Sunday, August 30, 2009

Who won out? The answer follows --

Good morning my loyal and faithful readers. Today is a much nicer day weather-wise than yesterday, that is for certain.

And what about yesterday you are doubtlessly asking? Who won the inner battle? Did I brave the nasty weather and dismal forecasts and head out to Yankee stadium for the 1:05 White Sox game or did reason and rationality prevail?

Well, my inner fan prevailed. Yep, right after posting I gathered my rain gear and headed out to the Bronx and the game. I got semi-soaked just walking to the subway. When I got to the Bronx it was even nastier than I expected but it wasn’t raining as hard as I had anticipated.

When I got into the stadium I located my seat, which wasn’t in my usual section, and was relieved to discover that the seat was in an area protected by an overhang. Wow, what luck!!

It lightly rained during the first half of the game but then it cleared up and actually the sun peeked through the clouds by the 8th inning. It was a great game with the Yankees winning 10-0 and our pitching limiting the Sox to only one hit.

So, thank you my inner fan for making me get my butt out to the Bronx.

When I got back to PHC after the game I had time to change clothes, have a snack and then it was time to head out to my final Fringe Festival show, “Sorority Queen in a Mobile Home,” a very well written and performed comedy/drama about, tada, a former sorority queen who is divorced and living in a mobile home. The show started at 7:30

The show was over about 9:15 but that didn’t end Billi Pod’s entertainment for the day. Oh no, I wasn’t through. When I got back to 42nd Street I went to the movie theater and got a ticket for the 10:00 showing of the just-opened movie “Taking Woodstock,” starring the comedian Demetri Martin and directed by Ang Lee.

The movie is excellent. It is based on a true story about a young man who is instrumental (no pun intended) in bringing about the 1969 music festival that rocked the world.

At 12:15am I was back in PHC eating a slice of pizza and thanking my Higher Power for yet another amazing day/night in The Greatest City in the World.

As soon as I post this I will get ready to head back out to the Bronx for the 1:05 Yankee/White Sox game. After this game the Yankees go on the road so my next game isn’t until September 7th when it will be a day-night doubleheader against Tampa Bay.

Oh, over the weekend all three of the local papers have given massive and extremely favorable coverage to The Gators, Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer.

Go Yankee and Go Gators!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Saturday, August 29, 2009

A Gloomy and Rainy Day in Gotham City

This is what it looks like out of my window at PHC at 10:50am on Saturday morning. It has been lightly raining since yesterday afternoon, virtually without stop.

It was really unpleasant weather-wise at last night’s game. It lightly rained the entire game. Unfortunately, my season ticket package seat is in row 5 and is not covered by the upper deck overhang. I had accidentally left my rain gear on the table in PHC. Damn!! Dumb!! Luckily I was able to find a protected seat out of the elements. I was there until the end and it was worth it because the Yankees won in the bottom of the 10th when Cano hit a 3-run walk-off homer.

And, of course, I have a ticket for this afternoon’s 1:00pm game and the forecast is for rain, rain and more rain. I feel confident that management will make every effort to get the game in because it will be difficult to schedule a makeup game this far into the season.

You know, part of me is saying ...”Hey BP, don’t be a nutcase - the game is going to be called, so don’t waste your time going out there”... and the other part is saying ...”Hey ass-wipe, you are a Yankee fan, right? Who cares if it rains. Get your lazy-ass out there, N O W!! ...

Who will win this argument? Only time will tell.

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Friday, August 28, 2009

My Non-relationship with Dominick Dunne

"Famed crime writer and socialite Dominick Dunne died on Wednesday at his home located at 155 E. 49th Street in Manhattan. He was 83 and lost his battle with bladder cancer.

Dunne was known for his articles in Vanity Fair, where he worked for more than a quarter century.

He was best known, however, for his coverage of the murder trial of OJ Simpson and his TV appearances thereafter." (from various news sources)

What is my connection to him you loyal and faithful readers are breathlessly asking? Well, here goes ...

My first sublet in New York City was during the summer of 1995 at 155 E. 49th Street and I remember being thrilled to learn that the penthouse was owned and occupied by Dominick Dunne, who was deep into reporting the OJ Simpson trial and its aftermath.

I was introduced to Nicky (as his closest friends called him - he was always Mr. Dunne to me) by the building Superintendent, who told him that I was a retired Judge. I remember Nicky looking me right in the eye and saying something like ...”well, that’s very very interesting. It’s nice having you in our building...we should visit ...”

