Sunday, September 24, 2017

Heat Wave In September

Whew! It was hot for September when I awoke this morning, already in the 80's by 8:30. I finished reading The Fire Rose before switching to breakfast. Made Pear Spice Pancakes with a pear that was getting soft while listening to The Happiest Millionaire. This is another Disney live-action musical from the 60's, mostly set right in Philly. The head of the rich and eccentric Biddle family (Fred MacMurray) is mostly concerned with his boxing and Bible class and alligators...too concerned to notice his daughter Cordelia (Leslie Ann Warren) blooming into a young lady before his eyes. She falls in love with a young man (John Davidson) from a wealthy new money family while away at school. Even as he beguiles her with promises of a new start in the automobile industry, her father's wondering if he can ever let her go.

The story's not that interesting, but this does have some nice Sherman Brothers music. Tommy Steele, as the new Irish butler, gets "Fortuosity" and "I'll Always Be Irish" and joins a wonderfully catty Geraldine Page and Gladys Cooper for "There are Those." Warren's best number is the wistful "Valentine Candy," as she wonders just how much of a tomboy she wants to be.

(And I wish my pancakes had come out better. I burned both of them, the first rather badly.)

Work was a pain early on. I got in at noon, just as people were starting to get ready for the 1 PM Eagles-Giants game. Every time I tried to get something done, I'd get pulled to do something else. I started the carts...then got told to do the bathrooms. I started that, then was told to do trash. Started the trash - got told to clean up a spill that was really more like black marks on the front end of the soda and snacks aisle. Thanks to a great game, it slowed down enough by the second half of my shift that I was able to spend it shelving returns and bagging.

(And it was a really good game. From what I gathered, the Eagles dominated the first half, but the Giants came back in the second. It was tied 21-21 when I peered in the back room right after finishing work. I later found out the Eagles won by an amazing 61-yard field goal at literally the last second of the game, 27-24.)

Went straight home after work and into writing. Jasper sends a couple of his men to get Luke out of his sight, including one very big goon with really big teeth. Luke manages to dodge the man and even knocks him into the bar, then into sandcastles when they chase him onto the beach. The boy gets to the boardwalk, only to run into more of Jasper's men than he can handle. One knocks him out and brings him to his boss. Jasper spares Luke because Leia's his sister...and because he has more fiendish plans for the young man and his friends.

Broke at 7 for a really quick dinner. Listened to La Cage Aux Folles as I ate. The Broadway version of the popular French farce would have been the hottest new show on the boards during late August 1983, when the Jasper Hutt segment of my story is set. Two gay men (George Hearn and Gene Barry) run a nightclub with a chorus of (mostly) men in drag in St. Tropez. They're thrown into a tizzy when their son brings home a fiancee whose very conservative parents want to meet them.

Jerry Herman's last major show to date is actually my favorite of his shows overall along with Hello Dolly!. It's been a hit all three times it's been on Broadway, most recently with Kelsey Grammar in 2010. While Alvin's anthem "I Am What I Am" is probably the best known number, my favorites are the charming "With You On My Arm," the touching ballad "Song On the Sand," and the rousing "The Best of Times."

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