Wednesday, February 28, 2018
I have always been glad to see this month end, as I know the period of my Seasonal Affect Disorder is drawing to a close. It is also the birthday of two family members, my sister, who, as a Leap Year Baby, celebrates on the 28th at other times, and my cousin, Robert, whose actual natal day this is.
And even though my David made efforts to distract me--Bernadette Peters in "Hello, Dolly!," and Hayley Mills in "Party Face," this month will be, for the rest of my life, tainted by the irrevocable loss of my father, on the 12th. Even though he was 102, and witnessed just about every stage of my life--which makes me truly blest--the passing of both my parents becomes a painful reality. I try to forage on, but there are also those days where I either want to curl myself up into a shell, or go down a rabbit hole, like Alice.
Alas, I can't. I can only keep you girls informed, and keep active in every possible way to distract me.
So, farewell, to a February never to be forgotten!
See you in March, darlings, when Hope springs eternal!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
BARBRA, like so many of us, had a dog she loved. It died, and unlike the rest of us, and BARBRA being BARBRA, she did something about it.
She cloned not one, but two versions of the dog!!!!!!!! It cost her one hundred thousand dollars, or fifty thousand a dog.
Hey, it's BARBRA! She can well afford it! Ask James Brolin! Mr. BARBRA!!!!!!!!!!!!
The news caused me to literally leap up in bed, as I watched it.
First, because of the audacity of BARBRA, which should not have surprised me.
But, then, as it slowly sank in, the real reason for her doing this came into my head.
BARBRA is making plans for the future. She, when the time comes, is going to clone herself!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That way, future generations will NEVER be without BARBRA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a brilliant, egotistical, idea! It could only come from BARBRA!
BARBRA doesn't need "People," darlings, BARBRA needs BARBRA!
And soon, she will be here, for all time.
Future generations, gird you loins!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Some birthdays are important enough to post every year, and Shelley Plimpton's is one of them. Yesterday, girls, was her 71st birthday, and she looks fabulous. Of course, most people nowadays know her as Martha Pimpton's mother, which is correct.
But for myself, and others of my contemporaneity, Shelley will always be the original Crissy from "HAIR," who introduced my favorite song from the show, "Frank Mills." Which had an impact of sorts on my life, as for the past 40 years, I have been marching down to the Waverly, now IFC, each September 12th, to sing the song, myself.
Which gives me another reason to pay Shelley's immortal rendering of the song, on here!
Here is Shelley, as she actually introduced the song, at the Pubic Theatre, on October 7, 1967. Still definitive, but the pace and phrasing are different. Still, it is all Shelley. I prefer the Broadway version, though, having been raised on it!
I wonder, if today, Crissy would have asked for the two dollars back???????
Monday, February 26, 2018
Forget the sanitized way she was portrayed on TV, darlings. I actually owned the comic strip above, but the one above that proves, that, from infancy on up, Lois Lane, at least in the world of DC Comics, was one primal bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The great conundrum of Superman's life on the comic page was over whether to go with Lois Lane, or Lana Lang! Lana was the redhead he knew, back in Smallville, when he was Lana. Now, I might have missed some issues, but I can not recall Lana ever being portrayed as a bitch!!!!!!!!!! I mean, just look at Lois on the lower cover. She ditched her power suit, pill box hat, Jackie Kennedy hair style and look, for a whole new brand of bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lana was always Lana! So, I always wanted Superman to go with Lana, whose hair style and demeanor never changed.
See how the big city can change one, girls???????????????????
I really had not intended to re-read "Great Expectations," darlings. But after the post I did on "Aged Parent," certain that character had been in "David Copperfield," only to be proven wrong, I, who consider myself a confirmed Dickensian, knew it was time to pay another visit to Miss Havisham, and company.
As a teenager, when I first read it, what I loved best was how both Miss Havisham and Estella dealt with the bitterness of the world, and I made their way mine, as well. But, with each reading comes a deeper understanding of Miss Havisham; how she eventually succumbs to remorse and sorrow over what she did to Pip and Estella, and, in trying to make the latter her revenge on the male sex, turned that poor girl into a victim, instead.
I chewed on all this, as I reread the novel carefully this time. I also mused on my own, potential "Pip-ness," that is adopting, in youth, especially, the manner of an educated snob to overcome the hurts of social exclusion and discrimination during my adolescence. Like Miss Havisham, I look back on the time of my youth, wondering how things might have turned out, if I had just been the self I am now, then. Would it have netted me all I thought I wanted, then? Probably not, but it might have made it a lot easier for me to live with myself, back then.
Still, none of this stopped me from enjoying the Gothic trappings of Satis House, the sanctity of both Joe Gargery and Biddy, the way Dickens skillfully connects all the dots--even though I know how they are assembled with previous readings--and the ambiguity of the ending.
Much has been written about the ending, which Dickens himself altered to publisher specification. In it, there is an implied possibility that Pip and Estella will romantically unite. As much of a romantic as I am, I would not wish to see this, preferring they remain apart. They would never be happy together, as the only thing they have to unite them is their mutual unhappiness, meted out by fate and people beyond their control.
I cannot say if I will read this again, but who knows? Still, the deeper one digs into Dickens, the more one learns about human nature--especially one's own.
