Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Tonight we sit in a hotel in the main strip of Barstow, California. Barstow is really in the middle of nowhere and boasts many hotels which seem to be throwbacks to the old days of Route 66.
I have just come from Los Angeles where, for 3 or 4 days the top of the line super-modern hotel which we stayed in did not offer a useable wireless internet service, yet here we are in Barstow, California and the hotel offers a strong wireless signal and free doughnuts!
Many apologies for the quiet times here on Hula Hank (except for the pre-written Tuesdays with Tony), but lack of internet and late nights have been the reason why.
So far we have had a fantastic time in San Francisco, driven down the California coast, spent a few days in LA and are now heading to Las Vegas.
In LA, two fantastic things happened, 1) I saw 9 to 5: The Musical (will tell you all about once we settle in Cleveland) and 2.) We had a fabulous lunch with fellow bloggers The Jason Show, Pumpkin Delight and Grandma J (which I will also tell you about one we get settled).
I was thinking that a couple times a week I will post a new US adventure!
What have you been up to this past week??


From the 58th annual Tony Awards, Alfred Molina stars in Fiddler on the Roof.

This is not the best condensed Tony Awards staging of a show that I have seen, but I am sure this is a musical we have all seen at least once (movie or stage) and it was almost like they knew that and got lazy with this Reader's Digest version.

Fiddler on the Roof is one of my favourite shows. Although I did not see this production, I have seen many stage productions of Fiddler on the Roof... most of them starring Topol, oddly enough.

Fiddler on the Roof, love it or hate it?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


This one I did happen to see on Broadway shortly after it opened. A friend of mine who is also a choreographer lives in the same buiding that Julie Taymor has her studio (or was it vice versa?) so we were able to sit in the director's reserved seats.

The first ten minutes are amazing, but then you suddenly remember that you are seeing a Disney musical.


Ever see National Lampoon's European Vacation? When they check into the hotel that looked "great" in the brochures, but was a total dump in real life????

We just landed in San Francisco and checked into our hotel. Tomorrow we are moving to a new hotel. If you are ever in SF, I can tell you where NOT to stay, unless you like the Crack Hotel in the middle Dodgeyville... some people are into that.

This place has mustard drapes and olive green bedspreads completed with yellow stucco walls. The website states that it was completely renovated in 2006, I shudder to think what it looked like before. (I WILL POST THE PICS ONCE THEY GET UPLOADED)

Now before I continue sounding like I am complaining, to me it is just another funny happening in what is only the beginning of this journey!

I was warned that this hotel was further into a neighbourhood of homeless and transvestite prostitutes, but we thought it would be fun and part of the experience. We even laughed as we walked passed three missions and a burned out building all within one block of the hotel.

The joke was over when saw the drapes.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


OK So yesterday after a day of rushing around and packing (you know after I finally got out of bed), we made it to the airport 3 hours before the flight was set to take off.
The problem? Our flight does not leave until tonight.
Yes, that is right we showed up at the airport a day early!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Well not exactly, but chaos is what you would be expecting from someone who, in 12 hours will be going on the other side of the world for 4 weeks.
Today I need to pack, clean the house, drop off my car on the other side of town, buy my mother's birthday gift, get my hair cut and coloured, find my passport, get the travel file in order and did I mention pack?
However 12 hours before going to the other side of the world, I am sitting in bed writing a blog post about all the things I need to do in the next 12 hours.


Driving past an elementary school this week, I saw this sign out front:

I wonder what they learn about on Thursdays?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Well, today it hit me that there is only 2 and half days left before we are off to the U.S.!!!
Why this is so amazing to me is because I started to plan this trip 6 or 7 months ago. In addition to the thought that in 48 and bit hours I will be on a plane heading to the other side of the world for 4 weeks, I am also flabbergasted that 7 months have gone by so fast.
As I write to you, I am also reminded that in 48 and a bit hours (plus a 26 hour flight) I will start to see friends and family that I have not seen in at least 6 years.
I would also like to meet new friends in person, so 1.) if you live in or 2.) will be in one of the places we will be and 3.) would like to gather together over food and wine then 4.)then drop me a line and we can try to get something arranged.
Take a look in the sidebar for the dates and locations.
PS - SarahB, I am still working on getting the man to agree to head to NYC he wants to play it by ear!


From the 60th Annual Academy... uh, I mean Tony Awards, here is Harry Connick, Jr in The Pajama Game.

I really like the song Steam Heat, but not so sure about the rest of the show. How about you?

Monday, September 15, 2008


This past weekend I was treated to a musical movie DVD shopping spree! I managed to get some old musical movies I have never seen, plus some I could probably do without seeing again, but feel I need for my collection (I am looking at you, Oklahoma!).

