Spending ‘A Tony Evening’ with Elaine Stritch for the benefit of the Alliance Theatre


Direct from her sold-out run at Cafe Carlyle in New York City, Tony winner  Elaine Stritch brought her critically acclaimed show “Singin’ Sondheim. . .One Song at a Time” to the Loews Atlanta hotel Saturday night.

“A Tony Evening,” featuring the 84-year-old “Broadway Baby” was a benefit for the Alliance Theatre.

The evening’s honorary co-chair Valerie Hartman Levy told the packed, formally attired ballroom she and husband Jeff had no hesitation about participating in the evening once they heard who the guest entertainer was.

Stritch was a particular favorite of Hartman Levy’s mother, who passed away late last year.

“I think she secretly wanted to be Elaine Stritch,” Hartman Levy told the crowd. “And in many ways, she was.”

And who wouldn’t want to be Stritch?

The octogenarian bounded on stage shortly after 10 p.m., clad in an above the knee black skirt and proceeded to delight all with the works of Stephen Sondheim and poignant, funny tales from her life on stage.

Pausing briefly for a swig of water after the tour de force, “Send in the Clowns, ” Stritch cracked: “I really don’t like water very much but you’ve got to have a little water when you do an evening of Stephen Sondheim.”

Naturally, Stritch closed the evening with “Ladies Who Lunch,” the boozy, berating showstopper she won a Tony for in Sondheim’s “Company.”

Introducing the number, Stritch told the Alliance supporters: “Here’s a song from one of the roads I did take in life!”

Backstage, Intel heard that between benefits and one-woman shows, Stritch found time to return to her recurring role as Alec Baldwin‘s mother from Hades on the NBC sitcom, “30 Rock” for a Mother’s Day-themed episode set to air Thursday night.