Daily Archives: March 19, 2009

Maybe This Time

I don’t know why, but Natasha Richardson’s death is really upsetting to me. Perhaps it was because she was less than a year younger than me. Perhaps it was because she was so beautiful and talented and seemed to have a perfect life. It could also be because I love her mother, Vanessa Redgrave so much.

Vanessa Redgrave reminds me of a neighbor I had growing up, Marjorie Williams. I remember one night around the holidays and I was at the Williams house when Camelot was about to start and there was Mrs. Williams sitting next to me singing along with Guinevere and to my young eyes she looked a bit like her.

I never got a chance to see Cabaret on Broadway, for which Natasha Richardson won a Tony award. When I started working at Farfetched Susan and Lois (though mainly Susan) were enthralled by Cabaret and it seemed to be playing all the time. At first I was resistant but eventually I succumbed.

I wound up seeing the show for free at Studio 54 as part of the usher program. You would sign up a few days before and they would call you and let you know that you can see the show on such and such date.

You had to wear black pants and a white dress shirt to do the job. Basically you stand at the back of the theater and tell patrons to wait until an usher would escort them to their seats. It’s an excellent way to see a Broadway show for free.

Unfortunately Natasha Richardson wasn’t in the show. She was replaced by Jennifer Jason Leigh who is an excellent actress, but that day was a Sunday and there was an extensive interview with Ms. Leigh in the New York Times.

I didn’t read the interview but the stagehands did as did the ushers. And oh how Jennifer Jason Leigh was loathed by the workers at the theater. She did a good job, but she wasn’t Natasha Richardson.

I have my own copy of the soundtrack and always harbored a secret desire to sing Maybe This Time, one of Sally Bowles show stoppers. The plan was for the show that’s always on the back burner with Bill playing piano. It was inspired by my friend Dan Moore’s one man show a few years ago. Who knows? It could still happen.

For me one of the saddest things about her passing was the fact that Natasha Richardson and Vanessa Redgrave were scheduled to perform together in A Little Night Music by Stephen Sondheim on Broadway. I would have loved to have seen that show. I am surprised at how bummed out I am.

Work was quieter than it’s been all week and I had plenty of time to surf the net, which meant read articles and watched videos of Natasha Richardson. I posted 4 videos to my Facebook page, including a clip of the remake of The Parent Trap.

That had me a little misty, it had Lindsay Lohan when she was cute and adorable coming back home from summer camp and seeing her mother who she hadn’t seen since she was a baby. You have to know the plot of the Parent Trap. I’ve only seen the Hayley Mills version but the premise is the same.

It’s just a sad, sad ending to a beautiful life. My heart really does go out to her family and friends.
I am going to take the words to Cabaret to heart, specifically the last verse,

    Cabaret by Kander/Ebb

What good is sitting alone in your room?
Come hear the music play.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret.

Put down the knitting,
The book and the broom.
Time for a holiday.
Life is Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret.

Come taste the wine,
Come hear the band.
Come blow your horn,
Start celebrating;
Right this way,
Your table’s waiting

No use permitting
some prophet of doom
To wipe every smile away.
Come hear the music play.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret!

I used to have a girlfriend
known as Elsie
With whom I shared
Four sordid rooms in Chelsea

She wasn’t what you’d call
A blushing flower…
As a matter of fact
She rented by the hour.

The day she died the neighbors
came to snicker:
“Well, thats what comes
from to much pills and liquor.”

But when I saw her laid out like a Queen
She was the happiest…corpse…
I’d ever seen.

I think of Elsie to this very day.
I’d remember how’d she turn to me and say:
“What good is sitting alone in your room?
Come hear the music play.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Come to the Cabaret.”

And as for me,
I made up my mind back in Chelsea,
When I go, I’m going like Elsie.

Start by admitting
From cradle to tomb
Isn’t that long a stay.
Life is a Cabaret, old chum,
Only a Cabaret, old chum,
And I love a Cabaret!