Thursday, March 30, 2006


This looks like someone's hair, doesn't it? Well, not really but it does have a mysterious quality to you see a face in this photo? One could imagine just about anything, couldn't one?

The rain yesterday here in L.A. during "Storm Watch", created some very interesting a strange way this almost looks like little icicles on this head of hair, doesn't it?

The reason I mention "Storm Watch" is because that is what the local news says every time we have some rain. You would think each time they do this that we are in for horrendous horrible rains...but, that is not usually the case. In fact most of the time "Storm Watch comes into being after the, we've had a huge not-predicted storm and then they start with "Storm Watch". In a way, it's really hilarious!

(Can't wait to see what the construction up the street looks like....if it has stopped raining by the time I get ready to actually post this, I'll take a walk up there and check it out...I know there will be rock slides on these streets, cause there always are--that's just a given...but weather there will be visible rain damage up at that construction site remains to be seen...)

This plant above and just down below is a plant called...well, Lordy, I don't remember what it is called! Sorry about that. Well, to continue, this particular one of mine is still quite small, only about 8 feet high, and unfortunately, it is struggling...I love the shape of this plant...I call it the Cigar Cactus, cause it looks like a big fat greenish yellowish cigar to me....I have about 3 or 4 in my garden...this one was down below, but we moved it up to the front because it was struggling so badly and I thought it might do better in a more protected environment.
It is still continuing to struggle but the root system is very healthy and I'm hoping it will pull itself together as time goes on...I mean it still looks pretty bad, but it's a very good sign that the roots are healthy. I had my gardener, Seven, check the roots this past Saturday ..a truly healthy one of these should really look somewhat greener than this and also fuller...some of my other ones look great...but, not this one, poor dear...In the wild, these plants can be 30 or 40 feet high, and some even higher. And with arms, too...this is really too young to have any arms's only about 35 or 40 years old and these plants grow very very slowly...maybe 2 or 3 inches a year, if things are going well...And you can see from this picture that the color is too yellow and that is not what it should be...I'm trying to stay positive about this wonderful plant so I approach everything we do with it, with hope. And I encourage it and tell it how wonderful it is!

And you remember "George"? That's the plant that has the Buttons, then they became like Nipples, and now...well, I don't know what to call what they look like now though they are getting closer and closer to turning into the flowers that they will become...George's proper name is Pachycereus Pringlei and could grow to be 50 or 60 feet high, and with many arms branching my 'George' was grown from seed (not by me) and has gone through quite a lot of trauma. He used to be quite a bit taller than he is now, but something happened down at the bottom of him close to the ground--a disease attacked him but luckily we noticed this and we were able to save the major portion of him. He had originally been in the ground and very well established and then when this terrible disease happened we had to uproot him and literally amputate the bad portion of him and then let the cut part dry before planting him in a pot so he could safely root...about two years later when we were sure he was well established again we planted him where he is now and (knock wood) he has been doing beautifully ever since. This particular photo was taken before the buttons began to show themselves...(I'll try to get a better picture of George so you can see all of him...He is about 7 feet high now.)

To get the idea of how huge these Pachycereus Pringlei plants can grow in the wild, take a look at this. As you can see in this particular picture there is a person standing next to the plant, and this will give you a small idea of how truly huge these plants can get. Amazing, isn't it?

George has a long way to go doesn't he? And, I certainly won't see it in my lifetime, that's for sure...I mean it takes at least two or three century's for one of these plants to get this big...and George is probably only 25 or 30 years old...But, the compensation of his size for me is the pleasure of actually getting close to the buttons which become flowers and then fruit. I mean that's pretty spectacular to me. And by the way, the fruit is edible...and in reading about the flesh of this plant it is supposed to have wonderful healing properties and also some kind of pain killer ability, as well...It certainly would be better than perscriptions. IF you knew exaclty how to extract it you could then administer it to someone, like yourself. (So much of our medicines come from the plant world to begin with...). I think it would be great to have your own personal pharmacy growing in your very own garden, don't you?

I love this has so much going on in it and it has this kind of abstract quality to it. It's not that I think it's a perfect picture or anything like that. It just pleases me on some level I can't really explain...Maybe it is the fact that there
is so very much going on it, you know? The many different shapes and the slight sense of the rain....And the many colors, too, as well as the fact that the focus is really not sharp at all.... Anyway, I just thought I'd share this one picture because 'George' is there along with a number of other wonderful plants, and just because I like it so much. This was taken while it was raining and though you cannot see the rain exactly, you can see the slickness and some droplets on that Senecio there in the right foreground of the picture and on those lovely light green Senecio leaves behind it.

