Monday, November 19, 2018

When Will 'SVU' Get Its Act Together??????????????????????????

                                   After the death of his sister, the show's writers are so busy trying to make a character for Philip Winchester, as ADA Peter Stone, to fit into.  He is no impassioned Stephanie March, as Alex Cabot, with that hair, and those glasses.  All the writers can seem to cook up for him is his constantly talking about his past as a baseball player, which makes me think he should go back to it.  It is known he loves group sex, drinking, and has a hot body for it.  Too bad that body was not shown in this episode.  It might have livened thing up.

                                    Things start out promisingly, with a drunken Stone awakening in Finn's apartment.  The scene was convincingly played by both actors, and thank God Finn has the decency to have a coffee maker on premises.  I mean, otherwise I could not visit there!  No coffee!  No way, Jose!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                       A women came up to Peter, and accused him of raping her years before. She slaps him across the face.  Stone feels she is wrong but wants to know the truth.  Even if she is right.  Ever hear of letting sleeping dogs lie?

                                          Of course, he makes the mistake of telling Olivia, and she is all over this, like a dog with a bone, ready to defend Sarah, and throw her colleague under the bus.

                                            Now Sarah Kent, well played by Alexandra Breckinridge, has a husband, Gary, played by Kevin Kane, whom she has never told about this, and the reason is made clear.  He is one of these nuts who thinks, with this in her past, she is not the woman he married, is not pure, and dishonors his manhood,  Hey, asshole, you are dishonoring that manhood yourself!  You think a woman, or anyone else, asks to be sexually assaulted?  Or wants to???????????  Get a grip on your gonads, moron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                              The moron ups the episode to psycho extremes, when he marches into the bar, where Stone is, confronting him with a gun, and holding him hostage, sending the other patrons out, with Olivia and Company, plus his wife and daughter, waiting outside.  I swear I was hoping this guy would just kill himself in front of Stone, because while I would feel for the wife and daughter, it would have made more sense, in terms of this guy's sudden derangement.  But no, everyone lives, and things die down, until the paternity of Sarah's daughter becomes a question. Gary now thinks she is not his, so a DNA test is ordered.

                                                 What is next seems to come out of nowhere.  Stone's old baseball buddy, Reggie Gregg, played by Austin Peck, now runs the bar in question in New York.  In a scene I, at first could not believe, Olivia goes to Reggie, pleading with him to commit perjury to save Peter.
Now, Olivia has gone so bonkers over the years, I would not put this past her.  She bends the law to her own whim, then says how she is such a shining advocate,  Right!  She gets Reggie to admit he was in the room with Peter, that he raped Sarah, then set she and Peter up.  With no back up, Olivia, hero of the moment, rescues the muscular Reggie singlehandedly, who goes without resistance.

                                                     Oh, and the daughter IS Gary's kid!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                    Is this for real?  So, who cares about Peter anymore, as long as Olivia gets her man?  And in the final scene, by the water, it is Olivia, not Peter, who gets the last shot!  I was pissed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                      Please come up with a new story arc for Peter!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                      And stop making a heroine out of Olivia, whose best days are behind her!
Just look at this!  Such a downer!  Why end every show with THIS?????????????

Now, Here Is Some Satisfying Fiction!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             This book came out last year, in 2017, and I want to know how the hell I missed it?  I am glad I did not, because, in this year of #MeToo, there has been a glut of fiction, involving women being threatened by men, whether personally or by political extremism.  "Fruit Of The Drunken Tree" held such  promise, and delivered so little, I was beginning to get down on fiction.

                                                "Behold The Dreamers" restored my faith.  It is a dark portrait of two families pursuing the American dream--one hoping to have it, the other hoping to maintain it.  What is interesting here is, while the families are on opposite ends of the economic spectrum--especially in Manhattan--their dynamics are not all that different.  The wives are really nasty pieces of work who know how to play the power game with each other, while the husbands are na├»ve and stupid.  This adds tension to the notion they are supposed to be the breadwinners and protectors, when it is the wives who are the real cutthroat brains behind everything.

                                                    This first novel. by Imbold Mbue, turns the whole "America Is Great" myth on its head, and I love the criticisms of both sides of The American Dream she dishes out.  There are no easy answers, and one family gives up on The American Dream, and retreats back to their original country, and I am not so sure they were wrong.

                                                      Everyone has the right to dream.  But here, it is shown, those dreams do not necessarily come true.  Even if the seem to.

                                                        Yes, a dark message, I now. But a welcome change from those platitudes of empowerment.  Which will only get one so far.

                                                          This book will be tough for many to swallow.  But I applaud Mbue for the courage of her convictions, in writing it.

                                                             Highly recommended, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, This Is How "Apocalypse" Ends! Not With A Bang, But A Whimper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Girls, I am telling you, when Angela Bassett appeared as Marie Levaux, I was waiting for her to blow all those mother fuckers, like Langdon and his crowd, straight to Hell.  She livened things up a bit, but then, with bathtub time travel, the return of all the witches, especially Misty, and the trendy interracial couple at the beginning, spawning another Satanic child, I found myself asking, what was all this for?

                                  Was it a dream, like "The Wizard Of Oz?"  Or a "Groundhog's Day" thing, destined to repeat itself, again and again??????????????

                                   Thank God for the "Coven" witches, who made things palatable.  Please give Kathy Bates a better and less annoying role, next season.
                                   I am telling you, I thought it was going to be a slug fest between Madison and Mallory, with one of them being the New Supreme!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Now, that might have been interesting.

