Finished the book The Bear and the Nightingale while listening to An Evening With Lerner & Loewe, the LP set I picked up from Phidelity Records a few months ago. This is a collection of songs from the four major projects by the songwriting team at that point, My Fair Lady, Paint Your Wagon, Gigi, and Brigadoon. Fair Lady is probably the best of them. Phil Harris doesn't remotely attempt to sound Cockney, but he's having so much fun with "With a Little Bit of Luck" and "Get Me To the Church On Time," it scarcely matters. Jane Powell's Cockney on "Wouldn't It Be Loverly?" isn't so hot either, but she does do a fine, fiery "Show Me." I also liked Jan Peerce's stunning "On the Street Where You Live."
Tenor Robert Merrill shares my favorite song from Brigadoon with Powell, "Almost Like Being In Love." Harris' dicey French accent does "I'm Glad I'm Not Young Anymore" and "Thank Heavens for Little Girls" no favors. Powell and Robert Merrill have a disappointingly bland "I Remember It Well"; Merrill does far better on his own with "Gigi" and also gets a powerful "They Call the Wind Mariah." Powell's best solo is "Say a Prayer For Me Tonight."
Went online for a while, but I couldn't concentrate. I finally broke for dinner at 6:30. Thought I'd try something I hadn't done in ages. Eating on the end table I got from the Manor Avenue apartment has really scratched up the finish. I thought I'd try making smaller place mats for it. The ones I currently have are not only too big for it and meant for a larger table, but they're in storage with the rest of my kitchen items. I tried to make a round place mat for spring with a cotton pastel yarn I have...but first I couldn't find the yarn, then I couldn't figure out how to make it lay flat. It was past dinner when I finally realized you have to chain into the sides, not the top rows.
Finished the night with All-Star Family Feud. The original Richard Dawson Feud did a series of hour-long prime time specials from 1978 to 1984 featuring celebrities instead of the usual families. They mostly featured actors from popular sitcoms and dramas of the time (or in one case, popular daytime and nighttime soap operas). I finished out Disc 2 with the most unique roster, "Heroes and Villains." Feud had an odd idea of what constituted a hero and a villain. Joan Collins, Leonard Frey, and Henry Silva were certainly known for playing bad, and Paul Smith just came off well-received bad guys in Popeye and Midnight Express...but who in the heck put Marion Ross and Jon Bauman in with the Heroes, the latter in "Bowser" mode? And how did Norman Fell get in with the villains? At any rate, Fry and Collins' group trounced all comers, including the first Hero roster.
"Battle of the Perfect 10's" placed a man in charge of a group of gorgeous ladies and a woman as the captain of hot guys (or cute kids, in the case of Ricky Schroeder on Debra Sue Moffat's team). Wilt Chamberlain and his beauties went up against Debra Sue Moffat and her boys, while Phyllis Diller led beloved sitcom and soap opera actors against Richard Simmons' former Miss Americas and models. Debra and her gentlemen won the first game hands down; Richard and his models got the second.
Most of the sitcom battles were a tad more generic. Ironically, the show I knew the least about did the best. I don't remember watching Family as a kid. It's one of only two shows listed I never saw, even in re-runs. I don't remember Hawaiian Eye, either. The Family that plays together, wins together. They steamrolled the competition, including the high schoolers and their teachers from Welcome Back Kotter, the crew of The Love Boat, and another big family show, Eight Is Enough. Hawaiian Eye had no luck with the castaways of Gilligan's Island. Dallas was the other major winner...and they had the funniest opening when the cast was seen holding up Larry Hagman before unceremoniously dumping him on the floor!
(And I'm disappointed they don't include all of the specials, or at least all the ones they can find. The "Beasts Vs Beauties" episode is currently the only one missing. I suspect rights issues may have kept the second half of the Hawaiian Eye/Gilligan's Island show, which pits the casts of Batman and Lost In Space against each other, off the set...but there were two more "Battle of the Perfect 10" specials after that, including one with Betty White and Bert Convy leading teams that are on YouTube.)