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One From Column A...
by "The Real A"

April 26, 1999 - #83

I am having one of those days, dear readers. Yes, you heard it here, it is one of those days. And just what makes it one of those days as opposed to one of these days? It is one of those days because everything is bugging me. I am bugged. Bugged is what I am and there is no way around it. Everything that everyone is doing today is bugging me. If people look at me, it bugs me. If people talk to me, it bugs me. There is simply nothing that isn't bugging me. In fact, the word "bugs" bugs me. Yes, clearly it is one of those days. Oh, I hope I stop feeling bugged soon. Perhaps a nice bowl of popcorn would stop me from feeling bugged. But I am not where I can make popcorn. That bugs me. Perhaps an activity photo of a bowl of popcorn would stop me from feeling bugged. Let's just see, shall we?

That really bugs me. Look at that popcorn just sitting there like so much fish and I can't even have any. It's just a photo, an inanimate object, an image. I don't even know if there's butter on that popcorn and that bugs me. You know what else bugs me? I'll tell you what else bugs me. Because of the way Mr. Mark Bakalor (he bugs me) has set up this here column, every time I want to italicize something I have to type this: <I>. And when I'm through typing the word I want to italicize, I have to type this: </I>. That bugs me. Why can't I just italicize like a normal person? Why do I have to type all those fancy-shmancy hieroglyphics? Could Mr. Bakalor have made it any more difficult to italicize? Well, I suppose he could have. I suppose I could have to type this: >*%^#$^&(*((. And frankly, that would bug me. I have had it with being bugged. It is no fun to be bugged and here I've been bugged since I woke up this morning. I'm just lucky that my phone isn't tapped because then I'd be bugged and bugged. I am going to do my damnedest to not be bugged but it will take some doing because, as you know, I am bugged. Wait, I know. Perhaps if I draw a picture of a bug that will help exorcise the feeling of being bugged.

Nope. Maybe if I put the bug in the bowl of popcorn it will help exorcise the feeling of being bugged.

Yechhhh. Isn't that nauseating? Seeing that bug in my nice handy-dandy bowl of popcorn? Great. Now I am not only bugged, I'm nauseous. Perhaps if I talk about something other than being bugged I will not be bugged. Oh, what a lovely day it is. But you know what? It isn't a lovely day at all, it's a gray day and that just bugs me. I fear I am going to have to spend this entire column being bugged. And why? Because it is one of those days. Well, while I am being bugged, here are the activity photos I promised last week. You'll remember that last week Mr. Mark Bakalor was down here in Los Angeles and we met up after he saw The Last Session. We met at Jerry's Famous Deli and if there are doubting Thomases, or even doubting Eugenes, here is an activity photo of Jerry's Famous Deli.

As you know, my companion and I had to wait forty-five minutes all by our very own selves before Mr. Bakalor and his sweetheart Julie arrived. Here is a photo of me waiting.

That's where I was sitting, but I had to go to the other side of the table to take the picture. I hope you can still sense my aura. I know my camera has that wonderful feature where you can set it to take the picture automatically, but I haven't figured out how to do it yet. It is very complicated and I do believe it requires pushing a button or something. Anyway, Mr. Bakalor and said sweetheart Julie finally arrived, sat down, ordered dessert and immediately started stuffing their faces. Here is the indisputable proof of said stuffing.

Aren't they a sweet-looking couple? That bugs me. When I am bugged, sweet-looking couples make me want to gag (gag spelled backwards). May we stop for a moment and discuss the word "gag"? Frankly, the word "gag" makes me want to gag. Not tell a gag, mind you, no, it makes me want to gag, or at the very least, it makes me want to put a gag on the word "gag". Where was I? Oh, yes, Jerry's Famous Deli. After a while, we were joined by Mr. Bob Stillman, the star of The Last Session. Here he is, sitting with Mr. Bakalor and his sweetheart Julie. Note the empty bowl of soup which Mr. Stillman has just finished.

And there you have it. A document of an event. A moment frozen in time like Bird's Eye Vegetable Medley.

