...The granddaughter of the late Kathryn Grayson will be starring in a new stage production of KISS ME, KATE in San Pedro, California. Kristin Towers-Rowles will appear as Lilli/Kate in the role her grandmother played in the classic 1953 MGM musical. The show is presented by the Relevant Stage and opens at the Warner Grand Theatre on February 17th, the one-year anniversary of Grayson's death.
Towers-Rowles can be seen singing in YouTube videos of several performances, including this rendition of "Vanilla Ice Cream" from SHE LOVES ME.
...I recently mentioned I'd stopped going to a Borders bookstore I liked when they stopped stocking the shelves and CD racks adequately. Just read that that store, in the Los Altos Center in Long Beach, will be closing as part of the company's bankruptcy.
The irony is that when that Borders opened, in a very YOU'VE GOT MAIL scenario, my favorite independent bookstore in that center closed. The Book Emporium was a very special store where the employees knew their regular customers and would set aside new books of interest for us to review -- there were actually shelves labeled with our names behind the counter! As soon as word came that Borders was opening, the Book Emporium closed.
There's a lot to be said for the book superstores, and I wouldn't go back to the days before Amazon -- Amazon performs the same service as the independent store by giving customers targeted recommendations -- but I do miss that little store sometimes!
...Did you know that the "Miami" of CSI: MIAMI is actually Long Beach in Southern California?
For that matter, the New York of CSI: NY is in San Pedro. My daughter's done some background work on both shows, and it's fun to hear about the ways they try to turn Southern California into Miami and New York. On CSI: NY they actually import New York sand and bushes for waterfront scenes.
...Susan King of the Los Angeles Times recommended some classic films for Valentine's Day. I was delighted to see the plug for Frank Borzage's HISTORY IS MADE AT NIGHT (1937), one of the great relatively unsung romances of the classic film era. My 2008 review of the movie, which stars Charles Boyer and Jean Arthur, is here. It's a truly unusual film blending comedy, tragedy, romance, and disaster movie all in one package. One would have to be made of stone not to be moved by the movie's final scenes.
...Sidney Harth, the former concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, has passed away at the age of 85.
That's a name I remember from concert programs of my childhood.
...I encourage reading the obituaries of David Garcia, a Long Beach police officer who recently passed away after a nine-year battle with cancer -- and just days after the birth of his first child.
He sounds like a remarkable man with a great deal of compassion for citizens and animals alike. The world could use more people like Officer Garcia.