Posts Tagged ‘Broadway’

Random Friday Thoughts — June 10, 2016

We’re moving closer to the official start of summer, but this is going to be the hottest weekend in the Quad Cities since last September.  I’ll definitely be floating in the pool with a cold beverage!

Great response and feedback to last week’s “Random Friday Thoughts”, so let’s jump right into this week’s edition.

WHITNEY HOUSTON RUMOR CONFIRMED (?)

It’s been more than four years since superstar Whitney Houston died, but in his new book, “Every Little Step”, ex-husband Bobby Brown confirms a longstanding rumor about Houston.

As I wrote in a blog in early 2013, there was always speculation that Whitney was in an intimate relationship with her personal assistant, Robyn Crawford.

Whitney Robyn

In that blog, Whitney’s mother, Cissy Houston denied it.

However, in his new book, Brown says that Whitney was bisexual and that she and Crawford were in a longtime relationship.

Brown writes, “I really feel that if Robyn was accepted into Whitney’s life, Whitney would still be alive today.” He goes on to say that Whitney didn’t have any close friends after Crawford.

It’s sad to think that if that’s true and she had been accepted for who she was, she might still be with us.

You can read my blog about her mother’s views on Whitney’s sexuality and relationship with Crawford by clicking this link.  (It’ll open in a new window and you won’t lose your place in today’s blog.)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2013/01/30/whitney-houstons-mother-her-conditional-love/

One last thing — Bobby Brown, please don’t continue to mine Whitney and Bobbi Kristina’s deaths for your personal financial gain.  Let them R.I.P. after this.

BEST.COMEBACK.EVER.

Delete

Those 115-thousand-plus Hillary retweets and likes were just in the first hour!

On the other hand, Donald Trump’s comment had 100-thousand less retweets and only 26-thousand likes in the same time period!

Oh Snap!

BERNIE SANDERS, THANK YOU!

While things didn’t work out for Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic race for president and he did get testy and borderline rude toward the end of the primary and caucus season, I commend him on the fight and the awareness of the broken system he brought to this year’s race for the White House.

APTOPIX DEM 2016 Debate

After meeting with President Obama Thursday, Sanders told reporters he would “work as hard as I can to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States”, which he said would be a “disaster”.

He also said, “I look forward to meeting with (Clinton) in the near future to see how we can work together to defeat Donald Trump and to create a government which represents all of us and not just the 1%.”

Here’s to unity and the political demise of Trump!

PAUL RYAN CALLED DONALD TRUMP WHAT?

House Speaker Paul Ryan (Mitt Romney’s 2012 vice presidential running mate) this week said that 2016 Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump made “a textbook definition of a racist comment” about U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel.

Trump claims that because Curiel is of Mexican heritage he can’t preside over Trump’s case fairly because the likely GOP presidential candidate wants to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico.

RomneyRyan

But, Ryan still says he’ll be voting for Trump in November.

Nicely played, GOP!

GOODBYE BRETAGNE, YOU BEAUTIFUL GIRL

Bretagne (pronounced “Brittany”), a 16-year-old golden retriever, crossed the “rainbow bridge” earlier this week in Houston, Texas.

bretagne.jpg

She’s the last known surviving canine hero who searched the rubble of “Ground Zero” after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

“The Daily Golden” reports that her owner and handler noticed that Bretagne wasn’t eating (her favorite thing) and she knew something was wrong.

On Monday, members of the Texas Task Force 1 and the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department greeted Bretagne as she entered the veterinarian’s office for the last time.

Goodbye Bretagne.jpg

She was later brought out draped in an American flag while her admirers still stood saluting.

An autopsy is being conducted since the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation is conducting a study of all 9/11 search and rescue dogs.

I don’t often tear up when writing my blogs, but I did with this entry.

GORILLA KILLING FOLLOW-UP

Last week, I talked about the Cincinnati Zoo incident that led to the shooting death of a 17-year-old silverback gorilla after a 3-year-old child crawled into the animal’s exhibit.

