Elaine Stritch, 88 years young, type 2 and going strong

A few days ago i saw the documentary film, Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me. I was bowled over. I first saw Elaine Stritch, singer, Broadway actress, comedian and larger than life figure, in the original production of Steven Sondheim’sCompany on Broadway. She stole the show.

I must have been in my twenties, I have no recollection why I was at that show, it was much too intelligent for me at the time, but anyone who saw it couldn’t help but be moved by a musical number that was Elaine’s alone, “The Ladies Who Lunch.” She commanded the stage and her deep throated voice grabbed out to the unsuspecting in the last row.

The documentary I just saw, which is more about her present life still putting on a pair of tights and while shirt, performing at 88, shows her as just as she’s always presented herself – authentically. From skipping down along Central Park in Manhattan to yelling at cab drivers, to fearing for her life having a low. She’s one bawdy broad. Elaine is just one of those people, the millions among us, who has type 2 diabetes and is on insulin and has lows and sometimes ends up in the hospital.

If you want to be moved and you have an independent film theatre in your town, maybe it’s still playing. Or netflix it soon. 

Today, it’s been raining all day and grey enough to keep me inside. and so I’m now watching her London performance from 2002 called Elaine Stritch at Liberty, a summation of her gorgeous career. This you can Youtube now. 

It has nothing to do with diabetes, it’s pure performance, but hey, living with diabetes, and being sixty, more and more I realize, life is not just about work, but also play. Enjoy.

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