Monday, September 30, 2013

So Long, September!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          Girls, can you believe we have come through nine months???????  Just think, if I was not post-menopausal. I could have given birth, by now!!!!!!!!!!  Some things work out for the best, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            But it has been an even crammed month, which has yielded more postings so far this year than any other month!  Something to strive for in October, with all the ghosties and ghoulies parading around!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              Hope your September was amazing, dolls, and that your next month  is an Oktoberfest!
But pray for me, darlings!!!!!!!!!!  I start out the month at the dentist--so I know sleep time tonight will be filled with nightmares--Sweeney Todd, and Fantine selling her teeth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                 Get those costumes ready for Halloween, everyone, and see you in October!!!!!!!!!!!!

Girls, For Those Who Are Single, This Is Better Than Any Gay Bar In Town!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     It's hard, darlings, to see anything about one Keenan-Bolger,without mentioning another!  Last year, my partner and I had the pleasure of seeing brother Andrew as Crutchie in "Newsies." which is still running.  Andrew is just as talented as the rest of his clan, though I don't believe he is doing Crutchie anymore.  Correct me if I am wrong, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But have you seen his "Submissions Only" web series???????  It is fabulous!  And you know, I am just aching to be on it!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Maybe because I am not single anymore, I did not realize the opportunity extant.  "Newsies" is still the dancing-est show on Broadway, and, with the caliber of male dancers performing nightly, there is plenty of testosterone flowing, on stage and off.

                                        So, single girls, take advantage of this!!!!!!!! Instead of drinking yourselves into a  stupor, or drinking anything, while playing "Dear Heart" on the jukebox (if you can find it), or singing it to yourself, making you feel as though you are Geraldine Page in the movie--shades of my Thirties, darlings!!!!!--why not stop at the stage door of the Nederlander Theatre, before and aft, and see if you can  snare a "Newsie" of your own?????????  You just may be surprised, darlings, and if not successful one night, there is always another, not to mention all that delicious eye candy to feast on!!!!!!!!!  Plus, just go down the road and buy a can of soda to slake that thirst; don't go for broke at some seedy gay bar!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       It wouldn't surprise me if some of my girls on here have not discovered this option already!!!!!!!!!!!!!  In which case, I am just casting pearls before.....pearls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        But this much I can guarantee--it beats all that "Iceman Cometh" atmosphere, down at Julius', in the Village!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Celia, Honey, You Have GOT To Start Making Those Star Demands!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 As if there isn't enough I haven't said already about the fabulous Celia Keenan-Bolger, currently tearing hearts out as Laura in the current of revival of "The Glass Menagerie," wait till you hear this, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  After the show, we waited.  Because, I wanted to get my Playbill autographed and pay homage to Celia.  Having gotten that very gracious signature, we headed to the 42nd Street station, to get the R train back to Brooklyn.  Monsieur went on ahead of me, because he moves faster than I in my decrepitude; especially if it involves going down stairs!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Anyway, I was catching up to him on the platform, when I passed this blond,  pony-tailed woman, who caught my eye!  It was Celia Keenan-Bolger, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!  I was shocked!!!!!!!!!  One of the most lauded stars in the most lauded show currently on the boards, takes the SUBWAY????????  I suddenly got nervous!  There was Celia, standing by our platform!  What if she got on our train?  How would I look?  How would I act?  God, I wish I had Celia's hair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Alas, while we caught the R, Celia caught the Q!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But I am telling her here and now--Celia, dear, you need to speak to your Production Manager or Production Stage Manager, because what you need, especially since the Booth Stage door is centered right in Shubert Alley, is some kind of automated vehicle, even if it is yellow and checkered, paid for the by the production company, who must be, by now, rolling in coffers of money, judging by how packed the house was yesterday.  And said vehicle should take you straight to that stage door, where all you have to do is march a few paces into the theater proper.  (Oh, and this goes for Cherry, Zachary and Brian, too!!!!!!!!!!!!)

                                    Thank God the production outfit is not dealing with me!!!!!!!!  I would have had this written into my contract, and if the demands were not met, I would give them the time they never imagined--a combination of Patti Lu Pone on the warpath, and Carol Jones, as Marsha, Queen Of Diamonds, on "Batman!"

                                      Just suggestion and conjecturing, dears!!!!!!!!  Frankly, Celia, I don't care how you arrive, just so long as you do!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         You will always be MY Laura!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Truly, Darlings, It Was A Revelation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        "Oh, Laura, Laura, I tried to leave you behind me, but
                                       I am more faithful than I intended to be."
                                        ---Tom Wingfield, "The Glass Menagerie," by
                                           Tennessee Williams

                              Somewhere, out in some nameless dimension of Time and Space, which some may call the Afterlife, a nightly ritual takes place.  A garrulous, middle aged woman, and her painfully shy, yet inwardly beautiful daughter, perform a nightly ritual.  They set the table for dinner, eat the meal, spend the evening together, and go to bed.  Then they repeat it all over again.  They will go on repeating this, as far as I am concerned, uninterrupted, for all Eternity.

                                Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie" gives we, the audience, a glimpse into not only that little piece of Eternity, but what led up to it.  It is a journey the audience takes, and, of course, I suppose, it is a template of one's personality whom one takes that journey with.

                                 Four more superb guides leading that journey could not be asked for.  This quartet is not only the best dramatic ensemble working on Broadway, the best I have seen in years, they present what is probably, in our lifetimes, girls, the best production of "The Glass Menagerie" ever seen!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Part of this comes from the staging of director John Tiffany, and the set and costume designs of Bob Crowley!!!!!!!!!  I will not elaborate on the staging, so as not to deprive one of its surprises and delights.  However, near the end, I looked Heavenwards, and was fascinated by the rays of light peering into the Wingfield apartment.  A symbol of hope for the future????????

                                   Maybe that was my wish, because of whom I chose to take my journey with, and that was Laura.  Celia Keenan-Bolger is a revelation in the role; after all her musical theater work, this may be the performance that does it for her.  I felt as if I was entering into Laura's world as I watched her, a feeling both  exciting and disquieting.  My heart goes out to Laura, and this is due to how Celia plays her, with just a touch of self-awareness, all the more tragic because she somehow senses she cannot break out of that shell, just as Tom (Zachary Quinto) knows he must break from his!!!!!!!!!!!  I would love to wear Laura's outfits, darlings!  And Celia looks great in them!!!!!  It took me several hours to detoxify from this performance; the look of pained bewilderment on her face haunts me still.  As well as the brief look of hope, as she dances, I mean really dances, for a time, with Gentleman Caller Jim O'Connor (Brian J. Smith). The entire cast is up to Celia, darlings, but I just  could  not tear my eyes from her!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Perhaps I am partial to Laura, because I recall a time when I felt myself just like her, and so can empathize.  People tell me I could never be Laura, nor was really her, but, just as Laura felt she was crippled, but no one else realized it, so I felt myself as Laura.  Which is why Celia is so painfully beautiful to watch.  It is like watching a part of my past that I thought existed.

