Archive for August, 2008

Eat My Shorts, Man

Ah, yes, the weekend clean-up prior to the opening of a show at our community theatre. Those gathered were kept busy by doing various duties around the small space. Hanging vinyl LPs from the ceiling in the lobby (I realize that this may age me a bit; but I even remember 8-track tapes and Betamax), finishing up the molding for the doors on stage, and totally 80’s-afying the interior of the building. Carol and I spent the majority of our time drizzling paint in a pizza box that was in turn used to create a tiled effect on the stage floor. THIS TYPE OF PAINTING I CAN HANDLE… thank you very much.

Normally, the lobby of the theatre is used to showcase the artistic talents of a local artist. For our production of The Nerd, our director decided to use the space for a variety of pop culture items of extravagance. Record sleeves for Madonna’s True Blue album, authentic movie posters for Star Wars and E.T., and a Strawberry Shortcake tv tray were just a few of the items I saw waiting to be displayed. Totally tubular, Dude. So… for a blast from the past and a hilarious play… check us out September 5-7 and 11-14.

True Life Tragedy Inspires A Hero’s Creation

I recently came across an article containing information I have not previously known. It seems that one of my favorite characters in pop culture (most of my readers know who I am speaking of)was seemingly created in the wake of a mystery on the streets of Cleveland, Ohio. On Thursday June 2, 1932, Mitchell Siegel, a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania was in a secondhand clothing store. Three men entered the store. One asked to see a suit and left the store without paying for it. In the commotion, Siegel collapsed and died. The police report stated that one gunshot was fired. However, the coroner’s report stated that the man died of an apparent heart attack. The robber fled the scene and was never caught.

Mitchell Siegel, age 60, was the father of Jerome Siegel one of the two teenagers who created Superman !!!

Comics writer Brad Meltzer has penned a fictional tale in the tradition of The Da Vinci Code that intriguingly connects this mystery with the fratricide of Kane and Abel: The Book of Lies.

Read This List

Today at work, one of my fellow employees found the following grocery (?) list lying on the floor just begging to be found:

  • soup base (beef)
  • lettuce
  • sE#- spouse only
  • onion
  • bananas
  • applesauce
  • tablet
  • oil
  • paper towels

Ok… I do not claim to be a genius, but I know for a fact that at least one of these items cannot be purchased in the store in which I am currently employed.  I’m not sure about the more modern, big city markets, but I’m not sure that you can purchase it anywhere in my little corner of the state (legally, anyway).  I’m not exactly sure if the customer was cooking up something special; but, it created quite a humorous afternoon (that I really appreciated today).  Even the boss had a good laugh when she came in.  Now WHO would do such a thing?  At least the customer had the foresight to include his spouse.

Happy 5-0, Jack-o

Today marks the half-century mark for one of the strangest, most celebrated (in his heyday), and most controversial performers ever to dance across a stage. At one time, the mere mention of Michael Jackson’s name sent teenage girl’s hearts a-flutter. Now, it seems that it sends chilling thoughts of child abuse charges, skin color changing, surgical mask wearing, and sleeping with chimpanzees. I do remember when he was rightfully given the moniker “The King of Pop,” but 1983-84 was some time ago and most people born just a few years after that would wonder what all the fuss was about. In fact, they frequently laugh at the mere mention of his name (as most people do… even most of his fans wonder what happened).

I remember vividly my experience with most things Thriller: the album itself (still the world’s largest selling of all time), the video, the sequined glove, the marketing, and the introduction of the Moonwalk during the 25th anniversary of Motown. I remember seeing the video while staying overnight with my cousin. My uncle stayed up with us as he was a fan going back to the Jackson 5 days. At the time, it was on of the scariest things I had ever seen. A tribute to the old creature features of the 50s and 60s. Zombies, werewolves, creatures rising from graves. Even Vincent Price’s voice made an eerie appearance in a “rap” toward the end of the 14-minute movie. Days later, the video was banned from network airwaves and was only allowed to be played on MTV after 10pm.

In 1984, the phenomenon sparked the “Victory” reunion tour of Michael and his brothers. While visiting our relatives in Texas that summer, the group was performing in Dallas. And not forgetting the hair-burning incident during the filming of a Pepsi commercial.

Although Wacko-Jacko is now almost in total seclusion, at one time he was a powerhouse of performing dominance seemingly invincible. However, his success with Thriller was never surpassed as rumors began to take control of his life just as its popularity was at its peak.

As The Stomach Turns

This title refers to a hilarious skit performed on The Carol Burnett Show as a spoof of those neverending daytime soaps. If you watch one episode and wait a year you haven’t missed anything. However, I have read articles that suggest that they are good training for the professional actor as pages of script need to be memorized in a very short time. Thanks again to my morning radio news I learned that a young man from my neck of the woods has recently left the soap As the World Turns to become a cast member of the primetime series, Friday Night Lights. Since i am unfamiliar with either show, I can only wish Zach Roerig the best of luck in his new role. Some of today’s (and yesterday’s) big names got their starts steaming up daytime television.