Have you noticed that I just used all my activity photos in one fell swoop? That bugs me. I could have spread them throughout the column, but nooooooo, I have gone and used them all in one fell swoop. Damn my eyes. Perhaps it would be best to just end this section, because frankly it's starting to feel like the critical reaction to Frank Wildhorn's The Civil War: Bad. But enough about me.

The Hair Dresser

I find that when everything is bugging me the best thing I can do is to pay a visit to my hairdresser. I don't know why but there you have it. And so, off I went to my handy-dandy hairdresser to have my handy-dandy hair dressed, because frankly my hair is a little tired of being naked. Now, my hairdresser is no ordinary hairdresser. My hairdresser is not just any old hairdresser. No, my hairdresser is Famous, with a capital F. My hairdresser is, in fact, Legendary, with a capital L. Of course, I was going to my hairdresser prior to the capital F or L. I have, in fact, been going to my hairdresser for more years than most of you have been alive. Anyway, I decided that to lighten my mood I should lighten my hair. I do this occasionally when my hair is feeling especially heavy. I simply do not like heavy hair. I like nice light hair. So, my F & L hairdresser prepared his special hair lightening mixture with which to lighten my hair, and therefore my mood. Here is an activity photo of the special hair lightening mixture and the accouterments with which said mixture is applied.

Isn't that disgusting looking? Now this hair lightening process is very complex. I sit in the chair while my F & L hairdresser and his assistant do all manner of convoluted things. For instance, they first take bits of my hair, brush the bit of hair with the disgusting looking goop, and then wrap that bit of hair and goop in aluminum. This process takes about thirty minutes and at the end of it one looks just like Shirley Temple with aluminum curls. I would have taken an activity photo of me with said aluminum curls, but frankly it would have been to horrifying for you, dear readers, and it might have caused fainting and hot flashes. No, we have spared you, dear readers, and you are the better for it. So, there I was with a head full of aluminum. The next stage in the process is to be put under a hair dryer with the head full of aluminum. Oh, yes, my head full of aluminum and I were put under a hairdryer. That bit of business lasts approximately twenty-five minutes. During those twenty-five minutes, to pass the time, I perused a magazine entitled Movieline, and caught up on the latest comings and goings of celebrities I care not one or two whits for. I learned, for example, the shocking revelation that Sandra Bullock thought Speed 2 was a piece of garbage. In any case, after twenty-five minutes the hair dryer phase of the operation was over. I was then taken to a sink where the assistant proceeded to remove the aluminum from my hair. He then gave me a lovely shampoo and then applied a special overall lightener to my special overall hair. He then gave me another lovely shampoo and this time topped it off with conditioner. I was then taken back to the hair chair, where all matters hair are taken care of. My F & L hairdresser was waiting for me. Here is an activity photo of my hairdresser waiting for me.

Isn't he a splendid-looking hairdresser? Anyway, for the next thirty minutes, he did what he does best and after all was said and done and also done and said, he stepped back to survey his handiwork. And, I'll be darned if my hair wasn't lighter. Perkier, with brilliant blondish highlights. Suddenly everything seemed better. Things weren't bugging me nearly as much. I had a spring in my step (no mean feat), I felt youngish and alivish. The assistant came up and oohed and aahed. I then paid and left. As I walked down the street I hoped someone would look at me and say "Surf's up" but it didn't happen. Frankly, that bugged me.


Yes, it's time to share more of my art collection with you, dear readers. Art always makes me feel better and art always lightens my mood. And so, in the spirit of being light of mood and hair, here are some more paintings and such.

First up is a beautiful painting by an artist named Rico Tomasso. This painting is very wide, like Cinemascope. It is the only wide painting I own. The detail and mood and color are extraordinary, as is the wideness.

Isn't that just breathtaking? Isn't that just too too? When I look at that painting it almost feels like I'm there. The next painting is by James Matthyous, a fine painter of illustrations for book covers and stories. Have any of you dear readers ever read any of the paperback Nancy Drew Files mysteries? This is the original painting done for Case #39. See if it looks familiar to you.

