Archive for May, 2011

Make A Gleeful Noise

Awwrighty… so I have found a new show to fill an hour or two a week.  During its inaugural season , I wanted no part of Glee because I thought it would be High School Musical: The TV Show. On Super Bowl Sunday, I decided to give the post-game show a try, the club was to do a routine set to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”  After this episode, I decided to watch the next episode the next Tuesday night to get a better feel and a new Gleek was born.

What isn’t to love?  The overall theme centers around a group of misfits in the  glee club as they endure ridicule at the hands of the football team, cheerleading squad, and nearly everyone else.  The slushie throw is the ultimate in humiliation.  Walking down the halls of the fictional William McKinley High School (in Lima, Ohio), members of the underdog New Directions glee club often feel the cold, sticky confection in their face.  So often does this happen, that some of the 12 have worn rain coats to protect themselves.

New Directions is led by Will Schuester (played by Broadway vet Matthew Morrison). An alumnus of McKinley High who has big dreams; however, he mentors the kids and often comes head to head with his nemesis….

Competing against “Mr. Schue” is the delicious, hilarious, and EEEEEEvil Sue Sylvester (Emmy award winner Jane Lynch) who will stop at nothing to crush the glee club.  The cheerleading advisor has planted some of the “Cheerios” in the group to spy and concocted countless other dirty, brilliant schemes.

Some of the underdog members of the glee club:

  • Rachel (Lea Michele, another Broadway vet)… the diva of the group and the most prone to the slushie throw
  • Finn … the football quarterback /glee club co-captain.  Yes, there are those who do transition between the two worlds.
  • Quinn … Cheerio and Coach Sylvester’s right hand
  • Kurt…. the male diva.  Idolizes Streisand, loves Wicked, fashionista, ok… gay.
  • Puck… the mohawk spouting trouble maker with a heart

The music performed on the show is not all Broadway standards as one might expect.  Some of today’s pop music as well as some 80s hits seem to be just as popular as the students compete for glory and maybe even a modicum of respect.

Also glad that Netflix has added season one of the series to its Instant Viewing selection.  For now, anyway.  I have been known to begin watching other shows and return to watch and see that they have been taken off.

Party Like It’s 1985

I found while looking at my email today:

Teen Wolf available for download soon on itunes.

Ok, call me curious or naive, but I opened the file and… sure enough it IS going to be available for download.  However, the picture definitely was not of Michael J. Fox nor whoever his leading lady was (she must have had a sterling career).  So I figured that it was another in a long line of endlessly uncalled for remakes.  I did enjoy the original… one of my favorite MJF films (aside from the Back to the Future trilogy, of course). The sequel (with Jason Bateman if I remember correctly) was a waste of the ticket price and I don’t recall ever watching the cartoon. … YES, there was even a cartoon. 😀

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My curiosity led me to where I discovered that it is not in fact a movie, but a live action television series being unveiled by none other that MTV (why it is still called Music Television is still beyond me) set to premiere in June.  I think I will pass on this one.  And tempting though it is, I do not think I will mention the needle in a haystack faux pas that slipped passed the sensors in the original.

Goodbye To Yet Another Childhood Fixture

In a shocking turn of events, it has been announced that Ronald McDonald will be getting a makeover. Apparently, the chain wants to promote a healthier, trendier menu.  OK… are we getting rid of Happy Meals, the Big Mac (hold the pickle), and all the rest?  I can;t believe that they would be doing away with the character totally with the Ronald McDonald House which he has given his name to for the past several years. While the decades (48 years to be exact) old fixture has not been as visible in ads for the fast food chain, I remember my birthday party the summer after I completed Kindergarten (I think I was 9 at the time… I had a little problem with eating glue… HAHA!).  McDs was the place to celebrate when you were a child of the mid-70s… my corner of the woods did not have a Chuck E Cheese or Crazy Pinz.

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Hope the video doesn’t frighten anyone TOO much.

Another Wonder Gone

Ironic that I just posted about the defunct new Wonder Woman series.  After 33 performances (and 31 preview performances), Wonderland wrapped its Broadway run May 15th.  The new musical about a grown up Alice who yearns for a more adventure-filled life, sets out on a quest beneath the streets of New York City.  There she meets a cast of familiar yet outrageously re-imagined characters.  Funny that with such a short run, the show had produced a cast album.  I suppose that when your wife is Linda Eder who has a recording of some of the songs, it would be entirely possible.  I wonder if somewhere out there is a cast recording of the most celebrated (celebrated but by far NOT the only) flop in Broadway history… Carrie.

Sad to say that I do not think Frank Wildhorn has had a long Broadway run since Jekyll & Hyde. Although J&H had a 4 year run, it still lost $1.5 million.  His Scarlet Pimpernel and Dracula also were not successful.  I guess that being married to a diva is no guarantee of creative success.  OOPS… according to another source the couple has been separated since 2004.  So much for that theory.

Maybe the show was overshadowed by an endlessly publicized, overtly ridiculed, accident prone, re-imagined,  back in preview mode, soon to open show.  Hmmm…. wonder what that is?

On The Other Side Of The Audition

Since my leg still will not allow me to audition for a full-length show, I had to settle for assisting the audition process for FCF’s production of one of my all-time favorites, The Wizard of Oz.  Although it was fun hanging out, signing the auditioners in, I really REALLY wanted to be one of those who filled out the form, had his headshot taken, and led down the long hallway to face the three rather intimidating ;)judges.  It was so hard to just not throw caution to the wind and say “To heck with it!” and grab “Master of the House” out of the car and deliver my best Lion.  I really don’t think it would have been so hard if it was not THIS musical (ok… who am I fooling?).  But I WILL be back on some stage in some venue soon!  I am confident in that!

In total, we had 22 people sign in.  Most of them were teenage girls.  We had a few young kids and a few adults but no where near enough to choose a cast of this shows magnitude.  We really need more of the same to come in tomorrow from 9am-2pm.  I think we had two guys total.  Squirmy even held back a few minutes after his audition ended and asked how I am doing.  Better… just annoyed, but I’m plowing through it.

So… if anyone in the area is available (Age 8-80+) stop by the Wesley United Methodist Church in Bryan from 9-2.  Kids… be prepared to sing “Happy Birthday”; “Row, Row, Row Your Boat”; or some other like song.  Adults…. have a two minute prepared song and be prepared to read from the script.  To say that I wish I could audition is an understatement, but I know what must come first.

What’s The Use Of Wonder-ing

Well… it looks like one contender for next fall’s NBC lineup is now defunct.  The network passed on the new adventures of the Amazonian Princess after a disastrous screening of the pilot.  I wonder if it will ever be shown… probably over the internet in the coming days.  I remember a few years ago, the creators of another superhero inspired series attempted to bring a live-action Aquaman series to the small screen.  It too failed but the pilot was shown on outlets like itunes.  Perhaps, the shows creators will continue to shop it around.  Either way, at least we will not have to be disappointed by another heartless update of another television series gone by.  I dunno if it would have been the comic book geek in me or the nostalgic value of the series.  Of course, the updated Bionic Woman travesty did nothing to endear itself to anyone and the Knight Rider update lasted about as long  Maybe it was the new costume? Personally, I prefer the original Lynda Carter version 😉

Goodbye Childhood Classics

FIRST, it was the recent Red Riding Hood which looked totally asinine.  Now, I hear of not one but two updates of Snow White.  Finally today no less, I learn that “the boy who never grew up” is getting a new adult makeover.  Pan is going to revolve around Captain Hook and his partner Smee  who are on the lookout for the title character, a serial killer who preys upon young children… .  DEPLORABLE!  I mean, this story could just as easily been named something else, the names changed to protect memories of childhood gone by.  No… I do not intend to watch any of these masterpieces but when I hear that classic tales which millions of children have grown up on are skewed into such utter trash, then I think it is worth a post!

