Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dinner Tonight With John Scott Reed aka Fabson


It is a beautiful morning here in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World.

 After I post this update for you loyal and faithful readers I will spend the rest of the afternoon just walking and wandering, probably somewhere in the Upper Eastside, an area that I have virtually overlooked since I moved from Midtown East to Hell’s Kitchen three years ago.

I will start this posting with Billi Pod’s report card on last night’s entertainment event ...

RANGOON, about a family of Indian immigrants attempting to deal with the seductions of American life==>B.

It has an interesting but not totally compelling story line that takes a last minute twist that no one, and I mean no one, sees coming. I also had a bit of a  problem understanding some of the Indian argot.

Having said this, I still think that it is decent theater and is worth seeing as an example of how “others” view the American lifestyle.

When the show was over I came back to PHC and watched the last game of the YANKEES/ANGELS series. The Yankees won this one in a 6-5 nail biter, avoiding being swept.

The Yankees gave Ivan Nova an early 5-1 lead which he promptly squandered, yet he ultimately got credit for the win. Oh ... and Bomber batters still had problems getting crucial hits with runners in scoring position.

The Yankees have today off as they travel to Detroit to begin a 3-game series with the Tigers.

Tonight I will meet up with John Scott Reed aka Fabson for dinner and face time in his East Village ‘hood. 

Fabson is treating me to dinner as a birthday gift. 

Yeah, I know ... Billi Pod’s birthday was back in April but we have had difficulty in meshing our schedules. Since he is picking up the tab we will probably eat at either KFC or Arby’s. Just kidding ... I know it's gonna be at a nice place.

I want to close this posting with a major shout-out to Joe O’Keefe, part of the Concierge staff at 420 W. 42nd Street, who is retiring today.

Joe is a really nice guy and is very funny, especially when it comes to my infatuation with the Yankees. Yesterday I gave Joe the Yankee cap as a retirement gift.

Billi Pod says==>goodbye Joe, enjoy your retirement, you have earned it. Gonna miss you!!

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.”

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Billi Pod Says==>See UN PLUGGED IN.


Good afternoon everyone.

The picture is, of course, of Alex aka Army Guy and my darling great-granddaughter Saylor, taken in Columbia, SC, on May 28th.










Man, they grow quickly, don’t they?


I will now give you loyal and faithful readers Billi Pod’s report cards on yesterday’s doubleheader, which was a mixed-bag ... first ...


UN PLUGGED IN, the story of three 20-something New Yorkers dealing with their diverse needs to connect, disconnect and determine who they really are==>A-.

Terrific acting with a compelling story line that explores friendship, love and identity with many twists and unexpected turns.

I didn’t particularly like the final scene but no matter because this is a very interesting work and Billi Pod says==> SEE IT!!


The show was over at 8:40 so I had plenty of time for a quick pit stop and then a walk over to 45th Street for my second show of the doubleheader, SPIEGELWORLD: EMPIRE.

As soon as I picked up my ticket it began to rain but I was able to find a semi-dry place under an overhang. That was good luck because they didn’t open the doors for the 9:30 show until 9:40. People were really getting upset. Once we got inside and seated the show didn’t start until 10:00.

The venue for this show has been specially constructed on a vacant lot and is styled after the tent of a traveling circus. The seating is in the round, on folding chairs and is very cramped and pretty uncomfortable.

My report card on the show, which features acrobatic performers==>C.

Yes, I was majorly disappointed, to put it mildly. It is basically a scaled down version of Cirque Du Soleil with nothing special - seen it all before. The performers seemed to be tired and less than 100% involved.

Thankfully, when the show was finally over at 11:30 it had stopped raining. I came back to PHC for the second disappointing aspect of the evening, which was ...

The Wankies losing again to the LA Angels by a score of 5-1. Andy Pettitte just didn’t have it, despite the favorable spin attempted by the YES broadcasters. And ... guess what ... we couldn’t get crucial hits with runners in scoring position yet again, going a woeful 3 for 11.

The Wankies will attempt to avoid a sweep this evening with Ivan Nova on the mound.

Today’s entertainment for Billi Pod is ...

7:30==>RANGOON - “A funny and tragic story about a family of Indian immigrants who must deal with the seductions of American life, while trying to keep its heritage alive.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This is the world premiere of the show and it is playing at a theater on my block.

I will close this posting with a major shout-out to my dear friend Ginger Flowers of Atlanta, GA, who is, I think, celebrating a major milestone today. CONGRATULATIONS!!

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.”

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Billi Pod Says==>Back To Work!!


OK all of my Worker Bee friends==>your long weekend is now over so it’s time to head back to your cubicles, desks, broom closets, wait-stations etc. etc. and become productive again and feed the economy, thereby taking care of us poor and downtrodden retirees.