                                   Now, I was a little worried when Zachary Quinto, as Tom, began the opening monologue. But, somewhere into it, something clicked--for him, for myself? hard to tell--and he emerges as the best Tom Wingfield I have seen.  He is the polar opposite of Laura, which is maybe why I did not feel as much for him; even if you have never seen the play, you sense, early on, he will inevitably break out, and escape.  Which he does.  And which the opening defines.  His is the most sarcastic and cynical Tom I have seen; he has Amanda's number, and does not hesitate to let her know it.  On some level, these two need each other to battle with, because, on some level they are strong willed equals.  Which is also why they cannot co-exist under the same roof!

                                  Brian J. Smith is also the best Jim I have seen; he does come off as very ordinary, though attractive in his own way.  I have never ached more for Laura than in his dance with her; I have never felt more keenly here that I wanted history to be rewritten, and for Laura to find happiness.  And we realize she can!!!!!!!!!  But when plans go South, (no pun intended!!!!!!) the cage is finally closed on Laura's trap!

                                  But, as actors, they can sure share the stage with Cherry Jones--and that is no small feat!!!!!!!  In some ways, her Amanda is the most humane, and least Gorgon-ish, that I have seen.  She wants what all parents do for their children; she just does not see that these children will never fall in with the conventions of their time!  But still she tries, though I could not, and cannot, ever forgive her, near the end, when she hurls that dreaded word, "crippled," at her daughter!!!!!!!!!  I have seldom been so fascinated by the way an actor uses their hands, as I was with Cherry as Amanda..  And when the dust has settled, when Tom has finally run off, one cannot be quite sure what will happen (unless you want to read the real life Williams Legacy into it).  Preferring to keep the fictional context of the Wingfields, I believe that the for now crushed Amanda will pull herself up, like a true Steel Magnolia, and find a way for both she and Laura to go on.

                                  Which brings me back to that ritual of Eternity.  Perhaps Amanda will work out their situations. Or perhaps, they will just have each other, for Eternity, to take care of each other.  Both need that, darlings, and they may be the only ones on whom each can rely.

                                   This "Glass Menagerie" offers so much to ponder on.  It deserves the over-used phrase it has been given, "a fully realized production."  There is something here for every theatergoer to treasure in their hearts.  For me, it is that image I have chosen to use here, of Celia as Laura, peering into her glass world, looking and searching for an acceptance of the world and her place in it.  I love Laura, and I love Celia in the role!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Whether or not the Wingfields find solace is for each person to decide.  But this production of "The Glass Menagerie" finds its focus once it gets going, and never lets up till those candles are blown out.

                                        There is no other way to say it.  It is a revelation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



What A Theatrical Day, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            It began, like all theater days, with a trip into Manhattan, by subway.  As soon as we got in, we habitually checked out the TKTS booth--and you better believe "The Glass Menagerie" was not up there, because this, darlings, is the hottest ticket of the Fall Season, and if anyone near us even suspected we had two on us, we would have been stoned, like Mrs. Hutchinson in "The Lottery," just so folks could get at them.

                            So, that secret was kept, literally, close to the vest, as we made our way to the Polish Tea Room, otherwise known as the Edison Hotel Coffee Shop, which is a noted, and inexpensive, gathering for pre-theatergoers.  It may not look like much, but its cuisine, simple though it be, can always be counted on!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             Then, we made our way to the Booth Theatre, where "The Glass Menagerie" is playing, to see the throngs who had come to worship at the Temple Of Cherry And Celia!!!!!!!!!!  My excitement was palpable over the prospect of seeing this much lauded production, but, would you believe, darlings, I was the only one who got down on my knees, and acknowledged the site???????  And, except for two Ancient Queens, who went running up to Zachary Quinto, as he approached the stage door, with posters and other items, no one seemed to pay homage!  Zachary, perhaps wisely, brusquely brushed these two off; he knew they wanted more than an autograph!!!!!!!!!!!!  And right before a show!!!!!!!!!!   Someone needed to tell these two this is NOT de rigeur!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Before I could, however, they mysteriously disappeared.

                            But, girls, I want you to know, we saw Cherry outside the stage door, chatting it up with someone; we saw Celia go in, and we even saw Brian enter, then come back out, huddle up against Junior's, the restaurant adjacent to the Booth, in Shubert Alley, and smoke a cigarette!   Bad for the voice, Brian, especially, if you are an actor!!!!!!!!!!!  Maybe they were non-filtered or those cigarettes--what are they called???--used in stage productions.

                           And what an audience!!!!!!!!!  When the Raving Queen goes to the theater, there is just no stinting.  A noted blogger, an Oscar winning actress, and a dentist, were all in attendance.  The blogger, of course, darlings, was moi, the actress was the great Frances McDormand, and the dentist was my own, which was an omen,  of sorts, since I, trembling, am going to him on Tuesday.  I just do not like going to the dentist.  I like him, well enough, I just don't like going through what I have to!  Pray for me, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            So, it was quite a day!  And before the curtain even went up!!!!!!!!!!!

                            See you at Entr'acte, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Oh, Girls, I Am Telling You--Those Keenan-Bolgers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Aren't they just the cutest things, darlings???????????  Last year we trouped into the city to see Andrew, in all his cuteness, play Crutchie  in "Newsies" (which he is still doing, girls, so, if you want to swoon over Andrew, you still can!!!!!!!!!), and today, we are traveling into Manhattan to see Celia do Laura in "The Glass Menagerie," where I expect no less than to have my heart torn out!!!!!!!!!!

                                  And then there is Maggie, the equally enchanting, but least lauded of this theatrical dynasty--and maybe that is her own choice!  Her political activism, especially for the LGBT community, does it for me, and I am sure her siblings are equally receptive!  I have no doubt.

                                   But what I--and my girls--want to know is--Are they somehow related to Ray Bolger, of "The Wizard Of Oz?"  And what about the hyphenated family name?????  I have never seen that before.  And Celia is married, so with an already hyphenated name, how in the world does she sign legal documents?????????

