Thursday, July 31, 2014

That's It For July, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!! The Summer Is Flying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              But, doesn't it always, now??????  Yes, this is the last day of July, 2014, with August the remaining full month of Summer.  I promise, for next month more Musical Theater Deconstructions---I think I got in at least an average of one a week!  I also promise more classic films, and, when I am done, a chronicling of my experience with Leo Tolstoy's "War And Peace."

                                So, there is much to look forward to, in August.  Meanwhile, with the Fourth, a trip to Coney Island, seeing Sutton Foster in "Violet," trips to Morris Plains, and just plain staying at home, it has been a lovely seventh month!  Especially with my beloved!  May the eighth bring more of the same!

                                  See you in August, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Can You Believe The Blonde To The Left Is Actually Convent Bred And Educated??????? Just Like Me, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              To think that the fabulous Lady Gaga (seen here chatting with Christine Pedi as Liza Minnelli) is a graduate of the Convent Of The Sacred Heart!  In that case, girls, I am ready for sainthood, and, with my back pain, feeling every inch of being pain wracked by stone floors, which I scrubbed in convents from the time I was a baby!  Now, with old age, it is all catching up!

                                How can I be Donna McKechnie with a bad back?  Hell, will I be able to get through "King Lear," tomorrow night in the park????????  We shall see!

                                  Now, I don't know if Lady Gaga ever saw "The Song Of Bernadette."  I have not talked to her, lately, but somehow I doubt it!  And if you love Lady Gaga, as I do, watch out for our new home telephone message, coming very soon, darlings??????????????

                                    But a convent school graduate?  It will give future generations of girls a whole new set of aspirations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      And you know what you can do with those aspirations, girls????????  Kiss them!!!!!!!!!!!

This Bitch Is The Queen Of Manipulators!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                         It has been some Summer, darlings!  What with comfortable weather, no movie shoot-outs, or children physically and emotionally torturing each other, I have had to turn to fiction for bitches.  There are just as many out there, as in reality; maybe more!

                        Some of you may recognize this one, darlings, and ask what took me so long to get her on here???????????

                          The winner of this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award is Mrs. Henry Vale, of the 1942 film classic, "Now, Voyager."  She was played memorably by Gladys Cooper, and her daughter Charlotte, by the immortal Bette Davis. Hmmmmmm.. that did a lot for Bette Davis, come to think of it.

                            Both were Oscar  nominated for their performances.

                             Now, from what I have read, Gladys herself was not a bitch.  In fact, Davis once said it was a privilege to work with her. But Mrs. Vale is one holy terror.

                              She is all about obligation and appearances, even if that means bearing children she does not want, a fact she makes clear to Charlotte time and time again.  She is a moralist, who tries to keep her daughter under such a psychological thumb, she reduces her to an emotional cripple and a dowdy spinster who looks like a Midwestern librarian out of a William Inge play!!!!!!!!!!!  And, you have got to see the scene, where, feeling she is not getting the attention she warrants, she deliberately throws herself down the stairs!!!!!!!!!!!!  Even though fall could be potentially fatal!!!!!!!!!!  How is that for bitch manipulation?????????

                                  But Charlotte gets the best of her.  After she returns from Dr. Jaquith's (Claude  Rains) sanitarium, in her 40's style chic, and her independent spirit, Mrs. Vale is none too pleased.  One day, the old bat lashes out at Charlotte at what a disappointment she has been to her all her life.  Charlotte fires back with the truth---"I didn't want to be born; you didn't want me to be born; it's been a calamity on both sides!"  This brings Mother up short!!!!   The look on her face of horror, as she realizes her daughter has always known the truth of a secret she thought she had kept hidden away, is priceless--and then she dies!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Which brings down the picture somewhat,without her to liven things up!

                                    But, while she is on--what a bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Not a single maternal bone in her body, at all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Bet her vagina is drier than Joan Rivers claims hers is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Trouble Both On And Off "Rizzoli And Isles," Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              Last night's episode, entitled "Boston Keltic," started out promisingly, with a rare bookseller being mysteriously murdered, and Jane's crack, at the crime scene about a "killer librarian."  Maybe that cliched stereotype, of all librarians, was about to crumble, at least for the duration of this episode.  That was the first of many disappointments here.

                                 The main one was that, after the show was over, and until I read a recap this morning, I really did not understand who killed the bookseller.  Years before he had been part of some American version of the IRA, and was involved in a bombing that resulted in the deaths of two people, both of them police officers.  As the bookseller aged,this sin weighed upon his soul, and he took means to obtaining absolution, by concealing the admission in a rare book, that turned out to be fabricated, while the real admission was actually hidden in an insurance policy.   At the start, he is tortured by, I guess, one of the fellow bombers, who found out what he was going to do, and wanted it stopped.   It only stopped his life.  The killer kept being referred to as a "big guy," so, when the crew went to a house where Donald Maxwell, the errand boy for the hit, was going to meet his boss, they collared him and this big, brutish looking guy, who, at first, I thought was Donal Logue, doing a guest appearance on this show.  I have to assume it was this guy who was the actual killer.

                                Disappointment and confusion, all around. Then, to make matters worse, Angela (Lorraine Bracco) announces she is going to break up with Sean Cavanaugh, played by Brian Goodman, who is a pretty hot guy! Why would Angie do this?  I also discovered why, during this season, we have not seen her make bunny pancakes or pour coffee--Maura has been doing most of the latter, come to think of it, though Jane, like me, certainly drinks her share.  Angie quit her job at the precinct coffee shop, and, through a  fortune cookie, has decided she has to explore life as an independent woman--without a man.  She is going to find it is not so much fun--especially at the age she is.  If she was at the "Sex And The City" stage, I would say, fine, but come on.  What are we in for--Angie on a Harley??????????????

                                So, there is lots going on.  And there are rumors of worse to come.  On August 12, there is going to be an episode aired called "It Takes A Village," and much of Jane's role is played from a hospital bed, where she has been confined, after a "devastating loss."  Either two things or going to happen--I don't have any sources, I am only going out on a limb, but here is my guess. Either Casey is going to die in Iraq, or, and this to me seems more likely, she is going to suffer a miscarriage.  We will have to wait and see.

                                    As if this is not enough, there is trouble off the set, as well.  For starters, it is rumored that Angie Harmon's marriage to ex NFL player, Jason Sehorn, is on the rocks.  Even more dangerous than that is the stalking and harassment Harmon has got from some transient woman named Janice Lee Davis, who has gone so far as to show up at her house, asking for rent money???? Huh?????????  Angie has had to go so far as to take out a protective order against this woman to protect herself and her family.

