Deja Vu All Over Again

One of the CDs I purchased recently was the Library of Congress recording of the 1927 show Strike Up The Band. This show was written by George S. Kaufmann, with music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin. I’m finding it amazing how prescient this show is. The show is a satire about war, in this case a war over cheese tariffs with Switzerland. The government doesn’t want to go to war, citing the cost, but the owner of the Cheese Company is adamant, noting that he’ll personally pay all the expenses of the war, and give the government 25% of the profits, if the war is named after him. So, America goes to war with the Swiss.

Act II begins with the citizens rushing off. A Very Patriotic League is organized for those not going to war; its purpose is to make sure everyone is patriotic (“Anybody that doesn’t go to war has got to be twice as patriotic as the soldiers”). Of course, the owner of the cheese company can’t go to war, as he has too many appointments. He feels they must do something to keep up the spirit at home. So, they rename Swiss Family Robinson as American Family Robinson, and they cut William Tell out of the schoolbook because he is Swiss. War is then declared on both parties by Iceland, who states “We are declaring war on both sides, and will find a reason later.” The Swiss want the war held over there, as they offer reasonable hotel rates and many beautiful tours. Some prefer to have it in the US, but the cheese factory owner insists on having it in Switzerland (“For good battles, we ought to get $5.50 a seat!”).

A report discovers that the american cheese is made with Grade B, not Grade A cheese. No one wants to hear it, for that would mean changing all their plans, and everyone would be inconvenienced. They do believe in free speech, but not at a time like this. So the reporter is conscripted.

The story goes on from there. You can read the full synopsis at Musical Theatre International. And now to make my tea and get to work….


Cy Coleman Marathon—Done

Well, I made it through all my Cy Coleman CDs. Some conclusions:

1. I like the newer shows better than the older shows. If I had to name shows where I consistently like the music, in terms of liking all the music, my first choice would have to be Will Rogers Follies, followed perhaps by Barnum, City of Angels, and I Love My Wife. I like much of the music of The Life, and selected pieces in the remaining musicals.

2. As I’ve known for a long time, I like the brassy and heavy piano pieces best (although not Cy Coleman, one of my favorite musicals that demonstrates this is The Wiz, where I love Don’t Nobody Bring Me No Bad News). In terms of tempo, I like the high energy pieces, preferably jazz, Dixieland jazz, ragtime. I don’t like the slow bluesy numbers.

Now, I need to turn my attention to 110 In The Shade, which I’ll be seeing on Saturday.

[Note: I’m trying this with a new user picture that I recently added. The picture is someone I call “Edward Littlehazy”, and is a cartoon character I developed many years ago.]



It’s humpday, which means the weekend will be here shortly. Good. This is shaping up to be a good weekend!

It starts with the July Southern California Games Day, which I’ll get to attend most of. gf_guruilla will be attending the graduation of a friend of ours from an Internet school, and Small&Feisty will be off with ixixlix and the Karate Kid. I’m looking forward to a day of gaming, and perhaps I’ll play some games I haven’t played before.

That evening, gf_guruilla and I will be going to the Pasadena Playhouse to see 110 in the Shade, which has gotten excellent reviews.

Sunday will be a home day, for the most part. I’ve got to do the mini-Newsletter, and hopefully that won’t take long. Other than that, we may do some furniture rearranging and getting ready for our vacation.

Music Update:

The Cy Coleman marathon continues. So far, I’ve made it through the following CDs (in general, I’m listening to each twice):

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“Presents Barnum” (Cy Coleman Trio)

Still to be listened to are:

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Of these, I seem to be enjoying the Jazzier scores the best, i.e., “I Love My Wife”, “City of Angels”, “Little Me”, and the Trio-version of Barnum (although “Sweet Charity” has its moments). The concept version of “The Life” is notable because of some of the cover audiences—it includes the last recording of George Burns (who covered Easy Money). “On the Twentieth Century” has some good numbers, but some weak ones as well.

[Disclaimer: The pictures are links to Amazon—it was the easiest way to get the images]


coverI’ve been corrupting ellipticcurve with Steve Allen. In addition to “Meeting of Minds” (which I mentioned previously [you might not see it in your journal due to the table]), I’ve introduced her to the book Dumbth and 81 Ways to Make Americans Smarter. This book addresses the unprecedented amount of mental incapacitation in society today, and explores the distinction between ignorance and stupidity. A great book.

[BTW, I’ve been enjoying being able to include the book/image links—I think they enhance readability—from Amazon. I’ve been generating them via my associates link on my highway pages. If folks think this is too crass, please let me know. I’m doing it more to talk about the items.

Also, has anyone had trouble with Semagic hanging on posting or taking forever. It seems most posts I need to cancel it and go through the web interface.]


Computer Recycling/A Cy Coleman Mood

I’m getting set up for the day, scanning the headlines, and what do I see: Office Depot offers to recycle old PCs. Evidently, during the summer (i.e., until Labor Day), Office Depot is permitting customers to recycle one computer product a day for free. This is confirmed on the Office Depot site. The fine print indicates that:

you may return one printer, scanner, fax machine, personal computer (including mice and keyboards), desk-top copier, monitor, TV and TV/VCR combination unit (27″ and smaller – measured diagonally), digital camera, or cellular phone per day. They won’t take anything broken or pure-VCRs, and its up to you to remove all your data.

I guess this means you must return the monitor separate from the computer. Still, this looks like the way to safely get rid of some of our equipment that is too old to donate, such as our 286 laptop or our 486/33 Windows 3.1 system. More ways to clean out the garage. I love it!

If I do multiple entries today, you’ll see a trend in the music (actually, it started last night). For some reason, I’m in a Cy Coleman mood today. Cy Coleman has some of the brassiest and jazziest scores around. So I’ve brought in my complete collection (well, I forgot one, which I’ll bring in tomorrow): [Disclaimer: The pictures are links to Amazon—it was the easiest way to get the images]

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as well as two albums by the Cy Coleman Jazz Trio and Music From The Life: A New Musical (1995 Concept Cast).