Wednesday, November 30, 2016
The time is now upon us--just 25 days till Christmas.
Thus begins my busiest time of year--and not just on this blog. But for those purposes, I have to come up with, each day, a Musical Advent Calendar, and Krampus photos, to continue tradition. Not to mention whatever else happens in December that I end up writing about. And, then, how about the sum up of 2016? It's staring me right in the face.
So, if you thought the year was winding down, things are really going to get hopped up. It will be like I am on Speed, though I am never took it. I am no Brandi Beaudry, you know!
Hope you enjoyed November as much as I did. See you in December, and may it be warm and cheerful. Just like "Meet Me In St. Louis!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhaal, two of the loveliest things to adorn a movie screen, play one lethal couple in "Nocturnal Animals." With just a hint of "Fatal Attraction" thrown in, this morphs almost into a "Last House On The Left," that made the milk in my stomach curdle into cottage cheese.
Amy is lovely and pure looking, but her Amy appearance conceals a dark side, one where, while young, she did Jake wrong, and now, in her present life regrets it, as it was for all the wrong, and, yes, predictable reasons--money and social prestige.
Jake, obviously not having gotten over what Amy did to him, has written a novel, which is his answer to that. What follows is a back and forth morphing between the reality of the fictional novel--that's the "Last House On The Left" part--and the present day actual reality of the situation Amy is in, how she faces it, and ultimately deals with it.
This is a nasty film, but darlings, if you love nastiness, this is the one for you. No one is quite as good as Amy Adams when nasty; that sweet face can fool anyone! Amy uses all her assets here. And Jake is looking pretty as ever, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The pleasures of this thriller outweigh the distasteful plot aspects, so don't be afraid to visit this one.
You will get great fashion tips from Amy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I made it to age 62; reason enough to celebrate. Changes and transitions--good ones--happening in the coming year. I saw Mary-Louise Parker on stage. We dined at Chadwick's.
Then, there was this thing called the Election....but don't bring me down, darlings!!!!!!!!!
I saw the latest Amy Adams movie, "Nocturnal Animals." My God, I forget to write about that. Something else I have to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
A cherub turned 51. I can't believe it. And my beloved was with me through it all, and, with God's mercy, may he continue to be. It's what makes these days the best of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Marcianna Steals The Show, In What Is One Of The Most Satisfying Books Of The Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
When, after "The Angel Of Darkness," it seemed Caleb Carr stopped writing about Dr. Laszlo Kreizler, and his cronies, I mourned the loss of a potentially great series, and admittedly lost interest in anything further Carr wrote. Until now.
"Surrender, New York," which is about a town, not a command, puts the reader back into "Alienist" territory, only this time the period is the present, 21st Century. The Kriezler figure is one Dr. Trajan Jones, and he has his own group of cronies, many of whom are not what they at first seem, but the most refreshing addition of all is his pet cheetah, Marcianna. She is noble, loving and gentle, but, when the times comes, performs some real scene stealing heroics.
As for the story at hand, well things have been pumped up. A serial killer? Forget it; there are tons of bodies of abandoned children turning up, the issue of child abandonment in this country, a conspiracy among Surrender in dealing with the matter at hand that crams so much suspense and action into its swiftly moving 598 pages that it took my breath away. One thing I suspected, but some things genuinely surprised me. But not Marcianna; she is a star, all the way!
I hope Carr writes a sequel to this. Or give Marcianna her own series.
Caleb Carr can still churn them out. Please don't stop this time, Mr. Carr!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, My God, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!! Remember How, Back In The 70's, TV Used To Do Hard Hitting Stuff, Like "Mary Jane Harper Cried Last Night????????????"
I just watched this recently, and, darlings, as bad as the Beaudrys were to Brandi and Neil, this was worse. This was also Susan Dey's bid to shed her Laurie Partridge image, but the whole thing backfired, because so good was she as the hateful Rowena Harper that it killed her career. That's what happens when you take artistic risks.
Also, Natasha Ryan, who plays a three-year-old, is really seven, though small for her age, at this works. At this time, when producers needed an actress to play an abused child, Natasha was the one called on. It makes me wonder how she turned out, Next to this, her best known role was as the young Sybil in the Sally Field version, back in 1976.
I wanted to smack Susan Dey, Priscilla Pointer, and Kevin McCarthy across their faces. Her family, the Athertons, care only about appearance, even if Daddy has sexually abused young Rowena, making her no good to men, and Mommy is jealous of this and locks the child in a closet with a rat. I think it was the rat that played in "Willard" and "Ben." Equity only provides the best rats.
Kevin McCarthy plays the patriarch like a scum bag, and Grandma Priscilla is a royal cunt!!!!!!!!!! This said, I had no sympathy for Rowena, who went beyond the limits when it came to abuse, culminating in the end that one can see coming about halfway through the film.
