Cher Public

This world’s waited long enough

Happy 70th birthday actress Glenn Close.

Born on this day in 1661 composer Francesco Gasparini.

Born on this day in 1801 librettist Salvadore Cammarano.

On this day in 1859 Charles Gounod’s Faust premiered in Paris.

Five years later his opera Mireille also premiered.

Born on this day in 1872 impresario Sergey Pavlovich Dyagilev.

Born on this day in 1898 baritone Armando Borgioli.

Born on this day in 1911 tenor Erich Witte.

Born on this day in 1912 lyricist and librettist Hugh Callingham Wheeler.

Born on this day in 1915 mezzo-soprano Nancy Evans.

Born on this day in 1921 baritone Robert McFerrin.

Born on this day in 1930 bass Boris Timofeyevich Shtokolov.

Born on this day in 1939 baritone Hermann Becht.

Happy 71st birthday soprano Diana Soviero.

Happy 73rd birthday soprano Eugenia Moldoveanu.

Happy 68th birthday mezzo-soprano Carolyn Watkinson.

  • PATRICK MACK

    That’s funny because Glenn has SOUNDED 70 for years.

    • Satisfied

      It’s certainly working to her credit now more than ever. She singlehandedly redeemes Sunset Boulevard and makes what would otherwise be a tiresome experience into one of the most exhilarating 2 plus hours on Broadway (well…at least those moments when she’s on stage).

      Another woman of a certain age is also doing that across the way at the Schubert Theater…but Bette is working with far better material and A LOT more production money.

      • I am seeing both ladies next weekend. Should be fun!

      • PATRICK MACK

        Seriously I saw her in Los Angeles 20 years ago. The production was phenomenal but Glenn can’t sing. As they say,”She doesn’t have the range”. What she had was a well trained fog horn even then. It’s the Emperor’s New Clothes. Even Imelda Staunton in Gypsy was better and she’s just loud. Sunset isn’t that bad for camp.

        • Satisfied

          Well, I would suggest you make your way to the Palace Theater immediately. She is delivering what Many consider to be one of the best performances of the year. The bells and whistles of the last production are gone, what remains is one of the most indelible performances I have ever seen.

          Ivy, I have no doubt you will enjoy both!

          • Cameron Kelsall

            I’m with Patrick on this one--and I have seen the current reprisal. Close surely has, to borrow a phrase from another ALW musical, star quality, but I can’t help but feel like nostalgia accounts for a large part of the excitement here. And the supporting cast is uniformly weak.

            I saw all of the women who played Norma on Broadway, as well as Petula Clark on the second national tour, and only Betty Buckley truly elevated the piece in my opinion. That was a performance for the ages in every possible sense.

            • PCally

              In agreement with Patrick and Cameron here, and I saw both this run and the original and thought she was sounded mediocre then and sounds truly atrocious now, or at least on the night I went. I’m kind of surprised someone her age would want to return to a role that is as demanding and long and that one is. Even by current Broadway standards, the miking so that she could even be so much as heard when singing at top volume was totally evident. And for all her talents as an actress, the musical and the character as depicted in the musical is IMO mostly camp trash and her “too much is never enough” mode of performing the part really doesn’t do her any favors.

              I’m being a total curmudgeon but that movie is a total masterpiece and I think the musical adaptation was always a train wreck and that this revival pretty much just reinforces that.

            • Armerjacquino

              It kills me that all this is in the thread to wish her a *Happy Birthday*…

              Parterre, don’t ever change.

            • PCally

              Ugh, your totally right… and I really love her too, was literally re-watching Dangerous Liaisons for the first time in a very long time and I’d forgotten how smashing she was in it.

            • I totally LOVE “Dangerous Liaisons,” but let’s not forget that her FIRST two films were “The World According to Garp” followed by “The Big Chill.” She received Oscar nominations for both roles in consecutive years. There is also her luminous performance as an opera diva (with Kiri Te Kanawa’s voice) in István Szabó’s magnificent “Meeting Venus.” And did you happen to catch her gleefully villainous performance on her TV series “Damages?”

            • Brackweaver

              Meeting Venus. I remember the movie not the title. I loved it when she was singing and the beepers (I assume given the era) of the chorus members go off mid aria.

            • It was the timers om their wristwatches all going off at once to indicate coffee break time. I think it’s the best film about the politics of opera ever made.

            • CarlottaBorromeo

              Somewhere there’s a clip of Ms Close and Ken Woollam (who was the vocal coach) singing the Act II duet at the wrap party. I remember it being rather impressive…

            • Leontiny

              by chance binge-rewatching Damages on Netflix. A complex and compelling character and a huge range of expression and vocal colours. Mesmerizing evil.

  • JR

    I worked with her three times and she couldn’t have been nicer or more helpful--and of course her acting was superb.

  • MisterSnow

    In 1980, I visited NYC (only the 2nd time) and crammed in several musicals. One was a lesser known musical -- Barnum. I was fascinated by the actress playing Barnum’s wife Charity. She sang okay, with an especially rich tone in the lower register, and acted well. But it was something else -- she had PRESENCE! Even when she did nothing, she was making you watch her and fall in love with her. She had an odd name -- like a man. She got a Tony nomination, but did not win. Of course, shortly afterwards she was in the movie World According to Garp and the rest, as they say, is history. https://youtu.be/dfp00FoT-So

  • RudigerVT

    My dumb luck. I saw the 1997 revival of “A Delicate Balance.” It was astounding. Within ten seconds, as Rosemary Harris launches into Agnes’ opening monologue, I just knew, deep in my bones, that this was good. The speech is, perhaps, the Casta Diva of contemporary legit theater. It takes a keen sense of line to make it work. George Grizzard was a perfect foil, and of course Elaine Stritch was at the height of her powers as Claire. Supple and brittle. Mesmerizing.

    Fast forward to 2015. Another (expensive) revival. This time, Ms Close was Agnes. I mean, this should have been a walk in the park. She knows these people: she IS these people. And yet, about $500 later (my husband and mother), that sinking feeling. She knows it but she can’t put it over. It was so weird. When the Harry--Bob Balaban--is the best part of the show, something’s wrong. Very.

    It was like seeing Cynthia Nixon in the dreary Broadway mounting of “Wit.” Apparently nobody told her that Vivian Bearing’s towering intellect made her magnetic, sexy, and remote all at once. Again, she knows these people. What happened?