Transcript: Superstars of a Bygone Era | Dec 12, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a gray suit, checkered purple shirt, and purple tie.

A caption on screen reads "Superstars of a bygone era. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says ON THE SURFACE, THEY
HAD NOT VERY MUCH IN COMMON,
OTHER THAN THE FACT THAT THEY
WERE BOTH SUPERSTAR FEMALE
ENTERTAINERS FROM DECADES AGO.
BUT EDITH PIAF AND
MARLENE DIETRICH WERE BOTH
DEEPLY EMOTIONAL AND REMARKABLY
COMPLICATED WOMEN WHO THRILLED
MILLIONS WITH THEIR TALENT,
WHILE THEIR PERSONAL LIVES WERE
FREQUENTLY IN TURMOIL.
LOUISE PITRE AND JAYNE LEWIS ARE
PORTRAYING THESE TWO GIANTS ON
STAGE AT TORONTO'S CAA THEATRE
UNTIL EARLY JANUARY.
THE PLAY IS CALLED
"PIAF-DIETRICH," AND THEY JOIN
US NOW FOR MORE.

Louise is in her sixties, with short white hair. She's wearing a red sweater and a golden pendant necklace with matching earrings.
Jayne is in her fifties, with shoulder-length wavy blond hair. She's wearing a black turtleneck.

Steve continues I'M SO THRILLED THAT YOU'RE
HERE, I HAVE TO CONTEST FESS.
I'M VERY EXCITED ABOUT THE FACT
YOU TWO ARE HERE.
I SAW THE SHOW AND IT'S
PHENOMENAL.

Louise says IT'S GREAT YOU SAW THE SHOW.

Steve says IT WAS ABSOLUTELY
WONDERFUL.
I DON'T WANT TO ASSUME BECAUSE
THE TWO PEOPLE YOU PORTRAY HAVE
NOT BEEN WITH US FOR A WHILE.
I DON'T WANT TO ASSUME EVERYONE
KNOWS WHO THEY ARE.
WHO IS EDITH PIAF.

The caption changes to "Louise Pitre. Actor, 'Piaf/Dietrich.'"
Then, it changes again to "Two giants of show business."

A black and white picture shows Edith Piaf holding her arms and looking up with a dramatic expression. Her hair is curly and dark, and her eyebrows are very thin.

Louise says PIAF IS PROBABLY THE MOST
FAMOUS SINGER IN FRANCE, I MEAN,
PERIOD.
I THINK MORE PEOPLE SHOWED UP
FOR HER FUNERAL THAN FOR ANYONE
ELSE.
SHE SANG WITH SUCH PASSION.
THAT'S WHAT SHE WAS KNOWN FOR.
SHE WAS FAMOUS IN FRANCE BUT
THEN CAME ACROSS, SHE WAS FAMOUS
IN FRENCH CANADA FOR SURE, BUT
CONQUERED NEW YORK AND THE WORLD
EVENTUALLY.

Steve says AND MARLENE DIETRICH?

Jayne says MARLENE DIETRICH, WHO WOULD
BE KNOWN FOR HER MOVIES, HER
FILMS, I THINK FIRST AND
FOREMOST, AND AS A SCREEN BEAUTY...

A black and white picture shows Marlene Dietrich in her youth, wearing a dark blazer and a silk scarf, with short curly light hair and a severe expression on her face. Her brows are also thin, but more arched.

The caption changes to "Jayne Lewis. Actor, 'Piaf/Dietrich.'"

Jayne says HAIR AND MAKEUP DOES A LOT
WHEN I'M AT WORK.
I'M KIDDING.
NO, I WOULD SAY HER FILM WORK
AND HER BEAUTY, HER SENSE OF
STYLE, THE WAY IN WHICH SHE
BROUGHT THE LOOK OF MEN'S
CLOTHING INTO FASHION, AND HER
SEXUALITY.
I THINK SHE WAS KNOWN FOR THAT
AS WELL.
SHE WAS VERY OPEN SEXUALLY.
SHE LOVED WHO SHE LOVED.

Steve says DO YOU THINK YOU
LOOK LIKE HER?
I'LL TELL YOU, WHEN YOU'RE ON
STAGE...

Jayne says PEOPLE DO SAY THAT.
I KNOW.

Steve says YOU ARE THE SPITTING
IMAGE OF HER.

Louise says THERE IS A DEFINITE
RESEMBLANCE, FOR SURE, AND THE
MAKEUP AND THE HIGHLIGHTING.
FOR SURE.

Jayne says I GUESS.

Louise says FOR SURE.

Jayne says I'LL TAKE IT.

Steve says AND THE VOICE.

Jayne says YES, THE VOICE.

Steve says YOU DO CAPTURE HER
VOICE, WHICH WAS LOWER THAN
ACTORS AT THE TIME.

Jayne says NO, GOOD.
NO, I WATCHED A LOT OF HER
FILMS, I WATCHED A LOT OF HER
INTERVIEWS, SO THAT I COULD...
NOT COPY THE VOICE BUT SO THAT I
COULD...

Steve says INTERPRET.