And, darlings, how I would LOVE to play Miss Havisham!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, February 25, 2018
Fifty years ago, on Sunday, February 25, 1968, at the Clairidge Theatre in Montclair, New Jersey, I saw "Gone With The Wind" for the first time.
Back then, I was in seventh grade, beginning to navigate adolescence, and not doing too well at it. Or, at least, as well as I wanted.
But I was a reader, and Margaret Mitchell's epic was the one of the first adult novels I read. Melanie's death was one of the few things in print to bring tears to my eyes, and, of course, it did so, on screen.
My parents drove me, saying they had a surprise for me. When I noticed we turned off to Montclair, I thought maybe we were going to Aunt Martha and Uncle Jack, who lived, nearby, in Cedar Grove. But when we pulled up in front of the Clairidge, I knew.
My father and mother both saw the film, in 1939. My father had seen it more than once, and did not want to go, so my mother went with me.
One thing I remember. I don't know what print the Clairidge had, but when the title came on the screen, the words did not flow across, as they usually do. Instead, they were blocked , like this: "GONE WITH
I don't know why, to this day.
The movie made an impression on me, especially with its message of survival, via Scarlett's iconic speech at the end of Part One. Which I will play for you.
Want some irony? I just discovered I could see this film, on a screen, on this very day.
But--I would have to go to Astoria, at the American Museum Of The Moving Image, at 6:30 PM.
Both of these Bobbies were kidnap and murder victims.
Greenlease's case, back in 1953, was done on "A Crime To Remember," Season Two, back on December 30, 2014, in the episode titled, "Baby, Come Home." He didn't. Too real pieces of scum. Carl Hall and Bonnie Head--she being the fattest and ugliest prostitute in the history of the world's oldest profession--hey maybe chubby chasers went for her!!!!!!!--arrived at Bobby's parochial school in Kansas City, posing as his uncle and aunt--and the nun' bought the story! Off he went, and was dead by a gun in his head! Sick! His parents should have sued their Catholic diocese!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The whole thing was chronicled in a book I read, back in 2009, called, "Zero At The Bone--The Playboy, The Prostitute, And The Murder Of Bobby Greenlease," by John Heidenry. That Bonnie Head; she might have given head professionally, but she was as ugly, sadistic and repulsive as Martha Beck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now, Bobby Franks might not be a known name either, but his killers are--Richard Loeb and Nathan Leopold. Books have been written, movies and plays, even a musical, called "Thrill Me!," wherein the authors of the piece (or maybe just one of them) played the killers. I actually saw it. In any case, I have read and seen much of the literature based on this case, which, again, paints Chicago in a bad light, and only a Raving Queen like I knew that the 1959 film of Meyer Levin's novel and play, "Compulsion," featured Diane Varsi--Diane Varsi!!!!!!!--as a school girl. The role caused her to retire from the screen for nine years, when, in 1968, she made a mistaken return to the screen as Sally Le Roy, ex-child star, in AIP's "Wild In The Streets!"
So, I am a little surprised to discover that it took "A Crime To Remember" this long to tackle one of the most memorable criminal cases in last century's history. Much as I love the Alice Crimmins case, she is less remembered than Loeb and Leopold.
What, I wondered, could I have learned about the case from this, after all having gone before? People still speak of the duo's homosexual relationship as if it were the most shocking thing imaginable, as if Bobby's killing had something to do with that.
You know how I have warned you about great big old closet cases, darlings??????? Well, that is what these two were! They were young, their hormones raging, so they experimented on one another. Clearly, Loeb was the top, and Leopold the bottom? Did they ride bareback? I don't want to see that, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Leopold eventually was released--a mistake!--married, and supposedly lived an exemplary life, dying in 1971. His lover, Richard Loeb, was murdered in prison, by an inmate, in 1936. The murder occurred on May 21, 1924, when Loeb was 18, and Leopold 19.
What last night's broadcast, titled "Hearts Of Darkness," made me realize, was that, had they gotten away with it, as they expected, the two would have outgrown each other, and absorbed into straight society, much as Parker and Hulme did, in Australia. These two guys again point out the dangers of closet cases. And to choose a family member--Bobby Franks was Richard Loeb's second cousin, and lived across the street from him--speaks of some kind of pathology. Hey, I may have family I do not like, but I would never set them up as murder victims!!!!!!!!!!
Since they were closet cases, they were probably Republicans!
Another reason to avoid those who remain silent on the love whose name has every right to be spoken.
Have a flaming good time, fellas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But I will say this. For a borough I dislike, never have I seen more areas than I am aware of, with something frightening to offer.
The Flagship Diner--forget the food, it is the cheesy ambience of not only the diner, but the whole neighborhood, along Queens Boulevard, in Briarwood, that gets to me. A series of highways and storefront facades, atop which are these mammoth brick apartment buildings, creating an atmosphere, at least to me, that would seem to make one feel they were living in a theme park created for a dumbed down America, as befits this tanking nation.
Yes, darlings, it is a microcosm for America. If only Robert Altman were still alive!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No wonder actors and actresses who came from Queens escaped--they HAD to!!!!!!!!!!!!! What other choice did they have? Ending up like this???????????????
