Archive for the ‘Actors’ Category

Arnold Stang

December 3, 2017

Today’s Zippy reminisces affectionately about the character actor Arnold Stang:

Of special interest to me, since Stang and I are are both citizens of the great Land of Arnoldia.

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The Unusual Two

November 29, 2017

In the tradition of Judi Dench and Vin Diesel (in a posting of 3/29/15 here), an unlikely pairing of actors in an episode of The Twilight Zone: Elizabeth Montgomery and Charles Bronson. Two gender icons of pop culture, early in their careers — a few years before Montgomery started her role as Samantha Stevens on the fantasy tv sitcom Bewitched, about the same time as Bronson broke through as Bernardo O’Reilly in the movie Western The Magnificent Seven.

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Singing at the Theatre de Lys

November 2, 2017

This morning’s music — what my iTunes offered when I woke, as it automatically went through music overnight — was clearly the voice of Bea Arthur. Yes, it was her, singing the “Barbara Song” from the Three Penny Opera, specifically on the cast album of the 1954 production in English at the Theatre de Lys in Greenwich Village:

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Not just Bea Arthur (as Lucy Brown), but also Charlotte Rae (as Mrs. Peachum), two young actors then mostly appearing on stage, especially the musical stage — before they established their tv sitcom careers, both of them in tremendously popular sitcoms (The Golden Girls, The Facts of Life) whose central characters were all female (four older women in The Golden Girls, a woman and four schoolgirls in The Facts of Life).

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The Fountain of Angels in America

August 30, 2017

(A return to Angels in America, after experiencing the NTE performance of Part Two: Perestroika last Sunday (the 27th); I posted about the NTE revival overall and about Part One: Millennium Approaches on this blog on the 21st. There will also be a return to the show Guys and Dolls, which I posted about here on the 24th. And a return to the theme of urban jungles, “wild” spaces in the city, especially the Ramble in NYC’s Central Park (one of many such spaces that serve as locales for gay cruising and tricking), which I posted about here on the 19th. I remind you that the subtitle of Angels is A Gay Fantasia on National Themes; yes, it’s about religion, politics, race, transcendance, America as the New World / new life, moral universes, New York City, love, death, and transfiguration, and all that, but it’s centrally about homosexuality, gay sex and gay love, and AIDS. It’s a breath-taking spectacle and, remarkably, much of it is truly funny — a damn good thing, because if it weren’t both spectacular and funny, how could you bear those themes, especially for over 6 hours?)

The fountain in Angels in America is the Bethesda Fountain in NYC’s Central Park (with its crowning sculpture, the Angel of the Waters), named after the Bethesda fountain in the New Testament, a place of healing.

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Kangaroo Paste, the Australian hair gel

August 10, 2017

Viewed the morning of the 8th, S2 E9 (“Bounty Hunters!”, 2007) of the tv series Psych, with several references to a (fictional) Australian hair gel for men, Kangaroo Paste, which the central character of the series, Shawn Spencer, really likes. This bit of mischievous product placement led quite a few people to ask where they could get the stuff.

For the record: there is an Aussie brand of hair-care products for women, which offers (among other things) Aussie Instant Freeze Gel, Aussie Instant Freeze Sculpting Gel, Aussie Instant Freeze Sculpting Mousse, Aussie Mega Gel, and Aussie Headstrong Volume Spray Gel (I have no idea how these products are distinguished from one another); and there is a product called Kangaroo Paste, but it’s a Korean shoe polish (a Korean knockoff of Kiwi Shoe Polish).

To come: the tv show (with a digression on the actor Kevin Sorbo); hair gel; the Aussie brand; Kangaroo Paste shoe polish (with a digression on compounds like Kangaroo Paste shoe polish); Kiwi Shoe Polish; and product placement.

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Electric charges

July 26, 2017

Earlier today, the posting “I sing the body elastic”, about Mikey Bustos’s parodic hymn to Speedos, the skimpy elastic men’s swim suits — with a title playing on “I Sing the Body Electric”, a poem from Walt Whitman’s 1855 Leaves of Grass, celebrating the human body. Beginning:

I sing the body electric,
The armies of those I love engirth me and I engirth them,
They will not let me off till I go with them, respond to them,
And discorrupt them, and charge them full with the charge of the soul.

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Taking a dark ride

July 21, 2017

Today’s Zippy brings on scary clowns in Laff in the Dark tunnels:

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— and, worse, threatens to unleash Tom Cruise (and his Outsider Art).

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Toxic moments

May 13, 2017

First, a story came by on NPR in which a tale of five dead hunters in Oregon played a central role, as did the terrible poison tetrodotoxin. And then an episode of the tv series Death in Paradise in which this poison plays a central role. Rough-skinned newts, pufferfish, and garter snakes all have parts to play in the story, as do arms races in evolution. And of course tetrodotoxin and the entertainments of Death in Paradise.

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The Phantom of the jungle library

March 31, 2017

… and his servant Guran, in a scene from early in the 1996 movie The Phantom:

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Secure in the Chronicle Chamber within his jungle stronghold, The Phantom (Billy Zane) and his servant Guran (Radmar Agana Jao) discover the secret of the Skulls of Touganda.

The Phantom of course works shirtless in his jungle library (amidst his collection of manuscripts and books) — I mean it’s in the steamy goddam jungle (and anyway we all need to appreciate his pecs). Outside of the jungle (where he’s the 21st Phantom), he’s Kit Walker, raised in the U.S., college-educated, and NYC-savvy. Then there’s his servant Guran, who’s obviously not a member of the African tribe the Phantom works with; instead, he looks Filipino and is dressed in Indian garb. The movie is packed with cultural mixtures, and this is just one of them.

I’ll write some about these, but first a bit about the fascinating life story of Radmar Agana Jao.

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Billy Zane

March 30, 2017

I first noticed him in some episodes of the tv series Charmed, playing a personable (and hunky) ex-demon named Drake. And now he’s coming past me again, in the second season of Twin Peaks, once again charming, boyish, playful, and sexy (his perennial actorial persona). In between Twin Peaks (1991) and Charmed (2005) came, among other things, the movie version of The Phantom (1996), with Zane in the title role.

So this will be about actors, the comics, tv and movies, and some of Zane’s masculine attributes: that persona, a strong physical presence, a sensuous masculine face, and (of course) an attractive body. Not a lot about language here.

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