I immediately took that to mean that there was a possibility that we could become friends and that I could provide him with, among other things, a fair and unbiased look into the operations of the Judicial System.

Time passed and I saw him often, on the elevator and coming and going, but he always seemed a bit distant, so several months later I took things into my own hands and sent him a letter written on my Senior Circuit Judge letterhead. In the letter I offered to be a confidential advisor on any matters or area of his choosing, with no compensation or acknowledgment of any kind. I even offered to sign a confidentiality agreement.

Several days later I got the nicest hand-written response from Nicky saying that he appreciated my offer and interest and that he would contact me if and when he ever needed my services/advice.

And that was the last I heard from him in this regard although we would often run into each other in the building. At one point he actually introduced me to Mark Fuhrman, who was a key witness in the Simpson trial
In 1999 I had to give up the apartment I had sublet from my friend, Actor David Huddleston, when the co-op board decided to withdraw permission for sublets in the building.

However, my apartments from then until this summer were in the same ‘hood and I would run into Nicky from time to time and you know what was funny - when it was just he and I, he would be very distant, almost aloof. But, when either he or I were with someone else, he became effusive, acting as if we were the best of friends. He would always refer to me as “The Judge” and would make an effort to always call me by my full name. In fact, I remember one time when he asked me how my son in Orlando was doing and I had absolutely no recollection of ever telling him anything about my family.

The last time I saw Nicky was about 6 months ago as he was about to enter 155 E. 49th. We just shook hands. He looked ill and very frail.

So, RIP Nicky - I regret we never became BFF.

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Reality Check and Stuff

Well, the start of this somewhat overdue posting is a reality check for those of you loyal and faithful readers who are also Yankee fans and it is specifically directed to my seat mates in Section 212, rows 4,5,6, seats 15-19, at Yankee Stadium, several of whom claim to be readers of this blog. Hey guys (and 2 gals) the season ain’t over yet, not by a long shot. Stop talking about where you are going to be in the Canyon of Heroes to witness the parade honoring the Yankees as 2009 World Series Champions and focus instead on what the Hell is going on in front of you!!! Now listen the fuck up --

Our so-called “stellar” starting rotation and bullpen has just given up 39 runs in the last 4 games, yes, do the math, 29 runs in the series against The FuckSox and then 10 runs last night in the 9-10 loss to Texas. Joba has sucked in his last two outings, pitching like a pussy and completely unable to throw first pitch strikes. AJ Burnett has been unpredictable, claiming and then denying that he has “issues” with Jorge Posada. Andy Pettitte can only pitch 5 innings. The Savior in the starting rotation has been CC Sabathia. The only two pitchers in the bullpen who are reliable are Mo, of course, and Phil Hughes. Thank God for them.

Yes, our hitting has saved the day, game after game, but never forget that the key to the post-season is pitching. Say it again - pitching. Say it one more time - pitching.

And yes, the Yankees will win our Division and probably the League Championship to advance to The World Series against, I predict, The LA Dodgers. But guys and gals, it ain’t a done deal. Let’s hope the team remains focused on each game without looking into the future as so many of their fans are doing. Hint hint wink wink!!

Damn, I feel better. See you guys and gals tonight.

I have completed my bookings in the Fringe Festival, making the total number of shows I will see to be 14, which is the same number, I think, as I saw last year.

This is my schedule for the remainder of the week --

Wednesday - 7:05 - Yankees vs. Texas (season package).

Thursday - 4:15 - “Devil Boys from Beyond” - Fringe Festival; 7:00 - “Dirty Stuff” - Fringe Festival; 9:15 - “666” - Fringe Festival.

Friday - 3:00 - “Tales from the Tunnel” - Fringe Festival; 7:05 - Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox (season ticket package).

Saturday - 1:05 - Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox (full-price extra ticket); 7:30 - “Sorority Queen in a Mobile Home” - Fringe Festival.

Sunday - 1:05 - Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox (season ticket package)

Since the last posting I saw the following Off-Broadway shows:

“Songs of a New World” - “Songs for a New World is a powerful song cycle (no linear plot, all thematically linked) about the moment after you make a mistake. It's about redemption and renewal. The author transports his audience from the deck of a 1492 Spanish sailing ship to a ledge 57 stories above Fifth Avenue to meet a startling array of characters ranging from a young man who has determined that basketball is his ticket out of the ghetto to a woman whose dream of marrying rich nabs her the man of her dreams and a soulless marriage.”(complementary ticket). This was very well performed and was very interesting.

