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|Index||11 reviews in total|
Picked up the DVD without knowing anything about Elaine Stritch.
More than pleasantly pleased.
Her candor is laudable.
One views her life through a cabaret act, full of song and dance routines... Despite which, one looks into an absolutely "naked" soul.
Interesting to watch this 80 year old woman, whose life has been so difficult, be so alive and dynamic. When most of her compatriots are dead she is continuing to grow and learn and give to us.
For the first half hour or so it was mostly "cute", tolerable but just "cute". The rest of the film grabbed my mind and heart.
Well done. I recommend it highly.
While she is a familiar face to younger viewers;(she has played many
cameo parts; ""The Cosby Show"", etc.) they would benefit to catch this
show on cable; or rent the DVD.
I recall seeing Ms. Stritch in the Woody Allen movie, "September", but her stage career, which was quite extensive, is well documented here, even for those of us of younger generations.
If you don't have a chance to visit Broadway, this is your next best introduction to it. Ms.Stritch talks about Marlon Brando, her drinking problems, Rock Hudson, and her early stage career; all at once.
The camera follows her to London, shows the extensive preparations and rehearsals; the anecdotes are all real; and more interesting than the dreck which is reported today about Hollywood couples; Brad and Jen; etc.; ad infinitum; I for one would rather hear about past mega-stars who had REAL talent, like Ms. Stritch.
Do yourself a favor and see this performance; you will see real talent and diversity on stage; original comedic and musical routines; and you will learn what a real star is.
Elaine Stritch is one of the survivors of Broadway, a tough old broad
with a voice if, not exactly melodic, is of the stuff great stage
singers are made of. Think Ethel Merman after hundreds of cigarettes.
This show, which ran on Broadway and then in the West End, was well
worth seeing and this recording is a good standby if you missed the
In between memories of her start in showbiz, her time as an understudy, her first big break (in Pal Joey singing 'Zip'), her time in Hollywood, her stage career, her sitcoms, and her alcoholism, Ms Stritch finds time to sing a range of songs including 'Zip', 'The Ladies Who Lunch', 'Broadway Baby', 'Why Do The Wrong People Travel', and, best of all, 'I'm Still Here'. With minimal staging it really is the case that the star is the thing, and her she reigns supreme.
Elaine Stritch is one of our national treasures that for to long has been over looked for the acknowledgments she so richly deserves. In my opion it took grace and grit to reveal so much of ones life in front of so many people for so long a time. Ms. Stritch is also a wonderful example of how someone with diabetes can accomplish their goals. I mean just look at her! she's got a great figure, she moves with the grace and energy of someone much younger then herself and she is so Honest and I for one would like to know more about the lady, she is an inspiration to those of us that are younger (60)Had I met her at a meeting I would have ask her to be my sponsor for I am the adult child of an alcoholic and a 22 year member of Al-Anon, so I had a deeper understanding of her struggles. THANK YOU Elaine for GIVING SO MUCH TO SO MANY FOR SO LONG, oh, and your not anywhere alone, John, is with you as are the toughts and prayers of all of us who love and admire you. Carol A. Rodgers(walkswithin)
Elaine Stritch at Liberty is a splendid documentary about the life of a
survivor, who even at this stage of her life, shows she has what it takes to
get in front of the public and bare her soul in the process.
The documentary centers around her triumphant stage show that played at the Public Theater, and later was transferred to a limited commercial run on Broadway and then to London. The material was conceived by John Lahr and directed for the stage by George C. Wolfe, the amazing man who was in charge of the Public Theater in New York. Rick McKay is given credit as putting it all together in this version that was seen on cable, and it's available on DVD format.
Best of all is Ms. Stritch herself. We get to know intimate details about her life, her successes and failures, the men in her life and how the drinking affected her health. To have the courage to go before a public in a play is courageous, but to be Ms Stritch's age, command the stage and charm an audience is something that only great performers can achieve.
Thanks for the memories Ms Stritch!
A true theatrical legend who never quite made it to the upper echelon of Broadway superstars, finally and deservedly makes it here!! What a show, what an event... Ms. Stritch on stage alone (for the most part).. telling her tales , funny, sad , poignant... you'll laugh ,youll cry you will be moved, and will not be bored... you will be mesmerized.Many times Tony nominated, she has never won.. there will be no justice if she loses... her competition is formidible ....(B.Arthur,B.Cook, J.Legumzamo) , but Elaine should win.!. If you dont see the show.. purchase the 2 cd set..(most of the great moments have been recorded..not all) I hope they record for VHS/ & DVD also. She is amongst a handful of Broadway legends who always steal the show (Dorothy Loudon,Kaye Ballard) but this is her show!! her moment in theatrical history... & its been a long trek..her opening line says it all"Like the prostitute once said its not the work,..it's the stairs" Wonderful show.. a truly great versatile talent steps into a luminous brilliant spotlight, and captivates all.. For my money the most rewarding show on Broadway now including the much overrated "The Producers".. go see!!