As ground breaking as this film was, I nevertheless found it distasteful. Seeing it a second time in almost forty years is enough for me.
But times don't change, and Mary Jane's are still out there. They need to be gotten to, and helped, before something happens to them, like this Mary Jane.
She's not a candy bar anymore, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, November 28, 2016
Darlings, I Have Said It For Years, And Will So Again--The Radio City Living Nativity Is SO Spectacular, I Don't Think The Real Thing Could Have Been Better Staged!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Honestly, girls, I cried real tears at this moment, which was just like being there, and capped the 2016 Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, which my beloved and I took in, on Saturday.
I don't think I have seen this show for 20 years; longer than that, if you want to be honest. What used to consist of flats and breakaway scenery has been added 3-D, Lasers, drones, and every technological wonder of the day to make this show, as crazy as this may sound, spread out from the stage, and into the audience.
Kids of all ages, especially this child here, was enchanted. Next to The Nativity, my favorite feature is the Rockettes dressed as toy soldiers, and falling flat, like dominoes. How in the world do they do that?
You know, for a brief time, I wanted to be a Rockette? Who among us who was young once did not want to be? Those outfits, those kicks, that dream!!!!!!!!!! Oh, well, it just wasn't to be.
Which does not mean you cannot appreciate their talent and artistry, now on display through January 2.
Go if you have never been, or if you want to recapture the magic of childhood again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And real camels, darlings! And they control their bowels!!!!!!!!
Equity animals always do, dears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, November 25, 2016
1.Before The Fall, by Noah Headley
2. My Name Is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout
3. The Nix, by Nathan Hill
4. The Sport Of Kings, by C.E. Morgan
That is almost a list, right there. Each of the books has its own complete posting, which you can refer back to, girls!!!!!!!!!! What I would say here is that I would strike "My Name Is Lucy Barton" from the list. It is a moving book, but nothing more than Elizabeth Strout doing what she does.
There are some books I MUST read on here.
1. Barkskins, by Annie Proux
2. Here I Am, by Jonathan Safran-Foer
3. Moonglow, by Michael Chabon
4. Today Will Be Different, by Maria Semple
5. The Vegetarian, by Han Kang
Again, a list in itself. And no, I am not disdaining Lethem, Russo and others, it is just these are the books I have my eye on, want to get to first, and feel should and/or may end up on the list.
The range of fiction this year is so wide and varied that I cannot pick what The Times will narrow down to five, except to say I am certain that no matter what some short story or poetry collection that escapes me will be on the list.
What should be on the list? In other words, what is MY list? here goes!
1. The Nix, by Nathan Hill--clearly Book Of The Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2. The Queen Of The Night, by Alexander Chee--a close second!!!!!!!!!!!
3. The Sport Of Kings, by C.E. Morgan--wonderfully old fashioned, but yet a brilliant present day study of American aristocracy in terms of horse raising!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4. Surrender, New York--Caleb Carr, present day serial killer; it adds up, to me!!!!!!!!!!!
5. Here I Am, by Jonathan Safran-Foer--always intellectually stimulating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We will discuss my selections, versus The Times, when they release their Ten Best List. Meanwhile turn off those computers, and get busy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We've got a lot of reading to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The big surprise for me is that "Swing Time," by Zadie Smith, made the list! The Times was not kind to it, so who is Miss Smith buying off. I still recall what a fuss was made over her first novel, "White Teeth;" so much so, I actually read it twice, convinced something was wrong with me. Its greatness still eludes me. So, I skipped her next book, "The Autograph Man," and had no intention of reading "On Beauty," until I discovered it was a riff on one of my favorite works, "Howard's End," by E.M. Forester. Expecting it to be apiece of crap, I found myself captivated. So, while I admit Miss Smith can write, I am not trusting enough to keep up with her work. And I freely confess I have not. So. what she is doing on this list?
Let me first enumerate the 16 most noteworthy (in my estimation) titles. I will follow this up with a post that I hope will combine what on the list I have read, and what I think should be on the list. Am I going to predict The Times? No, because there are some far fetched titles that do not bear mentioning, but I predict at least a few of those will turn up on the Fiction list. So, here we go.
The Noteworthy Sixteen.
1. Barkskins, by Annie Proux--waiting on my table!
2. Before The Fall, by Noah Headley
3. Commonwealth by Ann Patchett--have GOT to read it!
4. Everybody's Fool, Richard Russo--love Russo, but, hey never read the predecessor, so how can I read the sequel????????????
