30 April 2008

A New Reidel Report!

I have a feeling not everyone waits with baited breath for Michael Reidel's new Broadway Gossip Column (which, as far as I can tell, is not published on any preditcable schedule. I have to rely on broadwaystars to post it). It is my goal to make you obsessed.

WEAK IN THE NOMINEES
AWARDS BRING OUT B'WAY'S NASTY SIDE

The One Where I Talk About David Archuleta


David Archuleta, for those of you with lives, is a pint-sized pubescent (as in his voice is still changing i.e. cracking) American Idol hopeful. Most of America seems to love him.

I'm not quite so consistent in my beliefs. He has a creepy stage dad (who would lure his former Star Search contestants with milk), a dim-witted expression most of the time, and he sounds like he's hurting himself when he sings. Sad. But, on the other hand, you just want to squeeze him and hug him and go all Elmira on him.

Instead of imbedding an Idol clip, I thought I'd show a wee-Archuleta singing the horribly-inappropriate-for-an-8-year-old "Fallin'" (by Alicia Keyes, as opposed to the opening number from They're Playing Our Song...fabulously sung here by Victor Garber.) As you may guess by comparing the video to the above pic, David's stage persona hasn't varied much. Mic in left hand, right arm pivoting at the elbow as emotion dictates.



And now, with special internet technology, I can age David Archuleta, so you can see what he will look like in 30 years.
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wait for it
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29 April 2008

April Showers




And here's a weird news tidbit about an Austrian man who kept his daughter locked in a dungeon and sired three children with her, while his wife was totally unaware. (correction: he sired 7 children with his daughter, but only 3 survived) So I guess all Austrians aren't like the Von Traps

28 April 2008

Worse than the Religious Wrong


Okay, so sometimes I can get frustrated when the Religious Right gets all uppity over American Idol, or Miley Cyrus' "topless" picture in Vanity Fair (it was shot by friggin' Anne Leibovitz people).





But the latest homophobia news from abroad makes Focus on the Family look like Fire Island on Labor Day.

The UK Border Agency offered a gay Syrian teen seeking asylum £46 to accept his deportation.



Sigh. No comment.

But to prove that other countries aren't all bad, here's some Bollywood Disco Fun!

27 April 2008

Que Sera Sera, and have a Doris Day.

After having a couple of those "gonna-move-to-Canada" days, and having heard it recently with friends, I decided to listen to Doris Day singing Que Sera Sera. And by "listen" I mean, "watch on YouTube". I mean, who defines Cock-Eyed Optimsim more than Doris Day? (Speaking of which, why wasn't she Nellie Forbush in the deathly boring South Pacific movie?)

Somehow I had forgotten, of fully comprehended, that "Que Sera Sera" was from a Hitchcock movie. At the time, Doris Day was a top recording and movie star (like Julia Roberts and Hannah Montana in one), and Hitchcock cast her in one of his thrillers, then used the obligatory tie-in single from Ms. Day as an eerie theatrical device. Homeboy knew what he was doing. So, although the song wasn't quite as inspiring as I perhaps hoped, I was intrigued and fascintated nonetheless.


Here's what I can give you as context, which is almost nothing: Doris Day is married to Jimmy Stewart. They have a son. She sings this song as with her son. Often. It's their "thing". Someone is after Doris and Jimmy. Doris is in fine voice.



For some less ironic musical theater fun, here's young Sara Jessica Parker during her Annie period (or lack thereof). She's NOT singing "Tomorrow".

26 April 2008

Idol Worship



As is often the case, this week's round of American Idol induced pangs of wrath and ire towards the greater American populace. Aside from the fact that the show is still a ratings juggernaut even though most of the contestants are sub-par and the themes bewildering (Andrew Lloyd Webber week followed by NEIL DIAMOND week?), Idol has most become a disappointment because it has allowed its outcome to be completely dictated by the Religious Right. First, Sassy, gay, Danny Noriega is one of the first to be voted off, despite being far more entertaining than anyone else on the show. Then, blonde and bland Kristy Lee Cook gets a surge in popularity after singing "God Bless The USA" (aka "Proud to Be An American").