  • Morgan Freeman
  • Marisa Tomei
  • Tommy Lee Jones
  • Mark Hamill (before he became Luke Skywalker and the animated voice of the Joker)
  • Leonard Nimoy (played a drug addict who checked into General Horsepital (oops Hospital…) thanks Mom)
  • Demi Moore
  • David Hasselhoff (HIM AGAIN… definitely one of yesterday’s so-called stars (sorry if I offend any of my European readers).. grudgingly included… thanks again, Mom… I dunno how she remembers all these so well)

These are of a few of the famous alumni of the suds. Since no one within my reach can think of any others, I will leave it open for further comments. But as I know that none of my regular readers have an undying passion for All My Dingbats, The Young and the Breastless, One Life to Die, or any of the others, I will leave it up to those silent critters from other parts of the US, Germany, Sweden, Canada, and wherever else you may be hiding.

WHAT THE HUSK IS A RUSK?!

I’m glad you asked.  A rusk is a rectangular, hard, dry biscuit or a twice baked bread, commonly called zwieback.  These biscuits are often used in child weaning.  They also, apparently, go quite well with garbanzos.  The dish plays a pivotal and hilarious role in our fast approaching production of The Nerd.  The cast had their first practice run through the entire piece tonight and except for about a page and a half being jumped over.  It went EXTREMELY well.  Although, a certain nephew of mine could stand to jump on his entrances a bit quicker.  I’m not one to shirk blame since I was beside him and missed telling him of one of his upcoming moments.  But for it being only his second time on stage, he is doing quite well.

I have failed to mention one of my cast mates from  Little Women who has also had limited stage experience.  She plays the role of Clelia Waldgrave, the dim bulbed wife of Warnock (Worncock, Ticky, Tocky, Tacky, whatever his name is) and mother of the precocious Thor.  Clelia has some funny moments herself, not the least of which involves dishes.

One of my other favorite parts is played by that guy who has a name that reminds me of an omelet (not to worry Colorado).  Axel is one of the characters who shares the secret of the show (to find out what the secret is you have to get your reservations in soon).  Some of his on screen antics are sure to bring down the house.  “Hideous pagan ritual” indeed.

So… just over a week to go before our production of Larry Shue’s side-splitting comedy The Nerd makes its debut, be sure to reserve your tickets soon.

Put Me In Coach, I’m Ready To Play

While chuckling through one of the daytime serials that my mother insists upon DVRing while she drives the school bus, a newsbreak came on and announced the following: “A little league player is told that he can no longer pitch because he is too good. He throws a 40mph fast ball.” Nine-year old Jericho Scott is like many a young man who enjoys playing baseball in a summer league in Connecticut; however, he finds himself in the middle of a full blown controversy. Opposing teams have forfeited games when they see the pitcher on the mound. Officials for the league have threatened to dismantle Jericho’s team, and either redistribute the players to the other teams, or offer the kids a refund of the $50 sign-up fee. However, Jericho’s coach has not given up and refuses to disband the team.

I suppose there are two ways to look at this. I’m not sure that at nine years of age, I would like to face an opposing pitcher who threw at 40mph. Parents may not want to face the outcome if their child is hit by a ball of such velocity. However, it was reported that Jericho has yet to have his pitches hit even one batter.  Would this not make the opposing teams WANT to work even harder?

If you ask me, the one who is really suffering is Jericho, himself. He misses doing what he loves to do: pitching. Although he has played different positions, should he have to suffer when he has been told that he is really good at something? While thinking about the article, I began to see similarities to Jericho’s dilemma and adults in the work place. Many times, a person is told that he is OVER-qualified for a position because they have received advanced training in the field for which they have applied. Am I correct in assuming that this often boils down to the prospective employer not wanting to pay the person for time learning the trade?

I just think that this is a sad tale and a terrible position in which to place a nine-year-old. Punishing a child because he is “too good” is a horrible message to send to a child.

Ironically, this came to light mere days after a team from Hawaii defeated their Mexican opponents to capture the Little League World Series crown.