So, as a reminder of how these Buttons/Nipples/Nub Flowers on George have grown since I started posting the photo's of them...(well, not from the very beginning actually)... here is a small reminder photograph of these 'George' Buttons, early can see how tiny they were even in this photo and unfortunately I didn't start to take pictures of them at the very very beginning of their appearance...I sure wish I had, but when these little things first appear you may or may not notice them right away...they just seem to come out of nowhere, you know? Like, they aren't there and then suddenly they are there, like overnight. It isn't really overnight, I know, but often, it feels like that to me.

And now, here's the most recent photo of the 'George' flowers. I actually took this today and it's about as close as I've been able to get and have them stay 'in focus'. I'm leaving the photograph on it's side because you can really see the flower nubs better this way...I know you are all probably going to get bored with these flowers before we are done here, but I hope not...See, they never bore me for a minute because I am so in awe of what nature all that fuzz that is around this nub before it actually becomes the flower it surely WILL become. And while it is growing this fuzz is a very important componant because it is there as a sort of protective no birds or other creatures will be interested in it, yet....Right now these are the flower nubs to watch, believe me! There will be lots of other amazing things as the spring and summer and fall come along, but right now and probably till the end of June, these will be doing their amazing amazing thing, and I will be showing you because I love love love these sweet surprising fantastic growing beauties, more than I can say...

More will be revealed....

Sunday, March 26, 2006

There Goes The Neighborhood!

I don't know if you remember, but back a few posts ago...(well, no doubt it's more than a few)...but anyway, I talked about "construction" happening up the street from me....I think I showed a picture of a fence around nothing, with sand bags, and said I believed that something was actually happening up there on the crest of this property. (I'm posting that same photograph at the end of this post just for contrast here...) Well, something is definitely happening...and the other day when I walked up the hill a bit, there were about a dozen men working on this place...machinery is up there digging up and digging out, if you know what I mean. And with construction comes noise, dirt, and strangers who don't care about 'the neighborhood' and this will no doubt go on for a very long long long long long long I said, there goes the neighborhood...but....Maybe not. (Well let's face it...for now, it's a mess..) Maybe, when they get all done in three or four years it will be a lovely home...But for now...this is what we have here.

"...We'll be digging out the mountain when we come...We'll be digging out the mountain when we come.....". And that is exactly what they have been doing...this is kind of a close-up of the begininning of some kind of something...(You can tell, I know nothing about construction except the dirt that comes with See, this is just below that beautiful Art Deco Moderne house on the street above us...if you all are following from before.... You can't see the house in this picture, but it is there and I took a photo of it from down the street just a little bit from the construction and believe me, that property is right above this property...Here is that photo that I took a couple of weeks ago. And just to the left of the photograph above, is this, (down below) where just to the left of THIS photo of the Deco property, and below it of course, is that beautiful lovely gorgeous construction... So, we have to live through the constant work people parking their personal cars (trucks, actually...) on the street making it very difficult for two cars to go through these curved hilly streets at the same time...along with 'the jaws of dirt' here...
Doesn't it look like that mountain could just collapse??? Scary. If I were the people who lived in that Deco House I might be a tad concerned, you know? Because the hill that this home is being built on sort of surrounds the lower part of the Deco House's property and one wonders if the integrity of the 'hill' is at risk...One year, when we had ferocious rains, there was a mud slide from the Deco house's property that came down and literally went into the living room of the house below it across the street from the slide! OY! So, the neighborhood could be floating down the street if there are some really heavy heavy I said...there goes the neighborhood....(Oh No!) And this photo above? Well, this was just a minor slippage which can and does happen in the mildest of rains (which is what caused this slide)...see all that decomposing granite? That is the composition of this whole hill that we all live on....including where they are building that 'new' home.

So here is what it looked like that day I first saw the sand bags and the then new fence that now surronds this property. It was clean then... And here it is, as of a few days ago...Progress, it's wonderful.But the truth is, in many ways progess is wonderful. Only time will tell about this particular reach for progress and it's wonderfullness...Only time will tell if this will be a beautiful house or an eyesore...I pray for the former as I know the neighbors who must live through this endless noisy dirty construction pray, too....

More to come, as always...

Friday, March 24, 2006

Lena Horne!

