Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Girls, How Long Must This Gal Wait For A Hair Appointment?????????

                                            In case you are wondering who this is, while the face may be somewhat familiar, this is Candice DeLong, who turns up as a narrator/explainer on a lot of Investigation Discovery programs, most notably, of course, "Deadly Women!"  She is also a former FBI profiler, who has written a book about her experiences, entitled "Special Agent: My Life On The Front Lines As A Woman In The FBI!!!!!!"  Think of her as kind of a real life Clarice Starling!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            Though, honey, let's face it, she hasn't the style of Jodie Foster!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Before we go any further, get a look at those eyes!!!!!!  With proper grooming--which she desperately needs--she could easily channel Barbara Steele!!!!!!!   But, Candice, why do you make such bad hair choices??????  I mean, this is the best pic I could find, but you should see how the styles have morphed over time; not one is flattering.  Look how this one comes to a point in the center!!!!!!!!   She certainly did not get this from Ariette at Bergdorf's!!!!!!!!!  Hell, Jan Miner, in her Madge days, could have found her a better stylist!!!!!!!!!!  Or done the job herself!!!!!!!!!!  Compare Candice to that other profiler we just LOVE, Mark Safrik!!!!!!!  Oh, Maaaaaaaaaark!  He certainly knows how to style, darlings, and I know some of my girls out there would just LOVE to style him!!!!!!!!!!  And I don't blame you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             Candice is a different story, loves!!!!!!!!!! She can talk crimes and killers with the best of them, but this Beauty School Dropout (just like the song in "Grease!", girls!!!!) certainly missed her mid-terms, or flunked shampoo somewhere along the way!  With that skin, and those eyes, Candice, you could do something!!!!  But what's atop your head kills it!

                                             I think it is time for her to re-evolve!  How about we start Candice off, hairless; you know, that early Sinead O'Connor look????  Then apply a series of wigs and falls, adjust till something tolerable is achieved, and give her a model to grow out and style from!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             With effort, she could, in time, become what she ought--the Audrey Hepburn of FBI profilers!!!!!  Hope is not lost yet, Candice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                I know MY girls would never make the hair mistakes Candice does!!!!!!!!!!!
Whether you are catching killers, or bargain shopping at MACY'S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                 Candice , honey, take some cues from your similarly named contemporaries--Bergen and Bushenell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                   And think what ANNA would say!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Trick Or Treat, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Girls, I am telling you, we got some trick this week, what with Hurricane Sandy!!!!!  But, in spite of it, Halloween did come, and let me wish you all a happy one!  Monsieur and I have candy for whatever tykes may ring our doorbell--even if they are some big, muscular Guidos--and I still have not decided if I am dressing up as a fishnet dominatrix!!!!!!!   I mean, I don't even have a whip, though we do have this wooden pitchfork I could use.!!!!!!!!!

                                And, of course, you know how we celebrate tonight!!!!!  We watch the great John Carpenter classic, "Halloween," though, let me tell you, girls, nothing still can't top that initial 1978 viewing, where I was so so scared afterwards, I gunned the accelerator, drove all the way home, up our hillside driveway, and straight into the Friedenreichs' bushes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   This time, we will just enjoy Jamie,
P.J.Soles, and little Mikey Myers, kick back, and relax!!!! Oh, and the scene where Annie, the babysitter, is being attacked, and she is screaming for Lindsay, her charge, only Lindsay can't hear a thing, because the TV sound is up, and she is absorbed in "The Thing", to the point of shutting out everything else around her,
is priceless!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    So, however you celebrate the day (and in whatever limited capacities you find to do so, in the wake of the storm!!!!) make it a great one!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Curl up, kick back, and let the ghosties, witches and demons do all the work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      May all your Tricks be Treats, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"It Was Graveyard Love, Honey! Graveyard Love!!!!"

                               So said the Mama, or Eulala, or whatever her name was, when interviewed about the tragic circumstances surrounding the deaths of Addie Hall and Zack Bowen.  Which I learned about for the first time, via a recent broadcast of "Blood, Lies And Alibis!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                 Since it was founded, New Orleans has never been one to shirk from conjuring up the most Gothic tales.  But few are as Gothic as this.

                                Poor Addie and Zack.  They were a couple of lost souls.  Addie was almost, in a sense a Southern Fantine; she seemed to spring into New Orleans out of nowhere, with no history to speak of, though friends did learn she had been molested when young, and, as a young adult, had been in and out of a series  of abusive relationships.  Added to this was Addie being bi-polar, not always on her meds, which meant her moods were, at best, mercurial.

                                  But she seemed decent; she turned no tricks, like poor Fantine, and she was tougher and more resourceful, keeping a journal, writing poetry and songs, while eking out a living for herself, in the French Quarter, as a bartender.  And a damned good one!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Which is how she met Zack, who began tending in the same bar.  He was from a respectable family, but was, himself, something of a lost soul, too.  Married while still a teen, he fathered a boy and girl, but his wife eventually left him, which put the pressure of alimony and child support on him while other kids were still contemplating losing their virginity.  He found a soul mate of sorts, in Addie's poetic soul, but her demons were such she wanted Zack all to herself, and on her terms.  Their romance blossomed, and they became a profiled area couple, when they remained in the Quarter, and survived, during Hurricane Katrina.  It was a wonderfully romantic, Bohemian story, and it was real.  But it was not to last.

                                 A failed marriage, children he felt responsible towards, but had no real relationship with, yet still had to pay child support for  by working several jobs, consumed him.  As well as did Addie's moods and emotional demands.  Added to which, Zack had a secret--ambivalent sexuality.  He was hot, and in a town where gay sex was as abundant, as, say New York, Zack, darlings, was quite a catch.  Hell, if I had been living there then, I might have had a go at him, myself!!!!!!!!!!   And Zack, of course, could never reconcile this, while Addie always sensed he was cheating on her.  If only she knew!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 After they became the post-Katrina media darlings, things started to fall apart.  Drugs and alcohol slowly came into the picture, which helped to fuel temperaments!!!!!!!!  But what really tipped things, I think, was the apartment situation.

                                  Attempting to save their relationship, the couple rented the apartment at 826 N. Rampart Street, setting up house, seeming to be happy.  But Addie, because of her illness and her past background, became suspicious and distrustful, and, behind Zack's back, she went to the landlord and signed the lease in her name only--giving her the right to kick Zack out, which she planned to do.

                                  But he found out, and along, with everything else, add on the trauma of serving in the Kosovo and Iraqi Wars (never mind surviving Katrina!!!!!) and you had a recipe for disaster.  Pushed over the edge, Zack strangled Addie, then blithely went to sleep, with her corpse beside him.  Going to work the next day, like nothing happened, he pondered what to do with the body.  The next night, he dismembered her body in the bathtub, freezing the torso like you would a rib roast,  baked her legs in a tin foil pan, and boiled her head, hands and feet in a large pot, laced with celery and carrots!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Skiddle-ee bumbo. hot a pot, bubblin' sweet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Yet, he was not a cannibal.  When the autopsy was done on his body, not an ounce of consumed human flesh was found in his system.

