Oscar E Moore

From the rear mezzanine theatre, movies and moore

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NIX on SIX – the kvetching wives of Windsor

November 6th, 2021 by Oscar E Moore

I wondered while watching this quite expensive extravaganza if those ten year old boys sitting on their make-me-higher cushions in the audience were wondering “what do I make of all this female anger being celebrated on stage?”

A mix-up of Tudor history as heard through the over-amplified voices of the six dearly departed wives of Henry VIII channeling pop icons Beyoncé, Shakira, Adele, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna to name but a few – all sounding alike in this rock style concert.

Each Queen works very hard at trying to convince us who was the worst treated by his Royal Highness Henry VIII.  And if you care for this type of singing (carping) this could be for you.  I am in the minority.  SIX is a worldwide phenomenon no question about that.

The writers have come up with a clever conceit that the audience eats up.  Force fed as it were.  Women should rule the roost.  Women should not have to put up with male barbaric behavior.  Even if it means rewriting or ignoring how some of these Queens deserved what they got.

Oh well, congratulations to creators Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss.  I am not jealous of their success.  Merely sad at what musical theater used to be like.  Congrats to choreographer Carrie-Anne Ingrouille for her ingenious robotic military type precision staging.

SIX goes by in a flash of lights and sound.  One hour twenty minutes of kvetching so loud as to be undisguisable to my ears.  I do wonder what message those ten year old boys received from SIX and how it will affect their future relationships with whomever.

Proof of Vaccination.  Photo ID.  Mask up!

Photos:  Joan Marcus

Premium seat $499.00




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October 19th, 2021 by Oscar E Moore

Seriously?!  At the DR2 Theatre this “new musical in the making” is more like an amateur Fringe Festival workshop production.  And in need of a doctor suffering from a weak plot and forgettable tunes.  I rate it 4 and a half yawns.  A must see for all those interested in learning what not to do and how to do it in writing a musical – and please do not pick out “a must see” as a quote.

Where do I begin?  It’s all an ear-splitting baffling blur.  There are over twenty sung dialogue numbers devoid mostly of melody – a couple more than the 18 listed producers who should be voted into the musical hall of shame.

The glitzy golden Mylar show curtain reminding us of the fabulously satiric FORBIDDEN BROADWAY greets us.  And its downhill from there.

The story line is ridiculous.  A once famous (worldwide no less) pop singer Regina Comet (Bryonha Marie Parham) is on the skids.  To boost her self-esteem, career and pocketbook she enlists the talents of two unknown writers to create a “jingle” for her new perfume – no make that her new fragrance “Relevance” to appeal to a new and younger and hipper teenage fan base.  The “jingle” is a no show!

They are straight Man 2 (Ben Frankhauser) and gay Other Man (Alex Wyse).  For easier identification Man 2 wears a green shirt and has dark hair.  Other Man wears tight shorts and has great legs.

They are also the brains behind the music, book and lyrics in this fortunately only eighty minute extravaganza.  Have they never heard of Rodgers and Hammerstein or Jerry Herman or Stephen Sondheim?

It seems not BUT they have heard of Barry Manilow – the idol of our two leading men whose portrait is displayed prominently on the cluttered set (Wilson Chin) of post it notes (we never see them post one), piles of note books and furniture on wheels to keep the actors and plot spinning so that we don’t notice all the holes in said plot.

One can always check out the distracting on-stage right and left Madame Orchestra who seem to be enjoying the show more than I did.

There is some humor (after all they met at a Jewish music camp), break-away costumes (Sarita Fellows), a most disgusting feeble magic sight gag (we get to see this twice), lasers (don’t ask) and some polite applause and chuckling from the very sparse audience in attendance.

The entire concoction is directed by Marshall Pailet in a keep the actors in motion and singing as loudly as possible style.  His previous stints as director of “Who’s Your Baghdaddy?” And “Triassic Parq” (which I sadly saw) gives you a glimpse into what to expect.  Musical mayhem.  Scheduled through November 14, 2021.

Proof of vaccination.  Photo ID.  Masks.


Photos:  Matthew Murphy

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LACKAWANNA BLUES – extended through November 7th – make every effort to see it

October 17th, 2021 by Oscar E Moore

Was there anyone in your past who was instrumental in guiding you through your youth, teaching you how to treat others with respect and dignity and at the same time expecting you to be treated likewise that still resonates with the person you are today?

If so, you will immediately connect with Ruben Santiago-Hudson the author, actor, and director of his autobiographical memory play LACKAWANNA BLUES now extended through November 7th at the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre – a Manhattan Theatre Club production.  I urge you to make every effort to see it.

