“The Lion King”—touring company review   Leave a comment

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In 1997 “Disney’s The Lion King” opened on Broadway instantly making every adult a  kid with its opening number and just as it did then, and still does, the show did the same thing last night at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami. Twenty-two years later, the highest grossing Broadway production of all time, as the animals from an African Savannah march down the aisles to Pride Rock on the stage to see the new lion cub, Simba, and the first song, Elton John and Tim Rice’s “Circle of Life”, transports you to a magical world.
With a book by Roger Allers and Irene Mecchi and additional songs by Lebo M., Mark Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin and Hans Zimmer the production belongs to Julie Taymor who directed, did the costumes, masks and puppet designs along with Michael Curry and Richard Hudson who did the scenic designs. The choreographer Garth Fagan, watched over by his associate Marey Griffith, while John Stefaniuk continues as Taymor’s associate director. For those who may be unaware of what lighting can do to bring magic to the stage the design by Donald Holder shows in scenes that draws gasps from the adults and squeals of joy from the children.
All the dazzling production aspects of the show make it a spectacle but wouldn’t mean a thing without the 11 musicians led by conductor James Dodgson or the over 50 cast members who tell and/or sing the life story of Simba the cub. Whether as individuals or in ensemble numbers it would be unfair to say anyone was a standout as they all were.
Take a kid and both enjoy the magic of theatre.
1st act is 1 hour and 8 minutes  An intermission runs 20 minutes and the last act is 55 minutes.

Lion King cast May 9 2019


“Sauvage/Wild” movie review   3 comments


“Sauvage/Wild” is a story about prostitution, not like Vivian (Julia Roberts) in “Pretty Woman” rescued by the handsome prince Richard Gere or is it Julian (Richard Gere) in “The American Gigolo” wearing Armani suits but more like Anna Magnani in “Mamma Roma” or Giulietta Massina in “Nights of Cabiria” before it was turned into the Broadway Musical with Gwen Verdon as “Sweet Charity” or the movie version with Shirley Maclaine who are no longer prostitutes but dance hall girls!!

The nameless 22-year-old male makes a living and lives on the street. He drinks the rainwater from the streets, steals an apple when he can, eats trash from a dumpster, basically wears the same clothes every day and if he gets lucky sleeps in a bed if the trick allows him to stay all night.

The abuse his body takes finally catches up with him but all he wants is to live one more day, fall in love and be loved. Like life the one he loves doesn’t love him and the one who loves him isn’t loved by him.

This is not a love story with a ‘happily ever after’ ending but a nitty gritty story about a kid who lives on the streets, takes each day as it comes, does what he has to do with who he has to do it in order to survive so he can get up the next day and find that elusive love he wants to give and get.

The writer-screenwriter Camille Vidal-Naquet refers to the boy as Leo in press releases and makes no apologies for the nudity as this is the way Leo, and the others hustling, live. He puts Leo in many degrading situations which Leo accepts as the price for the way he lives. We know nothing about the boy before we meet him nor do we know about what happens to him after the last shot which will linger in your head for hours if not days.

Felix Maritaud, as Leo, gives his all and pulls us into the pain he is feeling and the moments of joy that come his way sparingly. There is a scene with a female doctor, played by Marie Seux, that gives you some of the insight to the pain he is living with but then Maritaud lets you see all of him, not only physically. He lives for the moment and draws you in to live those moments with him.

“Sauvage/Wild” is a movie that will show you a world that exists and you can no longer say you didn’t know. These, if not your kids, are your neighbors kids, your kids schoolfriends and many pushed out of homes and on to the streets to find there is only one way to survive and which you probably couldn’t.


Leo is 22 and sells his body on the street for a bit of cash. The men come and go, and he stays right here – longing for love. He doesn’t know what the future will bring. He hits the road. His heart is pounding.

Movie trailer


I HAD to buy it!!!   Leave a comment

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Do you know the name of the 4 little rabbits in “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” by Beatrix Potter? Do you know how Peter Rabbit’s father died? Do you know the name of the gardener where Peter Rabbit got into trouble?
What does all this have to do with anything? All the ‘experts’ tell you the best time to buy electronics, linens, cars, even gas but they never tell you the best time to buy chocolates! Well, I am here to correct that mistake!
It is no secret to those who know the best time to buy chocolates and candies is the day/week after Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Christmas, etc., whenever they are ‘pushed’ to buy as a present and where you ask? All supermarkets, drugstores and, yes, even the Dollar Tree stores where they go from a dollar each to 2 for a dollar!
I went into Winn-Dixie Thursday to buy my winning lotto tickets (HA!) and my weekly groceries. The service desk for the former was right near the entrance to the aisles for the latter and I had to pass a table loaded with boxes of chocolate/candy. (The manager, for whatever reason ordered way too much for the holiday!) Now I really wasn’t going to buy anything when ‘it’ all of a sudden called my name and said, “Please, please, take me home!”
How could I say “No” to a rabbit holding a carrot?? Plus it was  ‘only’ $1.99–come on, a Hershey bar costs more than that these days! And it had the story of Peter Rabbit and that’s how I found out the answers to the questions in the first paragraph, besides I didn’t know rabbits love blueberries, did you?
As I write this it is only 9 days until the Monday after Mother’s Day and I can make all mothers proud of me for not letting gifts intended for them to go to waste–and you thought I wasn’t a thoughtful guy!!

