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About Paulette in Stars Illustrated Magazine

STARS ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE
GRANDE DAME                    PAULETTE ATTIE: La Crème de La Crème

ATTIE: "On a scale of 1 to 10 as to what gets you the job, talent is number 11."

ATTIE: "We give the aura of being a femme fatale when we really have no need to be one. "   

When epistemologists, linguists and "crafters" of languages define or interpret words, phrases and adages, they bear responsibility. For the word is mightier than a sword. To them and to responsible writers and authors, the word becomes sacred and the "Verb" reaches the throne of divinity. Consequently, writing about an artist, a singer, a performer, a painter or even a hustler or a gigolo demands the ultimate respect for words and opinions liberated on the landscape of ink, papers and linens. Unfortunately, so many art and music critics allow themselves to ignore these rules. Thus, their words become meaningless upon  using clichés, copies metaphors and  borrowed eulogies. Words, adjectives and attributes such as "Silky Voice", "Sultry Voice", "Strong stage presence", "Sexy Voice", " Husky Voice", "Charismatic Presence", "Perfect Phrasing", "Divine", "She is Terrific", et al, bore me to death. Those critics become permissive, irresponsible and banal. And writing about Ms. Paulette Attie requires such high respect for narrative accuracy and the dignity of the word. To call Ms. Attie "Divine" or "Sensational" is a childish approach to understand, feel, sense, explore and admire the beautifully intelligent and warmly captivating multidimensional art and multifaceted universe of her creativity. Ms. Attie is larger than life and her talents transcends the ordinary frontiers of limited minds and those who pretend to know art and music without rendering homage only and only to those artists who brought beauty to our world, sun to our homes, fresh breeze to our prairies and a delightful madness to our dreams, wishes and fantasies. Ms. Attie brought  those and much more... She brought class, style, elegance, nostalgia, finesse, unbelievable originality, savoir-faire, warmth and depth to the world of music, stage,  radio, television, chansons, operas, and humanities. And what she brought defines the standards of excellence in art. You knew the woman as a dazzling and a bright star. But this is NOT enough. For, you have to know "PAULETTE ATTIE" the human being behind the mic, behind the curtains and behind the glowing reviews she received and stormy applauses which cracked down the largest stages around the world, where Grande Dame Attie performed and took the audience by storm.  You will be mesmerized by her sense of finesse, details, construction of her phraseology, world culture, high ethical principles, rebellious and gratifying wit, her edgy sense of humor, the stories, the stories and Lord, once again, the wonderful stories she will tell you, and on the top of this, you better add 2 or 3 tons of wealth of knowledge of the world of music, the history of performing arts, the jokes and personal stories of legends and superstars she worked with or knew. You've got to know the world of Ms. Attie  and learn about her accomplishments, the people she invited to accompany her on the roads of life, stage, theater, silver screen, radio, television, cabarets, cozy performances, dashing  and gigantic musical productions she led and starred in...You have to listen to this woman and learn what life is before and behind the glitters of show business, for she is the super diva and queen of world showbiz! Did I forget to mention that Paulette's classical and aristocratic beauty will mesmerize the hell out of you...and her hypnotic and sinfully magnetizing direct rapport with her entourage - in this case, you, if you are lucky- Did I? If I did, I do not feel guilty, for I know deep down in my heart and somewhere in the empty valley of my absurd intellectualism... I know, Paulette Attie's qualities, virtues and talents rival the Iliad in its length and its dramatic esthetics. But how about hard facts/ Facts about this woman? What did she do? What is so special about this Venus? Get ready. Here we are. Grab a Remy Martin, bite gently on your brown sugar cube and get ready to sail in the infinite and magical world of this Goddess...

 

 

 

STARS ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE
 THE LEGENDARY PAULETTE ATTIE

