Tuesday, March 31, 2009


It was the year 1968 when I attended Queens College. In the midst of “the age of Aquarius”, the Vietnam War, hippies and experimental drugs was the tone. That was also the year that the theatrical production of, Hair, became one of the best musicals ever to hit Broadway. Unlike most of the Broadway musicals, two of the songs dotted the music charts when, a year later, a group called The Fifth Dimension recorded a medley of “The Age of Aquarius” and “Let The Sunshine In”. In fact, if you were to check out the 100 billboard top hits of 1969, the song was rated number one! It was also the same year that the group Three Dog Night recorded “Easy To Be Hard”, The Cowsills recorded “Hair” and Oliver scored a hit with “Good Morning Starshine”. The lyrics, music and beat kept this musical’s songs on the charts and everyone was singing them.

If you didn’t actually see the show, it was likely that you bought the record…or perhaps the 8-track tape as this rock musical seemed to have had more singing than dialogue. We had a Broadway show that depicted the birth of the cultural movements of the 60s and 70s that followed a “tribe” of free-spirited young people who strived for a lifestyle of pacifism, free-love, and sexual identity, while fighting racism, and the draft. They burned their draft cards, smoked pot and tripped on LSD.

A little more than 40 years later, Hair is back on Broadway, at the Hirschfeld Theatre, with the same numbers, mode of dress and expectation of having another hit. Somewhere in the back of my mind I recall seeing a stage production, but not necessarily on Broadway. No, I didn’t see the movie, either in the theatre or when it was brought to television. This production is probably best when performed in front of a live audience (versus corpses?).

I’m going to give the credit to the director, Diane Paulus, for bringing the show out to the audience. The actors not only talk to the audience but venture into the aisles and climb up to the mezzanine as well. They don’t expect you to sing along with them, but they may ask you to dance with them or accept a flyer that says, “A Be-In! A love-in for peace! Flower Power! Burn your draft cards! Bring Blankets! Bring your own pot!”

Hey, you can react to them! It’s fun. Those of you who are privy to getting front row seats...expect a bit of participation! Unlike most of the Broadway shows, the audience will be drawn to the show itself and not to anyone starring in it. In fact, unless you are a constant theatre goer, you may not recognize any of the cast by name, face or stint on any of the Law and Order groups. Does it make a difference? Not in this production. The acting, singing, dancing and energy of each performer make the present Broadway production a total “happening” experience for each member of the audience.

I will answer that burning question about the nudity. Yes, at the end of act one, while singing, “Where Do I Go”, they strip one by one, until totally naked. No quick flash. They are standing there…facing you…for much more than just a few seconds.

There isn’t any plot to share nor is there any surprise ending. What I will tell you is that the final ending involves placing something in the front of both sides of the stage to allow and encourage the audience to join the cast and dance along “Let The Sunshine In” continues to chime.

Will there be a cast recording? I just got word that they do the studio thing on April 6th , so expect the new CD to be out during this spring season.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Nutrisystem Update

Nutrisystem update. Got pretty difficult due to the loss of my beloved cat. Depression can interfere with weight loss. No, I didn’t gain weight. I do find that eating out is quite hard as I don’t seem to choose the correct things. I went to a New York Sharks practice and wound up with a small roast beef sandwich with little mayo. Enough to hold me over until dinner time. However, after the Expo I went to dine with some of the Sharks as they are supportive of the GLBT community. We ate at Hot Wings and that’s what I ate!!! Mild, but full of calories. When I got home I had a salad.

It appears that Nutrisystem has a lot of new items. Dinners: chicken with almonds, rice and veggies; chicken pasta parm; lemon butter sauce with chicken; past primavera with tofu; teriyaki beef; sweet and sour chicken; turkey tetrazinni; beef tacos; chicken breast patty; grilled chicken breast and cheese spinach ravioli with meat. Desserts: mint chocolate crunch bar and chocolate crunch bar are not like the “supplement” bars but a real chocolate bar; golden pound cake; chocolate pound cake; cheese puffs; and microwave chocolate cake. The last will be interesting as I don’t have a microwave. I’m going to check out the chicken with almonds, etc and the chocolate pound cake. This chicken dinner was one of their best tasting and the pound cake was just sweet and chocolatey enough. Tonight I had the lemon butter sauce with chicken. Another great one.

