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Got a Bea in Her Bonnet

January 10th, 2012

Bea Arthur. Image via YouTube.

Barbra Streisand is Funny Girl. That’s not just a tagline but an inviolable truth. At least you would think so based on the gnashing of teeth in response to casting anyone else in the role of Fanny Brice for the recently cancelled revival. How can someone compete with the memory of Babs singing “Don’t Rain on My Parade”?

Bea can. Bea Arthur can grab that song by the throat and pound it into a basso profundo submission. Bea can not only make you forget anyone else sang the song, but she can obliterate the fact that it IS a song. In fact, her rendition in the video clip below is more incensed poetry slam, more Alanis Morissette threatening to set fire to her ex in a blaze of proto-feminist glory than music theater show stopper. And yet, my show is stopped. Witness the wonder that is Bea…

A special thanks to Ryan Donovan for bringing this clip into my life. My world is richer for it.

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