Saturday, October 6, 2018

A Tagalong Isn’t Just a Girl Scout Cookie

Or The Joy of Having Ridiculously Talented Friends

Mais D’abord, Complètement Hors Sujet ...  - But First, Completely Off Topic…
(Some ask, why in French? I choose to ask, why not?)

While ostensibly a political blog, I've taken great care to avoid said sad subject in scribblings of late, as the unpleasant and ugly un-United State of affairs that has overtaken our once great country is a sure recipe for riling up resentment and deepening a depression that would make Sylvia Path and Vincent Van Gogh seem blissful paragons of unrelenting, unremitting and unapologetic joy and heavenly happiness. When an illegal, immoral and illegitimate leader, a Mussolini wannabe, but with less personality, decency and humanity, is empowered by a hostile foreign nation for the primary purpose of destroying history's preeminent democracy; and is blindly followed and worshipped as a modern demi-God by millions of either brain-dead or brainwashed traitors, haters and misled malcontents, even the Family Brady would abandon any notion of ever again experiencing a Sunshine Day;  while the remainder of us merely hope that we will still have a planet in which to awaken each morn. But, again, as hard as it may be to grasp at this juncture, we have not gathered together today to discuss politics, but rather rejoice and regale in far more pleasant pursuits.

They laugh alike, the talk alike, at times they even walk alike -
you can lose your mind.

Sur Le Spectacle, C'est ça - On with the Show, This is It
(Okay, I guess this going to be a thing now.)

You read the writings of a grateful and extremely lucky man,  who has had the beneficial fortune of enjoying exciting and unique show business events and artistic adventures delivered, not through any deserving deeds of his own, but rather by tagging along (I'm often known simply as "her friend'' or "that guy") in the close company and cozy companionship of comrades blessed by nature, genes, or Zeus, Osiris, Buddha, Jehovah, Trump  or whomever their designated deity, with the talents to write, compose, lyricize, act, sing, dance, produce and, if required to, probably spin plates, quick change, ventriloquize, train elephants, breathe fire, sword swallow, change the course of mighty rivers, bend steel in their bare hands; and who, disguised as Clark Kent, mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper, fight a never-ending battle for truth, justice and the American way – although I may be mistaken about that last part.

Now, far be it from me to surrender or sabotage my own sense of self or sizeable ego in a cascade of humbleness and humility for I, too, have harvested the creative fields for, lo, some four decades, and have on display the statuettes and plaques awarded for those earnest and oft-times, effortless efforts. But while these television toilings have sometimes lead me to activities of great interest and excitement, (perhaps, sometime, you'll read of a day-long adventure with Liza with a Z, an emotional encounter with Muhammad Ali, or a convivial conversational bon mot resulting in a Carol Burnett chuckle) my own endeavors have not taken me to the arenas and opening nights that I've relished so, simply by befriending the gifted and the generous.

See, awards! I know you doubted me.

Aucun Homme N'est une Ile de Staten – No Man is Staten Island
(Oh, that’s fairly clever.)

When but a lower middle class lad, born and raised in the semi-civilized, proudly backward and dreadfully dull hamlet of Staten Island, New York (we will never speak of these origins again) the idea of attending a black-tie Broadway opening would have seemed as fantastical a fantasy as space exploration, Dr. Doolittle-esque animal communication or a satisfying occurrence of carnal cavorting with legendary rock goddess Grace Slick (but perhaps it's best I leave last evening's dreams out of this), yet that very event (the Broadway opening, not the rock and roll sex) is a biographical highlight. And, in many ways, was just the beginning.

Artistic interpretation of a life lived on Staten Island.
I pen this, thousands of feet aloft in the wild blue yonder (in an aeroplane, not by benefit of my own powers, but I suppose that did not actually require explanation, did it?) returning from London, and the closing of yet another brilliant new musical, for which I had previously attended its triumphant West End opening. And again, I owe all credit for this unique, memorable and wonderful journey, and the friendships made and experiences enjoyed, to the incredible, admirable and X-Men, mutant-like musical and writing abilities (more later) of a treasured, irreplaceable and dear friend. 

