Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Marian Seldes: "They Told Us, 'Keep It Short'"

Marian Seldes: "They Told Us Keep It Short"

On Sunday evening, in accepting the Tony Awards' Lifetime Achieve-ment Award honoring her 63 years on the stage, Broadway legend Marian Seldes offered what was arguably the single most elegant acceptance in the history of the Tonys.

As noted yesterday, Seldes didn't utter a single word. Instead, she opted to soak in the enormously deserved standing ovation before exiting the stage with her rarefied dignity intact. Some say it was the best speech ever. And since she spoke volumes more with her eyes and sweeping gestures than most actors can ever verbalize, I think they're right.

Today, we learn why Seldes chose to keep it simple, yet ultimately as grand as could be. Blogger Steve Schalchlin writes this morning on Living In The Bonus Round:

We were invited Sardi's and sat at a table with Marian Seldes, who caused a puzzled sensation the night before at the Tony Awards when, after receiving her Lifetime Achievement Award, looked at the microphone, struck a pose and then walked off, saucily twirling her cane.

We had to ask her about it, of course. A. J. Shively, who was sitting on my other side, and who is in the cast of La Cage, said that he was upstairs with the Cagelles, who all were screaming in delight at her "speech."

With a twinkle in her eye, she said to Jim, "They told us, 'keep it short, keep it short, keep it short,' so I decided I would just say nothing."

And, of course, hers was the most memorable moment of the entire evening. She is, indeed, one of the great stage actresses of our time.
I'll second that, Steve. Marian Seldes is the epitome of a class act. There is no one else like her. Thanks for sharing that wonderful anecodote with the rest of us!

To view Marian Seldes' acceptance, go here and scroll down the menu to the twelfth item.

This is Steve On Broadway (SOB).

In keeping with the new Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations that unfairly discriminate against bloggers, who are now required by law to disclose when they have received anything of value they might write about, please note that I have received nothing of value in exchange for this post.

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