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Black Lamb

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Now in its 14th year of publication, this magazine was created to offer the discerning reader a stimulating selection of excellent original writing. Black Lamb Review is a literate rather than a literary publication. Regular columns by writers in a variety of geographic locations and vocations are supplemented by features, reviews, articles on books and authors, and a selection of “departments,” including an acerbic advice column and a lamb recipe.

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Archive for the 'Bogert' Category

The light fantastic

October 1st, 2014

BY WILLIAM BOGERT

Editor’s note: This article originally appeared in the March 2007 issue of Black Lamb.

I am pleased to report that this year’s recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award will be Julie Andrews. It’s always nice to see a former dancing partner achieve success.

andrewsjulie copyMore than fifty years ago there appeared on Broadway a mildly amusing comedy called Anniversary Waltz. In those innocent days before the explosion of television, “mildly amusing” often equated to “modest success.” And so it seemed it would with this play. Somewhat to the surprise of all concerned, it ran for more than two years, and it was decided on the second anniversary (get it?) of their opening they would give a party.

The show was running at the Booth Theatre, which is at the corner of 45th Street and Shubert Alley, a private pathway that connects 45th to 44th, and the producers of AW invited all the casts of the shows playing those blocks to the party, which took place in the Alley after the performance of the night in question. One of those shows was the Cole Porter musical Silk Stockings, in which an old friend of mine was the dance captain. Her husband was the company manager, and the party was on payroll night, so he couldn’t go. She asked me if I’d like to fill in, and I said that I thought I could find the time.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Dancing Issue, Bogert | Link to this Entry

The best show ever

May 1st, 2007

BY WILLIAM BOGERT

arthurjean-copy.jpgA while ago I wrote about often having been asked who was the best I’d ever worked with, and the difficulty of giving a definitive answer. Less frequently I’m asked what was the best performance I’ve ever seen. That’s an easy one: Jean Arthur as Peter Pan.

Considering how well I remember details of that performance, it’s perhaps surprising that I can’t think of the year, but this is being written from Los Angeles and I don’t have access to my records in New York: suffice it to say that it was comfortably over half a century ago. A few years later there was another production, also a musical, with Mary Martin. It was very well received, and later done on television, and quite a lot of people remember it, and it suffered greatly (in my opinion) by comparison with the Arthur version.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: Bogert | Link to this Entry

Remembering Eren

April 1st, 2007

BY WILLIAM BOGERT

In the autumn of 1975 I accepted my first job in regional theater. I was invited to be in the first three plays at the new Hartman Theater in Stamford, Conn. Other than summer stock I had worked only in New York or on national tours, and I thought it would be a new experience. Little did I know.

The opening show was Gogol’s The Government Inspector (the source for The Inspector-General, a wonderful Danny Kaye movie), a play which to my knowledge is unique in two ways. The first is that it has forty-four speaking roles; this means that at the first readthrough, when the cast is sitting around in a circle, after you’ve added the table the director sits behind and the table with the model of the set on it, the opposite side of the circle is hidden from you by the curvature of the earth. The second is the brevity of exposition: one speech. The mayor of the town — who’s a crock — has gathered his henchmen to tell them that he’s gotten a letter from his cousin in Minsk (as I remember) telling him that an inspector is going around incognito, looking for graft. Then the postmaster (me) comes running into the room to warn his co-conspirators that there’s a guy in the post office behaving very strangely, and we’re off to the races.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Marriage Issue, Bogert | Link to this Entry

The light fantastic

March 1st, 2007

julieandrewsBY WILLIAM BOGERT

I am pleased to report that this year’s recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Lifetime Achievement Award will be Julie Andrews. It’s always nice to see a former dancing partner achieve success.

More than fifty years ago there appeared on Broadway a mildly amusing comedy called Anniversary Waltz. In those innocent days before the explosion of television “mildly amusing” often equated to “modest success.” And so it seemed it would be with this play. Somewhat to the surprise of all concerned, it ran for more than two years, and it was decided on the second anniversary (get it?) of their opening they would give a party.

