Thursday, April 30, 2009

Swine flu? I didn't even know they had WINGS!

So, the swine flu… yes, it's a problem, no, I'm not terrified yet. (Emphasis on the yet.) But if it does become an issue I know exactly where I am going for treatment because you know that these felted folks know how to get this mess under control.

Nurse Piggy: It's too late, Doctor Bob. We've lost him.
Doctor Bob: Well, he couldn't have gone far. He was under the sheet just a second ago.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Thank You for Bea-ing a Friend

Broadway and television legend, Bea Arthur, passed away on April 25th at 86. The general public discovered Bea in 1971 when she became Edith Bunker's outspoken sister Maude on
All In The Family.  The following year she took off in
her own series, appropriately titled after her altruistic, yet decidedly aggressive, character.  In 1985, Bea was joined by fellow commediennes Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty in NBC's hit sitcom The Golden Girls.

But Bea Arthur had a long career before taking over the small screen. Her stage career included the 1954 Off-Broadway premiere of Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera, 1964's Fiddler on the Roof on Broadway where she put audiences in stitches as Yente the Matchmaker and in 1966 she was awarded the Tony® Award for her portrayal of Vera Charles to Angela Lansbury's Mame - which she reprised for the 1974 film version starring Lucille Ball.  I was lucky enough to see her in her final concert on Broadway in Bea Arthur on Broadway.
With this all said, I still love her the most as the self-loathing (and yet proud and determined) Dorothy Zbornak on The Golden Girls

In honor of her long career, I wanted to include a few favorite moments from the show plus a highlight from her role in Mame.  Rest in peace Bea!
Blanche: What do you think of my new dress? Is it me?
Sophia: It's too tight, it's too short, and it shows too much cleavage for a woman your age.
Dorothy: Yes, Blanche. It's you.

So you're five years older. So am I, so is Blanche. Alright, so you have a few more wrinkles. So do I, so does Blanche. OK, so you're a little thicker around the middle. So is Blanche!

No, no, no please. I cannot bear that again. She was listening to her car radio, Big Band, not all talk. There was a contest. Something about a little voice, a lucky number and a dime in a door handle, then Bim Bam Boosh, won the tickets.
Dorothy: Take a lesson Rose. That's how you tell a story.

Well, I'm here if you want to pick my brain.
Dorothy: Rose, honey. Maybe we should leave it alone and let it heal.

Blanche: I do love the rain so. It reminds me of my first kiss.
Dorothy: Ah, you're first kiss was in the rain?
Blanche: No it was in the shower.

The woman keeps a chicken in her home, how normal can she be?
Rose: I kept a chicken in my home.
Dorothy: You see my point?

Blanche: Rose and I are taking a dirty dancing class.
Dorothy: Really.
Blanche: It's become quite popular since that movie came out.
Rose: What movie is that?
Dorothy: Lawrence of Arabia, Rose.

Dorothy, you owe me an apology. Your ad's right here!
Dorothy: Oh, Rose, this is the personals ad!
Rose: So?
Dorothy: So? You put an ad in the personals that says I will do anything for eight dollars an hour!
Blanche: Girls? There's a busload of Greek sailors outside. They want to know how many drachma there are in eight dollars.

One sperm with a sense of direction and I'm paying for it for the rest of my life.

Mame: Could you be persuaded to have a drink, dear?
Vera Charles: Well, maybe just a tiny triple!

Monday, April 20, 2009

When television IS your Sunday School

Ingredients for horrific hilarity:
  • 1 part felt
  • 3 parts stereotype
  • 2 parts Sunday School choir
  • Mix well and serve

Now come one... we all know this is a horrible and prejudicial representation of select cultures... but we saw this kind of stuff all the time as kids - at least growing up in the 70s and 80s. I was glued to the TV watching things like this, Circle Square, Superbook and The Flying House. (Warning... some of these links will take you to Evangelical hilarity.)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

After a nice walk in the park

Spring hit NYC in the face today (although according to Al Roker, it will not last). But for now it is 77* out and gorgeous!
Mother Nature inspired me and I sprung to action - did some house cleaning, laundry, yada yada until I felt like the house itself has rebirthed and felt much more fresh and comfortable. Then, somehow still having a bounty of energy to burn, Joxer and I took off to Fort Tryon park. Photos courtesy of NYC Dept. of Parks and Recreation.

It's unquestionably one of the most beautiful parks in the city and offers one of the highest altitudes (natural of course) in the city.

Joxer is an old man in dog years but he loved prancing around and seeing the sights - the views along the Hudson are amazing and the Heather Garden is coming into full bloom. But he does get tired as the day goes on and especially on a walk where he's excited to see dozens of other dogs out enjoying the warm weather.

So, after about 30 minutes we wound our way down the north end of the park and came back to Broadway. Its such a big difference 10 feet in either direction. To the west you have this beautifully landscaped hideaway in Upper Manhattan... to the east you have a 99Cent Store, laundromat, nail salon and check cashing service. Hmm.

How did the walk turn out? Joxer passed out next to Pinter and slept the afternoon away. This is the definition of "tuckered out".

Thursday, April 16, 2009

You're entering Grey Gardens...

This Saturday marks the premiere of HBO's film adaptation of the lives of Big and Little Edie Beale. If you have never seen the documentary that has inspired this film, you must check it out. It is priceless. Some say it is an offensive invasion into the lives of people who hadn't sense enough to prevent it... I say it's a fabulous look into family dementia and those who thrive in the spotlight of it. Let's face it, the Beales loved the attention they received from the documentary (and its follow up).