And do not miss a single important word of this remarkable work.  Listening devices are once again offered for use.  So please do.

Despite several cancellations due to a back injury.  Despite the COVID lockdowns, Mr. Santiago-Hudson beautifully channels the perseverance and love instilled in him by Ms. Rachel Crosby (Nanny) his surrogate mother who rescued and raised Ruben in her boardinghouse establishment for strays – both human and animal.

Portraying a multitude of characters from a tobacco farm in Virginia to the 1956 steel mills of Lackawanna New York where drinking and gambling and carousing were rampant in this ninety minute, no intermission production Mr. Santiago-Hudson has got the whole audience not only in the palm of his hands but in his grip.  Never letting go.  You cannot help but be enthralled by his storytelling.  With an abundance of period details.

And his cast of odd characters.  Ol’ Po’ Carl – a 79 year old former Negro Leagues baseball player who was told by his doctor to give up whiskey as he had “roaches of the liver” and Sweet Tooth Sam.  And many others.  Young and old.  Male and female.  Quite an array.

All the while Nanny explaining in her easy going but tough way to be strong, generous and kind with her philosophy of an open home and an open heart.  Soft-spoken most of the time her signature look could freeze the Erie Canal.

Anyone who has had such an important person in their life will certainly be touched and most probably tear up at their remembrance.

Mr. Santiago-Hudson shares the stage and his life with excellent guitarist Junior Mack.

The accompaniment is just right.  A soft bluesy background that can punctuate the narrative when necessary.  Oh, and Ruben plays a mean harmonica to boot.

Special thanks to lighting designer Jen Schriever and scenic designer Michael Carnahan for the cozy and most appropriate atmosphere.   The original music by Bill Sims Jr. – a close associate of Mr. Santiago-Hudson who played the show and dozens of other projects with him until his death.  LACKAWANNA BLUES is dedicated to his memory.  Along with Nanny who always said “It’s gonna be alright.”  And it was.  And it is.  Just go!

Originally produced by the Public Theater April 2001.

Photos:  Marc J. Franklin

Proof of vaccination.  Photo ID.  Mask.  Thank you.


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GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY – Hope and heartbreak with a double dose of Dylan

October 14th, 2021 by Oscar E Moore

A somber, melancholy atmosphere is set as one enters the Belasco Theatre by the shadowy lighting and vacant musical instruments on a bare stage as the actors slowly enter to tell their stories; baring their souls and exposing their feelings in a most beautiful production of a not so beautiful time in American history in GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY.

A hybrid patchwork quilt utilizing the lyrical and heartfelt songs of Robert Allen Zimmerman – otherwise known as Bob Dylan with an original book by the Irish playwright and director extraordinaire Conor McPherson without whom this entire production would not exist.

He is assisted greatly by Lucy Hind – movement director who manages to create some integral character driven group dance sequences and appropriate scenic & costume design by Rae Smith beautifully lit by Mark Henderson.

1934 -Duluth Minnesota (birthplace of Dylan 1941) – the depths of the depression. Jobs are scarce.  Everyone is on edge.  We meet a cross section of its inhabitants in a dilapidated boarding house barely eking out its existence run by a ready to explode Nick Laine (Jay O. Sanders) who must tend to his off kilter wife Elizabeth (Mare Winningham) who at times is as wise as a fox and supplies some humorous asides.

Along with their son Gene (Colton Ryan) who dreams of a writing career but whose bout with the bottle does him in and their adopted black pregnant daughter Marianne (Kimber Elayne Sprawl) whose talent shines throughout the production.

Nick and his wife no longer are in love with one another.  He has replaced her with Mrs. Neilson (Jeannette Bay Ardelle) a widow who expects to inherit three thousand dollars to help Nick as Elizabeth looks on, sometimes attentively – sometimes into space appearing to be out of it completely.

Unexpectedly love finds its way of interacting with most of the people you will meet – “Tight Connection to My Heart”  “Make You Feel My Love” “Sweetheart Like You” “True Love Tends to Forget” “Is Your Love in Vain” and the gorgeous “I Want You” – sung as a duet between Gene and his girlfriend Kate (Caitlin Houlahan) – all beautifully arranged by Simon Hale who has done a masterful job in creating harmonies and choral numbers that make use of gospel,  soul, big band and a simple yet very effective harmonica.

The ensemble is magnificent – with glorious soaring voices.

Nick has plans for the 19 year old Marianne.  To be wed to an old geezer, Mr. Perry (Tom Nelis) but she falls for Joe Scott (Austin Scott) a boxer with a shady past who arrives with Reverend Marlowe (Matt McGrath) a con-man selling bibles and spewing the words of the Lord.

