Saturday, June 30, 2018

Can You Believe We Are Half-Way Through 2018????????????????

                                   I will say the first third was rough, what with my father's passing, and all the attendant hoopla, which followed.  I am still working my way through this, yet am still enjoying my reading, my David, my friends, both human and animal, and all the things I am grateful for, in having made to this point.  Including (of course!) "Carousel."

                                   My hope is that the second half will b even better than the first, when it was good, and I pray, for all of you, including myself, no more tragedies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    Before you know it, it will be time for the September VOGUE.  And The Met Gala!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     See you next month, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I Wanted To Close In A Campy, Colorful Manner!!!!!!!!!!!! What Better Way Than Older Board Games???????????

                             The color and designs of what are now these minor works of art cannot be matched by anything manufactured today, where it is all techno trash, and darkness--from "Lord Of The Rings" to "Game Of Thrones," nothing but dark, stone, rocky designs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               Even the three-dimensionality of games like "Mouse Trap" and "Crazy Clock" (when you could get this one to work!) is an improvement over what passes as games for today!!!!!!!!

                                So, let us look back fondly on these games, as on this month, which was highlighted by "Carousel," the outrageousness of "Hereditary," and "The Carrie Diaries" by Lindsay Mendez!   Oops, just cannot stay away from "Carousel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                 Wishing you all an exciting July!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Girls, Of All Genders, Cannot Afford NOT To Have Something By Chloe, In Their Home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                             I am the first to admit I have plenty of Ralph Lauren, YSL,  and some others, but I am simply amiss on my Chloe!!!!!!!!!!!!   Go ahead, flog me!!!!!!!!!!!!  What am I going to do???????

                              Isn't the blue blouse stunning?  That would go great with almost anything I wear, and create a breathtaking effect at parties when I enter,  Just like Carly Simon says, as though I am "walking onto a yacht."  And if I could have an apricot scarf by Chloe, that would be fine, too.

                              Both bags are breathtaking, darlings, but the pastel one on the left is my favorite--a natural for Spring and Summer, with the darker for Fall and Winter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                And how about that red blouse and dress combo!  SO classic!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                You all know about my friend, Miss Chloe, the lovable golden retriever I just adore!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 I wonder if she owns any percentage in Chloe stock??????????????????

Gentlemen, I Am Telling You, You Need To Have One Brioni Suit, In Your Closet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     One would just not be enough for me, dolls; I love the red and white; latter being perfectly creamy looking during the Summer, while the red would be great for Fall, and the blue for Winter.  All the seasons right there--either the white or blue could double for Spring.

                                       Guys, I don't care if you are gay or straight, if you don't have at least one designer garment--even a handkerchief in the house--then you need me as an image consultant.  If there are any gays out there I actually have to tell this to--well, what is wrong with you, anyway?????? Straight guys are clueless to anything that does not involve pussy, so the need all the help the can get!!!!!!!!!!

                                          I always say stick with the Italians!  From what I have seen, Brioni is the best!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           Guys have to look good, matter their orientation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Girls, I Am Telling You, I Need A Pink Tinted Moisturizer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Summer is upon us, with all its glory, darlings!  My hair is frazzled, and you cannot imagine what the sun does to my delicate skin.

                                        So, more than ever, I need a pink tinted moisturizer to capture that special glow.  Any of the named brands will do; the important thing is to keep looking light, bright, and glowing, because we all have to look our best, especially as the weather warms up.

                                         Personally, I would go with Clinique; it seems one gets more for your money!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          If I do makeover, I will be sure to post on here, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 29, 2018

A New "Carrie Diaries" From Lindsay Mendez!!!!!!!!!!!!! And Some Words From Me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Just because I have already seen "Carousel," does not mean I will stop writing about it.  Should the opportunity arise, as it has now, I am always willing and ready to write about the magnificence of this production, and those presenting it.  Eight shows a week, of this?  Darlings, how do you do it?????????????

                                      Well, Lindsay has a new episode of "The Carrie Diaries" that has to be seen.  It has several interesting highlights--a view of the Imperial Theatre from the perspective of one being on the stage, Amar Ramasar's recipe for backstage relaxation, which I am ready to try, darlings, and, thanks to one of the dancers, the revelation that Lindsay must have shot this during the Sunday Gay Pride performance, on June 24.

                                       Which is the performance David and I were at.  I feel honored.

                                        Now, something else.  Alexander Gemignani, the resident Mr. Snow, was not there, due to some commitment to a theater company he is working with, in the Midwest.  At least, that is the story I was given.  He will return on July 15.  And maybe I will, Though his understudy, Jacob Keith Watson, did a beautiful job in the role.  But Mr. Gemignani will have to leave the show again, this coming Winter, because he is serving as Musical Director (stepping into father Paul's shoes!!!!!!!!) for the forthcoming Roundabout "Merrily We Roll Along."

                                        Alexander may not be the only one leaving.  Roundabout Casting Department, take note.  Look no further than Lindsay Mendez!!!!!!!!!!  She is your new Mary Flynn!!!!!!!!!!!  She has the voice and the acting chops; I can just hear her on "Now, You Know!," "Opening Doors," and the deeply moving "Our Time."

                                          So, see these talented folk ASAP!  And if Lindsay is not cast, whomever would make that stupid decision will be named Bitch Of The Week, by yours truly!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           But enough with me!  Here is Lindsay and "The Carrie Diaries!"


Darlings, Sould I Become An Image Consultant?????????????????????????

                                     Really, girls, the idea has crossed my mind.