                                   There are all matters up for discussion--just like how Celia preps for Laura!  And whether or not Andrew is available on the market!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     So, the Raving Queen, provided we can all coordinate our demanding schedules, darlings, would like to invite the Keenan-Bolgers to tea at the St. Regis, (I mean, where else does one go for tea, girls???????) to discuss these matters my girls are just aching to know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Hey, Andrew, here is a brilliant idea--with both you and Celia working on Broadway simultaneously, in two lauded shows, how a bout a video mockumentary, along the lines of Christopher Durang's "The Actor's Nightmare," where you each show up at the other's theater, for the other's show???????  Celia, you show up at "Newsies," and go on as Crutchie!!!!!  Andrew, ditto 'Memagerie' and Laura!!!!!!!!!  And, of course, being actors, you already know the roles and blocking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Now, that would be a real sibling feat!  Even the Barrymores never accomplished that!!!!!!!!!!  Meanwhile, scrub those white gloves clean for tea, and Celia, the Queen will see you this afternoon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         I am telling you, those Keenan-Bolgers are the cutest!!!!!  Not enough of them for a road company of "Sound Of Music," but I
would love to see them do the "Triplets" number, from "The Band Wagon!!!!!!!!!!"

                                          A triple threat, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK, Dolls, Show Me What You Can Do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                " This is it", guys, as the theme song for "The Bugs Bunny Show" once went!!!!!!!!!
So, Cherry, Celia, Zachary and Brian, after almost a week of settling in, the Raving Queen is on his way to see "The Glass Menagerie" this afternoon.  I have heard nary a discouraging word, so I expect nothing less than Lazarus rising from the grave!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   And, I am psychologically prepared for Laura!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   And, of course, my girls, you will be given an on the aisle report, as soon as I am able.  Too bad I did not hire a videeographer to follow Monsieur and I into the city, to the theater, before and aft, to record the experience on the spot!  Oh, well, maybe next time!

                                  Today is "Glass Menagerie" Day, and excitement is high and rampant!  "Rise and Shine!," as Amanda would say!

                                    And break a leg, everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Take No "Prisoners," Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           Monsieur and I went to see "Prisoners" yesterday afternoon, and, girls, the first thing I want to say is that, in this film, everyone is a prisoner--including the audience!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             It runs at a 153 minute length, and, despite its genre and A-list cast, leaves you worn out, as though having  just watched an Eisenstein movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  At least Eisenstein's films were organized.  This one is a mess!

                              Two prepubescent girls, Anna Dover and Joy Birch, go outside to play, in order to work off a hefty Thanksgiving meal.  They go near a mysterious white van, just sitting in the neighborhood, which raised my suspicions at once, when it began blaring Ocean's one-time hit, "Put Your Hand In The Hand."  Who would be nuts enough to blare that?  Because, if they are, you know right away, that, whoever is in there, IS nuts!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               From here, things get confusing.  Anna and Joy return to Joys house, (where dinner is being held!!!) but, then, apparently, sneak out, when they are abducted.  At first, I thought they were taken by someone from within, and the story was going in a Jon Benet Ramsey direction.

                                At this point, Hugh Jackman, as Keller Dover, looking bulky and scruffy, as if he still has not shaken off playing Jean Valjean, goes all histrionic, as he searches for the girls. His hysterics lead him to Alix Jones, (a brilliant job by Paul Dano!!!!!!!!) whom he focuses on as the object of his torment.  So, he torments him back, abducting him, imprisoning him in an abandoned building once owned by his late father, whom we learn, was a correction's officer, who committed suicide.  So, with that, and a propensity for drink, Dover has his own psychological problems.  As do the Birches, whose passivity is pathetic.  They know what Dover is doing is wrong, and yet....they go along with it!  Even worse, this is all the director, Denis Villenueve, and writer Aaron Guzikowski give the gifted Viola Davis and Terrence Howard to do.  I began to  hate then, as much as Dover.  While poor Maria Bello, good actress, as Grace Dover, just lies around and moans and grieves.  Couldn't she at least have smacked someone????????  Like her husband?????????

                                But all is set right, girls,, when the cool, contained Detective Loki, played by the cool, contained Jake (he of the pretty eyes, wavy hair and enchanting smile!!!!!) Gyllenhaal shows up, playing the role in the cool, contained way he is noted for, and for which I know all you girls yearn!!!!!!!!  Me, too!!!!!!!!!!  It is actually two contrasting figures--he, and Holly Jones (played by Melissa Leo, who steals the show!!!!!!!!) that liven things up.  The trouble is that the back story, which is not seen, is more interesting than the drawn out story we do see.

                                 Holly Jones and her hubby were fanatic Bible thumpers, traveling all over the country, spreading the "Good Word."  Then their only son died young, of cancer, and they decide to "wage a war on God," by abducting children and killing them, making the parents feel what they feel, and making them, as they did, lose faith.  Two of the children they keep; big hearted Holly still wants some kids around.  One of those boys is named Barry Danna, whom they rename Alix, and who grows up into the Dano character.  The other is named Bob Taylor, and he somehow escapes, but goes on to recreate his past by acting out portions of it--living in an abandoned house designed like a maze, keeping boxes of live snakes around, to the point where I was sure someone was dipping into Truman Capote's story, "Handcarved Coffins," and going to malls, buying children's clothes.  He is the film's red herring!

                                  Years earlier, Holly's hubby confesses to the local, alcohol ridden, pedophile priest (played by Len Cariou) what he and Holly were doing.  You get the impression Holly is the brains behind all this, which turns out to be right.  He has had enough, but says if he is not stopped, more children will be killed.  So, the good Father kills him!!!!!!!!!  How about those vows, dolls????????????????

                                   The last part of the film, at the Jones' house, is shot like "Friday The 13th."  I expected Betsy Palmer to pop out from behind a tree, at one point!   But when Melissa Leo points the gun at
Hugh Jackman, it becomes clear this is Holly's show!  And, boy is it!  Holly is one cool customer, which is why you will just love her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Somewhere in all  this mess is a reasonably decent movie.  But because so many plot ingredients are thrown into the mix, the whole thing becomes murky and sloppy, like overcooked veggies in a soup!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       Yet, the emotional resonance (and the power of Gyllenhaal, Leo's, Jackman's and
Dano's performances) cannot be denied.  It is enough to sit through "Prisoners," but, as you watch it, you will (just as I was, darlings!!!!!!!!) be editing it into your head, into the better movie you wanted it to be!

                                       But watch out for that Holly!  Theses are Joneses NOT to keep up with!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Haul This Holly Into The Slammer For Good, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Holly McFeeture is some piece of work, girls!  She is another one in a  series of folk who get rid of their partners, when they no longer want them, by poisoning them to death with anti-freeze, which is what Holly did to her fiance, Matthew Podolak, back in January of 2006.

