I was so moved by Zero's wild artistic agility, one moment wrestling with God (“If I Were A Rich Man”) or that manic exuberance he so effortlessly displayed in “To Life L'Chaim.” A magnificent Bock-Harnick score, of course.
George Hearn in Sweeney Todd
George dug so deeply into that bottomless pit of rage and anguish, fueled by that stunning Sondheim score. I'd never heard a baritone voice used with such force.
As Miss Marmelstein, the unknown Streisand stopped the show with her kvetching and her sublime voice. We were all a witness to a great beginning of ...well, 'nuff said.
Al Pacino in Does a Tiger Wear a Necktie?
This play starred the great Hal Holbrook. Pacino had a small supporting role. There was a scene between the two of them where a very young, and relatively unknown, Al was so murderously enraged, I felt like he might start climbing over us soon-to-be corpses in the audience. Phenomenal.
Hoffman's entrance onto the stage defined the word “schlep.” World-weary squared. At the end of the performance when the curtain came down, there was silence as if we'd all been to Willy Loman’s funeral — the reaction playwright Arthur Miller had hoped for — then an explosion of applause.
Pat Carroll in Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein, Gertrude Stein
With no fourth wall, and alone on the stage, the ebullient Ms. Carroll took me on the rollercoaster ride of a monologue that reflected the life and musings of the eccentric GS. I was rapt.
Stunning, gorgeous, compelling, thrilling - and singing that giant Jerry Herman score. What's not to love?
I was lucky enough to see Ethel Merman in Gypsy when I was 9 years old. Of course, that was thrilling. Years later, Tyne Daly's monumental charge of Mama Rose, however, had something of such nuanced brilliance. You could feel her hissing with hope or spitting nails to push her vision onto Herbie and the kids. Spectacular!
There it was, that alcoholic tirade of self-loathing and fear of a purposeless life directed outward to those broads choosing hats. Stritch found the spaces between the words to unlock her character’s truth, and it wasn't pretty, but it sure was brave.
The clever playwright/director James Lapine had Steve show up on a screen from time to time, commenting on the process of writing, relating various catastrophes and triumphs in his personal life. This was in between lovely renditions of some of his songs by a wonderful cast. But it was at the very last moment, when he played and sang from Anyone Can Whistle that I felt I'd had a lovely and unexpected visit with him and, gratefully, I started to cry.