10 Facts About “Summer and Smoke” by Tennessee Williams

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Geraldine Page backstage during the off-Broadway run of “Summer and Smoke”

1.  The play was originally produced on Broadway in 1948, where it had a disappointing run of 102 performances.  (Hey, that’s 102 more performances than anything I’ve ever written!)

2.  The play was more successful in a 1952 off-Broadway production which ran more than 350 performances; this production is often credited with starting the modern off-Broadway movement.  (For which I say, “Thank you very much.”) More


10 Facts About the Tin Man of Oz


1.  Although the movie The Wizard of Oz refers to him as the Tin Man, his official name (in the Oz book series) is the Tin Woodman. (Names are important, people!)

2.  Oh, and the Tin Woodman’s “real” name is Nick Chopper. More

10 Facts About (and Recipes Using) Pomegranates


1. Also called a Chinese apple, the pomegranate is a basically round fruit, usually of a deep red color, with a funny little crown at the top.  (All hail King Pomegranate!) (Want some roasted sweet potatoes with pomegranate glaze?  Go here.)

2.  Pomegranate means “seeded apple.”  (Hell, takes the poetry out of the name, that does.) (Try an eggplant-lentil stew with pomegranate molasses here.) More

10 Facts About Rhinoceroses


1.  The plural of rhinoceros can be either rhinoceroses, rhinoceri or simply rhinoceros.  (Pretty flexible for such a  big dude.)

2.  A rhinoceros is an “odd-toed ungulate’ (but you’re advised to not tell him that to his face.)  An ungulate, by the way, is a hoofed mammal.  I’ve been told I resemble a hoofed mammal when on the dance floor, but this post isn’t about me, is it? More

10 Facts About “The Mystery of Edwin Drood”


1.  It was written – or almost written – by Charles Dickens.  (The book was left uncompleted at the time of Dickens’ death.)

2.  Because it was unfinished, it’s not known who killed the title character – or, indeed, even if the title character has been killed or has merely disappeared.  (Whatever the case, he’s actually a pretty annoying guy.) More

10 Facts About Tarantulas


1.  Tarantula refers to any of a number of members of the Theraphosidae  family of spiders.

2.  They’re usually big and hairy and scary-looking. More

10 Facts About Black Friday

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1.  Nowadays, it often refers to the day after Thanksgiving, which is a huge day for shopping, both online and off.  (Why are you reading this when you could be shopping?!?)

2.  It’s also the name of a song from the 1975 Steely Dan album Katy Lied, in which the songwriter plans to “catch the grey men when they dive from the fourteenth floor.”  (Better use a big catcher’s mitt.  Grey men are hefty.) More

10 Facts About the Mayflower (And Its Passengers)


1.    The Mayflower was a three-masted ship, most likely between 90 and 110 feet long, that carried the people who came to be known a Pilgrims from England to Plymouth in 1620.

2.  The exact age of the ship is unknown, although it dates back to at least 1607; it was put out of service in 1622.  (Got a bit tired crossing that ocean.) More

10 Facts About DC Comics’ Black Canary


1.  The costumed crime fighter first appeared in Flash Comics #86 (August, 1947).  Like most other Golden Age DC Comics super-heroes, she was eventually shown to be a resident of the parallel Earth known as Earth-2.  (If you’re saying “What the heck is Earth-2 – welcome to the wild and wacky world of DC Comics!)

2.  Raven-haired florist Dinah Drake was the alter ego of the original blond wig-sporting Black Canary.  (Because blonds have more fun?) More

10 Facts About the Musical “Cabaret”


1.  The original Broadway production had its opening on November 20, 1966.  (Happy anniversary, y’know.)

Jill Haworth as Sally in the original Broadway production of “Cabaret”

2.  The original Broadway production ran an impressive 1,165 performances, but the 1998 revival ran an even-more-impressive 2,377. More

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