Thursday, February 8, 2018
SLOWLY BUT SURELY I HAVE BEEN HEARING FROM FRIENDS, AS WELL AS READING SOME "INCONSPICUOUS ARTICLES" THAT PEOPLE ARE TURNING OFF "THIS IS US."
ADD ME TO THAT LIST.
I can no longer subject myself to an hour of depressive whiners. These are characters who are frequently gloomy and so stressed out by life and circumstance, that it's the biggest downer TV show I've ever seen.
I have watched every episode since the beginning, and still retain 100% respect for the talented writers, actors, and directors. It is quality TV, for sure, and very inventive.
I just don't want it in my life or psyche anymore. Depressive programming doesn't appeal to me. I don't need to be "moved" like that. Instead, it is off my DVR series list, and I'll have even more time to be happy looking at beautiful skies and loving my life.
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
CHITA RIVERA AND TOMMY TUNE DID THEIR CONCERT SHOW "CHITA AND TUNE" TO A SOLD-OUT CROWD AT THE MCCALLUM THEATRE IN PALM DESERT.
Seeing a show of true professionals, who are legends, actually made me tear up. There were no back-up dancers, flashing lights, or autotune----just pure talent on stage. What a pleasure. They are touring the country now with this show, and they open it together, then they each take turns with a couple of numbers, and then performer together, and REPEAT!
Note: Neither one of these icons is 22, and, boy do they still have it. Simply delicious. Their dance steps were perfection.
|Allan Glaser, Lucie Arnaz, and Tab Hunter|
|My turn. I just love Tab and Allan|
The montage of pictures of Tab and Chita is so sweet.
|Lucie, Tommy, and Don Amendolia all did "My One and Only" together.|
Chita and I were reminiscing about nights at Joe Tremaine's house.
|Tommy and Tab|
Friday, February 2, 2018
IT'S TIME TO GET REAL. IF YOU'RE LIKE ME, IT'S IMPORTANT TO FIND THE RIGHT TOILET PAPER. IT'S ALL ABOUT SOFT, HARD, FLUFF, QUILT, TEXTURE, ONE-PLY, TWO-PLY, etc. However, there is the unspoken "issue with tissue"------unwanted residue. Yes, I said it. You all know exactly what I'm talking about.
In order to solve this problem, I went to the market and bought one roll of almost every toilet paper on the market. In my "personal scientific study of one," I judged each brand.
Cottonelle feels great. How I wish it didn't leave residue. I heard recently that they came out with a new brand called COTTONELLE CLEAN, to eliminate the problem. THEY'RE LYING. IT DOESN'T WORK. It's the WORST.
Again, Charmin Soft feels the best of all the toilet papers. It's even an anticipated treat. BUT, the residue is almost as bad as Cottonelle's.
|Charmin Ultra Strong IS THE WINNER BY A LANDSLIDE. It's not quite as soft as Charmin Soft, but I don't care.|
|A lot of people swear by Quilted Northern. Nice feel; lots of residue. Sorry.|
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
I LOVE CAST PARTY SO MUCH.
IT WAS STARTED IN NY BY JIM CARUSO TO PLAY EVERY MONDAY NIGHT AT BIRDLAND.
CAST PARTY was started on a Monday, because that's the off-night for Broadway show people. All kinds of stars and performers go to Birdland and just sing one, or maybe two songs. There's no rehearsal. They just hand their sheet music to Billy, talk a second and then sing.
This concept has become so popular, Jim and Billy have taken it to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and now Palm Springs (Annenberg Theatre). They have their "regulars," performers who so love the concept that they go to the different cities; they "pick-up" locals, too!
|Jim, Yours Truly, and Billy|
Palm Springs was treated to an incredible group---among them----Lucie Arnaz, Jane Monheit, Julie Garnye, Iris Williams, Karina Nuvo, and Alix Korey. It was a magical night of fantastic voices and Broadway memories. Barry Manilow sat in the back and had a great time.
And, our own Tony-winning David Zippel actually took the stage to sing one of his songs and he brought down the house!
After the show was over, many of us went right to Lulu's and celebrated!
Here's hoping the Annenberg will bring this back every year!
|Jane Monheit sang a song from "City of Angels" written by David Zippel, left.|
|Iris Williams and Larry Luckinbill|
|Rick Montalbano, drummer for the whole show (and Jane's husband), Jane, Julie Garnye, and Jack Montalbano (front)|
|Terri Ketover wlecomed us all to the Annenberg|
|Barbara Fromm, Alix Korey, Bernie Fromm, and Larry Luckinbill|
|Most important thing is to make sure you get your music back!|
Monday, January 29, 2018
|Jamie Kabler, founder|
THE RANCHO MIRAGE WRITERS FESTIVAL IS ONE OF THE MOST PRESTIGIOUS IN THE COUNTRY.
