Can you IMAGINE? The Fab Four together again live!
Opens in Portland, OR 12/29/09

Left to Right: Joey Curatolo (Paul McCartney), Ralph Castelli (RingoStarr),
 Joe Bithorn (George Harrison), Steve Landes (John Lennon). Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus

This theater event has finished its run in Portland, Oregon. However, you can check the Internet for other locations where the touring company is headed. Thanks so much for visiting my blog!

Time travel back to those fabulous musical days. The Liverpool group is discovered and grows so popular that England can't contain them. Off they go to New York, where girls were swooning. I remember the day in 1964. I was working at CBS when their limo pulled up. The secretaries dashed to the mezzanine and looked down to see them.

Follow the group from Ed Sullivan to Abbey Road! You won't believe your eyes! They look like them and they sound just like them! "The next best thing to seeing The Beatles," raves the Denver Post. All the music and vocals are performed totally live!

RAIN covers the Fab Four from the earliest beginnings through the psychedelic late '60s and their long-haired hippie, hard-rocking rooftop days.

RAIN Is a multi-media, multi-dimensional experience ... a fusion of historical footage and hilarious television commercials from the 1960s lights up video screens and live cameras zoom in for close-ups. Sing along with your family and friends to such Beatlemaniac favorites as "Let It Be," "Hey Jude," "Come Together" and "Can't Buy Me Love."

All performances at the Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St at 3rd Ave, downtown Portland.
Performances with American Sign Language description are usually on Thursdays. Please call 503-241-1802, M-F, 9a-5p, for more information and tickets.

December 29, 2009 - January 3, 2010

Tuesday-Friday at 7:30pm
Saturday at 2pm & 7:30pm
Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm

In person: The Hampton Opera Center, 211 SE Caruthers St, Portland, OR 97214
By Phone: 503-241-1802, or toll-free at 1-866-739-6737 (M-F, 9a-5p)

Portland Opera, in association with Broadway Across America, is proud to provide our entire region with the very best nationally touring Broadway productions.

For more details on the production in other cities, please visit

Monday, December 21, 2009

Movie Review: The Godfather Part 2 (1974) -- Classic Movies

The Godfather Part II (1974)
Original broadcast dates of this review: January 6-13, 1975
Classic movies are now available on DVD at NetFlix and other distributors.
PLEASE NOTE: This review may contain spoilers.

Movie director Francis Ford Coppola would have been a great painter. Since he decided to make his mark in film, his canvases turned out to be the screens in our movie theaters. (Now, we can view his work via DVD in our homes.) Coppola has literally painted this film epic in umbers, ochres, and deep pinkish tones. It’s “The Godfather, Part Two,” one of the best films I’ve ever seen.
In my opinion, this is a unique sequel, because it’s better than the original film. “The Godfather, Part Two” interweaves two stories. One involves the young Vito Corleone, played at an older age by Marlon Brando. First, we see him as a boy in Italy and subsequently as a young man in New York. The second story concerns Michael Corleone, Vito’s youngest son, the Godfather in 1958. The performance of Robert DeNiro crystallizes author Mario Puzo’s descriptions from the novel. Marlon Brando was bigger in star stature than the original role demanded, but he brought in the people for the first film. Now, DeNiro and Al Pacino render the story more human and understandable.
Director Coppola tells the two stores in alternation. In the first epoch, we see nine-year-old Vito’s early days in Sicily. A town feud ends with the violent death of his father, mother and older brother. Friends send Vito away in the night. He makes his way alone by boat to a new life in America.
Coppola captures the feeling of the early 1900s in New York City’s Italian district. It’s a thoroughly moving experience. In the modern story, Al Pacino as Michael Corleone faces his life as the new head of the family. He’s involved in gambling deals in the State of Nevada. Michael is a tragic character caught in a mix of revulsion and necessity. Michael’s life is a series of deals. The criminal part of his existence takes place in shadowy sequences. These are set amid the bright exterior glitter of the world of gambling. Michael’s role as husband and father are pressed into the background.
Finally, his wife leaves him. She admits that she aborted his second son rather than continue the bloodbath that began in Sicily. At the fade, Michael is alone with his dread and his double-deals. Al Pacino’s low-key performance is just a whisper. “The Godfather Part Two” is a giant of a movie. It runs three hours and twenty minutes. It is fascinating and unusual filmmaking. This is Ellen Kimball on Entertainment for WEEI Radio in Boston.
Thursday, November 26, 2009

Finally! Coming out of the fog of illness that was my summer...

Never give up hope, even in the darkest of times... A new day is dawning. I'm pleased to report that I'm feeling much better after a difficult summer. Thanks to everyone for your patience and understanding. I hope to be contributing to this blog on a more regular basis in the next few weeks.

As for now, you can find me on Twitter at Due to my improving health, I am spending less time on the computer and more time keeping myself in better shape. I've lost more than 10 lbs. by eating better food and LESS food. Also, I am committed to walking, swimming and completing household tasks that I could not do this summer.

I'm happy to hear from you and glad you could stop by! My best to you for the coming holiday season.


Ellen (@Radio_Lady on Twitter)
Monday, November 16, 2009

Hello to all! I'm posting this UPDATE on Monday, October 12, 2009.

This summer, I have been afflicted with a painful medical condition. No one can determine what has caused this. My daily routine changed radically in early June 2009. Even after all these months, there are no real answers to why I am feeling this kind of pain. Some research suggests I may have had rare adverse reactions to two routine vaccine injections administered in January and May of this year. Here are the details:

This unidentified illness (a lingering neuropathy) manifests itself with excruciating, radiating left chest, arm and back pain. The condition has had a profoundly negative impact on my day-to-day life.
Apparently, my heart is NOT the cause of the pain.

Ironically, the doctor ordered a routine echocardiogram (ultrasound) of my heart in August. There is a defined problem with one of the valves in my heart. The official diagnosis is mitral valve regurgitation (translation: valve is leaking blood in the wrong direction) which has been rated moderate to severe. I am now scheduled for another heart test (transesophageal echocardiogram) on October 13, 2009 to further evaluate the initial results.

I cannot spend as much time sitting at the computer because that makes the pain worse. I have to stay active and have increased walking and swimming. The doctors have placed me on medications so I can tolerate this illness. I require more rest every day and am struggling to achieve that goal. One doctor feels I may have to endure 6 - 12 months of general healing and pain control while my system regulates itself.

Please check my past blog posts. Also, look at the right column of this blog for a list of linked blogs. I believe there are some very interesting people in my personal blogosphere!

Thanks for your patience and understanding. Hope I'll be back soon when I'm more comfortable.
Feel free to leave me a comment. Cordially, Ellen & Al (Photo with my husband on Utah trip in 2007)

Original post date: September 8, 2009

It’s a tradition! Chaim Topol in Fiddler on the Roof – Last Chance tour!

Topol and the Company
Photo credit: © 2009, JOAN MARCUS

I give this musical play an "A+" on Ellen's Entertainment Report Card.

Fiddler on the Roof has closed in Portland, Oregon -- but you can still see it in the following cities. Next performances in 2010 are scheduled for: Atlanta, GA (Mar 16, 2010 - Mar 21, 2010), Appleton, WI (May 11, 2010 - May 15, 2010), Seattle, WA (Nov 27 - May 30, 2010), Philadelphia, PA (opening on June 5, 2010).