Gut wrenching is one of those descriptive throwaways too often used insincerely to pump up the ego of some mediocre talent. Not so in the case of Elaine Stritch: At Libery. I defy any lover of the theatre to remain in his seat at the conclusion of this two and a half-hour journey of theatrical brilliance. The experience truly is gut wrenching! Ms. Stritch is that rare bird who makes the stage a living, breathing organism. Without props or scenery we are privileged to hear her express her incredible love for life and the spotlight through songs, musings and memories of her six decades in show business. When she is finally able to put down the bottle and begin her career anew, we breathe easier, with the same joyous simplicity that she faces her life sober. This is a once-in-a-lifetime journey that makes the whole world look right. That Ms. Stritch is in her mid-70's means the incredible feat is all the more special.
Saw this on tv in New York City and couldn't take my eyes off this old broad. Tougher than hell. Looks like she eats nails for breakfast, but she does deliver the goods. Last of the old time troupers. I really appreciated that the filmmaker followed Stritch through the whole rehearsal process and right up to opening night. I saw a similar piece on 60 minutes, but it was way lighter and had less edge, information or bite.
There are few stage legends left in our world today who have so much to
tell, and Elaine Stritch is one of them. While not a household name to
people, her face and voice may be. Recent movie goers recall her as Winona
Ryder's loving but emotionally distant grandmother in "Autumn in New York";
as the crabby Ms. Crock in the otherwise medicore "Screwed"; and as Dyan
Cannon's crotchety but lovable mom in "Out to Sea". However, to those who
have an appreciation for the theater, she is, to put it bluntly, one of the
most riviting performers I have ever seen, on stage, on TV, and in films.
had the priviledge of seeing Ms. Stritch this past February in her
show at the Neil Simon in New York. (It is scheduled to run through May of
2002, so if you are in NY before then, do not miss it!) Let's just say it
was a priority on the top of my list, even more so than visiting the
of the World Trade Center. It is for more reasons than the shere
entertainment value of Ms. Stritch's presence; It is for the reason we go
on; we are survivors, and so is she. Elaine takes no qualms in publicly
discussing her battle with alcoholism; While others have done as much and
made it seem like voyeurism, she takes us in to her bosom, and embraces us
with the love and affection of an Auntie Mame who has had the life, and
lived to tell about it. Her wisdom, humor, and heart make this performance
one for the history books. Years from now, people will be remembering this
as the theatrical event of 2002. I did not know it aired on PBS in January
until I came across the listing on here, and I hope that they repeat it;
However, had I known, I would have taped it, and saved it for after I had
In my movie reviews, I try to give a thorough summary of the plot without giving away key elements; I cannot do that here because to say too much is spoiling a delightful surprise. To say too little would be difficult, because what do I choose? I will say this: if you are familiar with Ms. Stritch's film work and a few of her Broadway recordings (such as "Company" where she sang the legendary "Ladies Who Lunch"), you already know a little bit about her. She sings "Broadway Baby" just as she lived it, from her way up the ladder, to some surprising encounters with future celebrities, to understudying the first lady of the American musical theater, to how she was perceived by theatrical community as "difficult", and to finally, how she finally conquored her alcoholism. And to go into "I'm Still Here" (which has been sung by some of the best), she deserves that honor; She truly is. Ms. Stritch, I longed to see you in a live theatrical event, and you gave me an evening of live theater that I will never forget.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I was lucky enough to see this show at The Old Vic in London (where, albeit not on the night, this live recording was shot) so I was pre-disposed to like the DVD (the clue is in that word 'lucky') and if anything it eclipses the show if only because the camera can do what I couldn't from my mid-stall seat, namely close in on the eyes which is where it is all happening. What we have is a great blend of reminiscence, anecdotes and vocals and I for one would have been happy with twice the two-and-a-half hours she delivers. Okay, nobody is going to accuse her of being a great vocalist, least of all herself, but no one accused Mabel Mercer of being a great vocalist but no one gave a big rat's ass because Mercer, like Stritch, had a lot more going for her, the ability to 'live' a song and act it out to a fare-thee-well. As a rule my taste in female vocalists favors the 'cool' i.e. June Christy, Peggy Lee; the 'warm', Dinah Shore, Ella, and the vulnerable, Judy, for the brash, belter, Merman, Bassy, who think subtlety is to come down to high C. I have no time at all. Stritch can and does on occasion, belt with the best, but, like the finest vocalist working today, Marlene VerPlanck, she can also do wistful, a word that Merman and Bassy were incapable of comprehending. So, here we get Broadway Baby, I'm Still Here, Ladies Who Lunch, but we also get the ultra wistful I Must Have Done Something Good. You sure did, Elaine, you did something VERY good. In spades.
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