                                     Especially since I am now more than half-way through Lauren Weisberger's new book, "When Life Gives You Lululemons."  One of the main characters is Emily Charlton, from "The Devil Wears Prada," and immortalized by the brilliant Emily Blunt, in the movie.

                                      Emily is an Image Consultant, operating both in New York and L.A.  You could not pay me enough to go out there, unless it included a stay at the Chateau Marmont.  That is my asking price, for getting me out to L.A.

                                        It occurred to me, that, as The Raving Queen, I have been somewhat of an Image Consultant on here, for years.  I have invoked the divine name of ANNA, written abut Met Galas, Sally Hershberger, and the benefits of St. Ives products.  And all for free.

                                          Now, I am not going to charge anyone on here for my advice--I wouldn't DREAM of it--but it does occur to me, with Summer in swing, it might be helpful to review some tips.  So, let's go--

                               1.  No Matter How Crappy Your Closet, Always Own At Least ONE Designer Garment--Hons, I cannot tell you how much this will do for your self-esteem, let alone your social status.  I mean, one cannot live by crap alone, can one?????????????

                               2.  Guys--Always Go With The Italians--Whether Armani or Brioni, you cannot go wrong.  Especially with suits.

                                3. No Matter What Your Gender, Or What You Think It Might Be, A Killer Hairstyle Is Essential--Look at what it has done for Lauren Weisberger.  Half the reason she gets books published, is because of her hair.  Girls, or wannabe girls, go to Sally Hershberger--on East 71st Street!!!!!!!  Guys, if I were you, I would go to Prestige Salon, on East 96th, Le Frere, on the same street, and, if you should happen to be on the Upper West Side, Laura Braunstein, on West 84th.  Gentlemen, rest assured, when you emerge from one of these places, if you are gay, you will look simply FABULOUS, and if you happen to be straight, you will look so good, people will think you ARE gay.  Which, in New York City, is actually a compliment!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 4. A Signature Fragrance Can Establish A Persona--Speaking of hygiene, I have never forgiven the demise of Caswell Massey on Lexington Avenue--their peach and lemon body wash made me the toast of Mayfair, back in the day, darlings!  This is a tough one to give advice on, but I will try.  Fragrances come and go, so my best bet is to stick with what has been around longest.  I recall how I used to love Bleu Marine, by Pierre Cardin, but then it just vanished, forever!!!!!!  My signature cologne, even though it is tough to find, is Safari For Men, by Ralph Lauren.  And there is always that old standby, Halston Z-14!  Being the prefumey type, I prefer those kinds of scents, but if you are seeking something masculine and musky, stick with the Italians!  Women have more options here!!!!!!!!!
                                5. Accessorize!!!!!!!!!!--I don't care if it's a hanky, scarf or jewelry, this is essential for looking one's best.  Women have the advantage again here--but I would tell everyone, if it is jewelry you are after, stick with Tiffany's, Harry Winston, and Van Cleef And Arpels.  I know they say "Every kiss begins with Kay," but that is bullshit!  I mean, if you live in a suburban sty, fine, but my darlings on here are beyond all that!  I know I am!  As for scarves, the girls pretty much know what to do, but I say, guys, if you feel like it, FLAME IT UP!!!!!!!!  Laura Ashley, the more colorful of Ralph Lauren's products--his pastels are spectacular!!!!!!!!--and Yves Saint Laurent will work just fine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               6.  Make-Up--This is a tough one.  I struggle with it all the time.  Darlings, it takes me twenty minutes in the morning, each morning, to get my face on, before it is fit to be seen.  Add to that in the Summer, when I have to use sunscreen, because, with my magnolia white skin, if I don't, forget it!!!!!!!!!!  How would I face a camera, during a photo shoot?  As for finding a good foundation, blush, and concealer, I am all over the place!!!!!!!!!  I would say consult one of the staff at the hair salon you finally choose; they should have excellent cosmeticians there.  And look over Revlon and L'Oreal one day, while shopping!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               7.  Hydrate--This is the easiest, darlings, but you have to watch out for these  phony faux drinks.  A simple glass of water, with a lemon twist, is all you need.  If on the go, I stay simple, with Polish Spring.  Some of their flavorings--especially Lemon and Orange--are tasteful, because the flavor is beautifully understated.  I would keep it simple here, and avoid the phoniness of Evian, Aquafina and Voss.  I mean, you can, if you want, but, no matter the name or how it is packaged, it is still just water, darlings.  Hydration is good for your physical health and skin. And if you are diabetic, as am I, it is ESSENTIAL, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 8. Exercise--I am a fine one to talk, because I am the most non-athletic person around.  So, when my doctor showed me my A1C had gone up more than I would like, he suggested walking--and I have been doing 30 minutes of power walking each morning.  Note the suggestion before this one--exercise is when you MUST have water on hand, or else you will not survive.  My walk includes sixty steps I go up and down, and a park, in which I do a "Sound Of Music," "Do-Re-Mi" routine.  I really wouldn't worry about designer athletic wear; it is just as phony as water, This is the one time where you can throw anything on, and not give a damn, because who is going to look at you, anyway??????????  This is where health wins out over appearance, (the good health will help you keep the appearance!) so feel free to look as crappy as possible.  It's your one time the pressure is NOT on you to shine! Oh, and carry water with you and DRINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                9.  Dining--This is a hard one.  By all means, on birthdays and special occasions, splurge, but do not go hog wild.  As little wine as possible, because we don;'t want to spazz out, or go to AA, like Lillian Roth!!!!!!!!  A Pellegrino with a lemon twist can be as satisfying as a glass of wine.  And eat in moderation--maybe half of what you are given.  But don't be afraid to eat.  There is no need to go all Karen Carpenter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                10. Hosting--If you follow all the above, you will be ready to host your own soiree.  Make sure it is catered by the BEST--La Grenouille, Harry Cipriani, or Babbo.  And don't be afraid if they say NO--they really want your money, so if you insist, in a subtly bitchy way, they will damn well serve you!  As they should!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 So, those are my latest consultant tips.   Wouldn't I make a fabulous Image Consultant?  And here, you get it all, for nothing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   Any questions, comments?  Direct them here.

