Monday, October 22, 2007

1st\NW Quadrant 10/29 '07

The Approval Matrix: Week of October 29, 2007

Brian Stokes Mitchell

A venerable charity celebrated its 125th anniversary by inviting its president up onstage to sing a few songs. That could have been a recipe for a not-so-enchanting evening. But the Actors Fund is a unique organization, headed by the uniquely talented Brian Stokes Mitchell. The resulting evening at Carnegie Hall was a superb and memorable one.

Mitchell took control of the fabled stage with the enthusiasm of a kid in a candy store. It's no secret that he sings better than just about any leading man of today; put him out in front of an audience with a good song, and nobody on Broadway can top him. (Variety)

Mitchell won a Tony Award for Best Leading Actor in a Musical in 2000 for "Kiss Me, Kate." (Wikipedia) (Picture courtesy of Variety)

Colorado Rockies in
World Series

When the Colorado Rockies woke up on the morning of Sept. 16 and looked at the National League wild-card standings, they trailed wild-card leader San Diego by 4½ games, and Philadelphia and the L.A. Dodgers each by three games. Plus, the Rockies were in the midst of a three-game losing streak in which they'd been outscored 29-12.

In other words, the Rockies were an afterthought, a playoff contender mathematically, but not realistically. Only a streak of historic proportions could propel them into the postseason.

Today, the Rockies are, unbelievably, the National League champions as winners of 21 of 22 games -- not only getting to the playoffs with a 14-1 run but also sweeping Philadelphia and Arizona in the first two rounds to join the 1976 Cincinnati Reds -- more famously known as "The Big Red Machine" -- as the only teams to win the first seven games of any postseason. (ESPN)

Imus Returns

Drudge Report Exclusive - In a dramatic and dazzling career rebound, controversial radio host Don Imus has secured a deal returning him to the airwaves on December 3 -- this time on the nation's most listened to talk station, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned!

"Imus In The Morning" will make a high-impact resurrection on WABC in New York City, top sources reveal.

"We'll have him on a standard 40-second delay," a studio source explains. "Don is rested, humbled, and ready for war!"

Specific terms of the deal will not be released, but the host, who was fired by CBS and MSNBC after making disparaging comments about the Rutgers women's basketball team, has inked a eight-figure, multiyear contract with WABC parent company, CITADEL BROADCASTING.

But who will his GUESTS be?

Arthritic Cane Toads

Researchers have found that the cane toad, one of the most invasive species anywhere, is paying a price for conquering northern Australia. The toads are growing so big and hopping so rapidly into new territory that they are developing severe arthritis.

Cane toads, which are toxic to snakes and other animals that try to eat them, were introduced in Australia in the 1930s in an effort to control insects in sugar cane fields. (NY Times)

Clay Aiken as Sir Robin

From "American Idol" to Eric Idle's "Spamalot." Clay Aiken will join the Broadway cast of "Monty Python's Spamalot" on Jan. 18, playing one of the leads, Sir Robin, in the Tony Award-winning musical directed by Mike Nichols. "I really couldn't have asked for a more wonderful group of people to work with," said Aiken, who became a recording and concert star after his appearances on the TV series "American Idol." (Huffington Post)

Sir Robin is a purported Knight, noted for his extreme cowardice, of the Round Table whose standard is that of a chicken. He is known for having "nearly fought the dragon of Angnor", for having "nearly stood up to the vicious chicken of Bristol" and for having "personally wet himself at the Battle of Badon Hill." (Wikipedia)

Pundits (Dowd) Down with Colbert

Neal at fishbowlNY posted, "Was this Sunday's [October 14, 2007] Maureen Dowd op-ed written by "Stephen Colbert" real? A genius pisstake? Who cares anyway."

Maureen Dowd wrote in her Op-Ed piece, "I was in my office, writing a column on the injustice of relative marginal tax rates for hedge fund managers, when I saw Stephen Colbert on TV."

"I called Colbert with a dare: if he thought it was so easy to be a Times Op-Ed pundit, he should try it. He came right over. In a moment of weakness, I had staged a coup d’moi. I just hope he leaves at some point. He’s typing and drinking and threatening to “shave Paul Krugman with a broken bottle.”

"Colbert" wrote in his Op-Ed piece, "Surprised to see my byline here, aren’t you? I would be too, if I read The New York Times. But I don’t. So I’ll just have to take your word that this was published. Frankly, I prefer emoticons to the written word, and if you disagree :(""I’d like to thank Maureen Dowd for permitting/begging me to write her column today. As I type this, she’s watching from an overstuffed divan, petting her prize Abyssinian and sipping a Dirty Cosmotinijito."

The entire Op-Ed pieces can be read here.

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