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10 Groovy Things to Do in October
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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Remembering Tony Curtis 1925 - 2010


Tony Curtis, who died Wednesday at age 85, was one of my favorite actors when I was growing up. The Dialing for Dollars Early Show - a Central Illinois afternoon movie back in the 1970s - always played many of his comedic films. A few of my favorites were Sex and the Single Girl (1964) with Natalie Wood, Boeing Boeing (1965) with Jerry Lewis, The Great Race (1965) with Wood, Jack Lemmon and a terrific pie fight, and, of course, the classic Some Like It Hot (1959) with Lemmon and Marilyn Monroe, which I still consider to be one of his best screen performances (he makes a wonderful "Josephine").

It wasn't until years later that I saw Curtis in one of his best dramatic roles in Sweet Smell of Success (1957), in which he plays press agent Sidney Falco opposite Burt Lancaster's powerful newspaper columnist, J.J. Hunsecker. Some of his other memorable movies include Houdini (1953), Trapeze (1956), The Defiant Ones (1958), Operation Petticoat (1959), Spartacus (1960), The Boston Strangler (1968), and The Mirror Crack'd (1980). He also appeared on television in such shows as The Persuaders! (1971-72), McCoy (1975-76), The Users (1978 TV movie), Vega$ (1978-81), Moviola: The Scarlett O'Hara War (1980 TV movie), Roseanne (1996), and The Flintstones (1965), in which he played "Stony Curtis". The handsome actor was married six times, and he and his first wife, actress Janet Leigh (Psycho), were the parents of actress Jamie Lee Curtis.

Below you can watch Curtis on TV's What's My Line? and Late Night with David Letterman and in a few of his films - Trapeze, Sex and the Single Girl, Sweet Smell of Success, Some Like It Hot and The Great Race.

Dish of the Day #499: Two-for-One Fun


Every Monday through Friday a new Dish of the Day is featured, and beginning on Friday you can vote for your favorite Dish of the week. If you haven't voted for last week's Dish yet, choose your man in the sidebar poll.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Of 'Glee' I Sing: Britney is just not me (but I love John Stamos)


When Will Schuester said "She's just not us" about Britney Spears in last night's episode, I just sighed and nodded my head because if there's one thing I learned from Glee's Britney show, it's that I'm definitely not a fan of her music. In fact, the only number I liked was Rachel's final tune, which I later learned doesn't even belong to the Britney catalog of hits. Oh well, every series has a bummer episode once in awhile - and for me, last night's show was my least favorite of the entire series so far. However, I did enjoy the non-musical scenes - especially those featuring the delightful Heather Morris as Brittany and new cast member John Stamos as Emma's dentist boyfriend, Carl. So it was a mixed bag of Glee. Now here's my review of the best - and the worst - of "Britney/Brittany", the 24th episode of the series:

Favorite character: Of course, I have to go with the hilarious Brittany. Morris is a comic gem as well as a great dancer, and it was nice that she finally got a chance to really shine on the show.

Favorite new character and hottest dentist: Mr. Stamos is still a handsome hunk of beefcake at age 47 - and he's a funny guy. I look forward to seeing much more of Dr. Carl Howell - although I have to confess that he and Will had more chemistry in their scenes together than he and Emma.

Chicago Theater: 'She Loves Me' (and I love her)


I love She Loves Me, the 1963 Broadway musical that ran for 302 performances and starred the legendary Barbara Cook. I first fell for the show back in 1993 when I saw the Roundabout Theatre Company's revival with Judy Kuhn and Boyd Gaines. It was a heavenly production, and when I went back to see it a second time, I adored it even more. Of course, I then had to rush out and buy three cast recordings of the musical - the original Broadway, the revival and the 1964 London cast starring the fabulous Rita Moreno as Ilona. So that is my personal She Loves Me history, which now brings me to the current production at Writers' Theatre in Glencoe, Illinois. Directed by Michael Halberstam, this She Loves Me is a bit darker than the Broadway revival, but it's still a delightful feel-good evening of musical comedy that will send you out the door humming a catchy tune.

Dish of the Day #498: Two-for-One Fun


Every Monday through Friday a new Dish of the Day is featured, and beginning on Friday you can vote for your favorite Dish of the week. If you haven't voted for last week's Dish yet, choose your man in the sidebar poll.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

'Lone Star' bites the dust (but he still makes my raspberry swirl)


The idiotic folks at FOX kicked Lone Star, one of the best new shows of the season, to the curb today after only two low-rated episodes. So we will never get to see actress Andie MacDowell show up as a dangerous art appraiser - unless the network burns off the three remaining episodes next summer or releases them on DVD (don't hold your breath). It's a shame because I think the series had real potential to become an addictive soap. I guess people were turned off by the basic premise of a guy having two wives (too bad it's not on HBO because it would be the perfect companion show for Big Love). Oh well. I'm not worried about James Wolk, Lone Star's incredibly handsome leading man. He'll do just fine as I'm sure some other series will snap him right up. I wish him and the rest of the show's talented cast brand new gigs ASAP.

