Archive for October, 2009

A Character Of Pure Evil

Tonight, the cast of It’s a Wonderful Life met to have a mass read-through of the script.  I must say that I did not know that there were so many characters of such evil intentions in the literature surrounding what is traditionally known as the “most wonderful time of the year.”  First, we have Ebenezer Scrooge (I really want to see the new version coming next weekend).  Years later, the Grich very nearly stole Christmas from “every Who down in Whoville.”  Now, I have been introduced to a character who has so many unredeemable qualities that he puts both of them to shame.   Henry F. Potter is going to be a magnificent role to portray.  I have been an evil HENCHMAN before; however, I have never before been THE evil character with his own entourage.  Just reading the script, I could tell how delicious this will be.

I will once again be on the glorious Huber stage with a large cast both young and older and some of which I have been fortunate to work with before.  Another WCCTer will be making his debut on the stage.  He was even taking pictures of the bare stage and marveling at the size.  People have asked me where I prefer to perform: anywhere they will have me.  How’s that for a diplomatic answer?

I did manage to get home by the third inning of Game  2.  I had to call my pals and relate my excitement!  Sorry I interrupted The Office. I could not believe that they were actually able to watch as it was broadcast.  And I am extra excited because the series is now tied 1-1 and tomorrow is a travel day to the City of Brotherly Love.  Four Games to go!!!

The Lee Utley Show

Ok, ok… granted… Game One of the World Series was not C.C.’s finest pitching outing.  Cliff Lee pitched his behind off and the defending World Champs definitely came into the Bronx ready to go… but IT WAS ONLY GAME ONE, FOLKS! Yanks in 6! Very little to say that went well for a Yankee fan other than we are glad game one is over.  A-Rod silenced, Mark “Chris” Teixiera no help either, C.C. down in seven after getting no help from his offense.   In fact, very little offensively until the ninth when we finally got a run in.  Once again Fox Sports announcing duo managed their typical balanced commentary.  I do believe there was a total of two players on the field and neither wore pinstripes.

Final: Phillies 6, Yankees 1

Game 2 Tomorrow night.  Have a read-through so I will have to miss half.  GO YANKS!!! Maybe we will get to see a pie delivered by starter A.J. Burnett (hopefully not since they only come after a from behind victory).

King In Ohio

I have recently started reading novels by Stephen King and I must say that they really are page turners.  I have been considering them for a while and ever since I picked up Carrie from the library I have been hooked.  Great character development, plot, and creepiness throughout.  I have been working my way through pretty much in order of publication.  I really liked ‘Salem’s Lot (a terrific vampire nail-biter).  The Shining just creeped me out (I have never seen the Jack Nicholson movie… I dunno if I will).

I am now making my way through the 1100+ page uncut, unedited version of The Stand.  While spending a lot of time backstage in the last play I was in, I was only starting on the post-apocalyptic novel.  An apocalypse brought upon by a strain of (now isn’t this ironic) a superflu…OH, GREAT!  The survivors of the epidemic make their way from various points of the country to Colorado.  Some of these make their way via I-80/90 through my neck of the woods.  Archbold, Maumee, and even little Columbia are mentioned.  I am in the 800s so I am nearing the climax and good thing with the next play starting rehearsals Thursday night.

Intriguingly, one of Mr. King’s short stories is no longer to be found on the open market which only increases my desire to hunt down a copy.  Following the rash of high school shootings in the late 1990s, the novelist himself made the decision to pull Rage from publication.  The plot was a little too close to the tragic events.

Suspenseful, page turners all.  I have seen a few of the other movies adapted from the books: Firestarter and Christine years ago; The Running Man (starring the Governator); The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile, of course.  However, I rarely prefer a movie adaptation to the original novel.

I Have Gas

I know what you are thinking… and no… not that kind.  This morning, I set out to complete my Halloween costume (still missing something I would have liked to add, but not essential).   Ran into some old friends/former co-workers and chatted a bit and caught up and let them know that I have not completely disappeared from the planet.

