By Harry Haun
17 Feb 2014
It must have been grating for her to go for the Graceful Exit, but there's something heroic in the gesture. Few performers have presented themselves to the public with more dry-eyed, straight-from-the-shoulder directness than Stritch.
Who can forget how D.A. Pennebaker's 1970 documentary, "Company: Original Cast Album," caught her in a recording-studio meltdown, screaming-as-opposed-to-singing what would become her signature song, "The Ladies Who Lunch." Eventually, she gives up, comes in the next morning and nails it to perfection. "Never mind what I did the night before," she mutters under her breath.
That frustrating, excruciating footage is included in the new documentary, and Stritch seems to have built from that level of exposure. "I just think the honesty of this new movie is very satisfying for me," she critiqued. "I don't feel that I told one thing that was for effect and not the truth.
"It has been nice. There's nothing to complain about. I'm getting up in years, and I have nothing to do now but reflect, think, be on my own — and I like that.
"I've got a lot to be thankful for. First of all, I can still talk and make sense. Everything else may be falling part, but my mind is in great shape. You are what you are. You're in the period of your life you want to be in. You have no choice. What are you going to do?"