Je Suis allé Partout, Homme - I've Been Everywhere, Man
(The link to Google Translate - https://translate.google.com.)

From Elsah, Illinois, to Lancaster, Pennsylvania; from Sarasota, Florida to Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, it’s been one glitzy, glamorous, international capital and hotspot after another (not to forget London, Paris, Muenster, Amsterdam, Edmonton, Chicago, Shrewsbury...), all thanks to being a “plus 1” to a genius just born with natural, extraordinary abilities – to compose powerful, melodic, sometime intricate, sometime playful music; to write intelligent, adroit, empathetic and witty lyrics, and to lift and move heavy objects by the surprisingly terrifying power of mental telepathy (which, of course, keeps me in constant fear of my life.)

Il n'y a Personne Comme Show People - There's No People Like Show People
(Now, it’s just purposely annoying!)

Finally, (patient readers exhale a deep sigh of relief) the richest reward of being a showbiz hanger-oner, has undoubtedly been the dozens and dozens of fine, friendly, warmly welcoming, and ludicrously talented individuals encountered and befriended from theatrical trek to theatrical trek; people from different backgrounds, different parts of the country and the world, different languages, all with one thing in common - being gracious enough to me so that they now must endure my endlessly verbose, judgmental and self-righteous political ponderings on Facebook, and for that, I am both authentically apologetic and beholden. In a nutshell (although, as you may have surmised, brevity is not a strength) and in less haughty verbiage, I get to do all kinds of fantastic things, without actual having to put in the work or possess the talent. And I am never not aware of that and forever and always appreciative and thankful.

We close with an unusual version of “There’s No Business Like Show Business” by the late, great Elaine Stritch.

“The butcher, the baker, the grocer, the clerk
Are secretly unhappy men because
The butcher, the baker, the grocer, the clerk
Get paid for what they do but no applause.
They'd gladly bid their dreary jobs goodbye for anything theatrical and why?”

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions?  Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com

Friday, July 13, 2018

A Loverly Jaunt Across the Pond

Random Reflections from a Far Too Long Plane Ride, or
Hopefully, it's Not My Ignorance that’s Bliss

“Come fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away
If you can use some exotic booze
There's a bar in far Bombay
Come on and fly with me, let's fly, let's fly away” – S. Cahn

A 7 and ½ hour flight lay ahead of me, from Newark Airport to Heathrow and yet, inexplicably, I feel a calm, a peace, I have never before experienced on any flight, even a trek as blissfully brief as one frequented from my beloved NYC home to the mini-NYC of the Great White North, Toronto. I can’t explain this phenomena, and I shan’t attempt to now (although, an explanation of some sort is likely forthcoming as I have very little control of the thoughts, ideas and opinions that make its way from a semi-creative, often active noggin to the fingertips struggling across a Bluetooth keyboard awash in error and verbal miscalculations.)

Is it the fact that the destination at journey’s end is undoubtedly my favorite locale on the globe, the land in which I fantasize experiencing the remainder of my retired years? Is it the very English woman in the adjoining seat who was immediately reminiscent of brilliant British thespian, Glenda Jackson? Is it the shuffle on my iPod Nano, frequently playing Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Airplane related performers, who usually never fail to relax me with or without the assistance of Mother Nature's most successful and soon to be legal herbal intoxicant? Or mayhaps, most realistically, was it the two, overly-poured pinot grigios at the faux fancy airport tavern and the delightfully unanticipated free champagne upon boarding in Premium Economy? Yet, although it very well may be the potent potables that force me to compose this while the plan was headsets on, pillow ‘neath the neck, blanket tightly tucked with a hoped for visit from the Sandman for this overnight odyssey across the Atlantic; this post-Lindberg, trans-Atlantic foray is one I’ve partaken of almost a dozen times, fueled by spirits each and every outing, and never before has such serenity overtaken me.