                                 One last thing. When you arrive at the Hosting part, send me your guest list.  One cannot have a successful evening, without inviting Princess Lee Radziwill!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   As one Princess to another, dolls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why, And When, Did Amusement Parks Stop Having The Tunnel Of Love??????????????????????

                                 Did the Sexual Revolution of the Sixties actually destroy romance?  Or was it air conditioning????????????

                                 Back in the days, even before MY time, darlings, before the advent of air conditioners, a good way to get cool--and maybe a little bit hot--was to go to any amusement park of the day, which often had a Tunnel Of Love.

                                 Now, I have never experienced one--and don't get nasty, out there!!!!!!-- but the idea of floating in a boat shrouded in darkness, where it has to be cooler, and given an opportunity to smooch, but not much more, because, my God, one is in a boat, and trying to go all the way could land one in the water, and stall the ride, sounds simply romantic to me!  Girls, let's go for it!!!!!!!!!

                                 One always entered the tunnel through a heart shaped entrance, often emerging though one at another end point.

                                  How cool and refreshing it would be to do this again.  Even with air conditioning, even if alone.

                                   But with everyone putting disgusting things they do on YouTube, and such, pastoral pleasures have flown the coop!

                                     I just love the idea of the Tunnel Of Love.

                                      Maybe it's time to bring pastoral pleasures and romance back!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

I Was All Set To Name A Bitch Of The Week! Then, I Heard The Story Of Joshua Powell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Let me tell you something, darlings.  I never cared for "The Book Of Mormon" on Broadway, and, after hearing Joshua Powell's story, I am not sure how I feel about those who practice Mormonism.  I know Josh is not representative of all Mormons, but the problematic hypocrisy behind his upbringing is perhaps more what led to this ultimate tragedy.

                                  Josh has been described as a predator.  I disagree.  He is a family annihilator.

                                  Let's start with his problematic upbringing.  His father, Steven Powell was some kind of sex pig perv who reveled in fantasies of polygamy and kiddy porn, that he exposed his children, like Josh, to.  This  man was an animal, and, coming from such a place, Josh could not have turned out well.

                                   Josh Powell and Susan Cox were married, in April, 2001, in a Mormon church in Portland, Oregon.  They eventually moved to Utah, because of the predatory nature of Steven Powell, who was lusting after Susan.  I bet he wanted he and Josh to both have sex with her, simultaneously.

                                    Susan could not take it, and so they moved.  Josh, with a business degree,  became a corporate honcho wannabe.  I say wannabe, because I think part of his problem was that he was never really successful at anything.  The program I saw his story on never once mentioned how he supported himself, for all he kept attesting to the validity and reliability of his parenthood.

                                      Susan first worked as a cosmetologist, and, later, when they moved close to Salt Lake City, Utah, she worked in a bank.  And in Washington, too.  Sounded like she was more grounded than Josh.

                                        On film, he comes across as some cocky, arrogant thing--definitely homophobic, and in favor of everything I am against.  I would have liked to have beaten him to a pulp.   But he got his.

                                          The marriage was tanking by 2008, with Susan, saying in a video, made in July, 2009,  that if something happened to her, it might not be an accident.  That's when red flags should have gone up. Susan was definitely sending out signals.

                                            Things start to get murky.  Josh was also an alpha control freak--why should I be surprised?????--causing Susan to fear for herself and her children.  At first, the entire family was reported missing, by relations, on December 7, 2009.  Eventually, Josh showed up, around 5PM that day, with the two boys, Charles, then 4, and Braden, then 2.

                                              Susan was definitely missing.  And the heat was on Josh.  It was also suggested--and I agree--that his perv Papa had something to do with it, too.  Maybe they jointly killed Susan, or he helped to cover it up.  When questioned in 2012, Josh's eldest, Charlie, then 7, said he and his parents went on a camping trip, at the time.  Their mother went with them, but did not return.
A teacher later reported Charlie saying his mother was dead. And when Braden, then 5, was asked by police to draw a family portrait of the trip, Susan was not in it.  Braden told the police she was in the car trunk.

                                                 So, something definitely happened on that trip, though, to this day, no one quite knows what,  except that Susan is presumably dead.  And her body has never been found, and now there is no one, save maybe Steven Powell, to reveal where it is.  And he ain't talking.

                                                   Then came the custody battles.  Susan's parents,  Charles Cox, and his wife, Judith, felt Josh was not fit to raise those boys, and they were right! By 2010, Josh had moved with his sons to Puyallup, in the state of Washington, sharing a house with his two sons--and father, Steven!!!!!!!!!!  Eventually, in August of 2015, this sick Daddy was ordered to serve five years in prison--not enough, as far as I am concerned; give him LWOP!!!!--for child porn and voyeurism charges.  But he was guilty of far more than that.

