Always Mademoiselle


This morning I met a friend in Central Park to cheer on her husband in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5K. She brought their daughter and Delilah, their four-month-old Golden Retriever puppy. I'm not sure it's possible to be more visible and simultaneously invisible than when you are standing in public with a four-month-old Golden Retriever puppy in your arms. It's like being the wall behind the Mona Lisa.

This afternoon, following a performance of the musical Coco by the York Theatre Company, composer André Previn joined the cast (which included Andrea Marcovicci in the lead role) as a surprise guest for the onstage talkback.

On working with Katharine Hepburn, Broadway's original Coco: "It was wonderful and a little like working with General Patton."

On seeing her eventual successor, Danielle Darrieux, in the role: "It was the first time we realized we'd written a musical."

He also talked about how hard Hepburn worked to play a part that clearly wasn't right for her, and how in the end the character became more Hepburn than Chanel. (Rosalind Russell was initially considered, thanks to producer husband Fredrick Brisson ["the Lizard of Roz," as Stritchie would say], and then Claudette Colbert.) Hepburn also toured with the show for six months after it closed on Broadway to ensure that it would recoup. Katharine Hepburn taking it on the road at the age of 64, can you imagine? Now there's a broad.

No less a broad, of course, was Mademoiselle herself, whom Previn called "a tough cookie." Hah! I wonder what she would have thought of my Stephen Sondheim Birthday Boots.

Also—and this may have been the most important thing of the day—the actress who played the character of Chanel's assistant Pignol once played a witch who turned into a giant man-eating snake in an episode of The X-Files called "Die Hand Die Verletzt." Needless to say, I kept my umbrella on my lap throughout the show, lest she should unhinge her reptile jaw and try to swallow half the audience. You never know what's gonna happen in this crazy town.

theaterKari GComment