Upon further thought, as the almost otherworldly perfection and beauty of Miles Davis' Flamenco Sketches now wafts through my Audio Technica noise reduction headphones, maybe my current pacificity arises from that trumpeted artistry in concert with the beautiful British Isles accent of the Billie Piper-doppelganger flight attendant who just handed me my hot, really not so hot, cocoa. And to some degree, I suspect, this enjoyable and continuous contentment and calm may have also come from the satisfying and long-awaited unfriending and blocking of a childhood comrade on Facebook, immediately prior to boarding, who has mistakenly believed for years, that because we were once cordial some 4 decades ago, she held the right to condescendingly judge, criticize and critique each writing, opinion and life choice I have ever openly articulated. She does not, and the freedom of finally releasing her from my online existence after interminable, imagined eons of wishing to do so, but for fear of offense, is indeed, quite freeing.

Assuredly, said serenity certainly does not originate from the ever-tightening, vise grip of the shoes, midair, in faulty made-made, cabin overly-pressured environment, which upon blessed Mother Earth are definitively the most comfortable foot coverings I own, or the sudden, consistent throbbing in my lower leg. Then, I suppose, we also must consider the food tray, recently arrived, carrying comestibles, under which any other more sane circumstances would be justifiably, roundly and righteously, rightfully rejected, but once trapped thousands of feet in the atmosphere, with naught to pass the time but Vince Vaughn film festivals and Lock Up, maximum security level meals are excitedly anticipated and gloriously accepted and treasured as the Magi anticipated the birth of the savior.

To be terrifically truthful, once alighting upon the bountifully beautiful British Empire, I will be reunited with a dear friend,  my personal favorite of all of Earth's population, of whom I have been separated, a sea apart, but with the occasional company of her loving feline, for a thoroughly unacceptable period of time. And, when once again, keeping her company, we will be doing so for the opening of her brand new musical on a West End stage, an enviable impressive accomplishment and artistic achievement, so one would imagine these further elements would certainly bespeak the rarity of such an optimistic and uncharacteristically pleasant and delighted demeanor.

If you have been benevolent enough to stay attentive throughout this entire meandering expressive endeavor, perhaps the query has occurred to you, "is there a point arriving at some juncture?" for I, too, share that very concern and have, unfortunately, arrived at the conclusion, that that ship has sailed many alliterations ago. No pending satisfactory denouement to be found here, just a need to convey happiness at a troubled time when such sentiments are becoming increasingly difficult to obtain. Come fly with me.

“Once I get you up there where the air is rarified
We'll just glide, starry-eyed
Once I get you up there I'll be holding you so very near
You may even hear a whole gang cheer 'cause we're together”

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions?  Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Rudolph Giuliani Presents: Uncle Rudy’s Guide to Love, Marriage and Sexual Mores

A match made in Hell

 “Newlywed a year ago
But you're still checking each other out
Nobody wants to blow
Nobody wants to be left out
You can't leave, 'cause your heart is there…
It’s a family affair.”  - Sly Stone

In light of Rudy “3 Wives Down, 3 More to Go” Giuliani’s recent sage, wise and indignantly ignorant and judgmental public proclamations on the morality, integrity and probity of Stormy Daniels (liberally bookmarked on Rudy’s laptop for meticulous and conscientious research only, that vat of Jergen’s is just coincidentally nearby) and the converse goodness, righteousness and perpetual purity and virginity of Donald “My Next Wife Hasn’t Even Been Born Yet” Trump’s triumvirate of spouses, numbers two and three each an extramarital mistress, in turn, prior to betrothal, “… and several butcher’s aprons” significantly less than proudly, and with some trepidation and extreme degrees of shame, brings you -

Rudolph Giuliani Presents:  Uncle Rudy's Guide to Love, Marriage and Sexual Mores

Rudy and cousin/first wife

It’s a Family Affair
Whether you’re America's Mayor and have copulated with cousin, or the King of the United States, and desire to diddle daughter, remember, it's always better to bed, betroth and breed blood, for if you marry outside of family, you never know what you’ll catch from a stranger.