                                       It was bad enough Lee Thompson Young's death traumatized everyone on the show.  But all this?  Is the show becoming cursed?   I am beginning to wonder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         And where was Susie last night?  After Tina Huang's spectacular work last week, let us see more of Susie stepping up to the plate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            As well as getting rid of loser Jordan Bridges, as loser Frankie!  But, at least he's a PAID loser, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Darlings, After Seeing "A Thousand Acres" For The First Time In Seventeen Years, It Becomes Clear I ABSOLUTELY Have To Do SOMETHING About My Hair!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Girls, all I know about farming I learned from two films--"The Wizard Of Oz" (which we in New York are supposed to get a 75th Anniversary screening of, if they ever let us know; and how about "Gone With The Wind," which also turns 75, though Tara is a plantation, not a farm!!!!!!) and "A Thousand Acres."  I have written plenty about the first; today, I am writing about the second, having recently reread Smiley's novel, and just watched the film last night.

                                  I have got to do something about my hair, girls, because, for two women, like Ginny and Rose Cook, to spend twenty years of their lives working on a farm, then marrying, bearing children, and doing child raising, housework, and farming, yet still have the hair and skin of Jessica Lange and Michelle Pfeiffer is something I want to know about how it it is done.  Because, if I could work on a farm, and look that good, I would leave New York right now.

                                    This was one of the points my beloved and I disagreed on.  You do not have to look like Clara Blandick as Auntie Em to work on a farm, but to look as good as Jessica and Michelle does strain a bit of credulity. But, who cares, when you are watching?  Besides, it may inspire some of us girls to take better care of ourselves.

                                     The film pretty much dramatizes the book,  You get Ginny's (Jessica Lange) voice over narrations, which are taken directly from the book.  The stunning cinematography of  Tak Fujimoto manages to capture the panoramic land in a series of stunning shots that attempt to do visually what Jane does with prose.  Both work equally well. And there is a haunting musical score by Richard Hartley that perfectly captures  the somber mood of the film, worthy of the great Alfred Newman, or his son, Thomas.

                                        And watch for some surprise appearances--Bob Gunton as the court judge;  two very young up and comers named Michelle Williams and Elisabeth Moss as Pfeiffer's daughters, Pammy and Linda;  Anne Pitoniak, as Mary Livingstone, who nails her one-line moment perfectly; John Carroll Lynch as the despicable epitome of small town virtue Ken La Salle, and the great Pat Hingle, as Harold Clark, Smiley's embodiment of the Duke Of Gloucester.  One thing the film omits is the chemical accident to his eyes; another is Ginny's making canned poisoned sauerkraut and sausages fro Rose.

                                          But with Michelle's histrionics, Jessica's internalized anguish, and Jason Roabards' rage, what more do you need????????  The men--Keith Carradiine, Kevin Anderson, and Colin Firth, all good actors and lookers--get in the way of things sometimes.

                                            It is "King Lear," but it's not. Goneril and Regan here are shown to have been given a raw deal; their Lear figure is a rat bastard, and Caroline, the Cordelia of the piece, is an ungrateful little bitch. True, she does not know why she has to be grateful, but the look of self-righteousness every time Jennifer Jason Leigh appears on camera just goaded me no end.  I wanted to smack her face.  I also wanted to smack Jason Robards, as Larry Cook, for what he says to his daughters, during the storm.  If anyone ever spoke to me like that, I would stab them seventy eight times, I would chop off their fingers, I would gouge their eyes out, then slap their face, I swear to God!  But that's me!!!!!!!!  Just as this film stirred up all my family scores that I still have to settle.  And the sentence before it gives you an idea of  how I plan to settle those scores.

                                             But for the visuals, the stars, the score, and that marvelous storm scene, "A Thousand Acres," for all you may consider it flawed, (I think it is highly underrated!!!!!!!!!) bears watching.

                                               When I first saw the film, I was so certain I was Rose.  I have her anger and her sense of self-righteous confrontation. But there is a little of Ginny in me, who simply wants to look good, hang the wash out on the line, and make and drink coffee.  Coffee is  important to this film--it fuels the emotions of everyone in it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                    And, yes, I could serve people at Perkins, just like Ginny, at the end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Deconstruction # 4-- "St. Bridget," From "MAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                                 "St. Bridget, deliver us to Beekman Place,
                                                  Away from the wicked and depraved......."
                                                   ---"St. Bridget," opening number from
                                                    "Mame," Music and Lyrics by Jerry

                                             When you think of great opening numbers from musicals, darlings, it is hard to choose.  But there is one number that best establishes the mood of the show that is to come, and that is "St. Bridget," from "Mame."

                                                   After that Overture, which we covered, the lights go down, and follow spot, hits stage left, whereupon Agnes Gooch and Young Patrick Dennis (the one and only Jane Connell, and TONY Winner Frankie Michaels, whom us "Mame"  devotees will only accept!!!!!!!!) step out on stage, the backdrop of Manhattan in lights, lit up behind them.  The opening line of the show is Patrick's--"Golly, Agnes, New York is like a foreign country."  Things are quickly established --Patrick's father, has passed on, and the only relative he has is his father's bohemian sister--a certain Mame Dennis, of Number 3 Beekman Place.  Agnes has come with Patrick to the city to deliver him.  She steps forward, and  begins singing, what may not be the greatest opening number in Musical Theater History, but one that no better suits the mood of what is to come within the context of the kind of show--a mixture of humor and sentiment--"Mame" is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                  Oh, my God, girls it gives me chills!!!!!!!!. The first thing one hears are strings and church bells. Then Jane Connell's somewhat off soprano begins intoning the song.  One may find Jane's voice here somewhat discordant, but, when you hear her hit that final note in "Gooch's Song," you get hit with what a powerhouse  performer she was.  In "St. Bridget," you get a slightly flawed rendition, carefully made that way, by an actress who is portraying a sexually repressed Midwestern governess.  Is there any  any other kind?  Of course, when she and Frankie Michaels share the final chorus, there is no doubt that both of these performers, who seems the mildest of sorts, are powerhouse performers.

                                                     How, I practiced this song, especially holding the notes on "Beekman Place."  Just ask anyone who lived in my neighborhood.  It was "St. Bridget," morning, noon, and night, for a time. And, when I got to see Jane do this, on Broadway, in 1983, it was like the culmination of a dream.