Most recently, Carly Smithson was voted off after singing the title song from Jesus Christ Superstar. Even though she was the best performer of the evening (which, admittedly isn't saying much). Why? Because right-wing Christians have had a problem with Superstar since the concept recording was released in 1971. They don't like the idea of Judas being critical of Christ, or the idea that Mary Magdalene might have had feelings for him, and have had their undies in a twist about it for 37 years. (My Grandma cried when my mom told her she listened to Superstar and liked it.) The Times actually looked into this (because Idol really is that ubiquitous), and found evidence to support the idea that Carly's "blasphemous" song choice is what done her in.

Now, I'm not actually upset that the WWJD set is running Idol. But when they aren't watching reality TV, the Religious Wrong's opposition to everything becomes increasingly disruptive. There are at least 2 examples of Christian protests of the Day of Silence (1, 2), that day when students pledge not to speak for a day to oppose anti-GLTB violence. That's correct, the religious right is now opposed to non-violent, unobtrusive protests against violence. You know, like The Bible says: "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself, unless he be gayeth, . Then thou hath my blessing to shoot him. (1 Corinthians 3:26)"



What most disturbs me about these latest examples of fundamentalism is the complete lack of reason or logic displayed. The idea that an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical is offensive is so beyond my comprehension, I don't think I could possibly argue against it. Clearly they are speaking a different language. And at times it appear that it is our true National Language, in spite of Reason's best efforts.




Here is another fundamentalist head scratcher:

24 April 2008

Stop Trying to Help


Am I the only one who is violently opposed to this new Calorie-Posting nonsense being enforced in NYC? Luckily, the decision is still being appealed, so maybe we won't have Big Mother telling us that Big Mac is not good for us (duh).

Why I think Calorie-Posting (i.e. displaying the caloric contents of items on fast food menue boards) is Bullshit:

The mandate only applies to Fast Food restaurants. Yes, we've all read/pretended to read Fast Food Nation, we've all seen Super Size Me. But guess what? I don't think McDonald's is the enemy. When we eat at fast food, we already know we are sacrificing quality and nutritional value for convenience. And all these chains have their nutritional information readily available in print or online. (I googled that link in 10 seconds.) If you really want to know, you can. Easily. Why shouldn't Mama's on E 3rd have to post their nutritional information of it's fried chicken and mac n' cheese? I'm sure it'd be horrifying. And here's what you get when you try and find it online.

And don't play the "but how does extra information hurt you?" card. Calorie-Posting goes beyond mere "awareness", pandering to hype and hysteria, dumbing down consumers who should have the wherewithal to find this information on their own, and carrying with it the implicit message that we should all be OBSESSED with our weights and body images. Are we no longer able to ORDER from a menu without first analyzing the caloric consequences?

I don't believe this decision has anything to do with consumer health whatsoever, nor will it have any effect. Calorie-Posting strikes me as an attempt for The City to strike out against Corporations because of the progressive sentiment that they are evil.

23 April 2008

This Is Not Over Yet

No, I'm not talking about Andrew Lloyd Webber night on American Idol (though the thought did cross my mind, as a question, about halfway through Brooke White's tragic rendition of "You Must Love Me"...she's SO going home).

I'm talking about that other thing (fewer) Americans voted on last night, the Pennsylvania Democratic Primaries. Hillary won! Even though I personally support Obama, I am excited that the race continues. Why? Because:
  1. I don't believe this is a decision to be made lightly, nor should it be made without imput from the entire country. When the nominee is called before all (or, at least, most) of the states have voted, we as a party/country are doing ourselves a disservice. Those guys have to vote eventually, and that vote deserves to be fought for.
  2. While the Republicans decided to just take the winter/spring/summer off in the name of golf, I mean, gay sex scandals, I mean, Party Unity their ideals and platforms have likewise been resting in Texas, making only the occasional guest appearance on Deal or No Deal. Sure, the red-barons at outFOXedNews push their agenda in the "off-season", but us Democrats are big news ALL THE TIME, on ALL THE NETWORKS, and our ideals being hashed out under intense public scrutiny, the kind which can only lead to a stronger platform with greater support.
  3. The continued and, dare I say, historic contest between Clinton and Obama reminds me that the phrase "anything is possible" should have positive connotations, as opposed to: "Do you think the President will Bomb Iran/Amend the constitution to ban gay marriage/Choke to death on a Rold Gold Pretzel Twist in the Oval Office? Anything is Possible."
So have it, Hil and Bar. I'm not the one who's gonna say "Girls, you're both pretty".

