January 19, 1993 |
ONLY THING WE HAVE TO FEAR IS FEAR OF LATE PUBLICATION Just as we prepare to swear in the first sitting governor elected president in 60 years, a book that's been gathering dust since the administration of the last such president has arrived in Texas bookstores. The book is the Works Progress Administration's Dallas Guide and History, one of hundreds created by Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal agency for cities across the nation. The guide was to have been released in the 1940s, but a little thing called World War II got in the way. The manuscript sat on a shelf at the Dallas public library for decades, consulted frequently by writers, historians and scholars but unknown to the public.
December 10, 1990 |
At the Theater of Living Arts on Saturday, the Lounge Lizards found joy - ecstasy, even - in repetition. At one time or another, every member of the nine-piece ensemble was forced to play a repetitive phrase that helped define the composition. Sometimes it was as simple as two notes hammered over and over on a vibraphone; other times it was a full horn-section shout lifted from the big-band era. Such repetition, common in the contemporary classical style known as minimalism, is less accepted in jazz improvisation.
September 10, 1990 |
Joyce Parker, a "bored" housewife, went looking for a job some years back, and wound up cleaning public restrooms at the Philadelphia Zoo. Then things started looking up. She has become a snake handler. Parker, 37, has made herself into an expert in the care and breeding of the Chinese crocodile lizard, a creature that is considered a national treasure in China but is nearly extinct in the wild. "And here, Joyce was breeding them," Zoo president William Donaldson said.
July 31, 1990 |
It was no screaming headline, just a brief item that caught Andrew Bergman's attention. The truth-is-stranger-than-fiction: A mobster is caught smuggling hundreds of endangered species into the country, the most impressive a 10-foot Komodo dragon lizard. "I remember saying, what a combination!" recalls screenwriter-director Bergman. "The mob and endangered species - there's a movie here. " Six years after reading the item, Bergman has written and directed "The Freshman," a wry, engaging comedy, which opened last Frday.
March 9, 1990 |
"We've written some serious songs. Once, anyway. But I can't remember them," says Tom Pittman whose slightly Southern slow-speaking conjures up visions of back-porch Arkansas. Pittman is one of five members of the Austin Lounge Lizards, a hilarious country/bluegrass/folk group who bring their special brand of Texas satire to this weekend's Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth- Whitemarsh High School. Classic Austin Lounge Lizard music is often full of rowdy, hoist-another- beer sing-alongs, laced with yodeling satirical passion for Texas, pickup trucks, acid rain and a good laugh, though not necessarily in that order.
January 26, 1990 |
Lounge acts rarely grow old gracefully. They form with the best of intentions - frequently built around a female vocalist. They will perform with vigor and as much skill as can be mustered, waiting for that big break when someone with juice - not to mention good taste - comes along and turns on the superstar machinery. So goes the dream of the "lounge lizards. " At some point, years later, most of these acts probably realize that the dream will never be fulfilled, although not many will admit it. They won't work their way out of the lounges, and, in fact, they'll be lucky to continue hanging in, playing the top lounges of Atlantic City and Nevada.
November 9, 1989 |
Billmurraybillmurraybillmurray. What do I know about Bill Murray? Early Saturday Night Live member. "Noogie, noogie, noogie. " Didn't he have a thing there a while with Gilda Radner? Irish street-dog kind of guy. Comes from a huge family, a tribe of comics - Brian Doyle-Murray is his brother. Wasn't he busted for drugs? Out-of-his-mind Chicago Cubs fan. Didn't he own a piece of the Eagles once? No, that was Jim Murray. Ddddddddddd. Dddddddddddd. Click! Hello, Bill Murray's agent's office.
October 15, 1989 |
Megan Bellwoar slithers around the sand and rocks, discussing life, love and emotions. Her curiosity is piqued as a middle-aged couple reveal their philosophies, emotions and insecurities about life in the rat race. She cries as the man grills her about infidelity and her commitment to her mate. The role of a talking lizard-woman is a stretch for the petite blond West Chester native, but she brings the creature alive with jerky movements, a forked tongue and a green lizard suit with scales and fins.
October 13, 1989 |
In my line of work, you see so many dull movies that sometimes you wonder if you only think the movies are dull because your senses have been bombarded to the point of numbness. Luckily, there are movies like "The Fabulous Baker Boys" around to restore your faith in quality. This one is so good you can use it as a navigational guide, a cinematic north star by which to steer through the cluttered oceans of movie crud. The movie has arrived at precisely the right moment. Personally, I've had my fill of Harrys and Sallys and "Parenthood" types.
March 15, 1989 |
A couple of years ago, Hollywood caterer Bonnie Belknap got a call from actress Joan Collins. The megastar was having some friends over that night, and Collins ordered some hors d'oeuvres - a little duck pate, smoked salmon and deviled eggs with caviar. Belknap thought nothing of it until later that night when she heard on the news that Collins and husband-to-be Peter Holmes had thrown a small engagement party earlier in the evening and then flew off to Las Vegas to get married.