                                                       "You crazy Catholics!" I can hear my beloved Monsieur saying. There is nothing crazy about the brilliance of what you are about to hear!  Just listen. When Jane goes up on that first "Beekman Place," oh my GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                         So, here are Jane and Frankie, darlings!

                                                          As for me, I have been trying to get myself delivered to Beekman Place, for over 30 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"We Did What We Had To Do," Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            The song "What I Did For Love," has many meanings, when one ventures outside the context of the show it is from--"A Chorus Line."

                               Yesterday, purely for love, because, let me tell you, darlings, I would not voluntarily subject myself to such crap, I accompanied my beloved to a neighborhood screening of "Lucy," with Scarlett Johansson.  Thank God, we were joined by the glamorous Ellen, and our elegant friend, Chris, who got me through this piece of nonsense.

                                It doesn't have a bad idea.  The notion that humans only use a percentage of their brain's potential is behind the plot. Though, this differs from grade school, when teachers too dumb to know, made up the excuse that one "wasn't working up to their potential."  Fuck you, Norma Brodsky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   However, all that happens  is that Scarlett, looking great, of course, becomes a moralistic vigilante--that is, all the scum she goes after are that, and so she deserves it.  Then she short of disintegrates into a kind of oblivion, where her spirit is everywhere. Uh huh.  I get more out of Sister
Camille's broadcasts, than this nonsense.

                                    But Monsieur loved it, and I was happy about that. Sometimes, you have to do theses things for love, girls!  Though let me consciously say, I have never taken him to any trash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       Thank God for Ellen and Chris, And thank God for that scrumptious meal of chicken and rice, asparagus, the most fabulous coffee cake, and coffee.  It took the edge off this film.

                                          Tonight is my turn, darlings!  We are going to settle in and watch, he for the first time, mine the third viewing in seventeen years, the 1997 film version of Jane Smiley's "A Thousand Acres," to show him the splendors and pleasures of a true film masterpiece!

                                             And to get in shape of "King Lear" this Friday, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Girls, You Simply MUST Read "A Thousand Acres!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                              I cannot tell you  strongly enough to read this novel, which is Jane Smiley's masterpiece.  It shows clearly how "King Lear," while reworked here, is a template for American family dynamics.

                                              What she does is to tweak things a bit, so that everyone is flawed.  Here, those two fun loving sisters, Goneril  and Regan, but now called Ginny and Rose, are not quite the figures of evil they are in Shakespeare.  In fact, I directly related to Rose's rebellious, confrontational, nature.  And Cordelia, now renamed Caroline, is not quite the sweet devoted thing she is in Shakespeare.  In fact, I hated Caroline; she is a miserable bitch                                                                                                                

                                                 I always loved Goneril and Regan, and, with Ginny and Rose, I love them even more, because Larry  Cook, the Lear figure  in Smiley's work, is  one mean bastard, and what he does to his daughters throughout the novel is unforgivable.  Like Shakespeare, the storm scene, which takes  place midway, is the center piece of the novel, and while Ginny and Rose cannot literally be accused of throwing him out into the storm--though they are by townsfolk--I would not blame them, if they had.  He deserved it.  If anyone said the things to me, Larry said to his daughters, I would have tossed them out in the storm, and said things right back.  When Rose says, "I hope he dies in it!," I was with her all the way!  But, that's me, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                  What all this brings to mind is how, with this using 'Lear' as a template, Shakespeare's play is sort of a social manual of family dynamics.  Regrets, resentments, and recriminations; they all come out here, as they do in most families.  Just wait till I air mine to as yet unsuspecting members.  Maybe I will end up writing my own version of  "A Thousand Acres."  It's dramatic, compelling, and as universal as Tolstoy;s opening sentence, from "Anna Karenina."

                                                    Philosophically, it is the flip side of Margaret Mitchell's "Gone With The Wind."  There, land matters, it is all important and all encompassing to its people's lives.  Smiley's work shows how that land can also destroy peoples' lives.

                                                      Don't miss it.  Then see the highly underrated 1997 film, with Jessica Lange and Michelle Pfeiffer.   It will give you a new perspective on Goneril and Regan!!!!!!!!!!

                                                        But, then, you know I just LOVE crazy bitches, darlings!   Takes one to know one, loves!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Deconstruction # 3--The "Overture" From "MAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                          Just think, girls, our third deconstruction is also our first instrumental!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          Within the pantheon of Broadway overtures, three, I think, stand out.  The toss-up seems to be whether the Overtures to "Candide" or "Gypsy" top the other, but then there is also the one to "My Fair Lady."  I would say those are the BIG Three.  But some lesser musicals have great Overtures--"Funny Girl, " "Camelot," "Henry, Sweet Henry," "Annie," and "Merrily We Roll Along," to name a few.

                              But MY absolute favorite has to be the Overture to "MAME."

                              First of all, "MAME" is a growing gay boy child's dream musical--being shipped off to sophisticated Manhattan, at a posh New York apartment, on Beekman Place, no less, with an aunt, who can belt out a song like "If He Walked Into My Life," like it is nobody's business.  Especially if said Mame is played by Angela Lansbury!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                No other Overture, other than this one, gives me completely the idea of imagining sitting in the very theater where "Mame" played--the Winter Garden--and seeing it come alive before me.  The rest of the recording follows suit, which testifies to its quality, but the "Overture" sets the pace!

                                 Imagine, Vera--the house lights going down, the spotlight hitting the conductor, who raises his baton, and then--a burst of brass that segues into the opening notes of the title tune, alternating with strings, then back to brass for a second chorus of the title tune, then that relenting boom-boom, as the orchestra now segues into "Opening A New Window," (with triangles, no less!!) where the underscoring in the part "the fellow you oughta be is three dimensional" just blows one away.  The strings segueing nicely, with the bells, into "My Best Girl," and then, THEN, the crowning part of the work, the "If He Walked Into My Life" section, with the strings going at it, and that trombone solo--oh, my GOD!!!!!!!!!!  You have got to hear this, darlings, it will simply deliver chills.  How do you come down from this?  How do you top it? You can't.

                                 But the "Overture" doesn't end there. To a strum of Southern banjos the orchestra segues into a short section of "That's How Young I Feel," again, with lots of brass, which helps, because, while it fits the "Mame" score, if I had to choose my least favorite song, this would be it!  But it works for the show!  Then the orchestra climactically rises, then comes down on, the title tune, lingering, with the brass, on each loving note, as if, by caressing the song, the character is being caressed.  The whole thing closes with a whirlwind explosion of drums, brass, strings and crashing symbols that comes to a crashing halt, and leaving one exhausted, but satisfied, over what one has just heard.  And what is to follow!