“Another Person’s Poison” - “Success, juxtaposed with the fascinating backdrop of prime time television. When Frankie Masters, a struggling comedian, gets the opportunity to have his own network television show in 1970, his imminent stardom threatens to reveal the hidden conflict and mounting turmoil of his personal life. Taking place prior to the celebrity tabloid when exposés were the norm, it takes a close look at lives intertwined--where each character confronts personal sacrifices that will forever impact them.” (complimentary ticket). Well written and performed.

“Leaves of Glass” - “The ensemble performs Walt Whitman’s epic text – as chamber theater meets dance theater meets congregation meets celebration – without irony or clothing. A nude chorus of multitudes reciting, “I contain multitudes.” Wouldn’t Walt Whitman be tickled? Whitman, who in this poem exclaims, “If I worship one thing more than another, it shall be the spread of my own body, or any part of it.” Each succeeding line, passage, turn of phrase celebrates the bare human form as an intersection of nature and industry.” (complimentary ticket). Well, I have to admit, as required by fair and unbiased reporting, that what caught my eye (no pun intended) was the phrase ...A nude chorus ... so I booked the show. Thank God the running time was only an hour because it was a pretty dreadful show and the performers where, ahem, somewhat less than photogenic.

I just don’t know how to discuss the next topic because it has to fall under the heading of gossip, which I have promised to avoid in this blog. It seems that a certain young friend of mine, who I have described in previous postings with the introductory title of: student/bartender/manager, has made several references in recent conversations to his “interest” in a certain celebrity whose identity he masks with the initials “AC.” He has alluded to the fact that he and “AC” may have become gym buddies and perhaps more. Well, you can imagine my surprise when I read the following “item” in Page Six of today’s New York Post --

“Sightings ... ANDERSON Cooper in a baseball cap and jeans riding his bike on West Ninth Street with "a very muscular man in a tank top."

My student/bartender/manager friend coyly refuses to either confirm or deny whether he is the “muscular man in a tank top.”

I promise you, my loyal and faithful readers, I will continue my investigation and then I will report and then it will be up to you to decide.

Go Yankees and Go Gators!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

PS: Oh - Happy 23rd Birthday to John Scott Reed!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Thursday - A Belated Update on Billi Pod’s Activities

Errrrrrrrr ... hi, my loyal and faithful readers ...Errrrrrrrrrr.... I know that I owe you an apology for failing to keep you up-to-date on my activities for the past 9 days in The Greatest City in The World, and I have no legitimate excuses, no, not even one. My bad and I am soooooooo sorry. I wish I could say that it won’t happen again but that would not be fair and unbiased reporting, the compact that has driven this blog since its inception in April 2008. So, having said all of that, let us move on, OK? Right!

Since the last posting I have done so much that I will just have to report most of the activities in a semi-summary form.

First and foremost was the wonderful time I had with Sandy Mullon of Anna Maria, FL, during her visit from August 11 - 14. She was my first out-of-town guest in PHC and she seemed to love the apartment and especially the awesome views of The City. We did a lot of things and stuff, including: the Guggenheim Museum; the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA); SoHo; 3 shows (“Sweet Storm” and “Our Town” both Off-Broadway and the awesome Broadway revival of “South Pacific” at Lincoln Center); and dinners at Angus McIndoe, Theatre Row Diner and Josephina at Lincoln Center. Actually one of the highlights of our time together, at least for me, came on Sandy’s final night here, after we had seen “South Pacific.” The show was out a little after 11:00pm and she surprised me by announcing that she would like to walk the 20+ blocks down 9th Avenue back to PHC. Of course I said YES!!. The weather was awesome and the walk-back was a wonderful way to end a great evening and our all-too-short time together.

I am now in the midst of my usual August Off-Off Broadway frenzy due to the annual New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC). Let me give you a bit of background - “Fringe NYC is the largest multi-arts festival in North America, and runs from August 14 - 30, 2009. This year, the festival will offer performances by 201 of the world's best emerging theatre troupes and dance companies. Invited performers represent 7 countries and 20 U.S. states. The festival presents works covering a wide range of disciplines including drama, comedy, dance, performance art, children's theater, outdoor theater , spoken word, puppetry, improv, and multimedia.”

