Mike Nichols Turns 82 Today; Kennedy Center Tribute; Birthdays for Emma Stone & Arturo Sandoval, Too
When it comes to Mike Nichols, one has only to remember the famous comment about Chartres: "The only response is gratitude." And to paraphrase the Beatles, there's nothing you can say about him that can't be said, or has not already been said. But Playwright Tom Stoppard handles the task beautifully, with a wit and intelligence worthy of his subject, in this tribute and brief film bio during the 2003 Kennedy Center Honors. Happy Birthday, Mike. And thanks...
Ten years ago, when she was 15, Emma Stone reportedly gave a PowerPoint presentation to her parents, set to Madonna's "Hollywood," to convince them to let her move to California for an acting career. A year later, she moved to LA with her mother, where she was home-schooled so she could audition for acting roles. She's all over the place now, and you can find her readily - a bonafide A-List star. Here's the "I'm in trouble" scene from The Amazing Spiderman.
John F. Kennedy, whose assassination the whole world will be remembering in a couple of weeks, once famously pointed out that "the torch has passed to a new generation." In the world of jazz, there is no better example of how best to do this than the mentor-protege relationship between Dizzy Gillespie and Arturo Sandoval, who was born in Artemesia, just outside Havana, Cuba, on this day 64 years ago. Recently awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, he has racked up half-a-dozen Grammy Awards and lights up audiences wherever he goes. Here is the young (and still thin) Arturo with Dizzy in a performance of Gillespie's "Night in Tunisia," during a 1985 concert in Havana itself. Feliz Cumpleanos, Arturo!
I like big books, and I cannot lie. My background includes talk radio, newspapers and TV news. I've hosted a morning-drive classical music program on the California coast and published nationally in Reader's Digest, the Christian Science Monitor, and Playboy. I've won awards for my journalism and my fiction. One of my essays even made it into an anthology for college English courses. For real? Yes, for real.
If you’re reading this website, think of me as a troubadour standing on the street corner, strumming a guitar and singing a few songs. Not everyone who comes this way is able to make contribution. But if you’re one of the passers-by who can, then feel free to drop a little spare change in my hat by clicking either the Donate or the Become a Patron button below.