Hamilton County prosecutor Joseph T. Deters announced earlier this week that no charges would be brought against the little boy’s mother stating she “did not act in any way where she presented this child to some harm. She had three other children with her and turned her back.”

Deters added, “The zoo lost a beautiful animal and one that many people in this area have enjoyed watching for some time.”  But, he continued, “it’s still an animal”.

He stated that zoo officials are “heartsick” and “on so many levels, this is a tragedy.”

TODRICK HALL IS A GENIUS!

If you’re a big YouTuber or an avid “American Idol” fan, you might know 31-year-old singer-dancer-choreographer-actor-director Todrick Hall.

If not, let me share with you a soon to be masterpiece.  Hall blends together two of my favorites into seven minutes of pure bliss — Britney Spears and “Beauty and the Beast”.

So, until Britney drops her new single “Make Me (Oooh)” in July and the album this fall and the live-action version of “Beauty and the Beast” arrives in theaters next spring (more on that below), this will be on repeat on my computer.

Classic!

THE PUBLIC RESTROOM DEBATE 

Confused over the whole controversy of allowing transgender Americans to use the bathroom of their gender identity and not their sex?

LGBT

If you haven’t been following the story, North Carolina put into place “House Bill 2, the Public Facilities Privacy & Security Act” which bans people from using public bathrooms that do not correspond to their biological sex in late March 2016.

The Department of Justice alerted the state’s Governor and the University of North Carolina system that this is a violation of the U.S. Civil Rights Act.

In just the first month after “House Bill 2” was announced, tourism and hospitality took a $77 million hit in investments and visitor spending with cancelled concerts, TV and movie production, and many state and city governments refusing to travel to North Carolina.

THE INCREDIBLE DOLLY PARTON SPEAKS OUT

You don’t have to be a country music fan to think the world of Dolly Parton because of her open-mindedness and honesty.

Dolly

While Dolly didn’t cancel the opening night of her “Pure & Simple Tour” in Greensboro, North Carolina last Friday night, she definitely has something to say about the transgender community and the controversy.

This appeared on CNN Money’s Facebook page last Friday.

Kudos Dolly!

“JUST PEE”

Pop icon Cyndi Lauper, Broadway and movie star Harvey Fierstein, and the cast of Broadway’s “Kinky Boots” have an entertaining and thought-provoking look at the whole bathroom debate with “Just Pee”.

What are your thoughts on the matter?

“THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN”

We’re already six months into the year and I still haven’t gone to the movies yet.  I had planned on seeing “Money Monster”, but that never materialized.

Last year, it was December before Ray and I finally went to the theater and we saw “Krampus”.

This will all change October 7th when “The Girl on the Train” hit multiplexes with Emily Blunt.

The Girl on the Train

If you’re not familiar with it, get on board and read the thriller.

In Paula Hawkins’ 2015 worldwide best seller, “Rachel is an alcoholic, divorced woman who becomes obsessed with a couple she sees on a regular basis from the train she takes into London.  One day, she sees something strange that will trigger a series of events that will have you feverishly turning the pages to see what’s real, what’s not, and what really happened.  It’s a page turner until the end!”  (That’s what I had to say about the book last July.)

Here’s the movie trailer.

After finishing the book last summer, here’s a blog I posted with my dream cast.  Needless to say, Hollywood didn’t listen.  But, I do love Emily Blunt.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2015/07/31/my-dream-cast-for-the-girl-on-the-train/

A TALE AS OLD AS TIME….

“Beauty and the Beast” is my favorite Disney movie ever!  I absolutely adore Belle!

Beauty-And-The-Beast

I honestly grew up in Kentucky as the male “Belle”.  In Mayfield, where I was born and raised, I felt like Belle in the “poor provincial town” — just waiting to get out there and I’ve been gone 26 years now!

