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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Word: All About Lloyd

Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lloyd Richards, known for his well-wrought mid-century melodramas, which often starred Margo Channing, has died at 95 at his home just two hours north of New York City. Mr. Richards was born in 1915 in Lawrence, Kansas. After completing his doctorate in English at the University of Iowa, he worked at the drama desk of the Chicago Tribune before serving with distinction in the Office of War Information (OWI) during World War II.

His first major success on the New York stage, Lightning Strikes Terry Jones, premiered at the Lyceum Theater on April 13, 1946 and remained there for the next two seasons.

The bittersweet domestic comedy, starring Jose Ferrer, Judith Evelyn, and, in a rare legit appearance, Helen Lawson, won Richards instant acclaim. In his Times review, Brooks Atkinson found Richards to have "an uncommonly fine ear for both the sordid nonsense and the dogged temerity of married life," and called the play "an astonishingly fresh vision of what post-war American drama could achieve."

In 1947, Richards lectured at Radcliffe and met his wife Karen Richards (nee Bradman) who survives him. Later that year he was to meet Margo Channing at a cocktail party at the home of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontaine in Genessee Depot, Wisconsin. Immediately and presciently, he wrote to his friend William Saroyan that he had found his muse. in the next three days as a guest of the Lunts, he turned out what was to become one of his most enduring successes, Avis Rara, the first of seven Richards dramas to star Channing.

It was followed successively by Selma's Sweet Caprice, The Last Soubrette, Abelard and Hell, Louise, Aged in Wood, Footsteps on the Ceiling, Awash in Lather, and Ten Cents a Laugh.

All of these were to star Channing with one exception. In 1950 the star was to turn down the role of Cora, an unhappy young housewife [in Footsteps on the Ceiling], finding it inappropriate for an actress of advancing years just beginning her own long marriage to longtime lover and collaborator, the director Bill Sampson, who helmed all of Richards' Broadway triumphs.

Cora instead famously went to Eve Harrington, Channing's understudy in Aged in Wood, made her a star and won for the Sarah Siddons Award for Distinction in the Theatre.

Miss Harrington, never to appear on the stage again, made a splash in several films of the early 1950's (most impressively in Otto Preminger's Wings of Clay opposite Dana Andrews for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe award as best newcomer) but retired from acting in 1954 when she married Anglo-Indonesian rubber tycoon Artie "Scags" Banks.

Mr. Banks mysterious death in Singapore the following year led to scandal when Miss Harrington was accused of murder. Although she was acquitted, the story drudged up sordid rumors of an earlier affair with Richards during the New Haven tryouts of Footsteps on the Ceiling.

Herald Tribune Columnist Addison de Witt, who had dated Harrington during this period, denied the rumors in memoirs published in 1963, A Pretext Too Piquant, but admitted his suspicions that Harrington had indeed murdered Banks.

Miss Harrington died penniless of Grote's disease in Milwaukee in 1966. The introduction by Karen Richards of Miss Harrington, then a stagestruck waif, to Margo Channing during the run of Aged in Wood remains catnip to theater aficionados, and was the subject of a 1983 play, Two Very Dry Martinis and a Gibson Girl, penned by Richards protege Wendy Wasserstein.

Other works by Richards include two screenplays, One Night in Tenerife (a mostly forgotten Paulette Goddard-Fred MacMurray comedy directed by Mitchell Leisen) and an ill-fated adaptation of Middlemarch (starring Betty Hutton as Dorothea Brooke, a casting choice often cited as one of Darryl Zanuck's most legendary mistakes) directed by Henry Hathaway; a strangely oblique children's story, Margo and Karen Lunch at 21, illustrated by Charles Addams, and a collection of memoirs heralding the demise of American theater acting, Gone Are The [Days] (1969, Random House).

Main Entry: hom·age
Pronunciation: \ˈä-mij, ˈhä-\
Function: noun
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French homage, omage, from home man, vassal, from Latin homin-, homo human being; akin to Old English guma human being, Latin humus earth — more at humble
Date: 14th century
1 a : a feudal ceremony by which a man acknowledges himself the vassal of a lord b : the relationship between a feudal lord and his vassal c : an act done or payment made in meeting the obligations of vassalage
2 a : expression of high regard : respect —often used with pay b : something that shows respect or attests to the worth or influence of another : tribute--his long life filled with international homages to his unique musical talent — People

This brilliant post came from an anonymous poster over at www.datalounge.com. Hugh Marlowe is smiling somewhere in the after life.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday Talent: Ricky Martin

These pics appeared in late 2005. The post headline here was "Not Anderson Cooper"

These showed up on the 'net with varying info as to the identity of Mr. Martin's companion. Just a matter of fact tribute to homoerotic beauty. Thank you, Mother Nature.