DWTS #2: Booing Bristol's Mom


I don't know how people watch Dancing's endless, bloated results show each week. It's more than my stomach can take for two hours, so I will continue to just tune in to see who is eliminated (which they could easily do in just 30 minutes). Last week I correctly predicted that David Hasselhoff would be eliminated, but I felt so bad for poor Kyle and Lacey, who were also in the bottom two. The show really should let us know who the actual couples with the two lowest scores are rather than arbitrarily choosing someone who doesn't deserve to be there. Kyle and Lacey kicked butt last week, so I knew they weren't going home.

Mad about the Men: Bastards and Bunnies


This week's Mad Men was good, but it wasn't one of my favorites. Maybe the absence of Peggy put me in a funk - I missed that groovy gal. Now here's my review of "Hands and Knees", the 49th episode of the series:

Favorite character: It took me a long time to warm up to Lane Pryce, the agency's finance guy, but this season we've gotten to know him better. And actor Jared Harris shined this week as Lane introduced his mistress - an African-American Playboy bunny - to his bastard of a father. I felt so sorry for him after his nasty confrontation with dear ol' daddy.

Best new character: Naturi Naughton as Lane's "chocolate bunny", Toni Charles.

Least favorite character: Lucky Strike's Lee Garner Jr., who is such a smug closeted son of a bitch. After treating poor Sal so badly, I was hoping he would eventually receive his comeuppance - but now it looks like his character is being written out of the series.

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be 'Burnt Offerings'


Every Tuesday I post five trivia questions relating to television, film or theater, and the first person who sends me the correct answers wins the highly coveted Auntie Mame Award.

Please send your answers for this week's questions to deepdishdrama@aol.com or via a private Facebook message at www.facebook.com/marcharshbarger (DO NOT post your answers on here where everyone can see them or they will be deleted).

In honor of Halloween, the next five weeks I will be featuring horror flicks - and we'll begin with Burnt Offerings from 1976:

1) Who plays Marian?

2) What is the relationship between Marian and Elizabeth?

3) Who does Ben try to drown in the pool?

4) Who plays Roz Allardyce, one of the owners of the house?

5) What popular 1966-71 TV series did the film's director Dan Curtis create?

Last week Robb C. Sewell-Wolff answered the following questions correctly about the TV series, Glee:

1) What song from a 1968 movie musical did Idina Menzel's character sing last season? "Funny Girl"

2) Who wore a bubble dress and white go-go boots during the Lady Gaga episode? Tina

3) What is Puck's real first name? Noah

4) Who adopted Quinn and Puck's baby? And what did they name the child? Shelby, Beth

5) What guest star thinks that "brunettes have no place in show business"? Olivia Newton-John

Dish of the Day #497: Two-for-One Fun


Every Monday through Friday a new Dish of the Day is featured, and beginning on Friday you can vote for your favorite Dish of the week. If you haven't voted for last week's Dish yet, choose your man in the sidebar poll.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sunday Night Suds: Hello, Housewives! Goodbye, Walkers!


First the good news - Vanessa Williams and some greatly improved writing have made Desperate Housewives into a show worth watching again. Last season was disappointing with Bree's hot affair with Karl tragically ending with his death and her returning to the incredibly boring Orson; the Bolen family mystery turning out to be a major dud - despite John Barrowman's evil presence; and some crazy neighborhood kid being revealed as the Fairview strangler, which only made me yawn. Fortunately, creator Marc Cherry has got his show back on track - at least in the first episode of its seventh season. I actually enjoyed all four of the ladies' storylines, which has been an increasing rarity in recent years:

Oprah to host a 'Sound of Music' Cast Reunion on October 29


For the first time in 45 years, the entire cast of the 1965 movie musical, The Sound of Music, will reunite on Oprah on Friday, October 29, 2010. Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Charmian Carr (“Liesl”), Nicholas Hammond (“Friedrich”), Heather Menzies-Urich (“Louisa”), Duane Chase (“Kurt”), Angela Cartwright (“Brigitta”), Debbie Turner (“Marta”) and Kym Karath (“Gretl”) will share secrets from the set, reminiscence about their time together and reveal what their lives have been like in the years since the movie was released. Also, The von Trapp Children – a singing group featuring members of the real von Trapp family – will pay their own special tribute to the film.

In other Sound of Music news, the movie has recently been digitally remastered and restored for its high definition Blu-ray disc debut on November 2 (click here to pre-order it) - and for the first time since 1973, Julie and the film will twirl back into theaters nationwide to commemorate its 45th anniversary. This special event will be broadcast to nearly 500 select movie theaters for a two-night-only engagement on Tuesday, October 19, and Tuesday, October 26, at 6:30 pm. Tickets to The Sound of Music Sing-Along Event are available at participating box offices and online at www.fathomevents.com.

