These are frightening times, and we all must take necessary precautions as we social distance and self-isolate. That being said, you deserve a break every now and then. Welcome to Playbill's Daily Distraction.
Day 14: What, You Think Musicals and Thrillers Don't Mix? They Do If It's The Fan!
When she wasn't shilling the deep-brewed flavor of High Point coffee, Lauren Bacall was racking up Best Actress in a Musical Tony Awards. A decade after winning for Applause (which opened on this day in 1970) and just before earning a second for Woman of the Year, the gravel-voiced artist showed off her singing chops in the 1981 theatre-themed thriller The Fan.
In the movie, Bacall plays Sally Ross, a Broadway star set to make her musical theatre debut when she comes face-to-face with an obsessive, homicidal adorer. There's suspense, there's blood, there's a nonsensical torch song by Marvin Hamlisch and Tim Rice.
"Hearts, Not Diamonds" is the 11 o'clock number of Never Say Never, a musical that doesn't appear to have a plot but does have chorus boys dancing in sequined, pinstriped suits and a gem-shaped set by—no, really—Santo Loquasto (and you thought Heaven on Earth was the most perplexing fictional musical to play the Shubert Theatre).
Listen for Bacall's uncanny ability to modulate from non-key to, somehow, another non-key, with a cigarette in her fist. Watch as the ensemble members carry her from mark to mark! Look out for the audience member who looks just like Christine Baranski in Mamma Mia!. And don't think too hard about why her obsessive fan/stalker is ominously getting ready as the show is already well underway.
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