                                     What Zack did was monstrous and unexplainable.  Addie did not deserve it.  Yet, despite his monstrous deeds, Zack had something of humanity still in him.  He could not live with the horror of what he had done to someone he loved, so, one day in October, 2006, he blew $1500 on booze, great food--no better city than New Orleans to do this, darlings!!!!--and strip clubs, before taking himself to the roof of  one of the French Quarter's most established hotels, (I'd like to think it was the Monteleone) and jumped off its roof.

                                      When the police found the battered body, they found this note in a back pocket:

                                                 "This was not accidental.  I had to take my own life to
                                                   pay for the one I took. If you send a patrol to 826 N.
                                                   Rampart, you will find the dismembered corpse of my
                                                   girl friend, Addie, in the oven, on the stove, and in the
                                                   fridge, along with full documentation on the both of us,
                                                   and a full, signed confession from myself."

                                       Poor Addie and Zack.  These two lost souls were, rather inevitably, consumed by the forces and circumstances around them.

                                        Perhaps both were like Fantine, after all.



To Think, Darlings, That I Am Six Degrees From THIS!!!!!!!!

                           Rest assured, girls, not by relation, but by the mildest of association!!!!!!  Listen up!!!!!!

                           Back in early October, 1994 (can you believe that was 18 years ago??????) my father,
niece and nephew, Jennifer and Jonathan, (before marriage to their respective spouses!!!!) took an overseas trip to Ireland.  My first one!!!!!!!!  It was an evening flight, but what a morning. Just days before, my cousin (and my sister's by blood) Henry, had passed away, at 56 (an age I still could not conceive of for myself, and look now!!!!!!!!!!) --and his funeral was that morning.  Which meant I would have had to haul all my stuff from Woodside, where I was then living, to Red Bank/Rumson, New Jersey, where the funeral would be.  Which meant I could not go, which is still upsetting, looking back, since I was fond of Henry.  So, when the time came, I hightailed it to LaGuraeida Airport, which was only ten minutes from my apartment, met my father, niece and nephew, and off we went to Ireland!!!!!!!!!!!

                          Most  of our activities were confined to Dublin, but we did stray out of there a couple of times. And one of these trips was to visit a family related to us, the Carrolls, headed by Dan and Patricia. They lived 14 miles out, on a huge sixty acre estate called Donacomper (which means "by the waters," as there were bodies of water on the property), as well as a horse farm and school, run by Dan's son David, and his wife Pauline.  Their other son, Brendan, (whom I wanted to meet, very nice looking!!!!) was not there, working in Dublin, running a clothing factory, where a lot of the Carroll fortune came from, and having his own pied a terre in town!!!!!!  Uhm-hm!!!!!!!!!!!!  You know what that means, darlings!!!!!!!!!!! Cousin Brendan and I would definitely have seen eye to eye!!!!!!!!!!!

                           Donacomper was lovely, green, verdant, with the main residence being a sixty-four roomed castle!  It was like stepping into one of those nineteenth century novels I love so much!!!!!!!!!!
Only, this was 1994!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            Now, get this--this estate (I don't know if Dan and Patricia brought it from them directly) was at one time the summer home of--the DuPont family.   Yes, girls, THOSE DuPonts!!!!!!!!!!  Which brings us to my rather minuscule, but significant connection, to what follows!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            That Pati Margello, girls, I am telling you!!!!!!!  A real trashy piece of garbage from the streets of Philly; the Kensington section, no doubt--and a grifter, hooker and drug addict to boot.  Let me tell you, when she met Dean MacGuigan, once she learned he was related to the DuPonts (his mother, Lisa, was a DuPont heiress!!!!!!!!!!), she latched onto him like a leech on to fresh, human skin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            Dean and Pati both were a couple of losers.  He was a ne'er do well, to begin with, and she was the kind who would make someone from Goat Alley seem classy!!!!!!!!!!!  Why couldn't she have just opened a pizzeria???????

                             It was easy enough for Dean to fall under the influence of alcohol and drugs, but then, Pati only made things worse  by sashaying her chassy and using drugs and drink herself, to drag Dean down further.

                             His parents could not stand this piece of trash, and I agree.  So, Lisa's hubby, Christopher Mosley, hired this washed up porn thing named Diana Hironga, and two male accomplices, to take out Dean and Pati.  As things turned out, only Pati got it!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             And this is where it all went down, at the trashy Del Mar Motel, on the wrong side of the tracks of Las Vegas!!!!!!!!!  This reminds me of that motel in Jersey, just outside the Lincoln Tunnel, which advertises "movies" (uhm-hmm!!!!!!!) and special beds (yeah!!!!!!!!!), so you know what kind of action goes on there!!!!!!!   Just like at the Del Mar!!!!!!!!!  It would not surprise me if some folks went down over the years in Jersey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           Anyway, Pati and Diana were trolling the casinos and clubs, looking for hooker action.  Diana hooks up  with her "cronies", and tells Pati they were going to the Del Mar, have a party, drinks, drugs, and, you damn well better believe, a menage a quatre!!!!!!!!!  Except, shrewd Pati caught on that something was up, and, though she fought valiantly, the men killed her, but that bitch Diana held her down!!!!!!!  But not before Pati grabbed Diana by the hair in the back, and just about pulled it out of her roots!!!!!!!  Good for you, girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           To think I am even remotely associated with this, but I am!!!!!!  But I do not want any of you girls to get the idea that I hang out in places like the Del Mar Motel!!!!!!!!  My most recent lodging was the Hotel Monteleone, in New Orleans, and, I don't go any lower than the Hampton Inn in Pennsylvania!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          And the late, great Dominick Dunne, did a piece on this for "Vanity Fair," back in 1999, which found its way into his essay collection book, "Justice."  Too bad Dominick and I never teamed up!!!
With his connections and my chutzpah bitchiness, what inroads we could have made, well-laying society!!!!!!!
Just think what mincemeat we could have made of the Dykemans!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           I am told Dominick had a show of his own on TV that was very much like "Behind Mansion Walls."  You know it was classier than that, because Dominick is the real thing, unlike that faux Christopher Mason, who always looks like like he either wants to get fisted,or needs a high colonic!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           But, remmeber, girls, I may be tangenially associated with all this, but I rise above it!!!!!!!!!

                           Strictly Miss Porter's, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Darlings, We Just Love Mary Tyler Moore In This Role!!!!!!!!!