Jayne says INTERPRET IT AND MAKE IT
MY OWN AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE AND
MAKE IT AS NATURAL AS POSSIBLE.
IT'S VERY EASY NOW TO SLIP DOWN
THERE AND TO USE THAT ACCENT AND
TO LIVE THERE BECAUSE I'VE
BECOME SO FAMILIAR WITH HER,
YEAH.

Steve says NOW, AS A GIRL FROM
SMOOTH ROCK FALLS, AS YOU WERE,
ONCE UPON A TIME, DID YOU KNOW
MUCH ABOUT EDITH PIAF BEFORE YOU
GOT THE PART?

The caption changes to "Louise Pitre, @louloupit."

Louise says OH, YEAH.
I'VE BEEN SINGING FOR A LONG
TIME, ACTUALLY, IN CONCERT AND
I'VE DONE OTHER PIAF SHOWS THAT
WERE NOT NEARLY AS WONDERFUL AS
THIS ONE.
WHEN I WAS A KID, I REMEMBER
DISTINCTLY BEING A KID IN
MONTREAL AND MY MOTHER TELLING
ME ABOUT EDITH PIAF, BECAUSE
SHE... MY MOTHER LOVED TO SING.
SHE WAS NOT A GREAT SINGER.
SHE SANG WITH GUSTO, THOUGH,
FULL OUT, AND GOT SHARPER AND
SHARPER AS SHE WENT ALONG.
BUT I REMEMBER HER SINGING AMOUR
AND ME ASKING AND SHE TELLING ME
ABOUT EDITH PIAF.
SO I'VE KNOWN ABOUT EDITH PIAF
FOR A LONG TIME.

Steve says THIS IS GOING TO
SOUND LIKE AN ODD QUESTION.
WE'VE ALREADY ESTABLISHED THE
FACT YOU LOOK LIKE MARLENE
DIETRICH WHEN YOU ARE ON STAGE
AND WHAT SHE WORE AND THE WAY
SHE WAS MADE UP.
YOU SEE I'M BEING VERY
CAREFUL...

Louise says I DON'T GET TO BE TOO PRETTY
IN THIS SHOW.

Steve says THIS IS THE THING.
EDITH PIAF WAS NOT WHAT YOU
WOULD CALL A CLASSICAL BEAUTY
THE WAY THAT... AM I BEING TOO
NICE ABOUT IT?
SO YOU DON'T REALLY...

Louise says SHE... OH, MY GOD, SHE HAD
ZERO SENSE OF STYLE.
SHE DIDN'T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT IT
EITHER, FRANKLY.
SHE WORE A BLACK DRESS WHEN SHE
SANG.
SHE WORE A BLACK DRESS.
THAT'S IT.
SO NO MAKEUP.
SHE GOT GLAMMED UP WHEN SHE CAME
TO THE STATES, ACTUALLY.
THAT'S WHERE THEY GLAMMED HER UP
A LITTLE BIT, WHEN SHE WAS IN
NEW YORK FOR ALBUM COVERS AND
POSTERS, BUT, NO.

Steve says AND AS AN ACTOR, YOU
DON'T MIND BEING MADE LESS
ATTRACTIVE...

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Louise says I LOVE MY SECOND WIG, THE ONE
WHERE SHE HAS LOST ALL HER HAIR
AND IT LOOKS LIKE HELL!
BUT THERE'S SOMETHING THAT COMES
WITH THAT, YOU KNOW.
ONE OF MY FAVOURITE PARTS OF THE
SHOW IS SINGING BARE FEET IN A
HOSPITAL GOWN WITH ALL MY HAIR
MISSING.
HELLO.
THAT'S AN INCREDIBLE FEELING.

Steve says I OF COURSE HAD
HEARD OF BOTH OF THESE
SUPERSTARS, BUT FRANKLY DIDN'T
KNOW THAT THEY KNEW EACH OTHER
AT ALL, AND BEYOND THAT, DIDN'T
KNOW THAT THEY...

Jayne says THEY HAD A LONG...

Steve says THEY HAD A LONG
RELATIONSHIP.
I MEAN THERE'S MORE THAN A
FRIENDSHIP HERE, RIGHT?
HOW MUCH OF THIS DO WE WANT TO
GO INTO?

Jayne says WE'RE SAYING THE JURY IS
STILL OUT AS TO HOW INTIMATE IT
WAS, BUT THEY DEFINITELY HAD A
REAL LOVE AND ADMIRATION FOR
EACH OTHER, AND...

Louise says A TRUE FRIENDSHIP.
WE DON'T KNOW HOW DEEP IT WENT
BUT...

In a black and white picture, Piaf applies lipstick while looking into a mirror as Dietrich sits next to her watching.

Louise says THEY DID SHARE A PLACE.
LIKE, THEY WERE SPENDING A LOT
OF TIME TOGETHER IN NEW YORK.
THAT REALLY HAPPENED.

Jayne says RIGHT.

Louise says AND DIETRICH HELPING PIAF.

Jayne says HELPING HER CAREER.

Louise says IN THAT APARTMENT DID THEY
ACTUALLY SLEEP TOGETHER?

Steve says WELL, THEY DO IN THE
PLAY.
OR DID THEY IN REAL LIFE OR ARE
WE TAKING POETIC LICENCE HERE?
A TEENY BIT OF POETIC LICENCE.
THAT'S QUITE A BIT OF POETIC
LICENCE TO TAKE, THOUGH.

