Sunday, July 08, 2018

By the Beautiful Creek

Slept in a bit and finished The Gates of Sleep. I didn't really roll out of bed until quarter of 10. Made Blueberry Pancakes while listening to By the Beautiful Sea. Shirley Booth stars in this 1954 Broadway musical as a vaudevillian in the early 1900's visiting her father's boarding house on Coney Island. She falls for a charming singer, but runs up against opposition when she meets his daughter, a teen performer who has been forced into child roles by her stage mother. She's about to give up, but giving the girl one of her dresses gives her a new perspective...and changes her mind about her relationship with her father.

I've had this CD for over 20 years, since I picked it up at a long-defunct music store in North Cape May in the late 90's as a teenager. According to the extensive liner notes, the show had quite a bit of book trouble leading up to Broadway. I don't think they ever really figured out what to do with the Baby Betsy story line. She doesn't even have a song. While I like some of the chorus numbers, especially when Booth joins in for "The Sea Song" and "Coney Island Boat," most of them have little or nothing to do with the actual story.

Other characters fare much better. Booth's best solo number is her comic lament "I'd Rather Wake Up By Myself." Wilber Evens gets the lovely ballad "Alone Too Long." Cabaret singer Mae Barnes, as Booth's maid, has the fun "Happy Habit." My Angel CD is long out of print, but this is currently on YouTube if you're interested.

Moved on to Hello Dolly! as I got ready for work. My favorite recording of this show is the one Pearl Bailey made with an all-black cast in the late 60's. There's a lot of vim and verve in the numbers. Bailey has a great time with "Before the Parade Passes By" and "I Put My Hand In" in particular. "Ribbons Down My Back" is also well-done. Cab Calloway is her Horace Vandergelder. From what I've gathered, he didn't last long in the stage show, but he did manage to do a decent "It Takes a Woman" on the cast album.

Work was absolutely no problem at all. They were steady but not overwhelmingly so when I arrived, and dead quiet when I left. With the high schoolers and college kids out for the summer, we had plenty of help. I only needed to be outside doing carts for a half-hour, despite the continuing gorgeous weather. A teen boy and girl and another guy later who likes to work outside were more than happy to do that. I bagged, did the trash, gathered baskets, and shelved loose items. I suspect most people probably took advantage of Mother Nature's generosity by heading for the Shore or the Poconos.

Took the long way home down Nicholson Road. It was too nice of a day not to! They surprisingly weren't that busy. Lots of people out and about today, though, including kids on bikes and playing in yards.

Went into writing when I got home. Luke tells Leia that he's going to Yoda Chiang's to see if he can secure his help and get an interview. Leia's upset. Not only is her brother leaving her in the lurch, but so's Harry...and she might have a few feelings for him that she won't admit to.

Broke for dinner at quarter after 7. Continued Lego Clone Wars as I ate leftovers and breakfast bar sandwiches. Found Obi-Wan, Aayla Secura, and Luminara Unduli in the bounty hunter rounds. Headed back to the Republic ship after that to pick up a few more characters, both wandering around in the ship (Bail Organa) and from the rounds I'd finished (Captain Antilles from New Hope and Qui-Gon Jinn from Phantom Menace, along with a clone trooper in black armor). Also finally completed "Innocents of Ryloth."

Finished the night with the Beatles Blue Album. I generally prefer their later music to their poppier early songs. Some of my favorites that were hard to find over here for years are on this LP, including "Revolution" and "The Ballad of John and Yoko."

Oh, and Jodie called when I was writing. They bought the air conditioner, but by that point, it was too late to install it. I'll have to call Rose and Craig about that tomorrow.

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