Whether uncovering an old favorite or discovering new ones to read in the future, there’s nothing like finding a good book.
Finally resurfacing from the heap of other childhood favorites I can’t bring myself to get rid of, I triumphantly stroll into my little brother’s room, bedtime story in hand. “Meg and Mog,” written by Helen Nicholl and illustrated by Jan Piekowski, has seen better days. Both covers are cracked and bent. Today leaving a book in such a state would be unheard of, but “Meg and Mog” is from a time when creases didn’t bother me. These are creases of love — love for illustrations that still compel me to flip through them whenever a corner of the cover peaks out from my bookcase; love for a story about a witch named Meg and her cat, Mog, who wake up one midnight to get ready for a party. After cooking a hearty breakfast, they set off to meet Meg’s friends. They’re going to cast a spell and while ultimately it goes wrong that’s where the story ends. No panic. No, “my friends have been turned into mice and my cat is chasing them, what do I do?” upsetness. With a slight grimace, Meg hops back on her broom and the story closes on her reaching the reasonable and calm headed conclusion, “I’ll have to change them back, next Halloween.”
Former “Late Late Show” host stops in Glenside as part of his hilarious new stand-up tour.
To say the past year in late night TV has been one of widespread transition may be a bit of an understatement. Multiple longstanding figures, from Letterman to Stewart, have announced and took their exits in the past twelve months. Yet amidst all the chaos and controversy over who would be replacing who, Craig Ferguson’s exit from CBS’ “The Late Late Show” last December got inexplicably lost in the shuffle. The quietest and least covered of the departures, despite ten beautiful years of irreverent comedy and puppets (and a finale that closed with nods to the finales of “The Bob Newhart Show,” “St. Elsewhere,” and “The Sopranos”), his was, in the mind of this biased fan, the time block’s biggest loss. The host I always turned to, in good times and in bad, I’ve slowly resolved myself to the fact that the dream of sitting in his audience one day, watching him drink from his snake mug with Geoff the robot skeleton, Secretariat the horse, and frequent guest, Kristen Bell, might not be becoming a reality. Little did I realize, however, what new opportunities to see Craig would arise from this shuffling around of his schedule.
Making being undead cool long before The Walking Dead, how much do you know the “real” Frankenstein?
[some spoilers for the first three episodes of Penny Dreadful Season 1]
Elsa and Olaf may be continuing their reign over the costume scene this season, but in the world of decorations Frankenstein still has clout. Arguably Halloween’s most famous figure, outside of Dracula, his neck bolted image has been a staple of horror since Boris Karloff took on the role in the 1930’s film classics.
For anyone who’s ever picked up the book by Mary Shelley, however, reconciling that Hollywood visual with Shelley’s original descriptions is a feat best dropped to the wayside.
Despite the numerous film adaptations and reinterpretations the story has met with over the years, almost none directly follow the text (see the latest twist on the tale in the trailer for James McAvoy and Daniel Radcliffe’s Victor Frankenstein). To mark only a few of the many liberties that arise: In the book there is no Igor, the Creature isn’t green, and he can actually do more than grunt—immense intelligence that must have gotten lost somewhere on the cutting room floor.
These kinds of misrepresentations are far from unprecedented. Film history is riddled with movies that have made creative decisions which deviated from, and ultimately superseded, their source material. Yet while popular culture’s beloved incarnation of the monster is here to stay, it’s not without value to set the record straight on some of the films’ more grievous changes. It was only by chance that I learned the truth, after seeing a National Theatre Live production of the book at the cinema. Here was an iconic character straight from my youth. Turned out, I knew absolutely nothing about him. Continue reading
An episode-a-day guide to TV’s best Halloween specials.
Boo! Like a ghost ninja, Halloween is almost upon us and for TV fans everywhere that can only mean one thing: the Halloween episode. Every year I look forward to seeing what twists my favorite running shows will play in tribute to this scariest of all holidays. It’s also a time to wax nostalgic on Halloween specials past. While Christmas specials get all the glory, Halloween specials are often among the most memorable episodes in many series’ runs. But you don’t have to take my word for it. Whether you’re a Halloween scrooge (yours truly), a Trick-or-Treater for life, or just around for the costumes, there is no better way to get into the Halloween spirit early than a marathon. After much careful deliberation here is my ultimate Halloween TV playlist, for all your spooky, haunted pleasure in the 13 nights ahead.
“Any Day Now” is a film set in the 70’s that was released in 2012. Three years later, in 2015, same-sex couples continue to face obstacles when seeking to adopt children.
Thanks to Alan Cumming’s visit to our school last week, I finally made an effort to watch a movie that has been on my list to watch since I first heard about its release.
“Any Day Now” stars Alan Cumming (“The Good Wife”) and Garret Dillahunt (“Raising Hope”) as Rudy and Paul, a couple who find their relationship fast-tracked after stepping up to become temporary guardian’s to Rudy’s next door neighbor’s son, Marco (a phenomenal debut by Isaac Leyva). Marco has Down Syndrome. When his mother, an addict, gets arrested, Rudy is determined to take him in, enlisting Paul, a lawyer, to help. For almost a year they are allowed to be a happy family until everything comes crashing down over a party at Paul’s boss’ house.
Exactly what you shouldn’t do on a rainy day.
Kyrstan provides some great tips this week on “What to Do On A Rainy Day,” which are especially relevant as we stay safely indoors and let Hurricane Joaquin Phoenix curve its way down the eastern seaboard.
Well, I say ‘we,’ but in truth I didn’t listen.
A car ride without great music is just a means to Arcadia.
As a commuter, music is essential (gas, too, but no one likes to talk about that). While some people depend on the radio for background, I’ve always been a CD girl. It’s the main reason I’m so horribly behind on current music. I also don’t play a CD through once and move on. I play it through on repeat for days and weeks on end. I am not a passenger friendly vehicle.
Why singing covers in front of an audience sounds so appealing to me.
I have never karaoke-d.
Correction: There was one karaoke but it was elementary school and I don’t remember the actual singing part, only the picking of the song–“Wild Thing” or “American Pie” because I didn’t recognize any of the rest.
It’s not like Everest, either. I’m sure I wouldn’t have to look far to find a bar or restaurant that hosted a karaoke night or catered to the teleprompter lyric reading crowd. Yet I guess I’m still waiting for the perfect moment. Because, whatever bad or cheesy rep this activity sometimes receives, there are so many reasons to want to give it a try! Here are only a few of the endless possibilities karaoke has to offer: