Monday, May 27, 2013

"Broadway Blues" Rue Experts: Biz Down 2 Seasons in a Row: Average Ticket Price: $101. Count Me Out

 There to buy or look?  Some young tourists over Broadway's Half-Price TKTS concession

When I started training to Gotham around 2005, I'd pride myself on cramming in five Broadway shows in not that many days.

Was fun while it lasted - while the half-price tickets were closer to doable than damnable.  But as the prices have skyrocketed,  I've become a resentful participant, turned off by outrageously overpriced shows, not all of them dynamic darlings, a lot of them, in fact, over-dressed turkeys.

Last show I think I saw was the oddball revival of West Side Story, to which I put down nearly $70 for a half pricer.

No more.

The best musicals usually tour in first class road companies, and they all flock to San Francisco.  If you're coming from the far east, or just from the East Bay, be careful crossing that old precarious S.F. Bay bridge, eastern section, while they try to pre-repair the new one, itself already under attack for faulty giant bolts, something like that.

So to heck with 42nd Street on Baghdad by the Bay. I can see Broadway's "best" (and worst) in local productions nearly as good, virtually as effective on the smaller boards of semi-regional theatres around these parts.

My first introduction to the stage version of Cabaret was up in Santa Rosa a the Sixth Street Playhouse.  Brilliant direction and cast.  The show sold itself.

So, Broadway, next time I visit New York I'm skipping you for other things, like museums and wherever your subways rattle me towards, for your great park, and I'd still like to check out Carnegie Hall.  Why did you ever allow your symphony to move up the street?  Shame on you!

Your hills and rills, streets and beats are still alive with the sound of music, yes, but not inside any Broadway playhouse.  I can still get my Big Apple fix, a few blocks away from Crimes Square


photos by Showbiz David

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Sunday Morning with Don Marcks: Dory Miller's Tax Problems

We are going back in time by exactly 50 years, when Don wrote me on May 30, 1963, in which he addressed, among many things, John Strong and his circus, another man named Kramien who also had a small show, Ringling and Polack, a Fourth of July circus parade in Milwaukee to be sponsored by Schlitz Breweries, and the Big Story, Dory Miller and the IRS.

The IRS -- so apt, is it not, for today? 

"Saw another item about the income tax deal with Dory Miller. He was released on bail and his own agreement to return to court when they call him.  They charge that he has been filing claims for income income in amount of $5,000 or slightly more, whereas the Internal Revenue people claim he was making $50,000 and better each year for many years which they are now in the process of checking.  You know he has gotten by for so many years with cheating people that it is bound to get him one of these days and it might be this is the beginning.

"The article said that it didn't affect the show, but him personally.  Even so, should they put him in jail or anything it will definitely hurt the show."

I do not recall knowing then that know Dory had so low a reputation.  If so, it certainly rose greatly in the years ahead. Fans loved the man.  He tried to give them, I think, a budget version of the old multi-ring circus from out of the 1920s, as I saw it, and whenever I went, seems like I could spot him on the back side sitting in a lawn chair, a circus fan himself.

Most of them are.  

Sunday, May 05, 2013

L.A. to Luray ... A Few of My Favorite Pics

I need to be blogging happier.  Too much bad apple stuff lately. So, from 2013, here's a Sunday break! 

This time, I skipped the Big Apple, stopped for two nights in L.A., where my camera, as you can see, obsessed over palm trees, then railed onto Luray, Virginia for a family visit.

Along South Sycamore in Hancock Park

Anybody still remember these these things? Even I don't use them anymore!

Hollywood streets are all around this big cement mixer; I lived only a few blocks from here on North Orange

New entrance to the L.A. County Museum of Art.  With yet more disparate new buildings crowding the campus on Wilshire Boulevard, the place looks like an architectural traffic jam.

In the Broad modern art wing of LACMA

No, not an art installation.

Now we've reached the clean green of Shenandoah Valley, where I stayed with niece Lisa and her husband, Brian, at their house which they call "the cozy cabin." Principles in the images below include myself, sister Kathy and her husband Jeff, Lisa and Brian (Captain United) and their fun kid, Noah.

A huggy greeting from Noah (I call him Mister McFiddle) at the train station

Magic in the mundane: portrait of a cow out for a morning graze

Cool sunny morning walk

Streaming live 'In the Hood: Guess Who?

Lisa and Brian, barbecuing at Kathy and Jeff's house ...

for an old fashioned hot dog and hamburger feast. Yuuuumy!

Pilot to troubadour:  Cool down home tunes, not the Great American Songbook, from Brian's guitar. I asked for Seals and Crofts "Summer Breeze."  Nice job, Cap!

Marshmallow madness:  I laugh instantly at this photo, which shamefully I played a hand in provoking. 

Kathy coaches the fire

We're back in Culpeper, waiting for my train to D.C.

Back on the tracks, riding Amtrak's Empire Builder, bound for Portland

I have always found the scenery around and through Montana to be so beautifully spare.  The calming simplicity alone makes it, for me, more appealing than the landscape of New Mexico.

Train stop in Whitefish.  I like this picture so much, let's end the trip here.

First posted May 5, 2013