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Ted Woodward Blog

It's May! It's May!

Yes, it's me. Maybe this is my New Year's resolution four months too late: to revive this blog.
     I don't know why I have such an aversion to blogging; maybe it feels too much to me like a diary or a journal, and I always considered that stuff to be private. So, I just need to wrap my head around the face that a blog is NOT private thoughts ... it's public thoughts ... although why anyone would care about my two-cents' worth about anything, I don't know.
     But, you did click on this blog, so maybe you DO want to know what I'm up to. I'll give it a shot.
     It's been a busy spring for me, doing the annual "Gridiron" comedy show at the Orpheum Theatre, and jumping straight into another show, the musical "The Full Monty" at The Forum Theatre. "Gridiron" closed on April 13th, and "Full Monty" opened on the 25th, so I had to learn an entire Broadway musical in less than two weeks. Very challenging -- but very rewarding. My house is a mess -- but I got my lines memorized!
     I hope you come see "The Full Monty" ... it is a bit risque, some adult language & themes, but it's a pretty clever show with some catchy music, and great characters. It got 10 Tony-award nominations when it ran on Broadway on 2002. The only reason it didn't win any that year is because it was up against "The Producers", which won just about everything.
    "The Full Monty" runs at The Forum Theatre on Thursday-Friday-Saturday nights, and Sunday afternoons, through May 19.
    Hope to see you there!
     Ted W.
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Summer Movie Weekend

  For the first time in a long time, I managed to get three movies in during a weekend Friday/Saturday/Sunday ... three movies spanning 80 years. I really enjoyed all of them: a talkie from '31, a silent from 2011, and a Disney movie from the '60s.

  Friday I saw STREET SCENE on Turner Classic Movies from 1931. It was based on a Pulitzer Prize-winning Broadway play. I was wary going in; movies from that long ago can be a chore, sometimes. But this one still retained relevance. Although some parts of it are dated (of course), a lot of it still holds up, when it comes to attitudes on fidelity, ethnicity, religion, and gossip. Many movies from that time period can be poorly directed and acted, but this was not the case. The direction was fresh, done by King Vidor, who also directed the Kansas scenes from THE WIZARD OF OZ. A lot of the character actors from Broadway reprised their roles in the movie. It was also Pre-Code, so it was a little racier and a little more realistic than some of the sanitized stuff that was to come. Once you become familiar with the characters during the first 20 minutes, the last hour was pretty good.

  Saturday I moved ahead 35 years for a 1966 Disney movie: FOLLOW ME, BOYS! It's about a man (Fred MacMurray) who moves into a small town and makes an impact by becoming a Scoutmaster for the boy scouts during the following decades. It's one of those great family-oriented movies that Disney was so good at making in those days. In fact, it was the last movie that was produced and released while Disney was still alive; Walt died a couple weeks after this movie was released. I hadn't seen this movie in 36 years; it was re-released in theatres in 1976, and that's when I saw it at the Crest Theatre. I remembered almost nothing from that original viewing, except for the refrain of the catchy theme song written by the Sherman brothers. Wichita's Vera Miles was the female lead (lovely, as always), and this was Kurt Russell's first of his 10 movies for Disney. He was really really good. There are not very many movies made about scouts, and I really enjoyed this one. I always enjoy Disney nostalgia movies.

     A hot Sunday afternoon brought me to the delightfully-cool Orpheum Theatre downtown for THE ARTIST (2011). I did not see it in theaters when it first came out, so what better chance to see it on the big screen in such a great venue. I found it delightful. Well-deserved Oscars for Jean Dujardin (best actor) and for Best Picture. Give that dog an Oscar!!
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Thoughts from Ted...

*Where did 2011 go? It seems like yesterday I was going to baseball games in hot hot hot weather, and now it's almost Thanksgiving.

*Are the Occupy protesters in NYC still going to be as determined during the winter months? And I'm still not clear: what exactly are they protesting again?

*By the way, the segment recently on CONAN in which Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog visited the Occupy protesters was one of the funniest bits of comedy I've seen in a long time.

*The one new show on television this season I really like is ONCE UPON A TIME. It's a fast hour.

*I'm in an original musical production of "A Christmas Carol" at The Forum Theatre at Hillside & Douglas. It runs December 1-18. There are so many talented people in the cast; I hope you can come and see it for some holiday fun.

*I'll admit it: blogging makes me nervous for some reason.

*I took a vacation back in October, visiting Columbia, South Carolina; Myrtle Beach, SC; Charleston, SC; Savannah, Georgia; and Atlanta. Wow it was good to get away and see someplace different for a few days.

*Had a really great time a couple of weeks ago when Lone Chimney Films had a night at the Orpheum Theatre with actors Barry Corbin & Buck Taylor. That was a special evening; I'm sorry more Wichitans didn't come to enjoy it.
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