Friday, January 2, 2015
Three on a Match
A trio of lovely, crazy people share a moment. There is a lot going on in this snap, and I can't quite believe I've never seen it before.
I can't decide which I find more intriguing: Lady Olivier's expression of utter concentration, like that of a hummingbird nourishing itself on a lily, or Miss Monroe's sly sideways glance. It's something about her I've noted on other occasions when she's pictured meeting someone more famous than she. She gives the impression of one learning, somehow, as if by osmosis, absorbing some of whatever elixir it was she found intriguing in the other person.
By contrast, it's as if the combined spectacle of the two women has overwhelmed Lady Olivier's husband, someone who in lesser company is generally the charismatic center of attention. He seems positively pallid, caught at an angle (so unflattering to men of a certain age) that emphasizes an unfortunate stretch of his hairline and does nothing for his profile.
Here's a fantasy cast: imagine that a few years after this momentous encounter, a Broadway sensation comes to the West End. The great theatrical couple reunited, a starry name thrown in (however unlikely it would be that she'd play a supporting role, even after the debacle of Something's Got to Give), a utility second gentleman duly cast - and a production of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? for the ages.