When you haven't seen someone perform for a very long time, sometimes you kind of sort of forget how truly truly GREAT they are. My dear dear old friend Danny F. from New York made up a DVD for me of Lena Horne’s “A Lady And Her Music”, which is almost impossible to get, anywhere! I tried to get the tape on Ebay and there was one but I lost it because some other collector bid higher than me in the last 5 seconds!! And then the seller offered it to me again, immediately…well, I didn’t get it because this seller had stated how “rare” and one-of-a-kind this tape was in the original auction, etc…and something didn’t feel right when they offered it to me immediately after the close of that auction, at the price I was willing to pay for this RARE-One Of A Kind Tape....So one day when I was talking to Danny F., I asked him if he had a tape of this show, and he said he did have it on three-quarter inch tape, which is actually a better quality, and he said he would be happy to make a DVD for me….And he did, and I got it, finally, yesterday in my late afternoon mail. (It was a few days ago now...the Blogger problems have kept me from uploading these images...till now, finally).

Well, my dears, I had the best time watching this stunning performer. It was like being transported back in time, once again, to The Nederlander Theatre, on Broadway, and to once again be thrilled by this inspiring performance. It’s a two act show and I wish it had gone on and on and on for another 6 acts….
So, what is this fabulous DVD? Well, it is Lena Horne’s one-woman show that she did in New York, in 1981-82 which I was lucky enough to see twice on Broadway, and then, once again, here in L.A. If you’ve never seen this woman perform ‘live’ this show is the closest thing you can come to it, and it is, as I said, thrilling…Absolutely Thrilling, beyond words. Miss Horne was 63 years old when this show opened,(Almost 64, btw). And she looked fabulous and sang fabulous….and everything about this show was superb in every way. This show was recorded ‘live’ in New York and I believe was shown on PBS and also there was a VHS tape, for sale…Somewhere I have a copy…maybe even two! But God only knows where they are...and another btw, Lena Horne won every Top Award you can win when you do a Broadway Show…The Drama Desk Award, The Tony Award, The Actors Equity Paul Robeson Award. And, on top of that, the Album of this show won a Grammy, too. So not having a clue to where that vhs tape might be, I am in Hog Heaven now that I have this DVD. And fyi this show, "Lena Horne, The Lady And Her Music" is available on CD….it's true you can’t see her, but you sure can hear her! And all I can say is, ”WOW”! (A Grammy for this….well, Of Course My Dears!!!!!)

If you don’t know much about Lena Horne, she was a pioneer in every respect from her MGM days, as the first woman of color to be put under contract by this studio, and to her contribution to the civil rights of people of color in this country, which cannot be minimized. She was also the first woman of color to appear on the cover of a major magazine. Think about that. We take so much of this for granted now....there's Oprah, appearing every month on the cover of her own magazine, Praise God, but without Lena Horne....maybe that might never have been possible.

She was very very brave and took chances that no other entertainer had done until she did what she did. Up to even the early 60’s black entertainers like Sammy Davis Jr., Harry Belefonte and Lena Horne, who all played the show-rooms of numerous Hotels, weather they were in Las Vegas or Miami Beach or New York or wherever…where they, as people of color, were not allowed to stay in the hotel rooms of those very grand hotels. Not allowed to rent a room there! Hard to believe I know, but true. Not only that, but beyond that horror, people of color were not allowed in as customers in these Hotel Show Rooms! Well, Lena Horne took a stand. She refused to work at any Hotel where she herself could not stay and where people of color were not allowed to be customers. This was incredibly brave because she took a huge chance that she would get no work right here in her own country, and singing was her livelihood…. She sang all over the world having played all the great cities…Paris, London, etc. In New York she played The Waldorf Astoria many many times. One of my very favorite albums of hers was and still is, “Live, At The Waldorf Astoria”. There is something about these live performances that gives you a spine tingling experience as if you were actually there. Her husband Lennie Hayton, a great arranger/conductor who she had met during her days at MGM, (Lena Horne’s days at MGM are really a whole other post) would do all her musical arrangements and would conduct the orchestra wherever they traveled and played. This was an interracial marriage; another very brave step considering it was the 1940’s! There is so much more to her life…There are any number of Biography’s on her, and many are worth reading…her life and career were filled with so very many ‘firsts’, you know? Her daughter Gail Lumet Buckley, (she was married to superlative director Sidney Lumet with whom she has two children) wrote a wonderful book about their family heritage called "The Horne's, An American Family" that, is a definite must-read.

On September 19th, 1994, Lena played a nightclub in New York City called The Supper Club. This performance was recorded “Live” and is actually available on DVD, which I bought as soon as I heard about it. Mind you now, in this performance Lena Horne was 77 years old! Beautiful, sexy beyond belief, (I know a lot of you younger people probably cannot imagine this…but, believe me, it’s absolutely true…and it was true when she was 63, too….Amazing Woman..) and still, on this DVD she is this fantastic vital alive performer. I know it will be very very hard to find “Lena Horne, The Lady And Her Music”, but this DVD from 1994, “An Evening With Lena Horne” is available, and is a stunning testement to her great great talent....I love this DVD, too!

