Archive for Saturday, May 29, 2004

Broadway matriarch cuts loose on HBO

May 29, 2004

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Nothing says showbiz like a brassy dame belting out ballads and recounting tales of Brando, booze and Broadway. "Elaine Stritch at Liberty" (7 p.m. Saturday, HBO) captures Stritch's acclaimed one-woman show and presents a behind-the-scenes look at the song-and-dance veteran as she creates the show, frets backstage and prepares to take her act to London.

The niece of a prominent Chicago cardinal, Stritch arrived in New York in the 1950s and lived in a convent as she became -- to use an old-fashioned expression -- "the toast of the town." "Liberty" offers a montage of posters from her stage career, including "Bus Stop," "Company," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "The Little Foxes."

A master of the intimate monologue, Stritch fills her stage show with wonderful anecdotes about dating folks like Gig Young and Marlon Brando while remaining a virgin until age 30.

  • Could one of the teenage superheroes harbor a traitorous heart? "Justice League" (6:30 p.m., Saturday, Cartoon Network) wraps up with "Starcrossed," a 90-minute movie in which the League strives to save the planet while fighting an enemy from within.
  • Tom Hanks, a key organizer of the efforts to create the World War II memorial in Washington, D.C., will appear on the National Memorial Day Concert 2004 (7 p.m. Sunday, PBS). Hanks will be joined by host Ossie Davis; bluegrass performers Alison Krauss and Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas; country singer Brad Paisley; actors Jason Ritter and Joe Mantegna (both from "Joan of Arcadia"); Charles Durning; Broadway musical star Brian Stokes Mitchell; and violinist Joshua Bell with The National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Erich Kunzel.

The concert honors all who have served and all who have died in America's wars.

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