Monday, May 19, 2014

2.20 The Good, The Bad, and the Birthday


Yesterday, I celebrated my 56th birthday by going back in time, sorta, at the World's Fair International Festival at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, NY, where the 1939 and 1964 New York World's Fairs took place. I was a little late for 1939, but I was there in 1964, and I saw it all, especially the Walt Disney rides (It's A Small World, Carousel of Progress, and Magic Skyway) whose success inspired their creator to explore the possibility of creating a permanent East Coast theme park. (Walt Disney World opened some seven years later, and the rest is history!) I revisited many of the attractions at the Queens Museum and the "Tent of Tomorrow," a tribute to the 1939 Fair's theme, "the World of Tomorrow," and met a lot of great people, including Mr. and Mrs. Met, the Amazin team from Flushing's mascots. They weren't Mickey and Minnie, who I met some fifty years prior, but, hey, there's only one Mickey and Minnie team, no matter what their dopplegangers on Times Square think!


One day before my mom and I went out to a very special birthday dinner (Deets next!) I got a birthday present from my bank I didn't particularly want.

My checking account was hacked.

Happy frickin' birthday.


And to make matters worse, it was hacked by somebody I THOUGHT I could call a friend, somebody I THOUGHT I could trust, and that's all I'm gonna say about THAT.

If you've seen that surveillance tape of Jay-Z and his sister-in-law having at it in the elevator of a chi-chi hotel, (Did you see that SNL sketch when they "revealed" that his sib-in-law Solange, played to hilarious effect by Maya Rudolph, actually tried to remove a spider from him?) you'll probably think that privacy is all but dead. (Whether you're right is a topic for another blog.) This was certainly evidence that it HAS known better days, but take it from a guy who's been there and who's not going back: Do NOT, and I mean, NOT, give your online passwords or Social Security Number to ANYBODY! If you think this can happen only to some other guy, guess again, Chester! That other guy may be you! This has been a public service announcement from Steve's Blog!


I had a FANTABULOUS birthday dinner at NYY Steak, the Yankees' steakhouse at Seven West 51st Street in Manhattan. It ain't cheap, but it's well worth the extra bucks! As for a HAPPIER surprise present than the one I mentioned above, I had a close encounter today, my ACTUAL birthday, with the TODAY Show's Hoda Kotb. She may drink a little more than the average human, but she's VERY coherent and VERY nice, and I have the pleasure to inform you wonderful people that Yours Truly will be in the TODAY audience next Monday. Stay tuned!

Well, that's it for my blogday birth, or words to that effect, but, until next time....

Bye, Buckaroos!

And remember the immortal words of the National Lampoon: "Don't be a careless person! Be a care-more person!"

Saturday, May 10, 2014

2.19 Steve's Movie Blog: Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return (PG)

You are NOT in Kansas anymore.

You aren't even at WICKED which, you may be surprised to hear, showed a great deal of reverence towards L. Frank Baum's enchanted land of Oz while introducing new songs that flew into the Great Broadway Songbook with no sign of leaving.

This is an attempt, inspired by "Dorothy of Oz," a novel by Roger S. Baum, the grandson of The Royal Historian Of Oz, I refer, of course, to Lyman Frank Baum, who Rascally Roy Thomas once referred to as "The American Grimm," to bring the Oz saga into the new millenium. This animated mishmash has no memorable songs like "Over The Rainbow" or "Defy Gravity," despite the better efforts of Bryan Adams and his partner Jim Vallence. (Oh for the days of "Summer of '69," "Cuts Like A Knife," and "Heaven!")

Lea Michelle comes nowhere close to channeling Judy Garland's portrayal of Dorothy, and while it's great to hear Ackroyd and Belushi (Jim, not his late great brother) together again (Dan is the Scarecrow and Jim is the Lion) and the always delightful Kelsey Grammer as the Tin Man, the whole production only elicited tears of sleep and very few laughs from the audience, this reviewer included.