DVD Dish: The Complete First Season of 'Glee'


The first season of TV's Glee was released on DVD and Blu-ray a few weeks ago, and if you love the show, you'll enjoy the DVD. My only disappointment with the 7-disc set is that there are no episode commentaries by creator Ryan Murphy and the cast, which would be fun to listen to. Hopefully they will do some for the second season. However, there are still over two hours of special features on the DVD/Blu-ray, and here are a few of my favorites:

Welcome to McKinley!: I'm not a big fan of Principal Figgins, so I was pleasantly surprised by this 5-minute featurette, in which the character gives us a personal tour of the school and introduces us to his secretary, Donna, who's been married three times, suffers from depression and owns a cat. It's the funniest he's ever been.

Fox Movie Channel Presents Casting Session: I could have watched more of this interesting featurette, in which we get to see some of Lea Michele and Chris Colfer's original casting sessions as well as Cory Monteith's audition tape (he plays a song on glasses and Tupperware).

Celebrity Birthday Dinner Party #10: Who are you inviting?


Last week's Celebrity Birthday Dinner Party received 180 votes - and I'm happy to see that Fannie Flagg still has so many fans. I also would love to listen to a conversation between Fannie, Sophia and Bonnie. Here are the final results:

Fannie Flagg 19
Sophia Loren 17
Bonnie Hunt 14
Hal Sparks 13
Julie London 12
Olivia Newton-John 12
Barbara Walters 12
Mary Kay Place 11
Anne Meara 8
Bill Murray 8
Bruce Springsteen 8
Mickey Rooney 7
Mark Hamill 6
Heather Locklear 6
Catherine Zeta-Jones 6
Christopher Reeve 5
Jason Alexander 4
Larry Hagman 4
Michael Douglas 3
Anthony Newley 3
Audra Lindley 2

And now here are this week's contenders. So which three of these past/present celebrities (whose birthdays are this week) would you invite to your dinner party? You can vote for your favorites below.


Julie Andrews
The actress turns 75 on October 1.

Chicago Theater: Check out a book at 'Dick O'Day's Big, Lovely Liberry' this Wednesday


Head Liberian Dick O'Day and his merry band of assistants are returning for one night only this Wednesday, September 29, at Chicago's Annoyance Theatre to read the best of the worst in bad books, including overwrought celebrity autobiographies, bizarre fiction, wretched poetry and some not-very-helpful self-help books.

Dick O'Day's Big, Lovely Liberry began as a segment of his Big, Lovely Bingo show at the Annoyance in 1995. And now after a three-year hiatus, Dick is back to entertain us with his Annoyance All-Stars - Jennifer Estlin, Susan Messing, Mick Napier, Rebecca Sohn, Ellen Stoneking, Chris Witaske and special guest Tim Kazurinsky. Their reading list will include books about or by Oprah, Madonna's brother, Judy Garland, Jacqueline Susann, Donny Osmond, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich and Truman Capote as well as the poetry of Diana Ross and Ally Sheedy.

So don't miss this hilarious evening of literary "masterpieces" as Dick O'Day opens his liberry doors once again. To purchase a $10 ticket to Dick O'Day's Big Lovely Liberry this Wednesday, September 29, at 8 pm at the Annoyance (4830 N. Broadway), go to www.annoyanceproductions.com or call (773) 561-4665.

Photo Credit: Rick Aguilar

Dish of the Day #496: Two-for-One Fun


Every Monday through Friday a new Dish of the Day is featured, and beginning on Friday you can vote for your favorite Dish of the week. If you haven't voted for last week's Dish yet, choose your man in the sidebar poll.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Web Series Worth Watching #10: Alexandra Billings in 'Katie's Corner'


Web Series of the Week: Katie's Corner
The fabulous Alexandra Billings has a new Katie's Corner episode, in which our favorite actress Katie (Hepburn) shows us how to properly use a washing machine. I've also included her previous episode, in which she applies makeup to her personal assistant. This is comedy, folks. And Katie's Corner will be live on stage at West Hollywood's Celebration Theater on Nov. 7th. For more Katie, go to Alex's YouTube Channel or become a fan on Facebook.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Groovy Music: An Evening with Sutton Foster




Just because one can win awards for their acting/singing talent doesn't necessarily assure them success when it comes to putting on a concert or cabaret show. It takes a special kind of person to create an entertaining evening of song and stories. I've seen performers who can sing the hell out of their selected music, but when it comes to their patter - in which they share personal anecdotes with the audience in between tunes - they've seemed ill at ease and anxious to simply move on to the next song. But without any interesting patter, their fans might as well just stay home and listen to them on a CD. Fortunately, the Tony Award-winning actress Sutton Foster is not one of these people. In fact, after seeing her concert last night here in Chicago, I can happily report that she knows how to tell an engaging story - and make an audience fall in love with her.

