Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Jerry Orbach has died.

Okay, everyone in the world knows him from Law and Order. When we were still living in NYC, and Sarcasm Girl was very small, we used to see cast members from L&O all the time--they even used her preschool as a location once. But my first exposure to Orbach was the cast album of The Fantasticks, when I was about nine years old. That's a long time to hold on to a specific voice. I just had to break it to the Girl (who, when not being sarcastic, is a stone Broadway musical junkie--I think it's genetic) who is very distressed. "Why do the good ones have to die?" she wailed. "Couldn't it be a politician or something?"

Deep in September our hearts should remember...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wanted to post "r-a-a-A-A-A-a-a-A-A-ape!" as a tribute to jerry on my blog, but figured it might be more trouble than it's worth.

glad to know someone knows jerry from something other than L&O!

via maureen's blog

2:53 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Hey, he was also the original Billy Flynn in Chicago too. Wonderful voice. Not leading man pretty, but muy macho.

When Older Child (here: Sarcasm Girl) was about five, I was walking her to school one day. There about a block and a half ahead of us I see Orbach and Benjamin Bratt walking down the street, likely to a shoot happening somewhere on 85th Street (they used our neighborhood all the time, as I said). I leaned over to Child and whispered "See the man in the blue coat? He's the one who made the voice for Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast. Child, with the clear tones of ditzy childhood, pipes up, "Huh? Where?" I repeat the message a little louder. I should add that we're walking pretty quickly, and the gap between us and Orbach and Bratt is diminishing. Child says again, "What blue coat? Huh?" So again I point at Orbach and say "Lumiere. Beauty and the Beast. Blue Coat." Child says "Where?"

With each exchange my voice had been getting slightly louder and more exasperated. At a full conversational level I finally say "The. Man. Right. Ahead. Of. Us. The. Shorter. Man. Is. The. Man. Who. Did. The. Voice. For. Lumiere." And for some reason I add, "And he was the original El Gallo in The Fantasticks." At which point Orbach turns around, waves at Child, and gives me a look as if to say "but no one remembers that anymore.

I'm glad I'm not the only one, Barth. Drop by any time.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're not the only one who's mentioned The Fantasticks.


7:40 AM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

Nah, I wouldn't have thought I was. That show reached deep into the psyche of many people. Thanks for the link, Larry.

8:31 AM  
Blogger Ken Houghton said...

I think I like that better than the Katie Couric story.

11:47 AM  

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