I’ve been very protective of the 1991 “Best Picture” Oscar-nominated original.  I haven’t seen the musical, but I’d like to one day.

When the direct-to-video sequel, “Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas” arrived in 1997, I bought it only because it was Christmas-themed.  It was enjoyable.

Two summers ago, a live-action version of the film was announced for a March 2017 release date starring Emma Watson of the “Harry Potter” series and “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”.

I was elated and scared at the the same time.  Now, after seeing the first trailer, I can’t wait until March 17, 2017 arrives!

The trailer has been viewed almost 16 million times already in just over two weeks!

PICK HIT

American singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor blasted on the music scene with her chart-topping single, “All About That Bass”.  That song stayed #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for eight weeks and was downloaded more than 9 million times in the U.S. alone!

“Bass” also won two Billboard Music Awards in 2015 and in 2016, Trainor picked up a Grammy Award for “Best New Artist”.

She’s now added three more Top Ten hits on the Hot 100 (“Lips Are Movin”, “Like I’m Gonna Lose You” (with John Legend), and “No”).

While I thought her music was cute, I didn’t jump on the “Bass” band wagon.

However, I do like “Marvin Gaye”, a duet with Charlie Puth.

I fell in love with Meghan after her smoking hot performance of her new song on Jimmy Fallon’s show.  I probably wouldn’t have noticed it if she hadn’t fallen off her high heels after the incredible performance.

But, it was the style and class she exhibited when she fell that endeared her to me.  And, the song, “Me Too”, is now one of my favorites.  It’s such a fun “Song of the Year” contender.

“Me Too” is already a Top Ten hit in Australia and Canada and is currently one of the twenty most played songs on American Top 40 radio.

“SONG OF THE SUMMER”

There’s already speculation as to what will be 2016’s “Song of the Summer” (Memorial Day to Labor Day). Justin Timberlake’s “Trolls” movie song, “Can’t Stop The Feeling!”, is a front-runner.

“Billboard” magazine just released its Top Ten songs of each summer dating back to 1985.

Flashing back thirty years to 1986, Madonna had the “Song of the Summer” with “Papa Don’t Preach”.  I remember so well getting ready on Saturday nights and heading out to “Club DV8” jamming to this song.

BEN WHISHAW…JUST BECAUSE

I have nothing new to report on the talented English actor!

Ben_Whishaw

However, if you haven’t checked out the mini-series “London Spy” or the movie, “Lilting”, stop wasting time and do so now!

THAT’S IT

Well, this has been fun and I already have some thoughts for next week.  I didn’t want you to have to read all day!

As always, thank you for checking out my thoughts and I always welcome yours — as long as you’re diplomatic if we disagree.

Until next week, peace, love and understanding!

peace_love_understanding

Anthony

More Movie Rentals To Check Out

You know I love watching movies and sharing my thoughts on them to let you know if you should hurry and rent something or don’t waste your time.

Here are some of the recent ones that we’ve watched.

“WHIPLASH”

This Academy Award-winning movie is a must-see!

I’ve now seen three of the 2014 performances for “Best Supporting Actor”.

While Robert Duvall was incredible in “The Judge” and Ethan Hawke put in a great performance in “Boyhood”, J.K. Simmons rightfully took home the Oscar for his sadistic music teacher.  I wonder if I’ll change my mind once I see Edward Norton in “Birdman” and Mark Ruffalo in “Foxcatcher”?  Oscar voters didn’t!

While he wasn’t nominated, Miles Teller was very compelling as a first-year jazz student that pushed himself to bloody pulp to excel at drumming to try to impress his cruel conductor.

GRADE:  A-

“LILTING”

This British drama and love story from Cambodian-born British director Hong Khaou is heartbreaking and touching.

It’ll make you want to hold your loved one tighter and even call your mother-in-law to let her know that she’s loved and needed.

The movie featured incredible performances from legendary Chinese actress Cheng Pei-pei and English actor Ben Whishaw.

