Archive for December 2013



Looks like Santa is a little behind schedule as he will be on stage this evening at the Adrienne Arsht Center of Performing Arts in Miami, Florida–or he just likes our 80 degree temperatures! Whatever the reason, he is here to make Christmas last just a bit longer and being the big kid I am I going to keep him company tonight!

“Elf” based on the hit movie, starring Will Ferrell, the musical is the story of Buddy who doesn’t know he is human having lived at the North Pole most of his life. Santa has to send him back to the big city where he was born. We follow Buddy along his adventures as he, thinking and dressing as an elf, puzzles most people just as he is puzzled by all those who don’t believe in Santa Claus.

The book of the musical was written for the Broadway showing, plus national tours, by Thomas Meehan and Bob Martin while the songs are by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin.

With Gordon Gray as Santa Claus, Matt Kopec as Buddy and Jacqueline Grabois along with Kate Hennies, Matthew Alan Smith, Jane Bruce, Tyler Altomari, Kevin Rockower, not to forget Clyde Voce as the Christmas Land Manager I am looking forward to a lot of singing, dancing and comedy!

What a way to end the New Year–spending it with Santa and a bunch of elves in a magical place called theatre. Hate me if you must but who are you spending New Year’s Eve with? I mean face it this guy is the King of gifts to all of us.

Will post a review of the show tomorrow or the next day.

And next Tuesday I get to spend the evening with Dorothy–yes, THAT Dorothy–as the new Andrew Lloyd Weber’s new production of  “The Wizard of Oz” opens at the Broward Performing Arts Center in Fort Lauderdale. Who says you can’t be a kid again?!

Production photos by Joan Marcus from the PR Manager Charlotte Vermaak connected with Broadway Across America–Thank you.This evening the touring company of “The Elf” opens at the Arsht Center down in Miani and I will be sitting in my critic’s seat taking notes so I can tell you all about it over the weekend.




Posted December 31, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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ODDS AND ENDS OF 2013 PART 3   Leave a comment

I was so excited! I came home to find a box at my front door and immediately thought it was the missing mysterious carrot cake!! I carried it in carefully, put it on the table, got a knife and started opening the 12X12X12 box. It was filled with bubble wrap as any cake company would be sure to pack a cake secure. Taking off the wrap imagine my face falling to the floor when instead of finding carrot cake I found a bpox filled with gauze bandages, non-stick tape, gauze bandage roll and jars of sterile saline!

AS it happened my primary and vascular surgeon doctors arranged for me to have home care with a nurse coming to change my bandage X amount times a week. The first time she arrived she didn’t have any supplies and asked me what the hospital sent me home with. After my initial surprise at her question because I had no idea what she was talking about she explained they, or my doctors, were suppose to give me the ‘cleaning’ supplies. After calls back and forth to her office, my doctor’s office and my insurance it was finally agreed that I would be sent what was needed but exactly when they couldn’t say.

I have no idea, and don’t really want to know, what this box of supplies costs, especially after all those reports about what a hospital charges for an aspirin!! I do know there are enough supplies for a couple of months at least. Then what happens with those that are left over? In any case with teh first visit by the nurse luckily I had the supplies she needed–not as many, not the exact size but enough to take care of the job. I must admit she didn’t carry back-up supplies ‘just in case’ but then I started to think of all the supplies she would ahve to carry and realized that it would be impossible.

The leson I learned about Santa Claus is that he doesn’t always bring what you want but what you need! (Santa, I do NEED that carrot cake!!!! Are you sure you didn’t eaty it???)

Please make note of my email address if you want to keep in contact with me now or in the future

Posted December 30, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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ODDS AND ENDS OF 2013 PART 2   Leave a comment

I have been having trouble with my right leg since Thanksgiving Eve finally getting to my primary doctor on December 2 who sent me to a minimally invasive surgeon on December 5 who immediately sent me to my vascular surgeon. He in turn sent me to the Memorial hospital for 5 days where on the 5th day he cut into my leg to get some of the blood out. (I will not get into the fury I felt having to miss the opening night of the touring company of “We Will Rock You”–hey you have your priorities and I have mine! LOL)

So far it has been diagnosed as: 1) a blood clot  2) cellulitis  3) a hemotoma and now 4) Lymphedema–the latter for which I will have to buy compressed stockings which run around $83 a pair! Can you see me taking pictures modeling those?!?!