It was created by Jamie Kabler, and it is an incredible feast of intellectual analysis, thought-provoking ideas, and just plain fun. The attendees are fascinated from morning til night. On the first day I ran into Eli and Edye Broad, Dick Riordan, Patt Morrison, and Kathleen Brown.
Opening night was a private party for the Angels who generously give the money to help make the festival. I really enjoyed sitting with CNN's Presidential Historian Doug Brinkley and his wife, Anne, as well as Veronica Garcia, a member of the LA Times Book Club (members--Dick Riordan, Patt Morrison, et.al)
|Jamie Kabler with "John Adams"|
After dinner we all adjourned to the theatre where A. Scott Berg (one of my favorite authors who wrote the gigantic tome on my favorite president, Woodrow Wilson) treated us to an amazing talk. He is very interested in World War One, and noted that it was exactly 100 years ago and that the parallels to today are very important.
"Please appreciate the importance of it, or it will be reduced in history to the Punic Wars. America's identity was really created 100 years ago. If you study it, you'll be able to understand today. The most important saying is 'The world must be made safe for democracy.' Think about it in light of today."
Next up was a panel, lead by USC's Geoff Cowan, featuring Karl Rove and the New York Times Columnist Brett Stephens.
|Geoff, Brett, and Karl|
"Great readers make great leaders," said Stephens. "Lincoln read all of Shakespeare."
Then it was Karl's turn. I can only tell you that from watching him on TV, I was scared to meet him in person. Boy, was I wrong. He was warm, funny, self-deprecating, and (actually) cute! When you hear him talk, as I did for three days at differant forums, you realize that he has one of most brilliant minds for political history. He has a new book called THE TRIUMPH OF WILLIAM MCKINLEY, and he regaled us with details of that presidency that really matches today. "The democratic congress at that time announced right away that they wouldn't support anything McKinley wanted. None of what we are experience is new. At one point, a congressman pointed a gun at the speaker just to remind him that he'd be shot if he ruled 'incorrectly.'"
He then went on to say about George W. Bush: "This is a man who just 'played the Guy from Midland.' He graduated from Yale with a history major and then got his MBA from Harvard. We had a yearly contest to see not only who read the most books, but we started measuring in linear inches so we'd be totally accurate. We read the classics, political history, economics, and foreign policy. Sometime's we'd only beat one another by an inch and a half. George, to this day, spends one week a year in Ruwanda working at AIDS faciities by doing carpentry and painting work in addition to raising money and calling attention to the issue."
He then proceeded to do an imitation of Bill Clinton that was the best I've ever heard.
Rove on Trump: I agree with most of his policies but the tweeting has to stop. He's controversial, but we must remember history. In the five elections after Gilded Age, each president was elected with less than 50% of the popular vote. We're still fighting the Civil War. Nothing gets done."
|Karl Rove and Doug Brinkley|
|Moderator Susan Eisenhower|
The next day opened with the VERY capable Lucie Arnaz interviewing Jim Miller, who wrote the book on SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE.
"Lorne (Michaels, executive produer) has the final say on everything. Dan Ackroyd came up with the shark. John Belushi created the samurai warrior. NBC hated the bees and asked Lorne to take them out, so he kept them in," said Miller. "For the performers, the wait to see whether their sketch made it into the final show was miserable. After the dress rehearsal, Lorne goes back to his office with each sketch on an index card. Then he only places the sketches he likes in the final line-up. If the actors see their card dumped it's very traumatic."
Lucie then asked about drugs on the set.
"Yes, there were a lot of them. What Lorne did was put the offices where the drugs were used way in the back, so when network executives came over, they' never go into that area."
"When Tina Fey became head witer, all the boys' locker room talk stopped."
"John Belushi would never do a sketch written by a woman. He didn't think women could write comedy."
"Just befoe Gilda Radner died, she sent Lorne a note saying 'Lorne, I'm happy.' It's still up in his office."
AND ONTO THE "DISH"--SALLY BEDELL SMITH, AUTHOR OF MANY BOOKS ON "THE ROYALS."