I am telling you, darlings, it is Goat Alley to the max!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Even more slender than that were Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble, voiced famously by Jean Vander Pyl (Wilma), and June Foray and Bea Benaderet (Betty).
Slenderness was discarded, in 1994, when America's Prime Time Fatty, and Ugly No Talent, Rosie O' Donnell, tried to play Betty! Ugh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wilma and Betty, to me, will always be their slender selves. Even though they very likely came from the pens of straight male animators, envisioning perfect looking wives with perfect figures. Hey, prehistoric meat could not have been low caloried, and how could they deign to eat dinosaur meat, when they had a baby dinosaur, Dino, for a pet? Does that mean Dino would eventually end up on the chopping block? That does not make sense. The Flintstones and Rubbles were not farmers, but blue collar, Stone Age suburbanites.
But Fifties sexism kept those women in gorgeous figures, I am telling you.
Would that we could all still look like that, now, hmmmmmmm?
It finally happened this week, girls! On Thursday, David and I went to see the play, "Party Face," starring my childhood idol, Hayley Mills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I just LOVE Hayley Mills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Did I say that I just LOVE Hayley Mills????????????
Let me make this abundantly clear--I just LOVE Hayley Mills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Which is by way of saying that, were Hayley Mills not in this, not only would I not have gone, but the play might not have been produced. I have to wonder whether Hayley put up some of her own money, because Isobel Mahon's comedic drama over reaches a bit; it wants to be in the quality vicinity of Brian Friel's "Dancing At Lughnasa"--which I was not crazy about, in the first place--and Robert Harling's "Steel Magnolias." Instead, it veers close toward standard sitcom--the kind of script that if Bea, Rue, and Estelle, were still alive, could do with Betty White as a "Golden Girls" episode.
With the exception of Hayley Mills, most of the characters are archetypes--
Gina Costigan plays Mollie Mae, fresh out of the loony bin, after her husband leaves her. Brenda Meaney plays Mollie older sister, Maeve, both of whom are the daughters of Carmel, played by Hayley Mills. Completing the quintet is Allison Jean White, who, next to Hayley Mills, gives the most interesting performance, as Chloe, whose psychobabble I found annoying, until the façade beneath it is revealed. Lastly, Klea Blackhurst provides some comic relief as Bernie, Mollie's inmate from the asylum, whom nobody quite wants to have around. Blackhurst does provide some intentional comic relief, but the best is what is caused unintentionally by her entrance--looking as though she just wandered in from a production of "The Killing Of Sister George," having just walked through the wrong stage door!!!!!!!!!!!!
Which is by way of saying these actresses, while skilled, can only do so much with their assorted artificial roles. Not even Amanda Bearse's direction can drive them beyond the level they are weighted down by with Isobel Mahon's script. If there is a culprit afoot, it is she.
But, Hayley Mills--oh, my God, HAYLEY MILLS! What she does is simply brilliant. She takes the character of Carmel, and inverts her Disney image, so that, while looking stunning in gold lame pants and heels, comes off as a bit of a narcissistic, self-denying bitch. But, with that Hayley Mills voice and face, she is still lovable. Wouldn't it be great to see Hayley as Lady Macbeth--all sweetness and light, while stabbing everyone in the back?
She even gets to do a few bars of "Over The Rainbow." Which can be forgiven, because it is HAYLEY MILLS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But, if Mahon had been smart, she would have had Carmel, in a nod to the actress' youth, which we love her for, sing "Cobbler, Cobbler."
Hey, Hayley Mills is in town, on stage, and how often does that happen on this continent? So make every effort while you can to see Miss Mills, and revel in her talent.
And here is Hayley, singing "Cobbler, Cobbler!!!!!!!!!!!"
Saturday, February 24, 2018
The first thing I want to say is, I was disappointed that Gavin Creel was out.
From what I understand he is about to undergo back surgery, and I wonder if doing this show, plus all those nights dragging Jane Krakowski across the stage in "She Loves Me," had something to do with it.
So, I am willing to cut him some slack. Get well, Gavin.
When I first heard Bernadette Peters was replacing Bette Midler in "Hello, Dolly!," I said, "Hmmm...." Maybe she will surprise me, but then the last time that happened was 33 years ago, as Dot, in "Sunday In The Park With George." And I had seen the show twice, in revival, with those two definitive, Carol Channing and Pearl Bailey.
Bernadette did the nigh impossible. She surprised me. Her Dolly, while still a hustling matchmaker, is deeply reflective, and filled with a widowed loneliness that makes one feel for her. Some of her speeches brought tears to my eyes, and I have never heard a more moving, impassioned, rendition of "Before The Parade Passes By." Bernadette goes for the jugular with this rejuvenating performance.
The show was stopped three times. First, when the overture segued into the title tune, applause shook the theater. Second, during "Put On Your Sunday Clothes," whose infectious melody and gasp for breath costumes and staging are enough. But, when that train is hauled out on stage, the crowd goes wild, darlings.
And then......and then. The curtains part, Bernadette is atop the Harmonia Gardens in that red dress, looking like it could have been borrowed from Diana Vreeland, and begins descending those stairs to the vamp of the title tune,,..and the audience just wouldn't stop. They did the entire number, and then an encore of the last part. This iconic moment got a standing ovation from its audience. I cannot recall the last time a musical number got a standing ovation.
