his wife were also touched by the quality of her voice. So, she continues to touch people's lives and she always will. I wish I had had the opportunity to know Laurie. I don't know where this letter is going, but I hope you receive healing from another message of love for Laurie.
September 30, 2000 8:05 AM
from Mullica Hill NJ
I met Laurie's sister at a dinner with the Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia and had a great talk with her. It was Jane's birthday and we spoke of her life today and that of her sister Laurie's. Jane and her husband Stephen are very wonderful and I just wanted to see what her famous sister did. I am about to call my cousin in Manhattan who's name is Beverly Chase. She at one time was an agent for actors.
Wishing you all the best.
September 28, 2000 11:16 PM
from NEW YORK CITY
I HAVE PUT OFF SIGNING THE GUEST BOOK FOR QUITE SOME TIME NOW, DUE TO THE FACT THAT THERE IS NO WAY OF TALKING ABOUT LAURIE WITHOUT TEARS COMING TO MY EYES, AND SIMPLY FOR THE FACT THAT THERE ARE NO WORDS THAT CAN DESCRIBE THE IMPACT THAT LAURIE HAS MADE ON MY LIFE.
I FIRST MET LAURIE MANY YEARS AGO WHEN SHE FIRST TOOK OVER THE ROLE OF GRIZABELLA, I WAS YOUNG AND JUST THRILLED TO BE MEETING AN ACTUAL BROADWAY STAR! BUT IT WOULD NOT BE FOR MANY YEARS LATER THAT I ACTUALLY GOT TO "MEET" LAURIE. SHE HAD JUST RETURNED TO "CATS" BEFORE IT BROKE THE LONGEST RUNNING RECORD, I KNEW A COUPLE PEOPLE IN THE SHOW AND ONE SAID TO ME THAT SHE WAS COMING BACK TO THE SHOW AND WE BOTH REMINISCED ABOUT MEETING HER BY THE STAGE DOOR WHEN WE WERE YOUNGER. WELL NEEDLESS TO SAY I HAD TO COME TO HER OPENING NIGHT. THERE ARE NO RECORDINGS THAT CAN MATCH THE ANGELIC SOUND THAT COMES OUT OF LAURIES THROAT WHEN SHE SINGS. I ESPECIALLY REMEMBER SITTING IN MY SEAT (AA13-WHERE I ALWAYS SIT) AND FEELING HER SING! AT THE END OF ACT TWO WHEN SHE PULLS HERSELF UP OFF THE GROUND AND SINGS "TOUCH ME..." TEARS FLOWED OUT OF MY EYES, I FELT LIKE I HAD TO HOLD ON TO MY CHAIR OR I WOULD BE THROWN OUT BY THE SOUND OF HER VOICE. SHE WAS AMAZING! I THEN GOT TO MEET HER TIME AND TIME AGAIN AT THE STAGEDOOR(MAN SHE GOT OUTTA THERE FAST) MY FRIENDS INTRODUCED ME AND I TOLD HER HOW MUCH I ADORED HER. AND AFTER THAT SHE WOULD COME UP TO ME AND SPEAK TO ME, WE NEVER HAD HOUR LONG CONVERSATIONS, BUT THE WISDOM AND THE KINDNESS IN WHICH SHE SPOKE TO ME MADE IT SEEM SO. I THINK THE LONGEST WE TALKED WAS ABOUT 45 MINUTES, AND ON THIS OCCASSION SHE TOLD ME TO NEVER GIVE UP, AND TO FIGHT FOR MY DREAMS, SHE SAID "LOOK AT ME, I AM A PERFECT EXAMPLE. AFTER ALL MY MIDDLE NAME IS HOPE" THOSE WORDS HAVE ALWAYS STUCK WITH ME. I MISSED TALKING TO HER AFTER SHE LEFT THE SHOW, BUT I DID SEND HER A CARD TO SAY HELLO AND WISH HERE WELL. I LEFT THE CITY FOR A COUPLE MONTHS AND CAME BACK IN THE NEW YEAR, THE NEXT THING I KNOW, I HEAR THAT LAURIE PASSED ON. I WENT TO THE MEMORIAL @ WINTER GARDEN, NUMB AT FIRST, DISSALLUSIONED, BUT WHEN THE SPOTLIGHT CAME UP CENTER STAGE WITH AN EMPTY MIC AND STOOL, EVERYTHING INSIDE JUST CAME OUT, I DON'T THINK I STOPPED CRTING UNTIL I GOT ON THE SUBWAY.
