Alec Baldwin, Harold Prince, Tina Fey, Patti LuPone and More Offer Elaine Stritch a Quotable Sendoff

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20 Apr 2013

Hunter Ryan Herdlicka

Hunter Ryan Herdlicka:

"Performing in A Little Night Music was one of the biggest blessings in my life, for countless reasons, but one of the best results was my friendship with the legendary actress, Elaine Stritch. When she performed At Liberty in Pittsburgh four years ago, I was a senior at Carnegie Mellon; I saw the show and stayed after to get her autograph. The line was roughly a hundred people, and I was at the very end. All I can say is that it was like being a kid waiting in line to meet Santa, and the Santa Claus was absolutely terrifying. When it got to be my turn to meet her, I took one look at her silver hair and large glasses, and chickened out. I never got that autograph, but when she joined A Little Night Music, I got so much more.

She is one of the most fascinating individuals I have ever met: full of life, courage, humor, pain, knowledge, intuition, and love. With all of the incredible press around her final show at the Carlyle and her exodus from New York, I joke with her that she is more famous now than she ever has been in her entire life. Every actor should announce they are moving to Birmingham, Michigan - it will be the best thing that ever happened to their career!

Walking down the street with her this week is like being in the presence of an international superstar - cameras constantly flashing and crowds forming on every corner to watch her slowly make her way to the bus stop. Yes, she still rides the bus. I am sad to see her leave NYC on the 25th, but I know it's not the end. We saw a poster of Elaine Stritch: At Liberty yesterday, and she pointed to it and said, 'I'll do that again.' It took me a few hours to realize she was talking about the outfit in the poster, not the show."


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