They have recently come out with a drug similar to Viagra but for the brain. Well....head's up! The jokes are going to spew so I might as well get out a few. Will it make you give good head? If you're hair is growing curly, does it mean that it's not working or you haven't taken it? I'm just starting!
There is a poem in the program entitled "Whispering".
I am the dog you see on the chain
I am the cat you see in the drain
I am the friend who has no home
I am the stray who lives alone
I am the friend you helped today
I am the one you transported far away
I am the voice you hear in you head
I am the caged animal who often dreads
I am the opinion you are trying to change
I am the anger you feel, and the rage
I am the tears you cry when I am sick
I am the hurt you feel, but cannot fix
I am the voice in your head, when you cannot sleep
I am the reason for the long hours that you keep
I am the voice who desperately needs you
And if not you...then who?
I am whispering
and you are my voice
The show was entitled, "Zani's Furry Friends", a fundraiser , for this non-profit organization committed to rescuing companion animals from NYC's shelters. It was an evening of a slew of singers and instrumentalists that included Broadway star Sarah Rice (who didn't sing enough, as far as I'm concerned).
"Love Makes The World Go Round" was the opening number for the entire cast. We then met the two co-hosts, singer/actress Dana Lorge and Sydney Myer, who is the booking manager for the club Don't Tell Mama.
So here's how it went. Dana introduced Richard Skipper, known for his portrayal of Carol Channing. Dana sang, "I am Your Friend", quite a funny song. Sydney sang, "Look For the Bare Necessities". Up came Len Cariou (who you are presently seeing playing Tom Selleck's father on Blue Bloods) singing, "Clang, Clang, Clang Goes the Trolley". Edd Clark, co-founder of the New Opera Group in NYC, got in a little ditty called, "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas". Sue Matsuki followed with a very funny song entitled, "The Pretty Little Dolly". She is teamed up with Edd for a Christmas show.
Rich Flanders and Joanne Yeoman humored us with a song, "Nobody's Perfect", followed by Richard Skipper, singing a medley from Hello Dolly but not in a Carol Channing voice. Break in the singing to have two pianists, Mark Janas and Matthew Martin Ward, do several renditions of "How Much Is That Doggy In the Window" as they kept switching positions at the piano. It was quite entertaining to watch the fete.
Rich Flanders, with Jonathan Russell on the Violin, sang a Marty Robbins tune "Man Walks Among Us Be Still". Eve Weiss sang a song about a pig while strumming on her guitar. Following her was Carol Demas (the original Sandy in Broadway's Grease) put forward a great performance of "Everybody's Got a Home, But Me". It was then Joanna Morton Gary's turn (known for being a Catskill performer), who sang, "Don't Let Me Go".
Steve, "the whistler" Herst whistled out, "Bring Me Home" and it was superb. Jonathan Russell then performed solo on his violin. Out came Emily Buttner, Celia Burke and Sarah Rice with "Sing For Your Supper" dedicated to birds. Steve Saari, another fabulous pianist performed classical variations of the song, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". Final number was "I Happen to Like New York" sung by Celia Burke.
Cast came out for finale, bows and thunderous applause! It was one helluva show! A smorgasbord of fantabulous entertainment that raised a few thousand for the cause.
I grew up listening to "the hits" of the radio. It was about the songs I loved and sang along with, not caring about the personal life of the singer. Nowadays, not only are we passing judgement on their private lives, we get to view it after they die. Choose: a reality show on tv about Whitney Houston's family: the last video of Michael Jackson; or the Off-Broadway Musical, Forever Dusty, the life of singer Dusty Springfield.
Forever Dusty stars Kirsten Holly Smith who co-wrote the book (script). She not only gives a likeness to the great singer, but captures her songs, as well. An Authors' Note is placed in our Playbill saying, "What you'll see tonight in Forever Dusty is true, but in fictional form. Most of the major events in our narrative really happened. But the characters have been composited from multiple people in Dusty's life, or invented altogether. We've also taken some liberties with the time sequence of events". In other words, you'll get the gist of her life and songs that live on forever.