I THINK THE THING THAT AFFECTS ME THE MOST IS I NEVER GOT A CHANCE TO SAY TO LAURIE HOW MUCH I APPRECIATED HER. HER TALENT, HUMOUR, INSPIRATION, AND HER FOR JUST BEING HER! SO EVERY SHOW I DO I DEDICATE TO MY FRIEND AND INSPIRATION , LAURIE HOPE BEECHMAN.
September 27, 2000 11:28 AM
from Junction City, KS, USA
I have just spent the last half hour looking at all of the beautiful pictures of Laurie's life. I must be honest and say that I had never heard of her before I stumbled upon this site. I don't even remember how I got here. I never had the opportunity to hear or see Laurie perform, but I have truly enjoyed learning about her today. Every life that is taken too early is tragic. She is obviously loved dearly still. Thanks for touching my heart today with this lovely site.
September 11, 2000 7:41 PM
Ralph Lampkin Jr.
I have spent several minutes reading the wonderful tributes to Laurie. I'm sure she would be honored and touched by so many thoughts. I guess I'm complelled to add mine. Laurie and I sang at The Good Times durning the 70's, having worked with the same musical director, Marc Malamed, who passed last Feb; it was agreat experiance to learn from her many types of material and ways of performing songs that were different from the norm. We sang at many parties that Marc would have at his 57th apartment, those also included many a name now known, I always thought how strange that a producer wasn't present. From McArdle to Klausner to many others, it was a joy to sing and learn in the same crowded room.All of these parties were recorded for personal use, and maybe some of you have them? Anyway, chills run up my spine as as I listen Laurie and the Sighs(if only Pat Benatar's lp didn't come out) at least that what I thought, of course, Laurie agreed.The single"after the Fall" is wonderful and proves Laurie's strength in any area.The two songs she recorded for "The romance of Prince Charles and Diana" were also terrific. Radio should have been playing these, but,alias, great talent always has to wait.!! When I was moving to Chicago for a gig at a new club, I was a little hesitant. Laurie was the one who said everything would work out.She was right!I have had a wonderful career in writing and producing; and I have worked with great performers. I have been Blessed.Six months before Laurie's passing I was investing in ways of getting her to Chicago,which wasa always a dream of mine; but alias I had trouble with the idiots we call club owners, Their lost, for now the heavens have a glorious voice, a truly gifted human being , and a great teacher; that I learned so much from. Let's keep Laurie's music and spirit alive ,,FOREVER!!!!!!!
September 9, 2000 1:18 AM
from Los Angeles California
The passage of time shall not dim the magic of her voice, the power of her message, and the beauty within her face and soul. In loving memory of Laurie, today and always she lives in our hearts.
September 5, 2000 12:06 PM
from Lexington, KY
I heard "Another Hundred People" in a touring production of "Company" last October & loved it. I purchased Laurie's version of it on "Time Between the Time." Fantastic!
September 3, 2000 12:26 AM
from New York, NY
First I would like to thank you Faith for this stunning "new and improved" site. It warms my heart to see the love we all have and the comfort and inspiration we can find in each others lives.
For anyone leafing through the guestbooks, I would like to stand as an example of how extraordinary Laurie Beechman is. You see, I never met Laurie while she was alive. I never got a chance to see her sing in person. I became close with Laurie about a year after her passing. In loving memory of Laurie, her family set up an award for excellence in Musical Theater at The University of the Arts. And, in 1999, I became the first ever reciepient of that award.
