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Category Archives: theater

Swedish opera tenor, Nicolai Gedda, died at the spry age of 91.

How does a bastard, orphan, son of a waitress and a Russian, dropped in the middle of a forgotten spot in Stockholm by providence, impoverished in squalor, grow up to be an tenor opera singer?

I have no idea.  Read his goddamned autobiography if you’re that interested.  I’m sticking to Wikipedia.

Gedda was widely admired for his sensitive musicianship, masterly tonal control and impeccable diction.  Is it me or does all that sound just a little bit dirty?

Over a quarter-century, he sang 367 performances with the Metropolitan Opera, which means that this lazy jackass only worked about one day a month.  I’m so sick of these damn welfare queens!  Just mooching off the system.  Lazy tax-stealing bastards.

His roles included Des Grieux in Massenet’s “Manon,” Hoffmann in Offenbach’s “Les Contes d’Hoffmann,” Nemorino in Donizetti’s “L’Elisir d’Amore,” Ernesto in his “Don

Gedda-Nicolai-3

Was Bill Murray always that fat?

Pasquale,” Roméo in Gounod’s “Roméo et Juliette,” Connard in Écrivain Prétentieux’s “Mots Aléatoire” Edgardo in his “Lucia di Lammermoor,” and the title role in Berlioz’s “Benvenuto Cellini.”

I know exactly one of these roles.  Another one is made up.  You’ll have to use Google Translator to see which one.

One reviewer once said that Gedda’s voice was “an ideal union of responsiveness to word and musical line, a demonstration of vocal and technical mastery and varied and beautiful tone, and an expression of wise and” -Oh my God, this is why everyone hates opera!

This hit goes to:  Really?  Babysitter again?  He now has 100 points!  He made triple digits!  And all because he Googled his list.  The rugby player died way back in February and this guy in January.

Word to the wise: Google your list every now and then.

Erin remains at… wait, let me do the math… [carry the one… …factor in the variance of population data… aaaand…] …zero points!

Happy pooling,

SPMI

Current Standings:

Lee Kwang Soo!: – 170 (Alice Drummond – 20, Dr. Henry Heimlich – 10, Hashemi Rafsanjani – 20, Lola Albright – 10, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – 60, Darren Daulton – 50)

Josh: 140 – (Florence Henderson – 20, Grant Tinker – 10, Gordie Tapp – 10, Terry Edwards – 60, Chuck Barris – 20)

Wes: 140 – (Holly Dunn – 50, John Glenn – 10, Debbie Reynolds – 20, David Penrose Buckson – 10, Erin Moran – 50)

Morrigan’s Mirror: 120 – (William Christopher – 20, Mary Tyler Moore – 20, Moulton “Pete” Marston – 20, Michael Bond – 20, Haruo Nakajima – 20, Barbara Cook – 20)

Team Sushi: 100 – (Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka – 30, Roger Moore – 20, Manuel Noriega – 20, Martin Landau – 20, Ara Parseghian – 10)

Jami: 100 – (Fidel Castro – 10, Bernard Frost – 20, Zsa Zsa Gabor – 10, George Michael – 50)

Babysitter: 100 – (June Foray – 10 – Glen Campbell – 20, Joost van der Westhuizen – 60, Nicolai Gedda – 10)

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 70 – (Ralph Branca – 10, Craig Sager – 40, Sam Ard – 30)

M: 30 – (George Romero – 30)

Joanne: 30 – (Judge Joseph Wapner – 10, Helmut Kohl – 20)

M: 30 – (Sir John Hurt – 30)

Jodi & Husband: – 20 (Bill Dana – 20)

Gianna: 20 – (Leonard Cohen – 20)

The Mumblers: 10 – (Don Rickles – 10)

Nathaniel: 10 – (Peter Sallis – 10)

Mary: 10 – (Chuck Berry – 10)

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Depressed, Obese, singing alcoholic Barbara Cook died at the spry age of 89.

Hey, don’t blame me, the failing New York Times came up with that litany in their obit.

Cook became a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2011.  Ah, the Kennedy Center Honorees… always great Ghoul Pool fodder.

