HOW DID THAT HAPPEN?

OK, it’s forty-plus years later,

but I suddenly had a flashback to Gwen Verdon and Chita Rivera singing “My Own Best Friend,” at the end of act one of Chicago.

They grabbed you by the throat and looked as noir as night in identical trench coats.

They sang it like they were riding a reckless, hurtling, self-propelled comet jet.

How/why did the song get so slowed down in present-day renditions?

Today it’s torchy; originally, it was an existential manifesto, kind of primal scream.

POSTSCRIPT:

Now, I know how it happened: Rivera and Verdon on the original cast album aren’t singing it any way near the way they did in the theater!

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