Isn't that just Nancy Drewish? Isn't that just too too? I especially love her outfit and those two arguing kids in the background. It's beautifully rendered, isn't it? Interestingly, the artist's medium is chalk. If chalk is the artist's medium, what do you suppose the artist's small or large is? Just asking. Finally, we have a watercolor by the brilliant cartoonist Gahan Wilson. Mr. Wilson has a mordant and macabre sense of humor and I've been a fan of his for as long as I can remember. He did many cartoons for Playboy, and has had several book compilations of his work published. His style is instantly recognizable. This cartoon was used in the Christmas '81 issue of Playboy.

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Claus, but nobody here fits that description..."

Isn't that funny? Isn't that just too too? Even without the funny caption it's still funny, because Mr. Wilson just draws funny.

Well, that was a lovely art show, wasn't it? I enjoy our little "show and tell" and I hope you do, too. I do hope our little "show and tell" doesn't bug you, dear readers, because that would bug me.

New Ice Cream in Town

In order to further lighten my mood, my lightened hair and I thought we'd just mosey on down to the supermarket and buy some ice cream with the sole intent of eating said ice cream. It's no fun to just buy the ice cream, no the fun is in the eating. So, there I was, minding my own business and perusing the various cartons and containers of ice cream. And there, amongst the various cartons and containers of Ben and Jerry's ice creams was a new Ben and Jerry's flavor. Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, a brand spanking-new Ben and Jerry's flavor. And what was this flavor, you might ask and I might tell you since I don't want to leave you hanging by a thread (no mean feat). This new Ben and Jerry's flavor was/is called Pistachio Pistachio. Well, I thought, any ice cream that has the same word twice is worth trying, and I'm happy to report that Pistachio Pistachio is excellent excellent. Of course, it is imperative that one likes the pistachio flavor and pistachios themselves if one is to like Pistachio Pistachio. Because the one thing you know you will get from ice cream with the name of Pistachio Pistachio is pistachio aplenty. Luckily, I do like pistachio, both flavor and nut, so I was in ice cream heaven. I ate my Pistachio Pistachio with great fervor and glee (eelg spelled backwards). I ate it with great gusto and I was filled with Pistachio Pistachio Passion, which also happens to be the name of a musical by Stephen Sondheim (just the Passion, not the Pistachio Pistachio - no, if there were a musical entitled Pistachio Pistachio it would be by Jerry Herman). I recommend this new Ben and Jerry's flavor whole-heartedly. It's got lots of actual pistachios in the pistachio flavored ice cream. And no shells, which is a plus in my book (Chapter 334 - No Shells In Ice Cream Is A Good Thing). Wait a minute. I've just received an e-mail. Let's see who it's from, shall we?

Date: Sun, April 25, 1999 08:27:31
To: The Real A (
From: Jerry Herman (

Dearest A:

Isn't life funny? I, too, just discovered Pistachio Pistachio ice cream and was just thinking what a splendid Jerry Herman musical it would make. Pistachio Pistacio is a wonderful title for a new musical. We need a good musical about the pistachio, and of course all the musical theater nuts will have to see it. I mean, who needs a musical of The Civil War? First of all, The Civil War is a terrible title. Second of all, there is no title song. You can't have a hit musical without a title song, even if the title is a terrible one. Now, it is well known that Meredith Willson had written a musical of The Civil War, and his would have been a good one. I was at the backer's audition for the show and I remember the title song as if it were yesterday.

How can there be "civil"
In The Civil War.
If the North and South would give
A little - then this ol' war would be no more.

Let's put a little "civil"
In The Civil War...
And then maybe folks will live a
Little longer...
Maybe folks will learn to get along.
Maybe then The Civil War will be as short
As this little song.

I just loved Meredith Willson. Anyway, back to me and my new musical Pistachio Pistachio. I've already written the title song and I'd like you and your dear readers to be the first to take a peek at it.

You take the nut right out of the shell,
Pistachio, Pistachio!
And plop it into ice cream that's swell,
Pistachio, Pistachio!
Your nuts are really crunchy,
Delicious and quite munchy,
For dinner or for lunch - even
For a midnight snack
I keep coming back
For more of

That ice cream that keeps calling my name,
Pistachio, Pistachio!
That name ain't Dolly and it ain't Mame,
Pistachio, Pistachio!
I love nuts mixed with dairy,
And though it's kinda scary,
Call me the ice cream fairy
I've got to crow!
Pistachio, Pistachio!

