Friday, February 28, 2014

Farewell, February!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Today, we slowly--emphasis on that word, dolls!!!!--move out of my least favorite time of the year!  The discarded Christmas trees are finally gone, the taxes are done, and Spring is on its way.

                                   Well, as the song says, two out of three ain't bad!!!!!!!!!  Because, with another major storm on the way, I hear, this coming Monday, and it being in the teens outside, right now,as I write, the hope of Spring seems rather unlikely!

                                      But, rest assured, it IS the end of February, so Time is on our side now, girls!!!!!!!!

                                      What a month it has been!  From the anniversary of Bernadette's vision, to the deaths of Philip Seymour Hoffman, the seemingly inconceivable death of Shirley Temple, not to mention the great Mary Grace Canfield,   February had its ups and downs!

                                         And there are some birthdays yet to be mentioned.  In addition to Kelly Bishop, Musical Theater Icon, Bernadette Peters, turns 66, and three people I happen to know personally have birthdays today--my coworker, Christopher, who turns 58, my cousin Robert, who is 61 today, and my sister, Penny, who hits 74--can you believe it???--this day, while our father awaits hitting his 99th on April 30!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          So, much good comes  out of the end of this month!  Happy Birthday, to one and all!  And congratulations, to all of us, for surviving another February!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           Guess March will come in, like a lion, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Girls, Can You Beleive Sheila Is 70??????????????????????????????

                                               "I'm Sheila Bryant. Really Sarah Rosemary Bryant, which
                                                  I really hate.  I was born August 8, 1946, in Colorado
                                                Springs, Colorado.  And I'm going to be thirty real soon.
                                                  And I'm real glad."
                                                    --Kelly Bishop as Sheila Bryant, in "A Chorus Line"

                                      Girls, can you believe it has been almost 40 years, since Kelly Bishop first spoke those words on stage?  As has been recounted on here endlessly, my first "Chorus Line" viewing was an unforgettable experience that marked a turning point in my life.  I realized, watching it, that, If I did not do
anything else, I had to get out of Jersey, and into New York!  And so I did!

                               Seeing the show, for the first time, of course I wanted to be Cassie.  I mean, Donna McKechnie, red, that dancing ability....and, most importantly, relating to Cassie's dilemma of being too good for situations into which she was placed.  But, much as I wanted to be her, the one I admired over the years  was  Sheila.  She takes no prisoners, and, in the end, she is the survivor.  The fates of the others are ambiguous, when the curtain falls, but there is no doubt that  Sheila, especially when Kelly played her, WOULD go on!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                As have I, darlings, having also made it to New York!  I maintain every gay man is Sheila (or thinks he is!!!!) because in Sheila's strength is found a way for those who are struggling to survive.

                                To think, another Musical Theater Legend--Shelley Plimpton!!!--was celebrated on here, yesterday.  And now, today, Kelly!!!!!!!!!!!!  And both became legends in shows that originated out of the Public Theatre.  Interesting.

                                So, Happy Birthday, Kelly!  You make 70 seem young!  May things still be beautiful for you--and us--at the ballet!

                                 You didn't think I would let this go buy, without showcasing Kelly's signature piece?
Here it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Many Happy Returns!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Well, Hush Mah Mouf, Honeychile'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      "The Cutting Season " is Southern, and Gothic, but with a kick.  There is just more than a dab of racial American history linked into its plot, which does not exactly raise it to the level of Toni Morrison, and "Beloved," but which keeps it from being back yard trash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         When the murdered body of a Mexican sugar cane worker is discovered on the grounds near Belle Vie plantation in Louisiana--the other Louisiana, darlings, you know, the one outside New Orleans that most don't even think exists, since many think the whole;e state of Louisiana is New Orleans!!!!--it unleashes a storm of scandal, past and present.  The heroine, Caren Gray, is a true descendant of one of the slaves murdered in the past, which is one of the keys to the mystery.  Hunter Abrams, who supervises the workers, is this novel's Simon Legree, and watch out for those good ole Clancy boys, who own the whole mess.  There is just more than a little bit of malice lurking.

                                           Attica Locke has a fast paced style that keeps you guessing; at one point, I suspected Caren;'s ex, Eric!!!!!!!!!!!!  And I loved the character of intrepid reporter, Lee Owens.  I think Caren has the hots for him--I know he likes her--and if these two are brought back, I hope sparks fly!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           The glimpse that is given into plantation life--Romantic vs. Realistic--is very encompassing; Locke has done an enormous amount of research to flesh out and objectify what could have been an ordinary mystery melodrama.

                                             "The Cutting Season" is recommended for a glimpse into Louisiana life not too often gleaned.

                                                And to Dizzy Queens, whose only state association is Houmous House, where they filmed "Hush.......Hush, Sweet Charlotte!"

                                                  Velma Cruther would be appalled!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

And Speaking Of Things Plimpton!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           As stated, besides Shelley, whose birthday is celebrated today, there is also Martha Plimpton, a dramatic and comic actress of note, currently enthralling viewers, and, hopefully, raking n some bucks, in the TV series "Raising Hope."  Never before has White Trash been so funny!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            But Martha has all kinds of hidden talents, one, which she does not let out often, but when she does--WOW!!!!!!!--is her musicality!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  In the 2008-2009 revival of "Pal Joey" at the Roundabout, Stockard Channing had the best song in the score, "Bewitched, Bothered, And Bewildered," but it was Martha, in the role of Gladys Bumps, who stopped the evening with her rendition of "Zip!," and who walked off with the show, whenever she was within ten feet of the stage.  As I left the theater after the show, this couple--Theater Queens--spoke, in praise of Martha--"In twenty years, there is the next Mama Rose!"

                            Though, give me a chance to play it first, OK, Martha??????????????

                             Now, take a look at this photo from the 2011 Lincoln Center Philharmonic presentation of Sondheim's "Company." To whom does the eye go to, at once?  Martha, of course!   And not just because of the costume. Her dancing, her moves, her overall musicality just allow her to walk off with this number!

                              Here is the celebrated opening number in "Company."  Note how one cannot take
one's eyes from Martha; it is just impossible to do so!

                                May there be more musical theater in her future!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can You Believe Another Year Has Gone By, Darlings???????????????????????????

                               We are all of us supposed to get older, but, in the case of Musical Theater Legend, Shelley Plimpton, who turns 67 today, that somehow seems unfair.

