Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Quips and Quotations (Footlights Forever Edition)



Many of the shows I danced in don't exist on film, but they do exist in the memories of those who were in the theater for that single moment in time. And nothing can replace that.

--Chita Rivera

Only in people's memories? Chita, darling, I know you're a Broadway legend and all that, but every Spider Woman must have her...


Did you catch what Katie Couric said at the end of that? I'd like to think even Little Miss Tuffet would stick around for these posterity-positive performances:



Thursday, January 25, 2024

Graphic Grandeur (America Faust Edition)


I'm just hoping the rest of the country doesn't complete the sale in November.

Cartoon by Mike Luckovich.

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Quips and Quotations (When the Moon Hits Your Eye Like a Big Pizza Pie Edition)



I try to find stories that I would think that everyone would find interesting, and just a good entertaining story, and then if I can find a story that has a raison d'etre behind it that I feel is important then that's the best for me.

--Norman Jewison, filmmaker

(I like all of the following movies, but see if you can guess which one is my personal favorite--Kirk):

The Cincinatti Kid (1965)

The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming! (1966)

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

Jesus Christ, Superstar (1973)

Moonstruck (1987)



Saturday, January 20, 2024

Graphic Grandeur (Man of Lithium Edition)


DC house style art by Al Plastino

Fears that AI will eventually replace humanity run rampant these days, but such concerns are nothing new. Back in 1957, long before Sam Altman was born, one of the chief worries apparently was that this technology could replace a superhero! 

Of course, that fear has turned out to be unfounded.

Not a robot, just a younger actor.





Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Last Exit to Brooklyn


I'm sure all you Honeymooners fans out there recognize these three folks, even if they're attired a bit differently than usual. That's because it's just a rehearsal, and not even a dress rehearsal at that. Sitting is Art Carney, who played Ed Norton. Standing behind him is Audrey Meadows, who portrayed Alice Kramden. And as Trixie Norton we have Joyce Randolph (who died just this past Saturday at age 99-- RIP) But where's the big guy, Ralph Kramden, who Jackie Gleason so memorably brought to life? Turns out Gleason didn't like to rehearse, as he wanted his on-air performance to be spontaneous. That apparently was less of a concern to Carney, Meadows, and Randolph (whose own on-air performances were pretty good anyway) so they just rehearsed without him. I assume somebody read Gleason's lines to the other three. Maybe a producer, or a stagehand, or whoever took that picture. It all worked out in the end.

Still, a post about The Honeymooners minus Gleason just doesn't seem right! So here's what I'm going to do, folks. Through the magic of computerized special effects, I'll insert Jackie Gleason, aka, Ralph Kramden, into that long-ago rehearsal.


Take a look:

Well, that's as close as I could get.

Sunday, January 14, 2024

Quips and Quotations (Simmering Simians Simile Edition)


"More fun than a barrel of monkeys." Has anyone ever stopped to think how cranky, if not downright vicious, a barrelful of monkeys would be, especially once released from the barrel?

--Tom Shales, longtime and widely syndicated TV critic for the Washington Post


Friday, January 12, 2024

Corrections and Retractions (Supermajority Supermeddling Edition)


The Ohio House of Representatives has overridden Mike DeWine's veto of Bill 68, banning gender-affirming care, including puberty blockers prescribed by a doctor, for those under the age of 18. In addition, the bill bans medical professionals from even diagnosing gender dysphoria in minors, and, going outside the realm of medicine, prohibits transgender females in K-12 and college from participating in girls' and women's sports. The Ohio Senate (currently on vacation) still has to sign off on it, but expectations are that it will.

It's a setback for the LGBTQ community and its allies, but we've been set back before. And before. And before. 

The good fight continues.

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Frosted Figurine


Such exquisite detail. What lifelike touches. A masterpiece of accumulation. The above photo first appeared in an 1892 edition of Strand Magazine (yes, Sherlock Holmes lovers, THAT Strand Magazine.) Folks back then understood and appreciated the aesthetic possibilities of snowfall.

 So why did those abstract artists have to come along and ruin everything?

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Quips and Quotations (Making Her Entrance Again with Her Usual Flair Edition)


In classical theatre in Europe, everybody plays all kinds of parts. Juliets go on to play the Nurses; they don't want to play Juliet again. I think we've got to remember to grab onto our perks, whatever is the good thing about each age. Each stage of life should be a progression.

--Glynis Johns

Miranda (1948)

The Court Jester (1956)

Mary Poppins (1964)

A Little Night Music (1973)

Superstar (1999)

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Free Mickey


I did it! I did it! I did it! I did it! I did it! It's finally legal and I did it! No more extensions! No more infringement! No more lawyers! Hee, hee, hee! I did it! Ooh boy, was it fun! Was it liberating! Was it cathartic! Oh, what a rush! What a high! Yes! Yes! GOOD GOD, YES!!! Ohhhhhh... 

As it is, I can hardly wait for Donald Duck to go into the public domain. Then Goofy, Pluto, Dumbo, Bambi, the hippo in Fantasia...

Oh, and in case you're wondering, I drew the above picture digitally...with a mouse.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Leaving Las Vegas


The Riviera Hotel and Casino opened in 1955, the ninth resort to do so on the legendary Las Vegas Strip. Mob-owned and Mob-run for decades, it featured top-notch entertainers, and was one of the bigger draws for those tourists who save up their money all year round so they can experience the pleasure of losing it at the tables or slot machines. The Riveria also popped up in movies such as the original Ocean's 11 (the one with the Rat Pack, not George Clooney), Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, and Diamonds Are Forever. Unfortunately, casinos aren't diamonds. Starting in the 1980s, multinational corporations began buying up most of the rest of the gangland holdings on the Strip, and proceeded to knock down the aging neon towers one by one and replace them with even larger indoor gambling theme parks, the nearby construction of which reduced foot traffic to the Riveria. Ownership eventually passed from the underworld to more legitimate groups of investors, and finally in 2015, the state-run Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Are we talking a unique form of American socialism here? Nothing so provocative, I'm afraid. The Riviera was just bought to be gotten rid of and the whole thing went through a series of "implosions" to make room for some kind of trade center expansion. Before any of that happened, though, there was first a liquidation sale...

...and Las Vegas mainstay Shecky Greene, who had played at that and every other hotel on the Strip, was on hand to salvage what he could.

Here's Shecky at home:

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