Official Website

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Yes, Virginia, therr IS a GREAT PUMPKIN

OK. So it's not actually Virginia. It's Marsha Meyers - my friend who did the hilarious portrayal of the gossip columnist in Singing In the Rain at the Downey Community Theater (see earlier post).
 Our coven of three met at the delightful Louisa's on Los Feliz (our favorite watering hole) to bubble up some trouble and chow down on really good Italian food. The third of the party is Joyce Brody - mother superior to most of the Democratic committees in our area.

We have here a "Klong" sent to me by the couple from Hamburg who were here to do an interview with me for promotion of the the chamber opera he, Thies Mynther has written. Sandra ran camera. John is on left, leaning on Thies, Miriam of Cabaret fame is sweetly supporting yours truly.
John's cousin, Rafael completes the picture being shot by Sandra, seen in mirror, if you look closely. 

Another gift has been the Kindelization of my book and it's announcement crafted by the producer of the audio version of the book - which will be released the first of the year, Sam Caldwell. It follows this post.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Devil Made Me Do It Kindle Edition

It’s official, The Devil Made Me Do it is available as an Amazon Kindle e-book! You may purchase and install the  e-book using your Amazon account and Whispernet.

My e-book publisher has added a personal photos page along with a link to a Kindle friendly webpage hosting additional photos. The Kindle friendly webpage will be continuously updated with new photos from my past and as well as more recent snaps.

A Barnes and Nobles Nook e-book and Audio Book (read by yours truly) are in the works. Please subscribe to this blog or the Devil Made Me Do It Facebook page for availability updates.

New book websites to check out:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Who Says You Can't Go Back Again?

John, my loving spouse, took me aaaaallll the way "down the hill" to Downey (about a forty minute drive from our humble hovel under the Hollywood Sign in Sunday mid-day traffic) to see our buddy, Marsha Myers, play the role of Dora Bailey in the Downey Civic Light Opera staging of Singing in the Rain.

Marsha was one of the original War Babies: the improv group that John was with when we met.

Now, I can't speak for the dialog, but the DANCE STEPS were a faithful recreation of every tippy tap in the fabulous Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds movie. I'll swear to that.
Dance steps, I remember. Dialog, not so much.

Ms. Myers' portrayal of the gossip columnist who stitches the story together for us was HYSTERICAL. My sides still ache.
There's one more weekend left of this treasure. If you can make it, you won't regret it. 

BTW, the humble hovel is getting a face lift as I write.  The water blasting happily coincided with our one day of rain last week. Now the scrapping and scrubbing has the back yard denizens - squirrels, geckos, humming birds, and crows - watching from their various limbs and rocks in mild apprehension. Me, too. 
The painter man asked, "What color."
"The same," we said. 

No good. A number must be chosen and properly recorded. It's never easy.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


This just in from my pal Howie Gordon (screen name Richard Pacheco)
"The Berkeley Gordon men return to Scotland and don the great Clan Gordon kilts.

Underneath, we're wearing tefillin.  Put that in your haggis and smoke it, Mel Gibson!
Happy New Year!"

Aye, wud but that I could hae stood thar wid dae bonny lads. 
We're probably related. Me Da's pap did cum fra The Isle of Montrose. And in this picture, Howie looks a lot like a lot of my cousins. OK. I know you're Jewish, Howie - and a happy new year to ye - but you do look like kin. No wonder we had instant empathy.

Here's a picture of my first cousin, Ernest 
(a son of my dad's sister) 
and his daughter Kristi Lisa
. Now have you ever seen a more Gaelic pair?

Saturday, September 17, 2011


Nine Eleven left me speechless. The tenth anniversary did the same. 

Moving on.

I finally got to meet the boxing guru Big Bad Brad Berkwitt  in person. He and his lovely lady love, Valerie, came to LA to show her son the wonders of LA. Our house is sort of on the way to Universal City so they stopped by for lunch.

 Our former next door neighbor, Lanny, moved in with his true love Jerry a few years ago. Lanny is the taller. They are both accomplished and recognized artists.
Here is one of Lanny's works.
Jerry has a studio, so Lanny moved in there and his grandson moved into the house next to ours. We never see him. You know how young people are - busy busy busy. Did get to see Lanny and Jerry for lunch recently.

