Sunday, July 27, 2008

WE REMEMBER BOB HOPE




It's hard to believe, but it was five years ago today that we lost the late great and incredible Bob Hope. The man was simply the most incredible entertainer of all time and lived to the ripe old age of one hundred. In the last waning days of his life Bob Hope was funny right to the end. His dear wife Dolores went to him a couple of months before his demise and asked him "Where would you like to be buried? And the great Bob Hope quipped back "Surprise Me". How many Christmases did this dear man save for thousands upon thousands of lonely GI'S. I used to so enjoy those monologues of his. There is one classic show that Jack Benny had on NBC in which Walt Disney and Bob Hope were the guest stars. Yes, believe it or not Jack was trying to pilfer one hundred free tickets to Disneyland. The Beach Boys were also featured on the program. But the real hoot came as Bob Hope did a spoof on "Mary Poppins" called "Mary Poppanini"-- in which Hope falls for the mythical nanny. Mary was played onm the show by the late Anita Eckberg, the blond bombshell of the 1960's. In other news I see another Broadway show is closing-- it's called "A Catered Affair" and had only played 117 regular performances. John Bucchini and Harvey Fierstein wrote the book and the score. You would think with all of John's many credits, not to mention Harvey's--and all those Tony nominations for this show would have saved it. It was a small cast musical to boot! Maybe Broadway expects and demands big spectacles as we saw in the age of the mega musical--oh well. A little sad side note. How many know of pancreatic cancer? It is a real killer. Jack Benny, Donna Reed, Michael Landon, Luciano Pavarotti, and most of Jimmy Carter's family have all died of this dreaded disease. A simple blood test can detect it's presence. Go get one with your next physical. And to Bob Hope! Thanks for the memory, dear soul. Your generous spirit and your amazing talent will stay with us for many many years to come. In news about the creative side of my life, John Nugent and i continue working on "A Little Bit of Broadway"-- a small cast musical-- gee, I wonder with today's news, we need to increase the cast size, add spectacle and a few explosions, and in light of what won the Tony's this year make it a full rap score. Ha Ha! Fortunately today, closing on Broadway is not the end of the chapter as long as you have a promoter/producer who knows how to take it on tour. John and I do have a rather spectacular ending planned for "A Little Bit of Broadway"-- but if we can pull this off it will not involve cast members. One side note I found amusing. Today would have been film critic's Vincent Camby's birthday. Camby was the noted film critic for the New York Times. Camby died before Bob Hope did, but because everybody thought that Hope would die at any moment starting at age ninety-five they had Camby write his obituary-- FIVE YEARS-- before Hope died. On the day that he did, the Times took the obituary out of editorial mothballs and printed it as if it had just been written the night before. I can only imagine Hope meeting Camby in eternity and having one hell of a laugh about it! All good thoughts for Tim tomorrow-- fingers and toes crossed and our prayers .
I was very sad to learn of a mother who was in the news in the last few days who killed herself because the mortgage company was about to sell her house at five pm the same day. Incredibly her husband and grown son had absolutely no idea that the couple was behind in the mortgage. Good Lord! How does that happen. Does the husband wear a blindfold while he's home and never look at the mail. I would think the phone calls alone would have tipped him off-- very sad!

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