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October 30, 2012

MARY WILSON - MOVING, INSPIRING! + 'HELP IS ON THE WAY'

DAILY TATTLER
by Lee Hartgrave
MARY WILSON COURTESY PHOTO

BAY AREA CABARET PRESENTS
MARY WILSON of the “Supremes” 

 ****Mary Wilson will sing at "Help is on the Way" --  Marines Memorial Theatre


 Mary Wilson, a founding member of the Motown singing group – already was famous in the 60’s, and she also published the autobiography “Dreamgirl": “My Life As a Supreme.” She is a busy one – she also had two follow-up books published, plus several other follow-u books.

Wilson has done it all in her career. She has been in musical theater, human rights activism, artist’ political action rights and she certainly is one of the worlds most critically acclaimed jazz and blues cabaret act.

Bay Area Cabaret looks for the cream of the crop. And boy did they hit the spot with Wilson’s recent glittering show at the gorgeous Fairmont Venetian room.

I’ve always been a fan of the legendary ‘Supremes”. But what I didn’t expect was that now as a single star - Wilson sounds better. Her voice is stronger, and mellow. When she sang her way out of the Supremes, she emerged as one of the best dynamic and soulful performers on the stage. Her training and musical experiences has really paid off.

Wilson has only one backup singer. I didn’t quite catch his name, but I believe it is “Damon”. If I’m wrong, please let me know. He is really terrific. He also got to sing solo on a couple of the songs. Fantastic!

The Fairmont evening was charming and perfect. Magic was definitely in the air. Ms Wilson had her usual talented Musical Director on hand – Mark Zier. San Francisco’s favorite bass player (Daniel Fabricant) -- who’s heavenly sounds are - well heavenly.  Then of course -- we loved Russ Gold (drums) & Bob Brumbeloe (guitar).

Here are a few lyrics from Mary Wilson: “They tell m something will change. Win or lose – life is an Illusion – I really don’t know life at all.” – “But now it’s just another show. Don’t give yourself away now – I don’t know you at all.” Wilson lost her Son in a Car Accident: - Here’s a lyric. “Would know your name – If I saw you in heaven. I must be strong and carry on. Would you hold my hand, if you saw me in Heaven – because you know I can’t stay in heaven.” And then there is the heart breaking ‘I’m Changing’. Lyric: “Look at me – I am changing, and trying every way I can – changing right now and right here – and I don’t need you! – I’ll get myself a better friend.” And this one really grabs me: “There is no yes – in yesterday!” Mary Wilson is “Downright Amazing!”

(((Rating: Four Glasses of Champagne!!!! (highest rating) -trademarked-)))

 See her again at the Marines Memorial Theatre on Sutter Street (one night only with the cast of Lion King, and cast of Book of Mormon.)  

Mary Wilson’s show was a one-time event at the Fairmont – it was a thrilling evening. But here is more good news. Mary Wilson is going to be part of the of ‘THE RICHMOND HELP IS ON THE WAY FOR THE HOLIDAYS X1. The Star-studded AIDS Benefit Concert & Gala will be on Monday Dec. 12, 2012. The show will feature The Casts of “Book Of Mormon” and Disney’s “The Lion King” – including performers…MARY WILSON, Bruce Vilanch, Tim Hockenberry, Spencer Day, Paula West and Connie Champagne and more. The perky dazzling show will be at The Marines Memorial Theatre – 609 Sutter St., SF. Tix: 415-273-1620.  www.helpisontheway.org. Cast party follows with premium tickets. 

 (((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook Section and he produced and hosted a long running Arts Segment on PBS-KQED)))

October 22, 2012

SHIRLEY JONES MAKES FIREWORKS - DIANE SCHUUR ACCELERATES - FIERCE LOVE


SHIRLEY JONES - DIANE SCHUUR - FIERCE LOVE








DAILY TATTLER 
Diane Schuur - Courtesy photo

By Lee Hartgrave 

 *courtesy beyondchron

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SHIRLEY JONES – STAR POWER

You’ll remember songs like “A Wonderful Guy” (South Pacific) and “People Will Say we’re in Love”. Shirley Jones is a Grand singing star that has never stopped giving. Her voice is still clear and strong. I just can’t say enough about this superb musical treat at The Rrazz Room. Hearing Jones singing again the fantastic lyrics from the Hollywood musicals of yesterday really shows us what a spectacular and thrilling voice she has. Every word is marvelous and touching. Jones singing at the Rrazz is an absolute must. You will believe in the impossible. She delivers the kind of music that we all want. Shirley Jones wraps herself around the room with “Out Of My Dreams” – You’ll Never Walk Alone” and the “If I Loved You” – and the audience did. There is more. The great tunes in this show will absolutely shine brightly all evening. Jones got a standing ovation. What more could you want?