Donald with daughter/wife

 “I know Donald Trump. Look at his three wives - beautiful women, classy women, women of great substance.” – Rudolph Giuliani

Til Death Us Do Part
Marriage is a sacred institution, not to be entered into unadvisedly or carelessly, but reverently, joyfully and in the love of God. Consequently, the more the better! Display your devotion to this honorable estate by partaking in it aplenty - the more marriages, the more divorces, the more moral. As the classic vows profess – love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude. Love means never having to say you’re sorry. Love is all you need. Love, love is strange. Love is funny, or it's sad or it's quiet, or it's mad, it's a good thing or it's bad but beautiful. Love is a battlefield (I fear I have lost my rhetorical way, no more Spotify while writing.) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres… never lasts. Aim for a minimum of three marriages.

Home is Where the Heart is
When possible, move your mistress (future wife 3/future, future ex-wife 3) under the same roof where you blissfully, familially cohabitate with wife duex and children. Should you reside in a municipally financed mayor’s mansion mores the better.  It will save your chauffer effort, save you from prying paparazzi, save time, save steps - save everything but face, your soul, or the forever scarred psyche of your offspring.

“ I don't respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance or a woman who has great respect for herself as a woman and as a person and isn't going to sell her body for sexual exploitation.” – Rudolph Giuliani

She Works Hard for the Money
From the book of Giuliani 2:22 -24, “And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, this is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, how much for a BBBJ, a Full Service or Around the World?” And thus it has always been and thus it shall always be - a man will pay a woman for sex, remain honored and revered and perhaps even ascend to the planet’s premiere pinnacles of power, and $130,000 will commence that carnal negotiation.  But the woman solicited for said service, shall forthwith be disregarded, disrespected and disparaged, but for the sole specific exception of erotic nude models hailing from Slovenia.

"If you're going to sell your body for money, you just don't have a reputation. I may be old fashioned, I dunno." – Rudolph Giuliani

Melania and friend, "old fashioned" girls
Next time, stay tuned for Rudy's anxiously awaited follow up, “Sex and the Single Cellmate.”  When you’re as pretty as Rudy and Don, a life sentence doesn't have to mean a life of celibacy – coming soon, to a blog near you.

It's a family affair, it's a family affair
It's a family affair, it's a family affair”

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions?  Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com

Friday, March 23, 2018

Requiem for a Nation – The United States of America, 1776 - 2017

“Oh beautiful, for heroes proved,
In liberating strife,
Who more than self, our country loved,
And mercy more than life”

The United States of America was a great country, deeply flawed, as all are, but one always striving to improve, to progress, determined to correct past mistakes, grievous inequities and societal injustices; and one with an enlightened Constitution, set of laws, purposely planned structure, and a seemingly inherent and innate sense of fairness and decency that allowed it to successfully, albeit frequently chaotically and messily, do so; inching ever so closer to fulfilling that noble goal of becoming a "more perfect union."

Sadly and tragically, in less than a year and a half of historically, unprecedented corruption, malfeasance, ignorance, hatred, bigotry, thieving, lying, fraud, indecency, subversion and astonishing stupidity, that wonderful nation has perished. In its place is a vulgar obscenity, an offensive and lewd insult to that beacon of liberty, equality and opportunity that millions had given their lives to preserve and protect.  Instead, the entity that now occupies that glorious landmass reaching from magnificent ocean to magnificent ocean, “sea to shining sea,” and quite erroneously still labeling itself as the United States of America, is an Oligarchic dictatorship, a Banana Republic, with no adherence or allegiance to the Constitution, with liberty and justice, not for all, but for the privileged few, where the poor and middle class sacrifice to further enrich the wealthy, where crime and punishment are determined by status and class, where divisiveness, sexism, bigotry, hatred and ignorance are encouraged and well rewarded.  

This new nation, not conceived in liberty, nor dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, is a perfect reflection of the sociopathic criminal and treasonous enemy of the state that now sullies the White House, the people’s house, and perhaps, even more catastrophically and more permanently damaging is the sorrowful reality that this rapidly deteriorating, declining and failing homeland equally represents those who empowered this devil on earth.

