Friday, May 24, 2013


Photo courtesy of Koyannis Quatsi @en.wikipedia 
     I experienced an unforgettable theatrical performance by Nathan Lane when I went to a matinee of a play, presented by Lincoln Center Theatre, at the Lyceum. Written by Douglas Carter Beane, the play explores the hazards suffered by Chauncy Miles, a conservative, homosexual, performer who plays the part of The Nance an effeminate male character) in burlesque house sketches during the latter part of the 30s. The great depression still held the nation in its grip and jobs were hard to find.
     Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia wanted to sanitize the city before the World’s Fair and LaGuardia who was a progressive mayor in many ways decided to curb and close burlesque theatres and hide what he considered the seamy side of the Big Apple. Homosexuality was considered a mental illness and a deviant lifestyle and the police imprisoned men trying to socialize with others. Chauncy falls in love and love is returned but the Burlesque House is raided and Chauncy spends time in jail and is asked to change his act. He refuses. The theatre closes. Chauncy is a victim of the past, and his lover needs to move on and they part.
     A Chauncy Miles would be amazed at many of the changes we see today. In many states, homosexuals marry, have children, serve the United States in the military and government and are accepted by the majority of their fellow human beings.
     But hate is alive in the world. Lower Manhattan saw the murder of a gay man walking down the street. A drunk assaulted a friend when he learned he was gay. A couple walking together were attacked by antigay, statements and one of the men suffered minor injuries.
     Will the time ever come when instead of being frightened by differences, every community concentrates on the miracle of life and the love that should be bestowed to honor that life?
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Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Scene Stealer's secondary characters are having their say on Shelf Pleasure today. Please stop by and say hello.

My characters tend to be highly opinionated.



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Wednesday, May 8, 2013



    Mother's day is Sunday and I miss my mom. She's been gone awhile now and I remember the good times, the fabulous stories she told, the encouragement she always gave me and the woman I wish was here so I could share the stories I make up with her.
     When I was a little girl, she always made up tales to pass the time on rainy days and told me, "true yarns," about the family. Mom would never hesitate when it came to adding local color. For a while she sold inexpensive hats to make a few extra dollars and she was quite the salesperson. She'd adjust the hat on the customer and tell her how becoming it was. Tilt the hat in another direction and encourage the lady to look in the mirror. "You look just like the model in Vogue, that's the way she wears the hat." The customer always bought the hat, sometimes two or three and returned often to buy more.
     Mom grew up in Rhode Island and told me how she and my Uncle Johnny were crossing a field when a bull attracted by her red dress began to chase them. They ran faster and faster and took refuge in the Old Soldiers Home where they were served cookies and milk. After my uncle returned from the war, mom told him he would always be able to live at that home when he was old and frail.
     There was the story about the landlord of the little house that they rented visiting them at Thanksgiving. Grandpa--a new immigrant with seven children--thought the landlord wuld disposess them. Instead, he gifted grandpa with seven chickens--one for each child.
     My favorite story is the one mom told about the Russian Countess who had no children of her own and took a great liking to my Aunt Betty. When the Cossacks rode through their town, the Countess hid my grandparents and Aunt Betty until they could escape to America--the promised land. My cousin said it was a neighbor who hid the family but I like the story much better the way my mother told it.

Family stories, anyone?



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