Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mystic Crystal Revelation


For reasons that will shortly become clear, I've been thinking about Hair, the 1979 film of which has to me always seemed too-little-shouted-about.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Grand Old Flag


Now, normally I don't approve of the kind of patriotism that involves wrapping oneself in the flag...

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Birthday Girl: Heart of the World


Let's lift a glass, on this her 121st birthday, to the First Lady of Cinema, Miss Lillian Gish.  She's captured here by Steichen in the mid '30s, and he's caught an element of her she rarely showed in public.

Monday, October 13, 2014

In Which We Entertain


We decided to mark this Columbus Day weekend by Having People In for the first time in our new digs.  Actually, that's a complete lie.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Shameless Saturday Camp Explosion: Hi-dee...No


One of the many topics in regard to which I heartily agree with Mr. Ethan Mordden (novelist, raconteur, and entertainment historian par excellence) is the regrettability of the extent to which Hollywood (and, to a lesser extent, the stage) embraced the idea of the New Dance Sensation Number.  This surprisingly long-lived phenomenon consists nine times out of ten of a (frequently quite lavish) sequence based on a (nearly universally) sub-par song in praise of said terpsichory, staged without even a hint of what the damn dance was supposed to actually be.  I mean, face it - based on what you've seen on screen, could you attempt to dance the Varsity Rag?  The Continental?  I thought not.

Along those lines, this one's a lulu - and that's the least of its (many) sins.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Autumn Sonata


The changing season has me down, but I'm trying to handle it with at least a shred of the aplomb that Bette Davis brought to bear.  Although some of that may be coming from the cocktail glass she's so firmly clutching...

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Singer and the Silents


I suppose Al Martino isn't the best remembered of all the last century's crooners, but back in the day it only took a note or two of "Spanish Eyes" to reduce Mother Muscato to sighs and faraway looks.  He would have been 87 today.

Monday, October 6, 2014

What It's All About


Well, rather a surprise this morning, no?  Today's great news has made me think about these two, to whom we owe so much.  In honor of Mildred and Richard Loving - and what author of fiction would ever dare give them that name? - tonight we raised a glass to being fully legal in our home state.  To read Mildred's statement 40 years after her marriage became legal is to realize just how far we've come, and how we walk a path made easier by pioneers.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

As If We Always Knew


It seemed for a while that "What I Did for Love" was going to become one of those inescapable songs, like "Feelings" or the song most usually known as "Mem'ry (from Cats)."  A Chorus Line was, after all, a phenomenal hit, a rare one for the mid-'70s that could be equally adored by aficionados of old-line musicals, those seeking some sign that musicals could still thrive in a rock-n-roll culture, and just the usual theatergoers who like a good story.  But at some point within a decade or so, it kind of went away for a while.  I thought it would be fun to think about that.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Eggies! - Royal Edition


Exciting news from Bangkok, kids!  Of course, the above regal creature is not our emerging Café obsession, HRH The Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn (aka the Angel Princess), but instead the rather more, um, down to earth late film sensation Edith Massy, aka Edie the Egg Lady.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

What's My Wednesdays? #12: Fair Lady


This delightful (if, as captured in the screen cap above, rather intent-looking) creature brightened up a dreary February Sunday evening for television watchers nationwide - 54 years ago.  Today, Dame Julie Andrews turns a still-sprightly 79.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Knight in Black Leather


I don't know quite how it's possible, but it would seem that it's more than a year since we last checked in with one of the Café's original virtual crushes, the lovely and presumably somehow (although it's really rather beside the point) talented Mr. Upen Patel.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Even a Lifetime


Some days - like this one, O Best Beloveds - are such that what you need at the end of them is a moment or two of truth and beauty.  Like this.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

The Last Hon


When thinking about a person who has had a really quite marvelous life that spans ten decades, and when one knows the person only at a great remove, it's probably not quite right to mourn, exactly, when at last they go on before.  Still, the death of Deborah, Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, does seem a particularly melancholy thing.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Sunday Storybook Theatre


A little escapism in a rather dreary week, darlings, not to mention a reminder of half-forgotten childhood pleasure...

Friday, September 19, 2014

Max! Bring 'Round the Car!


I really do think I need an Isotta Fraschini, although I don't know how much success I'd have in getting Mr. Muscato into a suitably Stroheim-esque uniform (although he does look terribly dashing in tails, so perhaps he can be Bill Holden instead, far more suitable).  I'll have to inveigle Miss Rheba into the uniform.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Meanwhile, in the Attic...


"Well," thought Sir Edgar, "Isobel has little enough to worry about, poor fool - she wasn't even awake for the worst of it."

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

All the Eyes That Watched Her Once


Over in his erudite corner of the blogiverse, the Post Apocalyptic Bohemian has reminded us that this week marks what should have been the birthday of a remarkable performer who made it on Broadway, became a household name in a vehicle unworthy of her talents, and then flamed out far too quickly.  Nell Carter would seem in no way to have been an easy person, but at her best, she was magical.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Balkan Belle


Here's a happy birthday to that Wallis Windsor of the Carpathians, the most scandalous woman of the 1920s (this side of Aimee Semple McPherson, at least) and a most unlikely homewrecker, Mme. Magda Lupescu.