                                 Shelley should never get old, especially to those of us of a Certain Age.  To many, she is simply the mother of actress Martha Plimpton--more on her.  But to a generation of Baby Boomers, who remains Crissy, the girl who sang my favorite song, "Frank Mills," in the original production of "HAIR."

                                  We remember this today, as Shelley reaches another year, yet remains capable, in every way, of turning out, some September 12, in front of the Waverly!

                                    Happy Birthday, Shelley!  And many more!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Of course, it would not be complete, if I did not include her singing "Frank Mills!"
So, here she is!!!!!!!!  No one does it better!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Not even I, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

To Paraphrase Ebenezer Scrooge, Girls, This Sleaze Bucket Should Be Boiled In His Own Pudding, And Buried With A Stake Of Holly In His Heart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Just when I thought "Law And Order SVU" was going down the tubes, darlings, along comes a wonderfully provocative episode, called "Comic Perversion."

                                   This was based on the scandal of comic Daniel Tosh, whose jokes about rape did not sit well with more sensible members living in America.  Josh Galloway, the figure in this episode, is equally repulsive, but he is superbly played by Jonathan Silverman in what, to me, looks like an Emmy winning performance.

                                     Things start out with Galloway doing a gig to a drunken college crowd at some college known as TSU, which he jocularly dubs "Trash Slut University."  The moronic jocks, their testosterone flowing with booze, yuck it up, thinking he is just the wittiest thing out there, when they don't have a clue, anyway, to what real wit is. Hey, how did they ever get into college, anyway??????????

                                         Renee Clark (Skyler Day) an audience member, and former rape victim, shows up, with some girls, and leads a protest against Galloway's act, which culminates in her being brought to the stage, and made a mockery of by Galloway and the crowd. Then, to make matters worse, after the gig, two of his male fans assault Renee on campus. They stop just short of rape, but, hey, assault is assault!  Let's see their sorry assess get booted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            Galloway is some piece of work, crying out about Free Speech and Lenny Bruce, when all he is doing is good old hate mongering, the kind that Radio Priest Father Coughlin used to do, back in the Thirties.  Only Galloway's hate seems to be directed towards women. Maybe because he is in his late 40s, and has trouble getting any on a realistic level??????????? Like, yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               The next night, at another gig, Galloway reveals a hot time he had with a girl he met here on campus. It turns out she is in the audience--Carly Rydell (Laura Slade Wiggins) and she maintains Josh sodomized her, and would not stop, despite the hurt and pain he was causing her. This is what she tells the SVU team, but it is a slippery slope, one I did not buy for an instant. This guy needs to be put in his place, but I have some creative ideas for that.

                                                   Apparently, so does Renee, who disguises herself, and risks being another of Josh's victims--but she gets it on film, and shows it to the SVU crowd. Enough to get Josh eventually charged with attempted rape!  Good for him!

                                                       As I said, Silverman delivers an Emmy winning performance.  And I was glad to see Justice prevail. But I have two choice endings for this episode.

                                                          The first is Josh is thrown into the general prison population, and some of those guys show him what rape REALLY is, baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                              The second, which is my favorite, is to bring back Cynthia Nixon, from "Alternate," in her persona of Dory. You know, the one who visited Kathy Stabler, with the knife, and the two girls just chatted?????  She could pay a visit to Josh he would never forget, then  turn him over to the predatory female from the vampire book club episode of 'Criminal Intent,' and let her takes his testicles between her hands and squeeze them hard, draining him like fresh oranges!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                  He'd never rape anyone again.  And neither would any other guy, watching this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                  But kudos to Jonathan! What a brilliant sicko you played!!!!!!! Where the hell have you been?????????????????

Not A Colleague You Would Like To Work With, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         What with workplace issues these days being problematic, not just for me, girls, but for everyone, everywhere, Brittany Norwood, this week's winner of the Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award, is a standout.  This is one worker you would not like to work with, but you wont' have to, dears, Brittany is behind bars.

                                             In her case, I think what culminated in murder was not so much entitlement, as just being a garden variety sociopath.  Brittany was a star athlete in  college, and on her way to making something of herself.  She wanted to be a personal trainer; nothing wrong with that. The only trouble was, things had a way of vanishing, when Brittany was around, starting with teammates possessions at university, which led to her being expelled,  and not graduating.

                                          Making her way to Maryland, Miss Norwood made her way to one yoga store in Maryland, but was let go under a cloud. She was allowed to work in that store's auxiliary establishment in affluent Bethesda, where she, for a time got along with the supervisor and her coworkers.

                                             But things had been vanishing, and came to a boiling point, the night of March 11, 2011.  Brittany and coworker Jayna Murray were closing up for the night. True to those working in
retail, (something I never knew about, because I never worked in retail....really!!!!!!!!) each examines the other's bag before leaving--and guess what Jayna finds in Brittany's?  A blue yoga top--with the name tags still on.  How can you be so dumb, Brittany?  But, then, criminals in the midst of crime, are not always the cleverest sort.

                                                 Caught red handed, and faced with exposure and joblessness, Brittany hatches a plan to  kill Jayna, who was then going off to a study group!

                                                    On the evening of March 11, Brittany calls Jayna, saying she needs to get back into the store, because she forgot her wallet. She didn't.  This was the bait--and the unaware Jayna  took it.  When they got into the store, Jayna was furiously attacked by Brittany, who not only hacked her to pieces, but tore through the place, using over sized  shoes to make blood prints, and tearing the place apart to simulate a burglary gone wrong. Even to the point of hacking herself up a pant, and pantsing Jayna, to make it look she was sexually assaulted.

                                                       This Miss fools no one, and soon she is caught, and locked up for good!  You think you have coworker issues, darlings????? Next time they come up, think of poor Jayna Murray, who paid for them, with her life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Be glad you don't work with Brittany. And let's hope you never cross paths with someone like her.

                                                           Would Brittany have done this again, had she eluded the cops?  You better believe it!  She not only believed in five finger discounts; she did not care what collateral damage she left in her wake.

                                                              What a perfect choice for Bitch Of The Week Brittany is!  And what a perfect place she is in right now--jail!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                  Have a nice life, Brit, hon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

What A Surprise Last Night, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           So much has been going on, darlings, what with Winter, and all the attendant social hoopla during it, I sort of let it slip my mind that the new season of "Rizzoli And Isles" was coming up.  When Monsieur emphatically mentioned it last evening, I knew he was right, and I determined to watch.