This woman, who will turn 89 on June 30th, is one of the great performers of the 20th century. Do yourself a favor and get that DVD…you won’t be sorry. In fact, any CD’s or DVD’s that you can get of Lena Horne’s you won’t be sorry. For anyone who is serious about the musical history of our country, Lena Horne’s career is a must-study. Her life and her career are entwined with so very many of the greats of Jazz and Pop Music, Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Sinatra, Garland, etc., etc,., etc,. and films, too…One of the greatest honors we have in this country are The Kennedy Center Honors For Life Acheivment In The Performing Arts…and Lena Horne was the recipient of this award and rightfully award that was so well deserved in every way, it would have been a gross oversight if she had not ever recieved it....There is so much more I could say about Lena Horne, and maybe I will in another post at a future time...She is another great great inspiring performer that has enriched my life by her very presence in the world of theatre and music and films...I feel so very lucky to have seen her and been touched by her talent in such a very deep way...and that she can still touch me in this way now, in pretty amazing....Thank You, dear Lena Horne, for making this a better world in every way imagineable.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


These are teeny tiny flowers on this Euphorbia....It is planted across the street from me, by me! It was very dull and boring across the street...nothing really planted there, so over these twenty years we have planted a lot of cuttings there and many 'extras'...things that could be planted in my garden, but that we already had plenty of...this particular Euphorbia is very very slow growing especially if it is a cutting as apposed to grown from 'seed' (That's a actually even slower come to think of it...)....cuttings of this particular species take a long time to root, but once rooted, they flower and then, with any luck they grow new tops...

Here is another cutting of the same Euphorbia that has some new growth... I LOVE new is so filled with hope and the knowledge that there is a continuation of the life force...this is the new 'top' that has taken many many months to appear...but now that it is here, it is growing pretty fast...I happen to love this particular Euphorbia because I think the shape of each arm is so very sculptural...and in a mature plant, there are many many arms and the whole plant is absolutely gorgeous...somewhere I have a photo of a mature one...which I will try to find so you can see what I'm talking about...It's proper full name is Euphorbia Cooperi...and it's because a man named Cooper discovered it in the year 1862 in the Transvall (Africa)....the first place it went to was The Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew and Cooper's son-in-law, a man named Brown, named this species Euphorbia Cooperi in his honor. There is a great description of this plant in Volume 3 of the series of books called "The Euphorbia Journal", which says it better than I could, in which the shape of each segment of each arm is described as a reverse heart...(No wonder I love this plant so much) is a close-up of the very beautiful new the year 2006 on this cutting that came from my garden. I find it fascinating to kind of study this growth closely, because here in this photo you can see the beginnings of spines and those soft looking little pads....I will try to keep watch over this new growth and keep taking pictures so we can see how this continues to develop...Nature is quite simply, breathtaking.

While ambling along today, I noticed a number of other flowers..some would call them wild flowers, I guess, and maybe some of them are..but many are coming from various different succulant type plants...
Here is a flower that grows on a very beautiful succulant ground cover called Rosea. Before I really knew what I was doing in my garden, we put a lot of Rosea down underneath my house hoping to stave off problems when the heavy rains would come....this particular ground cover really holds the dirt wonderfully because it has a very complex root system. It also has very beautiful flowers. The problems with the Rosea and my particular garden was that it grows so fast and furiously that it can easily cover smaller plants, obscuring them and then virtually choking them out, and that is exactly what happened down below, so we had to take it all out and we ended up planting a little bit of it across the street. These are a few flowers from that Rosea that is across the is a very very hearty plant and a GREAT Ground see it all over Southern California on hillsides and on the banks of the freeway system...

There is a plant called Lantana. And in fact there was a film with that name a number of years ago...I think it was a metaphorical use of the name, but it also showed the plant quite a bit. Lantana grows almost anywhere here in Los Angeles like a see it on the hillsides and other is a strange plant that often can choke out other plants because it is tenacious in it's ability to survive and grow...I had some down below in my garden that clung to the fence which encloses my property at the lower regions...many years ago we planted a lot of Bouganvilla close to the fence because I love Bouganvilla and I love the many colors...but we had to tear out the Lantana so that it wouldn't kill the Bouganvilla...the flowers are really beautiful on Lantana, as you can see from this photograph...this is a patch of Lantana that is across the street...I love the delicate lavender of these sweet little flowers and the color of the leaves, can see some Jade plant in the background there...there are so very many kinds of Jade and they too grow everywhere in Southern California...(They may grow in Northern California, too...I am not sure about that...)