For more information, visit this link:

Tuesday’s opening night performance of Fiddler on the Roof started with just that: a fiddler performing on top of a small house, center-stage. Out walked Chaim Topol as Tevye (he won a Golden Globe in 1971 for the same role in the film adaptation), earning a rousing round of applause from the Keller Auditorium crowd.

He looked up at the musician overhead and mused, breaking the fourth wall and addressing the audience (as he did throughout the play), “A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But here, in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn't easy. You may ask, 'Why do we stay up there if it's so dangerous?' Well, we stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: tradition!”

Then, the large cast of townspeople launched into “Tradition,” one of many memorable musical numbers sprinkled throughout this classic story, based on the tales of Sholem Aleichem. When the song ended, Tevye said: “Traditions, traditions. Without our traditions our lives would be as shaky as, as ... as a fiddler on the roof!”

Yet, during the course of the story, Tevye discovers that some traditions should be reconsidered, and that change is inevitable. Indeed, the fiddler is ever-present throughout the story, playing a song of change and symbolizing the instability of life.

The story takes place in a Russian village during the revolution of 1905. Although life in Anatevka is simple, traditional and largely insulated, news of change abroad begins to filter into town and affect the youth—including Tevye the milkman’s five eligible daughters. As the three eldest girls embrace modern ideas about love and marriage, Tevye and wife Golde face difficult decisions.

While Fiddler is full of Tevye’s homespun philosophy and universal questions, it’s also rife with humor and boisterous song and dance. Topol leads the cast with his earnest, lovable portrayal of Topol, perhaps most endearing in his apostrophic conversations with God. Although the Israeli native isn’t quite as spry as he once was, his energetic dancing and animated performance belie his 73 years. And, considering this is his farewell tour, Topol really seemed to give it his all.

The rest of the cast was solid as well, with a standout performance by Susan Cella as the acerbic Golde. Throw in a live orchestra, dynamic set design and spot-on choreography, and Fiddler on the Roof is a first-class production that the whole family will appreciate.

Fiddler on the Roof is playing at the Keller Auditorium through August 30.

Due to the illness of Ellen Kimball, this review was adapted from Boca Raton magazine's Chelsea Greenwood online review posted in 4/2009. Thanks, Chelsea.

Fiddler on the Roof, the Tony® Award-winning musical that has captured the hearts of people all over the world with its universal appeal, plays here in Portland, Oregon, through Sunday, August 30. Local audiences have this singular opportunity to see 73-year-old Chaim Topol, star of the original motion picture, in his final U.S. performance of the award-winning role that made him a legend in Fiddler on the Roof.

Based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem, Fiddler on the Roof has been lauded by critics again and again, and won the hearts of people all around the world. Filled with a rousing, heartwarming score, which includes “Tradition,” “Matchmaker, Matchmaker,” “If I Were A Rich Man” and “Sunrise, Sunset,” Fiddler on the Roof is a timeless classic.

No other musical has so magically woven music and dance into such an electrifying and unforgettable experience. You’ll laugh and cry at the story of life in the small Russian village of Anatevka. Relive a glorious tradition of the musical theatre with TOPOL’s farewell performance in Fiddler on the Roof.

Ellen's remarks:

My paternal grandfather was an immigrant from Vilna, Russia. I was born Jewish and this could be well be the story of our family. Regrettably, Grandpa Harry Kimball died quite young. I never knew him nor was I able to talk with him about his Russian history. My former husband and I saw Zero Mostel, Theodore Bikel and Herschel Bernardi in the role of Tevye. We were somewhat disappointed years ago with the announcement that the movie would be starring the unknown (to us) Israeli actor Chaim Topol. However, over the years, the beloved Topol has proved himself to be a fine actor. He also has had the longevity necessary to still be standing on stage in 2009! That is an amazing accomplishment in and of itself!

Fiddler on the Roof
On stage through Sunday, August 30, 2009
Tuesday-Friday at 7:30pm
Saturday at 2pm & 7:30pm
Sunday at 2pm & 7:30pm* *Please note special performance times on Sunday.

All performances are at the Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay St at 3rd Ave, downtown Portland, Oregon. For tickets: In person: The Hampton Opera Center, 211 SE Caruthers Street, Portland, OR 97214 By Phone: 503-241-1802 or toll-free 1-866-739-6737 (M-F 9a-5p)

Chaim Topol as Tevye
Photo credit: © 2009, JOAN MARCUS

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Movie Review: “(500) Days of Summer” (2009): Sweet yet solemn PG-13 romantic comedy with a realistic view of how love can be and often is.

Fox Searchlight has enriched the summer season immensely with a quirky and ultimately uplifting romantic comedy. If I had enough time and a couple glasses of wine, I could cite 500 reasons for going to this film. Suffice it to say that on a predicted hot weekend in Portland, Oregon, I’m going with my gut feelings. Suggest you buy your tickets now for this touching roller-coaster ride love story.

Handsome actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt (whom I have adored since his days in the TV hit “3rd Rock from the Sun”) plays Tom Hansen. Zooey Deschanel (beautiful and talented with those gorgeous eyes) plays his illusive love named Summer Finn. Tom is a hapless greeting card copywriter and hopeless romantic who once considered a career in architecture, but let it slip away. Summer becomes his office romance just briefly, but then dumps him. The timeline in the film shifts back and forth during their 500 day romance as Tom tries to unravel the Gordian knot and figure out what went awry. How he extracts himself from his situation is quite heart-rending. Ultimately, he reflects about his life until the final resolution. The path of love is meandering and unpredictable. Each relationship has its place in a lifetime of affections.

This is definitely not a formulaic romantic comedy and therein lies its charm. You’ll find the story prickly yet expansive, funny and sad. I ached for both main characters, laughed at their friends trying to help them. The film hits just the right note: a realistic, meandering chronicle of love’s highs and lows. The movie definitely doesn’t quite go where an audience might think it will. Even a yuppie senior curmudgeon can love this film.

I wish I could ask director Marc Webb why there are brackets around the number 500. I’ll use them without an explanation here. This movie deserves an ‘A’ on Ellen’s Entertainment Report Card.

MPAA rating: PG-13 (for sexual material and language)
Cast: Zooey Deschanel, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Geoffrey Arend, Clark Gregg, Chloe Moretz, Minka Kelly and Rachel Boston
Director: Marc Webb
Writers: Scott Neustadter and Michael Weber
Running time: 1 hour, 36 minutes


Ellen Kimball is a TV and radio pioneer. She was selected as a co-host of a local, live children's television show at WTVJ-TV. Ch. 4 in Miami, Florida, during her freshman year in college. She has been working in communications for more than five decades. Ellen is one of the first women in the U.S. to host her own daily radio call-in talk shows at major market stations in Miami and Boston. Ellen and her husband moved to Beaverton, Oregon eleven years ago. She currently contributes her reviews on films, theater and other entertainment to, the website of Ch. 8, the NBC-TV affiliate in Portland, Oregon.

Friday, July 24, 2009

CLASSIC MOVIES: 'The Little Prince' (1974)

'The Little Prince' is a fragile allegory in book form by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Millions of copies of the book have been sold in multiple languages. In college, our student group spent hours discussing it. It was my ex-husband's favorite book. The message it delivers is subtle, thoughtful and delicate. The illusive quality of the book is translated to film in this musical version by writer Alan Jay Lerner.

