The Making Of A Broadway Show 

Eliot and I have been behind closed doors for the last two days with all of the folks involved in bringing Hazel to Broadway. Hazel is a musical about a fictional live-in maid named Hazel Burke and her employers, the Baxters. The TV series, of the same name, aired from September 28, 1961, to April 11, 1966. The TV show itself was based on the popular single-panel comic strip by cartoonist Ted Key, which appeared in the Saturday Evening Post.

   

Klea Blackhurst portrays Hazel. Klea is a Broadway actress and singer

 Shirley Booth was Hazel on TV.

Our friends, Ron Abel and Chuck Steffan, licensed the rights to Hazel from the Key family. Ron is the musical composer and arranger and Chuck is the lyricist.  Eliot with Ron and Chuck.

The book was written by Lissa Levin and the show was directed by Lucie Arnaz. Chet Walker was the choreographer.

We were told that we absolutely couldn’t take pictures during the workshop, so this is what I could sneak in.    

   Lucie Arnaz announcing the workshop       Adrienne Arsht sat right in front of me. She is an American philanthropist and business leader. She is widely recognized for her $30 million contribution to the City of Miami’s Performing Arts Center, now known as the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.   One of four audiences.    

       

The insiders debriefed after two workshops. Hazel received standing ovations. Everyone was very encouraged. Fundraising starts and the marketing begins. 

A Tech Pizza Party

Greetings from Arlene Marx, aka Gail Marx

 

I received a wonderful surprise last night.  I heard from a very accomplished talent agent in Vegas, Gail Marx, aka as Arlene. We grew up together in Hollis, Queens many moons ago before she went out west. When my parents moved to Los Angeles. Arlene, who lived there then, was very supportive of them. My mother was crazy about Arlene, as I am about Lillian, Arlene’s mother. It had been a four-way mutual admiration society for decades. As a side note, I was Arlene’s brother’s date at her Sweet 16 party. He never asked me out again.

A email from Arlene…….

Hi Lois…..I don’t know how you do it…..every night you post something. It is 2 AM here in Vegas and I can never go to bed without reading your blog…I think that is what the term is???? Afterall, I am a Senior!!!!

Hope you, Eliot and your Daughter are doing well. My Mom always sends her love….wish she used a computer. She is afraid to put her hand on the mouse….

 Until tomorrow…..xoxox Arlene

I am so flattered and thrilled to hear from a gal who has been responsible for launching so many careers in the entertainment business. Maybe, it will rub off on me. Thank you Arlene. Love to your husband, Hank, and the beautiful Lillian.

Now it’s time for the pizza party.

We are supposed to be on diets, but Eliot and I had pizza for lunch. It was absolutely delicious. As I was devouring each slice, I thought to myself, “maybe I should just eat pizza and nothing else. I wonder if I could lose weight that way?”

We all know the answer to that, but no one can deny that pizza represents fun, parties, sharing, and satisfaction. That’s why I wanted to tell you about a new gadget for a pizza box that can make your home the entertaining center stage you may want it to be.  

The ad agency Ogilvy & Mather in Hong Kong received great recognition for building the Pizza Hut Blockbuster Box, a pizza box that quickly turns into a video projector.

As the tech site Engadget explains, “all  you do is pluck a lens out of the protective stand, mount it in the side of the box and use your smartphone (conveniently perched on the stand) as the video source — any video that plays on your phone suddenly becomes room-sized.” 

Pizza Hut is hopeful that this cardboard theater sensation will reach the United States soon.  I want to go to more pizza parties and watch videos with friends. That’s one way of staying young (and fat).
 

Senior Benefits

  
I have friends who are almost 70 years old and they refuse to ask for senior discounts when we all go out together. They do this because, a) they don’t want to admit their age and, b),they think the service will suffer. 

Eliot and I started to ask for senior discounts when we were 55. We never thought twice about it. Banana Republic and the Gap will gladly give you 10 per cent off for shopping at their stores. Yes that 10 per cent can be on top of all the other promotions they are touting. There are times when Eliot walks out of a store with a big bag of gorgeous new clothes for $18. 
It’s not like you are stealing. It’s your “right” of passage. Read this article in Market Watch  about senior discounts. Also make sure you get your discount on Amtrak, auto insurance, banks, hairdressers, car rental, cruise lines, movie theaters, museums,, national parks, and doctors. You have earned it.

By the way, there is no tech angle to this post. Thanks Ben La Marca for emailing the story to me. 
      

Far Away From The Internet 

    I have been searching for years to find a way to zone out and completely relax. It has to be a very compelling function so that I don’t get distracted by my emails. The closest I have ever gotten to accomplishing this was to take up knitting. I love the activity of knitting, but my mind is always racing in so many directions. I need something that forces me to focus and frees my mind of all of its clutter.   

