In response to the Daily Post writing prompt Ripped Into The Headline.
Write about something that happened over the weekend as though it’s the top story on your local paper.
Stardust All Over Town
This weekend, the city witnessed an event unseen in these parts for a decade. The whole town had come to attend the free event and celebrate the 30th anniversary of local star, Thea Winsome’s career. Brought to fame in the 30s by her phenomenal interpretation of Fanny Brice in the much acclaimed revival of Funny Girl, Winsome went on to be the biggest star on both Broadway and in the East End for a decade before fading in the background after two mediocre movies. A better choice of screenplay might have changed her career.
She continued to play on Broadway although her star had faded. She didn’t appear to mind that much. She “enjoyed performing and serving a story”, she said several times, notably once after being nominated and losing a Tony Award. She recorded two pop albums – acknowledged by critics but given the cold shoulder by the public – that failed to bring her back to the front of the stage, yet she continued to play for full houses in small theatres. Her later work didn’t fit in what she’d been known to do, which is probably the reason why it never got the audience it should have, but Ms. Winsome recorded 11 albums. Again, the aficionados and critics loved them but buyers didn’t see the light. And in an industry driven by money, she was let go by her label after 2 failures, which led her to create her own label LosesomeWinsome. She recorded 9 more. Because she had stories to share, songs to offer to whomever would want to listen to them.
And this past weekend, people wanted to listen. 25 000 people came to that event. And Ms. Winsome showed that she shines brighter than many a star, not so has-been as people might think. She sang some musical hits that made her famous and gifted us with no less than 6 new songs. The voice is still strong, powerful when needed, soft and tender. The words keen and true, spoken from the heart of a woman who has known loss early in life and has overcome the darkness it brings in its trail. No black hole for Ms. Winsome. She offers light and hope like stardust, refuses to give in to blackness and sorrow even when her songs invite us to think of difficult or emotional moments in our lives. Always and ever she brings us back to light, as a star might.
She sprinkled stardust all over town, even inviting a couple of our local budding artists on stage with her to sing some of their songs. Both have already heard from a music producer.
Generous with her voice and heart, we might have hoped this concert was Winsome’s first step back into the spotlight. Instead, Ms. Winsome indicated her tour would be made of few dates and it would be her last. She’d wanted to share some new songs but “there’s a time when one needs to acknowledge it is the end.” She won’t stop writing but she’ll collaborate with younger artists. She’ll sprinkle stardust wherever she goes. May her star continue to shine bright.