In the meanwhile the left leg started to swell up which didn’t make me happy! I was now home with a big bandage around the leg and feeling a little funky so I wanted to take a shower but I had to keep the bandage dry. Ladies you always read in the Ladies Home Companion to greet your husband at the door just wrapped in Saran wrap–well I hope it works better than wrapping clear wrap around a bandage to keep it dry!

Living in a residence for seniors I put out a cry for help–heck there isn’t a person among the 299 others who haven’t been through something you will go through! Very quickly Shirley replied with a “Seal tight cast and bandage protector”. She had used it when she had a cast on her arm but as you can see it works fine for a foot, too. (And, no, it does NOT look like a big condom, as some have suggested!!) It is/was a perfect gift for anyone who has to take a shower and still protect an arm or leg. It works/worked fine–Thanks again Shirley. Talk about Christmas gifts!!! I don’t know how much longer I will be needing/using it but it is available to anyone who finds themselves in the same kind of jam!

Wait til you see the other ‘gifts’ I got for having a bad leg.  If you would be interested in getting in touch with me personally in the future please make note of my email address.

Posted December 29, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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THE ODDS AND ENDS OF 2013 PART 1   Leave a comment

If one didn’t know better you would think my life revolves around food! (Shhhhh– it does!)

Just this month I received Christmas boxes from Chuck and Terry sending me bars of Mississippi Mud and Turtle brownies from (check it out and salivate!!!) while the week before there was another box from the same place from Alfredo and Michael with carrot cake and white chocolate truufle bars–all gone! (Pictures 3 & 4)

The day after Christmas I got a gift box sent by Mary from Rossi Pasta (pictures 1 & 2). It consisted of: a 12 ounce package each of Parsley Garlic Fettuccini,Capelli d’Angelo angels hair and of Wild Mushroom Linguini. Also enclosed was a 215.5 ounce jar of Artichoke sauce and one of Classic Marinara. Now I just have to go out and get some good garlic rolls for a Heavenly meal!

Talking about garlic rolls some of you know that I worked as a waiter at Big Louie’s here in Fort Lauderdale which was my last job before retiring and one of my best. I very seldom go to rerstaurants that I have worked at but Big Louie’s is the exception. I hadn’t been there for awhile so on Christmas Day, after seeing “The Wolf of Wall Street” we went there walking the block away. We had a bid fresh salad with blue cheese dressing, their fabulous garlic roles (I had one for you Terry!) and then a pizza with sausage, pepparoni, meatball, pepper and onions all tasting as good as ever! (See pictures 5 & 6)

Talking about eating out we did go to the Outback twice–the fisrt time I had a big cheeseburger and the second time a 6 ounce steak with mushroom sauce.

Still on the subject of food—who? Me? Talking about food?–somewhere in Fort Lauderdale is the carrot cake Maria sent me–I have already listed a reward and/or a threat of death for anyone who stole it!!! My neighbors know better so this is a warning to anyone who took that cake–you have never seen the wrath of GreatMartin!

For those who want to keep in touch with me please take note of my email address–will explain in a very future blog.

Posted December 28, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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A reviewer should review the movie they have seen not the want they wanted it to be. P.L. Travers, born Helen Lynden Goff, had an alcoholic father who died at a young age, a suicidal mother, adopted a boy when she was 40 though she wouldn’t adopt his twin brother. She was an actress before becoming a writer under the Travers name and became famous with “Mary Poppins”. She had live in affairs with two women and would die at the age of 96.

“Saving Mr. Banks” is based on a trip she made to Hollywood, with all expenses picked up by Walt Disney, who wanted the rights to her best selling “Mary Poppins”. Tom Hanks plays Disney as an easy going, easy to get along with guy, who portions out a lot more than ‘A Spoonful of Sugar” to get those rights.