Another couple at odds with one another are Mr. and Mrs. Burke (a short tempered Marc Kudisch) and his soused spouse (an excellent Luba Mason) who doubles on drums.  Their mentally challenged son Elias – an excellent Todd Almond – tugs at our heartstrings.

The “hope and heartbreak” book is reminiscent of OUR TOWN and Saroyan’s THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE and works wonders at keeping all the various characters in line seamlessly with their hopes and dreams and conflicts.

Our narrator Dr. Walker (Robert Joy) fills in vital information seguing from songs to scene, from violence to tenderness that make us hold our applause until the uplifting finale “Pressing On” that gets the audience to their feet with cheers of Bravo! – echoing up to the rafters.  GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY is a truly special emotional journey.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED especially for those who are tired of razzle dazzle scream fests.

NOTE:  Performance reviewed Wednesday matinee March 11, 2020


Photos:  Matthew Murray

2 hours 30 minutes – One Intermission

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CHICKEN & BISCUITS – Guess who’s coming to the funeral

October 11th, 2021 by Oscar E Moore

Oh what a relief it is!  Laughing out loud with a packed house on Broadway!  And at a funeral no less!

The dearly departed in question is Bernard Jenkins (unseen until his casket is rolled out on stage at the Circle in the Square where CHICKEN & BISCUITS authored by Douglas Lyons has recently opened under the astute guidance of Zhailon Levington (the youngest Black director in Broadway history) to have BJ’s life celebrated by his extended family.

Harkening back to the golden days of Neil Simon we are treated to a true laugh-fest.  With a dash of such television favorites as The Jeffersons and All in the Family, Flip Wilson (as Geraldine) and a pinch of Chekhov this original, unapologetic old fashioned comedy began its life at Queens Theatre, Queens NY in February 2020 until it was stopped dead in its tracks by COVID.  But it has been remounted, rejuvenated and revitalized for all to enjoy.

Coming together at St. Luke’s Church, New Haven Connecticut to mourn, speak about, laugh and bitch, the bereaved include eight “vibrant” personalities:  Reginald Mabry (Norm Lewis) new pastor and faithful, peace keeping husband of Baneatta Mabry nee: Baneatta Jenkins (Cleo King) a strong and stubborn Christian woman, their two grown children, unlucky in love Simone (a subdued Alana Raquel Bowers) and Kenny (Devere Rogers) who is proudly gay and has brought his nervous, neurotic, “white” Jewish “friend” Logan Leibowitz along for the ride (Michael Urie)

Baneatta’s younger over-the-top sister the sartorial splendored scene stealing Beverly (Ebony Marshall-Oliver) and her 16 year old uneasy daughter La’Trice Franklin (Aigner Mizzelle).  The surprise mystery guest is Brianna (Natasha Yvette Williams) who shakes things up a bit.

Put them all together, mix well (as the director has accomplished) and you are in for a tasty treat of laughter and family love – with all the dressings.

Speaking of which, the simple all-purpose set by Lawrence E. Moten III, costumes by Dede Ayite (particularly the ladies hats) and lighting design (Adam Honore) add to this recipe for an old fashioned entertaining success.  It’s good to laugh.  Really laugh!


Through January 2, 2022

NOTE:  I would not be surprised if this family became a successful TV sitcom.

100 minutes no intermission.  Proof of vaccination Photo ID Mask

Photos:  Emilio Madrid

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PERSUASION – BEDLAM at the Connelly

September 29th, 2021 by Oscar E Moore

Love won.  Love lost.  Love regained.  In short, the main plot of PERSUASION.  This exceedingly well put together, charming, theatrical, humorous, anachronistic, engaging bare bones production of Jane Austen’s final romantic novel beautifully adapted by Sarah Rose Kearns is a wonder to behold in its world premiere.

If you are acquainted with the Elliots and the Musgroves all the better.  I was a bit confused.  There are no programs distributed.  Everything now is e-tickets and websites.  Fortunately at www.bedlam.org/persuasion you will discover all you need to know to enjoy this production one hundred percent.  Including a Family Tree of the various characters.

“Will you marry me?”  These extremely important romantic and loving four words bookend this inventive production superbly directed by Eric Tucker.

Images (terrific staging).  Bonnets and boots.  Sounds (bird whistles, rain drops, and unseen passion). Strong willed, memorable characters.  Some forlorn sheep and outlandish situations will remain with you long after you have figured out who is who and what is what as this diverse, non-traditional ensemble – a truly exceptional ensemble, as all ten actors (some portraying multiple characters) are on the same wave length in style and substance – totally in sync with Jane Austen and her equally talented scribe Sarah Rose Kearns – going through their never boring paces.