                                   Girls, remember Sante Kimes????????  She was the grifter mom who psycholosexually enslaved her son, Kenny, into doing anything she says!  One of those things was murdering New York wealthy eccentric Irene Silverman!!!!!!!  Talk about Mother Of The Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  When it comes to matriarchal evil, Sante is in the Top Ten!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Which is why we just LOVE her!!!!!!!!!!  Just like we loved Mary Tyler Moore, when she played Sante in the 2001 telefilm, "Like Mother, Like Son!!!!!!"  This is one story that should be turned into a Broadway musical!!!!!  I can see it now-- "Sante!  The Musical!"  Starring Patti LuPone, who would just be perfect!!!!!!!!!  Though, after playing "Evita," would she want to play this????  Maybe Charles Busch, then!!!!!!!!!!!  Oh, honey, I am telling you, you could really camp this one up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    And wouldn't it be fun to visit Sante in the slammer, hang out in her cell, chat, and have tea????  Bet Sante could tip me off to a few Get Rich Quick Schemes!!!!!!!!  Maybe she should be cell mates with Bernie Medoff!!!!!!!!  Bet that would make Avaricious Ruth jealous!!!!!!!!!!

                                    But you gotta hand it to Mary for playing Sante!!!!!!  Quite a leap from Miss Dorothy!!!  Who would have thought she had it it in here????????

                                    This Sante was NO Saint, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Ride Out The Storm, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Batten down the hatches, darlings, because here we are, all snuggled in, like bugs in a rug.  Funny, how that phrase seemed so cute and meaningless when I was little, but now that I am an apartment dweller, it takes on whole new connotations!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               The wind is howling outside, already-- I should pull "Wuthering Heights" off the shelf, and read it!!!!!!--yet they say the storm has  not hit yet.  Talk about being in a holding pattern!!!!!!!!
But, with work and even Broadway--Broadway, darlings!!!!!!!!  Ethel Merman must be spinning in her grave!!!!--shut down, what else can we do, but enjoy the time off, be grateful for having a roof over our heads, and praying that it stays, as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                And Halloween is literally just around the corner.  Or, as the Daily News called it yesterday, thanks to the storm, "Hell-Oween!!!!!!!!"  Let's hope we have power, so we can celebrate that eve by watching the Jamie Lee Curtis classic!!!!!!!!!!  With P. J. Soles, the reigning Screen Bitch of the day, as Lynda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 So, I want to make sure all my girls out there are safe!!!!!!!  While there is power, put on a couple of BARBRA CD's,  sit back, and chill, with a couple of drinks--Bellinis in the  morning, Bloody Marys in the afternoon, and Margaritas in the evening.  Even if you have only one of each, by evening, you will either feel like you are BARBRA yourself, or shopping in Bergdorf's!!!!!!!!!!!  And you will be safer!!!!!!!!!

                                 No bargain sales today, girls!!!!!!!!  Relax, and get sloshed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Darlings, It Simply MADE The Social Season!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       Well, girls, after over five months, two pieces of furniture on the way, and an impending hurricane reigning down on us, Monsieur and I finally held our housewarming.  Of course, there were some cancellations, and some who could not make it, but those who did seemed to have a wonderful time.  Everyone seemed impressed by the place--now, let's hope it stands, with no major damage!!!!!--and food and drink flowed full force!!!!!  My friend, Steven wins the prize for longest distance traveled, driving all the way in from Ewing Township, New Jersey, not far from Trenton.  And he bought the most charming gifts--a Fighting Nun puppet (who bears a strong and disturbing resemblance to my late Aunt Katty!!!) , and a series of circular New York City photo decals that can be hung on the wall.  Which were last night.  Monsieur's Uncle Ernest came, and, while still a character, was fairly low keyed in the face of all the people gathered.  David's friend, Florence, who is 70+, came in the most glamorous black dress, with lacy shoulders, and looked rather fetching.  Even my Inner BARBRA made a brief appearance, managing to get in some choruses of "I'm All Smiles," and "Second Hand Rose!!!!!!!"

                                     It was a memorable event for the two of us, and it will certainly be memorable for all, historically, for being held on the eve of what has already been called, thanks to its proximity to Halloween, the Frankenstorm!!!!!!  As time goes on, everyone will remember the housewarming because of this!!!!!!!!!!

                                    But I shall remember all those who trekked out in this incipient storm--Danny, Tom,
Jim and Jeff, Kathy, Linda and Marilyn (and Linda's outfit was stunning, darlings!!!!!!!!!), our beloved Auntie Alvin (minus Lorraine and yeast infections!!!!), our Mermaid Parade compatriots, Kris, Gerry and Judy, the legendary Bruce, and, of course, in true Dolly Levi fashion, Saul!!!!!!!!!

                                     Am I missing anyone?????????  If I am, I apologize, loves, because, let me tell you , it is not easy being a hostess!!!!  You have to move about, talk to everyone, and, honeys, I had hardly a chance to nosh down on all the delicious food and drink we had, though I did manage a fee nibbles here and there!!!!!!!!!   And while there was some left over, not as much as you might think!!!!!!

                                       Clearly, the event was a success, capped off by an evening visit from Ellen, which was a perfect way to end things!!!!!!!!  And gave Ellen a chance to partake of all the luscious goodies!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        So, here we are, girls, officially settled in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         But where were the Castevets????????????????????????????


Friday, October 26, 2012

But Who Will Play The Grace Kelly Role, Darlings???????

                                Girls, I am telling you, the idiocy does not stop!!!!!!!!  After all the debacle surrounding the non-staging of the musicalization of "Rebecca," another Hitchcock vehicle has been selected for adaptation to the stage.  What good news there is comes in the knowledge that, at least, it won't be a musical.

                                 I am talking about "Rear Window."

                                 Again, the film is so perfect, why even try????????  But does sanity prevail on
the Rialto??????? After Julie Taymor and Diane Paulus, one cannot always be sure!!!!!!!!

                                   What I want to know is, who is going to play the Grace Kelly role???????
And what kind of set will be constructed, so that you get the other inhabitants, without losing the intimacy of the piece???????  Like, can that even be done????????  Maybe the designer of the Broadway production of "August: Osage County," should have left that set standing, and then, with some alterations, just used it for "Rear Window!"

                                     Oh, and before I get too far along, if this does get mounted, I want to play the role of Miss Lonelyhearts!!!!!!!!!  I played it in real life for nearly 30 years, so I have a lot to draw upon.  And, no, I am not claiming that I could even approach the brilliance of Judith Evelyn in the role, but, what with me, on November 7, playing a repressed spinster in Tennessee William's "Lord Byron's Love Letter,"  if the creators of this show want to see me in that, this could be used as my audition, the way Jessica Tandy in "Portrait Of A Madonna" used that to snare 'Streetcar.'  As far as I am concerned, the chance for me to play Miss Lonelyhearts is the only thing that justifies adapting "Rear Window" to the stage!

                                      Which does not mean it will pan out!!!!!!!!!!  While I don't think anyone too soon is going to repeat the Ponzi scheme that was "Rebecca," I cannot imagine critics being kind to a mounting  of this classic.  But, darlings, Miss Lonelyhearts  is the kind of part that gets one noticed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  So, while I do not have much hope for this production of "Rear Window," I am excited about the potential of enacting a role I am suited for!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          Grace Kelly, indeed!!!!!!!!! As if anyone could dress replace her!!!!!!! And the costumes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            Speaking of costumes, I will have to have some designed. Can't wait to wear those Fifties spinster digs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I will also need a dresser for backstage, and I am telling you all right now who I want!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                I want Grace Coddington, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Girls, I Am Simply Verklempt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       As Linda Richmond herself might have said, "It's like buttah!!!!!!"

