TCM Celebrates the 90th birthday of the most famous Hollywood studio of them all— Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, formed in 1924 with the merger of Metro Pictures Corporation, Goldwyn Pictures and Louis B. Mayer Productions. MGM and its legendary roaring lion logo set the standard for American filmmaking, racking up numerous Academy Awards® and nominations over the decades. In keeping with the studio’s boast of “more stars than there are in the heavens,” our festival features performers ranging from Jean Harlow to Julie Christie, John Barrymore to Cary Grant, Greta Garbo to Judy Garland, and Clark Gable to Fred Astaire.
This special programming kicks off at 6 am (ET) on Thursday, April 17, with the 1925 silent version of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ and ends, fittingly enough, on April 18 with the 1959 remake Ben- Hur. In between are classics of genres for which MGM was celebrated including all-star entertainments (Dinner at Eight, 1933), comedies (The Thin Man, 1934), dramas (Boys Town, 1938), animal films (Lassie Come Home, 1943), adventures (Mutiny on the Bounty, 1935), musicals (Meet Me in St. Louis, 1944), films noir (The Postman Always Rings Twice, 1946), thrillers (North by Northwest, 1959), Westerns (How the West Was Won, 1962) and romantic epics (Doctor Zhivago, 1965).
So many of my favorite films, so little time. This is why DVRs were created.
Wingspace facilities at the Old American Can Factory Brooklyn provided the stage and Wingspace member Lee Savage welcomed about 40 engaged theatre designers and others on a cool end-of-March evening. The occasion — an informal discussion about and advance slide show of images from the 3rd issue of ChanceMagazine.
My primary associations with Mort are his conducting and arranging for Judy Garland for stage concerts, for television (including her 1963-64 CBS television series), and on screen in 1963’s I Could Go On Singing. I only once had the privilege of seeing him conduct in person — the Garland Carnegie Hall concert overture in Carnegie Hall during each of two nights of tribute concerts in June 1998 hosted by Lorna Luft and Robert Stack. Lindsey in that storied hall conducting the concert overture to which I been listening for several decades on the never-out-of-print recording. It was quite a thrill.
This image is my crop of a fan’s audience picture of Mr. Lindsey deep in adoration mode, during Garland inter-song patter on May 6, 1961 at Chicago's Civic Opera House. Judy Garland is presenting her “Carnegie Hall” concert here as part of her multi-city tour leading up to and after April 23, 1961’s momentous concert at Carnegie Hall.
Original image taken by friend and fellow fan Mike VanFossen.
Katharine Hepburn at the stage door for A Matter of Gravity. 1976. I saw this show in Boston on its way to Broadway, if my creaky memory serves. (Playbills this old in my personal journey were purged in a family move. Sigh.)
Cornell Capa image for Life Magazine — Judy Garland at the London Palladium. During Garland’s engagement 9 April — 5 May 1951. Garland inaugurated a 35-minute set assembled by Roger Edens and Oscar Levant she performed for some time afterwards on tour. Garland performed this Palladium set twice a night — 6:15pm and 8:30pm — six nights a week during the run. Every time I’ve stood in front of the Palladium I’ve imagined the excitement of theatre-goers during this run over 60 years ago.
Stunt casting of the babies in BAM’s current A DOLL’S HOUSE is just the beginning of the vast array of mis-fires in this contemporary consideration of Ibsen’s play. This array of quotes pulled from the recent Times profile is masterful.
"Real infants are an extreme rarity on the stage, for all the reasons you might imagine, starting with rogue bodily fluids."
"The role is shared by three infants, two boys and a girl, none of whom would comment."
"They get their own dressing room, where they nap, eat and play with Leda Hodgson, who plays the family’s nanny, before their brief cameo."
"A realistic doll is kept on hand, in case the baby has too much of a diva moment. There was a recent close call, she said, involving a baby who had recently learned to blow raspberries."
"…nothing like the night during the production’s earlier run in London’s West End when the baby started screaming five seconds before his entrance.’I immediately sent the actors onstage with the doll and rushed the baby away into a corridor, where he projectile vomited all over his mother,’ she said. ‘Within seconds, he was completely happy again.’"
“It was miraculous,” said Patti Matson of Manhattan. “The baby did exactly what it was supposed to do, which was nothing.”
Judy Garland at the Palace during her first engagement in that storied venue, 16 October 1951 — 24 February 1952. (1st image = original; 2nd image = a crop in which someone decided to blur out the piano for their own reasons). [additional note, after discussion on Garland-related discussion board about these images — that’s Hugh Martin at the piano here — hiya Hugh!]
This is the first thing on my mind every March 15th. Always. To know this about me is to know me well. (And to know this is to know a bit about my mother, Cecily, who hipped me to this recording in the first place.) Lord Buckley. His beat version of Mark Antony’s oration from Julius Caeser III:ii. “Hipsters, Flipsters, and finger-popping Daddies! Knock me your lobes! I came to lay Caesar out, not to hip you to him.”