Midweek Madness

For Midweek Madness, another blast from the swingin' '60s

For Midweek Madness, another blast from the swingin' '60s

Your intrepid Midweek Madness provider is in New York City on a break for a couple days, feeling oh so cool (as one does here), which explains the choice of this ca-RAY-zee version of "The Lady is a Tramp" by Buddy Greco, trying his darnedest to be at his coolest. Don't miss the revised lyrics, which simply scream the '60s.  Read more ...

A Midweek Madness encore for the first week of summer

A Midweek Madness encore for the first week of summer

It was three years ago -- it only seems like 13 -- in June that I launched Midweek Madness, a good enough excuse to offer an encore of the inaugural posting and the perfect way to celebrate the first full week of summer.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness returns with a duet by Rosemary Clooney and Marlene Dietrich

Midweek Madness returns with a duet by Rosemary Clooney and Marlene Dietrich

Just when you thought you had endured the last of Midweek Madness, it's back. And, for no evident reason, it has decided to foist something truly mad on you -- "Dot's Nice, Donna Fight," sung by two great artists, Rosemary Clooney and Marlene Dietrich in the early 1950s.  Read more ...

(Belated) Midweek Madness celebrates the start of 'The Lusty Month of May'

(Belated) Midweek Madness celebrates the start of 'The Lusty Month of May'

Your beloved Midweek Madness featurette is a day late on purpose, so it could burst forth in rhapsodic song, with pastel lighting and silly choreography (not to mention thoughts "wholesome or un-") to mark the first day of "The Lusty Month of May."  Read more ...

Midweek Madness offers a rough salute to Mickey Rooney

Midweek Madness offers a rough salute to Mickey Rooney

The death of Mickey Rooney has your Midweek Madness provider feeling nostalgic -- and grateful that the late star left behind a fine enough overall body of work to make up for his hideous impersonation of a Japanese character in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (talk about mad).  Read more ...

Midweek Madness offers something marvelous by Noel Coward

Midweek Madness offers something marvelous by Noel Coward

Having had such a marvelous time the other night at "Brief Encounter," your Midweek Madness provider remains in a Noel Coward-y mood, which explains this clip of the divine Mr. Coward recounting a marvelous time of his own.  Read more ...

For Midweek Madness, a madcap whirl on the podium by soprano Diana Damrau

For Midweek Madness, a madcap whirl on the podium by soprano Diana Damrau

Midweek Madness returns to annoy the cybersphere once more. This time, I thought I would offer you a cheeky encore at a Vienna Philharmonic concert the other day at Carnegie Hall. Call it Midweek Madcap.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness welcomes 'The Book of Mormon' to Baltimore with a parody, of course

Midweek Madness welcomes 'The Book of Mormon' to Baltimore with a parody, of course

Now that "The Book of Mormon" has settled into Baltimore's Hippodrome, the folks behind Midweek Madness (OK, that's me) could not resist posting this droll parody of the show's opening number. Shalom.  Read more ...

For Midweek Madness, the vintage voice of Patricia ("Hyacinth Bucket") Routledge

For Midweek Madness, the vintage voice of Patricia ("Hyacinth Bucket") Routledge

OK, so the first thing you need to know about this Midweek Madness installment is that it isn't quite mad.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness tries to keep warm with steamy video of Miss Piggy, Rudolf Nureyev

Midweek Madness tries to keep warm with steamy video of Miss Piggy, Rudolf Nureyev

For fellow sufferers of polar vortexes (vortices?) -- and this winter really is getting to be a terrible bore, don't you think? -- Midweek Madness provides a steamy version of "Baby It's Cold Outside" to help you keep warm.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness offers a holiday gift suggestion

Midweek Madness offers a holiday gift suggestion

So many friends, so many gifts to buy. Such tsuris, this holiday business.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness captures essence of Thanksgiving with cheesecake

Midweek Madness captures essence of Thanksgiving with cheesecake

Midweek Madness says "Happy Thanksgiving, pilgrims."  Read more ...

Midweek Madness reaches back to classic comedy album

Midweek Madness reaches back to classic comedy album

OK, this Midweek Madness selection is ever so slightly politically incorrect, by 2013 standards. So sue me.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness takes a look at fabulous eyewear

Midweek Madness takes a look at fabulous eyewear

Yes, dear hearts, Midweek Madness is back after a hiatus. For no particular reason, other than a strange interest in vintage anything and a desire to perk up your day with something totally absurd, this week's selection is an eyewear fashion show that you have to see to believe. Even then, you may harbor doubts.  Read more ...

Celebrating Halloween with a taste of Marschner's opera 'Der Vampyr'

Celebrating Halloween with a taste of Marschner's opera 'Der Vampyr'

In lieu of my Wednesday Midweek Madness post, I figured I would wait a day so I could take note of Halloween. And what better way than with a little bite from Heinrich Marschner's "Der Vampyr"?  Read more ...

Midweek Madness get into World Series mode with Boston, St. Louis symphonies

Midweek Madness get into World Series mode with Boston, St. Louis symphonies

Midweek Madness, distraught over them O's (as we say in Baltimore), was prepared to forget all about the World Series, until this droll reminder from the brass players of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness revives classic non-hit 'The Robot'

Midweek Madness revives classic non-hit 'The Robot'

For no particular reason, except to add a bit of laughter to this sad, sorry world, Midweek Madness has gone back to the treasure trove known as Scopitones and resurrected a bizarre ditty from The Tornados called "The Robot." And you thought you knew how to throw a fun picnic.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness just can't get enough of the Weiner scandal

Midweek Madness just can't get enough of the Weiner scandal

OK, I know what you're thinking, enough already with the Anthony Weiner mess. But, hey, he was born to inspire Midweek Madness, which he has done again, just as he did last week. This time, Midweek Madness thanks the adorable Kristin Chenoweth for a fresh way to address the scandal.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness suggests theme song for Anthony Weiner campaign

Midweek Madness suggests theme song for Anthony Weiner campaign

Poor Anthony Weiner. Just when he thinks the coast is clear, along comes another, um, flash. He  needs a lift, surely.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness presents Russian conductor, gangnam-style

Midweek Madness presents Russian conductor, gangnam-style

For your Midweek Madness drollery: Yuri Simonov's ever so slightly animated conducting finds a perfect match with a gangnam soundtrack.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness takes note of momentous court decision

Midweek Madness takes note of momentous court decision

Midweek Madness could not help but notice today's big news from the Supreme Court, and could not resist a musical blast from the past that has lyrics about such things as "love" and "justice" and "freedom" -- but is also just ever so slightly campy (this is a Scopitone performance, and you know Scopitone is just another word for camp). On top of everything else, this clip provides an excuse to celebrate the divine Debbie Reynolds. What more could you ask from a single installment of Midweek Madness?  Read more ...

Belated Midweek Madness searches for classical music

Belated Midweek Madness searches for classical music

Midweek -- OK, End of Week -- Madness offers a quick spin through classical music, via Google autocomplete, via Classic FM in the UK, via Norman Lebrecht (whose blog alerted me to this crazy item in the first place).  Read more ...

Midweek Madness celebrates Wagner's 200th birthday, Part 3

Midweek Madness celebrates Wagner's 200th birthday, Part 3

No celebration of Wagner would be complete without a sampling of Anna Russell, the fabulous comedienne who invariably brought down the house with her analysis of the 'Ring.' Midweek Madness understands that you don't have time to wallow in silliness all day, so this is just a sample of Anna in action -- her incomparable description of 'Die Walkure.'  Read more ...

Midweek Madness celebrates Wagner's 200th birthday, Part 2

Midweek Madness celebrates Wagner's 200th birthday, Part 2

For this second Midweek Madness salute to Wagner's big 200, how about a nutty clip from an ever-so-forgotten film called "Hi Diddle Diddle"?  Read more ...

Midweek Madness celebrates Wagner's 200th birthday, Part 1

Midweek Madness celebrates Wagner's 200th birthday, Part 1

As you must know, May 22 is Richard Wagner's 200th birthday, and, as you must have guessed, Midweek Madness couldn't let that milestone go unturned. In fact, it will take at least three posts to do justice to this musical genius (and repugnant human specimen).  Read more ...

Midweek Madness has to salute 'Rite of Spring' centennial

Midweek Madness has to salute 'Rite of Spring' centennial

So OK, it is exactly 100 years since Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" was premiered in Paris, causing "The Riot of Spring" because so many people in the audience hated it. Since the anniversary date coincides, conveniently, with my Midweek Madness featurette, I had to find at least a slightly nutty way to mark the occasion.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness raises its mug to 'Carmina Burana'

Midweek Madness raises its mug to 'Carmina Burana'

The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra is trotting out "Carmina Burana" for its next program, excuse enough for Midweek Madness to hoist a few brewskis in the general direction of Carl Orff's indestructible cantata (not that Midweek Madness ever indulges in said beverage).  Read more ...