Whishaw is best known for his role in the James Bond film, “Skyfall” and its upcoming sequel, “Spectre”.  He also voices Paddington Bear in the recent film, “Paddington”.

In “Lilting”, he’s so charming and adorable.

GRADE:  A

“JOHN WICK”

“John Wick” is a kick-ass American crime caper starring Keanu Reeves.

After his wife dies, he gets a present delivered that she arranged to help him cope with his sadness.  It’s a cute little Beagle named Daisy.

At a gas station, the leader of a trio of Russian thugs asks John how much he’d take for his vintage car, which isn’t for sale.

Needless to say, that’s not the last we see of them and things go badly and then John Wick is out for revenge.

The movie is violent and bloody, but very entertaining.

GRADE:  B

“THE EQUALIZER”

This movie, which stars Academy Award-winner Denzel Washington, is basically “John Wick” with more acting pedigree.

“The Equalizer” came out a month before “John Wick” and grossed about three times the money ($192.3 million to $78.7 million).

Like John Wick, Washington’s Robert McCall, a retired black ops government operative, goes up against the Russian mafia.

However, the circumstances are different — it’s sex trafficking in this movie when McCall befriends a teenaged prostitute played by Chloe Grace Moretz.

Other than the violence and the Russian bad guys, that’s where the real similarities end.

While Washington is hands down a better actor than Reeves, this movie is 31 minutes longer than “John Wick” and it definitely could have been edited down to tighten it up.  It dragged and wasn’t as much fun (for a crime thriller).

GRADE:  C

“HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH”

Hedwig, the East German transgender rock musician, has been around since 1998.  That year, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” made its Off-Broadway debut and won the Obie Award and the Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Off-Broadway Musical.

It was adapted into a movie in 2001 by star and creator, John Cameron Mitchell and Mitchell was named “Best Director” at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival and he was nominated for a Golden Globe that year as Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy.

Neil Patrick Harris led the 2014 Broadway revival of Hedwig and won the Tony Award for “Best Actor in a Musical” and his co-star, Lena Hall won “Best Actress in a Musical”.  “Hedwig” also won “Best Revival of a Musical”.

I saw it on Broadway in early January with Michael C. Hall (“Dexter”) and he was incredible.

The movie stars the original Hedwig, John Cameron Mitchell.

GRADE:  B+

“KINKY BOOTS”

Here’s another older movie (2005) that is earning rave reviews on Broadway.

In this version of “Kinky Boots”, you’ll see Academy Award nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor (“12 Years A Slave”) like you’ve never seen him before as sassy, drag queen Lola in those “kinky boots”.

This British comedy-drama also stars a much younger and softer Joel Edgerton.

GRADE: B-

Let me know what you think if you’ve seen any of these.

Anthony

Random Friday Thoughts — April 18, 2014

It’s Friday and it’s Easter weekend.  I hope it’s a nice one for you and if you’re going to church, enjoy the services.  I hope your Easter egg hunts are dry and fun and your Easter feast is a tasty one.

I’m working Saturday, so Ray and Gretel are celebrating with Ray’s family in northwestern Iowa and my sister, Tammy, is visiting her granddaughters in Tennessee.  So, I’m home alone and I plan on sleeping in Sunday, having pancakes, and watching a couple of my favorite movies again.

Easter Bunny

If you’re thinking of what to buy someone for a great Easter present and bunnies come to mind, make it a chocolate bunny!

Here are my random thoughts this Friday.  Thank you for checking them out.

AIRLINE THREATS ARE NOT FUNNY

Before the 1970s, it was a much different world when it came to flying.  High profile plane hijacking changed the rather lax airport security.

I remember seeing a cartoon during my childhood of a man raising his hand to his friend and yelling “Hi Jack” before being arrested.

After the terrorist attacks on the United States on 9/11, it’s hard to imagine anyone making a joke of threatening an airline, an airport, or a plane.

However, last Sunday night, it happened when a 14-year-old Dutch girl, “Sarah”, sent a threatening tweet to American Airlines.

