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Elaine Stritch on Life in Michigan: ‘I Don’t Have a Damned Thing to Do’

Elaine Stritch on Life in Michigan: ‘I Don’t Have a Damned Thing to Do’
Elaine Stritch
'I don’t have a damned thing to do except take walks in Birmingham, Michigan, and I’ve done that.'

Elaine Stritch may have packed up her bags and left New York City, but her heart is still at the Carlyle Hotel. The grand dame of Broadway played her final performance at the Café Carlyle this April before moving back to Michigan to be with her family. Vanity Fair caught up with the 88-year-old star, who revealed that life in Michigan isn’t exactly what she expected.

“I don’t have a damned thing to do except take walks in Birmingham, Michigan, and I’ve done that,” she joked. “Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.” Stritch said she was surprised that she wasn’t adjusting well in Michigan, adding, “I’m thinking maybe I left a little early.” Though she’s enjoyed observing her family’s humor, she’s pining for work but left with limited options due to her health.

“I think I have to take it easy. I don’t think my health is up to really doing a lot of work. But if they hire me to do a job, they have to pay me respectably, and they have to have me travel always with a caretaker, which I don’t like at all, but that’s the way it has to be,” said Stritch. “So I’m penned in. I’m penned in and I don’t like it.”

Stritch returned to New York City on June 10, where she was honored at the Stella by Starlight gala. When asked if she missed the Carlyle, she quipped, “Oh my God, who wouldn’t?! That’s just the best place to live in the world. Anything you want is at your fingertips.”

Until then, she’s doing her best in Michigan, where she’s performing in a benefit concert in downtown Detroit and being treated “like royalty.” As for other royal perks of life, like room service—well, they don’t exactly work the same way that they did at the Carlyle. Laughed Stritch: “Nothing’s comped in Birmingham!”

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