Dish of the Day #495: Vote for your Favorite


Every Monday through Friday a new Dish of the Day will be featured, and beginning today you can vote for your favorite Dish this week in the sidebar poll. Today's Dish is Jakub Stefano, and the photographer is Dylan Rosser.



#486 won last week's contest with 35.5% of the 141 votes cast. #488 came in second with 34.0%, followed by #490 (22.7%), #489 (5.7%) and #487 (2.1%).

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Soap Dish: The Top 150 Memorable Moments of 'As the World Turns', Part 3




To honor the daytime soap opera, As the World Turns - which broadcast its final episode on September 17 - I thought it would be fun to feature 150 of its most memorable moments. Click here for the first 50 historical highlights of the show, and below you can check out the next 25 in chronological order:

Dish of the Day #494: National Clean Hands Week


In honor of National Clean Hands Week (Sept. 19-25), this week's Dishes are getting clean. Every Monday through Friday a new Dish of the Day is featured, and beginning on Friday you can vote for your favorite Dish of the week. If you haven't voted for last week's Dish yet, choose your man in the sidebar poll.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Of 'Glee' I Sing: Boobs, Abs and Homoerotic Shower Scenes



So Glee returned last night for its second season, and I was happy to have Sue Sylvester back in my living room again. However, I must confess that I found the episode to be a mixed bag. The comedy was still fresh and funny, but most of the music didn't do much for me. Oh well, not every Glee can be everyone's cup of tea - and I'm sure there will be plenty of music this season that I will love. So here's my review of the best - and the worst - of "Auditions", the 23rd episode of the series:

Favorite character: I'm choosing Sue Sylvester this week just because it was so nice to see her again - and she's still got her wicked sense of humor.

Favorite new character: I loved Dot Jones as Shannon "You're all coffee and no omelet" Beiste, the new football coach. At first I wasn't so sure about her extreme butch bitchiness, but then we got to see what's underneath that tough exterior - and I felt sorry for her. So she won me over, and she should make a great new adversary for Sue. Also, according to Wikipedia, the actress is apparently a champion armwrestler - I can see that.

Dish of the Day #493: National Clean Hands Week


In honor of National Clean Hands Week (Sept. 19-25), this week's Dishes are getting clean. Every Monday through Friday a new Dish of the Day is featured, and beginning on Friday you can vote for your favorite Dish of the week. If you haven't voted for last week's Dish yet, choose your man in the sidebar poll.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Groovy Music: Liza Minnelli's 'Confessions'



It's always a cause for celebration when the legendary Liza Minnelli releases a new album. And her latest entitled Confessions is something a little different for her. As she revealed during her Chicago concert in June, Liza and her longtime collaborator, the Grammy-winning composer Billy Stritch, recorded this album in her bedroom before and after her knee surgery last winter. These are all songs that she and her guests would sing around the piano at one of her intimate parties - and she sang eight of these 14 tunes in her recent concert, including my personal favorite, a light jazzy version of Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh's 1958 song, "You Fascinate Me So". Other songs I especially enjoy on the CD are "Oh Such a Night as This" (which mentions her mother, Judy Garland), "He's a Tramp", "I Must Have That Man", "Moments Like This" and "At Last". Confessions shows off a quieter side to Liza as she simply sings, allowing the lyrics of all these wonderful tunes to flow over us with her soothing melodic voice.

DVD Dish: The Complete 4th Season of 'Designing Women'


The sound of Delta Burke as Suzanne Sugarbaker yelling, "Excuse me! Excuse me!", never fails to make me laugh. She's an absolute hoot - especially in the fourth season of the classic sitcom, Designing Women (1986-93), which is being released on DVD today. Suzanne is trying to lose weight on a bland diet of rice cakes, which puts her in a foul but funny mood. The rest of the gals at the interior design firm are also in fine comedic form during this season as Mary Jo (Annie Potts) has some financial problems, Julia (Dixie Carter) learns she's going to become a grandmother, and Charlene (Jean Smart) gives birth to a daughter. There aren't any extras on the Shout! Factory release, but who cares - the 27 episodes (including a one-hour retrospective clip show) look great and these delightful dames will put a smile on your face (click here to order the DVD box set on Amazon).

Now here are my 10 favorite episodes of Designing Women's 4th Season:

Lone Star's James Wolk makes my raspberry swirl


Look at him. The guy is gorgeous - especially when he's mowing a lawn shirtless. Unfortunately, the handsome face of this talented 25-year-old actor isn't enough to make his new television drama, FOX's Lone Star, the next Dallas. But perhaps creator Kyle Killen isn't interested in making a sudsy soap opera with campy characters. If this is true, then I predict Lone Star won't be around much longer despite its rave reviews. In its debut last night, the show lost over 6 million viewers from its lead-in, House, which isn't pretty. And that is a shame because the critics are correct in their opinion - Lone Star is a good show that's worth watching. But it does need a little something extra to make it great.

