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Author Topic: THIS NECK OF THE WOODS  (Read 33071 times)

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Dan (the Man)

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #150 on: March 14, 2004, 09:14:24 PM »

Lesson Learned: Old Memories should be cherished, but must not be allowed to detract from current pleasures.

Truer words, DR Derbrucer, truer words...  

At a place where I no longer frequent, there are those who constantly and unfavorably compare the musicals of today with those of yesteryear and pray for the day when this show from forty years ago or that show from fifty years ago will be revived.  And when such a revival happens, if one word of the book is different, if one song is moved to another place or if the corpse of Gwen Verdon is not disinterred and anamatronically placed on stage to sing and dance, they howl like banshees at a virgin's funeral.  The concept of a living theatre seems to escape them and anything that falls out of their House of Wax definition of musical theatre is quickly labled unschooled trash.

Do I sound angry?  Sorry...I'm going through RATM withdrawal and it's particularly tough tonight cause my ears are burning--I've been informed that my name has been bandied about there today and it's hard not to go and take a lurk.
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Dan (the Man)

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #151 on: March 14, 2004, 09:15:53 PM »

Yuck!  What a way to start the top of a page.  Again, sorry about that.
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Charles Pogue

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #152 on: March 14, 2004, 09:21:52 PM »

Mr. Michael Shayne, good for you for taking me to task...I'm not the greatest on grammar, and I am certainly lax when it comes to internet posts.  So I don't mind being corrected at all.  I'm also slightly dyslexic.
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TCB

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #153 on: March 14, 2004, 09:27:24 PM »

It will be interesting to see what happens to The Passion at Oscar time. I saw Mel being interviewed somewhere (Diane Sawyer, perhaps) and when the interviewer suggested upcoming Oscar noms, Mel positively smirked and said something like, "Don't bet on it."
In other words it's a no-lose situation for him. If he gets nominated he is vindicated, if not (or if he loses) it's because everyone in Hollywood (which we all know is run by the Jews) is out to get him.



There are Jews in Hollywood, too?
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TCB

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #154 on: March 14, 2004, 09:45:34 PM »


And as another DR (Matt, to be precise) has said, he watched MYRA BRECKENRIDGE - - and you know what?  SO DID I! Rex Reed should stick to writing and they never should have exhumed Miss West for the film.


I don't think they did, td.
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TCB

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #155 on: March 14, 2004, 09:47:25 PM »

DR Jed (and newfound family member, he's MY nephew, TCB)



How did my son, become your nephew, td?
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TCB

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #156 on: March 14, 2004, 09:51:14 PM »

And speaking of Mae West:

Does anyone remember a movie from the early 70s about a Mae West-type movie star, who following her death, is revealed to have been a man all the time?
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S. Woody White

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #157 on: March 14, 2004, 09:53:42 PM »

After Jenny had left with her parents (who had patiently waited in their car outside after finishing their chores), der Brucer and I wandered around trying to find the Drama Book Shop.  Jenny and family had thought they knew the block; they had only sent us south by one.  Still, I broke down and asked for directions at one of the hotels; better than not finding the place at all.

Der Brucer was mainly to blame for our CD selections earlier at Virgin.  (Extra bargains were found on Wonderful Town and Sherry.  He also picked up the Jacques Brel revival, a Peter Allen best of, and Harold Arlen's Saratoga, about which I know very little.)  At the bookstore, however, he can only be blamed for finding The Cambridge Companion to the Musical (or "How to write pretentious essays on the theater and still leave them tapping their toes"), and Words at War, about the days of the blacklist and it's effects on radio.  

For my own raid on the bookstore, the results give us a longer list.  The New American Musical is an anthology including the books for Floyd Collins, Rent, Parade, and La Chuisa's Wild Party.  Single volumes included the books for Urinetown and Weird Romance (the latter to replace what he'd loaned out before), and scripts for I Am My Own Wife, Take Me Out, Proof, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, and The Goat or, Who Is Sylvia?

There is something engaging about reading plays.  It relates back to Marshal McLuhan, in some ways, about his theories on cool and hot media.  Watching a play is hot: the audience is directly involved with that performance.  Watching a film or listening to a recording is cool: the performance exists unchanging without the audience's participation, and will not change even if the watcher or listener never bothers to watch or listen.

Books tend to be cool.  They will continue to exist in print, no matter who reads them, and they do not change from one reader to the next.  The same can be said of plays, of course, but there is a vital difference in that they demand of the reader an investment of imagination that is far greater than is demanded by a novel or news story.  The reader has to construct the theater in his mind, build the sets, light them, cast the actors, costume them, put them through their paces.  These aren't just words, they are instructions for a performance, whether that performance takes place in an acutal theater or the virtual theater of the mind.

Some plays and playwrights give explicit instructions when it comes to sets and staging.  Some, like Wright's I Am My Own Wife, include prefaces that don't really have to be read by the audience, but inform the reader of other things that matter to the play that the presenter had better know first if the play is to be staged properly.  G. B. Shaw did this a lot; some of his prefaces are better than the plays they accompany.

Some plays, like Greenberg's Take Me Out, give little instruction other than entrances and exits, who says what...except for significant moments.  There is a much commented-upon monologue, spoken by Mason, on the metaphors of baseball.  In the published script, it starts on page 35 and runs though to page 38, ending with the line "That's baseball."  Then Greenberg continues with stage directions:

Darren takes his excellent batting stance.  Signals to someone located audience-ward to throw a ball.  He swings.  The swing is beautiful.  It connects, there is that lovely sound.  DARREN and MASON watch the ball soar.  A moment.

DARREN (casually) Baseball.

MASON (happily) Yes.  That is, too.