To have cast a ballot for Donald Trump, can be munificently forgiven as a regrettable blunder, a serious political faux pas. To continue to support this domestic adversary, who toils not for country or Constitution, but for himself and the Russian powers who aided his ascent, is pure treason, and paints those who do so no less an enemy than the diminutively digited, tangerine tyrant.  The Republicans, the Evangelicals and the Christian Conservatives, who defend and laud his every foul word and deed, seem, not just incapable of logical judgement concerning this supreme sinner, but even worshipful of their new own personal Jesus, have consistently demonstrated nothing but indecency, immorality, and traitorous behavior, all whilst clutching Bible to chest, waving the Stars and Stripes and vociferously proclaiming patriotism, loyalty and fealty to the history, tradition, values and principles they so callously and roundly reject.  Donald Trump is assuredly mentally ill, what excuse do those who elected and enable him have?

“America, America, may God thy gold refine,
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain devined.”

Saturday, January 6, 2018

62 Million Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest

MCGA - Donald Trump, Making the Confederacy Great Again

An Electorate Awash in Animosity, Ignorance and Ignominy

"It's not cool to be ridiculed
But you brought this upon yourself" - Stevie Wonder

If you marked your ballot, pulled the lever, popped a chad for Donald Trump, you committed an act of treason and should be permanently stripped of the right to vote. If you continue to support him as president, like the lunatic himself, you are a traitor, and a clear and present danger to our once great country, now turned banana republic.

And now that you loathe me, and are searching my whereabouts on Google for what you believe to be a deserved, thorough thrashing, allow me to expound.

In the past, I have been informed by a dear friend or two (yes, I have friends) that in previous writings, be it this blog, Facebook, Twitter, skywriting, semaphore, smoke signals, American Sign Language or braille, I have been continuously and consistently too critical of, and insulting to, the Trump voter (aka: slack-jawed, self-concerned, dumb as a box of hammers, mentally unstable, anti-American turncoat.) Au contraire (an explanatory link for the Trump enthusiast, http://www.yourdictionary.com/au-contraire) in retrospect (once more, but from this point further, you’re on your own, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/retrospect) I have been far too charitable, for this Dante-esque, Arrigo Boito-like nightmare in which we currently find ourselves, is completely and totally on the devilish Donald devotee. The threatening nuclear showdown with North Korea, the destruction of the Earth for the gain of international corporations, the rape of the poor and middle class for the enrichment of the wealthy, and the actual rape of underage girls and the dozens of admitted sexual assaults by the Mephistopheles currently in residence on Pennsylvania Avenue, both Trump voter accepted and approved, are all the fault and the responsibility of those 62 million whose vote demonstrated nothing but contempt for our nation, its populace, our Constitution and traditional American values.  Further, the egocentric and mercenary, immediate self-interest of such a decision was a clear and affronting message to our children, grandchildren and all future generations that their health, well-being, safety and very lives, are thoroughly meaningless and of zero concern or interest to the Trump troglodyte, as vile and venal an American citizen as this one time beacon of democracy, civility and liberty has ever regretfully sired.

The Trump Supporter - you can see the love and compassion in their faces
So, why, one may ask, perchance, one may ponder, would an obvious madman, rabble-rouser and plain old no good-nick such as myself, even posit such a peculiar, peevish and provocative proposal that a tally for Trump, a vote for a viper, a decision for the Drumpfster, would in any way equate to a tyrannical attack of treason? J’accuse!! After all, this was a legal and legitimate election, right Vladimir? Simply, every felonious follower and fan was well aware of the (lack of) character and personality they were supporting and encouraging, as well as his personally bragged about and well-documented vast criminal history and moral misbehaviors. With said knowledge at their easily and readily “Binged” (Ask Jeeves? Altavista? Dogpile?) disposal, anyone with even the fraction of a cerebral cortex intact in their skulls would be well aware that this thieving, lying, raping, incest-advocating, draft-dodging, narcissistic, self-serving sociopath is certainly not, in any conceivable and workable way, worthy of Oval Office occupation and the formidable and weighty designation of “Leader of the Free World” (note: in light of this folly, foolhardiness and dangerous recklessness, that title, once only and always belonging to the President of the United States, is now firmly in the rational, reasonable and intelligent grasp of Germany’s Angela Merkel.) To believe otherwise and then to follow through on those beliefs at the polling place, is either an unambiguous act of treachery and treason against our mother land, or the function of a disturbed, troubled and utterly, insane mind (if any Trump supporters are still reading this, and not loading semi-automatics, riled and rife for vengeance, feel free to self-determine your own classification between quisling and crazy.)