Revenge Of The Endless Reboots

Ok… it is official. It seems that every movie FRANCHISE is getting reworked, redone, or the more popular term, rebooted. James Bond, Batman, Star Trek is on its way, and now, The Man of Steel himself (any that I am forgetting?). After Superman Returns failed to live up to the extreme demands of the Warner Brothers bigwigs (apparently the $389 million dollar domestic was not acceptable), it was recently announced that the series would be given a redo. I am not entirely certain what that will ultimately entail. If it means starting completely from scratch with the entire origin story, I am sorry to inform them that there will be thousands of upset fans who believe that the Christoper Reeve 1978 blockbuster was the true take on the beginning of the series. It has also been mentioned that the Last Son of Krypton may be developed into a darker character ala Batman. No thank you. Superman has always been the polar opposite of The Dark Knight. Supes stands proud and tall like the red, white, and blue while Batsy is a character of the night working in the dark shadows and instilling fear in the criminal underworld. Hopefully, the darker tone will refer to the movie itself and leave the character as is. While the most recent film in the franchise did have several problems (the introduction of a boy who is possibly the love child of Superman and Lois Lane being the biggest), I do not see them warranting a total dismissal and a face lift.

Other rumored senseless movies that are rumored to be in the works: BOTH giants of the 1980s horror genre: Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street. I don’t think it worked well with Rob Zombie’s re-imagining of Halloween, so why not? ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

You can skip the insanity of the revenge of the killer reboots by renting the originals at Blockbuster.com.

Hiccups

With less than two weeks to go until opening night, I would say that our community theatre’s production of The Nerd is coming along quite nicely.  Today was the first rehearsal during which no scripts were allowed on stage.  For the most part everything went rather smoothly, but of course there were those few “hiccups” as the director called them.  But a large portion of the lines are so incidental that it is really difficult to time and memorize.  There are lots of “What”s, “Excuse me”s, etc that may not seem important but as scripted they add so much to the humor of the piece.  And poooor Rick, I don’t know how many times he has to explain the rules and procedures of a game called “SHOES AND SOCKS.”  One of his FAVORITE parts of the entire play along with his display of musical prowess.  But once again, he is just indescribable.

The gentleman who is playing the role of Willum is also beginning to come into his own.  He brings a nice sense of bewilderment to the scene.  Not sure of what he should do under the circumstances he finds himself under; just trying to make everyone in his home (welcome or unwelcome) happy.

Tansy is growing as she finds herself trying to stand by her man but at the same time becoming really frustrated at Willum’s ineptitude.  She really is like a chicken running loose running from the kitchen to the living room.  I would have a hard time remembering what I need to bring, when I need it, and when to bring it on stage.  Just take a breath and do it.  Above all CONFIDENCE.

So… only 12 more days till curtain.  I know I am not going to be favored by all involved for counting days; but, I would be even more excited if I were on stage. Yet, I am beginning to become secure in my role of helping make sure everything runs smoothly behind the stage (not totally… never that, but adequately so.  More on the remaining cast later.

In The Dawg House

Earlier tonight, the family and I attended the wedding reception for my cousin who probably is the most adventurous of the entire clan. For instance, the entire affair was located in a field in the middle of nowhere which serves as the headquarters for a group of motorcycle enthusiasts known as “The Dawgs” (wonder where they came up with that name) 😉 Let me just say that the gathering was never dull. I did miss what was sure to have been the highlight of the evening. The bride’s step-mother arrived on the back of a bike in a skirt and other wedding appropriate clothing. The hog was being driven by a gentleman in kilts worn in traditional Scottish style. LuAnn was not sure what she should have held onto during her ride.

While a large number of the guests looked like the stereotypical Easy Rider types: leather vest, boots, jeans, etc. many seemed friendly enough. Somehow, we encountered someone who has a familial tie on my father’s side. This was odd because the wedding was for Stacy, the daughter of my mother’s brother. Then a few tables in front of us sat a gentleman who we THOUGHT was my father’s nephew (obviously, one of those relatives whom I have never before met). The man’s father shared the same name with my uncle who is dead… so definitely not related. Later on, I came across the best man who was laying on top of a picnic table looking like he had been celebrating a little too much too early. However, he chalked it up to indigestion. And I did see a few guys with long beards that looked like they could have been rejects from ZZ Top. OK… moving on.

The best part of the entire gathering was seeing two of my best friends, Britt and Jan, whom I have not seen in probably two years. The strange thing is that they live only like an hour away. So we caught up briefly and B and I both agreed that we were TOTALLY out of our element. I considered inviting them to the game night I was going to attend; however, she felt that she was needed there to help with her step-sister’s reception. That part of the family tree is a loooong story that I probably should not get into on this blog… aaaah, family.

Plus, my cousin from Sandusky commented on my post about the Ghostly Manor.  Apparently, he passes by the haunt quite frequently; however, he and his wife have never braved the interior.  I just dunno why these people who comment in person don’t post in the comment box.  They must be unable to do so while they read the blog while at work.  I also cannot fathom why the people from far away lands don’t comment.  I see on my stats that I get  a number of hits from Sweden, Germany, and other countries.  Surely, something draws their attention or they would not  keep coming back.

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