Grease in La Mirada

Took Ashley to see Grease tonight at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. It was a sanitized version of the show with several songs from the movie. She loved it, I’m not a huge fan of the stage version of Grease, but it was an extremely well-done production with a top-notch cast. Highly recommend the show if you like the music and live in the area.

Mr. Saturday Night

We watched the musical Mr. Saturday Night starring Billy Crystal on Broadway HD last week. Can’t say anyone who stayed until the end (we lost two viewers before the end of act one) dug the show.

Mr. Saturday Night based on the 1992 movie of the same name, which also starred Crystal, was a critical and commercial dud. I don’t know why anyone thought a musical needed to be made from the material. David Paymer scored an Oscar nomination for the film, but he’s wasted in the stage version with barely anything to do. Heaven forbid anyone should outshine Buddy.

Oh, Buddy…. He’s the show’s biggest problem.

The musical centers on Buddy Young Jr, an unfunny comic who cracks jokes that are supposedly shocking but really aren’t. Buddy is a horrible person…a spoiled brat who treats his family like dirt and only cares about earning laughs from strangers. I don’t know why anyone thought audiences would want to spend 2.5 hours with this character…much less cheer for him. I’m not sure if he’s a worse comic or a worse person. Whatever the case, he’s constantly throwing temper tantrums then being rewarded for his shitty behavior, and we’re supposed to be happy for him.

The movie didn’t need to be musicalized. The songs are unnecessary and barely move the plot forward. There’s never tension introduced in the show because you know that Buddy will act like an asshole and get everything he wants.

The terrific Randy Graff got stuck in the thankless role of Buddy’s patient wife. Shoshana Bean had the show’s most interesting character as Buddy’s long neglected daughter, Susan, but like Graff, she deserved better.

A Man Called Otto

Took my father to see the new Tom Hanks movie, A Man Called Otto today. I’ve adored Tom Hanks since before it was cool to adore Tom Hanks so of course I liked his performance. Mariana Trevino as Marisol was terrific too, and I hope to see her in more mainstream movies in the future. It wasn’t a perfect movie by any stretch of the imagination but it was the perfect movie to see with my dad.

Let’s Stop Overusing “Iconic” in 2023

On last night’s Jeopardy, I learned about Lake Superior State University’s Banished Words List, “imprecise, trite, and meaningless words” that take the lazy way out and only confusing matters by over-relying on.

GOAT topped their list this year. Other words or phrases making the list: Amazing, Absolutely, and Gaslighting. The complete list can be found on their website.

Had I been asked for my opinion, I would’ve suggested “Iconic.” Ugh. I’m so over that word being thrown into every article and obituary. I started to make a graphic of all the times “iconic” popped up in obituaries this year and got tired and stopped. There were many more instances than the examples below. Some of the people we lost in 2022 were iconic; many were not. My main beef is just how lazy people are by throwing that word on everyone and everything lately.