In the movie, the little prince is played by a handsome, pint-sized English child named Steven Warner with an ethereal voice. He's a beautiful blond boy and dressed up in his princely costume, he has a commanding presence. As far as I know, Steven Warner never pursued a career in theater or movies.

Actor Richard Kiley plays the wandering earthman. Kiley uses his robust voice on songs with precious lyrics that are sometimes caught up in unusual rhyme rather than reason. But Kiley's gorgeous baritone can be astounding and inspiring.

The story itself preaches the cause against wars and artificial borders between people. The peaceful allegory is not particularly easy to understand. Much of it deals with the problem of accepting responsibility. That's a tough thing to explain, especially to young children. Adults who have read the original book may form a cult following for this film, but if you take a child under twelve years of age, parents should be prepared to do some explaining of the film's message.

Best song in the movie is sung by Bob Fosse, who directed "Cabaret" and the movie "Lenny." Fosse sings and dances the part of "A Snake in the Grass." He's a slithering, sibilant, black-suited soul with snakeskin spats. Fosse's dancing is accurate and inspired. It comes like an oasis of fresh, realistic spirit in the parched, imaginary desert of Saint-Exupéry's mind.

Production values are excellent, with Christopher Callis' flawless photography, Norman Reyonolds' art direction, and Johny Barry's production design handled in fine fashion. Producer Stanley Donen might have taken a cue from the book's primary message. "It's only with the heart that one can see clearly. What's essential is invisible to the eye." That's a very difficult premise to work out in a visual film. The movie is now available on DVD for those who wish to experience it. It's probably an acquired taste, and I still treasure it for personal reasons.

I give this movie a B- on Ellen's Entertainment Report Card.

For more information on 'The Little Prince' (1974), please link to:

(After the movie was gone from theaters, I purchased a vinyl recording of the music, which my husband transferred to audiotape cassette. The score to 'The Little Prince' became a favorite of mine for years, perhaps because I had a cute little son. I played that tape so many times, it because unusable. A few years ago, I purchased a VHS copy of the film from a seller at My two grandchildren watched it once and they were both very bored! Perhaps this is a children's story for adults, if there is such a category!)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Classic Movies: Living Free (1972)

'Living Free,' which I attended in a preview tonight at Wometco's Miracle Theater, is somehow muted in comparison to its predecessor, 'Born Free.'

The director must have realized the power of the original, since many minutes of the film's opening are taken up with footage from 'Born Free,' together with a blend of tonalities from the award-winning song. But that echo, that excitement just didn't seem to provide the required emotional involvement when it got down to the brass tacks of the 'Living Free' story.

Elsa, the mother lioness, has died from infection, leaving three orphaned cubs that must be taken from the area because they are stealing domestic animals from villagers. There was little personal involvement with the three cubs, perhaps because of the vow that Joy Adamson made not to interfere again with their wile and free lives. And so we are witness to a long round-up and corral of the three cubs to transport them to the Serengeti Ntional Forest, where they will presumably be living free again.

Nigel Davenport and Susan Hampshire, while both fine actors of good reputation, did not mesh together like the husband-and-wife acting team of Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna. Miss Hampshire was radiantly perfect in face and diction, and she seemed almost too courtly to be in Africa at all. The story line left wide questions about actual wildlife practice. Would two dedicated experts not even experiment with tranquilizers or other advanced methods to capture the lion cubs, rather than try to catch them with a rather crude triple cage method that involved three cubs going into three separate cages at precisely the same moment? It reminded me of the children's hand game where the little marbles have to fall simultaneously into the clown's eyes, nose and mouth in order to win. Nevertheless, to all people who loved 'Born Free,' you will find moments of tenderness and laughter, tears and playfulness. The scope and beauty of Africa is still there. It's just hard to have to compare a good film to a great one.

I give this film a 'B' on Ellen's Entertainment Report Card.

(Film opened on Friday, March 10, 1972 in Miami, Florida.)

Link here for Internet Movie Database page:

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Latest 'Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 3D' a summer blast for all ages

By ELLEN KIMBALL, Special to

I want to confess. Surely you know confession is good for the mind and the soul (if there really IS a soul). It’s refreshing, and it seems to be all the rage this summer.

I loved every cotton-pickin’, chicken-pluckin’ minute of “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 3-D” now playing in theaters. Loved the idea, loved the two other films very much, and thoroughly enjoyed the 3-D effects. This movie is all I wanted it to be.

You won’t be able to dissuade me from my point of view because I like what I like. Now, don’t go all cerebral on me! I could pick the script apart if I wanted to, and there were pieces of the film that could have been improved. Offhand, I can’t think of one, so sue me.

It’s a summer film in a genre which I have always thoroughly enjoyed.

Another confession. Ray Romano can do no wrong in my book. Maybe he sounds like the two New Yorkers to whom I was married. Now I’m married to a Bostonian whose Brooklyn mother -- reminds me of Ray Romano. His self-deprecating family humor tickles my funny bone and it has for many years. So I was primed to see this film.

The “Ice Age” intro was great fun, as always, with the Scrat the squirrel, voiced by Chris Wedge, trying to save his acorn from destruction. In this film, there’s a new female squirrel called Scratte (I think there should be an accent mark on that final E so it sounds like “Scrat-TAY”). Their hysterical antics as they scrap over that single acorn defy verbal description.

I took my eight-year-old grandson to the preview screening. If he hadn’t loved “Ice Age 3-D” right away, I’d try to cajole him to see it again.

That wasn’t necessary; my grandson loves it, too, just like he loved the other two films. He says the best part is where the animals find themselves in the green toxic atmosphere. It doesn’t hurt them, but it alters their voices to a higher register, making them sound as if they are breathing helium, much to everyone’s great delight.

Memo to Grandma Ellen, a former children’s live TV co-host in the late 1950s: I have to get my grandson a helium balloon so he can actually try this!

Now, the big pats on their furry backs to the whole voice cast, including Ray Romano (Manny the Mammoth), Queen Latifah (Ellie the Mammoth, expecting a BABY), Denis Leary (Diego, the old saber-toothed tiger, feeling as if he is slowing down), John Leguizamo (Sid the Sloth as a reluctant but loving single father to three cutie-pie dinosaurs). How DOES Leguizamo do the voice of the lisping sloth for line after line? I tried it and it’s NOT easy!

There is a long list of other voice parts and a couple of special newcomers: Simon Pegg as Buck the Weasel (sounding like Johnny Depp in "Pirates of the Caribbean") and Karen Disher as newcomer Scratte, the female squirrel.

The film is a treasure trove of exquisite computer renderings of characters and scenery, neat dialogue, saucy retorts, and some sweet romance.

There are double-meaning jokes and sly low-brow innuendoes. Scenes of ice and snow are beautifully rendered, and when the group goes “down under” to a jungle setting with dinosaurs and volcanos, it’s another kind of gorgeous. The new song, “Walk The Dinosaur" is delightful.

It’s a busy week just before the July 4th holiday. If you have time, take the family to see this film. It’s rated PG. I just want you to see the film. I’m giving it an “A” on Ellen’s Entertainment Report Card.

