Sunday, July 14, 2013

Guess who went through ladies like a hot knife through fudge

Similes  about   men with voracious  sexual  appetites. . .

In  his new book  Ava Gardner - The Secret Conversations Peter Evans quotes  Gardner  on  one of  the men in her life, the 5-foot-2  Mickey Rooney as " going  through ladies like a hot knife through fudge."

Monday, July 8, 2013

Oscar Hammerstein's similes still sing delightfully. . .

My main activity since compiling the first edition of  Similes Dictionary  has been as editor and publisher of  the online theater-zine Naturally, this has led me to many apt examples in dramatic dialogue and songs with which to enrich the new edition.

The new edition  features   many nifty additions  from song lyrics,   but
few song writers can match Oscar Hammerstein’s gift for poetic figures of speech that sing gloriously.   With the Berkshire Theater Group  doing a  revival  of  Oklahoma!  I   welcomed  a chance to  actually  hear some  of  the  Dictionary's  entries   sung  on  the stage of  the beautifully restored  Colonial Theater in Pittsfield -- for example:

The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye and it
looks like it’s climbin’ clear up to the sky

(And I) Sit by myself like a cobweb on a shelf

(I am) free as a breeze, free like a bird in the
woodland wild, free like a gypsy, free like a

And, of course there's this from Ado Annie's famous "I cain't Say No"

Watchagonna do when a feller gets flirty
An'wants to talk purty
Watcha gonna do?
So s'posing that he says
That your lips are like cherries, Or Roses or berries

Monday, July 1, 2013

Similes are part of James Goldman's verbal arsenal. in The Lion in Winter

James Goldman's  The Lion In Winter  about  a   squabbling  Medieval Royal family wasn't  a big hit on Broadway but it's been  a  crowd pleaser at regional  theaters  for many years.  It's   continued success  with audiences  can be attributed to  the playwright's   way  with  witty  dialogue--  so  it should come as  no surprise  that  it  includes its share of   clever tropes.   Here are two   that popped  out at me  when I attended  the production now at the Berkshire Theater Group in Stockbridge, Mass.

To  illustrate   the Royal  couples  acerbic  interchanges,  in  Henry,   himself a flagrant adulterer,  accuses  his  aging  wife  of  doing her share of  extra-marital  fornication:
I marvel at you:  after all  these years, still  like a democratic drawbridge, going down for everybody.  Picking up on the  drawbridge metaphor,  the Queen  wryly replies  At my age, there's not much traffic any more.

The queen also  comments  philosophically   about  their life:  Life, if it's like anything at all, is like an avalanche.  To blame the little ball of snow that starts it all, to say it is the cause, is just as true as it is meaningless.

Here's a link to   my review of  the Berkshire  Theater Group's  production  at its  Stockbridge: