21 posts categorized "BETTE DAVIS"

Apr 19 2016
What Ever Happened To Cyndi Lauper? Comments (0)

CyndiMAIN2(Image by Chapman Baehler/Sire)

Cyndi Lauper has a new country album to promote, and in the course of a wide-ranging interview with the pride of PrideSource, Chris Azzopardi, she had this to say about the woman to whom she has most frequently been compared and contrasted—Madonna:

You know, I always felt for me, I would've loved to do What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? with her... 'cause I think that's very funny! (Laughs hysterically) ... Come on! Who do you think I'd play? I'd play Baby Jane—I'd be torturin' her. Because she's always viewed as the bad girl, you know! They'd make her the good girl and I'd be the bad one. Or (we could do Joan Crawford's 1954 western-drama) Johnny Guitar—she'd be the righteous one (laughs). But whatever. Who knows!

Cute. Fun facts: Cyndi is 62, Madonna is 57. Bette Davis was 53 and Joan Crawford was 57 during the filming of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?. In spite of so much good-natured and not-so-good-natured ribbing, society's impression of older women has changed drastically. After all, Madonna is still beyond relevant and Cyndi is garnering Tonys and putting out whatever kinds of albums she likes. Both are household names.

Madonna's reaction to the idea:

Tumblr_mjsf35slWA1roa1xxo1_400(GIF via Warner Bros. Pictures)

Nov 12 2014
Barbara's Pleased: Don't Miss John Epperson As Lypsinka (And As John Epperson) In LYPSINKA: THE TRILOGY Comments (0)



A 28-year-old friend of mine who is the perfect man and would get a proposal of marriage from me if it weren't for the fact that I'd have to pay him to get naked for me said to me recently, when I invited him to see Lypsinka, “Am I a bad gay if I don't wanna see a drag show?”

Well, yes, yes, he is.

But not because he isn't into drag—so much of it is stale. He's a bad gay for thinking Lypsinka is a drag show. John Epperson's Lypsinka is more in the performance-art vein. And besides that, she's not a drag show...currently, she's three.

Lypsinka: The Trilogy is now playing on NYC's Lower East Side at The Connelly Theater. On alternating nights, the Queen of Drag Queens is performing Lypsinka! The Boxed Set, The Passion of the Crawford and John Epperson: Show Trash, three very different shows with very little overlap but lots of overlip.


Judith Anderson Polly Bergen Arthur Blake Joan Crawford Bette Davis Olivia de Havilland Sandra Dee Phyllis Diller Ruth Draper Frances Faye Penny Fuller Judy Garland Dolores Gray T.C. Jones Gisele MacKenzie Fay McKay Ethel Merman Agnes Moorehead Kay Stevens Dorothy Squires Kim Stanley Gloria Swanson Natalie Wood

Lypsinka-legsThe first, and best, is Lypsinka! The Boxed Set, approximately 90 minutes' worth of Lypsinka in her robotically glamorous prime (she's even better as a man of a certain age playing a woman of a certain age than he was when he did it as a youngster), gliding across the stage and expertly mouthing a complicated soundtrack made up of obscure songs from musical theater and instantly recognizable soundbites from film, TV and the theater. His lip-synching style is so leisurely it becomes hypnotic. He never overemotes; rather, he simply parts his lips and lets the sounds seem to emerge from within. His best weapons are his eyes (the gams are still in working order, too—see inset), which light up the stage with shock, existential angst and/or malevolence, as each sonic snippet demands.

Also compelling is The Passion of the Crawford, the lioness's share of which consists of Epperson and Steve Cuiffo or Scott Wittman recreating Crawford's legendary 1973 Town Hall interview, in which she tweaks Bette Dvis, verbally spanks Marlon Brando, talks parenting and almost has a rolling orgasm while commenting on Greta Garbo. Lypsinka's visual adlibs, affecting expressions Crawford didn't but should have made, are delicious. She then segues into a somewhat dreary sequence of Crawford camp-earnestly reciting a religious text, but it comes to an end with a fantasmagoric remix of some of Crawford's famous lines as well as elements of the Town Hall Q&A that has to be seen to be believed. (If you're into latter-day Crawford, don't miss this video!)

JohnEppersonCompleting your set is John Epperon: Show Trash, in which Lypsinka fades to black so that Epperson himself can shine—and shine he does, as an outstanding pianist and inimitable singer. He offers original compositions that illustrate the trajectory of his life from Southern sissy to big-city sensation, as well as a few lip-synching interludes as a nod to his alter ego. (In an odd tribute to Katharine Hepburn, Epperson impersonats her singing Rapper's Delight—and it just so happened to be the very same day Sugarhill Gang's Big Bank Hank died.)

For Epperson to take on the responsibility of doing three shows simultaneously is some kind of cry for help. Don't ignore it—see all three so you don't have to wait another 20 years to drink in his loopy, intelligent, darkly funny, queerly nostalgic tribute to popular and unpopular culture.

And if you don't wanna see a drag show, then you are your rabbit-faced wife can go to hell.

Nov 01 2014
Curse Of The Spider Women: Horror Stories Comments (0)

Curse-of-the-Black-WidowSurfing the web

Burnt-offerings-19I spent Halloween with my buddies Jason and Max, watching Space Station 76 (I totally did not get this movie, not even with three of the hottest men in the world—Matt Bomer, 37; Patrick Wilson, 41; and Matthew Morrison, 36, doing a “Princess Leia” hologram thang—in it) and then Burnt Offerings, the 1976 genre film about a house that rejuvenates itself by feasting on the families that stay within its walls. The latter did not have three of the hottest men in the world in it, but did have a crazy-good cast: Karen Black (1939—2013), Oliver Reed (1938—1999), Eileen Heckart (1919—2001), Burgess Meredith (1907—1997), '70s child star Lee Montgomery, 52, and...oh, yeah...Bette Fucking Davis (1908—1989).

Karen-BlackBlack in Trilogy of Terror, deliciously evil Anthony James, 72, in Burnt Offerings

Burnt Offerings is pretty bad, with Black seemingly having been told to act as if in a silent film, and many over-the-top instances that would have had black theater-goers shouting, “Get! Out! Of! The! June allysonHouse!” but we had fun with it. Watching it reminded me that I'd love to re-watch Curse of the Black Widow, a long-forgotten 1977 TV movie about sisters (Donna Mills, 73, and Patty Duke, 67), one of whom was bitten by spiders as a kid and now transforms herself into a giant spider to drain the blood of her victims.

I looked it up and wouldn't ya know it? Curse of the Black Widow and Burnt Offerings share a producer/director, the late Dan Curtis (1927—2006), who was also responsible for the terribly good Trilogy of Terror (1975). Karen Black deserved an Emmy for the latter, as well as an exorcism.

Watch the entire Curse of the Black Widow [also featuring Tony Franciosa (1928—2006), June Allyson (1917—2006) and Sid Caesar (1922—2014)] after the jump...

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Oct 07 2014
The Eyes Of Kylie Minogue Comments (0)


Kylie Minogue has recorded an (to my ears) ultra-saccharine take on the Kim Carnes mega-hit “Bette Davis Eyes”. After the jump listen to the original, and listen to Kim's cover of one of my all-time favorite, most obscure '80s songs...

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Jul 05 2013
Room With A View: My '80s Walls Comments (4)

I didn't come out until the very end of high school, but I was slowly, inexorably working my way out via the décor of my room. I started slowly. The first poster I had up was Cyndi Lauper by Lynn Goldsmith. I'd bought it in Hawaii, but it had gotten a little crushed, so it was waved through the entire poster. I learned quickly that posters have souls.

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