Poppy’s Coffee Corner: Episode Nine

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Greetings and salutations, Pop Tarts! I am happy to say that this installment of “Coffee Corner” is going live on Not Safe 4 Werk’s three-month anniversary! We are just thrilled with how the site is going so far – we are breaking our “visit records” on a weekly basis, and it’s all because of YOU – our readers and fans! Thank you so much! Now go follow me on Twitter, because I personally need more validation – @poppystweets

Just kidding! (Not really…)

This week I’m going to take a bit of a departure and rather than writing about the comings and goings of the WeHo set, I’d like to tell my favorite Elaine Stritch story.

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For those of you who don’t have an eye on the Broadway scene, Elaine Stritch passed away this past week at the ripe old age of 89, and she was full of piss and vinegar right up to the end, God love her. A legend on Broadway from long before you and I were born, she was best known to today’s young’uns as Alec Baldwin’s character’s mother on the NBC hit, 30 Rock. However, chances are if you’re on this site, you’re queer enough or queer-friendly enough to know exactly who Elaine Stritch was.

As an aside, if you haven’t seen either the documentary on the making of the Broadway hit “Company” or the more recent documentary “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me”, I highly recommend both.

On to the story. Disclaimer: this is a story that has been told for years by Broadway chorus boys and girls, so it may not be completely true. However, knowing our dear Elaine, it likely is because it sounds just like her! Disclaimer #2: this story contains a very dirty word.

So…it’s the first table-read of a Broadway play. I’m not sure what they play was, but it was a star-studded cast, led by the formidable Julie Harris (another Broadway legend). The entire cast was assembled and rehearsal was supposed to begin promptly at 10am. Well, 10 am rolls around and everyone is there – with the exception of Elaine. 10:15…no Elaine.

Everyone waits.

10:20…no Elaine. Finally, at 10:30, the door opens to the rehearsal hall and in walks Elaine – black tights, white shirt, huge black sunglasses covering her face, and a white fisherman’s cap covering a shock of blonde hair. She walks directly to the coffee station off to the side of the rehearsal hall and starts to make a cup of coffee – cream, sugar and all. Elaine takes her time.

Julie Harris is turning purple with rage.

Coffee completed, Elaine saunters over to the table and sits down. Taking off her sunglasses, she surveys the faces of the other actors sitting around the table and – with a tone and a set of balls that only Elaine Stritch possessed, said…

“What? Haven’t you ever seen a cunt before?”

And everyone around the table – Julie Harris included – burst into laughter.

Rest in peace, Elaine. Wherever you are, I’m sure you’re keeping them in stitches.

Stay tuned, because one day I may share a great story about the antics of yet another Broadway diva who shall remain nameless (she’s still alive) that I witnessed personally. I’m not going to name names, but if “memory” serves me correctly, she’s “carried” more than one leading role on Broadway.

xoxo Poppy

About Poppy Fields 45 Articles
Poppy Fields is indeed from the Deep South – Alabama, in fact – but don’t hold that against her. As one-half of the cabaret duo, Mack & Poppy, she spends most of her time sewing on rhinestones, rehearsing music, and ogling hot men on the streets of West Hollywood.

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