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Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Goodbye, Philip!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                                    Forget Claire Bloom, for a moment, darlings.  I am not saying Philip Roth was any great shakes as a human being, but he was one hell of a writer.  That is, in his better books.

                                    My relationship with Philip Roth was similar to that of Joyce Carol Oates. Both are, and were, undeniably talented and gifted, but I would not read every single work.  Indeed, when I first read "Portnoy's Complaint," at age 14, which is actually the perfect age to read it, I worked my way through him till around "The Breast," then stopped altogether, until "The Plot Against America."  Whereupon I discovered "Sabbath's Theater, "Nemesis," about the polio epidemic, and what I consider his masterwork, "American Pastoral."

                                      Anyone with a serious interest in literature should read Philip Roth.  These are the works I suggest,  Some of you may be fond of others.  But if you are over 14, do not re-read 'Portnoy'.  It just does not hold up.

                                      Still, it did more for masturbation than Masters And Johnson.

                                       They say the ornery live longer.  With his heart problems, I was amazed to discover that Roth had made it to 85, when he passed.  Pretty good for one with his health issues.

                                         I cannot say for certain how many will miss Roth, the person.

                                         Readers such as I will miss Roth, the writer.

                                         May both rest in peace.
                                            Here is the literary work, with the pretty yellow and red jacket, that I refuse to have in my house.....for SHAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                         

Oh, That Margot!!!!!!!!!!!! She Was Some Kidder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                                Just about everyone lamenting the passing of Margot Kidder, ten days before, thought of her, first and foremost, as Lois Lane.  I am of the "Superman" TV generation, so, for me, Noel Neill will always be Lois.  Besides, I preferred Margot's more florid work, like the demented un-conjoined Siamese twin in 1973's "Sisters," which, girls, you have to see to believe, and then her turn as incestuous mother to Chad Lowe, Jason Mayberry, in the 2005 'SVU' episode, "Pique."  Who can forget the scene where the squad finds them in bed, covered in blood, he having made love to, then killed, his mother?  And Margot, as this Upper Montclair matriarch!!!!!!!!! Named Grace, no less!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Such was the stuff Kidder was made of, and sadly, but ironically, it might have figured in her decline.  She was so skilled at these types of roles because she hovered so near the brink of their actuality, considering how things turn out.

                                   I shall remember Kidder's work fondly.  I also hopes she find the peace she never found in life.

                                    Fame is not the answer, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Production Makes You Cry Out For Alma!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                                As I have shown, the title page to Tennessee Williams' vastly underrated play, "Summer And Smoke," quotes famously, from Rilke, "Who, if I were to cry out, would hear me among the angelic orders."  That is the question asked by Alma Winemiller throughout, and I am not certain she finds the answer. But more on that later.

                                During the titular moment in "The Slap," back in 2015. when Harry and Gary confront each other, and Sandy, in that dazzling split black and white dress, steps in to apologize, and Gary hurls back, "How many times does he hit you, Sandy?," the way Marin Ireland clutched herself, stepped back, and revealed by expression that she did not know that everyone else had the number on her marriage, was so powerfully unspoken by Marin Ireland, in the role, that I knew, then, this was an actress to keep an eye on.

                                My prediction has come true.  Get down to CSC before this week ends, and see Marin Ireland as Miss Alma.  She is to be reckoned among such Almas as Geraldine Page and Blythe Danner, and, good as Amanda Plummer was at Paper Mill, Main Ireland's impassioned interpretation and exploration is so detailed she makes you feel Alma's pain.  My heart and soul (which "Alma" is Spanish for) just went out to her.

                                Not since Celia Keenan-Bolger stunned as Laura in 2013's "The Glass Menagerie" have I seen a portrayal like this.  Staged within a suggestively confined box--a coffin-- the actors move about empty space freely, often so close to the audience, that if an audience member were to move, they might tumble into their laps.  So focused does Marin move about as Alma, one would not dare disturb her, but, if such were to happen, I am sure she would not break character.

                                  Hers is the best acting performance I have seen in the last five years.  Do not miss it.

                                   But Marin can't do it all on her own.  She needs that good Williams' dialogue, and supporting players to tell Alma's story.  And she gets it--from Nathan Darrow, as Dr; John Buchanan, Jr., Alma's psychological counterpart,  Hannah Elless (excellent last year in Transport's "Come Back, Little Sheba," where she played Marie, and "Picnic," where she played Millie Evans) as Nellie Ewell, whose mother's reputation foreshadows Alma's, and Barbara Walsh as Alma's mentally challenged (but not totally unaware) mother.  These are the standouts, but the rest, especially Ryan Spahn, as Archie Kramer, in that final scene, enable Marin to tell us Alma's story.

                                    With a town like Glorious Hill, Mississippi, what could go wrong?  Well, when one is trapped in a familial, non-sexual prison with no kind of fulfillment, such as Alma, is it any wonder most see her as a "white blooded spinster."  When someone is told something so much, they often become that, when they are not, and Ireland's physical movements, gestures, even turning away from the audience, leaning over a chair, reveals all of Alma to the audience.  Like a painting, which serves (the anatomy chart) as a metaphor, all her shades have been filled in.

