Monday, March 31, 2014

Monday Madness: The Classics

This is a new feature for The Classic Preppy... A Monday post that's "out of nowhere," has nothing to do with being preppy, and probably doesn't qualify all that much as a "classic." (Well, perhaps in my mind...but nowhere else!!)

When I had dinner with Diane Ladd in New Orleans, I was thrilled that the conversation turned to the classic days of film and television.  She shared some wonderful stories, which she says might be in her next I won't spoil them here.  Classic films and the stars of the heyday of Hollywood have always been an interest of mine, so the conversation was grand!!  I had one question that I was dying to ask, but I kept debating internally whether it would be appropriate or not. It was in reference to an early guest appearance she did on television.  I wasn't sure she'd want to talk about something that might be insignificant in the overarching scheme of things...but I was DYING to know one particular thing, involving one of my all time favorite stars of stage and screen... so I ventured forth.

"Ms. Ladd (I just couldn't call her 'Diane,' even when she introduced herself that way)," I opened carefully,  "One of my favorite pieces of work of yours involves one of my all-time-favorite actresses, Shirley Booth.  What was it like working with her, when you guest starred on Hazel?"

Now, remember....I am asking a multi-nominated Academy Award actress about a little television show filmed more than 50 years ago!!  Her response? "Oh, yes!!!  I loved working with her.  She was such a generous and kind.  It was an episode called George's 32nd Cousin, and it was a wonderful experience."  We went on to talk about character actors and what actors have had to go through over the years...and she shared a magnificent story about Spencer Tracy, whom she met on the set of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, when she was visiting her friend, Madelyn Rhue.  That's a story about what it truly means to be an actor that should most definitely be in her next book!

Miss Betty always said...and I always agreed....that I needed a "Hazel" in my life.  Perhaps that, every bit as much as my admiration for Shirley Booth's talent, is why I have always loved that show.  You can catch it weekdays on Antenna TV (check your local listings), but in the meantime, you can see Season 1 via Netflix and there are even some episodes available on YouTube.  It was on YouTube where I recently saw the original pilot...with the cast intact, except for Mr. Baxter, played by Don DeFore in the series.  The talented (yet somehow always creepy) Edward Andrews plays George Baxter, in the pilot.  If you have 25 minutes, grab a cup of coffee or tea and settle in.   Enjoy! (Mr. Andrews as George is particularly creepy at about the 1:15-1:35 mark on the film...)

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Find: A "Classic" Film

This film may or may not be destined to be a classic....but it certainly comes across like one of the great films of the 1930's-1960's.  I didn't see it when it first came out, so made a quick trip over to the Criterion Cinemas here in Richmond to catch a matinee today.  I loved it!  It is slow-placed, elegant and well-crafted.  I was the only person in the theatre for the 12:40pm showing, so it was like having my own Hollywood screening room!

Check it out...and have a fabulous weekend!! Cheers, Liz

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday Thought: More Fun

Typical street scene in NOLA! We should have more "dancing in the streets"...everywhere!!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Thoughts On Travel

Whew!  What a busy March it's been!!

So sorry for being away from the blog for so long, but I've logged a lot of miles this month, and visited some places that were internet/cellphone free zones.  It was great!  It's good to be "off the grid" sometimes...

Spring is technically here, although you wouldn't know it by the weather in Richmond, Virginia.  I am happy to say my time this month has been spent in Florida, the Bahamas and in the amazing city of New Orleans, where the weather has been practically perfect!

I'll tell you more about my travels later this week, but in the meantime, check out the website for the Tennessee Williams Festival This is a don't miss event!!  It's what I was part of during my trip to the Big Easy, and it was "beyond fabulous!"  I went to support my dear friend, the marvelous actress and star of CBS-TV's The Young and the Restless, Judith Chapman (who was appearing at the festival in her one-woman show Vivien).

We hit the ground running on our first day in town with interviews at CBS New Orleans!

At the opening night party with the super talented Ellen Johnson, director of PR for the festival.
Turns out that Ellen's college roommate (and dear friend) is one of my friends in Richmond.  Small world!!

The set for Vivien at the historic Le Petit Theatre de Vieux Carre in the French Quarter.
The larger set pieces in the background were utilized for Vivien and for the production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Although I retired from professional theatre work many, many years ago,
it was fun to jump back in and work with Judith and the team.

Judith as Vivien with Paul Willis and Janet DuVal of the Tennessee Williams Festival.
Janet also serves on the board of Le Petit Theatre.  Both Paul and Janet are so talented
and they graciously welcomed us to their precious city!

Our hotel, the Monteleone.  
We spent a lot of time walking all around the city, and loved being near the water.
(I especially loved Cafe Du Monde and their famous beignets!)

Friday night there was a small dinner party at Dickie Brennan's Tableau.  Mr. Brennan was so gracious, and I don't think I've ever been to a dinner with more fascinating people.  The woman across the table from me was the unbelievably talented Academy Award nominee, Diane Ladd.  She and her husband were so interesting, and I had the privilege of seeing her again the next day, just before her performance.  She has a very special connection to the festival in that Tom ("Tennessee") Williams was her cousin!

More tomorrow.....


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thursday Thoughts: Lines In The Sand

My original blog was called Lines In the Sand.  It was mostly just for me...and I only wrote occasionally, but it was a great way to start blogging.  The tagline for the blog was "Thoughts of the day, soon washed away..."  I've been thinking about those posts lately, and about chronicling life in a blog.  What to share?  What not to share?  Well.... I've decided to give it a little more concentrated thought, so as I approach the fourth anniversary of The Classic Preppy this month, I think it would be a good idea to take a couple of weeks to reflect.

This looks like a good view for my "reflection time," doesn't it?

Although I might keep up with my dear readers via Twitter or Instagram over those weeks, I am going to step away from the blog and its Facebook page, to think more carefully about what I'd like to write about in the future.  I WILL be back...and will have some fun things to share...but if you happen to land here between March 7th-23rd, just know that I am only away for a little while.  If you are new to The Classic Preppy, please take this time to read some of the older posts and get caught up.  More soon....


Monday, March 3, 2014

Monday Matters: Mindful Moments

Sorry to have been away.  A lot was happening last week, and a dear friend found out that her husband was sick and dying.  He passed away this morning. Somehow blogging didn't seem very important.

I've been thinking more and more about "being in the moment" and "being mindful."  So much of my time, for business and person reasons, is spent with technology.  As I was thinking about what I might want to "give up for Lent" it came to me that perhaps a weekly "fast" from technology would be beneficial.  Not sure what form this will take, but I will let you know.

Speaking of Lent, if you haven't seen The Bible series on TV (by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey), do yourself a favor and go see Son of God.  It is wonderful.  A simple, clear telling of the Gospel and God's love for the world in sending His Son, Jesus, to save us from our sin.  Everyone in the theatre sat there through the credits and finally, when the lights came back up, we rose and walked out in silence.  It was so powerful.  Highly recommended!