Monday, August 28, 2017
Sunday, August 27, 2017
I LOVED WHITNEY HOUSTON,
JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE
The new documentary on Showtime all this week, was directed by the talented Nick Broomfield. It is hard to watch because once again we have to go through the tragic story and have our hearts ripped out. BUT, YOU MUST WATCH. It helped me understand her pain and made me feel better she wasn't suffering anymore.
It's brilliant, because it shows unseen footage of the "real" Whitney, a drug-user from the hood who knew how to put on a different face and conquer Hollywood. But, it was the lies---about her relationship with Robyn Crawford, the only stabilizing influence in her life; the lie of hiding her true roots; having a mother who drove her mercilessly and controlled her with an iron fist; the obligation of being the sole support of family hangers-on; and her father grabbing for money.
Bobby Brown was a horrible influence, but she was on drugs before she ever met him. What he did for her was treat her with dispect/ghetto behavior, that was familiar to her because she had low self esteem and thought that was what she deserved. It was too late, really, ut she did have the courage to leave him.
I met Whitney back stage at her first Grammys, and she was lovely. I saw a number of her concerts. Regarding her self-esteem, I once saw her at a big charity event in Hollywood, attended by lots of stars. She was the entertainment, and it was the week that "I Will Always Love You" broke big. She did her show and was incredible. They typical Hollywood charity audience was polite, but didn't really clap hard enough after the last song to warrant an encore. Whitney looked at them and said, "Don't you want to hear 'I Will Always Love You?" Of course they were enthusiastic.
The next day I receive a call from someone connected to the event telling me that Whitney's father called her because Whitney was worried and feeling bad that the audience might not have liked her. I was asked to write something fantastic about Whitney and the show in my column so her father could show it to her and make her feel good.
I was honored to do it; felt sad that Whitney was concerned; and was very happy to make her happy. That's how I experienced her insecurity first hand.
"Can I Be Me?," the title of the documentary, is a question Whitney asked many times in private or to her handlers. How sad that she had to die to achieve it. Thank God she and her similarly, tragically-doomed daughter are together in peace.
Thursday, August 17, 2017
FRIDAY NIGHT---LESLEY ANN WARREN AT HOLLYWOOD FOREVER CEMETERY
Yes, cemetery. The LGBT Center held a fundraising screening of Lesley's movie, CLUE, outside on the lawn in the cemetery. The movie is shown on a mausoleum wall. Hollywood Forever does these screenings on a regular basis and they draw a very nice crowd of about 1000 people. Lesley Ann's appearance drew 2500 people, the largest ever for any screening, and raised $100, 000 for The Center. Congratulations!
|Check out Lesley's pants. I want them.|
SATURDAY DAY----HAMILTON AT THE PANTAGES
I'd had tickets for HAMILTON early on in New York, but was forced to cancel them because of terrorist threats in New York. When the police with guns hit Times Square.....I'm out!
I was skeptical of HAMILTON because people seemed to be really going over the top about it. Well, I saw it and I'm over the top, too. This production at the Pantages is fantastic. HAMILTON really has changed musical theatre forever. I sat there wide-eyed and at attention the whole time. The touring company is brilliant. Total Broadway quality.
SATURDAY NIGHT-----HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CONNIE STEVENS
Connie opened her home for a New England Lobster-Clambake. She invited her closest friends, members of the SAG board, and, of course, her family. Connie is all about family, and if you're her friend, you're "in forever." She looked absolutely beautiful.
|Joely, Connie, and Tricia Leigh|
|Connie's backyard was so welcoming|
|Tricia and Lainie Kazan|
And, at Connie's, there were prayers for
Joe Bologna. His wife and kids were by
his side that night. He and Renee have been
fixtures at Connie's parties for over 40 years.
He died the next day. God bless you,
Sweet, Funny Joe.
SUNDAY----BRUNCH WITH FRIENDS AND TAROT READINGS
|Erika, Lynne, Merrin, Lesley, and Jill|
Tuesday, August 8, 2017
DID YOU KNOW THAT FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER TEACHES A BIBLE CLASS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC AT HIS HOME CHURCH IN PLAINS, GEORGIA?I DIDN'T.
My friends from Palm Springs, Keith Coplen and Bryan Kraft, retired heavy-duty political operatives, read somewhere that Jimmy taught a class a few times a year in Plains, and saw that the next date was coming soon. They literally made plane reservations that moment and went. THAT'S how life should be lived, I think. When they returned, they told me that their lives were "forever changed" by the experience.
|Keith and Bryan sitting in the pew|
|Jimmy's childhood bedroom|
|Plains "business district"|
|Original Carter Family Farm|
|Train Depot and also headquarters for his presidential campaign|
|Billy Carter's gas station|
|Entering Plains--FEWER THAN 700 PEOPLE LIVE THERE|
|Keith in front of the restaurant|
The only restaurant (at left) in Plains is The Cafeteria
|Fried Chicken, greens, and mac 'n' cheese. What else?|
|Jimmy's boyhood home|
|Where Jimmy and Rosalynn live now. You can't get in.|
Monday, August 7, 2017
FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER AT COMIC-CON,
LYNDA CARTER WILL DO HER SENSATIONAL CONCERT ACT
AT THE PALM SPRINGS CONVENTION CENTER, AUGUST 26
I have been watching Lynda's musical act since the 80s in Las Vegas and all over the country. You are in for a treat. And her band.....all Grammy-winning musicians.
Palm Springs Convention Center
Note: Lynda is not appearing inside the Comic-Con Festival, only at the theatre.
Sunday, August 6, 2017
DUNKIRK IS HOLLYWOOD'S DARLING RIGHT NOW. ALL YOU HEAR IS OSCAR, OSCAR, OSCAR...AND I'M SURE IT WILL WIN SOME.
To be fair, I am not a fan of war movies. I remember my mother forcing me to sit and watch an old movie called "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" when I was a child. I was terrified. I don't find war movies to be entertainment. A possible exception could be SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, just because the character development was so strong that you really felt connected.
DUNKIRK is not entertainment at all. It's a history lesson with tremendous direction and images by Christopher Nolan. There is very little dialogue. You barely know who anyone is. It is well-made in that you are tense and upset the entire time, which, I guess, is what a war movie should do to an audience. Will you be moved? In my opinion, not very.
I also have to say, that the score by Oscar winner Hans Zimmer, was extremely screechy, obtrusive, and annoying. When your attention is taken off a movie plot because you are distracted by the music.....that's a problem. It happened repeatedly to me.
The movie stars Fionn Whitehead as the young soldier trying to get home. He is a wonderful find. Kennth Branagh, Mark Rylance, Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy are terrific, as well as every single unrecognizable face playing a soldier. Without much dialogue, and no backstory, it is hard to muster up a true caring. I'd best describe it as "generic caring."
If you're interested in the Academy Awards race, go see it to be informed.