Farewell Barbara

Barbara Cook has passed away at the age of 89.  Very nice tribute article on Playbill.

Barbara Cook, the musical theatre ingénue who became cabaret and concert royalty, has passed away.

The first time I truly became aware of her was singing an Amanda McBroom song on NPR Sunday.  Her beautiful rendition of Errol Flynn made me cry as the song reminded me so intensely of my father.  That was the whole core of Barbara’s talent; that she could bring such intensity to the simplest of lyrics.  With story songs, she created whole worlds and mini movies for the mind.



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The Countdown Begins

We have now ended July.  Ahead we have the summer films such as the Kingsman sequel which will will see as a family viewing.  Then come the the traditional fall contenders for the big awards though a couple have shown up early.

I’ve seen Logan and already have the DVD.  If it weren’t a super hero film, I would put it among the contenders.  This is a heavy hitter year and while other awards are a possibility, Best Picture is unlikely.

Just saw Dunkirk on Sunday.  It is a film of sound and fury with little connecting story line.  If you know the history.  You know what happened.  Even if you don’t, you will feel the war.  Not a traditional film, but a very good one.  As a measure, I genuinely liked Hacksaw Ridge better on the Oscar front.

From here on are the unseen, but definitely worth consideration.

Darkest Hour – November 22nd

Goodbye Christopher Robin – November 10

The Greatest Showman- December 25

Mudbound – Purchased by Netflix planning theatrical & on line release prior to nominations.  Date not set as yet.

The Papers – Stephen Spielberg directed film starring Tom Hanks.  This may or may not be finished in time for nomination.  Word of mouth is great so far.


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Brush Up Your Shakespeare

TNT is taking Cole Porter’s advice and having everyone brush up on their Shakespeare.  First with Will or what happened before the plays brought him fame mixed with an undercurrent of anti-Catholic soap opera and Elizabethan intrigue.

Then bring on Still Star-crossed for all those who want to know what happened after Romeo & Juliet bit the dust.

Things didn’t come to a peaceful aftermath and all the Capulets and Montague’s are decidedly still at it, complete with swords, swiving and murderous intrigue galore.

So pull out your dog-eared high school copy (or just warm up Google).  You are going to need it to look up all the heady references flying around courtesy of the series writers busily stealing from the very best.


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Happy Fourth of July

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Musical Interlude



I wrote a line under the influence of wine about
what was then and when I felt more myself than now.
How love is lost to be recaptured when boy meets girl
in a whirl of 50’s, when we all believed in ever after.
Stories had endings of a happy note and scripts were rote
based on Cinderella and Charming.
Virgins were alarming when filled with the next generation.

But now we do it by ourselves as if impregnated by elves
or Dopey or Doc – A tick upon the clock, to be or not to be.
These are the decisions made once laid by Charming
or his friends. It lends itself to small ideals
One feels that yesterday was best.
Lest all things come to an end, the video store will
lend you a happy ending.

I was born when flags were waving, saving the world
from whatever.
We never saw what was to come
when we were numb from caring, when Astaire and Rogers
would be bothers but sharing the latest stock report
or a wart on democracy was the thing.
Woodstock, Beatles and now Forbes and Liz can spend
a fortune on their balloons or toons and Roger Rabbit are the fad.

Without brass bands we sit to watch garbage sent to outer space.
That’s the only place left undefiled, untouched by human hands.
I want a little Rooney and Garland, Andy and his girl,
a simpler place to face the world left by them to us.
Why the fuss? when we all think the same and blame
is laid to rest on what is left of Berlin’s wall.
I lag behind the general mind of Penn and Madonna

I want something more for me and the poor
who ask, “Why Not?”, but that’s an echo of long ago
for a generation born when the world was worth saving
and Astaire, Kelly and Cyd had their way.
where a nightingale sang in Barkley Square, but
now there’s Cher when I would rather have Minnelli.
Silly, but I like brides for every brother and
other things like wings on my monkeys, who weren’t on backs.

We lack the ability to see things as they used to be before the
Baby Boom and zoom lenses on Japanese cameras.
I love Baryshnikov and Brodsky – All those who
left and might go back to see home again
Is it a sin to wish for open borders.
Help If you remember the songs of that time when
friends were friends and ends were what we hoped for
more than suburbia and cars in every garage.

Make a collage of then and now when we can begin
again to sing in the rain and listen to a
Carmichael skylark or just double park on
New York streets. What sweets await
those with good memories who actually
believe in dancing on ceilings and feelings
something other than revival

Let’s put on our silk stockings and Porter, you
ought to pay attention to rhyme and time that
doesn’t come again when funny girls were
whirls of life, because we all were Kidds, Michael and otherwise.
Still Fosse is a soft spot in the pajama game of fame and
all that jazz. But Gigi, how close we stand
on land made shaky by Middle East and
Debakey and we can’t even get the heart
transplanted into tomorrow.

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