                                        I personally know something about Alma's famous "telephone number of God."  I take something similar myself.  For anxiety.

                                       And when, at the end, she hurls that line--"The tables have turned, with a vengeance!," all the pent-up rage, self-hatred and doubt is finally released from Alma in a blaze of verbal colors by Miss Ireland.  But it is too late; Alma has become what John once was, and he what she once had been.  Which is the tragedy of the play.  Neither will find fulfillment in their lives, but Alma, in choosing non-conformity is hovering over a dangerous precipice.

                                        Marin Ireland as Alma made me think of a William Inge character, Deanie Loomis, played by Natalie Wood, in "Splendor In The Grass." She faced a similar struggle, as Alma. But
that story takes place roughly fifteen years after 'Summer,' ending on a more hopeful note, with Deanie getting the help she needs, finding her place in society.  As Marin Ireland marches offstage at the end of "Summer And Smoke," the look on this beaten woman suggests she knows what she is in for, that she is marching to her own execution, her own self-destruction, eventually arriving at that same emotional cross road as Blanche Du Bois.

Speaking of Blanche, wouldn't Marin Ireland be wonderful in the role?  Or even as Miss Lucretia Collins in "Portrait Of A Madonna?"

Before this production, I thought Moon Lake Casino a magical, romantic place.

As this production, thanks to Miss Ireland, makes clear,  it is only the first of the many circles of Hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Not To Be Confused With "The Day Of The Locust," Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                                  That Dawn Powell certainly knew how to write roman a clefs about her crowd, girls.  If I was more versed on my late Forties Manhattan history, I might be enable to identify the reality behind the characters she writes about.  Perhaps a more enlightened reader  out there can do that; be my guest!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    What a set of characters.  Frederick Olliver and Lyle Gaynor--Lyle is a woman, girls--who are some Kaufman and Ferber play writing team, who just cannot keep it together, either personally or professionally.  For those who remember Shelley Duvall, as L.A. Joan, in Robert Altman's "Nashville," her stand in here is Dorothy Brennan, aka Dodo, whose behavior is what her name suggests--a wannabe filberty gibbet from Baltimore, who wants to be discovered by the right people, at all the right parties, by doing as little actual work as possible.  Sort of like so many of us when we were young, who learn early, once hitting this town, what Dodo, even at novel's end, fails to learn.  Nevertheless, her machinations and presence make her the most fascinating character in this novel.  Equally odd is her mother, who views her relationship with her daughter, as one more between sisters, than parent and child.  This is by way of falsely keeping her youth, thinking she is fooling everyone, when she is not.  I guess Dawn Powell, in creating them, had to reign them in--otherwise they would over power this novel.

                                      Basically a sketch of assorted wannabes losers--they are the locusts-- the novel offers cultural organizations and bars as gatherings and places of hope for people on this artistic periphery, making it clear that, no matter how high an opinion they may have of themselves, they may never get any farther than they are now.

                                        I am sure Powell included herself among these, as her life and legacy bear out.  Never popular in her day, except among this crowd, her novels are being re-discovered by such as I, and are claiming for themselves a legacy widely deserved, but hitherto unrecognized.

                                         Would Powell were here to see the enjoyment reading her books engenders in many readers.  This was my fourth one, and I look forward to my fifth.

                                            Keep at it, Dawn.  No one skewers the city scene, circa 1940's like you.

                                            You were the Tama Janowitz of the day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Something To Cheer Us Up, Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                             I actually used to own this disc, darlings.  It was give to me, back in the day, when I must have been seven or eight, by my paternal grandmother, who knew the score better than most around her.  If only I still had it, now!

                              This past week, Baby Gojira has been dancing up a storm!  I think he has been trying to cheer me up--he is so sweet!!!!!!--so, now I want to give him something in return, to him and all my readers, to cheer all up!

                                  What could be better than Dee Dee Sharp and...."GRAVY?????????"

                             

Kudos To The People At This Place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                                 As anyone who knows me well, understands, one cannot keep me out of a book store.  And if I emerge from one, empty handed, as I have on occasion, I feel depressed.

                                  Well, for those who keep up with me, I have been trying to track down "The Northanger Horrid Novels."  I know the folks at "Three Lives" would get it, but I have not been in that neighborhood, recently.  Near David's doctor is a "Shakespeare And Co." store, which is supposed to cater to the students of Hunter College.  Well, I went in there, and posed the search question about these novels, and the clerk there never  heard of them, I am not sure he got the Jane Austen connection, and the search was so cursory, nothing resulted.  Shame on you, once!  That's enough, for me!

                                    After our excursion at The Met, we visited The Corner Bookstore, the most charming little place, at 1313 Madison Ave, by East 93rd.  I am telling you, it is so warm and cozy, a film version of "She Loves Me" could be shot in there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    The staff is engaging, and very nice looking, with one of them resembling a young Stanley Tucci.  He was busy with a window display, so this charming young girl not only took the time to look up the novels I was seeking, which I ordered, she was able to find a book recently having come out, that I mistakenly referred to as "The Gunnysacks, or "The Gunnywacks," but which turned out to be "The Gunners" by Rebecca Kaufman, author of "Another Place You've  Never Been," which I also plan  to read.