Lone Star is centered around the attractive Bob Allen (Wolk), a Texas con man who is in love with two women - his wife, Cat (played by Friday Night Lights' Adrianne Palicki) and his girlfriend, Lindsay (Eloise Mumford). Will these two ladies ever find out about each other's existence? That's the complicated situation that Bob is desperately trying to juggle - and it will be interesting to see how long he is able to keep it up (so to speak). It's so nice to see Angelina Jolie's father, Jon Voight - of Midnight Cowboy fame - getting to play the Jock Ewing of the series as Cat's oil tycoon daddy, and veteran actor David Keith is also a lot of fun to watch as Bob's father. In supporting roles as Cat's brothers, Bryce Johnson is still as cute as he was on TV's Popular, while Mark Deklin's character could possibly become the show's J.R. if given the chance.

DWTS #1: Dancing with Liberace's Shower Curtain


What the hell was I thinking three weeks ago when I said I would review the new season of Dancing with the Stars? I must have popped too many dolls that day because FOUR HOURS of Dancing every week will drive me off a cliff. Last night's season debut wasn't so bad, but tonight I'm watching Glee. So I'll catch the results show later when I can just skip to who is eliminated. But as long as any of my three favorite ladies - Florence Henderson, Margaret Cho and Jennifer Grey - are still dancing, I will commit to tuning in every Monday and offering up my opinion here on the Dish.

Now here are my likes and dislikes from last night:

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be "Puck" Puckerman




Every Tuesday I post five trivia questions relating to television, film or theater, and the first person who sends me the correct answers wins the highly coveted Auntie Mame Award.

Please send your answers for this week's questions to deepdishdrama@aol.com or via a private Facebook message at www.facebook.com/marcharshbarger (DO NOT post your answers on here where everyone can see them or they will be deleted).

In honor of tonight's second season debut of TV's Glee, this week's theme is all about the show:

1) What song from a 1968 movie musical did Idina Menzel's character sing last season?

2) Who wore a bubble dress and white go-go boots during the Lady Gaga episode?

3) What is Puck's real first name?

4) Who adopted Quinn and Puck's baby? And what did they name the child?

5) What guest star thinks that "brunettes have no place in show business"?

Last week Eric Singel answered the following questions correctly about the soap, As the World Turns:

1) What are the names of Margo Montgomery's mother and sister who both arrived in Oakdale in 1980? Lyla and Cricket

2) Whom did Barbara Ryan leave at the altar on their wedding day in 1980 in order to run off with James Stenbeck? Tom Hughes

3) Who is Lily's real mother? Iva Snyder

4) In 1988, the show made daytime television history by introducing the character of Hank Elliot. What was so historic about him? He was daytime television's first gay male character

5) What four actresses - who later became famous - played Betsy Stewart, Marcy Thompson, Frannie Hughes and Tess Shelby? Meg Ryan, Marisa Tomei, Julianne Moore, Parker Posey

Dish of the Day #492: National Clean Hands Week


In honor of National Clean Hands Week (Sept. 19-25), this week's Dishes are getting clean. Every Monday through Friday a new Dish of the Day is featured, and beginning on Friday you can vote for your favorite Dish of the week. If you haven't voted for last week's Dish yet, choose your man in the sidebar poll.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mad about the Men: Miss Blankenship, We Hardly Knew Ye



Most surprising death of a wonderful character: Miss Ida Blankenship (played by Randee Heller).

What a shame. I really liked the old gal and her no-nonsense attitude. She will be dearly missed. It looks like next week Don will be back to having a young and pretty secretary once again (Megan the receptionist), but Miss B. was fun while she lasted. As for the rest of last night's episode, it was full of delicious drama and unexpected pleasures - and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Now here's my review of "The Beautiful Girls", the 48th episode of Mad Men:

Coming Soon: The Midwest Debut of Donna McKechnie's 'My Musical Comedy Life'


Photo by Kurt Sneddon
If you're a fan of the Tony Award-winning actress Donna McKechnie like I am, you won't want to miss the Midwest debut of her one-woman show, My Musical Comedy Life, which she will be performing on Sunday, November 7, at 7 pm at the historic Palais Royale ballroom (105 West Colfax Ave) in South Bend, Indiana. Accompanied by her musical director Alex Rybeck, McKechnie will perform such song highlights from her career as “You Could Drive a Person Crazy” (Company), "In Buddy's Eyes" (Follies), and "The Music and the Mirror” (A Chorus Line).

The actress made her Broadway debut in 1961 in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and she later appeared in such musicals as Burt Bacharach and Hal David's Promises, Promises (1968), Stephen Sondheim's Company (1970), Sweet Charity (1987 tour), Annie Warbucks (1993), State Fair (1996) and Follies (1998 Paper Mill Playhouse production). However, her most famous theatrical role was as Cassie in A Chorus Line, for which she won the 1976 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Donna's television and film credits include Hullabaloo (1965-66) as a featured dancer; the daytime soap operas, Dark Shadows (1969-70) and Loving (1993); the 1974 film, The Little Prince, with Bob Fosse; Cheers (1982); and TV's Fame (1984-85).

