Showing posts from March, 2009

Finian's Rainbow and Broadway By the Year (1931)

Saw Finian's Rainbow at City Center Saturday night (Encores Series)...oh my Gosh....somebody quick make Kate Baldwin a star. This show should be moved to Broadway immediately...that score, that gorgeous, gorgeous score played by a full orchestra and sung by people (like Kate) who know HOW.
How Are Things in Glocca Morra? Look To The Rainbow, Necessity, etc. Just a magic tonic for what ails you. Gosh I had forgotten what a wonderful, haunting score this is...I got goose bumps up and down my back and a jaded New York City audience was on its feet for Kate Baldwin.
Last night I attended Broadway By the Year with another group of Broadway pros: Chip Zien, Mara Davi, Karen Akers, F. Murray Abraham, Tony Yazbeck and others. These pros wowed us at Town Hall on W. 43rd St. with Scott Siegel's "Broadway By the year--this time songs from Broadway Musicals of 1931, a year much like this year with an economy heading southward and people trying to "cheer up." Songs like "…

Natasha Richardson Dies Tragically; Great Star Resided in High-Rise on NYC Rich & Famous Tour Route


Flying Saucer Picture Snapped by NYC TourGuide & Actor Jim Dykes

Check it out: a real flying saucer picture I snapped at sunset over Riverside Park in New York City-- just as darkness fell-- when overhead we both noticed a hovering craft, cloaked in surrounding cloud cover. It was amazingly quiet-- it had a circle of flashing lights underneath, and seemed for a second to be silver, as if a force-field cloaking device was momentarily lifted, and then almost instantly, it began reflecting the exact color of the clouds around it. Our mouths were open and we watched in amazement, when my friend Mike said: "Wake up--you have one picture left...snap it!" So I did.

Could these crafts be intergalactic tourists? Just unobtrusively observing the more primitive race in our daily environment? Have they been coming for centuries? Is Earth part of the Interspace Travel Agency Special for vacationers a la Liberty Travel or ABC Tours for little green men and their little green wives?

Isn't it interesting how historically, everybody who has seen such t…

Duplicity film has some New York scenes, but film is a pretentious, confusing, over-edited MESS!

Just went to a ridiculously “secure” screening of the new Julia Roberts/Clive Owen film DUPLICITY—we were all forced to open our bags at the door and be searched by guards as we entered the Director’s Guild Theatre on West 57th Street in New York City. The same guards roamed with aisles with night vision equipment during the screening to make sure no one was trying to record the film or it’s soundtrack. It was pretty amusing… This happens more and more at screenings. It’s very insulting…and why? The movie is a huge, muddled mess: overedited, over-imagined and over-thought…it’s a whole lot of “nothin”… It’s a “spy thriller” ala James Bond but without the cool gadgets and the bloody death everywhere. The film has wonderful actors…the wonderful Kathleen Chalfante, the aforementioned Roberts & Owen. Also, Tom Wilkinson is reteamed with his “John Adams” co-star Paul Giamatti and they start the movie with confusing slow-motion fisticuffs on a private plane runway. The movie, written …

"Bernie Madoff's Luxury Apt. Building a Huge Hit on My Tours" says New York City Guide Jim Dykes

Bernie Madoff’s posh Eastside building where the Ponzie-schemer has been under house arrest for several months has become one of the most requested sites on Jim Dykes’ New York City tours as well as his Rich and Famous New York City tours. Madoff gave himself up 3 months ago after his $50Billion scheme was revealed due to the plummeting economy. The building is located on East 64th Street, which is notable for having an extremely high number of billionaire residents. Television host Matt Lauer, of NBC’s TODAY SHOW (not a billionaire) is a resident of the building and is said to “despise” the attention Madoff has brought to the building. “On many days, there are huge crowds of TV crews, TV satellite trucks, security guards, reporters and photographers, policemen, bystanders and MY tourists outside the building,” says Jim Dykes. The rich ladies and gentlemen in that neighborhood are furious…they loved the recent movie about Madoff starring Richard Dreyfus.
“Everybody wants to know …

Jim Dykes Joins NYC Tour Guides on Special Seminar Tour of St. John the Divine-the "unfinished" Cathedral of New York City

Recently a group of New York City tour guides were invited to increase our knowledge of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine—the “unfinished” Cathedral-- by attending a specially organized two-day seminar on two of the coldest, snowiest days of the winter. Day One, in the morning we had a general highlights tour of the cathedral. The guide Kevin Blum, was a very nice young fellow from Iowa, who had followed his studies (and his girlfriend) to New York City. His tour was fine and efficient, but not for a group of well-read New York guides who had been leading groups to the Cathedral for many years. In our group alone, we calculated about 100 years of NYC guide experience, including myself, Mike Brennan, Tour Goddess Jane Marx and Juliette Frydman. Kevin soon began letting us all contribute and embellish his memorized accounts of Cathedral history, including the struggle between two architectural firms in the 1890s which ended up with part of the Cathedral being Romanesque Revival and…

New York Post cancels gossip queen Liz Smith's column: Jim Dykes's first gossip mention!

OMG, I couldn’t believe it when it was announced that the reigning “queen” of NYC gossip columnists, Liz Smith, was being canned by the New York Post after nearly 20 years. I mean, the woman is an institution (older than the Empire State Building)… Liz Smith calls herself “The 2000-year-old gossip columnist.” She arrived in Manhattan from the University of Texas journalism school in 1949 and has worked constantly in celebrity/show biz media for 57 years including a stint as a radio and TV producer.
I immediately called a friend who is a theatre reviewer/columnist who knows Liz and who has ghost-written her column on occasion (he and I just went to the theatre tonight) and I asked him what was going on with Liz and Rupert Murdoch, publisher of the NY Post and owner of Fox News (where Liz still appears).
“Rupert Murdoch and Liz’s agents just couldn’t come to an agreement because of several reasons: her money demands are ridiculous…Murdoch had already cut her back to 3 columns a week i…