I can think of a hundred better interpetations of the Oz mythos, of course the MGM classic leads the pack hands down. After I read the names of everyone to blame for this doodad, I clicked my heels together three times and said, (You guessed it!) "There's no place like home!"

Long story short: KICK IT!

Bye Buckaroos!

Thursday, May 8, 2014


Hard to believe, but next Wednesday, May 14, marks the FIRST ANNIVERSARY OF STEVE'S BLOG,as well as MY birthday five days early. I'd like to thank everybody in the USA,Spain,Latvia, Lithuania,France, Italy,the United Kingdom,and even Russia and Ukraine who've stuck by this blogger since Day One for their continued support. I couldn't done it without you! (Actually, I COULD have done it without you, but it would have stunk to High Heaven!) Here's to many more years! I AM considering tie-ins such as Steve's Book, Steve's Movie, Steve's Mag, Steve Radio, and Steve TV. The sky's the limit!
Sunday is Mother's Day in the USA, and I would like to wish all the best to all the women who told us to put that down cause we didn't know where it had been,sit up straight, and call when we got there. For all you do, this blog's for you. (Yeah, yeah, I know it ain't too original, but you deserve SOME recognition.)

One sure sign of warmer weather is a whole lot of TV shows going on hiatus. Next Saturday, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE welcomes Andy Samberg back as its guest host, this coming Sunday, ONCE UPON A TIME wraps up possibly its strangest season, one which began in Neverland, had an interlude in New York, and ended in Oz, Emily Thorne's quest for REVENGE is doomed to come to an end this coming Sunday after her secret identity is revealed,and ABC News says goodbye to a legend, Baba Wawa, (OOPS, I meant Barbara Walters!) with a two-hour special. Waiting in the wings are, among others, the wicked summer soap MISTRESSES (starring Alyssa Milano, among others) LOUIE, a Seinfeld-inspired (but TV-MA rated) look at the life of comedian Louis C.K.,the cop drama MOTIVE, and RISING STAR, a completely  different singing competition designed to make the American people ask, "Idol What?" "The Voice of Where?"

I'd be remiss if I didn't thank Nicole Vranizan, formerly of the New York Rangers, and her colleagues Gretchen Muller and Chelsea Duffy, for their unwavering support, as a matter of fact, this whole blog was Nick's idea! Unfortunately, people are starting to write the obituary for the Broadway Blues' 2013-2014 campaign as the playoffs move to Pittsburgh, but, although it may sound Pollyannesque of me, I still believe the boys can pull a rabbit out of their hockey helmets!

I have been known to go to great lengths, namely from sunny Bermuda to snowy Quebec, just to see the Rangers, and my cousin David gave up an Ozzie-and-Harriet-style existence in Lawrenceville, NJ just to follow his beloved Grateful Dead, but a member of the morning crew on WCBS-FM nicknamed Kermit the Wonder Frog has JUST surfaced after a wild week of partying at the Carolina Rebellion Festival. And guess who he followed all the way Down South. The Stones? NOPE! Chicago (the band)? NOPE! Bruce? NOPE! The particular musical aggregation he followed was (Wait for it, wait for it.) FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH! Next time, Kermie, if you're reading this, stick with something like Billy Joel at the Garden!

Forgive me, fellow NFL fans, but I'm not following the Draft as much as I have been following it, but the Rangers have some hockey to play, and besides, how CAN you possibly follow the winter street fair on Super Bowl Boulevard?

You've been reading the HAPPY BIRTHDAY portion of Steve's Blog produced, written and choreographed by Your Humble Servant, Sturdy Steve Eisenpreis. Portions of the preceding show were last seen with faces full of birthday cake. On behalf of the management and staff, this is your announcer thanking you for your support, and reminding you that Donald Sterling is no more a non-racist than I am Scarlet Johansen.(Come to think of it, I wouldn't look TOO bad in that black jumpsuit and that red hair!)