Monthly Archives: December 2008

DAILY DRIVEL — How Long Before Paul Claims He’s Really Sean’s Dad?

Little by little, Paul McCartney seems to be laying claim to everything good the Beatles ever did, even things previously attributed more to the late John Lennon .

The AP just moved this little ditty:

"Report: McCartney says he’s the political Beatle
LONDON — Paul McCartney claims that he was the real politicized figure in The Beatles, not John Lennon, according to an interview published Sunday.
McCartney was quoted as saying it was he who first raised concerns over the Vietnam war within the group and advocated their anti-war stance.
Fans have long regarded Lennon, who wrote songs such as “Revolution” and — in later years — “Give Peace a Chance,” as the group’s authentic political voice.
But McCartney claimed that his meeting with philosopher Bertrand Russell in the mid-1960s sparked his own — and eventually Lennon’s — curiosity about world affairs.
Following his talk with Russell, McCartney said he told “the guys, particularly John (Lennon), about this meeting and saying what a bad war this was,” The Sunday Times quoted McCartney as saying in the interview.
The newspaper said McCartney was interviewed in Britain’s Prospect magazine, which is published on Wednesday.
According to the newspaper, McCartney said he believes his stance has inspired the work against African poverty carried out in recent years by Bob Geldof and U2’s Bono ."

The way things are going, pretty soon Macca will be telling us it was really him in the bag with Yoko in that hotel room …


While I’m in a snarky mood … I was channel surfing one night over the weekend and caught this item on Joel McHale ‘s very funny Comedy Central show "The Soup" (speaking of snarky). He had a clip of Tom Cruise making an appearance on "The Hills" Aftershow, a Canadian-produced cable show where dingbats sit around and discuss the deep sociopolitical fallout of a just-aired episode of "The Hills."

Tom. Dude. You don’t have anything better to do?

You really are dumber’n a box of rocks, aren’t you?


More later … — MM

LOCAL THEATER: ‘History of America’ Moves to a Different ‘Classroom’

By Michael C. Moore
There’ll be zero chow mein, and a lot less testosterone. But the laughs still should be plentiful when the Changing Scene Theatre Northwest moves its production of “The Complete History of America (Abridged)” back to its old digs for a two-weekend encore.
“We had quite a following when we put the show on in November,” said Pavlina Morris , Changing Scene’s artistic director — and a newbie castmember for “America (Abridged).” “We always try to do something a little different for the holidays, anyway, and since everybody seemed to love this, we thought we’d move it over to our place and keep it going.”
“America (Abridged)” will be up for four performances — Dec. 19, 20, 26 and 27 — at Changing Scene’s regular digs on Highway 303 (behind the Orowheat Bakery outlet). The November run was at the Panda Inn on the Bay in West Bremerton, and was performed as either lunch or dinner theater.
The pre- and post-Christmas performances promise to be quite a bit different from the November staging. Both are directed by Darren Hembd , but the material is liable to be considerably tweaked to reflect recent events, like Barack Obama’s ascent to the White House and the official declaration that the economy is, indeed, in recession.
Morris pointed out that the playwrights — Adam Long , Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor of the Reduced Shakespeare Company — are more than amenable to the “freshening” of their material, since they realized that some of it is hundreds of years old.
“They’re great about letting you know that they’re fine with updates,” Morris said of collective which also produced “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)” and several other “Complete (Abridged)” comedies.
The material and the venue aren’t all that will change. Two thirds of the cast will be different than the threesome who held court at the Panda. The lone holdover, Briana Osborne , will be joined by Morris and another Changing Scene regular, Kenadi Lewis (replacing Zach Chandler and Justin Deilman , who both had other commitments).
“There are three women in it now, so you know it’s going to be different,” Morris chuckled.
The three castmembers play various figures from American history, from George Washington to George W. Bush. Significant events are reviewed, not always with a scrupulous amount of accuracy. At least the Georges are portrayed by real people — in the November performances, Abe Lincoln was played by a balloon.
“We’re also adding some fun little perks, and we have some audience participation,” Morris said. “If our audience is sharp, there’ll be some comp tickets to be had.”
Although Morris said she enjoyed the work of youngsters Chandler and Deilman in the dinner-theater version of “America (Abridged),” she’s keen to get into a little of the show’s history-mangling herself.
“I saw the original guys perform ‘Shakespeare (Abridged)’ in London,” she said, “and ever since I’ve thought anything they’ve done has just been brilliant. I’ve always wanted to direct, perform in or be involved in any of their shows.”

