Monday, April 11, 2011

Babs & Shirl... A Kooky Love Story

Was I kooky when I was young? I know that I love a kooky old person, hell…I am a kooky old person. When I was younger & I met someone with that kind of kooky personality, I knewthat when I grew old, I could look forward to being able to have 12 dogs, & drink Champagne for breakfast, the kind of things you are not supposed to do when you are younger. When you’re as old as I am, people say “oh, Steve hasn’t got much longer to live, let him have some fun” which is really quite depressing when you think about it. When I younger they would say “he is surrounded by canines & he drinks too much!” which is a bit sad too. Anyway, as I grow old, I want to be thought of as kooky.

Barbra & Shirley are 2 kooky dames. They share a birthday. Really. They spend every birthday together & have for more than 40 years. I wish I could be the Brenda Vaccaro fly on that wall at that party.

She took me down the Stony End, I never wanted to go down the Stony End, but she took me down. I liked Barbra Streisand best when she was “Simply Barbra” with Egyptian eyeliner, the bobbed hair, the thrift shop clothing, & the refreshingly kooky delivery & demeanor. She was a true original, before she let Jon Peters give her an afro, record Bowie covers & star in a Star Is Born. Still, she has had a remarkable & long career, & possesses one the greatest vocal instruments in the history of pop music. I think she is a strong director, with the actors in her films often earning Oscar nominations.

This year, now in her late 60s, she actually knocked Madonna & Mariah off the top of the charts. She is the only artist to win Oscars for acting & songwriting. Streisand has received an Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Grammy, Golden Globe, Cable Ace, Peabody Award, & the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award. The winner of multiple Grammy Awards, Streisand has sold millions of records, 50 of them gold & 30 platinum. She is also the only artist to have Billboard #1 albums spanning 5 decades.

My favorite Streisand performance was in What's Up Doc?, one of the most perfect movies I can think of. My favorite album, outside of of her earliest recordings, is The Broadway Album, a nearly perfect album.

Shirley Maclaine is convinced her pet dog can communicate with her. The star owns 11 other canines but insists her relationship with rat terrier Terry is so unique, dog & owner understand one another. She says, “I talk to her & she answers me. I have serious discussions with her & I’m convinced that on some level she really listens. “She is selective about the questions she answers, though. For instance, she likes the question, ‘What shall we do next in the kitchen?’ Other questions she just thinks are a waste of time.”

She was named after Shirley Temple & grew up in Virginia with her brother Warren Beatty. She does it all: nightclubs, films & theater actress, dancer, activist, & author.

When Carol Haney broke her ankle during the run of the Broadway musical- Pajama Game, her understudy- Shirley went on for her & became a star. She has been making films since Hitchcock’s The Trouble With Harry in 1955. When lost the Academy Award (her 2nd Oscar nomination) for her performance in Billy Wilder’s The Apartment, MacLaine said, "I thought I would win for The Apartment, but then Elizabeth Taylor had a tracheotomy". She finally won the Oscar for Terms Of Endearment, of course, but my favorite MacLaine role was as a thinly disguised Debbie Reynolds in Postcards From The Edge. I like that she continues to work.

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