"Once in love with Amy. Always in love with Amy. . . . "
OK, so maybe you're too young to remember the Ray Bolger song, but that doesn't mean you haven't been in love with Amy. You've probably had Amy on the brain for months but just didn't recognize it. That's because there's been something of an Amy-thon in pop culture recently--a veritable harmonic convergence of all things Amy, an Amy-synthesis of thought and action.
Like spring flowers, Amy has been popping up all over. So let's just stop and deeply inhale and savor the very Amy-ness of the moment.
* "Amy's View": Newly crowned with an Oscar for her role as Elizabeth I in "Shakespeare in Love," Dame Judi Dench is now starring in Broadway hot ticket "Amy's View." Written by David Hare, the tragicomedy about the family life of a feisty West End actress brings Dench back to the New York stage for the first time in 40 years.
* Amy Clampitt: Hot dead poet. Late-bloomer Clampitt gained currency after her first full-length book of poetry, "The Kingfisher," was published in 1983, when she was 63. Her descriptive powers and dizzily elevated language prompted critics to gush. Her reputation was solidified with "What the Light Was Like," published in 1985. The Lenox, Mass., resident died at 74 in 1994.
* Amy Brenneman: The actress made her mark in the first season of "NYPD Blue." In the fall, Brenneman fans will see her in the aptly titled drama "Judging Amy" on CBS, set in Hartford, Conn. The show will focus on three generations of women and is inspired by the real-life story of Brenneman's mother, Superior Court trial referee Frederica S. Brenneman.
* Amy Fisher: Tabloid queen has been sprung! After nearly seven years in prison, the "Long Island Lolita" was released earlier this month to something of a homecoming in New York, where readers couldn't get enough of her tawdry tale of sex and violence. Fisher was just 16 when she shot Mary Jo Buttafuoco--the wife of her lover, Joey Buttafuoco--in the head at her home on Long Island in 1992. Amy got five-to-15 for assault; Joey got six months for statutory rape; Mary Jo got a paralyzed face and the unflattering distinction of being the world's most loyal cheated-on wife.
* "Amy and Isabelle": Few first novels, especially "literary" novels, become bestsellers in hardcover. But Elizabeth Strout's "Amy and Isabelle" is an exception. And it made it onto the New York Times bestseller list in March the old-fashioned way: because booksellers and readers raved about it. The book is about a mother and daughter locked in a strained, claustrophobic relationship in the fictional New England factory town of Shirley Falls in the early 1970s.
* Amy Jo Johnson: Of all the fresh, young, beautiful faces on the WB freshman hit "Felicity," Amy Jo Johnson's is the most captivating. Amid the show's brewing caldron of young adult angst (most involving love pangs), Johnson's character, Julie Emrick, has had to do more than pine. Johnson was at the center of two of the most dramatic story lines: her date rape, and finding her birth mother. Johnson got into show biz as the original pink power ranger on "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers." She'll be seen in the upcoming indie "Cold Hearts." According to her official Web site (http://www.amyjojohnson.net), Johnson has a butterfly tattooed on her left ankle and will "never, ever pose nude."
* Amy Sohn: Rudy Giuliani may have made Manhattan a cleaner (read more puritanical) town, but don't tell that to Amy Sohn. As the author of "Female Trouble," Sohn chronicles her many sexual adventures--often in unflinching detail--for the New York Press. The 1995 Brown graduate's first novel, "Run Catch Kiss," based on her column, will be published this summer by Simon & Schuster.
* Amy Grant: Our favorite hip Christian crooner (something of an oxymoron, we admit) was back in the news recently. As one of the entertainers at the April 25 memorial service in Littleton, Colo., for the victims of the Columbine High School shooting, Grant sang before 70,000 mourners. The five-time Grammy winner recently filed for divorce from her husband, Gary Chapman.