AA Threat

Once she realized that this was turning into a big deal with the police involved, she tweeted, “I was joking and it was my friend not me, take her IP address not mine. I’m so scared I’m just a 14-year-old white girl I’m not a terrorist.”  She was arrested the next day!

airport security

I have two things to say about this.  I don’t care how old someone is when they threaten to bomb a plane.  It’s not a joke and they should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Secondly, if this tweet is proven to be sent by a “14-year-old white girl who is not “a terrorist”, she’s truly offensive.  Implying that a “white girl” couldn’t possibly be a “terrorist” is racist!

Sadly, the only leeway I’ll give her on that one is immaturity, but even a teenager should know that the tweet would cause fear in some people and that is terrorism!

More Threats 1 More Threats 2 More Threats 3

Incredibly, this has caused a rash of similar copycat tweets to American and other airlines.  Real threats or not, this is just mind-boggling!

HAPPY FLIGHT

On a happier airline note, I sure hope this flight attendant is working my next Southwest Airlines’ flight.

I hope this made you smile.

HE CUT OFF WHAT?

Rapper Andre Johnson, also known as Christ Bearer, is recovering at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center after severing his penis and jumping off the second floor balcony of his North Hollywood apartment!

Andre Johnson

Those present say that no one was using drugs and that they believe he suffered from mental illness.

TMZ reports that efforts to reattach the appendage were unsuccessful.

If Johnson is mentally ill, I hope that he gets the help he needs.  If he isn’t ill, this was a very painful and horrific plea for attention!

And, as a man, this is just painful to think about!

WHILE WE’RE IN THAT MIND SET…

Now that “How I Met Your Mother” has ended its nine-year run on CBS, Neil Patrick Harris is getting rave reviews for his upcoming Broadway performance in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch”

NPH Hedwig

If you’re not familiar with the rock musical/love story, Hansel is an East German that falls in love with an American soldier.

Since the couple wants to get married and the laws says that it has to be a man and a woman, Hansel’s mother changes his named to Hedwig (her name) and finds a doctor to perform a sex change.  The operation is botched leaving Hedwig with the so-called “angry inch”.

hedwig-680

Harris’ performance as Hedwig on Broadway runs from April through August.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

MichelangeloCollege  Dog

TATTOOS

Do you have a tattoo?  While still somewhat controversial, getting inked is becoming mainstream.

Even Miss Kansas 2013, Theresa Vail, is tattooed with the Serenity Prayer and a military medical insignia.  She says, “If I were crowned Miss America, bearing my tattoos, do you realize the stereotypes and stigmas it would break?”

Miss Kansas 2013

If you’re in your thirties, there’s a 40% chance that you have a tattoo.  If not, 30% of people in their 20s and almost 30% of people in the 40s are getting inked!

More women than men and Hispanics more than whites or blacks have body art.

Two years ago this week, I join the group of white men in their 40s to get a tattoo.  It was a painful, almost four-hour process and I’m very happy to sport it and show it off.

Tattoo1

As you know, my sweet golden retriever and my best friend , Miss ABBA, went to “puppy heaven” in February 2012.

Two months later, I turned her beautiful face into body art.  Here’s the picture from Halloween 2011 and you can see the final product.

ABBA Inspiration For Tattoo Anthony ABBA Tattoo

John Kautz, from O’Toole Design, in Rock Island, Illinois, did an incredible job.

You can read about the entire experience here:  https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/04/27/miss-abba-ill-cherish-this-piece-of-art-forever/

“LATE, LATE AT NIGHT” WITH RICK SPRINGFIELD

I recently finished Rick Springfield’s memoir about his life, his battle with depression, his sexual addiction, and his music and acting career.

Late, Late At Night

It was a fun book.  I’ll share the link again if you didn’t read my blog about the book.

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2014/04/09/the-ups-downs-of-rick-springfields-rock-star-lifestyle/

However, one thing that I forgot to mention in the blog was his one year affair with “The Exorcist” star Linda Blair.