Each show runs for only 5 performances. Tickets cost $15, or $10 with my Senior Discount.

I have seen, or will see, 9 shows, thus far, which I will identify by title without wasting your time on a summary, with one major exception, later: “ The Jungle Fun Room;” “John & Greg’s High School Reunion;” “Victoria and Frederick for President;” “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry;” “How Now, Dow Jones;” “Vote;” “Abraham Lincoln’s Big, Gay Dance Party;” and, “The Boys Upstairs” (twice).

The major exception is “The Boys Upstairs” - “Sex, Dating, Friendship, and all the blurry lines in between...this New York story invites you upstairs to the fabulous living room of city boys who handle relationships, careers, and the city with style, scandal, and specialty cocktails!” This show is being produced by my young friend Justin Allen Pifer and I am happy to report that not only is the show very funny and well acted, it is also receiving favorable reviews and a lots of show-business “buzz.”

I posted the following on the theater-related chat board “Talkin’ Broadway - All That Chat”, in response to a very favorable review --
“I saw the show on its opening night and laughed and laughed and had a good time. So much so that I am taking two friends to see the Tuesday night performance.

If you are in the mood to laugh, to watch excellent acting, to see some nice looking guys, and perhaps to identify with either the characters or some of the scenes, then this is the show for you.”
As I said, I saw the show on its opening performance and then again with student/bartender/manager Scott Reed and his friend Jeremy. Hopefully the show will find a life after The Fringe.

I anticipate seeing 5-7 additional shows between now and August 30.

Wednesday night I made my first trip out to Citifield, the new home of the struggling Mets, located in the foreign country known as Queens. You get to the stadium via the #7 subway line, which is no problem if you can catch an express train, which is only 7 stops. Luckily, I expressed it out to the stadium.

My purpose was to see the new stadium and I have to say that it is a very impressive structure but not nearly as impressive as the new Yankee stadium, of course. The Mets were playing the Atlanta Braves, who kicked butt, beating the Mets 15-2. Barf! My seat location was excellent, very similar to my seat location in Yankee stadium. I had gotten my ticket through one of my ticket services with a 50% discount. I spent most of the time wandering around the stadium just checking things out. I had no intention to stay for the whole game, so I was outta there at 9:00. OMG!! I was forced to ride a local train back into Manhattan and that took F O R E V E R because there are 19 local stops before you finally reach The Port Authority Terminal.

Speaking of baseball - I am certain you, my loyal and faithful readers, are aware that the Yankees lead The Boston Fucksox by 7 games and they play a 3 game weekend series in that fetid bandbox known as Fenway Park. I must admit that my upcoming Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be built around being glued to the TV for each of the games. I know, I know, but ... I am a true Yankee fan, so what do you expect? So, on that happy note I will close this out.

Go Yankees and Go Gators!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Yankees Sweep the F**kSox

Tonight’s game was a nail-biter from the very beginning with both starting pitchers, Pettitte for the Yankees and Lester for the FuckSox, pitching well. Pettitte pitched 7 innings of no-run ball, leaving the game with a 1 run lead on an A-Rod blast. To this point Boston had not scored a run in 31 innings.

The FuckSox scored 2 runs in the top of the 8th to take a 2-1 lead and for the first time the FuckSox fans had something to cheer about, but it didn’t last long because in the bottom of the 8th, with 2 outs, Damon and Teixeira hit back-to-back homers and then later in the inning 2 more runs scored on a single by Swisher. Yankee Stadium went wild. The Yankees had a 5-2 lead and enter The Sandman in the top of the 9th. Mo closed the game and the Yankees swept the FuckSox in 4 games, extending their lead to 6 1/2 games.

The game was over at 11:10 and I was back in PHC at 12:15am, tired but very happy. I can honestly say that I got my money’s worth for these 4 games.

I am almost in baseball-overload, however, since I have a ticket for the game Monday night against Toronto. Anyway ...

Go Yankees and Go Gators!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Three in a row!! - Go Yankees!!

In many ways last night’s game against the FuckSox ... oooops ... sorry about that, I meant the F**kSox, was as intense as the 15 inning marathon Friday night. Last night there was tension in the air as everyone waited for the F**kSox bats to break out of their slumber. As scoreless inning built upon scoreless inning the unease among fans of both teams became more palatable.

Yankee fans were inwardly wondering when Big Papi was going to crush one over the right field wall and F**kSox fans were praying that somehow their team would finally manufacture a run any way they could.