Louise says WE KNOW DIETRICH FOR SURE.

Steve says SHE WAS BISEXUAL.

Jayne says NO QUESTION ABOUT THAT.

Louise says AND PIAF WAS SO OUT THERE.
IT MAKES PERFECT SENSE.

Jayne says THAT IT LIKELY HAPPENED,
YEAH, YEAH.

Steve says OKAY.
SO THERE'S ACTUALLY NOTHING TO
PROVE THAT THEY HAD A SEXUAL
RELATIONSHIP...

Jayne says A FULL RELATIONSHIP, NOT THAT
I'M AWARE OF.

Steve says BUT YOU ARE
INFERRING IT.

Jayne says WE ARE, YES.

Louise says BUT THEY DID HAVE THIS
INCREDIBLE RELATIONSHIP ALL
THOSE YEARS.

Steve says CHEMISTRY.

Louise says TO THE POINT WHERE THAT
LITTLE BIT IN THE SHOW, WITH THE
LITTLE PIECE OF PAPER.
[Speaking in French]
DON'T FORGET THAT I LOVE YOU,
TRULY... THAT'S TRUE.
MARLENE DIETRICH KEPT THAT PIECE
OF PAPER...

Jayne says IT WAS ON HER BEDSIDE TABLE
WHEN SHE DIED AFTER BEING A
RECLUSE FOR ALL THOSE YEARS.
ISN'T THAT CRAZY?

Steve says THAT IS AMAZING.
THAT IS AMAZING.
BOY, THIS IS A REALLY WEIRD
QUESTION FOR ME TO ASK BUT I'M
GOING TO GO HERE ANYWAY.
YOU HAVE A COLD RIGHT NOW.

Jayne says I DO, YEAH.

Steve says AND THERE'S A
KISSING SCENE IN THIS PLAY.
AND YOU PROBABLY ARE CONTAGIOUS.
SO DO YOU...

Jayne says SORRY, LOUISE.
AND WE CAN'T FAKE THAT.

Steve says NO...

Jayne says WE HAVE TO DO IT.

Louise says SO YOU JUST GO.
WHAT THE HELL.
WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?

Steve says YOU'RE GOING TO GET
A COLD IS WHAT'S GOING TO
HAPPEN.

Louise says MAYBE NOT.
I BELIEVE.
I'VE HAD MY FLU SHOT, I TAKE MY
COLD FX EVERY DAY, I TAKE MY
EMERGENCY, I'M DOING WHAT I CAN,
EATING RIGHT.
WHATEVER.

Jayne says I'M TAKING PRETTY GOOD CARE
OF MYSELF I THINK.

Louise says IF I GET A COLD...

Jayne says WE'LL FIGURE IT OUT.

Louise says SO BE IT.

Jayne says YOU JUST LEARN HOW TO
MANIPULATE YOUR VOICE
DIFFERENTLY AND SING THINGS
DIFFERENTLY.
OBVIOUSLY IT HELPS IN TERMS OF
MY SPEAKING VOICE.
I DIDN'T THINK I COULD GET LOWER
THAN I DO IN THE SHOW.
BUT THE SINGING VOICE... YEAH,
WHEN YOU HAVE TO SING...

Steve says DO YOU SOMETIMES HAVE
TO FOREGO THE HIGHEST NOTES IF
YOU'RE VOICE IS NOT THERE.

Jayne says I JUST PLACE THEM DIFFERENTLY
AND I KNOW THAT I SING MORE THAN
MARLENE EVER DID IN THE SHOW,
ANYWAY. LAST NIGHT, THERE WAS
PROBABLY A LITTLE MORE HEAD
VOICE, A LITTLE MORE SPIN TO THE
VOICE, THAT SHE WOULD NEVER DO
JUST BECAUSE I KNEW THAT WOULD
BE THE ONLY WAY I COULD HIT THE
NOTES BECAUSE SOME OF THE STUFF
SITS SO LOW THAT IT DOESN'T
MATTER BUT IF I GO UP NOT TO GET
TOO TECHNICAL BUT IF I GO UP
INTO MY MIXED VOICE AND MY
UP INTO MY HEAD, THEN IT
BECOMES COMPLICATED AND THEN
YOU HAVE TO DO SOME NAVIGATING.

Steve says YOU ARE NATURALLY AN
ALTO ANYWAY.

Jayne says NO, I'M A SOPRANO.

Louise says OH, MY GOD.
I HAVE A WAY LOWER VOICE THAN
SHE DOES.
I KNOW.
IT'S FUNNY THAT SHE... I KEPT
SAYING, WOULDN'T IT BE COOL TO
SWITCH?
I WOULD LOVE TO PLAY DIETRICH.
MY GOD, THAT'S MY RANGE!

Jayne says I COULDN'T SING IN FRENCH THE
WAY YOU DO.

Louise says OH, DAMN.

Jayne says COULDN'T DO IT.

Louise says WE'LL FIND SOMETHING ELSE.

