Monday, May 24, 2010
ENTERTAINMENT NOTES AND THOUGHTS---AND A FEW SUGGESTIONS
A few suggestions for TRADITIONS and SUNDAY SIMCHA will be posted later this week. Interesting themes and guests to talk about.
Now for the thoughts regarding entertainment and I surely hope I am not preaching to the choir here. If I am just post "Amen" and I will know it was the choir.
An interesting weekend of entertainment--or something that purports to be entertainment-- that drove a few thought home. Friday evening was a delightful evening with some great performers--Buskin and Batteau (ably abetted by Marshal Rosenberg on percussion). The venue a nice hall in Garden City, NY fully filled (approx. 150) with a wonderfully enthusiastic and receptive audience. The lads delivered, as always, a performance that goes down as great musical mastership along with great and pointed humor.
We'll skip a video here and move on to the next evening at The Theater at Westbury aka The Westbury Music Tent (or something like that but now a Live Nation venue---heaven help us). A relative generously purchased tickets for a performance that evening featuring Don Rickles and Joan Rivers. Admittedly I did not expect her wholly inappropriate ( a polite term) appearance.
Starting with the performance it has to be said that Joan Rivers should stay home and practice speaking without an obscenity as every other word and also try to make some humorous points that are not is the worst taste one can imagine---from deaths in Haiti, the suicide of her husband, and descriptions of her gynecological problems among others. Enough said about her since the alleged headliner was Mr. Warmth---Don Rickles.
It is a sad thing when a good performer---I won't say great since that is reserved for others--is too lame (in all aspects of that word) to appear on a stage. A sad sight to watch him flounder about the stage and have one pray he does not fall. Routines that are old hat that then evolve into tributes to people like Sinatra, Martin, and then morph into a tribute to troops in Iraq with a singing of Yankee Doodle Dandy ala James Cagney. Sad!!
Sadder is that the audience asked for an encore and he then stayed on and on and on. Seems like either he did not want the evening on stage to end or, my thought, he was waiting for handlers to help him off stage---there are no wings at this venue--you have to go up an aisle.
Best Don Rickles stick to the voice-overs he does for Toy Story and leave the live stage looking like a winner and not a replica of the character Olivier portrayed in The Entertainer.
As to the venue. That is one disaster waiting for a tragedy to happen. One narrow road leading in and inept parking attendants creating a total traffic mess. Leaving can take hours and no access for emergency vehicles at that time.
Which, if you stuck with me this long, brings me to the final point. Individualism or Herd Mentality. Terrific talents in a small venue at reasonable prices or highly hyped entertainment with either fading "legends" (in their own minds) and highly hyped current performers for astronomical ticket prices. You have to make that choice and you may well be surprised at the real enjoyment you will get at the former rather than the latter.
Well, maybe a video is called for after all----Buskin and Batteau---you really do not want to suffer the other option.