Happy Birthday, Patricia Routledge!

This site’s favorite musical theatre diva turns 79 today. With word from Variety that Trevor Nunn may be directing a revival of A Little Night Music for the Menier Chocolate Factory, wouldn’t she make a marvelous addition to the cast as Madame Armfeldt? I’d certainly cross the pond for that.

I listened to four different renditions of my much-loved “Duet for One” this afternoon (it even warranted a playlist on itunes) delivered by three noted sopranos. Patricia Routledge (at the world premiere performance in Philadelphia and several months later at the final performance in NY; with different versions of the song, the former of which has been reinstated as the official), June Anderson who recorded the First Lady for the CD premiere of Bernstein’s score A White House Cantata, and finally Judy Kaye who recorded the piece for the John McGlinn Broadway Showstoppers compilation CD. Anderson’s is pretty tepid; she has plenty of voice, but little humor and practically no personality. She barely even tried to delineate between the two first ladies. She’s also the only one out of the three who doesn’t cap off the end of the song on a high D above C (kudos to Pat and Jude for such prowess). For a famed coloratura soprano who has sung the roles of Cunegonde, The Queen of the Night and Lucia, among others, you’d think she’d be able to pop out a little old D. Hey June, I bet Renee would do it better. So there.

If I knew how to upload songs on here, I would.

Also, a special birthday shout out to Broadway and film legend (and first-time Oscar nominee) Hal Holbrook who is 83 today. I wish him luck at the Oscars. Though I love Bardem’s performance in No Country for Old Men and is a lock for the award, there is a small sentimental part of me rooting for Holbrook.