A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Dumb Dick Falls For Wrong Girl
Wednesday, April 08, 2015



Emma Slipp


My funny valentine

Sweet comic valentine

You make me smile with my heart



Your looks are laughable

Un-photographable

Yet, you're my favorite work of art



Is your figure less than Greek?

Is your mouth a little weak?

When you open it to speak

Are you smart?



But don't change a hair for me

Not if you care for me

Stay little valentine, stay
Each day is Valentines Day

Lorenz Hart/ Richard Rodgers



Tonight I attended the opening night performance of Aaron Bushkowsky’s play Farewell My Lovely based on Raymond Chandler’s 1940 novel of the same name. My companion was Ruth Brooks, my sister-in-law from New Dublin, Ontario who has not gone to a play in many (many) years. The performance was directed by Craig Hall at the Arts Club Theatre’s Granville Island Stage and they co-produced it with Calgary’s Vertigo Theatre.

A punctilious theatre critic (I am neither just an avid blogger and theatre aficionado) would crucify Aaron Bushkowsky who tinkered with Chandler’s minimal dialogue. In fact in the novel one of the cops who manhandles our flawed dick is given the nickname of Hemingway to the utter non-comprehension of the so-named.

Bushkowsky has simplified the plot so there is a tad less left to the imagination. But any play that may bring our youth to an awareness of Raymond Chandler can do no wrong especially when you can add to it a few more very nice things.

Consider that Stephen Hair who plays slightly dense cop Nulty reminded me of Trevor Howard.

He drinks.

Consider that Anthony F. (could that be Fitzgerald?) Ingram plays two parts, Marriot an over-the-top ponce, and Amthor a slippery spiritualist.

He drinks.

Consider that Emma Slipp who plays Annie Riordon and  Jamie Konchak as Helen Grayle can not only act but also display stuff that were I a much younger man I would have had the same problem as that man with the pistol in his pocket. As Mae West said:

Cultivate your curves - they may be dangerous but they won't be avoided.

Consider that the above two women can sing very well and do so. I particularly loved Slipp’s smoky voice.

They both drink.

While I was living in Mexico a Mexican (naturally) told me, "I love those stockings with seams in the back. You start at the bottom and follow the line all the way up to the top." I would cross legs with either of these women anytime.

Consider that Bushkovsky goes on a limb and makes Moose Malloy, a black man in the presence of Beau Dixon. Farewell My Lovely, the novel has language about black people that is not politically correct. The novel’s Malloy wreaks havoc at an all-black night club. This is minimized in the play. Can Chandler be sanitized? Perhaps.

Consider that Jessie Florian (the ultimate Chandler dipso expertly played by luscious Lucia Frangione) is unable to get on with the 12-step program because of terminal circumstances beyond her control.

She drinks.

Consider that Graham Percy, tonight’s Philip Marlowe had to fit the shoes of the likes of Dick Powell, Humphrey Bogart, Robert Montgomery, James Garner, Elliot Gould and Robert Mitchum. He was none of them. But he was a tad less (for a change) hard-boiled  (3 minutes 45 seconds perhaps?) and thus easier to like.  

He drinks lots and lots.

Consider that tonight I overheard three people asking, “Have you seen the Robert Mitchum version?”

Of that latter consideration I can only assert (with one qualification that Charlotte Rampling somehow makes up for the omission) that the 1975 film does away completely with Emma Slipp’s part as Annie Riordon. I do have one puzzle in my mind, the novel’s Anne clearly tells Marlowe, “Don’t call me Annie). Why would Bushkowsky change her name from Riordan to Riordon? Perhaps it is only a program typo. Does that make me punctilious?

But any play that features one of my all-time favourite jazz standards (I have about 15 versions with Gerry Mulligan with Chet Baker or Art Farmer) My Funny Valentine with a trumpet version by Chet Baker has to merit high points for me.

Would I be that punctilious theatre critic (I assert again that I am neither) I would simply write my review in two sentences (and this is not a spoiler alert):

Dumb dick falls for the wrong girl.

Deitra Kalyns (costume designer) blué dress, I almost died when I saw Slipp wearing it.


Marco Soriano & Emma Slipp April 8 2015



     

Previous Posts
Together Again

Juliana Soltis - Cellist - Nomad

A Blue Easter Girl

Sábado De Gloria - Gringo Viejo

Two (Not Three) Sisters & Not In Langley

Linda, A Facón & A Rastra - Pure Nostalgia

Kenji Kawakami - Chindogu

Portland, Seattle, Spicy Chocolate & A Spinach & L...

That Recurring Leaky Tank Problem - Again

The Human Cello



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3/27/16 - 4/3/16

4/3/16 - 4/10/16

4/10/16 - 4/17/16

4/17/16 - 4/24/16

4/24/16 - 5/1/16

5/1/16 - 5/8/16

5/8/16 - 5/15/16

5/15/16 - 5/22/16

5/22/16 - 5/29/16

5/29/16 - 6/5/16

6/5/16 - 6/12/16

6/12/16 - 6/19/16

6/19/16 - 6/26/16

6/26/16 - 7/3/16

7/3/16 - 7/10/16

7/10/16 - 7/17/16

7/17/16 - 7/24/16

7/24/16 - 7/31/16

7/31/16 - 8/7/16

8/7/16 - 8/14/16

8/14/16 - 8/21/16

8/21/16 - 8/28/16

8/28/16 - 9/4/16

9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16