Saturday, November 27, 2004

When Irish Eyes Are Crying

The Number One ranked USC Trojans defeated the Irish of Notre Dame tonight 41 to 10. Only one more game stands between the Trojans and an invitation to the National Championship Orange Bowl Game -- next Saturday's game against UCLA at the Rose Bowl.

Tonight's game was the wettest game I've ever been to at the Coliseum. But even though it rained off and on throughout the entire game, very few of the 92,000 fans on hand left early (other than a few Irish fans who I figured would consider this a pleasant evening compared to the late November weather in South Bend.)

It actually rained hard enough I wished I was wearing a poncho. But I made do without.

The Irish football program clearly is suffering a loss of spirit over the last few years. They didn't bring any members of their band along for the trip. (At least two years ago they invited the local Notre Dame High School band to play their fight song.) And this year the student dressed up as a leprechaun was the lamest I've ever seen. He just sulked up and down the in front of the Irish section and didn't dance a single jig. What does it say about a team when even the mascot's not excited about them?

A New Perspective

Enjoyed seeing Tony Kushner's new musical "Caroline, or Change" at the Ahmanson Theater last night.

I originally saw this show when I was in NYC to attend the Tony Awards. I was part of a group of five seeing the show in June. Unfortunately, I was the only one of the five who enjoyed it.

And seeing it for the second time tonight (with apologies to Renee and Myrna who REALLY disliked it in June) I enjoyed it even more. The struggle of two broken families -- one white and one black -- is very touching.

The lead actress, Tonya Pinkins', voice was even stronger tonight than in June. And Anika Noni Rose, who won a Tony for Best Featured Actress in a Musical, proved herself as deserving as ever.

But I think the real reason I enjoyed it even more was, after six years, I finally got new eyeglasses this week. It really makes a difference when you can see the actors on stage.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Anteaters Anonymous

Saw the Trojan men's basketball team rout the UC Irvine Anteaters tonight, 90 to 70. That's a good way to start the season. The Trojans started out slow, but poured it on in the second half.

The Los Angeles Sports Arena remains a dump and it's embarrassing the Trojans have to play there. I'm glad to see USC has started moving some dirt where they're going to build a new Events Center -- which will be the new home court for the mighty Trojans. Can't wait until it opens in 2006 (supposedly).

What a Cook!

Enjoyed seeing Barbara Cook, who originated the role of Marian the Librarian in The Music Man, in concert last night at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

It was my first visit to Disney Hall and I was very impressed. It's beautiful and the acoustics are wonderful.

Cook was sublime. Her voice is as beautiful as ever and she told some wonderful stories about her time treading the boards on Broadway.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

A Dog-On Good Time

Saw "Peter Pan" at the Pantages Theater last night. Cathy Rigby was impressive in the lead role. Her gymnast background certainly showed in her moves while flying above the stage. And they certainly didn't stint on the glitter he/she threw when flying.

But how have I grown up in America and missed the part about the kids' nanny being a dog? What's up with that?

Saturday, November 20, 2004

What Did She Say?

Spent all day yesterday at the Los Angeles County Criminal Courts Building -- for a good reason: Jury Duty. I'm so happy Los Angeles County has finally adopted the One Day/One Trial system of Jury Duty. I spent all day sitting in the Jury Assembly Room without being put on a panel -- but in one day I met my Jury Duty responsibilities.

And of course the people-watching opportunities were great. Most notable was the young woman who sat next to me talking on her cellphone during one set of "complicated" instructions from our supervisor. When the announcement was over the young woman asked me, "What did she say?" I suggested she go to the counter and find out for herself because they said a lot. This prompted another phone call to her boyfriend, when she got back, about how rude they were at the counter when she asked them to repeat what they had just said.

My guess is she was also talking through the announcement at the beginning of the day about not using your cellphone in the Jury Assembly Room.

