Wednesday, August 17, 2022

"Masculine" Auteur comedians acting as characters in their own show

This essay is becoming overshadowed by feelings of hope and gratitude for the work of various auteur comedians, with a renewed appreciation for the life of Charles Chaplin. Are there female auteur comedians? I think of Elaine May, Agnes Varda, Lena Wertumuller, Sara Silverman, Phyllis Diller, Carol Burnett... The iconic auteur comedians are often male, malish, or just plain Masculine, and variations thereon. I'm a guy, so it is more likely for me that the work of other guys provokes my response. For an Italian stereotype, an identity with which I obligatorialy identify, I think of Lena Wertumuller's variation, embodied by the great actor, Giancarlo Giannini, and I contrast that with Italian Auteur Comedian Roberto Begnini, who offers himself as a variation on generic masculinity. As Mr. Begnini is playing his own character, he arrives at a place of strength, whereas Mr. Giannini doesn't care (The character he plays is from Ms. Wertmuller's screenplay and he's often left in shreds, such as at the end of Swept Away, The Seduction of Mimi and The Seven Beauties.). Mr. Giannini takes on his character like an assignment, as does Dick Van Dyke. They both embody, as if they created their own, unique auteur (male) comedians, but they do not take control their projects. They accept their jobs (comedic or otherwise) and just do their best. Yet their comedic identies are unique to them. (I'm thinking, let's add Robert Morse to this list.) I conclude my tangent on comedians on assignment by considering an additional talent unique to Dick Van Dyke. He's one of the greatest dancers movies have ever documented, and yet dancing for him is just part of his job. And like Robert Morse and Giancarlo Giannini, he didn't write and direct his own projects. (We're eventually getting to actor/comedian Raymond Ramono writing, directing and acting in his own movie, "Somewhere in Queens.") As for men and women becoming kings or queens of comedy, the field of comedy can unite genders while maintaining the importance of dividing them. I next briefly offer a parallel in how an auteur comedians fall from favor; the descent of the beloved comic is precipitous, and the similarities of their actions are often striking. My easy example is of Charlie Chaplin and Woody Allen, both lovable little guys, remarrying while under attack. For their behavior, their beliefs, and for their expressions of their beliefs, people called upon them to account. Gossip columnists assert that celebrities have a responsibility to account for themselves, and Chaplin and Allen mostly chose to respond indirectly, and to let their work and their actions, and other people's words about them, no matter how damnable, suffice. No such issues arise with Raymond Romano, who is just an all-around regular guy, and this essay began as my search for childhood memories launched from remembering the Romanos (our families were friends). I began writing it after my sister and I saw "Somewhere in Queens" at the Tribeca film festival. Though while attending I found very little interest on the part of Raymond Romano in our reunion, I still feel like I, like, know Raymond Romano. He speaks in specifics, inviting conjecture, as I project myself onto him, now that he has crossed over into a celebrity matched only by another comedian from Queens, Jerry Seinfeld (Queens College class of 1976), and the reality is, I missed the TV careers of both. (I enjoyed a pseudo-verite Larry Charles/Larry David short movie episode approach in the TV series, Curb Your Enthusiasm, that attracted me, as well as some appreciation of Larry David as the picture of health. I also saw The Sopranos TV Series begin with a pseudo-verite camera eye, but I missed out on engaging with it. What I am saying is, I cannot comment on Everybody Loves Raymond, Seinfeld, and The Sopranos.) Raymond's first auteur movie, "Somewhere in Queens" premiered in the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival. My sister and I attended its first screening and having done so I became a late joiner to the audience of his extensive and phenomenal work, in which one gravitates to him as the center of a talented ensemble (ie, including Peter Boyle?). My expectation in wanting to see "Somewhere in Queens" was that it would be a memory movie, (a Fellini Amarcord) about growing up in Forest Hills in the 1960's and 70's. Raymond's cousin, AJ, also creating screenplays, was the one to tell me about it and that the Tribeca Festival (headed by Lisa Cusamano) accepted it, and I said, I'm going. I said to my sister, Monica, we have to go. This is going to be something we can connect with and contribute to; but instead, thank you, Robert McKey (Robert McKee), there is a full-blown modern-day original screenplay filled with time bombs, uniquely familiar characters and satisfying twists. (A father becomes engulfed in supporting the athletic capabilities of his son. We learn how to confront and reject what it means to be a good son, and to expand the realm of possibility as a father enlists the help of the son's former girlfriend. As I write this I sense something clueless in the respectful treatement of the characters that gives me nausea. So, can I do something better?) Raymond has so sealed this movie into an exercise in basic screenplay excellence, ie, He Has Been Completely Creative, that ultimately all I can say is Good! This movie is a full blown expression of amalgamated creativity and originality, with audience expectations