Thursday, December 25, 2008

Goodbye, Sweet Kitty

The purr has been silenced.

I learned that Eartha Kitt died on Christmas Day.

I didn't know that this woman was a fierce advocate of free-speech. In her obit, I read what she had to say about the backlash from her anti-war stance in the '60's: "The thing that hurts, that became anger, was when I realized that if you tell the truth — in a country that says you're entitled to tell the truth — you get your face slapped and you get put out of work."

Funny thing about people, you learn the most about them in the obit.

The first and only time I saw her was on Broadway, in NINE, which was an extension of Fellini's non-narrative masterpiece 8 1/2. I found NINE to be a lot more entertaining than 8 1/2. I guess I'm attracted to things like, um, STORY, but maybe the reason it wasn't boring was because Eartha Kitt stole the show. Eartha Kitt KNEW she was stealing the show; that she was being over-the-top indulgent. And the audience encouraged her.

She was, after all, one of the new faces of 1952, and in 2003 was still at the height of vitality.

Afterward, I waited at the stage door to see not Antonia Banderas, but her. When she came out of the door, she made a bee-line directly to me. "I remember you," she said. Although I'd never met her.

"Give me a hug, then!" I said and she wrapped her arms around me and gave me a big, fat hug.

Eartha Kitt thought she knew me. How could I forget her? Rest in Peace.


stephen said...

how awesome to meet her... we have her first album... yes ablum... she had wonderful aura! said...

I remember her funny side in "Boomerang" with Eddie Murphy. :(

Scooter said...

There will never be another like this diva. She will be missed.

Edina Monsoon said...

I saw her in London in "Follies", when she took over the role of Carlotta from Dolores Gray and belted out "I'm Still Here". That would have been in the late 80's or early 90's.

I remember a review at the time saying that while Dolores Gray was a show-stopper, Eartha Kitt brought the house down.

RANDINO said...

I met Miss Kitt when she did her show at the Carlyle Hotel in NYC back in June of 2006. She was electrifying! I had the pleasure of briefly talking to her and shaking her hand. People have often wondered how she could have still been performing at the age of 77... Before the show started she sat very quietly in the back of the room with her head down. But as soon as they announced her name, she turned on charisma and brovado... unleashing her inner CATWOMAN!