Directed by: Carlos Saldanha

Cast: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Simon Pegg

Running Time: 1 hr 35 mins

Rating: PG

Release Date: July 1, 2009

Background: I’ve been mesmerized by animated movies since Mommy carried me out of the theater in 1940-something. I was watching “Bambi” when I became terrified and started to scream after Bambi’s mother was killed. Who knew that this early trauma would set the stage for a lifelong devotion to animated films? Watching cartoons on Saturday morning at the Rosetta Theater in Little River, near Miami, Florida, became an obsession. I loved every minute of these precious short films.

This was the time when animators actually drew on cells made of celluloid. I’ve observed the process in film school and tried my best to update my little stick figure drawings to something more.

But I didn’t have much talent, except for drawing a pretty good palm tree. I lived in Florida for 28 years. So, for most of my seventy years, I’ve followed animation and just enjoyed it. I'm not old enough to remember Steamboat Willie (precursor to Mickey Mouse), but did study that cartoon in film school.


Ellen Kimball is a TV and radio pioneer. She was selected as a co-host of a local, live children's television show at WTVJ-TV. Ch. 4 in Miami, Florida, during her freshman year in college. She has been working in broadcasting for more than five decades. Ellen is one of the first women in the U.S. to host her own daily radio call-in talk shows at major market stations in Miami and Boston. Ellen and her husband moved to Beaverton, Oregon eleven years ago. She currently contributes her reviews on films, theater and other entertainment to, the website of Ch. 8, the NBC-TV affiliate in Portland, Oregon.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Year One – New Bible-Based Movie Won’t be Touted from Pulpits ‘cause It’s The Pits! (Opens Friday, June 19, 2009)

Hello from Digipix_Man (Ellen's husband):

We've been talking about this film for two days, so I'm chiming in first. If you believe the literal Old Testament account of the Creation of the Earth in seven days, you’ll be really surprised at what happens in “Year One,” the new Jack Black movie. Even if you aren't, you could be shocked that they would have the – the – the male parts necessary to produce such a piece of cinematic tripe. (I could have said worse.)

It's a summer movie and we're not expecting genius. My wife wanted to know if it's worse than “Jackass” the movie. I hadn’t thought of “Year One” as a sequel but Jack Black certainly qualifies as a jackass. I wonder if 'Ass' is his middle name. From now on, I won't think of Jack by any other name than Jackass Black. Hee haw.

Hebrews and Sodomites alike appear in this slapped together PG-13 film. Some Roman gladiators are thrown in for the hell of it. A couple of funny foreskin jokes tickled me (I was born Jewish and circumcised). But there's no connected story line and timelines are wrong and jarring.

See this movie at your own peril. It's crude and stupid. If you laugh too much, I wouldn’t admit it to anyone over the age of two.

Submitted by DigiPix_Man (Ellen's No-Blog husband with a mind of his own)

Ellen: Thanks, sweetie. Go do your digital photo album. I'm up now.

It's summertime and we decided to take a crack at watching a preview screening. My husband absolutely hated this movie and vents his spleen above. He also slept through parts of the film. He was awake for the endless chain of foreskin jokes -- I love Hank Azaria in anything he does. These jokes are a regular routine in Jewish humor from way back.

I channeled my inner five-year-old and chuckled loudly at much of the craziness. I love comedy, highbrow and lowbrow. This was kind of "dark circles under eye" comedy. It includes all the body parts we just don't usually talk about.

Now, I am definitely NOT a prude. I've been a bawdy, sexy, outspoken and dramatic performer since babyhood. Mom used to tell me I pulled my pants down at age 3 in Zecher's Market in Pittsburgh and threw a tantrum. An only child, I remember lyrics to musical theater songs, can recall and recite a number of radio commercials from the 1940s forward. I also love wordplay, accents, Biblical references and really twisted language. I co-hosted a children's TV show in Miami, Florida during college, and took care of children in a live audience every weekday from 5PM to 6PM.

My drama teacher in high school, a closeted gay man, became my total passion for two years. He was my homeroom teacher. He told me he was seeing a bit player who was in the movie "Quo Vadis." I was an all "A" student. I copied my teacher's handwriting. He cast me as the lead in the Senior Class play, "A Man Called Peter." I played Catherine Marshall, Peter's wife. (RIP Ernest B. Montgomery, Johnson City, Tenn. who commited suicide on May 15, 1956, just prior to my high school graduation.)

Later, I worked with homosexual males (and females) in the theater, in a variety of NYC offices, and again as a Clairol haircoloring representative for their Professional Products Division. I love makeup, fashion, and costume. I've been called a drama queen and I consider that a compliment.

I questioned, then abandoned the precepts that organized religion tried to pump into me in the Jewish temples I dutifully attended.

"Year One" did tickle the funnybone that Mel Brooks, Zero Mostel, and Lenny Bruce had tickled way before Jack Black. I love Michael Cera and Jack Black, but this movie has AMATEUR NIGHT and SKITS WOVEN TOGETHER written all over it. Much of the acting seemed like improvization. Editing and continuity issues kept creeping up. The storyline was not at all in-line. In my mind, I kept thinking that one scene situation didn't really resolve itself. It just stopped, leaving me to figure the scene out for myself. Then, these cardboard cartoon characters came back fully whole in the next scene.

I give this movie a D on Ellen's Entertainment Report card. It's not that it's terrible, it's just that it could have been much better, given all the talent that was clearly available. This movie is rated PG-13.

Official website:

Friday, June 19, 2009

UP and away with Pixar/Disney's new 3D winner (Opens Friday, May 29)

A few days ago, I saw a preview of 'Up' the new Pixar movie. It brought back some vivid memories from my younger days, and much of what has transpired since that time. During my senior year in high school, I saw a short French film called 'The Red Balloon.' If you've never seen it, this surreal movie is about a handsome young boy followed around Paris, France by a single red balloon. It trails him here and there until the boy is finally carried away by the red balloon -- tied in with all its "cousins" -- straight up into the stratosphere. That's where the story stops.

'The Red Balloon' won an Oscar for Best Screenplay and several other awards for Albert Lamorisse in 1957. Touching and sweet, you are able to believe what you wish about the main character in that film. What's clear is that UP is always better than DOWN and it's that way for a reason. After all, there are Heaven and Hell -- the fresh sweet breezy blue sky with white clouds versus the dark and gloomy ground. We dare not even mention the underground.

The long awaited Pixar/Disney film 'Up' seems to have evolved from a similar ultra-simple tale. I believe Monsieur Lamorisse would have loved it! 'Up' is a very pleasing potpourri of charming and devilish characters, lavish images, transcendent music, and magnificent backgrounds. The story plays out very well in two unique realms. For me, it was a sentimental comedy. One minute I was sniffling as the elderly main characters find each other, live and love as they play out their structured life, dreaming of adventure somewhere along the road. But life itself interferes as it will, and the couple never gets to fulfill their joint dream.

Especially touching -- during this week of my 70th birthday on 5/31 -- is the square-faced, elderly character of Carl Fredrickson, a balloon salesman, voiced by the gruff-and-funny character actor Ed Asner. Clearly, Asner enjoys the whole thing. The other voices are also recognizable are Christopher Plummer (no longer the handsome Captain with seven children, but still going after all these years) and John Ratzenberger (the postal employee from 'Cheers').