                                      I am here to tell you, darlings, that this is the "Three Lives" of the Upper East Side. So, when in that nabe, forsake all others, and GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Maybe these folk should initiate a training program at "The Strand!!!!!!!!!!!"

Oh, My God, Girls! It Was Like The Deification Of ANNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                               We finally made our way to The Met, and, if you thought the fashion houses were something, wait till you get a load of this!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Let me first say, it was so strange to be in the Medieval Hall without the Christmas tree being there; I almost felt as though I were in the wrong place or time.

                                 But, once we made it downstairs to the Anna Wintour Costume Center--and make no mistake, it IS ANNA's, darlings, and she helped put this together.  It was an overwhelming feast for the eyes and ears that was almost too narcotic inducing to be in too long.  One could get drunk on beauty.

                                  And, to single, and looking gay guys--if you are seeking to meet someone, let me point out--THIS IS THE BEST SHOW IN TOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    As for what to show, how do I choose????????????
Is this Lady Gaga????????????

This costume, minus the cross, could be used in a production of "Follies!!!!!!!!!!"

Look at the richness of color!  The patterns!  Not this particular one, but, I am telling you, some of these garments were made by hand by sisters of the Convent Of St. Claire!  Mrs. Danvers, in "Rebecca," was right, after all!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh, my God!!!!!!!!  Can you see those jewels through the black?  Live, they are even more dazzling!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                 ANNA and Company welcome you warmly, I am sure!!!!!!!!!!  But wait--

                                My reference to the musical "Follies" must not overlook that the show, by some, has been called "Fellini-esque."  If what is on display does not convince one of that, the revolving video excerpt of the 1972 "Fellini's Roma" makes it abundantly clear.  Let's end with that!!!!!!!!

                                 What a day, girls!  I had the best sleep, last night, in weeks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Darlings, A Trip To The Upper East Side HAS To Include Haute Coutre!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                           Like Frances Conroy screamed, as she died, in "American Horror Story--Coven," the day would not be complete, without visiting some of the fashion houses on the Upper East Side.  After all, like Evita, "I came from the people, the need to adore me, so Christian Dior me!"

                             But we started out with Balenciaga. Pricey, pretty things to look at, but we cannot afford to buy them.  Maybe Nancy Kelly's wardrobe in "The Bad Seed," but there was nothing to match it, or this--
Now, this is really PRIME Balenciaga, darlings!  I did not see anything to match this.
Here are some up to date Balenciagas!!!!!!!!!!!!!  But those prices, just keep climbing, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!  Honestly, though, wouldn't that white gown, with the colored patterns, be perfect for ME!!!!!!!!!!!!
As for Christian Dior, well, I would not be doing due diligence if I did not pop in there.  I did, and let's take a look at what I found.



Here is what I chose from Dior, girls!  Classic, simple, but with a touch of color!  And just wait till you see me in them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ah, yes, dreams!  Such are what fashion is made of, dears!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I Am A "Native New Yorker" Darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                                                "When he dropped you off, at East 83rd!"
                                                  --Odyssey, "Native New Yorker," 1977

                                        What a day it was, yesterday, darlings.  David had a doctor appointment, I was on a book hunt, and we wanted to see the "Heavenly Bodies" exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum Of Art.  In the Anna Wintour Center, no less, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        ANNA was not there.  She is probably now in attendance, at the Royal Wedding!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        Anyway, after completing the appointment, we took the bus uptown, to The Met, and were actually prosaically dropped off at East 83rd!  You know you are a New Yorker, when that happens, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        How to capture the experience?  Only one way I know.

A First Novel That Did Not Work For Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

       
Don't get me wrong, dolls!  I thought the writing was gorgeous, and I love so many aspects of this novel--from its parodied opening of "Alice In Wonderland"--the best literary riff since Zadie Smith borrowed "Howards End" in "On Beauty"--to the character of writer Ezra Blazer, to his relationship with Mary-Alice, to his interview at the end.

Which brings me to several questions I want to raise that might shed some light on the novel's unusual and puzzling structure.  Like, what does the middle section have to do with anything else?

Near the end, Blazer talks about writing a book that switches structure--with the end at the beginning, the beginning in the middle, and the middle the end--or something to that effect.  Could "Asymmetry" be the novel that he is talking about?  Mary-Alice is a publishing house editor in Manhattan, so could she have been working on this book, and this is the end product?

It makes an odd kind of sense, but I still don't get the story about the two brothers, which goes back and forth in time from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn--yes, girls!!!!!!!!!--to the chronicling of an Iraqu-American family, with one of the brothers laid over and detained in Heathrow Airport, in London, on his way to see his brother in Iraq. What is going on here, from the novelist's point?

How did this connect with the other two sections?  Is this supposed to be a manuscript Blazer never published?  It is the only solution that makes any sense, here!!!!!!!!!

Or, is Halliday, whose debut novel this is, facing confusion about what or whom she actually wanted to write about, and just threw everything in the pot?  

I also wonder how fascinated, or familiar is, with the relationship of writer Joyce Maynard, with J. D. Salinger.  Because, from my side of the star, the coming together of Ezra and Mary-Alice read like a more positive spin on that real life relationship.