Currently I am trying to get through Annie Get Your Gun without falling asleep. This has nothing to do with the movie itself, but the fact that only time I get to watch a musical without complaint is in bed, after the man has fallen asleep but when I am still awake.

Next week, I will write about that Annie Get Your Gun.

This week, I am going to fill you in on what is happening on all of the musical blogs I read.

As I stated before I need to live vicariously through the luckly people that author these blogs as I am living in a city where the hottest ticket in town is a musical about a former Australian Prime Minister... yeah, riveting stuff.

Over on
Everything I Know I Learned from Musicals our host reveals the top musicals as voted by his students and directs us to his Top 100 list.

What is our favourite West Texan New Yorker over on
Anventures in the Endless Pursuit of Entertainment up to? Well the lovely SarahB is treats us to a quote from Murder, She Wrote where Jessica Fletcher is totally jealous of John's tickets to the lastest Sondheim show. Plus she reviews a theatre show (which technically is not a musical, but I will bend the Musical Monday rules for SarahB).

Blue Gobo has some juicy tidbits from The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

Steve on Broadway discusses the transfer of Hair from a show in the park to Broadway. But I warn you, just try to read the title of that post wihout hilariously misreading a particular word.

Also I would like to brag once more that I have tickets to see the LA preview of 9 to 5:The Musical.

What musicals do you have planned or are dying to see?

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Over in the side bar, voting is now open for you to choose your favourite leading man of the silver screen.
What your favourite is not one of the six? Hang on while I go get my violin.
The poll closes Saturday 20 September 2008 at 7:30am GMT +8 time. For you, if you are in the US as most of you are, this would be sometime Friday evening.
Now go vote!


Who is your favourite leading man of the silver screen?

Contestant #6: Rock Hudson (What? You were surprised?)

Rock Hudson never won an Oscar, but we sill love him anyway.
Despite the fact that they only starred in tree films together, Rock Hudson and Doris Day are eternally linked as one of the greatest romantic comedy duos of all time.

Rock Hudson had an innocent smile and knowing eyes... or maybe it was innocent eyes and a knowing smile... which gave him total sex appeal!!

What more can I say about Rock besides mmmm! mmmm! mmmm!

You must see:

Magnificent Obsession (1954)

Giant (1956)

A Farewell to Arms (1957)

Pillow Talk (1959)

Lover Come Back (1961)

Send Me No Flowers (1964)

Strange Bedfellows (1965)

Wasn't he yummy!?


Who is your favourite leading man of the silver screen?

Contestant #5: Sidney Poitier

Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier, is another revolutionary contestant in this competition. He was the first black actor to be given serious roles and helped to form and change the way the world thought about race and racial depiction in film.

His immense talent led to him winning an Oscar in 1963 and to eventually become the top box office star of 1967.

Plus he has a dreamy voice!

My favourite Sidney Poitier films:

No Way Out (1950)

Blackboard Jungle (1955)

The Defiant Ones (1958)

Porgy and Bess (1959)

A Raisin in the Sun (1961)

Lilies of the Field (1963) (Actually, I found this one a little on the boring side, but it was on Oscar winning performance so I put it on the list)

A Patch of Blue (1965)

To Sir, With Love (1967)

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Goodness that is one long list!! I never realised exactly how many of my favourite films he has been in!

Did you know that Sidney Poitier is the Bahamian ambassador to Japan?


Who is your favourite leading man of the silver screen?

There are six candidates vying for the top spot as your favourite Leading Man of the Silver Screen. I will finish with the remaining three candidates today and then open up a poll for you to vote for your favourite!

Contestant #4: Fred Astaire

The dancing man with in the tux and top hat!

Most people associate Fred Astaire with his dancing partner Ginger Rogers with whom he made ten musical films.

Fred Astaire's actually quite disliked his trademark top hat and tuxedo look, all to happy to buck it later in his career for a more casual look and using an old necktie as a belt. Something which many years later, was heavily pushed on Queer Eye for the Straight Guy.

If you collect musicals on DVD like I do, then your collection is not complete without the following films:

The Gay Divorcee (1934)

Follow the Fleet (1936)

Broadway Melody of 1940 (1940)

Holiday Inn (1942)

Ziegfeld Follies (1946)

Easter Parade (1948)

and you must, must, must get:

Funny Face (1957)

Did you know that Fred Astaire's life has never and will never appear as a film? He did not want his life inevitably misinterpreted by Hollywood.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Who is your favourite leading man of the silver screen?