After a life-altering situation occurs, and the movie switches gears. Then it becomes a comical "buddy roadtrip" with some intensity in the later action. Kudos to the decision to use a decidedly rotund animated Asian character for the cuddly young Wilderness Scout who accidentally accompanies Carl in his late-life adventures. Jordan Nagai is extremely talented with a voice that clearly captures all of the emotion of this key character.

'Up' has quite a few jokes. Between my eight-year-old grandson laughing on my left side, and a well-known and admired writer/film reviewer chortling on the other side, I probably missed a few. This movie will be a must-see for the second time.

It's only mid-year, and 'Up' takes its rightful place at the top of the picture-perfect pantheon of Pixar movies. It will be hard to imagine another movie outpacing this one for best animation awards in 2009.

So, my advice is to take the ride. See it in Disney 3-D if you can, which adds to the experience. Know that you can help guide the balloons of your life where you wish to go. If you are lucky, you might be able to fulfill most of your dreams right to the very end. There really is no other choice. Life will sweep you up anyway, and you must go with it, even if you have to deal with downdrafts along the way.

I'm pleased to give 'Up' an 'A' on Ellen's Entertainment Report Card.

Official website and trailer:

Genre: Animation/Adventure
Rating: PG for some peril and action. (Parents: Be aware that the movie contains allusions to a woman's infertility and a brief death sequence. This is handled in a very acceptable way for most people.)
Runtime: 98 minutes
Director: Pete Docter
Co-Director: Bob Peterson
Composer: Michael Giacchino

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Me 'n' Larry King -- "My Remarkable Journey" (Book release May 19, 2009)


Larry, I know your new book "My Remarkable Journey" will be out in bookstores in a few days. I hope to read it, and I'm sure there are no footnotes about me in it! But I did cross paths with you briefly in the late 50s, and then again in 1971. My life changed dramatically because I reached out to you.

For years, I've had a lot of fun with this quote: "I dated Larry King, but never married him. Of course, he never asked me!"

This message is heartfelt. I just want to thank you for being in my life in the early times and offering me encouragement. We had one rather forgettable date in the 1950s, when you were on radio at WAHR with your alter-ego Captain Wainwright, the crooked Miami cop on filter mike -- I loved that character!

I was on television at Miami's WTVJ Channel 4 with "Skipper" Chuck Zink on "Popeye Playhouse," the local live children's show that ran from 1957 to 1979. I was the first "First Mate" on the show while in my first year of college (1957-58). Larry, you and I were introduced by WTVJ salesman Frank Boscia, who thought we might have something in common. You are five years older than I am, and we are both from Jewish backgrounds. I think we ate at the drive-in restaurant Pickin' Chicken, but don't recall much else. I already had fallen in love, but not with you...

In 1962, I graduated with a B.A. in Communications with honors from the University of Miami and moved to New York City. I had a successful career as a production assistant at NBC's "Tonight" unit, working for Dick Carson, Johnny Carson's brother, who directed the show at that time. Later, I worked with NBC's documentary news division. I was On-Air Promotion Supervisor at WPIX Channel 11, and did copywriting for several advertising agencies. One production job was with Barry Gray at WMCA, who was credited as the first talk host to put telephone calls on the radio in the early 1960s. I had no idea at the time that I would ever perform on TV -- or radio -- again!

I married classmate Peter R. in 1963. He had emigrated to New York as a small boy with his parents. They lived in Washington Heights. Peter was an aspiring TV producer and film director with a degree from UCLA. Peter achieved a responsible job with ABC, working with the program development group and then with the Wide World of Sports unit. We had a beautiful daughter born in October 1968. Peter's dreams of success in his chosen field were not to be. He became disillusioned, but he had one final job offer with Reela Films in Miami, working on documentary fillms. We moved back to Florida in March 1969 with our tiny daughter. I got pregnant almost immediately. Our second child, David, was born at Miami's Mercy Hospital in December 1969. The Reela job evaporated. After Peter's career crisis, two children, and eight years of marriage, he chose to divorce me. My parents were unable to help, and I had to support myself, the two kids, and a dog. Peter remarried another woman in April 1971, three weeks after our divorce.

Larry, I reconnected with you in the summer of 1971. I was divorced and working some very menial jobs for little pay. I had the two tiny children to care for, and a monthly home mortgage to cover. One early morning, I was driving from Miami Beach to Opa Locka. You were on WIOD radio and you called out for someone to PLEEZE bring you doughnuts and coffee. I stopped at a local shop and bought the refreshments you requested. Although you didn't remember me from our brief encounter in the 1950s, you invited me to stay and screen your calls before they went on the air. I kept dropping in and you promised that you would talk to the program manager about some compensation for my work. One day, I began to supply you with hour-long "woman in the mall" cassette tapes when you started to fall asleep at the microphone. Somewhere along the way, a listener re-named me "Ellen Rainbow" which is just a few letters added to my ex-husband's name.

You kept me busy, interested, and even laughing for those difficult months in the fall and winter. But a few days before Christmas 1971, you were gone -- caught in a legal monetary tangle that I barely understood.

I have not seen nor spoken you from that day to this. Of course, I know your career reignited on Westwood Radio and then on CNN for years. I was so happy you were back!

These are some newspaper clippings which I recently recovered:

After you were gone, WIOD Program Manager Elliott "Biggie" Nevins hired me do the night show shift three times a week, while they looked for a male host to replace you. He paid me $50 each night I hosted. I might have ended up who-knows-where if I had not had that income.

In the first few months of 1972, I did a show with Larry Johnson in Chicago via WATS lines. Then, we patched in with Bruce Lee on Boston's WEEI-AM. (No, not THAT Bruce Lee!) Bruce saved the tape and called me. He said CBS was looking for a woman to do 10 AM to 2 PM. I had to make the first contact with Program Manager Dan Griffin, because if they called me, it would be "talent raiding." At the time, WEEI was owned and operated by CBS and a union shop. WIOD was affiliated with NBC. WEEI management flew me to Massachusetts for a marathon interview on April 28, 1972. It was a glorious spring day that will live in my memory forever. Barbara Trombley, one of my former WIOD guests, took me around to see Boston sights. I was immediately enchanted by this historical city and the beautiful temperate weather.

Dan Griffin offered me the job a few days later. I gave my children to my ex-husband and his wife temporarily, and told them I would let them know when I was settled in an appropriate living space. I packed up my Volvo and my Cocker Spaniel dog, drove to northern Florida, boarded the Autotrain, got off in Virginia, and headed up to Boston.

On May 15, 1972, I started a brand new gig as the first woman with a daily, four-hour radio talk show in Boston. At the beginning, I worked six days each week, four hours a day Mon. thru Sat. on "Boston Forum with Ellen Kimball." Imagine! I was talking for 24 solid hours each week. It was a crushing schedule, but I kept it going for months. Finally, management relented and newsman Ben Farnsworth took over the Saturday show. My show was eventually renamed "The Ellen Kimball Show."

A few years later, another Boston station, WMEX AM, hired me after WEEI changed their format:

I met a widower with three older children in June 1972. He is from a Jewish background, and five years older than I am. His first wife had died at age 34 from cancer. He was trained as an electrical engineer, and later became a software analyst. We married on February 4, 1973 and we will celebrate 37 years of marriage in 2010.

Our wedding day. Daughter Linda is one year younger than Larry's daughter Chaia. Son David is 14 months younger than his sister.

