Thursday, October 23, 2008

Jonesing for Some Joans

I love this ad I found. Click on photo for large version. Joan will personally sign your check. I'm hoping that somewhere a rabid fan decided not to cash in her $10 and it is now a beloved family memento. And what a contest: Just tell Joan what you think of her personality and ways to improve her screen work. I'm sure many a scream was heard in the Hollywood Hills the night Joan and her staff read the responses. The biggest Joan fan I know is David Cerda. He's written many a nice thing about me on his Hell in a Handbag blog; so I thought I'd gush about him for a while. I've known David for only a couple years, but we've had mutual friends for a long time. But it wasn't until I started this blog that we found out we had so many common interests.

David is the artistic director for Hell in Handbag Productions. Handbag and their troupe are a fabulous and fantastic group of people who have put on some of the best satirical comedies I've ever seen. I was introduced to them for the first time when I went to see their production of Poseidon: The Musical. Years ago, I dabbled in writing a musical parody production of Psycho (videos coming soon); After seeing Poseidon I remarked that it was exactly what I was striving to achieve with my musical and failed. Great songs, amazing cast, and at the heart of it a feeling that they really loved the original material. It was a tribute and not a cardboard cut out.

Over the years I've been amazed again and again. Never more so when I saw their production of The Birds. On top of it being very funny, it was also a thoughtful insight into Tippi Hedren's experience making the film. The night I saw it Tippi was there and did a short cameo where she talks to her on-stage persona. Other troupes might have exploited the moment; but this was touching as the real Tippi told her younger self that things would get better. David is, as Joan might have said herself, "One hell of a writer".

But where David really shines is on stage and recently along with running the company he is currently starring in Haywire. A homage to Joan's later horror classics Straight Jacket and Berserk. It runs through November 15th. Go see it! I've not seen it yet, so I can't gush about it.

And if that isn't enough Joan to put in your shopping basket, David is also the front man (woman) for a Joan Crawford Rock and Roll band called The Joans. Originally started as a one shot band thing for Gary's Flesh Hungry Dog Show; It was such a big hit that every since they have been performing all over Chicago. They were recently asked to play at the Folsom Fair in San Francisco! (Favorite blogger Aaron is their drummer and blogs about their trip HERE.) Their songs of course are all about Joan Crawford.

I don't know how David has the energy to do all this. I swear I can barely clean my bathroom when people come over for movie night. But I'm glad he does. He's truly one of the people in Chicago who makes it worth being here. However, I'm sure that David would like you to tell him frankly in your own language just what you think of his personality suggesting if you wish ways he may improve his work. I'm sure he'll even send you a personal check if he likes your answer.

The Joans


Aaron said...

Thanks Johnny! We think you're one of the people that makes it worth being here also...I always enjoy reading your blog, and it's always fun seeing you out at the Flesh Hungry Dog shows too!

David said...

Mr. Conners, the feeling is totally 1 billion percent mutual. said...

I'm really upset that I missed the Joan Blondell contest. Oh, well.