Two Special Bea Arthur Moments
Several young TMV readers requested a bit more of Bea Arthur. So, after a search on You Tube, here are two SPECIAL bits that illustrated how she was multi-talented — whether in theater, television, doing some comedy or singing with her gravely voice.
FIRST: Watch her re-create her Tony Award winning (1966) character “Vera” doing a key song from the musical “Mame.” The camera cuts to legendary composer-lyricist Jerry Herman who is in the audience (this was a tribute show for him).
SECOND: Watch this excerpt from her hit 1970s show “Maude” that deals with a catastrophic telethon. The song she sings here has poignancy in light her of death yesterday due to cancer at age 86:
AND THE POINT IS? There are many entertainers who you’ll see succeed due to a combination of luck, looks, or being on top in one area of show biz. Arthur wasn’t a beauty and she got where she was because she was so good — so consistently good. She made her performances look “organic” and easy — and they weren’t. When you watch her, you watch a pro who can do comedy, drama, and “sell” a song — someone who had pizzaz, charisma and stage presence. The downside: she’s gone. The upside: for young people interested in the arts, her work remains available on DVD and CD.
And when she died, for those of us who admired her work both onstage and on television, she left us wanting more.
If you want to hear the entire Mame original cast score: