Monday 30 April 2007

I'm Still Here!

What a night! What a show!

Just been to see the revival of "Side By Side By Sondheim" at The Venue, Leicester Square tonight. I have always loved this revue of the songs of the world's greatest songwriter, but never seen a live performance before...

The trio of performers Alasdair Harvey, Abbie Osmon and Josie Walker were just perfect performing the bitter-sweet and cynical repertoire for which Stephen Sondheim is so famous. The show is only on for a limited run of twelve weeks so if you love musicals, you must not miss this show!!

Read the review in The British Theatre Guide

My all-time favourite number is I'm Still Here - see here. A belter of a sing-a-long for all us old show queens out there!

Good times and bum times,
I've seen them all and, my dear,
I'm still here.
Plush velvet sometimes,
Sometimes just pretzels and beer,
But I'm here.
I've stuffed the dailies
In my shoes.
Strummed ukuleles,
Sung the blues,
Seen all my dreams disappear,
But I'm here.
I've slept in shanties,
Guest of the W.P.A.,
But I'm here.
Danced in my scanties,
Three bucks a night was the pay,
But I'm here.
I've stood on bread lines
With the best,
Watched while the headlines
Did the rest.
In the Depression was I depressed?
Nowhere near.
I met a big financier
And I'm here.
I've been through Gandhi,
Windsor and Wally's affair,
And I'm here.
Amos 'n' Andy,
Mah-jongg and platinum hair,
And I'm here.
I got through Abie's Irish Rose,
Five Dionne babies,
Major Bowes,
Had heebie-jeebies
For Beebe's Bathysphere.
I lived through Shirley Temple
And I'm here.
I've gotten through Herbert and J. Edgar Hoover,
Gee, that was fun and a half.
When you've been through Herbert and J. Edgar Hoover,
Anything else is a laugh.
I've been through Reno.
I've been through Beverly Hills,
And I'm here.
Reefers and vino,
Rest cures, religion and pills,
And I'm here
Been called a pinko
Commie tool,
Got through it stinko
By my pool.
I should have gone to an acting school.
That seems clear,
Still, someone said, "She's sincere,"
So I'm here.
Black sable one day.
Next day it goes into hock,
But I'm here.
Top billing Monday,
Tuesday you're touring in stock,
But I'm here.
First you're another
Sloe-eyed vamp,
Then someone's mother,
Then you're camp.
Then you career from career
To career.
I'm almost through my memoirs.
And I'm here.
I've gotten through "Hey, lady, aren't you whoozis?
Wow! What a looker you were."
Or, better yet, "Sorry, I thought you were whoozis.
Whatever happened to her?"
Good times and bum times,
I've seen 'em all and, my dear,
I'm still here.
Flush velvet sometimes,
Sometimes just pretzels and beer,
But I'm here.
I've run the gamut.
A to Z.
Three cheers and dammit,
C'est la vie.
I got through all of last year
And I'm here.
Lord knows, at least I was there,
And I'm here!
Look who's here!
I'm still here!

Friday 27 April 2007

Acceptable in the 80s?


My heart was slightly lifted at the news that the Human League, Bananarama, Jimi Somerville, the Eurythmics, ABC and other classic bands were going to play at something called "Retrofest" in Scotland this September! Sounds fun, I thought - the prospect of a summer music festival that features just about ALL my fave acts from my youth!

But such thoughts evaporated when I read further into the report. Judging by the tone and attitude of the promoter, quoted in the article, this smells like a cynical piss-take and nothing more than a massive Karaoke for the moron TV generation... Of his proposed "talent contest", whereby entrants could get to "sing" on stage with some of the hapless acts, he said:

"...the list of successful solo singer/songwriters is longer than the all the shoulder pads worn in the 80s so we're happy to help give someone a bit of exposure. And if someone's really bad, we might put them up as well - after all that's half the appeal of the X Factor, American Idol and so on."

I feel sick! Does EVERYTHING these days have to be reduced to such an utterly brainless and banal level?

