• Onna White was dancing for Michael Kidd when he suggested a series of steps that she thought was too difficult for the “Take Back Your Mink” number in Guys and Dolls, so she complained, “That’s easy for you to say. You’re not wearing high heels.” Mr. Kidd asked, “What size shoe do you wear?” Hearing the answer — seven and a half — he put on her high heels and danced the steps perfectly. After that, says Ms. White, “I shut my mouth and never doubted him again.”
• These are two truths: 1) Divorce can be hard, and 2) The show must go on. Julie Harris was going through a divorce while acting with Eli Wallach in Jean Anouilh’s Mademoiselle Columbe. For the most part, she did not reveal the stress she was under, but immediately before the curtain went up for a matinee, with tears in her eyes she told Mr. Wallach, “I wish I was dead.” With a matinee for the two of them to perform immediately, Mr. Wallach told her, “Julie, listen, we have a matinee. We’ll talk about your death later.”
• As a young actor, William Gillette appeared in a play in which his performance in the deathbed scene did not satisfy the manager. The manager spoke to Mr. Gillette after the play, saying that Mr. Gillette had laughed although his character was supposed to be dying. Mr. Gillette replied, “At the salary you pay, death is something to be greeted cheerfully.”
• In 1848, while the Drury Lane Theater in London was being renovated, a crew knocked down a wall and discovered a hidden room. In the room was a skeleton with a knife stuck between its ribs. Sightings of a ghost have been made several times, but the theater management is proud of its ghost and declines to have an exorcism.
• The great American scoundrel and playwright Wilson Mizner heard about a man in Reno who was executed by means of poison gas. When the warden asked him for his last request, he replied, “A gas mask.” Mr. Mizner was shocked that a man with a sense of humor like that could be executed.
• Richard Burbage originated such Shakespearian roles as Hamlet, Lear, Macbeth, Othello, and Richard III. When he died, the clever epitaph on his gravestone stated, “Exit Burbage.”
• Lionel Barrymore, who played many, many different roles as an actor, once said that he wanted his epitaph to say this: “Well, I’ve played everything but a harp.”
• George S. Kaufman once told Edna Ferber that he was going to kill himself. Shocked, Ms. Ferber asked, “How?” Mr. Kaufman replied, “With kindness.”
• Michael Bennett, co-choreographer of A Chorus Line, was so disappointed about not being allowed to attend New York City’s High School of Performing Arts (because he lived outside the city) that he says he turned his own high school — Hutcheson Central High School for Boys — into that kind of high school. Instead of attending classes, he was allowed to direct and choreograph the high school’s productions. According to Mr. Bennett, “They used to send people to the auditorium every morning to see if I was in school.”
• As a youth, actor Robert Morley had a housemaster who as punishment would require schoolboys to write out such sentences as “I must not in future pick my nose in class; I must use a handkerchief and never pause to admire the result, but fold it back neatly in my pocket.” (Although the housemaster would at first tell the schoolboy to write the sentence 500 times, he would later reduce the required number of sentences.)
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Michelle in AZ
The Hartmann Report
Jeannie the Teed-Off Temp
We are all only temporarily able bodied.
that Mad Cat, JD
In The Chaos Household
The shittens were extra clingy today.
Makes Emmy History
Television Academy voters delivered a special message to RuPaul on Sunday: “Shantay, you stay in the history books.”
VH1’s RuPaul’s Drag Race won a trophy for outstanding competition program at tonight’s telecast, a victory that gives RuPaul an 11th Emmy and solidifies his place as the most decorated Black artist in Emmy Awards history.
During the show’s acceptance speech, Ru did not make mention of the history-making win. Instead, he thanked the Academy, Viacom and CBS and “all of you gorgeous people here tonight.”
“Really thanks to all of our lovely children on our show from around the world,” he continued. “You know, they are so gracious to tell their stories of courage and how to navigate this difficult life [that was more difficult this year]. This is for you and for you kids out there watching. Come to Mama Ru.”
