Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Talk of the Town

Café Central, by Jonelle Summerfield*

So my week in Vienna speeds by.  The days are spent toiling in the vineyard of corporate instruction, grappling with a very nice but definitely motley crew of new recruits drawn from various Golden Handcuffs locations across Europe and far beyond.  The nights, though... ah, that's another story.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Birthday Pepper Pot, Vitaphone-Style

Just a day late, here's a chance to celebrate not one but two October birthdays, and if the package this birthday gift is all wrapped up in is a little dated, the contents cram more talent into just about ten minutes than some studio super-spectaculars did into two hours plus...

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.