                                        Reading William J. Mann's bio of BARBRA is like a dream come true, because it covers the only period of her life that really interests me--from birth in Brooklyn, to Broadway in "Funny Girl."  The idea that someone could come out of nowhere to make it was something that gave hope to many, including yours truly, and is part of the explanation for BARBRA's lasting influence and inspiration as an icon.

                                         I can remember, tucked into bed at night, back in Highland Park, New Jersey, listening to the NYC disc jockeys of that day talk about the glamour life in New York--the show openings, the club engagements, and projecting myself, by imagination, so that I was there.  And, when the reality of cardiac illness made its appearance, with me being hauled back and forth, it seemed all the time, to doctors in New York, the way I dealt with it was by assuring myself of my "specialness;" other kids did not bus into the city on a regular basis, and somehow relating it all to show business, which is what I would have preferred it to be then in the first place.

                                           One of my favorite parts of the trip was passing a section of the Jersey marshes, alongside the railroad tracks, behind which there were these mountainous hills, and atop each one was a billboard poster that advertised a Broadway show.  There were, in fact, several of these, stretching across the landscape.  I can still recall some of the titles--"How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying," "Hello, Dolly!," "Fiddler On The Roof," 'Mame."  Some of these were up for years because the shows ran so long.  And, yes, "Funny Girl."

                                            So, projecting myself onto Broadway was what got me through this. And when BARBRA came onto the scene, I was as impressed as everyone, but, like Mike would say later on in "A Chorus Line," "I Can Do That!"  And that is how I felt--if  BARBRA could play "Funny Girl," so could I!!!!!!!

                                              This book takes someone of my mindset--and I know there are others of you, out there--into what it would have been like to realize this fantasy; both the positive and negative aspects of the experience.  It also recreates that period of nighttime cultural life in New York City, when people like Kay Ballard, Alice Ghostley, and countless others who went on to careers, were up and coming.  Then, out of nowhere, comes this little Brooklyn girl.  And then--KA-BOOM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               Speaking of BARBRA now, the book is fascinating.  The BARBRA persona is there in all its unstoppable glory, but so are some things I never would have thought--like tinnitus, which she battled, stage fright, intestinal and stomach problems, the specter of Mama Diana and favored younger sister Rozzie hovering in the wings, like Mrs. Hudson and the child Blanche,  at the start of "What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?", as well as the men, some she stayed with, some she didn't, who helped propel her to fame.  BARBRA's talent got her deemed a performer, but making that performer noticed was a calculated move on several men's--and BARBRA's--parts!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                  It also demonstrates something that I never knew was calculated. As a tender child of thirteen, sitting in the over sized (or so I thought) Menlo Park Cinema screen, in Menlo Park, New Jersey, watching BARBRA several seemingly glorious stories high, in "Funny Girl"--and that "My Man" ending, oh my God!!!!"--what always grabbed me about the show was the idea that as much as one was watching the Fanny Brice story, one was watching BARBRA's--which meant it could have been the story of all of us!!!!!!!!!  And when I got to the section dealing with getting the show on its Broadway feet, it shows how that was clearly the intention!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                   And just wait till you hear about Lainie Kazan, Allyn Ann McLerie, Garson Kanin, Carol Haney, and others!!!!!!!!!!  Endlessly fascinating for all my girls out there!  This will be the big Christmas gift among the Gay crowd this year!!!!!!!  You better believe it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                     As for me, the book has inspired me to get out there and try some things I might not have before. We shall see what happens!!!!!!!!!!  But if you LOVE BARBRA, or even if you never could figure her out, but wanted to--THIS above the rest is the book to read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                        Eyes on the target, and WHAM!, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hope To See You Tonight, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          Darlings, I am simply telling you, with Halloween just six days away, what could be more fun than a theater screening of "Rosemary's Baby?"  And what could be more fun than a screening hosted by Hedda Lettuce (the daughter of Bedda Lettuce, and the great-niece of Nedda Iceberg!!!!!!!) at the Chelsea, which will be shown tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             All of our favorite characters will be there, including Ralph Bellamy, as Dr. Sapirstein!!!!!!!!!  I just LOVE Ralph Bellamy as Dr. Sapirstein!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               Not to mention Minnie, Roman, Laura Louise, and all the gang!  Can you imagine????????  After 44 years, this is STILL the best thing Mia Farrow ever did!!!!!!!!  And what it did for the Dakota, darlings, let me tell you!!!!!!!!!  It made us all want to live there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                 So, I am hoping to see all my girls this evening, where I will turn out and greet everyone, hand out cards, maybe even sign a few autographs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                     And there is a moral here, dolls!  The price of Fame!!!!!! That nasty Guy Woodhouse (played brilliantly by John Cassavetes!!!!!!!!!) He had absolutely no talent, and I will prove it!!!!!!!!

                                                        BARBRA STREISAND never had to sleep with the Devil to get where she got!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Think about that one, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Still A Turning Point, After Thirty- Seven Years!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Darlings, it seems like yesterday, but it was 37 years ago today that I saw the group pictured above--the now legendary Original Cast of "A Chorus Line,"--first perform that now classic show. And to just think that, three weeks ago, at Paper Mill, I sat through my 38th viewed performance of it.

                                    But that original day was magical.  My father went with me, because he somehow sensed it was going to be important, and I think he did it as some way of trying to understand me, and share something I was interested in.  Which he was too; he and my mother were average theatergoers before I came along, and he still talks about the magic of seeing "A Chorus Line" that day.

                                      To think I had never heard of Donna McKechnie till then. And ever since, it has been nothing but Donna--wanting to be her, stop the show, and wishing I could dance like her.  When the lights first went up on the dancers at the Opening, it was like nothing I had ever seen before, or would again. And when they turned to face the audience, who erupted into spontaneous applause, I knew for the first time I was seeing a genuine hit!  Still one of my most exciting theatergoing moments.

                                        Over the years, as a show, "A Chorus Line" has spoken to me, defined itself to me, again and again.  As it will continue to; I hope this recent viewing of it will not be my last.  But nothing can dispel the magic of that Saturday afternoon, 37 years ago today.  To think, like Mark, in the show, I was  the tender age of 20!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           Not so tender now, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For The First Time This Season, A "Law And Order SVU " Episode Has Some Balls!!!!!!!!!!

                                                    Girls, if, like me, you are fed up with corporate America and all it entails, then "Manhattan Vigil," the 300th episode of "Law And Order SVU," will press your buttons, as it offers up a plethora of male losers, who are scum.  And two of them turn out to be deceased.

