This past week has been huge for me and I am not sure that I have fully taken in the import and impact. Sometimes time just keeps moving without much pause to reflect and so I have been ruminating about the week's personal highlights.
On Monday, April 22, 2013, my husband and I joined a select couple thousand to witness, celebrate, and honor Barbra Streisand. The Film Society of Lincoln Center chose Ms. Streisand as this year's recipient of the Charlie Chaplin Award. As soon as it was announced, I was on it. I had to be there. No other talent had impacted my life at such an early age. Funny Girl was life changing watching that performance and time and again trying to emulate that voice and style. Funny Girl was a world that I couldn't get enough of and saw it multiple times. It was my introduction to the Ziegfeld Follies. It was my introduction to life in New York City. It was my introduction to life in the theatre. I was 9 when the movie was released. Huge impact and my love for Barbra Streisand grew from there. If I were to be honest, I loved them all, even the clunkers, but if she sang...heaven. I owned everything she ever uttered in song. In my college years, I was honored to star in a one woman show by the great Robert Freedman about a woman who was obsessed with Barbra. It was the perfect capping for a youth filled with love and adulation for such an incredible woman. Of course, it didn't really cap my love at all. My love and admiration grew as Barbra's life's evolution continued: embracing Judaism, politics, directing, love, and self. She is an extraordinary woman. No one will ever touch her achievements. It was a spectacular evening and was well worth finagling 2nd row tickets to see all the fantastic people from her life that stood up and declared their love for her. The piece de resistance: Bill Clinton. Oh, what a night!
When I was 12, I found another extraordinary woman to adore. Bette Midler came out with her first album: The Divine Miss M. I lapped it up, loved every song, and was introduced to so many different genres of music. I couldn't get enough of her. For my 13th birthday, my sister bought me tickets to see her in concert! Can you even imagine how incredible for a 13 year old to get all dressed up in vintage dresses and go with her sister to Berkeley, California and witness greatness. It was a mind boggling performance. Nothing ever topped the greatness of a Bette Midler concert. Since that night, I have seen her multiple times. She was always the one to see. If you see the movie Divine Madness, you'll see a little bit of me in the front row. So, when it was announced that Bette Midler was coming back to Broadway in a one woman show as Sue Mengers, talent agent extraordinaire, I had to get tickets. It was proving harder than I thought to purchase tickets but finally, success. We went and from the moment the 80 minute play began, I was in heaven. What a fantastic melding of two incredible women.
I bought the "I'll Eat You Last" t-shirt and enjoyed every single moment and nuance of Bette Midler's performance. She was flawless and another experience not soon forgotten.
I feel blessed that I have glommed onto these women as great examples of talent, humanity, and empowerment. It is unbelievable to me that I got to see both women in the same week. Only in NYC, but I could never have imagined a seven day period that would bring me Barbra Streisand and Bette Midler! Stellar!!
Sidebars: Not understanding how so many shows are finished for the season. It's not even May sweeps yet! The Good Wife ended Sunday night. Left me cold. The Voice still soars as the best singing competition show on TV. The Amazing Race has its season finale this Sunday. All My Children and One Life to Live were revived yesterday on the internet. Interesting to hear how that goes. Celebrated 29 years of marriage yesterday. NBA playoffs still going. Don't hear a peep of support from my Bay Area friends about the Golden State Warriors. What's up with that? What's up with that? Enjoy your Tuesday.
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