Well, you know the results if you are a sports fan - The Yankees won 5-0 as CC Sabathia and the bullpen combined for another scoreless game, meaning that the F**kSox have gone 24 innings without scoring a run. That is awesome.

Tonight’s game starts at 8:10 and it is being carried on ESPN, meaning the game will last f o r e v e r. Of course, I will be there until the end. regardless of the score. Really hoping for a sweep.

Speaking of Big Papi -

does anyone believe his explanation regarding steroids? This is the opening paragraph from an article in this morning’s New York Post:
“In place of the jovial, joking “Big Papi” sat an apologetic, confused David Ortiz at a 30-minute Yankee Stadium press conference yesterday in which the Red Sox star denied ever using steroids.

Nine days after a report linked Ortiz with a list of 104 drug tests from 2003 seized by the government, the 33-year-old tried to clear his name and salvage his reputation.

“I never buy steroids or used steroids”, Ortiz said”

Yeah, everyone who believes that raise your right hand.

Anyway, this afternoon at 2:00 I have scheduled a show called “Negatives” - “When Dad dies a family secret is revealed about a connection to the Kennedy Assassination. Playful sibling banter turns serious when there is disagreement as to how to proceed.” (complimentary ticket). This show is in a theater next door to 420 W. 42nd.

Have a lot more to report about the upcoming week and the activities Sandy Mullon and I have scheduled, but will save it for a later posting, so ...

Go Yankees and Go Gators!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Saturday, August 8, 2009

OMG!! The Yankees win in the bottom of the 15th!!

What a ball game. The Yankees won in the bottom of the 15th inning when A-Rod hit a 2 run home run, beating the FuckSox by a score of 2-0. The game started at 7:05 and A-Rod hit his HR at 12:42am. It was 1:45am when I opened the door to PHC.

The Yankee pitching was awesome. They gave up only 4 hits in 15 innings. The losing pitcher was Junichi Tazawa, who was making his major league debut.

With this win the Yankees now lead Boston by 4 1/2 games. The game on Saturday is a day game but it doesn’t start until 4:10. Thank God! I am tired, so ...

Go Yankees!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Friday, August 7, 2009

YANKEES 13 - F**KSOX 6 - Oh, Yes!!

The score says it all. We now lead them by 3 1/2 games.

Go Yankees!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Tonight begins a 4 game series and I want to extend a warm and personal welcome to the Boston F**kSox and their fanz.

I have tickets for each of the games. I know that the Yankees come into this series with a 0-8 record against the F**kSox but that is in the past. The future is what is important, and we have a 2 1/2 game lead at this point. I need to also call attention to the fact that 10 games remain to be played, 7 in Yankee stadium and 3 in that cesspool bandbox known as Fenway Park.

I know that some of you otherwise loyal and faithful readers may be F**kSox fanz, so before you begin to get all hot and bothered, let me remind you of the following, presented because of my responsibility for fair and unbiased reporting --:


Yankees 26 - F**kSox - 7


Yankees 39 - F**kSox 12


Yankees 18 - F**kSox 3


Yankees: 20 - F**kSox 10

Ah…yes - it is great to be a Yankee fan ... always was ... always will be!!!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Monday, August 3, 2009

July 2009 - AWESOME!!

July 2009 was another awesome month for me in The Big Apple and I continue to inwardly and spiritually express my deepest gratitude to My Higher Power, whom I choose to call God, for this wonderful life and life-style I have been permitted to live. Let me share with you what I mean --

After checking my daily log (log, not diary - real guys don’t keep diaries), I find that during the month I saw/attended/did the following:

1 Broadway show (the outstanding revival of West Side Story); 12 Off Broadway shows; 3 classical music concerts (1 by The New York Philharmonic and 2 by The Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra); 7 Yankee baseball games (their record for those games - 4 wins and 3 losses); 3 movies (“Moon;” “Year One;” and, the terrific “Star Trek”); and, the entertainment highlight of the month - a taping of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Celebrating the 4th of July by witnessing the Fireworks Show on the Hudson River from the vantage point of the roof of 420 W. 42nd Street was awe-inspiring and unforgettable. OMG!!

I was able to spend some quality time, on two different occasions, with student/bartender/manager Scott Reed and also with out-of-towners Dwight and Joanne Wells.