I don't know what this next plant appears to be a 'Wild Flower' type plant on first glance, but on further inspection the plant itself is some sort of succulant that grows just about everywhere here in Southern California, too...
I'm sure it has a name...I just don't know it! These flowers are very very small, as is the plant they grow on...Nature is so amazing...I know I say this every time I post about the plants and flowers that surround me in my life here on the hill...I do find it awesome, truly...and am constantly and consistantly amazed by all the beauty that is growing all around me...

And another plant....again, I don't know the name of this...(I apologize for my ignorance about this)...I do know that is is growing on the side of the hill a short way down my street where I walk is growing out if this decomposing granite that this whole hill is made of....Well, that's not really a correct term...the hill isn't 'made of decomposing just IS decomposing granite...and by the way, they say that decomposing granite is some of the best soil for cactus and succulants, because of the drainage....pretty amazing, isn't it? These flowers are quite complex in their shape, and they have been growing here for years and years and years...and truthfully I have never noticed them before, ever! And here's an update on George...that's what we call him...he's the plant with the 'buttons' that turned into 'nipples' which are now turning into...well, I'm not sure what to call them...but they are growing slowly but surely. I've left this photo on it's side because you can see them better this way...the fuzzy part seems slightly more fuzzy to me...and they have grown a bit more since I last posted a photo of, here they are... More to come, as always....

Monday, March 20, 2006


And so, S.T.A.G.E. 2006, is over!

Here is the always fantastic Bruce Vilanch, (Sans Beard...) doing the number he was going to do with Marissa Jaret Winoker, of whom he announced to the audience...
"I was supposed to do this song with Marissa Jaret Winoker, but she got a Pilot, Bitch!!!" which brought downthe house, needless to say...The song was, "And I can Cook, Too" from the stage production of "On The Town" music by Leonard Bernstein, Lyrics by Comden & Green our 2006 Honorees.

Everything Bruce said brought the house down...including all the 'Brokeback Mountain' jokes that, as he said, "....couldn't be used on the Academy Awards!"....(where he is one of the top writers each year, including this year....). And later, during intermission, he helped to auction off the things in the "live" auction, and as always, he was a superalative auctioner and had the audience rolling in the aisles...I could hear everything he said over the phone, at the Sunday performance when I was bidding....He is the nicest dearest man!

Here is a really wonderful picture of my dear friend and co-hort, Betty Garrett, who always brings the house down. Audiences love her and rightfully so...she brings everything about her persona to her performances....her loving sweetness; her realness; her talent; her optimism---at almost 87 she is the most optimistic person I know---and this year was no different. I recieved a number if emails and 'snail mail' notes from people and all of them said her number in the show was THE Highlight! She brings so much heart as well as talent to all she does...this year was even more so, because of ALL the performers in the show, Betty knew and had known Comden & Green, longer than anyone else. So much theatrical and film history here....

This next photograph is of an actress/singer named Ann Morrison.
She opened the second act walking through 'the house' and coming up on the stage from the house singing "The Usher From The Mezzanine" from the Broadway Musical, 'Fade In - Fade Out'....this is a wonderful number and pretty self explanetory right there in the title, though many of you probably don't remember that time, back in the day, when uniformed people called 'ushers' actually showed us to our seats in those big big movie palaces, like Radio City Music Hall, in New York City....Yup! Those were the days...

"Fade In - Fade Out" was all about 'the movies'....And when you consider that Comden & Green wrote the Screenplay for probably the best musical ever made about movies, "Singin' In The Rain", it's not exactly strange that they would write a Broadway musical about the movies, as well....and come to think of it, they wrote two Broadway shows about 'moving pictures', as they were known, when you consider "On The Twentieth Century"....They wrote 9 (nine) Broadway shows with composer Jule Styne. They wrote 9 (nine) Screenplays for films; and they wrote two Broadway shows with Leonard Bernstein and two Broadway shows with Cy Coleman, plus more! Their body of work is fantastic, to say the least....they were writing all through the Golden Age of Theatre, and films....and so very many songs that they wrote are what we call 'standards' even now. To name just one, "The Party's Over" from 'Bells Are Ringing'....

Here is a photo of Seth Hampton & Adam Wylie doing the Tap number called "Moses" from 'Singin' In The Rain'...
the number that Gene Kelly & Donald O'
Conner did in the film....This, too was a huge favorite of our audience. There is something about Tap Dancing, isn't there? I saw it on Thursday night at the Dress Rehearsal, (though these two guys did not have their costumes on, at the time) and was knocked out by their fabulous talent! Then when I saw the Archival Tape of the Saturday night performance...(now of course, they did have their costumes on...) it was an even more stunning performance. I just remembered that when Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer auctioned off much of their history, back in May of was a very sad week to anyone who grew up during that great great studio's Golden Age...MGM was always known as "The Dream Factory and the famous line of Louis B. Mayor's (head of the studio for all those fabulous years), '.....more stars than there are in the heavens...'.....I went to MGM to that auction, which went on for many days....and while walking those deserted streets there, I saw Betty Comden & Adolph Green, walking, too....How sad was that for them, having worked there during it's Hay Day...(I'll write about the auctions in another post, sometime....)

