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Edward Phillips

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Steve and Eydie
By Edward Phillips
Friday, May 01, 2015

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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This is a true story.


Steve and Eydie

A few years ago Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme toured the U.S. in their “final tour” of the country giving their “farewell” performance after more than 50 years of marriage and the same amount of time in entertaining us all—here and around the world. They appeared at venues and in locales well-known to them and to us. I had been one of their most ardent fans since the beginning of time, so I did not want to miss their performance at the Van Wezel Theatre in Sarasota. My wife and I showed up on time to chill out with a glass of wine before taking our seats “front and center,” and also to drink in a performance to last a lifetime. We were not disappointed to say the least.

The show began with 20 minutes of videos showing Steve and Eydie from their early days to their appearances on many television shows and performances from all over the world. We watched them age with grace, sing with the skill of angels, and we laughed and cried once again at each stellar performance. Then they walked out on stage singing to the roar of an approving audience that was deafening with cheers and swelling with love.

Steve and Eydie were in their element. They sang some of the old, some of the new, some sentimental, some funny songs—interspersed with comedy and tales of their lives. Their performance was artfully choreographed and as thoroughly entertaining as only two of the best performers who ever graced a stage could make it. Whether they sang together or separately, or told stories that were true or made up, we laughed, we cried, or we swooned and reminisced with each rendition.

Somewhere in the middle of the show, Steve told a spicy tale of a lady who went to see her doctor for a physical exam. After her doctor had completed all the tests he gave her his results. He said “My dear, you are in perfect health. All of your tests are center-lined, and you have absolutely nothing to worry about.” Then he paused and continued “but there is one item that bothers me. You have been married five times, right?” The lady replied “yes.” Then the doctor said, “But my examination shows that you are still a virgin. How can that be?” The lady offered this explanation: “Well, my first husband was an author, and all he wanted to do is write about sex. And my second husband was an artist, and all he wanted to do is paint pictures of sex. My third husband was a lawyer, and all he wanted to do is talk about sex. My fourth husband was a building contractor, and he never showed up.” The audience laughed only moderately. Then the doctor asked “What about your fifth husband?” She replied “Well, I kept him. He's a stamp collector.” There was a momentary pause, and then a wave of laughter rolled across the audience until it erupted into a roar of laughter that shook the building.

About 15 minutes later near the end of the show, the lights dimmed and a spotlight fell on just Steve and Eydie. Steve began singing a beautiful love song on one knee, while Eydie sat on a chair. What a moment! After more than 50 years of marriage, and 50 years of entertaining together, they were sharing their inner-most sentiments in a love song, on stage, while the audience sat there in complete silence. There was not a dry eye in the house as the two of them were fixated on each other, eye to eye. Tears were gushing down my cheeks.

Suddenly, Steve stopped singing. He stood up and embraced Eydie and began kissing her. He kissed her lips, her cheeks, her neck, and then he started down her arms. He was content to take his time. The mood in the audience shifted from love and awe to curiosity to “what the heck is he doing?” as Steve got lower and lower on Eydie’s body. Just as the audience was about to gasp in shock or terror, Eydie turned to the audience and said, “Oh, didn’t I tell you? My husband is a stamp collector also.”

They both stood and faced the audience while laughing, finished the song, and they brought the house down.

Here are Steve and Eydie at their best in a medley of songs:

Eydie died in 2013.

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Reviewed by Ronald Hull 5/2/2015
A wonderful opportunity. Great entertainers. A wonderful love story. And a killer joke.

Now that's the kind of true story I enjoy reading!

Reviewed by J. Roseline 5/2/2015
Hi Ed
Thank you so much for sharing this story. Who else but you could write it so well for them. The couple came alive and will stay alive through this story of yours ! J K Roseline
Reviewed by Jane Noponen Perinacci 5/1/2015
That had to be a "show of all time"!

Love ya!

Reviewed by Lark Pogue 5/1/2015
Obviously an incredible show. You were lucky to see it.

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