The show opens to the year 1968 at a recording studio in Memphis as Dusty is trying to record "Son of a Preacher Man" for her album "Dusty In Memphis". Along with the band is her producer Jerry Wexler (Benim Foster). Recording session not working well and we are soon transported to Dusty's life as a teenager at a Catholic School in post-war London. Her name is Mary O'Brien and on a dare sings "Wishin' and Hopin'.
Next, we meet her brother Dion (Sean Patrick Hopkins), a singer who decides to form a band. He becomes Tom Springfield and he and Dusty are now The Springfields. Dusty, listening to the American hits , seems to enjoy the Motown sound much more. What to do, what to do.
Tv op and Dusty sings, "I Only Want to Be With You" which gets her to now wear her famous long eyelashes and black eyeliner to go with the big hair. She soon meets Claire (Christina Sajous), an American writer who is black. Dusty sings, "The Look of Love" leading into a love relationship with Claire. So, we are now talking not only being a lesbian but black/white and Dusty has no intention of coming out of the closet.
"You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" is first sung at a tv studio and more story that will lead us to find that she was an alcoholic as well as taking drugs. The final life upset is breast cancer.
Sajous, who is not new to Broadway, does a lot of singing in the show. I loved her voice. In fact, the entire cast is quite talented, contributing to a play that will appeal to both Dusty Springfield fans as well as those who grew up in the sixties or even the 70s. See it!
Forever Dusty is being performed at New World Stages, located at 340 W. 50th Street.
What's with companies not have integrity? A car service in Richmond Hill (Queens....nyc) boasts about their car service and drivers on their internet and when you're put on hold. It's Wednesday at noon when I call BIG Q. Granted that they showed up in about the five minutes that they said that they would. At least I'll give them credit for that. Driver even assisted me with my packages and I did tip him. I asked him for a receipt as I needed it to submit for reimbursement to AAR. He said that he would stop by on Thursday and bring it to me. I told him that he could simply put the receipt through the mail slot in my door.
No receipt to be found on Thursday. I call on Friday and speak with FREDDY and explain. Freddy appears to be a dispatcher. He tells me that if I want the receipt that I either have to come to the office or be charged for the trip to my house! I tell him that it would cost me $4.50 round trip via AAR in order to do this. By the way, we're talking about a receipt for $10. He did take the information from me as to where to drop it along with saying that if any of the drivers happened to be in the area....
I ask who owns the company and he says, BENNY and MIGUEL. He tells me that one of them will be there on Saturday morning. I call and speak with Benny explaining it all. I also tell him that I have no problem in filing a complaint. A company registered with the TLC is required to give me a receipt if I ask for one. Now BENNY takes my information and tells me that either one of the drivers will definitely drop off the receipt or he will do it himself, if necessary.
BENNY also tells me that there are so many drivers that pick up at the store that I shopped at, that he doesn't know which driver. I did give him the time and day. Doesn't someone keep the books? Don't the drivers have to keep a log?
It is now Sunday afternoon. No receipt and none of the owners are at the office. Dispatcher tells me that he doesn't know when either of the owners will be coming in. Yes, I will file a complaint with the TLC as well as claiming false advertising.
NaZdorovie! That means, "enjoy your meal" and not the toast when you're clinking the shots of infused vodka at Onegin, a magnificent Russian restaurant located in the heart of NYC's Greenwich Village. Pronounced, "pa-ye'-kha-lee", the correct toast translates to "Let's get started". Considering that Onegin creates their own infused vodkas, not to be confused with "flavored vodkas", this was said with the first of 12 to taste.
Left to right. Cucumber mint, cherry, citrus (a combo of lemon, lime, orange and grapefruit) and horseradish (that's a gherkin on the top). Each is a little more than an ounce.
Let me first get to the decor. Enter, samovar to the left, samovar to the right and a 200-year-old bar made of Ukrainian birch straight ahead. Seating varies from tables with cushion chairs, booth tables with "couch" like seating equipped with pillows, and grand cushioned Russian throne chairs near the bar.
We've heard of the expression "writing on the wall" to mean, "imminent doom". It also means, "the future is determined", which is a better way of describing your desire to dine at Onegin. Yes, you will see writing on the walls, tables and some of the ceilings. Eugune Onegin is the Russian novel in verse written by Alexander Pushkin and to whom the restaurant is dedicated. Check out the ceiling in the middle (where the groups tend to dine) and you will see the likeness of Pushkin along with ornate chandeliers.
