Come at me, bro.
So grateful for this, something I never could have imagined five years ago when blogging from my couch in Columbus.
Good night, care of Elaine Stritch at Liberty.
This usually isn’t the first thing people think of when they think of Elaine Stritch, but one of my very favorite performances of hers will always be the finale to her brilliant one-woman show Elaine Stritch At Liberty, a heartfelt performance of the song "Something Good." The song, with music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers, was of course written for the 1965 film adaptation of The Sound of Music; where it’s boring and out of place there, here it is used with alarming and devastating poignancy. This is Elaine Stritch to me: a performer with a knack of selling any song, if it was the best of Sondheim or if she had to elevate the material, and making a deeply personal connection to it. Brava.
Go see Life Itself, the documentary about Roger Ebert’s loves — writing, movies, his wife and family and friends, and life itself. It’s a loving documentary made by a filmmaker, Steve James, who clearly felt strongly about his subject.
Although the movie tracks much of Ebert’s life, it is framed around and is ultimately about the last months of that life.
For me, the key moment in the film comes when Ebert’s wife, Chaz Ebert, describes the point when she accepted that his death had arrived. It is a powerful moment that speaks to the life that they led, as individuals and as a couple.
I remember, very clearly, the moment when I learned of Ebert’s death. I did not accept it. I was not ready.
I remember exactly where I was when I learned that he had died. I remember who I texted and that I left the office and stopped on that early April afternoon to sit in Dupont Circle. Staring blankly at the fountain that usually gives me such comfort, I was at a loss.
I didn’t know Ebert; he was a voice on a screen, words on a page, and, at that point, tweets in my stream. Why was I so upset by this news?
It was a lot of things. But I think what struck me most that day was that he was a sober journalist — and that, now, I would never get to meet him or talk with him.
When Ebert died, more than 15 months ago, I had been sober for a little while. Unlike he and Chaz, though, I was still learning about acceptance and how it could bring me peace. Hell, I still am learning.
Sitting in that theater tonight and watching Chaz — who also mentions her own sobriety in the film — talk about the calm feeling that washed over her when she accepted the death of her husband, I, too, felt that calm.
Seeing Life Itself helped give me a better understanding of Roger Ebert’s life. It also helped me to understand why I was so upset by his death. Most importantly, though, it helped remind me why acceptance helps make life, and all the ups and downs that come with it, easier.
Creepiest thing I saw all weekend, by far. (Avert children’s eyes!) #NYC
SCOTUS, June 26, 2014: One year later. #windsor #doma #perry #prop8