                                                    It was a psychological tug of war for those boys.  The Coxes kept winning, and Josh kept fighting.  Finally, each was granted six months time with the boys.  Though Josh had undergone psychological and psycho sexual evaluations, in early 2012.  He was found fit as a parent, financially stable, able to support the boys, and had no criminal record of violence or abuse.  But he had the disappearance of Susan hanging over him, and the nightmare presence of his sexually deranged father.  Who, of course, the arrogant prick stuck up for!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                     Someone should have seen this coming.  Weeks before the tragedy, on February 5, 2012, Josh began taking action.  He purchased five gallons of gasoline, donated his children's toys to area charities, and took out a $7,000 insurance policy, leaving it to his brother, Michael.  On the morning of February 5, 2012, key people in Josh's life began receiving emails, texts, or phone calls, from him, saying goodbye, with a tone of utter finality.  No one seemed to sense what was coming.

                                                       Charles and Braden, now 7 and 5, had grown fond of the Coxes, and looked upon them as parental figures.  They were not happy about having to visit Josh, but the law decreed it.  Although they arrived supervised by a social worker, Josh received the boys into the house, but pushed the social worker out.  While she called 911, he was in the house, drenched with gasoline, taking a hatchet to the boys--probably to spare them a fiery death, but it did not work; they all died from carbon monoxide poisoning, and head wounds were found on the boys.  The house went ablaze, blowing up, with Josh taking the life of himself , and his boys.

                                                           When I heard this story, I could not think of a better, and more heinous, choice for Bitch Of The Week.  Josh is not the only family annihilator to make this list, and he, unfortunately, will not be the last.   What interests me is that the "Dateline" program on which I was made aware of this, did not cite a motive for Susan's murder or Josh and his boys.  But it is clear to me.

                                                              Like many family annihilators, Josh very likely suffered from Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  He is indispensable, and the only one who can raise those boys, and has the right to.  So, if he could not have them, no one could.  As for Susan, she very likely had some of her own ideas about how the boys should be raised, which did not jive with Josh's, leading to conflict, and eventually the decision that it would be better to get rid of her.  Which he did.

                                                                 Add to this mix, having had Steven Powell as a father.  It could not have helped!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                Having known several people in my life who committed suicide, I am extremely sensitive to this matter.  I do not feel sorry for Josh, but I hate that he took his life.  He should have been legally sentenced to death, or given LWOP.  But no one was going to tell him what to do.  Had Josh killed himself, well, his family would have been upset, and I am sorry for them too.  But taking the boys' lives into his hands, and making an irrevocable decision for them is inexcusable, and rates him one of the biggest Bitch(es) Of The Week, on here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                                I believe that Josh is now getting the comeuppance he deserves, while Susan is reunited with their boys.  I hope so.  They endured enough Hell on earth!!!!!!!!

                                                                  I wish this story had a happy ending, but it does not.  On July 11, 2017, Steven Powell was released from prison, and is now a free man.  Like his son, he is probably arrogant enough to return to where he once lived.

                                                                    I hope someone recognizes him, and kicks him in the teeth!!!!!!!!!!!!

Didn't I Tell You There Were Vampires, In Bay Ridge??????????????????????

                              While I have not seen the entity known as Frankenstein's Daughter (or Granddaughter) in quite a while, I can attest that Summer nights in Bay Ridge can be exciting, because, once the sun goes down, and until 4:30AM, the vampires emerge from their lairs, and they have all sorts of fun, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  I have never seen one of them, or, if I have, I would not be sure how to spot one. Besides, I do not go out at much at night, anyway, and especially in Bay Ridge, where, once the sun sets, things get dicey.

                                   Bay Ridge's vampires are most active in the Summer.  During the colder time of the year, they wander about, forlorn and devastated, like the ghost of Catherine Linton in Mr. Lockwood's dream in "Wuthering Heights."

                                     So, this is their most exciting and active time.  Baby Gojira is fascinated, and wants to see one.  I am telling him I am not sure what a Bay Ridge vampire looks like.

                                      Do they look like this?
Which would be great, because they have a kind of choreographic glamour.

But Bay Ridge being what it is--and I love it here--its vampires are distinctly different from the rest.  I am sure this is what they would look like--

This begs the question of how they can wander about, unseen.  But even if from Bay Ridge, they can still take the forms of bats and wolves, which is why, as party gals, or guys, they get by, unnoticed.

VamGlam is sure different from what it was, back in the old days, and the Old Country!!!!!!!!!!!

There is only one way to destroy a Bay Ridge vampire.

Instead of a crucifix, flash in its face a picture of trainer ANNA WINTOUR!  The only figure who can strike fear into these types!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

After You Read This, Darlings, Just Get Up And Go!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                         When a work of art, and how it is presented, meet my standards of perfection, I know it in my gut, and I respond in kind, with overwhelming emotion.  The above photo is pretty much a depiction of my reaction to the revival of "Carousel," now playing at the Imperial Theatre, and I would not be at all surprised if I pay another visit.

                           Those sinister opening notes, signaling a very different kind of musical--heavy, not light.  Those key phrases--"Off you would go in the mist of day" (Simply brilliant, as most lyricists would have used "night."  "Day" makes it unbearably poignant), that last section of "When The Children Are Asleep, "When today is a long time ago....," oh my God!  And then, the most moving of all, "At the end of the storm, is a golden sky, and the sweet, silver song of a lark."  These are beautiful, emotionally wrenching, moments.

                            Combine these with melodies, and artists to render them, and any audience is guaranteed one hell of a ride.  When there is Renee Fleming singing this last to a sobbing Jessie Mueller, in the most beautifully understated, and all the more affecting, rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone," the audience is there, all the way.

