Category Archives: bad boy

Artistic Genius

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My young friend, Margaret, at a fun blog recommended I see this

movie, “Camille Claudel” which is a French movie about Rodin and

one of his many female apprentices, who became enraptured with

him, became an artist by her ‘own right,’ and ultimately finished her

life in a mental

institution for 30 years. This was another example of how being a

woman during a different time period created challenges for her

own ability to present her artwork, mainly sculptures, to the world.

 

Poor dear Camille Claudel.

While getting this movie, you may have to go through a rather

complicated ‘search,’ since mine took me on a nearly ‘wild goose

chase.’

 

This was not available in the state of Ohio, in DVD form?

How is this possible?

 

Anyway, Central Campus of Southern State Community College

sent Delaware County District Library the movie, “Camille Claudel”

in VHS form. Thank goodness, I have one of those tiny televisions

with a VHS ‘drawer’ installed in it. It is one that has accompanied

more than one of my own three children off to college in the late

90’s and early 2000’s.

 

The director is Bruno Nuytten and has the sense of darkness in

his scenes and perspective thrown into his filming close shots.

The main actor, portraying Rodin, is Gerard Depardieu who was

in the American movie, “Green Card” and is well know for his

Academy Award nominated role in, “Jean de Florette.” The

female character is played beautifully by Isabelle Adjani. She

may be recognized for several roles but more famous, at least to

me while playing in, “Ishtar.” She was nominated for her portrayal

of  a character she played in, “Story of Adelett.”

 

This fine French film, “Camille Claudel, fascinated me. It was truly a

disturbing masterpiece. It  was nominated for “Best Foreign Language

Film” in 1989. (Gerard Depardieu was thin and muscular in this film.)

The story begins with a young, lithe woman in an alley in Paris, where

she is digging into a cliff of what looks like mud.  This must have some

amount of ‘clay’ in it.  She is gathering clumps of this, being muddy

from head to foot, and flinging it into her large container; like a bucket.

 

The brutal cold scene depicts snow on the ground.

It is February, 1885.

 

Camille’s story is full of  harrowing and intensely dramatic moments.

I hope you may look up her fantastic sculptures.  One which has the

name of “The Chatterboxes.” In the film, the piece looks like it is

carved from black coal, in its raw material state.

The beautiful sculptures may be viewed at the Musee D’Orsay in

Paris, France. Or much closer, you may look Camille Claudel on

the Internet.

 

Another, called, “Age of Maturity,” a neighbor child named Robert

asks such a sweet and insightful question of Camille of a gorgeous

sculpture:

“How did you know there were people inside the big rock?”

As if she had chiseled them Micah said,

“Out of their hiding place, like in a cave.”

 

My grandson, age 5 1/2 mentioned when I had him come across the

room where I sat at the dining table watching this film.

Micah was over by the living room section of my apartment watching

Saturday morning “Sponge Bob Square Pants” episodes and eating

pancakes he had helped make.

 

Later, he took a “cartoon break” to wash the dishes, taking his shirt off

and standing on my step stool. He rushed out to see a particularly

dramatic scene where the noise caught his attention.

 

Sadly, Camille Claudel was used and debased in every way.

She became a model, muse and an original artist and sculptor,

under the tutelage of Rodin.

 

She lost touch with her father, mother, brother and reality by

becoming immersed and having a long-lasting affair with Rodin.

Rodin’s wife who lives apart from Rodin, while he is ensconced

in his huge studio, calls Camille loudly on the streets, “Whore”

and many obscenities.

 

I felt it was most depressing that her husband is still given his

wife’s adoring attention, not disparaging HIM with the same

kind of swearing in other scenes. She persuades him after many

years of his intimate relationship with Camille, to move away.

When Camille is eventually thrown out of Rodin’s studio, having

served her time with him for almost 28 years, I cried. It is such

a tragedy, but you cannot help wanting to see more. . .

 

Camille writes long letters to the Court and Magistrate, asking

and pleading for her own sculptures and art pieces, ones she

designed to be given back. She independently had created lovely

marble sculptures with fine detailed hands, arched backs and

her brother finds her living in the upstairs of an abandoned

building, wishing to use his fame as a poet, along with his good

friend, “Blot,” who wishes to be her ‘benefactor.’ He is meaning

by helping financially and wonderfully is not asking her to give

her still beautiful body to him.

 

There is a point when the Court says she was ‘paid’ for her donations

of her artwork. (They were stolen and kept by Rodin.)

Camille defiantly declares,

“I burned the check!”

 

Her anger at her inability to get her own art back leads her to yell

about “Rodin’s gang.” She feels that France calling her sculptures,

“Property of the State,” are wrong but cannot find anyone at any

level to listen to her pleas. Her friend and lawyer, “Dr. Michaux,”

tried his best to defend her. The cops who haul her each time out

of the courtroom seem to show a more sympathetic view, as they

take her away.

 

When her father is dying, Camille goes to see him, she listens but

cries as he says she ‘disappointed him,’ but he ‘still loves her.’

There is something hurtful and touching in her studying the

Her brother, after the one singularly amazing gallery opening,

describes her pieces as lighting the inner beauty and qualities

of people through her sculptures. They have such delicate and

sensitive details, but she later while they are transported back

to where she is ‘squatting,’ is told not one piece was sold. Her

appearance in finery at the opening, with rouge and red lips

made her appear scandalous, unfortunately.

 

Camille destroyed many of her pieces, her madness in these

scenes of devastation is understandable. I would have gone

mad, under the circumstances.

The authorities never jail her in prison.

