I regret to say that I never got to have the late Elaine Stritch as a guest on my TV program, though I actually did meet her once. And had a little bit of conversation with her. It was in some theatrical eaterie on W.46th St. Joe Allen’s or Orso’s or some place like that.
I was going out and she was coming in and I raved and raved to her about her performance in Edward Albee’s “A Delicate Balance” on Broadway. Her rare foray into a serious role, and she was of course, terrific. She didn’t care about my blandishments. She waved them off and kept saying “But do you think it’s a good play?” and I said I did and she kept at me “But Is it a GOOD PLAY??”
This exchange got repeated several times, and I don’t think I convinced her of my position and I
wondered why she would be so stuck on that question.
I also of course, saw her onstage, probably more than once in her iconic stage performance of “Company” when she screeched out “The Ladies Who Lunch” with nary a voice at all. But it didn’t matter.
And I saw her “Elaine Stritch:At Liberty” on Broadway which was wonderful, just wonderful, and she was a mere slip of a girl at 79 at the time.
I remember her copping to being a diabetic. In fact, she had to leave the stage at one point, presumably because she had had a diabetic “low” and returned literally moments later with a glass of orange juice in her hand. I could relate.
Jeff Wells at http://www.hollywood-elsewhere.com has just penned a lovely tribute to her, and he has her entire “At Liberty” you tube video posted there. I wish I could figure out how to post it here.
Elaine Stritch also famously didn’t have a bigger career because of her drinking, which went on for years and years. And then I guess because of her diabetic condition, she stopped.
She was 89. Perhaps if she hadn’t been such a boozer and for so long, she would’ve lived longer and had been much, much more famous.
But you could never forget her.