                                So, here it is!  Listen, and you will know what it is like to be in Musical Theater Heaven!  The premier orchestrator of the day, Philip J. Lang, did wonders here, and I think it is his best work!    Chills and thrills, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                "MAME" has the greatest "Overture," as far as I am concerned!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 You hear that, Seth????????????????????????

Friday, July 25, 2014

"Deadly Dioramas" Had An Interesting Premise That Was Hard To Shake Off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           I don't wax rhapsodic so much about "Rizzoli And Isles," darlings, not because I don't love the show, and everyone on it--I do!!!!!!!!--but because, maybe as a regular viewer, the show has become so formulaic and predictable.  Though let me say,  up front, I disagree with the Internet controversy over whether or not Angela (Lorraine Bracco) has become more annoying.  Lorraine is great, as she always is; the one who consistently annoys me, and I wish they would get him off the show, or lessen his role, is Frankie, who should never have been promoted to detective!!!!!!!!!!!   He  just doesn't have the brain power of big sister Jane.  Not to mention that hair!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          One thing you can count on from this show.  At some point, before he /she is revealed, the viewer sees the killer.  Lately, I have gotten good at spotting the perp, early on.   And, the other night, I knew, right off the bat, it was the husband.

                             The show started with a fit woman doing a gym video workout in her home.  Someone, a man, in a white isolation suit, comes up behind her, and shoots her, so she doesn't have a chance.  Down goes the wife--Julie, I think--then the killer is seen, almost too graphically, kneeling over her, with a knife, and, in a scene almost too graphic for this show, is shown either stabbing her multiple times, or carving something into her back.

                                 It turns out to be the latter; the initials "L.B." are found on Julie's back.  With the aid of dioramas, Susie Chang (wonderfully played by Tina Huang) steps up to a more featured spot  here, as Maura is at a medical conference, and out of town.  Though there is still plenty of chitchat, and Maura's presence, during laptop conversations.  But it is Susie's show, and she is up to it.  Unlike Jordan Bridges, as Frankie!!!!!!!!!!!

                               What is interesting is not so much that the husband killed the wife, but why.  He was a slight, nebbishy sort, who, apparently, liked large women.  Jane looks at a wedding photo of the couple, where Julie has, at least, one hundred extra pounds packed onto her.  Like many large girls, she is happy to be married, (as the great Mama Cass once said to Michelle Phillips--"Fat girls need love, too Michelle!") but not happy with herself.  She hears this fitness guru on TV, goes to his club, follows his plan, and, before you know it, Julie is this hot looking thing.  But it drives the marriage apart; the husband has lost the heavyset girl he was attracted to, and, with  good looking men paying attention, Julie realizes she no longer has to settle for this nebbishy guy.  They have outgrown each other; but both are not willing to face it, or do something about it--like a divorce, which would solve everything.  So, what does the hubby do?  He murders her!!!!!!!  Hey, with the time spent in prison, if he comes out, he may be as fat as Julie was, at first!
Let's see what he scores, then!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 America's concept of body imagery has always been skewered, leading to anorexia, obsession, low self-esteem, and a host of other ills.  It was interesting that "Rizzoli And Isles" chose to examine this, and it was the concept, rather than the actual script, that made this episode interesting.  That, and Susie!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Also, in this episode, Angela did not make any bunny pancakes!  She wouldn't DARE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

If This Is The Real World, Darlings, Stop It, And Get Off!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Now, wait, girls, I am not suggesting anyone commit suicide.  If you are a devotee of Natuso Kirino's two previous novel, "Out," and "Grotesque," you will this short, compelling work equally disturbing, but not quite as gruesome.

                                    A chain reaction is set off among a group of local teens who sort of know one another, when one of them, a boy called Worm, murders his mother, for no apparent reason than her constant nagging.  And while the murder is spelled out in shocking detail, what follows in its wake is even more disturbing, as it questions the world these teens live in, whether they do or not have any sense of morality, responsibility, or personal involvement in anything around them.

                                     Don't get me wrong; this is not a YA novel, though teens could enjoy it.  It is an objective look, by a generational outsider, at the current young generation of Japan, and what might be standing in the way of their potential growth.

                                         I found this by accident in the Stand. I wasn't aware Kirino had a new book out, or one I had not read. But, as soon as I saw her name on it, I knew I had to read it.  And you should too.

                                            However, darlings, it is after reading something like this I realize how much more I prefer something like "Flower Drum Song!"

                                              Ah-so, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It Takes One Bitch To Kill Another!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          What "The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers," makes clear, right from the start, is that two bitches cannot live under the same roof!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Judith Anderson, a regular bitch herself; I mean, with that face, what else could she play????, is Aunt Ivers, the richest woman in town. But she did not raise her daughter, right, because her daughter turned out trash, who ran off with some--oh, the shame of it!!!!!--mill hand, and bore a love child, Martha.  Now, not to confuse readers, this is not an outtake of Bonita Granville from "These Three," though I can understand how one could make that mistake.  That is actually Janis Wilson, at 16, playing the Young Martha, who is the winner of this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award!!!!!!!!  But I just love her!

                                  Janis has come a long way, in this film, from her heartrending performance as the emotionally disturbed Tina, in "Now, Voyager."  Here, she will not accept that she is the product of trash, and keeps extolling her father, while Auntie wants her to be an Ivers.  Young Martha keeps inferring her name is Smith.  She clings to her cat, Bundles, who seems to be the only real source of love young Martha has.  There are also these two sleazoids--Mr. O'Neill, and his son, Walter, played by Roman Bohnen (Jennifer Jones' father, from "The Song Of Bernadette!") and "Mickey Kuhn, (who, I believe, was Beau Wilkes in "Gone With The Wind," and the Sailor Boy who spies Blanche when she arrives in New Orleans in "A Streetcar Named Desire!") who are sniffing around, cajoling Auntie Ivers, so she will grant Walter money to go to Harvard.  Oh, and there is also Lizabeth Scott, in one of her standard "trampy" roles, as Toni Marachek!  This film has some cast!