The show was running at the Booth Theatre, which is at the corner of 45th Street and Shubert Alley, a private pathway that connects 45th to 44th, and the producers of AW invited all the casts of the shows playing those blocks to the party, which took place in the Alley after the performance of the night in question. One of these was the Cole Porter musical Silk Stockings, in which an old friend of mine was the dance captain. Her husband was the company manager, and party was on payroll night, so he couldn’t go. She asked me if I’d like to fill in, and I said that I thought I could find the time.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Bogert | Link to this Entry

As good as it gets?

November 1st, 2006

BY WILLIAM BOGERT

My favorite line about drinking came from an episode of The Andy Williams Show, a variety program of forty or so years ago. One of Andy’s guest this particular week was Phil Harris, who was a renowned carouser, and in one sketch Andy proposed to Phil that they drop in for a visit with Pat Boone, who was a renowned straight arrow. They did, and Pat offered refreshment, and offer that Phil eagely accepted. manwithmartini.pngSo Pat got behind the bar and asked Phil, “Vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry?” Phil recoiled as if confronted by a dyspeptic wolverine and looked pleadingly at Andy, who said, “Well, Phil, you know Pat doesn’t drink.” And Phil said, “Doesn’t drink? Doesn’t drink?!… Can you imagine waking up in the morning and knowing that’s as good as you’re going to feel all day?”

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Smoking & Drinking Issue, Bogert | Link to this Entry

My brilliant TV career

March 1st, 2006

BY WILLIAM BOGERT

As even the most cloistered among you must be aware, there is a good deal of money to made in television. Alas, not very much of has come my way. Don’t misunderstand me; I made a decent living for years, and it’s been a very long time since I had to anything else but act. But there were only two years that my wife and I managed to combine for an income into six figures, and there are now any number of television people who make it easily into seven, and eight. These people are regulars on a TV series. I am the most experienced actor I know of who has never attained that exalted status.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Television Issue, Bogert | Link to this Entry

The Christmas party

December 1st, 2004

BY WILLIAM BOGERT

I grew up on the south shore of Long Island. My father’s sister, whom he adored, lived with her family on Staten Island. So every Christmas morning my father would get up somewhat before the crack of dawn, drive from our island to theirs, have breakfast with his sister, and then come home for our celebration. This involved, on my part, no waiting to open presents, because even at a very early age I was not a morning person.

First there would be the parade through the house, led by my father on the kazoo; then presents; then breakfast; then Mom and I would go to the noon mass (Pop felt churches were for weddings and funerals, and he wasn’t too sure about weddings); and then it was time to get ready for the party.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Christmas Issue, Bogert | Link to this Entry

A pretty good ride

September 1st, 2003

BY WILLIAM BOGERT

No one in my family remembers when I first announced that I wanted to become an actor. (I don’t remember ever wanting to be anything else.) My parents, detecting in me no other obvious signs of insanity, naturally assumed that I would grow out of it. Surely at some point their boy would aspire to replace PeeWee Reese at shortstop for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Despite my genuine affection and respect for Mr. Reese and his compatriots, it never happened.

In 1947, however, I said something that made them feel a little better. They took me to see a movie called The Farmer’s Daughter, which I can heartily recommend, and on the way home I said, “That Ethel Barrymore is good!” My mother and father looked at each other, and their thought couldn’t have been clearer: “Well, he may or may not have talent, but at least he’s got taste. Things could be worse.” And in fact their toleration, if not complete acceptance, of my bizarre ambition was such that three years later, when All about Eve came out, they absolutely forbade me to see it!

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Movie Issue, Bogert | Link to this Entry

Author profile

December 1st, 2002

William Bogert was born in New York, where he still lives except for occasional forays to Los Angeles in increasingly vain attempts to obtain money. He made his Broadway debut as Richard Rich in A Man for All Seasons and he has since done eight other Broadway shows, including Cactus Flower, A Star-Spangled Girl, and Richard Burton’s Hamlet. He has also appeared in more than fifteen shows Off-Broadway. He has many movie credits, good parts in bad movies and small parts in good ones: some of the latter include Dog Day Afternoon, War Games, Heaven Can Wait, and, most recently, A Perfect Murder. He has been seen in over a hundred different TV shows, most frequently on Small Wonder and The Greatest American Hero. These days he is most often recognized for his work on The Chappelle Show. His Black Lamb column is called Struts & Frets.

Posted by: The Editors
Category: Bogert | Link to this Entry

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