"Asymmetry" starts out on a fine note, then takes a puzzling nose dive that does not mar Halliday's writing talent, but fails to inter-connect what she is writing about.  But maybe that is the point of her novel's title.

I admired the work, but it did not satisfy.  Give me straightforward writing, like Jane Austen!

Janie, hon, I will be reading you, soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

How The Hell Do I Get My Hands On These?????????????????????






Readers on here will be familiar with me saying I do not like to commit myself to trilogies or series books.  Not that some of them are not worthwhile--Tolkien and Harry Potter, for example--but, to this day, I cannot see why everyone is still making so much of a fuss over Elena Ferrante's "Neapolitan Novels."  The first and third took my breath away, but the second and last did not.  Such inconsistency does not make for good reading.

Nevertheless, I am intrigued by the discovery of what have come to be called "The Northanger Horrid Novels."  And, yes, that is as in "Northanger Abbey," by Jane Austen.  Apparently, it started with her.  In fact, should I take this on, I will have to start by re-reading "Northanger Abbey," which I have not done in awhile, and have read less frequently than Austen's other works.

Apparently, in that novel, these novels are mentioned.  Which ones, or how much, I cannot say, until I reread Austen.  Apparently, they caused a furor at the time.  Most readers thought they were fictitious references.  Imagine the shock, when it was discovered that not only they were real, but, when Austen was not writing her masterworks, she was reading these!!!!!!!!!!  It was her so-called guilty pleasure.  In today's literary parlance, it would be like discovering Donna Tartt had been reading "Fifty Shades Of Grey."  Only, we all know Tartt has better sense, and taste, and that what might have been considered trash in Austen's time is mined gold in ours.  I can assure you, no one will be writing about 'Fifty Shades' a century from now.

According to what I have discovered, a complete collection is only on Kindle!  I do have one, but, if I am going to read this period literature, it has to be in the right form.  And these pics look like paperback editions.  Where can I get my hands on them, darlings????????????

And must they be read in any particular order???????

I am just SO psyched, for period thrills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  AP English, my ass!  These were never in any curriculum I studied.

Were the teachers just too ignorant????????????


Just In Time For My Birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                             As an aficionado of "A Chorus Line," I have always insisted it should never stop playing in New York.  Every night, be it in an actual theater, church basement, or laundry room of an apartment building, some performance of the show should be playing each night.  And, should I  be free on some nights, I would be there for them.

                             Well, now the show is coming back to town in a BIG way.  Directed both by Bob Avian and Baayork Lee,(Yea, Baayork!!!!!!!!!) the show will play a series of gala--meaning, for me, how much will it cost??????--performances, at City Center, on the evenings of November 16, 17, and 18.  Those happen to be the birthdays, of, respectively, Donna McKechnie, Neva Small, and myself!!!!!!!!!!

                               I am honored to be in such company.  Maybe the stars were just aligned for the connection between theater and myself.  I sure would like to see this production on my birthday; I know Bob and Baayork will assemble the BEST company for it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                And I know Donna and others will be there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                We shall see what happens, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  "Let's do the whole combination, facing away from the mirror.
                                   From the top--
                                    'A-FIVE-SIX-SEVEN-EIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Is Anna Wintour Going To The Royal Wedding????????? And Where Is MY Invitation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                               It must have gotten lost in the mail, darlings!  Or maybe the Royal Family is just afraid that, with me present, there would be just one Queen too many!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                I cannot believe Saturday is the day of the big event!  I thought it was set for June!

                                 But I have been clouded by events in my life, lately, so I have not been thinking my clearest.

                                 By marrying into royalty, Meghan Markle is the Grace Kelly of this generation.

                                 To be frank, I don't know what will come of it.  I have had bad feelings about royal brides, ever since Diana's death, and I absolutely do not like the look of smug, heterosexist arrogance on Prince Harry's face.  I can just tell he is a big old horn dog, who very likely has not been faithful throughout the engagement, and will not be faithful afterward.  I can just see it  in his face.  I wish Meghan all the happiness in the world, but I am not sure this will guarantee it.

                                  After I post this, I certainly would not be wanted at the Royal Wedding.  So maybe it is a good thing I was not invited, after all!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  We can hear all about it, girls, through ANNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Densely Worded And Plotted, But A Satisfying Read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                                  Not to mention harrowing, darlings.  Richard Flanagan's beautiful novel chronicles the wartime experiences of one Dorrigo Evan, an Australian, who finds himself a POW in a Japanese camp, among such other epic novel experiences as an eternal romance that tragically ends in an explosive death, a love that will never let go, in spite of an unhappy marriage to one who genuinely loves him, and torturous experiences so detailed the author puts the reader right amidst the muck and the mire.

                                  But he also manages to objectify the other side, showing both their evil, and its consequences for them, thereafter.  This is a carefully calibrated wartime chronicle that--I know I will get shot for this--is what "A Farewell To Arms" aspired to be, but which I could not make it through.

                                  Does Flanagan succeed more than Hemingway?  Definitely!!!!!!!!!!!!!  This is one of the most affecting and gripping war novels I have read, and while some may have a difficult time with the writing style or the material, let me say, the effort is well worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   I've now got my eye on Flanagan's next book--whenever that may be!!!!!!!!!!!

