Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me

Sometimes, don’t you think you’re living in a game of “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me?”

Which of the following quotes are real?

  • “To be honest, I worked on that so long ago I don’t really remember anything about it. But I must confess, I’m ashamed of being the person responsible for the phrase ‘the Oscar-nominated film “Norbit.”’”
    Rick Baker, nominee for Achievement in Makeup, “Norbit”

  • “I hope that my country and my party have benefited from our having made this effort.
    Fred Thompson, former Presidential Candidate when pulling out of the race.

  • “Well, it was a challenging assignment, because we were in this big room filled with old car parts and hammers and stuff, and we had to smash them together at random and shout out ‘Ka-Pow! Ka-Pow!’ and ‘Bwoooosh!’ and ‘Shpeeee-oooooo! P-Tang!’ all day. So it’s nice to see all that effort getting recognized.”
    Ethan Van der Ryn, nominee for Achievement in Sound Editing, “Transformers”

  • “If there was a blond, half-naked chick running away from a guy with a chainsaw, I wouldn’t stop now. As callous and cold-hearted as it is to say that, I just can’t put myself at risk anymore.”
    Jason Brunelle, on why he won’t be a good samaritan again.

Alas, all of them are true.

P.S. I feel like I’m on the other side of the side of the age divide. Yesterday, ellipticcurve had no idea who Suzanne Pleshette was, other than she provided the voices of Yubaba and Zeniba in the English dub of “Spirited Away”. Today, Heath Ledger died… and I have no idea why there’s all this frenzy about it.


Quotes of the Day

  • “There’s a difference between being detained involuntarily for psychological treatment and being forced to endure Dr. Phil involuntarily”
    Dr. Jeffrey Sugar, speaking about how Dr. Phillip McGraw made an unrequested house-call on our favorite skank at Cedars-Sinai recently.

  • “She could have tried to pull it over to the side, but who knows what happened. We can’t cite her or arrest her because she did nothing wrong. You can leave your car if it is un-driveable.”
    LAPD Officer Mike Lopez, talking about how our favorite skank (yup, her again) parked her 2008 white Mercedes-Benz in the middle of Sunset Boulevard on the San Diego Freeway overpass after getting a flat tire around 8 p.m. Monday.
    (LA Daily News)

  • “We’ve run into people … they’ve kind of spread out and completely filled the table. We had people hanging over the sides.”
    Steve Hanson, Chief Investigator, Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner’s Office, on how their morgue has had to get new autopsy tables, 3½’x7’, with a capacity of 1,000 lbs, to accomodate the larger folks that are dying. A 300-pound body is wheeled through the doors of the Orange-Osceola Medical Examiner’s Office about once a week.
    (Chicago Tribune)

  • “Also, you get to live in that really nice house that, you know, is down there in Washington”
    Presidential Candidate Michael Huckabee, on David Letterman’s show, where he also stated “If I win New Hampshire, it’s because I did this show. If I lose New Hampshire, it’s because I did this show.”.
    (Chicago Tribune)

  • “All those different beds, plus lugging all your stuff everywhere, starts to hurt your back”
    Monika Thomas, host of the radio show “Sexploration with Monika”, on how she makes it on miniscule funds… by working as a professional housesitter, moving from house to house, keeping all her belongings in a suitcase and two smaller bags.
    (San Francisco Chronicle)

  • “If you read history, many of the three-name people do become assassins. Mark David Chapman. And you know, James Earl Ray. So that’s my concern.”
    Jerry Seinfeld, talking about Missy Chase Lapine, the author of “The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids’ Favorite Meals.” Ms. Lapine claims that Seinfeld’s wife, Jessica Seinfeld, plagerized Lapine’s book when writing “”Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Food.”

  • “When he said God told him to do it, one of the investigators looked at him and just said, ‘What did you say?’ ”
    Lt. Larry Wiginton, Tyler Texas Sheriff’s Department, about the suspect in a grisley murder case, who called 911 early Saturday morning to report “calmly described murdering his girlfriend and cooking her ear.” When cops arrived at his residence, the paper says they “found a human ear boiling in a stovetop pan and raw flesh on a nearby plate, with a fork stuck in it.”
    (USA Today, Houston Chronicle, MSNBC)

P.S. It’s National Delurking Week. Would it kill ‘ya to come out from where you are hiding and comment on this post?


Quote O’ The Morn

“[The arts] are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven’s sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
[Kurt Vonnegut Jr, A Man Without A Country]


Quote of the Day (for Yesterday)

From an article in the LA Times regarding the media coverage of the death of Anna Nicole Smith:

She’d earned her notoriety the old-fashioned way: She took her clothes off for it, then married rich…

This article also had the wonderful paragraph:

Of course, one of the cheapest journalistic tricks going is to get a piece of a mindless, tawdry media frenzy by denouncing it. The writer gets to wallow profitably in whatever gutter has everybody’s attention while still being wry and high-minded. The readers get to join the fun without losing their self-respect. It’s a win-win sort of arrangement for a certain knowing-wink-and-sly-nod wing of the media culture.

Of course, I would never do that here.


