Archive for October 2012

7 DECADES SERIES NEW YORK THEATRE PART 17 B   Leave a comment

As many others who travel to New York I saw a lot of other shows besides “A Chorus Line” and looking at my comments brings back a lot of memories and a few smiles.

The special performance of “A Chorus Line” took place the evening after I arrived in New York. The first show I saw was Harvey Fierstein’s “Torch Song Trilogy”. He had left the show by then and a favorite actor of mine, Jonathan Hadary, was in the role of Arnold.

“September 27, Tuesday, 1983–Went to see “Torch Song Trilogy”–LOVED it–cried a lot–laughed a lot–former with Arnold’s pain and hurt–his breakup with Ed–his interplay with his mother–Sue picked us up in a limo. “

“September 28, Wednesday–Chuck and I went to see “Dreamgirls”–Buddy was one of the very few white faces in the show–“And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” as the first act curtain song blew me away–WOW! That evening Bob and I went to see “A Chorus Line”–none of it’s power has diminished”

I’ve already did the post of THE great “A Chorus Line” performance and went to see it the following evening again and the euphoria made me see it through the eyes of the previous day’s performance.

“October 1, Saturday, 1983  Bill, Chuck, Tommy and I went to see the first matinee performance of “La Cage Aux Folles”–the first act curtain song sung by George Hearn, “I Am What I Am” was as shattering as the “Dreamgirls” “And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going”

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“September 18, Wednesday 1985–arrived in city and went to see “As Is” starring Jonathan Hardary–first AIDS play on Broadway–touching especially brother’s scene (A movie was eventually made starring Hardary and Robert Carradine which I bought on tape and I believe is available on DVD–it is certainly worth seeing as it is very true to the stage play)–that evening I saw Lily Tomlin in “In Search of Intelligent Life in the Universe” and she was a knock out!”

“September 20, Friday  1985–Kingsbery came in and he went to see “A Chorus Line” while I went to see Bernadette Peters in “Song and Dance”–she was the Song part and Christopher d’Ambroise was the Dance–it had officially opened two nights before–the show was really not entertaining but Peters sparkled”

“September 21, Saturday  1985–Bob and I went to see “A Chorus Line”–still the best”

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“September 22, Thursday  1988  Eleanor, Andy and I went to see “A Chorus Line” –it was good but maybe I was tired–don’t know–didn’t have the usual ‘chills and thrills’

“September 23, Friday–Andy and I went to see a revue at the Actor’s Playhouse in the Village called “10%”–cute but I don’t think anyone will remember it 10 weeks from today–and, yes, if the title didn’t tell you, it was a revue about gays”

“September 24, Saturday–went to see “A Chorus Line”–much better tonight– reminded me why I fell in love with it the first time–(Though I didn’t know it at the time it would be the last show I would ever see on Broadway)”

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It is unexplainable but there is something about seeing a show in New York that gives you a feeling you don’t get anywhere else. It is something that everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime like going to Rockefeller Center Christmas week–it can never, will never, be duplicated anywhere else.

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Posted October 31, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN & FOR AN EXTRA BOO WATCH THE VIDEO!!!   Leave a comment

and for something really scary imagine this woman voting!

http://tinyurl.com/8qxp84e

Posted October 31, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES “A CHORUS LINE” PART 17 A   Leave a comment

September 28 Wednesday 1983 Arrived in New York and that evening Kingsbery, Bill and I went to see “A Chorus Line”.

September 29 Thursday 1983 Kingsbery and I went to the performance of “A Chorus Line” becoming the longest running show on Broadway -unbelievable

September 30 Friday 1983 Kingsbery, John Connolly, Tommy, Chuck, Bill and I went to see “A Chorus Line”.

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September 20 Friday 1985 Kingsbery and I went to see “A Chorus Line”.

September 21 Saturday 1985 Kingsbery and I went to matinee of “A Chorus Line” and in the evening Kathy, Margie, Kingsbery, Buddy Vest and I went to see “A Chorus Line”.

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September 22 Thursday 1988 Arrived in city–Eleanor, Andy and I went to see “A Chorus Line”

September 24 Saturday 1988 Spent afternoon at Feast of St. Gennero with Andy then I went to see “A Chorus Line”; in the evening

September 25 Sunday 1988 Went to a matinee of “A Chorus Line”–the last time I would see it in New York and the last time I was in New York.