ATTIE, THE STAR

Paulette Attie, the star, the actress, the singer, the performer, the composer, the songwriter, the author, the poet, the writer, the Prima Donna starred in 1,000 shows, musicals, operas, plays, cabarets acts, concerts around the world. She won the Silver Globe Award playing a French nightclub singer on TV's The Yanks Are Coming. Other TV credits include the part of Marshal Dobbs in One Life to Live plus leading roles on General Hospital, Another World, All My Children, Sesame Street, Mercy or Murder etc. She has played the leading female roles in musicals and operettas: My Fair Lady, Gypsy, Can-Can, The Merry Widow, La Vie Parisienne and plays by Neil Simon, Tennessee Williams and Noel Coward. Of her over one thousand concerts, she has appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Hollywood Bowl, Bruno Walter Auditorium, Westbury Music Fair and concert halls in Japan and South America. She has performed on and off- Broadway. Her  acclaimed one-woman show, "About Time" opened off-Broadway in 1997 ("Her voice has size and power and her comic timing is in great shape"...The New York Times. "Rush to see About Time, where Paulette Attie personifies grace and talent"... Aisle Say. "Astounding talent"...The Village Voice. Her official biography tells us that on her award winning weekly radio show, Paulette Attie's Musical Playbill (WNYC for 2 years), Paulette sang songs by America's best loved songwriters, often accompanied by the composers themselves. Her legendary list of guests includes Lee Adams, Harold Arlen, Jerry Bock, Cy Coleman, "Yip" Harburg, Sheldon Harnick, Burton Lane, Cy Coleman, John Green, Dorothy Fields, Jimmy Mc Hugh, Arthur Schwartz, Mary Rodgers, Harold Rome, Charles Strouse and Jule Styne. "The songwriter I most enjoyed talking with was Johnny Mercer," says Paulette. "If there ever was a person who could charm the birds out of the trees, it was Johnny." Paulette made two separate shows of her interview with Johnny Mercer and had the pleasure of seeing him on several occasions thereafter. She has sung in Washington D.C. for Presidents and Heads of State, including being chosen in 1998 to sing in Washington for the 50th Anniversary Celebration of the Statehood of Israel. In 1988, she became the first woman performer elected into the Friars Club. The Award winning singer/actress and poet just received the 2004 ASCAP Plus Songwriter Award. This makes it her fifth year in a row.

 

 

In addition, Paulette received a letter of congratulations from President Bush for her song "United Are We" and for donating her time to work with the children at PS 1, the school nearest Ground Zero that was still operating after after 9/11.  She was invited to sing "United Are We" at PS 1 on March 6th, where fifty 7 and 8 year olds joined her.  The performance was seen several times on NY1 TV. On September 11, 2002, the entire student body of 650 children at PS 1 sang "United Are We" with Paulette, honoring the one year anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy.  USA Today, the New York Post, Associated Press and Reuters interviewed Paulette and wrote articles about her song, "United Are We" and singing with the children. Paulette sang "United Are We" at the Annual Screen Actors Guild Party, on Martin Luther King Day with a group of children at an elementary school near Ground Zero,  at churches and temples throughout the five boroughs, elementary and high schools, Senior Centers, the Donnell Library Children's Program, with Muslim school children, and at a Jesuit Retreat in Montreal.  "Each audience has taken the song to its heart and made this song the highlight of my shows.", said Paulette Attie. To hear a sound clip of Paulette singing "United Are We" click here    (RealPlayer file) Roy Sander in Back Stage said she's "a combination of Lily Pons and Carmen Miranda. I daresay millions would adore her."  "The classiest singer around today"  is how Marjorie Gunner described her in The New York Voice, and Howard Thompson at The New York Times described Paulette as "Beautiful, animated, plaintive, and intense." 

ATTIE, THE EDUCATOR


In addition to major productions and plays she took part or starred in,  and between writing books and essays, Paulette Attie has devoted a great deal of her time to children and education. She taught and lectured in many institutions, schools and centers of learning and presented interactive programs of poems and songs, to both educate and entertain.

 

She is highly admired for her original show/program of the poems, songs and music  of Shel Silverstein, Langston Hughes, Douglas Florin, Marilyn Singer, Irving Berlin, the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Rodgers and Hart, along with original poetry and poems by William Shakespeare, Robert Pinsky, and Nikki Giovanni.

Paulette Attie with Eric Michael Gillette and the fabulous Sue Matsuki.

ATTIE: THE LOVING AND CARING  HUMAN BEING AND GUIDING LIGHT

To make a difference in the world is probably the most evolved example of success for her. Paulette told me :"  I consciously try to apply this principle every day. Even the smallest gesture, like smiling at someone, or exhibiting compassion to another can make a difference.  I recently received a letter of thanks from someone I'd helped some twenty-five years ago.  I'd long since forgotten the deed, but she hadn't.  This may be off the beat and track for your piece, but I just completed writing my first book, “The Seven Keys to Live a Masterful Life,” that I hope will make a difference in the lives of many people." She loves observing nature, and this "could be a walk in the park, or looking at beautiful flowers. It’s a great way of relaxing and even helps get me past worries and concerns because it takes me out of myself." Paulette told me.

