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

July 12, 1999 - #91 1/4

Well, dear readers, a confluence of events has precluded me from being able to write a column this week. Yes, you heard it here, dear readers, a confluence of events has occurred and there is simply nothing we can do about said confluence. The first event, of course, you are well aware of, and that is that Mr. Mark Bakalor is in Napa Valley or wherever the hell he is, doing shows and singing and dancing and whatnot. The second event is that I will shortly be winging my way to New York. So, this confluence of events has put the kibosh on writing a brand spanking new column. However, I will be back with a regularly scheduled column in one week's time. So we don't get too far behind I will answer last week's letters this week, that way next week I can answer this week's letters, thereby insuring that I will not be two weeks behind, letters-wise. Wow (wow spelled backwards mom spelled upside down), this column is starting to feel like the run of The Civil War: Brief. But enough about me.

Letters... We Get Letters

Unknown sent me no less than ten e-mails, most of them consisting of less than one line. Here is the problem, Unknown. When I see that I have thirty e-mails waiting for me I get all excited. I jump up and down and dance the Swim. But then I find that ten of the thirty e-mails are from one person and that they're one line apiece and they frequently say the same thing. So, to preclude my dancing the Swim needlessly, I would ask you to keep the one-line comments to one e-mail and then it will be much easier to answer your queries and much less printing for me. In any case, Unknown is happy that Gluckman and Fitz will be returning to Column A. I hope they return sooner than later, but Myrna Fitz has been on vacation and won't be sending me more gems from their trunk until she returns.

Jon B. writes that the reason people have said that the Pegasus Players production of Saturday Night by my close personal friend Mr. Stephen Sondheim seems amateurish is that, in his opinion, it is. He feels that even though the Pegasus Players call themselves a professional theater that its performers are not members of Actor's Equity and most are college students or recent graduates who have never been in a professional production. I have no problem with whether or not performers are affiliated with a union, but I do have problems when they are not good enough to be playing the roles they're playing. That said, I have not seen the production of Saturday Night so I cannot speak of it. As I've said, some have told me it's totally amateurish, and some have looked past that and just enjoyed it for what it is; a look at an early work of the musical theater's most interesting talent.

Sean wrote me to tell me that, because he was using a computer at the St. Louis Science Museum, that he could only write a short note. You see, when one is using a computer at the St. Louis Science Museum one is only supposed to go to science related sites. I feel that the Stephen Sondheim Stage is a science related site, the science of both musical theater and drivel. Sean will write more when he's back in Oklahoma (the state not the musical).

Grehf tells me that Carrie is one of his favorite shows, because of its alternate brilliance and banality (the two Bs). He wishes there were a recording of it. There has been talk over the years of such a recording but Michael Gore, the composer of the score, has not been willing to do it. Perhaps that will change at some point, as it is the single most requested show to be recorded. Grehf also tells me that he proudly wears his One From Column A T-shirt all the time, but has yet to be approached by anyone who also reads the column. I, too, have worn my very own One From Column A T-shirt, and no one has approached me either. Perhaps if Grehf is wearing his T-shirt and lives in New York I will see him in it and he will see me in mine and then we can approach each other and say, "What is it, fish?" Grehf also asked me if I had a video of Alice At The Palace with Meryl Streep. Sorry to say that I don't.

Evan has been directing a production of Pippin at Queen's College. This is the production that has a new ending that was given to Evan by Mr. Stephen Schwartz, the composer/lyricist of the show. Evan is inviting me to see the production, and since I will be back in New York in a few weeks when it is playing perhaps I shall see it. If Evan will please send a schedule of performances I'll see if I can swing it. Why I would want to swing a schedule of performances is another story. What would be the point of swinging a schedule of performances? I think a schedule of performances shouldn't be swung at all, but be done in a straightforward manner right on the beat. Let's save the swing for Brian Setzer and Benny Goodman.

Joey asks if Rose's Turn in Gypsy was created solely as a topper to Gypsy's strip routine. While Rose's Turn is clearly an eleven o'clock number for Rose (who is, after all, the star of the show), it is also the culmination of that character's journey and finally let's Rose express all the frustration and anger she's feeling. It's one of the musical theater's greatest numbers, a masterpiece of writing. And I don't care who plays this role; no one will ever give me the chills that Merman does on the Broadway Cast Album.

Tiffany has been sewing a quilt. One week ago she didn't even know how to sew and now she has sewn a quilt. She will send us an activity photo of said quilt as soon as it is finished. Tiffany has also finally sent her activity photo of the fish socks, so hopefully we will be able to show it to everyone in the next column. My question is, is Tiffany wearing her fish socks whilst sewing her brand spanking new quilt? Is there a picture of a fish on said quilt? And who, pray tell, invented the word "quilt"? Someone said, "I'll sew a bunch of squares together. What shall I call the result? Wait, I know, a quilt. I mean, the mind boggles (no mean feat). We won't even get into the whole "qu" thing. As you all know, someone somewhere decided words that should start with "kw" (i.e. "quilt" "quaint" "quandary") would, for no reason whatsoever, start with "qu". That is because someone else once decided that the alphabet simply had to have a "Q" in it. The alphabet simply would not be right without a "Q". So, now we are stuck with the fershluganah "Q" and that's all there is to it. Hence, words that should start with "kw" don't, and I, for one, feel that "kw" has been given short shrift or long shrift depending on how you look at it, which, in my case, is askance.

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Questions? Comments?

Well, this column just flew by, didn't it? And next week, a confluence of events will enable us to be back to our regular routine, column-wise.

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

Yours, yours, yours, yours, yours.

The Real A

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