                                   Please give the gifted Evan Peters more substance to act next season, too!

                                   As far as I am concerned, the witches and their Academy can stay around forever!  They rule!  And I want to go there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Who knows what the next season will bring.  I can tell you, thanks to Brad Falchuk, it will inevitably bring Gwyneth, but, please, let it bring BLYTHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     "Apocalypse" still topped "Roanoke." But not by much.

What You Lee Is What You Get!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        Now, girls, you know it is a rare day in Hell, when I read non-fiction.  I have nothing against it, I just prefer the fictional side of things.  But sometimes I am compelled in the other direction, and when I posted, recently, about seeing Melissa McCarthy do her dramatic turn as forger Lee Israel, whom I was acquainted with, I knew I had to read the book.

                                         So, I did.  It is like sitting down, and having Lee talk at you, because if face to face, you would not get a word in edgewise.  The reader also gets her abrasive personality, without having to deal with it, one on one, which is a blessing.

                                         But there is more to Lee than the movie suggested.  She was quite a social gadfly, not quite the pathetic Manhattan spinster the movie made her out to be, though she did exhibit that side, and she apparently had more relationships with women than the mysterious "Elaine," in the movie, who turns out to be a real person, but, like the movie, these relationships went nowhere, most likely because of Lee.

                                          In a brilliant stroke, Lee goes on to detail she how pulled off her forgeries, and displays ample evidence of her work.  She also had a fixation on  Louise Brooks, who comes off as fascinating in her own right, and she even--now 'OZ' loves will flip over this--forged letters from actress Clara Blandick, memorable for portraying Aunt Em in "The Wizard Of Oz."  Lee really got around.

                                             She also had a mother and stepfather, living in Florida, whom she did not want to find out about her escapades, and a brother with whom she was estranged.  In other words, she had family; she was not the all-out loner the film portrays, but she chose to live that way.  Cats were her only humane connection.

                                               Lee's book is slight, but fun.  She does have a sense of humor.  At the end of the book, she signs her actual signature, proof that the book is not a forgery.  Lee gets the last laugh on everyone.

                                                If she were here today, she would be having a blast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Now, Really, What Song Could Be More Appropriate For This Birthday?????????????

                                  I play "The Lusty Month Of May," every May 1, but I will get only one chance to play "When I'm 64."  I cannot believe I--a baby boomer--have arrived at the age.   Where has the time gone?

                                   Of course, everyone waits for this age, until they can finally relate to The Beatles song.  Thank heaven, I still have hair!  And my facial creams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                    I wish all on here an exciting year, and for me an improvement over the last one, what with the passing of my father, and David friend, Bruce!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     But today is a day for celebration!  So, let's start with the song!

"Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                     And so, girls we come to the end of Musical Theater Week, with the birthday of yours truly.

                                     "Lord, Lord, Lord, that woman is ME!," as the song goes, and as I turn 64, a year I have been anticipating and dreading.  It was the age at which my mother passed, 40 years ago next year, and my first thought is, "How did I arrive here so fast?"

                                         So, in keeping with things, I thought it best to start with "Who's That Woman?"  This year, as will be seen, there will be two birthday songs, and the second one, when heard, will make perfect sense.

                                          Yesterday, we saw "A Chorus Line" at City Center, which was perfection.  Thank you, Baayork Lee!  And I received birthday wishes, from my animal friends--Seamus, Sparky, and Indiana Jones!  And Dexter!  All are dogs, except Sparky, who is a parrot, and gives me sweet bird kisses.

                                            I will report on "A Chorus Line," and others things yet to be written.

                                            To think I have reached 64!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            Here are two renditions of "Who's That Woman?"  An audio from the Original Cast Recording, back in 1971, and a live one of the production we saw, 40 years later, in 2011!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Saturday, November 17, 2018

Happy Birthday To A Musical Theater Legend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      Neva Small has been a Legend Of The Musical Stage, it would seem, since she was knee high.  Today, Neva celebrates her 66th birthday, and I wish her all the happiness she is so deserving of.

                                        My Neva autographed record cover of "Henry, Sweet Henry," is framed on my apartment wall. She signed it the night David and I saw her in the "Henry, Sweet Henry" presentation at 54 Below. Which she narrated.

                                           Neva does not work as often as those of us who adore her would like, but when she does, it is always special.

                                             So, Neva, here is to you, on your special day!

                                             Still, and always, a Legend!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Part Two Of Our Musical Theater Double Header!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Thirty seven years ago tonight, just twenty two years after "The Sound Of Music," "Merrily We Roll Along" opened at what was then the Alvin, is now the Neil Simon, Theatre.  The most anticipated show of the season turned out to be a season flop but has grown in stature over the years, thanks to its Sondheim score,  I am proud to say I actually saw the original production twice, so blown away was I by the score and two of its performers, Ann Morrison and Lonny Price.  And, of course, I saw the 'Merrily' documentary. "Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened."

                                      So, this really is a Musical Theater Week, isn't it?  It was karma I was born during this period.

                                        To all the 'Merrily' originals, I wish a happy anniversary.  The show is set for a Roundabout revival, next year, and I am looking forward to that.

                                         And who else, but Sondheim, could write a lyric like, "I mean, even Cream Of Wheat has lumps?"  One of my favorites!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Here are the Originals, past and present.  Lonny Price, Ann Morrison and Jim Walton.  All look fabulous, and congrats to each and every one!!!!!!!!!!

Look At This Stunning Color Photo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                Fifty nine years ago, tonight, at the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, "The Sound Of Music" opened on Broadway.  Here is the brilliantly staged sequence of the Von Trapps fleeing the Nazis over the mountains.  It is enough to bring tears to my eyes, as I am sure it did on Broadway.

                                   Oh, my God--Laurie Peters, William Snowden, Kathy Dunn, Joseph Snowden, Marilyn Rogers (deceased), Mary Susan Locke and Evaan Lien!!!!!!!!!!  Who could forget them???????

                                This was just two days short of my fifth birthday.  To think, I was alive when this took place.  It makes me proud to be a part of theater history.

                                 Next year marks the show's sixtieth anniversary. How about a revival?

                                 Tonight, get out your Original Cast Recording, drink some bubbly and wish "The Sound Of Music a happy anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Happy Birthday To A REAL Musical Theater Baby!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Martha Plimpton was conceived and born during the original Broadway run of "HAIR."  Her mother, Shelley Plimpton, originated the role of Crissy, and created the gold standard for singing my favorite song from the score, "Frank Mills."  This must have been the first music Martha ever heard.  So, she really is a Musical Theater Baby.

                                       Aside from her comedic and dramatic gifts, all of which I love, Martha has some musical chops of her own.  She done band work with friends, and in the last revival of "Pal Joey," she singlehandedly stopped the show, with her rendition of "Zip."  Her curtain call applause at evening's end was thunderous; more than anyone in the show.

                                          As I was leaving the theater that night, I overheard a gay couple musing on Martha.  One of them said she could be the next Mama Rose in twenty years, and, I am telling you, that is something I want to see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            But, whatever Martha is doing or planning to do, here is wishing her a happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             Keep on truckin', Martha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"God, She's A Dancer! A Dancer Dances!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                        It is so fitting that there is a performance of "A Chorus Line" in New York, tonight, at City Center.  Because today just happens to be the birthday of its original Cassie, Donna McKechnie.

                                       What better way to honor Donna by running her signature show right now. Or, going to see it, which is what I will be doing at tomorrow's matinee.

                                          Donna is somewhere in her late 70's, and I am telling you, she could do the show tonight.  It is in her blood stream.  I wish it was in mine.

                                            Seeing her and the Originals was a turning point in my life. She will always remain, for me, the greatest show stopper in Broadway history!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             So, a happy birthday to Donna McKechnie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             And, girls, don't pop the hip!  It is not in our blood streams!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Girls, Let's Talk Marriage!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Talk about cracking me up!  Back in 1958, McCall's Magazine, that acme of women and domesticity--we even used to get it in our house, when I was growing up!!!!--did an article on "129 Ways To Land A Husband."  For women, I am sure it is strictly passe, and some of the suggestions are laughable, but they might work great for gay men!  Or would they?  Let's take a look at the most outrageous suggestions listed, and see how they play out.

                 1. Get A Dog, And Walk It.--Not a bad idea.  The problem is, most of the dogs you meet are
                      cuter and better behaved than their owners.  You could fall in love with the dog, but
                      the owner could be a real troll.  My advice is to ditch the owner, and stick with the dog!

                  3. Attend Night School--Take Courses Men Like.--Are you kidding me?  Girls, if you do this, you will be in a class with straight men who don't know a thing about theater, literature, arts or crafts.  It will be strictly cars, and woodworking.  I mean, if you want a hormonal rush from being around greasy straight men, then fine.  But this is NO way to land a husband!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                   6. Read The Obituaries, To Find Eligible Widowers.--This was the scam Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez used, and it got them executed at Sing Sing.  Not only will you be suspected by said widower's family and friends of going after his money, if the guy is a wheezy old thing on an oxygen tank, one stop short of a nursing home, what is in it for you?  You have a better chance finding an apartment this way, than a husband!!!!!!!!!!

                    9. Sit On A Park Bench, And Feed The Pigeons.--This is fine, if you are Ruth Buzzi.  And look at the trolls she met.  Anytime I did this, I got a lot of reading done, which was not a waste.
But no one ever sat near me.  And if they did, and came on to me, I would suspect them to be a scam artist or a sex hustler.  You can do better than that, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                   12. Become A Nurse Or Stewardess; They Have High Marriage Rates.--With more gay men working as flight attendants and nurses, this just might be your ticket.  I mean, some of those hot doctors in their scrubs are scrumptious.  The trick is being choosy.  If you play it right, you can end up a moneyed alcoholic on Great Neck, Long Island--a single gay man's dream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                      To be continued tomorrow.  This was either to have been the longest post I ever wrote, or not.  I have decided to break it up into sections, to keep you in suspense, and let the suggestions sink in.

                        Happy Hunting, girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A Saturday Night Delight!!!!!!!!!!!!! But Are They For Real?????????????????????

                                 Oh, my God, Stacey Kaiser and Brian Russell.  They are the faux therapists on "Fatal Vows," Saturday night on ID, and they are a riot!