                                    Because  kidney failure and suicide were always thought to be the primary causes, and Holly just played her role as a grief stricken now  single mother as though butter would not melt in her mouth--but look at that smug grin the mug shot, darlings!!!!!!!!!!--she was not charged until sometime in 2012, and convicted to Life, with parole in 35 years, in August of that year!

                                    She won't get out, until she sees Hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     It was the same old story--she wanted out, so she killed him.  Oh, and there was a matter of the life insurance policy, which , alas, netted only a paltry $15K.  In today's economy, that is not enough to kill for!  Add another zero to that, maybe, but, Holly, hon, you would not have gotten far on fifteen thousand!

                                    And you are no beauty, either!  Some have opined if Holly had been more attractive, like Casey Anthony and Jodi Arias, she would have gotten a lighter sentence.  But, don't worry, Casey will get hers sooner or later, and we just LOVE Jodi, darlings!  I can't wait to see her story done as a Broadway musical!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Just like, instead of doing "Eugene Onegin," and causing such controversy at the Met, that august organization should mount a new, original work about Sante and Kenneth Kimes!  I'd be the first on line for tickets!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    As Matthew's brother, Mark, said, all Holly had to do was walk away, if she wanted out that bad!  Now, she will rot in prison, being bitched on by a group of really top notch bitch witches--her inmates!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     No more Merry Christmases for you, Holly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dim Those Broadway Lights For Jane, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    If playing Agnes Gooch in the original Broadway production of the musical, "Mame," back in 1966, had been Jane Connell's only appearance on the New York stage, it would have been enough to secure her Musical Theater Immortality, and the lights should be dimmed for that, alone!

                                   However, it was far from her only appearance.  Rather, it was the signature in a  multitude of appearances on the New York stage, stretching out for at least 45 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     I know they were dimmed a month ago for Julie Harris, (who even had one  musical to her credit, "Skyscraper," in 1965!!!!!!!!!!) but Jane's stature in musical comedy was as iconic as Julie's in drama.  As Linda Loman once said, "Attention must be paid."

                                       So, I am telling those in the know--I expect to hear that Broadway is dimming its lights for Jane Connell.  Do so, or else you risk having me standing in front of the Winter Garden one evening, at the time when the lights would be dimmed, singing "St. Bridget."

                                        Jane was no "poor lost lamb," dolls, but a Legend Of The Musical Stage, and she deserves to be honored appropriately!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        Otherwise, I warn you--I will sing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Why Do So Many Young Girls Want To Be Lindsay Lohan??????????

                                 I saw, on two separate occasions this week,  darlings, two girls who looked like they desperately wanted to be Lindsay Lohan!  The first was while I was riding the train one morning, and there was this blonde thing in sun glasses, looking so pretentious, wanting people to look at her, like she was oh, so cool!!!!!!!!!  Oh, honey, please!  Give yourself a cream rinse!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   The second I passed while transferring from the IRT to the BMT in Times Square during evening rush hour.  I see lots of things then, girls!!!!!!!!!!  I passed this young thing with blonde streaks, but the hair was fundamentally candy pink--you know, like those satin napkins I keep bugging my
partner about wanting to buy!!!!!!!!!!  She had pulled herself together in some pink and white jacket, over a white blouse, with aqua green pants that hardly matched--she looked a mess!  Which meant she was trying to go for the Lohan look!  The only thing I can't understand is--why?????????????

                                     But that is the younger generation, for you!  They think "Spring Awakening" is the greatest musical ever written.  They aren't even sophisticated enough for "Rent," as though anyone would think that was sophisticated, anyway!  They do not believe the Sixties ever happened.  They never heard of the Holocaust.  If I was really jaded, I would believe that their whole concept of social interaction is based, not on social media, but what is dramatized on "Wicked Attraction."  But things are not that bad,,,,are they??????

                                    Maybe not, but these girls (or others) who want to look like Lindsay Lohan  are on their way to carving out their own paths to perdition.  And they will get there first, because, it is only due to fame and money, which gives her enough resources to do her bouts in rehab, which are a joke, anyway, that
Lindsay has not crashed and burned yet. Don't worry; she will, darlings!!!!!!!!!  But when one lacks money, fame and resources, the crash and burning come much sooner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    The musical "Flower Drum Song" asked, "What are we gonna do about The Other Generation???????"   "Bye Bye Birdie" posed the question, "What's the matter with Kids today???????"
I am not going to even ask about the ones today.  Too many of them worship at the Temple Of Mark Zuckerberg.

                                        Because they do, they have no soul!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darlings, The Season Opener Should Have Been Cybill Shepherd As Paula Deen!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  I simply cannot wait for that one, girls, because that will be a hoot!  Cybill playing a heavyset  blonde Upper West Side celebrity chef (just like Paula, blonde and heavyset, though heavier than Cybill, dolls, let me tell you!!!!!!!!!!!!) who lashes out at a  hoodie Black kid, because she thinks he is going to rape her!

                                    Even in this town, how far fetched is that?  I cannot wait to see this one!

                                     Which goes a lot toward saying I did not much care for "Surrender, Benson."  (What is this, a riff on "Surrender, Dorothy," which the Wicked Witch sky writes over the Emerald City in "The Wizard Of Oz?"  What is that all about?  Olivia Benson is NO Dorothy!!!!!!!!!!!)

                                       Nor is she much of an actress.  Trying to go beyond her limit, in what was simply, at one point, a redux of William Mastrosimone's play, "Extremities," I did not believe Olivia/Hargitay for a second.  Two things made this part of the episode snap, crackle, and pop--Pablo Schrieber's (the younger brother of Liev Schrieber, and the snarkiness of Lauren Ambrose as the ADA who got him off, and whom I had hoped was going to get her just deserts by Lewis. Alas, unfortunately, her parents did; her father killed, her mother raped, tortured, and left hanging in a closet.  But wait.  Lewis is taken away, still alive, and so is Lauren.  I have the feeling we have not sen the last of either