Here's the fabulous Joanne Worley, doing a number from "On The Twentieth Century" called 'Repent'. Joanne is a fantastic performer...always grabbing the audience with her rather eccentric voice and her 'take no prisoners' stage persona...She was wonderful, as always! Another show stopping fact, one of the great things about STAGE is that each time another performer comes out to do their one number, you think when they are done, 'well, no one can top that!'...and then the next person comes out and is even better than the last...We always have amazing amazing talent, thrilling talent, really.

Here is the sublime Valerie Pettiford. A beautiful woman and striking performer. She can do anything! Here she is singing, "Thanks A Lot But No Thanks" from the film 'It's always Fair Weather'. Valerie is a S.T.A.G.E. Favorite, having done our show six times, now. Valerie was a principal in 'Dancin' and in 'Fosse' both on Broadway...she has also done films and lots of television and is currently in the UPN show, "Half & Half". A Singer/Actress/Dancer...triple threat, as they say...and as nice as she is talented!

And here is the very exciting John Bisom, in "The Will Rogers Follies", repeating his Broadway title roll...with the 'girls' of the chorus. This was a very impressive number and a very complex number and one which the audience absolutely went wild over at the Big Finish.

All of the performers had been in this show and the precision with which they executed the moves was astounding! It did not dissapoint....You may recall I had taken a photo at the Thursday night dress, and it was a pretty good photo, but this is one fantastically exciting picture...Much thanks to Chris Kane, our official photographer for getting these to me so very quickly...I may try to post some more, as I get the rest from him.

So, all in all, I think this years Event was very very successful. Though we did not raise as much money as we did the year before, because the nature of fund raising has changed with the struggling economy. Statistically fund raising is down for all non profit's...sad to say. But we all feel we did the best we could and the audience certainly was pleased with the superlative show they witnessed. So S.T.A.G.E. 2006, our 22nd year, is history, and it is being put to bed as I write this....(of course, this will take many weeks to be completely finished....).

Everyone is tired, but a 'good' tired, and everyone feels good about another job well done! Of course we hope that next year we will be able to raise more money and the 2007 show is already in the works, so to speak. Being a part of this truly exciting and very meaningful event is important to makes me feel that I am doing something to help many many people who would not get this help without what we do...and I think I can say that without a doubt, all of us connected to S.T.A.G.E. feel this way. So, we all look forward to next year, with hope and with a renewed committment to raise as much money as is humanly possible...Thanks to all of you dear wonderful blog buddies for your caring interest and your loving support, especially are 'The Best'!

Now, if Blogger will just let me Post this....

Thursday, March 16, 2006


AND NOW.....


Here's a list, or Meme, if you will....I don't even remember all the blogs I saw this on...But I thought it would be fun to do...something like being on a Therapists Couch and doing 'word association'....(Oh, yeah...not 'like it' IS it! (lol) well, I haven't had time to do much else because of S.T.A.G.E.)

Anyway, here are my Unconcious Mutterings...

1. Long distance:: Call...or...Too Far Away

2. Meant to be:: Born

3. Here:: And Now

4. Endless:: Sobbing...the name of a TV Soap Opera that would be fun to write...

5. Resentment:: Not a good feeling...

6. Insipid:: Stupid Sorry Simp

7. Bunny:: Rabbitt, Fur, & ".....Lake is Missing"

8. Slogan:: "If It's From Best's, It Last's"

9. Naked:: a Jaybird...(however naked that might be...)

10. Sarcasm:: mean and angry masquarding as humor...Most of the time..

Now, it's your turn to do this if you feel like it!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


I saw this on YellowRose's blog, and thought it might be fun to do, and it was! I don't think you are supposed to write as much as I did, but...I couldn't help myself....

1. Choose a search engine (I use Google, mostly) and click on "Images".
2. Choose 5 random blogfriends (Or not so random, your choice)
3. Think of a word that you feel best describes your blogfriend
4. Do an IMAGE SEARCH on that word.
5. Pick the image that best fits your pal and post it.

Okay. So I need to do a little explaining...I found it hard to pick 'one word', but I did, though I don't think one word fully describes anyone!

So, here are my coices today:

Yellowrose - "Angel"

I think YellowRose has an Angel's Heart and I loved this picture, because it encomposed the 'angel' and the 'heart'...So, it certainly gives you an aspect of this delightful blog pal.

