25 December 2011

A couple quotations to sum up the last few days

We should grey together
Not that pigeon-chested Trafalgar grey
The grey that greets you on that first October day

: The Beautiful South, "Have Fun"

How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your colon?
: Matthew 7:4 (adapted)

24 December 2011

Merry Christmas Eve Day, all!

So, which kind of Christmas ambulatory aid are you?

Tiny Tim's crutch (A Christmas Carol):


Kris Kringle's cane (Miracle on 34th Street)?

(Hint to my response: I miss Natalie Wood!)

20 December 2011

A true cultural milestone: Either I'm too old or...

...it's time for Hollywood to offer a film remake of The Lone Ranger (or both):

At last night's concert at Hartford Magnet/Trinity College Academy, the orchestra teacher, in introducing "The William Tell Overture," didn't mention (or even allude to) "The Lone Ranger."

I didn't think it'd ever be possible to separate the musical selection from the classic cowboy.

I was wrong. 

Or so I thought, then I found this.


Hi-ho, Silver...and away!

In honor of Hanukkah...

...and in the spirit of Judaeo-Christian ecumenism, I give you "Angelo Rosenbaum," a great seasonal love story!

In the December issue of the great British music magazine Mojo, Brian Wilson...

...is interviewed regarding the recent release of the reconstructed Smile album, and he declares the Beach Boys' masterpiece to be...


And I must heartily agree.

No, humanity hasn't changed in 2500+ years

The older daughter is a national finalist...

...in the poetry recitation contest sponsored by The Norton Anthology.  She chose the 17th-Century American poet Anne Bradstreet's "Upon the Burning of Our House."

You can see the contestants and vote for your favorite (hint, hint!) here:


I know I'm biased, but that doesn't mean I'm wrong.  Hers is the best recitation of this poem!


19 December 2011

Man, Mr. Franco must've done REALLY BANG-UP WORK in the two class meetings he attended to even earn a D!

NYU professor allegedly fired for giving James Franco a D?; ‘Survivor: South Pacific’ declares its winner


According to one fired NYU professor, this guy is not as studious as he looks. Jose Angel Santana, a former New York University professor, has reportedly filed a lawsuit against the school in an attempt to get his job back. The reason he was fired, based on what Santana tells the New York Post? He gave student James Franco a D. Santana says the Oscar-nominated actor missed 12 out of 14 of his “Directing the Actor II” classes, earning him the low grade. Santana also asserts that other professors gave Franco high marks that were undeserved. “The school has bent over backwards to create a Franco-friendly environment, that’s for sure,” he tells The Post. Reps for Franco and the university have not commented. (New York Post)

18 December 2011

Two more questions to which I have no answers

1. Does it make sense that CT Attorney-General-turned-Senator Dick Blumenthal now gets front page coverage in the Hartford Courant for no longer being a front page story?

2. If "an educated consumer [was] their best customer," what does the demise of Syms say about the state of education?

17 December 2011

16 December 2011

Let's just say I'm underwhelmed by this response...

As I responded to the X.U. President when he disseminated the video just a little while ago:

Everything that you say in the first minute would seem to suggest that you were leading up to some decisive action, some reaffirmation of core Jesuit values (i.e., something more than the rather light punishment that has been imposed upon the members of the XU team most involved).
Instead you simply state the obvious: that Xavier should be better than this. Well, the actions and aftermath would seem to suggest that, if we are better than this, it's certainly not by much.
Please count me among the disheartened.

(a few of the) Questions which I really can't answer

1.  Do people really have so much broken gold jewelry just hanging around their house that they can collect it, bring it to "Good Ole Tom," and get lots of money for it?

2.  Why exactly does anyone need a boxed set with a regular DVD and a blu-ray disc of the same film?

3.  The purpose of watching a radio program on television is...?

4.  Once my free trial period is over, is there any compelling reason why I should PAY for HBO and Starz?  (So far, Secretariat and The Green Hornet would argue "no.")

5.  Wouldn't God, when Christopher Hitchens came knock, knock, knocking on Heaven's door just a few hours ago, want the old contrarian stayin' around there for some good rollicking conversations?

15 December 2011

Well, I guess the argument goes, if you're going to have to cut the salary...

...then, go ahead and just hire a woman!

If they're going to shut down the government...

...then I say really shut down the government: send EVERYBODY, and I mean everybody, home. 

Tell the soldiers overseas to make the best of it because they won't be getting any supplies (food, uniforms, transport, or weapons), until the government reopens. 