                               The radiance and gravitas of Jessie Mueller's Julie reminds one that not only do the most beautiful sounds come out of her mouth, she is one hell of an actress.  I can't imagine a more effective Julie than Jessie, who gets all her contradictions, and makes Julie a survivor, and never a victim.  And when Jessie launched into "If I Loved You," tears ran down my face.

                               "Carousel" pretty much wiped me out.  There is the unstoppable Jessie, but also the magnificent Joshua Henry, who also brings contradiction and torment to the role of Billy, enabling the audience to understand this tortured soul in a way nobody has.  Then there is that voice, one of the best males working today, fully expressive, and the biggest TONY robbery since Robert Lindsay beat out Colm Wilkinson in "Les Miserables."  Henry's Billy is the finest male musical performance I have seen since Wilkinson's Valjean!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Everything you've heard about Lindsay Mendez is true.  A voice from God, beautiful in tone, and the most compelling phrasing in the performance of Carrie I have heard--fun, moving, and her dancing is extraordinary.  I loved how her relationship with Julie remained close; even as their children navigate the difficult terrain of adolescence. And when, in the Prologue, she and Julie jointly entered the stage, the audience went wild!!!!!!!!!!!  Jessie and Lindsay!!!!!!!   Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   I still feel I am not conveying the essence of what makes "Carousel" great, or at least why it affects me so strongly.  Speaking for myself now, having been raised in an environment, where my individual self forced me to question all that was around me, "Carousel" and its protagonists connect with me, in that we are all doing the same thing, as the show reassures one that if we weren't, we wouldn't be human.  It is the humanity of the material, combined with the spirituality surrounding this production--this "Carousel" opens in a heavenly realm, with the Starkeeper foreshadowed throughout-- and this context forced me to examine myself closely in a manner that was dramatically moving, yet cathartic and healing.

                                   Much of "Carousel" makes audiences uncomfortable.  But if you go with it, like Billy, you realize forgiveness is possible.

                                     I never thought how much "Carousel" was about seeking forgiveness, even in the face of loving, let alone that it deals with social class distinctions, and, in the great Act II ballet, danced beautifully by Brittany Pollack and Andrei Chagas, bullying.  Louise is being bullied by her community, just as Billy must have been.  When he look on her and says, "I know what she is going through," I wept, because, I too, understood what she was going through.  This is also the best piece of choreography I have seen in ages, and I hope more is seen of Justin Peck's work, on Broadway or off.  I know I want to see more.

                                     The ensemble--my favorites being Amar Ramasar as Jigger, and Garrett Hawe in a variety of roles, especially Enoch Snow, Jr.  When he brings to Louise's attention his father's feeling of his being attracted to her (Louise) being beneath his station, the social class message kicked in; the audience around me audibly gasped.  There is also Corey John Snide, dance captain, and another one to keep an eye on.

                                      This is the most danced "Carousel" I have ever seen, and the show is all the richer for it.  I wanted to be in that corps myself, making those leaps and moves.  Well, I can dream, can't I???????????????

                                         "Carousel" is a touching show, an extraordinary experience, and like all art, our response is subjective.  This production touches me to the very depths of my soul, eliciting healing I did not know I was in need of,  yet lovingly received.

                                            But that's me.  As for others, just go!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             "Carousel" is a show that reaches out and touches one in ways never expected.  And this specific production delivers those goods therein.

                                               I wish them all success, and I will not be surprised if I pay another visit!

                                               You are in for the theatrical ride of a lifetime!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Still As Good The Fifth Time, As The First!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 "East Of Eden" occupies a somewhat precarious position in the post-war literary realm.  On one side, I think this was the epic, dystopian novel Ross Lockridge was aiming for, but failed to achieve, in his 1948 popular success, "Raintree County," today best remembered as a 1957 film, starring Elizabeth Taylor.  Steinbeck published his novel in 1952, to better literary success than Lockridge, yet it predates William March's "The Bad Seed," by two years.  Rhoda Penmark defined childhood evil, but, in tracing the life of Cathy Ames in 'Eden,' Steinbeck gives us a look at a potentially grown up version of Rhoda Penmark.  And it is not pretty.

                                  It is amazing to me how this book reached publication in 1952. It depicts explicit childhood sex play, self-abortion, patricide, three suicides, and psycho sexual depravity.  Forget "Fifty Shades Of Grey," darlings, the better written "East Of Eden" has it beaten by miles.

                                  I have always wondered who narrates it, in my early readings of it, and now I know.  It is a fictional version of the author, John Steinbeck, son of Olive Hamilton and Ernest Steinbeck, who chronicles his family's history--involving the Hamiltons, Trasks, Steinbecks, and, to a lesser extent, the Ames'.

                                    It is a generation saga, par excellence.  But it is also a biblical allegory, repeating over two generations, via Adam and Charles, and then Cal and Aron, the story of Cain and Abel.  Note carefully the initials of the first names.  The Hamiltons , especially Sam and his wife Liza, and Abra Bacon, childhood friend of Cal and Aron, (Julie Harris played her in the 1955 Elia Kazan film) not to mention Adam's Chinese manservant and cook, Lee, represent humanity's good, and bolster Adam Trask through experiences one person should not be asked to handle.  But when "East Of Eden" turns its mind on Evil, I have to say it goes hog wild.