Isn't that a toe-tapper? I've got to go now and play it for David Merrick who might just come out of retirement to produce it.

Best to you,
Jerry Herman

Who would have thought that Jerry Herman and I would both have fallen in love with Pistachio Pistachio at the very same time? That is just one of life's funny coincidences, is it not? Anyway, I have always loved pistachios so it is great to have this new Ben and Jerry's taste treat. Kudos of course to Herman Pistachio for inventing the damn nut in the first place. Interestingly, Herman Pistachio's neighbor was Eustus Cashew. They were both somewhat reclusive and weird, and more than one person in their neighborhood was heard to say, "Oh, those two guys are nuts."

The Real A: A Life

Miss Meryle Secrest has recovered from her operation and is already pelting me with more questions. Pelt, pelt, pelt, that's all she does. I've got welts from her pelts. And then she tried to get me to eat some smelts. After I said, "What is it, fish?" I told her I'd rather eat a pelt than a smelt. What the hell is a smelt, anyway? Why would anyone name a fish "smelt"? In fact, all fish names are highly suspect and yes, fishy. I mean, if you put a herring and a tuna next to each other you'd be hard pressed to tell me why one is named "herring" and the other "tuna". Only a nut (not a pistachio) would name a fish "tuna". Of course, what is "tuna" but "a nut" spelled backwards? And then there's scrod. Do we even want to contemplate the mind that came up with scrod? I think not. And how about Red Snapper? First of all, have you noticed that the damn Red Snapper isn't red? Or was "Red" its nickname, like "Red" Buttons or "Red" Skelton? Yes, perhaps Red Snapper's real name was Arthur Snapper. We'll never know I suppose. You certainly can't ask the Red Snapper because all you'll get is a fish story. And what about sole? Oh, yes, let us not forget about sole. First of all, how can you have a fish sole, a shoe sole, and be the sole person asking the question? That is three too many soles in my book (Chapter 422 - Filet Of Three Soles or Dance: 10 Sole: 3).

You see what I've done, dear readers? I've used up the entire A Life section talking about fish. That is heinous (heinous, do you hear me?). Next time you see me going off on a fish tangent just tell me to clam up.

Letters... We Get Letters

Oh, I couldn't wait to get to the letters section this week, dear readers. The reason for this will be abundantly clear in a moment. People have, from time to time, asked me how I can write this here column week in and week out and also week out and week in. And sometimes I have to admit, it is difficult. Sometimes I feel like saying, "No, by yiminee, I will not write this here column anymore because it is just too difficult". But then I receive a letter like the one I'm about to share with you and suddenly I don't care if it's difficult or not to write this here column, I'm going to keep on writing this here column until the cows come home. I haven't seen the cows in quite some time, so apparently they are doing fine out on their own and may never come home. Before I print the letter that I received, let me reprint the section of column 42, to which it refers.

Talking earlier of great performances in Sondheim shows suddenly made me think back fondly to the greatest performance I've ever seen in the musical theater. I was blessed to see it. It was one of the greatest theater moments of my life. And I'll never forget it as long as I live.

As I have said before, when I was young I used to go to the record store regularly, at least three or four times a week. Sometimes albums would just catch my eye (no mean feat) and I'd buy them even if I didn't know one thing about them. Such was the case when I saw the Original Broadway Cast album of The Most Happy Fella. The cover art just spoke to me. And this was not the one-disc "highlights" album, either, this was the three lp boxed set, which was expensive, dear readers, but I had a twenty which I'd removed from my father's pants pocket, so what did I care? I bought said box set, took it home and spent the next few hours listening to it. Well, the score by Mr. Frank Loesser just put me away. At my tender age I didn't understand all the story points, but the songs were incredible. I would have thought that at times it was more like an opera, but I didn't know what an opera was. For days I tormented my family by singing Standing On The Corner and the title song and Ooh, My Feet. I played that album over and over and over again. I memorized every note of that album. I fell in love with the voice of Susan Johnson who played Cleo, and I thought the voice of Jo Sullivan as Rosabella was just plain peculiar. I adored Shorty Long as Herman, too, and loved Art Lund's smooth way with Joey, Joey, Joey. But it was the voice of Robert Weede as the titular Happy Fella, Tony, that made me return to the album so many times. I'd never heard a voice as powerful or as sweet or as honest. By that time, I had quite a few cast albums, but Happy Fella was my favorite.

