Ruth Leon recommends…. What’ll I Do – Bea Arthur

Ruth Leon recommends…. What’ll I Do – Bea Arthur

Ruth Leon recommends

norman lebrecht

September 04, 2022

What’ll I Do – Bea Arthur

The Golden Girls  are all gone now but we shouldn’t forget the depth of professionalism and expertise that went into the writing and performance of that exemplary sitcom.

Here’s a little taste of what they could do, severally and collectively, when they stopped clowning. Check out Bea Arthur’s comedic timing and the way she subtly uses her physical reactions to emphasise the lyrics of this song. 

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  • MMcGrath says:

    Wonderful , intelligent, witty, gifted Bea Arthur. Remember, too, her success as Maude in the 1970‘s when she threatened her husband with “God is gonna get you for that!”
    Thanks for this clip. It isn’t only classical music that can make your day!

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    Bea was a huge talent. The conductor of ‘Mame’ on Broadway, Don Pippin, used to tell me often how terrific she was. Her legendary pairing with Angela Landsbury in ‘Mame’ performing ‘Bosom Buddies’ is an eternal classic. And, as the song goes, ‘and then there’s Maude!’ Who could ever forget her role as Edith Bunker’s cousin, Maude? Classics, eternal, incredible legacy.

    • Jim C. says:

      About a year ago I happened to have been watching an old episode of Maude with a Generation-Z’er or whatever they call them now. She was absolutely amazed at the show’s content. “You mean they used to talk about this stuff back then?” she exclaimed. I told her yeah, you guys didn’t invent Wokeness. We did.

      She couldn’t believe it. It really rocked her world that these issues were not new ones, and that we’d been dealing with them in the past.

  • Robert Holmén says:


    She also sang in the eternal classic “Star Wars Holiday Special”

  • MacroV says:

    I knew Bea Arthur from “Maude” but confess I wasn’t a fan of “Golden Girls” when it first ran. Seeing some episodes in recent years, I’ve come to appreciate it. Never saw this clip; it’s wonderful. Most likely most people who know her from these two shows have no idea what a great singer and stage performer she was (just like most people who know Angela Lansbury from “Murder, She Wrote” have no idea about her theatre career).

  • Tiredofitall says:

    During the Gay Pride celebration in New York in 1994, Bea Arthur participated in a service at St. John the Divine for those lost to AIDS. She sang “I’ll Be Seeing You” and the audience of several thousand sobbed collectively. Even 28 years on, it remains an amazing and memorable tribute, almost too painful to recall. A great and talented lady.

  • Fan says:

    Great recommendations from this classical music blog. More please – music, including highly formalized classical music, emerges from life and performance spontaneities like this.

  • Bea Astral Dame says:

    Masterclass in TV and just acting in general, not to mention song interpretation and sharing a scene with a partner.