Monday, September 23, 2013

Dark Monday • Elaine Stritch

Elaine Stritch photo ElaineStritch001_zps9e37000b.jpg

This evening's taste treat comes from Elaine Stritch, The veritable Broadway generator, capable of lighting up any stage with with just the first words of any Sondheim song. Well, a song by any of the great songwriters who have written for the some of the most talented men and women around. Earlier this year, Stritch announced to the world she would be moving out of New York City, to Birmingham, Michigan, to be closer to family. The following clip was at the Royal Variety Performance in 1979, at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London. Someone was smart enough to ask Elaine to sing "It's Today" from 'Mame', with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman.

Stritch starred in the national touring company of 'Mame' back in the late 1960s. She made her Broadway debut in 1946 in a show 'Loco'. Elaine went on to appear on Broadway in 'Angel in the Wings', 'Pal Joey', 'Bus Stop', Noel Coward's 'Come Sail Away', 'Wonderful Town', 'Company', and many others. In 1972, she moved to London for a decade, returning after the passing of her husband. Upon her return, she slowly lipped back into the New York theater scene, making a big splash in the 1993, appearing in a concert version of Sondheim's 'Company'. This is a clip from the performance, as Elaine sings "The Ladies Who Lunch".

Stritch now lives in Michigan, but has not ruled out returning to Broadway if the right role came along. But if not, there are plenty of ways she can still entertain us all. If you don't have the recording of 'Elaine Stritch At Liberty', her one-woman-show from 2001, you should. The recording is filled with wonderful stories from Elaine's life, both professional and personal. And, of course, some truly amazing performances. You can purchase 'Elaine Stritch At Liberty' from iTunes and Amazon. If you are a fan of the theater, or of this courageous lady, it is worth having. I can tell you I love my copy!

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