So many Memes – so few Mondays! So let’s start the week with a canine conundrum.
And now for a musical interlude:
This is either marketing at its worst or at its best. You decide.
I was musing the other day that a hot cup of teas being placed in front of me is Nora’s signal to urgently need to go out. I was wondering why and I think I may have found the answer: she always gets a biscuit when we come back in.
They do say that children are the most sadistic creatures – after telemarketers – in the world.
I haven’t watched Jeopardy in a long time but I understand there’s been a few problems in the past few months. Apparently several people are crying foul.
The naked truth:
Particularly unsettling if you are a creationist.
Well now this is a bit of a spoiler, isn’t it?
I’m reminded of the opening to Ben Casey M.D. and the voice of Sam Jaffee – Man, Woman, Birth, Death ……
I’ll just leave this here:
The word for August 30th is: Infinity /inˈfinədē/: [noun] 1. The state of being boundless or endless. 2. A number greater than any assignable quantity or countable number Late Middle English: from Old French infinite or Latin infinitas, from infinitus (in- ‘not’ + finitus ‘finished, finite’).
I’ve been a bit of a Broadway Musical Que fan since I sat in the first row of the infamous second balcony at the Royal Alex January 1st, 1957. It was the road company of Lil’Abner with many of the original cast including Peter Palmer who had debuted on Broadway in the title role. The colourful costumes, the moving scenery, the dancing (Michael Kidd was the choreographer), and the singing caught me from overture to exit music. I had heard Broadway tunes before but never experienced the full impact of the sheer theatricality of it all. I was hooked.
Since that day I have experienced and loved musical comedy/theatre with the great names on Broadway and in the West Ed, with road companies, in summer stock, regional and school productions. . Whither it’s a frivolous Princess Musical from 1912 or the dark overtones of a Sondheim fairy tale that thrill of the house lights go down as the overture starts is still there.
I apologize faithful reader for once again wandering down memory lane but it does have a purpose: an introduction to an unusual Broadway musical number – from a Korean production of that long running hit Chicago.
Chicago has a rather unusual history: created by John Kander, Frank Ebb and Bob Fosse for Gwen Verdon it played a respectable 900-odd performances in the mid-1970s. And then pretty much disappeared until a parred down version at the New York City Centre in 1996. When Ann Reinking revived it for that Encore series the attention became focused on Fosse’s brilliant staging and choreography. It transferred to Broadway and that began a series of world-wide revivals and was an Academy Award winning 2002 film. In 2014 it became the longest running American musical in Broadway history. The sardonic story of murder and celebrity had struck a lasting cord with theatre and film goers.
No where is that cynicism more evident than when shyster lawyer Billy Flynn holds a press conference with defendant Roxie Heart. He tells Roxie to let him do the talking and it turns into a ventriloquist and his dummy. By the end he has the press trumpeting that the murderess is a poor, orphaned, convent-bred, loving wife and it was all an accident. Suddenly she has become a media sweetheart and an overnight celebrity – sound familiar?
There are many clips of We Both Reached for the Gun out there but this Korean version (yes I said Korean) is one of the best. There have been 13 revivals of the show in Korea since it premiered in 2000 – the most recent in 2021. I am not sure who the Billy Flynn is in this clip but he is frankly the best I have ever seen and the Roxie is perfect. Keep in mind that he is the only one singing and that amazing final passage.
This is the Broadway musical at its peak – and in Korean.
The word for July 14th is: Ventriloquist /venˈtriləkwəst/: [noun] A person who can speak or utter sounds so that they seem to come from somewhere else, especially an entertainer who makes their voice appear to come from a dummy of a person or animal. mid 17th century: from modern Latin ventriloquium (from Latin venter ‘belly’ + loqui ‘speak’) + -ist.
Harry Holman over at Sailstrait recounts fascinating stories and histories of ships, voyages, and harbours on our Island. He also collects postcards and displays them as well as the histories of the places they depict and the companies that produced them.
This week he posted a series of black and white, as well as coloured, cards originally created for publication in the Canadian Government Railway Guide to Summer Provinces by the Sea.
Sadly the railway is no more – though much of the track beds now make up the Confederation Trail – and things are still very much up in the air as to what will be allowed in the way of tourist traffic this coming summer.
However that doesn’t stop us from enjoying the photos that enticed visitors to come to the Island back in 1906. Much has changed and much remains the same.
Valentine and Sons (later Valentine-Black) was the largest publisher of postcards in Canada. Between 1905 and 1964 when they ceased business, they issued more than 12,000 postcards. Of these, over 140 were of different Prince Edward Island scenes and the Valentine cards document the Island over almost sixty years.
Fortune Harbour, image # 100,925
In the earliest years Valentine had a unique arrangement which saw them produce a series of view cards co-labeled with the Intercolonial and Prince Edward Island Railway. Although both lines were operated by the Government of Canada they each maintained a somewhat independent identity. The Intercolonial was very active in the promotion of tourist travel and a number of guidebooks touted travel to the area served by the government lines.
Cover of Summer Provinces by the Sea
These guidebooks were well written and well-illustrated. The most well-known was Summer Provinces by the Sea which contained…
For some reason this photograph and the comment from the photographer moved me.
It was in 1964, on a winter night. I walked along Nevsky Prospekt and at the intersection with the Griboyedov Canal, I saw a street sweeper, who despite the heavy snowfall, swept in front of a building. I asked her, ′′ Why are you doing this? Wasting your time. Why don’t you wait until after the storm. The snow will just cover it again!” And she calmly replied: ′′ Let it, I’ll remove it again! I live alone – it is better to work than sit alone at home!”
I ran home for the camera and shot the whole role of film. Only one shot turned out to be clear. I consider it the best shot of my life. I called it “Night Cleaning”.
A deserted street, blowing snow. And a little woman fighting the snowfall and the loneliness in her soul.
Yuri Shchennikov – Photographer
Many thanks to my FB friend Luke for sharing this and allowing me to use. I could find out nothing about the photographer at least not under his transliterated name.
The word for March 28th is: Loneliness /ˈlōnlēnəs/: [noun] 1.1 Sadness because one has no friends or company. 1.2 (of a place) (of a place) the quality of being unfrequented and remote; isolation. 1580s, “condition of being solitary,” from lonely + -ness. Meaning “feeling of being dejected from want of companionship or sympathy” is from 1814.
It’s hard to believe that The Kids in the Hall first hit the airwaves over 30 years ago! Not surprisingly much of their comedy still holds up today.
Fran and Gordon were always two of my favourites – as always the best comedy is based on real life written big!
The word for March 22nd is: Alien /ˈālēən/: [1. noun 2. adjective] 1.1 A foreigner, especially one who is not a naturalized citizen of the country where they are living. 1.2 A hypothetical or fictional being from another world. 1.3 A plant or animal species originally introduced from another country and later naturalized. 2.1 Belonging to a foreign country or nation. 2.2 A hypothetical or fictional being from another world. 2.3 A plant or animal species originally introduced from another country and later naturalized. Middle English: via Old French from Latin alienus ‘belonging to another’, from alius ‘other’. It’s use in the sense of 1.1 appears for the first time in an Act of the English Parliament in the early 1500s. It is not a term used here in Canada – the legal term is “foreign national”.
Telling the stories of the history of the port of Charlottetown and the marine heritage of Northumberland Strait on Canada's East Coast. Winner of the Heritage Award from the PEI Museum and Heritage Foundation and a Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Charlottetown