February 24, 1995 |
Harpo Marx leans against an ocean-liner wall before a door marked MEN. Several elegant gentlemen walk through the door and are summarily ejected. Harpo shifts his posture. Seems that his raggedy coat has obscured two ever- important letters: WO. It's all in the spirit of Monkey Business (1931), the sublimely silly Marx Brothers comedy about four stowaways who inexplicably consort with bootleggers and more explicably with blondes, such as Thelma Todd. You haven't lived until you've heard Groucho, impersonating Maurice Chevalier, sing "A New Kind of Love.
April 18, 1992 |
Before it was scratched from last summer's release schedule, Brain Donors (a title which makes absolutely no sense) was called Lame Ducks (a title which makes a little more sense). Marketing whizzes at Paramount probably decided to re-christen this curious venture - which has finally found its way into theaters - when they envisioned gleeful reviewers tripping over themselves to dub this neo-Marx Brothers farce Lame Duck Soup. Actually it's more like a half-lame A Night at the Opera, with a little A Day at the Races thrown in. Except it's set in the world of ballet, and instead of Groucho, Chico and Harpo you have John Turturro, Mel Smith and Bob Nelson.
February 23, 1989 |
The eldest was Leonard. You can tell him by his frantically silly piano stylings, that vaguely foreign-looking hat, his wicked ear for puns and his ridiculous Italian accent - the kind of cruel parody of immigrant dialect that would be picketed nowadays. He was known to the world as Chico. Next came Arthur, who one day acquired - of all things - a harp, which he taught himself to play - beautifully. (But incorrectly: Unlike classically trained harpists, he rested the harp on the wrong shoulder.
August 25, 1994 |
There are some terrific lounge acts at the Shore, and one of the best is Carte Blanche at Garrity's, 85th Street and Landis Avenue, Sea Isle City, 609-263-3164. Keyboardist John Burgo and singer Lorie Ann, a vivacious duo, perform everything from vintage top 40 to current adult contemporary hits. It's music to dance to, although the restaurant has a bit of an unusual setup with the dance floor in the middle of a dining area ringed by booths. Carte Blanche appears Thursdays and Sundays from 8:30 p.m. to midnight, Fridays from 9 p.m. to 12:30 a.m., Saturdays from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. There's no cover charge.
April 15, 1990 |
Those bulging eyes, that impertinent grin, that shiny, smeared-on mustache, that stump of a cigar, and those eyebrows, thick as raccoon tails, are all part of a wisecrack waiting to happen. Paul Wesolowski knows this; he relishes it. The bulging eyes are everywhere in his New Hope home: on the walls, behind plants, on the television, in the kitchen, in the bathroom, in the bedroom, and even peering up from Wesolowski's wristwatch, daring you to laugh. Finally, you do, at the scale and sheer madness of it all. Wesolowski is the king of Marx Brothers memorabilia.
December 31, 1986 |
For the first time, there are no dance bands to help ring in the new year - but there are laughs everywhere, including a live comic opera, two allegedly funny New Year's Eve shows, a classic Woody Allen performance and, on three cable services, films by the Marx Brothers. By the way, Channel 65 impulsively went shopping yesterday, so if you were planning to watch Roger Corman's 1960 version of The Little Shop of Horrors tonight at 8, don't bother. Instead of Jack Nicholson and a man-eating plant, you'll see jackknives and a pasta- making machine.
March 17, 1991 |
In a music career that spanned five decades, Asa "Ace" Pancoast worked on just about every bandstand in Philadelphia, from speak-easies to television studios. He once played for the Marx Brothers and Al Jolson. Mr. Pancoast, 86, who for years led the orchestra at the old Fox Theater at Market and 16th Streets, died Friday at his home in the city's Northwood section. "He was a musician's musician," said his daughter, Geraldine Marmer. She said her father had succeeded in a highly competitive field without any formal education in music.
April 18, 1992 |
Whoever had the bright idea of making a modern-day Marx Brothers movie should have kept this in mind: The Marx Brothers were funny. Once you get past its title, "Brain Donors" is anything but funny. Impudent and manic, yes, in the best Marxian tradition. But it is desperate in its scattershot stabs at any lame thing for a possible laugh, where the Marxes were always cool and, for the most part, surreally inspired when it came to stringing nonsense together. The film's nominal plot could have been subtitled "A Night at the Ballet.
April 4, 1997 |
In one of the the best caricatures in The Line King, which opens today, Al Hirschfeld captures the crazy, vibrant energy of the Marx Brothers. Horse Feathers is a wonderful opportunity to revisit them at close to their best. The 1932 comedy isn't quite up there with Duck Soup, but it's still light-years better than the competition. Who among us could long resist the idea of Groucho shaping young minds as the president of a college? His Professor Wagstaff takes over Huxley College and his motto is, "Whatever it is, I'm against it. " There's a big gridiron matchup in the works against Darwin University, which has sneaked a couple of hefty pro ringers onto its team.
April 16, 2011
Arthur Marx, 89, who wrote screenplays for film and television and a best-selling book about his father, Life With Groucho, died Thursday at his home in Los Angeles. As a child Mr. Marx spent several years on the road with Groucho Marx and the rest of the Marx Brothers' vaudeville act - Chico, Harpo, Gummo, and later Zeppo - before enjoying a celebrity-filled youth in Los Angeles as the brothers rose to stardom. His own show-business career was varied and long, writing Hollywood screenplays and scripts for some of television's most popular sitcoms.