Saturday, August 10, 2013


Em gets John's view of Hal Prince as a friend, and producer and director.

John describes how Hal directed him in the award wining musical, "On the Twentieth Century." It was a collaboration -- producer Hal sensed what to say to him that inspired him  creatively. 

Summing it up, John declares it's a unique talent that Hal has that affects everyone who's involved in creating a show -- writers, lighting, costume, and set designers, as well as all the actors.  

John feels he and Hal are real friends, based on what they have shared and may share again, perhaps in Hal's next project.

Thursday, August 8, 2013



That face,
those eyes,
that smile.

I just finished reading what Diane Keaton said in an interview.

Golly, I love her. I never met Keaton, but I feel as if I know her -- she's so real, so believable -- no matter what role she plays, it's as if she's someone I've known for years. 

It was in The Guardian, (newspaper whose online offering is the 2nd most popular British newspaper website) -- an interview before the opening of "The Big Wedding," in which she co-starred with Robert De Niro.

Right off the bat, Diane Keaton said, "I'm going to say what I think."

Though the interviewer mentioned Keaton's Oscar for "Annie Hall" and the Golden Globe Keaton got for "Something’s Gotta Give," Keaton immediately started talking about her long term relationships with Woody Allen, Warren Beatty and Al Pacino.

She said, "Woody was my twenties, Warren was my thirties and Al was borderline: late thirties/early forties. I never see Al now." Rambling on she said, "Beatty's got a big family life and I don’t really run with his crowd," and came back to Woody, "I still love him – there are some people who stay in your life and they are in for the long haul. We talk often on the phone."

Explaining that she has never been married because "No one ever asked me," Keaton said she was 67, and at 50, she adopted a baby girl, Dexter (now 17), and a few years later a boy, Duke (now 12). Referring to herself as an oddball, she reminded the interviewer that 35 years ago at the Oscars, critics said she looked like a bag lady, and bragged about the fact that she dressed herself -- most stars have stylists. 

It was fascinating -- the article had a photo of Keaton at this interview --in Celine pink pants, high heels with black and white spotted socks that matched her black and white spotted nails, huge rings on practically all her fingers, and three studs in her ears.

Diane Keaton was amazing truthful, joking, but putting herself down, revealing her short-comings and her unconventional private life.

What woman, I thought as I you-tubed other interviews, and saw that her self- deprecating remarks, her saying whatever she was thinking -- be it silly, crude, or rude, was her style -- that playing "herself" was a sure-fire way of promoting a new film, as well as Diane Keaton, the star.

Take a look at her with Ellen DeGenerese, in 2005, promoting "The Family Stone," (Claire Danes and Sarah Jessica Parker); with Katie Couric in 2010 promoting "Morning Glory." (Harrison Ford); with Stephen Colbert, 2011 promoting her book "Then Again;" again with Ellen in 2013, promoting "Big Wedding." I've said it before, I'll say it again, golly I love her.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013


Who  is he?  As my husband, John Cullum,  was watching basketball, I heard the name and I noticed a big guy racing around.

I don't  focus on sports the way I focus on what teenagers are doing, or  stars, scandals, what's hot in fashion  and show biz in general. Trends interest me, not sports.

I wrote about Lightening Bolt Usain, the record-breaking track star, because of the way he has affected poor people in his home country, Jamaica. I've blogged quite a few times about Magic Johnson -- his rebounding spirit, his joy, the ideas that come from him, and Muhammad Ali -- he's  been one of  my heroes for years. But Lebron ...?

Time Magazine had a big, really huge double-page photo of him. "Wow." I thought. I started reading. Browsing online sports pages, I got hooked.

Lebron James, age 28, is a great athlete not just because he's 6' 8," and an extraordinary good dribbler, passer, and shooter, but because he is freakishly fast. Sports writers cite him as a "genius athlete," "The Einstein of Basketball."

Many people say he has a photographic memory. Athletes must process multiple streams of information in  real time under extreme pressure -- know where's my defender? where are my  teammates' defenders? go left or right? pass or shoot?

His  intelligence is on constant display. It's in the dunks, the fallaway  shots, the ability to smother and outsmart opponents on defense -- whiz -- there's one of his marvelous passes -- whoosh -- a  cross court fastball-flick, a shovel pass, another open shot. Experts say it's in his  embrace of basketball analytics.

James has already won his fourth Most Valued Player  (MVP)  award, ranking him with legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Michael Jordan, Bill Russell and Wilt Chamberlain.

He went directly to the NBA from high school. He studies the numbers to see where other good players are on the floor -- where he has the best  chance of scoring and his opponents are least effective. He's continually pushing his  game to new limits. "If he stays healthy," says ESPN analyst Hubie  Brown, a former NBA head coach, "he will probably go down as the  greatest player to ever play."

Can I see it, recognize it, as I watch him?  Yes. 

Take a look. Then see him, hear what he said after losing a major game.
I like this man. There's truth in him, artistic truth that makes me truly enjoy knowing who he is and what he does.

Sunday, August 4, 2013


John Cullum has a new project.

It is a musical, "Jack Tale."

He is already making short videos of scenes and songs from it.

Encouraged by Em, John summarizes his the Jack tale, and even sings a bit.