                            "Tears Of A Clown" had a formula for being one of the best episodes, but there were things hanging over it.  One of these was the decision Casey and Jane face--to marry or not--which was still not resolved, by the time the show ended.  I was most touched by Maura's tearful questioning of how she would go on without having best friend Jane around, and she was, indeed, echoing us fans of the show, who simply could not survive the loss of Angie Harmon as Jane.  So, either they will get married, but he will go off to Afghanistan, and Jane will be a war wife, or he will quit the Army, take up civilian life, and live here. It remains to be seen what is decided.

                                Lorraine was on hand, as Mama Angie, but, sadly, she hadn't much to do, which is a mistake; she is as important to the show as Jane and Maura.

                                  And there was something eerie about seeing Lee Thompson Young, as Detective Frost, in light of what we all know happened.  Not only that, but the way Thompson played the role in this episode showed a moroseness that was not there before.  In any other situation, this would be an actor trying to stretch his character, but in light of Thompson's suicide, one wonders if this was the beginning of his emotional disarray; it was  coming through, on screen.

                                     "Tears Of A Clown" had a great premise.  Back in 1988, the city was terrorized by a series of murders of young boys, by a man in a clown suit.  The Miller family owned a car wash in the area, which used clowns in advertising; the perp turned out to be their son, Brent, who had a history of peodphile behavior, and was responsible for the molestations and murders of the boys.  He dropped from sight. but molestations  followed, when he took up residency as a school teacher in Philadelphia.

                                           Now, a quarter century later, it seems Brent is back, as a boy is the victim of
an attempted kidnapping. Could Brent be back?  A good neighbor helps the boy escape, but, in a scuffle with the clown, falls onto the curb and hits his head, losing his life. So the clown faces a murder rap.

                                             Soon, another boy, Kevin, is abducted by a clown, and he is found, unharmed.
But Brent is found, with a bullet through his head that, at first, seems like suicide, but really is not.

                                                The perpetrator turns out to be Brent's own brother.  The siblings had been estranged for years, but when an unrecognizable Brent visits his brother's costume store, and calls Brent's son slugger, the brother recognizes the voice, and concocts the revenge scheme, fearful that Brent will hurt his son.   The brother is arrested, hauled off to prison, but it was an unsettling conclusion.

                                                   Much of the episode was unsettled; this was not a good start for a new season.  More dramatic definition and resolution is required, one yearns for the return of Hope, (Sharon Lawrence) and that the script writers have Frankie get his act together this season!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                     But, most of all, give Lorraine something to do!!!!!!!!! We LOVE her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                      Watch our for scary clowns, girls!  Especially if, as was learnt from "Camp Blood," they turn out to be beans n' franks lesbians!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                        Thank God the children here were spared that!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Paula Is Showing Signs Of Improvement, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Having been anesthetized by previous presentations of "On The Case With Paula Zahn," over the past several weeks, I have to say that last Sunday's broadcast showed some improvement. Paula wore red, her hair was combed and styled, and there seemed to be an effort made at limiting that irritating overt schoolgirl earnestness in her delivery.

                                      She profiled the case of Alan Eugene White, the piece of scum. pictured above. On July 20, 1996, while still in his twenties, he broke into the home of 80 year-old Dolores McKim, killing her, her daughter, Carol Abercrombie, 56 and her grandson, Christopher, Carol's son, age 5!

                                         Yes, darlings!  Five!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          He had met some of the Abercrombies at some sort of radio club, and had been in their house, as a visitor, once!!!!!!!!!  According to Alan's confession, he broke into the house, with the intention of--get this--raping 80 -year- old Dolores!!!!!!!!!!  I am telling you, this guy must have some woman issues, though one thing Paula did not go into was his background. To hear tell it, Alan's parents were good folk, they raised him right, he had no criminal record.


                                              Something triggered this behavior in Alan, behavior that, had he not been caught, he would have acted upon, again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                  Oh, and get this, he attended the funeral services of  the victims. It was at one of these he was spotted, and this eventually led to his apprehension.

                                                    They got this serial killer early. Three victims is enough to constitute being one. Alan just did it all in one night!

                                                    He will never see the light of day, but I will be happier when the Devil waits for him at the other end, pitch fork in tow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

                                                      Burn this baby to a crisp, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                       And keep up the good work, (and us awake) Paula!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Not To Forget What Anniversary Today Is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       It is almost inconceivable to realize, but today is the day, 46 years ago, I saw "Gone With The Wind" for the first time.  It changed my life.

                                        When Vivien Leigh stood in that field at the end of Part One, and cried, "As God is my witness..." I knew no one would ever fuck with me again, because, like Scarlett, I would kick adversity in the teeth!!!!!!!!!!  What a role model, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          After approximately three dozen viewings since, I still look forward to seeing it on the screen, which I expect should be sometime this year.  You see, I will only see this film on the screen. Yes, I have seen it on TV, and DVD, as an experiment, but it just does not work.

                                            So, with this being the film's Jubilee Anniversary, I would expect an appearance in theaters sometime this year!

                                              To think that, 46, years ago, the film was only 29 years old, and I only 13!  I could not even conceive of what 46 years from then would be like, and where I would be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                 This is always "Gone With The Wind" day to me. May I see a screening this year, and may it not be my last!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                  And I expect to see all you girls, there!


Andrea And Philip....Two Peas In A Pod, Darlings???????????????????????????

                             It's hard, sometimes for even I, being the Raving Queen, to keep up with everything. no matter how hard I try! What, with the recent array of parties, galas and buffets I had to go to, not to mention this is Oscar week, so I am expected at another party, plus I have to be fitted for the Mainbocher knockoff I plan to wear that evening, not to mention getting in a birthday dinner  with Uncle Ernest, and a screening of "Rebecca!!!!!!!!!"

                              And you thought all this was easy??????????????/

                               So, I am just getting around to reading not only Andrea Peyser's diatribe on Philip Seymour Hoffman in the NY Post, but all the attendant hoopla surrounding it.  Of course, I am going to weigh in, now, and, for those who don't like it, well...that is why I am the Raving Queen!