At two hours and forty five minutes with intermission this all somehow works.  The actors winning us over with their ability to bring to life the characters of the past on a basically bare stage with a few metal chairs, a piano, some painted backdrops, with make-shift lighting effects illuminating a whole lot of ingenuity and creativity.

Our would-be lovers are Anne Elliot (Arielle Yoder) and Captain Wentworth (Rajesh Bose).  She is persuaded by family and friends not marry him as he has no social status and no money.  And so they go their separate ways until 8 years later when they are reunited.

A comic celebratory dance at the finale is the cherry on top of this charming confection.

Check out the Family Tree.  Enjoy the play.  It is certainly worth the long trek over to the Connelly Theater at 220 East 4th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B.  Through Oct 31, 2021.  PROOF OF VACCINATION, PHOTO ID AND MASK REQUIRED!

The Company:




lighting design  LES DICKERT


scenic design  JOHN MCDERMOTT

props design  CLIFTON CHADICK

intimacy direction  JUDI LEWIS OCKLER


sound design  JANE SHAW

casting representative  EB CASTING

press agent  POLK & CO.

production manager  ZACH JENKINS

production stage manager  BRETT ANDERS

directed by  ERIC TUCKER

Photo:  Ashley Garrett

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PASS OVER – reopens on Broadway – Proceed with caution

September 14th, 2021 by Oscar E Moore

Going to see this production at the August Wilson Theatre on September 11 – a day of remembrance was eerily strange.  It was a beautiful day.  PASS OVER was to be my first show since my forced sabbatical from reviewing.  Broadway had been shuttered since March 2020.

My very first Broadway show on a class trip in 1960 was A THURBER CARNIVAL which ran at this same theater then known as the ANTA.  What I remember most vividly was The Last Flower.  Deep into the 95 minute intermission-less PASS OVER a small plant ironically blossoms.

Opening night was August 22nd and this audacious production received some wonderful reviews.  It is not a new show.  The Chicago 2017 staging had been filmed and directed by Spike Lee.  A revised version by its author Antoinette Chinonye Nwandu was produced by Lincoln Center in 2018.  And now it is one of the first shows to reopen the Great White Way.  Some more irony as the play is about two homeless black men.

The staff at the August Wilson must be commended.  They are well organized.  Extremely kind and careful.  Checking Vaccination Cards and Photo ID’s before having its patrons pass through a metal detector and into the theatre wearing a mask where a strange cacophony of music played prior to the curtain going up on a stark and simple street scene with an oversized lamppost center stage.  This object, as the play progressed brought to mind something sinister.  I kept imagining a noose.

No wonder our two main characters are wary.   Jon Michael Hill is Moses.  Namir Smallwood is Kitch.  They are alert and afraid.  Especially of the police.  Watching and waiting for whatever.  With nothing but time on their hands.  They share a great rapport.  Sometimes speaking rapidly in an Abbott and Costello riff on “Who’s On First?”

A strange sound?  Hands above heads.  Both fantasizing a better life.  They share a similar vocabulary.  Same experiences.  Same fears.  And body movements.  As staged they could be mirror images of each other – Yin and Yang.  Kitch wanting to be killed and Moses wanting to be anywhere else but where they are.  Hoping for a better life.

Be forewarned – the word nigger is bandied about with abandon like a shuttlecock in a game of badminton in this bold and provocative take on race relations.

The direction by Danya Taymor runs the gamut from inspired to insipid.  Over the top theatrical to an old fashioned sing along.  Bill Irwin is Movement Consultant.  His unmistakable style adds tremendously to the production.

Into their world, a non-white man’s world, wanders Mister – a sensational Gabriel Ebert.  He is lost.  Dressed all in white looking like a friendly Good Humor Man with a picnic basket to bring to his ill mother.  He disrupts their lives while adding lots of humor and relief to one and all.  Mister’s (or is it Master’s) picnic spread is reminiscent of the old clown car circus routine.  Where from a small object comes an infinite variety of objects.  A magical highlight.

But there are lots of dull spots in between until Mr. Ebert returns as Ossifer – a dangerous, threatening Officer Krupke type character who winds up beating on himself, a feat somehow conjured up by Moses and Kitch.

Then it gets murky.  It seems that no one knew exactly how to end PASS OVER and perhaps suggested – “When in doubt – get naked” (including body mic apparatus – which somehow muffled much of the dialogue throughout) and tag on a happy, hopeful change of scenery finale.

This is where my aforementioned flower blossoms; the set transforms into a Promised Land version of Eden and Ossifer and Kitch separately walk off into the sunrise bare assed as Moses hesitates.