On Broadway, she originated the role of Marion the librarian in “The Music Man,” starred in “Candide” (1956) and revivals of “Carousel” (1957), “The King and I” (1960) and “Show Boat” (1966).  All of which I have heard of.

She also appeared in nonmusical roles, including “Any Wednesday” (1965) and “Little Murders” (1967).  Neither of which I have heard of.

Her private life was a little… less-celebrated.   By the late ’60s she drank more and

cook

Cook, before the depressed, obese, alcoholic stage of her life.

worked less. She acknowledged in an interview in 2005, that she was virtually unemployable, an alcoholic mired in depression. She went on eating binges and grew to 250 pounds.  See, the failing New York Times was right in their assessment..

“I was not some lady drunk,” she said. “I was a real non-functioning alcoholic. Dishes, always in the sink. The kitchen a mess. The bathroom a mess. Everything a mess.”  Um, isn’t that just college?

This hit goes to: Morrigan’s Mirror!  This time, I do not have to remind myself that this is Pirate’s hit because she just got one, like, five minutes ago!

Pirate breaks the triple digit point, along with five others.

To reach said threshold, Erin, has about 100 points to go!

Happy pooling,

SPMI

Current Standings:

Lee Kwang Soo!: – 170 (Alice Drummond – 20, Dr. Henry Heimlich – 10, Hashemi Rafsanjani – 20, Lola Albright – 10, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – 60, Darren Daulton – 50)

Josh: 140 – (Florence Henderson – 20, Grant Tinker – 10, Gordie Tapp – 10, Terry Edwards – 60, Chuck Barris – 20)

Wes: 140 – (Holly Dunn – 50, John Glenn – 10, Debbie Reynolds – 20, David Penrose Buckson – 10, Erin Moran – 50)

Morrigan’s Mirror: 120 – (William Christopher – 20, Mary Tyler Moore – 20, Moulton “Pete” Marston – 20, Michael Bond – 20, Haruo Nakajima – 20, Barbara Cook – 20)

Team Sushi: 100 – (Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka – 30, Roger Moore – 20, Manuel Noriega – 20, Martin Landau – 20, Ara Parseghian – 10)

Jami: 100 – (Fidel Castro – 10, Bernard Frost – 20, Zsa Zsa Gabor – 10, George Michael – 50)

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 70 – (Ralph Branca – 10, Craig Sager – 40, Sam Ard – 30)

M: 30 – (George Romero – 30)

Joanne: 30 – (Judge Joseph Wapner – 10, Helmut Kohl – 20)

M: 30 – (Sir John Hurt – 30)

Jodi & Husband: – 20 (Bill Dana – 20)

Gianna: 20 – (Leonard Cohen – 20)

The Mumblers: 10 – (Don Rickles – 10)

Nathaniel: 10 – (Peter Sallis – 10)

Mary: 10 – (Chuck Berry – 10)

Babysitter: 10 – (June Foray – 10)

If you are wondering who’s going to make the wands now, the answer is: no one.  

Actor Sir John Hurt escaped Brexit last week at the spry age of 77.

Like many actors, Hurt got his start in the theatre.  In 1962, he appeared in “Infanticide in the House of Fred Ginger,” a controversial work that ended with the gratuitous killing of a child.  It was the feel-good play of the year.  It was much better than “Cats.”  People went to see it again and again.

Hurt came into prominence in the 1966 film “A Man for All Seasons,” about a guy who’s really into the weather.

In 1976, he played the even-keeled, level-headed and strictly moralist Caligula in the mini-series, “I, Claudius.”  

In the show, Caligula becomes emperor and starts throwing out ridiculous edicts and eventually declaring himself to be a god.  Nothing like you would ever get in America.

One role (of many) that he will always be remembered for is that of alien fodder in 1979’s

john-hurt

Say… wait a minute here.  He doesn’t look like an elephant!  Elephants don’t go to the opera!  And where’s his trunk?

“Alien.”  He was the one who (*spoiler*) had a baby alien spring out of his chest.

He reprised the role in “Spaceballs.”