[LAUGHTER]

Steve says YOU BOTH IN THE
COURSE OF DOING YOUR RESEARCH
FOR YOUR RESPECTIVE PARTS... YOU
KNEW ALL THE MUSIC, YOU HAD SEEN
THE MOVIES, WHATEVER.
HOW, WHEN YOU'RE INTERPRETING
YOUR RESPECTIVE CHARACTERS, DO
YOU ENSURE THAT YOU'RE NOT
IMITATING THEM BUT THAT YOU'RE
ACTUALLY INTERPRETING HOW YOU
SEE THEM?

The caption changes to "The pain of love."

Louise says YOU KNOW WHAT?
IMITATING IS A VERY DANGEROUS
THING AND IT ENDS UP BEING
UNREAL, UNTRUE.
I AM NOT IMITATING PIAF.
HOWEVER, I AM BEING VERY TRUE TO
HER STYLE.
SHE HAD SOME LITTLE
IDIOSYNCRASIES WHEN SHE SANG,
THE WAY SHE BACKED OFF NOTES OR
FELL OFF THEM, HER PHRASING WAS
IMPECCABLE.
I'M TRUE TO THAT.
IT'S VERY MUCH LOUISE PITRE UP
THERE SINGING.
MY VOICE IS NOT AS NASAL AS
HERS.
SHE USED TO GO FLAT A BIT ON
LONG NOTES.
I WON'T DO THAT.
IT'S DIFFERENT.
IT'S A LOT OF ME.
BUT KEEPING IN MIND WHO SHE IS.

Jayne says WE ARE INTERPRETERS, WE'RE
NOT IMPERSONATORS.
I THINK PEOPLE ARE ACCEPTING
THAT WHEN THEY COME TO THE SHOW.

Steve says WHEN YOU TALK, DO
YOU TRY TO PUT A BIT OF GERMANIC
ACCENT IN...

Jayne says I DO, YEAH.
SHE HAD A VERY FUNNY LITTLE "R,"
SO SHE SAYS "AMEICA," AND I
THROW IT IN EVERY NOW AND THEN
BECAUSE I THINK SHE WORKED VERY
HARD TO NOT SOUND GERMAN AND NOT
LET THAT AFFECTATION COME
THROUGH.
I WILL TOSS IT IN BUT I DON'T DO
IT ALL THE TIME.
IN FACT, SHE WAS VERY, VERY WELL
EDUCATED AND SHE SPOKE FLUENT
FRENCH, GERMAN, AND ENGLISH.
AND SHE DID LEARN HOW TO PLAY
THE PIANO AND THE VIOLIN.
SO SHE WAS VERY EDUCATED AND, IN
TURN, SPOKE... SHE DID SPEAK
ENGLISH VERY WELL.
SO I GIVE A FLAVOURING OF IT.
I GIVE A FLAVOURING OF IT, YEAH.

The caption changes to "Watch us anytime: tvo.org, Twitter: @theagenda, Facebook Live, YouTube."

Steve says I NEED TO ASK YOU
ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER'S
RELATIONSHIP WITH LOVE BECAUSE
SHE HAD A TORTUOUS LIFE.
PICKED THE WRONG GUYS ALL THE TIME.

Louise says ALL THE TIME... THAT'S
ACTUALLY... I THINK THAT'S A
THING IN COMMON WITH THE LADIES.
THAT'S THE BEAUTY OF THE SHOW IS
THAT IT SHOWS THE LOVE THAT
LASTED BETWEEN THESE TWO...

Jayne says THAT DIDN'T LAST.

Louise says THEY DIDN'T FIND IT IN THEIR
OWN RESPECTIVE LIVES.
I THINK PIAF, SO MUCH IS MADE OF
THE BOXER, SHE WAS IN LOVE WITH
HIM FOR SURE.
BUT HAD HE NOT DIED IN A PLANE
CRASH...

Steve says SPOILER.
SPOILER ALERT.

Louise says IF IT WOULD HAVE HAPPENED.
I DON'T KNOW IF PEOPLE KNOW
ABOUT HIM.
IT WAS ONE OF THOSE THINGS.
IT WAS JUST ONE AFTER THE OTHER,
FULL-ON LOVE THAT NEVER LASTED.
THAT WAS HER LIFE.
BUT SHE LIVED IT, BOY, FULL TILT.

Steve says SHE SURE DID.
WHAT DO YOU THINK MARLENE
DIETRICH SAW IN EDITH PIAF,
BECAUSE THEY... THEY WERE NOT
ALIKE AT ALL IN SOME RESPECTS, RIGHT?

Jayne says I THINK IT WAS THE RAWNESS OF
PIAF, THE HONESTY OF PIAF, AND,
YOU KNOW, MAYBE A LITTLE BIT OF
THAT ROUGHNESS AND EVERYTHING
BECAUSE MARLENE WAS SO POISED,
SO PUT TOGETHER.

Steve says ELEGANT.

Jayne says YES.

Steve says AND GORGEOUS AND
GLAMOROUS, ALL OF THE THINGS
EDITH PIAF WAS NOT.

Louise says EXACTLY.

Steve says SO THEY'RE QUITE THE
ODD COUPLE, AREN'T THEY?

Jayne says MAYBE THE OPPOSITE ATTRACTS.

