Friday, March 20, 2009

Rest in peace now, Lady Peaceful

[Natasha] Richardson’s Tony Award came in 1998, for best actress in a musical, for her performance as Sally Bowles, the gifted but desperately needy singer in decadent Weimar Berlin who is at the center of “Cabaret.”

It was a remarkable award: Ms. Richardson’s strengths did not include singing. But her reinvention of a role that was performed memorably by Liza Minnelli in the film proved that a performer could act a song as well as sing it and make it equally affecting.

Ms. Richardson, you see, isn’t selling the song; she’s selling the character,” Ben Brantley, writing in The Times, said of her delivery of the title song. “And as she forges ahead with the number, in a defiant, metallic voice, you can hear the promise of the lyrics tarnishing in Sally’s mouth. She’s willing herself to believe in them, and all too clearly losing the battle.”

-- “Natasha Richardson, 45, Stage and Film Star, Dies”

Alan Cumming, the Emcee to Ms. Richardson's Sally Bowles in the 1998 Cabaret, writing on his blog: “The term 'life force' seems trite but that is what she was: a woman who powered through life and fascinated everyone she encountered. I have been thinking about the times I spent with her since I heard the news of her tragic accident, and the strongest memory I have is of her laughter, her unmistakeable throaty laugh. I think that's a great way to remember someone.”

PLUS: That “defiant, metallic voice” eschewing pretty singing for textured expressiveness and simmering heartbreak in three numbers from the reimagined Kander and Ebb musical, co-directed by Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall.


Anonymous said...

Grabe. sobrang nakakalungkot ito. one of the sublime actresses of our generation. From Handmaid's Tale, to Parentrap, to Streetcar, to CABARET! WOW. She lived a wonderful and full life.

Anonymous said...

so much talent...she still had a lot of acting to do.

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