Lauren Bacall’s ‘Applause’-Worthy Trip To A Gay Bar: VIDEO


The inimitable Lauren Bacall passed away yesterday at 89. As fans reflect on her many iconic roles and on-screen moments, consider this clip from the 1973 telecast of the musical Applause, based on 1950’s All About Eve, where Bacall, playing another legendary actress—Margo Channing—decides to celebrate opening night of her new play at a gay bar in Greenwich Village. The number, "But Alive", celebrates the pure joy of being alive. Bacall won a Tony for her performance as Channing on Broadway.

Watch Bacall sashay and shimmy, AFTER THE JUMP…



  1. says

    you know, a bud and i actually put on a “different” tribute of sorts for the Late Great Bacall last night.

    “The Fan”, anyone? Ehrenstein? sexy michael biehn. glamorous bacall, singing a gloriously-tacky Hamlisch ballad, shelley winters getting her face slashed – yes, it’s Bacall’s entry into the 1980s slasher sub genre.

    but Sean Mandell! thank you for this! i’ve never seen this clip before! loving it.

    she was a class act.

  2. BrianM says

    The “Applause” album was one of the first I ever bought with my own money, when I was a 14-year-old kid in Dallas and had never seen a Broadway show, didn’t know who Lauren Bacall was, and had never watched “All About Eve” (now my favorite move of all time).

    But somewhere on the album cover was a photo of Bacall being lifted by Lee Roy Reams (very handsome) and an unnamed dancer. I had no idea this scene was set in a gay bar, but my baby gaydar went off (maybe for the first time) to let me know that people who felt like me existed and seemed to be having a good time in life.

    I still have that album (in vinyl), and have downloaded it from iTunes, and many of its songs are still on heavy rotation on my iPod. ‘Applause” and Bacall will always mean a lot to me because of their role in my long coming out and process of self-acceptance.

  3. Salondra says

    “shelley winters getting her face slashed”

    You mean Maureen Stapleton, but speaking of Stapleton, my favorite scene was the part when Bacall gets angry at Stapleton for how she treats her fans, so they get into a verbal cat fight. That was gay heaven for me.

    I’m surprised The Fan doesn’t have a bigger cult following. It’s as hilarious as Valley of the Dolls.

  4. says

    Yes! Maureen Stapleton! my bad! how could i? bad gay. very bad gay.

    and yes – The Fan needs a stronger gay following. I mean, diva-mad broadway maniac who gets head on a rooftop…it’s just classically hilarious.

    and that SONG.

    Oh, Biehn. I was so in love with him as a tween.

  5. leprechaunvict says

    Oh that was totally charming. I can’t believe they let a flashing “gay power” sign on tv in 1973! She was always a classy lady.

  6. Alan says

    Such a simple concept . . . set a show number in a gay bar and you don’t need an excuse to have chorus boys present.


  7. PlaidCat says

    Yet another gap in my history of gay entertainment! (Okay, so there are truckloads of gaps.) But it is clear now where Mr. Ball got his inspiration for the Glee: Opening Night episode, scenes 14 & 15. (Maybe more?)

  8. GaryJ says

    She was a great entertainer, quite stunning when she was on screen with Bogart.
    RIP sweet lady.

  9. Derrick from Philly says

    A Jewish girl from Brooklyn became one of the greatest movie stars and celebrities of all time. AND INCREDIBLY SEXY.

    “You know how to whistle, don’t ya’, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow”

  10. graphicjack says

    Now this dame was an ICON… why do we debate whether Andy freakin’ Cohen is an icon when he’s not worthy to wipe Lauren Bacall’s butt?

    Sadly, she was the last icon in Madonna’s Vogue rap to still be alive. An era is dead, and now we have the Kardashians.