                                          This easily could have been too separate episodes, because, once this story ended, after the first hour, it went into another, with no connection to the former.  This one was based on the Castro House of Horrors in Ohio, where three kidnapped women had been hid for ten years, with children conceived, etc. Things started nightmarishly, with a child being abandoned in Times Square with an Elmo, but after that it was pretty routine.  Agatha Nowicki (who played Katie in the acclaimed episode of several season back, "Totem!!!!!!!!") was on hand as Kayla, an impaired young adult, and while she was superb, I think she has found her franchise niche.  The fact that she is doing virtually the same role here, tells me  the Law And Order staffers have recognized that whenever they need a young actress to play an impaired young adult, they call Agatha!!!!!!!!!  Good for you, Agatha!!!!!!!!!!!!  It guarantees work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            Dramatically, this was a confused mess, all over the place.  I have seen better reenactments on "Investigation Discovery."  And no connection between the two stories. So, why bother to air a two hour episode????????  Either save the second one for another night, or make it clear two separate episodes are being aired in the same evening. Which is just what it amounted to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               Of course, Olivia survives, and some say she is going for the Emmy gold!!!!!!!  But don't fool yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Once Cybill does her Paula Deen thing next week, she will
have that award wrapped up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                  Let's all eat Southern cooking while we watch, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Looks Like Cherry and Celia Are The Toast Of The Town!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                As well as Zachary Quinto, and Brian J. Smith.  But, of course, darlings, the proof won't be positive till after I, the Raving Queen, have taken in the Sunday matinee, which I am scheduled to attend.  I cannot wait to worship at the Temple Of Cherry And Celia.  Even the two toughest doyennes of this town--the Misses Janice and Annette--tougher than I, dolls, have endorsed this production.

                                And what a star studded opening last night.  Ben Brantley went wild, of course, and I am sure some of that was for Zachary Quinto.  But don't get your hopes too high, Mr. Brantley, because you won't be able to get near to him now, even if you shelled out about five hundred bucks, like you have to do, for all your tricks!!!!!!!!!!   Don't kid yourself, Brantley!  In your dreams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Did you see how duded up Harvey Fierstein was???????????  I am telling you, darlings, from the look on his face, I could tell he is just itching to play Amanda.  Will you give this cast a chance, Harvey??????????  But, years later, when you do, I hope you will remember to cast me as Laura!!!!!!!!  There are some who think me incapable of playing it!  Well, I will show them!!!!!!!!  Just as Celia has!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 The whole town has caught "Glass Menagerie" fever, and who can blame them?  I await eagerly what lies in wait for me on Sunday.  You all better be there, guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  See you on the aisle, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

This Night At The Opera Was More Like A Day At The Races!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        Next to "The Glass Menagerie," the most hyped cultural event of the Season, darlings, has been the Metropolitan Opera's Season Opener of "Eugene Onegin."  So, when this finally took the stage just three days ago, this Monday, there was as much drama off stage as on.

                                           Queer Nation, lead by Sister Lotti Da, (wonder if she knows Sister Camille??????) showed up, to protest the Metropolitan Opera' presentation of this work, and its performers, director, and such, who feel it advocates  Russia's recent anti-gay policies.  When the lights went down, before the performance could begin, protesters began yelling out remarks.  Security was called in to silence the hecklers, and dismiss others, who went quietly.

                                              Each season the Met hypes something.  Last Spring it was The Ring Cycle.  One year, and I went, it was "Lucia Di Lammermoor."  I had been curious about 'Onegin,' but, after the protest, I too shall stay away.  Something else could have been found to open the Met.  Why should I endorse a corporate greed that advocates hetereosexist policies???????????????

                                                I wonder who the VOQ's (Vicious Opera Queens) were madder at--those violating their gay civil rights, or those interrupting their opera performance?????????  Probably the latter!!!!!!!!  You just do NOT mess with those Vicious Opera Queens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                  Any more than one would mess with me!!!!!!!!!!  But who would?????????

Girls, Kick Off Those Heels, Brew A Pot Of Tea, Sit Back, And Read!!!!!!!!!!

                                         When "The Thorn Birds" first appeared on the literary scene, back in 1977, the fuss over it was comparable to what it must have been like back in 1936, when a little something by Margaret Mitchell called "Gone With The Wind" first hit the book stands. Not only that, the book, even for the Seventies, was downright shocking, what with its depiction of a relationship, and its consequences, between a secular woman and an ordained Catholic priest.

                                             Well, what a difference thirty six years makes!!!!!!!!  With what is happening, and has been, in the Catholic Church today, the clergy would welcome the relationship between Meggie Cleary and Ralph De Bricassart!!!!!!!!  At least, they are man and woman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                The book is even more panoramic than today, what with its lush descriptions of  land and locales, the kind which fiction writers do not favor, anymore.  They don't write them like this, and it is a pity, but reading "The Thorn Birds" after nearly 40 years, is a reminder how gripping this kind of novel, when someone was writing at the top of their form, could be.

                                                  Colleen McCullough, still alive at 76, is an unquestionably brilliant woman, but no one heard of her, until "The Thorn Birds."  She had written a previous novel, called "Tim," which is only known, due to the stupendous success of her 1977 work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                    The story is mired in Catholic passion, guilt and tragedy.  I am still not
clear what Meggie's son, Dane, dies of--is it a drowning, a heart attack, or both?????--with almost everyone in it being punished for something.  This is in keeping with the theme of the novel, and its title--the Celtic legend of a bird who impales itself on a thorn, and in encroaching death agony, sings most beautifully.  The novel says that, to a certain extent, we are all thorn birds!!!!!!!!!!

                                                     Which is a pretty dark message overall, and an extremely dark way to end this book.  But the ride along that way is well worth taking--sweeping, compellin,. the product once directed to a  literary audience that sadly, no longer exists.

                                                       I found the very edition of the novel, pictured above, in a bookstore in New Orleans, two summers ago. Its era of fiction is gone, but the memories of it are still out there, still able to be found, and savored. Which I urge you to do.

                                                        Girls, I am telling you, these birds do not go "tweet, tweet!"  They are even more savage than Hitchcock's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But read it, and know what it is like to be swept out to sea on a scope of epic fiction!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                           And, when done, do not let these birds leave the nest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Is One Bitch Who Needs To Get His Act Together!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Peter K. Rundo is a heroin addict.  Nothing unusual about that, darlings, where, in this town, at least, there is one on every block.  And don't discount those higher priced areas, like Park Avenue or Sutton Place, where there is perhaps one in each household.  But, then, I am being generous.

                                   What makes Peter qualify as the winner of this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award is not his being a heroin addict, but get this.  He is one of the founding member of a support group to help fellow smackers overcome their habit, called "Open Hearts/Open Minds."  Well, guess what, darlings????????????