INTERVIEW WITH PAULETTE ATTIE ON PAGE 22.

 

 

 

STARS ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE
TÊTE-À-TÊTE WITH THE LEGENDARY PAULETTE ATTIE

 

Q: On each of your radio shows, you sang a song by the guest being interviewed. That's remarkable. Even unbelievable, considering the great number of celebrities and stars you interviewed. Do you remember how many songs you had to learn? Any favorite (s)? 
PAULETTE:  In addition to singing songs by and with my guests, I sang songs depicting different eras of American musical theatre, from operettas and the revue form, to the great book musicals.  I sort of knew many of them, because songs from the musical theatre were "mother's milk to me," to quote Liza from "My Fair Lady."  Well, favorites are almost too numerous.  Cole Porter's "It's De-lovely" continues to be my opening number for many shows.   I sang "It's Better with a Union Man" with the song's writer, Harold Rome, playing and singing with me.  That was a special treat.

Q: Why did you do that? Strategy? Savoir-faire? Love for music? Prolific versatility or just fun? There is only one superstar radio personality who does what you did, years ago. Marianne McPartland from the National Public Radio.
PAULETTE:  Love for the music prompted me.  Probably I thought I was knowledgeable in this area, and it would give me a chance to sing weekly on the radio.  And I learned a lot more, especially about the songwriters, than I thought I knew. 

Q: You won the Silver Globe Award playing a French nightclub singer on TV's The Yanks Are Coming. How did you get the job? You are so sophisticated for that role. Was it good contact? Talent? Persona? The Femme Fatale aura of Paulette Attie?
PAULETTE:  I arrived early for the audition.  This is not usual for me, but it's a good lesson for all, myself very much included.  After the director heard my audition, he said, "she's the one," and no one came along afterward to convince him otherwise.  I'm not sure what you mean by "Was it good contact?"  I always say that on a scale of 1 to 10 as to what gets you the job, talent is number 11.  Still, it's the quality that most interests me.  It's what challenges the mind and soul of a creative person and gives the greatest satisfaction, when one taps into that well.

 

 

 

Maybe you mean that "good contact," is what gives an artist the opportunity to exhibit his or her talent...except there are some talents that cannot be denied.  Ahhh, Femme Fatales.  My sister Ariana always imagined that I was a femme fatale.  I've since come to think that we give the aura of being a femme fatale when we really have no need to be one.    

Q: And later you had leading roles on General Hospital, Another World, All My Children, Sesame Street, Mercy or Murder etc. So, Paulette, do you consider yourself a soap opera queen or "LADY OF THE STAGE"? There is a big difference here. Right or wrong?
PAULETTE:  In today's times, we're mostly allowed to be what and who we want to be.  When on the stage, I'm totally a stage performer, just as I loved playing the "femme fatale" voice of the French cat Mel Blanc's voice pursued in the cartoon, "Pepe le Pew." 


Q: You played the leading female roles in musicals and operettas: My Fair Lady, Gypsy, Can-Can, The Merry Widow, La Vie Parisienne and plays by
Neil Simon, Tennessee Williams and Noel Coward. How in heavens, one woman and one voice can fit in all these multivariate and multi-complex roles? This leads me to an adjacent question: Do you have a PAULETTE ATTIE's personal style. A style or genre you created, or simply you fit everywhere?
PAULETTE:  This gets back to your “talent” question, and to the matter of passion.  I LOVE talent in others and have a passion for finely written plays, songs, roles.  When working on “Everything’s Coming Up Roses,” from Gypsy, for instance, I started dreaming about it, imagining what makes the singer, now me, have to sing these words.  I think about the phrasing, how the melody reflects the feelings of the character, etc.  The song becomes a part of my life. 

 

 

 

That song is now part of who I am, which alters and changes, so I sing it differently now than when I first performed it in the show.  I recently heard a well known standard given a lack luster performance.   “Wait a minute, that song deserves better,” I said to myself.  I’m now working on that song, “The Impossible Dream,” which I’ll be including in a future cabaret show.