Celebrity Birthday Dinner Party #9: Who are you inviting?


Last week's Celebrity Birthday Dinner Party received 185 votes - and I would love to sit and listen to Lauren, Anne and Roddy chat over dinner, wouldn't you? Here are the final results:

Lauren Bacall 30
Anne Bancroft 23
Roddy McDowall 21
Greta Garbo 14
Mama Cass Elliot 12
Agatha Christie 9
Rex Smith 9
Nell Carter 8
Jeremy Irons 8
Jacqueline Bisset 7
Claudette Colbert 7
Dorothy Loudon 7
Twiggy 7
Jennifer Tilly 6
Randy Jones 5
John Ritter 4
Amy Poehler 3
Frankie Avalon 2
Joey Heatherton 2
Mickey Rourke 1

And now here are this week's contenders. So which three of these past/present celebrities (whose birthdays are this week) would you invite to your dinner party? You can vote for your favorites below.


Jason Alexander
Seinfeld's George Costanza turns 51 on September 23.

Dish of the Day #491: National Clean Hands Week


In honor of National Clean Hands Week (Sept. 19-25), this week's Dishes are getting clean. Every Monday through Friday a new Dish of the Day is featured, and beginning on Friday you can vote for your favorite Dish of the week. If you haven't voted for last week's Dish yet, choose your man in the sidebar poll.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Web Series Worth Watching #9: Diablo Cody interviews Kyle Chandler


Web Series of the Week: Red Band Trailer
Here is a fun web series that I recently discovered, in which Diablo Cody, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter (Juno), interviews groovy people in her trailer and at a poolside tiki bar. And I'll watch anything with the gorgeous Kyle Chandler (TV's Friday Night Lights), who is her guest in the video below. To watch Cody's previous interviews with Chelsea Handler, Adam Brody, Megan Fox and Jason Bateman, go to her YouTube Channel.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My Saturday Night Fever: Cristiano Ronaldo


It's Saturday - and I have a fever caused by the gorgeous Cristiano Ronaldo, a 25-year-old Portuguese hunk who is the highest paid football player in the world. He's currently putting on his Armani Jeans in an amusing and hot video, and his mighty fine form was featured on the cover of Vanity Fair's June issue. Also, last month he hit 10 million fans on Facebook, making him the first non-US personality ever to achieve that kind of success on the social networking site. I think those are enough reasons to give him a post of his own, don't you?


Friday, September 17, 2010

Deeper Dish with Emily Bergl



Photos by Michael Creagh

Emily Bergl is quite busy these days.  The actress will be a "Desperate Housewife" on the ABC series this season in the recurring role of Paul Young's new wife, Beth - and she's also out and about performing her cabaret show, Kidding On The Square, with a return engagement at Davenport's here in Chicago next weekend (September 24 and 25). Along with her musical director and pianist G. Scott Lacy, she will be taking her audiences on a roaring '20s ride with classic Fats Waller and Cole Porter hits as well as vintage takes on modern favorites from Scissor Sisters and Madonna.

Emily is probably best known for her TV roles on the 2006-08 series, Men in Trees, as Annie O'Donnell, the enthusiastic fan of Anne Heche's character - and on the TNT drama, Southland, as Detective Bryant's troubled wife Tammi. I also enjoyed her performance as Francie Jarvis on the second and third seasons of Gilmore Girls. Her feature film credits include The Rage: Carrie 2 (1999), Chasing Sleep (2000), Happy Campers (2001) and the upcoming Grassroots. She also starred last year in the critically-acclaimed off-Broadway production of the play, Becky Shaw.

Having moved to Chicago from England when she was six, it is so nice to welcome Emily back to her hometown.  I'm delighted to have her here on the Dish to discuss her career and answer a few pop culture questions.

The 2010 Deep Dish Pop Culture Survey: Music




A Big Thank You to everyone who took the survey last month. I've divided the final results into five parts - Movies, Favorite Actress, Sexiest Man Alive, TV and Music. So here are the top results for my two questions on music as well as some honorable mentions (click here for last year's survey).

What is your favorite original Broadway cast recording?

1. Rent
2. Evita
3. Dreamgirls, Gypsy, The Phantom of the Opera, Sweeney Todd, Wicked
4. A Chorus Line, Company, Mame, My Fair Lady, Next to Normal, Pippin

Dish of the Day #490: Vote for your Favorite


Every Monday through Friday a new Dish of the Day will be featured, and beginning today you can vote for your favorite Dish this week in the sidebar poll. Today's Dish is Paul DiLillo.