It's time to get to the food (and four more vodkas). I made it a point to order only cold and hot appetizers, as I wanted the most in variety for tasting. Herring Under Fur Coat Salad (shuba), consisted of layers of chopped herring (they smoke the fish on the premises), eggs, beets, vegetables and potatoes.
Holodets is prepared with boiled beef legs. When the liquid is cooled, it becomes a gelatin substance. In this dish, chicken, vegetables and egg is added before the cooling process. It's served with a beet horseradish and mustard made on the premises.
Russian potato salad "Olivier", is more than your average potato salad as you should expect peas, carrots, and eggs added along with pickles, red peppers and some other great flavors.
There are a few types of blinis that you will encounter with Russian cuisine. One of them, rather "floury" and bland, looks like a small round pancake. The other is more like a slightly sweet crepe and used here. I combined two of the blini appetizers, one with cured wild salmon, the other with red caviar (salmon caviar). Add some sour cream ( a must in Russian cuisine) and chopped eggs, chives and greens.
Combine beets, cabbage, peas, carrots and gherkins for a rather flavorful Roasted Beet Salad "Vinegret".
Now we're ready for the next four shots of vodka: cranberry and red currant; strawberry; honeydew melon and tarragon; and peach and caramel. I bet you never thought that vodka could be so delicious.
One more cold one before we get to a few soups. Chicken Liver Pate is not your mother's chopped liver. the slices of pate are topped with a fig "confiture" served with grapes and toasted baguette.
Let's take a break in the action with a few acknowledgements. Needless to say that the restaurant would not run as well if it weren't for General Manager Jacob Ryvkin. However, it's Executive Chef Lovely Sandou that deserves most of the credit. Wouldn't you say?
And now we're onto a few soups. If you've ever purchased a bottle of Borscht, beet juice and beets are the contents. Borscht, however, can be tomato paste-based and center on a pork or beef broth. I tend to have my borscht cold using the basic beets and adding a dollop of sour cream. In many Russian restaurants like Onegin, you'll find that a hot borscht does not center on beets adding vegetables such as cabbage and carrots, along with small chunks of beef. Did I tell you that sour cream is big with Russian cuisine? Kind of like the way parmesan cheese is sprinkled on Italian food. A second soup, Russian Smokehouse Stew "Solyanka", was sampled as well. The soup had small chunks of smoked meats along with olives, and gherkins, in a beef based broth. A bit on the salty side. One should take advantage of their tasty Russian breads that accompanies the meal.
It's time for the last four shots of vodka. Left. to right. Apricot caramel, apple-cinnamon, horseradish-beets, and one infused with cayenne pepper. The horseradish-beet had more of a kick than the horseradish. At least I think so. I did taste the one with the cayenne pepper but there would be no way that I would shoot it down without having a shot of heavy cream to counteract it!
You have to eat if you're drinking vodka! Dumplings and Pierogis. There are two varieties of dumplings; Pelmini and Vareniki. The Pelmini ilk have meat such as chicken or veal, while the Vareniki contain what would be equivalent to mashed potatoes and a thinner "shell". Served with sour cream. The meat Perogis are baked in their brick oven giving them a nice soft, crunchy texture.
Onegin may not be serving tea out of the samovar but elegance reigns here. To begin, the selection is presented in something that I have never seen before. It sort of resembles a laptop. Opened, the bottom portion has samples encased in glass with a screw top. Not only can you view the loose tea, you can smell the top to get the aroma. The screen reveals the name and description of each of the teas. Now, that's already "cool". Teas are placed in these colorful tea pots and served in tall glasses with a spoon. Sugar cubes, lemon, and a few other sweets accompany the tea.
Have I mentioned desserts? We got a multi-layer sour cream cake; apple strudel with vanilla ice cream; chocolate mousse topped with whipped cream; and halvah. The halvah was a surprise regarding the consistency. I'm used to having the usual soft and slightly chewy sort made by Joyva. A creation of the chef, this one, although has the base of the common sesame seeds, contains sunflowers and pistachios, incorporated into and ice cream! Frozen halvah!