Q: On your award winning weekly radio show, Paulette Attie's Musical Playbill  on WNYC  you sang songs by America's greatest  songwriters, who accompanied you on the air. Great names and legends like Lee Adams, Harold Arlen, Jerry Bock, Cy Coleman, "Yip" Harburg, Sheldon Harnick, (Although we’ve become friends, Sheldon Harnick wasn’t one of my guests.  You can include Gene Kelly, if you'd like or keep it just to the songwriters), Burton Lane, Cy Coleman, John Green, Dorothy Fields, Jimmy Mc Hugh, Arthur Schwartz, Mary Rodgers, Harold Rome, Charles Strouse and Jule Styne. How did you manage to bring all these fabulous people? Were they your friends? Did you work with them? I know you are a legend yourself, a world-class star, Your fame would attract the best of the best. So was it your fame which brought those legends to your radio show,
or simply, your producers had access to them?                           
PAULETTE:  I had help from a grand gentleman named Dr. Albert Sirmay, who was Chief Editor at Chappell Music, music publishers, and who had been a well known composer of operettas.  All the songwriters adored him.  If I said, as he told me to, that Dr. Sirmay recommended they be a guest on my show, they readily agreed.  Since I also functioned as the show’s Producer, I had free reign to choose my guests.  I had access to many of the greats through this wonderful man. I also convinced Dr. Sirmay to be a guest on my show, which he was reluctant to do.  He had a pronounced accent and hesitated a lot when speaking, while searching for the correct word.  He said he’d only allow his interview on the air if he approved of it. 

 

 

 

STARS ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE
TÊTE-À-TÊTE WITH THE LEGENDARY PAULETTE ATTIE

You can imagine the editing and cutting out of all the pauses that had to be done.  He beamed with pleasure when he heard the edited playback.  My interview with Dr. Sirmay was the program I’m most proud of.  He had worked with Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, Harold Arlen, the Gershwins, interviewed Leonard Bernstein for a job, and had stories to tell about all of them!

Q: You appeared in over one thousand concerts, and performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Hollywood Bowl, Bruno Walter Auditorium, Westbury Music Fair and concert halls in Japan and South America. ONE THOUSAND CONCERTS! MY LORD, Paulette!  How could this be possible?    
PAULETTE:  One at a time.  Sorry, I couldn’t resist. 

Q: How and when did you know, you were on your way to stardom?
PAULETTE:  A lyric from Irving Berlin’s “There’s No Business Like Show Business” gives my answer:  “Yesterday they told you would not go far, That night you open and there you are, Next day on your dressing room they’ve hung a star.  Let’s go on with the show.”  It’s the ‘Let’s go on with the show,” that expresses my feelings about it.  

Q: Have you ever helped obscure artists who needed a break, a chance in their lives? What did you do to help them? Did they remind you of your early days in you career?
PAULETTE:  Friends and associates have asked me to advise aspiring singers and actors.  The best thing I've done in this regard is to give them voice lessons.  Aspiring singers learn very quickly if they really have the need to be a singer or not, because I give them homework.  If they do it and can't wait for more, it’s a good indication that they’ve made a right career choice for themselves.  I’m so impressed with young artists who are willing to make sacrifices in their lives, and sacrifices are part of the package, in order to achieve their goals.  I've identified with a few and advise them as needed.  But it’s the teaching, not the advice that helps the most.         
 

 

ATTIE: "To make a difference in the world is probably the most evolved example of success for me."

Q: What success means to you? Success in your career? Financial remuneration? Recognition?
PAULETTE:  I think differently about success now than I did when I first started.  I just wanted to work.  Success was not the goal.  And I've been fortunate and had the opportunity to be a working performer in many different areas.  Now, I think that success is not such a bad goal, because you have the opportunity to possibly get “better” jobs when your goal is to be a success.  However, I’m glad I didn't see it that way when I started.    

Q: And success in your life, as a woman, as a mother, as a wife, as a human being?
PAULETTE:  To make a difference in the world is probably the most evolved example of success for me.  I consciously try to apply this principle every day. Even the smallest gesture, like smiling at someone, or exhibiting compassion to another can make a difference.  I recently received a letter of thanks from someone I'd helped some twenty-five years ago.  I'd long since forgotten the deed, but she hadn't.  This may be off the beat and track for your piece, but I just completed writing my first book, “The Seven Keys to Live a Masterful Life,” that I hope will make a difference in the lives of many people. 

Q: How did you spend the first paycheck you got? Did you spend it all on you? On friends? Did you save it?
PAULETTE:  I think I bought some #2 soft lead pencils with good erasers.  It wasn't a large sum. 


