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Tag Archives: Bette Davis

Mel Brooks and his London Stage Version of “Young Frankenstein”.

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I decided to see “Young Frankenstein” before it closed because I was enamored with the film, which I saw four times, and I think that Mel Brooks is a genius, a brilliant comic, a great writer, and a very clever film director. All that in just one small package which spells ‘MEL BROOKS’!

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Mel Brooks

Well I should have saved my money. The best thing about the Show was the Curtain.

MEL BROOKS FRONTCLOTH CURTAIN 2

Nimax Theatres Ltd., I believe, is the company that owns the Garrick Theatre.

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 The Garrick Theatre

Instead of acquiring another theatre, as they seem to do like like a baby octopus, they should spend some of their shekels on cleaning up and refurbishing the Garrick Theatre. It is a disgrace! When you sit in the dress circle you expect the seats to be comfortable. Not at the Garrick! The padding has practically worn down to the wood, and those that are in a fairly good condition are even worse, because you can finish up with a spring hallway up your arse!

Last year when I saw Kenneth Branagh and Rob Brydon in “The Painkiller” at the Garrick, I sat in the dress circle, maybe it could have been the same seat, and finished up with arse ache!  That was a ‘Real Painkiller’ and how appropriate! What a pun that is!

Well, things haven’t improved!

The usherettes stand at the doorway chewing gum and selling programmes, and they do not move. They’re busy talking! and talking! and talking! I think it was about the boys make-up!  They are not interested in showing you to your seat. I was told ‘Row D, Centre!’ by he or she or it. I didn’t know what it was!  All I do know is that usherettes are supposed to usher, move their arses, and take you to your seat. Not stand in the entrance talking and chewing and looking very bored. No wonder the show is coming off!  Most probably they are in the same quandary as the audience because they also don’t know where the rows are. I entered the theatre and couldn’t see a bloody thing! Remember I’m 88, no spring chicken! After stumbling around I found Row D. The aisles and quite a few seats are not numbered. Just a few have faded numbers. So you finish up counting from a number you can see to find your seat.

Nimax Theatres Ltd., do the bloody theatre up!!!

‘This is a fine start to my evening’s enjoyment’, I thought.

The Show itself was not good or really that funny. It was more like a No.1 touring version of the original West End production. In fact, I’ve seen better in the provinces. All I could think was that when Mel Brooks saw it, he quickly collected his money and caught the next plane back to the U.S.A. Very wise!

MEL BROOKS CAST PHOTO 2018-10-02_15-38-56They were the best of the bunch, and even they seemed to be tired!

 I was so disappointed with the show that I left at the Interval.

I don’t blame the cast or the production. If the seats would have been comfortable and the usherettes would have done their job, maybe I would have seen the whole show from a different prospective

But I have to blame the two usherettes and Nimax Theatres Ltd., who started it all, and got me really pissed off, and put me into such a bad mood!!!  What a disaster!!!

I haven’t talked much about the show, because truthfully  there was nothing really  much of importance to talk about.

42nd STREET DRURY LANE.

NOW “42nd. Street” at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. WOW!

That’s, what you call a Show!

I went from the ridiculous to the sublime! The show and the cast are fantastic! You just cannot fault it.

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With a cast of over 50, it is a gem and should run for years.

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I couldn’t believe that this was the same theatre that I played in when I was ‘ZEE and CO.” with Cannon and Ball when we made the T.V. Special so many, many, many years ago.

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Lulu was excellent, you couldn’t fault her.

I left the Theatre a very, very, very happy bunny!  That is what Show Business is all about!  Great Theatre! Wonderful memories of when I was working there. and seeing a wonderfully spectacular show.

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How Wrong Can a Person Be!

Since publishing the article The “Battling Broads” Myth or True?  on August 22nd, 2012, there has been a continuation to the story of Bette Davis and Joan Crawford in the 2017 TV mini series “FEUD”.

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A new mini series has been produced called “FEUD” starring Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford. Both are brilliant in their portrayals.

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The real life ladies and the emulations of Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange.

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This goes to disprove my assumption that their FEUD was just a publicity stunt. I was WRONG! But one can’t be right all the time. I was just going from the news I could gather about their film “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane” and the stills from the said film. My research went no further back than that. I had no idea of the history of these two stars from their beginnings in Hollywood.

Well now, I don’t have to bother! The researchers of “FEUD” have done it for me.

I have to eat my words (within reason). Davis and Crawford, were both very hard nuts to crack.

With Bette Davis, what was on her lung was on her tongue, she took no bullshit from anyone. So you knew exactly where you stood with her. If she liked you, O.K, but if she didn’t! ‘Run for the hills!!!

Crawford on the other hand was even more dangerous and evil. Her behavior was more snakelike. She was devious and by the time she had finished with you, and used you, and abused you, she then threw you out. If you were lucky, you didn’t finish up with a knife in your back!

I have nothing but praise for this mini series and the work that went into the research into the history, backgrounds and relationship of these two stars, which went back to almost the beginning of their careers. This I didn’t do. Just goes to show you that they really did hate one another.

The research is quite amazing and must have taken months or even years to plan and organize, and the portrayals by Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford are quite brilliant! “FEUD” is a must for every film buff.

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This is a recreation of their original pose.

FEUD ORIGINAL CHAIR PHOTO

The casting as a whole is superb. I have but two complaints. The character of Olivia De Havilland as played by Catherine Zeta Jones, a very talented actress in her own right, was not a bit like Olivia De Havilland as I remember her. Joan Blondell, meanwhile, was played by the superb and charismatic actress Kathy Bates, but they made her look as much like Joan Blondell as Lassie! Not their fault at all! Just put it down to very bad casting or very, very, very bad make-up!!! 

Outstanding, among the supporting players is:

JACKIE HOFFMAN AS Momacita. What a brilliant piece of acting, for which I believe she was nominated for an Emmy for best supporting actress in a mini series. Unfortunately lost out to another actress, to which she said, “DAMN IT!”, and I don’t blame her!

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Jackie Hoffman

Also outstanding is:

ALFRED MOLINA as Robert Aldrich. But more about ALFRED MOLINA later, when I saw him in “RED” at the Wyndhams Theatre in London.

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                              Alfred Molina                      as                   Robert Aldrich                

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The “Battling Broads” Myth or True?

 

               JOAN CRAWFORD  (1905 – 1977)                                 BETTE DAVIS  (1908 – 1989)

These two Icons of the Cinema appeared together, one and only time in the classic film            “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”  Their feud whilst they were working was legendary and publicised World Wide.  But was it true or just a myth?        

To find out more follow this link:   https://ericlindsay.wordpress.com/the-battling-broads-myth-or-true/

           

 
 

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