Sunday, March 15, 2015
Two Things You Didn't Know About Us
We've been doing this blog for over five years, and readers know all about what we wear and where we go, but we don't talk too much about personal things, such as our individual likes and dislikes. So for this posting, we just thought we'd tell you something about ourselves that you didn't know. We did not compare notes beforehand, so neither of us knew what the other's secret-to-be-revealed was.
Valerie is not exactly a candidate for House Beautiful or Architectural Digest. Everyone - at least in the movies - dreams of saving up enough money to get a very special this or that in their home. When we were young, the signs of arrival, or at least of aspirations at arrival, were the piano (who would play it was a completely separate issue) and the swimming pool (who would clean it out - ditto). At our age, we don't have too many aspirations of the Better Homes and Gardens variety, but Valerie, who has a bath with perfectly good sliding doors, wants to get this shower curtain. This has to tell you something, although it's not clear quite what. Go figger, as they say.
(For the record, even though we were not contacted by Architectural Digest, we were offered a spot in Property Peep Show, Time Out New York's regular feature on New York interiors. Each column lures potential new participants with the tantalizing question "Got a bizarre place?" So far we have both demurred, although it might actually be a good fit...)
As previously mentioned, we agreed on the approach but each of us worked independently on our on respective entries. That Valerie's selection featured the large scale image of a pen and ink drawing was so uncanny, given Jean's choice.
Jean's little known fact is her love of the drawings of illustrator Edward Gorey in general and his Broadway production of Dracula in particular!
The 1976 Broadway show "Dracula" featuring Frank Langella in the lead role. But more importantly, it is Edward Gorey's production that made it the ne plus ultra. Fans of PBS' Mystery may be familiar with the illustrator's trademark black and white gothic drawings of Victorian ephemera, fainting ladies, graveyards, castles, skulls and bats. Click here to view the intro to the show.
Gorey designed not only the poster but also the sets and costumes, so the actors and the stage resembled his drawings come to life. Langella's voluminous cape was magnificently designed and cut to flare like huge bat wings. This photo also gives you a glimpse of Gorey's set design. Notice the skull curtain fasteners and tree limbs showing through the window over Dracula's head and the bricks beneath his feet. During intermission, the eyes of the tiny bats on the curtain glowed bright red!
It is so nice to know Jean is not alone in her affection for Gorey and for this particular production. Click here to check out a recent blog post by a huge Edward Gorey fan -- Goreyana -- to get a sense of the impact of his work and this show nearly 40 years later.
The playbill featured a shot of Frank Langella looking quite suave as the Transylvanian count. The cut of the collar of the cape was "just so". Jean distinctly remembers Frank Langella's long limbs and elegantly long tapered fingers. In one memorable scene, the heroine is lying on a couch on an empty stage when Langella silently but dramatically emerges from a trap door in the floor behind the sofa. As he rises, he stretches his arms and hands out along the back of the sofa like a giant bat and gazes down at her. It was an extremely sexy moment. Jean's companion gave a silent laugh as he looked around the theater to see that not only did Jean have her hand to her throat, but that the hand of every other woman in the immediate vicinity was similarly placed! The show was so successful, it spawned a movie production which was extremely entertaining. That Dracula's costume, especially the cape, remained virtually unchanged in both productions is further testament to Gorey's theatricality and design skills.
So now you know.
Hope you enjoy this new twist and stay tuned for future changes as we shake things up a bit and breathe new life into the sixth year of our blogging collaboration.