Sunday, December 29, 2019

The Eagles Rain on the Giants' Parade

I stayed up late with Lauren last night and slept in this morning. It was still cloudy when I finally rolled out of bed. Thought I'd try Coconut Lemon Pancakes for my last pancake breakfast of 2019. I shouldn't have turned the burner up so high. I burned both of them, and the first one fell apart. They still tasted pretty decent when I got around the blackened bottoms, though.

Listened to the 1964 original cast of Hello Dolly! while eating and cleaning up afterwards. Jerry Herman, the writer of the music for Dolly, Mame, and Mrs. Santa Claus, among others, passed away the day after Christmas. Dolly wasn't his first show - that was the revue Parade - but it was his first major hit. Carol Channing, who also passed away this year, won a Tony and made the title role her own for decades. The cast also featured two favorites of mine, Charles Nelson Reilly as put-upon clerk Cornelius Hackle and Eileen Brennan as romantic hat-maker Irene Malloy, who introduce "It Only Takes a Moment" and "Ribbons Down My Back" respectively.

Spent the next few hours working on my story. Nipsey, Charles, and Bill the wolf agree to guard Della and Patti while they sleep and make sure nothing happens to them. Charles swears he sees Queen Isobel stick a pea under the last mattress, but he's not sure.

Meanwhile, later that night as they're guarding the ladies, Bill tries to encourage Nipsey to pursue Della by relating his own romantic troubles. He corresponded with a noblewoman named Beauty, falling in love with her sight unseen. They'd set up a date in the Summerlands, but it was never to be. Malade invaded and turned him into a wolf before he could keep his date, burning the letter he'd written to propose to her. He's sure the lady thought he stood her up and hates him now.

Broke at 4:30 to grab my coat, use the bathroom, and head out to Dad and Jodie's for the Eagles-Giants game. The rain arrived sometime in the early afternoon, and while it had slowed to a mild shower by almost 5, I wasn't taking chances. I walked there in order to use my umbrella...and ironically, the rain stopped all together shortly before I arrived on Hillcrest Avenue.

Only Dad, Jodie, Jessa, and Midnight were there when I arrived. Everyone else was out of town, still recovering from Christmas, or at work. Jodie ordered pepperoni and mushroom pizza for all of us and hot wings for her and Jessa. (Midnight gnawed on the celery sticks.) Midnight cuddled against my leg as I rubbed his head and half-dozed. Jessa chatted with Jodie, who kept repeating about how badly this team or that team was doing.

Actually, the Eagles didn't end the season too badly at all. They took hold early on and were up 10-0 at the Meadowlands by the end of the first quarter. The Giants came back, and by the 3rd quarter, they were 17-17...but the Eagles started turning things around by the end of that quarter. Two touchdowns and a field goal later, and they'd walloped New York and gotten themselves in the playoffs.

By the time the game ended, the rain had started up again, and much harder. Jessa drove me home. Jodie gave me a ton of food once again, including leftover egg muffins and French toast casserole from Christmas Day brunch and ham and macaroni salad from Christmas Eve. The latter two will likely go into my New Year's Day dinner, Crock Pot Ham and Cheese, collard greens, and macaroni salad.

Finished the night with more Jerry Herman. Herman's shows were considered old-fashioned in the gritty 70's and didn't do nearly as well as the musicals he wrote in the decades before and after. Too bad, because there's some gems to be found in The Grand Tour. This 1979 vehicle for Joel Gray, based after the play Jablonsky and the Colonel, has him as a little Jewish man fleeing the Nazis who recruits a German colonel (Ron Holgate) and his assistant to drive him to France. On the way, they meet many colorful characters, and Jablonsky falls in love with the Colonel's sweetheart Marianne (Florence Lacey) and finds that there are people worth standing up - and running to conflict, rather than from - for.

This was Herman's biggest flop, and it's too bad. Some of the songs are quite good - I'm especially fond of Jablonsky's anthem that opens and closes the show, "I'll Be Here Tomorrow," "I Belong Here" for Marianne as she explains why she won't leave France, and "You I Like," a duet for Jablonsky and the Colonel after they've become friends. If you're a fan of Herman' or Gray, there's enough worthy music in this one to be worth going on tour for.


Linda said...

There is a great Danny Kaye movie based on the same story, ME AND THE COLONEL. Danny plays Jacobowsky and Curt Jurgens is the Colonel. The film has some great serious moments for Kaye, but wasn't that successful because audiences expected him to be his usual clowning self. I was very lucky that they showed it on Cinemax way back in the 1980s and I found someone to record it for me.

Emma said...

Lauren sent me a copy during the phase where she was heavily into Danny Kaye. I haven't watched that in ages. Maybe in the next few weeks...