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I had 2 more opportunities to see “A Chorus Line” in New York with the first being the closing of its run after 15 years in April, 1990, and next when the first revival opened up on October 5, 2006, when Gene said she could get me a ticket. Aside from not being able to afford the trip to either I, also, knew that nothing would ever surpass that performance of September 29, 1983. I could handle seeing it in other venues but felt no need to return to the Big Apple. My last impression of the city, in 1988, was that it is filled with gray buildings and gray people. Times Square and the surrounding areas had really turned dirty, sleazy and, to a certain extent, scary, though I never felt unsafe in the city I was born in.

Something else that shocked me were the prices of things, especially at restaurants, such as an ordinary Chef’s Salad was $25 at Tavern on the Green and a half a dozen oysters at the Oak Plaza was $15. Where I had paid $7.50 for a ticket to see “A Chorus Line” in 1976 they were $51 in 1988. (Now in 2012 they would probably be $140 each!) I did get to see the touring company of the revival at the Broward Performing Arts Center February 17 and 19, 2009. I said goodbye to the Big Apple and I know I won’t ever be going back.

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I saw many other shows those 3 Autumns I was in New York and I have seen thousands of musicals, dramas and comedies on stage (including 101 productions of “A Chorus Line”) but that performance on September 29, 1983, was the greatest I have ever seen on stage. Over the years, especially in the 40s to the 60s, I have seen the best actors and shows that have become legend but nothing will ever come close to that performance. I have written about it many times but here are some notes from my diary of that week.

Wednesday September 28, 1983 Chuck and I went to see “Dreamgirls”which Buddy Vest is in and later, not knowing if he could, Buddy told Kingsbery he got 2 tickets!! We are going to the show tomorrow. Bob and I ran out and rented tuxes for $85 each and before I knew it we were walking into the Shubert Theatre and sitting in row S, seats 17 and 19 in the rear orchestra which turned out to be a dividend! The show was unbelievable!! 6 Cassies, 10 Pauls, “Nothing” sung by the Japanese cast, over 400, including Buddy, on the stage for the finale. How Michael Bennett in one week redid the whole show using the original and current Broadway cast plus the National touring company and the Japanese cast had the whole audience shouting an d applauding. Then there was a bonus when Joseph Papp, the producer, and Bennett came out to take bows the former asked if we would mind staying as NBC wanted to film the finale for television. He couldn’t have gotten us out if he wanted us to leave.

Waiting for everything to get set up the cast filled the aisles and next to our seats were a couple of the Pauls and Vals. We started talking to them, asking how they made such a quick change at the end and one of the Pauls showed us how they were Velcro in the back which made the change fast as it was needed. I WAS TALKING TO PAUL!!!! The actor(s) that brought me to tears every time he did his monologue, there was a Val who would say to the audience, “You’re looking at my tits now, aren’t you?” and cracking everyone up. And then the music started up for the finale and from the downbeat until the end the noise from us watching them was deafening. I know they had to mute it down somehow for the taping, which I had set my VCR up before I left, as it was announced they would be doing a salute to “A Chorus Line” that night and it was perfect.

I walked out of the Shubert unable to talk as my throat was aching from shouting “Bravo!” and it would be a couple of days before by hands were unswollen from all the applauding I did. It is now 29 years later and I have seen a lot of shows since then but though I may have been moved, and enjoyed, by other shows there will never be an equal to that one singular performance, not even the first time I saw it sitting in the mezzanine of the Shubert Theatre 7 years before.

http://www.achorusline.org/ for more about the show and the people in it.

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Posted October 30, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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“the other son”—a movie review   Leave a comment

“The Other Son” is a ‘small’ French film that grabs your heart and is held by an ensemble cast that adds a realness that at times the screenwriters (Nathalie Saugeon, Noam Fitoussi and Lorraine Levy, the latter also directing) almost turn into a soap opera. The differences between Palestinians and Israeli Jews surroundings are shown without explanations and various languages including French, Arabic and Hebrew, with a lot of English, are subtitled and one always knows where one is and what is happening.

 

 

Joseph (Jules Sitruk), raised as a Jew and Yacine, (Mehdi Dehbi) raised as an Arab, find out at the age of 18 they had mistakenly been switched at birth. Joseph is taking his medical exam when the question of his blood type comes up and within time the switch is discovered. How the boys, who find that they aren’t who they think they are, the parents and the siblings, dea; with this problem is the crux of the movie.