This Bitch Won't Live Long Enough To Star In A Production Of "70 Girls 70!!!!!!!!!!!!"


                                   Taheerah Ahmad, of Tulsa, Oklahoma, is only 39. She is no actress.  But she is the winner of this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Don't blame it on Tulsa, darlings!!!!!!!!!  After all, Jennifer Jones came from there!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     It seems Taheerah was some kind of child abuser.  She gave all three of her daughters--ages 11, 8, and 7--a hard time, but she saved the sickest for the eldest.

                                     You see, on Monday, it seems Taheerah did not like the way the girls were looking at her, or what they were reading--get the nets!!!!!!!!--and so she attacked her eldest, with a knife and pick ax, stabbing her up to 70 times.  Then, she set fire to the house, and fled with the two youngest children.

                                      Miraculously, police and firefighters were able to reach the eldest girl, who was still alive.  Now, she is hospitalized, and is in critical condition.  It is amazing she made it this far.  I hope she makes a full recovery, so she can give it to her bitch mother!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        I hope those other kids are now in the hands of Child Services.

                                        As for Taheerah, she is some sick bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        She will eventually be tortured in prison the way Judy, in "Challengers Of The Unknown" tortured Scorpio agent, Lisa, in the 1960's comics!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          Try figuring that one out, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This 'SVU' Episode Must Have Been Written By A Bunch Of Theater Queens!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                           Who knew there were any on staff?   Because, as it turned out, while it was not top notch, it was one of Season 19's better episodes.  Consider these points.

                            The episode was called "Mama."  Sort of a reference to "Gypsy," and while the title character, archly played by Anne Archer, was not central to the drama, it kept within the rubric of "Gypsy."  Though, at one point, I too, as others did, thought they were going for an incestuous relationship between mother and son, like with the great, late Margot Kidder , and Chad Lowe, in "Pique."  But, no.  Though Archer did play a retired Broadway musical star, bringing things into "Gypsy" perspective.

                             At the same time, this episode had one of the biggest guest lineups I have seen since the glory days of this show, which are long gone.   Beside Archer, there was Hal Linden, Joe Piscopo, and the great Irish actress, Fionnula Flanagan, in a stellar performance.  Both she and Hal were going for the Emmy gold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                            Fionnula plays a sweet woman named  Maddie Thomas, who claims she was raped in her nursing home facility.  Hal Linden plays a customer from the days when she ran a downtown cafĂ© and bakery.  He stopped coming because one night they had consensual sex, and she felt so guilty, she asked him not to come by anymore. And they were married to other people.

                             Now, she and Hal, who plays a Professor Maxwell, are elderly, and the way Linden plays it, he looks good for it.  He is ruled out, and so is the possibility of Maddie's credibility, when her rape kit turns up nothing.  But, then a woman in another facility, Patrice Connelly, gets raped, saying something about a man named "Dan."  But before any more info can be gotten, she dies, supposedly of a coronary, but I have to wonder if Dan showed up and caused her to have it.  I still believe he did.

                             They discover this "Dan" is a serial rapist, a kind of Charles Cullen, going from place to place, till something happens--rape--and he moves on.  They find out that this guy, "Daniel Hammerson" is using the ID of a now deceased patient.  Can you believe it???????   The best clue comes from a former colleague, who says he kept to himself, but was always whistling show tunes, especially the ones sung by former Broadway star, Trudy Morris, played by Anne Archer.

                              She turns out to be a real Broadway diva--the kind we all love, darlings!!!!!!!!  Archer was great, and she looks good, 31 years after "Fatal Attraction," but I had to wonder, why couldn't they get Patti Lu Pone??????????

                               "Dan" turns out to be Trudy's son, Henry Phillips, played by Todd Alan Crain, who, at first, I thought was Damien Midkiff, who played Colin Miller, in the classic "Cold Case" episode, "Wishing."  Both Colin and Henry are tragic, but Henry is completely unsympathetic, as arrogant and narcissistic as his mother.  Worse, because he has no credibility, save being a star's son.  And this is what drives him to rape older women?  Because his mother showered her love on her fans, and not him?  It isn't a strong enough motive to get me believing, but it is all we are given.

                                I loved the idea of calling out Henry via publicity, which succeeds in bringing other victims forward, by the press dubbing him "Broadway's Bad Seed!"  Again, with that kind of reference, some Theater Queens wrote this script, and had so much fun with it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 I wanted a 'Baby Jane' ending, with Henry going nuts, emerging in drag, and trying to act like Liza.  I guess that would have been TOO much.  But the actual end puzzled me.

                                 Finn, played the great Ice T, is promoted to Sergeant , at the start.  It is long overdue.  But, at the end, he decides to transfer back to SVU, which means he stays with the show.  We the audience know he got Dobbs to do this through a memo Finn has incriminating Dobbs in something.  But, at the end of the show, Olivia calls him "Sergeant."  So, is he or isn't he????????

