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Anything Goes: A History of American Musical Theatre
Anything Goes: A History of American Musical Theatre
by Ethan Mordden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $22.19
60 used & new from $17.53

5.0 out of 5 stars Another brilliant item in the Mordden oeuvre, November 13, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a one-volume summary of the entire history of musical comedy, of which Mordden has written the definitive multi-volume set (single-decade volumes for the 20s to the 70s, then one for the 80s-2004). The function here is to (a) allow Mordden to update his views on the subject through 2014, (b) do a one-volume, 30,000-ft-perspective version of his gigantic history, (c) integrate his "Ages of Musical Theatre" trope in a more coherent form, (d) elaborate on pre-1920s musical history in a way he hasn't done since the "Broadway Babies" book some three decades ago.

It's prime stuff, and his prose remains biting and unponderous, dropping in the occasional research nugget for the obsessives (much as Cole Porter's lyrics often included jokes designed exclusively for first-nighters).

Welcome also is a recap of the 20s, as his decade volume "Make Believe" is out-of-print and often commands outrageous prices on half.com and Amazon. (Mine is a Xerox from a library copy.) Let's hope he keeps this going for years to come.

The book he hasn't quite written, that I'd love to see, would bridge his fascinations with theatre and film -- a definitive history of film adaptations of theatrical originals. Include plays AND musicals, and also TV adaptations (e.g. Hallmark Hall of Fame). Ethan's done the "Hollywood Musicals" book, which touched a little on this. But the way most people today experience Broadway originals is NOT the stage, but through the medium of film or broadcast -- there's a wealth yet to be covered, and it deserves the Mordden treatment . . . issues such as fidelity to the original, compromises, censorship, improvements . . . and what about all those brilliant TV adaptations, like Judith Anderson's "Medea" or Meredith & Mostel in "Waiting for Godot," Scott & Dewhurst in "The Price" . . . Many of us grew up loving the theatre because we saw it first on television or the movies; this deserves a focused review all its own.


The Rodgers and Hart Songbook - The Words and Music of 47 of Their Songs From 21 Shows and 2 Movies
The Rodgers and Hart Songbook - The Words and Music of 47 of Their Songs From 21 Shows and 2 Movies
by Richard Rodgers
Edition: Hardcover
8 used & new from $5.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Indispensible collection of early Richard Rodgers, September 28, 2014
Dr. Albert Sirmay is the vital figure behind a series of songwriter collections covering most of the greatest Broadway composers of the 1920s thru 1960s. Simon & Schuster published this series of Song Books, and each is brilliant -- George & Ira Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, Frank Loesser, Lerner & Loewe, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and this one of Rodgers & Hart. All have pleasant graphics, are on high-quality stock and have significant intelligent notations (in this case, the story of each major show and cast / production notes).

Sirmay's arrangements are simply perfect for sloppy chord players (like me) and serious pianists alike. Sirmay KNEW most all of these writers personally, and in many cases worked with them (and from their originals) to create superior and accurate arrangements and chord charts -- BETTER than the "standard" versions (especially seen in Hal Leonard / Warners collections) of Gershwin and others. Sirmay also includes more of Larry Hart's lyrics.

The Rodgers & Hart collection includes generous selections from both major and minor musicals -- from "Any Old Place With You" (a 1919 rarity) to their first hits ("Manhattan" and the great "Mountain Greenery" from Garrick Gaieties), and on through their astounding run of TWENTY more shows (plus two movies, the brilliant Love Me Tonight and the Jolson classic Hallelujah I'm a Bum). The hits don't stop, from "Blue Room" to "Blue Moon," from "Ten Cents a Dance" to "The Lady Is a Tramp" and "My Funny Valentine" -- and we haven't even gotten to the breakthrough show Pal Joey yet.

This book was put together in 1951, eight years after Hart's death and the same year Rodgers had his fourth smash with Oscar Hammerstein, The King and I (Hammerstein writes the introduction).

