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 Posted:   Sep 17, 2013 - 3:24 PM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

...even better than the digital remake from 1992 with Peter Gallagher and Josie De Guzman)...

I live in Houston and Josie de Guzman is in the Alley Theatre company. And what a treasure she is!

 
 Posted:   Sep 17, 2013 - 8:55 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Ahhhh ... the Alley Theatre. Maybe you saw a production of Frank Wildhorn's "Jekyll & Hyde" that was there several years ago? Then they brought it back to the Alley a few years later on its way to Broadway. I simply adored "Jekyll & Hyde," particularly Linda Eder, the principal female lead ... I became editor and writer of her newsletter and met with her a few times beyond seeing her in cabaret and concert settings over the years. Ever hear of "Jekyll & Hyde" or Linda Eder?

 
 Posted:   Sep 18, 2013 - 7:28 AM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

Ahhhh ... the Alley Theatre. Maybe you saw a production of Frank Wildhorn's "Jekyll & Hyde" that was there several years ago? Then they brought it back to the Alley a few years later on its way to Broadway. I simply adored "Jekyll & Hyde," particularly Linda Eder, the principal female lead ... I became editor and writer of her newsletter and met with her a few times beyond seeing her in cabaret and concert settings over the years. Ever hear of "Jekyll & Hyde" or Linda Eder?

Of course. Nice musical power couple, Frank Wildhorn and his wife Linda Eder. I really enjoy The Scarlett Pimpernel I have both Broadway cast recordings.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 18, 2013 - 8:22 AM   
 By:   eriknelson   (Member)

Yes, Linda Eder and Frank Wildhorn are somewhat frequent visitors to Houston. A few seasons ago the Alley produced Wildhorn's "Wonderland." I've also seen Ms. Eder sing with the Houston Symphony.

 
 Posted:   Sep 18, 2013 - 8:57 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Of course Frank and Linda are no longer together. But for a while they created magic between them. Just loved her in "Jekyll & Hyde" and was knocked out by several live performances by her. But I DO have a problem with her country album! (Sorry, Linda!)

And Gary S., do you have the "Pimpernel" concept album? I've always preferred that one, which is the only "Pimpernel" with Linda, and she has some amazing moments on it.

 
 Posted:   Sep 18, 2013 - 9:31 AM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

Of course Frank and Linda are no longer together. But for a while they created magic between them. Just loved her in "Jekyll & Hyde" and was knocked out by several live performances by her. But I DO have a problem with her country album! (Sorry, Linda!)

And Gary S., do you have the "Pimpernel" concept album? I've always preferred that one, which is the only "Pimpernel" with Linda, and she has some amazing moments on it.



At least one of Eder's performances from the concept album is on the second Broadway cd as a bonus track.

 
 Posted:   Sep 18, 2013 - 10:09 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Right. I had seen that when looking at the CD box, but had never bought it after listening to much of it. Thanks.

 
 Posted:   Sep 18, 2013 - 10:56 AM   
 By:   Gary S.   (Member)

Right. I had seen that when looking at the CD box, but had never bought it after listening to much of it. Thanks.

The main attraction for me is Douglas Sills, man does he have fun playing Percy. I wish I had been able to catch Spamalot in Chicago as Sills was in the cast at that time.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2013 - 9:56 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



M and Moneypenny on Broadway - 1999 Department:

Judi Dench & Samantha Bond wink





smile

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2013 - 10:12 AM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



And An Addendum to A Opening Comment Department:

Second and third, we'll also admit we're not an unabashed admirer of purely visual cinema, either, since there are aspects to live theatre no other medium - not even the widely accepted conceit films are somehow inherently 'superior' - can equal, let alone match (and forget about eclipse).

Film is a little over a hundred years young - a still a'bornin' babe in the artistic arena.

When it's legacy has been as long as, say, starting from the ancient Greeks and influencing everything afterwards, THEN mebbe the folks who believe it's the be-all and end-all might just reconsider.

Not that we're holding our antiquated breath waiting.

Either way, the world will continue to revolve - regardless ...

 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2013 - 11:27 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming"

Please indulge me when I digress a bit with filmed theatre. I first saw that remarkable play around 1967 at the Huntington Hartford Theatre in Hollywood, and while it had a fine cast, the only name that stands out now for me is Carolyn Jones (from "The Addams Family," I think), and she was very good. But I just love the filmed version they did through The American Film Theatre with Paul Rogers, Ian Holm, Vivien Merchant, Cyril Cusack, Michael Jayston, and Terrence Rigby. Everyone is wonderful, but Paul Rogers, as the stubborn and horrifyingly uncouth matriarch of this working class family of misfits truly steals the show. Let me quote from the back of the DVD:

In North London, an all-male bee-hive of inactivity is ruled with a foul mouth and an iron hand by the abusive Max (Paul Rogers) and his brother, the priggish palace eunuch Sam (Cyril Cusack). Rounding out the precision vulgarity of THE HOMECOMING's "situation tragedy" are the sons, punch-drunk demolition man Joey (Terrence Rigby) and the magnificent Ian Holm as pimp-smart Lenny. When, under cover of darkness, the prodigal son Lenny (Michael Jayston) brings his wife Ruth (Vivien Merchant) home to meet his family for the first time, he gets far more and less than he bargained for. To Teddy's rueful discomfort, Ruth's Mona Lisa smile forms the gateway to a labyrinth of Freudian dread, venal family values and naked neediness that could only come from the mind of Harold Pinter. Director Sir Peter Hall re-renders his original Royal Shakespeare Company London stage triumph as a bleached, claustrophobic delirium that exploits the jagged tempos and seductive tensions of Pinter's best play as no theatre staging could. The New York Times declared the American Film Theatre's production of THE HOMECOMING "a movie of astonishing dynamism." Indeed, director Atom Egoyan went so far as to say, "I often find myself seeking solace from this film. Its poetry and twisted sense of compassion and humor have assuaged many moments of despair and confusion. Other people have religion, I have my copy of THE HOMECOMING."

Three of the principals, Paul Rogers, Ian Holm, and Viven Merchant (at the time Mrs. Harold Pinter) originated their roles and their brilliance is nearly matched by the others. Pinter is an acquired taste, so many out there, including many regular theatre-goers, may not warm to this odd and, some say, quite misogynistic play. But I think it is brilliant and am so glad they had the foresight to preserve it on film. And I would also like to cite The American Film Theatre's fine version of Robert Shaw's THE MAN IN THE GLASS BOOTH, with which I have a very personal connection to one member of its cast. Max Schell is terrific and I strongly recommend it as well.

 
 Posted:   Sep 24, 2013 - 7:16 AM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

Picking a single greatest experience is tough. Too many years of going to the theater. The first that comes to mine (it was life altering, for me), was MY FAIR LADY with Julie Andrews and Alec Clunes. The greatest single theatrical event I ever saw. Bobby Morse in TRU was a magical night; and Suzanne Pleshette and Patty Duke in THE MIRACLE WORKER was pretty special. Oh, and Lee Remick and company in WAIT UNTIL DARK. Loved that! Many, many more.

 
 Posted:   Sep 26, 2013 - 8:50 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Speaking of Robert Morse in TRU, among my huge collection of now ignored reel-to-reel tapes is a recording I made off FM of someone playing Truman Capote, which I loved at the time, but don't remember if it was Robert Morse. Have some treasures hiding in those bulky tape boxes!

Follow-Up: I just called my friend Thomas Royal, who long hosted CURTAIN TIME on KUSC-FM to see if he remembered who had done the Capote program I had heard and recorded off FM, but he didn't. But he did remember Morse in TRU -- he said that Morse had been in his Strasberg class and he knew him well, but that when he saw TRU he didn't even recognize him. "I think he won the Tony for it," I said, and Tom answered "Well, he DESERVED it!!"

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 29, 2013 - 10:31 AM   
 By:   arthur grant   (Member)

Harold Pinter's "The Homecoming"

Please indulge me when I digress a bit with filmed theatre. I first saw that remarkable play around 1967 at the Huntington Hartford Theatre in Hollywood, and while it had a fine cast, the only name that stands out now for me is Carolyn Jones (from "The Addams Family," I think), and she was very good. But I just love the filmed version they did through The American Film Theatre with Paul Rogers, Ian Holm, Vivien Merchant, Cyril Cusack, Michael Jayston, and Terrence Rigby. Everyone is wonderful, but Paul Rogers, as the stubborn and horrifyingly uncouth matriarch of this working class family of misfits truly steals the show. Let me quote from the back of the DVD:

In North London, an all-male bee-hive of inactivity is ruled with a foul mouth and an iron hand by the abusive Max (Paul Rogers) and his brother, the priggish palace eunuch Sam (Cyril Cusack). Rounding out the precision vulgarity of THE HOMECOMING's "situation tragedy" are the sons, punch-drunk demolition man Joey (Terrence Rigby) and the magnificent Ian Holm as pimp-smart Lenny. When, under cover of darkness, the prodigal son Lenny (Michael Jayston) brings his wife Ruth (Vivien Merchant) home to meet his family for the first time, he gets far more and less than he bargained for. To Teddy's rueful discomfort, Ruth's Mona Lisa smile forms the gateway to a labyrinth of Freudian dread, venal family values and naked neediness that could only come from the mind of Harold Pinter. Director Sir Peter Hall re-renders his original Royal Shakespeare Company London stage triumph as a bleached, claustrophobic delirium that exploits the jagged tempos and seductive tensions of Pinter's best play as no theatre staging could. The New York Times declared the American Film Theatre's production of THE HOMECOMING "a movie of astonishing dynamism." Indeed, director Atom Egoyan went so far as to say, "I often find myself seeking solace from this film. Its poetry and twisted sense of compassion and humor have assuaged many moments of despair and confusion. Other people have religion, I have my copy of THE HOMECOMING."