She was interviewed by Van Gordon Sauter, and all he had to do was ask one question and she talked for 40 minutes! It was delicious stuff! Bedell Smith has lived in London and become very close to many of the royals. She also wrote the book on Prince Charles.
Here we go--
"Diana had profound mental health issues. Sadly, it was too much for her."
"Pamela Harriman read Edith Wharton's book, CUSTOM OF THE COUNTRY, and patterned all her moves after that heroine."
"Queen Elizabeth seems quite reserved in public, but one time she was at the Kentucky Derby and was screaming for her horse. She loves horse racing and loves it when you want to 'replay' the race in conversation. She gets just as excited as when its happening. She loves to talk and talks and gesticulates like an Italian. She smiles a lot, loves to sing, and does wicked impersonations."
"Charles adores his grandmother. He's sweet, warm, and charming. He's made his job-in-waiting into a real job. He's widely mis-understood. Camilla is the love of his life. He's loved her for 40 years. She's very appealing and just 'sucked it up' when she had to wait for him. Charles and Camilla had an affair in 1972, but Charles had to go into the military. That's when she married Andrew Parker-Bowles. Charles was heartsick. There was no romance when he was with Diana. It resumed in 1986. Let's just say, about Camilla, that she was well-navigated! She has won over the Queen now."
|1972 Love at first sight|
"William and Kate keep their mystique, but look accessible. Kate never over-shadows William."
"Meghan is 'out there,' just like Harry. The world still loves Diana, and he's half Diana, so he's put in a special place. Meghan is poised, well-educated and a good performer. The Royal philosophy is 'We can't say no to Harry.' By marrying a bi-racial American actress, the Royals feel it helps their image. It makes them cool."
As you can see, this festival is tremendous. A great, big thank you to Jamie Kabler and Debbie Green who work tirelessly to present this magical festival!
Friday, January 19, 2018
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WERE DOING A FULL SYMPHONY CONCERT AND HALF OF YOUR ORCHESTRA DIDN'T SHOW UP?
Meet David Robertson, the conductor of the St. Louis Symphony. He came to Palm Springs to do a concert for the Palm Springs Friends of Philharmonic, a highly-respected group, now celebrating their 45th anniversary of concerts in the desert.
BUT ONLY HALF OF HIS ORCHESTRA MADE IT TO PALM SPRINGS. The other half, on a different flight at a different time, got snowed in in St. Louis---45 players!
This charming, genial man had a big problem. His entire program was unavailable. He also had the brilliant violinist, Augustin Hadelich, set to play Benjamin Britten's Violin Concerto. The other pieces on the program were Ades and Shostakovich. BUT HE COULDN'T PLAY ANY OF THEM! They didn't have the instrumentation in Palm Springs to do it.
With only about five hours to pull off a miracle, he had to find pieces that the remaining orchestra members already knew, and pieces that would work with the instruments he had left. OMG!
ALSO, ALL THE CHARTS WERE ON THE SECOND PLANE THAT DIDN'T ARRIVE.
The entire orchestra spent the day getting charts by email, printing all the pages and then having to scotch tape them together so they could actually do a show. Pages and pages were laid out all over the floor of the McCallum Theatre, with orchestra members and staff on their knees taping.
And, you know what? They made it on time, and the concert was absolutely glorious. Robertson let the audience in on what happened from the very beginning, and quipped in every introduction.
It was a very exciting miracle to witness.
Monday, January 8, 2018
I NEVER THOUGHT I'D PUT UP A PICTURE OF OUR CONSTITUTION FOR A GOLDEN GLOBES STORY, BUT I THINK ITS THE MOST APPROPRIATE IMAGE TODAY
Congratulations to all the winners! But, the big winners were women, strength, truth, and hope. Normally, I don't like issues on awards shows, but, this time, it was the only way to go. The Golden Globes was the perfect venue to highlight, honor, and carry-on the "Me, too" movement that was started because women in Hollywood spoke up about abuse.
I loved all the women's acceptance speeches, but particularly adored Natalie Portman's comment about the all-male nominee director's category.
Our country is in the middle of a giant revolution. It doesn't feel right to start talking about "frilly Globes gossip" today.
Oh....OK. I thought Dakota Johnson wore the best black dress.
......I thought Seth Meyers did a funny monologue and then kind of disappeared.
....I thought the show had no pace and was dis-jointed.....
Could I love Nicole Kidman any more than I already do???.....and, let's face it....Oprah just won over 99% of the citizens of the U.S.
No one got drunk and fell down last night. Good. It's time we all stand up.