In all, 47 songs, 240 pages. If you want ALL the songs of a particular show, or something particularly esoteric, then buy the Piano / Vocal selections (or complete vocal score); this book will probably fill your cup for years to come. It's an essential for lovers of the Great American Songbook, for anyone who enjoys the bountiful melodies of Richard Rodgers. Try out the others in this series by Simon & Schuster and Sirmay.


McCormick Meat Marinade, 1.12 Ounce (Pack of 12)
McCormick Meat Marinade, 1.12 Ounce (Pack of 12)
Price: $13.29
3 used & new from $13.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you Amazon -- help me buy ANOTHER product I can't find in stores anymore, September 28, 2014
What is wrong with the stores these days? In the DC area, Safeway and Giant Foods still carry the McCormick line of mixes and spices, but they have consciously eliminated this basic and marvelous mix. It is very similar to the Montreal Steak Grill mix, but I could not swear at this time that they were in fact the same.

My wife has used this one for YEARS, add the lemon juice and it is a kickass marinade for beef and chicken.

Another item available here but not in the stores any longer -- Shake and Bake.


Austin Zoo Animal Crackers, 2-Ounce Packages (Pack of 36)
Austin Zoo Animal Crackers, 2-Ounce Packages (Pack of 36)
Offered by D&J Shopping Connection
Price: $16.06
19 used & new from $4.71

2.0 out of 5 stars Something changed with Zoo Animal Crackers, September 28, 2014
Interesting to read the reviews here -- something really perceptible changed in the formula for these animal crackers, sometime in 2011-2013. Zoo crackers used to be sweet and tasty, hard to put down. Then I did something I almost never do -- purchased an entire case for use at the office.

The slightly sweet taste was gone, the cracker was OK but much blander, and there was a more doughy quality (i.e. I could taste filler rather than cracker).


World Almanac and Book of Facts 2014 (World Almanac & Book of Facts)
World Almanac and Book of Facts 2014 (World Almanac & Book of Facts)
by Sarah Janssen
Edition: Paperback
30 used & new from $13.56

5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest annual reference book, period., September 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
The one almanac you MUST purchase every year. Has early election results (indispensable) and in most years also wait for the baseball postseason to conclude before publishing. Other than Shakespeare and the Bible, this is the one book I would take if stranded on a desert island.


Breville SK500XL Ikon Cordless 1.7-Liter Stainless-Steel Electric Kettle
Breville SK500XL Ikon Cordless 1.7-Liter Stainless-Steel Electric Kettle
Price: $75.79
30 used & new from $58.30

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best electric tea-kettle in existence., September 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My wife is English, so we are constantly boiling water for tea. This is a heavy-duty kettle that looks smart and holds a LOT of water, great if you make several large pots of tea during the day. Lighted indicator on the spine tells how many cups are to be anticipated from each batch. The base is very stable and the electrical connection is protected from any water splashes that might occur.We'd had THREE of them already!


Kraft Shake N Bake BBQ Glaze Seasoned Coating Mix, 6 ounce (Pack of 8)
Kraft Shake N Bake BBQ Glaze Seasoned Coating Mix, 6 ounce (Pack of 8)
Price: $22.77
4 used & new from $22.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Missing in the store shelves, found here on Amazon, September 25, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is no longer sold in our local Safeway or Giant foodstores, so we were very happy to find it here on Amazon. Perfect for baking and broiling chicken in the oven. A quick flavoring for lunch or dinner


State Rankings 2013: A Statistical View of America
State Rankings 2013: A Statistical View of America
by Kathleen OLeary Morgan
Edition: Paperback
Price: $95.00
48 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Essential research tool, September 18, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Part of a brilliant series started by CQ and Morgan Quitno years ago. Still indispensible, although expensive online services now provide some of the same material in sortable form


Nixon's Secrets: The Rise, Fall, and Untold Truth about the President, Watergate, and the Pardon
Nixon's Secrets: The Rise, Fall, and Untold Truth about the President, Watergate, and the Pardon
by Roger J. Stone
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.27
64 used & new from $8.95

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wholly new material -- some of it quite tough -- from a longtime Nixon enthusiast, September 18, 2014
The 40th anniversary of Nixon's resignation has led to a flood of new material -- and some recycling of old tropes -- on the 37th President. Does John Dean REALLY have something new to tell us after all these years? I doubt it -- but judge for yourself.

