RIP Elaine Stritch
Famously Stritch resided for many years at Manhattan’s Carlyle Hotel. She moved to Birmingham, Michigan in March of 2013; retiring from performing at the ripe young age of 88, and leaving the city in which she made so much sense.
Stritch said at the time of her departing NYC, “I loved being on Broadway, but performing has become exhausting, and I just don’t want to live in New York anymore. I’m just sick of the competition in New York, the feeling that I always have to rehearse to keep up my performance. I don’t feel like rehearsing, even though it should be my favorite thing in the world to do. I just don’t have the energy, darling. I’m 88! I don’t look or always feel it, but I’m 88!”
Her career began in the 40s, and she worked consistently into this decade; enjoying a late-career boost of visibility through her brilliant, recurring appearances as Alec Baldwin’s cantankerous mother on TV’s 30 Rock.
There is probably no song with which Ms. Stritch was more closely associated than this one. By Stephen Sondheim, a composer Stritch was renowned for interpreting with aplomb, here’s a relatively intimate reading of “The Ladies Who Lunch”, from the 1970 show Company: