After going back to bed for a while at about 5:30 a.m., it occurred to me that since imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, it could be that the gasping ladies in my blog about the Stephen Sondheim birthday bash last night are trying to emulate Elaine Stritch's shtick. If so, they missed the mark. She is the alpha and omega of this style of performing.
It is the same thing that happened with Edith Evans, who did the definitive Lady Bracknell in the first film version of The Importance of Being Earnest Ever since then, everyone has tried to outdo her rendition of the phrase 'A handbag?????'. No one ever has. She and Elaine would make a great pair.
Judy Dench wisely avoided comparison by sort of muttering the phrase in the more recent film version.
Read on below-