                                    Forget Mr. Edwards, the whoremaster.  He is the least of it.
Without Catherine Ames, later Cathy, ending up as Kate, the novel would have no spine.  Steinbeck modeled aspects of her on the woman of his failed second marriage, Gwyndolyn Conger.  I cannot believe Gwyn was quite as bad as Cathy; I think Steinbeck projected his disenchantment over the failure of that marriage, here.  He knew he needed a woman figure to represent Eve and Satan, so he took some of Gwyn, and enlarged it into Cathy.  If you only know the 1955 film, where Jo Van Fleet, a middle aged actress then, won an Oscar for playing Kate, then you do not know this character, whose back story shows how evil she was from the start.  I am surprised reviewers of March's novel did not pick up on Cathy having preceded Rhoda.

This portrait of her is perfect. One can see the evil and venality beneath the surface prettiness. Look at the eyes, and the shape of the mouth.  That is evil in all its chilling actuality!!!!!!!!!!

Cathy is all about evil as power.  My favorite piece of her nastiness is when she sexually entices her Latin teacher, Mr. James Grew, and then drives him to suicide, after the guilt ridden man knocks on the Ames' door, but gets no response, save to go away.  Many of us, in adolescence, have power fantasies over the adults in our lives, but few act them out.  When, in later years, she is Kate, she keeps a photo dossier, of all her most renowned clients--the citizenry who embody the town's moral compass--and the sexual acts they engage in.  I wish Steinbeck had allowed Cathy to unleash this chain of events; of course, the world is filled with hypocrisy, and while it may seem Cathy wants to wipe it out, her reasons are anything but moral--she wants to destroy!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is Cathy a misogynistic character?  Some might say so, though her hatred of all mankind is certainly equal opportunity.  She hates her own sex, as much as she does herself.  Her fascination with disappearing, like "Alice In Wonderland" is an interesting way of how she feels being inconspicuous is a power tool, not unlike the Snake, in the Garden of Eden.

As the novel climaxes, the story shifts to Adam and his sons, Cal and Aron.  This is the part most know as the movie.  Cal (played by James Dean) is seething with the torment of knowing whose child he is, and that he has her blood in him, and that everything he does bad is because of her.  This is where the book gets into a lot of philosophizing about free will, which is necessary to the story's conclusion, and gives the gateway to Cal understanding that just because there is evil in his blood, he is not necessarily evil.  Same with Aron, who goes about the book as Mr. Purity, having no idea who his mother is--yet is destroyed by it, when he finds out.  Yet it is Aron, who resembles Kate most, who gets her to attend church, and she who leaves her estate to him, when she dies.  One question "East Of Eden" never answers is, who, if anyone got Kate's estate?  Aron's traumatic encounter with her, initiated by Cal, causes him to run away from home, and join the Army--World War I--where he is killed.  This, in turn, destroys Adam, who loses whom he considers his favored child, but, through Lee and Abra, he and Cal are brought to a level of love and acceptance of one another, which the book ends on with a beautiful word--"Timshel," meaning "Thou Mayest."  Cal gets his father's love and acceptance at the end, finally realizing he had it all along.

This is one of the most insightful novels written about human dynamics.  Steinbeck probes his characters' assets and flaws, but, in the end, the choices are theirs.  One of the saddest, which I had forgotten, is the tragic suicide of Tom Hamilton.  He was the farmer of the family, and lived a nomadic existence, like Adam's brother, Charles, on his farm back in Connecticut.  Tom has a beloved sister, Dessie, living in Salinas, CA, and depressed from a broken marriage, or relationship, she never talks about.  She sells her house to Adam and his boys, and moves in with her brother.  Shortly after moving in, she becomes drastically ill in the stomach--I thought it was cancer, but it turns out to be appendicitis.  The loving Tom, clueless to anything medical, gives her salts, which, of course, turn against her, and the doctor cannot save her.  Tom cannot reconcile himself to Dessie's death, which he feels he engineered.  He sees himself as Dessie's killer, and, unable to live with the death of his beloved sister, takes his life, a week after her funeral.  I cried copiously, here.

The last suicide in the book is Kate's, which takes place the night Aron encounters her, and runs to the Army.  She is not aware of that; what I think drives Kate to suicide is the idea that someone genuinely good actually came out of her.  She looks upon goodness as a weakness, and, upset at seeing Aron's goodness destroyed before her eyes, and unable to acknowledge there may be a kernel--but just a kernel--of good in her, she cannot live with this, and kills herself.

Steinbeck's descriptive passages are as lyrical as in "The Grapes Of Wrath."  But, in character, and narrative scope, "East Of Eden" is much more encompassing.  The more I read it, and I expect there will be at least one more time, the more I think the accolade "Great American Novel" should be applied  to it.

And it offers me hope, who, like Cal, questions, the good and evil rampant in me.

For those who wrestle with ourselves, "East Of Eden" is a bane of comfort--if you have to question your evil, you probably are not, and can be proud of the choices you have made.

I can tell you, I am.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

What Ever Happened To Dante Tomaselli?????????????????????????????

                                 Writing about Michael Usry, Jr. made me think of this director, whom I saw as the rising master of horror film making.  What little I have seen of his work justifies it, but the trouble is the films are not widely available to view in any way, shape or form.  Especially in a theater.

                                    Though let me tell you, I recall an evening, about twelve years ago, where, at some venue in Alphabet City, beyond the East Village, (actually, Teeny Bopper Island!!!!!!) I frantically tried to get into a screening of "Satan's Playground," which I wanted to see, not only because of Tomaselli, but because it featured, now all grown up, Miss Felissa Rose, who played Angela in the unforgettable classic, 1983's "Sleepaway Camp," directed by Robert Hiltzik.   This is the one where Desiree Gould, as Aunt Martha, steals the show, in every scene she is in.  And it still amazes me how Karen Fields, as Judy, maintained her balance and equilibrium, with that gigantic pony tailed mane she was forced to wear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     But, before Dante, there was Paterson, New Jersey and his cousin, Alfred Sole.  In 1976, Sole made a film, originally entitled "Communion," later changed to its best known moniker, "Alice, Sweet Alice," and is sometimes referred to as "Holy Terror."  I always liked "Communion" best, though 'Alice' seems to have stuck.

