Poised to maybe creep up on us is a new “Maude.” Forty years ago that was producer Norman Lear’s TV thing starring Bea Arthur. Brash, outspoken, big with feminists. Adrienne Barbeau plays Bea’s daughter Carol.
Adrienne: “I’d love to be the new Maude. I’m in a new movie ‘For the Love of Jessee’ playing an overbearing mother. And I do voiceovers from the house.
‘Maude’ was all about women’s rights. Seeing Gal Gadot in ‘Wonder Woman,’ I thought it’s an incredible moment to be a woman. Maybe I was an early one fighting the battles. But this is a good time.
“If not me as Maude, then Tracey Ullman comes to mind. I’m impressed with her work. Bea Arthur’s tough to follow, but Tracey could do it.”
Cue the trip on memory lane
Producer Jeff Richards is creative. Eight Tonys. Also he found a 1957 Cue magazine. Cost, 25 cents.
In those days, Broadway was it. A Lyceum seat started at $1.75. “My Fair Lady” was an expensive $2.30. Back when we jammed cinemas, Radio City advertised Gregory Peck and Lauren Bacall “in color.”
Boat to Statue of Liberty — 35 cents. Circle Line daylong schlep around NYC — $1.25. A kid could do the Empire State Building for half a buck. Hayden Planetarium was more reasonable — 40 cents. And before the Waldorf went classy, Sarah Vaughan and Count Basie did a 12:15 a.m. show.
The cover story was actor Burt Lancaster in “Sweet Smell of Success” playing “an unscrupulous New York columnist.” Of course there is, of course, no such, of course, thing. It was patterned after the late Daily Mirror’s late gossip specialist Walter Winchell, which makes me a little itchy since my late husband, comedian Joey Adams, was once Winchell’s brother-in-law.
TV. “The Lone Ranger.” Also civilization’s Energizer Bunny Betty White jazzing up whateverthehell was ABC’s “Date With the Angels.” Plus at 11:15, Ronald Reagan in 1949’s “Night Unto Night.”
In days you in the rumble seat of your Hupmobile could do Tavern on the Green, you could knock off a meal for 2 bucks — that high price was to stave off the riffraff. Ever popular West 44th China Bowl — $1.10. West 49th Chinese restaurant Q. Lung advertised “air conditioning.” And West 48th’s Hoy Yuen was “open till 5:30 a.m.”
Services like Telanswerphone would take your rotary dial phone messages 24/7. Their own phone number began with Murray Hill 7.
The USA allowed a thing called sports then, and a baseball game was 60 cents.
South Africa. Ambassador Lana Marks organized a call between two businessmen golfers DJT and President Ramaphosa, oversaw evacuating several cruise ships, arranged three jumbo jets for 900 US citizens (and three neighbor nations), plus commercial charters following a “hiccup” with those Washington booked, plus handled airline officials, an FAA-mandated crew rest, landing rights, laws on entry of foreign flight crews, pandemic restrictions, South African ministry legalities, international paperwork and saw everyone off at the airport.
Hail to Robo
Joe Robinowitz — we call him Joe Robo — has been managing editor at the Newzandar News since before Alexander Hamilton founded it. He once called Abraham Lincoln “kid.” He was in journalism before they printed the Gutenberg Bible.
We LOVE him. But he’s had enough rereading our copy, checking our syntax, sniffing our scoops and arguing with pains in the ass like me. He’s quitting. He needn’t. Nobody wants that. But he has enough money. He told me he and his wife plan — when permitted — to travel. I only need him to travel to any four-star restaurant of his choice — so I can buy dinner. I love him.
Joe Robo’s part of what makes us only in New York, kids, only in New York.