Wednesday, June 09, 2010

... but the world goes 'round!

Rue McClanahan
Several tragedies have happened over the last week or two.  Of course, we lost four great entertainers when Gary Coleman, Dennis Hopper, Art Linkletter and Rue McClanahan passed away.  Rue was the hardest for me.  I was a diehard Golden Girls fan growing up and will still happily sit in front of the television for hours when I find it on.  I was lucky enough to see her in The Women in 2002 when the revival was on Broadway (and got to meet her at the stage door before she was hurried away by Team Rue).

But back to the Girls, Blanche was the opposite of what women were supposed to be (at least at the time).  She was sultry, sexual and scintillatingly naughty.  While Dorothy had memories of a hard youth in Brooklyn, Sophia had tales of the old country and Rose has her "Back in St. Olaf"stories... Blanche had one tawdry tale after another about her youthful (and not-so-youthful) indiscretions.

Among these devastating losses we also saw the closing of both God of Carnage and A Behanding in Spokane.  Both shows took us on a tour of a delightfully skewed version of reality (and in many moments, dead on reality).  A Behanding was a limited run, so the closing was expected.  And God of Carnage had a good, long run for a play so all thing's considered they did well and were enjoyed by audiences during their time.

Today we found out that Hair will now close on Sunday, June 27th.  The London production had already announced its September closing months early but I was surprised to hear that our production would get a few last weeks in and then come to a close.  Oddly enough, I had never been a huge fan of Hair.  I had always appreciated the ground it broke, making way for a shift in how we think about the American Musical.  But having finally seen the show on stage, I found I really liked Hair.  There was something in the energy, in the tribal belief that these anachronistic hippies were making change... and then to find that they meant it when they took to the streets D.C. to march for equality.  The walked the walk (so to speak).

It's a shame when good shows have to go... but we can at least enjoy the idea that they aren't gone for good and they are making way for new shows for us to enjoy.

Sadly, when entertainers pass we can't assume that newer talents will keep us occupied.  These four celebrities earned their status because of their talents, humor and life's work.  Some were knocked by the media for their difficulties, some were thought to have been baked long ago, some are unknown to the youth who were born wired to the internet and some will still be seen daily by millions of viewers ready to laugh at their dirty little stories.

I suppose that, as Kander and Ebb once said, sometimes you're happy and sometimes you're sad, but the world goes 'round.  And on that note... ladies and gentlemen... Miss Liza Minnelli.

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