Posted May 4, 2019 by greatmartin in FOOD, LIFE, Uncategorized

“Red Joan”–movie review   1 comment

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In 1999 Judi Dench won an Oscar for her 6 minutes on screen in “Shakespeare In Love” and here she spends a little more time on screen in “Red Joan”. She has a fiery speech near the end that expresses the movie’s moral stance. Dame  Dench is no longer a newcomer to the big screen and is more or less wasted in a role that seems to say ‘many people in the audience came to see her so let’s have her face on the screen for a minute or two every now and then’.
As many movies do these days it goes back and forth between Joan Stanley in her 80s and Joan in her 20s, played by Sophie Cookson, which would have been more effective after the opening seeing Joan being arrested for being a spy during WW 2. Cookson could have easily aged as the story is told and brought off a coup that has been done by others.
It supposedly ‘inspired by the true story’ of a KGB spy Melita Norwood though her name is never mentioned. She a graduate student at Cambridge in physics and gets involved with 3 men–I think–and soon rationalizes passing off papers about the atomic bomb that she feels would put Rusian on equal footing with the USA.
With all respect, if Judi had made fewer appearances it might have made more clear who became her husband and who was the father of her son played by Ben Miles. The other men in her life are played by Tom Hughes and Stephen Campbell while Tereza Srbova becomes her friend and introduces her to her cousin Leo with whom Joan has an affair with and begins getting involved with the politics of the time.
I had many questions regarding who she had affairs with, who the father of her son was, whom she married, how did she get back from Australia and why was she forgotten so many years.
“Red Joan” is a typical Britsh quiet spy movie without the noise and fast pace of the Bond movies. It also is bringing out of the closet many stories about women who did a lot during the war but were not giving respect as the men were during that era. She was just a woman who got the tea instead of supplying the important answers that the world was asking for.
For me it just makes me want to find out who the true  Melita Norwood was an what happened to her.


Joan Stanley (Judi Dench) is a widow living out a quiet retirement in the suburbs when, shockingly, the British Secret Service places her under arrest. The charge: providing classified scientific information—including details on the building of the atomic bomb—to the Soviet government for decades. As she is interrogated, Joan relives the dramatic events that shaped her life and beliefs: her student days at Cambridge, where she excelled at physics while challenging deep-seated sexism; her tumultuous love affair with a dashing political radical (Tom Hughes); and the devastation of World War II, which inspired her to risk everything in pursuit of peace. [IFC Films] 

Movie trailer


I’m a movie-goer, not a movie maker!!   Leave a comment

I made a lot of mistakes that I usually pick on directors and editors for doing, like too many nature shops plus I really goofed with too many effects and music, a few that were inappropriate with bad cutting but most of long it is way too long.
At least you won’t have to watch another one until June!



Posted May 2, 2019 by greatmartin in GreatMartin, LIFE, LIFE EVENTS, Uncategorized

Maybe they will keep the mistake!   1 comment

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They have almost finished painting the outsides of the buildings. They haven’t put up the building letters nor the apartment numbers so the poor folks from UPS, Fedex, Prime video and others making deliveries can be standing in the driveways with a puzzled look on their faces but, hopefully, that will be rectified soon–the numbers, letters and puzzled looks!
The main thing is all the buildings look the same–drab! We have talked–foolishly as we know they won’t–about suggesting they add some color to the place, like painting a hibiscus flower on one building, a rainbow on another, blue sky on one, etc. Hey we may be old but we still have imaginations!
In any case when I came home yesterday I saw the blue stripe on building N (I think) catching my eye immediately and I thought wouldn’t it be great if each building had a different colored stripe?? Heck if they want us all uniform they can do just that by making each resident wear clothes the same color of their stripe!!
OKay, the latter is a little far fetched but the stripe is small and eye-catching and all I can do is tell the office to keep it!!

Posted May 1, 2019 by greatmartin in HOME, Uncategorized

Croissant Time French Bakery   1 comment

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I have a ‘thing’–well a few things–when it comes to restaurants such as I like a scoop of vanilla ice cream after spicy foods or  if I find a restaurant I like I will continue going even if, for whatever reasons, something goes wrong ONCE, twice I won’t go back. I, also, will tell an owner or manager, in a place I am familiar with what went wrong and in many cases, they want to pick up the check or take the item off the menu but I won’t allow it if I ate the food or accidents–like a drink spilled on clothes–didn’t happen.
Just as an aside: if anyone went out of their way I will also tell the manager/owner that as they like to hear the good things along with the bad especially they usually get a lot more of the latter.
Okay, what’s this all about? After eating at Fat Boyz BBQ I wanted something sweet, preferably ice cream. By the way, the last 4 restaurants we ate in the area didn’t have ice cream(!) and between where we were and the Broward Performing Arts Center except for a DD and Baskin Robbins store there isn’t an ‘ice cream’ store unless you want to fight the hassle of going, parking and enjoying Kilwin’s before going to the theatre and even at the BPAC they serve all kinds of snacks in lobby but no ice cream! We decided to go to Croissant Time though it isn’t the easiest place to get to from the BBQ restaurant. 
Walking in the center part of the store you can be overwhelmed by the sights of French pastry in all sizes, colors and aromas but to the left is a small ice cream section. Allen headed to the pastries and I headed for the ice creams. It turned out there were 6 flavors of sorbet (makes sense in a French place) and 2 ice creams. The ice cream choice was easy for me as 1 was coffee and as much coffee every day I don’t like coffee ice cream. As it is I don’t even remember the flavor though looking at the picture I want to say that is butter pecan under the wild black currant sorbet. Allen had 2 pastries with his sorbet.
Two things made my order a disaster! The first was how hard the ice cream and sorbet was and I mean HARD!! I seriously thought the poor guy scooping it out would not only break the scoop but his wrist also. It was understandable that the scoops were very small but the butter pecan was like ice–not ice cream–and the sorbet was gritty.
I will definitely go back to Croissant Time but will stay in the center of the store!
Any easy to get to places in the downtown area for a good ice cream treat?

Posted April 30, 2019 by greatmartin in FOOD, FORT LAUDERDALE, RESTAURANTS, Uncategorized

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