One expects Shock -- with a capital 'S' -- when reading a book called The Mommie Dearest Diary -- Carol Ann Tells All. And actress Rutanya Alda's book, all about the nightmare of playing Joan Crawford's faithful maid opposite Faye Dunaway in the notorious 1981 camp classic, does not disappoint. All the rumors about Ms. Dunaway's grandstanding diva behavior are true, if Ms. Alda is to be believed.
The sad truth is that performers who think, and thereby encourage us to think, endanger the dollar, meaning that it's far safer to foster a celebratory attitude towards imbeciles who are fed on an endless diet of schadenfreude and 10-second fame. But the really tragic thing is that as long as we surrender to this malaise.
In The Fatal Weakness, George Kelly's 1946 vehicle for Ina Claire and now revived at the Mint after 68 years, Ollie Espenshade (Kristin Griffith) is a spoiled rich woman who initially looks as if she could be Harriet Craig's younger sister. She's so off-putting that it very soon seems the script in which she's embedded is becoming unfortunately weak, if not fatal.
It showed me an adult life that was about parties and friends and sex and sparkling wit and messiness and creativity and longing for something outside of convention. It gave me the insatiable appetite to reach beyond my circumstances. It gave me a vista of what kind of life was possible for a homosexual like me.