5. A Gambler's Anatomy, by Jonathan Lethem--another author I need to keep up with!!!!!!!!!!!!!
6. Here I Am, by Jonathan Safran-Foer--how can I possibly ignore this one?????
7. The Little Red Chairs, by Edna O'Brien--I have picked this one up several times, but will wait to see how it fares on the list, before I read it!
8. Moonglow, by Michael Chabon--hey, it's Michael Chabon! 'Nuff said!
9. My Name Is Lucy Barton, by Elizabeth Strout
10. The Nix, by Nathan Hill
11. The Sport Of Kings, by C.E. Morgan
12. Swing Time, by Zadie Smith--will I HAVE to read it??????????????
13. Today Will Be Different, by Maria Semple--I want to see where she goes after "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?"
14. The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead--not a favorite, but I have heard much buzz on this one!!!!!!!!!!!
15. The Vegetarian, by Han Kang--exotica enough to captivate me!!!!!!!!!!!!
16. Zero K, by Dom De Lillo--one just can't ignore him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, that is what I think rates getting on the list. The unremarked books are the ones I read, which I will deal with next, as well as what I think may should be on the list.
Happy Reading, Girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was stunned to learn Florence Henderson, aka, Carol Brady, died yesterday, of heart failure, at the age of 82. Another icon of our generation gone.
I recall the period, while I was ninth grade, during that first season of "The Brady Bunch," when Friday night revolved around it. I lived vicariously through the show, because I was from a small family, and thought a larger one would be more exciting, and I would be less lonely. I never thought of the show as realistic, but I derived some emotional satisfaction from it. As I matured, I could see the comic falsity behind it all, and just accepted it. What I could not accept, years later when I grasped it, was the show's rampant sexism.
But, darlings, that was the way things were!
Florence Henderson will forever be known as Carol Brady, but she should be a special footnote in the hearts and minds of Theater Queens. She had a gorgeous singing voice, and she started out in New York musical theater. You can hear her as Nellie Forbush on the cast album of a City Center "South Pacific," and, during the original run of "The Sound Of Music." she did a stint as Maria. It wouldn't surprise me if she had done it at Westbury Music Fair, or other renowned regional centers at the time.
Which goes to show, while she may have not made the A-list, like Mary Martin, there was much more to her than Mrs. Brady, or later, the Wesson Oil Lady.
Florence Henderson was a class act. And now that act is gone, she will be missed.
Rest In Peace, Florence!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I mean, as if anything could, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Having been thoroughly disappointed by "And The Mountains Echoed," it is not surprising I reached for something short and sweet on my shelf to get the taste of that bad experience out of my head. I was certain I had read Jonathan Dee's earlier novel, "The Privileges," but now I am not so sure. I may have to read it now. Or re-read it, as the case may turn out to be.
"A Thousand Pardons" may be short, but, darlings, it is packed. One part domestic drama, and one part kidnap thriller--I kid you not!--Mr. Dee blends the two seamlessly, coming full circle in a tale that almost says how inescapable the suburbs are from one who resides there.
I loved the character of Sarah, the 14-year-old daughter, who is Chinese, and adopted. What a skewered view of American life she is given as she lives out the story unfolding before her, which includes an adulterous marital breakup, a move to the city, and the kidnapping--sort of--of a movie star. Sarah has enough story of her own, and I would love if Dee wrote one in her own voice.
I had such fun with this that bad thoughts were banished altogether. I cannot wait ot discover, or re-discover, "The Privileges," and see how good Mr. Dee really is.
When I read the opening line of Stephen Holden's review for this film, I wanted to smack him. He said, "I am one of the few people to have seen the original production of 'Merrily We Roll Along.'"
Well, guess what Stephen??????? I saw it twice! The first time on Halloween night, 1981, and then the following Saturday night, so there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Maybe seeing 'Merrily,' or having claimed to, has become what Dorothy Parker said about the Yale prom--"If all those in attendance, were laid end to end, I wouldn't be at all surprised." Me either, Dorothy.
Watching the remarkable documentary film Lonny Price (the original Charley Kringas) has made is not only fascinating to me who saw the show, it is like watching my past life unfold. No, I was not in 'Merrily,' but there were so many connections to my life around it, now and then, that I feel as caught up in it, as anything else.
In a question answer session, afterwards, Mr. Price said he was one of those kids who could sing every verse of "Company." Over here, Mr. Price! Me, too! And that also includes some other Sondheim works, including, of course, 'Merrily'.
To this day, I cannot see a production of "Sweeney Todd" without a deep emotional reaction, during the song "Johanna," when Todd sings, "If only angels could prevail, we'd be the way we were." The line is beautiful, but what is informative here about me is that during the time I saw this--several times--on Broadway, my mother was dying of lung cancer. And the reason I kept going back to see the show was that line, because in real life I so much wanted things to be the way they were, knowing they could not. And this was how I coped with that.