 

It was her own brother who ultimately, ‘betrayed her,’ and using

the ‘excuse’ of preventing her from hurting herself, placed her in

the mental institution.

 

Camille Claudel was put into a mental institution in March, 1913.

She lived, ‘imprisoned’ there, until 1943.

 

Camille never did any more artwork after she was placed there.

This was her own way of rebelling and refusing to ‘buckle under

authority.’

 

Thank so much for recommending this, Margaret! Your comment,

after reading my post about Mozart’s sister, Maria Anna Mozart

led me to watch this. You were so right in your choice of this movie,

another example where because of her gender, along with her

choice to become involved with a famous sculptor and artist,

she lost herself.

You may find Margaret who has a clever and funny video of

herself recently on a post at:

http://verybangled.com

 

 

The best question I feel needs to be asked,

“Where does creative passion separate from insanity?”

 

 

Onward later tonight, I will be watching, “Amadeus,” which I had

seen so many years before. . .

My grandson, Micah, is with me, while playing Teenage Mutant

Ninja Turtle ‘free games,’  I will try to check a few posts out.

Recent Stuff, (Including 1989 T.V. Shows)

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I had my two grandsons overnight, we went out to look at the Dec.

13, 2014 Geminid Meteor Showers at 9 p.m. and were a little unsure

of whether we were looking in the correct direction. The meteor

showers were located behind the Gemini constellation, (the “twins”).

We saw more brightness there, but since we were relying on our

own eyesight, we were not able to see the radiating yellow flashes.

It is always fun to walk over to Ohio Wesleyan campus and go to the

center of the circle of the original buildings made of blue limestone

from Delaware’s old quarry.

 

We came home and put our pajamas on to play ‘flashlight’ Hide

‘n Seek. I have a few ‘tricks’ up my sleeve, while the two boys hide

in the bathroom to “Count to 20.” I am getting rather good at

figuring ways to make myself small to hide under things and

behind them, too.

 

They walked right past me, flashing their lights at the bed, while

not looking behind the door. Another time, I rearranged the toy

chest location, making myself  hidden by covering up with a soft

blanket behind an upholstered chair. Their vision played tricks

on them, thinking no one was there, the toy chest blocking me

behind it.

The boys favorite surprise hiding place was in the kitchen, a

narrow ‘closet’ where I keep my small upright vacuum cleaner.

Skyler quickly hid this item in my front closet under some coats.

Micah stood in the back flattening himself, then Sky closed the

door, using the edge of my Christmas apron that hangs on the

doorknob to this narrow closet to pull it closed from the inside.

I actually have never found both of them in there together, so I

circled my one bedroom apartment a few times. I was puzzled

and one of our ‘last resorts’ is to ask for a vocalized response,

“Are you still here?” I heard the muffled voice of Sky, saying,

“Yeah.”

Their other favorite ‘team hiding place’ is my bedroom closet

where there is a small dresser on either side of the closet. They

shut the door on either end, climbing up on each respective

dresser. One hides behind my clothes while the other one hides

behind the wedding dress, flower girl and bridesmaids’ dresses.

I guess by the time my oldest daughter has decided to marry,

the dresses will need to be pressed or steamed…

The kids giggle while they hide in ‘plain sight’ under blankets,

since it is a silly companionship moment, where I say such things

as, “Who in the world would ever just hide in a blanket in the

middle of a room, don’t they worry their old Nana will step on

them? Is this short body, Skyler, all drawn up into

himself or my little Micah?”

 

If you look in the area of the Gemini constellation, you may

have one more night of sightings of the yellow, golden flashes.

Good luck and hope you have binoculars! I hope you get a

chance to see this and let me know about this beautiful

experience.

 

In 1989, a few series of quirky, wacky and fun shows were

initiated. One ended up lasting 25 years, one introduced us

to a strange pre-teenager who wore pants that showed his

socks or ankles, (we used to call these pants, “high water,”)

and another helped us to believe in geniuses who could

carry out a professional job. There is one in the bunch which

was all about ‘everyday’ and discussion about ‘nothing.’

These shows came on the television screen 25 years ago:

 

1. “The Simpsons” was a show I watched with my children.

I supervised this show, which over all had a “Dennis the Menace”

message. Where lessons of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ choices were actually

shown but in such a way, there are a vast number of people who

despised the show and others who watched this one for famous

people caricatured but voicing their own character.  There is a

PG-13 video game where it is not a positive force for children,

where points may be earned by being ‘bad.’

 

The thing is, my son pointed out, it is like acting out their

thoughts of disliking other kids, usually the ‘bullies.’ I do

not judge this show, since I have laughed out loud and have

enjoyed famous guests on it. Nor would I say I was a ‘perfect’

parent, since I knowingly let my son and his best friend go

to the multi-plex with other babysitting kids and they went

to the next theater to watch Will Smith and Martin Lawrence

in a rated R movie. They were probably 14 and 12, at the time.

I did clear this with the other boy’s parents, and Mick was also

allowed to sneak into “Bad Boys.” They later, when it came out,

were allowed to see, “Bad Boys 2” but this was in 2003, so Jamie

was 22 and Mick was 20. The way I look at it, ‘you pick your

battles in parenting.’

 

2. “Seinfeld” came out in 1989 to much success, it lasted quite some

time with its simple plots but complicated characters. I liked the

main characters, while sometimes I did not always appreciate

the way some ‘bad’ habits carried on throughout the series, no

real signs of ‘growth and development.’ Many special episodes

are memorable, ones with parents involved, dating and parties,

the Chinese restaurant waiting in line, the shopping multiple

level parking lot and the final episode in jail. While I liked

Julia Louis-Dreyfuss in this show, I completely enjoyed the

one where she was in her own show, “The New Old Christine

Show.” It was hilarious, since she had a funny brother, a coworker

and partner in running the gym, where you never saw her or

Wanda Syke’s using the gym equipment.