                                     This is the film that launched Brooke Shields' career, as early on murder victim, Karen, killed in her Communion gown, I think, before actually receiving the Host!!!!!!

                                        Mildred Clinton, as Mrs. Trefoil, the rectory housekeeper, who is actually the killer, steals the show!!!!!!!!!!!  She is a hoot!  First, she sports the most outrageous get up since the dwarf in 1973's "Don't Look Now," and she takes the whole pre-Vatican 2 thing to such extremes!
Darlings, if you thought your grandparents were rigid, forget it!  Mrs. Trefoil is a Catholic waging war on sin by murdering all doers of it--premarital couplings, their progeny, anything she can get her hands on!  God help some young boy, if caught by her masturbating!!!!!!!!!!  It will be chop, chop, for him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Now, I hear that Tomaselli is going to do a remake of "Alice, Sweet Alice," and what I want to know is, why?  After all, this is the man who gave us the brilliance of--

                                                        "Desecration" (1999)

This is the one I wrote in my 'Nun' post, where a Sister is killed by a flying toy plane, and look at those odd visuals, and that obvious, yet brilliant nod to the 1973 masterpiece, "The Baby."

"Horror" (2002)

Before Black Phillip in 2015's "The Witch", the goat in "Horror" held the record for Best Screen Performance By A Goat."  And all it did was stand there, and project an evil presence.  Which it did, thanks to Tomaselli's visual brilliance.  Once upon a time, dears, I actually owned this on DVD.  I even tried to get a group of friends, one afternoon, years back, to watch it.  It is a pretty static film; you just have to go with it, and let the images wash over you.  There  is pretty much no plot, but, shot by shot, it is exciting to watch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Satan's Playground" (2006)

This is the one with Felissa Rose.  The plot is wonderfully simple--a vacationing family gets lost in the Jersey Pine Barrens--home of the state's urban legend--the Jersey Devil!!!!!!!!  Wonder what form it takes????????  I have GOT to see this one, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Torture Chamber" (2013)
                                              Why the seven year interval, Dante?  Like, dude what the hell have you been up to?  "Torture Chamber" looks exciting, like its own kind of Hell.  A religious zealot of a mother, probably blood kin to Margaret White, imprisons her son, whom she thinks is possessed, in a dog cage.  That Oedipal image again.  Working out some issues, Dante?  The kid goes nuts and is confined to a mental hospital, but escapes, with child followers, who hunt down the demon adults in his life, and kill them.  And there are torture sequences and a REAL torture chamber.  I am sure this was filmed in New Jersey, but where?  Montclair?????????  Actually, it sounds a little like "Children Of The Corn," or every hurt child or adolescent's fantasy.  Yes, it may have all been done before, but Tomaselli brings a new twist to everything it cannot help but be interesting.  But, where can I see it???????????

                                                  I had hoped to provide a trailer for "Torture Chamber."  You can see it if you Google "The Nightmarish Films And Music Of Dante Tomaselli."

                                                    Come on Dante, do something new; don't redo 'Alice.'

                                                     Unless I get to play the killer.  We could work my actual obsession with "The Song Of Bernadette" into the plot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                      All kinds come from Jersey, dolls!  Including me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who The Hell Is Michael Usry, Jr.?????????????????????????????

                               The other evening, I was watching a program about the June 13, 1996 murder of teenager Angie Dodge.  She was found, murdered, in her Idaho Falls apartment, in Idaho.  I sort of dozed thorough some of this--I was resting up for "Carousel," dears--so I did not see enough to give my take on who might have done it.  As Baby Gojira always says, "We know how these things work!!!!!!!"

                               Michael Usry, Jr., a New Orleans based filmmaker, back in 2014, turned up in a DNA search.  The first thing I asked was, what would a filmmaker be doing in Idaho? Kinda dull, dolls, compared to NOLA!!!!!!!!!!!!  Believe me, I know!!!!!!!!!!  About NOLA, I mean!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                 Angie was stabbed multiple times.  A guy named Chris Tapp was pretty much thought to be that killer.  And because Usry's DNA was in a data base, thanks to his father, who had, years before participated in a genealogy project at his local church.  And when Usry was a wild, young thing, he and his friends happened to drive through Idaho Falls around the time period of Angie's murder.

                                  I am not here to solve Angie's murder.  I am more interested in who the hell this filmmaker is, and how I can see his films.  But I will say the same thing about Angie's murder that I said about the ending of "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri"--Angie's killer is someone in that area who is hiding within the mists of that town, and is able to blend in.  Be on the look out!!!!!!!!!!  And it just might be a woman.  Do not rule that one out!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Michael Usry, Jr. is a rural filmmaker, known for two films--the 2012 short, "Grasshopper," and the even more fascinating "Muderabilia."  I am telling you, darlings, I want to see both of these!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                Now, maybe one reason this film has been seen so little is that it is a fifteen minute short.  Some guy goes nuts and witnesses something awful in his suburban community, decides to go on a killer rampage, while a suburban housewife tries to stop him.  Don't ask me what the title means, but at least it is not a remake of the 1957 classic, "The Beginning Of The End."

