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About Rinaldo

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    Music (that's what I studied and teach), theater, movies, TV, reading, games, travel.

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  1. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Sure, it's hard to disagree with that version. Even after enumerating all the splendid embodiments of the characters, we have Extra-Virgin Technicolor, and Erich Wolfgang Korngold, which is both (effectively if not literally) the invention of the Hollywood original score and its most complete embodiment.
  2. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Let's not forget it had a writer: James Goldman. (Granted that Lester likely took it on because it seemed "his sort" of idea.) This Goldman, unlike his brother William, liked to expose the mundane reality behind romantic memories and icons. Sometimes that worked great, as in The Lion in Winter (though more onstage than onscreen, in my opinion) and Follies; but not so much in Robin and Marian, if only because audiences bring their own preconceptions to that story, and won't give them up just because they're told to.
  3. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    His line early in the movie, "I haven't thought about her in years," is just spitting in the audience's face. And yes, when she takes it upon herself to poison them both (mightn't he deserve to have a say in it?) is horrible. My preference when it comes to Disney Robin Hoods is the live-action one they made in the early 1950s, with Richard Todd, Joan Rice, and Peter Finch. In fact I think I'll pop that DVD in right now, and wash the thought of Robin and Marian out of my brain.
  4. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    The idea of pairing Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn as an older Robin Hood and Marian seems mouthwateringly perfect. But the actual movie, I find intensely unappealing.
  5. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Carol Channing was also offered another second-lead role in a movie musical, The Girl Most Likely (a remake of Tom, Dick and Harry, and the last movie for both RKO Studios and director Mitchell Leisen). Her response was that Jane Powell wasn't a big enough star for her to play second banana to. So Kaye Ballard got the part instead. I have to agree. Luckily I did see her onstage as Dolly Levi, as she played the national tour in Chicago.
  6. The really big stickler was librettist Arthur Laurents, who would block all kinds of things (like a spoof of Gypsy in one of the songs in The Producers), while making changes himself when directing revivals. But, to put it bluntly, he's dead now. Sondheim and the Bernstein estate are watchful and protective, but not unreasonable. I don't know about the Jerome Robbins interests. I myself rather hope that they'll leave it largely intact, because it's such a well-written (including well-composed, and well-orchestrated) show, and I don't want the movies to obliterate that. I find myself feeling protective of it.
  7. Another alternative is to buy the box containing the five PBS seasons on DVD. The PBS website sells it, and they offer special sales from time to time.
  8. It's hard not to feel that way when an entry is as beautifully finished as Kate's... but everything on the show is made to be judged and eaten. It can't be helped.
  9. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Coming up on Friday, another "cute" theme. In order: One Way Passage Two on a Guillotine Three Daring Daughters Four's a Crowd Five Came Back Six Gun Gold Seven Brides for Seven Brothers 8 1/2 Then we hit primetime and a different theme: Young Mr. Lincoln, Young Winston, Young Tom Edison.
  10. This was fun. Initially, I was annoyed with Candice double dipping (she's the first overall winner to return for one of these), but she approached it all in a spirit of good self-deprecating fun, and I ended up liking her much more than I did first time around. I always liked Kate, and adored Tamal, so it was great to have them back. Weirdly, I couldn't manage to remember Steven (and he was a finalist too!), but in the course of the hour I recovered my memory and he ended up a most deserving winner. I was very happy with that outcome. He and Kate were clearly the overall front-runners, and in the end he achieved most. Floating island has been used as a Technical before, but Prue's recipe, served in cocktail glasses and less anemic-looking than Mary's rather wan recipe, made it more appealing. Did all of them cook their meringues many times longer than they should have? Was the long time allotment a mean trick? :) Tamal is just fun to watch, as he was before. His remarks about others and about himself made for continuous entertainment. It's a shame (for my own selfish pleasure only -- I don't really mean it) that his dedication to his career means that we probably will never have him as a regular TV personality.
  11. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    I can't disagree on its merits, but I will always take a look at its opening titles, which are a hilarious series of vignettes giving us all the corny (but fun) ways old movies would give us their opening credits: a book, a scroll, a branding iron, petals in the pond, letters in the sky, etc. Then I turn it off. For a boy who grew up in Chicago, this summons up fond memories of New Years Eve programming on WGN (before it became a superstation): always 3 of the Rogers/Astaire RKO movies in a row. They stuck to the best ones, too: no Rio or Castles or Carefree. (No Roberta either, as I recall, which is too bad.) Just the magic pair at their magic best.
  12. IKEA. They have a small single-serving cake; the icing is pink rather than green, and the jam is strawberry rather than raspberry (both of which I prefer anyway). Sometimes it's among the dessert choices in their cafeteria, and there's a box of 6 in the freezer in the take-out section (if you live close enough to get frozen food home).
  13. It seems to be their 2014 Christmas concert that PBS stations can rerun annually. It's also available on DVD, possibly in extended form. Santino Fontana did three concerts with that choir within a year, which their website says is a record.
  14. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    And on another topic: Right now, TCM is showing Ride the High Country, one of the very few Westerns I actually enjoy (the only others I can think of are McCabe and Mrs. Miller and the miniseries Lonesome Dove). A stirring, subtle story, directed with sensitivity by Sam Peckinpah, with beautiful location work (not Monument Valley, this time), touching leading performances from Randolph Scott and Joel McCrea, and "introducing" luminous young Mariette Hartley.
  15. TCM: The Greatest Movie Channel

    Me too. He's a great and commanding actor, so he's still a good Scrooge in the version they did film; but a film/video of his famous one-man rendition would have been unlike any other, and self-recommending as unique. I've tried to see as many versions of A Christmas Carol as possible over the years, as the varied approaches are usually of interest, and you never know -- even in an otherwise negligible film, some detail from Dickens may be rendered better than in any other. The Sim is indeed wonderfully satisfying, for his marvelous performance and for the many vivid inventions contributed by screenwriter Noel Langley (Scrooge's additional sarcastic rejoinders already mentioned; a hugely expanded significance for his sister, who is mentioned in only the brief schoolroom scene in the book; the depiction of the process by which Scrooge became his present-day self). I also like the George C. Scott telefilm, to which he contributes a nicely detached dry wit (amused with himself at the expense of others) and which is unusually faithful to Dickens's dialogue and has splendid supporting players (Frank Finlay, Susannah York, David Warner, Edward Woodward, Roger Rees). And there are gratifying elements in the animated versions starring Mr. Magoo and Scrooge McDuck, and even the slicked-up Hollywood version with Reginald Owen gets the story across effectively. I see that Amazon Prime is streaming a 1954 hourlong TV musical starring Frederic March and Basil Rathbone, so I have to look into that. I hope the next version (for there will surely be more) tries hard to give us the uncanny Ghost of Christmas Past described by Dickens: androgynous, ageless, multi-dimensional in a way suggestive of later SF, with the oddly mundane detail that it carries a flame-extinguisher under its arm. Movies generally make it female, whether nubile (Owen) or elderly (Finney) and miss the weirdness.