By the time 'Merrily' was getting on its feet, I was in grad school at NYU, making inroads in the city. At the bookstore where I worked, was a young woman, Mary Rose Wood, who, we all knew, would leave, at various times, as she was auditioning for something. When she was cast, she told us, and what the show was. That is how I first heard about "Merrily We Roll Along." I was so excited about she, and others of my contemporaneity, being in a musical on Broadway, I could not wait.
On that fated Halloween night, at the box office, I met a gentleman, with whom I would be friends for 29 years, David Semonin. He is gone, but seeing this documentary took me back to that night, and memory.
As for that viewing, here is what I remember. When the 43-year-old Franklin Shepard came out at the graduation, I thought how old that age was. I was 26, at the time. Years later, when I reached that age, I listened to the Original Cast recording, and realized how this show and my life had morphed. I was no longer those young kids; I was the older set in Act One. How could this be possible?
What else? I was enraptured by the score; I had to sing it! I loved the poster, I thought Ann Morrison and Lonny Price were our Stars Of Tomorrow, and I related to it as an anthem of youth, not a warning of what to watch out for.
Well, I made my forays in New York. I made a success of it, not like the actors or characters in the show, but still, I had, in my own way, arrived. Time kept moving, during which I met my beloved, and we saw the ENCORES production of the show, several years ago, and that is when I realized I had come full circle with this show. Because, at the end, when all are on the roof, singing "Our Time," what in 1981 I thought was just a beautiful song became, now, a heartbreaking experience in which the past 25 years flashed before me, and I recalled that I had, in my own way, been one of those young people on the roof, and now, sadly, I was beyond that. That ship had sailed.
All this went through my head while watching "Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened." Which doesn't mean I did not enjoy seeing the cast members today--it was a blast--and looking back on a show that had meaning to me, too. But, I am telling you, when the piano intro started, and Lonny began singing "Good Thing Going," I cried. Ditto "Our Time."
Anyone interested in musical theater should see this film. But it is also a film about youth transitioning to age. One generation is represented on screen, but it is something that happens to all, if you stay on this planet long enough, and I think that is as much of a message the film puts out, as it does about theater.
Thank you, Mr. Price, for encapsulating Theater and the Human Condition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
For my birthday, my beloved took me to see Mary-Louise Parker in "Heisenberg." It has taken me this long to actually process the experience, and all the magic that Mary-Louise, aided and abetted by co-actor Denis Arndt, bring to this work.
But, first, I have to be honest. Had I understood more of what the vehicle was, I would not have brought my beloved. Nor, could I honestly recommend this work to everyone.
And notice I have not used the word "play" yet in this post. Because I am not convinced that is what Simon Stephens has written. Yes, many two character works--Albee's "The Zoo Story," or Coburn's "The Gin Game"--are considered plays, but here what is presented to the audience is more like an acting workshop. Hence, I would recommend this vehicle only to those attuned to acting--those who have done it, want to do it, are doing it, or studying it. Because watching Mary-Louise and Denis Arndt is like watching a master acting class. And if you are one of these people attuned, as I am, dears, you will be enthralled.
No one does quirkiness better than Mary-Louise Parker. Despite her stunning looks, she has unlimited resources and areas that she can dig into, and make the most unusual choices of any actress working today. This is why she is so fascinating to watch. She is a constant surprise.
I, for one was fascinated by the voice she chose to use. I would love to know how she arrived at that. Because of who she is, and how she works, the choice works in ways it would not for other actresses. But, then, after watching Miss Parker, I cannot imagine any other actress in the role. She takes the audience on an exploration of this individual, who is more than likely chameleon like--I wonder how she plays it each performance; I bet there are shifts and changes--to create a character that has completely evolved from the organic whole of her body and technique, because the playwright forces this on her, providing minimal scenery and dialogue for a reason.
How, I asked, does one explain the technical virtuosity of Mary-Louise Parker? She uses every working resource she has to create a whole.
Mr. Arndt is no less effective, though he is as grounded as Mary-Louise is quirky. At actually 77. to be making his Broadway debut, should be enough to tell any aspirant never to give up--one never knows. He is the balancing act, who plays off Miss Parker, and the two work superbly. And when things turn romantic, it seems, through their work, altogether natural, not some May-December romance, or one old man's last hurrah. As the work evolves, it becomes apparent, both characters are sad, and reaching for connections, and when those connections are reached, one is indeed happy for them.
So, see "Heisenberg" for two superb acting performances. Don't try to understand the audience seated on stage; to me, it was not necessary, nor did it add to my experience of things. What is remarkable is that a work that should be staged in a more intimate venue still manages to emanate a great deal of intimacy. Which speaks highly of the actors.