Treat yourself to Onegin's banquet on a Friday or Saturday evening. With a minimum of 4 people you can taste much of the menu with this multi course Russian feast (Zastoilie) while dancers are entertaining. It's a party in itself with a price of $95 per person and well worth it. For reservations, call 212-924-8001 and be sure to check out the website of www.oneginnyc.com.
Spotlights are waving about the audience as a lighted sign on the curtain reads, "Adult Film Awards". It's the new Broadway show, The Performers and the sign is the key to the plot. Curtain rises to view Mandrew (Cheyenne Jackson) in his Las Vegas hotel room donned in sparse clothing talking to Lee, a former friend from his school days, who is now a reporter for the New York Post. Mandrew, a porno star (who bills himself as a "love star") is up for a major award and promoting a movie entitled Planet of the T*ts.
He is married to Peeps (Ari Graynor) another porno star whose upset seems to lie in that her porno actress-friend Sundown LeMay (Jenni Barber) has gotten a extreme boob job, while hers are tiny. "I don't even have titties. I just have these like little cow teets". She, however, feels that tiny boobs means roles of schoolgirls and babysitters vs. school teachers, secretaries or worse, a MILF (Look it up on the internet).
She has two other major upsets. One is being "the only one that's not in the movie" and the other is that Mandrew kissed Sundown on the lips...in other words, every type of sex is okay as long as the kissing is saved for her.
Lee (Daniel Breaker) is engaged to Sara Meyers (Alicia Silverstone) and appears to be quite conservative when it comes to sex. Sara would like to see Barry Manilow in concert while Lee has been invited to the after party.
We later meet Chuck Wood, an aging porn star in his fifties, played by Henry Winkler....yes, the Fonz! He is also up for the major award and quite confident that he will get it. Winkler also gets some great lines. "I had a scare once. About...five, ten years ago. I woke up and found a gelatinous, cheeselike substance on the base of my b***s. Could've been any number of diseases. Turned out is was cheese. I'd been eating a Panini naked and I fell asleep as the cheddar dripped down onto my testicles."
The Performers is hilarious thanks to writer David West Read. I would love to quote many of the lines but considering where it's being printed I would need to use even more explicatives. Lot of puns or just outright sexual language that will have you guffawing so long as you are in no way prudish.
Ari Graynor has lucked out in getting the not so bright role as she also has the funniest lines and character, who kind of squeaks when she talks, sounding a bit like she has a cold.
Each of the actors simply added to the humor of the play, which unfortunately closed on November 18th.
Food regiments doesn't necessarily pair well with restaurant reviews unless I can find a few that work with the concept. The Great American Health Bar peaked my attention billing themselves as "A Restaurant for Healthy Eating". With a kosher and feature of Mediterranean cuisine, the enhancement is having items such as a Create Your Own Salad.
In case you are not familiar with kosher restaurants, keep in mind that they are either "dairy" or "meat" and never a combination. This one is "dairy", allowing fish such as salmon and tuna. So it's eggs but no chicken, milk and no beef. Soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, pasta, pizza, quesadillas, platters, beverages and desserts.
I would have loved to have ventured in a more fresh juice selection or combination since they are equipped with a juicer. A large glass of carrot juice went fine with my meal.
In the mood to check out the Mediterranean, I went for the Mediterranean Combo of: Hummus, BaBa-Ganoush, Tabullie, 3 Falafel Balls, Stuffed Grape Leaves, Feta Cheese, Israeli Salad, Green Olives and Pita (cut up in triangles for dipping).
Hummus is a puree of cooked garbanzo beans and tahini, a paste made from sesame seeds. Garlic, lemon, salt and olive oil tend to be added. At home I add salt and olive oil, topped with sumac (not the poison plant). BaBa-Ganoush is a puree of eggplant, sometimes smoked, garlic, tahini and lemon juice. I didn't ask for their exact ingredients. Garbanzo beans (aka chick peas) is the basic ingredient of Falafel, sort of equivalent to having a fried meatball. Tabullie centers on fine cracked wheat with the basic addition of diced tomatoes, cucumbers and parsley. Grape leaves are stuffed with rice. Israeli salads tend to have the same ingredients as the Tabullie without the cracked wheat (with a few additions).