                                      This group leader is up for felony charges, after selling heroin, while "helping" others recover from it, to undercover police in Naperville., Illinois!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       So much for Midwestern wholesomeness!  If betraying those whom you are trying to help recover from their addictions (never mind what it does to oneself!!!!!) does not qualify Peter for Bitch Of  The Week, then the Catholic Church would have to redefine the requirements for sainthood.  (I can add ONE prerequisite to the list--having seen "The Song Of Bernadette!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                        And doesn't Peter look like a creep, darlings?????????  Even if this story were not known, his maniacal look simply screams out, ADDICT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          Peter wins this week's prize, because he has betrayed everyone out there who is
genuinely trying to overcome their addiction to this substance.  He has made a mockery of those who are  sincere about it, and all I can say is, "What a fucking bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                            So, here is to this week's Bitch Of The Week, Peter K.Rundo!  Looks like his
next addiction is going to be to imprisonment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               Lock this scum up, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Three More Days Till I Go, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!! But It Officially Goes Up Tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            I am wearing one of my pink shirts, today girls, in honor of this being the opening night of the production of "The Glass Menagerie" that is already being hailed as practically the greatest thing since the Second Coming.

                                             So, OK, Cherry and Celia, it is time to show us what you can do!  I'm keeping an especial eye on Celia, because I am very particular about the character of Laura, and, believe me, if anything is amiss, I will be sure to let you know on here.  Same with the guys.  Brian Smith has it almost easy, with Jim, the Gentleman Caller, so Zachary Quinto had better watch his step as Tom. Which is my way of saying he is the one I am most worried about.  A "Trekkie" doing Tom???????  Is such a thing be possible?????????   Remember, darlings, Christian Slater as Tom was one of the FEW things I loved in the
2005 production!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               Nevertheless, I want to wish cast and crew the best!  Break a leg, dolls!  You have till Sunday matinee, when I appear, to get it together.  I cannot wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                 The eyes of the New York Theater Community will be on the Booth Theatre when the curtain goes up tonight!

                                                    My God, the pressure! Cherry and Celia, how do you cope???????????

Girls, I Am Telling You, The Year Is Officially Winding Down!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                 Actually, it started to wind down three days ago, on the 23rd, which, incidentally, happened to be my 32nd anniversary at my workplace.  Not that I got flowers, a cake, or a luncheon, or anything!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                   Be that a it may, there is always one, tell tale sign that tells, for me, when the year is quickly drawing to the close.  That is when I leave work each night, walking to the subway underneath the tunnels beneath Lincoln Center.  To my right, there are a series of window spots for posters advertising upcoming events at Lincoln Center.  And every time I see the poster--always the same one--for the annual presentation of George Balanchine's "The Nutcracker"--which is basically what the New York City Ballet lives the rest of its year on!!!!!!!!!--I know that the year is drawing to a close.

                                                     Well, darlings, I saw the poster Monday evening, at 6PM!  It was most likely up before that, but, from that moment on, I know that 2013 is quickly spiraling downward, when it will eventually transition into History!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                      Not to mention I have to start thinking about tickets for "The Nutcracker."  I myself have not been in a couple of years, and that was before meeting my partner. So, I think it is high time the two of us went!  The romantic Tchaikovsky score, the Land Of The Sugar Plums set, and my favorite moment of all--the Christmas tree growing before your eyes....  it has to be experienced once, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!  And since I have not been in awhile, it is time to do so with the one I love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                       We will try to go before leaving town for the Holidays.  And I can guarantee you--here, there is no Nasty Hostess, like at Delemarchier!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                          Hmmmm.....that annual event is coming up, sooner than I think!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I Have Heard Jessie, Darlings, And She Is Terrific!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Call me a techno-incompetent, girls!  Yesterday, I heard some audio snippets of Jessie Mueller performing from the forthcoming Broadway musical about Carole King, called "Beautiful."  And she is! I tried--Oh, God, how I tried!!!!--to get on here for you, but I was not able to achieve that.  So, let me tell you to, after reading here, go over to, where there is an article, with said track, and you can hear for yourself.

                                 Jessie Mueller has found her focus.  When I heard she was cast in this show--a lead and a potential TONY contender, if ever I saw one-- I had no doubt of her capabilities, but I wondered how she would achieve the double feat of pulling off Carole King without losing Jessie.  In other words, how to do more than just a mimicked imitation.

                                   She has done it. Why should I be surprised?????  She comes off with the compelling quality that made King a legend, but she does it on her own.  So you hear Carole and Jessie, which is as it should be!!!!!!!!!!  I mean, darlings, when I do BARBRA, I may sound Jewish, but that is about it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    I promise if I can get some auditory on here in the future, I will, In the meantime, dolls, trust me--Jessie is going to be sensational in this show, and I cannot wait to hear her.

                                    And maybe we will get a cast album out of it that is pure Jessie!  Yes, she is on the latest CD of "The Mystery Of Edwin Drood," but only in patches!  This show should be HER album!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Stay tuned for more, cupcakes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not Much To Learn From Lauren This Time, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           Darlings, I have been derelict in my duties!  It has been so long since I read this--over a month ago--that I just yesterday realized I had forgotten to post anything about this. Which is kind of a subconscious way of saying how I liked the book, which, frankly, was NOT Lauren's finest hour.  I had rather it was about MY last night at Chateau Marmont, darlings--which would have been FANTASTIC, believe me!!!!!!!--except I have never stayed there.  Another thing on my list of things to accomplish, like Classical Languages and Advanced Math!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             Even though the famous, landmark Los Angeles hotel--the ONLY place to stay  when you are in that area, darlings!!!!!--figures in the title, very little time is spent there.  Most of the time is taken up in New York, with one Brooke Alter, (maiden name Greene) and how her relationship escalates from introductions, to her supporting hubby Julien Alter before and during marriage,  while he achieves his goal of becoming a rock singer, to him achieving that goal, and the consequences thereof.  I am sorry to say it is really ho hum.  For one thing,
the only thing I learned her was the importance of using a good night cream every night before bed!  That was it!  The other thing is that Lauren can be a bit of her moralist in her books, which is fine, with me, but her
heroines are usually  empowered.  Girls, if you plan to read the book, stop here, if not I will save you the trouble. Because, when it comes right down to it, instead of walking out on schmuck Julien, who is SO taken up with his own fame, Lauren has them get back together.  I can't endorse that!  And I liked Brooke--up till then!  I never had any use for Julien!

                                            Nor had I any use for the rock world! While Lauren has evidently done her research carefully, I did not give a shit.  I would much rather she write about the New York party, theatrical, or literary scene. You know, where I might turn up as one of her characters.  But hanging out in rock bars?????  Going to ear splitting concerts?????????? Not on your life, sweetheart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             So, this is not up to Lauren at her best!!!!!!!!. And yet, I am glad I read it!  What is interesting is, I read this after reading her latest "Revenge Wears Prada--The Devil Returns," so I know Lauren is back on track.

