Cashmans ‘dang funny’ in ‘Letters’

  • Thu Jan 21st, 2010 12:36pm
  • Life

By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer

Snohomish has its antiques and charm. And it has at least one celebrity comedian.

Pat Cashman, radio personality, Taco Time pitchman and the iconic comic of “Almost Live” fame, has lived in Snohomish for nine years with his wife, Patty.

The two are hilarious together and seem to have built a 30-plus year marriage on keeping a sense of humor — and punch lines.

Now, the Cashmans will perform together for the first time in “Love Letters,” A. R. Gurney’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated two-person play at Seattle Musical Theatre.

The story traces the lifelong correspondence of the dutiful lawyer Andrew Makepeace Ladd III and the unstable artist Melissa Gardner. Their bittersweet relationship unfolds in a sometimes poignant and often funny decades-old affair on paper.

The show is a fundraiser to benefit the theater and as Pat Cashman pointed out “they originally wanted a pair of chimps. … but it’s not that easy to find chimps around here, so this is a compromise.”

Patty’s take on doing the show lights on a more fundamental note:

“The thing that made me want to do it so bad is that the author’s notes say the leading lady should be wearing a nice, expensive-looking dress. I don’t own one. And I will be getting one.”

Pat worried he’ll be blubbering at the end. Patty remarked that Pat won’t be able to “mug” on stage so that will be like “putting duct tape over Phyllis Diller’s mouth.”

As a regular contributor on Pat Cashman’s morning radio shows, Patty was the comical character to many of Pat’s straight-man performances. But this is the first time Pat and Patty have acted on stage together.

Besides, Patty said, she used to do those radio shows at home in her pajamas.

Kidding aside, Pat said he was inspired to perform the event because of the chance to act with his wife.

“I married Patty because she was so dang funny that it seemed impossible to me at the time that there could be such a thing as a funny woman,” Pat said. “So it was like hanging out with a really good guy who happened to be wearing a dress.”

Though he does the television ads for Taco Time and offers his services as a public speaker, Pat Cashman’s stage talents seem to be emerging following his appearance as Horace Vandergelder in the 5th Avenue Theatre’s rendition of the musical “Hello Dolly.”

“I was completely over my head,” Cashman said. “But when I learned that Walter Matthau once played Horace, I knew they weren’t looking for Pavarotti.”

In general, Cashman’s performance got good reviews, though Patty said he didn’t actually read them.

“He just hid under the bed,” she said.

Like learning the lines for “Hello Dolly” together, the Cashmans’ acting debut adds an exciting element to the marriage — and gives them something to do when they’re not mucking out the horse stalls at their Snohomish home.

“Love Letters” plays for one night only, 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Seattle Musical Theatre, 7400 Sand Point Way NE, Seattle.

Tickets are $35, $75 and $125, which includes Gold Stage seating, an after-show dessert reception with Pat and Patty and the donor’s name engraved on a “Love Letters” plaque that will permanently hang in the SMT lobby. Call 206-363-2809 or go to www.seattlemusicaltheatre.org.

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; goffredo@heraldnet.com.