easily engaged through basketball skills and a child's blissfully unidagnosed autism, as rugs get pulled from under them, plus Raymond creates the world for his self-created stand-up comedian to live. Therefore, Somewhere in Queens is not the movie to revisit past mysteries of Forest Hills, Queens. (Ours was a neighborhood with a tennis stadium that hosted The Beatles / a commuter's housing development called The Gardens that looks quite ordinary unless you compare it with every where else, a disconnected railroad line that would have taken people to Kennedy Airport but instead became a place for indiginous plants to reclaim, bordering little league baseball fields...) He truly created something self-contained from his vast experience, such that I could easily recognize in the script the clash of an intelligent blond girlfriend confronting the Italian Sunday dinner crowd, but his placement of her character (I think of our mutual friend, Barbara Weltsek) serves the bigger picture. His screenplay, further woven together with Rocky references, is not a fragmented essay like Felini's Amarcord, or like this is... When I write there is the rawness of Confidence Betrayed. What am I doing? My projects are many, drawn from my own experience, inexperience and confusion, and are thus un-engaging. I sketch and leave the creative work undone, and then drop what I have, such as it is, into the hands of an interactive audience. Good luck being entertained. Someday I will offer more help, if I ever get to it. Yet, as an audience I appreciate work that inspires interaction and creativity -- while doing all the work for me. Somewhere from Queens inspires and instructs and is also complete in itself, finished before its release, an entertainment worthy of its audience. And it offers enlightenment, a lesson about what appears to be important (forced opportunity) versus what really is important (family). We're better for having seen Somewhere in Queens. For our 60's 70's Forest Hills Magical Mystery Tour we'll have to look elsewhere. So while Raymond was becoming a TV star, Woody Allen was the auteur comedian who I followed throughout most of my life. Mr. Allen's movie memory moments may also be too finished, too creative, too universally entertaining, to inspire (or rather, force) audience interaction. He's just pretending to confess (a family dinner under the Coney Island rollercoaster), when it is his function to entertain as many people as possible through skill and creativity. He writes jokes. Anyway, I actually knew Raymond from childhood, my main memory being playing for him themes from a 1974 song, Sadder Yesterday, on his mom's piano. Our parents were friends, with a dating overlap at Italian Catholic Charities mixers, hosted at the Charities' location, still there in Elmhurst, at 83-20 Queens Blvd (11373). Our father's standard answer for why he chose our mother, Madeleine (up and coming attorney as he was) over Lucia (Luciana), a piano teacher (from Julliard) was that, well, mom, a teacher in the Nassau County school system, offered greater stability. As a result Monica and I are the product of that union, and Richard, Raymond and Robert, the product of Albert and Luciana. Our father, one of six children of Peter and Catherine, was born Nick Dizozza. Having expanded his name into Nicholas Frederick Dizozza, he married (June 20, 1957) the only child of Antonio and Domenica Carillo, named after her father's mom and became Madeleine after reading the Ludwig Bemelmans books (Actually, Bemelmans spells his character's name as Madeline). The date of Lucie and Albert's marriage was, oh... I found their 50th Anniversay invite, they were married on August 1, 1953! Does that make sense? Our parents married nearly four years later on June 20, 1957. After marriages (Albert and Luciana , Madeleine and Nicholas, and the Romanos, and Luciana's sister's family, the Ferraras (and the Cusamanos), became neighbors within a 10 block radius in Forest Hills near the Tennis Stadium and just outside "The Gardens," and remained friends. Raymond and I went to Archbishop Molloy High School before he left to graduate from Hillcrest High School. No matter to what degree I hated Molloy, and I was a very disagreeable student, I stayed there to graduate. I believed there was a stigma in Hillcrest being a Public School. Raymond, arguably, was wise enough to leave! By the time I graduated from Molloy, in 1976, I had put aside "public" school reservations. As did Jerry Seinfeld, and Raymond for a time, I attended Queens College, getting a nearly free bachelor of arts degree with great programs in music and the humanities. City University of New York tuition was nominal; and its Queens College education, was phenomenal. Actually all the schools I attended were great, in retrospect, starting with the nuns teaching phonics at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs grammar school, which Raymond also attended, a year ahead of me. Then while attending Saint John's Law School at night I worked on a musical Law Revue with Raymond's former fiancee, the great creative force that is Barbara Weltsek, also a firecracker of a producer and director with stand-up comic aspirations. It was her presence I felt in "Somewhere in Queens" during the blond girl at the Italian family Sunday dinner scene. I could imagine her worthy retorts to the questions of the business men. She was more than a match for them. In addition, Barbara gave my parents, I thought, that feeling that here was a wife who would truly make her man great, as if there were no