My favorite bar, as you know, is the lovely Pieces over on Christopher Street, and my bestest night there is Wednesday, when after the drunks play a weekly game of Win, Lose, or Draw!, glittery drag VJ Vodka Stinger lavishes them with Broadway-related videos both familiar and obscure, but ALL essential. I asked the all-knowing Vodka for her top five Broadway clips of all time and here’s what she came up with, in her own ultra wise words:
#5. If you like Julie Andrews and midgets, then you will love this number from STAR!.
#4 goes to my favorite underrated performer of all time, Miss Christine Pedi. Miss Pedi is of course known for her vocal impressions, appearing in a number of Forbidden Broadway recordings. She will thrill you with her rendition of “And I Am Telling You (I Am Not Going)” sung as Joan Rivers, Julie Andrews, Carol Channing, Little Edie Beale, Ethel Merman, and Bernadette Peters (her Bernadette will make you pee with hoarse delight).
#3 “16 going on 17” sung by a deadpan Judi Dench at a Richard Rogers benefit.
#2 Thank God for the LOVE BOAT. I bet you never thought you hear those words uttered aloud. But if it hadn’t been for the amazing stunt casting of this show, we would never have this performance. It has it all–Carol Channing, Ethel Merman, Ann Miller, and Della Reese all sharing the stage belting out “I’m The Greatest Star” From Funny Girl.
#1 My number 1 spot goes to the first woman to ever scream my name in a drunken rage (and no it wasn’t my Communist Mother, Sukie Tawdry). It was of course the always gravely Elaine Stritch. This is a two-part video. First is her acceptance speech from the Emmys when she won for Elaine Stritch at Liberty (watch the faces of Billy Crystal and Ellen Degeneres).
Part two is how I end the night each week. From the documentary about the making of the cast recording of Company. It’s 4 a.m., Elaine Stritch has consumed a few bottles of wine, no makeup, no hat. Watch her record her signature song “The Ladies Who Lunch” about 8 times before they call it quits record the background track and send her drunk ass home. God Love Elaine.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on November 6, 2008