Tag Archives: concert

Music aged to perfection

I heart Dustin Hoffman.

The Graduate, Kramer vs Kramer, Tootsie, Rain Man, Moonlight Mile, Runaway Jury — winners all.

Then came the last 10 years. Two painful Fockers movies.  I Heart Huckabees (which I did not). Much cartoon voiceover work.  I began to despair.

But now Dustin Hoffman the director has stepped forward with his first feature, Quartet.








You can see by the photo that Hoffman wrangled some major names — Scottish actor/comedian Billy Connolly, and the Dowager Countess herself, Maggie Smith.  Tom Courtenay and Pauline Collins complete the ‘quartet’ of retired opera singers living at Beecham House, a retirement home in rural England for retired musicians.

(And can I just say — swanky.  We should all be so lucky.)

The movie begins as pretty much everyone at the home is in rehearsals for their annual fundraising concert. Connolly, Courtenay and Collins all want Smith — a recent addition to Beecham — to recreate their famed quartet at the concert.

She says no…to pretty much everything.  And the movie goes ‘behind the music’ to the pasts and passions of the players.

I loved the performances, especially Tom Courtenay as Smith’s jilted former husband.  And Hoffman filled the ‘home’ with retired world-class singers and musicians.

Just wait till you hear how much music they’ve still got!

Friday Concert Series

Today I’m doing background work on an American Express commercial.

We’re shooting a faux concert at a theatre in New Jersey, so there are a lot of us.  After the numbers reach a certain level, it’s more about crowd control than acting.

So, to entertain myself, I decided to adopt a different personality for the day.  None of these folks know me, so no one will realize the difference, right?

I decided to be shy and introverted…quiet even.  Keep to myself.  Not be the loud one for a change.

I’m not that good of an actor.

Amex shoot

The right thing

Have you seen the new television commercial for Liberty Mutual Insurance?

It’s all part of their Responsibility Project, a place “to think about—and discuss—what it means to do the right thing.”

I’m not sure they set the bar all that high.  I hope I would hold the door for a blind person…or help someone pick up papers being scattered by the wind.   But if seeing that ad inspires a few random acts of kindness, all the better.

It does remind me of a nice guy I met at Madison Square Garden a couple of years ago.

I was in the concession line at Madison Square Garden during intermission at a Barry Manilow concert — that’s right, I said it.  The man was standing in front of me, looking a tad miserable.

I couldn’t resist.  With great enthusiasm I said, “Having a good time?”

He gave me a rueful smile.  “I bought the tickets for my wife for Christmas; she’s having a blast.”

“Well, think about this way,” I said.  “Any time she complains in the future, you can remind her about that great concert you took her to!”

We continued to chat as the line progressed, even discussing our planned purchases.  When he finished his order, he smiled and waved good-bye, and I stepped up to the counter.

“A Diet Coke and some Cracker Jacks, please.”  After my order was ready, I asked for the total.

“Oh, it’s already paid for,” the counter girl said with a smile.  “The gentleman in line in front of you took care of it.”

I hope his wife appreciates him.