limits to my achievements with her support. And then we broke up, and I was so devestated that I just wanted to stay in bed, basically what happens to the basketball playing son in the movie until Raymond, the boy's father, steps in to make a deal. The whole point to my self-effacement essay here is that I'm begging for your attention! I'm so much more ordinary than I think. I'm special. I want attention, and I deserve it. We don't go to Hillcrest. Public high school was far bigger a pool to get lost in, far scarier than that horribly athletic all boy Molloy where I was no one (I was my star cousin's cousin) until I joined a rock band willing to play my early songs, such as Sadder Yesterday. I was a very exclusive artist, such that the least amount of attention overinflated my otherwise timid ego. And that's what Raymond contrasts, playing down the importance of all specialness and middle class aspirations, in a much more subversive way, by seeming beneath them, and presenting himself as someone with all the weaknesses, as did Woody Allen, and by doing so he gets all the attention. It's his show and he's sharing it with other talented collaborators and with us. I remember one of my favorite films, which is Woody Allen's Sleeper. Like the Gold Rush, Sleeper ends with an expression of love for its co-star. Diane Keaton may be working for Woody Allen, but she acts like his collaborative equal. He's done all the preparation, he got the financing, he even commissioned the fabrication of the enourmous fruit and vegetables, and she is walking into, and living and working, in his world. However, she holds her own. Perhaps she's just as professional as Dick Van Dyck or Giancarlo Gianinni but I do believe Mr. Allen means what he says to her at the end of the movie, Sleeper (the way Chaplin meant to kiss Georgia Hale at the end of The Gold Rush). WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING AT ME LIKE THAT FOR? I THINK YOU REALLY LOVE ME. OF COURSE I LOVE YOU. THIS IS WHAT THIS IS ALL ABOUT. Perhaps in "Somewhere in Queens," the love story is between the father and the son, with the father learning to allow his son to follow his heart. He enjoyed the attention when his son was a basketball pro. His hearing from a talent scout about a scholarship option (the talent scout was looking for an exit from the parking lot) was actually a trap for him. He allowed the scout to direct their lives toward a college scholarship. The prior plan was to skip attending college and go directly to work in the construction company. Somehow the Raymond charactor felt humiliated by his underling status working for the family business, and some later dialogue suggested, from his father or brother, that he was always late in the morning when he promised to be there at 7AM the next day. One senses, by the movie's end, the futility of upwardly mobile aspirations (although not the exclusion of material comforts). Each member of this family already has everything he or she needs being in the family, and the ambition of a parent applied to a child is simply inapplicable. However, in the beginning we expect that movie traditions will prevail. (The son will make the winning shot, but he does not.) A father can want what's best for his son, and the son can be shy without the benefit of an autism diagnosis because his mother doesn't believe in therapy. Basketball is where the son excels because the son is tall. People call him Styx, not as in the river styx, but because his legs are long like sticks. Finally, by the end of the movie my Rocky resentment became extreme. I was left out, and I did see the movie Rocky. My wife, Maira, reminded me later that the Rocky movie ends with Rocky losing the fight, so the ending lines "There's not going to be a rematch" used in a poetry slam in Raymond's movie are spoken by Rocky's opponent in the Rocky movie. I thought I remembered Rocky. It's by the director that made a movie called Joe with Peter Boyle, right? So I became beyond resentful of the content of the poetry slam at the Queensborough Community College at the end of Somewhere in Queens (By the way, the Tribeca Screening was at the Borough of Manhattan Community College). I don't know what to make of the like father like son Rocky referential reference for the conclusion of the poetry slam. It is there. The references to the 1976 movie Rocky, ultimately used by the son in his (pandering to his audience?) poetry slam shows how he carries the influence of his father with him. I don't know what to say about that, the script is sealed with it. The poetry slam depiction upset me such that I was pretty irritable for the rest of the evening. Anyway, this was Raymond's night and was a good test in the limits of my own egocentricity. RANDOM NOTES Dumb down is the idea, and it was the opposite of our family approach. My mother was naturally upwardly mobile and the courtship and marriage of my own, our own, Monica and my, parents was one of my middle class father rising to a more upper middle class world, and Raymond's realization was to Dumb Down. Raymond's comedian persona is as self effacing and relatable, as inviting, as Woody Allen's, though perhaps in a more permanent way; and like Mr. Allen, Mr. Romano is also as indominatable. They both have a comedian characteristics arising from Charlie Chaplin. They are the stars of their own movies, as they should be. Woody Allen provided the crossover to the work of Ingmar Bergman, who was himself a comedian auteur. What other word to use, but Auteur? An author, who acts in his own script....