                                    Martha and her aunt do not get along, from the start. Martha insists her name is Smith, Auntie wants her groomed to be an Ivers.  Some nerve Auntie has, since her own daughter turned out trash!!!!!!!!!!  Things come to a head, when Young Martha and Sam run away, but they are caught by police, aided and abetted by Walter and his father!  You have gotta see the confrontation scene between Martha and Auntie, when Judith Anderson smacks her across the face, and Martha doesn't flinch, but walks out of the room haughtily!  I wish Martha had smacked her back, but, don't worry, Auntie gets hers.

                                       Amidst a thunderstorm, Sam appears at Martha's window, and she lets him in. They plan to run away, but Sam says she has to stay. Martha opens her bedroom door, and Bundles, the cat gets out, sneaking down the stairs.  Martha and Walter, knowing the aunt hates cats, goes to get him, but not before sadistic Judith Anderson confronts Martha on the stairs, and she and Walter witness the beating of the cat to death!  Justifiably enraged, Martha grabs the cane from her aunt, whacks her on the head, which sends her crashing down the stairs, to her death!  Yea! Get the old bitch!

                                         This is why Young Martha is Bitch Of The Week! You just gotta love her for offing that bitch aunt!  It takes one to know one, and to eliminate one!!!!!!!!!!

                                            Beware of those who walk softly, but carry big sticks, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Deconstruction # 2--Neva Small, Singing "I Wonder How It Is," From "Henry, Sweet Henry!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                   For many on here, especially those new to this blog, Neva Small, if she is known to you at all, is remembered for her wonderful performance as Chava in the 1971 film version of "Fiddler On The Roof."  What many don't know was that she was a child actress, who started out on the New York stage, and is Lenny Bernstein's goddaughter.  (Yes, dears, THAT Lenny Bernstein!!!!!!!!) She is featured on the Original Cast recording of his "Mass."

                                      But, long before that, what consolidated Neva's status as a Legend Of The Musical Stage, was her extremely plaintive, yearning rendition of "I Wonder How It Is," from the musical "Henry, Sweet Henry," which is a story in itself.  Nunnally Johnson, the screenwriter, had a daughter, Nora, who wrote a novel called "The World Of Henry Orient,"" in which a rather mediocre concert pianist of that name is followed around New York City by two adoring teen-age fans, girls in private school.  One, Valerie Boyd, is from a broken, unstable family, the other, Marian Gilbert, was from a more stable environment.  On screen, Tippy Walker and Merrie Spaeth (who became a Republican!!!!!!!!  Can you believe it????????) played Val and Gil, as they are called.  The film cast wasn't bad--Peter Sellers, Angela Lansbury, Paula Prentiss--all A-Listers!

                                       When it came time to adapt the book to the Broadway musical stage, Bob Merrill, who had scored big with "Funny Girl," was hired to write the entire score. Which he did.  The cast was A-list too--Don Ameche, in the title role, Neva as Gil, a then unknown girl, named Alice Playten, and the one who was expected to emerge from this show a star, like Barbra Streisand, in "Funny Girl"--Robin Wilson, as Val!!!!!!!!!  Who?  You might say. Exactly. The story of went wrong with Robin and the show is the stuff of show business. But let me also add that the chorus of school girls was backed by the likes of Pia Zadora, (who was Neva's understudy) Baayork Lee, and Priscilla Lopez. The show was directed by the film's director, George Roy Hill, but what gave it some musical theater cachet was that it was choreographed by Michael Bennett, who brought in some of his dancers, like Baayork and Priscilla.  Eight years later, they would go on to make musical theater history.  I don't think I have to tell you in what.

                                           Upon "Henry Sweet Henry's " arrival, at the Palace Theatre, on October 23, 1967, it was the most highly anticipated show of the just starting season, the show expected to be this big, star-making hit.  But things went awry.  Though she had an excellent voice, Robin Wilson did not become a star as Val, because, first, she was playing a part she was too old for, and wasn't able to pull it off, and her voice was not distinctive enough.  Neva's, however, had distinction to spare, and when Bob Merrill wrote "I Wonder How It Is" for her, and she sang it, she became his favorite; he went on to create a role for her in another flop show, "The Prince Of Grand Street," (which I don't think made it to Broadway!!!!!!!!) because her voice was just so extraordinary. As you shall soon hear.

                                              The other unexpected thing that happened to 'Henry' was Alice Playten. In the very beefed up role of school brat Lillian Kafritz, with two songs, "Nobody Steps On Kafritz," and "Poor Little Person," she stopped the show, wowed the critics, and earned herself the show's only Tony nomination.  As a sage said, at the time. "She never stopped anything out of town.  Her numbers never went so well as they did on opening night.  It needed a gathering of New York faggots, to love her special brand of camp!"

                                                  You better believe it, honey!  And, at the time, Alice released a two sided single of "Poor Little Person" on one side; the title tune on the other.  It was the latter that caught my intention, and its infectious melody I began singing, until I was bugging my parents to see the show.  They promised they would take me after the first of the year, but guess what? The show closed on December 31, 1967!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                      Nevertheless, "Henry Sweet Henry" made it to Cult Cast Album status, among theater queens!    Here it is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           Now, before you hear the song, let me talk about it and Neva.  Notice how the waltz strings segue into flutes, which give the tune an adolescent sound. Notice how Neva starts, yearningly and quietly, but then builds, so when the music goes with her, and she gets to "Sometimes I just visualize....." she achieves a state of almost adolescent orgasm that no one has been able to duplicate, though I come close, being that Neva and I have birthdays a day apart, hers on the 17th of November, mine on the 18th. Neva is also two years older.  Maybe I should have played Val??????????

                                             I still have some explaining to do. Before you listen to this, I want you to close your eyes, so that you only see Neva.  This is Neva's voice from the album, but it is some ersatz queen, named Bruce Bossard, who married some guy, and got their wedding in The Times--lip synching Neva!  The nerve!  If he was 15 years old, this might be charming, but at his age???????  Come on, hon!

                                             So close your eyes, forget Bruce, and see why Neva became a Legend Of The Musical Stage!  At the tender age of 14!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               One last thing! When I first saw "Rags," back in 1986, dazzled as I was by Judy Kuhn, as Bella (and this is nothing on Judy!!!!!!!!) I remember saying to a friend that, had this show been done, just ten years before, you know who would have been playing Bella??????????

                                                   That's right! Neva!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guess What Is The Opening Film, At This Year's New York Film Festival??????????????????????