                                  That name, Stacey Kaiser!!!!!!!!!!!   Staaaaaaaaaceyyyyyyyyy  Kaiiiiiiseeeeerrrrrrrrrrrr!  Like a Kaiser roll. This is when the name Elaine Grimminger popped into my head, and I had meant to reference Elaine in this post.  Because she Stacey, and Randi Kleiner (0h my God, girls, remember Raaaaaaaaaandiiiiiii Kleiiiiiiiiiinnnnnneeeeeeeeeeeeer?) have the whiniest sounding names in history.

                                     I promise I will reference the "Annie Hall" girl at the end, to give Elaine her due.

                                     But back to Stacey and Brian.  Are they actual therapists? Stacey looks like a Long Island Jewish housewife, talks like one, too, and what is with those boots?  Is she just tasteless?  A lesbian?  In any case, she just cracks me up.

                                      Brian is tougher to get a handle on.  Is he gay, or straight?  A bottom?  Do these two even have ANY sexual fantasies? But he must have a thing for the writer Jonathan Franzen, because he is so going for that Jonathan Franzen look.  It makes me wonder.

                                         But these two just crack me up, with their analysis of the relationships being portrayed.  They are the prefect prelude to "Saturday Night Live!" because they are so hilarious.

                                            The only better duo would be Amy Sedaris and Susan Lucci. Now, THEIRS is some therapy I would seek!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And, once again, here is my memory of Elaine Grimminger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Don't you just LOVE it???????????

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Let's End The Day On A Lovely Note--Nymphs By The River, And The "Flowers Duet" From "Lakme!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                Some of you may recognize it as the former British Airlines commercial theme.  Whatever it is, it is lovely.  I used to think it was the "Bell Song," but it is actually the "Flowers Duet," which takes place in the opera's first act.

                                 For me, it is a comfort piece, something I use to relax and let the beauty of it transport me.  After writing some rather dark posts, airing dark fears, here is the perfect antidote!!!!!!


This Picture Represents A Dream I Had Last Night Of Rejection!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                              I am haunted by two central themes that often turn up in dreams--as regarding last night--the rejection of myself by my childhood friend who passed in 2017, and those of relations, mostly cousins, who will probably have nothing to do with me, now that my father has passed.

                              In the first dream, I was in my friend's childhood house.  We were alone, but the spectral presence of his parents, especially his selfish bitch of a mother, who thought I to be the cause of all her son's problems, was palpable, as he told me he had to move on, and get married, even though he realized he was gay, and just couldn't accept it.  I told him it would lead to misery and ruin.

                                 Which it did.  I never understood the relationship he had with the partner he lived with for over 40 years; to this day, I am not sure if was an actual gay relationship, but a roommate one.  Though I did not realize it at the time, from the time we graduated eighth grade, and stepped into the building of our high school, we were on different paths already.  As for adulthood, I have said, for all intents and purposes, our last really good time together was in 2011.  He died in 2017, but, for all intents and purposes, our friendship ended six years before.  He left me long before he left this world, so maybe that is why I don't miss him so much, as he had distanced himself already.

                                    The second dream was familial.  My niece and I were in the house of my aunt and uncle, parents of said cousins, and I was confiding in her about familial rejection.  When all our parents were alive, I think they exposed us to all, because they wanted to give us the same sense of family they had had.  It was like they were telling us, "Be nice to each other, because you may need each other later in life."  Certainly, there are memories we all share.   But today no one seems interested.  Or am I the only one what feels shut out?  Once I hit my twenties, I certainly did, and that feeling continued.

                                     In the dream, after talking to my niece, I go up to my grandmother's house, where all these cousins are sitting, and confront them, turning tables and chairs over.  I don't know if there was an outcome, but I know it felt good.

                                        Just as it feels good now, writing it all down.

                                         Thank God for David!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          Well, darlings, there's my therapy session for next week!

                                            And Hell!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            And fear of cataract surgery!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Are Spinsters Marked From Childhood??????????????????????????

                              My mother, may she rest in peace, used to say, there is someone for everyone.  But is that actually true?  As a child, growing up, I yearned for the adult life, but never felt, even before puberty, I would fit into its conventional aspects.  And with adolescence, and Tennessee Williams as my spokesman, not to mention Miss Havisham, I felt spinsterhood was my destiny.  Thankfully, I was proven wrong. But how many are?  Or aren't??????????????

                                I maintain children, as far back as elementary school, can spot the spinsters among them.  Of course, some surprise us, as did several girls in my class, but for the most part, I was right.

                                 I will never forget my first viewing of "Annie Hall," in Manhattan, back in 1977.  It was in a theater on Broadway, and you know the sequence where Woody has these kids pose as his schoolmates, and relate what they are doing now as adults?  Well, when I saw the last child, a little bespectacled, nerdy looking girl, who says, "I'm into leather!," I thought, "Oh, my God! She looks just like Elaine Grimminger!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  I laughed out loud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Elaine was one of those spinsterish looking girls.  But she excelled in math.  I know this, because I sat behind her in Trig class, and, if I had been devious enough to cheat off her, I might have done better.  But I wanted to prove myself in math--something I always regretted, and still do--so I stuck it out myself.

                                   Elaine aced the class.  So I have to give her credit.  But she was one of those girls who, I felt, was marked for spinsterhood.  For all I know, she could be anything but.

                                   Hey, I thought I was marked!  And look what happened!

Here is the "Annie Hall" girl.  I swear she looks just like Elaine Grimminger, back then!!!!!!!