End quote.  But read it again, the choice of words.  "Excellent batting stance...swing is beautiful...that lovely sound."  I know what Greenberg is telling us, I can see it without even closing my eyes.

With musicals, having the score (and knowing how to read music) helps a great deal.  Lacking the ability to read music, a flaw most of us have, including some musicians, having a recording available is the next best alternative.  There's a reason we associate musicals with their composers over their lyricists, and almost never with their book writers: most people cannot imagine what a melody sounds like without having heard it first, which makes the composer's contribution that much more demanding of our attention.

But there are other things to a musical than the score, the same things to be imagined from any script.   This is why I hold recordings and scripts to be so important.  With these things, the theater can exist any place I choose to be, as long as my imagination has just enough direction with which to work.  And I know I am not alone.  Theater buffs are to be found everywhere in the world, some in sections of our planet where no theater ever has been or will be built.

Physically built, that is.  The virtual theater is everywhere.
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There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on, Ace. We've got work to do.

TCB

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #158 on: March 14, 2004, 09:56:55 PM »

I can no longer stand by in silence and watch or I shall explode! Explode, I tell you. :P -- It's Chicken PAPRIKAS (no H). In Hungarian, "s" is pronounced "sh"...

"S" as in the word "sit" is written "SZ"...

That feels so much better.

My apologies, DR Panni, but a Google search turned up 279 entries for Chicken Paprikash -- and that doesn't include my friend Lorna's recipe, which is spelled the same way.  They must have all been from the wrong side of Budapest. ;D
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S. Woody White

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #159 on: March 14, 2004, 09:57:35 PM »

There are Jews in Hollywood, too?
No, they just run it by proxy from NYC.

Silly boy.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2004, 10:03:37 PM by S. Woody White »
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There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on, Ace. We've got work to do.

S. Woody White

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #160 on: March 14, 2004, 09:59:03 PM »

And speaking of Mae West:

Does anyone remember a movie from the early 70s about a Mae West-type movie star, who following her death, is revealed to have been a man all the time?
I don't recall any such movie, but it was rumored that she had really died, and that her son had taken up the mantle by playing her in drag.  No, really.
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There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on, Ace. We've got work to do.

S. Woody White

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #161 on: March 14, 2004, 10:02:49 PM »

Oh, I definately enjoyed Wonderful Town, but the ending was a bit abrupt.  Bernstein should have written more dance music for Ruth and Bob, so that they could be elegant on stage together a bit longer.  Oh, well, so much for happy endings.
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There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on, Ace. We've got work to do.

George

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #162 on: March 14, 2004, 10:05:00 PM »

Michael Shayne, does PIN number bug you too?  My son got on me about that one.

Jane, working for a library, "ISBN number" makes me cringe (I don't know why, it just does).  For those of you non-library types, the ISBN is the unique 10 digit number assigned to every book (and now a lot of CDs, DVDs and videos).  ISBN stands for International Standard Book Number.  So "International Standard Book Number number" is just redundant...like Personal Identification Number number.
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S. Woody White

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #163 on: March 14, 2004, 10:07:57 PM »

...there are those who constantly and unfavorably compare the musicals of today with those of yesteryear and pray for the day when this show from forty years ago or that show from fifty years ago will be revived.  And when such a revival happens, if one word of the book is different, if one song is moved to another place or if the corpse of Gwen Verdon is not disinterred and anamatronically placed on stage to sing and dance, they howl like banshees at a virgin's funeral.  The concept of a living theatre seems to escape them and anything that falls out of their House of Wax definition of musical theatre is quickly labled unschooled trash....
Our of curiosity, how do some of these people know what these stage productions were like?  Are they all fifty, sixty, seventy years old?  Or are they watching kinescopes, faded and blurry?

I'll stick to what I've written about a few posts earlier.  And I'll stick with der Brucer, who is sixty-plus but has a younger mind than most people a third his age.
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There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on, Ace. We've got work to do.

bk

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #164 on: March 14, 2004, 10:09:52 PM »

Frankly, I don't like grammar and I don't give a crap about it, frankly.  See, I used frankly to bookend that sentence, which frankly isn't done, frankly.   "Revert back" is perfectly fine in my opinion (IMO, in Internet lingo).  

Noel forgot to mention the appearance of a person named Jerry Seinfeld, and, of course, Anne Bancroft.
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bk

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #165 on: March 14, 2004, 10:10:09 PM »

And Stroman.
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S. Woody White

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #166 on: March 14, 2004, 10:12:21 PM »

And Stroman.
Frank Stroman, the grammarian?
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There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on, Ace. We've got work to do.

bk

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #167 on: March 14, 2004, 10:28:58 PM »

No, his sister Susan, she of the baseball cap.
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S. Woody White

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #168 on: March 14, 2004, 10:53:41 PM »

Oh, the one who had to use the "other" locker room in Take Me Out, right?  Her character doesn't have many lines in the script.
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There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on, Ace. We've got work to do.

Tomovoz

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #169 on: March 14, 2004, 11:41:15 PM »

About time to wish you all a good night. (6.40pm Monday here Panni). Dinner calls.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2004, 11:41:46 PM by Tomovoz »
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"I'm sixty-three and I guess that puts me with the geriatrics, but if there were fifteen months in every year, I'd only be forty-three".
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Panni

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #170 on: March 14, 2004, 11:43:26 PM »

Lots of lovely posts to read. I have nothing to add.
Goodnight, all.
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Panni

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Re:THIS NECK OF THE WOODS
« Reply #171 on: March 14, 2004, 11:45:42 PM »

Thanks for the time update, Tom. Good evening to you. And goodnight (again) where it's applicable.
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