 

Joseph’s mother Orith (Emmanuelle Devos)  is a French born doctor, while his father, Alon, (Pascal Elbe) is an officer in the Israeli army. Joseph is a free spirited musician who wants to be a singer. Yacine’s mother, Leila (Areen Omari) is a mother and housewife who has lost a young son and devotes her time to  her three children while his father, Said, (Khalifa Natour) is a mechanic, who Yacine says is an engineer but due to conditions cannot practice his trade. Of all involved the mothers find ways of accepting the situation and letting their sons know they will always be their sons while the fathers find it hard to understand that their flesh and blood have been raised to believe in the ‘other side’. Yacine’s brother, Bilal (Mahmood Shalabi), has the hardest time of all accepting Joseph as his blood brother. Growing up in the occupied territories of the Israeli he pulls away from the brother he has loved dearly and the new brother who he sees as an enemy. Shalabi has a face and eyes that in other movies would yell “MOVIE STAR” but here he is believable as a son and brother who does pull the audience away when he is in scenes with any other member of the cast.

 

Whenever Lorraine Levy starts to pull the story into a cliche the cast pulls back and gives it the reality, heart and soul it needs. The musical soundtrack, the director of photography along with the production designs and costumes shows you the two different worlds that are side by side.

 

“The Other Son” will hopefully find an American audience though in all probability very seldom does a film like this get awards in the U.S.A. It is a definite ‘must see’ if you like first rate acting, a good story and having your heart touched.

Posted October 29, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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FULL MOON, HIGH TIDE, COLD COMING–MOTHER NATURE   Leave a comment

This was a few hours AFTER high tide came in last night with the canals over flowing on to walkways, the parking lots and the streets. Tonight it is suppose to be worse as it is full moon and the tide is expected to come in around 9:15 PM It is expected to be the worst floods, regarding high tides, ever recorded, especially along the beach, since records have been kept!

Hopefully, by the time I get up with sleeping later in the morning as usual it will all by gone! Adding insult to injury the temperature is suppose to fall to 50 degrees on Tuesday morning!!

With it all I guess we are still better off than where Sandy is!!

Posted October 28, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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THE WHOLE ENCHILADA–FORT LAUDERDALE–RESTAURANT REVIEW   Leave a comment

THE WHOLE ENCHILADA–FORT LAUDERDALE–RESTAURANT REVIEW.

Posted October 27, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

THE WHOLE ENCHILADA–FORT LAUDERDALE–RESTAURANT REVIEW   Leave a comment

It seems you can’t turn around in Fort Lauderdale without bumping into a Tex-Mex fast food restaurant with a minimum of 7 just between 17th street and Oakland Park Boulevard and except for a different name most are the same with the same menu items.
The Whole Enchilada, at this location, use to be a garage and they were very smart in their innovation but the rest rooms are still outside!  It looks like there would be a pile up if it was busy as you give your order and name to the cashier and serve yourself to beverage and plastic ware. Some tables have napkin holders others don’t. There are high tables, regular height tables and the tables outside are picnic tables. Your food is delivered to you.
I had a Fahitah Burrito ($8.19) which was wrapped in a very doughy wheat tortilla and a diet coke ($1.75) The burrito was filled with black beans (you have a choice in what kind of tortilla, beans and chicken, beef or shrimp) green peppers with chips on the side. Like the rest of the restaurants it has a salsa bar. While filling there is nothing exceptional in the dish.
Allen had an enchilada ($8.49) with beans and rice on the side. He very much liked the surroundings including the tables.
Every member of staff was welcoming, smiling and enthusiastic.
Nothing wrong with The Whole Enchilada but nothing to make it stand out from all the other Tex-Mex franchises in the city.

Posted October 27, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

“CLOUD ATLAS”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

 

 

Last year the movie “The Tree Of Life”, directed and written by Terrence Malick, was a darling of the critics but the public shunned it and it looks like “Cloud Atlas” will hold that position in 2012 but certainly will get Oscar nominated, and should win, for make-up, with more about that further down.

