Friday, May 20, 2005

The Boozy, Blowsy Old Broad-way

Ooooh, I love anything having to do with divas, and today there's an interesting and insightful article in the New York Times about the three biggest divas who are currently appearing on Broadway: Kathleen Turner as Martha in "Who's Afraid of Virgiia Woolf?", Natasha Richardson as Blanche in "A Streetcar Named Desire," and Jessica Lange as Amanda in "The Glass Menagerie."

Basically, the jist of the piece is that Kathleen Turner beats the other two as Reigning Diva of the Gay White Way by being the perfect melding of actor and role, because who could possibly play a boozy, blowsy old broad like Martha better than boozy, blowzy old broad Kathleen? The author, Ben Brantley, says as much. Here are a few of my favorite quotes:
Martha is a highly sexed, self-described "earth mother" who has a talent for turning strong men into quivering boys. She is, in other words, a middle-aged, coarsened version of the fatal sirens that Ms. Turner played on screen in the glory days of her film career...

Ms. Turner makes her entrance in a boxy, unflattering suit that makes her look as frumpy as any middle-class, middle-aged professor's wife who doesn't think a lot about clothes. When she later changes into tight leopard pants and a low-cut sweater, she adds a potent shot of sex appeal to her frowziness...

Blanche, Amanda and Martha have all been around the block a few times and on progressively unsteady feet. Yet of the three actresses playing them, only Ms. Turner looks as if she has been there, done that and paid the price. Her lined face is often hard in expression but soft in contours.

Huzzah! I love that Kathleen is having a comeback (she is the only one of the three actresses to recieve a Tony nomination) and is kicking those skinny bitches asses. Hooray for coarsened! Bravo for frowzy! Let's hear it for hardness!

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Viva la Turner!

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