There will be SIX candidates vying for this hot spot. Over the next two days, I will do a quick briefing on each one and then open up a poll for your to cast your vote.

Contestant #3: Marlon Brando



Marlon Brando is considered by many to be the greatest actor of all time. Studying the Stanislavksi System of acting, when he first appeared in Streetcar Named Desire his talent and style revolutionised the movie world.

Nominated for 8 Oscars, he won two, although, in a controvesial move, he officially turned one of them down in protest of the way Native Americans were depicted on screen.

As far as his personal life, Marlo Brando was a bad boy and according to some biographers shagged anything that moved. He has admitted to having a very long term affair with Marilyn Monroe, as well as Laurence Olivier.

Some memorable Marlon Brando films

Streetcar Named Desire (1951) - (One of my favourite films)

The Wild One (1953)

On the Waterfront (1953)

Guys and Dolls (1955)

The Ugly American (1963)

The Godfather (1972)

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Did you know that according Wikipedia, Marlon Brando had 11 kids?!

Friday, September 12, 2008


Who is your favourite Leading Man of the Silver Screen?

To make up for my disgusting misuse of power (when I, without your vote or consent, knighted Rock Hudson the king of Hula Hank) I am calling an election to vote for who is YOUR favourtite Leading Man of the Silver Screen.

There will be SIX candidates vying for this hot spot. Over the next two days, I will do a quick briefing on each one and then open up a poll for your to cast your vote.

Contestant #2: Paul Newman

Do I really need to post more than that photo? Hello!

I suppose I should also mention that Paul Newman won the Oscar for his role in Hud. He was was placed on Nixon's Enemy List, after which Mr Newman stated that is was one his greatest acomplishments.

Films of note:

Cat on Hot Tin Roof (1958) - My favourite!

The Hustler (1961)

Hud (1963)

Cool Hand Luke (1967)

The Sting (1973)

Road to Perdition (2002)

Have you tried Paul Newman's pasta sauce? I love it!


I know I promised to post the remaining four Legendary Men contestants before the weekend.

Unfortunately, my new job got in the way. I am not one of those people who is all like "Oh I am so busy with my new job that I can't post for a week or two" and then never post again.

I am not even going to take a break.

All I am trying to say is that Apologies for letting you down with the Legendary Men and I will have them all posted in the next two days, and then we can open up voting!


I have had such a gruelling week at the new job! I have read, I think over 12 million if not billion pages of research, summaries, contracts, clauses and projections on the new product. Today is Friday and I am going to make myself a nice cold vodka Martini.

The Fabulous Martini!

The recipe for my fabulous marinti:

Put loads of ice in a cocktail shaker. Pour in 2.5 lidfuls (the lid being from the cocktail shaker) of vodka. Gently shake and set aside to chill even further.

In a chilled martini glass, pour in a drop of dry vermouth, swirl around the glass, and then dump out the excess.

I like my Martini dirty, so I add a spoonful of olive brine.

Strain the chilled vodka into the martini glass. Add three of the biggest green olives available, preferably stuffed with bleu cheese.

Drink up before it gets warm!

What is the recipe for your favourite wind-down cocktail?
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that there are two secrets to a good Martini. The first make sure your glass, and vodka are exceptionally well chilled. The second is to always use a top shelf vodka. Stoli makes the classic Ab Fab martini, but Belvedere and Grey Goose also make an excellent option. Is suggested to not use potato based vodka as some Polish vodka tend to be made. They are perfect for sipping straight on the rocks, but not for a Martini

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Who is your favourite Leading Man of the Silver Screen?

To make up for my disgusting misuse of power (when I, without your vote or consent, knighted Rock Hudson the king of Hula Hank) I am calling an election to vote for who is YOUR favourtite Leading Man of the Silver Screen.

There will be five candidates vying for this hot spot. Over the next two days, I will do a quick briefing on each one and then open up a poll for your to cast your vote.

First contestant: CARY GRANT

Can anyone remember seeing Cary Grant when was NOT wearing a tuxedo??

Cary Grant rose to stardom in 1933 when Mae West hand picked him off of the Paramount lot to star as her leading man in She Done Him Wrong and I'm No Angel.

Although Grant has a reputation for starring in classic screwball comedies, he was the only actor that director Alfred Hitchcock like and there for starred in many of Hitchcock's films, one of the most famous being North by Northwest.

Nominated for two Oscars, winning them proved to be elusive. Mr Grant eventually received a Lifetime Achievement Oscar in 1970.

Cary Grant was married five times and rumoured to be bisexual, although this has yet to proven without a doubt. His third wife, Betsy Drake sums it up perfectly, "Why would I believe that Cary was a homosexual when we were busy fucking? Maybe he was bisexual. He lived 43 years before he met me. I don't know what he did."