Flash forward. I'm in my first year of college. I see an ad in the paper for one of the many "theater-in-the-rounds" that had proliferated all over Los Angeles and environs. I'm sure you've all heard of theater-in-the-round, in which the audience is literally all around the stage, which was also round. Obviously, set designs were simple and directors had to keep the actors turning a lot, so everyone could see them. They would get "names" to come in and do shows at these venues, and I got to see Ethel Merman do Call Me Madam, Tammy Grimes do The Unsinkable Molly Brown (also saw Nanette Fabray do it, too, which was way too scary), Jane Powell do Peter Pan. Well, you get the idea. Anyway, I see an ad for the San Bernadino Theater-In-The-Round. And they're doing The Most Happy Fella. Last two performances the following day. Well, I'd never seen the show on stage, so I called and got tickets to the matinee. I cut the ad out so I'd have the address, and it was only then that I noticed who was in the show. Robert Weede, and the original Joey, Art Lund. Next day, and off I went to San Bernadino.

I had great seats for the show, very close to the stage. From the minute the house lights dimmed and the orchestra went into the mini-overture, I knew I was in for a treat. I can no longer remember who played Cleo and Rosabella, but they were great. Then, after the first scene was over, Mr. Weede made his entrance, singing the title song. And that was it. I was in tears. I knew I was in the presence of a great star, a magical performer who, despite the fact that he was appearing in San Bernadino in the round in a show he'd starred in on Broadway ten years earlier, was giving his heart and soul to every member of that audience. Such acting, such singing. Mr. Lund was swell, too, and the director, Ernie Sarracino, did a great job keeping everything moving. But it was Mr. Weede's show. When he sung Momma, Momma it was just thrilling. And when Rosabella finally realizes that she loves Tony and they have their big duet (and surely one of the musical theater's most glorious moments) My Heart Is So Full Of You, there wasn't a dry eye in the house. At the end of it, the entire audience rose to its feet, cheering. I'd never seen anything like that happen. This was before Carol Channing's ex-husband would lead the Hello, Dolly! revival audiences to stand as she entered and at the end of the title song. No, this was real, this was deserved. In those days, audiences rarely gave standing ovations to anything, let alone in the middle of a show. Mr. Weede and his Rosabella were visibly moved by the ovation. At the end of the show there was another standing ovation and cheering and shouts of "bravo". As soon as I got out of the theater, I ran to the box-office and purchased tickets for the closing performance, which was two hours away. And which was no less wonderful. The fact that Mr. Weede could give that performance twice in one day was something I'll never forget (he didn't need an "alternate" like whoever plays Jekyll and whoever plays Christine in Phantom). After the second show I knew what I had to do. I am, to this very day, quite shy about going backstage after a show, even when I know people involved. But I found the backstage area, and told the doorman that I would love to meet Mr. Weede and get his autograph. I was taken to him, and I just couldn't stop yabbering about his performance and what it had meant to me. His reaction was interesting. He received my pouring on of the praise as if no one had ever told him how great he was before. He was so gracious and real and kind and human and humble and he was as touched by my praise as I was by his performance. And then do you know what this wonderful person did? He invited me and the person I was with to the cast party! I could not believe it. I went, of course. And he introduced me to everyone in the cast, and the musical director and the director (years later I would recount this story to the director and he remembered me) and everyone else. Needless to say, there aren't many Mr. Weede's left in the world of the theater, and when he died some years later, I pulled out the album of The Most Happy Fella and listened to it and just smiled as I remembered that day and the kindness and brilliance I'd been lucky enough to witness.

Yes, that was way back in Column 42. Now, here's the letter I received, which I print in its entirety for you, dear readers.