My life has been forever changed.
Since then I have become very close with Laurie's family, especially her mother and sisters. Through their eyes I have been given a glorious and unique portrait of this wonderful woman. And she has, in every way, become my guardian angel through this work that I persue. The love and life that I hear in her voice and see in her face helps pick me up in the mornings, helps me through the long auditions, gives me faith when it is hard to find. Her life and soul have touched me and continue to and yet we never spoke a word to each other, or passed a glance, in our entire lives.
It is extraordinary in and of itself for someone to touch deeply the soul and being of another person while they walk in this world. But to do what Laurie has done for me: to touch the soul and guide another human being just in memory and spirit alone is the greatest testamony to her unique beauty that there could ever be. Her life shows me just how important and wondrous on single life can be.
September 2, 2000 8:26 AM
Rabbi Ben Kamin
from Shaker Heights, Ohio
It is impossible for me and my family to forget Laurie and the unique friendship that she created between our two families. I vividly recall bringing my daughters, Sari and Debra, to see her time and again backstage--particularly at the Winter Garden Theatre. There was no greater thrill for my children than watching Laurie prepare her elaborate makeup while offering a quip or a tease that filled us with warmth and tenderness and a special feeling of connection. If only you could see them now, dear Laurie: Sari is a beautiful 20 year-old theatre major at Skidmore who remembers you with every step, every word of dialogue, every bit of business. Debra, 17, is a remarkbale poet who has read her lyrics about you on radio and at public readings. They both grew up inspired and changed by your artistry and courage.
As for me, I just thank goodness that we happened to meet that Sunday afternoon back in 1982 at the Royale Theatre just after you brightened the meaning of the Joseph story for all times for this rabbi who was lucky enough to know you, learn from you, and even bless you at your wedding. God rest your soul, dear Laurie. You are alive always in the Kamin family.........Ben
September 1, 2000 1:05 PM
from E-fOrd Ny*
ThAnK yOu fOr MakInG thIs sItE FaiTh.. I MiSs LauRiE sO MuCh tO The PoiNt WhErE I CrY At niGht.. ShE MaDe suCh An ImPaCt On My LiFe & iLl NeVeR fOrGe hEr. sOmEtimEs It StiLl FeElS As ThOuGh She NeVeER
LeFt. At ThE SamE tImE I hOpE She knOwS I LoVe Her & BaSsEd My FuTuRe PlaNs On EvErYthiNg ShE tAuGhT Me - Im GOnNa Be A sinGeR - Im GonNa MaKe HeR PrOud.. AfTeR aLl, ShE taUgHt Me EveryThiNg I KnOw AbouT BroAdWay EvEryTimE i WenT tO ThE ciTy wiTh HeR.. Im LeTtiNg The memoRy LiVe on. 1' Luv LauRie.. I miss (FriEndS ForEvEr)
August 29, 2000 7:41 PM
from Haddonfield, NJ
My mom grew up with Ms. Beechman, and I recently bought the "Joseph..." CD and we realized that she was on it. It is so wonderful to hear her beautiful voice. She was a great accet to Broadway!
August 29, 2000 2:47 AM
Susan & Jack
Thank you Faith for showing us some of Laurie's wonderful life. We really appreciate seeing all of the new additions. We will never get tired of looking at Laurie & all of her accomplishments. This site could never be anything but beautiful because Laurie is in it. Hey Folks Send more Pictures! P.S. How about some sound clips? Much Love & Appreciation : Sue & Jack Celona
August 23, 2000 10:23 PM
from Elkins Park, Pa.
On behalf of my family, Faith,I want to thank you for all of the work that went into creating this beautiful new tribute to Laurie. Here's to many more inspiring entries in this, Volume IV of the guestbook.
August 21, 2000 4:48 AM
I hope everyone will like the new layout! Please contact me with any feedback. :)