                                                       Let's start with Hamish Linklater.  Would you believe he is the son of Kirstin Linklater, author of "Freeing The Natural Voice," one of the Bibles for those who are studying acting????  Well, you would never know it, from the performance he gives.  He plays David Morris, a real estate magnate's son, who is nothing more than an entitlement prick. When he came onto the screen with that faux over aged jock appearance, complete with baseball cap, I wanted to vomit. But it is part of the character he plays.  David Morris is a loser who can't hold a marriage, keep his appointments with his son in their times allowed by custody, and is all for pricing everyone but him out of their neighborhood apartments--just like his sleazy father and uncle. I hated this guy from the first scene.  Now, you might think, that because of this, Hamish did some good acting.  Frankly, I think he was playing himself--a real schmuck--because when the kid, Wyatt Morris, is abducted, he begins running around like an overdeveloped pituitary case on the basketball court, while voicing hysteria I have seen more convincing in first year acting students.  How did they get this guy, anyway???  And who the hell is he???????????

                                                       The Morris family has been driving tenants out of the neighborhood for years, so they can make it high end.  The grandfather and father were slum landlords, like David, and they had this lackey, Louis Hodda (played by Tom Sizemore as a convincing sleaze, but, again, who the hell is he, and what hole did they dig him out of?????).  And all of them may or may not have been involved in a series of boy abductions and murders (the writers don't clearly establish this, but, judging from how the Morris clan is written, that is what I came away with!!!!!!!!!) , though Hodda says he took Wyatt, in the present, not to do anything "unclean", but to use as leverage to get the family to give him what he feels he is owed for all the work he has done for these A-holes over the years.

                                                            I was almost sorry when they found Wyatt.  I mean, I was glad he was alive, but he is a fat, pudgy kid (couldn't they get someone cute, so the audience could sympathize???? Why doesn't the casting director(S) here get off their butt and do their job??????) who doesn't have a chance, when it comes to growing up, what with a loser father and a harpie bitch mother!!!!!!!!!  This kid is headed for drug rehab as soon as he hits puberty.  You can just tell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                             It was interesting, considering Danny Pino is now on the show, that, in style, this episode was highly influenced by "Cold Case," the show Pino starred on with Kathryn Morris for its entire run.  Though not as emotionally gripping--try watching that show's segment, entitled "Wishing,' a second time!!!!!!!!!!  You can't!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                All the scum on this show was completely hateful.  And it was like no one got their comeuppance--not even that sleaze Louis Hodda, played by Tom Sizemore.  Were they going to give him a deal so he could walk, just because he told them where Wyatt was hiding????????  It sure looked like it.  The scum made me boiling mad to begin with, but that the two still alive did not get any kind of comeuppance (David Morris just takes his son, and lackadaisically, walks off!!!!!!!) which made the ending unsatisfying.

                                                                  So, this show still has things to work out in its season.  Like getting rid of flaws, and getting back to the kind of solid drama an episode like "Lost Traveler" can provide!!!!!!!!!

                                                                   Someone should have told David Morris he is now an anachronism. That whole "Die, Yuppie scum!" thing has died out, but he does not seem to realize it yet!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                       Neither has Jay McInerney, who keeps trying to write books!

This Is One Sick Sex Thing, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Few come any sicker than Charles Ray Vines.  As soon as I saw his story on "Unusual Suspects" last evening, I knew I had found this week's winner of the Raving Queen Bitch Of
The Week Award!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     But I have to ask--and I know I keep asking it--why do these things keep happening in places like Arkansas or Florida?????????????

                                       Charles Ray Vines was a small town boy in Fort Smith, Arkansas, who grew into a 270 pound lug, who made a living through construction work.  Nothing wrong there, darlings, just your Average Joe.  And he was SO average--helping his neighbors with their projects, offering to help them with any difficulties they ran into.  His parents even had a friend of theirs, named Lillian, whom they used to take to church each Sunday. When Charles got to be of driver age, he would take the woman to church himself. She and his family were so close he called her "Aunt Lily."

                                          Good ol' boy Charles married and had two children.  But there was trouble.  The wife would be beaten frequently, and, as she said, he did not want sex "in the normal way."  What does that mean????? With her dressed as a nun,or something????????  Go watch Sally Field as Sister Betrille!!!!!!  During an altercation with his son,Vines stabbed him at one point, though not fatally.

                                            Eventually, this was not enough for Charles, so, in 1993 and 1995 , he broke in, murdered, and sexually assualted Juanita Wofford, Ruth Henderson, and even "Aunt Lilly"--all in their homes, late at night!  But, wait; it gets worse!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It wasn't bad enough he had a fetish preying on elderly, vulnerable women who lived alone; he was also a necrophilliac--he liked having sex with them after they were dead!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And did!!!!!!!!!!!  When finally apprehended, after breaking into a house and raping the 16-year-old daughter of one of his neighbors (the girl survived because she fought like hell, and she had the good fortune of having her parents, who weren't home initially, return, and, if the gun had not jammed, the father would have blasted Vines in the head!!!!!!!!!  Too bad that gun jammed!!!!!!!!!!!)

                                               When interrogated,  he admitted to everything--including that having intercourse with dead women was "his favorite kind of sex."

                                                    You can bet this guy was locked up, but good!!!!!!!!!  And will never see the light of day again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                       I cannot recall a more heinous Bitch Of The Week!!!!!!!  But this guy is just too sick to ignore, so it was almost inevitable he be named a winner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                       But it is the only thing he will  win ever  again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Girls, This Is Where I Have To Be Seen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 I don't have to tell any of you, darlings, that trying to become a star in this town is no easy task.  Even if one is on a par with BARBRA!!!!!!!!!!  I mean, even BARBRA had to be seen, at one time!!!!!!!!!!

                                  This not only means in performance--though that is pretty important, let me tell you!!!!--but socially, all over town, at the right places. One of those places is Angus McIndoe, which is in the Theater District, on Broadway, between West 44th and Eighth Avenue.

                                     Did you know this is where columnist Michael Reidel and director David Leveaux had their knock down, drag down, when the director shoved the columnist, who said Britishers always ruin classic American musicals.  Now, darlings, I have been wanting to go one on one with Reidel for years, to show not only who the bigger bitch is, but to for once and all establish for everyone his elusive sexuality, and see if he has the temerity to be in the biz he is in, and be a Republican, as he was in his youth!!!!!!  And if he is, he should be booted right out of the theater district!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        However, I have to say he did have a point when it came to what he said about Britishers and American musicals. I mean, just look what Matthew Warchus did to "Follies" eleven years back!!!!!!!!  Thank God for the recent revival, which showed this generation why this show is so great, and how it should be done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  In this respect, I have to say Reidel is right!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          But, as BARBRA would say, we are talking about ME here!!!!!!!!! So, it is very crucial now that I be seen at Angus McIndoe, where the crowd is stunning, if not the food!!!!!!!  As long as they make a decent Bloody Mary, I can scarf down almost anything, loves!!!!!!!!!!!!  So I have to go about getting a reservation, becoming a habitue, if I am going to make entries into my plans to emerge from the club scene a la BARBRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  And let me tell you, I will be sure to give all my girls a full report on this place!!!!!!!!!!  As well as what to order, and what not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            Too bad they don't have telephones at the tables, like in "Cabaret." Then, I could all greet you first hand, and you could come and greet me in turn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              What did you bring me, darlings??????????????????????