Shirley Jones. Courtesy Photo
How does she look after all these years? Like a billion bucks is what I saw. Just seeing and hearing her sing “Out of My Dreams” is reason enough to spend some quality time with Jones. You’ll adore every moment of the evening as she sings the perky “Seventy Six Trombones.

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! 
(highest rating) - trademarked- 

NOW PLAYING AT THE RRAZZ ROOM THRU OCT. 28. 

DIANE SCHUUR - TERRIFIC 


You want to hear the most gorgeous voice in the world? Well, of course you do -- and I'm sending you to the Rrazz Room at the Hotel Nikko where you can hear fabulous strings, electronics and Diane Schuur's  perfect pitch on the best tunes in the world. 

Schuur's songs are sung so emotionally involved that you can hardly catch your breath. All of the songs that she sings (every night is a little different) brings us the Gold Standard in singing. 

 Schuur plays the piano like no one else can and even so, with her really bad vision she manages to hit the right keys on the piano. This is another of Schuur's wonders. 

The arrangements are absolutely beautiful. Diane opens up a whole new world with totally awesome mesmerizing music.  It's truly electrifying. Here are some of the words from many of the songs: "My Heart wrapped in Love" - "For You Are Mine at Last" - "He gives me the Love that I never got from you" - "Why Can't he be you?" - "Today I started Loving you again." Then there is the Patsy Cline song that Schuur brings out. Her version is not just terrific - she brings out intense emotions that are instantly heart breaking. 

The following lyrics will get to you. : "Why Can't he be You?" How many times have you asked that same question. Also, I  love this: "He takes me to the places I used to go." Now, if that doesn't pull your heart strings, maybe the 'searing emotions' in the songs will overwhelm you.

The evening was the most breathtaking musical moments that I have ever heard in a club. The evening is irresistibly moving. This is a don't miss show with Diane Schuur. 


RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) -trademarked- 

FIERCE LOVE

A Long Time ago in the Castro the cast of 'Fierce Love" found an empty space at Josie's Cabaret & Juice Joint. It was a perfect spot for the group to launch a comedy show in those days. It became a huge hit, and continues to be so around the world. 

And what it turned out to be is just one of the funniest, hilarious shows that I have seen in a long, long time. When they asked if it would be okay for them to do a black gay comedy - the Proprietor said: "Make it Funny." And that they did. 

"Fierce Love" is a compilation of the many lives of African American gay men. The title came from a line in a poem by Essex Hemphill. With the play, the troupe wanted to express that there is a black gay community's existence. Within that framework, they created a multi-talented comedy that is all about love, loss, fun and rejection. 

I've never seen such a wonderful hilarious comedy event. Let's say its just a Mega Funny trip to Dolly Wood. But that's not all. The performances are Smart, Wise and funsical! Most of all, they can sing, they can dance and they sure as hell can ACT. 

FIERCE LOVE (remix) is now playing at the New Conservatory Theatre. 


THE WONDERFUL, CHARMING ACTING IS BY: Duane F. Boutte* - Thandiwe Thomas DeShazor - Brian Freeman and Rashad Pridgen. 

DIRECTED BY: BRIAN FREEMAN. 

NO KIDDING -- THIS IS A REAL LIVE ROLLER COASTER RIDE. IT'S MAGICAL! 

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! -(highest rating) -trademarked- 

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED))) 


SCROLL DOWN TO READ 'BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON NOW PLAYING AT THE SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE ON POST STREET JUST OFF UNION SQUARE. IT'S A HUGE HIT! DON'T MISS! 













October 14, 2012

BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON/MARTHA REEVES


COURTESY PHOTO SF PLAYHOUSE




LEE HARTGRAVE TONIGHT and/BEYOND TIMES


SF PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS
BLOODLY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON/
MARTHA REEVES 'QUEEN OF MOTOWN'

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BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON is a rock musical with music and lyrics written by Michael Friedman. Book by Alex Timbers.