#482 won last week's contest with 32.0% of the 128 votes cast. #483 came in second with 26.6%, followed by #484 and #485 (both with 15.6%) and #481 (10.2%).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

DVD Dish: Sony's Screen Classics by Request



Last week Sony Pictures jumped on the made-to-order DVD bandwagon with the release of 100 classic films. Warner Bros. has been doing this since March 2009, and I hear Fox will be starting their own program in 2011. The price per Sony movie is $19.94, but hopefully they will be offering occasional discounts as Warner Bros. does. Also, you can find their DVDs for a few bucks cheaper on Deep Discount.

So here are a few groovy movies that caught my eye on Sony's Screen Classics by Request (click here to see the entire selection):

The 2010 Deep Dish Pop Culture Survey: TV


A Big Thank You to everyone who took the survey last month. I've divided the final results into five parts - Movies, Favorite Actress, Sexiest Man Alive, TV and Music. So here are the top results for my two questions on TV as well as some honorable mentions (click here for last year's survey).

What are your three favorite TV shows of all-time?

1. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
2. The Carol Burnett Show
3. The Golden Girls
4. Bewitched, I Love Lucy, Sex and the City

Honorable Mentions:
Absolutely Fabulous, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, Alice, All in the Family, Another World, Are You Being Served?, Arrested Development, As Time Goes By, Batman, Battlestar Galactica (2004), The Beverly Hillbillies, Beverly Hills 90210, The Big Bang Theory, The Big Valley, The Bob Newhart Show, Breaking Bad, Brothers & Sisters, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charlie's Angels, China Beach, The Colbys, The Comeback, Cop Rock, The Cosby Show, Criminal Minds, The Critic, Dallas, Dancing With the Stars, Dark Shadows, Designing Women, Dexter, Doctor Who, Dynasty, The Facts of Life, Falcon Crest, Family Guy, Farscape, Felicity, The Flintstones, Frasier, Friends, Futurama, Ghost Whisperer, Gilmore Girls, Glee, Here's Lucy, The Judy Garland Show, Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, Keeping Up Appearances, The Kids in the Hall, Knots Landing, The Larry Sanders Show, Lost, Lost in Space, Mad Men, Married...with Children, Mary Hartman Mary Hartman, Masterpiece Theatre, Maude, Modern Family, Moonlighting, Murphy Brown, Newhart, Once and Again, Party of Five, Perry Mason, Prime Suspect, Prisoner: Cell Block H, Punky Brewster, Queer as Folk, Remington Steele, Rescue Me, Rhoda, Rock Follies, Santa Barbara, Saved by the Bell, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, Six Feet Under, Soap, The Sopranos, South Park, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Voyager, Strangers with Candy, Style with Elsa Klensch, thirtysomething, Time Tunnel, Torchwood, True Blood, Twin Peaks, Upstairs Downstairs, Veronica Mars, The Vicar of Dibley, Weeds, The West Wing, Will & Grace, The Wire, Wonder Woman

Five Groovy Reasons to See 'Howl'



Howl, the new film about Allen Ginsberg - the infamous gay poet of the Beat Generation - is a fascinating and frustrating "poem pic" as writers/directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman described it at a recent screening I attended. These two filmmakers have had a remarkable career with Epstein winning an Academy Award in 1984 for his documentary, The Times of Harvey Milk.  Since they teamed up in 1987, they've made such acclaimed documentaries as Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (1989), The Celluloid Closet (1995), and Paragraph 175 (2000). And now these two talented men have given us Howl, a drama which often resembles a documentary while telling its biographical tale.

Dish of the Day #489: Does anyone still wear a hat?


Every Monday through Friday a new Dish of the Day is featured, and beginning on Friday you can vote for your favorite Dish of the week. If you haven't voted for last week's Dish yet, choose your man in the sidebar poll. Today's Dish is Steven Starkey.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The 2010 Deep Dish Pop Culture Survey: Sexiest Man Alive


A Big Thank You to everyone who took the survey last month. I've divided the final results into five parts - Movies, Favorite Actress, Sexiest Man Alive, TV and Music. So here are the top results for favorite sexy guy as well as some honorable mentions (click here for last year's survey).

Who is the Sexiest Man Alive?

1. Brad Pitt
2. Hugh Jackman
3. Colin Farrell and George Clooney

Most Interesting Answer: Rip Taylor

Honorable Mentions:
Ben Affleck, Jamie Bamber, Eric Bana, John Barrowman, Gerald Butler, Eddie Cibrian, Ben Cohen, Anderson Cooper, Angel Cordoba, Daniel Craig, Tim Daly, Taye Diggs, Zac Efron, Chris Evans, Nathan Fillion, Richard Gere, Jon Hamm, Neal Patrick Harris, Steve Hayes, Thomas Jane, Sean Lamont, Taylor Lautner, Kellan Lutz, Matthew MacFadyen, Ricky Martin, Tim McGraw, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Meloni, Clive Owen, Bob Paris, Ryan Reynolds, Eli Roth, Sean William Scott, Tom Selleck, Alexander Skarsgård, Justin Theroux, Jason Varitek, Patrick Warburton, Nick Youngquest

Deeper Dish with Twinn Connexion's Jerry Hopkins


You're probably not familiar with Jerry Hopkins or Twinn Connexion. I wasn't either until about a month ago when I read an online interview with Jerry. And after learning of his fascinating but short-lived time in the public spotlight, I thought to myself, "Here's a guy who perfectly represents what Deep Dish is all about - groovy, gay and pop culture."

