Thursday, April 18, 2024

Conan O’Brien Must Go by Trav S.D.

Comedian Conan O’Brien (b. 1963) has been in show business for about 40 years, and he’s been known to the wider public for about 30 of those. By rights, I ought to hate him more (I’ll …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:02PM
Wednesday, April 17, 2024

George Seaton: Of Marxes and Miracles by Trav S.D.

As I pen this, it’s the 500th anniversary of Verrazzano’s historic discovery of New York harbor, But I’ve already blogged about that, on my other blog. So now we treat of the screenwri…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 11:12AM
Tuesday, April 16, 2024

R.I.P. Robert MacNeil by Trav S.D.

PBS’s Robert MacNeil (1931-2024) passed away back on April 12. On the Newshour, Jim Lehrer, like most of MacNeil’s friends and colleagues, used to call him “Robin”, but I’ll refrai…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:24PM

A Charlie Chaplin Finding Aid by Trav S.D.

With the exception of the Marx Brothers (and there are five of them) Charlie Chaplin (1889-1975) is the stage and screen performer about whom I’ve written the greatest number of articles o…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:12AM
Monday, April 15, 2024

Charles Willson Peale and the Prototypical Dime Museum by Trav S.D.

We have a duel objective in giving the Travalanche treatment to Charles Willson Peale (1741-1827) and his distinguished family this morning. The first is that the Peales figured in the Ameri…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:24AM
Sunday, April 14, 2024

130 Years Ago Today: New Yorkers Get the First Movies on Demand! by Trav S.D.

On April 14, 1894, the first Kinetoscope parlor in the world opened, at 1155 Broadway in Manhattan, not far from Madison Square Park and the Garden. Originally, my headline was more specific…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 06:18AM
Saturday, April 13, 2024

R.I.P. Schappell Twins by Trav S.D.

Word has just come down that the conjoined Schappell twins, Lori and George (b. 1961) passed away on April 7. Wait! You’re already a little confused, I bet. How can identical twins be diff…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 06:24PM

What Became of the Dumont Network by Trav S.D.

When I was a kid, grown-ups spoke of a fabled time long before I was born when there were as many as FOUR American tv networks operating simultaneously, keeping me spellbound in much the sam…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:32AM
Friday, April 12, 2024

Shining Sunlight on Chief Thundercloud by Trav S.D.

April 12 was the birthday of the film actor known as Chief Thundercloud (1899-1955). As it happens, there is a “thundercloud” surrounding the actor’s true identity. His real name has b…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 06:06AM
Thursday, April 11, 2024

Last Weekend in April: Two Chances to Catch Me — If You Can Run Fast Enough! by Trav S.D.

If I look crazy in the photos above it’s because I must be! I booked two very involved and very different events back to back in two geographical locations that are both far from my house …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:42PM
Wednesday, April 10, 2024

30 Years Ago: Memories of MacDowell by Trav S.D.

I went to my local woods to witness the eclipse a couple of days ago vaguely hoping something magical would happen. Something most assuredly did, though nothing so crassly obvious as, say, a…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:42AM
Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Valerie Solanas Was Right by Trav S.D.

With the exception of Charles Manson, surely no public figure has ever looked so unhinged in so many photographs as Valerie Solanas (1936-1988). You can actually feel the simmering intensity…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:02PM
Monday, April 8, 2024

John Gavin: The Statesman from “Psycho” by Trav S.D.

I try, very consciously, never to glamorize guns, but this is the only picture of our subject I could find that made me pay attention to what I was looking at. John Gavin (1931-2018) was a v…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:02PM
Sunday, April 7, 2024

STEVE! (martin): a documentary in 2 pieces by Trav S.D.

I’m fairly ecstatic at the advent at Morgan Neville’s new two-part documentary about Steve Martin, not just because it filled me with such mirth and pleasure to reconnect with memories o…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:42AM
Saturday, April 6, 2024

Speaking of Earthquakes… by Trav S.D.

The title of this post of course because yesterday in the Northeast we experienced an extremely rare earthquake that measured 4.8 on the Richter scale, which is roughly a once in a century e…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 08:24AM

Killers of the Flower Moon by Trav S.D.

Warning: I include spoilers. Chronic back pain combined with the flu (ugh!) sidelined me yesterday so I took the opportunity to finally catch up with Killers of the Flower Moon. To my mind i…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:12AM

V for Victory Bateman by Trav S.D.

April 6 was the birthday of stage and screen actress Victory Bateman (1865-1926). She was named after the triumph of the Grand Army of the Republic over the Confederacy; Lee’s surrender wa…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 03:54AM
Friday, April 5, 2024

Love For Lord Buckley by Trav S.D.

