Thursday, March 27, 2003

Ass Kickin' Salsa

Unabashed Plug of the Day to and their line of aptly titled "Pain Is Good" salsas. Right now I am tasting their Batch #37 Habanero Salsa. (I actually ate my last cracker of it about ten minutes ago, but the flavor really stays with you.)

Caution: this is HOT STUFF. Your gums will ache and probably bleed, but it's worth it. I got an almost one-pound jar, and you don't wanna go too crazy with it.

I am dying to try their Batch #37 Jalapeno Chile Con Queso.

Wednesday, March 26, 2003

Happy Birthday, Bob Elliott

Today is the 80th birthday of Bob Elliott. You young uns may know him as Chris Elliott's father, but he's one half of the great radio comedy teams of the 50's and 60's, Bob and Ray. Together with the late Ray Goulding, Bob and Ray fabricated a very subtle, literate brand of radio humor, with such fixtures as Wally Ballou and Mary Backstayge, Noble Wife delighting listeners of many New York stations, including WOR, WINS, WCBS, WHN, etc., influencing along the way the likes of Johnny Carson and Garrison Keillor

David Hinckley, writing in today's New York Daily News, notes that Larry Josephson, who is the official archivist of all things Bob and Ray, notes that the comedy routines are being preserved on compact disc and are available for purchase at

Unfortunately, although listed in their catalogue, no longer available for purchase is a 90-minute comedy special they did in the late 1970's called "Bob And Ray, Jane, Laraine And Gilda" which featured B&R with the ladies of "Saturday Night Live" as a fictitous offering of the "Finley Quality Network". It was produced by Lorne Michaels and used a lot of the same framework as SNL, complete with musical guest (Willie Nelson) and live band (here under the direction of Tom Malone).

And always remember...

"Write if you get work!" "Hang by your thumbs!"

Friday, March 21, 2003

Beverly Arnold Has Died

We'll sure be getting more info on this, but I've just been informed that Beverly Arnold, wife of cartoonist Hal Seeger and voice actress in many of his cartoons, has died at the age of 73.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Settlement In B'way Musicians' Strike

The settlement, announced this morning, allows for a slight reduction in the number of musicians required for a production, but still enough to ensure that live orchestration will continue to be a part of the Broadway experience. All the affected shows are reopening tonight. Some may even be over by now due to Tuesday's earlier curtain times.

Friday, March 07, 2003

802 On Strike Against Broadway

Broadway is mostly dark this Friday evening due to a strike by members of the American Federation of Musicians, Local 802. At issue is the minimum number of musicians that a theatre must employ. The musicians' union fears that if those minimums are reduced further, live music will disappear on Broadway. The actors (Equity) and stagehands (IATSE) refuse to cross the AFM picket lines, so the shows are shuttered.

This weekend I am playing my first pit job in several years, the Toms River High School North production of "State Fair", a show which I saw on Broadway in its short run at the tiny Music Box Theatre. I am again reminded of the power of people acting and singing on a stage with a sizeable orchestra full of capable musicians in front of and slightly below them. We had our share of showstopping moments in our show. Particularly tonight. Several times, I thought, "what if we tried to do this show with only three musicians, since this is only a high school auditorium, and filled in the rest of the parts electronically?" I don't even want to consider that inevitability.

But it doesn't have to be that way. As a member of Local 399, I wholeheartedly support my Union brothers of Local 802, and hopefully the theatre industry will take note and realize that our position is the right way... the only way.

Sunday, March 02, 2003


Due to another passing in my family (more details), it may be a few days before I get back to my e-mails, so please be patient.