Homoerotic beauty notwithstanding ... Martin's coming out is a bigger deal than many in the life imagine. The biggest impact is probably in the Latino Community. Thank you, Mr. Martin. You are blessed to be who you are.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Music: We're So Peculiar

The main site has three versions of the song "Ain't That Peculiar" Marvin Gaye's original and the remakes by Rita Coolidge and Marthe Reeves http://www.column-of-life.com/lower.html -- a veritable paean to masochism.

Honey you do me wrong but still I'm crazy about you
Stay away too long and I can't do without you
Every chance you get you seem to hurt me more and more
But each hurt makes my love stronger than before
I know flowers go through rain
But how can love go through pain

Ain't that peculiar
A peculiar ality
Ain't that peculiar baby
Peculiar as can be

You tell me lies that should be obvious to me
I've been so much in love with you baby til i don't wanna see
That things you do and say are designed to make me blue
It's a dog gone shame my love for you makes all
Your lies seem true
But if the truth makes love last longer
Why do lies make my love stronger

Ain't that peculiar
Peculiar as can be
Ain't that peculiar baby
Peculiar ality

I cried so much just like a child thats lost its toy
Maybe baby you think these tears i cry are tears of joy
A child can cry so much until you do everything they say
But unlike a child my tears don't help me to get my way
I know love can last through years
But how can love last through tears

From Amazon.com:

(1)Harold J. Gaugler
In her long recording career, Rita Coolidge has yet to top ... her 1971 eponymous debut. Rita moved much too quickly from a soulful Southern rocker to an adult contemporary hit maker to suit me. Her later, more radio friendly work brought her several hit singles, but they don't hold up as well as the timeless songwriters whose work she covered here. Her version of the Marvin Gaye hit, "Ain't That Peculiar", is just about the best cover of a Motown classic I've ever heard. There are many highlights here: "Born Under a bad Sign", written by her brother-in-law Booker T. Jones; Van Morrisons "Crazy Love" Otis Redding's "The Happy Song" Neil Young's "I Believe in You" two excellent Donna Weiss songs, "That Man is My Weakness" and "Mud Island" and a beautiful cover of the Eagles' "Seven Bridges Road". Rita's voice has never been stronger, and she sounds great covering the many varied styles she does here. An excellent debut album that showed a lot of promise ... She should have kept rockin'.

(2)re: Martha Reeves-- The surprising opening is a very successful cover of Van Morrison's "Wild Night," with a funky, driving beat that will have you out of your seat and bopping. Next is a gorgeous ballad, the heart wrenching "You've Got Me for Company," which is one of the finest portraits of consuming love I've ever heard.

Marvin Gaye's "Ain't That Peculiar" gets an interesting make-over, with a driving wall-of-sound brass accompaniment and Martha's punchy "woo-woo-woo's" that hammer the "you do me wrong" aspect of the song.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Scintillating Sunday: Tristan Hamilton

From Model Mayhem:

After touring the entire state of Queensland, Australia, in the model/dance extravaganza FASHION WITH FLAIR at the ripe age of 18, Tristan Hamilton began his film career at the Academy of Film & Television, on the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

After which Tristan moved to the state of Victoria where he passionately dived into the art of filmmaking with his first public screening, the short, Discoballs in 2000...

He joined forces with good friend and collaborator, Nicholas Verso to work on Verso’s first feature film Max A Cautionary Tale (2003) as Production Manager and actor.

Tristan has also appeared in various low budget films in various roles, magazine editorials, dance party posters and won the 2004 Melbourne Mid Summa Festival Opening Night Talent Quest miming to Kelis’s "Milkshake" song!

Daddy's Boy saw the return of this unique and fun-filled filmmaker in 2006. The queer short film had great success in the local and international Gay & Lesbian Film Festival circuit and was picked up for distribution by Frameline in North America.

He is now working on his follow up short, what he describes as a John Waters/Wes Craven mash up horror/comedy romp! And continues to pay the bills by exploiting his assets. So if you think his assets are exploitable contact him! Pronto...

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Beefcake Goodnight: It Was A Long Day

Your Main Course Beefcake: Kamil Bak

One fine taste treat!

