The largest crowd in the 19-year history of the Westport Library’s “Booked for the Evening” fundraiser listened, laughed and learned with Alan Alda last night.
After video clips from many admirers — including former Westporter Marlo Thomas, and the Chilean doctor who saved his life in 2003 — the actor/singer/director/activist/humorist/humanist (as introduced by Westport actress/singer Cynthia Gibb) took the stage.
Speaking without notes — but with tons of energy, his trademark smile and a clear love for his subjects — Alda wove together his ideas about communication, empathy, science and wonder.
There was plenty of audience participation — even a couple of opportunities to test out his theories on active listening.
The final episode of M*A*S*H — which Alda co-wrote — drew a record audience. It still stands.
More than 3 decades later, the record library crowd understood why.