Tuesday, July 29, 2014

And Now, a Word from our Sponsor

This is exactly how I imagine our United Van Lines consultant, although her name is Juanita, not Betty.  Maybe Juanita is the Betty of 2014?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Madame D

I realize that I'm probably boring you with my sudden infatuation with all things MerriweatherPostian, but when life is as vexing as is ours at the moment, one does find consolation in the contemplation of beautiful things.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Happy Eid!

Sometimes things just fall in your lap, if only metaphorically.  Today, you see, is the start of Eid el-Fitr, the celebration that follows the end of Ramadan.  Among other things, that means that Mr. Muscato can wake up tomorrow morning and have breakfast at the beginning rather than the end of the day, and I can stop having to sneak around pretending to drink white or red grape juice (fooling no one).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Beauty's Where You Find It

I hope you'll pardon, Gentle Readers, the quality of this image, imperfect as it is, given the sheer treasurability of what it portrays.  The year is 1968, and Lady Bird is in Palm Beach as the guest of Mrs. Marjorie Merriweather Post, then wintering at her modest little cottage, Mar-a-Lago.  Why she has chosen to accessorize her swoop-ti-doo-sleeved gown and pearls with what appears to be a Play Wig is an enigma lost in the mists of social history.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Hot Hot Hot, Not

I want to preface this by making it clear that I'm not complaining about the heat.  After eight years in the Sandlands, a summer day in Our Nation's Capital only brushes the lower end of truly hot weather.  Hot is 120°F and 100% humidity.  Hot is when small items left in the car fuse in a puddle on the dashboard.  Hot is when the condensation pours like rain down the windows because you're keeping things a comfortable 50° cooler inside the house than it is out.  Today, by that standard, was only very, very slightly hot.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Birthday Girl: One More Kiss

Speaking of Sumptuous, it's worth noting, every now and again, that still we have a giant or two amongst us - today's birthday girl being an excellent case in point:  the great Mme. Licia Albanese is today a lively 101.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

A Sumptuous Sense

We have, for various reasons, been enduring enjoying a raft of visiting family over the past several days, culminating this afternoon in one of those occasional kinship rituals that will bring together friends and relatives from multiple sides of the clan.  Pray for me.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Broadway Baby Says Goodnight...

Sad hearts on the Rialto tonight, kids, and no mistake about that.  One of the ever-fewer number of truly Great Dames has up and left us.  Dammit.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

What's My Wednesdays #10: Hello, Dollys!

There may not be much mystery to this week's dual Mystery Challengers, and we've already seen one appearance by birthday girl Ginger Rogers, but there's so much richness in this clip that I couldn't resist.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

One More Ride on the Merry-Go-Round

It can be odd sometimes to be reminded that people once staples of the headlines are still among us.  Lord Snowdon, for example, has emerged from the (comparative) shadows in today's news, having donated a cache of his portraits to the National Portrait Gallery, which is mounting a large-scale show of his work.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Le Jour de Gloire

Here's a little something to ponder on this festive Gallic holiday:  what does it mean, you suppose, that so many of my favorite French people - these two, the Austrian Woman - aren't even French?  Even their empresses were imports - Joséphine from Martinique and Eugénie from Granada.  Still - Bernhardt, Piaf, or Mistinguett aside - who are more French than they?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Stars on their Days Off

On a fine summer afternoon, here we see Spangler Brugh, Ruby Stevens, and William Gable, taking a break from their golf game in a snapshot by Jane Peters.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Shameless Saturday Camp Explosion: Vivat Regina!

In our last look some Unlikely Thrushes of the silver screen, you may remember, we peeked in on Miss Constance Bennett and her not uncreditable go at a little song and dance.  This week, we veer sharply in another direction to catch a crucial moment in the long and seemingly haphazard career of a star both unlikely and beloved:  Miss Marie Dressler, who is happy to tell us what's what in this antic moment from The Hollywood Revue of 1929.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What's My Wednesdays? #9: Love & Marriage

You'll have to click on the image to view today's WMW?, as the naughty 
uploader has forbidden embedding.  It's worth it.  But do come back!

This week, a day-late salute to birthday boy Mr. Steve Lawrence, and (at 19:30) a very special Mystery Challenger.  It really is a lovely episode if your time allows you to take it all in, if only to appreciate both Arlene's fur shrug and Dorothy's wiglet (and at least one other Hair Hall of Fame potential entry).

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Little Glamour for a Summer Monday

For no particular reason except that I stumbled across this gem this evening, here's as close as I've found of late to a master class in stage presence.  Dame Shirley knows what's what.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Birthday Girl: Hellcat

A baby named Anne Frances Robbins was born on this day in 1921 in New York City, the daughter of a car dealer and an only middlingly successful stage actress.  That means that today, Nancy Reagan is 93.  So the old saying does have some truth in it, sometimes: only the good die young.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

'Tis the Season

We had a very traditional Fourth yesterday; the only catch is that the traditions themselves harked more from my husband's side of the family than mine.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Just Like a Sweetheart

Let's celebrate our nation's Independence in the very good company of Miss Alice Faye, Mr. John Payne and a gang of specialty acts, here to give a rousing rendition of "America, I Love You."

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A Very Mary Fourth!

Miss Martin (using an early version of the Noble Middle-Distance Gaze she later honed to steely perfection in Rodgers and Hammerstein works) and I wish all the Café's Dear Readers who celebrate that sort of thing a happy long Independence Day Weekend.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

What's My Wednesdays? #8: Surrender, Dorothy

In honor (just one day early) of her July 3 birthday, here's What's My Line? stalwart Miss Dorothy Kilgallen in an unaccustomed role.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Two, Two, Two Posts in One!

Well, yesterday's mystery was no puzzle at all to the Café's discerning readership, and while I truly wish I could triumphantly announce that she was in fact Mary Ann Mobley - or even Gloria Huddle (thank you, George!) - she was, of course...