Louise says NO, FOR SURE.
THIS IS ALL ABOUT... HERE'S HOW
I FEEL.
HERE IS MY HEART, HERE'S MY
GUTS...

Jayne says SHE WOULD DO IT BEHIND CLOSED
DOORS.
SHE WOULD NEVER ALLOW THAT TO
HAPPEN IN A PUBLIC PLATFORM BUT
CERTAINLY...

Steve says SHE WAS FIERY AND
TEMPESTUOUS BEHIND THE SCENES.

Jayne says OH MY GOSH.

Louise says WHICH WE DEAL WITH IN THE
SHOW IN THE PLAY...

[COUGHING]

Steve says WE DID SAY YOU HAD A COLD.

Jayne says I NEED SOME WATER. I'M
TEARING UP BECAUSE I'M SO
EXCITED TO BE HERE. EXCUSE ME.

Steve says YOU ARE SUFFERING, I
CAN SEE IT AND I'M SO SORRY.
THE TERRIBLE THING IS, WE HAVE
YOU TAPING HERE ON WHAT IS A
DAY OFF FOR YOU. THE THEATRE
IS DARK TONIGHT AS THEY SAY.
AND HERE'S HOW YOU CHOOSE TO
SPEND YOUR TIME.

Louise says WELL, WE DIDN'T CHOOSE.

[LAUGHTER]

Steve says ZING!

Louise says OKAY, WE AGREED.

Steve says GOOD POINT.
ARE YOU OKAY? SHOULD WE...

Jayne says I'M FINE. DID YOU STOP?

Steve says NO, WE HAVEN'T
STOPPED.

[LAUGHTER]

Jayne says OKAY. I'M GOOD. I'M GOOD.
I'LL HAVE SOME MORE.

She drinks water.

Steve says BUT, YOU KNOW, IF WE
NEED TO CALL AN AMBULANCE RIGHT
NOW, I'M CONTENT TO DO THAT.

Jayne says CLEAR!
OKAY, I'M BACK. I'M BACK.

Steve says WELL, OKAY, WHERE DO
WE WANT TO GO HERE HERE? I'LL
TELL YOU WHERE I WANT TO GO.
I WANT TO SHOW YOU TWO AT WORK.
CAN WE DO THAT? SHELDON, IF YOU
WOULD, LET'S ROLL THE CLIP.

A clip plays on screen.
In the clip, Jayne stands on a stage characterized as Edith Piaf in dark clothes, a dark curly wig and similar makeup.
Louise stands with her, characterized as Marlene Dietrich, in dark clothes and a blond curly wig.

Together, they sing
WHEN YOU SEE ANGELS SING
FROM AFAR
EVERYDAY WORDS TURN INTO LOVE
SONGS
GIVE YOUR HEART AND SOUL TO
ME
AND LIFE WILL ALWAYS BE
LA VIE EN ROSE
DA DA DA DA DA...

The clip ends.

Steve says OH, MY GOD.
I MEAN, THAT'S... I MEAN, THAT'S
THEM.
YOU TWO ARE THEM.
YOU ARE THEM.
THAT SONG IS... I MEAN,
THAT'S THE SONG YOU KNOW.
EVERYBODY IS WAITING TO HEAR,
RIGHT?
AND SO THE PRESSURE TO NAIL THAT
MUST BE INTENSE BECAUSE YOU KNOW
THAT'S THE SONG EVERYBODY WANTS TO HEAR...

Louise says WELL, THAT ONE AND.
Je ne regrette rien
IS THE OTHER ONE WHERE YOU HEAR
A REACTION.
BUT WHAT I LOVE AS WELL IS, YES,
LA VIE EN ROSE, THE MOST FAMOUS,
AND WE TIME AND TIME AGAIN
THROUGH THE SHOW... THAT'S
RIGHT.
AND I WOULD NEVER SING IT IN
ENGLISH.
THERE'S THE WHOLE THING ABOUT...
BUT THEN FINALLY, AT THE END, WE
DO SING IT ACTUALLY TOGETHER AND
IN ENGLISH AND IT'S A NEAT
ARRANGEMENT OF IT.
IT'S NOT A STRAIGHT-AHEAD, WE
ARE SINGING IT TOGETHER WITH
THESE NEAT LITTLE HARMONIES
AND...
I LOVE THAT.

Jayne says I THINK IT IS NICE THAT WE ARE
ABLE TO COME TOGETHER IN SONG.

Louise says YES, YES!

Steve says WHY DO YOU THINK
THAT SONG... I MEAN, THAT SONG
HAS LEGS FOR DECADES.

Louise says IT KEEPS BEING REDONE IN
OTHER... I MEAN, C'MON.
JUST NOW, LADY GAGA SINGING IT
IN "A STAR IS BORN."
A GREAT SONG IS A GREAT SONG.

Steve says A GREAT SONG IS A
GREAT SONG.
IT DOES PERSIST.
AND I DON'T KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE
HAVE... WHAT DO YOU SAY?...
COVERED IT.

Louise says OH, MY GOODNESS.

