Norbert Leo Butz is a god.
He gave such a gorgeous, detailed, honest, touching performance in that awful musical. . . What was it called? Ugh, I've suppressed the name. Norbert was magnificent. He had the guy's walk, he had the guy's moves, he figured out how to make us believe that the guy - a G-Man who goes through life keeping a low profile - : he convinced us that the guy could have a razzle-dazzle moment that made perfect sense in the context of his bargain basement personality.
He's a terrific actor.
My favorite NYC Bway musical performances over the past 10 years:
Butz in that awful thing with CATCH in the title
Esparza in COMPANY
Szot in SOUTH PACIFIC (he can't act, but his "This Nearly Was Mine" was the real reason to see the show)
LuPone in GYPSY (suck it, haters)
Strich in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (suck it more - and say what you will, but Stritch's rendition of "Liaisons" was the first time that song worked. Jesus, it's a joy-killer, that song. But Stritch found the drama in stasis, and: for the first time, it was clear that Madame Armfeldt had in fact once been a really jazzy whore, and not some mummified stuffy British lady.)
All those performances were spectacular, and I feel lucky to have seen them.
As for THE GLASS MENAGERIE: Hepburn was miscast in the TV version. I can't believe any of you liked her.
Hepburn was Hepburn. She was not southern, she was not ordinary. Amanda's secret is that she's ordinary - that's one reason she works so hard to cast herself as a long-ago belle. She has become normal, and she hates it.
Her language - her beautiful words - lift her above the commonplace, but her struggle is to resist how everyday-tired-and-dreary she is.
Hepburn is not real, Hepburn is an aerie sprite, she is a metaphor. Cherry Jones is real. Jessica Lange was awful, Jessica Tandy was awful (she was always awful in everything, I'm sorry), Julie Harris was miscast: Amanda is not a line of poetry trembling against the violent wind, she is a real person wishing her life wasn't over.
Just once more:
The current production of THE GLASS MENAGERIE is beautiful. You tired old queens need to let yourselves feel something, once in a while. Are you only moved by fuck films and flip flops? Work harder, you're missing the real joys.