                             The two most coveted spots in the festival are the opening and closing spots.  I have no idea what the closing one is, but I just found out, yesterday, darlings, that "Gone Girl," David Fincher's  film of the Gillian Flynn novel, is the opener.  The film stars Ben Affleck as the husband, but what has me fascinated is the fact that Fincher, who knows how to deal with aberrant material, is directing, so he should mine some gold from it.  But, I have to wonder--the novel has a tricky twist that is easier to pull off on the printed page, than on the screen.  For those who have already read the book, you know what I am talking about. But for those who haven't, and the film is their first exposure to the story, I wonder how they will react, and how it will be handled?

                              Ben Affleck--good casting--is playing hubby Nick Dunne.  But who is this Rosamunde Pike, who is playing  the pivotal role of wife, Amy?  She had better be good!  Others in the film include Neil Patrick Harris, Sela Ward, and Tyler Perry, so the film should have some interest.

                                But will it match the book?  Even more important, will the film version of "Dark Places," which I think is Flynn's better book, with Charlize Theron, replacing Amy Adams, who would have been perfect as Libby!!!!, and Chloe Grace Moretz, who I cannot imagine being slutty enough to play Diondra!!!!!!!, and is directed by a lesser known Gilles Paquet-Brenner!!!!!!!!!  Who???????????????

                               At least,with David Fincher, (who I have been anxious to work with, girls!!!!!!!!!!) "Gone Girl" may have a chance.  We shall see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 See you at the movies, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gojira Is Just Popping Up Everywhere, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          Look who has surfaced in a park in Tokyo Midtown!  None other than our lovable reptile friend, Gojira, or a reasonable facsimile thereof!  From what I have gathered, at night there is an audio, light and fire show, with the replicated Gojira spouting flames!  What a flamer that lizard is!!!!!!!  You just gotta love him!!!!!!!!!!!

                           Too bad he is not going on at the Delacorte, dolls!  When is the Great White Way going to see him?  It is just a matter of time!  You can't keep talent like this, down!

                            So, if you happen to be in Tokyo anytime soon, darlings, make sure you visit this very special attraction!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Curtain Up! Light The Lights! They've Got Nothing To Hit, But The Heights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                              I am so excited, girls, because tonight is the night the curtain goes up on that fun-loving Sister Act--namely Annette Bening and Jessica Hecht as Goneril and Regan in "King Lear."  That is Jess Collins, on the left, who will essay the role Cordelia, but for all us "Learities," it is the evil machinations of the two sisters that draws us bitchy queens to this play.  The Baby Jane and Blanche Hudson of their day.

                               Who else but Shakespeare could get away with the line, "Out, vile jelly!," in reference to the Duke of Gloucester's eyes being poked out, by Goneril, with Regan at her heels!

                                   And the storm scene--outdoors at the Delacorte!  Imagine, if it rains, and they kept on playing!   Talk about heightened realism.

                                     But I come to "King Lear" with a special relationship, darling, as some of the relationships in my family seem to echo it, and because, as I watch 'Lear', I am also thinking of Jane Smiley's novel,"A Thousand Acres," which I am currently rereading!  And the underrated 1997 film that was made from it, with Jessica Lange and Michelle Pfeiffer.

                                       So, I want all my sisters out there to come to the park, and see these sisters!
They are REAL twisted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Imagine if Kay Ballard and Alice Ghostley had played them?  Or Pat Carroll and Barbara Ruick???????????

Monday, July 21, 2014

Deconstruction #1--"Frank Mills" From "HAIR," Sung By Shelley Plimpton!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Let me start, darlings, by saying that, while Shelley owns the song, unfortunately hers was not the first rendition I ever heard.  During the time "HAIR" was making its big splash on Broadway, everyone was singing "Aquarius/Let The Sunshine In," "Black Boys/White Boys," "Easy To Be Hard," "Air," or the controversial "Sodomy," which was so much so it got the record banned from our listening to it in eighth grade study hall, upon the word "masturbation," probably the only word this group of 13-year-olds, myself included, understood.

                                     One evening, on the radio, I heard this young, lower registered, but feminine voice, croon "I met a boy called Frank Mills.........." and was stopped in my tracks.  I loved the song, but the first person I ever heard sing it was....Barbra Streisand's (yes, that is right, BARBRA!!!!!!!!!!) kid sister, Roslyn Kind.  Can you imagine???????????  And she never appeared in the show!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        The song really did not become a part of my life, till years later.  When it was revived, on Broadway, at the Biltmore Theatre, the role of Crissy, who sings the song, had gone through two actresses. The first was Kristen Vigard, who had a bit of history of her own--having been ousted from "Annie" at Goodspeed, before it reached Broadway, in favor of Andrea McArdle, though she did agree to serve as understudy.  Soon, she was cast as Crissy in the revival of "HAIR," and by the time I saw the show, later that summer, another performer, Soni Moreno, was singing the song, and there was nothing distinguished about it.  She would have been better off playing Tiger Lily in a bus and truck of "Peter Pan!!!!!!!!!"

                                          But Kristen got the reviews.  I don't recall which critic said it, but this quote got me going--"Angel-faced Kristen Vigard is nicest of a cast, that, sad to say, lacks true charm, but even little Kristen, when she sings the teeny bopper love lament, "Frank Mills," is merely sweet, whereas Shelley Plimpton, ten years ago, broke your heart."

                                            WOW!  Just what did Shelley do?????????  I had to find out for myself!  So, I bought an Original Cast Album of "HAIR," and listened, and then I UNDERSTOOD.

                                                It is the distinctive childishness of Shelley's voice.  The way it comes through in certain vowel sounds, like "right here," and "Waverly."  The way her voice goes up on "He has gold chains on his leather jacket," and comes to a childish pause at "Hell's Angels."  And how about the way she caresses the words "Angela and I," and lingers on "just him?"  This is the stuff of brilliance that cannot be taught, accompanied by a simple guitar and piano combo, for this most simple of songs.

                                                  This aspired me, since 1978, to stand in front of the Waverly, each September 12, and, as innocently as it is possible for me to sound--and some say I am second to Shelley--sing the song.  Sometimes, no one will notice; one time, a wino threw his liquor bottle away, after watching me.

                                                      "Frank Mills" and Shelley Plimpton have been a part of my life for 36 years. Not quite as long as it has been part of Shelley's, or Martha's, but pretty damn close.

                                                        I just love it, darlings!  And you will too, when you hear it!  Only, now you will understand why Shelley's version is definitive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                         So, here it is!  Enjoy! And rock on, Shelley!  This will endure forever!!!!!!!!!!!