Steve says FOR SURE.
LOUISE, EDITH PIAF DIED AT 47
FROM LIVER CANCER.
HER VERY FAMOUS LAST WORDS WERE:
EVERY DAMN THING YOU DO IN THIS
LIFE YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR.
HOW DOES THAT SUM UP HER LIFE,
THAT LINE?

Louise says OH, MY GOD.
THERE YOU GO.
YOU JUST SAID SHE WAS 46...

Steve says 47.

The caption changes to "Their deaths."

Louise says 47.
SHE LOOKED LIKE SHE WAS 127.
I OFTEN COMPARE HER TO JUDY
GARLAND.
LIKE, IF I HAD TO PICK WHO WOULD
BE SIMILAR.
THE SAME KIND OF FULL-OUT KIND
OF LIVING.
PIAF, YEAH, SHE HAD LIVER CANCER
BUT, WOW, THERE WAS THE BOOZE,
THE DRUGS, SERIOUS DRUG
ADDICTION PROBLEMS FOR THE
ARTHRITIS AS WELL AS PAINKILLERS
AS WELL AS BLAH BLAH, BUT MOSTLY
NOT SLEEPING.
WORKING HERSELF TO DEATH, BASICALLY.

Steve says DO YOU THINK SHE HAD
A DEATH WISH AT SOME LEVEL?

Louise says I DON'T KNOW ABOUT A DEATH WISH, NO.

Steve says NO.

Louise says SHE KNEW SHE WAS GOING TO
DIE.
SHE KNEW SHE HAD ABUSED HER BODY
SO, SO MUCH.
BUT I THINK SHE WANTED TO MAKE
SURE SHE WOULD DIE ON STAGE.
THAT'S WHAT I SECRETLY THINK.
THAT'S WHY SHE KEPT WORKING TO
THE POINT... SHE KEPT PASSING
OUT.

Jayne says COLLAPSING ON STAGE.

Louise says IT BECAME A TERRIBLE THING,
YES.
BUT I THINK...

Jayne says WHEREAS DIETRICH, YOU KNOW...

Steve says DIED AT AGE 90.

Jayne says I KNOW.
BUT SHE WAS A RECLUSE FOR THE
LAST 12 OR 13 YEARS OF HER LIFE.

Steve says WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT?

Jayne says BECAUSE SHE... UNLIKE PIAF
WHO WANTED TO DIE ON... YOU
KNOW, WHO WANTED TO DIE ON
STAGE, DIETRICH DIDN'T WANT HER
PUBLIC TO SEE THE DEMISE OF THIS
LEGEND, AND SO SHE LOCKED
HERSELF AWAY IN A PARIS
APARTMENT AND RACKED UP HUGE
TELEPHONE BILLS BECAUSE THAT WAS
HER ONLY CONNECTION WITH THE
OUTSIDE WORLD.

Louise says SHE STAYED IN BED.

Jayne says SHE STAYED IN BED.

Louise says FOR THE LAST I DON'T KNOW HOW
MANY...

Jayne says BECAUSE SHE WAS VERY PROUD OF
HER LEGS AND OF COURSE THEY WERE
GOING, AND SO SHE DIDN'T WANT
ANYBODY... ANYBODY TO SEE HER.
OH, MY GOSH.

Steve says AND NOBODY DID.

Jayne says NO.

Louise says IT'S HER WHO SAID "THE LEGS
ARE THE LAST TO GO."

Jayne says OH!

Louise says OH, MY GOD, BECAUSE IT WAS SO
MUCH ABOUT THAT.

Jayne says SHE NEVER HAD A FACELIFT, BUT
SHE STARTED TO WEAR WIGS IN THE
LATTER PART OF HER LIFE WHEN SHE
STARTED TO DO ALL HER CONCERT
WORK AND SHE BRAIDED HER HAIR SO
TIGHTLY, AND PULLED IT BACK,
WHICH IS VERY PAINFUL, TO LIFT
HER FACE, AND THEN PUT THE WIG
OVERTOP OF THESE BRAIDS THAT
WERE VERY, VERY TINY AND VERY,
VERY TIGHT TO PULL HER FACE BACK.

Steve says MAKESHIFT PLASTIC SURGERY.

Jayne says OH, MY GOSH, YEAH, YEAH.
IT HURT!
IT HURT.

Louise says WHEN I WAS AT WESTERN
UNIVERSITY, I WAS A PIANO MAJOR,
AND MY PIANO TEACHER IN MY
FOURTH YEAR, DR. VON KUSTER,
WAS, WHO KNEW, A BIG FAN OF
MARLENE DIETRICH.
I HAD TO DO A DIETRICH BIT.
AND HE COACHED ME.
BECAUSE HE HAD SEEN HER IN
CONCERT.
AND HE SAW ONE OF HER LAST
CONCERTS.
AND HE SAID THAT SHE STILL WORE
THE SEXY, SEXY GOWNS.
BUT SHE WAS WEARING, IF YOU SAT
IN THE FRONT ROW, YOU COULD SEE
THIS BODY SUIT THAT WAS SKIN
TONE, SO TIGHT SO YOU WOULDN'T
SEE ANY WRINKLES, ANY LINES
UNDER THE GOWN.