My husband and I moved from Boston to Portland, Oregon eleven years ago. I will be 70 years old on May 31st, and my husband will be 75 on June 23rd. It has been a full life. Yes, there have been stepfamily setbacks, but we are now enjoying worldwide travel, photography, swimming, Broadway musicals, and having fun with our young grandchildren. I review entertainment for, the website of Channel 8, the NBC-TV affiliate in Portland. It's a volunteer job for which I receive no compensation.

Thanks for being who you are, and for helping me along my remarkable journey.


Ellen Kimball (Radio_Lady)

Tweet me! @Radio_Lady
Larry is on Twitter @kingsthings

PS. In 2006, I called Steve Z., the radio engineer with whom Larry and I worked at WIOD. Steve is a charming and wonderful guy, now retired from Cox Broadcasting and living in Venice, Florida. He entertains me daily with a hefty array of fascinating emails and we speak by telephone quite frequently.

Larry with his wife, Shawn Southwick. and their two young boys, Chance and Cannon:

Friday, May 15, 2009

"Star Trek" arrives in local theaters! Beam us up, Gary Wolcott!

I was planning a two-week trip to Utah with my husband at the beginning of May, so I passed up my chances to preview the new Star Trek film. I ended up sending my spouse on a "MALE BONDING" trip with my son and our two grandsons. Will have to see the film when he gets back. I'm taking the opportunity of chiming in here with Mr. Movie, Gary Wolcott's excellent review. Thanks for all the good work you do, Gary.

Gary Wolcott's "Mr. Movie" column has appeared in the Tri-City Herald in Washington state since 1992. The Tri-City native now lives in Portland, Oregon, and watches about 250 movies each year. He believes movies are made to be seen on theater screens and should be seen there and not on television screens.

Stardate 1905.08. Red alert. In local movie theaters, a Romulan vessel looking more like a giant squid than a space ship, has invaded Federation space. An intense, dramatic, brilliantly shot and edited battle scene develops. It ends with the birth of James T. Kirk.

Star Trek is back at the beginning.

Since Star Trek: The Next Generation left television for big screen failure, the franchise has been sputtering through the cosmos on impulse power. Most fans were convinced that Voyager and the last nail in the coffin Enterprise, doomed the late Gene Roddenberry’s futuristic saga to its final resting place in a black hole.

Only the most rabid of fans left the neutral zone when the announcement came that there would be an 11th Star Trek movie. A few more converts beamed aboard when Lost and Alias creator/producer J.J. Abrams said he’d take the helm.

It turns out to be a great choice.

Abrams kicks his film into warp drive and boldly goes where the Star Trek actually has gone before. Only better.

Twisting time, shifting characters, making them the same but different, undoing then redoing Star Trek history, Abrams reinvention of the franchise stretches series creativity to a whole, new level. From the mind-boggling opening scenes to Leonard Nimoy’s fond, fitting, and quite familiar farewell, Star Trek is more fun than a night spent tickling tribbles.

Twenty-five years later, the same Romulan ship pops into Federation space again and attacks Spock’s home planet Vulcan. Kirk and what will become the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise are in training at Star Fleet Academy. With the fleet in another part of the galaxy, the trainees are drafted into battle.

Two things make this movie a blast. The first is a cast that will have you pointing at the screen, laughing and whispering to the person in the next seat. Abrams and the producers did their homework and found actors with facial features close enough to the original cast to be believable. It’s not pitch-perfect, but you can see enough of the characters in these young actors to buy the possibility.

Chris Pine is James T. Kirk. He has more fun than anyone as a nod-and-a-wink, larger-than-life caricature. The film’s funniest scenes are between Pine and Karl Urban, who does an equally entertaining Dr. Leonard McCoy.

The best look alike is Zachary Quinto’s Spock. Though not as gaunt as Nimoy, Quinto’s facial features, dark eyes and the combed-forward hairdo make him look so much like a young Nimoy that it’s spooky. Dialogue delivery, facial expressions and vocal tone complete the transformation.

The actors looking least like the original cast are Anton Yelchin’s Chekov and Simon Pegg’s Montgomery Scott. Both make up for facial feature failure with dead-on imitations of Walter Koenig and James Doohan’s voices.

Plus No. 2 is the story. Star Trek is as much satire as it is straight-ahead storytelling. Writers Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman have a blast with the plot. The retrofit of the series’ legendary characters is cemented with the recycling of one hilarious cliché Star Trek line after another.

And like Star Wars George Lucas who was able to convince you that a galaxy long ago, and far, far away was a real place, Abrams and his writing team add dimensions to Star Trek that make it seem as though you are really there.

Abrams is a superb director whose mixture of light and shadow and effects that redefine state-of-the-art with a near-perfect script will put Star Trek at the top of many “best-of” lists for 2009.

A sequel is a no-brainer.

Until then, to Abrams, cast and crew: Live Long and Prosper.

Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars -- Gary's highest rating.

Rated PG-13 for mature themes, some violence. Now showing. Check your local theater listings for locations and times.


Saturday, May 8, 2009

This spring's premier event Shen Yun Divine Performing Arts

Returning to Portland (Oregon)at the Keller Auditorium Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Warning! This is an archived promotion! Please visit for current information. Thank you for linking here! Ellen Kimball, retired broadcaster & entertainment reviewer

See website (below) for information on other locations, including Spokane, Washington on May 21, Seattle, Washington May 22 - 23, and San Diego, California on May 26 - 28.

Photobucket image courtesy member karanka

More information at:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hop to the Keller Auditorium lightning fast for the musical GREASE


In Portland (Oregon) April 21 – 26

The one that you want is back! GREASE, Time magazine’s 2007 pick for “#1 Musical of the Year,” is rockin’ into Portland and across the country in this new production direct from Broadway.

Take a trip to a simpler time of poodle skirts, drive-ins, and T-birds. “Bad boy” Danny and “the girl next door” Sandy fall in love all over again to the tune of your favorite songs: “Summer Nights,” “Greased Lightning” and “We Go Together” as well as additional songs from the hit movie: “Grease Is the Word,” “Hopelessly Devoted to You” and “You’re the One That I Want.”

So throw your mittens around your kittens and hand jive the night away with the show that’ll make you want to stand up and shout, “A-wop-bop-a-loo-bop A-wop-bam-boom!” It’s GREASE! Warm-up DJ Vince Fontaine, from fictional Radio Station WAXX -- played by the deliciously double-jointed, fast-talking Dominic Fortuna -- is worth the price of admission alone! You will lose count of the number of local jokes he makes, especially the ones poking gentle fun at the town of Scappoose.

Everyone in the cast is totally SWELL, including Eric Schneider as "Danny Zuko" and Emily Padgett as "Sandy Dumbrowski." Fifth season "American Idol" TV winner Taylor Hicks ("Teen Angel") makes quite an entrance in a levitating ice cream cone. The floating device opens like a clamshell to reveal Mr. Hicks wearing more sequins on a man's suit than I can remember seeing since Liberace was alive! His voice is smooth on "Beauty School Dropout." Don't leave early because Hicks re-appears to croon his final song at the very end.

Of course, there was a first-night standing ovation for "Grease." It's all in the spirit of fun and -- for those of us audience members with a bit of mileage on our individual odometers -- a rare look at our memories, including one flashy, racy red Ford Thunderbird I KNOW I rode in decades ago. Ah, yes, those were the days we thought would never end!