 

 

ATTIE:"I love, simply love observing nature. This could be a walk in the park, or looking at beautiful flowers."

Q: What is the most precious or expensive gift you have ever received in youralife?                                 PAULETTE: A Piaget watch to wear for my one woman off-Broadway show, “About Time.”

Q: And what is the most beautiful present Grande Dame Paulette Attie gave to a friend?                                         PAULETTE: I’ think jewelry that I made for a friend, using beautiful semi precious stones. I thought about the friend for whom I was making it, and that gave me pleasure while creating it.

Q: Paulette, on a more pragmatic level, what is more important to you, a career success, a global fame or peace of mind?
PAULETTE:  I think I'll take all three. 
 
Q: All three? You earned it! What piece of mind is for Paulette Attie?
PAULETTE:  There’s a lyric in my song, “Time Piece” that goes:  “Make each piece of time a time of peace for one and all.  Now’s our piece of time.”   We have to create peace for ourselves.  On some level, others will feel that peace and also benefit from it. 

Q: What do you like most in life? And what  relaxes you most, in addition to music? Perhaps exotic cars, vintage fashion, a nicely decorated apartment? Family? Adventures? Sleep?
PAULETTE:  I love, simply love observing nature.  This could be a walk in the park, or looking at beautiful flowers. It’s a great way of relaxing and even helps get me past worries and concerns because it takes me out of myself. 

 

 

 

STARS ILLUSTRATED MAGAZINE

TÊTE-À-TÊTE WITH THE LEGENDARY PAULETTE ATTIE

 

I also enjoy making jewelry.  I mostly don’t take time to do it, but when I do, it’s a treat.  Adventures are always fun.  I find the best ones are not planned and are unexpected.  

Q: Do you follow fashion, trendy stuff, a particular diet?
PAULETTE: I enjoy looking at fashion magazines, to keep up with the latest trends, but I usually wear what’s classic and overrides trends.  My diet is semi vegetarian.

Q: What do you think of entertainers who accord so much importance to their wardrobes? Artists like Cher, Liberace, Aristide Bruant, etc...
PAULETTE: Good for them, if that’s what turns them on.  When asked how she created the role of, I believe Baby Doll in a Tennessee Williams play, Maureen Stapleton said, “Something happens to me when I put on those shoes.”  I love wearing beautiful gowns when I perform: In fact, I’ve a closet full of them.  I acquired a pair of chandelier earrings that Liberace gave to a friend.  They’ve very large, heavy, and gorgeous. I wear them whenever I can, but not when performing because they’re just too heavy.   

Q: Who are your favorites writers, poets, authors? 
PAULETTE: I’m kindly disposed to the New York Times reporters.  Most are articulate and care about content, syntax, and punctuation, thereby setting a good example for writers and readers.  Sharon Olds, a poet for today, Omar Khayyam, a poet for yesterday, William Shakespeare, a poet for all time.    

Q: The three favorite books you read in recent years?
PAULETTE: I read many books which served as references for my book, “The Seven Keys to Live a Masterful Life.”  Here are three that I especially enjoyed: 1-Essays by Albert Einstein from “The World as I See It”, 2- "Marie Curie A Life" by Susan Quinn, 3- "Singers & the Song" by Gene Lees.

 

 

Q: What are your favorite countries and cities?
PAULETTE:  Paris – a beautiful lady,  London – a handsome gentleman, Paramaribo, Suriname – a wild amalgam of cultures and creatures. 

Q: And your favorite hideouts?
PAULETTE: The Friars Club, the Donnell Library, A special hill in Central Park, the Universities and museums of whatever city I’m working in or visiting.

Q: And escapades?
PAULETTE:  Isn’t this a family publication? 

Q: Who do you hang out with?
PAULETTE: Lots of theatre folk, my brother and sister whenever I can.

Q: Are you a rebel or an easy going good girl?
PAULETTE: Appearances might belie it, but I’m a rebel.

Q: Have you ever rebelled against “something big”? 
PAULETTE: Yes!  Injustices in particular. 

Q: What makes Paulette Attie angry and mad?
PAULETTE:  Indifference.

Q: Do you make people mad?
PAULETTE:  I hope so, even though I don’t like it, or intend to do so. 

Q: How do you make them mad, what do you do?
PAULETTE: Break with tradition, think ahead, come up with new ideas.

_________________________End of the article