What I Watched Today
(rambling, random thoughts & annoyingly detailed recaps from real time TV watching)
I didn’t see much TV today, and will have to go On Demand with Once Upon a Time, because I had the pleasure of going to a production of The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman on Broadway with an old friend. (Thanks, Michael!) Stars Laura Linney and Cynthia Nixon alternated the female lead roles, and we saw Laura as Regina, and Cynthia as Birdie. I had wanted to see this having seen Laura on stage before in Les Liasons Dangereuses years ago. While I know she’s done a million films, I honestly couldn’t name one of them, but she blew me away on stage. She did not disappoint in this drama either – she took hold of the stage on commanded it. The rest of the cast was excellent as well, Richard Thomas especially surprised me. While I don’t dislike him, I’ve never been what I’d call a fan, but thought his portrayal of Horace was superb. The sets were incredibly impressive as well. If you’re interested, there’s more info here: https://www.manhattantheatreclub.com/2016-17-season/little-foxes/
This is also a good segue into the one thing I did watch. Bette Davis starred as Regina in the film version of The Little Foxes, and I got home just in time to catch the final chapter of Feud: Bette and Joan. The episode was titled, You mean all this time we could have been friends? referring to a line at the end of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? The careers and health of both stars are going downhill, BD wants nothing to do with Bette, and Joan has been left pretty much alone. One of the saddest moments of the previous episode was Mamacita finally leaving her, having had enough of her abuse. After the film disaster that was Trog (I actually remember seeing that in the movie theater), Joan retires totally, and Mamacita returns part-time. There was a heart-breaking fantasy sequence, where Joan (Susan Sarandon), Bette (Jessica Lange), Jack Warner (Stanley Tucci), and Hedda Hopper (Judy Davis) are playing cards. When Joan calls Mamacita to pour the champagne, we see that it’s all in her head. The takeaway I got, was that despite her animosity, Joan craved Bette’s friendship, and while Bette did respect her as an actress, she couldn’t be the friend that Joan wanted. The entire cast was fantastic, but special kudos to Dominic Burgess for doing a spot on Victor Buono.
Victor: Give us this day, our daily slice, but cut it thin and toast it twice. (The Fat Man’s Prayer)
Joan: Stars are like Christmas trees. After the lights go out, you sit there and watch the needles drop.
Bette: My mother told me to never say anything ill about the dead. Only good. Joan Crawford is dead? Good.