My son found your article while looking for information about his grandfather, Robert Weede, and sent your site address to me. What a wonderful tribute to my Dad!!! I've just now finished reading the part about your experience with him. It's so well written, I'll have to read the rest of the piece. My son's (Bill) fiancee said that he came out of their computer room crying (he's 35) saying, "That's about my Grandpop." You really moved him, and me also. Thanks so much for that wonderful remembrance.

Please excuse my ignorance, but what do you do? Are you a writer, or is this just for fun? Would certainly like to hear from you.

Isn't that amazing? Isn't that a wonderful letter to have received? This column is like AT&T, it reached out and touched someone and in return reached out and touched me back. Thanks to Richard Weede and his son for making my day. Because of that letter I am no longer bugged. Now, on to our other letters.

Emily's friend Michelle had a dream in which there was a band called Like So Much Fish and that they were going to open for a real group called Ben Folds Five. I like the idea of a fish band. Perhaps the members' names would be Cod, Scrod and Haddock. Actually, that sounds more like a CPA firm.

MJDGDC (not EWBVUT) asks me what educational feature do Adam Guettel and my close personal friend, Mr. Stephen Sondheim share? Perhaps they both attended the same college? Perhaps they both learned things from Mr. Guettel's mother, Mary Rodgers? Perhaps I have no clue?

Cinderella (yes, Cinderella) was sorry to hear about Anthony Newley. She loves Roar Of The Greasepaint - Smell Of The Crowd, as do I. Cinderella recently saw Miss Bernadette Peters in Annie Get Your Gun and Alan Cumming in Cabaret and thought both shows marvelous.

cheshirecat was also saddened by the passing of Mr. Newley. He even owns a video of Doctor Doolittle in which Mr. Newley appeared, singing a terrific song called After Today.

Joey wrote to tell me that she couldn't write but that she will write soon. I hope she writes other words besides "soon" because if she only writes "soon" it will be much too short a letter.

S. Woody White told me A Tale of Two Accidents, one on each coast. First, his beloved, der Brucer, tripped over a curb (bruc spelled backwards - how appropriate!) in Philadelphia, fell and bruised (or Bruced) a few ribs. Then, S. Woody White went and did the exact same thing, only in Long Beach. He not only bruised some ribs but got a black eye as well. This is known as syncronicity in accidents although these synchronous accidents can only occur in Long Beach and Philadelphia. If only S. Woody White had read the book on this very subject, Syncronicity in Accidents and The Cities They Occur In by Dr. Osgood Osgood III this whole thing could have been avoided.

Anna wants to know why everyone is making such a big deal about Frank Wildhorn being the first composer in twenty years to have three musicals running concurrently on Broadway. Of course, that is the very subject of our trivia question, which I shall answer shortly or longly as suits my fancy, whatever the hell that is. The amusing thing about this Wildhorn hype is that his fanatical fans were first trying to say that he was the only composer to have three shows running concurrently on Broadway. When it was pointed out to said fans how incorrect they were, they changed it to the only American composer to have three shows running concurrently on Broadway. When it was pointed out to them that they were once again incorrect, they changed it to, the first American composer who's had three shows running concurrently on Broadway lately.

Tiffany (not Tardy Tiffany) tells me she's got the soundtrack to Anthony Newley's Can Hieronymous Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness and that she spent her formative years singing the songs Once Upon A Time and Oh, What a Son-of-a- Bitch I Am. Perhaps if Tiffany would send us a cassette of her singing said songs, Mr. Mark Bakalor could put them right here in this column in Real Audio or whatever the hell it is. I mean, we have activity photos, why can't we have Real Audio or whatever the hell it is? We must be on the cutting edge of technology here. But noooooo, Mr. Bakalor just sits on his buttcheeks like so much fish and can't be bothered to give us Real Audio or whatever the hell it is. So, we must suffer, dear readers. Tiffany wants to know if Universal even has a print of Hieronymous Merkin or if it's a lost film. I happen to know that a "screener" tape was made, but then apparently the powers that be decided against releasing it. Perhaps now with Mr. Newley's death they'll reconsider.

