Thursday, December 23, 2010

.......And they say death comes in threes........

My grammatically-challenged pen pal from Long Island was the first to tip me to the news of the passing of radio & television announcer Fred Foy. Curiously, he gave Mr. Foy a little more credit for time spent, as he claimed Foy was 90. In fact, Foy was 89. Foy is known to most of us as the announcer, both on radio & television of The Lone Ranger for much of its run. As I noted in an earlier post, actor Gerald Mohr was also an announcer on the show. Later on, Foy was the announcer for Dick Cavett's ABC late-night talk show.

Earlier this week, we said goodbye to actor Steve Landesberg, whose portrayal of brainy-to-an-extreme Det. Arthur Dietrich on Barney Miller may well have been a forerunner to John Ratzenberger's similarly over-intellectual Cliff Clavin on Cheers. Landesberg succumbed to cancer at 65. Landesberg had enjoyed a career comeback, largely in films such as "Forgetting Sarah Marshall", over the last few years.

Finally, this one's more figurative than literal. The New York State Theatre Institute, which has presented productions in Russia over the years, was shut down on Wednesday, but while the press will have you believe the final curtain has rung----and the cavalier attitude of Larry Schwartz, an aide to outgoing Gov. David Paterson in criticizing NYSTI's current boss, David Bunce, was no help----there is always the possibility that NYSTI could return once Andrew Cuomo is sworn in as Governor on January 1. NYSTI, founded in 1974, has called the Schact Fine Arts Center at Russell Sage College home for the last few years, after spending their first few years across the river at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center. I've had the privelege of attending a number of NYSTI productions over the years, the last being "King Island Christmas" last year, and I for one am disappointed by the Paterson administration's unwillingness to support NYSTI. Its impact on the arts at home and abroad has been immeasurable. You'll forgive me for the obvious pun, but for Gov. Paterson to turn a blind eye to NYSTI is inexcusable. Never mind the behind-the-scenes corruption that soiled NYSTI's reputation earlier this year and led to its demise (for now). While there will still be theatre productions in the upstate NY area, NYSTI to me is, and may always be, the gold standard.

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