What do I have left to do for fun? (Besides whining, of course.)
The answer these days, it seems, is watching Broadway singers on YouTube. The following performance by Patti Lupone of an old standard, "Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens," is without question the most amazing thing I wasn't expecting to be amazing.
Pay attention specifically to the spoken commentary that begins at 1:30. I don't know if it appeared with the original or if it was written specifically for Lupone's show, but it is obviously scripted. Although there is a grain of truth to it in that she apparently does keep chickens, that accent and some of the anachronistic phrasing--not to mention the precise, perfect diction--are totally fake. The slightly glazed, supercilious expression on her face is fake too. But except for a split second before "I am a chicken farmer" where she looks like she is trying to remember her lines, I can't remember the last time I've seen such a light and fluid yet (paradoxically) deliberately artificial delivery in a contemporary Western stage context. It's like--and I swear this was the first thing that popped into my head--American Kabuki. Incredible. Utterly fascinating.