 

3. “Family Matters” was a family show where we actually would

schedule our bedtime routine around, baths and snacks before

watching it, then reading a book before going to sleep.  Carrie

was 9, Jamie was 7 and Felicia was 4 years old. It was one of our

favorite shows. There were times we would discuss the character,

Urkel’s ineptness, clumsiness and not fitting into school, too. It

had heartfelt acceptance at the core of this show.

 

4. “America’s Funniest Home Videos” had mostly ‘accidental’ laughs,

ones where some family member was videotaping another, a pratfall

or something would occur, the inevitable guffaws would follow. My

own children liked to play their own ‘home version’ where they would

get the babysitting kids to create a scripted sequence, while I was

doing laundry or cooking lunch, on a snow day. They would invited me

to be their ‘guest’ and witness the carefully planned ‘accidents.’ It is

one of my fondest memories of my children, so I am thankful for this

long-lasting show.

 

5. “Doogie Howser Show” had a young professional physician, where the

ensemble cast helped to create this amusing show. It was one where

there were problems, time spent solving them and sometimes a few

tears shed when challenges got the best of the patient or doctor. Would

you trust someone so young? I may believe he would be more current

than an older doctor, but this was a constant question in clients’ minds.

I still enjoy Neil Patrick Harris, wherever he performs, in a show or as

a host. He is quite witty and never unkind in his comments. I feel he

‘radiates’ a child-like and friendly ‘boy next door’ quality.

 

6. “Cops” started in 1989 and I have never watched this. I feel the plot

of real life is definitely a good source of ‘stranger than fiction’ stories.

 

This quintet is a ‘mixed bag,’ with my favorite one being “Family Matters.”

I did not list the actors and actresses in this, since my grandson is now

finished with an hour of playing games with “SpongeBob Square Pants”

and checking out the Columbus Zoo website. He felt the baby bonobo

was “so cute” and the stingrays in the reef photographs were “scary”

and “interesting.” He told me he would like to go home and play video

games with Skyler, now. Micah allowed me to type out this post, but

it is being published:

“As Is!”

P.S. Micah is watching me type out his name and wishes me to tell

you the movie we watched was about Dinosaurs that Walked the

Earth and was “really, really good!” He said the best part of the

movie was when the main character, Satchi, saves his brother.

 

Tear-jerkers: Memorable plus Meaningful

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While discussing my recent movie reviews that were less than favorable, my friends

were suggesting I make a list of memorable and meaningful movies I would still

recommend despite sad, unusual or discouraging endings. This will help you to get

a better idea of my movie entertainment tastes and interests. Hopefully, this will

also spur some additions or explorations into movies you have not yet experienced.

 

I think that I may have overdone my expressing ‘dislike’ for “Gone Girl.” In the past,

while a younger and more adventurous woman, I may have hung on tightly to the

‘roller coaster ride’ of this fine, well-received movie. After all,  Jack Nicholson was

hugely entertaining in the suspenseful thriller movie, “The Shining.” Rosamunde

Pike was chilling in her portrayal of Amy, in “Gone Girl.” Reminds me how I did

enjoy Glenn Close’s psychotic character in 1987’s “Fatal Attraction.”

 

Lastly,  I hope to shed some light on the subject of movies, for ‘drop-in’s’ or new

visitors to my posts, who may think I am all sunshine and happy endings only!

 

Here is my List of Favorite Movies which are varied in subject matter, ‘genres’

and widely spaced in their production and release dates. They include ‘gooey’

love stories, star-crossed lovers,  along with ‘gory’ and intriguing plot lines.

 

1. “Deliverance,” a fine movie which featured great performances from both Ned

Beatty and Burt Reynolds. It was not pleasant, but it was informative and held my

interest throughout this feature. I am sure it won awards, too.

 

2. “Dr. Zhivago,” which probably did win an award for best song, “Lara’s Theme.”

If you loved this one, it may have been because you cherished the book, too. Julie

Christie was gorgeous, the scenery was captivating and I could not take my eyes off

of Omar Sharif. The historical element and the details were perfect, along with the

war-torn, epic love story.

 

3. “Diary of Anne Frank.” (No need to explain why this movie was significant. Along

with many of my mother’s friends thinking they chose exactly who should play this

role and Millie Perkins did an excellent job in the 1959 classic. The 2009 mini-series,

for television was a good one, to help bring awareness to another generation.)

 

4. “Casablanca,” made me fall in love with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman.

This iconic love story included historical features and another war story.

“Play It Again, Sam,” although a friend informed me, it never was included in the

movie. It is implied by both the main characters asking for him to play  the song,

“As Time Goes By,” more than once. It became a common expression, most young

people even know where it (sort of) comes from…along with Woody Allen using it

later,  in his film title.

 

5. “Flowers in the Attic,” recently remade, done well for television. This is an example

of a fascinating, dark subject, including incestuous behavior. It was a great book with

a well written script. Louise Fletcher, who did an outstanding performance in this

movie, also portrayed Nurse Ratched in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”

 

6. “Love Story,” which brought my Dad and me together, reading it, first in the Reader’s

Condensed Version, which came to our house. Then, he went right out and bought the

full  hard book version. Our whole family went to see the movie, knowing we would need

tissues, enjoying Ali McGraw and Ryan O’Neal, in their roles.  “Not a dry eye in the (movie

theater) house.”