Panthergirl - "Activist"

Panthergirl is an activist, among many other things...fighting for the rights and lives of a special breed of dogs, The Greyhound, and in particular Greyhound Rescue & giving generously of her time and money to other worthy causes....Brava Panthergirl....

Sonia - "Music"

Sonia loves the music of her country, (and so do I)...Brazil...and she generously shares this with some of her blogfriends. (like me...thank you dear Sonia....) Of course, like everyone else this one word doesn't fully tell you everything about Sonia in any way, shape or's just one aspect of her many faceted and multi-dimensional persona....

Plumbkrazee - "Caring"

As with each of my other pals that I chose today, this one word--'caring'-- doesn't really cover everything there is about PK, but it's one of the things that stands out in my mind. She cares a great deal about many many things, and acts on that feeling all the time. If I was in some kind of trouble, I'd want her on my side, for sure.

And, last but not least by any means...

Chickie - "Funny"

Dear Chickie has, among many many other wonderful attributes, a great sense of humor! And, I think that she would think this is funny! I know I do, and even though it's a rather gross exageration (That's what makes it funny to me....). It speaks volumes, and so does Chickie.

This really is a very 'fun' thing to do. So if you do decide to do it, let me know and I'll link you!

And do go visit all these lovely pals if you don't already do so. I think you will enjoy each and every one of them for different reasons...And there is one thing they all have in common BTW, they are wonderful terrific women!

**On a sad note, the superlative actress, Maureen Stapleton died yesterday.
She was one of a handful of truly great theatre actresses of that Golden Age Of Broadway...Kim Stanley, Geraldine Page, Colleen Dewhurst, and Maureen Stapleton....the last of these four brilliant ladies and now, she too, is gone. I saw them all, I'm glad to say, and I even had the privilage of having Maureen S. at a small dinner party here on the hill, many years ago. She was a very very dear friend of another wonderful actress, Norma Crane, who was a very good friend of mine, too...(Norma died much too young at the age of 43, and all who knew her were devistated by her loss, Maureen, at the top of that list....)

Mauren Stapleton had a fantastic career having played Broadway, done Movies and Television and having won an Oscar, a Tony, and an Emmy...She worked with all the great writers, (Including starring in three Original Broadway Productions of Tennessee Williams plays. Also starring in Neil Simon's "Plaza Suite"--playing all three women's roles on Broadway, just to touch on a few). She was one of our greatest actresses and a very warm and witty woman, too. A standing ovation for this superb talent, whose voice is now stilled.You will be greatly missed**

Sunday, March 12, 2006


When we are lucky enough, each year we try to get what we call a "Musical Quote"...similar to the one in the photograph...(this was actually a Birthday Gift to me from Betty G. when she was in "FOLLIES" back in 2001, cause she knows how much I LOVE LOVE LOVE, Stephen Sondheim. I love that he not only wrote out the music and the lyrics, but also said. 'from Steve (Sondhein, that is)' like we are good friends, or like I wouldn't know it was Sondheim....this genius of our time....this is a true treasure to me....).The song is from "Follies" and it is, 'Loosing My Mind'...

So, this year we have three of these kinds of original 'Musical Quotes from Jerry Herman...composer & lyricist of "Hello, Dolly", "Mame" and "La Cage Au Folles" to name just a few.....And, we also have a Musical Quote from Harvey Shmidt, one of the composers of "The Fantastics", and it is a gorgeous piece, framed beautifully too, by Los Angeles Preniere Framer, Jerry Solomon...all this, BTW is donated including the be sold in the live auction...and this particular one which is that beautiful beautiful song, "Try To Remember" is something I would LOVE to, they are going to call me from the show at the end of intermission when they do the 'live' auction inside the theatre itself, so I can bid over the phone.....exciting....of course, whoever gets it will be incredibly lucky, and all the money goes to the charity, of course...

I would have scanned it into my computer but it was too big what with the frame and all to go on my scanner....but, IF I'm lucky enough to get it, I'll take a photograph of it so you can see it....these are treasures, to me and if you are a collector of things, which I am, especially Theatre Memorabelia...these, like the Sondheim, these are things that one must have!!! I hope I can afford to get it!!! (We'll see....)...They should be calling me somewhere btween 4:30 and 5pm....

I'll update you later this afternoon...

**Update: I din't get it! Drat! It went to high for me...but THAT'S good for The Charity...I have never been able to get one of these things during the Auctions over these last 10 years we've been doing the "Live", I'm even more grateful to Betty and Sondheim for the one that I have...and that it actually says 'To Naomi'...that makes it even sweeter...!