                                  The first thing I have to say is I really do not see the reason for all the fuss. Let's face it, Andrea is just being....Andrea!  Those of us in the know realize she is a Fascist, who dreams at night of looking attractive, made up like Eva Peron, while she trills "Don't Cry For Me, Argentina" from a terrace, as did Patti Lu Pone in "Evita."  Only, Andrea will never realize this, during the light of day.

                                     But the fact of the matter is--I sort of agree with her, here. Where she is misguided is, because she wouldn't dare deal with where Hoffman's addiction came from.

                                      One publication accused Andrea of calling Hoffman a selfish jerk.  Well, I have news for your, darlings--HE WAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Anyone educated beyond the fourth grade understands that what addicts are most looking for is escape.  It is just the nature of what they want to escape from that differs. And in the case of Philip Seymour Hoffman, what he wanted to escape from was his closet homosexuality.

                                             You got that, Andrea?  He could not lead an honest life, so he led a closeted one, the kind many guys in Hollywood do, because they are so afraid that if they don't "play the game" they will never get hired.

                                                  I have news for you!  If enough male actors out there refuse to "play the game" then the barriers wouldl break down, and they woudl still get hired!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                    Does anyone stop to think of this???????????/

                                                    Philip's guilt, cowardice, ambition--probably all three--made him unable to be honest, and lead the life he  should have. He stayed in the closet, but, to compensate for his guilt, he resorted to drugs as an escape, thereby becoming an addict.

                                                      Andrea Peyser, of course, misses the point.  If those who feel closeted could face themselves honestly, they might be free of the clutches--alcohol, drugs, bearded wives--into which they have been placed to try and cover the truth they do not want to face up to.

                                                          Face it instead, guys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                          But Philip had additional problems as well.   As I have stated, he was NOT my favorite actor, I felt him overrated, but he did have talent.  What he did not have was looks!!!!!!!!!

                                                             Philip Seymour Hoffman might have been gay, and talented, but he was also fat and ugly, and, in the gay world, that is social suicide!!!!!!!!!! I mean, I have never forgotten hearing the audience, and myself scream, at the opening shot of "Before The Devil Knows Your Dead," where his fat, sorry naked body and ass is banging into Marisa Tomei;s more supple naked body from behind!  I mean, how did he expect to get a date?  Maybe at Girth and Mirth (now called the Big Man's Club) at the Center, but anywhere else????????????? Come on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                              Andrea was right about Philip being a selfish jerk. She just did not understand why. Or refused to.

                                                                 I know what some out there must think--how dare I?  Well, let me just say, in case this goes viral, in case I am inundated with attacks and threats, I have just one last thing to say.

                                                                    To quote the great Gena Rowlands in "Gloria!"--

                                                                   "Come on!  Come on!  I LOVE it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"


Have You Seen The New "Gojira" Poster, Girls??????????????????????

                              Spring is almost upon us....and so is everyone's favorite reptile, Gojira! After seeing the 1954 classic original, I refuse to call him Godzilla, anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Well, that original film is going to be playing at the Film Forum, starting April 18 (which is Good Friday!!!!!!!!!) and on through the 24!!!!!!!!!!! (which is BARBRA's 72nd birthday!!!!!!!!).  How fortuitous. But, as you might have guessed, it is all show business for, in May the favored reptile returns to the screen for his brand new 2014 adventure, and there is much for the moviegoer to anticipate!!!!!!!!!

                                    Just look at the poster, showing Gojira, sneaking up mildly on the city of San Francisco. Yes, darlings, in this latest adventure, he visits the City By The Bay!  Will he lose his heart, there? It remains to be seen. But, I expect Gojira will be seen stomping through the Castro, visiting the "Hello, Gorgeous!" Museum (if it is still there), noshing on food along Fisherman's Wharf, and taking the "Vertigo" tour!  What I want to know is--will we see him cross Grant Street, in imitation of Tippi Hedren in the opening shot of "The Birds?"  And you know he will have a photo session, and maybe a dance or two, with not only the Castro boys, but the Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence!  Bet he becomes an honorary member!

                                       Joining Gojira on his adventure will be an impressive array of actors--Elizabeth Olson, Bryan Cranston, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, Ken Watanabe, and David Straithairn.  Not only is the biggest all-star lineup for a Gojira movie, it shows how many actors are anxious to work with him, and how down on their luck some of them-Olsen, Binoche and Straithairn!!!!!!!--are, to play second banana to a a reptile!   Because everyone knows the star of ANY Goira film is Gojira!  There is simply no room for anyone else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Which is why you will never seen BARBRA working with him!  But I hear MERYL wants to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             Perhaps, if the 2014 film is any success, she will.

                                              See you there, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

In Contrast, I Offer...........................

                                     Francesca's is the most charming, unpretentious little Italian place, in the Iron Bound section of Newark, in Jersey.  Monsieur and I traveled across the Hudson to celebrate, there, the birthday of the newest, and youngest, member of the Bloomfield Social Set, (distinctly different from the Bay Ridge one!!) Austin.  The overall experience could not have been different; indeed, it was better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       For starters, the food was excellent, and the wine flowed!  For another thing, what a crowd--Joe (whose birthday was the following week, but we were not able to make that party!!!!!), my cherub, Tom, that Vicious Queen, Steven, Gary and Byron, and Mike. Plus Monsieur and I!!!!!!!!!!!!!  What a group!  The girls gabbed, because some of us had not seen each other in a year, and there was lots of catching up to do! As well as fabulous coffee..

                                          When my friend, Tom, first moved out to this area, more years now than I can recall, Francesca's was just a little hole in the wall,, several blocks from his apartment, where you had to bring your own bottle of wine, if you wanted it. Now, it has expanded and branched out, and is just in back of Tom's building, which is even more convenient!!!!!!!!!! It is beautifully designed, and you don't have to bring your own wine anymore!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                A good time was had by all!  Don't settle for Ming Jade foolishness!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darlings, It Was Not The Colony Club!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Along West 13th Street, girls, right next, in fact, to the 13th Street Theatre, where Mrs. O'Hara (and now, probably daughters Jill and Jenny) used to ply her trade and keep going, where Brother Theodore would deliver his stream-of consciousness monologues, which had to be heard once, to be believed, and where "Line" by Israel Horovitz played forever--may still be playing there, in fact--there is this establishment known as the Jade Hotel.  Don't let all the faux exotica fool you; this is is just a hop, skip and a jump, from what, down the street, was a gay bath house, known as "Man's Country."  Not that I had ever bee there, darlings--really!--I might have seen the inside of some other places I will not bother to mention now, but this was not one of them. When I was in this neighborhood, girls, it was strictly movie time; the Quad Cinema, on said street, or the Cinema Village a block below.

