Thursday, July 17, 2014

R.I. P. Elaine Stritch.

One of the very best has left us. I first saw her in Sail Away, then, of course, in Company (3 times!) She was everything and all that she put out there and her gay fans ate her up. Two friends attended her last 5 shows at the Carlisle, and said she did a different show each and every night. That takes guts and a certain rapport with your audience. As least I have “At Liberty” on DVD and can see her any time I wish.  But not tonight.  This is so sudden and so sad.

Actress Elaine Stritch, star of Broadway hits including “Elaine Stritch at Liberty” and “Show Boat,” who was nominated for multiple Tonys and Emmys, winning three of the latter, has died. She was 89.

Stritch made her stage debut at New York’s New School in 1944. The actress understudied Ethel Merman for “Call Me Madam” while simultaneously appearing in the 1952 revival of “Pal Joey”; later she starred in the national tour of “Call Me Madam.”
Her professional relationship with Sondheim lasted decades. She made famous Sondheim’s sneeringly witty tune “The Ladies Who Lunch” in 1970’s “Company,” sang his enduring “I’m Still Here” in her 2002 solo show and performed in a 2010 revue of his tunes called “At Home at the Carlyle: Elaine Stritch Singin’ Sondheim…One Song at a Time.” The actress appeared in Garth Drabinsky’s smash hit “Show Boat” in 1994 and in Edward Albee’s play “A Delicate Balance” in 1996.
In 2010 Stritch replaced Angela Lansbury as Madame Armfeldt in “A Little Night Music” on Broadway.
The actress was profiled in the 2013 feature documentary “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” (photo above), directed by Chiemi Karasawa.

And so it goes.


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