The Gloriously Understated Career of Elaine Stritch

Alexandra Jacobs at Lit Hub:

But by far the most affecting performance came toward the event’s end, when the lights dimmed and an image of Stritch herself materialized on a big screen, like a glamorous ghost, in what might have been called her prime had she not so forcefully redefined that term. Wearing an ensemble of white blouse and black tights cribbed from Judy Garland’s famous “Get Happy” sequence but carried off even more effectively with her long, slim legs, she began the Sondheim song “The Ladies Who Lunch,” from the landmark 1970 musical Company, which was for so many years her signature anthem.

The Stritch-specter inhabited the dark world of the lyrics completely: cocking her silvery blonde head at the camera, enunciating, clasping her manicured hands as if in prayer, raising and furrowing professionally arched eyebrows, grinning, winking, nodding, jabbing, giving the okay sign, beckoning, pumping a fist, clawing, and throwing both hands up in a V shape that seemed to signify equally victory and defeat.

more here.