According To My Findings, THIS Is The First Christmas Card!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   I know, darlings, I know, you think I have gone nuts.  Well, let me tell you, the Christmas overhanging street lights have been up on Fifth Avenue in my Brooklyn neighborhood, for weeks, and, just six days before my birthday, which predates Thanksgiving, they went up on third.  So, who is rushing things?

                                    My only question is, where is the Nativity? Where is the Baby Jesus????????

                                    Also, was there a gay component to this card.  According to my findings, the first commercial (which may explain the absence of the Nativity and lovable Baby Jesus!) was designed by John Callcott Horsley for Henry Cole, in the year 1843.

                                       The design of the card, which I love, suggests that year.  But what was up with John and Henry????????  Hmmmmmmmmmm?   Inquiring minds want to know!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Could this actually mean gay men are responsible for the commercialization of Christmas????????  Then, darlings, give us credit, where credit is due!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


I Saw It!!!!!!!!!!!! But It Did Not Blow Me Away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Neither David, or I, were blown away by "A Star Is Born," when we finally saw it, yesterday.

                                    That said, I have to say Lady Gaga does have a voice.  The best moment in the entire film is what I call her "Man That Got Away" sequence.  As Ally, (no last name, unlike Esther Blodgett/Vicki Lester) a former server in a drag bar, who has been elevated to second tier singer, she does a scorching version of Piaf's "La Vie En Rose," in a place that should have taken her nowhere.  Except addicted rock star Jackson (not Norman) Maine walks in, and the story begins.

                                        Or does it?  For me it just stopped.  There is no buildup to Jackson's addiction; he is already full throttle, and Ally does not gradually fall into marital problems, they are there long before he pops the question. In this version, I found myself asking, "Why the hell are you marrying him?"  Both exude the sexiness of the rock world milieu in which the once Hollywood story is now set--and I get that--but there is no romance, no warmth, between these two, except when they are performing.  What makes them bound to each other offstage, and Ally risk her career, and Jackson end his life, is never as clearly delineated as in the warmth exuded by Judy Garland and James Mason in the 1954 gold standard.  The only time they seem to love each other is when they are on stage, and performing, a series of repetitious sequences with generic music that suggests a kind of mutual musical narcissism between them.  You call this a tragic love story, darlings???????????

                                         The biggest tragedy for me, is that it went on too long.  The whole "Mrs. Norman Maine" thing is dismissed, and while Ally gets the last shot, the final sequence seemed less an expression of a timeless love than a self congratulatory version of "My Man."  That worked once, in "Funny Girl," but let's face it, Lady Gaga is NOT Barbra.  No way, Jose!!!!!!!!!!!  Who had the idea that she might be, as that is what the ending conveys!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            Honestly, I had a better time yesterday morning, watching excerpts from "The Black Scorpion" on YouTube.  Those tremendous closeups of the face, piercers, and dripping venom, are truly frightening.

                                            Everyone acts well, especially Andrew Dice Clay and Sam Elliott.  As Jackson's brother, Bobby, his is the only performance with any emotional juice.  If he had played Jackson, he might have taken this "Star Is Born" into the emotional stratosphere it pretends to be in, but really is not.

                                               The Freddy Krueger franchise ended.  So did Chucky. Now, it is time to put "A Star Is Born" to rest.

                                                 After all, when considered, the true remake of the film was the 1967 "Valley Of The Dolls!"  And THAT cannot be topped, darlings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh, My God!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Another Musical Theater Week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  Musical Theater Week is that leading up to my own birthday, on the 18th, wherein so many Musical Theater Legends and favorites of mine were born.  I was premature, so it
was like I was meant to be born amidst all these folk, and bestowed with a penchant for theater and the arts.

                                     Alas, there is a sad note to today.  This should have been the 70th birthday of Sammy Williams, who originated the role of Paul in "A Chorus Line," and whose song "I Can Do That" is actually his story.  But he passed away eight months ago, on March 17, of cancer, at 69.  The first Musical Theater Week to celebrate without him.  And the same year as my father, and Aretha, too!

                                       Seeing the Original Company of "A Chorus Line," back in 1975, and with my father, was a life changing experience.  Seeing Sammy do "Paul's Monologue" was the best one I have ever seen, or will now see.  And it touched into my own experiences as well.

                                         So, let us remember Sammy joyfully on this day, as we begin Musical Theater Week!

                                           Here is an excerpt from Sammy's Paul Monologue, as well as a tribute to him!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           You are missed, Sammy, and Happy Musical Theater Week to all of us, who are still here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, November 12, 2018

Look What We All Aspired To, Girls, Back In 1959!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             Barbie Millicent Roberts made her debut in March, 1959. and girls, let me tell you, the world has not been the same since.  This was the look we all aspired to--and maybe still do.   Despite her ideal figure, and rumors of a lesbian relationship with Midge--just like in the film, "Carol," darlings!!!!!!!--Barbie was a good girl!!!!!!!!!!!  And she made us all want to be good girls!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                She brought the importance of clothes into our lives, Future Anna Wintour aspirants cut their fashion teeth on dressing up Barbie.  Where would ANNA and her empire be, were it not for Barbie?????????????????

                                                  Just think, Barbie turns 60, next year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Has that number ever looked so good?