According to this October 26, 2006 New York Times feature, when the creative team behind the Broadway musical approached Little Edie, she was exuberant.
Walter Newkirk, a publicist in New Jersey and a fan who befriended Little Edie before she died in 2002, said she knew a musical was planned. In The Beales of Grey Gardens, Little Edie says, "I don’t want anybody playing me." But Walter Newkirk, a publicist in New Jersey and a fan who befriended Little Edie before she died in 2002, said she knew a musical was planned. "She thought it would be a smash on Broadway," Mr. Newkirk said. "Those were her words to me."
The film, like the musical, takes a look back at the family's history and tries to piece together how they came to such an end. I'm looking forward to the film - although this means finding someone with HBO to mooch off of. We can't possibly get HBO just for this one night. That would so rebellious... although I'm positive Little Edie would have approved.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Waitin' for the day your ship'll come in...

They're heeeerreee!

I can hardly contain my excitement. Last week, Violet Newstead, Judy Bernly and Doralee Rhodes stepped out of the office and onto the Great White Way.

9 to 5 is now a Broadway musical. Couldn't you just pass out from the giddiness? This movie is one of my all-time childhood favs. Could I, a simple - yet gifted - 5 year old, really have understood the complexity of this romp through working class women's struggles?

Um... of course I could! I imagined that I would one day reap the rewards of their hard-fought battle with Franklin Hart.

Thanks Violet, Judy and Doralee! Because of your fight (albeit fictional) I don't have to worry about changing anyone from a rooster to a hen in one shot... but don't think I can't do it!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Tony Awards 2009 revealed the poster for the 2009 Tony® Awards today. Hot!

So, buzz has been boiling across the web, in particular at All That Chat, about which shows and artists will be nominated this year.

The favored categories and their probably-eligible participants are below. Any thoughts out there from the peanut gallery? Keep in mind that this list may not be complete, is not any official word from the Tony® committee and is by no means a reflection of my opinion... yet. That will come later.

Best Musical
[title of show]
Billy Elliot: The Musical
Irving Berlin's White Christmas
9 to 5
Next to Normal
Rock of Ages
Shrek The Musical
A Tale of Two Cities
The Story of My Life

Best Revival of a Musical
Pal Joey
Guys and Dolls
West Side Story

Best Play
Dividing the Estate
The American Plan
God of Carnage
33 Variations
Irena's Vow
reasons to be pretty
Accent on Youth
To Be Or Not To Be

Best Revival of a Play
The Seagull
All My Sons
American Buffalo
Hedda Gabler
Blithe Spirit
Joe Turner's Come and Gone
Mary Stuart
Desire Under the Elms
Waiting for Godot
The Philanthropist
A Man for All Seasons
Exit the King
The Norman Conquests

Commence discussion in 4... 3... 2... GO!

Thursday, April 09, 2009

In search of the Donkey Party

So, while Sarah and I were walking back from 28th and Park today we were forced to duck into one of those "Holy Crap, a crane!" tunnels.

This thing wound around as they are want to do and as we came around a corner of the labyrinth, a large spray painted sign appeared before us, clearly directing us toward the Donkey Party.

Wondering what was in store, and secretly excited to see donkeys shaking their groove thing in some swinging donkey bar, we hurried through the tunnel in search of the Donkey Party.

To our dismay, no donkey party ever emerged. We left the tunnel and returned to work forlorn. Guess we will deal by appreciating that this donkey party is currently running things in lieu of a festive burro bash.

Monday, April 06, 2009

New Design Time...

In honor of the launch of Rhomas Designs on Facebook I've put a re-design of Levity. Hope you enjoy. It's still "in process" because I'm never satisfied with my own work and constantly update it but this will do for now.

And if you aren't familiar with Rhomas Designs, it is the marketing/promotions company that Ren and I have set up. Check it out on Facebook and look for our website coming soon. And if you're in need of economical, yet fabulous, design work for your company (or whatever your design needs are) let us know.


Big Easy in the Big Apple

Imagine this... TWO posts in one day. After weeks of nothing! But this is important!

Check out the Big Easy in the Big Apple video blog that Ren and I put together. Grace Blakeman guest stars in a few of the first episodes and more episodes are on the way! Check out, follow it, RSS feed it, just make sure you watch and read whenever possible. Later!

Oh the rain rain rain came down down down...

It is a gross 46 degrees out and the rain is doing its drizzly business - where it isn't quite horrible enough to pelt you with globs of wet but not just gray and moist. The most frustrating thing about rain in NYC is that the foot traffic doesn't diminish just because of April showers. No. The foot traffic remains and slows to a crawl while people have umbrellas batterings your eyes, ears and temples from every direction.

This is the danger in being over 6' tall in the city. Everyone else is smaller and has no idea that they are impaling you with their street vendor, $5 black umbrellas.

It also brings a "slow motion" to the city once you are safe indoors. The world seems to grind as usually hurried workers lose their gumption.

I liken it to when your jeans gets soaked when you're running outside in a thunderstorm. The denim gets heavy, clings to your legs, feels slump and useless. That's what I think happens to a lot of NYers when the rain rain rain comes down down down.

So the goal today... eat something warm and tasty and see if that peps things up. I will be the champion of change in this sluggish day.