I just have to wonder who the intended audience is for this rubbish.  Certainly not the toddler set who have been read these tales for years.  I would think that the wise (?) adult movie-goer would be turned off.  Maybe it is the Twilight-obsessed teenage female set?  I just have to shake my head at the very thought of such travesties.  I thought the Jim Carrey Grinch movie was a disaster… at least that presented some resemblance of the classic Dr. Seuss tale.

Is this Hollywood’s attempt to bring originality to the big screen?

Sharing the Stage with a Monkey

Tonight was my first recital EVER and the first time I have been on a stage since I graced the halls of Baskerville Hall WAAAAAAAAY back in October.  Last Thursday, K was not sure where in the program of 12 students she wanted to put CC and I.  When I arrived at the Little Theatre, I found out that we would be last!  “Who would want to follow you?” she asked.  WOW!

I have always, ALWAYS, ALWAYS wanted to perform the showstopping “Master of the House” from Les Miserables and I am so glad that it was the piece I chose to do.  Not to worry, plenty of other things I want to do, too. In the context of a recital, the song lends itself beautifully to a bit of audience participation.  I needed two “Monsieurs” to come in at various times during the song.   One was a fellow student (named Davy Jones) who was more than willing to fill the bill.  The other was a little (or more so) hesitant about the bit since he had no advance knowledge.  But happily, he played along.  Thanks justj!  I do think the guillotine in my old age would be the way to go.

If I had one critique, it is the size of the stage we performed on.  The other 11 participants were all seated upstage and all the equipment limited the amount of movement I could do.  I could always do more with the song no matter the size of the stage… so not really complaining!

The end result was EXTRAORDINARY! An audience member said that I was “the best Thenardier” she had ever seen.  I’m not sure how the other 11 did but they sounded good.  CC and I were in the green room until it was our turn.  Kind of a grand introduction if you will.  Either that or she did not want a slovenly innkeeper and his wife slopping up the stage the entire time 😉

Thank you CC, justj, Monkeyman, and K for making my first recital super!  And in all the excitement prior to heading for the theatre, I forgot to take my rat poison but did take it before typing the post.

One More Episode

The end of a 10 year odyssey is upon those who have been able to follow the formative years of Clark Kent on the series Smallville. I like to think of the series as an Elsewhere’s storyline (one in which much of what you know about a character is somehow altered).  Characters were introduced earlier than what long time fans were accustomed to.  The “No Flights, No Tights” scenario concocted by the show’s creators has been adhered to but something tells me that this may change as the young man finally fully accepts his destiny.  If not, then I sense a HUGE letdown… even if it is for the last seconds of the series.

My favorite parts of the series were definitely the guest appearances of the past keepers of the Superman legacy.  Dean Cain played a villain.  Teri Hatcher played Lois Lane’s mother (how ironic).  Margot Kidder made an appearance.  Get this… Terence Stamp (who played the EVIL General Zod in Superman I and II) has been the voice of Jor-El (Superman’s father) for the last several years.  Finally before his untimely tragic death, MY Superman, Christopher Reeve made two memorable appearances as Dr. Virgil Swan who taught Clark more about his Kryptonian heritage.  The two episodes were definitely my favorite.  It was if a torch was being passed from one man of steel to another.  Not forgetting that Annette O’Toole (who plays Martha Kent on Smallville) portrayed Clark Kent’s high school sweetheart Lana Lang in Superman III.

So, while not always the most faithful of shows to what has come before, it will be very strange not to see new episodes of the series after this Fridays 2 hour series finale.  Which will leave one must see show on the air.

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5 Days More

Well… the last lesson before the recital went very well indeed.  The second half of my duet adds much to the piece and it should come off with much hilarity.  I have ALWAYS wanted to perform this piece and it was one of several I had picked out on my first lesson back in July (THANK YOU, C for recommending that I start taking them).

I would like to invite all of my fellow tangenteers to the event on Tuesday May 10th at the Little Theatre.  The recital is divided into two groups.  The first group of 12 takes the stage at 6PM, the second act (the one I am part of ) rises at 7:30.  Because of the limited amount of seating and the number of performers, I am inviting only a select few family and really close friends.

Hopefully, many of you will be able to come cheer us all on. 🙂

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