Jayne says YEAH.
SO THAT'S... THAT'S A DIFFICULT
WAY TO LIVE.
I DON'T THINK THAT WOULD BE...
YOU KNOW, LOUISE AND I WOULD
BOTH AGREE THAT THIS IS... YOU
KNOW, OTHER THAN OUR SHOW AT
NIGHT, WE NEVER WEAR MAKEUP.
IT'S VERY NICE TO HAVE YOUR
LOVELY MAKEUP ARTIST FOR THE
SHOW TODAY...

Steve says SHE'S THE BEST.
SHE HAS KEPT ME LOOKING GOOD FOR
A QUARTER CENTURY.

Louise says BUT LOOK AT US, THOUGH.

Jayne says WE'RE OF AN AGE.

Louise says C'MON, I'M 62.
C'MON.

Jayne says I'LL BE 62 NEXT MONTH.

Louise says HERE WE ARE STARRING IN A
MUSICAL THE TWO OF US... THAT
DOESN'T HAPPEN VERY OFTEN.

Jayne says THAT IS COOL.

Louise says AND A BEAUTIFUL STORY ABOUT
TWO WOMEN.
THEY'RE NOT FIGHTING.

Jayne says THEY LOVE EACH OTHER.
THEY HAVEN'T BEEN THROUGH
ROCKY TIMES.

Louise says IT'S LOVE.
IT'S A BOND THAT LASTS FOREVER.
IT'S ABOUT...

Jayne says WHICH IS THE WAY LOUISE AND I
ARE IN REAL LIFE.

Steve says I DID WANT TO ASK
ABOUT THAT.

Jayne says WE'VE KNOWN EACH OTHER FOR
OVER... LIKE, I MET YOU BEFORE I
MET YOUR HUSBAND.
I'VE BEEN MARRIED 32 YEARS.
THAT'S HOW FAR BACK WE GO.
BUT WHAT'S BIZARRE IS THAT WE
DID INDUSTRIAL SHOWS, THAT'S THE
ONLY THING WE'VE DONE TOGETHER.

Louise says TWO OR THREE TOGETHER.
WAY BACK.

Jayne says WAY BACK.
AND THIS IS THE FIRST LEGITIMATE
THEATRICAL...

Louise says FIRST TIME WE WORKED TOGETHER.

Jayne says IN ALL THOSE YEARS.

Louise says IT'S AMAZING.
WE'VE HAD LOTS OF DRINKS
TOGETHER OVER THE YEARS.

Jayne says DRINKS AND DINNER OR WHATEVER.

Louise says BUT THAT'S IT.
SO THAT MAKES IT DOUBLY NEAT.

Steve says I FEEL I'M INTRUDING HERE.
YOU TWO COULD DO THIS INTERVIEW WITHOUT ME.
YOU ARE APPARENTLY VERY GOOD
FRIENDS WHO GET ALONG, I GUESS.
EITHER THAT OR YOU'RE GREAT
ACTORS, I DON'T KNOW.
YOU'RE THAT TOO.

Louise says WE'RE THAT TOO.

[LAUGHTER]

Louise says WE DON'T NEED TO ACT.

Jayne says HOW WONDERFUL IS THAT, RIGHT?
BECAUSE IF THERE WASN'T THAT
CONNECTION, IT WOULD BE A VERY
DIFFICULT SHOW TO DO.
IT WOULD BE A VERY DIFFERENT SHOW.
BECAUSE PEOPLE COMMENT ON OUR...

Louise says IT WOULD BE MUCH HARDER WORK
AND THERE WOULD NOT BE THE
LITTLE EXTRA...

Jayne says PEOPLE SEE THAT AND HAVE
COMMENTED ON IT AND IT'S NICE.
IT'S GREAT.

Louise says YEAH.

Jayne says A HUGE COMPLIMENT.

Steve says WHEN YOU DO THESE
PARTS, THOUGH, DO YOU HAVE TO
FIND SOMETHING IN YOURSELF THAT
IS THE SAME AS THE PEOPLE YOU
ARE PORTRAYING?
IN OTHER WORDS, IS THERE
SOMETHING IN EDITH PIAF THAT YOU
FOUND, OH, I CAN CONNECT ON THAT
LEVEL BECAUSE I TOO HAD THAT
EXPERIENCE OR BELIEVE THAT OR WHATEVER?

Louise says OH, YEAH, I THINK CHOOSING
WRONG PARTNERS FOR A LONG TIME,
I KNOW ALL ABOUT THAT, UNTIL I
FINALLY HIT THE JACKPOT.
BUT MOSTLY IT'S ABOUT EVERYTHING
COMING FROM THE HEART AND THE
GUT, AND THAT'S VERY MUCH HOW I
AM AND OPERATE.
SO I GET THAT.

Steve says YOU SHARE THAT WITH HER.

The caption changes to "tvo.org/theagenda; agendaconnect@tvo.org."

Louise says NOT WANTING TO GIVE THAT
MUCH, AS HARD AS IT IS, IT'S WORTH IT.

Steve says HOW ABOUT YOU WITH MARLENE?

Jayne says I WOULD SAY THAT I... WHEN
SHE... SHE IS ALLOWED TO BE
VULNERABLE IN THIS SHOW, WHICH I
APPRECIATE.
AND SO I CALL ON PERSONAL
EXPERIENCES TO HELP ME FIND THAT
VULNERABILITY FOR HER, YEAH.