From Boot Licker, To Boot Licking Nazi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Darlings, I am sure those of you out there who have been faithful to yours truly will not forget the posting on the now classic 'SVU' episode, "Shadow."  That is where Sarah Paulson played everyone's favorite villainous sociopath, Ann Gillette, who knows how to look glamorous when planning a museum heist, murder, or four star luncheon.

                                          But this was also the episode that featured Edward Hibbert, in an uproariously hilarious performance, as one of Anne's museum cronies, who, if you recall, is married and belongs to some kinky downtown S and M club.  I mean, where else would such recreation go on, darlings??????

                                           The highlight of the entire episode was him licking Mariska Hargitay's boot!!!!!! She posed as a dominatrix, threatening to expose his secret, and, to keep it quiet, he helped her nail Ann!!!!!
There was so much buzz about this sequence that I recall Hibbert being interviewed about it. He said the two of them (he and Mariska) were cracking up during the shooting.  And I will never forget his response, when asked about the boot licking: "It was an honor, really."

                                             Well, now, Mr. Hibbert, whom we all love as an actor, is going to be playing another boot licker, of sorts--the politically wafting Max Detwiler in Paper Mill Playhouse's upcoming revival of "The Sound Of Music."  Stepping into shoes once occupied by Kurt Kasznar and Richard Haydyn, Max, along, with the Baroness, has to be one of the two most thankless roles in this show, if not the theater.  Though Max does have the edge on the Baroness; he is not an out and out bitch.  So, I must applaud Mr. Hibbert for taking on a role that, given the chance, I would not be interested in.

                                                 I am looking forward to seeing this production, because it is always interesting to see this show in its original form, which was the stage, after years of exposure to the now classic film.  And one does not get the chance to see it on stage so often.

                                                 So, girls, there is much to anticipate about this production. But, like I said, I have no interest in playing Max. You know me, lambs!!!!!!!!!!  I would have held out for the role of Brigittta!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

To Think This Is What I Thought Adulthood Would Be!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Really, darlings; I am not kidding!!!!!!!!! When I used to watch "The Dick Van Dyke Show" on TV, and see Rob, Sally and Buddy, working in the office, this is what I thought adult workplace life would be like!!!!!!!!!!!  Not that I had any aspirations to being a comedy writer--maybe I should have reconsidered--indeed, as I set out on this path, I saw myself as heavily dramatic, girls!!!!!!!!!!  My dream part was Edmund Tyrone in "Long Day's Journey Into Night," not Morey Amsterdam as Buddy Sorrell. Maybe I should have given more thought to playing Buddy.  But, then, I was a lot taller than Morey Amsterdam, who always reminded me of my favorite uncle, Uncle Jack, who WAS short!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               And IF I had turned out as a comedy writer, God forbid, I would be in California right now, instead of New York, probably barfing into a garbage basket, over having to write vulgarities for Charlie Sheen on "Two And A Half Men," or things to that effect.  And, listen, you want to know where Sheen gets his material????????  Off of the average men's room wall!!!!!!!!!!!  Must be spending lots of time there, Charlie!!!!!!!!! Wonder if he's picking up more than gags???????????

                               How could I have foreseen that that whole world on the Van Dyke show would have emigrated to California?????????? And that it would decline from the sophistication it was to the slop the present day shows now are?????????  So, it seems my notion of adulthood was doomed from the start!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Until I discovered Marlo Thomas as Ann Marie in "That Girl!"

                                   But that's another posting, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Girls, We Got A Good Dose Of BARBRA This Weekend!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Darlings, I am telling you, I was never more in touch with my Inner BARBRA than this weekend, when Monsieur and I had a chance to kick back and listen to this classic, not only to hear her at her earliest, but to get some ideas for the act I am putting together called "Getting In Touch With My Inner BARBRA." Having "I'm All Smiles," and ""She Touched Me" on the roster, I wanted to see if there was anything else I might include.

                                Well, this collection was so extraordinary it told me more what NOT to include.
I was always intrigued by her rendition of "Who's Afraid Of The Big Bad Wolf?" but after listening closely, I decided I would be a fool to attempt it.  Even more so are the tracks she does of "Cry Me A River,"  "Happy Days Are Here Again," and, oh, my God, "A Sleepin' Bee."

                                 If you have never heard BARBRA do this, you must.  And once having heard it no one would attempt it. It would be like someone other than Judy Garland doing "Over The Rainbow."  Only someone with BARBRA's chutzpah has done that, but, then, she worked with Garland, and, before she did it, she did pay respectful tribute to her.  Now, Diahann Carroll may have originated "A Sleepin' Bee" (which is from the Truman Capote, Harold Arlen musical, "House Of Flowers"), but once you hear BARBRA it is like, "Diahann who?????????"  And I love Diahann Carroll, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 So, to reassure some, and maybe disappoint others, no, I will NOT be doing "A Sleepin' Bee" in my act!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Even better than the above album, was this one, "A Happening In Central Park."  Several years ago, when Rufus Wainwright had the temerity to recreate Judy Garland's Carnegie Hall concert--at Carnegie Hall!!!!!!! And people went!!!!!!!!--I toyed with the idea of doing the same with this one summer.   The selections are more interesting--lots of recognizable show tunes and references--with two of the selections, "She Touched Me," and "Second Hand Rose" being perfect for me.  The latter is as far as I go with the Fanny Brice/"Funny Girl" thing.  I know people have been after me to do "My Man," but, if I did that, I might as well do another show, where I just sing the score of "Funny Girl."  Though if this 'Inner BARBRA" thing takes off, in any way, I may have to do it. So I will keep it on the back burner!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But this concert album--her first live one--is pure gold, and the cover is classic album cover art!!!!!!!!! You should have this in your listening collection, and hanging on your wall, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Poor Monsieur.  I think he is going to start calling or hanging out with James Brolin!!!!!!  "Must it be all BARBRA all the time?" he asks????????? Isn't that cute, lambs??????? "Think what James has to go through,"  I told him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I think he is starting to relate. But, I mean, when the Inner BARBRA voices forth, what can one do, but give in?????????  Darlings, I am completely powerless in the face of my Inner BARBRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     I think all my girls need at least one BARBRA Weekend in their lifetimes!!!!!!!! So, grab these two selections and kick back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  You will be transported to some glory days!!!!!!!!!!

                                        From Second Avenue, darlings!!!!!!!!!!  Nu!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Darlings, This Is The Best Ensemble Now Working On Broadway!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              This past  Sunday afternoon, Monsieur and I finally took in a matinee of the hit Broadway musical, "Newsies," which I had been longing to see.  I still say it should have won the TONY Award for Best Musical over that abysmal "Once," which, even before you get to "Once," it is more than enough, having heard it!!!!!!!!!

                                 "Newsies," girls, is a real, old-fashioned, 1950s style show--not that "Spring Awakening" crap, thank God!!!!!!! .  It follows a tradition of great and not so great shows that dealt with workers and labor relations--"Pins And Needles," "The Pajama Game," "I Can Get It For You Wholesale!" and "RAGS."  What these shows had that "Newsies" lacks is a great score. Frankly, my dears, that is the only thing lacking for this show to be in their  league.