A lot of time was spent walking around my new ‘hood and getting more settled into PHC in 420 W. 42nd Street. I was able to successfully put together a full sized bed, 2 night stands (each with 2 drawers) and a 6 drawer chest, all from IKEA, without the necessity of going into rehab or even seeking a therapist. I really feel comfortable in my new habitat and the transition to becoming a true Westsider has been easier than I anticipated.

I posted to this blog 13 times.

From a health standpoint everything is doing and working fine and I successfully passed my semiannual appointment with my urologist, Dr. Erik Goluboff, and his DRE exam (known as the “finger-up-the-butt” exam). PSA was 1.1.

July marked the eleventh year since my dear friend William “Moon” Mullon of Anna Maria, FL, left us and I still miss him as does his family and friends.

As far as the Big Apple is concerned the only downside for the month was the nasty weather with almost daily rain storms, often coming during either the morning or evening rush-hours, or both. Luckily 420 W. 42nd St. is located within easy walking distance of most of my usual theater venues and only a block away from the transportation hub located at the Port Authority Terminal.

When all of my entertainment events are counted I find that I stayed in PHC only 3 days/evenings without attending some entertainment event, a statistic which I think is pretty awesome in and of itself, don’t you?

In August I am eagerly looking forward to: Sandy Mullon’s visit on August 11-14; seeing the Yankees kick FuckSox ass; attending my first game at Citifield, new home of the Mets; seeing many shows at the NY Fringe Festival, including a play, “The Boys Upstairs.” that is being produced by my friend Justin Allen Pifer; verifying that Benjamin Sears is indeed still alive; celebrating student/bartender/manager Scott Reed’s 23rd birthday; and, acknowledging/celebrating a birthday milestone for my soul-mate Federal Court of Appeals Judge Rosemary Barkett of Miami, FL.

Yes, my loyal and faithful readers, I am indeed blessed to be where I am at this point in time in The Greatest City in the World.

Thank You, My Higher Power, Thank You!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday - A bright and sunny Hi Yah! from The Big Apple

Hi, my loyal and faithful readers. It is bright and sunny out and the forecast is for a nice summer day in The Big Apple, something that has been missed far too often during the past 3 months. Man, I am sick and tired of the daily rain.

Let me share with you my thoughts about the revival of West Side Story that I saw on Tuesday. I thought it was an outstanding production and well worth the full-price ticket. The cast is excellent. The role of Maria was played by an understudy but she did a fine job. Interestingly, two members of the cast have ties to Polk County (aka PFC aka Polk Fucking County). The role of the fiery Anita is played by Karen Olivo, who won the 2009 Tony award for Best Supporting Actress in A Musical. Another Polk Countian in the cast is Yurel Echezarreta and he is a member of The Sharks (this information was provided to me by student/bartender/manager Scott Reed, also from PFC).

The strong points of the show for me are the choreography, that replicated the Jerome Robbins choreography in the original production, and the wonderful musical score by Leonard Bernstein. The orchestra is terrific.

In this production some of the dialogue between some of the Puerto Rican characters is done in Spanish and this has been controversial and I understand why. Two songs, “I Feel Pretty,” and “A Boy Like That,” are done totally in Spanish. The program has the English translation for each song. I had no problem with this concept for “I Feel Pretty,” but think it was a serious mistake for “A Boy Like That,” which is one of the most dramatic moments in the entire show. I think the Director assumed everyone would be familiar with the songs and/or would just read along. Wrong!! The whole concept was nothing more than a Directorial ego-trip in my opinion.

The final scene has been changed. In the original production the body of the dead Tony is taken off-stage by a unified group of Jets and Sharks, thus ending the show on a, hopefully, positive note. In this production the show ends with Maria staring down at Tony’s dead body as the lights fade. Honestly, I liked this version better, much more realistic.

One other little quibble - virtually none of The Jets or The Sharks looked age appropriate, which is teenage, not mid-20s.

But, having said all of this, I still loved the show and highly recommend it.

On to other things - both of my Mostly Mozart Festival concerts were excellent and my TDF ticket was excellent, in the rear orchestra about where by NY Philharmonic subscription seats are.

