Notes from Margaret Schaal a.k.a. ‘First in Line Girl’ on Day One of Ticket Sales

Margaret Schaal

Margaret Schaal, a.k.a. “First in Line Girl” at the screening of “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” | Jane Boursaw Photo

One of the great joys of the Traverse City Film Festival is running into friends I don’t get to see that often during the rest of the year.

When I learned that Margaret Schaal, an old friend from high school, was first in line on Day One of Ticket Sales, we (with guidance from film fest staffer Tia Shuyler) came up with the idea to gather some notes from her film festival experience this year.

Margaret said this was her first year of getting in line early, and Karen Gardner was her “first in line” buddy and kept her company through the night.

They got there in the wee, wee hours of the morning, although we decided not to reveal the exact time, because then it sets the bar higher and higher every year!

But “it was a nice night to camp out,” said Margaret, adding that the woman who was eighth in line this year also had that spot last year.

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TCFF 2013: Day 4 – Elaine Stritch Wows Audience at Doc Screening

Elaine Stritch Michael Moore

Broadway legend Elaine Stritch, at a Q&A following the screening of “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me”

Day four of the 9th Annual Traverse City Film Festival was all about Elaine Stritch, the octogenarian Broadway legend who received a standing ovation when she appeared for a Q&A after the screening of the documentary “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me.”

The doc is an all-access look into the life of this feisty, no-holds barred superstar who is not afraid to tell anyone anything at any time. The film follows the 89-year-old Stritch as she dominates the stage in her one woman cabaret act, tortures Alec Baldwin on “30 Rock,” offers her blunt take on aging, and takes us into her struggles with alcohol and diabetes.

In stolen moments from her corner room at the Carlyle, and on breaks from her tour and work, reflections on her life are punctuated with rare archival footage, words from friends like Hal Prince, George C. Wolfe, Nathan Lane, Cherry Jones and John Turturro, and photos from her personal collection.

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