I missed out on their veggie burger prepared with chopped vegetables and garbanzo beans, topped with muenster cheese, tomato and served on a whole wheat bun. Next time.
One other feature of The Great American Health Bar is the Low-Fat Frozen Yogurt with a wide variety of toppings to add to it. They are located at the lower level of 35 West 57th Street. It's full service with a decent amount of tables. FYI. Cafe Classico is upstairs...kosher as well, but no dairy.
I can always count on a great cabaret performance at the Loews Regency Hotel's nightclub, Feinstein's (who I have yet to see perform). The intimacy of a room with just enough tables to sit anywhere and still be close enough to the entertainer is what makes it works. This hotel will be up for some renovation as Feinstein's will soon be having a new venue, although I won't know until a few weeks (when it's announced) as to where nor whether it will be temporary. In the meantime, we have the month of December to look forward to.
I had the pleasure of seeing Peter Gallagher do his thing, calling his act, "How'd All You People Get In My Room". On this particular evening Gallagher had some friends and family as he sang and told heartwarming stories about his career while imitating many of those he met (such as Jimmy Cagney).
Back in 1977, for instance, while auditioning for the Broadway show, Hair, he sang Paul Anka's hit "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" and whereas performers are halted after eight bars, they allowed him to finish the song. "My knees buckled, and my eyes filled with tears".
Gallagher had a story for each of the songs including a duet with his 19-year-old daughter Kathryn singing "Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better)". He then took a break to allow her to perform her original "rock-ballad" song, "Damaged".
A quartet, led by pianist Jeff Collela, accompanied the evening's performance as Gallagher strolled through the audience a few times singing to the ladies. We got to hear, "Luck Be A Lady" from when he was in Guys And Dolls.
Gallagher certainly has a whole bunch of talent, with a career that spans Broadway, movies and television (including "The O.C."). He's a mere 57-years-old. Expect to see and hear a lot more of him.
Although my particular area did not experience a loss of electricity during the hurricane, I wanted to make sure I was geared up for the NorEaster that followed. Flashlights. Did I have any or enough? I guess a lot of other folks had the same idea as a large local supermarket was out of them. They had batteries, but I doubt that they were ones that worked with flashlights.
I decided that I don't want to risk another storm hearing about flashlights that you either shake or wind up. I googled and found a company called Applied Innovative Technology. Their newest flashlight was called NightStar JP, no battery flashlight that you shake for about 30 seconds or so and it produces the energy to light LED "bulbs". It has a waterproof housing, can withstand being dropped a whole lot, and lasts long enough to will it to someone. Oh yeah. Point and you can see over 100 feet ahead.
Another product, Vortex Dynamo Underwater Crank Flashlight, contains a NIMH rechargeable battery. You crank it up and get three lights. The two side ones are smaller "bulbs" and emit a good amount of light. Click it again and the middle one lights up even brighter. In fact, when I tested it out in the dark, I placed the unit on top of my dining room table pointing it toward the ceiling as the whole room lit up as if a moon were shining. Click it a third time and the light goes back and forth from the two to the one for when you're outside in an emergency. To add to it, there is an adapter to plug into your cellphone to recharge it.
Shopping for the holidays and looking for a present that someone will truly appreciate? Check out their website as you won't find them in the stores. Keep in mind that if you come across these type of items in the store that they may not be the best value. If you're shaking, is there a battery inside? If so, you don't want that. Waterproof? Shockproof? What I like about the NightStar is that you can see the inside.
elderly woman is interviewed about her reaction to the new Broadway show
Scandalous with a remark about being on her bucket list. I saw the show this past Saturday afternoon.
Kathie Lee Gifford (we are all familiar with her television personality) and
star Carolee Carmello certainly have something to give praise to.Aimee Semple McPherson, the world’s first
Hollywood Superstar Evangelist, is the controversial subject that may make a
few bucks for them.
