Mystic Pizza Box

Mystic Pizza Box
A slice of heaven

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Kathryn Erbe on SVU "Acceptable Loss" 10-17-2012-"It Was Like We Were Married."

If there were ever any doubts that Eames and Goren were made for each other, they were all dispelled in last night's episode of LO:SVU, especially in the last scene between Eames and Benson. The interrogation scene that preceded the bar scene took a stunning turn when Lt. Eames did something that we've seen Detective Goren do so many times on LO:CI-she questioned the suspect, a terrorist posing as a hooker, by doing the "lean" and asking her to explain why she committed her crimes. "What happened to you?" "You have a reason." Eames's borrowing her partner's technique worked, of course! Now, did Benson have to use the word "eccentric" when remarking on Goren's influence on Eames? Benson never even met Goren, so what does she know about his interrogation style or personality, except what Eames tells her? It's so obvious that Eames misses Goren, even though she never mentions him by name, which I found a little strange. I kept thinking of the scene from LO:CI episode "Family Values" when Bobby demands that suspected serial killer Paul "Say it! Say his name!" Speaking of the devil, of course. :) It would have been so nice to hear her say "Bobby" just once. The best line was saved for last when Eames recalled the eleven years she worked in the MCS, most of them with Bobby Goren as her partner. "All those years together," she confides to Benson over drinks, then she drops this bomb: "It was like we were married." Having been separated from her own long-time partner Elliot Stabler after over a decade together in SVU, Benson ruefully replies "But you weren't." Boom.

Win A Copy Of Fire With Fire On DVD | Red Carpet Crash

Win A Copy Of Fire With Fire On DVD | Red Carpet Crash

Monday, October 15, 2012

Kathryn Erbe in "Checkers" at the Vineyard Theater 10-14-2012

I was fortunate enough to catch the first Sunday matinee of "Checkers," which began previews last Saturday and runs through November 18, 2012. The play, set in 1952, tells the story of then-Senator Richard M. Nixon and his wife Patricia "Pat" Nixon and their struggle with a financial scandal that threatens Nixon's political career, and the events that inspired his famous "Checkers" speech, aimed at dispelling damaging rumors about a "secret" fund and implied financial impropriety. As Pat Nixon supports her husband through this crisis, she reveals her own past hurts and how they have shaped her outlook on life, especially the death of her mom when she was twelve and her effort to smile even through the most difficult times. There's an endearing moment, among others in the play, when Pat is giving out buttons supporting Richard to members of the crowd listening to her husband speaking at a campaign stop. I wish I had been sitting in the first row at this performance, because only audience members sitting in that row were given buttons by Kate herself. Maybe next time. ;) Pat comes to despise the political mudslinging and backstabbing that comes with the territory as her husband stubbornly refuses to succumb to mounting pressure for him to resign from the number 2 slot on the Presidential ticket with General "Ike" Eisenhower in the upcoming election. "I hate politics" becomes her mantra as she herself becomes the target of cruel press coverage and harsh critiques of her appearance, clothes and her ever-present smile, which she reveals to be more and more difficult to maintain, leading to a scene where Pat breaks down and tells Richard how painful the campaign has been for her. The "Checkers" speech, which was televised live on NBC, certainly revived Nixon's flagging political career, but also exposes the Nixons' personal and financial details, which Pat finds utterly humiliating. She's also angry at her husband for lying on TV about her date of birth, when he claimed that his Irish-American wife was born on St. Patrick's Day to make a point about the Irish "never giving up." She scolds him thusly "You never needed to lie. You had the facts." "I will be beside you, but I won't be with you" says Pat to Richard as he begs her to stand by him. Richard then makes, and repeatedly breaks, a promise to never run for political office again. His obsession with becoming President and beating back his enemies takes a heavy toll on his marriage. In the last scene of the play, which runs about 90 minutes with no intermission, a weary Pat Nixon appears onstage, silently and stoically bracing for what is to come as Richard begins yet another quest for the presidency of the USA in the year 1966. The costumes and props were stylish and quite authentic 50's style era chic. Pat Nixon may never have had a mink coat back in the day, but as Mamie Eisenhower says to Ike in one scene, Pat "could make anything look pretty." Especially if she looked liked Kathryn Erbe in real life. :) Anthony LaPaglia as Richard Nixon was outstanding and took command of the stage, and even steps off stage in one scene to confront a heckler in the audience. Robert Stanton, who played Dennis in the LOCI episode "The Third Horseman," plays Herbert Brownell, who had once convinced Senator Nixon to run for the vice presidency with General Eisenhower but now wants Nixon to quit and demands that he make a televised speech explaining about the secret fund to save Ike from political embarrassment. Nixon has the last laugh as he gives the speech of his life and manages to remain on the ticket with Ike after winning overwhelming public support. Television may have helped Nixon but the constant scrutiny of the press and negative coverage and lack of privacy enrage Pat, causing her to rail against TV.
I met with Kate after the play and also briefly met Robert Stanton beforehand to compliment him on his terrific performance and to get an autograph for my Checkers program. Kate was sweet and gracious to me, as always, and she asked how we were and how Alberto was doing since Mom passed away last month. I told her that we were good and that Alberto handled it well when I told him that Mom went to heaven, several days after the funeral. I also gave Kate a Halloween card handmade by Alberto on orange posterboard, which she just loved and said she would show it to her children. Aww!
Before Kate left, I took a couple of pics of her and spoke to her about her appearance that morning on the Today Show and SVU. I told her "We miss Eames, too!" and wished her well with her play and with SVU. She told me she will appear on another episode of SVU this season, so we'll have more Eames to look forward to. Maybe Goren will make a cameo? Hmm. Kate was tired, having had just 3 1/2 hours sleep the night before, and on her way to have dinner with her sister, but stopped to speak to a few more fans before leaving the theater. She told me "I'll see you soon." as we hugged goodbye. What a sweet person she is!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Tales from Beyond the Pale Live Recording of "Ram King" and "Like Father Like Son."