I also bought my first Christmas gift for the menagerie of people I choose to buy for.  Someone mentioned that they enjoy a certain fantasy book series so I looked for that.  Then I realized that a movie was made from the series and luckily enough I found that.  One down… several to go.

Just before I hit the city limits on my way home, I glanced at the dashboard.  The little needle was in the red zone with very little room to go.  I found the first driveway available, headed to the nearest station, and made it just as the little light came on.  PHEW!

Spooky, Great Fun In The City

Not one, not two, but THREE hauntings were on tap in the Windy City Friday night.  It was soooooooo cool… (so maybe not the hour long wait in the line that never moved that went on and on my friends) but even that did not damper my excitement.

First stop was the Ditka Dome for the Haunted Mansion and Asylum.  Our group of six was divided in half and Mare, Derek, and I went in second.  This was more focused on the jump out and scare you approach… been there done that, but it was still fun.  A 12′ man on roller blades was interesting.  As we made our way through, I was once again amazed that the inhabitants kept saying my name.

We then made our way to Eleventh Hour where we had VIP tickets.  There were four attractions in one: a corn maze (nothing special), and a three segment haunted house.  Even outside the haunted house, we were entertained by actors being pused in wheelchairs and a crazy British woman giving orders who was unwilling or unable to take a photo of another couple who braved the terror.  The haunted house was really amazing, full of actual scenes in which the actors stayed in character the entire time.  I enjoyed the “Sweeney Todd”esque character who greeted us with a history of the house.  The stairs then lifted a la the Munster case without Spot the fire breathing dragon.  Also inside was the much mentioned little screaming girl, a walk in freezer, a live rock band, a very disorienting maze, and an elevator of doom.

Our final stop was Evil Intentions.  The story line for this one had to do with an old coffin factory (if memory serves that was the actual location… was it not?)  This was the spot for the dreaded wait of doom.  When we finally got in, we were all placed in separate coffins before being led through the terror.  A locker room separation, a crawl through vents (I was half expecting a creep to come at us), and by the middle of the haunt, 4 of us had been led away leaving Chris and I by ourselves and eventually being required to sing a song to leave the haunt.

If I had to choose, I would say that Eleventh Hour was the scariest house of horrors because the whole thing was so elaborate that we all could tell that so much time had been put into the extravaganza.  Evil Intentions minus the wait was very cool, too.  And while not as memorable, I’m glad we went through the Haunted Mansion and Asylum.  A frightfully good time with ghoulishly cool friends.

Overall, A Series-ly Wonderful Day

Ok… the big item.  The Yankees are off to THE WORLD SERIES!  After a bit of speculation about the pitching decision (I thought all along that Andy Pettite was the way to go since he as pitched in numerous big games and now has the most post-season wins of any pitcher).  Once again, a great game and I was flabbergasted when the combo of Buck and McCarver began to be silenced when the Angels remarkably made two errors in a row.  The quartet of players who were flying high in the late ’90s (Captain Jeter, Pettite, Jorge Posada, and closer extraordinaire, MARIANO RIVERA) will be joined by second year skipper, Joe Girardi (who was also the catcher in the late 90s and now is the fourth person to play on a World Series Yankee team and later coach another to the series).

NOW, for even better news on a personal level (close but yes even better), I will be playing the role of the eeeeeevil Mr. Potter in the Village Players’ production of It’s A Wonderful Life.  Travis called me earlier and informed me that I need to put on my mean face.  I love playing the villain.  Can’t wait to get started!  And it is now projected to run 2 weekends (December 11-13 & 18-20).

GO YANKEES!!!!  AND NOW I CAN TRY OUT THOSE ERASABLE HIGHLIGHTERS (I was hoping that it would not be a long wait).  BOOYAH!

Highway Tuneage

Our two day Chicagoland adventure began yesterday around 1PM when Mare and I hopped onto the ‘pike and headed west.  It was amazing to me how fast we flew there.  We arrived at our hotel around 3PM (according to my chauffeur’s cell phone time… she did not realize that her device automatically accounted for the change in time zones).

