A mish-mash for you. Right now, I am loving ………
~ The Walking Dead. Yes, okay, a show about zombies. MB and I are watching it on Netflix which means we’re behind and have to wait until God knows when to see the current (or rather, just ended) season. I wonder if it’s odd that I basically emailed my friend Cara a while back telling her, “I watch this show about rotting zombies and think of you” because we both have a weird zombie affinity. Who wouldn’t want a friend to tell her that? It’s a Hallmark sentiment is what it is. Lovely. Seriously, though, loving that show. Yes, it’s kind of gross, which I think means there’s something a bit off about me, but we pretty much knew that already.
~ Smash. You know, I grow weary of the theatre snobs (and I am one) who whine about this show and say, “Oh, but it’s not really like that or this or that.” Of course not and so what? And crime scene investigations aren’t like CSI(s) and doctors aren’t like House and high school isn’t like Glee. These are dramas, fantasies, pretend. Pretend. There are elements of truth in any well-done fiction, but fiction by definition means invention, so it’s difficult for me to understand the pinchiness and snootiness about the show except that it’s pinchiness and snootiness simply for the sake of being pinchy and snooty which I find a total bore. Criticize Smash because it doesn’t work as a show, in your opinion, but don’t criticize it because it’s not “real” enough for you. It’s not reality television (which isn’t “real” either). It’s not a documentary. It’s a TV drama/fantasy and Broadway’s image or success won’t be tarnished by it. Broadway thrives or struggles entirely apart from Smash. Actually, it may even make fans of the show want to see more live theatre. Courtesy of the great Marc Shaiman, Smash has some really wonderful original songs being staged like Broadway musical numbers. I love that the show is doing that because it ups the wow factor. It shows, in small bits, just how great, how thrilling musical theatre can be. Come see us. Here’s a peek at what you get. And what’s wrong with that? I think that’s fantastic for Broadway. I’ve seen so many comments from average viewers saying, “Are they actually ever going to produce this Marilyn musical on Broadway?? I totally want to see it!” — that kind of thing. So how is that a bad thing for Broadway? Don’t poo poo just to poo poo, ya pooers. Frankly, I think Katharine McPhee, who rubbed me a bit wrong as herself on American Idol, is a revelation as someone else in this show. She glows. She soars. That girl is becoming every inch the star. And Megan Hilty as Ivy, her nemesis? Va-va-va-voooom. Sex goddess with a voice to match. Frankly, I don’t care what they’re doing. I don’t care how “real” or “unreal” it is. I am gobbling it up.
~ Pearl Fryar, the self-taught topiary artist who singlehandedly transformed not just his own yard but his neighborhood and his little struggling Southern town too. A Man Named Pearl is a must-see documentary. We watched a week ago and just fell in love with him, his spirit, his passion, his sweetness. He had a 3-minute instruction on topiaries at a nursery. That is the extent of his training. What he created from there …… well, it really needs to be seen to be believed. The man is a true artist but a true gentle spirit too — a gentle man and a gentleman. No ego there. Just the pure joy of creation. That’s what pours from him. His topiaries are not elephants and giraffes, either. They’re complex organic shapes created with nothing more complicated than a hedge trimmer. Amazing. It’s one of my favorite things: to see what someone has inside of them made manifest in time and space. This work is what’s inside Pearl Fryar. I loved seeing how his neighbors caught the topiary bug as well, shaping their bushes and hedges and trees into their own little topiary visions with Pearl’s help and tutelage. At one point in the film, he says that is his favorite thing — seeing what others are creating, seeing them catch the spark as well. Now that’s creative generosity. He has no investment in being the “only one” doing this. It’s about the act of creation, not his creative ego. Creativity is meant to be shared, not hoarded, and Pearl openly shares his. He makes his gardens available for viewing 5 days a week. You can give a donation — or not. He’s frequently seen out in his yard, chatting up the tourists who come by, answering their endless questions. During one visit, he even promises one wide-eyed little boy that he can come be his apprentice when he gets a little older. He goes and talks about his work at local colleges to rapt eager students. His work has made him a celebrity and taken his town from Nowheresville, USA to Southern tourist destination, but that doesn’t change Pearl at all. He’s still out in his yard every day, often until after the sun goes down, trimming and shaping and tending to his passion. This is a man whose passion makes him focused but generous too. It’s not something he owns, you see? It’s something bigger than himself and he understands that, so it’s something he gives back easily and with an open hand.
Also, there’s this: Dude was 66 when the movie was made (about 6 years ago) and, well, he’s hot. The local garden club ladies drive up in buses to tour his yard, get out, take a gander at him, and comment on his hotness, flushed and flustered by the nearness of this gentle manly man. It’s hilarious. His wife just rolls his eyes, understanding that in this way, she needs to share him. This whole crazy thing is bigger than both of them, but they take it all in with graciousness and equanimity and good humor. Beautiful people. Beautiful work. A truly inspiring film.
This, on the home front:
~ Banshee Boy dances to the opening refrain of “Under Pressure” (or “Ice, Ice, Baby” — if you must). All it takes to get him going is to hum that opening “do do do dodo do doon” and he’s smiling and, quite literally, shaking his be-diapered booty. He also does a mean march/toddle/kick box to “Happy Jack.” It’s a pretty big kick he’s worked into this routine, and I really don’t know how he doesn’t fall down doing it, but apparently, that kid is alls about the rhythm. He’s crazy for it.
~ He goes to bed with 3 pacifiers. One in his mouth and one in each hand. You can watch him on the video monitor (how do parents get any sleep with that?) and see him sit in his crib, rotating them from hand to mouth in regular succession, until he falls unconscious from the sheer exhaustion of “passy” management.
~ He can’t say Tee Tee yet, so for now, I am Tuh Tuh. As long as this doesn’t morph into Ta Ta — which I can feel a’comin’ — I am fine with it.
Tuh Tuh out.