Saturday Beefcake with Giada's Recipe

Penne pasta, half pound
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, three tablespoons
Garlic two cloves, minced
1 1/2 pounds thin Asparagus, thin, one and a half pounds, trimmed, cut into one inch pieces
Salt and Pepper to taste
Grape Tomatoes, two cups
Peas, fresh, one cup, shelled
Chicken stock, one half cup low sodium
Parmesan, one cup grated
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves

1. Cook pasta until tender but still firm to the bite
2. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.
3. In a large saute pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
4. Add the asparagus, season with the salt and pepper, and cook for three minutes until slightly soft.
5. Add the tomatoes and peas. Cook for two minutes.
6. Pour the chicken stock into the pan and bring the mixture to a simmer.
7. Cook until the tomatoes start to burst and the stock is reduced by half, about three minutes.
8. Transfer the asparagus mixture to a large serving bowl.
9. Add the cooked pasta and one half of the Parmesan.
10. Toss well, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to loosen the pasta.
11. Garnish with the remaining Parmesan and chopped basil.

This is definitely something that appeals to the Column palate. It can be served for the afternoon meal or for the evening meal. It's like a part in your mouth.

Saturday Beefcake: Roasted Peppers

Bell Peppers, red, ripe
Garlic, three cloves. minced
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, three tablespoons
Oregano, one half teaspoon
Basil, fresh leaves, sliced
Sea Salt, to taste

1. Place the peppers on a baking sheet and broil 6 inches below a medium flame (a gas oven is best but an electric oven may still be used on the broil setting).
2. Roast peppers for about 10 minutes, turning frequently to prevent burning, until the skins blacked and blister on all sides.
3. Remove peppers and place in a brown paper bag, rolling up the open end to seal tightly. Let stand for 10 minutes. This will make the skins easier to remove.
4. Remove the skins, stems and seeds. Slice lengthwise into 1/2" thick strips (or halves, if desired).
5. Place peppers in a jar or bowl (if using right away); add garlic, olive oil, oregano, basil, and salt. Mix well.
Serve either warm or cold.

Saturday Midmorning Beefcake: Ian Lauer

If you're still in bed this will get it, er, you up.

Saturday Beefcake: Daybreak

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday Might: Lauren Kennedy's Freaker Ball

From Lauren:

Ok, so I know it is Easter Sunday...but really, isn't the celebration over by 4pm anyway? After the brunch and the Easter egg hunt, what do you have planned? How about coming down to The Canal Room at 8pm to see a sneak peek of a brand new idea of a show that I am developing with Eric Anderson and Fred Lassen

I will also be starting off the evening with a concert featuring a butt load of Jason Robert Brown tunes as well as a few new songs thrown in the mix. Not to mention duets with my terribly funny and hot husband Alan Campbell, the beautiful and E belting Julia Burrows, the owner of one of my favorite voices Michelle Kinney, the original guitar hero Gina Stewart, and taking off his roller skates for a rare appearance as himself—the hunky and golden piped Max von Essen.

Have I said too much?

Oh, good.

You also don't wanna miss out seeing the premiere performance of The Freakers Ball, with Matt Caplan, Daniel Bogart, Asmeret Ghebremichael, the father and son team of Marcus and Eli Rojas, along with the creators Fred Lassen and Eric Anderson! You will be "Ickle Me, Pickle Me, Tickled" by the the pure zaniness! Word has it a cowbell and googles will be involved.

Purchasing tickets is a easy as 1,2,3 ...O, Lord, just click on the link!

Come celebrate with us on Easter. Maybe I'll even wear bunny ears....


Before Lauren got freaky she got Bacharach ...scroll down for her performance.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Gay Thursday: Angel of Mercy, Guillermo Diaz

We need a few more like him.

They like him over at AfterElton. Go figure. A tease:

Probably best known for his role as Guillermo on Showtime’s hit series Weeds, the thirty-four-year old Diaz has also played a punk rocker, a drag queen, and a surfer just to name a few of his many roles. And it's that ability to slip in and out of so many varied characters that likely ensures the out and proud New York City native will be working for many years to come.

AfterElton.com recently caught up with Diaz to talk about his new movie, his role on Mercy and much more.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wednesday Word: Just Sayin'

Main Entry: 1con·sti·tu·tion·al
Pronunciation: \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\
Function: adjective
Date: 1682
1 : relating to, inherent in, or affecting the constitution of body or mind
2 : of, relating to, or entering into the fundamental makeup of something : essential
3 : being in accordance with or authorized by the constitution of a state or society = "a constitutional government"
4 : regulated by or ruling according to a constitution = "a constitutional monarchy"
5 : of or relating to a constitution = "a constitutional crisis"
6 : loyal to or supporting an established constitution or form of government

from www.carinsurancerates.com

Mandatory Car Insurance Laws - Fines and Penalties for Not Insuring Your Auto?
The United States of America is the land of the free, home of the brave. For the most part, people have the liberty to do whatever they want, so long as their actions don’t hurt others. Everyone knows that eating fast food is unhealthy, but we don’t have laws banning Big Macs and Whoppers. Everyone knows that bathing at least once a day is a good idea, but there’s no showering law on the books. We in America value our freedom to choose, and we are skeptical whenever “Big Brother” infringes upon our economic liberties. So it is only natural to ask the question, “Are mandatory insurance laws fair?”

