Thursday, August 31, 2006

On this day in 1997, we lost a royal princess and a true lady! Diana was an amazingly wonderful, kind and gentle soul who was simply trying to go on with the rest of her life in as normal a fashion as possible. Was the Royal Family involved as ome people claim? Who knows! Diana was killed of course in that tragic accident that also killed her fiance Dodi Fayed. Dodi was a producer of such films as "Hook", "The Scarlett Letter" and "FX 1 and 2". I had some experience with Dodi Fayed and his company back when i was a talent agent over eleven years ago. At that time, Dodi's company was optioning a property that I represented that I still consider to be one of the best stories that I have ever encountered called "Manhattan Transfer" written by an amazing writer by the name of John Stith. Imagine if you will that an ailien race has invented a doomsday machine that goes out of control. This death machine escapes their palnet world and goes on a rampage throughout the universe destroying every planet and ailien world that it encounters. The ailiens are powerless to stop it! Now the poor creatures feel badly-- as only ailiens can feel badly and decide to go ahead of this death machine and capture a bit of every planet and world in the doomsday's path. When I say capture, I literally mean take it-- so that they include these "planet souvinirs" in a big gallatic zoo/ theme park. Manhattan Island is that souvinir from Earth. So imagine now that the island of Mnahattan is completely enclosed with a plastic dome--(clean air and food pumped into it daily) and transfered to a spacecraft the size ofr two mountain ranges. The people trapped in the city should be happy to live in a world where the air is clean, the food is provided and no one has to work ever again-- right? Wrong-- the people want New York City just the way they have always had it-- crowds, taxicabs, bad weather-- the works. So the surviving New Yorkers break into the ailien Mother Ship and after a scuffle with the ailiens thermselves, the New Yorkers conmvince the ailiens that they can help these creatures to defeat this invention of destruction. Great novel! Today also is the birthday of a great American lyricist and librettist-- Mr. Alan Jay Lerner. Lerner with Frederick Lowe created some of the most successful Broadway shows in history including their first in 1947 (the year I was born) "Brigadoon" (my personal favorite) along with "My Fair Lady" "Gigi" and "Camelot". Mr. Lerner was sixty-seven when he died of lung cancer and was married eight times. One of his ex wives said that he changed dramiticly once married to anyone and put it this way "Marriage is Alan's way of saying goodbye!" He tried collaborating with Richard Rodgers in "Rex" (the story of King Henry the VIII) and failed-- with Leonard Bernstein in "1600 Pensylvania Avenue" that closed in 4 nights), Andre Previn in "Coco" This did a little better-- 250 shows) and Charles Strouse in the one night open, the next day closed musical disaster called "Dance A Little Closer" based on the classic play "Skin of Our Teeth" by Thornton Wilder. The critics dubbed it "Close A Little Faster-- Please!" One thing I did not know was that Alan Jay Lerner was contarcted with Lyold Webber to do the lyrics for "Phantom Of The Opera" (later taken over by Charles Hart) I wonder how much different "Phantom" might have been had Alan jay Lerner done the lyrics-- hmmm. He also turned down the opportunity to do the English language lyrics for "Les Mserables"-- Funny thing, this very famous and succesful artistic genius died so broke that there was not enough money in his estate to hold the the twenty-five thousand dollar wake that his will had insisted be thrown for him. At the time of his death, he owed the Internal Revenue Service over a million dollars-- sad! . He died twenty years ago this year in 1986. Well, recording session today to reimburse David Meinke for services rendered, but very happy to do it! And oh yes-- very sad to hear of the death of actor Glenn Ford at age 90. I knew his dialogue coach, Mr. Harold Clifton when I was doing plays for the San Gabriel Little Theatre in my youth-- ah those were the days. Clifton was a director there and a charcater you simply would not believe-- calling all of his actors "children"-- the play we did was actualy one that Mr. Ford had done for real in the movies called "The Gazebo". Well until next time!

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