Raymond Chandler, were he with us now, might well relish what will happen on TV tonight and then on Thursday night when the CBS hit situation comedy Two and a Half Men combines with the serious and very popular CSI brainchild of Jerry Bruckheimer.
Tonight's episode of Two and a Half Men will be a sequel to last week's show that gave us the marriage of two middle-aged romantics, Evelyn and Teddy, (Holland Taylor and R.J. Wagner). Meanwhile, the star of the show, Charlie Harper, played by Charlie Sheen, is having a secret sexy romp with Teddy's daughter, played by actress Jenny McCarthy. On Thursday, the CSI episode will be called "Two and a Half Deaths." Writers for the two shows simply switched places.
The actors all say the combo shows were "a gas" to make, with the sitcom people having fun playing the shadowy scenes, being accused of murder and facing those terrifying CSI investigations.
I believe this writer exchange is a first.
Went with my pal David Patrick Columbia of the Web site NewYorkSocialDiary.com to see the much-admired villain of The Matrix movies, that man among men, Laurence Fishburne, as he portrays the first black man ever to rise to the Supreme Court. Thurgood is a "don't miss" event, wherein Fishburne does 90 minutes of solo standup that is as riveting as anything ever seen on a stage.
One-person shows are sometimes tricky with fake phone calls, messengers delivering and other stuff to take the curse off the single star. But Fishburne doesn't need any help other than the script by the brilliant George Stevens Jr. (Mr. Stevens oversees the Kennedy Center honors in D.C. and has a long movie pedigree behind him. Now he becomes a distinguished playwright treating some of the most serious happenings in American history - race, the law, the court and the justices.)
I haven't been as thrilled by anything since I viewed all of Tom Hanks' production of John Adams and read David McCullough's books. This is American history as it should be received - vivid, funny, heartbreaking, deep, demanding and enlivened by a man able to personify youth to age without benefit of makeup. It's called - acting!
Thurgood is a limited engagement (into August) luring demanding audiences that really seem to appreciate its variables. Try to see this. You'll never regret it, and you'll have a bang-up time because Justice Marshall was a wild man, a very funny, woman-loving, whiskey-drinking, precise examiner of the U.S. Constitution. Watch him defy the racists, Ike, Nixon, LBJ and the time in which he rose to one of the greatest places in jurisprudence.
Good drinking water
Exhausting wonderful dancing in Cry-Baby - the Musical. A grand cast, fab costumes, great production wittily directed by Mark Brokaw with choreography by Tony-winner Rob Ashford. This is a "must-miss" for old fogies because it's over-the-top loud and gross. I am one of those O.F.'s, but I loved it. Like Hairspray, it's set in the '50s in Baltimore. And, say, Thurgood, too, is about a man from Baltimore. (Maybe there's something in the water in Maryland!)