Will he join them?  Will life be better?  That remains to be seen.  After all, nothing is guaranteed in life.

PASS OVER is ultimately unsatisfying despite the excellent acting.

Through October 10th.   www.passoverbroadway.com

Photos:  Joan Marcus

NOTE – I decided, out of respect to those killed at the Twin Towers and the reopening of Broadway that I would revert to wearing a navy blue blazer, beige trousers, crisp shirt and a favorite tie and try to look my best under the circumstances.  I soon felt like an alien.  No one was dressed for the occasion.  Nary a tie in sight.  Anywhere.  Dressing up seems to be out of style.

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The lesson for today is RESTORATION

July 12th, 2021 by Oscar E Moore

Welcome to THE TWILIGHT ZOOM.  In this time travel panel experiment we meet its leader Mrs. Malaprop and her guests Dr. Faustus, Dr. Frankenstein, Dr. Fauci and Dr. Ruth as they discuss the merits of Restoration or its demerits per se…in…






A series of cubicles – that will be illuminated when that person is on the air – when not speaking they can react to what is being said.  To interrupt one must raise a hand to be acknowledged.



(SHE is bewigged, bewildered and be-rouged wearing contemporary sweats (out of camera range) with period costume top adorned with a fanciful hat)

I do hope that you have heard of me.  If not, you should have!

I am Mrs. Malaprop – a most linguistically confused character in Richard (Dicky to his closest and most intimate circle of friends of whom I am one) Dicky Brinsley Sheridan’s legendary 1775 reformation comedy of manners THE RIVALS – the highly touted pineapple of caustic wit and scandalous intrigue.

And since the subject matter at hand is RESTORATION (close enough) I welcome you, one and all, to our intimate affair ala ZOOM.

And no I am not the outspoken Dame Edna nor am I Hyacinth Bucket, though they have oft been mistaken for me.  And vice/versa.   Not to mention Archie Bunker who got it right!  And please, no snide remarks will be tolerated.


Forsooth!  Why doth she babble on so?  This is a ten minute production.

VOICE of DR. FRANKENSTEIN (sounding like Boris Karloff)

More like a theatrical experiment, I would bravely venture!


So let’s get on with the data.  And remember to social distance.  One mistake could be deadly.


I have doth been anointed by my peers to moderate a panel…


Wait! I’m just getting started.  Wear a mask.  Maybe two.  We can’t be certain but data suggests “better safe than sorry.”


As I was saying… to moderate a panel of three illustrious, infamous and some might say ill-mannered doctors from across the ages in a discourse on whether or not they want to restore or is it reform (I can never tell the difference) – what once was or move onward into that mystifying unknown space in time.  Known as THE TWILIGHT ZOOM.

They have all be sworn to tell the truth.  But what is the truth these days but a riff on a lie?  A rose by any other name kind of thing, that is.

Yet no one is a suppository of all wisdom.  And so we will hear many sides of the same story.  Where this leads us is suspect.  Whether going bach to the future or plumbing ahead into that vast unknown we will see where we are when we get there.  So without further ado…

We welcome Dr. Faustus –

(Cubicle light up.  HE is in HELL’S KITCHEN – a fire extinguisher at hand.)


A Christopher “Kit” Marlowe creation am I – Lusting for a life of excessive excess, magic, Mephistopheles, misadventure and power – all from being bored out of my mind!  Che sera sera!


Thank you kind Sir!  You shall have your moment to shine in your cubicle anon.

To recap.  This overly ambitious Doctor of divinity and mediocrity had his hands full dealing with the Beard of the Thames and Lucifer of all people!   Completely disgusted with science and medicine he made a deal – selling his soul to the master of Hades for twenty four years and getting a lot less than he bargained for.


Nay Madame!  I had many a good time with the Seven Deadly Sins!


Poor lost soul!   Being short-changed like that.  Not adapt at making advantageous deals, was he?

(Another cubicle lights up with flashes of light and thunderous effects.  HE is wearing a lab coat and heavy rubber gloves)

Introducing Mary Shelley’s Dr. Victor Frankenstein whose claim to infamy was recreating, rearranging and reanimating one extremely tall dead body only to have “the monster” un-create him.  ‘Twas a pity. It ‘twas.


He wasn’t a monster.  He was lovable – seen in the correct context.

‘Twas all Mary’s fault.  The shrew!  What a nightmarish mind she had wrought.  She thinketh for me.  Spoketh for me.  She had ALL the answers.  She wouldn’t listen.  Nay, not to anyone.  Especially me.  Just all those horrible voices in her head that had to be released and scribbled down on parchment.