                                    What is in that league, and is the true star of the show, is choreographer Christoper Gattelli (who deservedly won a TONY Award!!!!!!!) and his ensemble of dancing Newsies.  They are the best, and hardest working ensemble on Broadway today, and their pyrotechnics, following in the footsteps of past masters like Jerome Robbins and Gower Champion, ignite the show whenever they are on stage--and wisely, that is quite often!!!!!!!  When the boys are off, the show does flounder a little.  Simply because the score, which, despite being melodic and sung beautifully, sounds repetitious, with each song seeming to build on the signature tune, "The Kings Of New York."  Alan (Menken), honey, can't you vary your musical dynamics???????? Think how this score might have sounded, if Jerry Herman had written it.  Even Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane!!!!!!!!!

                                     I think it is for that reason that Monsieur kept falling asleep during the performance. Apparently, he was not as impressed with the show, or even the dancing ensemble, as I was!!!!!!!  But, listen, when you sleep through something, how can you judge???????????

                                     "Newsies" evolved from a Disney movie musical of almost twenty years back that went absolutely nowhere.  Then, several years ago, someone got the idea to mount a stage version of it at Paper Mill Playhouse, in Milburn, New Jersey.  And, unlike other, better, things, which have played there, but did not catch fire, this somehow did, so now you have dancing newsboys being the Ensemble Toast Of The Town.  And when I saw them do their stuff on the Thanksgiving Day Parade last year, I just had to see the show.

                                         And those "Newsies" boys are not unlike those "Annie" orphans, in some ways!!!! Which makes me think come this Thanksgiving, some one, if they are bright enough, will get the idea of teaming them up for some kind of number, just like someone, if bright enough, will finally give Jessie Mueller a solo spot of her own !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            You know I love my darling Monsieur, girls!!!!!!!!!!!  So, I say, let him sleep, and the rest of you make a beeline to the Nederlander Theatre to see "Newsies."    You will just LOVE all that testosterone, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             And just watching them dance is a workout in itself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Someone Else To Watch For, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          This is certainly a night for previews on Broadway this evening, darlings!!!!!! The curtain also is raised on Roundabout's revival of "The Mystery Of Edwin Drood," featuring the only reason, as far as I am concerned, to see it--Miss Jessie Mueller, in the role of Helena Landless.

                                              As Helena, Jessie, unfortunately has no solos (we will deal with that later, darlings!!!!) but she is featured in "Moonfall Quartet," "Ceylon,"  and, of course, the ensemble numbers (including the now classic "Don't Quit While You're Ahead"), so be sure to get to the theater, mark these numbers in your Playbill, and watch for Jessie when she comes out to sing  them.

                                              You know, girls, I am reading the William J. Mann biography of BARBRA. I will have more to say on that when I am finished, but, as I am reading about BARBRA, I cannot help but think of Jessie. Hers is a comparable talent, and she needs exposure.  This is her third foray into New York Theater, and honeys, she nails it every time, and is the Toast Of The Town whenever featured. But she needs a moment that is all HERS, or a show, or at the very least, as BARBRA had, a nightclub act.  I don't know who is representing or managing Jessie, but I am telling you right now, especially while she is in a show--get her a post-show gig somewhere (how about the new 54 space???????) and let Jessie do what she does best--sing.  Let those who did not get to see her in 'Clear Day' find out what they missed, especially since no cast album was made.  Would love to hear Jessie finally sing "What Did I Have," and there are a couple of BARBRA classics I could hear her doing, like "A Sleeping Bee."  Oh, my God, darlings, I am getting chills just thinking about it.

                                           A darkened room, smoking lights, a small, dimly lit stage with a mike...and Jessie Mueller comes out to sing!!!!!!!!!!!!  Sheer Heaven, loves, I am telling you, so while The Raving Queen wants to wish Jessie the best in 'Drood,' the hope is it nets larger opportunities for her and those of us who want more of her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            And I am still willing to alternate nightly with Jessie as Fanny Brice in "Funny Girl." The only one I would share that role with!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              Hers is the music that makes us dance, loves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reason Enough To See It, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       That all around great actor, (and he is not bad to look at, either!!!!!) David Harbour is going into the Al Pacino headed revival of "Glengarry Glen Ross," which begins previews this evening. Having seen David do Nick in the 2007 revival of 'Virginia Woof,' and stints on the "Law And Order" franchises, I can attest he is reason enough to see 'Glengarry.' If only I did not have to sit through the rest of the play.

                                         Now, don't get me wrong.  I love Al Pacino, the play, and David Mamet.  But after only five years, why revive this play again????  It's like getting a colonoscopy!!!!!!!!!!  Granted, 'Virginia Woolf' wasn't all that long ago, either, but that play has a timelessness to it that the Mamet work just  doesn't.  It offers a feast for actors willing to sink their chops into roles, so I can understand a cast wanting to do it (and I know David will be great!!!!!!!!) but think of the audiences who have to be subject to this yet again!!!!!!!!!  It simply isn't fair. Personally, I think David should have reprised Nick in the current 'Virginia Woolf'.  As he was the sterling actor of that earlier production, I have no doubt he would be better than the actor currently on display.

                                        I have no beefs about seeing David.  And what a piece of beef he is to see!  I would just like to see him in a more viable vehicle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           But, that's the Rialto for you, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Makes Me Feel So Old, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      OK, so Roundabout is doing the William Inge classic, "Picnic" again, which begins previews on December 14.   I may have to go, because I have never seen this on stage. My prime exposure to the piece was those annual ABC-TV 11:30 PM telecasts each Labor Day Weekend, during the Sixties and Seventies.

                                        Which was quite awhile ago; more than even I care to admit. But, have you heard the latest about this production??????

                                            Mare Winningham, pictured above, is playing Flo Owens, mother of Madge. For my girls who know the movie, that is the Betty Field role.

                                             Can you believe it???????  I remember when Mare was a young actress!!!!!! I remember her playing Jennifer Jason Leigh's sister in "Georgia."  And now she is playing Madge's mother??????  It almost bears out Flo's most famous admonition to her daughter.

                                              "FLO:  A girl doesn't have long to be pretty.  Just a
                                                         few years, where she is the equal of kings, and can
                                                         walk out of a shanty like this, and marry a husband,
                                                          who will keep her, and care for her.

                                               MADGE:  But, Mother!  I'm only eighteen!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                FLO:  And the next Summer you will be nineteen, and
                                                           then twenty, and then twenty-one....(pause, as
                                                           if the horror is indescribable) and after that, forty!

                                                 Things have come a long way, haven't they, darlings????? To think of turning 40 as a horror?????  Well, it was in Flo's time. But I am more shocked that Mare is considered old enough now to play Flo.