Emma Thompson is the back bone of the movie playing Travers as a woman who won’t give an inch. She is cold, looks down her nose on Hollywood and feels they will only bring harm to the work so close to her. She doesn’t like Dick Van Dyke, wanting only an English cast, refused to have animated animals, scoffed at the songwriters and screenwriters, really doesn’t get the audience on her side, even with flashbacks to her childhood, but by the end of the film will move you to tears.

Joseph Schwartzman and B. J. Novak play the songwriting brothers, who won Oscars for Best Song “Chim Chim Che-ree and Best Original score, with Bradley Whitford, as Don DaGradi receiving a nomination for screenplay, doing an all around true person. There is an outstanding performance by Paul Giamatti playing Travers’s Hollywood driver, Ralph. Colin Farrell as her father does a stereotype of the drunken Irish man with some warmth while most of the women in the movie have what would be called cameo parts by such names as Kathy Baker, Ruth Wilson and Rachel Griffiths.

After bombastic films like “American Hustle” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” it’s a good change of pace to come across the story of an Australian writer in a two film about a beloved American movie but, hopefully, with Emma Thompson playing P.L. Travis agai we will get the more dramatic picture of her real life.

Posted December 27, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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In a movie about the excesses of Wall street brokers in the 1990s “the Wolf Of Wall Street” is excessive in all aspects starting with a movie that, running at 3 hours, could have easily been cut by an hour.  You will see at least 3-4 scenes more than you need to showing the excess of drugs whether cocaine, Quaaludes or whatever else is on hand. After one scene of fellatio it is almost quarantined that there will be  a dozen more. If you miss that full frontal nude scene–women only, of course–just wait a few minutes as there are so many repeats of the scene, using different women, over the three hours you aren’t really missing anything. Whether it be orgies of sex or luxury or curse words it almost makes the story meaningless. It does leave the question why a man who owns a 170 foot yacht wouldn’t own his own jet or at least rent one to go to Las Vegas but then the excessive orgy on the plane wouldn’thave the same outcome. It is one of the many missteps in this film.

“The Wolf Of Wall Street” is based on the book, and true story, by Jordan Belfort who made his fortune during the 1990s when the stock market made millionaires of many young men. Terence Winter wrote the screenplay and Martin Scorsese directed the film working with Leonardo DiCaprio for the fifth time.

DiCaprio plays his second rich man this year, after starring as Gatsby, but Jordan Belfort is more interested in himself than he is in a woman or women, though he has sex with many of them. He also has 2 slapstick scenes, one with Jonah Hill, that shows his comedic talent and he is much more relaxed in this film than he has been in awhile. This is one of his better performances though he too has excessive, unnecessary scenes and goes a little overboard here and there.

Jonah Hill, as Belfort’s best friend and business partner, gets too hammy here and there to raise the empathy of the audience to accept the fact that he is not a ‘bad’ person. Kyle Chandler plays the FBI man who doesn’t seem capable of a smile. The women in the film are there to play the wives, mothers, girlfriends and hookers. Would you accept Rob Reiner as DiCaprio’s father? He does  a good job as does Jean Dujardin, Jon Favreau and Jon Bernthal.

With “Magic Mike”, “Mud”, “Dallas Buyers Club” Matthew McConaughey adds the cherry to the top of his winning acting streak in “The Wolf Of Wall Street” playing Mark Hanna, a very successful Wall street broker who seems to have invented excessiveness. His role calls for him to be over the top and he takes it just far enough.

As in most Scorsese movies all the production values are first rate except for the editing in this one. It seems as if the director was rushed and the picture was being released before he finished his job. Whether he would have cut the movie and removed a lot of the excessive excessivenes, if not by an hour at least by 30 minutes, hopefully he will when it comes out on DVD or the viewer can fast forward through all the repetitions.

Posted December 26, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL   Leave a comment


Posted December 25, 2013 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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