Julie (sweetheart to Mr. Bakalor) wrote to tell me she had a swell time meeting me at Jerry's Famous Deli. I, too, had a swell time, but I believe Julie had a sweller time and I can prove it because the proof is in the pudding, or in this case, the chocolate cake.

Doesn't she look like she's having a sweller time? Chocolate cake always takes the cake, swell time-wise. Julie also tells me that she just pulled an all-nighter writing a research paper on raccoons. First of all, why is Julie pulling an all-nighter? Does the all-nighter appreciate being pulled? Maybe the all-nighter would just rather sit on its couch like so much fish. And what's this business about writing a paper on raccoons? Isn't it hard to write a paper on a raccoon? Isn't a desk better? I mean, the raccoon doesn't just sit there while you're writing a paper on it, does it? Also, are there really that many interesting things you can say about a raccoon? Oh, they make nice hats (my close personal friend, Mr. Davy Crockett, had one) but aside from that, what? To me a raccoon looks like its doing a bad impression of a squirrel. I think I have exhausted the topic of the raccoon, don't you, dear readers? I think it's time we move on to the macaroon which is ever so much more interesting.

Tom (the Boy From Oz) is back on-line after having been off-line, and we are glad to have him back on-line because it is no fun to be off-line, unless you are writing a research paper on raccoons. Tom wishes there were more videos of Stephen Sondheim's shows, especially Pacific Overtures. The sad part is that Pacific Overtures was professionally taped for Japanese television while it was on Broadway. It's a shame it's never been made available as the quality is very good.

Trivia and Other Useless Knowledge

Lots of you wrote in answers to last week's question: What other composers besides Frank Wildhorn have had three shows running concurrently on Broadway. Well, here are some of the answers you provided.

Stephen Sondheim (Company, Follies, and the Phil Silvers revival of Forum)

Jerry Herman (Mame, Hello, Dolly! and Dear World)

Andrew Lloyd Webber (Phantom, Cats, Aspects of Love., or Sunset Blvd., or Joseph)

I believe it would not be hard to find that Richard Rodgers had three shows running concurrently on Broadway, as well as several others. Thanks to Elan, Andrew, cheshirecat, Anna, jon, and Tom (formerly Louis) for all their good answers.

This week's trivia question: In the last thirty years, many Sondheim alumni have gone on to star in sitcoms and tv series. Name as many performers and series as you can.

Send all answers to me at or use the form below...



Questions? Comments?

Well, dear readers, another column bites the dust, although what the dust did to deserve this is anyone's guess. I must leave you now and go partake of more Pistachio Pistachio ice cream. And, after eating said ice cream, I must take my lightened hair and show it to the world at large. After showing my lightened hair to the world at large I shall come home and read a book I just picked up entitled The Wonderful World of Raccoons and Why Papers Should Be Written On Them by Chas. "Sockeye" Salmon, PHD.

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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Recently Overheard...
Assassins is about how society interprets the American Dream, marginalizes outsiders and rewrites and sanitizes its collective history. "Something Just Broke" is a major distraction and plays like an afterthought, shoe horned simply to appease. The song breaks the dramatic fluidity and obstructs the overall pacing and climactic arc which derails the very intent and momentum that makes this work so compelling...”
- Mark Bakalor

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“I found [the Sondheim Celebration's Company] to be completely delightful. Almost all of the numbers excited and energized me, and most of the scenes were about as pitch-perfect as you can get. I just sat there with a big smile on my face the whole show.

Which is not to say that it is perfect...”
- popcornonmyknees

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Music, Books & More
Elaine Stritch
With three hand-held cameras, one major theatrical milestone and nearly nineteen hours of footage, this rare and intimate look with Original Cast Album - Company is a must for any Sondheim fan.

DVD: $26.96
VHS: $24.95

One of Sondheim's most beloved works is sure to be Sunday in the Park with George, available on DVD, video tape, and CD.

CD: $13.99
DVD: $25.49
VHS: $19.98

Nathan Lane
All Sondheim completists are sure to now own the first complete recording of The Frogs coupled with Evening Primrose. Do you?

CD: $18.97

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