Saturday, November 6, 2010

Corner of the Sky

I blogged earlier about seeing, almost by pure luck, the musical Pippin in December of 1973. We had gone into New York for the day intending to see a play or plays and stumbled into Pippin with the original cast. Ben Vereen as Leading Man, John Rubinstein as Pippin, and Jill Clayburgh as Catherine.

The story is of Pippin, Charlemagne's son, and how he attempts to find himself. His introductory song includes the lyrics, "Rivers belong where they can ramble, Eagles belong where they can fly. I want to be where my spirit can run free. Gotta find my corner of the sky."

Eventually Pippin meets the woman who is to be his wife, Catherine. Too restless initially to stay with her, he leaves, only to come back at the end of the play despite some ambivalence. At the end he croons, "If you are never tied to anything, you'll never be free."

When he first leaves Catherine/Jill Clayburgh, she sings a song entitled, "I Guess I'll Miss the Man". I guess I'll Miss the Man, Explain it if you can. His face was far from fine, but still I'll miss his face, and wonder if he's missing mine."

Today I read in the paper, that Jill Clayburgh 66, has died of leukemia. Sounds a bit trite, I know, but I Guess I will Miss the Woman.

There was something ingenuous about Clayburgh when I saw her in the parts she played in the movies and that one time I saw her on stage. In an Unmarried Woman, and Starting Over and Pippin. My sense is that the time to find your corner of the sky is when you are underneath it, and from the very little I know about her, and in the characters she played, she seemed willing to find her corner by following her heart during the short time that she had.

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