Sunday, October 19, 2008

Send in the Clowns

During the summer I worked in Manhattan before grad school, I saw Anthony Newley on Broadway singing Send In The Clowns. It had a huge impact on me. The stage went black except for one spotlight on him. The audience was mesmerized. I searched youtube but no videos exist with him singing the song again. I listened to several. Judy Collins. Barbra Streisand. Frank Sinatra. Even Elizabeth Taylor. Glenn Close, of all poeple, gave the song the rich tone that I'd heard that night so many years ago. Anyway, here it is...and she's gorgeous!

...yet this was my favorite song in the show, the keynote to the singer's role in the musical. In this one, his face was painted half white, like a clown's , and his rendition was magical. I couldn't find a single version on youtube that came close, but here's the voice of Frankie Laine and some shots from showbills and some hokey filler images. Close your eyes and imagine another man, a man on a stage in Manhattan singing his heart out.


JimK said...

Ah...the big voices.
You might like the
WERS (Emerson College) show
"Standing Room Only"
http://wers . org / sro
I couldn't find archives...
..maybe just live.

Collin said...

Glenn has an amazing voice. There are some great clips of her doing Sunset Boulevard on Broadway and she's magnificent.

Pris said... that a link? With the spaces I can't get anything.

Collin, yes, I first heard her on a tv special. Had no idea she could sing before then. She's great!

Russell Ragsdale said...

This is a big song for me too. It had had a huge impact on me from the first time I heard it. Even today it still shakes me to the core and produces this sense of an uncontrollable, unnameable longing.

Pris said...

Russell, it does that to me, still, too. Since I've posted it I've opened my blog several times just to play it again.

Annie Wicking said...

Thank you, Pris. I was about 13/ 14yrs old when I first heard this song and loved it then as I do now.

I was amazed to hear Glenn sing it so well, why I'm not at all sure... Is she a singer or an actress?

Best wishes,

Pris said...

Hi Annie
I'd always known her as an actress and that's her primary profession, but then heard her on a Frank Lloyd Webber special singing ahd have since seen her several times doing the same. The first time really surprised me since it's clear that she's had voice lessons from the modulation in her singing. I'm glad she's been able to use that gift, too.

Lisa Allender said...

Ge,, she really can "sell it". Thanks, Pris...just now getting caught up with your blog.

Joyce Ellen Davis said...



I've loved playing this song on the piano; enjoyed many singers who sang it, but I MUST SAY GLENN CLOSE ABSOLUTELY HAS STUNNED ME with her beautiful performance!!!!

Loved it. Diane

Anonymous said...

Some months have passed, but as I watched Dr. Dolittle with my sons I was reminded of a singular performance I had witnessed years ago on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.
I could swear it was Anthony Newley singing "Send In The Clowns". Hope this helps with your search!

Simone Vitale said...

Hi - I have actually been looking for Anthony Newley's version of "Send in the Clowns" for a while now as a gift for my Dad. Its his favorite rendition of his favorite song. Did you ever have any luck with finding a recording of him?? If so I would really be interested in it also!!

John P Slevin said...

Thank you for this. I've been searching a long, long time for Anthony Newley doing this. I know I saw him do it on a variety show, almost certainly either the Mike Douglas or Merv Griffin things. I've never seen/heard
it done better