It was a dark and foggy night on the Lower East Side, and Dixon Place is a small theater and lounge just steps from the infamous corner of Chrystie and Delancey Streets, which figured prominently in the film "Happy Accidents." I arrived almost an hour early for the 9:30 PM show, a live recording of the radio series "Tales from Beyond the Pale" on the first of four Tuesday nights in October when episodes for the second season would be recorded live. Vincent D'Onofrio had appeared in "Man on the Ledge" from Season One, which was recorded in a studio. Tonight, he would appear in both episodes "Ram King" and "Like Father Like Son." Not having seen him since the DGITW screening in Westfield, NJ last year, I was so anxious to see and hear Vincent in action live and in person. Thank goodness Dad and Alberto were both home resting and not out in this humid weather but I had a mission to fulfill tonight. I had my brand new copy of the "Chained" Blu-ray with me and a Halloween card Alberto made that I had planned to give to Vincent. I had wanted also to thank Vincent for signing the two DVDs I had sent to Toni last May before the Meth Cops event in Utah. I ended up not even speaking to him due to another bad case of nerves, but I did get to enjoy his performance in both radio plays and got a few pics and even a short video from "Ram King," the first of the two episodes recorded tonight. Just a month after losing Mom plus the subject matter in the two plays presented tonight, I was afraid I'd break down and cry in front of Vincent, so I kept my distance, sitting in the middle of the first row in the tiny theater, although Vincent was sitting just to my right. Vincent's daughter Leila was there, also, and she has grown into a stunning young woman. Vincent was decked out in a black shirt, rust-colored slacks, black and white sneakers and a gray hoodie. He also produced a cool pair of reading glasses when he took the stage during "Ram King" and again during "Like Father Like Son." The first episode "Ram King" written by Joe Maggio, is set durng medieval times, probably in England, judging by the accent Vincent used to voice his character, Fridrik the Wise, a village elder who condemns a young goatherd to death for witchcraft and orders the boy to be burned alive because "fire purifies all." Guess what happens when the boy calls out to the Ram King as he is being burned alive? Well, you'll have to wait for the broadcast of "Ram King" to find out! Heh heh heh. Btw, Owen Campbell, the young actor who plays Lassa, the unfortunate goatherd who's condemned for witchcraft, resembles Lou Taylor Pucci, Vincent's co-star in "Thumbsucker" and in the LOCI episode "Cruise to Nowhere." :)
The second episode "Like Father Like Son" was written by Clay McCleod Chapman and was equal parts horror and comedy. Larry Fessenden, who co-founded Glasseye Pix Productions and co-created the "Tales from Beyond the Pale" series, plays a scientist who gets tipsy one night and crashes his car, an accident that kills his young son Jonathan, played by Tobias Campbell, a passenger in the car. Grieving and desperate to bring his boy back from the dead, dear old Dad creates a "Lazarus serum" to revive him. Trouble is, the side effects are pretty gruesome! Imagine a five year-old zombie/Frankenstein creature on the loose. EEEEEK! The birthday party scene is pretty awesomely hilarious-"Jonathan, give him back his eyeball!" Vincent plays the group leader of a support group for bereaved parents who appears only briefly in the play, but he brings a little sanity to the proceedings. We enjoyed watching the sound effects being created too. I never thought the sounds of heads of lettuce and celery stalks being ripped up would be so creepy!
The subject of cremation in the first episode resonated with me because we had Mom's body cremated the day of her funeral, and the subject of sustaining life beyond death in the second episode also hit home because of our experience with Mom being on life support all summer. What an excruciatingly painful situation that was for all involved. Her death last month brought her suffering to an end, but also many regrets and much sorrow for us. May she and we be at peace now. God bless.

