Sunday, October 11, 2020

Occasional Flights of Fancy

Started off an early morning with a quick breakfast and the original cast CD of Skyscraper. This 1965 Broadway show would be stage star Julie Harris' only appearance in a musical. Harris plays an antique dealer named Georgina who loves three things - her antiques, her New York brownstone, and her vivid daydreams. She's unwilling to sell her home to her neighbors who are building a skyscraper. The owner's idealistic architect brother (Peter Marshall) wants it to be a different type of skyscraper, but Georgina's sweet but fussy assistant (Charles Nelson Reilly) is willing to sell out if it means he can get his movie festival going.

Despite the game cast, this was just ok. A few good songs (including "An Occasional Flight of Fancy" for Harris and "Everybody Has the Right to Be Wrong" for Marshall) don't make up for the dull and dated story and random chorus numbers (like the last-minute addition "Haute Couture") that don't really add much to the show. Recommended only if you love the stars or the shows of the 50's and 60s.

Rushed straight to work just as the CD ended. It wasn't busy when I arrived, but it picked up around 11 and remained busy, or at least steady, for the rest of the day. Besides the Eagles-Steelers game at 1, it's a holiday weekend. I'm not used to getting up very early or working 7 hours anymore. I was frequently frustrated and flustered with many of the more demanding customers.

Thankfully, it died so much by 3 PM, I was able to leave a few minutes early. Went straight to Jodie's side of the house to watch the rest of the Eagles-Steelers game. Jodie had a cheese hoagie and an Italian hoagie ready for me when I arrived, and Rose donated a plate of spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and butterscotch truffles. Rose, Jodie, our older cousin Mark, his girlfriend Joya, and I chatted while keeping an eye on the game. It was 33-29 when I arrived. Despite a few good turnovers, the Steelers hit one last touchdown that won them the game 38-29.

Worked on writing for a while after the game ended. Richard accuses Sheriff Ira of willingly helping Malade to tale his home Hogan Manor from him. Ira protests - he may live there, but he's not the one who killed Richard's father or destroyed his home. Allen orders him arrested as an accessory and sent to jail until he can figure out a proper sentence anyway.

Finley and Rose turned up on my door as I worked on writing. My sister asked me if I'd watch Finley while she chatted with some of the moms across the street. Sure! Finley and I played with the Cabbies and the fake food at their table. Finley even sat Luna at the table at one point. She quickly became bored with the game, though, and started wondering where her mother was. I tried showing her the rest of the apartment, but she wasn't having any of it. Her mother finally showed up around 6 to take her and her brother home.

Had a chocolate banana smoothie for a quick dinner while listening to Carnival!. TCM just ran it's original film version Lili (look for the review later next week!), so I thought I'd do the stage show, too. Anna Maria Alberghetti is Lili, the naïve girl who joins a circus in the French countryside to get close to its handsome magician Marco (James Mitchell). She has a lovely rapport with the puppets in the circus puppet show, which she believes are real. The puppeteer (Jerry Orbach) is a lame dancer who only speaks kindly to Lili through his puppets. Lili is so enchanting with the puppets, she attracts Marco's attention...and Paul's jealousy. Paul has to finally admit his feelings to keep her from leaving the show for good.

What a sweet show! I think this is so underrated. The cast album is long out of print, but it can be found for decent prices used. The big hit was the lovely ballad "Love Makes the World Go 'Round," but I also like two of Paul's numbers, "Her Face" and "She's My Love," the adorable "Beautiful Candy" for Lili, the puppets, and the chorus, and Lili's gorgeous "Mira." 

Finished the night on YouTube with game shows. Legendary host Tom Kennedy passed away on Wednesday, so all the episodes I watched tonight but the Match Game syndicated premieres were in his honor. His first big hit game show was You Don't Say!, a Password clone that had contestants and two celebrities guessing famous names or places instead of words. Kennedy returned for a 1975 revival that became a clone of Match Game. Four celebrities had to describe a name or place for a contestant to guess. 

He did better by a concurrent 1974-1981 syndicated revival of Name That Tune that wasn't terribly different from the version I saw as a child with Jim Lange from a decade later. I've already posted an episode of the wild and wacky Whew!, with its complicated main board and "Gauntlet" bonus round that involved contestants running through ten villain figures by putting the right word into famous names or phrases. Kennedy was a panelist on Password Plus in 1979 before taking over as host from an ailing Allen Ludden in 1980. He was equally charming sporting a dashing mustache while helping a contestant through the Alphabetics round or switching places with his older brother Jack Narz and letting him host (and do it very well, I may add). 

There's been a couple of attempts at a nighttime version of The Price Is Right over the years. Kennedy hosted one such run in 1985 and 1986. Surprisingly, given how much I loved the daytime version, I don't remember seeing this as a kid. Finished off with another episode of the hilarious Wordplay. This time, Kim Fields of The Facts of Life, stand-up comic Marty Cohen, and One Day at a Time handyman Pat Harrington were the ones giving goofy descriptions of weird words. 

Finished out the night on Buzzr with Body Language. Tom always seemed to enjoy hosting this cross between charades and Password, and tonight was no exception. Dr. Joyce Brothers left Brad Garrett in the dust as she twice lead her contestant to victory and big winnings. 

Don't touch that dial! Tomorrow night at 8 PM, Match Game Productions, the YouTube channel that posts the Match Game syndicated premieres with the live chat, will run a marathon of the week in 1980 where Tom Kennedy appeared on the syndicated Match Game to promote Password Plus. He did very well, too! (I wouldn't be surprised if Buzzr did something down the line as well.)

At any rate, here's the best of Tom Kennedy, for your viewing enjoyment!

Incidentally, the rain that's threatened since yesterday finally started coming down - and hard - while Finley was here. It's been coming down ever since. 

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