Directed by Jon Tracy**

O.K. – hang on to your seat. This comedic Wild West Rock musical revolves around the founding of the Democratic Party. All of a sudden Andrew Jackson wants to be more than a President – he wants to be a Rock Star.

America’s seventh President focuses on being popular. Jackson is also very busy in a “Rock Way”, of doing away with the Indians. He wants to gobble up more Indian land to extend America.

The Cast is absolutely thrilling. They sing with huge enthusiasm. Nothing could be better. Plus – we get to find out more about Bloody Andrew Jackson.

Here is a little background: Jackson’s childhood was in the 18th century. His father was a local shoe cobbler. Jackson joins the military - where he is imprisoned - by the British. You’ll learn more about Jackson and his disdain and the US government’s lack of involvement with the people of the wild frontier. He wishes someone would stand up to them. The song “I’m Not That Guy” will tell you more in some thrilling moments.

Jackson as a Star shows off his sexy clothing (at least in the musical). Jackson wants to move the Native Americans who are still living in the Territories. He implores Black Fox to move her (has been played by a man in some shows) people west of the Mississippi. It comes down to this: Bloody Jackson has a Hissie Fit. He violently snaps, and decrees that federal troops will forcibly move the Indians West.

Near the end of a star spangled appearance – many people believe that he was one of America’s greatest presidents. Others believe him to be an “American Hitler”. Well, let’s just say he was both. Charming and bloody.

This show is a wonderfully clever delight. It’s not only fantastically entertaining – It’s a wild vicious and significant evening. Can’t seem to get it off my mind. Not only is this lavish production stunning –its thoughtful and downright brilliant.

THE ACTORS AND MUSICIANS ARE THRILLINGLY UPLIFTING. THEY ARE: Michael Barrett Austin – Angel Burgess – El Beh – Ashkon Davaran – William Elsman – Johathan Fadner – Safiya Fredericks – Lucas Hatton – Ann Hopkins – Olive Mitra – James Smith-Wallis. More: Daniel Vigil – Vince Rodriquez and Adrienne Walters.

Musical Direction, Jonathan Fadner – Set Design, Nina Ball – Sound Design, Brendan Aanes. ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Bill English and Producing Director, Susi Damlano



When the show premiered n Broadway (Oct. 13, 2010). The show closed early due to a poor economy. According to the New York Times – the show cost $4.5 million. It closed at a loss.

It seemed to be a huge hit at the Newly restored San Francisco Playhouse. The audience gave it a rip-roaring standup musical, that will have you bumping and grinding.

The show plays 90 minutes with no intermission

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! (highest rating) –trademarked- 

(Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook Section and he produced a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED))) 

MARTHA REEVES 


MARTHA REEVES DOES IT ALL. She has that buzzing energy that bumps us along with tales of love, betrayal and lost loves. Reeves really sends out music that ranges from 50’s music to songs that are still current. She knows it all – from Soul and R&B to purest pop music ever. I dare not to jiggle your butt a little. How can you not?

Martha Reeves has been at the Rrazz Room for many exciting evenings. And I’m sure that her energy and her music will keep us highly entertaining. Reeves And The Vandellas were at the top of the charts along with Dian Ross and The Supremes. And you can believe this – Some of the other famous entertainers scooped up Martha’s songs (many she wrote herself). Many of famous hits were swept right out from under the ‘Classic Reeves Motown sound.” That’s show biz.

And – that’s why she is still on the stage and still bumping and grinding and sending out those famous high standard songs. She sure as hell is worth seeing. I’ve seen her many times and each show is a gem. This time at the Rrazz Room Reeves sang solo (with her band). The Vandellas were missing – but we expect them to be on the backup trail with Reeves very soon.

Reeves is absolutely fabulous from song to song. Can’t get to the Rrazz? Then at least get some “Detroit Music Discs” and play them in your car. You’re gonna love Martha. Not only can she sing the Major hits – they make great driving music. She will be back and so will I!

MARTHA REEVES IS ALWAYS IN DEMAND AT THE RRAZZ ROOM! 

RATING: FOUR GLASSES OF CHAMPAGNE!!!! – (highest rating) –trademarked- 

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October 8, 2012

SHOCKTOBERFEST (Scary) -- of THEE i SING

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SHOCKTOBERFEST 13 = THE BRIDE OF DEATH

of THEE i SING

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING SCARY ARE YA? Well we’ve got just the horrors that will give you that feeling of arousal.