Are You Hurting Others by Driving Without Insurance?

Every single one of America’s 50 states has laws that require, or at the very least, strongly recommend, that the owners and operators of automobiles have insurance. We all know that car insurance is a good idea, but why should the government require us to have it? The reason is that when you drive without insurance, you are not only a threat to yourself, but you’re also a threat to your fellow motorists. We Americans tolerate the bad decisions of our fellow countrymen, so long as they don’t have an impact on our lives. But the right of one man to swing his fist ends at the tip of another man’s nose - and some would argue that by driving without insurance, you are coming dangerously close to my nose.

Financial Responsibility Laws vs. Compulsory Insurance

The interesting thing is that some states do not make motorists show proof of insurance on routine traffic stops. Insurance is required, but only in the event of an accident. The thinking in these states is that the government has no right to penalize you for a crime that you only might commit. But if you fail to produce insurance at the scene of an accident, you are in big trouble - your license and registration are suspended until you are able to pay for all of the damages you’ve caused, out of pocket.

The problem with the thinking of these states is that by the time a motorist has already been in an accident, it’s too late. Most uninsured motorists aren’t multi-millionaires who figure that they don’t need insurance because they can absorb any expenses that they incur. Instead, most uninsured people are unwilling to pay their insurance premiums because they are already financially constrained, and if they cause damages in an accident, the injured parties will have no chance of ever collecting. As they say, “you can’t squeeze blood from a stone.”

In Conclusion…

This is why, upon deep reflection, even the most strident libertarian has to agree that mandatory insurance laws are indeed fair. If insurance were entirely optional, then responsible drivers would have to purchase uninsured motorists coverage, and in an anarchist insurance environment, those premiums would be astronomical. In other words, the responsible drivers would be paying for the sins of the irresponsible, while in our current system, whatever its flaws, the reverse is mostly true.

At the end of the day, the real issue is that auto insurance is something you absolutely should have, regardless of the law. The important thing is to get the right coverage for you. A good agent will match your needs with your budget and find the right coverage package at the right price. Comparison shopping is the key, and with the advent of the internet, it has never been easier to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Talent: The Divine Miss M, Alicia Minshew

It's no wonder that Richie Herschenfeld of Prohibition is in a constant good mood. Look who he comes home to:

The support coming from the entertainment industry in these efforts to help those with HIV and AIDS has been very gratifying. The event on May 12th promises to be the biggest and brightest event yet. We are honoured to have Alicia Minshew there for this annual meet and greet.

Go here for photos of the lovely Miss M

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Music: Dusty Springfield

Those of us in the plush Column of Life offices are nothing if not obsessive freaks. Here's more Dusty music.

Dusty was not only a prime interpreter of the pop aria, she was also damn good at hyperbole. She claims to have fallen into a heap when she heard Pino Donaggio's "Io Che Non Vivo," which eventually became her biggest hit, "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me." She also claims to have driven off the road upon hearing "West End Girls" on the car radio.

What is true about her is her unfailing love for music of many types and her penchant for turning a song, any song, into her own. The Pet Shop Boys only wanted her to "dustify" their very catchy song, which she did marvelously on the second rendition of the chorus.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Scintillating Sunday: More Scott Herman

Geekosystem.com has this to say:

According to The Hollywood Reporter’s 'sources,' Chris Evans has been formally offered the part of the first Avenger. This would entail starring in up to three Captain America movies, any Avengers movies, and certain cameos in other Marvel Universe movies. Solid job! What’s the hold up? Well, Evans has already agreed to a role in What’s Your Number? a romantic comedy that beings filming this summer. This might cause scheduling conflicts with a Captaib shoot.

If you’re trying to remember where you know Chris Evans from, it’s because you probably do. He was the Human Torch in both ill-executed Fantastic Four movies. Playing the roles of two different Marvel heroes is unlikely, in this case, to cause conflict. I don’t think anyone would mind if they scrapped the current FF franchise and started over again.

DNA was pondering who might be touted as the super hero.

Scott Herman put these shots up.

As far as we are concerned -- OK, Chris Evans, put up or shut up.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Febrile Saturday Beefcake: Some Like It Hot

It's what we do (or did as the case may be.)