A New Year's Eve happening: superb Elaine Stritch's 'At Liberty'

The Baltimore Sun

AS THE song goes, what are you doing New Year's?

And here's what you should be doing if you are near Manhattan. The great, the grand, the impossible, the improbable, the talent-saturated Elaine Stritch opens at the Carlyle in a new version of her show "At Liberty," and you can see this incredible woman Jan. 1-19.

It costs $125 to see her performance, and a delicious dinner is separate, costly but worth it.

Once in a lifetime! It's easy for me to say this; I have known Miss Stritch since 1953, and she was already a big star back then.

What's more, we were born on the same date, Feb. 2, with other groundhogs such as Barry Diller, Farrah Fawcett and Cady Huffman.

Seasonal sounds

Still shopping? How about awesome Christmas CDs beginning with Celine Dion's These Are Special Times. The escapee from Las Vegas sings classic carols ... And the one and only Jim Brickman brings another holiday hummer, Homecoming. ... Got a big charge out of Darlene Love's It's Christmas of Course. What a singer. ... Jon Secada brings an infectious Latin flair to A Christmas Fiesta. ... If you like a rock beat, try Elliott Yamin's Sounds of the Season. ... You who are real cool could try Boney James' jazzy Christmas Present.

My favorite today is Olivia Newton-John's Christmas Wish -- a beauty with 22 tracks of vocals and guests Barry Manilow, Michael McDonald, Jon Secada, David Foster and Jim Brickman. Bless Olivia for her philanthropic efforts to help many, plus her own Cancer Center. Go to olivia-newton-john.com.

Quite a 'Quest'

Try to pick up this month's Quest magazine with its divine photograph of 1952 Olympic Nordic coach Leif Odmark taking a daring ski jump in white tie, tails and a top hat. He looks for all the world like Maurice Chevalier. Other nostalgic photographs taken in Sun Valley, Idaho, feature fabulous stars of the past, including Gable, Cooper, the Duke and Satchmo playing in the snow.

Quest also has gorgeous photographs of recent parties taken by its editor, David Patrick Columbia, and features the Greek playboy Taki telling us all about happiness. Taki always has good advice, adding, "Do as I say and not as I do!"

She said what?

Let us examine an editorial comment from William F. Buckley Jr. and the National Review. They quote Oprah Winfrey on Barack Obama as talking "nonsense."

She said, "You can't be fooled by this experience question because you know it's not the amount of time you spend with your child. It's the quality of that time."

The Review hoots: "America as a nursery, just the message for a time of war, overspending and global competition. But the audience ate it up, since the Democrats are the party of children, desperate to be suckled."

Well, I know a lot of Democrats who didn't like the quote anymore than the conservatives at the National Review did.

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