Steve says NEAT.

Jayne says YEAH.

Steve says AT WHAT POINT IN THE
SHOW... HOW MANY PERFORMANCES
HAVE YOU DONE SO FAR?

Jayne says I DON'T KNOW.

Steve says LOTS, RIGHT?
YOU'VE BEEN OUT THERE NIGHT
AFTER NIGHT.

Jayne says YES.

Steve says IS THERE A MOMENT
WHEN THE AUDIENCE REACTS IN A
PARTICULAR WAY THAT SURPRISES YOU?
DOES THAT EVER HAPPEN?

Jayne says NOT ANYMORE.
I THINK MAYBE INITIALLY WHEN
THERE WAS THE KISSING AND THERE
WAS THAT INTAKE OF BREATH.

Louise says YIKES.

Steve says LET'S EXPLAIN THIS.
YOUR TWO CHARACTERS AT SOME
POINT.

Jayne says YES.

Steve says EMBRACE, KISS.

Jayne says WE KISS.

Steve says AND YOU HEAR THE
AUDIENCE...

Louise says YES.
2019.

Jayne says BREATHE IN.
EITHER IT'S AN OOH.

Louise says DEAD SILENCE, LIKE THICK
SILENCE, OR...

Jayne says OR AHHH.

Louise says SOME NERVOUS LITTLE LAUGHTER.
IT'S 2019, FOLKS.

Steve says THEY DON'T SEE IT COMING.

Louise says NO, THEY DON'T.

Steve says THEY DON'T SEE IT COMING.

Jayne says NO, NO.

Steve says IT IS SURPRISING IN
THE SHOW WHEN THIS HAPPENS.
WE'VE SORT OF GIVEN UP THE GHOST
HERE A LITTLE BIT, SO ANYBODY
WHO SEES IT NOW WILL BE...

Jayne says SPOILER ALERT.

Louise says IT HAPPENS EARLY IN THE SHOW, THOUGH.

[LAUGHTER]

Jayne says I THINK THAT'S THE BIGGEST
ONE THAT I'M SURPRISED AT.

Louise says I KNOW.

Jayne says IT'S TRUE.
YOU GET YOUR ENERGY FROM THE
AUDIENCE, AND... BOY, WHEN
THEY'RE LAUGHING AT THE JOKES
AND APPRECIATING THIS
RELATIONSHIP AND THIS JOURNEY
THAT WE GO ON, IT'S JUST
WONDERFUL.
IT'S JUST GREAT.

Louise says I THINK ANOTHER THING THAT
STILL SOMETIMES SURPRISES ME AND
I DON'T LOOK AT THE AUDIENCE AS
A RULE BUT SOMETIMES WHEN I'M IN
CONCERT IN THE SHOW, I'M LOOKING
OUT, AND WHEN I GO TO THE DARK
SIDE, WHEN I'M GETTING DRUGGED
UP AND ALL THAT STUFF, I MEAN, I
DO A PRETTY WACKY VERSION OF THE
END OF... AND THE BRAVO IS OUT
THERE, AND I HAVE TO SAY I'M
SHOCKED AT THE FACES THAT ARE
LOOKING AT ME, LIKE...
IT'S JUST LIKE, "WHAT THE HELL?"
AND THERE'S SOMETHING KIND OF
NEAT ABOUT THAT, BARREL DOWN AND
SEE THOSE FACES THAT ARE GOING...

Steve says I GUESS WE SHOULD EXPLAIN.
YOU'RE NOT JUST UP THERE ON
STAGE SORT OF FAR AWAY FROM PEOPLE, RIGHT?
THERE ARE SEATS THAT ARE RIGHT
AT THE LIP OF THE STAGE.

Jayne says CORRECT.

Louise says AND TABLES KIND OF...

Steve says WHAT DO YOU...

Jayne says CABARET.

Steve says CABARET.
YOU GET REALLY CLOSE TO PEOPLE.

Jayne says MARLENE GETS UP CLOSE WITH
PEOPLE.

Louise says AND EVEN THE FIRST FEW ROWS,
THEY'RE RIGHT THERE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Steve Paikin, @spaikin."

Steve says I CAN'T THANK YOU
ENOUGH ON YOUR DAY OFF FOR
COMING in HERE AND SPENDING
SOME TIME WITH US.
PIAF-DIETRICH IS AT THE CAA
THEATRE IN DOWNTOWN TORONTO, IT
IS PLAYING INTO JANUARY, AND I
LOVED IT AND I THINK PEOPLE
SHOULD GO SEE IT.

The caption changes to "Subscribe to The Agenda Podcast: tvo.org/theagenda."

Jayne says THANK YOU, STEVE.

Louise says THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Jayne says APPRECIATE IT.

Steve says IT IS SO GREAT FOR
BOTH OF YOU TO BE HERE, LOUISE
PITRE, JAYNE LEWIS, GREAT TO
HAVE YOU AT TVO TONIGHT.

Jayne says YAY!

Louise says MERCI BEAUCOUP.

Watch: Superstars of a Bygone Era