Avaunt, and quit my sight! – MACBETH, III iv

I have one measly day off.

I chose to ignore the citywide bacchanal that is the Kentucky Derby because I’m marshaling my energies. I read, there may have been some knitting, and I spent a fair amount of time planning the first session of this Shakespeare readers’ workshop/book club/thing I’m doing this week. We may have watched the entirety of Princess Leia’s Stolen Death Star Plans with our lunch. There was a cocktail, another thing, like free time, that will be scarce as the summer continues (for vocal protection).

At 8:00, The Bad and the Beautiful, which I haven’t seen in quite a while, came on TCM. It’s good (an Essential, even*), so I left it on. Shields (Kirk Douglas) comes to Georgia‘s (Lana Turner) apartment and finds out she’s daughter of a (dead) John Barrymore-esque actor he had known. He puts on a record of her father performing (voiced by Louis Calhern, which I just realized I should look up and check except I know that voice and have no need to confirm). He is of course performing Shakespeare. Because as I have noted time and time again, I am not allowed to escape.

Calhern is doing a gloriously orotund Macbeth, kicking in at “She should have died hereafter”, but then (because that’s what I’m listening to, of course, not the scene that’s happening on top of it) the audio loops back to an earlier bit from before Lady M.’s death with which I’m reasonably familiar. (My wife confirmed it, as she remembered hearing it while waiting to scream offstage when she played said Lady.)

But I decided not to let it ruin my night; simply to accept the inevitable. And keep watching, at least until Gloria Grahame’s part is finished.

I wouldn’t mention it here were it not the second time it’s happened this week.

Rehearsals started Monday, so we’re not in crazy crunch time like we’ll be in, oh, another week. So we thought we’d tick one off the DVR on, I forget, Tuesday or Wednesday. We watch a lot of Cagney and a lot of the sort of comedies of that era some call screwball, yet somehow neither of us had seen The Bride Came C.O.D.

It’s a so-so movie, mostly a rejuggling of It Happened One Night, but on a night off I ask little, just a dopey bit of escapism after a long day of acting (and dancing) Much Ado, and a few minutes in, on comes the manipulative radio announcer (Stuart Erwin) to report that “the musical world’s most eligible bachelor, Allen Brice, will tonight become a Benedict”.

Now, I ask you. This isn’t even a movie about actors where one might expect that sort of thing. Unfair. Badly done, DVR.

Back to work tomorrow. Heaven knows what will accost me in my three-week-old New Yorker on the bus.

 

 

* And full of great lines. “There are no great men, buster. There’s only men.” Also Gloria Grahame, for which I would watch and have watched nearly anything.

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