Get your tickets now!

All performances are at the Keller Auditorium, 222 SW Clay Street at 3rd Ave, in downtown Portland:

April 21 - 26, 2009 Eight shows only!
Tuesday-Friday at 7:30pm
Saturday at 2pm & 7:30pm
Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm


In person: The Hampton Opera Center, 211 SE Caruthers St, Portland, OR 97214

By Phone: 503.241.1802, or toll-free at 1.866.739.6737 (M-F, 9a-5p)

For more information:

Ellen Kimball is a TV and radio pioneer. She was selected as a co-host of a local, live children's television show at WTVJ-TV, now the NBC affiliate Ch. 4 in Miami, Florida, during her freshman year in college. She has been working in broadcasting for more than five decades. Ellen is one of the first women in the U.S. to host her own daily radio call-in talk shows at major market stations in Miami and Boston. She and her husband moved to Beaverton, Oregon in 1998. Ellen currently contributes her reviews on films, theater and other entertainment to, the website of Ch. 8, the NBC affiliate in Portland, Oregon.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Daughters and Dads -- we've seen it all!

My bio daughter Linda turned 40 last year (2008), and my bio son David is right behind her this year (2009). They are 14 months apart in age. My husband, their bonus* father since early childhood, put together an amazing photo book to celebrate her life.

*Bonus="It's a step in the right direction!" See

Linda’s 40th B-Day Album

I truly wish it had been possible to do this with the older children that we raised, but maybe someday. There are so many photos that should be preserved and passed along to Grandpa Al's five bio grandchildren. Lee, Cynthia, Adam, William and Rosalee, we love you from a distance and sorry you can't be in our lives at this time. To Michael A.A., Gabrielle, Nicholas, Tyler and Solomon, you are all part of our heritage even if we don't happen to be linked by names or bloodlines. We're always pleased and proud to be in your company and enjoy being grandparents to the five of you.

I just called to say I love you, Linda. It's been hard being a mother and bonus* mother, especially now as we get older. Ask about any family, and everybody seems to have a story of separation and estrangement, as we do.

Linda, I am so proud of you for the kind way in which you treat your bonus mothers, especially Dad Peter's second wife, now a widow. Your mother-in-law is a mensch and I always enjoy being in her company. So glad that so many loving women taught you to cook! We look forward to spending our Passover with you and your friends. Love, Mom/Ellen

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Twittering Over the Twee-Tops

A little bird told me about the three-year-old social networking application called Twitter.

Well, actually... I watched co-inventor Evan Williams interviewed on the Charlie Rose Show. I have never investigated Facebook or My Space, but I was so intrigued that I decided to join up.

Here's a quick tutorial on what it's for and how it works. I'm finding it great fun.

My Twitter screen name is: @Radio_Lady

My replies to other people and other general info is at:
However, I will warn you that the page looks like half a conversation.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

This is a positively brilliant political video. You can decide for yourself if the content fits your ideas or not.
Glorious reflected colors at the waterfront in Sydney, Australia
Hat tip to hippielovebaby16 at

Think about this...

1. If you take an Oriental person and spin him around several times, does he become disoriented?
2. If people from Poland are called Poles, why aren't people from Holland called Holes?
3. Do infants enjoy infancy as much as adults enjoy adultery?
4. If a pig loses its voice, is it disgruntled?
5. If love is blind, why is lingerie so popular?
6. Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
7. When cheese gets its picture taken, what does it say?
8. Why is a person who plays the piano called a pianist but a person who drives a race car not called a racist?
9. Why are a wise man and a wise guy opposites?
10. Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things?
11. Why isn't the number 11 pronounced onety one?
12. "I am" is reportedly the shortest sentence in the English language. Could it be that "I do" is the longest sentence?
13. If lawyers are disbarred and clergymen defrocked, doesn't it follow that electricians can be delighted, musicians denoted, cowboys deranged, models deposed, tree surgeons debarked, and dry cleaners depressed?
14. What hair color do they put on the driver's licenses of bald men?
15. I thought about how mothers feed their babies with tiny little spoons and forks so I wondered what do Chinese mothers use? Toothpicks?
16. Why do they put pictures of criminals up in the Post Office? What are we supposed to do, write to them? Why don't they just put their pictures on the postage stamps so posties can look for them while they deliver the mail?
17. You never really learn to swear until you learn to drive.
18. No one ever says, "It's only a game" when their team is winning.
19. Ever wonder about those people who spend $3 on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backwards: NAÏVE
20 Isn't making a smoking section in a restaurant like making a peeing section in a swimming pool?
21. If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea does that mean that one out of five enjoys it?
(Hat tip to Australian John Fossey, a gentleman actually wearing a shirt and tie, no less. Classy John spreads humor, good will, and hangover helpers all over the world at:

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

It's Showtime! Grand Mayan Resort, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico

Radio_Lady invites you to see a slideshow of beautiful exterior shots. The photos were created by Ellen's husband, alternately known as DigiPix_Man:

Grand Mayan Resort, Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico, March 2009

March 30, 2009

This Week At The Movies -- Courtesy Mr. Movie Gary Wolcott

Dear Readers:

We just got back from Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico and missed the previews of these March movies. Here's Mr. Movie -- Gary Wolcott -- whose brief takes are usually "spot on". Feel free to chime in with any comments below. You can also contact Gary at his website. He writes for the Tri-City Herald in Washington state. Here's the link.

(Gary has the most beautiful curly hair, but that's another subject entirely.)

Monsters Vs. Aliens is monstrously funny
Published Friday, Mar. 27, 2009
Remember the first time you saw Shrek? This is that kind of treat. Dreamworks--who also put together our favorite Ogre films--did Monsters Vs. Aliens as a 3-D project. Most are two dimensions turned into three after the filming is completed. Both techniques boggle the mind--and are definitely the future of film--but the difference between the two is astonishing.

Nothing Haunting about The Haunting in Connecticut
Published Friday, Mar. 27, 2009
Internet Movie Data Base (IMDB) gives two running times for The Haunting in Connecticut: 98 minutes and 102 minutes. Neither is accurate. The film runs two hours. Two hours too many.

Cage, 'Knowing' quite boring
Published Monday, Mar. 23, 2009
Sometimes even movie critics can be prophets. We don’t do things in biblical proportion or anything close, but often prescience in the realm of mystical movies is a given.

'Duplicity' tough to follow, but caliber of acting shines
Published Friday, Mar. 20, 2009
Industrial espionage is Duplicity's theme. Paul Giamatti and Tom Wilkinson head up rival mega-corporations. They hate each other. Their revulsion spills over into an original, and quite creative, slow motion fight at an airport early in the movie.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Barbara and Mika fight out the "Vibrator Wars" on TV!

Who would have thought that Barbara Walters, that veteran television newswoman, interviewer, unmarried and almost 80 years old -- would get into a tangle with a younger anchorwoman over SEX TOYS? Barbara considers them quite indispensible.

Hey, Mika? You are a beautiful and talented newscaster and you seem really uptight. Maybe you'll change as you age. You don't have to have a ring on your finger or be a certain age to enjoy that special tingle. Your male Republican co-host Joe Scarborough and guest Mike Barnicle were right. You should accept the fun and joy of sex, even if it's supercharged with batteries and even if it is NOT your cup of tea right now.

