Elaine Stritch Question: When Should a Performer Not Yell "Line"?

Categories: Advice

The wonderful Elaine Stritch is bidding her adieu to show biz, having gotten a little misty-memoried in the last few years. In fact, a show without Stritchie yelling "Line!" is like a one-person drama without a cancer diagnosis.

But there are some lines it would be especially criminal to forget part of and have to ask for assistance to complete.

Here are some definites to avoid:

"To be or...line!"

"This time for...line!"

"Can you feel the...line...tonight?"

"The line sleeps tonight."

""If I knew you were coming, I'd have baked a...line!"

"Tinker, tailor, soldier, line!"

"Baby line, you've got the cutest little baby line..."

" 'Cause baby you're a line. Come on show 'em what you're line. Make em go line line line. As you shoot across the line line line..."

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Noel Coward complained in his diaries that Stritchie kept forgetting her lines when he was directing her on Broadway. And that was in the 50's. So she can hardly use old age as an excuse.


"There's no place like "...LINE!

"ln Humpttord, Heifer-ford and Hampshure" LINE!...DICTION COACH!


Seeing "Elaine Stritch: At Liberty" in NY  was one of the theater events of my life. And having a permanent record of the same show taped in London lets me re-live it whenever I want.

Michael, did Stritch and her "At Liberty" collaborator John Lahr ever settle their legal dispute over that show?