                                  This so-called Jade Hotel has been radically reinvented from something that, I am sure, bore a resemblance to Blanche Du Bois' "Tarantula Arms," so why would I, let alone the Bay Ridge Social Set, be assembled there??????  Well, this past Sunday eve, we gathered to celebrate the birthday of the set's doyenne--the glamorous Ellen, who looked stunning in her gold lame top--and we thought this might be a nice place to do it.

                                    We were joined by the usual suspects--the two Marks, not to be confused with the two Mrs. Grenvilles, Uncle Chris, Paul, Steve, Bernie, Alan, Monsieur and myself.  Quite a gathering, and the food was not bad--my kale salad appetizer, with chic peas, skirt stake with potatoes and pepper, was not bad (others had this) and my orange chocolate mousse was fine, save for that congealed gelatinous mass of barely tasting orange at the bottom of the bowl, which made me feel as though I were porno star Dawson, being forced to eat congealed cum!  I am telling you, that is what it looked like!

                                         Monsieur's skate had such an under taste I told him not to eat it, as I did not want him to get sick, or raped by the Devil.  Especially, as we had just watched "The Calling" the day before.

                                           The place was less than stellar.  It wants to masquerade as some chi chi place, but is as frou frou as a poodle grooming parlor!!!!!!!!  Except the service is better at a parlor than here;  it seems like between courses we waited an exceptionally long time, and, I swear, the time between appetizer and entree was a solid hour!

                                              The staff was pleasant, but about as dynamic as zombies. And I did not believe that faux French accent on our server, for a second!  Oh, right; he is from Paris!  Straight from the Lee Strasberg Institute, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                As the saying goes, I have been thrown out of better places. I also would not go back to this one for front row seats to a Streisand concert. Maybe a hair appointment at Ariette's and lunch at Bloomingdale's with Anna, but that IS asking a lot.  To endure this crap again, I would demand more.

                                                  Follow the advice of Whitney Houston's aunt, Miss Dionnne Warwick. Not the psychic, honeys, the singer. If you find yourself walking down 13 th Street, and pass this place, just--

                                                    WALK ON BY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 24, 2014

An Unacknowledged Great One Has Left Us, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              You may recognize the face, but not the name. On this past February 15, at the age of 89, the great character actress, Mary Grace Canfield, passed away.  No one this plain should ever make it as an actress, but Mary Grace, honeys, beat the odds, not only because she was smart enough to use it to her advantage, but she was truly gifted.

                                  Here she is from my favorite performance of hers, the brief but telling role of Miss Foley, the spinster English teacher, in Disney's sanitized 1983 film version of Ray Bradbury's masterwork, "Something Wicked This Way Comes."  In the film, Miss Foley is a spinster who laments her plainness, as it has not brought her what she wanted--a husband, etc. She thinks beauty is the answer, and Mr. Dark makes her beautiful--in a generically blond way--but with a terrible price.  She is struck blind, after she is allowed to see what she looks like, and becomes one of his carnival freaks, forever trapped to serve Dark's desires.

                                    In the novel, Miss Foley is dissatisfied in a spinsterly way, and desires to become younger.  She gets her wish, but the carousel ride backwards makes her TOO young; she has her brain and her memories in the body of a now eight year old girl--and there is nowhere or place for her to go. She loses all sense of self, which is chilling.

                                      With her brushstroke performance, Miss Canfield delineated all the pain of spinster loneliness, making her desire for beauty all the more understanding, and its consequences all the more tragic.

                                            Twenty three  years earlier, for Disney, Miss Canfield scored a minor triumph as the domestic Angelica, who works for Polly Harrington (Jane Wyman) in "Pollyanna," and is only won over by the child (an award-winning performance by Hayley Mills!!!!!!!) at the very end.

                                                But, for generations, from Boomers on, Mary Grace Canfiield will forever more be Ralph, The Plumber, on "Green Acres."  She, and Arnold, the pig, stole the show right out from under Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               And now she has passed.  Like I said, the face you will recognize,  But go back now, dolls, and review some of her performances.  This was a gifted actress.   The girl wasn't pretty, but she garnered lots more than pity, and a pat!

                                                 Farewell, Mary Grace!  You inspired many!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Heil, Pillsbury!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           Girls, I am telling you, have you seen the boy on the Pillsbury Toaster Strudel commercial?
After viewing it several times, I can only conclude--who would have thought that Pillsbury, maker of baked goods and cereal products, would have a hand in the Nazi party??????  They must have been aiding and abetting during World War II, or otherwise I have read too much Holocaust literature.  And, when you look at some of the subtext of this ad, the implications are chilling!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             Forget the liederhosen; get a load of that blond, Aryan look, that "sherman aczent," which indicates somewhere, out of camera range, he is either wearing a swastika, or has one tattooed on him some place.

                              Every time I see him on TV, I expect him to break out into a chorus of "Tomorrow Belongs To Me!"  This kid is scary, because the image he presents is one of allegiance to the Fatherland, and that is not a comforting image, nor one I would care to see again.

                                I did not live through the Holocaust in my time.  I know those who did. And I don't want to be able to say I lived through another!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  So, get this Aryan horror off the air! Or is he part of Pillsbury's plan for a master race???????

                                   Darlings, I much preferred the campiness of Eleanor Parker, in "The Sound Of Music."  Remember, how, in the red dress, on the terrace, just before she and the Captain break up, she complains that the wiener schnitzel is much too delicious for her figure?

                                       That's what we want to see, girls! Not something suggesting the coming of a second Fuhrer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Darlings, As Soon As They Tried To Hang The Dog (And Actually Showed It!!!!!!!!) That Is When I Said, "All Right; Get Those Rotten Motherfuckers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                Yesterday was Trash Horror Afternoon, at our house, girls, so we hunkered in, under the covers, watching "The Calling," a movie from 2,000, featuring the renowned South African actress, Alice Krige, who, as far as IMDB is concerned, does not even put this on her resume.   After watching, I can see why!  Maybe she needed a new car, or something!