I did so want to be more compassionate.  Really I did so.  But not Mary. Monster and me could have been best bosom buddies.  We would have gotten along.  Truly.  He needed a friend.  I needed a friend.  She was JEALOUS and forbade it to happen.   I wanted to name him Ulysses, but Mary was so head strong.  Afraid that people would accuse two men of being in love.  Defile us…Curse us…


(Interrupting DR.  FRANKENSTEIN)

I fear the hour grows late Victor.  Have a spot of tea and relax a bit.  We will return to you in two shakes of a ram’s tail.

And so grooving right along I have the distraught pleasure of introducing Dr. Anthony Fauci.  A scientist and immunologist that no writer could foresee.  He is real.  Not the fig leaf of some writer’s imagination.

(Another cubicle lights up.  He is wearing a COVID-19 mask with mini teddy bears)

A spry, intelligent “follow the science” kind of guy.  Seemingly ageless.  The kind of guy that so irked Dr. Faustus.


(lowering his mask)

Science will be the cure!  We must remain vigilant.  We…



O monstrous science!


It works, damn it!


Not yet Tony!   (HE raises his mask)

A true media slash medicine man if there ever was one!  Dr. Flip-Flop to some, Dr. Genius to others trying his best to eliminate a deadly virus or at least get the world-wide pandemic under control with a prick of a nettle.

(HE lowers his mask to speak)


I have been freed from the bondage of 45.  Now I can speak freely.  Back then – it seems eons ago – it was as if someone was writing dialogue for me.  One need not be a fictional character to be manipulated.  Now I am my own man.  I am alone.  I am safe.  Please be safe too – remember to wash your hands, sing Happy Birthday and keep your distance.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel and, I promise you, it is not an express train approaching.  But it could be!  So beware!

Thank you Tony.  Such sage advice.

And above all keep the mind alert.  Embrace change.  I myself apprehend new words every day and put them into practical misuse immediately.  Aren’t you proud of your Auntie?  We must always move forward or forever get stuck in the muck.  Now then…

Sit back.  Think of coral beaches, palm trees and piecemeal thoughts.  Turn yourself on.  “You are not there” eaves-drooping as Mr. Concrete might have intoned but you are there (pointing straight out) – at home perhaps in your jammies or better still – stark naked – sitting on your lap top or Mac or I Phone eagerly awaiting this opus to entertain you.  And so –

Welcome one and all to The Twilight Zoom.

VOICE OVER as All screens go dark

Your video presentation will resume after this short public service announcement from Dr. Ruth

(HER cubicle lights up SHE is wearing a revealing teddy)


Naked is gut.  Sex is gut.  Porn and sex toys can help.  You better believe it!  Sex is like a natural vitamin.  So healthy.  Done properly it is OK.  Be happy!  And don’t forget bubbies – use protection and vash those magical fingers…



Now back to our experiment.


Due to circumstances beyond our wildest dreams, this is not a play.  In the traditional sense of the word, that is.  Egads!  We have become an “in-your-face audio /visual transfusion.  Up close, full frontal, face forward – enlarged nostrils vying for your rapt attention.  We have been reduced to some annoying patchwork quilt of talking heads – at times un-synchronized.

These cubicles cannot and should not replace actors interacting as an ensemble on a stage – together.  Stanislavski would not approve.  I do not approve.  We must see the entire scena completa – not isolated heads supposedly speaking to one another.  Alas!  Without touching. Kissing.  Spanking?

And so, my dear panel of doctors, the question is…what matters most? A – A return to the past (a restoration – no pun intended) of well-worn traditions?  B – Moving on – forward if you will – into the unknown? or C – Staying put?


May I now contribute my two cents worth Mrs. Malaprop?  We must return to normalcy.  As quickly and as safely as possible. Or else run the risk of everyone making a deal with the devil.  I cite Dr. Faustus as a prime example.  Kids back to school.  Parents and lovers back into bed with one another or perhaps group therapy.  Double dating.  Touching.  Fondling.  Exchanging fluids.  We must march on…


I agree you handsome devil you.  Such joy should once again be normal.  I salute you Dr. Fauci.  Like the turtle – in order for it to move it has to stick its neck out!


I had all that and more.  Buckets more.  What a life I doth had.  A life that I conjured up.  Thanks to Marlowe.  But at times I doth wanted to go down one path and Kit had me go down another.  Way down!  He was in charge as the playwright of course.  No matter what I thinketh, I doeth and sayeth what he thinketh and writeth.


Mary was so mean.  A mean and wicked temperament hath she.  Fearless.  Wielding power with each lightening slash of her pen.  So unkind.  I would bring Ulysses back.  Restore and renew our friendship through chemistry, alchemy and electricity.  Bring him back ALIVE!!!