A Gay Play, With Social Sting And Intellectual Bite?????????? Really?????????? Yes, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       When "The Nance" was running on Broadway, I had wanted to see it, but also had some reasons for avoiding it.  I had no doubt the acting and production were first rate, but  it was written by Douglas Carter Beane, a writer I know minimally, and whose work I have seen, and with the exception of "As Bees In Honey Drown," has not impressed me.  His reach always seems to exceed his grasp, even though, from the start, he was so full of himself.

                                             Upon its opening on Broadway, critics quibbled about the writing, so, much as I wanted to see Nathan Lane's sterling performance, I stayed away.

                                                  Well, last night, I got my chance, when we went to a screening at Symphony Space, in what is now the refurbishment of what once was the seedy Thalia.  It now reminds me of the Newman down at the Public, though the stage coming out from the screen is too small to do "A Chorus Line" on.

                                                      As, for "The Nance," well, darlings, it was a revelation.  While it is true the play seems to mine "The Entertainer," by John Osborn, and the musicals "Cabaret" and "Gypsy," this is both a revealing look at show biz of a particular era and genre that was dying, and Chauncey Miles, the Nance, whose style of performance is dying before him.

                                                        This would be interesting enough. But Beane makes things more complex by making Chauncey, an avowed homosexual, a Republican, offstage; one, who, understandably enough, is filled with internalized homophobia, so he cannot grow beyond his stunted self, preventing him from the happiness of a loving relationship with a charming young man named Ned. (and played by an attractive Jonny Orsini) who, maybe because he is younger, is more willing to change and adapt to the times, looking ahead, to a future 40 years ahead of him, when such practices will be more acceptable.

                                                            To think of the mechanization of meeting someone in this era. There is as much procedural action, which must be followed, as there must have been for getting oneself into the Manhattan Social Register!

                                                              The tragedy of Chauncey is he is trapped in a world he cannot see beyond.  The play leaves him almost where we started, with him, but his fate, which we can see in our minds, does not seem rosy at all.

                                                                Lane delivers the performance of a lifetime.  Orsini is impressive in what was a debut performance.  Cady Huffman, Andrea Burns, and Jenni Barber are all perfect as the strippers.  And the great Lewis J. Stadlen scores as the straight comic, who tries very hard to understand, and, at the end, seems to.

                                                                In fact, he seems to come  to a more acceptable understanding of things than Chauncey. The curtain fall on "The Nance" is not a happy one, but it is truthful.  And don't kid yourselves, there are still plenty of Chanuceys out there, today!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                 It is they who should be seeing this, instead of more enlightened folk, like myself, so they can understand the paltry future that awaits them, if they don't stop letting society dictate to them, and start accepting for themselves who they are!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                    Just FABULOUS, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Guess Who Is Coming Back, On Sunday, August 3, Darlings?????????????????

                               Can the world be actually making some kind of attempt to right itself, girls???????  Because, on Sunday, August 3, at 10PM, Paula Zahn returns to ID, with "On The Case."  She has not been banished to the shopping channel or Food Network, as I had feared.

                                  What will Paula wear?  How much improvement will her outfits and hair be, over last season?  And will she maintain her customary, script-reading earnestness, that makes her such a riot to watch?  Will one of her traumatized interviewees get so upset with her that they will slap her across the face, on camera????????????

                                     These are questions always asked of Paula, and it will be interesting to see what is and is not worked out.  So, just bear up for two more weeks, and you can get your Paula Zahn fix!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       Remember..."Be with us next time, on August 3, when we are back 'On The Case.'!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

An Open Apology To Sister Camille!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Every Sunday morning, at 8:35 AM, my beloved and I look forward to the commentary of Sister Camille D'Arienzo, of the Sisters Of Mercy, on 1010 WINS.  She has been dispensing words of wisdom for over forty years, and I can tell you, darlings, the commentaries I always hear, and try to adhere to, are often more satisfying, spiritually speaking, than a full service of Mass.

                                  I don't know how Sister Camille would feel about that, but I am telling the truth.  So, raised with a goodly share of Catholic guilt--what Catholic isn't--you can imagine my emotional discomfort, when, on awaking Sunday morning, we looked at the clock--and it was past 8:35!!!!!!!!!!  Monsieur ran out to turn on the radio, but it was clear we missed Sister Camille.  Does she ever get repeated?  If so, I wish someone would let me know!  Baby Gojira was quite upset too, as he stands by the radio, waiting for her words of wisdom.

                                  The week just doesn't seem to have the same kick, without Sister Camille.  I would love to know what she spoke on.  Next Sunday, to make sure, I will get up early, sleep in the living room, where I can hear all the clocks, so I will be ready next Sunday for her.

                                     My most humble apologies, Sister Camille!   We love you; you are a treasure that adds to the enrichment of our lives!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Forgive me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       I will even scrub some stone floors, as penance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

For A Deconstruction Warm Up, How About The Greatest Male Singer Of My Generation????????????????

                                   Not only did he have the finest voice of any Broadway performer I ever heard, but David Carroll, who passed away, in 1992--can you believe it has been 22 years, darlings????????--was, let's face it, a girls, a hottie!  He would be 64 if alive today, and I have no doubt his voice would still be going strong.  Though it only ran for two months at the Imperial Theatre, I had the privilege of seeing Judy Kuhn, Philip Casnoff and David in "Chess," and, when he stepped forward to sing the "Anthem," I felt truly privileged.  You had to hear him sing.  No male since has come close to his warmth, tone and technique.

                                If you don't believe me, just listen to David, here!  It will leaver you in tears.

                                Following his passing, there was a Memorial held at the Gershwin Theatre.  It ended with a giant filmed image of David, out of the show, singing what became his signature song--the "Anthem" from "Chess!"  There wasn't a dry eye in the house, when it was done!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  I don't recall if Broadway dimmed its lights for David, but it should have done so!!!!!!!!!

                                  I am certain that among the Celestial Realms, he ranks big!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Somehow, I Will Always Think Of James Garner As Dr. Joseph Cardin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                           Maybe that is because I spent more time seeing him in "The Children's Hour," than anything else, darlings!  But James Garner, who passed away yesterday, of natural causes, at the age of 86, will be more remembered by some for his starring roles on "Maverick" and "The Rockford Files."

                            He was not a world beater of an actor, and I do not mean that as an insult.  His muscular, craggy male handsomeness was what made him a star; he had enough polish and presence to carry the scripts he was given, even if he never tackled the classics.

