OK

Ms. Channing, 92, recently appeared at the Ice Palace, Cherry Grove, Fire Island. Some of my readers will know how iconic that site is to the gay community.

More on that below the fleur-de-kos. For now, her signature song (1964):

Let's love her while she's still with us. This is a tribute to the long and brilliant career of an incredible woman.

At the Ice Palace,

Ms. Channing told stories, including one about entering herself in a Carol Channing look-alike drag contest in San Francisco. “And I came in third,” she said. She spoke in her own loopy foreign languages and sang the dirty French ditty about a big banana that she performed at Joan Crawford’s wedding in Paris. She expressed surprise that the audience knew her role as the gold-digging Lorelei in the original “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” on Broadway in 1949.

“Oh! You’re not old enough to remember it,” she drawled with wide eyes.

http://www.nytimes.com/...

More:

“Something comes over you in front of an audience and nothing hurts,” she said. “It’s very healing. Everybody has their safest place on earth and mine is center stage.”

snip

 “The dead truth is that I have no perspective on the loyalty of any audience,” Ms. Channing said. “I’m grateful to be so appreciated. But I think if you’re faking that or anything else in your act, then your audience knows right away. You have to just do it and not talk about it.”

And so she soldiers on. “When I’m working, I’m happy, like practically every actor I know,” said Ms. Channing....

In the movie Thoroughly Modern Millie, "Jazz Baby":

Carol Elaine Channing (born January 31, 1921)[1] is an American singer, actress, and comedienne. She is the recipient of three Tony Awards (including one for lifetime achievement), a Golden Globe and an Oscar nomination. Channing is best remembered for originating, on Broadway and the musical-comedy role of bombshell Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

snip

[this explains everything]:

Channing was introduced to the stage while helping her mother. In a 2005 interview with the Austin Chronicle, Channing recounted this experience:

    "My mother said, 'Carol, would you like to help me distribute Christian Science Monitors backstage at the live theatres in San Francisco?' And I said, 'All right, I'll help you.' I don't know how old I was. I must have been little. We went through the stage door alley (for the Curran Theatre), and I couldn't get the stage door open. My mother came and opened it very well. Anyway, my mother went to put the Monitors where they were supposed to go for the actors and the crew and the musicians, and she left me alone. And I stood there and realized – I'll never forget it because it came over me so strongly – that this is a temple. This is a cathedral. It's a mosque. It's a mother church. This is for people who have gotten a glimpse of creation and all they do is recreate it. I stood there and wanted to kiss the floorboards."[8]

http://en.wikipedia.org/...

In 2010, the opening number from Equity Fights AIDS (Gypsy Award):

As the White Queen in Alice in Wonderland:

Originally posted to Theatricals on Mon Sep 02, 2013 at 05:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by An Ear for Music.

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