More Review Quote Fun

From Talking Broadway’s Review of Tarzan:

Don’t believe anyone who tells you there’s no entertainment value in Tarzan. While Disney’s stage adaptation of its 1999 animated film, which just opened at the Richard Rodgers, might at first seem a theatrical black hole, there are in fact numerous joys for the intrepid theatregoer. And, believe it or not, they’re found in David Henry Hwang’s libretto. Where else could ammunition for mockery be proffered so readily, practically on a silver platter? Yes, we can thank Hwang for the hours and hours of fun to be derived from Tarzan’s book. But for the fact that hardly any of it is intentional, and that this bloated behemoth is one of the most deadening shows to arrive on Broadway since the last Hwang-Disney collaboration of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida in 2000, we must blame Hwang and director Bob Crowley.

Of course, as the apes and humans are all singing Phil Collins songs, magic was probably always a long shot. Collins, a soft-rock sensation of the 1980s whose career has somehow not waned as his contemporaries’ have, has retained his songs for the film (including the syrupy, inexplicably Oscar-winning “You’ll Be In My Heart”) and penned new ones every bit as forgettable. His lyrics are better than those Bernie Taupin gave this season’s other pop-schlock score, Lestat, but are too droning, repetitive, and nonspecific to be even decent theatre music.

But if you must pity someone, make it Gambatese. An adept singer and game young actress constantly misused by Broadway (she last starred in All Shook Up), she gets the show’s only intentionally funny line (comparing ape-speak to the Romance languages), but is otherwise saddled with nonstop thankless tasks as the story’s token Sierra Club representative. How can you help but feel for someone whose introductory number requires her to marvel at Africa’s native flora and fauna (which resemble an LSD-fueled Little Shop of Horrors) while rattling off their scientific names in all their incomprehensible glory? The rest of the lyrics and dialogue could just as well be in Latin, too, for all the difference it would make. But then you’d likely miss timeless lines like Gregory’s “Should I be punished for my intelligence?”

Sounds like a wonderful Broadway season. And the Tony nominations come out on Tuesday.


More Lestat

From Talking Broadway: “Lestat is a walloping reminder that life is far too short to sit through illiterate garbage passing itself off as Art at sky-high ticket prices.”

On Elton John’s music: While rotten theatre music, never soaring or evoking time, place, or character, as flavorless pop from the King of Flavorless Pop, and as sung by fine singers like Sarich, Stanek, Fischer, they’re easy on the ear.


Bad Reviews are So Fun To Read

One of my favorite books at home is Opening Night on Broadway: A Critical Quotebook of the Golden Era of the Musical Theatre from Showboat to Oklahoma! and it’s sequel, More Opening Nights on Broadway: A Critical Quotebook of the Musical Theatre from 1965 Through 1981. This is a collection of first-night reviews of Broadway shows… and the reviews of the flops are much more entertaining than the reviews of the hits.

What brought this to mind was todays’ review in the New York Times of Lestat, the musicalization of the Anne Rice vampire stories by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Here is the first paragraph of the review, which is a masterpiece:

A promising new contender has arrived in a crowded pharmaceutical field. Joining the ranks of Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata and other prescription lullaby drugs is “Lestat,” the musical sleeping pill that opened last night at the Palace Theater.

Other worthy quotes:

…this portrait of blood suckers in existential crisis gives resounding credence to the legend that vampires are masters of hypnosis. Dare to look upon “Lestat” and keep your eyelids from growing heavier and heavier and heavier.

And consider Lestat’s relationships with his disapproving father (hates him) and his doting mother (loves, loves, loves her). He so adores his mom, a marquise (played by the ever-game power balladeer Carolee Carmello), that he makes her a vampire too, giving her a chance to dress up like one of the boys, join the hunt and become the undead’s answer to Auntie Mame.

The Washington Post isn’t much better:

I’m not sure how to put this, but, well, the fixation with singing vampires? It has to stop. I mean, give the bloodsucker a ballad, and it’s his show that joins the walking dead. First, in 2002, came the campy, short-lived “Dance of the Vampires,” with the Transylvanian townfolk lending their voices to a musical salute to garlic. Then two years later, “Dracula, the Musical” opened its casket to reveal a count whose killing spree entailed boring his victims into submission. And now, dearest Broadway, “Lestat.” Oh, “Lestat,” “Lestat,” “Lestat”! The show that could break the spell! The one that might finally take this sorry trend and drive a stake through its heart.

The only thing distinguishing this musical from its late, unlamented predecessors is that the lead vampires play for the, er, other team. In other words, “Lestat’s” contribution to art and equality is demonstrating that a gay vampire with a two-octave range can be just as dull as a straight one.

More shocking than the feasting on blood — which is accompanied in “Lestat” by spooky video effects that glow the color of tangerines — are the lyrics that Bernie Taupin has affixed to Elton John’s somber pop melodies. “How luminous he looks to me/So radiant and glorious,” Lestat (Hugh Panaro) sings, while ogling his beloved, the doomed Nicolas (Roderick Hill). “One savage kiss is all he needs/To change his life and make this night victorious.” Need I explain?/You feel the pain/With lyrics this laborious.

Based on these reviews, we may have another Carrie: The Musical on our hands. Worse… it could be Jeckyll and Hyde, and actually thrive on Broadway. Actually, I shouldn’t pick on J&H, as I do enjoy Scarlet Pimpernel, by the same folks as J&H.