The newspaper reporter (now a columnist with L.A. News!) Kevin Modesti and his pal, Randy stopped by. Kevin was assigned to cover Marilyn Chamber's memorial service where he interviewed me and we became lunch buddies.

"So what have you been doing this summer?" I ask.
"I've been sneaking into the swimming pools at the big hotels on my lunch break," she says.
"What a GREAT idea. Want some company?"

The swim bandits strike again.

So that's what I've been doing. 

Oh yes, we did finally get the rickety back screen door replaced.

A very happy Autumnal Equinox to all.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

For a GOOD TIME call 818-561-5878

And I mean a REALLY good time! 

818-561-5878 will take you to an answering service where you can reserve seats for Choices at 8pm on Tuesday, July 12th, 19th, or 26th. And if you whisper "I'm a friend of the theater" at the box office, tickets are only $10! Parking is available on the street north and south of Pico for FREE. The theater is just 2 and 1/2 blocks West of La Brea.

You will see a remarkable one-man show that begins promptly at 8pm and lasts just over an hour. It could have gone on into the night as far as I was concerned, and I'm not a big fan of the one-man confessional, Bobby Gorden's show being an exception (see earlier post.) But this one, like Bobby's, really WORKS.

Credit the skills of actor/author Jed Mills
(on left)

and director/co-author Renny Temple,  

They were aided and abetted by flawless sound and lighting enhancement executed by Jessica Kaye Temple. Not just your scruffy techie - Jess is a tremendous performer as well. Yeah, so OK, she's the director's daughter and comes by her considerable skill and talent quite honestly. Mom is actress Caren Kaye.

We laughed - a lot - and, yes, cried a little. Triumph over serious coke addiction and INCARCERATION is not all laughs. Still, Jed's comedic skills almost made it so.

Live theater here in moooovieland is rare. Good - really good - live theater is scarce as hen's teeth. Don't miss this opportunity if you can help it. 

Of course, all you poor folks who live somewhere other than Los Angeles are outta luck. Sorry. Maybe someone will come up with the $ to record this on a DVD. Any offers?

I'm going back for a second dose on the 19th and taking Theis Mynther and his partner, Sandra. They're coming to LA from Germany to record some promos for the Hamburg Premiere of "Expose," a musical adaptation of The Devil Made Me Do It that Theis has written. I've heard some of the score, and I LOVE it. More of that later.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Doin' the Kitchen Redo - Oh vo-de-o-do!

Last month John said, "I think it's time to remodel the kitchen. I'm thinking new counter tops and cabinet doors."

Well, that sounded simple enough.

He called a few contractors and got bids. We fell in love with Jenny Housey of Golan Remodeling: a Sabra. Soft-spoken, but easy to picture with an Uzi if circumstances warranted. 
Fortunately, she was on our side all the way.

Everything in the kitchen had to go somewhere else. In our house, the only somewhere else is the living room or the bedroom and the bedroom is full of bed.

The next thing I knew, the rest of the kitchen went oopsdefloop
out the garage door into a dumpster. Not as easy as it sounds.

A temp kitchen materialized on the dining room table.

Fine for cooking.
Washing up? 
Where else?

Miss Puss, who considers the bath her private domain, was not amused.
"Much safer up here."

Custom-built cabinets arrive 
and are installed apace.

The new stove stands by in the garage.

Once it's installed, John is a very happy camper.

So much for "just new counter tops and cabinet doors." Hell, it's his kitchen. He did all the negotiating and contracting.

I did hold out for a broom closet where the old hot heater was. 
We got one of those eco-friendly on-demand units. Takes a little longer to get hot water at the kitchen sink, but I'm getting used to washing up with cold water. At the new sink, washing up with anything is a joy.

The overseer makes a final inspection...
...and approves. 

The scissors are just a play for sympathy.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Josh Alan Friedman

There's so much to Josh Alan Friedman, I don't know where to start.

Musican, composer, raconteur: I groveled before his quiet, unassuming, personage at a book signing/reading fest organized by the ever-resourceful Wyat Doyle last year. 

I was so overwhelmed by Mr. Friedman's MUSIC, I almost forgot to get him to sign my copy of Black Cracker - almost. I've read that book three times. Not because it's hard to understand. Au contraire. Because it's just that damn entertaining, even while it's provoking hell out of one's thoughts.

