Past Columns

Follies: The Complete


One From Column A...

December 29, 1998 - #66

Countdown to the New Year - Monday Night

Isn't this groundbreaking? At least it is until that young poop (poop spelled backwards) Mr. Mark Bakalor up and leaves for parts known as Los Angeles. Up and leaves us all high and dry, which, I suppose, is better than being left low and wet. I hate being left low and wet and I hate being right low and wet, too. High and dry, while not pleasant, has a certain toniness to it, a certain upper-crust feeling, while low and wet feels like bottom-of-the-barrel-crust. Well, here we are, Monday night, with only three days left until New Year's Eve. Not New Year's Adam, mind you. No, Adam got left high and dry and Eve got New Years.

Well, dear readers, 1998 is almost a thing of the past. Soon 1998 will be one for the history books. And what did 1998 give us? It gave us Miss Meryle Secrest's flawed but interesting and very readable biography of our very own Mr. Stephen Sondheim. It gave us Miss Meryle Secrest's work in progress, The Real A: A Life with no flaws whatsoever. This was a year in which our President was impeached. Not impeared, not imappled, no, impeached. This was yet another year in which Wise Guys remained unfinished. A year in which new musicals continued to be Sondheim wannabes or banal "entertainments". My favorite theater going experience this year wasn't even a musical at all. It was Christopher Ashley's wonderful production of Alan Ayckborn's Communicating Doors, starring a terrific group of players led by Mary Louise Parker. Lots of laughs, and lots to think about, and endlessly clever. Of the musicals I saw I had the most fun at Little Me (courtesy of Neil Simon and Martin Short), didn't hate Putting It Together like most did, enjoyed parts of Fosse, and mostly did not like Parade. I had no favorite films this year, although I didn't see much. My favorite thing this year was purchasing art, and becoming the proud owner of an original J.C. Leyendecker canvas, the cover for the September 3rd, 1921 issue of The Saturday Evening Post. The finest meal I had this year was at a restaurant called Cynthia's in Los Angeles. Just excellent simple food. This is the year eBay went public and I, of course, did not purchase any stock. No, I told others to purchase stock, but because I am not stock-savvy, or stock-stupid as it were, I did not make said purchase. Had I made said purchase (at the opening price of $29.00 a share) I would have made scads of money, as the price quickly rose to $207.00 a share. This was the year this here column had its first birthday, an achievement of the highest order, or, conversely, a non-event of no consequence whatsoever. This was the year when Tiffany became the 1,000th person to send an e-mail, hence the winner of a brand-new handy-dandy pair of fish socks. This was the year when I purchased a brand new handy dandy couch on which to sit like so much fish. Oh, yes, this was the year.

There were many wonderful new cds this year, none better than my four cd Japanese import of The Carpenters Greatest Hits. I also loved Andre Previn's new opera of A Streetcar Named Desire which is filled with lots of his very filmmusic-like themes. The huge Bill Evans Verve box set was also a source of endless pleasure.

I have to interrupt the groundbreaking flow of this here column, because Mr. Mark Bakalor has just e-mailed me, telling me he's leaving tomorrow morning! Can you believe it, dear readers? Tomorrow morning! That just throws a monkey wrench into the whole column works, doesn't it? I can't possibly finish the rest of the column on such short notice. That means that I will have to answer the large stack of your letters in the following column, as well as last week's trivia question, which no one has yet to answer. So, now we have to rush through our countdown to the New Year, because we have a monkey wrench in the works. Why would somebody name a tool a "monkey wrench"? This is an extremely stupid name for a tool, but I don't even have time to discuss it, because what should be a three-day countdown is now a three-minute countdown. So, this is the end of Monday evening's countdown. Do not read the next section until Tuesday evening.

Click here on Tuesday evening...

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Until next week, I am, as I ever was, and ever shall be...

Yours, yours, yours, yours, yours.

The Real A

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