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

2021 Street Theater Schedule - Rehearsals for a Nurse by Crystal Field and Joseph-Vernon Banks

. Here is the schedule for TNC's 2021 Summer Street Theater where I will be at the piano with the band. 2021 STREET THEATER TOUR SCHEDULE 7/31: 2PM - Manhattan - TNC at E. 10th Street and 1st Avenue 8/1: 2PM - Bronx - Pontiac Playground at St. Mary's Park, 450 St. Ann's Ave. Since the late 17th century, this area was part of Morrisania, the vast estate owned by the Morris family. 8/7: 2PM - Manhattan Wise Towers, 117 W. 90th St The show takes place in NYCHA Housing and this location is NYCHA Housing 8/8: 2PM - Manhattan - Central Park Bandshell, 72nd Street Crosswalk 8/13: 6:30PM - Brooklyn - Coney Island Boardwalk at a W. 10th St. 8/14: 2PM - Manhattan - Abe Lebewohl Park at St. Marks Church, E. 10th St. & 2nd Avenue 8/15: 2PM - Manhattan - Jackie Robinson Park at W. 147th St. & Bradhurst Ave. 8/21: 2PM - Manhattan - Washington Square Park 8/22 2PM - Queens - Travers Park, 34th Avenue Between 77th and 78th Street 8/28: 2PM - Brooklyn - Sunset Park at 6th Ave. & 44th St. 8/29: 2PM -Brooklyn - Fort Greene Park, Myrtle Ave. between N. Portland Ave. & St. Edwards St. 9/4: 2PM - Manhattan - TNC at E. 10th Street and 1st Avenue 9/11: 2PM Staten Island - Tappen Park at Canal, Bay and Water Streets 9/12: 2PM - Manhattan - Tompkins Sq. Park at E. 7th St. & Ave. A