Jerry and his identical gay twin brother, Jay, grew up singing in Helena, Montana, before making their way to New York City, where they were eventually discovered by Decca Records and became the group, Twinn Connexion. They released their self-titled debut album in 1968 filled with "sunshine pop" - catchy songs that just make you smile ("Oh What A Lovely Day" and "Turn Down Day" are great remedies for a bad mood). Unfortunately, their recording career soon came to an end, and a second album of Twinn Connexion tunes - Songs From The Heart - was not released until 2009. And then last April, Now Sounds Records reissued their first album on CD for new fans (like myself) to discover them all over again.

Jay died in September 2001, but Jerry now lives in Woodstock, New York, where he's a visual artist - and I am delighted to have him here on the Dish to discuss Twinn Connexion and answer a few pop culture questions.

Dish of the Day #488: Does anyone still wear a hat?


Every Monday through Friday a new Dish of the Day is featured, and beginning on Friday you can vote for your favorite Dish of the week. If you haven't voted for last week's Dish yet, choose your man in the sidebar poll. Today's Dish is Matt Kirkham.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Remembering Harold Gould (Rhoda Morgenstern's Father)



Actor Harold Gould, who died Saturday at age 86, had a long and wonderful career. I will always fondly remember him as Rhoda Morgenstern's father, Martin, an Emmy-nominated role that he played from 1972 to 1978 on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rhoda.

The 2010 Deep Dish Pop Culture Survey: Favorite Actress


A Big Thank You to all the fabulous gay men - and one lovely lesbian - who took the survey last month. It's nice to know that Deep Dish has readers as young as 22 and as old as 57. I've divided the final results into five parts - Movies, Favorite Actress, Sexiest Man Alive, TV and Music. So here are the top results for the two questions about favorite actresses as well as some honorable mentions (click here for last year's survey).

Who is your favorite living actress?

1. Meryl Streep
2. Cate Blanchett, Nicole Kidman, Susan Sarandon

Honorable Mentions:
Lauren Bacall, Halle Berry, Stockard Channing, Cher, Julie Christie, Glenn Close, Toni Collette, Joan Collins, Marion Cotillard, Tyne Daly, Dame Judi Dench, Susan Flannery, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Whoopi Goldberg, Jayne Houdyshell, Mary Beth Hurt, Angelina Jolie, Diane Keaton, Deborah Kerr, Nicole Kidman, Diane Lane, Angela Lansbury, Louise Lasser, Sophia Loren, Patti LuPone, Liza Minnelli, Helen Mirren, Julianne Moore, Parker Posey, Julia Roberts, Winona Ryder, Maggie Smith, Sharon Stone, Robin Strasser, Barbra Streisand, Elaine Stritch, Elizabeth Taylor, Emma Thompson, Kathleen Turner, Julie Walters, Debra Winger

If It's Tuesday, This Must Be Lily Walsh and Holden Snyder



Every Tuesday I post five trivia questions relating to television, film or theater, and the first person who sends me the correct answers wins the highly coveted Auntie Mame Award.

Please send your answers for this week's questions to deepdishdrama@aol.com or via a private Facebook message at www.facebook.com/marcharshbarger (DO NOT post your answers on here where everyone can see them or they will be deleted).

Today's trivia is all about the daytime soap opera, As the World Turns, which airs its final episode this Friday (September 17) after 54 years on CBS:

1) What are the names of Margo Montgomery's mother and sister who both arrived in Oakdale in 1980?

2) Whom did Barbara Ryan leave at the altar on their wedding day in 1980 in order to run off with James Stenbeck?

3) Who is Lily's real mother?

4) In 1988, the show made daytime television history by introducing the character of Hank Elliot. What was so historic about him?

5) What four actresses - who later became famous - played Betsy Stewart, Marcy Thompson, Frannie Hughes and Tess Shelby?

Last week Matthew Cormier answered the following questions correctly about the soap, All My Children:

1) What was the first name of Jenny Gardner's mother? And what was the name of her beauty salon and spa? Opal, The Glamorama

2) Who shot and killed Stuart Chandler? His brother Adam

3) Who was the father of Erica Kane's daughter Bianca? Travis Montgomery

4) Who imprisoned Natalie Marlowe in a well and married her fiancé, Trevor Dillon? Her sister Janet

5) Whom did Adam Chandler leave Pine Valley with in April 2010? His ex-wife Brooke