For Midweek Madness, a prelude to Mother's Day

For Midweek Madness, a prelude to Mother's Day

With Mother's Day approaching, that suggested a motherly, guilt trip-y theme for Midweek Madness. Here's the great comic duo Elaine May and Mike Nichols, presenting a classic case of a mother whose son never calls.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness remembers the late, great Deanna Durbin

Midweek Madness remembers the late, great Deanna Durbin

Sad to hear about Deanna Durbin's death this week at the age of 91. The Winnipeg-born Hollywood actress and singer was a terrific talent whose 1930s and '40s movies earned her enormous popularity (my late father was one of her biggest fans).  Read more ...

Midweek Madness takes a minute to salute Barbra Streisand's 71st birthday

Midweek Madness takes a minute to salute Barbra Streisand's 71st birthday

The happy convergence of Midweek Madness time with Barbra Streisand's 71st birthday means a little levity is in order.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness takes note of weird 'Heat Wave'

Midweek Madness takes note of weird 'Heat Wave'

Midweek Madness wonders, like the rest of you, what's up with this weird weather? In Baltimore, we're expecting 90 or thereabouts, and it's only the second week of April. Seems like a great excuse to drag out Irving Berlin's "Heat Wave." And this being Midweek Madness, that means a great excuse to find a delicious performance from the vaults of 1960s TV.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness finds Carol Burnett, Placido Domingo at the opera

Midweek Madness finds Carol Burnett, Placido Domingo at the opera

The middle of the week was so exciting that I forgot all about Midweek Madness, making your favorite blog featurette in all the world a wee bit late. Do forgive.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness looks at lost art of sex appeal, courtesy of Judy Garland

Midweek Madness looks at lost art of sex appeal, courtesy of Judy Garland

OK, Midweek Madness fans, I thought a little something related to Easter would be in order (I'll find something for Passover next year).  So here is one of the cutest 60 seconds or so in the delectable movie "Easter Parade" with Judy Garland and Fred Astaire.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness greets arrival of spring with a warning

Midweek Madness greets arrival of spring with a warning

I thought the first day of Spring would make a good occasion to mark the arrival of Midweek Madness on Artsmash. This featurette was such a keystone of my previous blog, Clef Notes and Drama Queens, that I had no choice but to bow to the total lack of popular demand and carry it over to this one.  Read more ...

Midweek Madness just can't get 'Downton Abbey' out of the mind

Midweek Madness just can't get 'Downton Abbey' out of the mind

With the season finale of "Downton Abbey" approaching on Sunday, I couldn't resist devoting one more Midweek Madness entry to the show -- the perfect addition to your paper doll collection.  Read more ...

A bit of stirring, if inarticulate, Beethoven for your Midweek Madness treat

A bit of stirring, if inarticulate, Beethoven for your Midweek Madness treat

The European Union has been in the news lately, especially with regard to the UK's continued participation, so I thought I would use this Midweek Madness installment to remind everyone of the joy of brotherhood. The Union happens to have an anthem that derives from the much-loved finale to Beethoven's noble, stirring Ninth Symphony, with its message of, well, the joy of brotherhood. How better, then, to underline the advantage of the UK remaining in the harmonious association of nations than a performance of that anthem by the eminent British baritone "Robert Bennington," even if he has a wee bit of trouble with the words:    Read more ...

Midweek Madness feels the pain of cold-sufferers

Midweek Madness feels the pain of cold-sufferers

Having succumbed at long last to a winter cold, I felt I would dedicate this Midweek Madness installment to my fellow sufferers. I suggest we all sing through our pain, with the help of Betty Boop and that profound ditty "I Got a Cold in My Nose." (Her performance makes me want to dig out "Funny Lady" again to hear Streisand's fun version.)  Read more ...

Midweek Madness peers into 'Uptown Downstairs Abbey'

Midweek Madness peers into 'Uptown Downstairs Abbey'

OK, I admit it. While the rest of the civilized world was glued to the Super Bowl, the TV in our house was emanating the glow of period drama -- the irresistible "Downton Abbey" on PBS. (I still think the Most Valuable Player Sunday night was Mrs. Hughes, the housekeeper who managed to tackle sexism, anti-Catholicism and smug-ism all in one fabulous game.) For the benefit of those who have not yet caught onto the Downton phenomenon -- and even more for the benefit of those who have -- Midweek Madness offers this unique introduction/recap/documentary:  Read more ...