In 1980, he played the role of John Merrick in “The Elephant Man,” about a guy who looked like an elephant.  (As of now, there is no word on whether the estate of Michael Jackson plans to purchase Mr. Hurt’s skeleton.)

Hurt played wand-maker Mr. Ollivander in the first and last Harry Potter movies.  A role that, while prominent in the overall plat, does not seem to require a first name.

He also appeared on a Doctor Who Special where he played the first?… the twelfth?… well, he played The Doctor in any case.

This hit goes to M!  This is her first ever Ghoul Pool hit!  She had been getting mad at the people on her list for not dying.  Maybe now she can cool her jets.

Happy pooling,

SPMI

Current Standings:

Josh: 100 – (Florence Henderson – 20, Grant Tinker – 10, Gordie Tapp – 10, Terry Edwards – 60)

Jami: 90 – (Fidel Castro – 10, Bernard Frost – 20, Zsa Zsa Gabor – 10, George Michael – 50)

Wes: 80 – (Holly Dunn – 50, John Glenn – 10, Debbie Reynolds – 20)

Lee Kwang Soo!: – 50 (Alice Drummond – 20, Dr. Henry Heimlich – 10, Hashemi Rafsanjani – 20 )

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 50 – (Ralph Branca – 10, Craig Sager – 40)

Morrigan’s Mirror: 40 – (William Christopher – 20, Mary Tyler Moore – 20)

M: 30 – (Sir John Hurt – 30)

Team Sushi: 30 – (Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka – 30)

Gianna: 20 – (Leonard Cohen – 20)

Former professional wrestler Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka escaped the Trump presidency last week at the spry age of 73.

Snuka is best known for his time with the WWF (now the “WWE”… stupid fuckin’ pandas) where he introduced the “high-flying” style of wrestling.

The bastard child of Louisa Smith and Charles Thomas, Snuka was born in Figi.  Looking for a Fiji joke… looking… looooooking… aaaand I got nothin’.

Snuka’s 1st match was in 1970, against a foe whoes very name was synonymous with pain

snuka

Snuka during his Milli Vanilli audition.

and fear: Maxwell “Bunny” Butler.  Because there’s nothing more threatening than a bunny.  Well… maybe a butler.  That’s worse than calling your team The Orioles.  

In 1982, Snuka entered the WWF as a heel under the guidance of Captain Lou Albano (and,one assumes, Cyndi Lauper). Snuka lost several title shots against WWF Champion Bob Backlund (“Get you DICTIONARIES!”)  [OK, I know I’m the only one who gets that reference, but it’s just that damn funny.]

Snuka was arrested in 2015 on third-degree murder charges, of his girlfriend, Nancy Argentino, who died in 1983.  Snuka was ultimately found unfit to stand trial due to his dementia.  The charges were dismissed and Snuka died twelve days later.

It’s the old Guy-meets-girl-and-kills-her-and-is-charged-for-it-32-years-later-and-gets-off-because-his-mind-is-mush-then-he-dies-in-less-than-a-fortnight story that we’ve seen a thousand times over.  Really, he lived a cliched life.

The incident happened after a WWF TV taping in Allentown, Pennsylvania, Snuka placed a call for an ambulance from the George Washington Motor Lodge.

Talk about living the glamourous life of a professional wrestler!  You get to stay at the George-friggin’-Washington Motor Lodge!

This bastion of comfort and luxury is now a Home Depot.

This hit puts Team Sushi on the board with 30 points!  They now have ⅓ of the leader’s score!

Happy pooling,

SPMI

Current Standings:

Jami: 90 – (Fidel Castro – 10, Bernard Frost – 20, Zsa Zsa Gabor – 10, George Michael – 50)

Wes: 80 – (Holly Dunn – 50, John Glenn – 10, Debbie Reynolds – 20)

Lee Kwang Soo!: – 50 (Alice Drummond – 20, Dr. Henry Heimlich – 10, Hashemi Rafsanjani – 20 )

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 50 – (Ralph Branca – 10, Craig Sager – 40)

Josh: 40 – (Florence Henderson – 20, Grant Tinker – 10, Gordie Tapp – 10)

Team Sushi: 30 – (Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka – 30)

Morrigan’s Mirror: 20 – (William Christopher – 20)

Gianna: 20 – (Leonard Cohen – 20)

Hack playwright, Edward Albee died at the spry age of 88.

