Back in 1971 I was in New York City with my friend Peter; we had been invited to the opening night of Maria Stuarda starring Beverly Sills. Friends of his were in the music publishing business and had got tickets. Peter and I decided that we would pursue all sorts of cultural interests over that few days.
On the Wednesday we had a choice of two things - a matinee of the Stephen Sondheim musical Follies or a movie at the 55th St Playhouse. Now let me explain for those of you who may not know the 55th was an art cinema that turned to gay porn when The Boys in the Sand opened there in 1971. So we had to choose between what was to become a Broadway cult classic and a gay cult classic.
We made our choice. We were young, we were foolish and we missed the chance of hearing Dorothy Collins sing one of the great Sondheim songs.
Collins had been a TV and nightclub star for many years and toured in road companies and I remember seeing her in South Pacific back in the mid-60s. Follies was her first appearance on Broadway and though others have sung this song she delivers it the way Sondheim meant it to be sung. No sobs, not grand emotion but raw emotion.
And to think Peter and I could have experienced it first hand. But thank heavens from this TV appearance we have some idea of what we missed.
30 giugno - Protomartiri della Chiesa di Roma