Planet Proctor 2004 Volume 07

 "You've just witnessed actors applauding critics.Can the Apocalypse be far behind?" ~ Eric McCormick of the Critics' Choice Awards, in L.A. Magazine


        We're off and running and "Critics' Choice" in, among others, the L.A. Times ("A Prescription for Pleasure") and the L.A. Weekly, which said, "It's like cartoon music played by a string quartet."           I'm stepping into another role next week, replacing our wonderful Jeremy Lawrence as "Luka" in "The Bear" which features the brilliant husband-and-wife team of  Harry Groener and Dawn Didawick -- and will be performing through the end of our run, which will probably be extended past the present March 21st curtain.

        BUT DON'T WAIT! We're selling out our Friday and Saturday shows, but you can always get good seats on Thursday or Sunday -- and yes, curtain goes up this Academy Awards Sunday, at 7!

      "He takes a flaying and keeps on praying" ~ Time Magazine's Richard Corliss on The Passion...


        Come see the dazzling, side-splitting production of "Spite for Spite," a romantic comedy by the 17th Century Spanish playwright Agustin Moreto, translated and produced by Dakin Matthews, directed by Anne McNaughton and featuring Terry Evans, Julia Fletcher, Lance Guest, Meeghan Holaway, Michael Kirby, Andrew Matthews, Dakin Matthews, Rachel Oliva, Lily Rains, Katy Tyszkiewicz and Paul Willson with original music by guitarist Carl Smith on Tuesdays and Wednesday evenings with Saturday and Sunday matinees at present.

        It's all happening at the New Place Studio Theatre, 4900 Vineland Ave., North Hollywood. For reservations call (818) 506-8462. Free off-street parking is available, and the theatre is fully accessible.

  "Well, it's an awards show. You sit for three hours, you don't eat the shrimp, and you don't win." ~ Jamie Lee Curtis in L.A. Magazine


        "After 43 years as one of the world's prettiest pairs, the perfect plastic couple is breaking up," writes Samantha Critchell. As recently announced by Mattel spokesmen, "Barbie and Ken feel it's time to spend some quality time - apart", although they hope to remain friends, if not "playmates."

        Critchell asserts that there is no truth to rumors that "the breakup was linked to the Cali (California) Girl Barbie, arriving in stores now" reflecting her single status by sporting board shorts and a bikini top, metal hoop earrings, a deeper tan.

        Barbie Millicent Roberts met Ken (last name unknown) in 1961 shooting a TV commercial and they quickly became a hot item. It's suggested that the  separation may be partially due to Ken's reluctance to getting married, (or his lack of explicit equipment) but a more probable cause is Barbie's career.

        From her debut on the scene in 1959, Barbie's been everything from a rock star to military medic, and she's currently appearing in over 150 countries, which keeps her on the road, perhaps leading to her present liason with Blaine, an Australian boogie boarder. (Put another boy on the Barbie...?)

        As for Ken, says Mattell: "He will head for other waves."

   "I don't think that anyone is worried that a gay married couple is going to fly an airplane into downtown L.A." ~ Election Guide publisher Allan Hoffenblum


        Twenty clowns on a mission rode BART on Friday, which is usually not a funny thing to do. "The world has become a circus,'' replied one clown. "Someone needs to pull the pants down on our leaders.''

        And Bozoette, Brenna Olivier, behind her red nose, said she was trying to "cultivate peace, harmony and throw the bums out of office. Other forms of protest have been done to death,'' she said. "This is a way of energizing folks.''

        Meanwhile, down here, no-nonsense Pat Duffy, manager of the all-news stations KNX and KFWB, announced after a 7-second delay that:"Nothing is live anymore, effective immediately."

        Infinity Broadcasting will not tolerate on-air vulgarity on such shows as "Cooking with Melinda Lee" and "Dodgertalk" and will pre-record all interviews and eliminate live on-air calls until a digital delay system can be activated.

        Well "---" me!

  "The best way to get the news is from objective sources...[like] the people on my staff who tell me what's happening in the world " ~ George W. Bush, to interviewer Brit Hume


        In keeping with the suppositions of the best seller, "The Da Vinci Code", the Church of England has suggested that the Three Wise Men (or "Magi") may not have been men at all, or even wise, although no one is calling them the "Three Dumb Blondes."

        Reuters reports that the Church, striving to eliminate gender-specific language in its updated Book of Common Prayer has concluded at the General Synod that "Magi" is really a transliteration of a name given to Persian court officials; and the possibility "that one or more of the Magi were female cannot be excluded completely."    

        A London newspaper heralded them as: "The Three Fairly Sagacious Persons", but women have long surmised that were they actually females they would have brought "diapers, blankets, and casseroles" to the baby Jesus instead of Frankinsense, gold and myrrh.

    "God bless him, but if Captain Kangaroo was so good, how come he never made Major?" ~ Danny Mann


        "What do Lee Marvin, Capt. Kangaroo and Mr. Rogers have in common?" asks actress Annie Lockhardt.  

        Well, at a time when many Hollywood stars served their country in rear-echelon positions and braved the explosions of flashbulbs for war bond promotions, Lee was an authentic hero and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery next to 3 and 4-star generals. Johnny Carson revealed on "The Tonight Show" that as a Marine in the initial landing at Iwo Jima, Marvin was severely wounded and earned the Navy Cross.

