Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Today's Birthday Girl

Today is Carol Channing's birthday. According to a veryvery dear, veryveryclose, veryverywonderful friend of mine, it should be proclaimed a gay national holiday. I saw Channing perform her production of "Show Girl" or a variant of it in my rather provincial hometown of Charleston, West (by god) Virginia sometime just before the Punic Wars. When she did her rather scathing Dietrich takeoff, my friends and I were laughing so hard we liked to spit out our livers whilst most of those season ticket attendeees around us looked on at us with Grant Wood "what's so funny" expressions on their faces. (I seem to recall that Dietrich sued to try and stop Channing from doing the Marlene impersonation. And lost.) At a certain point, Channing broke the fourth wall and addressed clearly what was our little quick-on-the-uptake claque. We were more than welcome, she said, to go with her on the bus to the next stop and be in the audience there as well. For a minute we thought she must have meant it. All Channing has to do is arch an eyebrow and I'm reduced to paroxysms (or is that perox-isms? ) of laughter. Does anyone remember her R&H "Oklahoma" parody from "Show Girl"? Instead of belting out a round of Happy Birthday to Carol, why not sing along to her recording here of "This is a Darn Fine Funeral." (link for a limited time only)

"This is a darn fine funeral
We've all had a darn fine time
The coffee and cake that they served at the wake
Was thoughtful and tasted sublime
Now that Aunt Bessie's gone to her maker
There's something's we're burstin' to say
Yes this is a darn fine funeral.
Yes this is a darn fine
F - U - N - E - R - A - L
Yes this is a darn fine day

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