Mark Cherry, of Desperate Housewives, came to the Event this year and donated three signed scripts of The Pilot Episode, plus a Visit To The Set, and Lunch with Denton...(Fabulous.....) Todays Visit and Lunch went for $800. Someone got a real bargain...We also had Two Tix to "The American Idol Final" that went for $1000. (another bargain....) and the piece I wanted went for $1,500. So...this is all to the good...that's why we do this event; To Raise Money.

More Later....** (5:22pm, Sunday)

Saturday, March 11, 2006


This was taken at the Dress Rehearsal on Thursday night....And this is Linda Michele and she has been in 21 of the 22 years of the STAGE Benefit...Linda has a beautiful Soprano voice...

So, I snuck in, (with our Directors knowledge,) and went up into the first row of the balcony, where there were no people...(my health issues, you know..) I had taken my camera with me and got a few shots...some good, some not so good, but fun anyway...

Today (Friday) I recorded my opening remarks to be played at the top of the show at each performance when Betty G. and I would normally be coming out together....Betty came up to visit me in the balcony Thursday night and that was fun...I got a very strange interesting picture of her...a triple image, sort of, when she was doing her numbers. She sang two songs of Comden & Green, having been in two films which they wrote the lyrics for...
and they showed film clips of those two films behind her as she sang...both clips were with Frank from "On The Town" and one from "Take Me Out To The Ball Game" is this mysterious's not a great picture by any means...(not enough light on her for my camera) but I just thought it was so interesting I couldn't delete it....

I did take quite a few photographs that I ended up deleting because they just weren't good at times like this I wish I had a better camera and also a longer lens! There were any number of shots that would have been really terrific....but....(Aren't you glad I'm telling you about all these 'might-have-been-shots?...) And if I had been closer to the stage, like from the orchestra, I think I would have had more light to work with....But, given are a couple of more shots.

This handsome young man is a fantastic performer named Kevin Earley. He is so incredibly of those voices that literally send shivers down your spine...and he ain't bad to look at either!

He has numerous Broadway credits including "Thoroughly Modern Millie" and "Les Miz" ...He did the National tour of 'Les Miz', and has appeared in numerous musical shows here in Los Angeles. Last year was his first year with S.T.A.G.E. and we are thrilled to have him back with us again this year...Here he is as one of the three sailors in "On The Town"...singing, "Lonely Town"....a heartbreakingly beautiful song which he did magnificently.....

This is another 'good' shot....Tami Tappen Damiano...playing Eileen, in "Wonderful Town" adapted from the film "My Sister Eileen"...
this was a wonderful show and another one of the great Broadway shows I was lucky enough to see in it's Original incarnation with Rosalind Russell, Edie Adams and the powerful gorgeous Baritone 'tones' of George Gaynes...In this shot, Tami is doing the 'Conga' number with The Fleet. This show takes place in New York City in the Greenwich Village area, and it is the 1940's. This is such a fun show....I'm not sure how often this is revived but it should be done all the time because it has great parts for both women & men...One of the other films that Betty made later on with Jack Lemmon and Janet Leigh and a young Bob Fosse, was the musical version of "My Sister Eileen", but not 'Wonderful Town'. Another score by different composers...I think it's one of the first times a film was adapted into a musical for the stage and then adapted again, for films as a musical, but with an entirely different score. And, it was originally a book, if memory serves!

Here's one more photo and then I have to go to bed....I need my ZZZzzzzzzz's, you know? This number is from "The Will Rogers Follies" and this was a pretty colorful and complicated number with terrific choreography....And here it is!

It was wonderful to see some of the Dress Rehearsal....and see some of my cohorts, too....I so wish I could actually be there for the performances but it's just too many people for my lungs...So, I will be thrilled to see the Archival tape and just being there for that rehearsal lifted my spirits no end....

One down, and two more to go....

More to come....

**Update: I just got off the phone with Bert C. a man that has been a “volunteer” on this event for as long as I can remember. He runs our Merchandise Tables…T-Shirts, Mugs, CD’s, etc…he gets no applause or recognition of any kind. And he brings a whole crew of people with him who are ALL volunteers too, and some of them have been working this event almost as long as he has…(a couple of them work the Green Room set-up…Food for the Cast & Crew, etc., etc.…)
Bert has a regular “Job-Job” in New York City. He flies out at his own expense, stays from Friday to Sunday and works ALL three shows and then flies back to New York on Sunday night….THAT’S true dedication to ‘The Cause’.

We thank you dear Bert, (And your hearty Crew, Too…) with all our hearts for once again giving so very generously of your time and your expertise!** (12:36pm)

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Name: OldOldLady Of The Hills
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