Kennedy Center: EWF; Sally; Linda; Sesame St; MTT

Field, Ronstadt, Tilson Thomas

The 42nd Annual Kennedy Center Honors will air Sunday, December 15 – earlier than usual – at 8 p.m. EST. CBS has broadcast the special each year since its debut. The event will take place on December 8. Earth, Wind & Fire; Sally Field; Linda Ronstadt; Sesame Street; and Michael Tilson Thomas will be celebrated.

Michael Tilson Thomas

Michael Tilson ThomasAmerican conductor, pianist and composer Michael Tilson Thomas is a familiar name. He is currently music director of the San Francisco Symphony, though he announced in 2017 that he would step down in 2020. He’s also “artistic director of the New World Symphony, an American orchestral academy based in Miami Beach, Florida.”

He has his own YouTube channel. NPR mentions him frequently. A 2019 article in Vulture describes him a “disrupter who’s become the comfortable center.”

Michael Tilson Thomas is the only one in this group that had not appeared in this blog before now.

Sally Field

I wrote an extensive post about Sally Field in November 2016 when she turned 70. I’d seen her in everything from Gidget to Sybil to Brothers and Sisters. And she’s still working.

Earth, Wind & Fire

Their introduction on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame page says it well. Earth, Wind & Fire “took jazz, soul, gospel, pop and more and wrapped them in one psychedelic, mystical package.” The band was founded in Chicago by the late Maurice White in 1969.

Rolling Stone offered up 12 essential songs. My personal favorite is Fantasy, as I explained. I own the box set of their music.

You might recognize the name Philip Bailey, the falsetto vocalist, who sang a duet with Phil Collins on Easy Lover.

Linda Ronstadt

My admiration for Linda is huge. For her sixtieth birthday, I explained why I bought her box set when I already owned so much of her music. I advocated that she be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was rightly inducted in 2014.

When she turned 70, I listed about three dozen of my favorite songs by her. I touted the documentary about her, which played at a local theater for months.

Sesame Street

I’ll admit it; I watched Sesame Street when I was in college, as I noted in 2011. The beloved children’s television show was shaped by the African-American communities in Harlem and beyond. Of course, I bought the 10th anniversary music album.

Farmers Insurance has been running a series of ads featuring the Muppets. Take a look at the website and the music of Sesame Street. The USPS to release stamps in honor of show’s 50th anniversary.

Since he won’t be at the event, I suppose I can share, from Business Insider back in 2017: “‘Sesame Street’ has been mocking Trump since 1988 — here are some of the best moments.”

Actress Sally Field turns 70

She played the matriarch on the TV series Brothers & Sisters.

normaraeI’ve watched Sally Field in more projects than almost anyone. I could quote her famous line – no, just imagine that I did.

Gidget, (TV, 1965-66) – I’m sure I watched her as a surfing teen in at least some episodes. Yikes, 50 years ago.

Hey, Landlord (1967) – in the latter stages, she played the visiting sister of a guy who inherits his uncle’s apartment building.

The Flying Nun (TV, 1967-1970) – I watched, fairly religiously, the antics of the nun wearing an improbably aerodynamic habit. Sister Bertrille was an innocent, but always wanted to do the right thing. She had to keep her special abilities hidden from her Mother Superior. The ability to fly, which I dreamed about even before watching this, may be a core fantasy.

The Girl with Something Extra (1973-1974) Continue reading “Actress Sally Field turns 70”

Movie Review: Hello, My Name Is Doris

Hello, My Name Is Doris has a hint of recognition of people I know in real life.

dorisSince I really like Sally Field, the Wife and I decided to see her new starring vehicle, Hello, My Name Is Doris, at the Spectrum Theatre, on a Monday matinee. The IMDB description is refreshingly succinct: “A self-help seminar inspires a sixty-something woman to romantically pursue her younger co-worker.”

Doris had put her life on hold before that seminar by Willy Williams (Peter Gallagher), which she attended with her best friend Roz (the ever solid Tyne Daly). Her boss Sally (Natasha Lyonne) had recently introduced the staff to the new art director, John (Max Greenfield), who is half her age. He also has a nice girlfriend named Brooklyn (Beth Behrs).

With the assistance of Roz’s granddaughter (Isabella Acres), Doris becomes tech savvy enough to discover John’s hangouts.

Meanwhile, Doris is being pressured by her brother and sister-in-law (Stephen Root, Wendi McLendon-Covey) to sell the house she shared with her late mother. They encourage/nag her to see a therapist (Elizabeth Reaser) to deal with her problem with clutter.

I really need to try harder to avoid the reviews for movies I might be interested in seeing, even the 85% positive ones from Rotten Tomatoes. One review suggested that Doris Miller was just a stereotype of a wacky older woman. I thought she was far more nuanced that that, though she DID have ONE cat.

Another critic said that John should have figured out that Doris was romantically interested in him. I don’t believe that AT ALL. Doris had been, in many ways, all but invisible.

Doris was working in a dead end job, staying in town to take care of her mother, whose funeral pretty much starts the film. She was cast in the caretaker role for years, delaying her own dreams.

I recommend Hello, My Name Is Doris. There were some laughs, and a couple groans, but more than that, a hint of recognition of people I know in real life in the title character.

Drug Ad Interdiction

My favorite celebrity ad featured former US Senator (R-Kansas), and 1996 Presidential candidate BobDole for something called ED.

One of my colleagues REALLY hates those commercials featuring non-medical celebrities who hawk prescription medicines. For instance, if she develops osteoporosis, she’s not going to use Boniva just because actress Sally Field has recommended it in a series of advertisements; I assume she actually has the condition. Among other things, some Boniva ads are misleading, according to Consumer Reports. Google Sally Field Boniva and you’ll see Continue reading “Drug Ad Interdiction”