                                 The first thing to be said about "The Calling" is that, outside of Alice, who manages to be the best thing in it, I have never heard of anyone else in this movie.  That includes the director, Richard Caesar, who, during the course of its rather long 89 minutes, manages to reference so many movies, thus wanting to display not only his film knowledge, but also his adeptness at cribbing from other sources.  "The Calling" is a supernatural concoction assembled from "Rosemary's Baby," "The Omen," "The Mephisto Waltz," "Eyes Wide Shut," "The Ring," and, via a raven, an odd nod to Hitchcock, and "The Birds."  Too bad Tippi did not turn up., but she obviously, unlike Alice, did not need a new car, for she had the sense to steer clear of this crap!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Oh, with one other thing, having just seen "Philomena" last week, this is another movie that sticks it to the Irish, or at least those of Celtic origin.  The whole thing is set in an isolated spot, an island called the Isle of Wall.

                                 Speaking of the aforementioned "Ring," it is clear that, in addition to Mia Farrow in "Rosemary's Baby", Laura Harris, who plays the film's heroine, Kristie St. Clair, is also channeling Naomi Watts in "The Ring."  In casting terms, Harris suggests a Watts type, which leads me to suspect the filmmakers wanted Naomi in the first place, but she turned this down, too.  Bet she regrets this now, because, lately, darlings, what exactly has  she done?  And does anybody care?

                                   So, let me me try and explain this mess.  Alice Krige, with no wit or charm (not because Alice can't act it, but because of the script, which has  none!!!!) plays Elizabeth Plummer, the Minnie Castevet of the piece.  She must have come from a family of devil worshipers, for, as she explains to Evil Child Dylan, (a terrible child actor, named Alex Roe!!!!) at one point, this Celtic book of witchcraft or Satanism was given  to her when she was a little girl, and she is now passing it on to him.  Elizabeth and her sucker husband, Jack (John Standing) are big time TV execs, but Jack is no Roman Castevet, he is just some poor dupe who got suckered in.   The real scumbag, who makes Guy Woodhouse seem saintly by comparison is Mark St. Clair, (Richard Lintern) who plays enough of a scumbag to make you hate him, but, like most everyone here, his career went nowhere.  He is either a devil worshiper himself, or (and this would make more sense, in the "Rosemary's Baby" context) was lured into it by Elizabeth, due to his sizzling ambition.  They even have a child of their own, Samuel, who Elizabeth passes off as Jack's.  At some point, Mark is dispatched to the States, where he meets and marries a young, naive and vulnerable girl--the Rosemary of this story--named Kristie, played by Miss Harris.  You have to give Guy Woodhouse some credit; at least he and Rosemary had several good years of a REAL marriage, before moving into the Bramford, and meeting up with the Castevets.  Poor Kristie is doomed from the moment the words "man and wife" are pronounced, because, that very night the counterpart of the dream sequence of 'Rosmary' takes place, with Mark luring Kristie to a rocky, romantic place, practically humping her up against the stones...but is he doing the humping, or Something Else??????  In no time, Kristie is pregnant, and, isolated with Mark, surrounded by Elizabeth, who is just a  little too present, and gives birth to a healthy--at least on the surface--baby boy, whom they name Dylan.

                              Are you with me, so far?  Good, because where the  movie begins to get sick is when the character who is this story's counterpart to the murdered Terry Gionoffrio, turns out to be a child.  That child is the Plummers' son, Samuel, who goes missing, receives extensive news coverage, and is eventually found dead, murdered, in some ritualistic manner, in a barn, with his heart cut out.  This happens before Kristie gives birth to Dylan, and it is a wonder the gruesome incident did not make her miscarry!  As it turns out, it is a shame she didn't!!!!!!!!!!!

                                So, Dylan is born, Samuel is forgotten, and Elizabeth seems to be hovering around the St. Clair house a little too much, enacting the role of a surrogate aunt, spoiling Dylan with gifts, using it as a bane of comfort for Samuel's loss.  Once she gives that Celtic book to Dylan is when things start to happen.
For one thing, Dylan's clear preference for his father and Elizabeth, becomes more pronounced now, to the extent he verbally lashes out hatefully at Kristie, who has no idea what is going on...yet.  She starts getting wise when she taxis home one day with a weird religious guy named Carmac, (a good performance by Francis Magee) and, once there, hears indescribably horrible sounds, which turns out to be their dog, Baxter, hanging from his chain by the fence, almost dead.  Kristie frees Baxter, and, when she confronts Mark, he says he did it, because he bit precious Dylan on both of his hands, and he wants Kristie to put the dog down!  At this point, I wanted everyone connected to the film to be put down, first, for showing such a horribly cruel sequence, and, second, because at the end, I did not see the disclaimer "No animals were harmed during the making of this film."  So, the fact that none of these actors' careers went anywhere, or the filmmakers', is karmic retribution, which they fully deserved!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Kristie begins hanging around more and more with Carmac, so much so, you begin to wonder if they are going to have a thing, him being a hot piece of Celtic flesh, and, frankly, I would have preferred him to sleazoid Mark.  Carmac turns out to be a font of information, and his residence is filled with so many religious amulets and statuaries, I thought he might be an ex-priest.  It is through him that Laura learns Dylan is the anti-Christ, and when her marriage degenerates to the point where Mark and Elizabeth openly tongue each other in front of her, she knows she has to do something.  She naively thinks she can still save Dylan, which leads her to infiltrating a birthday party for Dylan, thrown by Mark and Elizabeth, which turns out to be more of a sex party for adults, with masks, straight out of "The Mephisto Waltz" and "Eyes Wide Shut."  According to Carmac, the only way Kristie can save things is by  killing Dylan herself, which she tries to do, taking him from the party, with Mark and Elizabeth in pursuit, dragging him into the ocean, where she holds him underwater, and drowns him--then turns to face the wrath of the entire island community.

                         To backtrack a little, this is the point where the film begins.  The story is then told in flashback.  What folllows from here turns out to preposterous.  Kristie is shot, survives, and is hospitalized.  While confined--now pay attention to details here, girls!!!!!--she watches media coverage of Dylan's deasth and funeral.  He was able to talk backward so he was regarded as something of a wunderkind by islanders, who were charmed by him, could not sense his coldness, and so turn out en masse for the media event.  Dylan's death took place on a Friday, so guess when the funeral is???? That's right--Easter Sunday?????

