Sunday, March 26, 2017

Saturday, March 25, 2017

BEHIND THE SCENES AT THE DEBBIE-CARRIE MEMORIAL




YES, SOMETHING CAN BE EXCRUCIATINGLY PAINFUL AND BEAUTIFUL AT THE SAME TIME.





Private grief and public grief are each awful and different. To lose Debbie and Carrie after 46 years is beyond explanation. I have been blessed to have been with Debbie for hours the day before Carrie got on the plane, and we had an incredible visit and I've said that before. I've also been blessed to have private time to mourn in her house, to really honor our relationship and have the long goodbye that I need, and still do, to start healing.

But to see their loss at public function was very difficult. Although at times I wanted to run out because trying to stop my tears was embarrassing, I stayed and tried to be as quiet as I could. And seeing these images were too much. I spent over 40 years at Debbie's rehearsals. To go to a rehearsal for a memorial was other-worldly.

This trunk below was the first thing that caught my eye. It was 9 a.m. and the production crew, led by Todd Fisher, were running down the show. There was the usual craft service table filled with donuts and burritos. Sound and light cues were being practiced. It was like old times. We were all there like usual, but she wasn't. It was awful to take.


To see this trunk that I first saw at the Desert Inn in 1970.........

A chair that she will never use again

So hard to see R2D2 alone in the wings looking so sad.

Todd Fisher

This killed me most of all. One of the biggest highlights of her act was  the "Singin' in the Rain" number. At the Desert Inn there was even a rain curtain where real water fell on her and her dancers as they wore those coats---two shows a night.




The "show," which is what Todd said Debbie wanted---not a "memorial," was packed with mostly never-before-seen film clips, beautiful songs by the Gay Men's Chorus; a musical tribute sung by Todd's friend Martin Goetz; a special song written by Carrie's frequent house guest, James Blunt, that he recently wrote just for her. plus dancers from the Debbie Reynolds Dance Studio to make us all remember that Debbie's love of dance will continue in futuer generations taught in her studio.

Dan Ackroyd, who was engaged to Carrie, recalled that they were so close to getting married that they even got blood tests, but never went through with it. He child hood pals Griffin Dunne and Gavin DeBecker told funny and moving stories about Carrie.

Debbie's pal, Ruta Lee, president of The Thalians came out and sang a medley of Debbie's favorite songs that had me running for the exit. It was so beautifully done.

Todd acted as MC and did a terrific job. He told some funny stories, yet you could see his sadness and the loss of "his girls." Very importantly he reminded us of all the charities Debbie has given to and will continue to support. Most of the Thalians money now goes to our military veterans who need medical and mental health care. Debbie was very patriotic, and it was perfect that the show started with a color guard presenting the colors.



  
Dan Ackroyd



"Singin'" and "Molly" costumes


Debbie's Girl Scout Troop










Friday, March 17, 2017

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DONNA ANTEBI



WHAT A BEAUTIFUL PARTY IT WAS!!!!        CONGRATS! DONNA



"You just gotta love' Wendy Burch. This selfie takes the birthday cake!!!!!!

We were all gathered at the beautiful new private room at Il Pastaio in Beverly Hills. Donna was born on the 17th; it's 2017, and her daughter, Sophie, also turned 17 today!!!






Donna and Cheryl Saban


Lunch was a Caesar salad, followed by Pumpkin Tortellini, and then a choice of Filet Mignon, Whitefish, or Chicken. Frankly, I could have eaten the entire Tiramisu birthday cake.

It was wonderful to celebrate Donna, who has been such a good friend to all of us.







Hope and Lisa

Joely Fisher and Linda Thompson

Wendy Burch, Lisa, Linda, and Peggy Vandeweghe



Cheryl, Donna, Joely, Danielle Del


Me, Christine Chiu, Cecelia Kamifuji, Peggy Vandeweghe, Alisa Li, Donna, Stephen Estes


Shannon Tweed Simmons and Nicole Agnes Winter

Thursday, March 16, 2017

DEAR HILLARY---I'M BEGGING YOU--DON'T RUN FOR MAYOR



        SHE'S JUST "THINKING ABOUT IT"







DON'T DO IT, HILLARY!!!! YOU ARE ONE OF THE MOST QUALIFIED PEOPLE TO HAVE EVER RUN FOR THE PRESIDENCY. YOU HAVE BEEN A SENATOR AND SECRETARY OF STATE.

Now you want to worry about garbage collecting? Do you really need, like former Mayor Jimmy Walker, to have your favorite song played every time you walk in a room? Do you want to run for a lesser office like Nixon? He lost, of course. You'll win, but what will you win?