Some of Cary Grant's more memorable films:

I'm No Angel (1933)

Bringing Up Baby (1938)

The Philadelphia Story (1940)

The Bishop's Wife (1947)

To Catch a Thief (1955)

An Affair to Remember (1955) (My second favourite)

North by Northwest (1959)

Charade (1963) (My very favourite)

Does Cary Grant do it for you?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


From the 59th Annual Tony Awards Ceremony, introduced by the legendary Chita Rivera, is Sweet Charity starring Christina Applegate.

I like Christina Applegate as an actress, she is quarky and bubbly without losing sight of the darkside.

Whilst I have not seen this particular revival of Sweet Charity, I have seen other and it is one of my favourites! Of course when you are basing a book and score on Fellini's Nights of Cabiria how could you go wrong?

It appears that Christina Applegate is relying more on strong acting abilities than strong singing abilities, but I can live with that in the role of Charity Hope Valentine.

Have you seen this prodution? Did it go over very well?

Monday, September 8, 2008


The other night I was going through the clearance bin at the local video store. I have scored some great deals this way... remember when I scored the last copy of Bette Midler's Gypsy which I found at the very bottom of the bargain bin. The bonus: It was reduced to $4.99!

It may come as no surprise to you that I love the Muppet Show, however I have never got around to get any of the seasons on DVD. I don't know why, once had The Muppet Show on DVD in my right hand and Gumby in the left and sorry, Kermit, but Gumby won out.

So as I stated earlier, the other night I was going through the clearance bin at the local video store and I came across 5 episodes of The Muppet Show for only $3.99. Seriously, despite how much I want this series on DVD, I actually stood there and thought about it.

After some serious deliberation, I decided to look at the guest stars and decide. Well, It was 1. Valerie Harper (whatever) 2. Twiggy (mmm.....) 3. Ethel Merman (wait. what? ETHEL MERMAN!! THIS IS THE EPISODE WITH ETHEL MERMAN IN IT!!! AND IT IS ONLY $3.99???) OK who else is on here...) 4. Whosit (ETHEL MERMAN!) 5. Someone Orrather (THE ETHEL MERMAN EPISODE IN THE BARGAIN BIN!!!!!!!)

So then I put it back... Huh? Did I just hear you scream "WHAAAAT?!?"

I know, I so put it back. I figured that if it was still there after I looked at everything else in the video store, then it was fated to be in my possession.

Surprise! Surprise! It was still there, so I bought it.

In this very special episode with Ethel Merman, along with the other muppets, she performs a medley of all the songs she made famous. Then she has a hilarious little ditty with Miss Piggy and Kermit where Ethel breaks a glass with her high note. Then she consols Fozzie with a beautiful rendition of "There's No Business Like Show Business."

Oh yes, and throughout her numbers she punched like 6 muppets in the head. What was up with that?

As I wrote before, I have left my job to start another one with an Alzheimer's association, and I have one day off; today.

So in Ethel's honour, I put on every single recording of Gypsy that I own and have been walking around the house pretending that I was Mama Rose on stage.

Please tell me that you have a room in your home where you pretend to star in musical and dance around????

Friday, September 5, 2008


Today is an exceptionally fabulous day for three reasons, the first one being because it is Friday.

The second one is that today is my very last day making money for a "the man." I am going back into charity work, marketing and fundraising for an Alzheimer's association. So my talents will once again be put to use for good instead of evil.

The third and most fabulous thing is that today is my mom's birthday. She is turning a landmark year, which she has insisted on my not revealing on here or anywhere else. So I Xplicitly cannot Tell You.

I have a fabulous photo of her when she was 18 that I was going to post here, but I have yet to scan it. It looks something like this:

Only the photo was in black and white.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I met these kittens the other day, and they were so cute it made me sick!!


A far few months ago, I took a vote for which Legendary Lady of the Silver Screen I was most like, and you chose Lauren Bacall.

At that time, I was also going to open up a separate vote for which Leading Man of the Silver Screen I am most like, but I did a george w and went over your heads without your knowledge or vote and decided that I am most like (and wish I was) Rock Hudson.

I admit that it was wrong of me to remove that power away from you but let's look at the facts: Rock was 6'4" I am 6'4" Rock was gay. I am gay. Rock was drop dead gorgeous. I am drop dead gorgeous. What? you have never seen a picture of me? Well, just take my word for it.

Also, and this is the most disturbing, I have a dead celebrity crush on Rock Hudson. Which is only creepy when you think about too hard, so it is best to not think about it.