                            I bet by now you can guess what happens.  During the burial, there is an almost apocalyptic storm, and Carmac, that hot Celt, takes off his shirt, showing his smooth, but scarred, manly chest, revealing himself to be an Earthly incarnate of Satan!  Before you know it, Dylan is banging to be let out of his coffin, and out he pops in what is--you got it--an "anti-Christ Resurection!!!!!!!!!"  How contrived!

                             Watching this with Kristie, as he listens to her, is the only person left on the island she can trust--Father Mullin (Peter Waddington).  Kristie has been recounting all this to him, as the film unfolds, and I don't think, until he witnesses the Resurection on TV, that he beleives her.

                               In some kind of ending , out of "Thelma and Louise" or "Easy Rider," Father Mullin and Kristie elude the islanders, flee the hospital, and hit the road.  Father Mullin is so disgusted by the anti-clerical forces seeeming to triumph, he tears off his collar, as if to renounce the Catholic faith, and find another religion to follow.  Bet he ends up joining the Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence!!!!!

                               But that is if he survives.  Because, just as that collar hits the dirt, a motorcycle comes along, and someone picks it up. This turn out to be the evil baldheaded emissary of Karmac, whom we have seen do evil earlier.  The film fades out on him following Kristie and Mullin.  Their fate is left to the viewer!!!!

                                As if anyone cares!

                                My strongest objection to this film is  how fast and lose it plays with the lives of animals and children.  Samuel is sacrificed like Terry in "Rosemary's Baby," probably because his behavior did not conform to anti-clerical behavior (ie; he was a genuinely nice kid!!!!) or, when he was told how he was going to be ritually converted, which was by being nailed, upside down, to  a cross, he either protested, or died during the ceremony.  My guess is he was killed, by Mark, during such, as he doth protest too much!  And this was a kid Mark had conceived on his own!  His fleah and blood!  What a scumbag!

                               Likewise, when Kristie's girl friend, Lynette Peterson (Camilla Power) is murdered, it is because she accidentally witnesses Dylan's anti-clerical conversion, which, unlike Samuel, he is thrilled with!  I mean, this kid LOVES being nailed to the cross, and this is shown explicitly!!!!!!!!  Likewise, Dylan's drowning is shown as clearly as though it were a family picnic.

                               The filmmakers' seeming disregard for children and animals makes me squeamish, and that may be one reason why this film, and no one in it, went anywhere.  That, and the fact that too many sources were ripped off!  Shall we review them now, darlings????? OK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                "Rosemary's Baby"--naive wife, sleazy hubby, witch ringleader, fantasy copulation with Devil sequence, evil child.

                                "The Omen"--evil child, witch caregiver (Alice Krige as Elizabeth, seems to corrspond to Billie Whitelaw, as Mrs. Baylock, in the original, 1976, version, as well as Minnie Castevet!!!!!

                                 "The Mephisto Waltz"--demonology, sex party.

                                 "Eyes Wide Shut'--sex party, again.  Where, by the way, and in front of Dylan, and the guests, Elizabeth's husband Jack, is disposed of by electrocution in a hot tub!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 "The Ring"--setting the whole thing  on an isloated island, away from the mainland!!!!!!!!!!

                                 "Thelma and Louise" and "Easy Rider"--that roadside ending!

                                You see, darlings????  Not an ounce of originality in the whole thing!  And we both sat through it, for which, I feel, we should get something!  Speaking for myself, I would have preferred an ending, straight out of David Lynch's "Blue Velvet."  In the immortal words of Frank Booth (Dennis Hopper) I would have liked to have sent Dylan "a love letter, straight from my heart!!!!"  In the world of "Blue Velvet," a "love letter turns out to be "a bullet!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                Straight through this kid's head, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Farewell To Celia And The Gang, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             After 5:30 PM today, Celia Keenan-Bolger will be facing something every actor faces.

                             What is she going to do next????????

                              Of course, she has faced this before, and will again.  And there will be something next, because Celia is, after all...Celia, and just too talented not to find something, or have someone clamouring for her services, and  I , like lots of others, cannot wait to find out what her next project is!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            But this situation is a little different than  others.  For, today, Celia ends her Role Of A Lifetime, one that will become--has already, in fact--a career definer: Laura in "The Glass Menagerie."

                           And with Celia And The Gang goes a little bit of theater history.  Because, for those of us fortunate enough to have seen it. never in our lifetimes will we see a better production of this play.  Just as the "Carousel," done with Audra McDonald, at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre 20 (can you believe it, darlings??????) years ago, has come to be the defining revival of that musical for our time, (remember, the Philharmonic presentation, with Jessie Mueller, was not quite full scale!!!!) the same is going to hold true, in the Drama division, for this production of 'Menagerie.'

                         So, Celia has a lot of thinking to do.

                          Consider Patti Lu Pone!  She faced the same thing when the curtain came down on the Broadway revival of her "Gypsy."  What did she do next?  A supporting role (and I think Laura Benanti was with her, here, too!) in the musical adaptation of "Women On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown," simply titled "Women On The Verge."  It was not a hit, but Patti did add luster with her presence, and, what's more, you could tell she was having fun, up there!

                          Patti was smart.  She knew how hard it would be to  follow the Role Of A Lifetime; they just don't come right and left; I mean, it was almost 30 years between "Evita" and "Gypsy."  So, she decided to select something she knew would be fun, and work with someone she enjoyed--Laura.

                           If Celia is smart--and I think she is--she will do something of the same.  I would love to see her do something with her brother, Andrew, or even get all the Keenan-Bolgers together, by having them do something with Maggie.  And, darlings, before you go all prophetic on me, Celia is 30 years, at least too young to do Violet in "August:Osage County."  Hmmmm...but wouldn't she make a fabulous Ivy??????????

                            What ever Celia does next, I wish her well, and when she does it, you know, girls, I will be there!  As for "The Glass Menagerie," a fond farewell to this Production Of Production of this Play Of Plays.  Its like will not be seen for decades to come!

                               I am just thankful I had the privilege and pleasure to observe it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

I Have My Own La Cote Basque Story To Tell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                        You really didn't think I would let you go, without your hearing it, now, would I, darlings??????????