Now...here came a test. How do I prepare the microwavable chocolate cake without a microwave? I did it in my NuWave oven. I kept it in for a bit too long and was not the best tasting. I prefer the pound cake to this one.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Went to the GLBT Expo here in NYC. I love to see who decides to be "gay-friendly" to hone in the gay money. No big surprises. Had some NY Sharks players attend to support the gay community. They had a great time and made some great contacts for me and the Sharks. Checked out much on Connecticut since the state allows same sex marriage. Looks like a have a few press trips that will get lined up for this year.

Monday, March 16, 2009

No Co-host

Mallory will no longer be co-hosting my radio show. I had to put her out of her misery today. It's quite devastating as I also relied on her for comfort from the upsets of life.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

What's Going On

Having to take a bit of a break these days. My cat, Mallory, who co-hosts my radio show, is at the cat hospital. It's quite an upset for me. She had a cat-scan...sonagram...however you spell it. I will know the results in a day and as to whether she requires surgery.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Guys & Dulls on Broadway

No, it’s not a misspell. Guys & Dolls is once more back on Broadway. I guess they figure that a sure winner will survive the economy. Broadway dot com quotes a ticket price of $126.50 for an orchestra seat with a fee of $38.00. Can you imagine? That’s almost as bad as when they quote a price and then charge almost the price of what you’re buying as “shipping and handling”. But let’s get back to this well-known Broadway musical.

If you happen to be of the very few that have never actually seen either the play or the movie version, you may think it’s just great. In the case of Guys & Dolls, just about every theatre group, professional or amateur, performs this classic.

Guys & Dolls, for those who wish to know the origin, is based upon stories by author Damon Runyon and with that, the show opens to see the author typing away with his back to the audience. The orchestra, rather than being in a pit, is seated three tiers high at the back of the stage. A curtain drops and is then used for video effects for the rest of the show. Scenery changes…literally. Street to street movement, that’s both positive and negative (at times deterring). It did add to the later crap game watching the descent into the sewer and visibility of the pipes.

Just about every musical opens with an orchestra playing the overture while you sit and stare at a curtain. Here we have the characters choreographed miming across the stage while you listen to bits of the numbers. Good opening, so far. This goes into “Fugue For Tinhorn” with Nicely, Nicely Johnson (Tituss Burgess) and Benny Southstreet (Steve Rosen)…”I got the horse right here, his name is Paul Revere…” That song. I will get to Burgess later.

We will then get to meet the rest of the poorly casted cast, beginning with Kate Jennings Grant portraying Sarah Brown who runs the Mission Band. She will later meet Sky Masterson, played by Craig Bierko. At first the characters are at odds with each other, but when they sing, “I’ll Know” and later, “I’ve Never Been in Love Before”, the chemistry makes it appear that they still aren’t.

Oliver Platt stars as Nathan Detroit. I wouldn’t say that he’s weak, but if I had a feather boa I could have knocked him over with it. The worst was Lauren Graham’s portrayal of Detroit’s extremely long time fiancĂ©e, Adelaide. For some odd reason, the director (Des McAnuff) decided to steer clear of her having a nasal voice with a Brooklyn accent. Not only were the “goil” and “woids” omitted, but also when she sang her famous Adelaide’s Lament, she did not sound as if she had a cold. It loses both the comedy and the point of the song.

The sets (Robert Brill) were excellent and kudos to the choreography (Sergio Trujillo). Best scene on choreography was “The Crapshooter Dance”. Best all round was “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat”. This is where Burgess really got to shine. Adding to this scene was when General Cartwright (Mary Testa) was allowed to let loose in her singing and personality. Lot’s of applause for this one. There was much applause upon the end but I could see that the cast was disappointed in having no standing ovation.

One thing that is great about the Nederlander Theatre is that it is small, but with a large enough stage and side areas for more lighted sets. What appears to have been an orchestra pit is utilized for actors going about the scenes. So when it boils down to it, you can probably enjoy the show from the cheapest seats. Guys & Dolls novices…enjoy!!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Nutrisystem video intro

Here is my intro video to Nutrisystem