Ruby Dee was an actress. I think I knew that she was the widow of Ossie Davis. I am pretty sure I didn’t know that she had a degree from Hunter College (in romance languages).
Don Zimmer was a baseball icon. Among the things he was notable for were being an original member of the New York Mets and managing the 1978 Boston Red Sox.
The more obscure person I want to note is anthropologist George Armelagos. His book, Consuming Passions, is one of the most interesting books about food ever written. I particularly enjoyed the section on cannibalism, for its utter lack of sensationalism.
Non-celebrity Obituary: Mack Smith died of a stroke just about as I was setting off on vacation. He told good stories – Jack tales and tall tales. If I recall correctly, he won the Virginia Liar’s contest at least once. He was good people and will be missed by our community.
Bat Boy: Last weekend, I went to see Bat Boy: The Musical at 1st Stage. It was about what one would expect of a musical based on a story from the Weekly World News. The basic plot involves a half-boy half-bat creature found in a cave, who is taken to the local veterinarian’s home, where he is taught to be civilized, but has to fight the local townsfolk’s prejudices. There was an impressive performance by Jimmy Mavrikes in the very demanding title role. Maria Rizzo as Shelly had good chemistry with him. Unfortunately, some of the cast lacked energy, possibly because of the demands that playing multiple roles made on most of them. The score was okay, but not especially memorable. So, overall, while it was entertaining, it was hardly an essential show to see.
The Tony Awards: As much as I like Neil Patrick Harris, I think Jefferson Mayes was robbed.
Washington Jewish Music Festival: This is one of my favorite events of the year. Monday night, I saw a movie as part of it - Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. I will write about that more when I do my quarterly movie wrap-up. For now, I will just say it was very funny.
Last night, I went to see Kinky Friedman. He’s pretty much still doing the same shtick he’s been doing for 40 some odd years. He sang stuff like "They Ain’t Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore" and "Asshole from El Paso" and so on. And he told various jokes, many in questionable taste (which is part of his persona). My favorite was his comment about his will, which specifies that he be cremated and his ashes scattered in Rick Perry’s hair. He also had some serious notes, reading a story about his father from his book about Texas heroes. Overall, it was an entertaining evening.
Tonight, I am going to see Yemen Blues, which I expect to be more energetic, fusiony stuff. Which is exactly my cup of tea.