The opaque furnishings and the gothic look does exude that creepy feeling of eeriness from the moment of entering. Hey, people come here to endure terror. Being shocked gives you a feeling of arousal. Yes, I’m talking about that thing between your legs. Even Nuns have found it to be exhilarating.

Most people get the humor – others might become a little faint. It’s the blood you know. It’s a Scream! But, get over it. A little graphic brain surgery being done on a hallucinating semi-zombie is no big thing. Just let the lover hammer a chisel into his brain. But, I’ve got great news for you. To heighten the effects – the horror in the play often interchanges with evil and comedy. It's burning bright enough to "Scorch" you.

Here is what you get at “Thrillpeddlers – Shocktoberfest 13 = “Coals of Fire” (by Fredrick whitney – Directed by Flynn DeMarco. Leigh Crow is the Wife. The Companion is Zelda Koznofski and the Alternate Wife is Nancy French. You’ll really dig this: This playlet is called “I’m A Mummy.” It took some digging there. Music and Lyrics by Douglas Byng – Directed and Choreograhed by Cindy Goldfield and Accompanied by Steve Bolinger. You will get to meet Mr. And Mrs. Mummy - (Jim Jeske and Annie Larson.)

Maybe you would like a little of “The Bride of Death”? Of course you would. I see the blood dripping from your juicy lips. This play is by Michael Phillis. Based on Characters & Story Ideas by Flynn DeMarco & Michael Phillis and Directed by Russell Blackwood. Large Cast – more blood to spill. Meet Nancy French (Mrs. Offal) – Rory David (Ignatius) – Flynn DeMarco (Randolf Holcombe) – Michael Phillis (Timorth Truman) – Dalton Goulette (Alistair Maxwell) – Jim Jeske (Dr. Stygian) “Hey Doc – that hurts!” Andy Wenger (Roger Buntz) – Zelda Koznofski (Cynthia) – and the weird Governess Annie Larson. Do you mind if I take an intermission? O.K. I’m back.

Death defying Part Two. Oh, you’re hear already – “Those Beautiful Ghouls” re just to fast. That’s what you get with Music and Lyrics by Scrumbly Koldewyn. Directed by and Choreographed by D’Arch Drolling and Accompanied by Steve Bolinger. Performed by Leigh Crow, Annie Larson, Nancy French, Zelda Koznofski, Bonni Suval, Michael Phillis, Andy Wenger, Dalton Goulette, Jim Jeski and Bruna Palmeiro. Next is “The Twisted Pair” but wait till I wipe the blood off of my clothes.

Yes, I’m one of the Twisted. But not of “The Twisted Pairs” by Rob Keefe. And of course Directed by the Master Russell Blackwood & Flynn De Marco. Here’s is the Cast that brings the darkness of the night: Russell Blackwood, Flynn DeMarco, Lisa Appleyard, Micael Phillis, Rory Davis (Flies and Rats). Yes, that’s what they are. Oh, back to the list Bonni Suval, Nancy French, Bruna Palmeiro, Dalton Goulette and Andy Wenger. If you see that there names appear more than once – it’s because they died and came back again. Dam those Flies and Rats. Always nibbling at my toes! Oh well – the cast does get hungry. But, I’ve lost a lot of blood. Yes, the talented cast pulls out all stops, with an extra bucket of blood thrown in when necessary. Never mind the screwing of the Master! He likes it!

RATING: Four Glasses of Champagne!!!! (highest rating) – trademarked-

OF THEE I SING

The musical score is by George Gershwin with lyrics written by Ira Gershwin. The book is by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind. This musical romp lampoons American politics as wild and scathing as National politics can get. Hey, once in a Zoo – you stay there! What is it they say? Oh, yes – money, money, money!   

Here’s the laughable story: John P. Wintergreen, runs for President of the United States. This all takes place in the 1930’s and a Parade is assembled to nominate “Wintergreen for President.” His Vice President is barely noticed by the higher ups. You know, just like it is in Washington now. Alexander Throttlebottom (the VP) is of little importance. Actually, no one can remember who he is. But he is the funniest. Here’s a note about the music: The Campaign song “Wintergreen for President” includes parts of folk and patriotic songs such as Sousa’s “Stars and stripes Forever”, and “Hail, Hail, the Gang’s All Here.” That song was adopted by the Harvard University band as a pep song. The music introducing the French and their ambassador includes the opening bars of Gershwin’s own “An American n Paris”. I’m sorry to say – the play just didn’t make me want to jump right out of the seat. My take is that it needs to be tightened up. Trimming some of the show would not hurt – it would improve the energy.