When Wyat emailed me that Josh was going to be in town this week, I started trying to find a way to make it to one of the only two (alas) appearances he will make. Much depends on what state our house is in by then. Oh yes. We are in the throes of FINALLY getting John's kitchen built. I promised him the sales of The Devil Made Me Do It were gonna pay for a new kitchen for him who loves to cook and is so very good at it. 

Well, it's taken a few years, but we're finally getting it done!

It's been such fun camping out in the living room 

with our makeshift kitchen in the dining room. We've blown the circuit breaker four times, so far. But, we haven't missed a meal.

The newest member of the household, Miss Puss, is less than enthusiastic about the whole thing.

Do go hear Josh. He's amazing.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


My far-better-half, John, is taking me out for dinner and A SHOW this coming Sunday evening, May 15th at the Studio Grill in Gower Gultch, southwest corner of Sunset and Gower in Hollywood. Email for reservations.

We're going to see our friend, Miriam Birch, who dazzeled us with her winning performances at the Cabaret Contest shows held at this same great venue last year. 

Now they've brought her back to do a show of her very own. Well, her side-kick, Raf Mauro, who happenes to be John's cousin 
(which has nothing to do with his talent) will do a number or two, he says, if we insist. We'll insist.

It's best to get there at 6, when the doors open, if you want to have dinner first. This place is famous for it's great seafood. They serve a boss burger as well, though. Me? I'll prob'ly do the fish tacos as usual.

More great news!
My first "leading man" from those gory glory days - Harry Reems - got in touch! 

Much more than a leading man, it was he who
introduced me to Jerry Damiano, director of the ever-popular Devil in Miss Jones. 

I wish someone would publish Harry's story. I think he remembers all the stuff I've forgotten. Well, he's much younger than I.

Here just some of the good stuff about him that's "out there."

Harry Reems  

and a wonderful article in the e-zine New York Movies.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Lusty Month of May

"Tra la. It's here. That shocking time of year. When tons of wicked little thoughts merrily appear."

Yes, It's official. From Seders to Sunrise Services to the idiocy of "Daylight Savings" (where? in a jar?) to the inarguable tilt of the planet and the Whickershim wirlings of the wild Wiccan waifs: 


The absolute proof is here at the annual egg decorating baccanal chez Scott/Nakamura. 

Nobody throws an egg-fest like these ritcheous elves. 

Here is John working on a creation. 
And some of the finished product.

Our homage to the extended hours of sunshine - expansion of the deck not densely shaded to accommodate a lounger. 

I know. Sunshine is no friend to the skin, but I can't resist the lure of a wee bask now and then. No more than twenty minutes at a time - tops - I promise.
Poor Miss Puss is gonna miss her dirt baths when it's finished. Who
knew dirt could be so enticing? 

Our neighbors with the pool stopped by to tell us a new tenant has moved in. Tommy Flanagan. No shit. We haven't seen nor heard any sign of a motorcycle - yet. 

House owner and friend, Sean, said Mr. Flanagan said we were still welcome to use the pool, but I'd be way too shy to just go over and introduce myself. Maybe if we meet one day in the drive way, I'll mention it. Or maybe I'll just climb over the fence and fall in accidentally.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Did Debbie Does Dad

Me with BFFL Richard Pacheco
Not dark of night, nor hail, nor gale, nor even raging sciatica was gonna keep me from seeing the scion of my BBFL Richard Pacheco's son, Bobby, in his one-man tour-de-force, Debbie Does My Dad

Howie "sizing up?" his scion, Bobby.

Me with another BBFL, Penny Antine

Here's what I emailed my pal, Penny Antine when she asked me how the show went.

"You missed an AMAZING piece of theater and a look at a talent that, if there's a god at all, is gonna be BIG - in any arena he chooses. Of course, the biz of show does not always reward ability and talent, but it sure helps if you have it.

Bobby was PHENOMENAL. Howie, his ladywife, Jeremy and Bobby's two sisters were all popping their vest buttons, as well they should.

I am so glad I got to see this at this time. I know it's got, as we say in the biz, LEGS, and the next venue may not be as convenient or affordable. Yeah, the Pantages is convenient to our Hollywood Hills home, but the prices!!!

Hey, I've been trying all day to think of what to say on my blog about last evening. I think I'll just copy this email.

And so I have.