But it is not all Bernadette' show. Santo Loquasto's sets, and those costumes makes this the most sumptuous "Hello, Dolly!" I have ever seen! There is a marvelous, simple 3-D effect in a scene where Minnie Fay pursues Barnaby, and it took my breath away.
When I heard Victor Garber was going to play Vandergelder, I was so happy. I know I will be shot in some quarters for this, but who cares? I am The Raving Queen, after all.
Victor Garber is better than David Hyde Pierce. The number assigned to him, which Pierce mangled on the TONYS last year, Garber delivers with an aplomb that makes it interesting. Still not a world beater of a song, compared to the feast of songs, elsewhere here, but in Garber's hands--he has been an actor's actor for over four decades, now!!!!!!!!--it becomes something more than filler for the real show to go on.
I only have one criticism. During "Dancing," one of my favorite numbers in the show, Warren Carlyle should have staged it so the women's dresses would swirl more widely. Maybe some lifts and turns.
Do you know Bernadette turns 70 this coming week? Her energy and stamina are amazing. What a marvelous gift she has received.
And she gives it back to the audience, in droves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Get thee to a ticket booth, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday, February 23, 2018
Emily Neslon's Moving Performance As Martha Puck In The Cold Case Episode, "Lonely Hearts" Offered Deeper Insigths Into Spinsterhood!!!!!!!!!
I thought I had written all there was to, about "Cold Case." But, when I inadvertently caught the end of "Lonely Hearts," which I don't believe I wrote about first time around, as this did not make my Top Ten Episodes List, I felt the need to write about it, as it depicts something rarely shown.
The loneliness of the obese spinster.
Obesity has been with us forever. Recently, some bimbo excuse for a journalist was criticized for saying the show "Mike And Molly" glorifies the obese. To which I say, the only thing wrong with the show is it is played too broadly, bordering on camp. The fact that the couple are full figured is hopeful; as Mama Cass told Michele Phillips, "Fat girls need love, too, Michele," and there is nothing wrong with putting a positive spin on full figured love, as this show does.
But spinster loneliness, from Tennessee Williams, to Donna Reed in "It's A Wonderful Life," to Judith Evelyn as Miss Lonelyhearts, in Alfred Hitchcock's "Rear Window," back in 1954, was always shown by painfully skinny, dessicated looking, withdrawn women. But something changed that.
Those in the know, watching this episode, either back in 2006, when first aired, or even today, can see, from the title alone, that it is based on the case of "The Lonelyhearts Killers," whose story was definitively told in the 1970 cult classic, "The Honeymoon Killers," starring Shirley Stoler as Martha Beck and Tony Lo Bianco, as Raymond Fernandez.
In this 2006 episode, they are called Martha Puck and Ramon Delgado. Emily Nelson plays Martha, and Bruno Campos, plays Ramon Delgado.
Martha Puck is seen as one of life's losers, who knows it. She sits in parks, and reads cheap romance novels, and you know she is a foodie. When she and Ramon meet, he first sees her as a potential victim, one of the lonely women he can murder and acquire money from. But he manages to see beneath Martha's exterior, and, in bringing her out, the otherwise good natured Martha becomes accomplice to a killer, until a rival for Ramon's affections, Eugenia Karpathian, played more by Mary-Pat Green as a beans n' franks lesbian, rather than a lonely, obese spinster, hunts Martha down, killing her.
Emily's performance here gives sympathy to Martha Puck. Mary-Pat Green plays Eugenia more like the real Martha Beck--ugly and sadistic. The real Martha Beck was hot to trot, and had two children by the time she met Fernandez. She worked as a nurse, for a time, at Pensacola Children's Hospital, where she probably dumped the kids, who were cramping her style. No maternal heart for Martha Beck; she was a cold slab of bitch, caring only for Raymond and money!!!!!!!!!!!
Martha Puck had scruples. It was only when she had enough of this killing and taking advantage of the lonely, as once she was, and threatens to turn Ramon in, that Eugenia gets word of this, hunts down, and kills Martha.
The end sequence of the episode underlines the theme of pathos of obese spinsters, seldom dealt with in drama.
The music used in this sequence is "Heart Alone," and it used effectively. What stands out here is not just one, but three persons, see ghosts in this scene. The first is Nick Vera, played by Jeremy Ratchford, who, now reading one of the cheap, romantic novels Martha once read, sees the ghost of one of Martha's victims, in a bridal gown. The look both give each other underscores obese spinster loneliness, as Nick is a full figured guy himself. While clearing out Martha's apartment (or is it Ramon's), John Stillman, as John Finn, sees the ghost of Ramon. But it is, of course, Lily, who gets the most poignant moment. While strolling by a Philly park, on a gorgeous Spring day, she sees, in that park, a gathering place for the lonely, Martha's ghost, happily sitting by herself, reading one of her romance novels. She smiles at Lily, thanking her for justice, and I cried here, knowing justice was done, but Martha was at peace, forever happy as she is now, having paid the price for her desperation for love with her morals, and then her life.
Here it is, darlings. Emily nails it, as Martha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"The Promise" is another episode, dealing with the loneliness of obese women. But the end results there are even more tragic.