 

7. “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” which I jokingly say is to blame for my vastly

inappropriate husbands. Paul Newman and Robert Redford played the bank robbers, who

up until the very end, did not use guns to hurt people. The last freeze-frame of the partners,

coming out of their hiding place, to the Mexicans shooting their guns, is unforgettable. I

also, surprised my parents, by taking our Encyclopedia Brittanica out when we got home,

finding the “Hole in the Wall Gang” article there. They had thought it was a fictional story,

and later, proud of the efforts of both Paul Newman and Robert Redford’s philanthropic

projects: “Newman’s Own” foods (sauces, dressings and other products) and “The Hole in

the Wall” children’s ranch for those disadvantaged kids, other benefits like scholarships

available.

 

8. “Saving Private Ryan,” which is another sad story but it is more realistic than most

war stories. I point this out due to my brothers and others who enjoyed John Wayne’s

versions of war while growing up. The Viet Nam movies, such as “Apocalypse Now”

and “Born on the Fourth of July,” include violence, drugs, Agent Orange and some

powerful, memorable characters.

 

9. “Brian’s Song,” which won a few awards, I am sure. Brian Piccolo, along with

his best friend made sports and cancer a household subject to talk about. If it could

happen to a young, vital athlete, it could happen to . . . anyone.

 

10. “Flowers for Algernon,” which had the futuristic subject of how drugs could

potentially raise a person’s I.Q.  If you never saw this one, it is very well done. This

makes you appreciate the way science fiction can be gently inserted into a movie,

without being overdone. Matthew Modine plays the man with retardation, in the

newer 2000 version,  Cliff Robertson was the fine actor to watch in,  “Charly.”

Both were based on the short story, “Flowers for Algernon.”

 

11. “Clockwork Orange,” which was a book I was required to read in high school. Our

class went to see the movie together. It is not everyone’s “cup of tea,” but it was a break-

through movie with fantastic performances by a young Malcolm McDowell and directing

by Stanley Kubrick.  Anthony Burgess’ science fiction book was disturbing, but has

significance and meaning. Visualizing the book did not match how powerful the film was.

Our classhad great discussions after viewing this, about what personal rights criminals,

particularly juveniles, deserve. Where the boundary of “Big Brother,” (government and

courts) also begins and ends.

 

12. “Romeo and Juliet, ” which broke the ground rules of lack of male nudity prior to

this movie in the 70’s. I think you may know why anyone would like all versions of

this movie, since it is considered ‘classical’ to love Shakespeare.

 

13. “West Side Story,” with the Hispanics and Caucasians fighting over their areas

of the city or ‘turfs’ among rival gangs. A beautiful love story, with music and great

choreography. The movie’s ending could disappoint you, if you did not know it was

based on #12’s book and movie themes.

 

14. “Out of Africa,” which was absorbingly written by Isak Dinesen. It has Robert

Redford, Meryl Streep, many British actors and the scenery is outstanding. What a

magnificent love story!  The ending made my Mom and me weep in July, while we

watched this for our ‘umpteenth’ time. What I could not get over, this recent viewing,

was how young the two leading actors were, when they made this movie.

 

15. “White Fang,” other Jack London stories, have the naturalistic side of ‘survival of the

fittest,’ along with beautiful Alaskan and other frontiers featured. The 1991 movie, with

Ethan Hawke was ‘panned,’ by critics, given the “Rotten Tomato” award.

 

16. “Dallas Buyers Club,” AIDS and Matthew McConahey, along with the wonderful

supporting actors and actresses, made this a rich, intelligent, humor-sprinkled movie

about a serious subject. I liked Jared Leto’s sympathetic portrayal of a transvestite.

 

17. “Philadelphia,” with Tom Hanks. Need I say more? Fantastic movie, need your

tissues but I watched it again recently, it still ‘holds up’ to the test of time, my gauge

or ‘thermometer.’ Wide variety of actors, along with exploring our fears of HIV and

Aids in a movie. Bruce Springsteen’s song, “Philadelphia,” is hauntingly beautiful.

 

18. “Fargo,” the Coen brothers have done funnier, (“Raising Arizona” with Holly

Hunter and Nicholas Cage) but this one is the ONE that hangs in my mind, lingering.

If you were to compare it to anything else, in the way of ‘thrillers’ they would ‘pale.’

Great writing skills! Frances McDormand is excellent in capturing the Minnesota

accent and delivering a pregnant police woman realistic, classic  lines. William H.

Macy and Steven Buscemi are outstanding in their quirky parts.

 

19. “Steel Magnolias” had Julia Roberts dying. What else do you need to know? Many

famous actresses, including Dolly Parton, Sally Fields, and Shirley Maclaine bring

the comic relief. Good support from the male actors in this movie, also.

 

20. “Terms of Endearment,” with Shirley Maclaine, Jack Nicholson. Debra Winger

is dying. The family dynamics and the careful writing is a good combination, realistic

and gritty at times. Jeff Daniels plays the husband, who is not likable, a switch from

his typical roles.

 

I did not add a lot of old, classic and Iconic movies, since I know there are much better

critics of these, so please share… (like “The Count of Monte Cristo” or “In the Name of

the Rose.”)

 

What melodramatic movies do you enjoy, despite not always being popular with the

critics?

How do you like to escape into movies? Through romance, drama, action or historical

fiction or ??

The Tony’s Are Coming! The Tony’s Are Coming!

