Well, dear readers, the final day of 2008 is upon us, and it is time for our annual New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Bash – but more about that later. Finishing up my look back at 2008, the latter part of the year was both difficult and fun, both annoying and very creative. I spent most of the last three months of the year prepping the big Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS/POZ benefit – casting it, and figuring out the songs and let me tell you it was not easy, as I had to do most of that work long distance. But we got it done, and I spent a wonderful ten days in New York, rehearsing, seeing shows, and then doing the benefit, which went better than it had any right to go. It was an evening of wonderful highlights – terrific people doing terrific Bacharach songs. For me, of course, the big highlight was our first-act closer, Turkey Lurkey Time, with the original Michael Bennett choreography, lovingly recreated by Adam Cates. The event was a big success and we hope to have it become an annual thing. I did a book signing, released several more Kritzerland CDs, and took on a bunch of new projects, most of which happen in early 2009 – new shows for Sean McDermott, Alet Taylor, Crista Moore, Linda Purl, and a duo show for Linda and Kevin Spirtas. And I had a most wonderful birthday, too. Thus ends my look back at 2008. It was the worst of times, it was the best of times, and even through all the difficulties that so many of us had this year, I’d like to think that this here site and its amazing denizens were of some comfort and help. Speaking of comfort and help, yesterday was a fun little day. I got up early and did the long jog (the last couple of days have been absolutely gorgeous), then toddled off to the Sherman Oaks Galleria and the Arclight Theaters to see two count them two motion pictures. Happily, DGA members get in free, so I merely showed my card and got my chosen seats for my two movies. Then in I went to see Frost/Nixon. It was in a smaller theater, but the projection was nice and sharp and bright (they showed FILM, not digital). I enjoyed the film – it’s not a brilliant work of cinema or anything – but it’s competently made, and the acting of Frank Langella is superb, the subject matter is very interesting, and it’s well paced. The fellow who played David Frost had the voice down pretty well but looked nothing like him, whereas Langella, even though he looks nothing like Richard Nixon, somehow made you THINK he looked something like Richard Nixon. The dialogue was quite good, I thought – the score was the usual Hans Zimmer sort of music, of which I’m not a fan. I then went over to Fuddrucker’s and had a burger and cole slaw, then came back to the Arclight to see Doubt, which was in an even smaller theater (maybe 90 seats). Unfortunately, the projection was not as good in this theater – a little dim and the image had a little flicker, but I’ve seen worse. My only experience with Doubt was seeing a production (which opened before the one on Broadway) at the Pasadena Playhouse. I really didn’t like the production and therefore didn’t think much of the play, but then I heard that the Broadway version with a different director and cast was incredible. So, I went into the movie with an open mind. I still don’t think it’s a brilliantly written piece – I think it has excellent things in it, but it just somehow misses for me – don’t really know why. One can’t fault the movie cast – Meryl Streep is wonderful in the leading role, and I liked Amy Adams and Philip Seymour Hoffman a lot. The four character play has become a large cast affair on the screen, and I didn’t love all the opening out of the scenes, but then again, Mr. Shanley isn’t a very interesting film director – he has virtually no style, other than occasional skewed (and pointless) camera angles. Again, it’s competent, but nothing more. I did like the score by Howard Shore, and the performances do make it worth seeing, and the writing does have a lot of powerful moments.
After the movie, I went over to the mail place where there were two packages for me. Getting there was no fun at all – absolutely wretched traffic everywhere. The freeway was unbearable, so I got off and the streets were worse – and, as always, for no reason other than driver stupidity. I then came home and sat on my couch like so much fish.
Since I’d already seen two motion pictures, I watched one episode of Mannix, which was okay, and then I dove into my Studio One box set – I chose 1984. I’ve read several reviews of the box set and specifically 1984, all of which praised the adaptation for being so true to the spirit of the book in forty-eight minutes of live TV. I enjoyed it, but the first thing I realized was that the film version of two or three years later, the one with Edmond O’Brien and Jan Sterling, had the exact same structure as this live version – same dialogue, too – so I checked, and the writer of the live version is the writer of the film version. The amusing thing about that is that people who criticize the film version are criticizing it for not being true to the spirit of the book – and yet these other people are praising the live version as being true to the spirit of the book. How can that be? The fact is, I’ve always thought the film version was true to the spirit of the book. Eddie Albert was fine as Winston Smith, and a young Norma Crane was okay as Julia. O’Brien is played by Lorne Green, and one of the extras is an easily recognizable Martin Landau. The quality of the kinescope transfer is okay – clearly off 16mm. I’m looking forward to the other shows in this set.
Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because we must prepare for our fabuloussss New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Bash.
Today, I’ll be doing the long jog, then doing some Nudie Musical work, then visiting my editor, then having an early dinner, then coming home for our New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Bash. I like to spend New Year’s Eve here with all my hainsies/kimlets. There’s no better place to watch balls drop than here at haineshisway.com. I will, as always, be spending about twenty minutes in contemplation – of how I can better myself as a person, how I can be more positive, how I can stop doing some of the things I do that don’t make me happy, and setting forth what I’d like to happen in the year 2009, which I’m truly hoping will be a better year for all of us – one with happiness, health, and prosperity and lots of work. I’m most looking forward to the possibility of doing The First Nudie Musical on stage and I’ll be working very hard to make the show the best it can be.
So, join me this evening for a wonderfully wonderful and fun New Year’s Rockin’ Eve – there’s no safer or better place to ring in the New Year.
Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, do the long jog, do Nudie Musical work, visit with my editor, eat an early supper, and then have a New Year’s Rockin’ Eve Bash. Today’s topic of discussion: It’s Ask BK Day (last one of 2008), the day in which you get to ask me or any dear reader any old question you like and we get to give any old answer we like. So, let’s have loads of lovely questions and loads of lovely answers and loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst we ring in a brand spanking New Year – 2009!