Sunday, July 30, 2006

I haven't had one belt....

"Sittin' up there in this tree has brought me to the realization that I haven't had one belt in the past four months, and so I shall frig all the demons and disappointments that assail me by proceeding to my home, pushin' all sharp objects aside, loosenin' my girdle and gettin' blind, fall down, rollin' in the aisles, piss ant drunk."

When I'm drunk, I'm beautiful,
Beautiful, yes, beautiful.
When a girl basically is plain, this here stuff is ledgerdemaine.
When I'm beautiful, I'm prettier, prettier, wittier!
Whoops, did that joke come out of me?
They could use me on the tv.
When I'm drunk, I'm beautiful, beautiful,
and drunk.

When I'm drunk, I'm fabulous, fabulous, glamorous!
Harlow, Monroe, Miss Lucie Ball, surely you remember us all!
When I belt a little juice, I'm just all nice and loose,
Perfect features, dazzling white teeth, I shall spare you what's underneath.
When I'm drunk, I'm beautiful, beautiful,
and drunk.

Well, I think I'll leave it right there, I might get to lovely to bare!
When I'm drunk, I'm beautiful, beautiful,
and DRUNK.

But no more Pucker Fuckers for me ever. Ever. I mean it. 36 hours have passed. I'm still feeling it.

From Prettybelle, book and lyrics by Bob Merrill and music by Jules Styne: THIS is the musical I think about most. It tried out in Boston and never made it to Broadway. It starred Angela Lansbury, after her Tony turns in Mame and Dear World. It was perhaps too much for audiences to handle - the show's southern bell heroine, Prettybelle Sweet, played by Angela, was a schizophrenic alcoholic who allowed herself to be raped by minorities in order to make up for her sherriff husband's lynching practices. In 1970, this was just too much for audiences to handle, perhaps it would be even now. But I'm completely fascinated by it. Because it didn't make it to Broadway, a cast album was not initially recorded, but in 1982, the original cast was brought together and the album was finally recorded. It has some early disco sounds of the 70s, but also some tender and heart breaking pieces like "I'm in a tree" and "How Could I know". Earlier this year when I met Angela, I told her of my fascination with the show and she looked at me like I was crazy then asked "You saw it?" then shook her head, and said "Of course, you didn't, not many people did."

Click here to listen for yourself.


rob said...

I've also always been very intrigued by this show. I have the entire live recording of one of the Boston performaces in 1971 from start to finish. The whole thing. It was recorded off of the soundboard so the sound quality is very good. It's actually very well done and interesting. Very funny and dramatic too. If you like, I can share it with you.

Bob said...

is it really piss "ant?" or piss-ass. That's what I hear - the latter.

Sarah B. Roberts said...

I'm not sure - sometimes I think it's piss-ant and sometimes piss-ass. Piss-ant is a southern saying so it could be that.