See if you can accept this fact: Most women use vibrators and love them -- before, in-between, and after men (or women). Check out or any of the many pleasure toys available at a home party right near you. Conair makes a vibrator you can buy at a local drug store. They don't mention its major use, which isn't for sore muscles.

I had this same conversation thirty years ago with some radio callers who got uptight about Betty Dodson's book "Sex for One." Maybe it's still in print! She suggests -- holy of holies, masturbation -- and gives you diagrams. She even gives you instructions to get a mirror to look at your "yoni". What, you've never even looked?

My mother was a Puritanical woman who was a virgin and married at age 18. I was determined NOT to be like her. I'm not. Enjoy "The View"!

Rest well, Natasha Richardson (1963 - 2008)


Family, friends, and lovers of theater are stunned and devastated tonight.

These are the times that try my soul. It is hard to resolve this kind of death with anything that religion would say in terms of comfort.

My heart goes out especially to her beautiful and talented mother, Vanessa Redgrave. I have heard that the worst kind of pain is losing a child. People really never get over it.


The Wonderous Art of Mexico -- Present and Past

Travel always puts us in touch with so many wonderful artists. Here are some with whom I have fallen in love!

Lee Chapman (also known as Lencho) paints with whimsy and adds a little poundage on his characters, especially the bathers and the dancers. Wonderful!

Domingo Playa (Sunday Beach)

Tango Gancho

Find all of these works on line at and also at

Puerco Azul, Constitucion 325, El Centro Puerta Vallarta, Mexico

It's Our Annual Winter Sun-filled Health Break!
Look for me in the Big Pool!

I'll speak with you later this month. Until then...
Goodbye for a while and Keep A Smile!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Real Time with Bill Maher -- Opening Monologue

The whole show will be available ON DEMAND on Comcast Cable after its first showing Friday night (2/27/09). Bank of America Commercial Parody is first.

(Hat tip to Hissyspit from the Democratic Underground.)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

This Story Will Make You Cheer... Ian, You ARE My Hero!

Are you feeling sorry for yourself in the present economy?

Watch this story and you will know what it is to pull yourself up by your bootstraps. Even when you are pretty old! (A tip of my lady's cap to you, Ian. You are a savvy gentleman, and you made the AP and CBS news today!)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Paul Harvey Dies at 90 -- A Radio Friend Remembers...

WIOD Miami Wonderful Isle of Dreams

Steve Zeigler, retired radio engineer from WIOD, Miami, Florida, sent this to me a couple of days ago. Steve and I were together briefly in 1971-72 at this picturesque station located on North Bay Causeway between Miami and Miami Beach. This was when I took over Larry King's late night radio program after he was briefly arrested. All I can say is that Steve is a very kind man who helped me out a great deal when I was in tremendous need.

Steve: Here is my Paul Harvey story. It runs a bit long but you just might enjoy it on this winter day. Every microphone should have a black band around it, for a few days, in honor of Paul Harvey, "Mr. Radio".

Paul Harvey at the microphone WIOD Miami
Paul Harvey in the WIOD studio (1979?)

How I Met Paul Harvey

It was in 1970 when I secured a job as a radio engineer at WIOD-AM and FM in Miami. It was one of the big powerhouses in SE Florida at the time with the NBC Radio Network. A few years later, under different management, the station aligned with the ABC Radio Network, and there was an old friend, Paul Harvey. I had listened to him quite a bit while I was in the Army and looked forward to his newscasts.

I forget the year, but I’m going to say it was 1979 when Paul Harvey was invited to speak at a local function in Miami. ABC had arranged with our people for him to do his morning and noon broadcasts from our studios. This turn of events really blew me away and knocked my socks off! Here I was, about to meet the very person I have come to regard as "Mr. Radio". It was hard to believe that he would actually be in our building and I just might be able to meet him. My respect for him had grown over the years since MP school when I first learned of this radio giant. My head was swimming. Giant? Maybe not -- he was less than seven feet tall!

As things turned out, the guys in the news room highly enjoyed him, and maybe a bit of his professionalism rubbed off on them. WIOD had a Master Control Room configuration – meaning all audio was controlled and ran through my domain. I was the engineer on duty that morning. The Chief Engineer (CE) came in early to check on me and the uplink to ABC. He was impressed with PH too.

About 8:20 AM, I got a phone call from ABC, New York. They planned to talk me down to PH air time. The uplink was cool at their end, and here, my CE was pacing the floor. With the phone at my right ear, I looked up, through double glass window, into the talk studio. I see the big heavy, soundproof door slowly swing open and in walks Paul Harvey.

I was so at ease (make that at un-ease) I don’t remember how I acknowledged his presence when our eyes met, but I’m sure I made some gesture that was honorable. Paul sat in the chair at the main position where Larry King, Alan Courtney and so many other talk show hosts always did their shows. He arranged all his 3-by-5 cards in front of him – yellow ones seem to be the commercials – white for his news.

ABC, on the phone, said, "One minute". A jolt went through me. My CE was being a pest. Then ABC said, "Stand-by, ten seconds. Seven, six, five…." Silence followed. ABC stopped talking to me – I panicked, I popped the MIC switch and Paul said, "Good Morning America, this is Paul Harvey. Standby for news!"

ABC never told me why they didn’t count all the way down. I was very shaken by the incident at the time. All went well during the five minute broadcast. Then PH got up and walked out of the studio with his 3 x 5 cards tucked safely in his coat pocket for re-shuffling and editing in the noon broadcast.

Soon Mr. Harvey was in the hallway with the station big-wigs. They were all headed to the golf course. I grabbed the sheet of paper from ABC that outlined the broadcast details. Running down the hall with pen and paper in hand, I approached the group and asked Mr. Harvey for his autograph. He did so willingly and I got to shake his hand and thank him. He said, "No, no – I thank YOU! ". I think I still have that piece of paper – I sure hope so. I should frame it.

Later that morning the golfers returned to the station and PH got right to work on his noon broadcast – checking the wires and re-typing his 3 x 5 cards. I was off duty and another engineer was captain of the Master Control Room, but I hung around to get another look at "Mr. Radio" in action.

As air time approached, ABC New York called again to give the usual talk-up and to relate that the uplink was standing tall. Our engineer was over-the-top, nervous about doing a national feed. His forehead was wet, as were his palms. He turned from his chair at the console and asked me to do it for him. I was a bit surprised but I understood and I assumed the seat of power for the next twenty minutes.

Again, ABC counted me down, and this time the guy went all the way to one. I opened the MIC for Paul Harvey for the second time that day. About three minutes into the feed, ABC decided everything was OK. They said "thank you" and "goodbye". Flawlessly, we had completed the noon broadcast of Paul Harvey News and Commentary. I went home, a very "happy camper" with my ABC autographed paper in my pocket.

Steve Zeigler
Venice, Florida
Other background:
Former US Army MP
WHOF [Canton OH] 1964
WOIO [Canton] 1967
WIOD [Miami FL] 1970-1997
Steve says (5/08), "Following 33 years in local radio, Dave Graveline and I started the nationally syndicated Into Tomorrow in 1996. As of October 2007, I am retired and living in Venice, Florida."

Saturday, February 28, 2009