Dammit - stop your whining and just DO IT!!

It was a painful loss for the Yankees last night==>9-8. A walk-off HR in the bottom of 9th won the game for the Angels. Phil Hughes sucked and The Bombers still can’t get crucial hits with runners in scoring position. Barf!!

Yes, I know they scored 8 runs but only 5 were earned and The Wankies were an abysmal 3 for 11 with runners in scoring position, a flaw that has become more and more apparent and troubling as the season has progressed.

Game 2 is at 10:05pm tonight with Andy Pettitte on the mound.

Although it is Tuesday it is going to be Billi Pod’s errands and stuff day because yesterday just wasn’t the day to do the mundane chores etc. 

Billi Pod also has a rather unusual doubleheader for today (unusual because Tuesday isn’t normally a doubleheader day and also unusual in the nature of the two events) ... first is ... 

7:00==>UN PLUGGED IN - “It's December 2012, and the world may be coming to an end. And even if it isn't, it feels like it will for Zero, Chris, and Leah, three friends scraping by in New York City. Escape's easily found within the click of a button, but the farther they distance themselves from reality, the greater their need becomes to connect to each other.” (Off Broadway - $9.00 TDF ticket)

This is playing at Theater Row, on my block, and has a running time of 80 minutes. When the show is over I will then race over to 45th Street for the second part of the doubleheader, which is ...

9:30==>SPIEGELWORLD: EMPIRE - “An international cast of extraordinary acrobatic performers, featuring burlesque, vaudeville, amazing feats of strength, balance, danger, unfathomable flexibility, heavenly bodies and outrageous comedy.” (complimentary ticket)

This show had a very well reviewed run downtown and has just moved to the 45th Street location where it is appearing in a traveling-circus style venue which has just been constructed for the show.

I anticipate having no problem picking up my ticket in a timely fashion.

OK, my loyal and faithful readers, it is now time to do my things and stuff ... 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.”

Monday, May 28, 2012

WE MUST NEVER FORGET!!


Yes, my loyal and faithful readers==>we must NEVER EVER FORGET the sacrifices made to protect and preserve this great Country of ours!!

I am extremely proud that: my father, William Sr., served in the Navy during World War II; I, William Jr., served in the Army as a member of the Counter-Intelligence Corps; and, as you know, my oldest grandson, Alex, aka Army guy, an Apache helicopter pilot, has just returned home from a tour of duty in Iraq and then Kuwait.

WE MUST NEVER EVER FORGET!!

It was a beautiful morning in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World, and there was no way that I could stay in the apartment during the afternoon, which explains to you why this posting is somewhat delayed. Yes, after I posted on my FaceBook Wall I spent the rest of the afternoon just wandering around Midtown and the Upper Westside of Manhattan.

It felt great, it really did.

I am, obviously, back in PHC and will now try to bring you loyal and faithful readers out there in the boondocks, hinterlands and wastelands up-to-date.

Let’s start with Billi Pod’s report cards on yesterday’s entertainment  doubleheader ... first ... 

MIRACLE ON SOUTH DIVISION STREET, about how a deathbed confession undermines a cherished family legend==>B+.

It has an excellent cast with a believable and involving story line. The 80 minute running time, obviously without intermission, flies by. See it.

I am happy to report that the asshole box office manager/house manager/whatever wasn’t on duty and that was great.

When the show was over I had time for my usual fruit and cheese plate and then it was time to head down to Chelsea for my second entertainment event ...

CHIMICHANGAS AND ZOLOFT, about the interaction between two mega-dysfunctional families==>C.

I really wanted to like it more but, folks, it has totally unbelievable and unlikeable characters with a cliché ridden story line that actually makes a joke out of the phrase “mega-dysfunctional family.”

I can, however, see how it may appeal to “certain” people ... so ... Billi Pod says==>see it at your own risk.

Moving on ... 

Wow!! The Bronx Bombers won, 2-0, their 5th straight game with a stellar performance from Hiroki Kuroda. Mark Teixeira’s bat remains hot as he went 2 for 4, driving in 1 run.

Tonight @ 9:05pm The Yankees open a 3-game series with the LA Angels with Phil Hughes (4-5) on the mound against their ace Jered Weaver (6-1). This should be a nail-biting series.

What about tonight’s entertainment event you are no doubt breathlessly asking? Well, in the name of fair and unbiased reporting, I have to admit that just a few minutes ago I canceled Billi Pod’s reservation (and comp. ticket) to a concert at Avery Fisher Hall by the Distinguished Concerts Orchestra and Chorus? WTF!! Why???