        "Yeah, yeah," riposted Lee. "I got shot square in the butt and they gave me the Cross for securing a hot spot about halfway up Suribachi... But Johnny, at Iwo I served under the bravest man I ever knew.We both got the Cross the same day, but what he did for his Cross made mine look cheap in comparison.

        "The dumb guy actually stood up on Red Beach and directed his troops to move forward and get us the hell off the beach. That Sergeant and I have been lifelong friends.  When they brought me off Suribachi we passed the Sergeant and he lit a smoke and passed it to me lying on my belly on the litter and said, 'Where'd they get you, Lee?'

        "'Well, Bob, if you make it home before me, tell Mom to sell the outhouse!'

        "Johnny, I'm not lying. Sergeant Keeshan was the bravest man I ever knew. Bob Keeshan, You and the world know him as 'Captain Kangaroo'."

        Then there was this wimpy little guy on PBS, gentle and quiet; but "Mr. Rogers" was a US Navy Seal, a master in small arms and hand-to-hand combat who served in Vietnam with over 25 confirmed kills  who wore his famous long-sleeve sweater to cover the tattoos on his forearm and biceps.

        "America's real heroes don't flaunt what they did," says the email I received from Annie. "They quietly go about their day to day lives, doing what they do best, earning our respect and the freedom that we all enjoy."

        "Amazing what we do not know about people."

   "He was a little frightened of children. He always said, 'You have 'em, I'll amuse 'em." ~ Dr. Seuss' wife quoted in "Only in L.A." by Steve Harvey


        Bronx-born Emanuel Cohen, renamed Mortimer by his stepfather, changed his name legally to John Randolph in 1940, the year of my birth. Blacklisted for years, he still "never took himself too seriously," says longtime friend, James Whitmore, and went on to achieve greatness, a Tony and Academy Award nomination and fame as a natural character actor.

        "Yes, I've been in your living room many times, " he said.

        John gave me my first Off-Broadway job in "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" in 1962 at the Martinique Theater where I acted with his dear wife, Sarah Cunningham, and we remained friends right up to his death of old age at 88 in his home in Hollywood. He was present at all of my marriage celebrations (!) and Godfather to my daughter, Kristin.

        As his daughter Martha writes, "He lived an extraordinary life and was part of that remarkable generation of people who put themselves, their careers, their lives, on the line for the principles of the inalienable rights of all human beings.

        "That group of people fought in world wars, created Unions, worked for and saw the fruition of the Civil Rights movement, recognized and stood up publicly against the idea of war, especially economic/politically motivated ones, and did not waiver, did not begrudge the price.

        "They were amazed by what they achieved but never stopped working for greater achievement. The best way to honor all of them is to remember who, what, when, where, why, and how, to pass on that information and to carry on, often against the fearful-of-change majority. To carry on the constant fight for justice, equality, fairness and individual inalienable rights."

        His memorial is tentatively planned for the Mark Taper Forum on Sunday, March 14th.

         "Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad." -Aldous Huxley


        The voice-over industry and the world lost a great friend recently with the sudden loss of Tony Pope, age 56, who passed away while undergoing heart surgery.

        At a moving interment on Valentine's Day at Forest Lawn, high on a hill overlooking Walt Disney studios where he played "Goofy" for more than 11 years, the Cleveland native and loyal baseball fan was eulogized by friends and family alike. After sprinkling his coffin with red rose petals, all broke into a rendition of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game."

        Arriving here in 1973, he studied with the great Daws Butler, as recalled by  Corey Burton, and went on to create memorable voices for hundreds of TV shows, cartoons and films, like "Roger Rabbit", as well as for Disneyland rides and even toys like the spectacularly best-selling "Furby" of a few Christmases past.

        Among his myriad friends, however, many of whom raised our voices and our children together, he will be remembered more for his sunny smile, gracious good nature and all-pervading sense of humor. Ever a joy and inspiration to work with or just be around, Tony's generous spirit will certainly live on in our hearts until our last casting call from the Big Guy on high.

        Our love goes to Pat and their three children. A memorial service is pending.

   "We were to film 'Julius Caesar' at a theater at UCLA, and he would play every part himself." ~ Orson Welles' cinematographer


     In deepest seas

     On hardest land

     In brightest days

     Nothing will stop

     The love.              

     -- Valentine's Day Poem by 7-yeqr-old Luke Peterson

     "What do you call a fish with no eyes? -- A fsh." ~ Phil's Phunny Phacts


     March is National Sauce Month and National Noodle Month. Important dates to observe:

     8 - Annual Banana Eating Contest in Nenena, Nebraska.

     14 - Spaghetti Bridge Building Contest, Kelowna, British Columbia.

     19 - World's Largest Omelet, 1994 in Yokohama, Japan, 160,000 eggs.

     20 - Great American Meatout

     25 - Waffle Day in Sweden

  "To 'bush' someone in auto sales means to sell them a car, then later tell them the original terms are no longer valid" ~ Gregory Gadow

2004 by Phil Proctor
Published FEBRUARY 29, 2004