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Would you be able to write a Top Ten songs/albums to hear for women singers? Doesn’t need a Lambs connection, but it would be nice if one or two do. I’m looking for 1940s-1970s songs that are streaming or available now for people to hear during the pandemic, not something they have to go find a rare record or collector. Any ideas? Not long, maybe 500 words max. By around March 1? Happy Women's History Month! Ok, Kevin, Here's the list with background information thereafter. Women Singers Peter Dizozza's Top Ten Album List 10. Without You I'm Nothing (1989) Sandra Bernhard 9. Radio Ethiopia (1976) Patti Smith - includes Ask the Angels 8. Knoxville Summer of 1915 (1990) Dawn Upshaw. 7. Rhythm Nation 1814 (1989) Janet Jackson 6. Close to You (1960) Sarah Vaughn 5. Dinah! (1956) Dinah Washington - includes More Thank You Know 4. Patti LuPone - Live (1992) Patti LuPone -includes I'm a Stranger Here Myself 3. My Name Is Barbra, Two (1965) Barbra Streisand 2. Bette Midler (1973) Bette Midler 1. Don't Go to Strangers (1966) Eydie Gorme' - includes What Did I Have and If He Walked into My Life Peter Dizozza's Top Ten Songs List 10. Ain't No Mountain High Enough (Diana Ross 1970 version) Ashford/Simpson's 9. One Less Bell to Answer (1970) Marilyn McCoo with The Fifth Dimension. songwriters: Bacharach/David's 8. Dream a Little Dream of Me (1968) Mama Cass, by Fabian Andre, Wilbur Schwandt and Gus Kahn. 7. There's No Business Like Show Business (1969) Mary Hopkins, by Irving Berlin, a Lamb. 6. A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall (1989) Edie Brickell, by Bob Dylan 5. Boys Night Out (1962) Patti Page Jimmy Van Heusen (music) and Sammy Cahn 4. Cornet Man (Broadway Soundtrack for Funny Girl version, 1964) Barbra Streisand, by Jule Styne, and lyrics by Bob Merrill. 3. My Man (Movie Soundtrack for Funny Girl version 1968) Barbra Streisand, by Maurice Yvain and Channing Pollock (English Lyric). 2. Our Love It Grows (1961) Myrna March, Songwriter: Ellie Greenwich 1. I Wanna Be Around (1966) Eydie Gorme' (from Don't Go to Strangers) by Sadie Vimmerstedt and Johnny Mercer. Honorable Mentions: I Move On (2002) Catherine Zeta-Jones / Renee Zellweger, by John Kander and Fred Ebb *** conducted by Paul Bogaev. Coffee Homegrown (1978) Kate Bush, by Kate Bush Down in the Depths (1936) Ethel Merman, by Cole Porter For sound quality, consider vinyl records vibrating an amplified needle, or 7 1/2 inch per second reel to reel tapes oscillating magnetic current in a coil. However, most recordings are digitized online such that if you speak to a device, such as a "Google Home Mini," you can consider their merits for yourself. For my evolving opinions on sound and singers and all things musical, I daily learn and defer to the reactions of my wife and our daughter. Although there are countless beautiful performances of choice songs by Lambs during Lo-Jinx, a survey of their selections and arrangements (mostly with Woody Regan and Paul Chamlin) is for another essay. While not including them here, I'll try to mention every other singer identifying as woman that I can think of to join in a conversation that is ever-evolving. When Lady Gaga (former NYU student Stefanie Germenotta) sang, with such power, a rhythmically modified Star Spangled Banner to begin our recent change of administration inauguration ceremony, I sensed in her ambition a bridge forming between pop vocal and opera vocal. May I express my limitations by the names that come to mind when I consider different musical genres? Jazz: Judy Garland, Eydie Gorme' and Nelly McKay to the extent she sounds like a young Ella Fitzgerald. Broadway: Carol Channing and Barbra Streisand. Folk: Joan Baez, Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins. Pop: Lady Gaga, Madonna, Regina Spektor Classical: Patty Lupone, Dawn Upshaw, Teresa Stratas, Isola Jones, Kathleen Battle, Betty Allen Rock (I was born in 1958 so this list is more extensive): Stevie Nicks, Heart lead singer Nancy Wilson, Janis Joplin, and Grace Slick - a Castilleja High School debutante. I think my favorite female vocal rock recording is the Heart song "Barracuda." Progressive Rock went from Kate Bush to Tory Amos, both being singer songwriters. I experienced the popularity of Tory Amos in the 1990's, which remains iconic, but I would refer you only to Kate Bush's Cloudbursting, Coffee Homegrown, and Wuthering Heights. Patti Smith is a definitive poet rocker. She recorded over-the-top pop vocal performances. I recommend her complete Easter album. I am only familiar with her original four albums from the seventies. Indelible memories are produced from hearing her Space Monkey, and Walking Barefoot. My favorite recordings by her are Kimberly and Redondo Beach. When I think of unamplified acoustic singing (ie., opera) I first remember Teresa Stratas. Her ever-interesting vocal album is Teresa Stratas sings The Unknown Kurt Weil. For pop opera fans, please note that Inva Mula is the Lucia di Lamamoor singer in The Luc Besson Fifth Element. Patti LuPone Live (1992) opens with a Kurt Weil song A Stranger Here Myself. I can report herein that the key change at the end of her version is also in the original score of One Touch of Venus. (Her precision is an inspiration to all singers, including those of opera.) Janis Joplin, I don't know what to say. She did it (With her natural musical precision she made screaming sound good.). I can't easily comment on the goddesses in my periphery. I know Nancy Lamott is a legend (Surrey with the Fringe on Beautiful Baby 1991). Joan Baez sang Barb'ry Allen. I guess my favorite album of hers is Joan Baez Vol 2 (1961) Some popular songs escape me. With regard to rock affected vocal, I often return to Patti Rothberg who offers a sweetly beautifully voice among rock singers, free of the attitudes too easily affected by singers aspiring to the level of rock in the wake of perhaps Pat Benatar or Joan Jett singing Allan Merrill's I Love Rock and Roll. I also defer to the barometer of our daughter, Zora, who greets the sound of Patti Rothberg with silent attention. Does anyone seriously consider Fiona Apple, or Alainis Morisette? The overlap into the realm of singer songwriter with attitude must include them. Fiona Apple as produced by John Brion in the "When the Pawn" album seems vastly superior to anything I've ever heard in general. Oh, I love Edie Brickell. I don't know what defining song of hers to suggest, but she sings the early Dylan song A Hard Rain in the Oliver Stone Fourth of July movie, blowing out all other content in that epic movie. Bette Midler singing her own words to "In the Mood" in a Barry Manilow arrangement is an all time hilarious audio