Monday, September 23, 2013

Murder, Torture, Death Camp Told in Kovaly Memoir

A survivor of Aushwitz and the cruelty of Stalin’s communism and the widow of murdered Jewish deputy minister of foreign trade has written a devastating memoir, “Under A Cruel Star: A Life in Prague 1941-68.”  This 1986 book by Heda Margolius Kovaly, was a must read for my Central European history class on the U of M Campus.  Kovaly's first husband was Rudolph Margouilis who was hung by the communist government in a show trial prompted by Stalin's anti semitism.
This is my great Central European fall where I was surprised to learn that the 1971 movie “Fiddler on the Roof” was filmed in Yugoslavia, a communist country ruled by the maverick Marshal Tito.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Nia and Toni Are Super in "Connie & Carla" drag queen comedy

“I loved you in “What’s the Matter With Helen” (a campy 70s AIP horror slasher flick with Debbie Reynolds and Shelley Winters) a drag queen says to Ms. Reynolds in the musical comedy “Connie and Carla.”  C&C is a redo of “Some Like it Hot” with straight women played by Nia Vardalos and Toni Collette escaping from the gangsters and doing very bad cabaret numbers.  I am mean but I love the reference to “Helen” and too bad no one asked if a redo of “Bundle of Joy” might be considered?  C&C has it’s moments and more worthwhile were the interviews with the director and stars on the DVD.  Ms. Collette is memorable in a whole bunch of films and the TV series “United States of Tara.”  Seen with “Girls will be Girls” (a men in drag comedy), C&C is a fun night at the movies.  The Debbie warbles a few notes as well.  Also  plan to see “Helen” on Halloween.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rain Musical is Big Bloomington Hit

Kudos to Bloomington Civic Theater music director Anita Ruth and “Singin’ in the Rain” director Michael M. Ferrell on the sold out performances on going.  Not since “”42nd Street,” have local audiences appreciated the familiar tunes and the ‘30s nostalgia that is the big draw.  Enough with Sondheim!
Although the stage was free of rain, it worked for me.  Jeffrey Nelson is a standout as Cosmo, the Donald O’Connor role in the movie.  Some of the more memorable tunes are “You Are My Lucky Star,” “Good Morning,” “You Stepped Out of a Dream” and of course the title song.  Too bad you missed it.