And, of course, never, absolutely never, underestimate Mary-Louise Parker!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If Mario Bava had filmed a store opening on this day, with this tile, it would have been just as chilling as one of his signature classics. This day brings out the worst in shoppers. But, then, just who are these shoppers, anyway? Have any on here ever gone to one of these things? I haven't; even to witness it. I was always under the impression that those who went to Black Friday were White Trash!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, darlings, if I were you, I would stay away from the stores today. Me, I have a lot of writing, and sharing to do, with all of you, so stay tuned, as I try to get it all out.
Let's have Fun Friday, not a Black One!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, November 24, 2016
Poor Gojira! He just wants to help! Well, he wishes everyone on here a very Happy Thanksgiving. And that goes for Baby Gojira, too.
Thanksgiving here started with a surprise visit, via radio, from Sister Camille. Her message, as usual was inspirational.
I am thankful for so much. Most of all my beloved, who makes living every day a pleasure, all our wonderful animal friends, the abode that shelters them, and that we are all well and healthy. May this continue.
And watch in the coming weeks changes, you will be informed of. And no, no one here is knocked up! That ship has sailed.
Gojira and friends are going to share Thanksgiving with us! So, from our house to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Everyone has been asking me that, darlings, so let me start by saying it was a rather ordinary day, in which some rather non-ordinary things were done.
We--my beloved and all--started at Borough Hall in Brooklyn, getting confirmation documents for our marriage certificate. Yes, girls, there will be a wedding sometime in January, with a reception to follow, and you will be kept informed on that. You better believe I have Vera Wang on speed dial; she has to come up with a veil and outfit for me. It has to top the wedding gown that Julie Andrews wore in "The Sound Of Music!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
From there, we went to TKTS, and got tickets to the next day's matinee of Heisenberg, with Mary-Louise Parker, whom I have been so anxious to see. More on that later.
Then we went into the city. Of course, we went to Three Lives, and, of course, I brought a book!!!!!!!!!
We came back to Bay Ridge, and rested, then we had a scrumptious birthday meal, at our favorite dining spot, Chadwick's.
I cannot resist the tomato, eggplant and mozzarella skewers as appetizers. My beloved had the corn chowder soup. We shared a Porterhouse For Two, and went easy on the meat and potatoes, but the spinach was fabulous. I had A-1 Sauce, of course, and had a delicious apple tart for desert. My beloved had Peach Melba, which we had been discussing, in light of the departure of Rumplemayer's.
Satisfied, but not stuffed, we made our way home, and had a lovely, quiet night. As one matures, darlings, birthdays are not the bacchanals they once used to be!
I was happy and content!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, November 21, 2016
Poor Tiffany. She is the supreme example of how one can have it all, but still end up on the skids.
Tiffany started out in affluent Chestnut Hill, a Philadelphia suburb, in the ficitonal land of "Cold Case." Her character is featured in one of the better episodes, "The Sleepover."
At first, Tiffany was the apple of her dad's eye. Not much is known about Tiffany's mother.
When Tiffany was in junior high, enrolled at Chestnut Hill Collegiate, a pricey prep school, Tiffany lost her respect for her dad, when he began having an affair with a community college arts teacher from the wrong side of the tracks, named Kelly Baxter. Her daughter, Rita, though a scholarship student, was very bright, and went to school with Tiffany, and her cohort, Brandi Beaudry.
You see, at that time, Brandi and Tiffany ruled the school. They were the Head Bitches. Ariel Shuman, a student in their class, was desperate to be a part of this "In" group; so much so, she sold out her friendship with Rita.
As I have written previously, based on what happened, I have no sympathy for Ariel at all. I have a degree for Brandi, though she and Tiffany were mean to Rita. Rita had no idea her mother was having an affair with Tiffany's dad, but Tiffany did, so when she told Rita her mom was ugly and a slut, Rita had no idea what she was talking about. And this was what Tiffany struggled with--betrayal by her dad.
She did try to save Rita, by getting her to leave the house with her. But Brandi forbade it. Eventually, Tiffany took to drink to medicate those feelings over her Dad's behavior, and Rita's death, which she had some genuine remorse about. I think Tiffany felt, as she took a last look at Rita, that, in light of what happened, she might have prevented the death. That is possible, but she could not have foreseen what was going to happen. Especially after she tried to tell Ariel to "get over it."
Tiffany' guilt led to her heavy drinking, moving out of Chestnut Hill to the more downscale Mt. Airy (though she says she was "happy to get out of Chestnut Hill") and a series of DUI's that has her wearing a ankle monitor and under house arrest.
When Scotty finds her, she tells the truth "I hated Rita and her slut mother as much as I hated my jackass Dad. I just didn't have it in me to kill her."