Our journey was seemingly made even more quickly with our listening variety.  I brought along my Carousel Score.  Mary I believe said that she played the part of Cousin Nettie Flower in a production of one of my favorite musicals back in the early part of the decade.  REALLY!  WHERE WAS I when they staged it?!  Then, we popped in some Josh Groban and by that time we were very close.  So…. we let “Vera” guide us the rest of the way.  Little to no traffic. Surprisingly, very little construction on our side of the highway.  A very fun, easy trip.

Coming back, Megan joined us on the return trip.  We made a slight detour to South Bend and took a drive-by tour of the perimeter of Notre Dame.  Since it was rather rainy and a home football game, a more close up tour was out of the question.  We did get a glimpse of the golden dome and Touchdown Jesus.  Very fun!

One of the most interesting music selections in Mare’s catalog was a CD of Beatles hits recorded by some interesting actors.  Imagine Robin Williams and Jim Carey giving voice to “Come Together” and “I am the Walrus”.  There were lots of very interesting Beatles classics including a strangely bluesy rendition of “Hard Day’s Night” by an even more interesting actress choice who none of us could figure out was Goldie Hawn.  But no recording of the classic William Shatner take on “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” A very fun if at times a bit strange tribute.

All in all, a very fun trip on the road.  Stay tuned for my take on the big fun in the city.

The final selection on the Beatles tribute was by the best Bond that seemed a bit odd because he stated his dislike of the Fab Four in Goldfinger.

Westward, HO!

OK… Mare and I will soon be on our way to the state of ILL in America Country.  I have Vera loaded up with directions along with mapquest printed directions, hotel check in sheet, and printed tickets (Justin Case), and cell phone.  Mare had to work last night and just called and told me she would be here soon!  WHHO HHHOOOO!

Last night’s audition went well.  I listed all the male roles I could think of (the adult ones, anyway ). I still think I could pass as one of the Bailey children.  I did forget another role, that of Mr. Martini who is an Italian immigrant who has a traveled to America with his a wife.  That a could a be fun!

Lots of people came out.  LOTS of kids.  Squirmy and his daughter came up and he read well.  But Jade… OMG… if ever there was a heartwarming, scene stealer… I think it would be very hard to find a more adorable Zuzu.  Results Sunday night.  Read-through hopefully next Thursday.

If You Are A Happy Green Grape And You Know It

This morning, after she got out of preschool, my four-year old niece brought home a song to sing called “I Wish I Were A Juicy Green Grape.” Sydney ran to me and asked me to sing it.   It is set to the tune of “If You’re Happy And You Know It.”  Really, the exercise in song parody was not an easy one.  My dad kept trying and sounded like he was singing The Oscar Meyer weiner song.  See if you can make the melody fit the words”

OH, I wish I were a juicy green grape.

OH, I wish I were a juicy green grape.

When squeeze me

I will squirty

Onto everyone’s shirty

Oh, I wish I were a juicy green grape.

Of course, this presupposes that you know the tune and words of “If You’re Happy and You Know It.”  In elementary school, I remember having such an exercise in which I came up with a parody of “White Christmas” entitled “(I’m Dreaming of a) Cheese Pizza.”  How adorable.

Often Imitated But Never Duplicated

Tonight, following an extra long day at work, I will be heading over to the Huber to audition for a role in the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life.  There are so many great roles in the show starting with George Bailey, himself.  I’m tempted but 300+ lines sounds a bit daunting to me.  I thing Clearance would be fun to play.  I love playing an evil villain so Mr. Potter is definitely on my radar.  Of course, there is the duo of Bert and Ernie whom I have been looking into and the people behind Sesame Street state uncatagorically that it is mere coincidence that the muppet friends are named as such.  Of course, I will be pleased to accept any role offered to me.  So many great roles in the beloved tale that ironically was a flop when it was released in 1946.  So many variations on the theme but has it ever been duplicated?

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