A Fan Site Chronicling The Era During
Bea’s One-Woman Show

Personal Tour Photos

Personal photo album of a special appearance by Bea Arthur while her visit to Chicago.

These are my most treasured photos because I took them myself. Some are not the greatest shots, because I was just snapping away… but they are all priceless to me!

I was very fortunate to get two opportunities to see Bea out and about in Chicago… thanks to the friends who tipped me off that Bea would be appearing at a select, few bars. I did miss her appearance at the Cubs game, however, I took some screenshots from the local news.


Here’s Bea at Sidetracks, a local gay video bar that is just down the street from me. This was the best experience of them all for me. It was Monday, May, 21st, 2001, the night before her opening show here in Chicago. I was also lucky to sit just a few feet away from her table. Of course, the best part was meeting and talking with her for a reasonable amount of time! She was so delightful!

This is the one and only picture of Bea and I have taken, but so treasured. I think my grin says it all. There is a story behind this photo. My boyfriend, Matthew, had the digital camera ready at all times to take a picture of the two of us. However, when digital cameras are on too long, they automatically turn off. So, of course, at the exact time that I ask if I could have a picture could be taken, the camera shut off. Bea turned to me and said if he doesn’t take the picture soon, she’ll prune! As Matthew frantically tried to get the camera back on, Bea reached out and shouted, “take the fucking picture!” As always with her impeccable timing, the camera snapped this photo at the exact moment she screamed it! It was truly Bea!

Bea Arthur and Kevin Buckstiegel
Bea was still laughing after that when I took the picture of Matthew and Bea together. Matthew was proud that he was cussed out by Bea Arthur!
Bea and Matthew

Here are a couple of other pictures I got when she was announcing to the crowd to come to see her at her show. The response from the crowd was overwhelming! I’m sure everyone there went because Billy said that ‘god will get you’ if you don’t!

Bea Arthur laughing with Billy Goldenberg at Sidetracks in Chicago
Bea Arthur emotional at Sidetracks in Chicago
Fans cheer Bea Arthur at Sidetracks in Chicago

Here is some screen captures that I got off from the video that I took when she was announcing. The video was only about a minute long, being that she speaks for herself with her presents, and didn’t have a lot to tell everyone.

Bea Arthur admires Billy Goldenberg at Sidetracks in Chicago
Bea Arthur looking over all her fans at Sidetracks
Bea Arthur at Sidetracks in Chicago with Billy Goldenberg
Bea Arthur kisses Billy Goldenberg at Sidetracks in Chicago

These photos were from the Cubs game on May 27th, where she sang, “Take me out to the ball game”, during the 7th inning. I wasn’t fortunate enough to be there, however, I did grab these still from the local news.

Bea Arthur belting it out at the Cubs game in Chicago
Bea Arthur at the Cubs game in Chicago singing take me out to the ball game
Bea Arthur at the Cubs game in Chicago

After seeing Bea’s show for the 3rd time on her closing night here in Chicago, we darted out of the venue and ran to her dressing trailer that was parked outside. Soon, a crowd formed, waiting for Bea to appear. Knowing that Bea would be going to another local gay cabaret soon after, I knew that she wouldn’t have time for people to come in and visit with her as she does sometimes. However, she did come out and greet everyone warmly. The crowd sang the theme to the golden girls to her when she was inside, so when someone asked if she liked their singing, she asked everyone to sing it again! Bea then signed people’s pamphlets from the show, while I snapped these photos:

Bea Arthur smiling at her fans
Bea Arthur engaging with fans outside her bus
Bea Arthur soaking in the love in Chicago
Bea surprised of the fan turnout

About 30 minutes from outside her dressing trailer, she walked into Voltaire, where we were waiting for her ahead (thank god for city cab drivers… they get you to your destination FAST!)

Here is Billy getting settled in:

Billy Goldenberg in the distance at Voltaire
This is the cabaret troupe performing for Bea, as she sits at her table, drinking her vodka on the rocks!
Amy introducing Bea at Voltaire
Amy performs at Voltaire
After the troupe’s performance, Bea gets up and performs a number from her show, “Some People”. Now, this was after a few drinks, and boy did she get into it! I thought for a second that she was going to hurt herself 🙂
Bea performance at cabaret club in Chicago
Bea sings ‘Some People’ at Voltaire’s in Chicago
Voltaire Chicago Bea Arthur
Bea sings ‘Some People’ at Voltaire’s in Chicago
Bea finishing up at Voltaire Chicago
Bea performing at Voltaire in Chicago
Bea sings ‘Some People’ at Voltaire’s in Chicago
Bea talking to my mom
my mom trying to get Bea to sign a photo of my as a kid 🙂
Bea leaving Voltaire
The last time I saw Bea in Chicago 🙁 But it won’t be the last time ever!!
Bea leaving Voltaire in Chicago
Bea sings ‘Some People’ at Voltaire’s in Chicago

These pics were sent to me from Jessica in Springfield, Illinois that was with me when Bea was outside of her dressing trailer here in Chicago on May 31st, 2001… thanks for the pics… love Bea’s facial expressions!!

Jessica captures Bea Arthur grin
Jessica captures Bea Arthur emerging from the door
Jessica captures Bea Arthur engaging with her fans
Jessica captures Bea Arthur emerging from her bus