Her family must be so proud
Should one choose to ignore the outside, overwhelming avalanche of evidence against Trump being either ethical, smart or sane – deliberately disregarding charges of collusion, obstruction of justice, sexual assault, rape, money-laundering, illegal business ties to the Russian government and oligarchs, sharing American and Israeli intelligence with Russian spies, the non-payment of taxes, the stiffing of business partners and contractors, the numerous bankruptcies, the thousands of lawsuits - including the $25 million dollar settlement he paid in guilty acknowledgement of defrauding 6000 students out of tens of millions with his phony university. a genuine, undebatable crime, pre-election day - the tens of thousands of lies and so and so on, ad-infinitum; why would a Donald disciple also ignore their demi-god’s own words and admissions? This champion of the chowder head, this idol of the ignorant, this hero of the hate-filled, brazenly and braggadociously crowed of serial sexual assault, his desires to bed his “hot” daughter, his astute tax evasions, his owners ability to walk into the dressing rooms of underage beauty pageant contestants to sneak naked peeks at these pre-teen girls, his numerous infidelities, his man-crush on, and ardorous admiration of, Vladimir Putin – all captured on audio and video tape for permanent posterity, and obviously all meeting with the tacit approval of his America-hating allies.

MNGA - Making Nazis Great Again
"When dictatorship is a fact, revolution becomes a right." - Victor Hugo

Thanks to Trump embracing the worst of us, our enemies within – the Neo-Nazis, KKK, White Supremacists (aka, his base) and proudly and openly reinforcing their words, deeds and principles with his own statements and actions, while degrading those who uphold actual American values, laws and liberties, he has created a toxic atmosphere that for all intents and purposes has our extremely divided country mired in a cold civil war. Our nation has never faced an adversary like Donald Trump before, one who has waged an active campaign against our Constitution and country from the office of the Presidency, with the ability to wield all the powers inherent to that position. Trump is an enemy combatant, and should be regarded and treated as such. And that third of the U.S. whose hatred of the United States, African-Americans, Muslims, immigrants, homosexuals and anyone who looks, speaks or worships differently than they do, share equally in the guilt and the lawlessness alongside their heretical hero and, harrowingly, will still be very much amongst us long after their sinful savior is rotting within penitentiary walls.

“We would not care to wake up to the nightmare
That's becoming real life
But when mislead, who know a person's mind
Can turn as cold as ice

Why do you keep on making us hear your song
Telling us how you are changing right from wrong
'Cause if you really want to hear our views
You haven't done nothing” – Stevie Wonder

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions?  Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Death of a Nation – The Disgrace of Modern America

“We are all outlaws in the eyes of America
In order to survive we steal, cheat, lie, forge, hide and deal
We are obscene, lawless, hideous, dangerous, dirty, violent and young
But we should be together
Come on all you people standing around
Our life's too fine to let it die and
We can be together” – Paul Kantner

Today, I desperately need someone to remind me why my country is, as we annoyingly proclaim to the rest of the World on a daily basis, “great” and “exceptional,” for, to be perfectly honest, I’m just not seeing it. Is it because any sociopathic billionaire, child rapist, confessed sexual assaulter, con-man, incest proponent, grifter, liar and thief with a criminal record can grow up to be President? Or, is the justification that anyone, even with a diagnosed mental disorder or incarceration record, can easily purchase automatic weaponry intended solely for military use and designed, not for hunting or self-defense, but to quickly and efficiently slaughter as many people as possible? Now, sure, the nation, the ideals and values set forth by our brilliant and worldly Founding Fathers were both “great” and “exceptional,” but we have strayed shamefully and dangerously adrift from those ideologies and intentions. The present United States, currently piloted by an ignorant, sexist, racist, hate-filled enemy of America, installed by a hostile foreign power and supported by 62 million equally unenlightened and bigoted traitors, has as much correlation to the principles promoted in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution, as Donald Trump’s gold-plated, 5th Avenue, towering bordello has to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello.