I know you love a life of public service. But there are other things to do to help the United States. Why don't you turn the Clinton Foundation around and have it focus on American problems? Use that money to educate American youth, provide care for our veterans, add after school programs, give kids in Appalachia a chance, etc. Teach adults how to read. Train people on welfare so they can get off the checks. Run more programs to empower women. There are so many incredible things you can do and be the national leader of all these causes without having to cajole congress into voting for anything. If your foundation has the money, the money is the power. And YOU can be the head of all of it!

Please, please THINK before you act. Put your talents to their best use.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

HALLELUJAH!!! A WOMAN HOST FOR AMERICA'S GOT TALENT



   CONGRATULATIONS, TYRA BANKS




Well, NBC tried everything they could to replace a black guy with a black guy, after stupid Nick Cannon quit. I guess when they couldn't get the guys they wanted, they had to "resign" themselves to what was left----A WOMAN!!!!!!


Monday, March 13, 2017

HOTTEST SHOW IN PALM SPRINGS---THE JUDY SHOW



HARDEST TICKET TO GET IN PALM SPRINGS---THE JUDY SHOW 
---AT THE PURPLE ROOM




Larry Luckinbill, Lucie Arnaz, producer Dick Taylor, "Judy" (Michael Holmes) and Moi

Literally, we had to wait three weeks to get into this show. And, WE HAVE PULL!!!!

Michael Holmes owns The Purple Room, the really cool supper club in Palm Springs where Tommy Tune and Marilyn Maye just played. The "whole New York supper club" crowd performs here, and it's so great. It's hidden in the back of the Club Trinidad Hotel (if you need to know.)

But, "in residence" is "The Judy Show," starring Michael as Judy, Pearl Bailey, Bette Davis, and others. However, it's not your typical drag show. There's no lip synching. He really sings and is GOOD. What his act is, is really legit impersonations. He is a comic with a really quick wit who slays with impromptu one-liners. The show is different each time, because there is audience participation, and you never know what's going to happen. The audience is a combination of tourists (many were from Canada the night I was there), desert country club couples, and, of course, an LGBTQ extravaganza of people. It couldn't be better!

Michael sings as himself on Wednesdays, backed by a trio. And coming up soon--two legends---Charles Busch, followed by Carole Cook. Go to the website to find the dates!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

SUZANNE SOMERS SENSATIONAL SHOW IN PALM SPRINGS



      CONGRATULATIONS, SUZANNE!!!! 
                  WHAT A NIGHT!!!!


Jamie Kabler, Suzanne, Helene Galen















Suzanne Somers and I have known each other since the mid-70s, before there was even a glimmer of fame. She impressed me then as a very smart, very kind, warm, terrific person. She dealt in truth. There were no games with her. She had a very clear sense of business and personal. I liked her immediately.
Helene
And when she became famous, her behavior never changed.  What a pleasure!
That warmth and "adorable-ness" was front and center at the McCallum Theatre in Palm Springs last night when Suzanne did her Las Vegas showroom act to a packed theatre. It was a fabulous night! Entertaining is something she was born to do and you can see that she truly loves it!

I have watched her perform live since the 80s. I was there at her first Vegas show. She is like watching a sweet, sexy best friend on stage telling stories from her life, accompanied by clips from THE TONIGHT SHOW, AMERICAN GRAFITTI, THREE’S COMPANY, BOB HOPE SPECIALS, and more.
Suzanne’s voice is rich and nuanced. She has really become a true song stylist with great musicality. She moves beautifully on stage, and we all enjoyed her FIVE costume changes---so much glamour---from her strapless leather, short full-skirted opener, to shimmering animal print sheath, a silver-mini dress, a white sequined tux jacket, and a floor-length peach movie star gown.

She sang standards from Frank Sinatra and Eydie Gorme, as well as Rosie and The Originals’ “Angel Baby” (a capella!) and Ronnie Milsap’s “Happy Birthday Baby.” Each song was relevant to something in her life.
Yours truly and Don Amendolia

 
The production design and lighting were impeccable. I always remembered how elegant and well done her acts were visually, and this one was first class, as usual. And I loved her charts and her band.

Arnie and Anne Kopelson
Suzanne is a woman with a plan, and her latest is to try to redevelop the Plaza Theatre in downtown Palm Springs (that’s where the long-time FOLLIES played) and turn it into a showroom residency for herself, and probably others, when she’s on vacation. It’s a spectacular idea, and she is working with the Palm Springs City Council to make it happen.
Beverly Johnson
“I really love what I do,” Suzanne told me. “I want to do it every night, and in my home town.”

Her latest dream will succeed, I’m sure.