Well ... it’s pretty simple ... I just felt like giving Billi Pod the night off ... so after I post this I will head back outside and walk and wander for another hour or so and then come back to PHC and watch the YANKEES/ANGELS game. 

In closing ...

WE MUST NEVER EVER FORGET!!

Bill

Sunday, May 27, 2012

RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN==>A


In the name of fair and unbiased reporting Billi Pod must admit to you loyal and faithful readers that yesterday’s doubleheader was not the knockout, the sweep, that he had anticipated ... so let’s get right to it with his report cards ... starting with ... 

RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN, the dramatic comedy that follows two women whose paths diverge radically after grad school==>A.

It is extremely well acted, very thought-provoking and very edgy. It is definitely the World from the female-prospective.

Thankfully, the playwright knows that there is a fine line between being informative and being preachy. 

Billi Pod Says==>SEE IT!

Unfortunately, in the second show of the doubleheader the playwright either didn’t see the line, or didn’t give a f**k that it existed ...

SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES, about the journey of four gay boys in the Baptist Church==>C<==and this is giving it the benefit of the doubt.

The show uses every known gay-stereotype and cliché to repeatedly hammer home the “message” that organized religion ain’t gay-friendly and that growing up gay can be very difficult. Hey, we already knew this ... we got it in the first 15 minutes of your overly-long 2-act play. 

Perhaps a one-act 70-90 minute show would have done a better job. I stayed through both acts hoping that it would get better. It didn’t. Yes, I had been warned by several buddies whose opinions I usually trust and I elected to see it notwithstanding ... Oh well ... 

Moving on ... 

The Bronx Bombers won their 4th straight game, beating Oakland 9-2, driven by Teixeira’s 4-5, two-homers and 6 runs batted in and CC Sabathia steady performance on the mound.

The final game of the series is this afternoon at 4:05pm with Hiroki Kuroda (3-6) on the mound

Today is yet another doubleheader for Billi Pod ...

2:00==>MIRACLE ON SOUTH DIVISION STREET - “A deathbed confession threatens to undermine a cherished family legend in this comedy about faith and family.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This is playing at the theater at St. Luke's, which is, as you loyal and faithful readers know, one of Billi Pod’s least favorite venues because of the asshole who is the box office manager/house manager/whatever.

This show has gotten very favorable reviews and word of mouth and I am looking forward to it, despite Mr. A-hole.

Then for the evening is ...

7:30==>CHIMICHANGAS AND ZOLOFT - “A Latino women goes AWOL from her family and into a prescription Zoloft and greasy chimichangas binge. Her teenage daughter and her daughter’s best friend attempt to get her back home as the audience gets to examine happiness and sexuality through the eyes of two brazen teenagers.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

Not any advanced buzz about this show and for a number of reasons I have a strange feeling in my gut about it, a so-called “dark comedy” about yet another mega-dysfunctional family. Hope I am wrong ...

OK ... it is time to let the doubleheader begin ... 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, May 26, 2012

MURDER IN THE FIRST==>A


It is a beautiful day in The Big Apple and I hope all of you loyal and faithful readers are having a great weekend because Billi Pod certainly is - he has two back-to-back doubleheaders scheduled. Details will be later in this posting.

First I want to give you Billi Pod’s report card on last night’s entertainment event, MURDER IN THE FIRST, about the 1940s murder trial that ultimately led to the closing of Alcatraz==>A.

The play is extremely well performed and the cast is superior, especially Chad Kimball as Willie Moore, the inmate who was “forgotten” in solitary confinement for over 3 years. When he is released from solitary confinement he almost immediately murders a fellow inmate. 

Guy Burnet makes his New York debut in the role of Henry Davidson, the young and idealistic Public Defender who represents and also bonds with Willie. He is outstanding and very believable.

Of course, as a retired Judge, I have to state, in the name of fair and unbiased reporting, that many “liberties” are taken in what transpires in the courtroom scenes, but no matter, because the whole production is engrossing, at times funny and extremely thought-provoking.

The show is in very early previews so I believe it will be tightened up because the 2:30 running time, with one intermission, is a bit too long.

I think the critics are going to like this show and I have added it to Billi Pod’s MUST SEE list.

As I said, today is an entertainment doubleheader ... first is ...

2:30==>RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN - “A comedy that follows two women whose paths diverge radically after grad school only to reconnect decades later, when both are unfulfilled in different ways.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

Every one of my theater buddies who have seen this show have given it very positive reviews and I am looking forward to seeing it.

It is playing at Playwright’s Horizon, immediately next door to my apartment building.

Then for the evening is something a bit different ... 

