Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Greatest Star of All

I am a firm believer in serendipity.

A few weeks ago, it was announced that Glenn Close and Ewan MacGregor will star in the movie version of the musical of the movie Sunset Blvd.

A few days ago, I read a blog about the classic movie.

And tonight it is on tv. I think the spirit of Gloria Swanson is trying to tell me something...

I was a big fan of the movie, the first time I saw it, at the tender age of 18. Thanks to my dear friends Ron and Jim, who introduced me to the required cinema of the cultured gay. Soon after, I was pleased to hear about the musical being produced with my dear Patti LuPone in the title role. I haunted my record store for the cast recording, and memorized every word. It was wonderful.
Then the drama of the Normas. Patti was out, replaced by Glenn Close-But-No-Cigar. I was beside myself as only a show-mo could be. I did get the Close cast recording just in case I was being judgmental, however, her Carol Burnett dialogue delivery and less than stellar vocals reaffirmed my decision not to see it until she left the show.
Enter Betty Buckley. I loved her Norma. Plus, I was 4 rows from the stage, it was a magical.

Watching the movie again, I realized no one could do Norma justice. Gloria Swanson makes Norma larger than life, in ways that no other actress could. Sure you sing along to Patti or Betty, but Gloria owns that role, you firmly believe she is Norma. From her eyes, to the tiniest of hand gestures, she is The Greatest Star Of All...

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