highlight. (Arif Mardin Barry Manilow 1973). What she did with Moogy Klingman's You Got to Have Friends is also of note... Amy Winehouse, Liza Minelli? I don't know. I may never recover from hearing Ms. Minelli's "It was a good time..." More recently, Lady Gaga functions as a sequel to the pop of Madonna (in the wake of fashion by clothes designer Alexander McQueen?). I don't know what to recommend for Lady Gaga. Her pop songs seemed like covers of prior pop songs and it is not worth the trouble to consider which songs here. The reverence people feel toward her for her voice, acting (another star is born!) and most redemptive, her piano playing, are also too total for me to address here. However, she did interpret a fresh arrangement of The Star Spangled Banner to commence the Inauguration Ceremony for our United States' most recent change in administration. You can probably ask your smart speaker for that. Madonna sang "Borderline." It was so beautiful to see a deli guy behind the counter instinctively moving to that recording. Also "Like a Virgin," and "Dress you up in my love". I am partial to a song Madonna both wrote and recorded in 1986 called Live to Tell. Her Like a Prayer epic convingly crossed over into gospel. Baby One More Time by Max Martin is a bizarre Britney Spears recording. He also wrote (with Rami) "Oops, I did It Again," which may actually be a good song. The battle of the female vocalists (The Wilson Sisters? They are the band "Heart," but then there's the daughter of brian Wilson involved. What a great last name.) They, the three of them? may be heard to great effect in a song called These Dreams by Martin Page and Bernie Taupin. Ellen Foley is the woman singing with Meatloaf in his Paradise by the Dashboard Light recording for Jim Steinman. You can see and hear Ms. Foley in the 1979 Hair movie. It still hurts to hear her vocal in the Meatloaf Steinman song. Oh and then Steinman has his women singer ballads. Bonnie Tyler's vocal of his Total Eclipse of the Heart is totally over the top, almost horrifying in its greatness. WHAT IS A WOMAN SINGER? Peter Dizozza (he, it, them) While there is an ever evolving issue of gender-defining , the female voice seems a very specific achievement and dare I say, ultimately only possible to be done by women. I realize the historic reverence for the castrati, but I'm suggesting that the woman's voice is a genre unto itself and no one else (meaning men) can come close to achieving it. Yes, I learned a lot from the lip syncers of Fire Island about great female vocal recordings, but they were lip syncing. Their big discoveries offered to me and now shared with you are Ashford/Simpson's Ain't No Mountain High Enough (Diana Ross 1970 version) and Bacharach/David's One Less Bell to Answer (Marilyn McCoo). I guess Carol Channing has a deep voice but I would propose that her unique sound is that of a woman. I suppose Julie Andrews (why think of her here? is it because of Victor Victoria?) was lucky to sing songs of the Sherman Brothers. Richard Rogers wrote "I Have Confidence" for her, and that's the best recording she made I think. I have one solo album from when she was in Camelot, which displays the various shades of her voice (It is Broadway's Fair Judy, 1962, when she was in My Fair Lady) Her great performance in Camelot is to me contained in the song, "I Loved You Once in Silence." ** The challenge with Barbra Streisand is to find the right overthetop recording of My Man, that popular french torch song. Well, I'm going to find it, and meanwhile please refer to her 1962 Funny Girl performance of Cornet Man, and also refer to the reason I ever bought a CD player, which is... because it included a bonus track of her singing Adelaide's Lament on her 1985 broadway album. I Got Plenty of Nothin is on Her Barbra Two Album. I love that because I'm always partial to those swinging sounds. There is no more swinging vocal artist than Eydie Gorme. I refer you to the album that my mother liked and coincidentally it is fantastic for the following hilarious versions of What Did I Have that I Don't Have (Lamb Lerner) and the vendetta song, where revenge is sweet, Ms Vimmerstadt's I Wanna Be Around. Judy Garland strikes me as highly problematic because she is an original jazz singer but she was under contract as a movie star. In addition to her acting and dancing she could not help but interpret when she sang any song. My favorite vocal performance from her would be the TV episode (1963 episode 6 of her show) with Jane Powell... She sang "San Francisco" to close out the night and it is frighteningly commanding. Her fun end song is Maybe I Will Come Back to You by Mel Torme, no it is not... it is by Charles L. Cooke and Howard C. Jeffrey. It's on her 1956 "Judy" Capital album. When we bridge into the opera singer consider achieving the miked vocal impact from unplugged singing built upon the natural acoustics of the house. I also mention here and recommend less well known singer songwriters Diane Cluck, Shilpa Ray, and I guess the now very well known Regina Spector I heard of a supernatural experience from listening to Vanessa Williams on a needle vibrating vinyl record, but I have not yet done so. In a "vinyl" world there is a high regard for the Casino Royale record pressing of Dusty Springfield's vocal of Bacharach/David's The Look of Love. As for Dusty Springfield's work, thanks to Pulp Fiction I also became familiar with Ms. Springfield's Son of a Preacher Man recording. Some recordings taken on new importance because of their use. Instead of experiencing the diminishing returns from seeing many movies, I often turned to Tarrantino who offers a hundred movies in one. He also offers instruction such as how to feed a dog in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. In his leasurely way he gives us, in Pulp Fiction, a lesson in reel to reel tape playback with that reminder of Dusty Springfield's Son of a Preacher Man recording. I'm realizing that Quentin Tarrantino has often offered his movie audience many song suggestions, but always first I thank Stanley Kubrick for hitting me over the head with the greatness of the Dame Vera Lynn 1953 We'll Meet Again recording (song by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles). I love and recommend Mary Hopkins version of Lamb Irving Berlin's There's No Business Like Show Business. Her slowed-down adaptation follows in the wake of the Barbara Streisand/George Williams 1962 slowed-down version of Milton Ager's Happy Days Are Here Again. It makes me sad to hear Whitney Houston sing Saving All My Love for You. The people responsible for writing this song are Michael Masser and Gerry Goffin.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