And, lest ye forget, those flag waving, bible thumping, paradigms of perfect patriotism, wrapped in the stars and stripes, topped with a crown of thorns and devouring a super-sized Big Mac, declare us not just “great” but also, “the greatest country in the world!!!” Now, mind you, the vast majority of Americans possess no passport, consider those of us who do to be untrustworthy Communists, and have never traversed beyond the borders of Mayberry or Hooterville, finding even Toronto far too exotic and threatening.  As an avid traveler, and a believer that doing so enlightens, educates and only serves to open one’s mind, I’m curious to hear from the xenophobic amongst our uninformed populace, what isn’t “great” about England or France or Holland or Canada? Does the lack of weekly mass shootings somehow make them inferior? And, monosyllabic babbles from Sarah Palin or Sean Hannity in response, means instant disqualification. Even as much as the illegal, illegitimate, Putin-puppet and posterior puckerer Commander in Thief denies the decency of any non-English speaking, non-USA born, skin-tone darker than Powder individual, the reality is, most of his fortune is on loan from Russia, he owns unsuccessful hotels and chapter 11 resorts throughout the globe, and he almost always buys his wives on the foreign exchange.

While well-intended, thoughts and prayers both amount to the same thing,
talking to yourself to make yourself feel better.

It takes a country that can rationalize electing a dangerously insane person President, to rationalize selling a dangerously insane person guns. And so, here we find ourselves in 2017, a once great nation on a rapidly, very possibly, irreversible decline; with an enemy, grievously bereft of decency, morality and sanity, now in charge of the government, buttressed by a citizenry lacking character, judgment and knowledge, both, derisive of the rights and protections of the First Amendment, while devout to an unwavering worship of the Second.

The daily escalating madness of this increasingly, uncivilized country is depressing and exhausting. I don’t know if a future for me exists here any longer.  I may be ready to escape to a humane, compassionate, tolerant and mature nation. I believe in the Constitution. I believe in America. But progressively, more and more Americans do not, and the federal government undoubtedly doesn’t. Remarkably, in less than 10 months, Donald Trump has demolished traditional democratic institutions, philosophies and practices that took 241 years to establish.  The Republic, this vision of our Founders, is trapped in an accelerating death spiral. Our nation is on a clock now. It cannot and will not endure a long-term Trump presidency.  And the survival of civilization hinges on one overriding question - can Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller prosecute Trump before he destroys the United States, if not the entire planet, with his nuclear objectives? As is common among the privileged top 1%, Donald Trump has flaunted a "get out of jail free" card his entire life. It's time for Mueller to revoke that privilege.

Beezlebub speaks

 “We can be together
We will be.
We must begin here and now,
A new continent of earth and fire,
Come on now getting higher and higher.
Tear down the walls
Won't you try?’

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions?  Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

It Happened In Key West – A Praise-filled Peek at a Stunning New Musical

“How it feels to watch your love, as they slowly drift away. 
And to know that you can’t follow where they go.”

As a man of virtually no talents, (and truth be told, I might be grading on a curve with the self-serving inclusion of the word “virtually”) and a wannabe creative, who has initiated, attempted, then abandoned more unsuccessful, artistic endeavors than Trump has maturing mates, I’m fortunately favored with friends who have talent to spare and share, and do so graciously and generously; allowing those of us among the less-gifted general-population (sociological genus: “cubicle-dwellers") to experience and partake in events and opportunities that would normally only be things of daydream,  reverie and Turner Classic Movies: MGM marathons.  This recent, final weekend of August, pleasantly presented, again, one such entertaining, rewarding and even Poppins-esque “practically perfect in every way” pursuit and proceeding with the first fully-staged version of a musical in the making, “It Happened in Key West.”  Everything about those few days spent around  Lancaster, Pennsylvania’s historic Fulton Theatre, and the hours enjoyed with those who toiled, entertained  and enchanted there, was special, affecting and fulfilling; so take heed and warning, from this point thus, I will be gushing like a tween at her first Bobby Sherman concert (am I aging myself? Leif Garrett? David Cassidy? Russ Colombo? Who do the young people listen to on their Victrola’s now-a-days?)