"Lonely Hearts" is worth a second look, girls, for the points it underscores!
Spinster loneliness is not just for the thin, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As so many on here know, I revel in trashy horror. So, the other day--Monday, I believe--when I walked into our bedroom, and saw David watching the 1962 film "The Brain That Wouldn't Die," I knew I had reached my limit.
This is Virginia Leith as Jan Compton. She was decapitated, in a car accident, but Jason Evers, as Dr. Bill Cortner--a mad scientist; I mean, is there any other kind?--has kept her alive, and, boy, she won't shut up! Sexist pigs could use Jan to justify their anti-women stance. By the time the film reached its close, even I wanted Jan to shut up!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As you might expect, though, the head gets the best lines. The most farcical thing I have seen, since Mary Jane Croft voiced basset hound Cleo, on the old TV show "People's Choice!"
Meanwhile, one of the doctor's failed experiments, a gangly smashed up man thing, with a face looking like a cross between a vegetable and a smashed in version of 'Teenage Frankenstein,' engages in arguments with Jan, the head, who argues with just about everyone who comes into the lab. Hell, she's a trapped head! What else can she do?
My fondest hope for Virginia Leith, who went nowhere fast, is that she did not look upon this as the role of a lifetime. What else could she do with it?
I know the doctor gets his comeuppance when the deformed monster breaks out, and kills him. I don't know what happens to Jan.
Today, someone like Jan could have become a TV news anchor. Hell, they are little more than talking heads, anyway!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Poor Jan! The girl just couldn't get a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Only Thing More Dangerous Than A Bean n' Franks Lesbian Is A Predatory, Lipstick One!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But this is not a drama class, girls. This is by way of naming Mercy Croft the winner of this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award. Yesterday, during what is still a difficult time, my David and I did a lot of running around, and I could not get on here.
Mercy, on film, was immortalized by the great Coral Browne, who, just eleven years before, played Vera Charles, in the 1958 non-musical film version of "Auntie Mame," starring Rosalind Russell. What a difference a decade makes. The scene where Croft finger fucks Childie in her (gulp) vagina, was the most talked about sex scene of its day, and made audiences squirm. Darlings, it makes me squirm, just to write about it. Pity poor Susannah York, who played Childie. She did not want to do the scene, but was forced to, by director Robert Aldrich, who, just seven years before, did 'Baby Jane.' Boy, is he going for extremes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Browne just played Croft to the hilt, so much so, it was like she was having fun with the role. Which makes Mrs. Mercy Croft sort of a fun Bitch Of The Week. I can use all the fun I can get, right now.
But, I am telling you, if something as repulsive as she tried to finger me in my man hole, I would kick them in the teeth!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
What a pity my idea never came to fruition. I maintained this play would have made a great musical--it practically is, when you watch the film. But it needed the cast I wanted--
Angela Lansbury (who was actually offered the film role, and wanted it, but bowed to the career conformity of the times) as Sister George, Alice Playten, as Childie, and Elaine Stritch as Mrs. Croft.
Don't forget, Stritch played a lesbian who gets murdered, in the classic 1965 film, "Who Killed Teddy Bear?" When her agent offered her the role, before he finished its description, she said, "I'll take it!" A real trouper, that Elaine.
Now, Alice and Elaine are gone, and the idea is far too outdated. Or is it?
I am certain there are plenty of male queens out there who would love to play Mrs. Croft! Hell, they probably live their lives, as Mrs. Croft!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Which is why we love her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
"Get out of my house, you tramp!"
--Julian Evans to his soon-to-be-
ex-wife, Amanda Keeler Evans,"
in "A Time To Be Born," by
Let us start with a little truth telling, girls. This line is one of the most familiar in the English language. How many times have we used it? Or had it used on us? Hmmmmmm????????
No one would dare call me a tramp, because, while I may not be Snow White, I am not Marilyn Chambers, or some pubescent nymphet, from Goat Alley, who was gulping penicillin since hitting puberty, to ward off STD's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dawn Powell was ahead of her time. What a pity she earned no real commercial success, ending up, like Fantine, in an unmarked Potter's Field grave, in her beloved New York City, following death from colon cancer on November 14, 1965, exactly two weeks shy of her sixty-ninth birthday.
Dawn Powell skewers Clare Booth and her husband, Henry Robinson Luce. Here, they are Amanda Keeler Evans, and Julian Evans, a media mogul and power magnate. Trouble ensues when Amanda's friends from provincial, Midwestern Lakeville, come to town, and she uses them for her own gain. Eventually she is screwed, so to speak, and delivered the famous line seen at the start of this post.
Those friends, Ethel Carey and Vicky Haven, are not so dumb as Amanda thinks, especially little Vicky, who catches on real fast on how to be a genuine Manhattan bitch!!!!!!!!!!! A girl after my own heart, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Not to mention this novel is so informative. Here are some of the things I learned, dears.
In 1942, the garter belt went in the back of the girdle!