Kathryn Erbe in LIC filming LO:SVU on 9-7-2012

I had received a tweet from Antje aka @havers_barbera with the scoop about Kathryn Erbe filming the "Acceptable Loss" episode of SVU in Queens on Friday, September 7. I didn't reply right away, as I had just lost my mom and I was feeling overwhelmed emotionally. I didn't tell Antje about Mom's passing in my reply that Thursday night, I simply said "Thank you, Antje." On Friday morning, after sending my brother off to school, still unaware of our tragedy, Dad and I went to the funeral home to make arrangements for Mom, order the flowers for her wake and funeral Mass the following week and get a bite to eat at the Kellogg Diner. By 1 PM when I arrived home, I was pretty beat and planned to take a nap. However, I remembered Antje's tweet and decided that I wanted to visit the SVU set in Long Island City to see Kate. Why not? If I didn't go, I knew I would regret not going, despite the circumstances. Plus, I wanted to try out my birthday present, my brand new Canon Powershot camera with a 35X optical zoom feature. So, in my Honda Accord and off to LIC! The cast and crew were camped out for several blocks along 36th Avenue near the Queensboro Bridge, and I parked by Ravenswood Houses, just two blocks from where they were filming exteriors near a private home on 11th Street. Just after 2 PM, I spotted Kate arriving on set from across the street and tried to snap some pics, but we were shooed away from the corner by a production assistant, as they were about to resume filming and we couldn't remain so close to the action without getting in the frame. I ended up on the other side of 36th Avenue, trying to focus my camera lense and get a good closeup of Kate and the rest of the SVU actors, but she was sitting underneath a tree and the shade made my view of her too dark to shoot from a distance. A woman named Jasmine and her three young sons had just arrived from a nearby school wanting to see Mariska Hartigay, who was also on set, and we crossed 36th Street and stood outside the fence of the house where the SVU crew was camped out. Several cast members were seated in their casting chairs under the shady tree in the 80 plus degree heat and I called out "Kate! Kate!" She heard me and got up from her chair and came over to greet me with a sweet smile. I gave her a hug and introduced my new friends to her before we posed for some pics along that fence.
I spoke to Kate briefly and congratulated her on crossing over to "SVU." I also told her about Antje's message to explain how I knew she'd be in LIC that afternoon. Kate was happy to see me, as always, and that made me feel better. Then I heard myself say that I almost didn't come by the set that afternoon because my mother had just passed away. Why did I do that? Babble, much? Well, Kate frowned and told me how sorry she was and listened while I spoke about Alberto and my worry about breaking the news to him. She was very kind and I appreciated Kate taking the time to listen. Later, as I was leaving to get home before Alberto got home from school, Kate wished me luck with telling Alberto about Mom's death, which I was planning to do over the weekend. I asked Kate about whether Goren would be mentioned on SVU and she said that he would not appear, only that when asked about her partner, Eames would just say "He left." Wow.