Monday, June 22, 2009
WE REMEMBER LOSING JUDY, ANN, GEORGE AND FRED ASTAIRE
Today is the day that we have lost some amazing celebrities over the years. Judy Garland died forty years ago this day at the tender age of forty-seven. What a tragic life! What an amazing entertainer. Funny thing, I went to see the Hollywood Fight Club version of The Wizard Of Oz (abtly retitled "The Yellow Brick Road" to avoid paying royalties to Tams Witmark. What a disgrace! Somebody wake up the MGM Lion-- he should sue and then eat the producers. There wasn't even a Yellow Brick Road. Cheap gaudy stick on flowers on a black wall is all that represented the Land of Oz-- and they kept falling off the wall all during the performance. John Nugent spent so long doing three orchestrations for this schlock show. The Scarecrow was terrible and the little girl who played Dorothy was sweet but couldn't handle "Over The Rainbow". They had a fifty fifty club drawing that the kids sell tickets for so they can enjoy an after performance pizza. Guess what? They had to draw EIGHT tickets to find a winner in forty -one seats sold, You know what that means? Yes, friends, that means SEVEN parents, grandparents, aunts or uncles LEFT after ACT ONE. The only good performer was the young man who played the Lion-- Kyle was absolutely brilliant! Today we also lost ANN LANDERS-- the gossip columnist in 1993 and Fred Astaire who would have been 110 years old this year. And of course, last year on this very day, we lost GEORGE CARLIN. What an amazing wit this amazingly talented man was. He put things so funny. "If a henpecked married man is alone in the forest, is he still wrong?" and my all time favorite "Why is it that the caterpillar does all the work and the butterfly gets all the publicity?" I hear rumors that the Hollywood Fight Club is closing. The story I hear from several sources is that dear old David wants to close it for two to three months and then re-open it with a new name-- he needs too-- he's bled enough actors out of a lot of money. I couldn't even get this guy to rent a piano for our show. We had to make a prop piano and pretend somebody was playing it! Oh well, lesson learned again. It was great getting it staged, but oh what it cost! And John Nugent and I made nothing at HFC. Oh yes, one more we also lost Pat Nixonon this date in 1993-- she was a lady of class! And today on this day in 1970, eighteen year olds got the right to vote!