                          It is a pity, when I was a young and tender thing, I did not meet Truman Capote.  I think we would have hit it  off.  I probably would have slept with him--he was still kinda cute, then--not to mention his ego would have been flattered to death by my extensive reading knowledge of his work.  He could have swept me into cafe society, and I could have used him to further my goals and ambitions.  But, wait!  You cannot kid a kidder.  Truman was a smart thing, and would have caught on to my act, fast!  So, he might have been the one to use me!  We will never know now, I suppose!  But what stories I would have had to tell!  Not that I don't have enough to tell already, anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!

                        I did, however, attempt something of the sort, with Tennessee Williams.  And I almost succeeded!!!!!!!!!!!

                         Back in the summer of 1970. when I was just 15, my parents and I took a trip to visit some of my mother's relatives in Key West.  My mother just happened to have been born there, then moved up to New Jersey, and Highland Park, when she was about three.  Now, Key West was not yet the gay resort it has become today, but one thing sticks with me--it was as hot as Hell on earth!!!!!!!!!  My mothers major relations, the Lewins, lived in an enormous, and lovely, Victorian home on the main street of town--but they had no air conditioning!  It was all ceiling fans!  I can still  recall the sweat pouring down my face, while eating the obligatory meal.

                         My mother's relations on the other, more modern, side of town, Charlie and Clarice, not only had air conditioning; they had social connections.  Their son, Kermit, was at one time the Mayor of Key West.  Directly in back of them, so I had been told, was a white house, where Tennessee Williams lived, while residing in Florida.  He bought it in the Fifties, when the film version of "The Rose Tattoo" was  shot there!

                       So, there I was, in my little white shirt, my little white shorts, my little white sneakers and socks, still a virgin, and looking like a mouth watering angel food cake.  Especially to an old, but very famous, queen!!!!!!!!!!!

                        Without telling my parents, or anyone, I took a walk around the block, to Tennessee's house. If he were at home, I knew something would happen, so I was ready for that, but, just as with Capote, I knew Williams would have been charmed by the breadth of my knowledge of his work!

                            Alas, Fate, that inconstant jade, did me in!  No one was at home, and by the time I returned to where I had started, my parents were furious I had just gone off, like that!  And, when I told them where I went, they got hysterical!

                             Of course, darlings, had Williams answered that door, I would not have returned quite as soon, and would have had an altogether different story to tell!

                              Which brings me back to La Cote Basque!

                               The date was November 18, 1993, which was exactly twenty years just three months ago, and happened to be my 39th birthday.  At this time in my life, convinced I was a confirmed spinster in the true manner of Geraldine Page in "Dear Heart," I decided if anyone was going to treat myself, it would be me.  So, inspired by a glamorous coworker of mine, named Janice, I began to take my birthday off, and pamper myself.  Over the years, the routine evolved into three stages--a fixed price lunch at one of the exclusive restaurants, a visit to St. Patrick's Cathedral, where I would thank God for getting me through another year, and pray He would get me through the next, and then an evening at the theater.

                               During this time, I had been to all the major places--Montrachet, Lutece, La Grenouille, La Caravelle, to name a few.  And, of course, Le Cirque.  But, in 1993, I had selected La Cote Basque, not only because it was time, but on account of the Capote story.

                                 I walked in, was seated at one of the exclusive banquettes, and, thanks to my youth, the service staff was simply charmed by me, and treated me as royalty, which is a good thing, because I did not even have to demand it.  At some places, I do!!!!!!!!!!

                                   The meal was scrumptious, and sumptuous.  If only I had known what I was in for!  I started with a meat appetizer that looked light, but because of the sausage, was richer than it looked, once I consumed it.  This was followed by their specialty--Cassoulet St. Jacques, served in a steaming casserole dish, a mixture of meat and fowl in a brown cream sauce, with white beans!  It was heavenly, but again, so rich I could barely finish half of it!  And you do NOT--let this be a lesson to the uninitiated out there--ask for a doggie bag at a place like La Cote Basque!!!!!!!!!

                                      And I still had desert and coffee to get through!  What was I going to do?  At this time of life, I did not drink, meaning, to cut down on the bill at these places, I never drank wine!  That is where they get you!  Today, it would be a different story!

                                       The logical thing, of course, was to  order as light desert!  So, I did!  A peach tart, in fact, and it was the loveliest looking thing, thin, delectable, topped with fresh peaches, as they placed it before me, with my own personal pot of coffee, which you damn well better believe was poured for me! I had just reached for my fork, to eat the light desert, sure to cleanse my palette, when, out of nowhere, on both sides, appeared two servers.  The first one dropped a huge glop of chocolate pudding atop the tart; the second placed a huge glop of whipped cream, atop that!  My plate was so small, there was no room to scrape this off. Besides, I had an idea it would be an insult not to eat the whole thing.  I was at La Cote Basque, after all.

                                     So, I ate.  And ate.  It was good,  but, oh, was I FULL!!!!!!!!!!!  Then came the bill! You would think that would be worst part, but, darlings, let me tell you, it was not.  The worst part was me arising, trying to move out from behind the table, walk across the room and pay it, because I was so stuffed with food, I was afraid I was going to puke all over the place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Fortunately, for La Cote Basque, I did not.  Once on the street, I began taking in huge gulps of air, praying to somehow make it through the rest of the day.  And I had theater tickets that evening--New York City Opera was doing a staged version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Cinderella," which, in retrospect, was better than the current revival, as it stuck to the show, at hand!

                                       I walked along the street, slowly, tyring to make my way to St. Patrick's Cathedral.  I somehow made it, and once seated, I knelt, and prayed--not just for the usual stuff, but to stay well enough for the theater that  night, and not vomit all over the place.

                                       It wasn't exactly a miracle, but something did happen, I think.  After praying, I sat in the seat, meditating.  I either blacked out, or went to sleep, for suddenly I found myself coming to--it was time to wend my way to the theater.  And I felt one hundred per cent better.

                                      So, that is MY La Cote Basque story. Truman would have loved it, I am sure!

                                       I only wish they were still in business, because, after my latest reading, I would love to go back there, for their Souffle Furstenberg (and that  is Furstenberg, not Von Furstenberg, like Diane!!!!!!).  Does anyone out there have the recipe?  If so, post it on here, under comments, I am just dying to try it!

                                        The Age Of Elegance shall rise again, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!