Saturday, April 18, 2009

Susan Boyle Revisited

If you haven't heard the "Susan Boyle" performance on "Britain's Got Talent," it's time to listen. But first it's time to listen to others try, and then hear her succeed. Not just any others, acclaimed professionals. If you have heard her, it's time to do it again.

I have never heard nor been interested in attending a performance of "Les Miz" as Patti LuPone calls it. I suggest this order of listening to the various performances. First Elaine Paige, who Susan most wishes to be like. I cannot see why personally, but taste is taste and aside from her success, I would not be attracted to the song except for Susan performing it. Elaine would not have made me like the song. To her credit Susan does what I call "own" the song, and make it hers, and does not imitate (in my mind at least), Ms. Paige.

Next, listen to Ruthie Hensall. This by far and away is the best of the three performances IMHO that are presented as Susan's competitors.

Then listen to the owner of the song as it were, Patti LuPone. Her jaded assessment after many performances is instructive, and she attacks that cynicism in her own way. She engages in funny and creditable self effacement. No amount of understanding her own exhaustion and arrogance surrounding her stardom can equal a nearly 48 a year Scottish spinster fearlessly singing her heart out.

Listen to Susan and try NOT to cry. She is not sad. The performance is not tragic. You will in fact be hard pressed not to blubber. I failed. That was difficult to cover up at work, with the office door open, particularly when most have heard Susan's stunning work.

In the audience, Simon's expressions are the most fun to watch. His face goes to instantly wide eyed wonderment. He is clearly enjoying the performance, the rug having been pulled out from under all his negative expectations. It is as if he could see, for the first time, having been blind.

To do all this, you will have to go to a site that is run by someone I do not count as a friend, but in this case, I mostly agree with. Go here.

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