Saturday, May 20, 2006

Crazy doings at my church

Read all about it in The Capital Times.
American idle

You've doubtless watched all the "Nashville Star" proceedings with your heart in your throat, but did you know that years ago, back in the fall of ought-two, yours truly auditioned for the first season of the basic-cable reality series? The tryouts took place at the Grand Avenue mall in downtown Milwaukee, and my tireless boyfriend documented every step. Here you see me shmoozing with the media (as always), standing in line for my turn and, after the audition, wondering what I could have done better. I mighta been a star!

Friday, May 19, 2006

Let's put on a show

Never one to let the latest tweener fad pass me by, I finally watched High School Musical, the Disney Channel movie that caused a stir when it was first broadcast last winter. In case you haven't heard, Disney has a genuine phenomenon on its hands with High School Musical, which shattered cable ratings records and charted multiple hit singles, and is soon to spawn a sequel, a stage production and perhaps a series. All this hoopla over a film in which well-scrubbed young people sing and dance like there's no tomorrow? How retro!

The premise of the film: a high school basketball star (Zac Efron) secretly wants to star in the winter musical, and a shy, brainy new girl (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) secretly wants to star in the winter musical. Intrigue follows intrigue, and by the end the athletes, the science geeks and the drama freaks are all singing and dancing together like there's no tomorrow. Disappointingly, members of the skater clique are conspicuously missing from the finale ("We're All in This Together"), even though they earlier have a big scene; perhaps they stepped out to blow a phatty.

I loved High School Musical, but by way of a disclaimer you should know that I love musicals, period. My only complaint is that whereas the better musicals have tunes you hum all the next day, the songs in High School Musical are eminently forgettable. That would seem a fatal flaw, and if we lived in times when contemporary Rodgerses and Hammersteins were still cranking out high-quality movie librettos, then High School Musical would not merit much attention.

But fans of musical comedy have to take what they can get, these days, and High School Musical has a lot going for it, including an attractive cast and a subversive plot (basketball stars secretly want to perform show tunes!). I am also keen on the young songwriter character who, before her ultimate triumph, is dismissed as a "sawed-off Sondheim." And maybe, just maybe, a real live sawed-off Sondheim somewhere is watching High School Musical and getting more encouraged with every number.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Isn't it romantic

Prom season is here at last, and for Southern belles that means just one thing: a frock styled on the Confederate flag and photographed for the local paper.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Lookit, pictures from the Junkers show Saturday are up on flickr.
Hey good looking

Like Barbra Streisand, I am guilty. And I freely admit my crime: I love Melanie Griffith.

Yesterday I noticed that my TiVo had kindly TiVoed an episode of "Twins," the WB sitcom that stars Griffith and also Sara Gilbert, the tart-tongued comedienne famous from "Rosanne." Intrigued, I watched. I won't burden you with any details of plot, or even with the show's premise, which I get drowsy just contemplating. (I will tell you that the episode featured a drag queen named "Coco.")

But there, by god, was Melanie Griffith on the small screen, in all her woozy glory. Watching "Twins," I flashed back to my favorite Melanie Griffith works: the really excellent 1994 film Nobody's Fool, in which Griffith plays the sleepy mistress of a grizzled Paul Newman; and The Bonfire of the Vanities, Brian De Palma's widely despised take on Tom Wolfe's famous novel, in which Griffith plays the sleepy mistress of a smug and panicked Tom Hanks.

Will I watch more episodes of "Twins"? Perhaps not. But sometimes it is nice to be surprised when an old friend shows up.

(The Bonfire of the Vanities also stars another of my guiltiest pleasures, Bruce Willis. I think the film is mostly misunderstood, and is not a retelling of the novel but a parody of same. But I'll save that topic for another blog entry.)