Three of the principals, Paul Rogers, Ian Holm, and Viven Merchant (at the time Mrs. Harold Pinter) originated their roles and their brilliance is nearly matched by the others. Pinter is an acquired taste, so many out there, including many regular theatre-goers, may not warm to this odd and, some say, quite misogynistic play. But I think it is brilliant and am so glad they had the foresight to preserve it on film. And I would also like to cite The American Film Theatre's fine version of Robert Shaw's THE MAN IN THE GLASS BOOTH, with which I have a very personal connection to one member of its cast. Max Schell is terrific and I strongly recommend it as well.


Say Ron,
Since you've mentioned the A.F.T. productions did you see their's of The Iceman Cometh? I'm sad that with Robert Ryan and Fredric March giving such magnificent performances, Frankenheimer didn't cast Jason Robards in the lead instead of Lee Marvin who I thought was only adequate after seeing Robards on stage as Hickey. Any thoughts?

I also want to say how much I enjoyed Schell in The Man in the Glass Booth! On one of the DVD's extra features director Hiller states that Shaw changed his mind about the film and really enjoyed it.
(Uh oh....Ralph out there?)

 
 Posted:   Sep 30, 2013 - 12:47 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Arthur Grant:

I definitely agree about Robards/Marvin! As for Schell in Robert Shaw's "The Man In The Glass Booth," I would have loved to have seen the playwright himself doing it on stage, but Schell was probably just as good. He has such confidence, and is believable as he goes from his initial arrogance to a man disintegrating before our eyes. I wrote that I had a personal friendship with someone in a lesser role in that movie. Remember the Israeli agent who bursts into Schell's penthouse and does the intimate search, with Schell saying something like "If you are going to check all body cavities, I wish you'd check my mouth first." Well, that was my beach buddy David Nash, with whom I would often jog for miles on the beach in Santa Monica and hold his legs as he did his sit-ups afterwards, and he spent a lot of time at my house when I lived in Westwood. I went into the movie theatre not knowing which part he played, and almost didn't recognize him (for about 3 seconds) because the character had a coldness alien to David as well as an odd quasi-Israeli accent -- he had worked with director Heller in coming up with the accent. But it just didn't look like him, or sound like him, although it was him. He died several years ago at a fairly young age. Still thinking about you, David.

 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 9:58 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

I adored Stephen Sondheim's "A Little Night Music" the many times I saw it, mostly with Jean Simmons. Here's a little piece I put together years ago with Glynnis Johns and Len Cariou singing "Send In The Clowns," which, at the bridge (1:52), I switched to a live performance the two did at the Tonys. Interestingly, at the end, when Fredrik says "You and me and Fredrika" (their daughter), they omitted the reference to her, probably because they were afraid that some would think he was referring to a menage!

https://soundcloud.com/ron-hardcastle/send-in-the-clowns-partial

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 2, 2013 - 3:13 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



That glorious never-duplicated in any other medium moment when the lights go down
just before the curtain comes up ...



and the pregnant theatrical possibilities are absolutely INFINITE.

 
 Posted:   Feb 6, 2014 - 2:15 PM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Re: Arthur Grant:

I definitely agree about Robards/Marvin! As for Schell in Robert Shaw's "The Man In The Glass Booth," I would have loved to have seen the playwright himself doing it on stage, but Schell was probably just as good. He has such confidence, and is believable as he goes from his initial arrogance to a man disintegrating before our eyes. I wrote that I had a personal friendship with someone in a lesser role in that movie. Remember the Israeli agent who bursts into Schell's penthouse and does the intimate search, with Schell saying something like "If you are going to check all body cavities, I wish you'd check my mouth first." Well, that was my beach buddy David Nash, with whom I would often jog for miles on the beach in Santa Monica and hold his legs as he did his sit-ups afterwards, and he spent a lot of time at my house when I lived in Westwood. I went into the movie theatre not knowing which part he played, and almost didn't recognize him (for about 3 seconds) because the character had a coldness alien to David as well as an odd quasi-Israeli accent -- he had worked with director Heller in coming up with the accent. But it just didn't look like him, or sound like him, although it was him. He died several years ago at a fairly young age. Still thinking about you, David.


After the recent death of the great Max Schell, I just wanted to dust off the above, which I wrote on 9/30 last year.

 
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