                                              Perhaps it was an experiment she tried. Oh, well, it didn't work!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              And there definitely were not enough lifestyle tips!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Poor Patrick, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 This is real life, girls!!!!!!!!!  I am telling you, you cannot make this shit up!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Patrick, the Gorilla, has been a resident of the Dallas Zoo for the past eighteen years.  He just adores his public--men, women, and children.  But, he is accused of being sexist, and is being sent to a zoo in South Carolina, where he will have his own, solitary, space, because he does not get along with the female gorillas. He has hit them, and bit them.  There was a report he was going to undergo therapy, but that has been debunked!

                                  The first thing I want to say is, why lay all the blame on Patrick???? He is sweet and lovable to humans, like Magilla Gorilla! I KNOW some of you out there remember him, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Maybe, just maybe, those female gorillas were nasty to Patrick!  And maybe he got fed up!  If human women and little girls love him, and he them, then I place the blame on the female gorillas!!!!!!!!!!  Maybe they want to throw Patrick out to make an all female enclave!  Maybe some of those gorillas are lesbian!  In which case, they'd do better having tea with Christine Quinn.  They could give her fashion tips!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        I hope Patrick is not going to be too lonely in his new surroundings.  It almost makes me want to visit the South Carolina zoo, to see if he is OK!  Maybe he just wants to be Top Ape!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         I wish Patrick happiness. And, I am telling you, if those femme gorillas had not done something to him first, he would not have hit or bit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Maybe Patrick needs to explore an alternate side, and visit a gay bar!!!!!!!

                                         He is hotter looking than some of the stuff walking in there today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Welcome Tovah, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Need I forget that tonight is the evening Tovah Feldshuh--"We love you, Tovah!"--steps into the role of Berthe in "Pippin," at the Music Box Theatre???????  Which happens to be next door to the Imperial, on West 45th Street, where the original played!!!!!!!!!!

                               With just 37 minutes to go till show time, the Raving Queen and all my girls want to wish Tovah the best!  I cannot wait to come and see her in this role!  A Tovah  performance is like a blood transfusion--invigorating!

                                  Break a leg, Tovah, darling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gooch Is Gone, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         This is a Black Day in Musical Theater History, girls!  Jane Connell, the one and only Agnes Gooch, since "Mame" opened at the Winter Garden on May 24, 1966, passed away yesterday at the age of 87!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          Not only did she play Gooch, but who could forget her brilliant turn as Queen Victoria on "Bewtiched?"  Additionally, she taught me, and countless others, to sing "Mame's" opening song, "St. Bridget."  A lot of CD's will be playing that score tonight.  And a lot of my girls out there will be crooning  "St. Bridget."  Including yours truly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           The theater has lost another Legend Of The Musical Stage.  I would hope the Broadway lights dim for Jane.  She was one of THE consummate musical theater performers.

                                             I did not see "Mame" in its original run, but I count myself among those lucky enough to have seen her, (with Angela Lansbury, and Anne Francine as Vera Charles!!!!!!!!!!!!) in the 1983 revival of "Mame."   Oh, my God!!!!!!!!!!  That was thirty years ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  When the Overture died down, and she walked out on stage, Gooch groupies went wild!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             I will always hear her in my head singing Gooch.  I wish I could bring you "St. Bridget, darlings!  I tried. But here is Angela and Company, complete with Jane, doing the classic "We Need A Little Christmas!!!!!!!!"  This should lift your spirits!

                                              Rest In Peace, Jane!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Forget The Musical Of "Bullets Over Broadway!!!!!!!!!" "Boiling Bunnies On Broadway??????" This One Should Be Ignored, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             Poor Trevor Nunn!  I used to think of him as London's equivalent to Harold Prince, but, in his dotage, he seems to be slipping.  The latest bit of news from the West End is he is going to direct a stage adaptation of--get this, kiddies!!!!!!--the 1987 Michael Douglas, Glenn Close hetero horror howler, "Fatal Attraction!"

                                               Ironic, since the whole thing started in England, with a British short film by James Dearden, called "Deception."  I would still like to see that, girls.  The American film which was made from it, has become so iconic, I cannot see the sense of bringing it to the stage.

                                               Added to which, it already has.  Several summers back, down at CSC, here in Manhattan,  there was a camp adaptation of it, featuring a rather funny Corey Feldman (yes, Corey Feldman!!!!!!!) in the Michael Douglas role!  It basically took the script word for word, and added parody to it!  The role of Ellen, the daughter, was played by a short, muscular armed chorus boy type, and it was staged in the manner of Greek tragedy.

                                                But it was never as funny as it should have been.  And now, with the Brits having a go at it, how will it be done?  Will it still be set in New York, or London?  There are some things, like the desecration of the car, that cannot be done on stage.  How will it end?????????  Will it come to Broadway???? God forbid, though, you know, girls, were it to, you could not keep me away from it!!!!!!!!!

                                                  Not to mention the Nightly Boiling Of The Bunny!!!!!!!!!!!  This I must strongly object to, even if those bunnies are not real!  They had better not be!!!!!!!!!!!  And don't use lobsters, either!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                    This "Fatal Attraction" could be a fatal career move for  all!  But, like I say, darlings, nothing beats watching a theatrical train wreck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

I Have Just GOT To Talk To Cherry Jones!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       And I don't mean about being a lesbian, which I am not, nor playing Amanda in "The Glass Menagerie," which I am seeing Cherry do this coming Sunday, but it has never been on my acting radar.  Come to think of it, according to Cherry, it never was on hers, so I had better watch what I say!

                                       Did you see that recent revealing article in The Times, darlings????????  What caught me was when Cherry mentioned first discovering having seizure disorder--a form of epilepsy--not only during the run of "Doubt," but while she was actually performing it.

                                        This is rather timely for me, who has had epilepsy, petit mal, seizure disorder--call it what you will--for just about all of my 58 years, and now, due to simple economics am faced with going off of what I have been on all my life--Dilantin--to something more generic, called Keppra.  I am doing this
under an accomplished neurologist, whom I trust, but, when I heard Cherry takes something, I had to wonder what she is taking.

                                         Of course, the meds might differ, because my experience has been of longer duration, though I have only one episode on record, when I was about four or five, triggered by an allergic reaction to phenobarbital, (which no one knew at the time) sending me into "status epilepticus," whereupon I awoke, in a hospital, in an oxygen tent, family looking at me, after having (I found out later) been in a coma for two days!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Fortunately, I have never repeated that, though I do, from time to time get what I call the "funny feeling," which is one of dissociation, that seems to take me outside of myself, until I eventually come back.

