Thursday, July 17, 2014

Elaine Stritch

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Very sad news today

Elaine Stritch, the brassy, tart-tongued Broadway actress and singer who became a living emblem of show business durability and perhaps the leading interpreter of Stephen Sondheim’s wryly acrid musings on aging, died on Thursday at her home in Birmingham, Mich. She was 89.

Ms. Stritch’s career began in the 1940s and spanned almost 70 years. She made her fair share of appearances in movies, including Woody Allen’s “September” (1987) and “Small Time Crooks” (2000), and on television; well into her 80s, she had a recurring role on the NBC comedy “30 Rock” as the domineering mother of the television executive played by Alec Baldwin. 

 One of Ms. Stritch’s most memorable appearances was in the Stephen Sondheim musical “Company”(1970), in which, as a cynical society woman, she saluted her peers with the vodka-soaked anthem “The Ladies Who Lunch.” It not only brought her another Tony nomination but became her signature tune — at least until, in her 70s, she became equally known for Sondheim’s paean to showbiz longevity and survival, “I’m Still Here.”

I loved her on 30 Rock and really want to see the documentary "Shoot Me" that was made about her last year. I have also watched her perform "The Ladies Who Lunch" countless times on video. It's amazing to watch her trying over and over to get the right take of that song for the Broadway soundtrack recording (video above).

It's crazy fascinating and you really feel thrilled for her when she finally nails it.

She will be missed.

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