It is too bad Tiffany was done in by it all. But she was the only one of the three with any remorse and integrity. Brandi takes care of her brother. But Rita and her tragedy is just a blip on her memory radar.
Poor Tiffany. She will never be Audrey Hepburn, but she can sleep with a clear conscience.
Am I getting jaded? I hope not. True, I have been on quite a role, what with "City On Fire," and then "The Nix," so I could at least be accused of being spoiled.
When Khaleo Hosseini first came out with "The Kite Runner," I was taken in by the hype--until I read it. Several years later, a second reading convinced my of its literary worth. But I refused to see the film.
His next book, "A Thousand Splendid Suns," astonished me. It as actually good--the best of the three--and I was so absorbed and moved by the story, I did not want it to end.
So, I began "And The Mountains Echoed" with high expectations. Boy, was I let down.
It's just the same old, same old. Two siblings separated from each other, their separate lives through the years, until they reunite at the end. Ho hum. This is getting to be so formulaic for Mr, Hosseini he runs the danger of becoming The Literary Danielle Steel. Be sure that when his next book appears--and it will--I will not be so anxious to read it. Though the possibility exists it could still blow me away. After all, "A Thousand Splendid Suns" did.
Do your readers a favor, Mr. Hosseini. Move on to other subject matter, or stop writing.
I like my literary fiction to be the real thing, not processed Cheez-Whiz!!!!!!!!!!!
Girls this photo proves that not only was Miss Fern a repressed lesbian, but that Christine Penmark, in spite of her daughter's ongoing pathology, knew that, as well.
Isn't it just sinful how the price of private school tuition goes up???????? And what parents will resort to, in order to meet those financial obligations????????/
Everyone thinks it was easier in the past, but, honestly, girls, it really was not. If Christine had to show Miss Fern a bit of leg to get her to lower the tuition, how can that hurt? As long as she does not show anything else.
And the look on Miss Fern's face is priceless. It is clear she is aroused to the point where she has to acknowledge to herself the existence of her vagina--something sexually repressed spinsters are just unable to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Miss Fern is all a'tingle, as she looks at Christine. I wonder if in seconds she will go groveling to her on her knees, lick her shoes, and caress her leg?????????
I bet when the camera stopped rolling, she did!
And Rhoda got a reduced tuition!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, November 18, 2016
Yes, dears, another year has come and gone. I am 62, an d big changes already are in the works for this coming year. so stay tuned.
As for today, well, we are going to see about a marriage certificate, maybe catch the 'Merrily' documentary, visit Three Lives, and have dinner at Chadwick's. At least, we will do some of those. And maybe say hello to friends, like Chloe, Cujo, Bacci, and Roxie, along the way. Not to mention Joan.
So, yes, another birthday, another year on Earth, new chances....and lovable Gojira, with his big heart, to wish everyone on here, lots of birthday love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
See you for year 62, dears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, November 17, 2016
May Three Lives Bookstore go on to have many more lives! Those of us who regard it as a second home--and that is any member of the literary community who reads or writes--are ecstatic at the news that negotiations in retaining the place at its home base of Waverly Place and West Tenth Street will continue. I mean, who could look at that corner and imagine anything else?
Just like who could imagine going anywhere, seriously, for books, than Three Lives. Whether I know what I am looking for, or need a suggestion, the staff is always courteous and helpful. It is more like a literary tea party when I visit, than a shopping excursion.
Rarely do I come out empty handed.
Congratulations to Toby and Staff for continuance at Three Lives.
The best pre-birthday gift I could have received.
Today is also the birthday of Neva Small, who was a Child Broadway Goddess, especially when she sang the legendary "I Wonder How It Is," from "Henry, Sweet Henry." That was 49 years ago, and Neva is now 64. Time is catching up; 64 was the age my mother passed on, and tomorrow I turn 62, just two years away from that apocryphal year.
Neva is still out there, but she never became the star she should have. If only Bob Merrill's musical, "The Prince Of Grand Street" had made it to Broadway, Neva would have become a major star!
Now, here are Neva and Robin small in their star-making turns in "Henry, Sweet Henry." Listen to both, and enjoy!
Happy Birthday, Neva!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The actors are Paul Stewart and Ruth Roman, in their roles as Joe and Jean Kellerson, in the 1949 Bobby Driscoll film classic, "The Window." It was released in 1949, but actually filmed in 1947, which accounts for Bobby Driscoll looking younger than 12, unless he was small for his age. This film, together with "So Dear To My Heart," one of Disney's most beautiful and underrated live action films, won Driscoll a Special Juvenile Oscar for the Outstanding Child Actor of 1949.