In 1959, his first produced play, “The Zoo Story,” opened in Berlin.  The play zeroed in on the existential terror at the heart of Eisenhower-era complacency, presenting the increasingly menacing intrusion of a probing, querying stranger on a man reading on a Central Park bench.

The play was famously re-made into the unforgettable smash 2001 movie “We Bought a Zoo” with Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson.  Cameron Crown may have missed the point on that one…

His 1962 Broadway debut was “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”  It was the happy-go-lucky, laugh-riot, feel-good-play-of -the-year, about couple whose relationship has been corroded by dashed hopes, wounding recriminations and drink.  (Frankly, I took away that the drinking made their horrible existence easier to endure… but I’m Irish)

The play won him a Tony for Best Musical.  …I think it was best musical…    I suppose I could Google that…. Nah, I’m, like, 79.2% sure it was Best Musical.

The 1966 film adaptation, starring Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, turned the play

Albee.jpg

Albee also won the Nobel Prize for shadow puppets.

into Mr. Albee’s most famous work; it had, he wrote,“hung about my neck like a shining medal of some sort — really nice but a trifle onerous.”  …he said all the way to the bank.

In 1985, Albee was inducted into the American Theater Hall of fame.  Wait-  That’s a thing?

Albee’s adoptive parents kicked him out when he refused to become a “corporate thug” and did not approve of his aspirations to become a writer.  Three Nobel Prizes later, Eddy’s annual Christmas card to his parents just read: Suck it!

He was also honored by New Zealand’s fourth-most-popular folk duo, Flight of the Conchords, in their song “Albee the Racist Dragon.”  According to the duo, the song ended racism in New Zealand.

This hit goes to Jami!  She extends her lead, making it much tougher for anyone to overtake her (with only 47 days left to die).  But who knows?  Maybe we’ll have a Chris Farley come-from-behind win this year!

Happy pooling,

SPMI

PS: Draft night is 11/5 – a mere 47 days away (as alluded to above)!

Current Standings:

Jami: 190 – (Scott Weiland  – 60, Pat Harrington, Jr. – 20, Umberto Eco – 20, Rob Ford – 60, Erik Bauersfeld – 10, Edward Albee – 20)

Tailgating w/ Jesus: 140 (Dolph Schayes – 20, Meadowlark Lemon – 20, Monte Irvin – 10, Muhammad Ali – 30, Pat Summitt – 40, Buddy Ryan – 20)

Lee Kwang-Soo (Giraffe): 130- (Daniel Fleetwood – 70, Abe Vigoda – 10, Nancy Fucking Reagan! – 10!, George Martin – 10, Elie Wiesel – 20, Mike “Mighty Atom, Jr.” Greenstein – 10)

The Girl on Fire: 120 (Wayne Rogers – 20, René Angélil – 30, George Gaynes – 10, James Noble – 10, Doris Roberts – 10, Marni Nixon – 20, Fyvush Finkel – 10, Steven Hill – 10)

Occupy the Casket: 100 – (Natalie Cole – 40, Vanity – 50, Boutros Boutros-Ghali – 10)

Joanne: 90 (Joey Feek – 60, Joe Garagiola – 10, Julius La Rosa – 20)

Harmony: 80 (Harper Lee – 20, George Kennedy – 10, Frank Sinatra, Jr. – 30, Gene Wilder – 20)

Team Sushi: 80 (Chyna, aka Joanie Laurer – 60, Morley Safer – 20)

Mostly Mike: 60 (Marvin Minsky – 20, Mihaly “Michu” Meszaros – 30, Janet Waldo – 10)

Age of Aquarius: 60 (William Guest – 30, Merle Haggard – 30)

Nathaniel: 50 (Alan Young – 10, Kenny Baker – 20, Glenn Yarbrough – 20)

Mortician’s Daughter: 50 – (Justice Antonin Scalia – 30, Bud Collins – 20)

Gianna: 40 (Robert Stigwood – 20, Lois Duncan – 20)