Although Elaine Stritch's role of Melba Snyder in Pal Joey amounts to little more than a cameo, it includes the great song "Zip." For those only familiar with her rendition in Elaine Stritch at Liberty, it may be odd to hear it without her interspersed commentary. What's really odd is the fact that Pal Joey first opened 11 years earlier without Stritch; "Zip" sounds so much like it was written and conceived for her. Melba's ironic portrait-in-song of Gypsy Rose Lee's intellectual ennui whilst stripping is the perfect vessel for Stritch's one-of-a-kind dry delivery. It's also fun to hear the Merman in her voice from this period since we know where she was half an hour before showtime.
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