I Generally Don’t Want to Cry This Much in Public

How to describe the plot of a show that stretches the old saw “truth is stranger than fiction” like a Stretch Armstrong doll with severe glandular problems (Mr. Fantastic with a second dose of cosmic radiation?) I suppose an option is to remain intentionally imprecise on story specifics and rather speak to the resulting effect on audiences, where sniffles and tears flowed like the mighty Niagara, and laughs bellowed that would render the Marx Brothers enviously green and the Pythons injudiciously jealous. This theatrical richness is delivered by a sumptuous score, at times, movingly exquisite, at other times, cleverly comical; always with engagingly imaginative and intelligent lyrical wordplay. George and Ira, and all Messrs. R and H – Richard, Lorenz and Oscar, are, no doubt, gazing down approvingly. Then there’s the book, which with extreme adeptness, inventiveness and ingenuity takes a potentially difficult true-life tale to tell, the story of Count Carl Von Cosel, Elena Hoyos and a love so deep that it extended beyond the boundaries of life itself and accepted societal norms and perhaps even decency; with factual elements of delusion, darkness, illness and mortality, but always over-riding and overwhelming genuine, ardent, aching and undying love - and spins it into a fertile, fulfilling theatrical tapestry of raucous comedy, profound sadness and above all – deep and authentic romance.

The real Carl
A Deserved Bow

“It Happened In Key West” was conceived and created by the talented trio of Jill Santoriello, Jason Huza and Jeremiah James, who, trust me, have not bribed, cajoled or forwarded a farthing to curry the writing of these favorable, flattering words and encouraging expressions (however, should they feel so moved, the email can be found, below.)  Ms. Santoriello, author of Broadway’s “A Tale of Two Cities,” only the second woman in history to ever write book, music and lyrics for a Broadway musical, continues along her triple-threat ways as composer, lyricist and co-book writer here (her considerate offer to also peddle ice cream cups during intermission was gratefully declined.) Jason Huza, a novelist, playwright, web-series writer/producer, a scribe so prolific Stephen King can only weep in admiration, wrote the book and additional lyrics. And finally, Jeremiah James, producer, writer, director, choreographer, author, actor, singer, recording artist, steamboat pilot, Renaissance painter and first man on the moon (although, I suspect I was misinformed about those last 3) the founder of the feast, the mind who first conceived this inimitable and unique concept, also serves as producer and book contributor. The engaging, gifted and multi-talented cast is led by Wade McCollum as Carl, the love-struck, brilliant, German scientist and doctor, with a heart of gold, and a mind under psychiatric evaluation; and Elena Ramos Pascullo, as Elena, the beautiful, sweet, much younger woman, the object of Carl’s ardor and affection and, unfortunately, also, his critically ill patient (get out your handkerchiefs.)  Completing the cast is an exceptionable group of actors, singers and dancers who expertly and appealingly cover a multitude of roles and characterizations and each deserves mention (by the way, you’ll never meet a friendlier, more welcoming bunch) - Roxanne Daneman, Anna DeBlasio, Dave Droxler, Michael Fisher, Casey Furlong, Ryan Neal Green, Conor McGiffin, Spenser Micetich, Courtney Warford and Anson J.H. Woodin. Accompaniment and musical direction was provided by the harmonious Kevin David Thomas, a man as nice and likeable, as he is talented (and reportedly, half of the cutest couple on Facebook.)

The real Elena
Quite appropriately, we will close with one of the wonderful songs from the show, “What More Can I Wish For,” by Jill Santoriello and Jason Huza. This was a musical in development, a production intended to gauge progress, status, to note needed changes and, very importantly, to get the feel and feedback of how it plays to an audience. I was in 4 audiences. I saw tears. I heard laughs. I witnessed hundreds rise as one to their feet. I experienced artistic accomplishment and success. Remember the title, “It Happened in Key West.”

Any comments, questions, criticisms, candid confessions, cash contributions?  Contact me at butchersaprons@mail.com.