Thursday, July 31, 2014

This Day in Pop Culture: July 31

"The Shadow" first broadcast was on July 31, 1930
‘The Shadow’ makes His First Appearance on Radio

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!" was the opening line to The Shadow radio program spoken by actor Frank Readick Jr. The Shadow was a collection of serialized dramas originally published as pulp novels. On this day in 1930, the Shadow aired his first radio show,  which was followed by a magazine series, comic books,  comic strips, television, serials, video games, and at least five motion pictures. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

'An Evening of One Acts': Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad

"An Evening of One Acts" at the ACT Theatre
Eric Ray Anderson, Chris Ensweiler and Jessica Skerritt star in
"Riverside Drive," the best of the "Evening of One Acts."
(Photo: Chris Bennion)
Seattle’s A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) has brought together an ambitious project for this summer, by bringing together three one act plays from three of Hollywood’s greats: Steve Martin, Woody Allen and Sam Shepard. “An Evening of One Acts” is a trio of comedy short stories with one being excellent, another terrible and the third is “just okay,” but hey, two out of ain’t bad. This isn’t to say that the actors are not doing their jobs, they are. All of the actors involved (Jessica Skerritt, Eric Ray Anderson, Quinn Armstrong, Chris Ensweiler, David Foubert and Hana Lass) are all excellent in their roles and go for broke during their performances. Some will disagree, but it is the writing of the third story that is the main problem with the performance. But first, let’s talk about the good.

Video of the Day: LEGO Car

No really, it's a car made entirely out of LEGOs and runs on air! Cool stuff!

This Day in Pop Culture: July 30, 1932

Walt Disney's "Flowers and Trees" was the first color cartoon
‘Flowers and Trees’ is Released

Walt Disney’s first colored cartoon, Flowers and Trees, was released on this day in 1932. It is important because it was the first commercially released film to be produced using the full color, three-strip Technicolor process after several years of two-color Technicolor films. Disney already had the short in production as another black-and-white release, but scrapped it and started again from the beginning. It won the first Academy Award for Animated Short Subjects. Ironically, Mickey Mouse and friends did well enough on their own to be seen in black-and-white and there they remained until 1935’s The Band Concert.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

This Day in Pop Culture: July 29, 1981

Prince Charles and Diana were wed on July 29, 1981
Charles and Di Get Married

The wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Lady Diana Spencer took place on this day in 1981 at St Paul's Cathedral in London. The spectacle created a media frenzy calling the event the "Wedding of the Century". Hundreds of items were created with the pair’s smiling faces. Approximately 3,500 people attended the wedding in person while another 750 million watched from their TVs. Many in America attended viewing parties during the middle of the night. Sadly, the couple separated in 1992 and later divorced in 1996. Charles and Di’s son, Prince William married Catherine Middleton on April 29, 2011 and the couple appears to be living a happier life than they did.

This Day in Pop Culture: July 28, 1951

Walt Disney's "Alice in Wonderland" was released on July 28, 1951
Disney’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is Released

Walt Disney's 13th animated film, Alice in Wonderland was released in U.S. theaters on this day in 1951. The film was not a huge success, but the film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Scoring of a Musical Picture and remains quite popular with Disney fans. This might have to do with the characterizations of the story’s team players rather than the story since the movie’s storyline is fairly faithful to the Lewis Carroll’s original, but it is unlike any other Disney movie then and now. Disney himself felt that the film had “no heart.” Ironically, the studio released a live-action adaptation of the story with Johnny Depp in 2010. The sequel, Through the Looking Glass, has been planned to release in 2016.