April is the pearlest month day three: Let me try to cool down your face a bit

And now today let us glorify Yvonne Elliman, the predisco mezzo-soprano who defined the role of Mary Magdalene in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar.


She sang the role on the 1970 concept album, in the original Broadway cast, and in the 1973 film. Then she had a chart-topper with the 1977 Saturday Night Fever single “If I Can’t Have You.” A remarkable voice, an admirable career. What I’d like to focus on, though, is how she worked the sternum.

two yvonnes

Sometimes vis-a-vis neckware.

yvonne 2

I can see as well as anybody that there are no pearls here. Clearly these photos weren’t shot in April and Yyonne wasn’t yet at the point in her life where she was like, geez, I should probably wear those pearls I have, that one piece of real jewelry, that simple classic luxury that’s sitting in my dresser drawer while I ponder maturity and mortality.

If she had, and if she’d stuck with her signature plunging v-necks and great skin and superhero arms-out poses, I suspect it would have worked like crazy because of the contrast. Right?! The impossibly potent daintyness of the pearls up against all that silky-looking power.

Thus here in day three I think we are onto something.

Big thanks to Yvonne for taking it as far as she did, and I will now take it from here, specifically tonight at Indian Island Winery where The Frye plays 5:30-8:30 p.m. including our annual one-song tribute to Jesus Christ Superstar with Joe Tougas as Jesus, Judas, Apostles and Peter, and Ann Fee as Mary Magdaelene, Apostles, and Woman. After that one song my plan is to Yvonne Elliman the living hell out of the whole show by virtue of this.

My most sternum-baring disco shirt, previously made decent with a few stitches mid-sternum but NOT ANY MORE. Here is my deepest-plunging shirt, previously made decent by a few stitches I put in to keep things closed mid-sternum but those days are over.

Here is my deepest-plunging shirt, initially made decent by a few stitches I added to keep things closed mid-sternum but those days are gone.

And some of this.

This isn't even the whole display.

JoAnn Fabrics. This isn’t even the whole display.

Ultimately coming together with less sinew than Yvonne and probably just my arms hanging down like usual, but still, I think it’ll be an improvement for me. My day-one 1950s aesthetic didn’t really knock me out, and neither did the day-two 1650s look, and so let’s see where DIY 1977 takes things. We have to move on. I’ll tweet it over on @ARosenquistFee, successful or not. Come see. I have 27 days to go and I just think we have to move on.

Oh and P.S., Alyssa? Erin? Other pearl-denying friends: I trust you’ve lifted your strand from its shameful spot in your dresser drawer and placed it top-of-dresser, at least, and you’re letting it stare you down. Let it rest there and breathe. Baby steps. You and the pearls will want to rest up for what’s to come.


Tomorrow: #wearthepearls is just like #freethenipple except EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE.

2 comments on “April is the pearlest month day three: Let me try to cool down your face a bit

  1. Terri ryburn says:

    Ann–Love these posts! You are aware that Condoleeza Rice wore the hell out of pearls, aren’t you?

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