                              Even in "The Children's Hour," he has the least interesting role, although he holds his own with pros Audrey Hepburn, Shirley MacLaine, Miriam Hopkins and  Fay Bainter admirably, proving, with strong direction (William Wyler, in this case!) he had the potential to go beyond his comfort zone.  More so than that miscast brat, Karen Balkin!  Good riddance to her!

                               But James Garner was the real thing--a male actor, who was genuinely male!  His career took him on a more than 50 year journey, which is a longer run than many actors get!

                                 Another Baby Boomer Icon, who will be missed!

Flip Sides Of The Same Coin, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Let's start with Jane Bautista, darlings.  She was murdered, by her son, Jason, on January 14, 2003, only I think it was  justifiable!  You have heard me, time and again talk about that classic episode on "Cold Case," "Churchgoing People."  Well, Jane Bautista was a real life Charlotte Bayes.

                                    She didn't have Charlotte's drinking problem, but she had her mental ones.  Jane was a paranoid schizophrenic, and living with one could not have been easy.  In "Churchgoing People," husband Mitch Bayes, who was eventually murdered, did not walk out, for the sake of the children.   But Jane's husband, Jose, could not take it , anymore, so he walked out, leaving Jason and his younger half brother, Matthew, with this abusive woman.

                                      Things reached a breaking point, on January 14, 2003, when Jason lashed out at Jane, strangling her.  Had that been all, he might not have been convicted.  But Jason went beyond the realm of murder.  Fueled with rage, from years of abuse that, at times, left them homeless, he dismembered his mother's hands and head, leaving them, bagged, in a closet in their home in Riverside, California.  Then he and Matthew drove to a ravine in Orange County, California, and dumped the remaining body.  Leaving police, when it was found, to first figure out who it was.

                                        Did Jane deserve what she got?  Absolutely, as far as I am concerned.  Burt one wonders, why the Bautista family did not place Jane in some sort of mental health facility.  Was it a question of money?  Or, like the Bayes on "Cold Case," were they just desperate to keep up appearances.  If the latter, the shame is on all.  It cost Jane her life, literally, and Jason, his, figuratively, as he will never see the light of day again, being imprisoned, for life!

                                       Charlotte and Jane both needed help they did not get.  Which fueled Jason to murder Jane.  Probably like some of the jurors, my sympathy is with him, but stops short, when it comes to the dismemberment.  If only Jason hadn't done that!

                                        No one likes a cut up, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             Now, Christine Billis--Chrissie, as she was called--is something else, again.  She is one cold-hearted bitch of a Black Widow!  On July 22, 2009, she murdered her legally blind, and physically disabled, 57-year-old husband,  Charles, by driving both of them, full force, into a tree!  But crafty Chrissie, knowing the passenger side, which Charles had to be in, due to his handicaps, and the fact that he refused to wear s seat belt, was a dangerous combination, had the idea that he probably would not  survive, butt she would--and she called it perfectly!!!!!!!!!!!  

                                This was one nutso widow!  One minute she was crying, the next she was planning dinner!  She pleased Charles was abusive to her, but no one, except she, seems to have witnessed this.  Even her girls said Charles was a good father.

                                 You know what the real motive was?  A $100K life insurance policy!!!!!!!!!!!!  It's always comes down to that old insurance ploy!  Hey, Chrissie, that amount is nothing; but, then, she was living in Vermont, so what did she have to do?  Nothing; so the money could probably last!  Not if she were in New York, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   This Black Widow is in bars--snared by a boyfriend, Kevin Leland, who might very well have been her next victim!

                                      Chrissie and Jane, darlings!  Flip sides of the same coin!  Both got what they deserved!

                                        But a hundred thousand???? Really, Chrissie, you are just plain stupid!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Girls, I Just LOVE Goneril and Regan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            What with "King Lear" getting ready for public performances this coming Tuesday--July 22--at the Delacorte, featuring John Lithgow as the titled patriarch, and Annette Benning and Jessica Hecht as those fun-loving sisters, Goneril and Regan, there is much for a theatergoer like me to anticipate.  First, I love the play, because so many of our individual family dynamics hearken back to it--I can personally testify to that, darlings!!!!!!!--and second, because I just LOVE Goneril and Regan.  In fact, I actually think they have been given a raw deal!   They are just a pair of victimized wounded birds, and I just cannot WAIT to see what the brilliant Jessica Hecht will do with Regan!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Regan--in both "King Lear" and "The Exorcist"--is a role I have had my eyes on for a long time.  Maybe, in this staging, Shakespeare's Regan will do the Spider Walk from "The Exorcist!"

                                   But to understand why I feel the way I do about these siblings, whom most would consider two of the most evil bitches of all time--and it's true I just LOVE evil bitches!!!!!!!!--you have to go back to 'Lear's' contemporary equivalent, Jane Smiley's 1991 novel, "A Thousand Acres," and the vastly underrated 1997 movie made from it, where the sisters were played by Jessica Lange (Goneril.Ginny) and Michelle Pfeiffer (Regan/Rose); the latter giving such an impassioned performance I was appalled she was not Oscar nominated, and it made me wake up, and notice her as an actress!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Both the play and its counterpart have storm scenes. But the storm scene in "A Thousand Acres" (which I wish I could bring to you, darlings) is so gloriously florid and hateful, because you see how hateful a man Larry Cook (the Lear here, brilliantly played by Jason Robards) really is.  The sisters are justified, at this moment, for throwing him out into the storm, and when Rose says, "I hope he dies in it!," I shared her sentiment, because Larry Clark is just one-step removed from my white trash Uncle Bill--a lout who beat his wife and (herein) was a sexual predator with his two daughters.  It is easy to see why this is a motherless household; the mother either walked out, or the heartache of being saddled to such a bastard killed her!  So, Smiley's Lear deserves every rotten thing he gets!

                                    And it is great to watch him get it! Just like it is great to watch this Goneril and Regan play him to a vengeful fare thee well!  Revenge has never been so sweet, here!

                                       Jennifer Jason Leigh, in a small role, plays the Cordelia of the piece, Caroline, who comes to her father's aid, not realizing, or willing to  accept, the sacrifices Ginny and Rose made by getting her out of the house at an early enough age before Larry could lay a hand on her, too!  These two sisters had good intentions, but get rebuffed by both father and sibling. No wonder I love these bitches!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        "A Thousand Acres" is full of one conflict after another! Here is a very brief example!  I cannot wait to see "King Lear" and I cannot wait to see this again, as well!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          You just GOTTA love Goneril and Regan, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            Hey, how about if Jodi Arias and Lindsay Lohan played them??????????????