 

There are 6- stories interwoven with each other coming together unless you miss one sentence at the end. There is a little bit of every genre in this movie from action films, James Bond, “Avatar”, horror movies, cowboys and indians, “Star Wars”, not to forget one of those very British smart, funny comedies, along with Nurse Rached from “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, in addition to some very violent scenes and let’s thrown in a little “Soylent Green” plus love stories, with the latter carrying the main theme of the movie ‘love is all’. “Cloud Atlas” is a long film written and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer with each minute of the film having talk and/or action and a lot going on. You may not understand the film, when or where it is taking place, or even who is playing what character, but you won’t be bored, mainly puzzled though! The film takes place from the 1800s to the 2300s with stops all over and off the map.

 

It is very hard to tell the story of “Cloud Atlas” or to even give a synopsis. You can either get completely involved with the different storylines and attempt to keep track in which case you will be as puzzled as the person who just sits back and takes the movies as it goes by.

 

The cast–and it is large–all do great jobs and you will be in awe of who played which parts when they show the actors and the many varied roles they played as they are shown during the end credits. It is then you will understand how great the make-up, hair and costume departments did their jobs and deserve any awards they have coming. The Directors of photography, John Toll and Frank Griebe, the production designers, Uli Hanisch and Hugh Bateup, along with the music written by Mr. Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold, all bring their A game to the film.

 

The Wachowskis, along with Tykwer, have tackled the book, written by David Mitchell, and seem to have made the mistake of trying to get all of his book into an almost 3 hour film and fail. It’s a fascinating film to watch but not a film to see again, you won’t understand anymore than you did the first time, or recommend. Like “The Tree Of LIfe” if you miss “Cloud Atlas” you will quickly forget it.

 

Fans of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, and the other players, will keep the theatres busy for a week or two. The film should get a few Oscar nominations, possibly even one for Hanks, depending on the number of actors up for the honor, for Best Actor, keeping it in movie fans radar but the film will mainly be discussed, and talked about,  by film critics.

Posted October 26, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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FLOTSAM AND JETSAM FLOATING AROUND   Leave a comment

t


(flotsam, jetsam, lagan and derelict describe specific kinds of a wreck)

1) Once again 2-3 people (nongay) have mentioned the ‘gay lifestyle’ and once again I will ask them (I think this is the 10th or 11th time) what is the ‘gay lifestyle’ and how does it differ from the nongay lifestyle?

2) For nongay people–2 people, 1 a woman, another a man, both Republicans and christians, referred to being ‘anti-gay’ (the man), not ‘pro-gay’ (the woman) and at the same time claimed to have gay friends. Really the people who you don’t want to let get married when they love each other, you who don’t want them to get the 1000+ tax deductions you get, the people you don’t want to be boy scout leaders or teachers or in the service, you who don’t want them giving a loving home to children–and the list goes on–you who don’t want to give them equal rights and look at them as inferior to you —you really think they of them as friends?!?!? Do you really equate abortion with being gay and people who have sex with animals and men(!!!) who have 6 wives? What makes a gay person your friend? They are civil to you? They don’t put you down? Don’t throw you out when you go to their bars and play darts. They don’t make a pass at you –is that because they have nongay radar or maybe you are just too ugly or your attitude comes across? I am just curious how you define the word friend?

3) For gay people—read # 2–do you really think these are your friends? Is your self-esteem so low? Have you bought the lies they have told you about being a freak, not going to Heaven, that they love the sinner not the sin, to stop throwing your sexuality in their face when your whole life you have had theirs thrown in your face and in many cases (proms, weddings, engagement parties, baby showers, movies, TV, magazines, newspapers, etc.) made you participate in? Do you call them friends like in “I have nongay friends” or do you have some other reason for allowing them to call you friends? What? Why? Is a friend someone who stabs you in the back with trashy ‘gay’ jokes, calls gays all sorts of negative names, teach their children how ‘bad’ gays are?

4) Anyone who reads my posts and/or comments know I love apostrophees!!

5) Why are most people who dislike me Republicans AND christians? Can anyone show me where I have stated I was a Democrat? (Maybe my stalker who keeps a record of EVERYTHING I post can point it out?) And why do christian bloggers show so much hate?

6) I thought I got lucky–one blogger at a site said she was going to ignore me and in the following days left comments (which I didn’t read) for me–guess I’m not lucky! Funny how so irresistible–one blogger even dedicated a blog to me–very abusive but obviously secretly in love with me!! LOL

7) Am I still silly enough to believe that ALL AMERICANS will get behind whomever is elected? At least for the first year? No name calling, no blaming, no trash talk, etc? At 76 I still believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, Elves, etc.!

