Thank God Jeff Roscoe emailed me and reminded me that today is a Gay High Holy Day.
Today, brothers and sisters, is Ethel Merman's birthday. She was born 100 years ago today.
And while she is and will be remembered for her killer-belt of a voice, I admire Ms. Merman for the words of wisdom she left behind.
For instance, backstage one night, someone standing in the wings with Ms. Merman heard Ethel's entrance cue and said...
"Ms. Merman! You're on!"
"Yeah? How am I doin'?"
Or her response to being asked how she thought her song went on a particular night...
"They CLAPPED, didn't they?!?"
But the all-time best is the night she came backstage to meet Harvey Fierstein after seeing him in his brilliant three-act play, TORCH SONG TRILOGY.
There was Merman standing in Harvey's dressing room and as the story goes, he just couldn't resist asking her the question that was burning in his mind.
"How did you like the play, Ms. Merman?"
"I thought it was a piece of shit, but everyone around me was laughin' and cryin', so what the fuck do I know?"
That response from The Merm is quite possibly the best review anyone could ever receive.
Happy Birthday, Ethel baby.