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Oh yeah, the place to be tomorrow night is in front of your television set, with

the 68th Tony Awards’ Ceremony about to begin. Or better yet, if fashion,

style and grace are part of your repertoire, before the Tony’s, watch the

outrageous, beautiful and sometimes the most stunning dresses of the year!

After all, the ones who are able to wing it on stage, in front of a Live audience

on a large stage, whether it is Broadway or Off-Broadway, are the ones

to watch!

Here are some television names to watch for:

Tyne Daly, who is known from being part of the police drama, ‘Cagney and

Lacey.’ She has been performing since February in “Mothers and Sons,”

written by Terrence McNally.

Bryan Cranston, who went from playing a bad guy, let’s face it, that we could

not tear our eyes off of in, “Breaking Bad,” to playing a famous man in “All the

Way!” (Hint: He is playing Lyndon Baines Johnson, and doing an outstanding

job!)

Neil Patrick Harris, who has been the Host for the Tony’s has played in the

performance of a lifetime in a dark play called, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”

Who knew that N.P. Harris could make a strange and dark character come

to life? I always have loved the ‘boy’ who was Doogie Howser and made me

laugh as Barney, in “How I Met Your Mother.”

Tony Shalhoub, has my interest in his role as part of Moss Hart’s play, “Act One.”

Since I have watched him, with my Mom mainly, as “Monk,” the quirky and

rather interesting man with OCD. Apparently, “Psychology Today,” did not

find his real enough nor true to the obsessive compulsive disorder, though.

His role as a police support staff who had to have a companion to settle him.

I liked to watch him while being amused by his techniques. There are OCD

moments caught and featured on Youtube, too. His partner would help him

stay in touch with work, changed and I liked each of his assigned female

‘babysitters’ on that show. The Hart play has been ‘panned,’ also. Too bad.

Idina Menzel has been featured in my posts, since my grandkids love her

voice, raised in song. (In the animated children’s film, “Frozen,” she belts

out “Let it Go!”) Her performances in the show and movie, “Chorus Line,”

along with “Rent” have made her quite a Broadway performer. The 2014

Tony nominated play is called, “If/Then.” I am not familiar with this one,

I have to admit, but knowing the versatility and talent of Idina Menzel,

I will hope it gets an award!

Harvey Fierstein’s gravelly voice can give me chills. He is a fine director

and writer, his 2014 nominated play is called, “Casa Valentina.” This has an

unusual ‘premise,’ men gathering in a cabin in the Catskill Mountains and

tapping into their ‘feminine side.’ Could be fascinating…

His brief presence on the CBS Today Show, this morning, Saturday, June

7, 2014 included asking him what drives him in his writing. Here is his

quote being paraphrased (I am not great at writing each word, but I am

sure that you can look up this and this is the ‘essence’ of its meaning:

If you want to capture my attention and hold it, don’t show me a meteor

going to hit our planet.  Show me people interacting, human connections

and THAT is the show I will watch!”

In other words, Harvey is saying that the human condition is what he has

drawn from,  while writing his plays and screenplays.

One of the most beloved and most performed plays, “The Glass Menagerie,”

is again up for a 2014 Tony Nomination.

I have a personal reason why I follow the different award shows. Some of you

who have followed me for quite some time, may recall that I have always been

a person who followed plays, movies and theater productions. I was very lucky

to have parents  who thought that taking the three kids to these, would be fun,

educational and meaningful. I liked, Musicarnival, The Lakewood Summer

Shakespeare Festivals, and Cleveland productions of Broadway plays. I have

only once been to a Broadway play, to see Joel Grey play as George M. Cohen,

in “Yankee Doodle Dandy.” But, my interest went beyond watching, I became

part of children’s plays, worked back stage in makeup freshman year of high

school, set design sophomore year and worked side by side with actors as

understudies. I never was on stage until I went to National Acting Camp

held at Notre Dame University. It was fun trying out and being part of

this, I came back and was senior director of the play, “Take Her, She’s

Mine.” I worked side by side with Miss Marilyn J. Frazier. She was a

beautiful and classy woman, who I believe could have become a famous

actress, had she pursued it.

I would like to give a ‘Shout Out’ to the people who went on stage, under

my direction. All wrote such lovely things on cards and notes, along with

a few special words in my 1974 (senior yearbook), Bluebook.

Hope some of you will be at our 40th reunion this September, 2014!

Billy Bush, (no, not the one on Entertainment Tonight!), Megan Peters,

(she is a Hallmark designer, artist and lovely person), Torry Cavanaugh

(doesn’t that just sound like she should be famous?), Ralph Cutcher

(you stole my heart, but just friends), Lynn Kuhlow (a ‘class act’),

Cheryl Anderson (you played a teenager who was a ‘handful’ just

right!), and good Science Club ‘geek’ and friend, David Frackelton.

When the musical “Hello Dolly” was not available to high schoolers

due to high Equity dues’ cost, we had our other play, “The Matchmaker,”

that year. Alice Cepulo, another Science Club ‘geek’ (I was secretary one

year, my brother president, so we were very active in this club…) was

the student director for this great play. She went on in film making,

after college, joining NASA’s ‘team’ in Texas. She has made a lot of

non-fiction space films. I was so sorry to hear the 1975 graduate and

one of my brother’s and my dear friends, Andy Cepulo killed himself.

in 2013.

That is a summary of my ‘real life’ experiences and I am sure they

are enough ‘credentials’ to let you know that I do know a ‘thing or

two’ about theatre!!