Linda and Rick

At the time, he was 25 at the time and she was only 15! I guess things were different in the 1970s and in Hollywood!

“Don’t Talk To Strangers” hit #2 in 1982 on the Billboard Hot 100.  It was the second biggest hit of Rick’s career behind the number one, Grammy-winning smash, “Jessie’s Girl” the year before.

“OUT OF THE FURNACE”

Christian Bale is one of the best actors in the movie business today.

“Out of The Furnace” is a little seen movie that came out about a week before his Oscar-nominated role in “American Hustle”.

Out of the Furnace

In the movie, Bale plays Russell Baze, a West Virginia steel mill worker that has a beautiful girlfriend (Zoe Saldana) that wants to have a baby, a brother (Casey Affleck) with a gambling problem and is struggling with life after serving in the war, and a dying father.

He works every day and is paying off his little brother’s gambling debts.  After stopping for a few drinks after work one night, he’s involved in an accident that changes his life forever.

Also, his little brother disappears and Russell feels it’s up to him to find out what happened and to make things right.

The movie features incredible performances from Bale, Affeck, Saldana, and Woody Harrelson as a New Jersey sociopathic, inbreed, drug dealer named Harlan DeGroat.

GRADE:  A

DAVID DUCHOVNY IS COMING TO NBC

Once Showtime’s “Californication” wraps up its seventh and final season in late June, David Duchovny will star in the new NBC series, “Aquarius”.

david_duchovny_02

The 13-epidsode drama take place in the late-1960s.  Duchovny stars as a Los Angeles police sergeant “who starts tracking a small-time criminal and budding cult leader seeking out vulnerable women to join his ’cause.’ The name of that man is Charles Manson.”

Young Charles Manson

NBC goes on to say that “the twists and turns of a complicated undercover operation will lead Duchovny’s character and his young partner to the brink of Manson’s crimes that will eventually lead to the Tate-LaBianca murders in subsequent seasons.”

Here’s my two cents.  I love David Duchovny and I’ve always been intrigued with serial killers.  I’ll be watching.

NBC, if “Crisis” and “Hannibal” are not renewed, please write Gillian Anderson into the script and let her work with Duchovny’s character!

Gillian David The X-Files

“I’M A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY”

The first concert that Ray and I went to together was Keith Urban and Taylor Swift in Moline in June 2009.  Both were amazing performers and this was before I quickly tired of the teen sensation.

Keith Urban Moline 2009

Since his first hit on the Billboard Country chart in 1999, “It’s A Love Thing”, reached #18 (his first four releases from 1990 and 1991 didn’t chart), Urban has been a force to reckon with on country radio.

Of his 33 Top 40 hits, an incredible 31 have hit the Top Ten, the aforementioned “Love Thing” and “Blue Sky” by Emily West, which he was just featured on and so, really that one doesn’t count!

keith_urban

28 of his hits have made the Top 5 and 15 have topped the Country charts.

The ones that spent multiple weeks on top are:  “Somebody Like You” (6 weeks, 2002), “You’ll Think Of Me” (2 weeks, 2004), “Days Go By” (4 weeks, 2004), “Making Memories Of Us” (5 weeks, 2005), “Better Life” (6 weeks, 2005), “Sweet Thing” (2 weeks, 2009), “You Gonna Fly” (2 weeks, 2012), and “We Were Us” (with Miranda Lambert, 3 weeks, 2013).

Keith’s current hit, “Cop Car”,  recently reached #4 on the Billboard Country chart.

HAPPY EASTER!

Have a great weekend!  Here’s a flashback to Easter 2001 and Miss ABBA and the Easter bunny.

ABBAEaster2001

That’s it for this week.  I hope you enjoyed my random thoughts.

Let me know what you think.  I always appreciate feedback — good or bad.  Well, obviously, I like the positive comments more!

Anthony