The best part about being downtown was I got to have lunch at one of my favorite places, Phillipe, for a french dip sandwich. They are one of two downtown restaurants that claim to have invented the french dip.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Walking the Doogie

Celebrity Sighting: Yesterday I saw Neil Patrick Harris walking outside of a Starbucks in Culver City. I was in Culver City to see the opening production, "A Perfect Wedding," at the brand new Kirk Douglas Theater. The Center Theater Group did a great job on turning a classic movie theater into a legitimate stage auditorium. And I enjoyed the show which played with a lot of taboos to make its point.

Friday, November 12, 2004

The Dry Spell Ends

Finally! A Celebrity Sighting to report from here in LaLa Land. It's been a bit of a dry spell lately. Well tonight at my local grocery store I saw Alec Mapa at one of the check-out stands. Mapa is best known (I didn't say widely known) for starring opposite Jason Bateman in the TV sitcom "One of My Best Friends." I didn't think to look at what he was buying. Elizabeth Taylor and I would have looked.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

I'm Still Here Too

Enjoyed seeing "Side by Side by Sondheim" last night at the Pasadena Playhouse. Listening to this compilation of pre-1977 Stephen Sondheim songs I couldn't help but think about the great productions of Sondheim shows I've seen over the years.

"Follies" a couple of years ago in New York with Blythe Danner crushing my heart as "Sally." Bernadette Peters last year as Mama Rose in "Gypsy" reminding us all to "sing out, Louise." A really wonderful production earlier this year of "Company" by Reprise. Carol Burnett singing "Getting Married Today" in "Putting It Together" at the Mark Taper Forum. Sitting in the Founders Circle at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion to see "A Little Night Music" this past summer. The troubled "Bounce" at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC that never did make it to Broadway -- so far, anyway.

And how many great renditions of "I'm Still Here" have I heard over the years? Polly Bergan in "Follies" in NYC. Elaine Stritch in her one-woman show both in NYC and here in LA. Teri Ralston, who appeared in the original productions of both "Company" and "A Little Night Music" belted it out last night. I only wish I could have seen Yvonne de Carlo sing it in the original production of "Follies." I used to only know of her as Lily from "The Munsters" but now I've learned there was so much to her career (and much more to be proud of).

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Da Mayor?

Spotted Los Angeles City Councilmember (and Mayoral Candidate) Antonio Villaraigosa having lunch today at Langer's -- the best Jewish deli in Los Angeles.

Evelyn -- our favorite crazy, Scottish waitress -- reports Villaraigosa is a good tipper and she'd happily vote for him for Mayor next year.

As GeezBob pointed out, if Villaraigosa ever wants to run for Mayor of Glendale he'll have at least one vote.

The Permanent Campaign

Flying home from Sacramento yesterday I was seated next to State Senator (and soon to be Assemblywoman) Betty Karnette. Tuesday was a good day for Karnette -- she won her race for the State Assembly in a tight contest against a former Republican legislator. I guess I expected her to be tired and relieved her campaign was over. But she was as peppy as ever and actually seemed disappointed the campaign had come to an end. She's clearly a natural.

Karnette pointed out that Assemblyman-elect Mike Gordon was seated across the isle from us. (There must have been a freshmen orientation in Sacramento.) Gordon, the former Mayor of El Segundo, is one of the lead critics of the expansion of LAX. I didn't have a chance to ask him if he's against the plans for LAX shouldn't he stop flying into it?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Another Sweet Victory!

Last night Proposition 68 went down to a smashing defeat -- losing by 83.7% of the vote. All 58 of California's counties voted to oppose 68. In fact, our "worst" county opposed 68 by 73% of the vote.

Sounds like there is other political news today as well. I guess I need to catch up with the newspaper.

My elation of Prop. 68's defeat was lessened a little today when I realized I'm one General Election away (2006) from the 30 year anniversary of the first election I volunteered on. I remember riding my 5-speed, red Schwin bicycle to check voter turnout at the polls in Pacific Palisades, followed by an exciting Election Night party.

We had a few young people at our Election Night party at the Sacramento Sheraton. I don't know if any of them will be working on political campaigns in 30 years. But I hope we threw an Election Night bash they'll remember fondly.