Monday, July 30, 2018

Door Into Summer

It was cloudy and cool when I awoke this morning. Began the day with breakfast and Unsung Musicals. The Dress Circle put me in the mood for more rare Broadway tracks. This is a collection of songs taken from shows that either flopped so badly they were never recorded, or never made it to Broadway at all. My favorite number by far is the ravishing "Starfish," from a musical La Strada that debuted in 1967 and lasted all of one performance, despite introducing Bernadette Peters. Other favorites include "There are Days and There are Days" and "We Will Never Know Each Other" from The First, a musical biography of Jackie Robinison, and three lovely tunes from the short-lived beauty pageant show Smile, it's title song, the anthem "In Our Hands," and "Disneyland," sung by none other than Little Mermaid Jodi Benson.

Concentrated on writing for a while. Leia questions Laurence at the nightclub about his contact. He reveals that Yasmin Hutt, a showgirl who took over her husband's criminal empire after he died and increased it three-fold, bought the Sword of Wisdom at auction. The Sword is said to give it's chosen user the powers to control the mind and see into the future. She's also Harry's ex-lover and his former boss, neither of which Leia likes hearing.

Broke for lunch at noon. Ran an episode of The Backyardigans as I had a blueberry-tea smoothie and tried to drown out Charlie, who was cursing outside while he finished the last of the park window. Princess CleoTasha and her retainers Austin, Tyrone, and Pablo have to bring three gifts to the Spinx Uniqua in order to get "The Key to the Nile" and find out why the water is no longer flowing.

Work was busy on and off. I ended up in the register twice...and panicked both times. The lines were just so long! I mostly did carts, though I also gathered baskets, took out the trash and recycling in the back lounge area, and put away some loose items. I ended up doing the bathrooms twice. Someone had complained, even though I'd just cleaned in there twenty minutes before and it wasn't dirty. I sprayed Lysol in both bathrooms and went on my way.

Went straight home and had leftover tacos and corn on the cob for dinner while watching two Monkees episodes. "Some Like It Lukewarm" in the late second season when the boys join a mixed-gender rock contest and convince Davy to dress as a girl. Not only does Philly DJ Jerry "The Geator" Blavat fall for him, but he falls for a girl who is dressing as a boy in an all-girl band.

Davy's also at the center of "Monkees Mind Their Manor," which I did while making Blueberry Crumble Bars. He inherits an estate in England, but he and the guys have to live there for five years, or it reverts to a drunken relative. They come up with a Medieval fair to earn money...but the relative's lawyer will do everything he can to make sure he wins his best and his client gets the estate.

(Oh, and Willa called. She was worrying about me making an account for the electricity. She didn't want to pay for it anymore. Not only did I make that account over a week ago, it had been set up on July 12th, well before I called PSE&G. She claims she didn't do it. I don't know what she's fussing about. My electrical bill came to a grand total of $7.80.)

Finished the night with Battle of the Sexes. Billie Jean King (Emma Stone) is the top female tennis player in the US...but she's sick and tired of women athletes not making as much money as the men or being taken seriously. She, tennis magazine publisher Gladys Heldman (Sarah Silverman), and several other ladies break off and form their own tour, which struggles until Heldman nabs a sponsorship with Virginia Slims cigarettes. Meanwhile, former tennis great and gambling addict Bobby Riggs (Steve Carrell) is having his own problems. His wife and sponsor (Elisabeth Shue) throws him out over his gambling habits. Desperate, he claims he'll challenge any woman tennis player to a match. King says no, but Riggs goes on to beat one of the women on the tour, Margaret Court (Jessica McNamee). King doesn't really want any part of the smarmy Riggs or his announcer buddy Jack Kramer (Bill Pullman), but ultimately accepts the challenge...if they agree to her terms and can Kramer as an announcer. She's determined to prove that not only women, but all "marginalized" people are as good as anyone else, and that "hustling" isn't the only way to play the game.

I was born six years after all this took place and had only heard stories, so it's interesting to see how a lot of this went down. The performances are excellent across the board, particularly Carrell as the charismatic but obnoxious Riggs. This was a surprise flop last fall; you'd think that with women's issues again in the news, it would have gone over better with audiences. This one might do better on the small screen. If you're a fan of the cast or interested in tennis history, sports history, or the 70's, this is a well-acted comedy-drama about one of the seminal events of the time that's worth looking around for.

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