‘The Complete History of America (Abridged)’
Who: Changing Scene Theatre Northwest
What: Comedy by Adam Long, Reed Martin and Austin Tichenor
Where: CSTN playhouse, 5889 Highway 303 (behind the Orowheat Bakery Outlet)
When: 8 p.m. Dec. 19, 20, 26 and 27
Tickets: $10
Information: (360) 792-8601,

SK Sign Choir Talented … Not Media-Savvy, But Talented

Got this too late to get it into the Dec. 12 edition of Kitsap A&E (for future reference, six days after the published deadline is not the best time to send in your information; but, then, that’s one of the things this here Blog Thingie is good for):

"The South Kitsap High School Sign Choir will be performing our annual Christmas concert at the high school (425 Mitchell Ave. in Port Orchard) on Monday, Dec. 15. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. and only costs $2 at the door per person. It’s a family friendly event that brings together the hearing and deaf cultures for the holiday season. Please join us and feel the spirit of the holidays."

More later … — MM

Bremerton’s Got Talent, Too; Here’s Our Chance to Prove It !!

This was forwarded to me from Steve Goupil of Bremerton Community Theatre (thanx, Steve !!):

Hi Steve,

"My name is Lindsay (Tuggle) and I work on the NBC show America’s Got Talent. We are trying to get the word out about our nationwide casting call we are doing in the early part of next year. We are coming to Seattle for the first time this season so I have been contacting arts organizations, theaters, fine arts schools, and other places in the Pacific Northwest that might be able to help us reach the talent in that area of the country. I was told you were the person to contact for your theater.

And blah-dee-blah … Here’s more about the show :

With a talent search open to any act of any age, AMERICA’S GOT TALENT has brought the variety format back to the forefront of American culture by showcasing the hottest performers from across the country.

Each week, the show features a colorful array of hopeful stars, including singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, impressionists, jugglers, magicians and ventriloquists, all vying for their chance to strut and perform on stage in front of a panel of celebrity judges in the hopes they’ll be chosen a winner by the viewing audience.

For season four America’s Got Talent is currently planning a massive nationwide audition tour. The auditions will be traveling across America to over eight major cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Seattle . They will be taking place in January through April of next year, so GET READY!

For the last three seasons this series has truly changed the lives of its’ contestants in ways they never dreamed of. Last year, insurance salesman/opera singer Neal Boyd from Missouri won the $1,000,000 grand prize and achieved his lifelong dream to headline a show in Las Vegas.

What makes this show unique is that any talent goes. We want to see anything and everything…No matter how zany, bizarre or unusual others may think your talent is, on our show, it could make you a star!

To register and for more information please visit our website at

So, if you’ve ever had a hankerin’ to be on national television and be evaluated by C-grade celebrities, this could be your chance. Watch this space, and we’ll update you as we get more info.

More later … — MM

New Winter Film Series in Port Townsend

This from our friends up at Centrum and the Port Townsend Film Festival :

