Sunday, January 27, 2019

Maybe This Time

I awoke to a sort-of-cloudy and very windy day. It was so late, I just made quick buttermilk whole wheat pancakes while listening to two somewhat similar - and very cynical - Kander and Ebb shows. The soundtrack of Cabaret came first. I haven't seen the film version since I was a kid; I don't remember much about it, other than it being very dark and very weird. Great music, though, including Joel Gray's iconic performance of "Wilkomen" and Liza Minnelli's of the title song and "Maybe This Time." I kind of wish they'd kept the music from the subplot about the German woman w ho married a Jewish man. Some of the songs there were fun, including "It Couldn't Please Me More."

Moved on to Chicago while cleaning up after breakfast. While the tale of two murderesses who parlay their notoriety into show business careers is slightly less bleak than Cabaret, it's still pretty dark material for a musical. It's told as if it were a vaudeville show - Mama Norton's "When You're Good to Mama" is the hot Sophie Tucker number, Roxie's soliloquy about mid-way through is the headliner spot, "The Cell Block Tango" is the big chorus dance, "All I Care About" is a stripping routine, "Mr. Cellaphane" is the comic. There's a great cast here that includes Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon as the ladies craving the spotlight and Jerry Orbach as the lawyer who takes both their cases.

I'd spent a lot of the week inside. Figured I might as well go for a walk while the weather still held out. It was cloudy and chilly, but not abnormally cold for this time of year, probably in the mid-40's. It was also surprisingly quiet, despite the relative warmth. I saw two boys riding their scooters, a couple of teens out on their own walks, and not much else. There's not much to see in the neighborhood right now, anyway. A few houses either haven't gotten around to taking down their Christmas lights (including Charlie and the McHughs), or already have pink wreaths up for Valentine's Day. Most settled for winter-themed banners or just their bare brown gardens.

Strolled to Dad and Jodie's house first. I've been wanting to talk to them without the rest of the family around for a while now. They were messing around on their laptops and watching Men In Black II. Dad has been sick, which explained why he was almost passed out in his chair and why they didn't really have a whole lot to tell me. No, Jodie hasn't heard from Rose about the doctor. I need to call her and tell her to get moving. No, they don't know anyone who has an apartment for rent, and they don't know how to help me find one. And no, they're not having a Super Bowl party this year. Neither of them are up to it.

Since it's a few blocks from Dad and Jodie's house anyway, I went to Dollar General next. Needed sugar and a few things to make stove top tuna casserole tonight. They were fairly busy for a Sunday, but that gave me time to grab my favorite pecan rolls while in line.

Went straight home after that...and then went right back out as soon as I put the food away. I desperately needed to get the laundry done. So did everyone else in Oaklyn. They were busy as heck when I got in. Got the last washer. The dryers were a bit more open by the time my big load was ready. Worked on story notes and ignored the crowd.

When I got home, I chatted with Lauren (who was online early while she watched wrestling) while doing a little bit of writing. Han takes off into the woods with Chewbacca, claiming he's only interested in paying off Baron Du Hutt...but then he sees the Sheriff's men going into the woods, and hears screams from the Rebel camp...

Broke for dinner at 7. I was going to make Tuna Casserole...but I didn't realize I was out of frozen peas. Oh well. I sliced up and sauteed carrots and celery for my stove top casserole instead. Came out equally well, and very cheesy with the shredded Colby/Monterrey Jack mix I bought.

Switched from cynicism to romance with the 1925 operetta Desert Song. Listened to the Nelson Eddy/Doretta Morrow studio cast from the 1950's. The Red Shadow (Eddy) fights for the Riffs in Morocco, but he's really Pierre, the shy son of the French general. Sassy Margot Bonvalet (Morrow) has her own ideas of love, and they're a lot hotter than quiet Pierre's more courtly notions. She gets the "Romance" she wanted in spades when she's captured by The Red Shadow and the Riffs and falls in love with him and their lifestyle.

Yeah, if you're a fan of swashbucklers or ultra-romantic musicals, you'll definitely want to look for some version of this. The sprightly "Romance" is my favorite song, but I also love the gorgeous ballads "One Alone" and "One Flower (Grows In Your Garden)."

Finished the night with another swashbuckler from the same year, this time on film. Don Q, Son of Zorro is Douglas Fairbanks Sr.'s 1925 follow-up to his original 1920 Mark of Zorro. Don Diego's (Fairbanks) son Cesar (also Fairbanks) is in Spain to further his education. He falls in love with the beautiful Dolores (Mary Astor), but is then accused of killing her father by the jealous military officer Don Sebastian (Donald Crisp). Cesar has to figure out how to clear his name before he winds up on the hangman's noose. Don Diego, hearing his son's plight, rushes to his aid in the guise of Zorro one last time.

Like Robin Hood, this one takes a while to get started. There's too much courtly love in Spain and not enough swashbuckling. The plot doesn't really kick in until almost an hour into the two-hour film. When it does, it's a lot of fun, with some nice duels and really nifty special effects when the two Vegas are seen side-by-side in the finale. If you love Fairbanks Sr. or old-fashioned swashbucklers as much as I do, the tales of Zorro and his son are both highly recommended.

Don Q, Son of Zorro Part 1
Don Q, Son of Zorro, Part 2

(And sorry this is late. The internet went down as I was trying to post it last night, and I got tired of waiting for it to come back on.)

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