In those days this musical was considered one of the most sophisticated Gershwin shows. Most songs included a large ensemble. And that was fun – but there is more talk on the stage than there is music. The original Broadway production, directed by Kaufman, opened at the Music Box Theater in 1931. That was followed by Broadway revivals at the Imperial Theatre and at the Ziegfeld Theatre. A concert production of the musical appeared at the Barbican Centre in London in August 1996.

There was an effort to make a musical sequel called “Let ‘Em Eat Cake”. It was produced on Broadway in 1933 with some of the music from “Of Thee.” Alas – it was a critical and box office failure. The show delightfully manages to show what suckers people are: I think it was Abraham Lincoln that gave the pronouncement “about not being able to fool all of the people all the time.”

As old as this musical is – it still shows us how ridiculous politicians are. What we see is what we get – “Fantasy on the Throne!” And of course, “there is the sex, drugs and rock ‘n’roll!” NAW! – That’s another show. 

The Huge Cast was absolutely wonderful! Here they are: Noel Anthony – Brittany Danielle – David Fleishacker – Lexi Hart – Stewart Kramar – Ashley Jarrrett – Peter Budinger – Ashley Rae Little – Johnny Orenberg – Michael Rhone – DC Scarpelli – Stephen Vaught – Kelly Britt – Katherine Leyva – Anthony Rollins-Mullens – Skye Violet Wilson

Artistic Director: GREG MacKELLAN – Producing Director: STEPHANIE RHOADS ---Managing Director: JOE MADER 

NOW PLAYING AT 42nd STREET MOON (Eureka Theatre) 

RATING: Three Glasses of Champagne!!! –trademarked-

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))  

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October 6, 2012

DIANA VREELAND - "I HAVE TO BE NOTICED!"

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Smoke, smoke that Ciggie in her office. Courtesy photo





DIANA VREELAND -
“I HAVE TO BE NOTICED!”

Born as Diana Dalziel in Paris. She married Thomas Reed Vreeland. He died in 1966. Here is some Background. Diana Vreeland was the eldest daughter of American socialite mother Emily Key Hoffman and British father Frederick Young Dalziel. Hoffman was a descendant of George Washington’s brother as well as a cousin of Francis Scott Key. Diana was also a distant cousin of Pauline de Rothschild. Vreeland has one sister, Alexandra (1907-1999). She married Sir Alexander Davenport Kinlock. 12th Baronet (1982). Hey, maybe I’m one of those “Baronets” – you never know, maybe I was the 13th Baronet.

The Vreelands moved to Albany, NY and raised their two sons. Then they moved to Regent’s Park, London. Diana operated a lingerie business near Berkeley Square. Some of the clients included Wallis Simpson and Mona Williams. Not to - be missed was Diana – as she was one of fifteen American women presented to King George V and Queen Mary at Buckingham Palace on May 18, 1933. Diana and her husband left England for New York – where they lived for the remainder of their lives. In the movie that is now playing “The Eye Has to Travel” is on screens around the World. She went to work for Harper’s Bazaar in 1937. Not as a designer but a Fashion Editor.

Vreeland tracked down Actress Lauren Bacall in the nineteen forties. In the movie/documentary, you will see on the Harpers’s Bazaar cover the picture of Lauren Bacall posing near a Red Cross office. It was Vreeland’s decision. She said: – “ It is an extraordinary photograph in which Bacall is leaning against the outside door of a Red Cross blood donor station. She wears a chic suit, gloves, a cloche and long waves of hair falling from it.” Vreeland took fashion seriously. Here is one of her takes about swimwear – “The Bikini is the most important thing since the atom bomb!” She detested “Strappy high heel shoes.” If she thought that was bad – she would have hated today’s half naked people running around on the street. The dresses today hardly hide the Butt.

Vreeland’s new apartment in New York was painted in gaudy red. Bill Baldwin decorated her apartment. Diana said: - “I want this place to look like a garden, but a garden in hell!” Well- she sure hit the spot on that – at least the hell part. There was another room – a Kitchen. It is said that the maid didn’t show up one day. And Diana had to go into the Kitchen. She opened the door – and screamed – “Oh My God – it’s white!” She quickly left the pots and pans. And, probably sent someone to bring her some food from outside.