 

Other Tony nominated plays to ‘watch’ and ‘see’ if they get an award are:

“After Midnight,” “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder,” (this one has

the most award nominations so far) “Beautiful- The Carole King Musical,”

(which includes two of my favorite songs, “One Fine Day” and “Will You

Love Me Tomorrow?” By the way, I loved her “Tapestry” album!), “Aladdin,’

and Shakespeare’s “Twelth Night.”

Oh, and all the ladies and gentlemen out there who have enjoyed Hugh

Jackman’s singing in the movie, “Les Mis,” and his extremely entertaining

performances in roles like, “Wolverine,” will wish to see his performance

tomorrow night as the Host of the 2014 Tony Awards!

Just to let you know, watching Hugh Jackman is more than enough reason

to be watching the Tony’s!!

Look Where They Started…

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In the fifty years since the soap opera, “Another World,” was first

filmed, there have been a half dozen of major actors and actresses

whose acting talents sprang from there. The soap opera began on

May 4, 1964. It remained a popular culture favorite from 1964 until it

filmed its last show in 1999. It had a ‘good run’ of thirty-five years.

I found this interesting entertainment news in my AARP News Bulletin.

I receive this every month, along with the “AARP Magazine.”

I like the way the article phrases this: “A lot of now-famous

stars cut their acting teeth on the show.”

I am not sure if you have ever watched this soap opera, if you did,

these names won’t be quite the same surprise as they were to me! I

was, during my college years, addicted to “The Young and the Restless”

and a short half hour soap opera called, “Ryan’s Hope.” I see a few

of those actors and actresses in Hallmark movies and playing character

roles in movies and television shows.

Here are the Alumni’s from “Another World:”

Morgan Freeman played “Dr. Roy Bingham,” a fine architect in the

fictional town of “Bay City” where the soap opera takes place,

from 1982-1984.

Morgan’s most notable, Academy Award nominated role was in “Driving

Miss Daisy,” which was filmed in 1989. I enjoy him in all of his roles.

He has been recently in “Last Vegas” with the other three iconic legends.

Morgan plays Johnny Depp’s mentor in, “Transcendence,” at age 76!

Brad Pitt played “Chris,” a high school basketball player in 1987. He

played in his ‘breakout’ role (let’s fact it, as a shirtless ‘hunk’

in, “Thelma and Louise,” in 1991. At age 50, Brad was the producer,

along with played the role of an abolitionist-carpenter in, “12 Years

a Slave.”

Kyra Sedgwick, played murder-for-hire victim, “Julia Shearer”, from 1982

until 1983. She has been in several movies, along with her role as the

lead on a police force, “The Closer,” on television. My favorite movie

with Kyra is, “Something to Talk About,” where she plays Julia Roberts’

sister. They have very similar facial details like their beautiful eyes

and smiles. Wile 48 years old, she plays along side of Sylvester

Stallone in “Reach Me.” It is a ‘feel good’ Indie film, getting a lot

of critical acclaim and notice. (She is also in “Door to Door,” with

William H. Macy, check this movie out, later in the list…)

Kelsey Grammer was in “Another World,” as an emergency room physician

named, “Dr. Conrad,” from 1984 until 1985. There are several shows that

I remember on television with him, but mainly his role in “Frasier,”

is my favorite. He is 59, in his character role of a human villain,

“Harold Attinger,” in “Transformers: Age of Extinction.”

William H. Macy, played “Frank Fisk,” for the year of 1982. He is one

of my favorites in the movie made for television, “Door to Door.”

In that movie, he plays an inspiring man with an indomitable spirit,

who has Cerebral Palsy. He also plays a rather hapless ‘would be’

kidnapper in that strange movie, “Fargo.” His ability to become a

variety of characters is amazing, if you ever wish to see his long

list of movies and ‘resume!’

At age 64, William portrays the head of the dysfunctional family

on the television show, “Shameless.”

*I am weird, but like the television show, “Fargo,” with Billy Bob

Thornton, by the way.*

Although, definitely NOT AARP material, Lindsay Lohan, was discovered

on “Another World,” in her role as a mischievous teen, “Alexandra”

or “Alli” Fowler, (1996-97). My family enjoyed her in the remake film

of “The Parent Trap, 1998. She has portrayed Elizabeth Taylor in a

television movie and recently was in one of my posts about Garrison

Keillor, in “A Prairie Home Companion.” She is probably equally famous

as Justin Bieber, in her crazy antics, partially due to addictions.

She is at age 27 star of a reality TV show, “Lindsay,” about her post-

rehab life. One of my personal favorite Lindsay Lohan movies is with

Jane Fonda, called, “Georgia Rule.” She has talent and will overcome

her problems, which I do believe stem from family, biology, and money.

Have you ever been a fan of a soap opera?

If not, were you a fan of any of the night time ones, like “Dynasty,”

“Falcon Crest,” “Dallas,” “Knot’s Landing,” “Brothers and Sisters,”

or any newer ones, like “Nashville?” I am a fan of Sunday’s “Revenge”

and also, do sometimes watch “Parenthood.” They consider them “serials.”

Scams and Hoaxes

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This morning, Thursday 4/17/14, CBS News featured an interview of

someone who had preyed on innocent senior citizens. There are some

redeeming factors to the interview, though. This ‘con artist’ is

currently giving advice to those who are being ‘scammed,’ his victims.

The April AARP Magazine, that I have received and embraced, since

my fiftieth birthday, featured a more amusing take on the subject

matter, titled: “The Monkey Matisse and Other Great Hoaxes.” I

recommend reading the details of this, I am sure it is available

online, too. There were six stories that were quite amusing, with

the theme of fooling people, in the last fifty years.