As Amanda finds out, one can never succeed in Manhattan, having come from the Wrong Side Of The Tracks; in fact living by the railroad tracks, with one's mother having been...oh, my God!!!!!!!!!....a beautician! Today, if a girl just graduates high school and becomes a beautician, she is still just one step up from a prostitute!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Lastly, if a man like Dupper, the private eye Julian hires to spy on his wife, is hopelessly ugly, his only source of relief is a depraved prostitute. Not a regular one, but a "depraved" one. This is code for "syphilitic whore."
Dawn Powell, with this, her best book so far, entertains, elucidates, and educates!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have a blast, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
"Chicago....Chicago...That Murdering Town!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Not "Tottering," Dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Girls while many of us may think NYC or gritty parts of Florida have an edge on murders and killings, I would like to offer up Chicago. Just think of it.....Al Capone and the St. Valentine's Day Massacre, Leopold and Loeb, Richard Speck, and back in 1945, someone I had never heard of known as "The Lipstick Killer," named for the above message found in the home of the second victim, written in lipstick.
That first victim happened to be Josephine Ross, who met her death on June 5, 1945, in her apartment, at 4108 Kenmore Avenue. It was presumed a robbery gone wrong. Seven months later, on December 10, 1945, a second woman, Frances Brown, was found with a knife in her neck, and a bullet through her head. It was at her residence that the celebrated message was written. The last victim of this killer was Suzanne Degnan, who was abducted from the bedroom on the first floor of her residence, in Edgewater, Chicago. The other two victims were adult, but she was a six-year-old child. There were no signs of sexual assault.
Now, already, things get dicey, dears. Like Jack The Ripper, who killed twice as many victims, the killings suddenly stopped. There were only three, and the victims varied in age, and matter of killing. There was no exact consistency to any of these killings.
Which would have made me suspicious immediately. And, if I understand the story, as presented on "A Crime To Remember" (I don't!) this past Saturday night, in a story entitled "The Bad Old Days," my suspicions were well founded, if one believed the young reporter, who acted as the narrator of the piece.
During the investigation, one witness spotted a young man fleeing from an apartment building in the areas near the other victims. It seemed he had only committed theft, but the pressure was on the cops, so this was good enough for them. The man turned out to be William Heirens, a man in his twenties with a penchant for thievery. He came from an abusive, troubled family, but excelled scholastically enough to gain admittance to the University Of Chicago's Special Program.
If history (if not Wikipedia) is to believed, he is accorded identity as The Lipstick Killer. Through a process of coercion that would at least be questioned today, he was reduced to confess by a series of grotesque methods--psychological torture, an injection of sodium penethol, and (get ready girls, this is gross!) having ether applied to his testicles! Ewwwwwwwww!
I am not convinced this was The Lipstick Killer. There was mention of another man, Richard Thomas, a male nurse, residing in Phoenix, Arizona!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! While the investigation was going on, he was imprisoned in Arizona for sexually assaulting one of his own daughters. When I heard he had the capacity for this, and that he head been in the Chicago area, at the time of Suzanne Degnan's killing, I began to look at him. However, when the investigation was going on, he was not in Chicago, so, then who could have killed Josephine Ross and Frances Brown????????
This was the first "A Crime To Remember" I have seen, where there was no clear cut answer, and may never be, Heirens was convicted as the Lipstick Killer, and received LWOP. He died, at the age of 83, in 2012.
Something went awry with this investigation. Who was trying to cover up for whom? Because what other explanation could there be for incarcerating someone the program made clear no one was one hundred per cent certain they had the right guy.
Street justice can be bloody, darlings! Media justice is a bitch!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, February 19, 2018
"I Came From The People! They Need To Adore Me! So Christian Dior Me, From My Head To My Toes!!!!!!!!
Girls, I swear I am not bipolar. I have never been diagnosed, nor do I expect to be. But, until all this settles in May, or maybe even June, I am going to be up and down. Some days I am like Scarlett, or, today, Evita! Other times I hover perilously close to Joan Didion. But not that far, darlings, never that far!
So, yes, I could stand with a bit of Christian Dior-ing! Or, at least, Sally Hershberger, or Elizabeth Arden!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Here is Patti doing the complete "Rainbow Tour and "Rainbow High" in a role I guess I never lost my desire to do! Now, in the face of tragedy, it is just re-manifesting itself!
I kept my promise, darlings! I kept my promise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
" I got one thing to say....and then I ain't gonna say
no more. He took advantage of me, an' if you
fine an' fancy gentlemen ain't gonna do nothin'
about it, then you're all a bunch of lyin'....stinkin'....
cowards! The whole bunch a' ya! Yer 'Missin,'
an' yer 'M'am'in', an' yer Miss Mayllerin,' it don't
come to nothin'! It don't come to nothin', Mr.
Collin Wilcox as Mayella Ewelll in "To Kill A
First, darlings, let me say, I know, I do not have the street cred of Celia. And, just like Gregory Peck and Company own their roles in the film, I know I could not top Collin Wilcox as Mayella Ewell. And this was before she became Collin Wilcox-Horne or Collin Wilcox-Paxton.
But, hey, if this production is going for risks, in casting Celia as a child, then why not cast me as Mayella? I can deliver her monologue like you wouldn't believe, darlings. I can make myself look White Trash if I have to! It is called acting, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!
Collin, unfortunately, left us, in 2009, so at least I won't have to worry about her attending the performance. But I hope she would approve of all this.
