Friday, July 18, 2008

My Buddy

If you were born in Providence, Rhode Island in the late 1950's you only remember about four mayors in your lifetime. But the most famous (or infamous) was ``The Prince Of Providence" Buddy Cianci, mayor of the city on and off for about 30 years, six terms, thrown out of office twice, put in jail once, and barely avoiding prison stripes on a couple of other occasions.
But there was always the perception that Buddy was competant (sort of a Bill Clinton without Monica) and he oversaw the city's great renaissance of the 1990's. I never saw the charisma that people claimed Buddy had (there was a lot of ego and self-congratulation in what he did) but he was certainly loved by Providence's strong Italian-American community.
Word out of Hollywood is that an actor has finally been selected to play Buddy in ``The Prince Of Providence,'' Mike Stanton's book which is being turned into a screenplay by David Mamet. Oliver Platt, who played George Steinbrenner in the ESPN mini-series last year, has been tabbed (as they say in the biz) to play his second blustering character in a row. Russell Crowe and Paul Giamatti had also been prominently mentioned for the part.
A Rhode Island message board had asked people who they'd like to see play Buddy and other actors mentioned included Robert DeNiro, Kevin Spacey, Danny DeVito, Al Pacino (who doesn't resemble Buddy but would be good in the scenes where Cianci went a little crazy), Nathan Lane, Robin Williams, Paul ``Pee Wee Herman" Reubens, Dustin Hoffman and Paul Sorvino, a longtime character actor who probably resembles Buddy the most. As one posting noted only Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep didn't receive votes.
I'll try and post more Buddy movie news as it develops.

Monday, July 7, 2008

An effective way of dealing with hecklers

Back in the mid-1980's I saw George Carlin for the first and only time at a place called the Providence Performing Arts Center. About mid-way thru the act when everyone else was laughing a fan yelled out in that falsetto voice people seemed to heckle with back then, ``hey George.'' Carlin immediately wheeled in the direction of the heckler and exclaimed (I won't edit the words in honor of George), ``shut the FUCK up. If people want to start busting my fuckin' balls I'm walking off this fuckin' stage right now.'' In that brief diatribe, George might have dropped 3 or 4 more F bombs, but you get the point. Needless to say, no one gave Carlin anymore shit the rest of the show. All in all, an effective way of dealing with hecklers.