                                                   Times may change, but if glamour is to stay in some form---and, please God, it MUST!!!!!!!!!!!--so must Barbie remain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                      Let's have a doll's tea party with Barbie in her best tea party dress, serving cakes and dainties to all my girls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                       Long live Barbie!  May she continue to guide!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Lucy Harbin Took An Ax, TOOK An Ax, TOOK AN AX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

                                                     "Lizzie Borden took an ax,
                                                       And gave her mother forty whacks.
                                                       When she saw what she had done,
                                                       She gave her father forty one."
                                                       ---Famous folk rhyme

                                     Lucy Harbin, as all my girls know, is the gay iconic re-imagining of Lizzie, by Robert Bloch, as embodied by Joan Crawford at her campiest, in the William Castle film "Strait-Jacket," back in 1964. We just LOVE that crazy bitch, Lucy, darlings, but let us not forget that, without Lizzie, there would not have been Lucy.

                                      I am sure Sarah Schmidt knew what she was getting into, when she began writing this, her first, novel.  This will surely not be the last time Lizzie's story is explored, but I was fascinated by the spin Schmidt put on it.

                                       For starters, she stays very close to the time frame of the murders, and their aftermath.  She goes as far in the future to 1905, and as far back as to Lizzie, clearly the favored daughter, if a bit spoiled, getting the Grand Tour of Europe as a young woman.

                                         The dynamics of the household is everyone resenting everyone else.  The Borden sisters resent each other, their father, the stepmother resents them, the maid, Bridget, resents being employed by them....clearly this is a powder keg waiting to go off.

                                           I will not ruin things except to say the big surprise, is the supposition, that, whether Lizzie was guilty or not, the Bordens were marked for murder, anyway.  You will have to read the book to see what I mean, and glean the meaning of the book's cover, but it puts a spin on things I had never considered before.

                                            The book is almost a bit "King Lear-ish" in the inevitability of tragedy lurking about the Borden house.  The Bordens would have been murdered, no matter what, and that is a fascinating premise.

                                             No matter what you may or not believe, no matter what the "Lizzie Borden Hoedown" song says, mother can, indeed, be chopped up in Massachusetts!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two For One 'SVU' Episode Turns Out To Be Better Than I Thought!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                  After the let down, last week, of "Caretaker," the show's take on killer nanny Yoselyn Ortega, neither Baby Gojira or I were especially excited about "Hell's Kitchen," which was to be, I thought the show's take, on the whole Mario Batali scandal.

                                  It was, but I had to laugh.  Batali became Andrew Liebowitz, well played by Luke Kirby, who runs a restaurant called "Far Rockaway," in Far Rockaway.  This cracked me up, because the place is a high end seafood restaurant, and Far Rockaway is Jill Eisenstadt country, and, if you go back and read the posts I wrote on Jill's books, what is made clear right away is that Far Rockaway is strictly Nowheresville!!!!!!!!!!  A high end restaurant in a destination no one would think of going to is not sound business sense.  Even I, with no business cred, knows that.

                                  Things are as predictable as might be expected, except for a nasty client who asks a waitress to sit on his face!  Even in the 10PM slot, I never knew 'SVU' to get this sleazy.  Just when a lecture is badly needed from Olivia, she is nowhere to be seen.

                                    What gets this story going is Jacob Pitts, and his performance as high minded ADA Chris Hodges.  When it is discovered he and Liebowitz were high school buds, and used to troll around, and that he has covered up other accusations of Liebowitz, even though he is, supposedly a #MeToo advocate, the story moves from Batali to Brett Kavanugh, which is much more interesting, to begin with.   As bad as Liebowitz is, Chris is worse, because, like Kavanugh, he is the biggest hypocrite there is.  But, then, aren't most high powered hetero men????????  They don't respect women, they don't respect themselves, just Corporation America.  They bow to the almighty Trump statue!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                      These two get what they deserve, but good!  School is out for these boys, in what turned out to be a better episode than I had expected.  Even Baby Gojira was happy.

                                         But the ending was chillingly prophetic.  As Chris is being hauled off to the slammer, he says to Peter Stone, "One day, they will come for you!"

                                           And it turns out, next week, Stone is facing rape allegations from his past.  With his already displayed hot body, penchant for alcohol and hedonistic sex, Stone is not the strait lacer his father, Ben (played by Michael Moriarty) was.  And what is all this about having been some minor league baseball player, in the past?????????   So, I am anticipating an exciting episode next week.

                                             Of course, it all depends on how low key the writers keep Olivia.  Like they did here!

"American Horror Story:Apocalypse," Episode 9, "Fire And Reign" Not As Good As James Taylor!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   With just one more episode to go before the season wraps up, no wonder Cordelia is freaking out.  It's still better than "Roanoke," but, except for a few choice moments, and the episode "Traitor," this season has been a dud,

                                      I am getting just a little tired of Kathy Bates, and her robotic character.  It says more about the writing than Bates, who can only do so much with her gifts if the role is limited as it is.

                                       And killing all the witches????? What is that about.  Poor Queenie (Gabourey Sidibe) and Zoe (Taissa Farmiga).  Will we ever see them again?  And why can't Joan Collins stay around longer?

                                       Not to mention poor Lily Rabe, as Misty Day.  She was not killed, but I just thought, after her cameo, she was sent back to hell, where she should not be taking Advanced Placement Biology.  This just proves not everyone should take AP Bio.  Including yours truly.  My experience would have been the same as Misty's  During an aside, this past week it was suggested Misty was off "witching" with Stevie.  Good for her!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                          But bringing in the Romanovs?  Claiming Anastasia was a witch?  Puhleeeeze!!!!!!!!!!!  Anastasia was not a witch!  She was Ingrid Bergman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         So, is next week going to be a showdown between Mallory and Madison?  And why is Miss Bitch Montgomery left alive?  I think there is going to be some kind of showdown, and if Madison emerges as the New Supreme, who is going to restore world order, well, then, I am throwing in the towel!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                           Give Evan Peters more to do than a sociopathic nerd/dork!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                            If Season 9 is not an improvement, there may not be a Season 10!!!!!!!!!!!

                                             Ryan, Brad, PLEASE!   Let these gifted actors play characters, not caricatures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                               The whole apocalypse thing was done better decades earlier, in "On The Beach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Friday, November 9, 2018

Now, Girls, Tell Me Which Monster Was Cuter?????? Cucumbo, Or Zontar??????????????

I did not know, till very recently, that ten years after his classic, "It Conquered The World," featuring the ever lovable "Cucumbo," Roger Corman, in 1966, remade the same film, in a color version, entitled "Zontar, The Thing From Venus!"

I admit I was curious to see the remake, until I discovered an altogether different monster had been used.  Cucumbo should have been taken out of retirement, so we could see him, in all this Technicolor glory!!!!!!!!!!!!

Who could forget Cucumbo, menacing Beverly Garland, in her bullet bra blouse, and matching skirt?

Zontar, to me, looks more like a player.  Look at all the lovelies he is surrounded with!  I am sure the girls find him cute, but, for me, I find Cucumbo cuter,  He was the first, and the best!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bring him back, in his own color spectacular!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Two Sad Anniversaries On One Day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                               The sadness of what has been going on around us is only compounded by the chilling irony that today marks the 80th Anniversary--yes, 80!!!!!!!--of Kristallnacht.  Known as the "Night Of Glass," it was a, if not THE, starting point of the Holocaust, when a bunch of thugs and Nazi sympathizers tossed stones, shattering the glass windows of the stores of Jewish business owners.  Simply because they were Jews.

                                As a Christian, married to a Jew, and, on behalf of all my Jewish friends, past and present, I am offended by what has transpired recently, and horrified that things occurred so close to this anniversary.  I thought something like it could never happen again, but now I am not so sure.

                                  I thought lessons had been learned after November 9, 1938, and once the war ended.  But now I wonder.
Sadly, this is also the 47th Anniversary of The John List Murders, which took place in Westfield, New Jersey, on this date, back in 1971.  List helped define the term "family annihilator," and set the gold standard in that field--and that is not a compliment.

He started off the morning by shooting his wife and his mother.  When the kids came home that afternoon, he shot them one by one--first Patty, who was 16, then Frederick, 13.  He then went to watch his son, John Jr. 15, play in a soccer game. He drove the boy home, tried to shoot him inside the house,  John, Jr. was the only one who put up a fight, and it is too bad he did not survive.  Then List, who planned to kill himself, but couldn't, went on the lam for years, being apprehended in 1990.  He was convicted, and died in prison.  When he died, on March 21, 2008, his family was waiting for him on the other side, to slap him across the face, and I hope they gave it to him good.

He came from a domineering mother, who controlled him so that he was so rigid he could not bend to change.  This resulted in a series of jobs and losses.  Having, before the murders, felt he hit rock bottom, he would hide out at the Westfield train station, pretending to go to work, but faking it,  Eventually, facing dispossession and welfare, he felt his family would be better off dead, which was his rationale for the killings.  But he was too narcissistic to take his own life, which makes him a greater monster than he already is.

He even started an new life in the Midwest, marrying a woman named Delores Miller, and working for a paper plant, and active in Lutheran church activities, under the name Bob Clark. However, he was starting to bottom out again, meaning, had he not been caught, Delores might have been his next victim.  I have no doubt she would have been.  He had that part of his act together.

I am sure the town of Westfield has not forgotten.  And neither shall I.

List is being meted justice.

I hope his victims are now at peace.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

This Could Be Broadway's Next Sicko Musical!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                                "I had a dream!
                                                 A dream about you, Baby!!!!!!!!!!!"
                                                 --Ethel Merman as Rose Hovick in "Gypsy"
                                                (1959), "Everything's Coming Up Roses!"

                                       It takes place on a bare stage, with minimal scenery. It is staged more conceptually, as the story moves along in a series of vaudeville routines that tell the story.  It involves a troubled mother and daughter relationship.  And the daughter is even named Gypsy Rose!!!!!!!!!

                                        But any resemblance to the Styne/Sondheim classic ends there!

                                        This is a brand new musical, based on a program I saw on ID, called "Gypsy's Revenge!"  Instead of a showbiz obsessed mother determined to keep her daughters' youth, long enough to make them stars, here is a mother plagued with Munchausen By Proxy, who needs to keep her daughter young and chronically ill, so she can gain attention for being such a wonderful mother and caregiver.  In this picture, the real Gypsy is somewhere in her teens, but functions on the level of a child, and cannot walk.  She later discovers she can, and her childishness disappears, when she takes up with an online hookup named Nicholas.

                                             What the mothers in both shows do not realize is once they get their children tot he point they want them, there is no use for them.  With Dee Dee, if Gypsy hand not beaten her to it, you would be right to suggest she would have murdered her own child!

                                             Until then, Dee Dee Blanchard and her daughter got all the sympathy and support out there.  Even a Habitat For Humanity Home, built for them, free of charge, in Springfield, Missouri.  I mean, talk about having a gimmick.  Dee Dee knew how to milk it for all it was worth.

                                              But things changed, once Nicholas entered the picture, and Gypsy discovered what Dee Dee had done to her--which was what Dee Dee own mother had done to her.  Only Dee Dee broke free, and now Gypsy was.  But Dee Dee did not resort to murder.  Gypsy did, by having Nicholas kill Dee Dee.

                                                I mean, the final number has to be Gypsy's version of "Rose Turn," holding up the knife in her hand, triumphantly, like "Sweeney Todd."

                                                  Of course they were convicted and imprisoned.  But that could be done in an Epilogue.

                                                     The only problem I see is casting it.  Who could play it?

                                                      Celia Keenan-Bolger, maybe?  Or Tyne Daly?????????????

                                                       If you have any ideas, girls, I would like to know!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look At This Bitch! What A Piece Of Trash!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                   Yes, darlings, it is time for Bitch Of The Week, and Susan Westwood is such a perfect choice.  She is so trashy looking, and yet she boasts about making $125K--at what, I would like to know?--and is the Queen Of Entitlement at her Sunset Beach Park neighborhood, in North Carolina.

                                       The incident happened on October 19.  Susan came home to her apartment, from an evening out, and was clearly inebriated.  Nothing wrong there, and she made it home safe. But, when she got out of the car, and saw a group of Black folk waiting for someone to come fix their car, which had broken down, she went into a racist rant, about what the hell do they have the right to be in this neighborhood, when she makes so much money; she claims they were scooping out the place to steal, and that people such as they do not belong in this neighborhood!

                                       Hey, Susan, I got news for you, neither do you!  You belong in some trailer trash community, because your behavior fits that rubric.  The piece de resistance  was when she shouted to them, "I'm White, and I'm hot!"   Hot????????   HOT????????????   Hey,  Susan have you taken a good look at yourself in the mirror?  Unless it is lying to you, like with the Wicked Queen in "Snow White."  Even she looked classier than you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                        So, Susan Westwood is the undisputed winner of this week's Raving Queen Bitch Of The Week Award!  No beauty, no class, NOTHING!  Bet you have a Confederate flag over your fireplace, you White Supremacist/Nationalist Bitch!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                         Take a community college (because you are not smart enough for any other!) course in Black Literature,  you rotten tramp!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Another Triumph For Lucas Hedges!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                                     Ever since he blew me away in "Manchester By The Sea," and having seen him previously as Richie, in the American dramatization of "The Slap," Lucas Hedges has,  in my estimation been the actor to keep one's eye on.  All those ancient queens extolling Timothee Chalamet are so deluded; he is a flavor of the month, a pretty boy, whose star will be short lived, when that prettiness goes.  And it will go.  Lucas, on the other hand, has a fresh, natural look, not conventionally pretty, but imperfectly handsome.  He is a fine young man, but this is backed up with a lot of acting technique and sensitivity that makes him not a flavor, but the most exciting young presence out there.

                                       It comes as no surprises to me that he carries "Boy Erased."  But the film did surprise me, with one of the best performances I have seen from Nicole Kidman recently--she more than atones for "The Beguiled" here--and Russell Crowe, with her, playing the Eamons, parents of Jared (Hedges), who are not the hypocritical monsters one might expect.  They love their son, but are misguided by society and what they grew up around.  The real monster is Victor Sykes, played by writer/director Joel Edgerton, who did the same in his brilliant thriller "The Gift."  Unlike that film, no one really gets a comeuppance here, but it almost does not matter.  What happens is Jared' mother's maternal instincts outweigh her religious values, the father is imprisoned by them, but tries to understand, and that Jared does what many young gays do--he flees to an urban area; in this case, New York City, and surrounds himself with like minded friends.

                                       But the film does not sugar coat the issue of conversion.  The camp, hypocritically called Love In Action, is more about breaking down its individuals' spirit and confidence, something Jared senses early on.  It is a testament to Hedges' gift for acting that the discoveries he makes, and the viewer with him, are conveyed by internalization, the emotions seen on his face, rather than dialogue.  Edgerton's performance is like a snake, seemingly friendly, then sneaking up on one with psychological and physical abuse.

                                         What surprised me about the camp was that it was not made up of overly hormonal teenaged boys.  There were girls, women, and even older men.   Two of those campers, Jesse LaTourette, as Sarah, and Britton Sear, as Cameron, offer strong supporting performances.  There is a scene where Sarah and Jared look at each other passing by, and it is an example of what this film, and its actors, do the best.  One wants to know what is in their heads, at the moment, and the back story of Sarah.  I kept feeling something tragic--ie; suicide--was going to happen to Sarah.  An incident does happen, and its surprise is so startling, and understated, it is more impacting than if shown the actual act.

                                             Understatement is the byword in "Boy Erased," but don't let that fool one; the message gets across loud and clear.  Everyone is brilliant including Cherry Jones, in her cameo, within their roles, but Lucas Hedges carries this film.  I now almost want to see him on stage in "The Waverly Gallery."

                                               One last thing. There is a scene where Jared excuses himself to take a leak.  It is a basement bathroom, with windows looking in.  Standing there, near one of those windows, is Victor Sykes.  Is he watching?  Has he watched?  When his outcome is revealed over the end credits, I was not at all surprised.  I had to laugh.

                                                 Go, Lucas!  I cannot wait to see what you do next!