Sunday, March 13, 2011

All My Jazz

When I die, I want a big, Bob Fosse musical number just like the end of All That Jazz.  But instead of Ben Vereeen, I want  And instead of Ann Reinking I want Lady Gaga. 

But I do want both Ben and Ann (and John Lithgow) to make cameo appearances.

The last 20 minutes of All That Jazz may be some of the best cinema ever made.  If nothing else, the love scene between Roy Scheider and the dying old woman in the hospital is probably the most romantic, erotic, loving kiss on film. 

I was raised on Broadway shows.  I saw Ben Vereen in Pippin when I was 8 years old.  I was the only kid in my 5th grade class who could argue the pros and cons of Fosse vs. Bennett.   The only show that my parents didn't take us to was Hair and I think that was not because they thought we would be shocked or damaged by the (deep breath) nudity but because they didn't want to have to deal with all of our questions in the car on the way home.  What were they smoking Mommy?  Why was that man naked Daddy? What's a hippie and can we tie dye my pajamas when we get home?

When I was a freshman in high school my aunt won a cruise in a raffle.  And she took my sister with her.  Surprisingly, I didn't really care.  But it seems that everyone and their brother was worried that I might be upset by it so I was treated like a queen.  Pop's station house was in the midst of the theater district so we knew a lot of theater folks growing up.

There was a wonderful wonderful named Bill Kahn who I fell truly, madly and deeply in love with when I was about 6 years old.  We would often run into Bill at Gallagher's Steakhouse and he would sit me at the bar and we would have a cocktail together--a Shirley Temple (on the rocks please) for me and a martini (I think it was a martini) for him.  We would nibble on cocktail peanuts and chat about things like school and learning how to read and how to add.  He was a role model for me on how to be an adult with children.

And that fateful week when my sister was on a cruise, Bill took me to Broadway.  He took me to MacBeth at the Circle in the Square.  He took me dinner.  And, be still me heart, he took me to the opening night party for Pirates of Penzance in the upstairs room at Gallagher's.  With (hold your breath) that 1979 heartthrob, Rex Smith.  Who took my breath away.  And I met Barbara Feldon (yeah--dammit--Hello 99!).  I still have the cocktail napkin with Rex's autograph on one side and Barbara's on the other.

They're both also invited to the big musical number when I die.

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