PS: Here's a short clip of Norbert Leo Butz singing Jason Robert Brown's "This is Not Over Yet" from Parade. In addition the video's inherent merits regarding performer/material, if you stretch some gender pronouns, change the political identity of the singer throughout the clip, and only listen to every other word, it totally applies to the topic at hand.

22 April 2008

Funniness Is...

Thanks Very Short List! This more than makes up for your being the last people on the planet to know about stuffwhitepeoplelike.

This is "Charlie Rose by Samuel Beckett". It takes basic, Parent Trap (starring Haley Mills...and Haley Mills!) technology and uses it to blow your mind.

21 April 2008

A Sign of THE TIMES

There's an article in Today's NYTimes about a staged reading commemorating one of the most notorious flops in Broadway history....


...Moose Murders.

I didn't actually know that much about it, as it's not a musical and thus not covered in Not Since Carrie (which, by they way, everyone should read, because it's hilarious).



Thanks to our ability to search the NYTimes archive for FREE(!), I looked up Frank Rich's original pan of Moose Murders. The following is my favorite line from the review, describing the murder which happens at the end of Act I:

"Such is the comatose nature of the production that we're too busy trying to
guess which stiff on stage is the victim to worry about guessing the culprit."


That is undeniably witty writing. And I as much as anyone--if not more--love to see a stinkeroo get reamed in such a fashion. But sometimes the allure of wit prompts a reviewer to turn a mixed-to-negative review into an outright dismissal of works that shouldn't be so categorically ignored. But what if a nice review could also be funny? Maybe it could prevent some misdirected cruelty. So, in the coming days, I am going to attempt to write a witty, perhaps even sarcastic, rave review. Wish me luck!

oh, and here's a little bit of the Carrie musical no one believes could have actually happened...youtube used to have more, but someone must have taken them down. sigh.

20 April 2008

Madonna, Cher...Phantom?

Check out this new add for Broadway's long-distance champ The Phantom of the Opera:

Sure, everyone refers to it simply as "Phantom", but seriously? A poster? With just 1 word? That's only 20% of the original title. Jesus, it might as well have an exclamation point!

And, lest we forget, there actually is a musical titled Phantom. By Maury "Titanic (the Musical) Yeston". It's a weird show with a lot of dialogue. It tries to make the Phantom more of a person and includes a reunion with an estranged father (who had been taking care of him all long without fessing up to his contribution to the Phantom's gene pool). It has some nice songs though.



And lastly...am I going to VideoBlog?

video

hopefully not

19 April 2008

THE TIMES they are a-changin

According to The Times (that's the NYTimes, just as NYC is The City), The Pope, Catholicism's Rock Star Deity is, finally taking a stand against sexual abuse of minors. Sorta.

The Boston Archdiocese selected a few victims to meet with the pope, and apparently told them at a Cheesecake Factory. I guess you have to do something while you're waiting for a table. And believe me, even the Archdiocese is waiting for a table at the Cheesecake Factory. Some changes in Cannon Law regarding sexual abuse of minors may be forthcoming. Though I'm tempted to say this is too little too late, I agree that it's good that Pope-Tart is at least acknowledging the white elephant in the room.

Personally, I feel these cases shouldn't be handled by the Vatican't at all. Molesting Priests should have to answer to Benson and Stabler. (The cheesecake would probably be better too)


Also, The Oklahoma City Bombings happened on this day in 1995. See the Original Headline here. They first suspected surviving members of the Branch Davidians. Good thing they didn't run with that...

18 April 2008

Taking The Leap

My friends have blogs now, so I do to. If these same friends were to jump off a bridge, I might too. Because they probably have a good reason, like it's on fire or something.

Here is a good time to jump off a bridge:











I promise this enterprise will entertain me for at least a week. After that, who knows?