The Augusteia Characters




Youngster body undeveloped by regimented sports.


Glasses, long hair, shapely body which she cares for without shaving or perfuming.


The only child brat grown up to take over his father's business, his father's father a shoemaker before him.


The only child brat, until his parents gave birth to two more.


All the charm and insecurity of the town assemblyman without hope (empathy) of ever becoming the town assemblyman, and frustrated by this.


Quiet as a ghost.


An old spinster next door, who will play granny when given the chance.


Scampers, scurries, smells.








The Augusteia Outline



THE AUGUSTEIA, by Peter Dizozza


ACT I, FADING COLORS (the first day of September)

Scene 1

The Sentiments of Lisa

Kin's Dead!

The Sentiments of Augee

Atmospheric Stillness

Scene 2

Securing a Job

Dance of the Dolls

Scene 3

The Best of Intentions


The Passion of Matthew

Scene 4

The Police Station (Dialogue introducing Mrs. Crawdles)

Scene 5

The Police Station (Dialogue and Musical Conclusion)

ACT II, THE CRAWDLES (Friday, two months later)

Scene 1

Out of the Grave

Scene 2

Enterprise Theme

Lisa Plans a Party

Scene 3

Augee and His Orphan Friends

Where's My Dearest (Augee Plans a Party)

Scene 4

Baby Crawdles. Mrs. Crawdles Gives Birth on the Floor

The Creeping Smell

Scene 5

Two Levels, Two Parties

Two Parties in the Basement


ACT III, ALMOST EVEN (the following morning).

