Two great dames

During the early morning, my iTunes randomly produced one piece from Barbara Cook’s 2001 Carnegie Hall concert Barbara Cook Sings Mostly Sondheim and one from Elaine Stritch’s 2001 one-woman show Elaine Stritch at Liberty. Two great dames of musical theater (not grandes dames, but great dames, as in “There Is Nothing Like a Dame”). Cook’s show has some talk about her career; Stritch’s has quite a lot. Both are wonderful.

Wikipedia on Cook:

Barbara Cook (born October 25, 1927) is an American singer and actress who first came to prominence in the 1950s after starring in the original Broadway musicals Plain and Fancy (1955), Candide (1956) and The Music Man (1957) among others, winning a Tony Award for the latter. She continued performing mostly in theatre until the mid-1970s, when she began a second career that continues to this day as a cabaret and concert singer.

… During her years as Broadway’s leading ingénue Cook was lauded for her excellent lyric soprano voice. She was particularly admired for her vocal agility, wide range, warm sound, and emotive interpretations. As she has aged her voice has taken on a darker quality, even in her head voice, that was less prominent in her youth. Today Cook is widely recognized as one of the “premier interpreters” of musical theatre songs and standards, in particular the songs of composer Stephen Sondheim. Her subtle and sensitive interpretations of American popular song continue to earn high praise even into her eighties.

And on Stritch:

Elaine Stritch (born February 2, 1925) is an American actress and vocalist. She has appeared in numerous stage plays and musicals, feature films, and many television programs. She is known for her performance of “The Ladies Who Lunch” in Stephen Sondheim’s 1970 musical Company, her 2001 one-woman show, Elaine Stritch at Liberty, and recently for her role as Jack Donaghy’s mother Colleen on NBC’s 30 Rock. She has been nominated for the Tony Award five times in various categories. Stritch is also a three-time Emmy Award winner.

… In 1975, Stritch starred in the British LWT comedy series Two’s Company opposite Donald Sinden. She played Dorothy McNab, an American writer living in London who was famous for her lurid and sensationalist thriller novels. Sinden played Robert, her English butler, who disapproved of practically everything Dorothy did and the series derived its comedy from the inevitable culture clash between Robert’s very British stiff-upper-lip attitude and Dorothy’s devil-may-care New York view of life. Two’s Company was exceptionally well-received in Britain and ran for four seasons until 1979. [it’s a hoot]

Two amazing talents.


One Response to “Two great dames”

  1. Elaine Stritch | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] “Two great dames”: on Barbara Cook and Elaine […]

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