Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Well, today, dear friends is good "Black Friday", the busiest shopping day in all of the world. Retailers depend on this day as a make or break day in their retail sales success or failure. For years, I weathered these awful days behind a cash register. Today, I will watch it from a new perspective-- at a car dealership as a car salesman/ referral specialist. It should be interesting. Today is also the birthday of the dear "abominable showman", himself David Merrick. Now here was a piece of work that simply had no equal in Broadway history. Dear old, now departed old David was known for his love of publicity stunts. One of his most famous promoted the poorly-reviewed 1961 musical Subways Are For Sleeping. Now here was a musical that simply had nothing going for it. It simply didn't pass the standard "who cares" test. Now David knew this musical was in deep financial trouble and so to boost attendance Merrick found seven New Yorkers who had the same names as the city's seven leading theater critics: Howard Taubman, Walter Kerr, John Chapman, John McClain, Richard Watts, Jr., Norman Nadel, and Robert Coleman. Merrick invited the seven namesakes to the musical and secured their permission to use their names and pictures in an advertisement alongside quotes such as "One of the few great musical comedies of the last thirty years" and "A fabulous musical. I love it." Dear David Merrick then prepared a newspaper ad featuring the namesakes' rave reviews under the heading 7 Out of 7 Are Ecstatically Unanimous About Subways Are For Sleeping. Only one newspaper, the New York Herald Tribune, published the ad, and only in one edition; however, the publicity that the ad garnered helped the musical remain open for 205 performances (almost six months). Merrick later revealed that he had conceived the ad several years previously, but had not been able to execute it until Brooks Atkinson retired as the New York Times theater critic in 1960 since he could not find anyone with the same name On the morning of August 25, 1980, Gower Champion died of a rare blood cancer. Merrick kept his death a secret so he could announce it himself at the opening-night curtain call for 42nd Street, which he had produced and Champion had directed. Merrick suffered a stroke in 1983, which confined him to a wheelchair. He established the David Merrick Arts Foundation in 1998 to support the development of American musicals. Merrick was married six times, to Lenore Beck, Jeanne Gibson, Etan Aronson (twice), Karen Prunczik, and Natalie Lloyd. He was married to Lloyd at the time of his death in London; all of his previous marriages had ended in divorce. But these are but two of the grand stories about him. I also would like to recommend a movie playing for the holidays. It's the Jim Carey version of "A Christmas Carol" -- See it in 3D. Carey is absolutely brilliant playing Scrooge and all three ghosts of Christmas, past, present and yet to come. I am now convinced that dear Jim Carey can play just about anything. Of course, I have always loved the Charles Dickens story-- it is an absolute classic. I had a nice dinner with my sister this year-- her turkey dinner was absolutely delicious.
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
Sunday, October 25, 2009
I found this story to be very amusing. I play the lottery. Mostly I play "Fantasy Five" because the odds are so much better---even though 50% of the big Three Hundred Million Mega Million lottery was recently won at a liquor store in my home town of San Gabriel, Ca-- a store I used to patronize as early as 1972. But yesterday the $117,000 "Fantasy Five" lotto was in Nipton, California at the Primm Valley Lotto. The lucky numbers were 4-14-21-28-30. Now because Fantasy Five is won so often, and split so many ways (four winners winning $16,666.00 just a week ago) the jackpot rarely rises above $125,000. The minimum jackpot is $50,000. The hell with megamillions, what $117,000 would do for my life would astound you, Now what is so special about Nipton, Ca. Well guess what? It has a total population of THIRTY (30) people. Good grief, not only would everyone in town KNOW that you won the lottery, they would all be ringing your doorbell trying to borrow some money. If you look at the color picture on the top, you will see what dear old Nipton looks like today. Talk about the original ONE HORSE town, The black and white picture was taken the days it was founded in 1900. The city of Nipton sits on northern edge of Mojave National Preserve, west of Searchlight, Nevada. The history of Nipton began in 1900 as a place for gold miners to reside. For many years, Nipton had the most lottery ticket sales in the state for the California State Lottery. When a new office opened nearby immediately outside Primm, Nevada, Nipton lost its number one ranking, as Primm was easier and faster for Las Vegas residents and others to get to. (Although that office, despite having a Nevada address and phone number, is located on the California side of the border and is actually within city limits of Nipton.) Some of the town fathers (they actually have some) intended to make Nipton the gateway to the Mojave National Preserve. As of July 2009, all you will find there at Nipton is a five-room hotel, originally constructed in 1910, a trailer park, a small general store, and a café that is open on most days