Lisa Victimized and Victorious.


Malicious Answers to Leading Questions

Scene 1

News Bulletin: "Brother and Sister, Seventy-eight and


Scene 2

Dividing the Estate, Separating

Almost Even

Scene 3

Sabotaging Lisa's Departure

Lisa Gone

I Lost the date on this essay that I am sharing now... it may be March, 2020.  It may be June because as I look to the right I see, "Published on June 29, 2020 1:03PM," which makes no sense as it is not until now published...

Fatalism Essay

I easily go off on tangents, then doubt whether my mind-labyrinth is worthy of your time.  On the one hand, the communication of information is indirect, on the other hand there is integrity in notating the thought process. 

The sad thing on my end that I don't realize I have repeated this path many times here; and here it is again. 

I'm wondering about expressing my thoughts of fatalism since they activate when facing respectable public health concerns, the most important currently being to wear a face mask in public. 

Simply stated, our fates are sealed.  There may have been a time, pre-Zeus, where we lived our lives by rising from the ground to return there in time as a seed, but here we are, post-Zeus.   Death is still the latter bookend to our lives.  Our awareness of it guides us to act, and to live!  Attacks upon us by variant mutating viruses is a given.  We assimilate them and either live or die and no one says much except, say Pneumonia. 
He died of pneumonia. 
That seems to simply answer the complicated question, of what did he die?  Or maybe he died of the flu.  What killed him?   Well there were many terminal conditions, starting with life itself.   We grow old and die.   The reason we die is we've lived out our life to the extent that we can.

Look, I need all the time I can get.   There is no reason to accelerate the inevitable.   However, we're part of nature, and our ability to cope with scourges and plagues is part of nature as well.  I've made this blanket statement before and the idea for the reader is that I provide examples instead of speaking from yon high.  "The imposition of our will upon nature's will is part of nature's will.   We dig!"  (a lyric from Bulb)

I got sick when I first went to the gym but I got sick less often thereafter.
Yes I have herpes and understand it never goes away.   I had chicken pox so now I'll get shingles.   I've managed to create a cycle of bleeding from what is apparently hemerhoids although I feel some difficulty passing certain food from beginning to end, but still don't know what not to eat

I am reticent to avail myself of the invasive wonders of the medical profession.  (no surgery, no medication)   My personal health observations are self-monitored with the help of a doctor discussing my blood test results. 

I lived with the awareness that there was surgical remediation for my heart palpitations, along with the fact that I was choosing to forgo them. 

Thirty years ago I thought I was too old to undergo the strain of an external surgical invasion.

The recommendation was to burn out the ablution...  There was talk of myocardial infarctions which I haven't heard of in the years of past EKG tests.  All I have is the legend of the condition since it stopped affecting me, since I stopped taking medication. 

I had a medication experience recently because of a finding of pre-diabetes which I have since resolved through diet.  The medication, for cholesterol and sugar, was creating a discomfort that affected me when I went for a colonoscopy to examine for internal bleeding since I continually have bleeding hemorrhoids.  That bleeding cycle continues somewhat unvaried to today.  It seems there is swelling and then it drains and it's as if there is no inflammation for a time and then it returns.
Anyway, the colonoscopy was last done (2014) without anesthesia.  I am almost completely against anesthesia because of a silly experience I had with removal of wisdom teeth.   The anesthetized area became infected because my body was unable to address what was happening at the time, leaving it exposed and susceptible.  The infection traveled back down my throat into the lungs to sit for a year as a walking pneumonia cloud in the lung.    So the experiences thereafter up to the present day suggest that my body will address the illnesses I'm confronting and I have to allow that, to allow for continual body/mind awareness.

My recent aborted partial colonoscopy found topical internal hemorrhoid bleeding but the serpentine camera couldn't examine the upper large intestine because its head couldn't negotiate the amazing upper rectangular curve that exists in us.

The pain was abdominal and was also existing independent of the test.   I stopped taking the diabetes/cholesterol medication and the abdominal pain has mostly disappeared.