                                 And Finn gets the last shot!  They are getting smarter!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Remember when LIZA herself was on some episode of 'Criminal Intent?' They should team her up with the guy who played Henry Phillips here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 It would be a camp blast, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

No Wonder Rhoda Is So Pissed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                               Darlings, if I were she, I would be mad, too!  Everyone wants to remake her iconic story, "The Bad Seed," refusing to understand that it was perfect the first time around!  And cannot be topped!

                                Back in 1985, director Paul Wendkos tried, with a 1985 television movie, show on ABC.  Blair Brown played Christine Penmark, who, here, is a widow, so there is no Kenneth Penmark.  Wonder if the daughter did him in?  Lynn Redgrave and David Ogden Stiers played siblings Monica and Emory Breedlove.  Richard Kiley played the grandfather, Richard Bravo, and the title role was played by a nasty looking thing who went nowhere, named Carrie Wells.  She underwent a name change--Rhoda is now Rachel--and she plays the whole thing like a Jewish American Princess bitch.  Not a sign of pathology anywhere.   The best performance was actually given by David Carradine, as Leroy, who put his own, genuinely creepy spin on a performance equally as creepy by Henry Jones, in the original.
                               .

                                   Wenkos did do some interesting things.  For instance, all the murders, done offstage or off screen, are shown.  The film opens with the murder of who all us "Bad Seed" aficionados know as Mrs. Clara Post.  A child actor, named Chad Allen, who went out of the business, and into gay activism, played murder victim Claude Daigle, who was sure sorry he won that penmanship medal!!!!!!!!  Again, there is a name change; Claude Daigle becomes Mark Daigler.  Why?????  Rachel is seen menacing him on the beach, and chasing him onto the wharf.  I don't recall if she is shown hitting Mark with the shoes, but already more is being shown than in the original.

                                    In the novel, Christine writes a series of letters to Kenneth, detailing the experiences she has been going through, explaining what Rhoda is, and why.  She ultimately burns them, so they are never seen.  Blair Brown does the same thing, presumably writing to her father.

                                     The most interesting change involves Christine and the dream involving her real mother, Bessie Denker, a female serial killer.  Which turned out to be not a dream, but a buried memory.  The dream is described by a memorably distraught Christine, played by Nancy Kelly.  We see what happens in our imagination.  Nothing is left to that, here.  There is a haunting image of a dream sequence, with an unidentified woman, dressed in black, stalking through some marshes, calling out "Christine! Christine!," while holding a scythe.   If you look up the credits for this version, you will see the character, Rachel's grandmother, is identified as "Rhoda Penmark."  So, this version skips one generation?  Or two?  Why the name change, anyway?  Though, I will say, the dream sequences are the most haunting, and memorable thing about this version.

                                        Two actresses who never went anywhere, Ann Haney and Carol Locatell, play Miss Fern, whose name here is changed to Alice, not Claudia, and, in the Eileen Heckart role, Locatell plays  is called Rita Daigler, and, with a black wig, resembles an older Carolyn Jones, who, had she
still been alive, would have perfect for the Heckart role, and would have nailed it better than these two do theirs.

                                          Inconceivable as it may now sound, Rachel, while she does play the piano, does not play "Au Clair De La Lune."  Instead, here, it is Beethoven's "Fur Elise."  Not nearly as haunting.

                                          In this version, Christine dies.  With Daddy dispatched, Gramps is to take her.  Is he for in a surprise.  But the moment is ruined.  Rachel emerges from the French doors of her apartment, comes to her grandfather, as bored and detached as can be.  The camera moves in for a close-up, and she says, "I'm ready."

                                           "That's IT?"," I said, when I saw this, back in 1985.  Despite some interesting changes, all the juice was taken out of this story.  Wells played a petulant child, not a pathological one.  Rachel just needed a good smack!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           Now, wait, things get a bit more interesting.  Eli Roth, who made "Inglorious Bastards," "Hostel," and "Cabin Fever," has, for years, been talking about doing a remake of "The Bad Seed," laced with blood and gore.  It has not happened, yet, so I guess those he pitched it to had the good sense to watch, or recall, the 1956 film, and told him, "Are you kidding?"

Now, wait, darlings, because things are about to get even more interesting. Rob Lowe, who mistakenly thinks he can do it all, plans to remake "The Bad Seed" for Lifetime.  If this happens, no matter how badly it turns out--and it will--I have GOT to see this.

The two actresses pictured above are McKenna Grace, of "Designated Survivor," and who played young Tonya Harding in "I, Tonya," and Patty McCormack, the original Rhoda herself, now in her early Seventies.  They have been tapped for the Lowe remake, which he will star in and direct, and which will be rewritten by some writer named Barbara Marshall.  And wait till you hear what they plan to do with it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I guess it will be set in the present day.  No surprise there, so was the 1985 version.  There is another name change; the little sociopath is now to be called Emma.  Forget that Grace looks too sophisticated above; that is just a publicity photo.  When I heard Patty McCormack was to be in it, I thought, of course she would be playing the Eileen Heckart role, just like she did in a stage production of the play, directed by her nephew, on Staten Island, years back.

