Loving Lily Tomlin

grandma lily tomlin

The best thing about A.O. Scott’s review of the new film Grandma is actually not the review. Although the New York Times review is fantastic and I’m very excited to see the film ASAP, what really caught my attention was Scott’s ability to remind of the genius of Lily Tomlin. Not that I need much of a reminder. Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner have been wow-ing me for over 40 years. Scott’s review reminded me I owned two of Lily’s recordings – This is a Recording (1971) which was all Ernestine, but very adult content and Modern Scream (1975) which as a 15 year-old introduced me to fetish in the character of Lucille the Rubber Freak. I played both albums over and over again. God only knows what my parents thought.

The best night of theater in my life was my 30th birthday seeing Lily live on stage in Philly doing Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in 1989 just months before I moved to NYC. The film adaptation didn’t do the play justice. The theater performance took me to another reality. I still get chills thinking about her alone on the stage with just a light man bouncing back and forth from character to character. Genius.

And then there are her films:
Nashville, 9 to 5, The Incredible Shrinking Woman, Big Business, Short Cuts, Tea with Mussolini, I Heart Huckabees, and now Grandma

I’m very excited to see Grandma. I know I didn’t give Grace and Frankie a very good review, but I am now confident Grandma will give me hope there are still many vehicles left for the enormous talent that is Lily Tomlin.

Read Reel Charlie’s review of Nashville.
Reed A.O. Scott’s review of Grandma which got me thinking about Lily.


2 Responses to “Loving Lily Tomlin”

  1. Uncle Barb Says:

    omg I saw Search for Signs for the third time (2x at the Mayflower in NYC) in 1989 at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philly. Maybe we were at the same performance! The Walnut Street version was enhanced with several scenes not presented at the Mayflower.


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