Sunday, December 30, 2012
Trust dear Miss Ann Miller to be the one to lead us on our way out of this old year - if there were anyone from Olde Hollywood with whom I think it would be a kick to spend New Year's Eve, I suspect it would be she. Katharine Hepburn would want to do something improving - recite Longfellow, perhaps; with Bette Davis, the evening would surely end with recrimination and the furious tossing of barbed insults; Joan Crawford would make us go upstairs and ooh and ah over those damned twins; and, of course, Miss Garbo would really rather that we weren't there at all. Ann, though, would meet us at the door with a nice cold glass of champers and the latest dirty joke, and isn't that how any New Year's Eve party should start? Also, by 1:00 a.m., I don't believe it would take much to persuade her to put some Cole Porter on the hifi and recreate her big number from Kiss Me, Kate, which would certainly be a hoot.
Which brings us to an anniversary, for it was just 64 years ago today that Kate bowed on Broadway, starting on the journey that took it through a run of more than 1,000 performances there, a national tour that may still be rattling around somewhere, the splashy 3D MGM spectacular in which Ann stole every scene she could, a 1968 TV version starring the singularly unappealing combination of Carol Lawrence and Robert Goulet (they were married, but I can't imagine it helped any), and regular revivals from here to Tashkent.
As for New Year's Eve, we're running up the coast a principality or two and spending the big night with our pals The Teacher and his very fetching partner - if nothing else, it should be more festive than last year, when Mr. Muscato and I sat, each with a terrier on our lap, waiting for midnight so that we could for God's sake go to sleep. I feared then that terminal middle-age had set in, but perhaps there's life in the old girl yet. We shall see.
How about you? To steal a line from dear Miss Whiting - what are you doing New Year's Eve?