The Port Townsend Film Festival and Centrum have partnered to create “3 by 3: The Fort Worden Winter Film Series.” Curated by Tom Skerritt , Reel Grrls , and Kathleen Murphy , the series will screen nine films, one every Tuesday evening from Jan. 6 to March 3. Each film will be introduced by one of the guest curators, and a question-and-answer period with the guest curator will follow each film. Films will be shown in the historic Joseph F. Wheeler Theater, built in the 1940’s to serve as the Fort Worden’s original movie house. Tickets are $12; $8 with current student ID, and are available by calling Centrum at 360-385.3102, Ext. 117 and online at Series passes are $95. Tickets are also available at the Wheeler Theater box office one hour before the film begins.
* Reel Grrls is a unique after-school media & technology training program that empowers girls to critique media images and to gain media technology skills in a safe, open environment, mentored by a network of multi-cultural women media professionals. Each of the three films selected by Reel Grrls will be preceded by a five-minute short film. Reel Grrls chose films that were female-directed and women-focused, taking care to match each of the feature films with Reel Grrls’ participant-created shorts similar in subject matter or theme.
* The films of Tom Skerritt — an Emmy Award-winning American actor — include "M*A*S*H," "Alien," "Top Gun," "Steel Magnolias," "A River Runs Through It" and "Smoke Signals," among many others. His television series include "Gunsmoke," "Picket Fences" and "Cheers." The three films in this series offer a retrospective of his choices as an actor and testify to his range.
* Kathleen Murphy has served on the faculties of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Washington where she founded a Cinema Studies program and headed the UW Arts and Humanities Department in Continuing Education. She has served on the selection committees of the Seattle International Film Festival and the New York Film Festival. Murphy’s selection was based on films that artfully express the complicated connections between art and life, creativity and experience.

The schedule:
Jan. 6: "Cléo de 5 à 7 ;" screened with: "Dedicated to My Family " (Reel Grrls, 2003). Agnes Varda portrays a slice of Cléo’s life in faux real time, but this stretch from 5 to 7 p.m. is a far from random choice: It’s the last two hours Cléo must wait until hearing the results of a test for cancer. At first facing her mortality with pouty petulance, the singer wends her way through the city, eventually achieving a last-minute epiphany. With this, a more mature response to Breathless Varda transforms the typical French cinema gamine into a complex, tragic figure: the girl who’s all too good at playing plaything, forced to face the hollowness of her youth. Directed by Agnès Varda. (1962/France/90 minutes. Unrated.)
Jan. 13: "Whale Rider ;" screened with: "Definition " (Reel Grrls, 2008). Niki Caro’s movie tries to reconcile old and new, tradition and progress, just as it tries, stylistically, to reconcile the mundane and the magical–merging a thousand-year-old legend of the whale-riding founder of the Ngati Kenohi people into the world of jobless lowriders and tourist kitsch. By the time the story takes its climactic leap into the mystical, we’re ready to follow it anywhere. Directed by Niki Caro. (2002/New Zealand/101 minutes. Rated: PG-13.)
Jan. 20: "But I’m a Cheerleader ;" screened with: "Coming Out… " (Reel Grrls, 2004). In a plea for tolerance, which embraces the need for self-expression, and the idiocy of denying it, this is a comic canter through the young life of Megan who, because she likes tofu and has a picture of a girl in her locker, is deemed by her parents to be gay. Believing that the straight and narrow can be learned, they deposit her at True Directions, a camp where homosexual people are converted to heterosexuality by the “treatment director.” Directed by Jamie Babbit. (1999/USA/85 minutes. Rated: R.)
Jan. 27: "The Turning Point ." Selected and presented by Tom Skerritt. A film about the choices we make in life, The Turning Point presents Skerritt in a secondary but pivotal role that established his range as an actor. In the mid-twentieth century, ballet saw its brightest stars capture the public’s imagination with the flights of, among others, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Leslie Browne, both featured in this film. Often dismissed as “a woman’s picture,” in truth The Turning Point speaks to the human condition. Also starring Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine. (1977/USA/119 minutes. Rated: PG.)
Feb. 3: "Contact ." Selected and presented by Tom Skerritt. Based on popular scientist Carl Sagan’s novel of the same name, Contact shows scientific quest as a mirror of humanity’s hunt for spiritual assurance. In this film, ‘”Do you believe in God?’” and ‘”Do you believe in aliens?’” are questions of equal magnitude. Skerritt plays an over-reaching scientist who’s determined to tie his name to the search for life beyond earth. Also stars Jodie Foster and Matthew McConaughey. (1997/USA/153 minutes. Rated: PG.)
Feb. 10: "A River Runs Through It ." Selected and presented by Tom Skerritt Based on the famed novella by Norman Maclean, "A River Runs Through It" is an evocation of a time long since past. Skerritt, in one of his meatiest roles, plays a stern and strict but loving father whose guidance and instruction is rooted in his Presbyterian ministry. A celebration of fly fishing and a salute to the beauty that is Montana, "A River Runs Through It" won an Oscar for cinematography. Also starring Brad Pitt and Brenda Blethyn. (1992/USA/123 minutes. Rated: PG.)
Feb. 17: "Jules et Jim ." Selected and presented by Kathleen Murphy. Jules et Jim embraces contradiction to create meaning—sad yet humorous, breathless yet contemplative, universal yet hermetic. Jules et Jim is one of the early, instantly definitive films of the French New Wave, its impact on countless scores of subsequent films impossible to gauge. An almost insurmountable liberty in the use of cinematic form, the film rises above the standard depictions of the ménage a trois. Starring Jeanne Moreau and Oskar Werner Directed by Francois Truffaut. (France, 1962, 105 minutes. Unrated.)
Feb. 24: "The Hours ." Selected and presented by Kathleen Murphy. Nothing happens. And yet everything happens. That quiet paradox powers The Hours, an exquisitely insightful exploration of life’s little revelations — and the connections that reverberate among people who’ve never met, yet manage to touch each other’s lives just the same. Starring Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Nicole Kidman, and Ed Harris. Directed by Stephen Daldry. (USA, 2002, 114 minutes. Rated: PG-13)
March 3: "The Last Tango in Paris ." Selected and presented by Kathleen Murphy. Bernardo Bertolucci’s controversial drama is a dark, torrid masterpiece about love and grief. Marlon Brando plays Paul, a 45-year-old American in Paris, who deals with his wife’s suicide by shacking up with 20-year-old Jeanne (Maria Schneider) in an empty apartment. Like the dance it’s named after, it’s a film of passion and violence as Brando’s character pirouettes towards self-destruction. Directed by Bernardo Bertolucci. (Italy, 1972, 136 minutes. Rated: X.)