But the Kellersons are true Bitches Of The Week. They are a pair of murderous grifters, of which the Woodrys (Tommy's--that Bobby Driscoll--parents) are unaware. They come and go, and are polite enough, but at night Jean Kellerson, in fake fur and seamed stockings befitting a real tramp--look how much she looks like a real trollop; I just LOVE it--prowls downtown dives for male victims to bring home, drink till they pass out, and then rob them.
On the night in question, things go awry. The guy wakes up, sees he is being robbed, Joe Kellerson comes out and fights him, with Jean stabbing the guy in the back with the scissors.
What a pair of bitches. What follows is a grim variation on the "Boy Who Cried Wolf" story--Tommy keeps telling the adults in his life what he saw, but because he is an imaginary kid, no one believes him--except, of course, the Kellersons, who come after him.
There is this scene, where they force him into a taxi, and while Jean leans forward so no one sees, Joe Kellerson punches the kid, knocking him out. I cannot believe the censors let this get on the screen; seven years later Patty McCormack had to be killed off in "The Bad Seed," but here it is OK to belt a kid??????????? What was Hollywood thinking?????????????
Maybe this is why the film did not get released till 1949. It was too dark and difficult, for the marketing department to deal with.
Jean has a moment of softness when she refuses to allow Joe to let Tommy teeter off the fire escape ledge. This sets the climactic chase in motion, with Joe falling to his death, and Jean getting trapped in some rafters when the stairs collapse, but is she saved, or what?
The only criticism I have with the film is that it is not known what happens to her.
The scenes where Tommy is alone, and hears the Kellersons pacing above him, plus the scene where Jean walks down the fire escape with a flashlight, trying to find Tommy, are truly nail biting.
The Kellersons are something, and Stewart and Roman play them to the hilt. But, I am telling you, girls, if you get neighbors like these bitches, either MOVE or call the police immediately.
Who knows what you might witness?????????????????
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Can you believe Martha Plimpton is 46????? If I knew it were possible to look so good at that age, I would wish myself to be it, again. But, hell, I never looked as good at that age as Martha. Nor had I accomplished so much.
Drama, comedy, musical theater....Martha does it all!!!!!!!!!!! Why hasn't she been cast as MERYL's daughter in something. Now, there is something for Hollywood to think about.
Happy Birthday, Martha, and I am so glad you are raking in the dough with "The Real O'Neals," which is a scream.
But we theater folk would love to see you back on stage!
Yes, girls, it has been a year since we last celebrated the birthday of still the Greatest Show Stopper In Broadway History, Donna McKechnie.
And now it is time to celebrate another! Where does the time go?
Donna turns 76 today, and I know she could walk out tonight on any stage doing "A Chorus Line," and perform Cassie on a moment's notice.
Not to take anything away from Donna, but it bears mentioning how important this day is, in terms of Musical Theater. In addition to Donna, on this evening, in 1959, "The Sound Of Music" opened on Broadway, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre. Then, twenty two years later, on this date, in 1981, at the then Alvin Theatre, a little something called "Merrily We Roll Along" opened.
What an auspicious day this is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But Happy Birthday, and many more to Donna McKechnie!
God, she's a dancer! A dancer dances!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
I am telling you, seldom have the Rockettes looked so glam as at this year's Christmas spectacular. If I only had the scintilla of a figure that could fit into one of those, I would be so thrilled! Talk about "Ladies Of The Chorus!!!!!!!!!!!!'
And wouldn't it be lovely to see big, lovable Gojira, in the center doing the kick line? What a show stopper, what with him wearing a Santa hat, and wishing everyone the merriest of Holiday seasons. Especially the children!!!!!!!!!!!!
How do the Rockettes do it? And who designs their outfits!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This should be my work wear. To put into the Yule Tide!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, November 14, 2016
With all sorts of changes looming on the horizon--another birthday, the Holidays, my beloved's birthday, not to mention my Retirement. it is time to think about change. My beloved is already contemplating buying a new living room couch, even though I am certain our friends Ramsey and Ramsey, Jr,. who adorn this couch, are perfectly happy with it.
That got me to thinking about the bedroom. Darlings, I have always wanted a Princess Bedroom Set! You know, for a Princess--like me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here are some samples. But which to choose from? I would love to replicate Brandi Beaudry's bedroom, but that might not be possible, So, here are some alternatives.
Going down from up, the center one is my favorite, followed by the last, underneath it. But tell me what you think, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Maybe I should test each by placing a pea under the mattress!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, November 13, 2016
I Finally Saw What That Despicable Bitch, Simone Marks, Did, In "The Woods," On "Cold Case!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
This was one cold case I would like to have pursued, myself. There is no shortage of Parents From Hell, as this show, which has served up some choice ones, proves. I can't decide who is the worst; each is uniquely evil in their own way.