But, no, here she is playing a child psychiatrist, who is treating Emma.  So, is this a re-imagining of Reginald Tasker, or what?  Sounds more to me like the Jacqueline Brookes role in the 1993 Macaulay Culkin thriller, "The Good Son."  My God, that was 25 years ago!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, and get this!  The gender of the parent is being changed, which lessens the concept of the original story.  The mother, having a uterus, blamed herself for carrying on and passing evil, within it.  What can Lowe as a father do?  Blame his swimmers?  I am sorry, it does not have the same, if any, emotional impact.  It would give a new meaning to the title "The Bad Seed."

When will people leave enough alone?  Leave "The Bad Seed" to all of us who love it the way it is!!!!!!!!!!

Maybe instead of being called aficionados, lovers of this story should be called "Seedlings!"

I'm the Head Seedling, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who Knew The Bride Of Frankenstein Was A Fag Hag, With Raging Hormones???????????????????


                               For some odd reason unbeknownst even to me, girls, I had an urge to watch the castle explode, at the end of "The Bride Of Frankenstein."  But I had forgotten what preceded it, having not seen this film for a long time.

                                What irony.  Casting tiny little Elsa Lanchester, so campy in the opening sequence, where she plays Mary Shelley, as the tallest bride in Hollywood.  Sure, she is a monster, sure she was assembled from dismembered body parts, but, while she is no Blythe Danner, she came out looking more glam than Karloff did, as the Monster.  I mean, that make-up, and that hair style. I will never understand why Elsa Lanchester's hairstyle  in this film did not become as iconic or imitated, by 1930's film audiences, as Shirley Temple's curls.  This film was made in Shirley's prime; it is too bad they were not teamed up, in a film!!!!!!!!!  I guess the negotiations were too difficult between 20th Century-Fox and Universal.

                                 Now, Elsa Lanchester, off screen, was married to Charles Laughton, a big old queen, himself, who was into things I don't even want to discuss on here.  So, it is kind of funny to see, that, as the Bride, while we do not know her intellectual prowess,  did have hormones and taste enough  to reject the Monster, which is heartbreaking, showing, instead she has the hots for the handsomer Colin Clive!!!!!!!!!!!  She knew what was what dolls!!!!!!!!!!  But don't forget Colin, off screen, was at least bisexual, I think, and in the previous film, it was clear that he and the hunchback, Fritz (played by the great Dwight Frye) had a Master-Slave relationship, with Victor Frankenstein bottoming out for Fritz, once they were out of the lab.

                                      So, the Bride, like Elsa, was a big, old Fag Hag!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     As for Ernest Thesiger, as Doctor Praetorious, don't get me started.  He obviously came out of some European underground Theater Of Sensuality.  Maybe this would turn out to be the circus Joan Crawford runs, thirty years later, in "Berserk!"

                                      It would not surprise me one bit.  I was surprised how sensible in taste the Bride was!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     She knew handsome, when she saw it!  Just like us, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This Is How It Felt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                              On Monday, a group of us--David, my sister, my two nephews, and my nephew Matthew's wife--returned to Resurrection Cemetery, in Piscataway, New Jersey, to lay to rest the cremains of my father.

                              It was as ominous as the opening funeral in "Frankenstein."  The message of finality was nailed into me, like a coffin being shut.  That my sister and I are the last remnants of my parents on this earth.  That our own mortality is inevitable.  To console myself, I thought of Emily Bronte's final passage in "Wuthering Heights."  To paraphrase, I was somewhat comforted, knowing my parents would sleep peacefully, forever, in that quiet earth.

                               Then there was the lunch in Highland Park, where nothing seemed the same, because I was not the same person I was when I left, thirty five years ago.  Those years cannot be erased, and while I did accomplish a fair share there, neither can the slights I suffered there be entirely forgotten. Though, as I said to David, had I spent all 63 years of my life in that one area, I might have had a nervous breakdown.

                               The dust will finally settle, and my parents are now reunited.

                               May they both rest in peace.

                               Here is the funeral scene from "Doctor Zhivago."  It is as fine a representation of how I felt.  Oh, and the little boy featured is the son of actor Omar Sharif.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Has Kim Jong Un Read The "Crazy Asian" Books?????????????


                            I have to wonder, darlings, because, as I keep telling you on here, hair is the secret  to success, so what is up with Kim?  I mean that faux retro style does nothing for him.  I mean, the black on black wardrobe look is OK, but that flat head is a dead head!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             The man needs some hair on the sides, or in front, something frothy and fun, to make him seem less the dictator he is.  He needs to get in touch with his inner femme by reading those "Crazy Asian" books.

                               Now, don't blame me for a world crisis as a result of this blog.  I think Kim has more on his mind than hair, but, I am telling you, he better start thinking about it.

                                He could come to New York, and get an appointment at Sally Hershberger.  I am sure the staff would welcome him warmly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                It's all about style, Kim!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

This Situation Raises The Desperation Of Spinsterhood To The Highest Level It Can Go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                                 Blanche and Miss Alma were not even in the same ball park as Jacqueline Ades.  And, in some ways, she even outdoes Glenn Close as Alex Forest!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Just look at that face.  Look into the eyes.  Beneath them lies the veneer of a troubled woman.