Read more

Thursday 26 April 2007

Gawd bless the Georgians

"Unnatural desire is a contradiction in terms; downright nonsense. Desire is an amatory impulse of the inmost human parts."

Hear! Hear! But these are excerpts from a 258-year-old book written by what is thought to be the first ever advocate for gay rights, and re-discovered by a University of Manchester academic.

Apparently this extraordinary piece of work, Ancient And Modern Pederasty Investigated And Exemplified, is an anthology of stories and philosophical texts in defence of male homosexuality.

Fancy! It IS the oldest profession after all....

Read more on the BBC

Wednesday 25 April 2007

If they could see me now

"I've made so many movies playing a hooker that they don't pay me in the regular way any more. They leave it on the dresser."

Another of our favourite Shirleys was 73 yesterday! One of the great all-rounders, singer, dancer, Oscar-winning actress, author and total eccentric Shirley Maclaine still looks wonderful today...

Star of such classics as "The Apartment", "Can-Can", "Irma La Douce", "Steel Magnolias", "Postcards from the Edge", and of course one of my all time favourite musicals "Sweet Charity", the world would be a lot less fun without our Shirley!

If they could see me now
That little gang of mine
I'm eatin' fancy chow and drinkin' fancy wine
I'd like those stumble bums
To see for a fact
The kind of top-drawer, first-rate chums I attract
All I can say is "Wow-ee!"
Look-a where I am
Tonight I landed, POW!
Right in a pot of jam
What a setup, holy cow!
They'd never believe it
If my friends could see me now!

If they could see me now
My little dusty group
Traipsin' round this million dollar chicken coop
I'd hear those thrift shop cats say, "Brother get her!
Draped on a bedspread made from three kinds of fur!"
All I can say is "Wow!"
Wait till the riff and raff
See just exactly how
He signed his autograph
What a build up, holy cow!
They'd never believe it
If my friends could see me now!

Tuesday 24 April 2007

Clip, clop!

I've never been in the Guinness Book of Records before! But last night as part of the St George's Day festival (not bad for a Welsh queen!), with good friends and more than 5000 other people, we broke the world record for a coconut orchestra...

Such fun! The "coconut Mexican wave", then the clip-clopping in unison to Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life - absolutely brilliant!

Gawd bless Monty Python I say...

Sunday 22 April 2007

Denmark is the happiest place in Europe!

According to a recent poll, Denmark has come top in a list of the happiest countries in Europe.

Check out their Eurovision entry - I think I can understand why!

Thursday 19 April 2007

Build your ideal partner from a series of body parts

One of the "attractions" that will apparently be on offer when London's new "sex theme park" opens in the Trocadero (Picadilly) will be an opportunity to "build their ideal partner from a series of body parts"....

Wow! The possibilities! Brad Pitt's chest... Jake Shears' bum... Jonathan Rhys Meyers' lips... Antoine Mallet's cock... Patrick Stewart's voice... a bit of Philip Olivier, a bit of Ewan McGregor, a bit of Johnny Depp... mmm!

However, imagine what you might end up with:

Read more: on the BBC

Tuesday 17 April 2007

"Disneyfying Dickens"

This, believe it or not, is sad but true.

Dickens World is a Dickensian-themed attraction being built in Chatham, Kent and will open in April 2007.

And I quote: "The in-house attraction will reproduce the architecture of the period with picturesque archways, cobbled stoned streets and decorative features, together with specialised lighting and appropriate euphonics [sic] as well as a host of costumed characters, shop keepers and street entertainers.

The experience will feature a Dickensian Shopping Mall, together with a multitude of attractions and rides, including a mix of themed restaurants, bars and a multiplex cinema... over the Christmas period the attraction will convert into a Dickensian winter wonderland, replete with snow and other characteristics of a bygone era, complemented by a magnificent water feature which over the festive season changes into a spectacular 'ice fantasia' dominated by 'The Spirit of Christmas', 'JackFrost', 'Scrooge' and a host of other delightful characters who magically come to life. This and other seasonal events throughout the year an unforgettable experience for visitors of all ages."