Even more fascinating, to me at least, is his 2010 film "Murderabilia."  It is twice as long as "Grasshopper"--30 minutes, a whole half hour!!!!!!--and is more of a documentary than narrative film, dealing with--get this!!!!--people who hunt down and collect renowned murder weapons, or even known murder, weapons, and the vendors and dealers they come across in buying and selling them!!!!!!!!!

Now, this definitely gets my attention.  I have GOT to see this one.  Having grown up in the suburbs, I feel I have experienced "Grasshopper" already, so while it might be fun to see, I don't necessarily need to!  But "Murderabilia" is a whole different game--WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!

At one point, Usry Jr. says he is not interested in murder, but his screen specialty denies it!!!!!

Hey, Mikey, can I be in your next macabre project????????????

I so wanted to show you excerpts from these two films.

But now the question begs to be asked--

Mikey, are you still out there, and what are you working on now!!!!!!!!!

Macabre aficionados such as those on here, and myself, want to know!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, June 25, 2018

Let's Have Some Nun Fun, Hons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                          As I have said, time and again, both on here, and off, nuns sell tickets.  Whether for good or evil, put an actor or actress in a nun costume, and you have a solid hit.

                         Now, from the franchise of "The Conjuring" and "Annabelle" movies--some of which I have seen, but could not tell you their place in the sequence--comes "The Nun."  It will not be released, until September, which is a mistake, as I think this could be the hit of the Summer, and, as I understand it, expands upon the final shot of the recent "Annabelle" film, which I saw, showing a flashing face of an evil nun.

                            No, kiddies, it is not all "The Sound Of Music," "The Song Of Bernadette," or "Come To The Stable."  Nasty nuns have their place in cinema, too, and don't I just LOVE them!!!!!!!!!  Don't we all, girls????????????????

                             The only thing more fun than watching a nasty nun, is playing one.

                              In this film, Bonnie Aarons, who has been kicking around films, both horror and otherwise for years plays the title role.  Somewhere in medieval Romania, a young nun has visions of an evil nun, and then we are off and running!  That is all I know, and that is enough for me.  I think Bonnie, in this, will go Melissa Leo, in "Novitiate," one better.   And there will be no "Climb Ev'ry Mountains" sung here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Anticipating this film made me want to look at some other fun, evil nuns--

                                Here are some--


How about Mother Superior, in 1984's "Silent Night, Deadly Night."  Girls, if you are tired of "It's A Wonderful Life," this is the perfect Christmas antidote.  Played by Swedish actress Lilyan Chauvin, she is a nasty piece of work, who can devastate a child's psyche by just saying the word "naughty." and revels in abusing kids by teaching them about "punishment."  But after the psychologically damaged Billy is killed before his younger brother's eyes, the film ends maniacally, with the youngster getting back at her, by looking her in the eyes, and saying--you guessed it!!!!!!--"Naughty!"  You gotta see this one, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The Nun Killed By The Toy Plane In "Desecration!" -- I have seen the sequence, from Dante Tomaselli's 1999 film which is a nun's nun film!  Nasty, nasty, nasty!  Not only evil nuns, but a nod to the 1973 masterwork "The Baby," with an adult man put in a dog cage in diapers!  You have to just love it!

I may be wrong, but I think this is the deceased nun!  She comes back from being killed by a toy plane--hey, it's the pre-drone age!!!!!!!--and wreaks havoc upon these Catholic premises!!!!!!!!!  Sounds like the perfect change for Lent, if you want to break away from "Ben-Hur!!!!!!!!!"

Sister Jeanne Of The Angels, in Ken Russell's 1971 film, "The Devils"--Vanessa won an Oscar for "Julia," but I think this is the film where she went for the gold.  Prayer spouting, rosary reciting, as well as ruining a man's life, and masturbating with his leg bone, this nun has to be seen, to be believed.  Depraved?  You better believe it!  I have got to look at this film again; I think so much of it horrified me, I blocked much of it out.  The leeches alone frightened me!!!!!!!!!!!!!   But Sister Jeanne was a perfect role for Vanessa, who thinks she is the greatest of actresses, when she is not, just as Sister Jeanne thinks she is the holiest of nun, when, darlings, we KNOW she is not!!!!!!!!!!!

Geraldine McEwan, as Sister Bridget in "The Magdalene Sisters"--Even more horrifying because, while she may be fictional, these were tight ships run by female sadists who were too ugly to be anything else but nuns, so they set up institutes for unwed mothers, mostly in  Ireland, where they abused young girls into submission, when, in reality, they envied them for having sex.  Geraldine McEwan plays a beautifully understated bitch, who is all the more dangerous, because of it!  You have GOT to see the scene where she forces the girls-each Christmas!!!!!!--to watch "The Bells Of St. Mary's!!!!!!!!!"  What a howler!  Bet she watches "The Devils, " in private!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And How Could We Forget?--Lily Rabe as Sister Mary Eunice in the "Asylum" season of "American Horror Story"--Lily went from saint to sinner and back when she played the nun here, and then Misty Day in "Coven."  She is one of our most underrated actress, and when she transitions into sin, watch out, because not only does she love it, she scares the bejesus out of viewers!  Sign me up for Sister Mary Eunice's order right away, though, truthfully, the only order I am fit for, darlings is the Sisters Of Perpetual Indulgence!  Are they still out in San Francisco!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No mention of nightmare nuns would be complete without Mary Tyler Moore in "Change Of Habit," wherein she gives not only the worst screen performance as a nun, but one of the worst performances by an actress on film.  That her career survived this one, and flourished, is a true miracle!!!!!!!!!!

For more nun fun, hons, tell me of some I might have overlooked!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!