Archive for October 2012


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”


“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”


“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)”


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.



Posted October 31, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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and for something really scary imagine this woman voting!

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”.


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”.


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.


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.


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. for more about the show and the people in it.


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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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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Posted October 27, 2012 by greatmartin in Uncategorized


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

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