Meeting Max McLean

Meeting Max McLean

Words fail to describe what happens when you find yourself face to face in a restaurant at a pre-appointed time, with a world-class director of works of biblical proportions.

I received such a confirmation at the Sausalito West Coast Grill, on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, GA, on a not so ordinary Saturday afternoon.  Here’s what happened…

My husband and I (hard as it was to believe, none of the other people we invited could make it) strolled Peachtree Street taking pictures and discussing the brilliance of Max McLean’s stage play production of C.S. Lewis’, The Great Divorce.  Throughout the play, I laughed, cried, scratched my head, smiled, frowned, then laughed and cried some more.  Though I had purchased the hardback version of C. S. Lewis’ Signature Classics, I had not completely read The Great Divorce (part of the collection).

Daniel and I took pictures of roses,  street signs, and each other as we made our way to the corner restaurant we decided to dine at – the Sausalito West Coast Grill.  As we approached the order counter, a gentleman on a cell phone said, “We’re closed.”  “Closed?” I asked.  “Do you mean you’re getting ready for the dinner crowd?  It’s not even 6:00.”  “No,” he shook his head. “We are closed.  No business.”  “Why?,” I questioned him.  “There are hundreds of people right down the block at The Alliance Theatre.  Why don’t you advertise there, you would get a lot of business?”  He just shook his head.

As we turned to leave, we heard, “OK.  Stay.  I will fix you something.  What do you want?”  He put some meat on the grill as Daniel and I looked at the menu and eyed the available choices (guacamole, black beans, pico de gallo and more) in the chafing dishes.  The cook handed us a sample of the chicken, straight off the grill.  It was some of the best I’d ever tasted.

Me and Daniel were the only two people in the restaurant besides the workers behind the counter cleaning up.  As we ate and continued to talk about the play, I noticed Max McLean walk by.   He stayed after the conclusion of the play to answer audience questions, so I knew what he looked like and what he was wearing.  I didn’t know where he was going, but I literally prayed he would come into the Sausalito.

When Max McLean, the producer of The Great Divorce, walked in, I became speechless.

We were at a table very close to the door so after he was only a few steps inside, I giddily announced we had just seen the play.  He stopped.  “You did?, he asked.”  I mentioned that I owned a copy of the C.S. Lewis collection.  He said, “ I know the one you’re speaking of,” in that Ten-Commandments-like tone of his.  “Yes, and I’m not a “solid person” yet because I didn’t finish it,” I added.  He chuckled (insider joke), then went to the counter to order.

From where we sat, Daniel and I heard, from the same gentleman who was (still) on the phone, “Sir, where are you from?  You have an English accent.”  Oh, if you only knew, I thought.  “Sorry sir.  We’re closed.”  Daniel and I looked at each other, dropped our forks and hurriedly walked to the counter.  “Mr., ” I started, “This is Max McLean.  He is the producer of the stage play that’s showing at The Alliance.  You HAVE TO fix something for him.”  With a nod, the man on the telephone asked “Sir, what would you like to order?”

Daniel and I floated back to our seats.  With order in hand, before leaving the Sausalito, Max McLean said, “Thanks to the two of you, I have something to eat.”  Those very words of his were lifetime memory enough for me, but when he answered yes to Daniel’s “Sir, could you take a picture with my wife?,” I knew this was a time only God could have ordained.

To find out more Max McLean’s productions visit: The Fellowship of Performing Arts

Max McLean’s brilliant performance of his one man show: Mark’s Gospel

Tell your story.  Live Your Calling!

“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”Hebrews 13:16

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