Can we ever go back?  To change perchance what we didn’t like or want to do back then?  One fears to imagine if we all started changing and rearranging our past lives there would be chaos – UDDER CHAOS!  Not that chaos isn’t already at our throats.  What a mess!  No let’s keep it the way it was – for nostalgia’s sake.  What ho!


I cannot blame Marlowe completely.  He was a tad more helpful.  Giving me those Good Angels and Bad Angels to nudge me along.  But did I listen, what I mean is did Marlowe want me to listen?  We must LISTEN.  Then make our own decisions.  Hopefully for the best of all mankind.  That is, the correct decisions.  Remembering ALWAYS the reasons for our decisions.  Is it for POWER?  Is it for WEALTH?  Or is it out of BOREDOM?


Yeees…Boredom is the bane of our existence…



May I?  (He opens a poem that he has composed)

“I speaketh words from my heavy heart

Not words chosen for me by Marlowe from the start.

Wouldst he excuse me, I wouldst depart from his text

And tarry forth not expecting what cometh next

My lost love of science is what I seek

Who perchance can help

To perchance sneak me a peak?

It is not wealth and power that filleth one’s bowl

But faith in all that is good that wouldst sootheth my hapless soul.”


So much to say with so little time left to say it.  Precisely two minutes.  And so I must have the last words.  BE KIND.  Whatever your decisions be.  Be compassionate.  Be alert.  Above all – be kind.

If not Restoration.  Try elimination.  Drain the swamps of ruthless no gooders.  Inspire love.  Bring back style.  Manners.  And never be bored or boring.  And do not ever let anyone else speak for you.  Unlike those three mystic monkeys – Hear, see and speak out loud for what you stand for and believe in.  Do not turn away.  Get involved.  Be safe.  Get your shot at life!  And hope to hell it all works out for the best.

Now dearest panel – one last word from each of you…What wouldst thou restore.  One word please.








Dat vun is a toughfie…How about…(Singing) R-E-S-P-E-C-T!  Yah! (ALL applaud)


Forsooth M’Ladies and Gents, I might add one additional most important condiment – Civility.

And so we leave you with our final frightful thought to thinketh about – Like the inability to digesteth too many radishes “History Doth Repeat Itself” – I fear that is how it tis and tis will be forever!

And with that we respectfully bring our unconventional experiment to an inconclusive foreclosure.  Fare thee well.  Beware and be kind!  Parting is such sweet…something or other…

(ALL kinds of explosions in each cubicle occur as each screen dissolves into the darkness of The Twilight Zoom.)


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JAYNE MANSFIELD – the girl couldn’t help it by Eve Golden

June 29th, 2021 by Oscar E Moore

Fads come and go.  Flavors of the month come and go.  As do hairdos and hemlines and bust sizes.  But the infamous, legendary Jayne Mansfield still fascinates.  After all, she didn’t ask to be born with big boobs.  They just appeared.  Let’s just say that the thought might have crossed her mind…Why not make the most of them?

Who was the real Jayne Mansfield?  Even she wasn’t quite sure according to Eve Golden.  What she was sure of was her searing ambition and total lack of self-doubt.  Two big things that she had going for her.  Aside from her obvious, well-publicized measurements:  40 – 21 – 35.

In this eye-opening, intriguing and oft-times laugh-out-loud biography of the busty blonde bombshell, Eve Golden has managed to bring to three dimensional life the facts and fantasies surrounding the ubiquitous sex symbol of the 50’s and 60’s.

The narrative speeds along as fast as Mansfield’s life attempts to catch up with her goals.

Lots of amazing photographs peppered with Golden’s subtle, sly humorous asides.  Quoting friends and foes alike Eve Golden sure knows her movie-land history.

Born a brunette April 19, 1933 Vera Jayne Palmer was a mere thirty four years old when she tragically died June 29, 1967 of instantaneous brain trauma caused by a horrific automobile accident as Jayne Mansfield – the breathy, baby-talking, gaudy and bold super star celebrity she had become.

A Broadway sensation in Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter?

A mediocre film actress at 20th Century Fox.  They didn’t quite know what to do with her assets as opposed to the “Playboy” publisher who did.

A nightclub performer with her second husband Hungarian hunk Mickey Hargitay “Mr. Universe 1955” whom she met and abducted from the Mae West Review at New York’s Latin Quarter and had three children along with her first child Jayne Marie with Mr. Mansfield.  She loved them all.  She loved it all.  Motherhood, men and her wild career.  Married and divorced three times.  Five children.  The most famous, following in her mother’s footsteps, Mariska Hargitay of Law and Order fame.