Tiny Tulsa Museum
This summer, it was Leonardo DiCaprio. Then it was Green Day. A tiny museum in Tulsa, Oklahoma, dedicated to a movie classic and run by an entertainer, is drawing big names in the Heartland.
The Outsiders House Museum was created by Danny Boy O’Connor, formerly of the hip-hop group House of Pain. It’s been a labor of love for O’Connor, who bought the house several years ago and renovated it.
The modest white bungalow with a wide front porch was used as a central set in the 1983 film “The Outsiders,” which was based on S.E. Hinton’s classic 1967 novel of the same name.
“That was our ‘Gone with the Wind.’ That was our ‘American Graffiti.’ Every generation finds the cool archetypes of who we could be, and that for me was the movie,” O’Connor said in a recent interview inside the house. He said visitors have ranged “from 8 to 80 -- to everything in between. It’s usually the whole family. It’s a family museum.”
The building was in disrepair when O’Connor bought it back in 2015 after visiting the tenants and tracking down the owner. Before he embarked on the project, he hadn’t been sure what he was going to do next, having plowed through most of his savings.
‘They Don’t Have a Clue’
Marcia Lucas is no fan of the Disney-produced “Star Wars” movies. While being interviewed for J.W. Rinzler’s just-published book on “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” film producer Howard Kazanjian, Lucas slammed current Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy and director J.J. Abrams for their storyline decisions. The choice to kill off Han Solo and Luke Skywalker particularly made Lucas upset.
Lucas won an Oscar for editing the original “Star Wars” along with Paul Hirsch and Richard Chew. She returned to co-edit “Return of the Jedi” and went uncredited on “The Empire Strikes Back.” Prior to “Star Wars,” Lucas made a name for herself editing Martin Scorsese’s “Taxi Driver” and “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” and she was also Oscar nominated for “American Graffiti.” Marcia Lucas was married to George Lucas between 1969 and 1983.
“I Like Kathleen. I always liked her,” Marcia Lucas says in Rinzler’s book, “Howard Kazanjian: A Producer’s Life.” “She was full of beans. She was really smart and really bright. Really wonderful woman. And I liked her husband, Frank. I liked them a lot. Now that she’s running Lucasfilm and making movies, it seems to me that Kathy Kennedy and J.J. Abrams don’t have a clue about ‘Star Wars.’ They don’t get it. And JJ Abrams is writing these stories — when I saw that movie where they kill Han Solo, I was furious. I was furious when they killed Han Solo. Absolutely, positively there was no rhyme or reason to it. I thought, You don’t get the Jedi story. You don’t get the magic of ‘Star Wars.’ You’re getting rid of Han Solo?”
Rinzler, a former executive editor at Lucasfilm, interviewed Lucas in between the releases of “The Last Jedi” and “The Rise of Skywalker,” although his book on Kazanjian was just published September 14, 2021. (Rinzler passed away shortly before the book’s release.) Lucas also railed against the decision to kill Luke Skywalker in “The Last Jedi.”
“They have Luke disintegrate,” Lucas says. “They killed Han Solo. They killed Luke Skywalker. And they don’t have Princess Leia anymore. And they’re spitting out movies every year. And they think it’s important to appeal to a woman’s audience, so now their main character is this female, who’s supposed to have Jedi powers, but we don’t know how she got Jedi powers, or who she is. It sucks. The storylines are terrible. Just terrible. Awful. You can quote me…JJ Abrams, Kathy Kennedy — talk to me.'”
As Wikipedia helpfully explains, Jessica Rabbit is “renowned as one of the best-known sex symbols in animation.” That makes Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’s beloved — and famously busty — femme fatale an anomaly in the otherwise reliably family-friendly world of Disney Animation.
The popular character, though, is getting a makeover. While the va-va-voom cartoon version will remain intact in the feature film directed by Robert Zemeckis, the Jessica Rabbit featured in Disneyland’s Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin ride will be redesigned to be more empowered and far less scantily clad. Fans are — stop us if you’ve heard this one before — both applauding and ridiculing the move.