Tell anybody who receives federal assistance, there will be nothing coming their way, until the government reopens.

Tell everybody there'll be no mail.

Open the doors of the federal prisons because we certainly can 't pay the guards.  (Good news, Gitmo detainees and white collar criminals!) 

Shut down the federal monuments, the museums, and all national parks, until the government reopens. 

Tell ALL federal employees -- including all levels of all three branches of government -- that, until the government reopens, there will be no paychecks, no health insurance, no compensation of any kind....

If they're gonna do it, then they gotta do it right.

Of course, if the brave souls that are our Congress (I'm surprised I can even type those words!) ever  REALLY shut down the government (and let just a whiff of the reality waft toward the American people), not a single elected official would EVER be returned to his/her post again.

Stop posturing.  Make a deal.  Solve a real problem for a change.

14 December 2011

One important thing to remember about the Xavier-UC basketball riot...

...is that such things never happen with the Xavier FOOTBALL team, which remains undefeated since 1973!

13 December 2011

In tap class, I'm earning a whole new nickname!


"Rhythm Black Hole"

(because, if there's any rhythm inherent in that combination,
it'll disappear once I get ahold of it!)

12 December 2011

Happy 96th Birthday, Francis Albert Sinatra!

A swell duet by Frank and Rosie from 
the Reprise Musical Repertory Theatre's recording of  
South Pacific
produced by Sinatra.

11 December 2011

Perhaps your daughter's high school is too big...

...when you have to sign a permission slip for her to go on a "field trip" to the lecture hall.

And I'm NOT joking.

10 December 2011

Yet another honor denied me because of my parents....

Who can blame me for my blaming my parents for their not being celebrities, which, in turn, denies me the opportunity to be named Miss Golden Globe!

After all, aside from a famous mom (well, and also a pretty cool name, I have to admit), what's Rainey Qualley got that I don't?

Life IS unfair.

09 December 2011

Company's way more than just three....

Having cut my musical-theatre teeth on Gershwin, Kern, Rodgers and Hart and the lyricist Stephen Sondheim, I have come to the official Stephen Sondheim oeuvre quite late, thanks in part to Playhouse on Park’s previous Side by Side by Sondheim and the New Britain High School 2011 production of Into the Woods, in which my daughter played Cinderella.  (Add your own sarcastic theatre-dad comment here.) 

My aversion to Sondheim’s material, I know, stems directly from a bad experience of turning on PBS years ago and seeing Mandy Patinkin’s dabbing paint on a scrim as he sang (seemingly endlessly and seemingly without melody)  something like “Blue, Red, Red, Blue, Yellow, Blue, Blue, White, Blue, Green, Green Yellow, White…” in Sunday in the Park with George.  Where, I thought, was the poetic wit of this guy’s lyrics for Gypsy and West Side Story wedded perfectly to the music of Styne and Bernstein, respectively?  Thanks, but no thanks, I said.

Playhouse on Park’s current production of Sondheim’s now classic Company (from 1970?!?) has pretty much got me on the Sondheim bandwagon…and, yes, I’m sure Stephen has been waiting breathlessly for this declaration!

As tightly directed and choreographed by Leslie Unger, with the usual excellent musical direction of Colin Britt and performed by a very talented cast, the musical examines Bobby (Ryan Speakman) on his 35th birthday as he ponders his own lack of commitment, in light of the “commitments” of several of his couple friends.  Many of the songs are now standards, like “Being Alive,” “Another Hundred People,” and “Here’s to the Ladies Who Lunch,” and are powerful statements on the lives we lead, for better or worse.
As we’ve come to expect from POP, the ensemble of professional performers (Speakman, along with Amanda Bruton, Jennifer Lauren Brown, Kevin Barlowski, Hillary Ekwall, Erik Agle, Ben Beckley, Brian Detlefs, and Victoria Thornsbury), and the students from the Hartt School (Scott Caron, Alexandra Cutler, Keisha Gilles, Lea Nardi, and Meredith Swanson) sparkle throughout.  I enjoyed all the performances, each contributing to our understanding why Bobby, that thirty-something, is the way he is.  

And the show’s dramatic and immediate intimacy is highlighted by the sparse set and the proximity of the audience, which allows each of us to feel the tension, the love, the heartbreak, and that sense of, well, “being alive” the characters are so eagerly want.

The show runs through December 18th.  So, give yourself a holiday gift, and enjoy the Company!