A reference on Robin Williams’ 1979 album Reality…What a Concept was my first introduction to Lord Buckley (Richard Buckley, 1906-1960). Buckley was gone long before I came into the worl…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:48AM

This Friday in Hollywood: Michu Gets Memorialized by Trav S.D.

L.A. Friends, this jumped out at me as something worth attending, and, as Wilford Brimley used to put it, “the right thing to do”. Today at 1pm Pacific time the remains of Hungarian-Amer…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 05:24AM
Thursday, April 4, 2024

Happy 80th Birthday, Craig T. Nelson by Trav S.D.

We’ve had call to mention Craig T. Nelson (b. 1944) a half dozen times or more here — I’m an unabashed Craig T. Nelson super-fan and I don’t care who knows it! And, happily, I can op…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:02AM
Wednesday, April 3, 2024

The Sideshow Hootenanny Comes to Brooklyn! by Trav S.D.

Exciting news for lovers of sideshow and the variety arts! The Sideshow Hootenanny (previously known as the Southern Sideshow Hootenanny), now celebrating its tenth year, and making its NYC …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:12AM
Tuesday, April 2, 2024

On the Original ZOLA by Trav S.D.

The title of this post is to clarify that it’s not about Janicza Bravo’s terrific 2020 road movie with Taylour Paige, Riley Keough, Nicholas Braun, and Colman Domingo, which is highly…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 09:06AM
Monday, April 1, 2024

The Romantic Edmund Rostand by Trav S.D.

There’s something highly appropriate about Edmond Rostand (1868-1918), having been born of an April Fool’s Day, given the holiday’s history in his native country and Rostand’s reviva…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 12:42PM
Sunday, March 31, 2024

Big Maceo Merriweather and the “Worried Life Blues” by Trav S.D.

March 31 was the birthday of blues piano player Big Maceo Merriweather (1905-1953), and 2024 (as I write this) marks the centennial year of when he moved from his native Georgia up to Detroi…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:42AM
Saturday, March 30, 2024

The Works of Warren Beatty by Trav S.D.

A decade has passed since my initial stab at a post on Warren Beatty (b. 1937). It is focused on one of his more obscure movies, Mickey One (1965) mostly because this blog was narrowly focus…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 02:06PM

Greta Thyssen: No Greater Grison by Trav S.D.

Greta Thyssen (1927-2018) lived at the center of a Venn Diagram that included the overlapping categories of a) Hollywood blonde bombshells of the Marilyn Monroe / Jayne Mansfield/ Mamie Van …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 04:24AM
Friday, March 29, 2024

RIP: Purple Organ by Trav S.D.

Good Friday seems the ideal time for this post, and though there’s still a good deal of uncertainty around the topic, I’m going to forge ahead anyway. It concerns a different long-haired…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 03:18PM

Moon Mullican: King of the Hillbilly Piano Players by Trav S.D.

Born this day, King of the Hillbilly Piano Players Aubrey Wilson “Moon” Mullican (1909-1967). Fittingly, in some years, his birthday falls on World Piano Day. Mullican is one of those mu…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:54AM
Thursday, March 28, 2024

For Opening Day of Baseball Season: A New Book About Turkey Mike Donlin by Trav S.D.

Yes, it’s true — it’s MLB opening day…and shaping up to be a rain day here in NYC. But it seemed like a good time to let you know about an upcoming new biography of pro baseballer an…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 01:01PM

In Which We Crash “The Mickey Mouse Club” by Trav S.D.

March 28 was the birthday of Jimmie Dodd (1910-1964), a.k.a. Jimmie from The Mickey Mouse Club (1955-1959). Don’t get any funny ideas! I’m about a decade too young to have watched this c…

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 10:22AM
Wednesday, March 27, 2024

The Sarah Vaughan Centennial by Trav S.D.

Singer Sarah Vaughan (1924-1990) was born 100 years ago today. Vaughan is often characterized on the short list of great 20th century jazz and blues singers, along with Billie Holiday, Ella …

SOURCE: Trav S.D. at 07:34AM

All that Chat

May 30, 2023: Grey House - Lyceum Theatre
Jun 26, 2023: Just For Us - Hudson Theatre
Jul 24, 2023: The Cottage - Hayes Theater
Nov 16, 2023: Spamalot - St. James Theatre
Dec 18, 2023: Appropriate - Hayes Theater
Mar 07, 2024: Doubt - Todd Haimes Theatre
Apr 14, 2024: Lempicka - Longacre Theatre
Apr 17, 2024: The Wiz - Marquis Theatre
Apr 18, 2024: Suffs - Music Box Theatre
Apr 25, 2024: Mother Play - Hayes Theater
Jun 10, 2024: The Drama Desk Awards