She was a remarkably gifted actress. And Mayella was the jewel in her crown!
Here is Mayella's big scene! What I could do with this--oh, hons, I am telling you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Did The Pied Piper Take The Hamelin Children To A Magical Paradise? Or A Deceptive Prison, Like Pleasure Island??????????
Both 'The Pied Piper' and "Pinocchio" prominently feature the letter "P," but they have more than that in common. In both tales, children are lured to faraway places; in "Pinocchio," Pleasure Island gradually evolves into something bogus, but, with the way things pass through my mind, even at this time, I began wondering about the Hamelin story.
As a child, I saw, on TV, in black and white, the movie version of this story, most likely the one starring Van Johnson. At the climax, he took the kids to the foot of a mountain, which, with the magic of special effects and rear projection, parted, to reveal, a wondrous, magical place, which the kids were eager to ditch their parents, and provincial homes, for. They poured into the place in droves, without a care in the world. When the last child enters, the piper follows, turns to the outside world, and the mountain closes up, trapping all inside.
So, are the children narcotized within a pleasure palace forever? Or is something more horrible in store, once the mountain closes? "Pinocchio" makes things clear. The 'Pied Piper' is more ambiguous. Some, I have read, have seen this as an interpretation of death. But is the death actually pleasant, or is it more sinister, and punishing?????????????
I favor the idea that the children spent their time in a wonderful, magical place. This was the price paid for the parents' selfishness and greed, in refusing to pay the piper. Why should the children suffer for that? So, I believe, that, while, yes, they were taken away, it was to a magical, fun place, enabling them to forget what came before.
For me, personally, that magical place would be Jenkinson's Boardwalk, in Point Pleasant, New Jersey, during the 1960's.
Disney was not the first, darlings, to give childhood a dark tinge!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday, February 17, 2018
Now, you on here know how much I LOVE Celia Keenan-Bolger, her beauty, her hair, her radiance, her acting gifts, and would see her in just about anything. She tore my heart out as Laura in "The Glass Menagerie," and defined that role for the present generation.
But how is she going to pull this next thing off?
For awhile now, there has been talk, from Aaron Sorkin, about adapting "To Kill A Mockingbird" to the stage. When I first heard this, I was nonplussed.
After all, Horton Foote's adaptation, released in 1962, with Gregory Peck and Company, and that memorable Elmer Bernstein score, is as perfect a rendering as could have been done, and there is no way to top it. So, why try?
Initially, I had no idea of seeing this travesty. But, now all that has changed.
The play has been cast. Jeffrey Daniels, a good actor, has been cast as Atticus Finch, and, while Gregory Peck will always own the role, I can see him in that part.
But, wait till you hear about Celia, dears!!!!!!!!!!!!
She is going to be playing.........Scout!
As an actress, I can imagine her doing anything! But, is she going to be playing Scout as a child? She has youth, but I mean, really??????? Or, and this has been rumored, Sorkin may be combining Harper Lee's two novels--'Mockingbird' and "Go Set A Watchman," where, in the latter segments, Celia could play an adult Scout.
That will be interesting to see. But a message for the creative staff--
Please, PLEASE allow Celia to look like herself in the role. Do not butch her up in a wig, to resemble Mary Badham, or someone enacting Harper Lee. I mean, is the actor playing Dill going to do a Truman Capote voice???????????????
This was the mistake made in ENCORES "Merrily We Roll Along." Celia was so encumbered by period costumes and wigs that it did not favor her physically, and detracted considerably from a performance that could have been brilliant, had there not been all these distractions on her.
Please, let Celia be Celia, in playing Scout!!!!!!!!!! Now, I am interested in the project. If she is to play a pre-pubescent child, she will give it her all! No doubt!
The results should be interesting! But, please, PLEASE--
While other writers are busily trying to write the next "Gone Girl," or "The Girl On The Train," (which even its author, could not top, with her disappointing "Into The Water") Anthony Horowitz deftly and smartly explores old traditions.
"Magpie Murders" is actually three novels in one, as will be seen, should you explore the page numeration of the book before reading. It starts out with Cloverbooks editor Susan
Ryeland dipping into the story in the title, then gives the reader that story...with an unfinished ending....just like Charles Dickens, and "The Mystery Of Edwin Drood." Then there is the outside this novel story--the murder of author Alan Conway (whose initials, and fictional conventions, suggest Agatha Christie, whose traditions both Conway and Horowitz) respect and honor. Then there is "The Slide," the novel Conway really wanted to write, thinking it his breakthrough work, enabling to move on, discarding his mystery series. But the reader gets a chance to read some of this, and it really is terrible, compared to everything else?
The book is also set in two time periods, the present, and 1955. The parts within the past are the best, revealing a village population that has no idea of having been kept, by one woman, unaware of the psychopathic mystery that resides within.
Murders, red herrings, a complicated, but not impossible to follow structure makes this book and Horowitz heads above the increasing population of Gillian Flynn and Paula Hawkins imitators out there. Thank God no one is imitating Paula Zahn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
If this book could absorb and distract me during an, at present, difficult period, think what it will do for you, darlings, when you haven't a care in the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I really must read more of this Mr. Horowitz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
It really is all about one day at a time. Some moments, I feel like I am going to break down. I know I will, at some point, and I know, from experience, it will come at the most unexpected time or place. There will be an unexpected trigger, and the tears will start.
