Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Razzle Dazzle! My Life Behind the Sequins
While I was watching Mitzi Gaynor at Feinstein's at Loews Regency last night, it occurred to me that some cabaret acts are about hanging out with someone you really like. At this point in her life (pushing 80), Gaynor can only kinda sing and kinda dance, but that's not the point. She's Mitzi Gaynor! And she tells wonderful, self-deprecating anecdotes about herself and her career: She knew she was interested in the man who would become her husband when, the night they met, he told her she was full of shit. Ethel Merman told her the dirtiest joke she ever heard. She really enjoyed acting with Frank and Donald. And so on. Gaynor wears a range of lovely outfits, all extremely low cut, and entertaining clips of her film and TV work are shown during her costume changes. For me, the clips proved two things: (1) dance should be filmed without cutting, with the dancers' entire bodies visible, as it was in her movies, and (2) the styles of the 70s were a blot on the universe. Gaynor's song choices range from Rodgers and Hammerstein to Stevie Wonder. More importantly, she is completely charming, and it was great fun to hang out with her.