called The Whistle Stop Cafe-- although it's nowhere near a train station.The ZIP Code is 92364 and the community is inside area code 760. Oh by the way, with nothing to see, no theatre or major store and no gas station in the town proper, the Bed and Breakfast Inn with only FIVE rooms is $78.65 per night plus tax. WOW! Oh there was two other funny stories. Aboard a Delta plane, a passenger dropped his cell phone into the vent while talking on it. The flight on the plane was delayed several hours while the plane was dismantled! YES-- dismantled. Oh brother! And there was also the story of the New Jersey single girl who went to a party dateless and came home dateless. She was a bit depressed and walked into her bedroom and discovered a drunk but extremely handsome policeman in her bed. He had come home from a similar party, got drunk and walked home (well at least he WALKED) He had been living in the same apartment complex but on a different floor. He got off the elevator on the wrong floor and walked into the woman's unlocked apartment. The girl NEVER locked her apartment. He went into her bedroom, undressed and fell asleep until the girl had screamed at his discovery. He was arrested and suspended. But the girl paid his fine and they are now dating steadily. Go figure!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday, October 09, 2009
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
Sunday, October 04, 2009
Runyon's marriage to Ellen Egan produced two children (Mary and Damon, Jr.), and broke up in 1928 over rumors that Runyon had become infatuated with a Mexican girl he had first met while covering the Pancho Villa raids in 1916 and discovered once again in New York, when she called the American seeking him out. Runyon had promised her in Mexico that, if she would complete the education he paid for her, he would find her a dancing job in New York. Her name was Patrice Amati del Grande, and she became his companion after he separated from his wife. After Ellen Runyon died of the effects of her own drinking problems, Runyon and Patrice married; that marriage ended in 1946 when Patrice left Runyon for a younger man. Damon died in New York City from throat cancer in late 1946, at age 66. His body was cremated, and his ashes were scattered from an airplane over Broadway in Manhattan by Captain Eddie Rickenbacker on December 18, 1946. One of the things that you will notice about all Damon Runmon stories is the near total avoidance of past tense (it is used only once, in the short story "The Lily of St Pierre") is not the only oddity of Runyon's use of tense; he also avoided the conditional, using instead the future indicative in situations that would normally require conditional. An example: "Now most any doll on Broadway will be very glad indeed to have Handsome Jack Madigan give her a tumble ..." (Guys and dolls, "Social error"). There is an homage to Runyon that makes use of this peculiarity ("Chronic Offender" by Spider Robinson) which involves a time machine.
Some examples of Runyonesque slang terms include the following:
roscoe/john roscoe/the old equalizer/that thing—gun
There are many recurring composite phrases such as:
ever-loving wife (occasionally "ever-loving doll")
more than somewhat (or "no little, and quite some")
loathe and despise
one and all -- It's fun stuff to know the origin of.
Other news I have just finished Act one of our new musical called "The Magnificent Confession" John wanted to do an almost all singing show and after some consideration, I came up with an idea: Just as in "The Wicked" what if there were another side to Jack The Ripper? What if there were a real reason that he murdered only prostitutes? What if he had been forced to do something in his youth and that literally took him away and kept him captive and this away from a beautiful girl
Friday, October 02, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Well, today I turn into a senior citizen. I am sixty-two years old today. I don't feel any older, so maybe that's good. My dear friend Tim Doran was the very first to phone me a greeting followed by my sister Annette. I received a lovely card from my sister Lorie and a hand made birthday card from my two great nieces-- (my nephew Robbie's children) and that is a first. Although I have several great nieces and nephews, I have never before received a hand made birthday card mailed or given to me. That was a real treat that really made my date. This I see is my 475th journal posting. I've been doing this for over three years starting in June of 2006. I share a birthday with the great Jim Henson who would have been 73 years old today and composer Anthony Newley ("What Kind Of Fool Am I?) And dear old F. Scott Fitzgerald who would have been 113 years old today. Amazing! I continue work on the libretto for our latest musical "The Beautifully Bald Brooklyn Boys Choir"-- so far, it's a real hoot of an original story. God has blessed me with many talents. So I thank Him this day for always watching over me and for giving me great friends like Tim and amazing collaborators like dear John Nugent. Well whistle happy birthday. By the way, the song "Happy Birthday To You" earns $2000 a day every day of the year collected by Warner Chapel music who vigorously protects its copyright-- (and sues people) that copyright will expire on December 31, 2016 in Europe, but not until 2030 in America. How about that!