Elaine Stritch At Liberty
Recording cover
MusicVarious
LyricsVarious
BookJohn Lahr and Elaine Stritch
BasisLife and career of Elaine Stritch
PremiereNovember 7, 2001 (2001-11-07): The Public Theater, New York
Productions2001 Off-Broadway
2002 Broadway
Awards2002 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event
2002 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical

Elaine Stritch at Liberty is an autobiographical one-woman show written by Elaine Stritch and John Lahr, and produced by George C. Wolf, which is composed of anecdotes from Stritch's life, as well as showtunes and Broadway standards that mirror Stritch’s rise and fall both on and off the stage.

Synopsis

The show consists of spoken monologues from Stritch following her life and career, interspersed with showtunes and pop standards which complement her stories. Many of these songs had been previously sung by Stritch in major productions, such as "The Ladies Who Lunch" from Company and "Civilization" from Angel in the Wings which she originated on Broadway. Her experiences and relationship with show business are focal points, but she also explores more intimate, personal themes like her alcoholism and romantic relationships.[1]

Productions

Originally directed and produced by George C. Wolfe at The Public Theater, the show premiered on November 7, 2001. After quickly selling out, the original engagement was extended twice: once until December 30 and then until January 6, 2002.[2] The show then transferred to Broadway, opening on February 21, 2002 in the Neil Simon Theatre, closing on May 26 of that year.

Stritch continued to perform the show at regional and international venues.[3][4][5]

Reception

The Broadway production was recognized with the 2002 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event and the 2002 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Book of a Musical.

Adaptation

The documentary adaptation directed by D. A. Pennebaker and Andy Picheta aired in 2004 on HBO. It went on to win two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Variety, Music, or Comedy Special, and Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.

Song list

Songs are listed alphabetically, as presented in the Broadway program, with the note "the following songs may or may not be performed."[6]

Notes §: numbers previously performed by Stritch in professional productions

Recording

A recording of the original off-Broadway production was released on April 9, 2002 by DRG Records, containing both the musical numbers and selected spoken material from the show.[7]

References