I was so surprised to find out on Facebook, that my daughter, Whitney, was engaged in an activity that could be the nirvana I was looking for. I said nothing, but watched for weeks as she posted abstract art that was open to great interpretation. 

Then I found out that Whitney was using a mediation-type of art book method called Zentangle. Zentangle is a way of creating beautiful pieces of art while being mentally stimulated, inspired, and energized. There are other types of art disciplines like Zentangle as well. Zentangle requires no artistic ability but does bring out everyone’s individual artistic bent. I am starting to put pen to paper this week. 

Here are some of Whitney’s postings.

   

       
   
  

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Bragging Rights 

They were just a few months old when they first met. Whitney Hess (l) and Veronica Belmont (r) were probably already computer geeks. Veronica’s  mom, Barbara, was my client at Coleco for a few years. This picture was taken in Barbara’s West Hartford, CT, home. Thirty-three years later both these gals are major personalities in the world of tech. 

   

Whitney Hess, Keynote speaker at     DrupalCon Conference 2015. She is a coach, writer, and speaker teaching people in the tech world how to bring their whole selves to their work.
 

Veronica now has her own show on the Engadget tech site. She is the go-to person for any question you may have about tech.  


  

So Nice To Be Young

   
This is wakeboarding.

I doubt I would have ever tried to wakeboard when I was young, but it does look like so much fun. Exhilarating is the word. We used to take a small flat board, or rubber tube, and surf at Rockaway Beach, Queens.

Today, the young and the adventurous, can go wakeboarding electronically if they love to surf. A Swedish company, Radinn, just developed the Wakejet Cruise, a self-propelled board that lets users surf anytime, anywhere they want. 

You have to watch the video to understand how you can now surf in the ocean, sea, or lake.  The Radinn Wakejet weighs around 64 pounds and can go 28mph. (The same speed as waterskiing). That’s fast. The battery, which only takes an hour to charge, will last up to 30 minutes, if you go full speed. The Wakejet comes with an on-board computer, a mobile-app system for iOS and Android, a GPS tracking system and magnetic safety switches. 

This could be yours for a mere $20,000. 

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At Your Service 

“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln. 

 
I have been living in Manhattan for almost 40 years. I’m used to walking three square blocks in any direction to get what I want. I’m also used to every type of delivery service. I get all my food, laundry, cosmetics, cleaning supplies, flowers, hardware, and home furnishings messengered to my doorstep. 
Now the rest of the country is going to have “almost” the same conveniences in a short period of time. Amazon Prime Now has just announced a new delivery service which will allow customers to order items from local neighborhood stores and have them sent to their homes in an hour or two.

Amazon Prime Now is testing the new service in Manhattan and then will expand to other cities such as Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Dallas, and Miami. An entire country rollout is presently being worked out. Amazon Prime Now is a new service of the Amazon Prime program, which costs $99 a year.  

This new service is another step in Amazon wanting to become your one-stop shop for everything. The first stores Amazon will be working with in Manhattan is D’Agostino, Gourmet Garage, and Billy’s Bakery. Eataly and Westside Market will join in soon.

Uber is reportedly going to announce a new delivery service as well. Let the competition  begin and welcome to my world!!

Drones Can Now Land On Your Shoulder

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) are getting so small you might mistake them as flies. Be careful not to swat one of them if they pass between your face and the book you are reading. 

Yes, they are so small that they can actually fly into places never thought possible, like your mail box, handbag, or coffee cup.

Researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology just created unique mini-UAVs for surveillance performances. Their rotor spars snap off so you can also carry them in your pocket protector. The tiny drone features 0.3mm rotor arms that locked in place with a set of magnets in each joint. 

Watch the video.

Be careful before you get undressed. You never know if you are being recorded. The whole world is changing. You are absolutely not alone anymore.

My Friend Bruce Thinks He’s A Typewriter 

The guy performing “A Singular Kinda Guy” by playwright David Ives, (who also wrote “Venus in Fur”) is an old friend of mine. His name is Bruce Apar and he has been a trade journalist most of his life. You can image how surprised I was to learn on Facebook that became a typewriter. You have to watch the video above to understand what I just said. 

 Image: boston.com

I just found out that Woody Allen did a deal with Amazon to create a TV series for its streaming service. He hasn’t a clue what a streaming service is. When he found out that his movie will now appear on a tiny screen, he wanted out of the deal. He also doesn’t use a computer. He has never sent an email or gone online to view anything. 

 

Bonnie Richer, my best girl friend ever since we met in second grade, finally agreed to appear on Facebook with me. We received 60 plus likes. 

  

Only in New York City would a doorman get a tribute like this . Doormen are our family. We see them more than we see most other people that we know.
  Fond memories before our laptops.