Jayne’s public persona was ripe for double entendre jokes, puns and playfulness.  Publicity could have been her middle name.  She seemed to be everywhere.

A girl who couldn’t say no, who never refused the press for interviews and photographs or let the truth stand in the way of a good story continually stoking the flames and feeding her fans a steady diet of gossip with self-deprecating good humor and revealing photos.  She played the piano and violin.  Spoke five languages.  And had a high 163 IQ.

A complicated eccentric who was genuinely interested in people as well as loving her Holmby Hills Pink Palace on Sunset with her heart shaped pink swimming pool and pink bathtub who never met a pink ribbon she wouldn’t cut or a supermarket opening she would turn down to keep her spendthrift lifestyle afloat.  She filled her days and nights to overflowing levels with an endless supply of energy, drive, wit, men, wardrobe malfunctions, children and a menagerie of animals.  Including a poodle dyed pink.

It would be impossible to make all this stuff up.  Eve Gordon has turned in a perfect summer read.  Light and frothy.  Titillating.  And all true.

Jayne Mansfield eventually gave up her dream of being a serious actress when she was paid big bucks as the model for a sexy starlet hot water bottle.  Twenty two inches of pink vinyl – all in perfect anatomical proportion.

Highly entertaining.  As the expression goes – “Double your pleasure, double your fun” and get a copy of Jayne Mansfield – the girl couldn’t help it!

Published 6/29/2021 – The University Press of Kentucky  502 pages   72 B/W photos  Hardcover $34.95

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VITAGRAPH – The birth of the moving picture industry – meticulously researched by Andrew A. Erish

June 9th, 2021 by Oscar E Moore

VITAGRAPH, may call to mind but should never be confused with Lucy Ricardo’s VITAMEATAVEGAMIN TV commercial.  Nor should it be mistaken for VITAPHONE, a sound system or BIOGRAPH, a rival silent film company.

Mr. Erish “an independent scholar of cinema” has made sure of this in his text book style treatise recreating the dawn of motion pictures in VITAGRAPH, America’s First Great Motion Picture Studio published by University Press of Kentucky.  Spanning the years from 1875 to 1926 and beyond, there are forty eight pages of detailed footnotes!

Ken Burns take note.  This would make an excellent documentary.  While the text is interesting and informative it is almost drowned in financial details.  Showing actual clips from the silent movies would be a terrific addition.  After all, the book is about “moving” pictures.

Vitagraph was the combined brainchild of two young, ambitious and creative English immigrants in 1897.  Both twenty.  Both hungry – make that starving – to be part of the entertainment industry centered in Manhattan – consisting then of family friendly variety shows.

J. S. Blackton and Albert E. Smith. Both naïve. Both inexperienced and “easy prey” as the third wheel of the soon-to-be Studio – an older William T. “Pop” Rock described them in 1899.  Rock was an imposing figure.  He knew the ropes.  Was sharp.  And became a distributor of Vitagraph’s vast output.  Especially Europe.

Smith a personable “High Class Prestidigitateur and Mimic” and Blackton a cautious and conservative artist whose work would lead to a fateful meeting with a scheming, litigation prone Thomas Edison that had long lasting almost disastrous results for the duo.

With hard work and determination, thrift, talent and a willing to learn, nerve and imagination they forged ahead to make VITAGRAPH the most influential and leading producer of motion pictures for much of the silent era.

Newsreels.  Westerns.  Lavish Historical Moments.  Comedies.  Crime and Chase. Special effects.  Animation.  Fast paced and profitable.

Creating stars:  Florence Turner, “The Vitagraph Girl” – Maurice Costello “a matinee idol” (whose daughter Dolores Costello married John Barrymore and was Drew Barrymore’s grandmother) – “Jean” the Vitagraph dog – a collie and John Bunny – a W.C. Fields lookalike comedian.

Finally overcoming their harassment and intimidating troubles with Edison, Adolph Zukor of PARAMOUNT entered the picture – determined to “smash Vitagraph” through a divide and conquer strategy.  In the final reel, Vitagraph was sold to Warners in 1925.

A case of scientists, businessmen and lawyers vs. the artistic and innovative minds of Blackton and Smith with their hands on experience with every facet of filmmaking – from building their own cameras and projectors to writing, directing, editing, acting, developing the negatives and projecting the results to paying audiences.

Adolph Zukor never engaged in any of these activities.  He was a furrier who got involved like Mr. “Pop” Rock because it seemed like a good investment.

That’s show-biz!

But there’s a lot more to VITAGRAPH than meets the eye.

Available now.

Hardcover.  298 pages 46 B/W Photos published 6/9/2021 $34.95

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