More later … — MM

Another Day the Music Died

Dec. 8, 1980 is one of those dates that you’ll always remember exactly where you were and what you were doing when you heard. At least I will.

I was at the Kingdome , sitting between Chuck Stark and Roger Underwood , covering a Sonics game (I can’t resist pointing out that the Kingdome and the Sonics both are gone, but Chuck, Roger and I all are still kicking). Before the game started, the Sonics’ media-relations director, Nancy Welts , walked up in front of us and said, quickly, "Did you hear? They got John."

That’s all she said. But somehow, we knew exactly who she was talking about. "John," of course, was John Lennon , who had been assassinated a couple hours earlier outside his New York apartment. "They" as it turned out, was Mark David Chapman , a deranged person who shot Lennon five times in the back.

(I know I’ve told this story before, so if you’ve read it before, stop me …)

The game, of course, was a blur. I don’t remember writing the story, but I do remember being in a hurry, so I could drive home, stopping at the neighborhood 7-Eleven along the way to pick up a copy of a certain men’s magazine, which I remembered included a lengthy interview with Lennon. I recall there were teenaged kids sitting on the floor of the 7-Eleven (the hip place to be in downtown Kent on a chilly 1980 midnight, I guess). I had to step over them to get to the magazine rack.

(Incidentally, I would never purchase such a men’s magazine under normal circumstances. You believe me, don’t you?)

I have no particular memory of where I was or what I was doing years later, when I heard of the passing of George Harrison . In fact, I think I might have been here in the Sungeon, and read a bulletin from The Associated Press.

I think it probably hurt worse to lose George, because he was such a gentle, quiet soul, and because he was taken at such a young age by more-or-less natural causes. It reminded me very much that I myself was no spring chicken any more.

The way Lennon went — gunned down by a crazed "fan" — almost makes sense, when you look back on it 28 years later. Lennon was such a larger-than-life character, he just wasn’t meant to die a quiet, natural death.

Back then, though, it was shocking. This was John, remember — all you had to do was say "John," and everybody knew who it was you were talking about.

So, where were you when you heard?

More later … — MM