I have received several emails over the last months asking me what TDF means. TDF stands for Theatre Develoment Fund and this is from their website --

“TDF membership provides tickets to Broadway, Off Broadway, off-Off Broadway, dance and music productions at affordable prices for eligible theatre lovers. To qualify for TDF membership, you must belong to one of the following groups: full-time students, full-time teachers, union members, retirees, civil service employees, staff members of not-for-profit organizations, performing arts professionals, members of the armed forces or clergy. Our members enjoy access to hundreds of Broadway, Off Broadway, music and dance productions each year for only $20 to $37 a ticket, and now, with “off–Off @ $9,” $9 off-Off Broadway productions.”

Tickets can be reserved online, sometimes weeks in advance, which is very nice. TDF also runs the 1/2 price ticket booths (TKTS) in midtown and downtown, where approximately 40,000 tickets are sold each week. Over the years I have saved a bunch of money through this service.

Last week I went to the Yankee Stadium ticket office to exchange a ticket (one of the benefits of being a season ticket subscriber). I asked about the availability of tickets for the upcoming series against the Boston Fucksox (I have season tickets to 2 of the 4 games) and was told that the cheapest available tickets started at $320. No way!! Well, long story short - yesterday I went online and, amazingly, was able to score tickets for the other 2 games, in the same area and price-range where my season ticket seat is. Wow, awesome!!

With these additional purchases I am scheduled for 22 games for August and September. Hopefully The Yankees will advance all of the way to the World Series, and if so, I will have tickets to each of the post-season home games. Go Yankees!!

This is what Billi Pod’s entertainment schedule looks like for the next several days --

Saturday - 8:00 - “Al’s Business Cards” - Off Broadway. “When New Jersey gaffing assistant Al Gurvis accidentally gets his new business cards swapped with those of real-estate agent Eileen Lee, he's mildly annoyed. Little does he know that this tiny mix up has sparked a chain reaction, which will ultimately ruin his life. A comedy about waking up from the American Dream. (discounted TDF ticket).

Sunday - open at the moment - will probably see the new Adam Sandler movie “Funny People.”

Monday - 8:00 - “The Columbine Project” - Off Broadway. “On April 20, 1999, the world watched as two young men presumed to be outcasts walked into their high school and attempted to massacre hundreds of their peers. Although failing in their original mission to kill 250 students, the two teens left 12 students and a teacher fatally wounded and many others scarred for life. THE COLUMBINE PROJECT examines exactly what went through the minds of several students, including the killers who at one time were just normal kids. Pulled straight from journals, diaries and information shared personally with the writer by survivors of the incident, this true story provides insight into who these children were and who may have also had a hand in cultivating the rampage that resulted in bloodshed and destruction.” (complimentary ticket).

Tuesday - open at the moment - will probably see the movie “500 Days of Summer.”

Wednesday - 3:00 - “Dreyfus In Rehearsal.” - Off Broadway. “Poland. 1931. A troupe of amateur Jewish performers attempt to put on a play about French Captain Alfred Dreyfus. Complications ensue as the frustrated director struggles to make the company understand the relevance of live theatre and help his young lead find the conviction to play the title character. Through it all the troupe discovers the strength of their collective voice and what they mean to each other.” ($9 TDF ticket)

8:00 - “Assume the Position with Mr. Wuhl” - Off Broadway. This is the press blurb for this standup comedy performance at Ars Nova - “School’s back in session! In an all-new follow-up to his acclaimed HBO special, Emmy Award winner Robert Wuhl (best known as Arli$$) delivers an irreverent comedic history lesson that playfully examines some of the facts, myths, and myths-that-became-facts that have permeated American history. Mixing pop culture with historical events and lighthearted observations from pundits, Robert Wuhl is the history teacher you never had but wished you did!” ($9 TDF ticket). Sounds like fun doesn’t it?

Thursday - 7:05 - Yankees vs. Boston FuckSox (season ticket package)

Friday - 7:05 - Yankees vs. Boston FuckSox (extra ticket)

Saturday - 4:10 - Yankees vs. Boston FuckSox (season ticket package)

Sunday - 8:05 - Yankees vs. Boston FuckSox (extra ticket).

Monday - 7:05 - Yankees vs. Toronto (season ticket package).

So, my loyal and faithful readers, I am really charged about the upcoming schedule in The Greatest City in The World.

Speaking of being charged - on Tuesday, August 11th, Sandy Mullon of Anna Maria, FL, will arrive, hopefully around noon, and we will begin our bamma-jamma schedule which I will share with you in a later posting.

Have a great weekend.

Go Yankees and Go Gators!!

Billi Pod
“Don't pick a fight with an old man. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.”

PS: July stats are forthcoming.