Last night I saw the new documentary about Elaine Stritch, and it turned out to be the red carpet premiere of the film. Elaine sat in the row in front of me. Bernadette Peters was a few rows further up.
The film was great—I think even people who’ve never heard of Stritch will find it enthralling. Following the screening, there was to be a Q&A with the director and Ms. Stritch. Strich was helped to the front by her former costar/current best pal Hunter Ryan Herdlicka, and immediately asked (into the microphone) if there was a loo available. Herdlicka helped her find a place to pee, and I noticed Bernadette ducking out at the same time, presumably because someone like Bernadette Peters does not stick around for talk-backs.
The director, Chiemi Karasawa, invited Rob Berman, Stritch’s music director, up to the stage, and the two fo them answered questions while we awaited the return of Stritch. When Stritch returned, I noticed Bernadette slip back into the audience, at which point Stritch announced from the stage that she wasn’t the only one who needed to pee, “Bernadette Peters had to go too!”
The first question asked about how she became so fearless, and she answered simply: “Courage. You just gotta win.” She expressed gratitude to her audiences, both those present and those throughout her career, and got emotional: “I don’t think I feel like performing any more. I’ve had enough.” Then she announced that she was tired and hungry and hoped we could wrap this up quickly. After the first question, she strongly implied she was done, but the moderator took a second question. “What did you think of the film, and what are you going to do in Detroit when you get there?” Listen to her answer above.