"The Untold Truth" is what this is about -- I found Stone's book to be a wealth of can-you-believe-this revelations, coming not from a Nixon-hater, but from an uber-admirer and late-in-life confidant of the ex-President. That Stone could be so dispassionate -- even brutal -- about the Old Man is extraordinary to me.

"Nixon's Secrets" is neither a hatchet-job nor a hagiography -- it has strikingly original material, and comes from an entirely different perspective than anything else you are likely to read. Nixon's worst political mistakes . . . Nixon the champion of liberal causes . . . Nixon the LOVER?! . . . If anyone had told me that this is what 1972 CRP campaign aide Roger Stone was going to produce about the Trickster, I wouldn't have believed it.

As for editing issues mentioned by some, I'm sure these will be dealt with in future editions (they do not get in the way of enjoying the read). And there are footnotes.

Stone seems to be saying, Let's cut out the self-serving crap and start the arguin' -- and there's plenty food for thought and discussion here.


The Cole Porter Songbook
The Cole Porter Songbook
5 used & new from $19.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Definitive Albert Sirmay arrangements, great packaging -- a classic, June 22, 2014
Dr. Albert Sirmay is the vital figure behind a series of songwriter collections covering most of the greatest Broadway composers of the 1920s thru 1960s. Simon & Schuster published this series of Song Books, and each is brilliant -- Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, George & Ira Gershwin, Frank Loesser, Lerner & Loewe, Rodgers & Hart, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and this one, Cole Porter. All have pleasant graphics, are on high-quality stock and have significant intelligent notations (in this case, details details on all Porter songs / shows / films).

Sirmay's arrangements are simply perfect for sloppy chord players (like me) and serious pianists alike. Sirmay KNEW most all of these writers personally, and in many cases worked with them (and from their originals) to create superior and accurate arrangements and chord charts -- BETTER than the "standard" versions (especially seen in Hal Leonard / Warners collections) of Porter and others. Guitar chords are included, together with -- very important for Porter -- all the extra verses, choruses and patter from the songs, as they were originally composed and sung. You therefore get more Porter, and more ORIGINAL Porter, than almost anywhere else.

The Porter collection includes generous selections from most of his major stage musicals (especially Anything Goes and Kiss Me Kate), and songs from his films. But the emphasis here is on great SONGS -- there are no instrumentals or concert pieces, and several numbers from obscure shows (e.g. the cynical "Love for Sale" and "Miss Otis Regrets") are also included.

The book has a spiral binding (so it can lay flat on the music stand), but the cloth covering has a tendency to crack, so don't expect to find and keep one of these in perfect condition (they date from 1959, after all). The book originally came in a cardboard slip cover (as did the similar Gershwin collection by Sirmay released about a year later); this is a nice protective and decorative item, but the music is what you really want to purchase.

If you want ALL the songs of a particular show, or something particularly esoteric, then buy either Piano/Vocal selections (or complete vocal score) for each show, or try alternate collections. But THIS set is preferable for Sirmay's arrangements (including what I judge to be superior chord selection), the annotation and extra verses. lt will probably fill your cup for years to come.

If this collection has one fault, it is in some omissions. How can you not include "Brush Up Your Shakespeare"? (Although Sirmay does have the complete version of "Always True to You In My Fashion," with all lyrics.) But I'm funny that way -- these are minor quibbles. This book is essential, as are the others in this series by Simon & Schuster and Sirmay.


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