But most days, I feel like Scarlett trying to keep it together. She had her distractions, what with running Tara, caring for her sisters, and her emotionally unhinged father. Mine is reading, and writing on here. Thank God I have not plunged into the sinkhole of depression, where I am unable to do either. I have been there, darlings, and it is not pleasant. The brain knows what it wants to do, but lacks the emotional concentration capable of getting it done.
So, like Scarlett, I forge on. But unlike Scarlett, who had, but not understand, the value of Rhett, I am lucky to have and understand the value of my David.
Friday, February 16, 2018
Thanks to my wonderful husband, David, I was made aware of this new film coming out, set in Brooklyn Heights, about Brooklyn Heightsters. It is called "Golden Exits," and, as Mary- Louise Parker lives in that nabe, I would not be at all surprised if it was filmed in and around her area.
The film also features Jason Schwartzman and--oh, my God, darlings!!!!!!!--Chloe Sevigny and Lily Rabe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is going to be a veritable feast for us who are fascinated by the technicalities of acting and how gifted folk like these ladies use them--especially Mary-Louise!!!!!--and what the results will be.
There is just one problem. I cannot find a screening listing for it, anywhere! Nada!!!!!!!!!! What is going on? How dare us devotees be deprived of Mary-Lousie Parker????????
You listen to me, director Alex Perry Ross! Get this film out at once, or you may find yourself being named on here, as Bitch Of The Week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
See? I'm doing it again--being a bitch! I guess I have not yet quite mastered Joan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, February 15, 2018
I just LOVE Christina Hendricks as Joan, on "Mad Men." As I have said, before, had I possessed her composure, I might still be working. But that was then, and this is now. Recently, girls, I had an encounter, where I learned to handle it as Joan, and let me tell you, it felt good. And did more good than if I had screamed and yelled.
The encounter took place, Sunday before last, in, of all places, the Bay Ridge Bookstore, on Third Avenue, in the Eighties. David and I had just entered, and I turned my eye to the shelf on the right side wall, where the hardcover best sellers are kept.
I tried to get close, but, blocking my way, and talking, were this man, and, I presume his wife. He was some tall, arrogant, broad shouldered, sandy haired, corporate type; he was doing all the talking; the poor woman seemed either to be trying to listen to him, or maybe, wisely, she simply tuned him out. I would guess him to be in his mid-Forties.
They had no intention of removing themselves. There was plenty of space in front of them, for me to peruse themselves. I said, loud enough so they could hear, "Excuse me, please," and stepped politely ahead, so I could see the shelves.
As I perused, I could hear him say to his wife, "Can you believe he stepped right in front of us?" My first inclination was to turn and snarl, "Well, I did say 'Excuse me!' I even added 'please.' Are you deaf?"
That would have been how I would have handled things, in the past. In which case, this guy and I would have gotten into some sort of verbal altercation, because, girls, I can tell you, this was the type of guy who was not about to allow a gay man to impringe on his manhood. As if I would want to, darlings! But this is how these boobs think!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The altercation would have resulted in disfavor with myself and the proprietor, who would have been embarrassed by the whole thing, which would have me hesitant to return to the store again.
But some part of me--maybe the more sensible part--said, "Take a cue from Joan." So, in true Joan fashion, I turned slowly around, looked directly at him, smiled that cryptic Joan smile, and said one of her best lines....."Thank you... for clearing that up." I gazed at him a bit too long, so he got the message, then resumed my perusing.
I am telling you, girls, it worked, because, in seconds, the pair moved to the back of the store, where they still were, as David and I eventually left the place.
Thank you, Christina Hendricks, and Joan! One can get results without resorting to shouting or name calling.
As the painful actuality of my father's passing seeps in gradually, I have to confess the idea for this post popped into my head several days before he died. I started thinking back to my two favorite Dickens novels, "David Copperfield" an d "Great Expectations," where, in one of them was a minor, though, being Dickens, delightful character, being cared for by his son, known as "Aged Parent," or, more commonly, "Aged P."
I was certain, darlings, that he was in "David Copperfield," being the book is longer and has far many more characters. But, when I did the research, I found Aged Parent was in "Great Expectations." I am crushed. How can I call myself a Dickensian? Well, I still will. What this suggests to me is that I need to reread "Great Expectations," which I will do sometime this year. It will certainly be a pleasure.
But Aged Parent is the father of John Wemmick, a work associate of Pip's, as he begins his journey up the career ladder. I was reminded of him in the days of my father's passing, because, all too swiftly, before my eyes, before I could realize it, he had turned into Aged Parent himself.
It is hard for us to see the vital adults we come to see our parents as, from being children, alter into old age. Just as it is hard for some of us--and I had a hard time--transitioning from childhood to adulthood, via puberty. Watch out for those early signs, kids--puberty is your first sign of Life's trouble!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This is hardly a testament to my father. That will come later, and be in the flaming and humorous style I am known for. But my more somber mood makes me well aware of Aged Parent. We all will have one, and some of us eventually will become one.
To all I say, take care of them, as best you can. And may someone, at the time, take equally good care of you or us.