Simone Marks was, basically, Margaret White, taken up a notch. She definitely had George by accident, and does not seem to like or approve of sex. Either he was illegitimate, or the guy realized what a nut she was, and ran off. If so, he was smart. George was dealt a rotten hand, being an abused child. But there is abuse, and there is abuse. What George experienced, at Simone's directive, was inexcusable, so it is no surprise what happened afterwards, or that he became a serial killer.
Simone suffered from a condition called hysterical blindness. George believed it, caring about his mother enough to mark off the step counts of the stairs in Braille. Because she had to go up and down a lot, keeping George locked in his room. George pacified himself by cheery songs, drawing a wooded glade on his wall--his room was "The Woods"--and Morse code communicating with a neighbor, Evan, across the way.
Until the night that Lee, the social worker at the group home Simone sent George to--and his partner, Jacob--came to rob Simone. George escaped from the home, the robbery went amiss, and they ran off. But Jacob came back, because he was more a serial rapist than a robber, and when he saw Simone was blind, and alone, he saw a golden opportunity.
Now, George is hiding in his closet, witnessing all this. Unbearable enough to witness your mother being raped, not being able to do anything about it, but worse was what happened to George. Remember, Simone had some kind of sex aversion, so George hears two things that surprises him. First, Simone screams, "Not in the woods! Not in the woods!," proving she can see, that she really is not blind, and then--brace yourselves, girls--she bargains with the rapist. "My son, George, is hiding in that closet! Do it to him instead!!!!!!!!!!!!" Which Jacob does!!!!!!!!!
Yes, that is correct! Is it any wonder George went over the edge???????? Full of anger and rage, and with Simone begging for a forgiveness she does not deserve, George fired a gun point blank, at Simone, killing his own mother! Had I been George, I would have done same thing.
This might be called justifiable homicide, or self defense, but the killing spree of eleven women George went on in adulthood, including trying to kill Lily Rush, were all undeserved. It is too bad Simone died, for, had she lived, I think she should have put in jail for child abuse, locking her away forever. She was some piece of work.
So, you have to feel sorry, for George. Not Simone! Hell, I'd rather be Brandi Beaudry, hons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As Martha Scott, as Adele, says in "The Turning Point," "Tradition is continuity, and continuity is tradition." The line was actually Arthur Laurents,' but she delivered it, and this past Friday, we observed it.
Both my beloved and I had doctor appointments. We both go to the same dermatologist; isn't that sweet????????? He is on the Upper West Side, not far from Lincoln Center, which is great, for me.
When we were finished, I was told we were going to do something fun; something I was always talking about. I had no idea what it was. I admit, as we walked along Central Park South, and got closer to Fifth Avenue, I started thinking about The Pierre. Then we pulled up in front of Sarabeth's, and I let out a whoop! First, I was thrilled to be going; breakfast there was something I had always wanted to try, and I had no idea there was the one on the West Side. When I think of this place, I think of the signature one, on the Upper East Side.
How fortunate this was so close by. My beloved had researched it online, because what the hell would I know? But what made the trip doubly touching was that, as we found it, this Sarabeth's on the space of what used to be Rumplemayer's, which, basically, was the coffee shop the Hotel St. Moritz, but was also the most glamorous ice cream parlor in the world. Going there--which I would do on special occasions, or when my late friend, David Riley, came to town--was like stepping into a Cecil Beaton dream world I never wanted to leave. The fountain seats, tablecloths, and napkins were all pink, as were the walls, with white, cherry tree stencils. Oh, my God!!!!!!!!!!! I always had the Peach Melba, which was scrumptious, and which I have never had anywhere else. How I miss Rumplemayer's!!!!!!!!
But how good, and fitting, it was to be back on the same premises, doing something I had always wanted to do. The cuisine, now, as then was superb; I had a luscious Bellini, my beloved had a Bloody Mary. My main course was their famous Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, which were luscious, while my beloved a an omelette with cheddar and jalapeno peppers. The coffee was rich. As he said, I went sweet, he went spicy. Who needed anything else, after this meal?
Oh, it was a dream moment, capped by an almost collision with Trump protester!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Or what used to be called a New York Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Today is not only Sammy Williams' birthday--can you believe, girls, that he is 68??????--but the start of what I call Musical Theater Week. We celebrate the birthdays this week of Sammy, Donna McKechnie, Martha Plimpton, Neva Small, Dorothy Collins (deceased), culminating with yours truly!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, this is a very important week. And yes, I will be singing plenty of show tunes. If only Reno Sweeney's was still around; maybe I could do a gig there!
Time will tell. And marches on. So, Happy Birthday, Sammy, and congratulations to us all, on making it to another Musical Theater Week!!!!!!!!!!!!