Vreeland was also portrayed in the film ‘Infamous’ (2006). And she was portrayed in the film ‘Factory Girl’ (2006) – and now showing is her life in the fantastic document: Diana Vreeland:The Eye Has to Travel(2012).

She was lauded in an article about social climbing in The New Yorker. And she should know! She said: “ I Moved to New York because I have to be seen!” There was a 1964 film (Who Are You, Polly Maggo?). The film director confirmed the outrageous character was based on Vreeland. In the 1941 musical “Lady in the Dark” by (Moss Hart, Kurt Weill and Ira Gershwin) - the character of Alison Du was based on Vreeland.

Yes, she was a little high faluting, but an amusing and entertaining personality. She was high on the list of “American Fasionistas.” Not only was she the editor of Harper’s Bazaar, she also worked as fashion editor at ‘Vogue’. And, oh yes – she was also the head of the glamorous costumes department at the Metropolitan Museum.

As you can see in the picture – her offices were almost as cluttered as her apartment was. Yes – she was “Important” – and she lets you know with remarks like this one: - “Look. You have to tell people. No one wants to do it themselves-they want direction and to follow a leader!” – and she was good at giving everyone directions.

“This movie is a master movie that is all about being the Star of the Big City. And it is hugely enjoyable. I would not pass up this screen goddess. I plan to see it again!”

NOW PLAYING AT THE EMBARCARDO THEATER AND OTHER VENUES AROUND THE WORLD.

RATING: FOUR BOXES OF POPCORN!!!! (highest rating) –trademarked-

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))

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October 1, 2012

THE SATIRIC MAGAZINE AND CHARLES PIERCE



CHARLES PIERCE AS BABY JANE




THE SATIRIC MAGAZINE

“A COLUMN SO FURIOUSLY INTENSE AS TO COMMAND AWE” – EDGAR ALLEN POE

IF YOU HAVEN’T READ IT YET – YOU MUST READ CHARLES PIERCE’S “Drags to Riches” (written by John Wallraff.) It’s a real page-turner that is destined to drag (and I do mean DRAG - in the loot. This tell-all book about life on the wicked stage will certainly blow-dry your hair. At least what’s left of it. Wallraff has passed away – but the book is still selling and sizzling very well on Amazon.Com.

Gee, can you believe it. It is reported that Joan Rivers has had another face lift. But, you have to admit – she has a good surgeon. Looks pretty natural to me. But then – maybe I need better glasses. “My – isn’t Fame a Bitch?” But then, you know that.
 
Hey - and we’re not done yet. Behind the clich├ęs of contemporary gossip there is a seismic zone in continuous upheaval. And yes – nothing in this column should be taken for granted…where anything can happen. Especially in the theaters that are virtually crumbling on top of their heavy boring shows. Yes, you got it. They are legends in their own minds. Don’t fret – this is not an English Language publication. However – we hear that Edgar Allen Poe would love today’s disasters on the stage. However we love to catch up on satire. It’s all so Romania. And of course there is our “The Bitchies” Column that was stolen by others – is now back on track. Please do send us your unpleasant little remarks. Not too long. Our readers fall asleep easily.

The Normal Heart is still getting them in at A.C.T. – but at lower prices. Interesting show – but closing soon. Do wear earplugs – the yelling and screaming at each other is like Iran and Iraq friendships. 

Yes, we get letters – but mostly in “Scat”. And they didn’t indicate that they left their Hearts in San Francisco.

TIDBIT TIME FROM THE ARCHIVES: Barbara Streisand as Momma Rose in Gypsy Rose Lee? It almost happened, but Steven Sondheim, Jule Styne and Arthur Laurents refused a proposed movie remake of the “Gypsy Rose Lee Story.” But here’s the kicker – they wanted Madonna as Baby Rose. Don’t think it ever happened. Now, I suppose you will let me know that I’m wrong. In those days the little ‘Naked Man” was clutching a star instead of a sword. But this cheap version is still sitting on Fireplace mantels. Myself – I only want a country.

If you think that this column resembles a MONTY PYTHON “ sketch about news” is just a Buzz Trap trying to teach readers a subtle lesson. It’s Texting time!

(((Lee Hartgrave has contributed many articles to the San Francisco Chronicle Sunday Datebook and he produced and hosted a long-running Arts Segment on PBS KQED)))

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