Since the ride’s 1994 opening in Mickey’s Toontown at the flagship Anaheim, Calif., theme park, the red-headed, sultry-voiced nightclub singer — originally voiced by Kathleen Turner in the 1988 box-office hit — could be spotted tied up in the trunk of a car.
The character was recently removed, though, and replaced with barrels of acid.
Last week, the Orange County Register reported that Walt Disney Imagineering was in the process of giving the ride a “more relevant” reboot with a new plot that features Jessica in a lead role — and no longer a damsel in distress but now a trench-coat-wearing private investigator.
The daughter of an unvaccinated man who died of COVID-19 told CNN's "New Day" on Monday she believes Fox News host Tucker Carlson (R-Fiddle Dee Dee) and misinformation "played a role" in her father's vaccine hesitancy.
Katie and Evan Lane spoke to "New Day" about their father, 45-year-old Patrick Lane, who recently died from the virus.
"He wasn't by any means far-right. He was right in the middle, and he consumed media from both sides, and just some of the misinformation on one of those sides made him hesitant," Katie Lane said. "He was going to wait for FDA approval, but by the time that Pfizer had been approved, it was already too late."
Anchor John Berman later said Katie Lane had said "one media source in particular" impacted her father's vaccine hesitancy, and asked her to clarify.
"He watched some Tucker Carlson videos on YouTube, and some of those videos involved some misinformation about vaccines, and I believe that that played a role," she said.
710 Reported Missing
The disappearance of Gabby Petito launched a social media frenzy and nonstop media coverage since she was reported missing, possibly from the state of Wyoming, where she and her boyfriend Brian Laundrie were said to be visiting Grand Teton National Park.
But hundreds of cases of Indigenous people reported missing in the exact same state over the past decade have not been met with the same furor.
At least 710 Indigenous people, mostly girls, went missing in Wyoming from 2011 to 2020, according to a January report published by the state's Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Task Force. The vast majority, 85%, were kids, while 57% were female.
The report found 50% of missing Indigenous people are found within one week, while 21% remain missing for 30 days or longer. Only 11% of white people remain missing for that long, according to the report.
The report also looked at media coverage, finding only 30% of Indigenous homicide victims made the news, compared to 51% of white victims.
Influence On Sleep
Sleep is one of the most vital things a human does, but millions of us don't do enough of it.
Some of the distractions that prevent us from getting enough sleep are obvious. Others are less so, remaining mysterious and debated – even if they've probably been disrupting human shut-eye for thousands of years.
In this case, we're talking about the Moon and its cycles, which have long been studied to investigate their potential impact on human sleep, although the results of such analyses have been somewhat inconsistent.
In a new study – which the researchers claim is among the largest of its kind – a team of scientists monitored the sleep of over 850 people in Uppsala, Sweden, using polysomnography measurements to ascertain their sleep onset, duration, and quality for a single night.
In the new research, the results appear to confirm that lunar cycles do have a significant and detectable influence on human sleep – but interestingly, not everybody is affected in the same way.
Left-handed people comprise only around 10% of the global population, but a quick glance reveals that many key movers and shakers are lefties.
For instance, three out of the last six American presidents were lefties: George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Plus, an eclectic slew of outliers who've rocked the world in one way or another had dominant left hands: Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, James Baldwin, Nikola Tesla, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, according to a 2019 report and The New York Times.
It's an impressive roster, but what does the data say? Are left-handed people smarter than righties?
To investigate this question, researchers looked at the differences in mathematical achievement between more than 2,300 right- and left-handed students between the ages of 6 and 17 in Italy. While there was no difference when looking at the easier math problems, left-handed students had a significant edge on the more difficult problems, such as associating a mathematical function to a set of data, according to the 2017 study in the journal Frontiers, led by Giovanni Sala, an assistant professor at the Institute for Comprehensive Medical Science at Fujita Health University in Japan.
It's complex, but Sala's study paints a picture of left-handers being over-represented at both the bottom and top of the cognitive spectrum. "Once you see that the subject is not intellectually challenged ... then left handedness seems to be a predictor of intellectual ability," specifically mathematical ability, according to his study, Sala said. However, he cautions that his results are not the final word, and that further studies must be done.