                                    The trouble started a year ago, when Ades, now 31, had a date with an unidentified man--and I don't blame him, for wanting to stay that way--in Arizona.  Immediately she leapt upon this poor guy, saying they were soul mates, a fact which he did not see.  To be sure, there was no second date.  Instead, over the course of a year, this woman sent to him 65,000 texts, sometimes at the rate of 500 a day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       She also made anti-Semitic remarks--I presume the man is Jewish--and said she was the new Hitler!  Oh, yeah?  Where is the moustache??????????????

                                         With even more glee, she said she wanted to--I kid you, not, girls!!!!!!--wear his body parts, and taste his blood!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           I hope you are thinking what I am!  Bat Shit Crazy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            Which nevertheless makes her fascinating, in spite of the danger she presents to society and herself.

                                               So, I ask questions!  Does she even work?  Or is stalking their job, as these types spend so much time at it? Still, they have to take care of themselves, somehow.  Or be able to move about in society as though they are capable.

                                                 Ades may have been docile for a time.  I do not know her back story, but I would love to.  Something in this guy she dated only once triggered her.  And something in her told him to have the good sense to run!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                  It will take more than a rocking chair or cat to calm this spinster. How about a padded cell???????????????

                                                    I see an ID or 'SVU' episode in the offing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Tangerine!!!!!!!!!!!" It Is The Only One!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                                        Forget what Joyce Carol Oates says.  The Donna Tartt connection only involves the two female characters having gone to Bennington College, in Vermont.  And Gillian Flynn, forget it!  The future of thrillers belongs to Christine Mangan, who is more in the camp of Patricia Highsmith.  Indeed, "Tangerine" reads like "The Talented Mr. Ripley," where Ripley is a female.

                                         This novel gets into all kinds of territory--college girl shenanigans, lesbianism, "Single White Female'--you name it.  The surprise is that Mangan's writing is so strong it all seems fresh and spontaneous.

                                            And Lucy Mason is no Lucy Snow.  Miss Snow is the heroine of Charlotte Bronte's best novel, "Villette."  Which most people, unfortunately,  have not read.

                                             But do not underestimate Alice Shipley.  She is a match for Lucy, and while I cannot reveal the outcome, it does pave the way for a sequel, if Mangan would care to write one.  And watch out for Aunt Maude, who is as gullible as Monica Breedlove, in "The Bad Seed."

                                               Were I Christine Mangan,  I would just revel right now in the glow of having written the most clever thriller of the year.  This could be a contender for my end of year list.  We shall see.

                                                 Hey, Christine--if you read this--I am one who is fascinated with 18th Century Gothic literature, as well.  Please share with me the novels you perused in doing your thesis.  I would love to read some of those!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                    Gothic in Gotham!  That's me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Do NOT Touch Anything In Penn Station!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


                                 I had a friend who used to refer to Port Authority Bus Terminal as "the arm pit of the Universe."  It is hardly a class joint, but Penn Station is not that far behind.

                                  Yesterday found us there, because going by train was the fastest way to get to Chatham, where Marilyn, of Linda and Marilyn, was being given an 85th birthday party by her daughter Hallie and husband, Jay.  The party was fabulous, but Penn Station, oh my God!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    First, they are renovating the bathrooms. Or have, since God knows when.  On our last trip out there, we had to endure the indignity of walking far outside the station, practically onto the street, and using an especially annoying route, involving being corralled like cows to the  corral, use metal, street constructed comfort stations.  You know, like those cheap, sleazy thing at amusement park!!!!!!!!!!!  Can you believe this??????  Would Jackie and Lee put up with this!!!!!!!
Girls, I am telling you, do not touch anything!  Do NOT even think of sitting down!  Do not even look at anyone!  Just do what one must, and get the hell out of there!

                                      Even the homeless avoid these traps!  I am telling you, one is actually safer, and healthier, ducking into a back alley!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     What happened to custodial care?  Because, when I walked down the stairs to where we were to await boarding our train, I held onto a railing, my hand touched something, and, I swear to God, it was boogers!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I did not even stop to look, just found a drinking fountain, doused a napkin, and washed my hand!!!!!!!!!!  Boogers in Penn Station!!!!!!!!!!!  What is the world coming to?????????????????????

                                       The luxurious fantasy  of the days of the Twentieth Century Ltd. belongs forever to the musical theater past!  If a musical today were done about train travel, it would have to be done in some grunge Brooklyn rant place,  or stage littered with set designed filth!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          How creative, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Hey, ANNA!!!!!!!!!!!! Why Wasn't I Invited To The Met Gala?????????????????????


                                          I would love to have been!   I should have been!   I could have bought any of my canine friends--Cujo, Chloe, and Seamus--all of whom are high fashion icons--and would have looked dashing on that carpet. I wonder what designer I would have gone with????????

  The irony is the idea of the exhibit--fashion over the years, in the Catholic church--I  think my late father would have loved.  And the gala came a week following what would have been his 103 birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            I could have gone!  I could have been invited!

                                            So, ANNA, I am telling you, next year be sure to invite me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             I have to talk to you about a VOGUE cover with Baby Gojira!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              Here is ANNA talking about some of her favorite costumes in the exhibition.  Enjoy the divine ANNA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!