                                            None of this, of course, I would  wish on Cherry, or anyone. But I would be interested in hearing how she deals with things in this area!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              Meanwhile, I will let her deal with playing Amanda!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Look, Monsieur, Where All The Children Plaaaaaaaaay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                        Let's get started right away, girls, because I know the first thing you want to know.

                                       Megan Buzzard is a superb Fantine.  From her entrance during "At The End Of The Day," to when she takes center stage for the classic "I Dreamed A Dream," Miss Buzzard just does not play Fantine; she makes you feel she IS Fantine.  And she makes the audience feel compassion (as I have always felt, since first reading the Hugo novel, before seeing it on Broadway, back in 1987!  The night after it opened on Broadway, darlings!  With the Original Cast!!!!!!!!!!!) for Fantine; her eyes glisten with vulnerability and pain, her facial muscles tighten in agony.  If your primary interest in seeing this show is to see how the actress cast handles Fantine, let me go this far--she comes as close as anyone to my personal
favorite Fantine--the great Britisher, Ruthie Henshall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        The same goes for Bill Andrews, who inhabits Jean Valjean. There is always a litmus test for me, with the actor playing this role, which tells me whether or not he is going to work.  It is when he gets to the phrase, "My sister's child was close to death, and we were starving," and at that point I
felt a familiar tug at the heart which, coupled with how he held a particular note early on, told me he was going to be just fine.  And he is.  His rendition of "Bring Him Home" soars heavenward, as effortlessly as
though it were a small accomplishment.  But it is not; it is a large one, and Mr. Andrews occupies the stage, and sings the bulk of the score with insight and skill.  His death scene was the only one to move me since
He Who Owns The Role--Mr. Colm Wilkinson. For me, his shining moment was when he approaches the Thernardiers about Cosette, and sings about how he stands in Fantine's place!!!!!!  Damn right!!!!!  Don't miss Mr. Andrews as Jean Valjean!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           Let me say something here about Joesph Bellino's Inspector Javert. Once he is on stage, who the hell is Russell Crowe?  Hell, who was he , anyway?  Well, let's not go there!  When Mr. Bellino was singing "Stars," as the tears poured down my face over the power of the song and the beauty of his voice, I leaned toward my partner, and whispered, "Now, THIS is how the song should be sung!"  He humanizes Javert in a way many do not; I have never been one to agree with his viewpoint, but Mr. Bellino's performance here makes it understandable, and indicates where it came from, and how it evolved.

                                          I am guessing Jacqueline Samaha is somehow related to the director, Jeff Samaha, but let me tell you, darlings, her Eponine stands on its own.  Of course, she handles that character's signature song, "On My Own," with the poignancy demanded, but my favorite Eponine moment has always been when she dies in Marius' arms during "A Little Full Of Rain."  It breaks the heart, and Miss Samaha does just that.  I just loved her Eponine.

                                            Who else?  Well, Sean Kincaid is vocally spectacular as Enjorlas, having one of the strongest voices on that stage.  And his is an impressive presence, which is just another way of saying, girls, that he is hot, recalling Michael McGuire in the Broadway original.  When he took the lead in "Do You Hear The People Sing," I thought the entire audience was going to stand up, and join in.  I know I was ready to, lambs!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             Playing the role of those grifters par excellence, the Thernardiers, Kathy Valentine and John Panepinto achieve the remarkable feat of making them more characters than caricatures, which is why they have often annoyed me in other productions.  They are annoying when need to be here, but not in a way that made me want them to just get off the stage, as has been the case other times.  And I was happy that no one skimped on using my favorite phrase from "Master Of The House"--"Everybody have a glass/Raise it up the Master's ass!!!!!!!" Their delivery of that alone is priceless!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             As is Mr. Panepinto when he shows us Thernardier's humanity in the sewer, when he raises his arms upward and utters that plaintive cry--"I raise my eyes to see the heavens. And only the moon looks down!"  These are Thernardiers one does not take for granted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            Now, for Marius and Cosette, played by John Patrick Sabatos and Beata Royzman. .   When, with Jacqueline Samaha, they do the triplet endning of "A Heart Full Of Love,": and their voices soar heavenward as though the angels were carrying them all, it is as achingly beautiful as it should be.  Same when Marius and Cosette duet--they are one pair of two exquisite voices!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             And, of course, I cannot forget, I would never have even been seeing this production, were it not for my theatrical friend, Daniel Burke, who plays the Bishop Of Digne.  A role done by Colm Wilkinson, in the movie, incidentally.  Now, I have done stage work with Danny, so I knew his voice would carry him..  But I had never really seen him act, and when he sings to Valjean, "I have brought your soul for God," it goes to the depths of one's soul.  Not to mention, girls that he is the cutest looking thing seen in a cassock in ages!!!!!!!!!  He'd have made some crazy cleric, but he is a moving Bishop.

                                             One must not forget the children.  Ryan Daniels not only commands the stage as Little Gavroche, his is one of the strongest voices up there.  And so young!  He is wonderful.  As is Abagail Summa as Little Cosette, whose "Castle In The Cloud" is as moving, in its own way, as "I Dreamed A Dream."  It is Little Cosette's version of that song, and Miss Summa delivers!

                                             Jeff Samaha and Kathy Valentine, among others, have guided a cast of 60--that is bigger than the Original Broadway cast of this show; even the 1971 "Follies," which only had a cast of 50!!!!!!!!!!!  The Ensemble is an assemblage of some of the most  gorgeous voices you will ever hear on a stage, and I loved the Understudies' Encore, at the end!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               In essence, what is on display here is understanding for and an impassioned dedication  to the material.  Something missing from a lot of musical theater across the river, darlings!!!!!!!!
This company is so accomplished, they could be sent there, to Paper Mill,,,,anywhere!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              If you have never seen the show, this is the production to see.  If it is not one of your faves, this one's professionalism and craftsmanship may win you over.  It has one more weekend round of performances, and, if I had the time, I would go again.  But I am telling my girls to get out to Bay Ridge and see this group bring to life, and help keep memories afresh, the splendors and pleasures of a true Musical Theater Classic.

                                             I began with Fantine, and will end with Fantine.  As one who still wants to play this role, but wouldn't dream of taking it from Miss Buzzard, I have got to say--

                                               Megan, honey, telll them to put some padding on that bed!  Fantine has gone through enough hell by that time!!!!!!!!  Why should she die in discomfort?????????  If ever I step into the part, I would insist on it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!