8) I won’t go into it but something happened Sunday that made me verify that I really am still a sexy guy and ‘got it’! The joy of life certainly doesn’t end when you are in your 70s!

9) What’s wrong with Republican women? A friend of ours has two daughters who are voting for Romney because their husbands are!! Now isn’t that a nice and dutiful wife? And I hope they walk 2 steps behind their husbands at all times!

10) Fantasy Fest is in Key West this weekend–with all the wind we are getting the news cameras couldn’t show the streets—many of the people wearing bare costumes are wearing less because of the weather! Welcome to our world!

11) On the news just now–next weekend we will be going down to the low 60s, high 50s, by the morning–have to get my wool scarf, ear muffs, heavy jacket– wait I don’t get up in the morning–by the time I get up the sun is out, it is warm and life is good!

12) Just got the news that I have been blocked by two more bloggers on a web site where I think I hold the record for being blocked–it is a badge of honor!! And is it just coincidence that both are christian AND Republican?

 

Posted October 25, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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7 DECADES SERIES WOMEN ELEANOR PART 16 E   Leave a comment

 

Someone asked why I am writing about people they don’t know and I replied that each taught me something, were important in my life and that it was like them talking about their family–these people were/are my family.

I met Eleanor when I started working at Weight Watchers in New York in 1967. She was the first person in one of my classes to lose 100 pounds and we liked each other immediately.  She had a condo on the west side in the 70s not too far from where I lived. At that time she was going with a married man and Vinnie, too, would lose over 100 pounds. Both were very funny talking about their sex life and the extra 200 pounds that were in the bed with them. They were even funnier talking about having sex without the 200 pounds and how different it was. More than once I suggested they take their ‘act’ to the comedy club down in the Village but it didn’t happen.  Vinnie, like most married men, promised he would leave his wife as soon as the kids were old enough and, needless to say, his wife gave birth again.  I think many of our talks helped her realize she was no longer the ‘fat’ Eleanor that had to settle but could do her own picking and choosing. It was a long time before she gave him up and the idea they would be getting married some day but when I last saw her in 1988 they were friendly enough that she and Vinnie were able to see each other without hard feelings or words.

Eleanor and I continued keeping in touch with each other after I moved to Memphis and I would see her whenever I came to New Youk. I am a little fuzzy on the dates and I am sure I will come across them going through my diaries as I talk about the 90s but being alone wasn’t something Eleanor could handle as I was to find many people would settle for less than they deserved because they were afraid of being by themselves. Things would get a lot worse, in my opinion, over the next few years.

“September 22, 1988 Arrived in town–meeting Andy and Eleanor and the 3 of us are going to see “A Chorus Line”–Eleanor warned me that she had put most of her weight back on and that I shouldn’t say anything–I told her that I had put on 22 pounds—oh yes, Vinnie had put back his 100+ pounds–in any case after the show we went to the Carnegie Deli to have a sandwich–Eleanor went home after and said she spoke to Vinnie and they would meet us Sunday.”

“September 25, 1988 Andy, Eleanor, Vinnie and I met for brunch at the Waldorf Astoria on Park Avenue for brunch—there was no discussion about weight that afternoon–we were there for almost 3 hours and had a lot of laughs–Eleanor thought Andy was cute– I picked up the check–don’t ask me why! 

Eleanor met someone–I don’t remember what his name was–a Puerto Rican who hustled gay men. We were still snail mailing each other—hey, this was in the late 80s, early 90s, I think–but in any case the next thing I knew she told me he was in jail and that when he got out they were going back to PR so she could meet his family and then they would get married. I just had a feeling he was playing her from the things she was writing and I advised her against it. He didn’t have a job, she was paying the bills and he hadn’t said anything about giving up the gay sex. It all concerned me and I told her that but she responded that I shouldn’t worry she knew what she was doing and he loved her. The last I heard from Eleanor she and the guy were getting married, taking a cruise. I tried to reach her at home without luck. I wrote her but didn’t get an answer. I called where she worked and was told she wasn’t working there anymore.  Had my worse fears happened? Was she so involved with her new life that she had left  her old one completely? I asked Andy to check around but he came up with nothing. I hope she is well, has the family that she always wanted and, most of all, is happy.

People come and go in your life but some make deeper impressions than others and Eleanor was one of them. I am still hoping she is alive and will one day google my name or look me up in the telephone book . She was (is?) a giving, loving warm person.

 

 

 

Posted October 24, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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