The subject matter brought to mind one of my favorite movies of

all time, “Catch Me If You Can.” It is mainly due to 2 different

angles of the movie. One is that I enjoyed the period of time, (the

sities), the famous young man was able to ‘con’ his way into hospitals,

airlines and other professional fields. The character that Leonardo

Di Caprio plays is of that of a real life ‘con artist,’ Frank Abagnale,

Jr., who is currently a securities consultant. The character, who chases

him across American and catches him in Europe, is played by Tom Hanks.

Frank is ten years older than I, so his being able to portray a doctor

while in his twenties, along with a variety of roles, makes this movie

and story quite fascinating to me. I enjoyed the time he is an airline

pilot. During the period where I was growing up, many of my friends and

I thought it would be exciting to become an airline stewardess and ‘See

the world!’ In one famous scene, shown in “Catch Me If You Can’s”

advertising promotional campaign, Frank is walking down the hallway in

an international airport, with a few beautiful airline stewardesses on

his arms. (The current appropriate label would be ‘Flight Attendants.’)

He does fall in love with someone along the way, but while ‘running’ and

‘escaping’ from the law, he is not able to sustain an enduring relationship.

This man, Frank Abagnale, also appeared on one of my family’s favorite

television shows, “To Tell the Truth.” I remember the episode, (1977), along

with the interesting famous personalities who were ‘regulars.’ Some who

portrayed the four ‘judges’ were smoking on set, in the original 60’s time

period!

I felt this show, which ran from 1956 until 2001, was a great example of

how everyone is easily fooled by the outward appearance of someone. The

famous line which was sincerely spoken was, “My name is ______.”

The ‘bad’ outcome of how we can make mistakes in identifying an honest

person from a thief, though, is that elderly and young people are more

likely to become their ‘preys’ or victims.

I remember wearing proudly my American Airlines’s set of wings,

pinned on my jacket. Another time, proudly wearing United Airlines

wings, indicating I was a “stewardess in training.” This was in

the era that transporting children was either ‘free’ or reasonable

cost. Did you ever have a piece of memorabilia that was from a

vacation or travel, that means a lot to you?

My brothers also liked such little emblems of their participating

in such ‘pretend play,’ as in the case of wearing Sheriff’s badges

while touring the Wild West section of Cedar Point Amusement Park,

in Sandusky, Ohio.

The current ‘scammers’ are able through technology and hacking

devices, to not only get lists of senior citizens, but also contact

information.

The real example of a woman, on the CBS Today show, sent off large

checks, unfortunately, to help her grandchild. The caller, con artist,

listed fabricated identification and indicated the call receiver’s

grandson was incarcerated and needed money for a lawyer. The name of

the grandson, his hometown and an address were given to her. Sadly,

she lost quite a large amount of money, believing she was aiding her

family member.

This picture painted in the scenario indicates how high some people

‘fly’ to help and reach others, and how low some people ‘sink’ to

take advantage of caring elderly people. The story of Frank Abagnale

and this new person featured in the interview, trade their knowledge

for freedom. Phone scams are prevalent and the new guy in the interview

gave two important suggestions for aiding the ones being taken advantage

of:

1. Ask the caller some detail or fact about the family member that will

identify the real person’s identity. Something that would not be in the

public knowledge of that person. Not a job or occupation, these are

often easily acquired. A pet’s name, a special hobby or interest are

examples of personal information not available to most ‘hackers.’

2. Ask if you may contact your lawyer or another family member to

verify the validity of the story. I think this should always be true,

whether a phone or at the door salesperson.

“What are your references?” and “Please give me some phone numbers.”

The woman who gave away thousands of dollars to help her grandson

will not recover her money. No one is going to bail her out of the

‘jam’ she got herself into, but she shared her story and the criminal

who has participated in these hoaxes, shared his helpful tips.

If you spot or have a family member who is scammed, or wish to prevent

one that you have had a phone call or visit from someone, call your

local police authorities and here is an AARP online site to contact:

http://aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork

Anyone over fifty may be interested not only in the serious articles,

that include health concerns, financial advice column and political

impacts on the older American citizens but in the great interviews of

famous people. I love the covers of such famous people who now have

reached my fifty-plus age bracket as Kevin Costner, Susan Saranden and

the four handsome men from that fun movie, “Last Vegas.”

Also, you will get with your $15 dollars an AARP card that you may get

attached to your Walgreens or other ‘rewards’ cards. This reduces your

prescriptions, travel and restaurant costs from 1o% to 40%. I am not

employed by AARP, but would love to write a humorous column on dating

after fifty and how relationships reveal our hearts, from generation

to generation. Person to person, we all have needs, we are social

(for the most part) beings who like to help each other out…

One last horrible fact, presented on the CBS report, is that new

technology has allowed savvy people to ‘hack’ into systems. It can

actually invade our ‘Caller ID’ area of our phones. So, the woman

who was called, answered her phone to the scammer, thinking that

this was actually her grandson’s phone number being used!

I am off today and on my way to the eye surgeon for my four month

check up. My Fall optical appointment, with an optician, indicated I

had ‘high eye pressure’ again. I went to see Arena Eye Surgeons’

Dr. Pappas, in December. Now, I hope he will give me another ‘pass’

on the eyes since it has been only two years since I had holes

drilled into both my eyes, below the pupils, with laser surgery to

‘cure’ or temporarily relieve something called, “Narrow Eye Glaucoma.”

Remember to go to your eye doctors and ask them to do more than the

‘puff test.’ He or she can perform a more accurate test to detect ‘eye

degenerative disease.’