Unforgettable experience, indeed! No wonder people from Chatham are known as "Chavs"... Apparently manager Ross Hutchins has said of this monstrosity, "We are not Disneyfying Dickens. If Dickens was alive today, he would probably have built the place himself. "

Read the bloody books!!

Monday 16 April 2007

A diva remembered

Another birthday we should all remember - today, the late, great Dusty Springfield would have been 68 years old.

The angelic voice of the former Ms Mary O'Brien still sounds as magnificent today as it ever was in her 1960s heyday.

I never tire of listening to classics like "I Close My Eyes And Count To Ten" or "You Don't Have To Say You Love Me" or "Son Of A Preacher Man", or her recordings with the Pet Shop Boys, or anything she did really.

Almost single-handedly responsible for championing the popularity of black soul music in the UK, such as that produced by Tamla Motown, we owe Dusty so much!

An all-time gay favourite, and a lesbian to boot! Oh! That hair, that eye make-up...

Dusty - we salute you!

Miss Springfield on the BBC

Sunday 15 April 2007

Clash songs on ukuleles!

Apparently BBC Radio 6 Music is so enamoured of the fact that it's 30 years since the first album by the Clash that they have decide to get a large number of people to play their music on ukeleles for a forthcoming special programme!

I haven't heard anything quite so bizarre since the William Shatner cover of Pulp's Common People, or maybe the Richard Cheese version of Fuck You Like an Animal (Nine Inch Nails)...


Friday 13 April 2007

Sperm made from bone marrow

I can't help wondering if it tastes any different...

Wednesday 11 April 2007

Healed by hamsters

A classic article! Any journalist worth their salt would give their right arm for a story (and headline) like this.

Described by his father as "sounds like something out of a horror movie", I think this story about a life-saving enzyme only found in "Chinese hamsters" sounds more like the famous Hotel Inspectors episode of Fawlty Towers:

I feel overjoyed at the boy's progress as a result of the hamster treatment, but I can't help wondering what kind of horror films his dad watches...

Sunday 8 April 2007

Nice to know that scientists are so busy

Scientists have created a mathematical formula of how to make the perfect bacon butty. Good grief!

Why? How much money was spent on this project?

And what next? As this "research" was commissioned at the University of Leeds, maybe the perfect recipe for tripe and onions? Or pork pies?

If anyone is interested by the way, the formula (yawn) is:

N = C + {fb (cm) . fb (tc)} + fb (Ts) + fc . ta, where N=force in Newtons required to break the cooked bacon, fb=function of the bacon type, fc=function of the condiment/filling effect, Ts=serving temperature, tc=cooking time, ta=time or duration of application of condiment/filling, cm=cooking method, C=Newtons required to break uncooked bacon...

Thursday 5 April 2007

The beast with three stomachs

Isn't it about time Jeremy Clarkson was banned? Eloquently described by the Malaysian minister Abdul Raman Suliman as "like a football commentator who cannot play football", this irritating creature disgraces our screens with his racist, homophobic, faux-laddishness, and I hate him! And I am certain I am not alone.

Read the most brilliant dissection of this beast on the Noing-Noing "Shit Celebrities" site [as archived by the wonderful "Wayback Machine"].

Tuesday 3 April 2007

Love Me or Leave Me, or let me be lonely

Although this blog appears to be at risk of becoming a series of birthday celebrations, I would be in serious danger of forfeiting my Princess Points if I were to neglect the birthday today of every cinema queen's icon Doris Day...

With instantly recognisable numbers like Que Sera Sera, Love Me or Leave Me, Secret Love... her repertoire of middle of the road torch songs always makes me smile.

Although well into retirement (shame!) the songs of Doris Mary Ann Von Kappelhoff, who as Doris Day is always remembered as the sweet-voiced "eternal virgin", remain the soundtrack to many a gay boy's coming out.

All together now...

"Now I shout it from the highest hill!
Even told the golden daffodils.
At last my heart's an open door,
And my secret love's no secret any more."

A beautiful lady, and a true gay icon!