                                                    But, wait, that is not all!  The brilliant and gifted Elizabeth
Marvel, whom I just loved in "The Little Foxes," and "Other Desert Cities," is going to play the spinster schoolteacher, Rosemary Sydney. Which my girls know is the Rosalind Russell role.  "Picnic" was reworked by Inge years later into something called "Summer Brave," because, in its earlier incarnation, called "Front Porch," the play was originally about Rosemary, who is based on Inge's sister.  Now, we all love Roz in the film, but, let's face it, she played it too much like...Roz, to the point where she camped it up to where the tragedy of her spinsterhood was completely lost.  Judging from the photo above, Elizabeth will bring something darker and real to Rosemary which I, for one, am looking forward to seeing.  And, if the producers are smart, when the contracts run out on the actors currently on Broadway now in "Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?" they should look Elizabeth's way, because I sure as hell could see her playing Martha. Not that Amy Morton is anything less than brilliant, but if anyone could step into those shoes, Elizabeth is a shoo-in!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                  Would you also believe that Ellen Burstyn--yes, Ellen Burstyn!!!!!--is playing the comparatively small role of Helen Potts????????  Hard to believe this vibrant actress is old enough to be considered for that role (which Verna Felton practically made hers in the movie!!!!!!!) so it will be fascinating to see what Burstyn does with it.  She will make the most of Helen Potts, you can count on that.

                                                    Reed Birney is playing Howard Bevens (the Arthur O'Connell role) and one hopes, with Marvel as Rosemary, their scenes have a darker tinge than the campy ones of the film!!!!!!!!
The young folk--Hal, Millie, Madge--are played by people I never heard of--Sebastian Stan, Madeline Martin and Maggie Grace. If any of you girls out there know more about them than I do, be sure to let me know.  The history of their roles indicate they have legendary shoes to fill!!!!!!!!  And can they?????????

                                                        But Mare Winningham!!!!!!!!!!!  I still cannot get over it!!!!!!!!!
If she is playing Madge Owens, I must be ready to play Grandpa in "You Can't Take It With You."

                                                         I don't think so!!!!!!!!!  Not till I have played the leads in "Funny Girl" and "Gypsy!"

                                                          Here I am, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

For All The Doatsy Maes Out There!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             "Frederic of Hollywood's got these clothes,
                                                In a movie magazine.
                                              You send in money, you take your pick,
                                                 You end up like a Playboy queen.
                                               I wanted to.  I wanted to.
                                                   But I never could."--
                                               "Doatsy Mae" from "The Best Little Whorehouse In
                                                    Texas (1978) Music and Lyrics by Carol Hall

                           I know what you must be thinking, girls!!!!!!!!!!  What ever got me on to that???????? Well, it was a chance conversation with a colleague at work, that, afterwards rankled me, because it made me feel, a little bit, like Doatsy Mae.

                             My colleague and I, who are long time workers here, were musing on days past, when he piped up and said, "If only we had had a little more ambition!"  "Excuse me?" I wanted to say. "Just whom are you speaking for????? Not for me, doll!!!!!!!!  Who the hell says I don't have ambition????????  The fact is I have plenty; it is just that it is concentrated elsewhere!!!!!!!!!!!!".

                              Many years ago, Mr. Fowle, a would be playwright, retired, and, at his party, a group of us were asked to enact in a series of playlets he had written.  I was only too happy to perform; a girl has to go where the work, is, darlings, but I vividly recall being handed this one particular script. I cannot recall its name or the name of the character I portrayed, but I do recall Mr. Fowle saying, at the time, that when his partner, Lon, reread it, he remarked that I was the one to play this character, being perfect for it.

                                I found it interesting that someone found such a cord between myself and an acting role.  I can still recall the character's description, something about "whose only goal in life is to play tennis."

                                  Not that I was athletic, loves; far from it. But I was a bit insulted!!!!!!! Is this how I am seen?  I asked myself.  Someone with no goals or ambitions?????? And what do they know of any interior life???????????  When, just recently, my colleague and I conversed, this memory came flashing back to me.

                              And then I thought of Doatsy Mae.  Back in 1978, I had purchased tickets for a musical called "Working," which was seen at the 46th Street Theatre.  It had a spectacular cast of up and comers--Bob Gunton, Patti Lu Pone, Leonora Nemetz, and others.  Only, I never got to see it, because, before my date rolled around, the show had closed.  But, wait!!!!!!!!!!!  In the meantime, downtown, or was it at the Actors Studio (which is downtown from 46th Street, anyway) had just opened an Off-Broadway musical that was getting a lot of attention, and advertising time on TV, called "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas." It garnered so much notice the producers decided to move it to Broadway, and, with "Working" having just closed, the 46th Street Theatre was ripe for its moving right in.  Which it did.  By that time, I was interested in seeing this, so what I did was bus into the city one day, go to the theater box office, and exchange my "Working" ticket for one to 'Whorehouse'.

                                Now, while this was not a landmark show, like "A Chorus Line," there were elements of it I have never forgotten.  In Act One, there were two solo songs that stopped me in my tracks.  One was
the Act One ender, "The Bus From Amarillo," compellingly sung by actress Carlin Glynn, in the role of Miss Mona, whose rendition, to this day, defines that song for me.  The other was a short solo by the actress pictured above, Susan Mansur ( alas, dolls, I could not find a photo of her in character from the show!!!!!!) called "Doatsy Mae."  The song sort of touches upon what irked me about what my colleague said about ambition--sometimes we perceive people wrongly.

                                 Doatsy Mae serves up hash and pours coffee to the locals at the diner. She is a waitress, par excellence.  The scene in question has her serving up to the locals, with them talking about Miss Mona's troubles.  Doatsy says she wouldn't mind changing places with her.  One of the locals laughs bemusedly, saying he just could not imagine that!!!!!!!!!

                                  Then the lights went down, the spot shined on Susan Mansur, and she began Doatsy's song, a song for anyone who feels misperceived by others, whose identity is taken for granted, not being defined as an individual.  It was a shining moment for the actress, Susan Mansur, and I have never forgotten her,or the number.  So, after this catty remark the other day, I sat down and listened to "Doasty Mae," Susan's version of course, with tears, rolling down my cheeks.

                                    And I thought of how, with moments like this and shows like "A Chorus Line" and "Nashville," the Seventies, which produced all these works, seemed more about expressing one's individuality  than today, despite the advances in technology and social media, which you would think would, but in certain ways encourages isolation.  The Doatsys of today have it rougher than she did in hers.

                                       There was something unbearably poignant about those lines near the end--

                                        "Got me a garter belt, got me a bedroom, sometimes I close me in.
                                          Dance to the mirror, then I can imagine, I'm someone that I've never been."

                                    Gwen Welles as Suelleen Gay in Altman's "Nashville" does exactly that in one particular scene!!!!!!!!  Doatsy's song gives voice to all those unrecognized individuals out there.

                                     Which is why the song and Susan Mansur remain embedded in my memory, and why they all popped up the other day.

                                       So, grab that garter belt if you must, darlings, but remember to get out of that bedroom, once in awhile.

                                        Because Doatsy's not as simple as she seems!!!!!!!!! And neither are any of you!!!!!!!!!