It is a shame that I am happy to take a day off to see the doctor!

Anything to get ‘away from work!’

I really wished I could have scheduled my eye exam, with extensive

testing on Good Friday. As in the case of many doctors, they are not

available due to their own personal or staff vacation time. Dr. Pappas

has Friday surgical scheduling in his Columbus office.

I will be possibly writing one more post, before Easter, but just

in case I don’t:

Have a blessed Easter, if you celebrate this holy day.

If not, have a wonderful weekend, my dear friends!

The Man Behind, “Happy”

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I like to serve breakfast for the M & M girls, while they sit

and watch “Dora the Explorer” and “Bubble Guppies.” This is always

before we head off, with bellies full, for adventures! I sat on the

other side of the room, watching my little dining room television,

sipping on my coffee and eating my hot breakfast.

I like to reflect on this t.v’s history and share with you, it

includes being in my youngest daughter’s old bedroom in the house

we sold, along with her University of Dayton dorm room! I was

watching, CBS Sunday Morning. The next guest ‘up’ for an interview

was Pharrell Williams.

The girls jumped up, luckily with no waffles and syrup dripping all

over them, to dance to Pharrell Williams’ song, “Happy.” I had not

read much about his background, so I was thrilled that they were

going to share personal details about someone who I have admired

since the first Awards’ ceremony held in 2014, along with his

participation in the Beatles’ 50th Anniversary Celebration.

This interview held genuine ‘gold nuggets’ to share about his life!

If you caught the broadcast, this may remind you of how far this

man has come! Another great interview, with Oprah, shows more of

his sincere and humble side. The cameras ‘roll’ while he cries

tears of joy, watching how people all around the world, take their

video cameras (or cell phones) and film themselves dancing in the

streets to the song he wrote, “Happy.”

Pharrell was 41 when he was honored to be chosen to write the

theme song and perform for the “Despicable Me 2” movie. The first

animated children’s film has a great story line about children in

an orphanage and a ‘grumpy’ irritated man and his ‘minions.’ These

adorable children and ‘minions’ bond, long before the older man

realizes how much he cares about the three little ones. I have

covered the first movie in another post but look forward to seeing

the second one, in DVD form.

Pharrell had been singing for quite some time, from early childhood

up through his high school years. He released his first single in

2003 and his first Cd, in 2006. His childhood friend, Shay Haley and

he had formed a band, “The Neptunes.”

It had not worked out at first. Maturity and disparate personalities

held their progress back.

He also has a partner, Chad Hugo, who together they labeled their

production team currently as, “The Neptunes.” They produce hip hop,

soul and R & B musical style record albums. They also have

come up with fashion designer labels, selling clothes that reflect

their unique style.

Now, Chad Hugo, Pharrell Williams and Shay Haley perform as a

group called, “N.E.R.D.” playing rock, funk and hip hop music.

In 2006, Pharrell was noticed and making friends with famous people

like Justin Timberlake. But he still felt his Cd just sat there,

‘spinning its wheels.’

He really wasn’t ‘discovered’ until he sang, “Happy!” I like the

rhythm and blues, easy-going tone that resembles a combination of

Michael Buble and Frank Sinatra. Any age will enjoy this pleasant

song, no matter what genre you usually listen to.

His fashion statement, wearing a Smokey the Bear hat in all the

Awards shows, became popular. Some people feel that “anything

Pharrell touches, turns to gold.”

His story goes back to a spotted high school career of C’s, D’s

and F’s. He was friends with someone who he tried to ‘play out’

in a band, under the name of “The Neptunes.” Shay and his musical

struggles were not horrible, but he was not an ‘overnight success,’

as he had hoped. The friend and he parted ways, before his solo Cd

came out. Now, they are inseparable. Changes had to occur, within

himself.

When he completed his Cd in 2006, Pharrell wondered what was

wrong? Why didn’t he just make it ‘big time?’ He was not in the

current frame of mind, he was a little depressed.

Pharrell Williams felt his first solo Cd was a ‘failure.”

After much thought and consideration, he chose to become a better

person. He set aside his ‘ego.’ He felt by studying greats, giving

specific credit to Stevie Wonder, it helped him to figure out why

others were successful.

Pharrell saw that Stevie Wonder’s songs carried uplifting messages

and were of a positive nature. Deep contemplation is part of his

new persona. He depicts a calm, thoughtful man in interviews.

This is apparent in his carefully chosen words to answer questions.

The song, “Happy,” floundered until he ‘took it to the streets,’

letting others jump and dance around, while he sang and did the

same. It is a real experience, authentic in its tone. Pharrell’s

video for the cover song, “Happy,” was completed in November, 2013.

He doesn’t mind being called, “The Happy Man.”

There is a little bit of philosophy and introspection by Pharrell

Williams of his ‘sudden’ fame. How he feels about the hard work it

took for him to get to where he is today. Seven years from the first

Cd’s release:

Pharrell considers himself, “so thankful.”

He feels nervous to try and analyze, “Why?”

He considers himself “lucky” and feels his “stars have aligned.”

His words impart newfound ‘wisdom’ to those who have dreams.

Pharrell seems to show a mixture of faith and deep thinking,

along with allowing the universe to flow around us.

“Don’t try to figure out how to make money.”

In other words, do what you love and enjoy. He gives

the thoughts to go after what you wish, but don’t

have expectations of how it will come about.

If you should happen to find things fall into place,

’embrace it.’

“And don’t give yourself too much credit–

because it is not all you.” (I love this one!)

Pharell W. used a metaphor in his parting thoughts:

“It’s not the kite– it’s the air.”