Lee wrote the book, lyrics and some additional music while the rest of it is
credited to David Pomeranz and David Friedman.Scandalous has a tremendous amount of songs some of which were pretty
good and I’ll give credit for Lee’s writing.
the story.Aimee’s mom, Minnie Kennedy
(Candy Buckley) is totally big on the bible and her daughter’s position in
life.Aimee is interested in
acting.Mom’s against it. Amiee’s dad,
James (George Hearn) is okay with whatever his daughter calls to her.Amiee marries young to Robert Semple and has
a kid (we never seem to see her offspring, even from her second marriage).
somehow comes out of acting and she meets up with Emma Jo Schaefler (Roz Ryan),
a madam, who gets convinced to join her cause.Thank goodness because we need that one African-American female comic
show opens with Aimee being on trial for her scandalous life.I never did get how much scandal was worth a
trial except that after her divorce she met Harold McPherson on her way to
Hollywood fame and married what I think was a man who promised himself to
another.I guess that being an
Evangelist and going Hollywood might create a scandal back in the 1920’s,
especially for a woman.
has some pretty decent choreography but don’t expect some big numbers.A few that stood out for me. The first
number, “Stand Up” is a great opener for both many of the cast and
Carolee.In fact, just about anything
that Carolee sang was outstanding.
Ryan had her feature in the song, “A Girl’s Gotta Do What a Girl’s Gotta Do”
along with the ensemble of girls.It’s
Roz and Carolee’s performance that truly makes the show.
it came to Aimee’s Hollywood career, “Moses and Pharaoh” threw in a few side
splits of humor, although the characters were portrayed as being more “Jewish”
than “Hebrew”…like it was taken from a Fiddler on the Roof song.
show runs about two and half hours with a 15-minute intermission.A printout of songs was placed in the
Playbill. Two songs were eliminated but still too long!I recommend the show to Church groups
although I did not get that any sect of Christianity was emphasized, nor the
mention of Christ.Scandalous is
entertaining, but please don’t put this one on your bucket list!
There is a long Italian heritage in Morgantown due to immigrants making their way from Italy. Clarksburg is just Southwest of Morgantown and the home to the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival, which I missed by about a month. Needless to say I needed to partake in some great Italian food and found Stefano's (www.stefanosmorgantown.com) on Chestnut Ridge Rd. located below a bowling alley (although it's not obvious while you're eating).
A tasting was my request that began with a amuse bouche of a stuffed cherry tomato. Whatever it was stuffed with certainly tasted great. Out comes the bread which I would not have necessarily eaten if it weren't for the olive tapenade.
Two Antipasti dishes. Stefano's Meatball is a large meatball stuffed with fresh mozzarella cheese, topped with Stefano's Meat Sauce. What a meatball! Here's a take on mac and cheese called Aragosta e Formaggio. Broiled lobster served over lobster and mascarpone ditalini pasta, baked with herbed bread crumbs.
Where up to the Zuppa e Insalata. Nuovo Nicoise has tomato, applewood bacon, boiled eggs, olives and Taleggio cheese over spinach and Bibb lettuce finished with a tomato vinaigrette and potato chips (made on the premises). Another salad of endive cups filled with arugula, golden apple, apricots and walnuts finished with maytag (not the washing machine) cream and apple cider Vinaigrette.
I choose a pesce vs a carne, Spigola. Pan roasted Seabass over lobster and asparagus risotto finished with lobster conssume and parsnip crisps.
There's always room for dessert. I'll have to get back on this as I don't remember what it was. All was delicious!
Just on the other side of the entrance to Lakeview Resort Gold & Spa is the Sunset Beach Marina the perfect spot to begin a boat ride along the 13-mile Cheat Lake. A Pontoon boat was rented. I love piloting a pontoon boat. With minimal instructions it's pretty easy. I just had to get a hang of how quick the boat turned when turning the wheel. I took it up at different speeds but not the highest as I was more interested in viewing the lake for about an hour or so.
Barry Frey is the owner of the rental boats. It was the last weekend that the boats were going out on the lake. We waited for a sunny day as the weather, although great in temperature, was cloudy. The exact address of the marina is 177 Sunset Beach Rd. (304-594-0050) www.sunsetbeach-marina.com