8:00==>SOUTHERN BAPTIST SISSIES - “The journey of four gay boys in the Baptist Church, with a theme of religion clashing with sexuality.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

Yeah, I know. My theater buddies who have seen this show are equally divided==>2 liked it and 2 hated it. 

It closes tomorrow so I thought I would give it a shot. We will see.

Last night, out in Oakland, The Bronx Bombers hit 3 HRs to beat the woeful Athletics 6-3 behind an acceptable outing from Ivan Nova.

The 2nd game of the series is at 4:05pm this afternoon with our ace, CC Sabathia (5-2), on the mound. Hopefully the Bomber bats will continue their journey from Death Valley where they have been mired for most of the season.

OK, everyone, I have some things and stuff to do before my doubleheader begins so will post this now ... 

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.”


Friday, May 25, 2012

Have A Great Memorial Day Weekend!!


A big TGIF shout-out to all of my Worker Bee friends. Have a great Memorial Day Weekend!!

Billi Pod’s report card on last night’s entertainment event, A MODEST SUGGESTION, about four businessmen discussing whether the world is a better place with or without the Jews==>B.

I actually found myself liking this much more than I had anticipated. The acting is excellent and the story line is both funny and also very thought-provoking at the same time. It is right on the cusp of getting a B+. The running time is 80 minutes, which seemed a bit longer because the unpadded seats in the Studio Theater at Theater Row are really uncomfortable.

If you are Jewish, I don’t think you will be offended. If you aren’t, you will have no difficulty in understanding all of the Jewish references. I have no trouble recommending the show.

Tonight’s entertainment event is ...

8:00==>MURDER IN THE FIRST - “This courtroom drama centers around the bond that develops between a young attorney in the Public Defendant's office and the prisoner whom he defends and ultimately befriends. The show is inspired by a compelling true story of the trial that ultimately led to the closing of Alcatraz - the most notorious correctional institution in U.S. history.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

This show is in early previews but has already generated a lot of very favorable advance buzz. It is playing at the 59th Street Theater complex, one of my favorite Off Broadway venues.

The Wankies are on the West Coast for a  3 games series against Oakland and then 3 games against the LA Angels. When that is completed they will fly to Detroit for a 3 game series against the Tigers. The next home game isn’t until June 6th against The Rays.

I am happy to report that Billi Pod has back-to-back entertainment doubleheaders for Saturday and Sunday and he will provide the details to you loyal and faithful readers in tomorrow’s posting, so just be patient out there in the hinterlands, boondocks and wasteland.

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.”

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Yesterday Was Another Awesome Doubleheader


Good morning to all of my loyal and faithful readers out there in the morass known as cyberspace. I hate to report this ... but ... it is a gray and very gloomy morning in The Big Apple, The Greatest City In The World. It is lightly raining.


But ... I am happy to report that Billi Pod had an awesome doubleheader yesterday ... first ... POTTED POTTER: The Unauthorized Harry Experience, performed by two actors who condense all seven Harry Potter books into 70 madcap minutes==>B+.

The two performers are excellent and their comedic timing is perfect. In the name of fair and unbiased reporting I must state that if you haven’t at least seen the movies, then you will have no clue what is happening on stage or why the audience is roaring with laughter. Be warned.

That said ... Billi Pod totally enjoyed it. Will it break the “Little Shubert Curse” you are no doubt breathlessly asking? I honestly don’t know but my gut feeling is==>No, it won’t, unfortunately. Hope I am wrong.

Then for the evening it was out to Yankee Stadium, The House That Greed and Ego Built, for the final game of the YANKEES/KANSAS CITY series.

The Yankees beat KC 8-3 behind a journeyman performance from Andy  Pettitte, who went 7 innings, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits while striking out 8. The Bummer bats came somewhat alive aided by 2 HRs from A-Rod.

The weather was OK and it was, for a change, an enjoyable game to watch==>about f**king time.

BREAKING NEWS==>Is the Yankee franchise for sale? WTF??? Well ... these are the front page and back page headlines in today’s Daily News ...

“BUY, BUY GEORGE? Yankee Sale Rumors Swirl.” - front page

“THE $3B QUESTION. Rumors swirl that Yanks could soon be for sale.” - back page

The story/rumors come from “highly placed insiders” but they have been uniformly denied by the Steinbrenner family.

Stay tuned.

Today’s entertainment event for Billi Pod is ... 

8:00==>A MODEST SUGGESTION - “Four businessmen meet over a pad of paper and a box of donuts to discuss whether the world is a better place with or without the Jews. Comedy ensues.” (Off Broadway - complimentary ticket)

Whoa!! This is supposed to be a comedy? With that underlying theme? We will just have to see about this. It is playing at a theater on my block.

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.”