I am sure that you have a dead celebrity crush too. Anyone? Bueller? ...Bueller?

To make up for my disgusting misuse of power, I am bringing an actual vote but this time for who is your favourtite Leading Man of the Silver Screen.

There will be five candidates vying for this hot spot. Over the remainder of the week. I will do a quick briefing on each one and then open up a poll for your to cast your vote.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


For the past few months, I have been making a list of all the foods available in America that I cannot get here in the Land Down Under.

It is my plan that on my trip back to the US, to eat every food on this list. I am up to about 45 foodbits from cheesecake to apple butter to bright orange cheddar cheese.

Without further ado, here is my Top Ten Foods I Must Eat Whilst In The US:

10. A bowl of Golden Grahams cereal.

The funny part about this one, is that I never really ate Golden Grahams when I was growing up, however I am having mad cravings for it.

09. Peach Flavoured Hostess Fruit Pies

I know that there is nothing healthy or real about these sugar coated pie pockets, but every day after school I would ride my bike over to the convenient store and steal one.

08. Ben and Jerry's ice cream Chubby Hubby flavour

07. One of those garlic/butter/cheese biscuits from Red Lobster.

I can feel my arteries harden just writing about those.

06. Pumpkin Pie

The local specialty shops no longer import the canned pumpkin, and they don't sell those Halloween pumpkins here... which is really just an excuse for me being too lazy to make pumpkin pie the old fashioned way.

05. Arby's Curly Fries.

There is something fun about eating fries that are bouncy.

04. Enchiladas

Or any fantastic Mexican food which doesn't taste like it was made from freeze dried beans.

03. A big, bumpy, golden, greasy egg roll

02. A patty melt

Preferably from Melrose Diner in Chicago.


01. A giant CRUNCHY kosher dill pickle.

Now that We have all gone for coronary bipass surgery, let's wash it all down with my most craved beverage...

Dr Pepper

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tuesdays with Tony - In the Heights

From the 2008 Tony Awards, the above clip is the performance from the cast of In the Heights.

I have never seen this show, but judging by the audience reaction, it was the well deserved winner of the Best Musical Tony.

I can certainly say that the music is a definite change from your typical Broadway musical and it is refreshing to hear.

Have you seen the show live?


I almost forget to wish all of my American pals a happy Labor Day!!! I hope you enjoyed your cook-outs, Murder, She Wrote marathons, and the last long weekend of the summer season.
Tell me all about what you did!

Watercolour Memories

In September, after a five year absence, I will be returning to the US for four weeks. Since booking the plane tickets, everyday activities such as driving down the street, going to sleep or watching TV have thrown me into deep nostalgic thoughts about times gone by.

I heard a song the other day which sparked a memory that I had long forgotten. Sometime in my mid-teens, my good friend (whose site may or may not be in my blog roll) and I used to go roller-skating every Friday night.

Afterwards we would somehow get our teenage hands on a bottle of vodka and get drunk on lemon drops. You know, a shot of vodka followed up by sucking on a lemon wedge that was covered in sugar.

I know. I know. Underage drinking!!!…

I had a good laugh at the silliness of it all. I can’t even remember what we did after drinking the lemon drops. Talk? Listen to music? Play dress up? Pretend to be disco superheroes? For some reason, the only mental image I get is of striped socks.

PS to Youknowwho – When I am in town, we should so totally go roller skating!!

Monday, September 1, 2008


Did I ever tell you that for a large portion of my adult life I was a Costume Designer?

I have designed for ballet, modern dance, opera, performance art and straight theatre but, as odd as this may seem, never once have I designed for musical theatre.

Therefore in today's Musical Monday, I will not be showing you my wide array of work in musical theatre. Instead let's focus on five time Tony Award winner, William Ivey Long.

Most people may be familiar William Ivey Long’s very racy net bodysuit from the musical Nine.

Others may know the bright lollipop colours and the campy costumes from the stage musical version of Hairspray.”

For me, costume design at its pinnacle of brilliance was reached with William Ivey Long’s designs for the 1996 revival of Chicago: The Musical. The simplicity of the Velma Kelly donning short hair and an even shorter black skirt will remain an iconic image for a long time to come.

Rarely do we see a costume that tells the character’s true story before the actor even opens their mouths. The simplicity of the design then allows it to take a step a back and give the actor the spotlight to tell Velma’s carefully created version of the story. Almost as if in the spirit of Chicago, the costume makes the grand entrance and then says “And now here’s Velma!”

This juxtaposition between “the truth” and “the image” captures the moral of the character and of the story therefore sealing William Ivey Long’s fate as my costuming idol.

What costumes have stuck out in your mind as fantastic?