Wednesday Wordplay – Plato and stealth calling

Inspirational Quotes

 

Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes.
            — Benjamin Disraeli

A preoccupation with the future not only prevents us from seeing the present as it is but often prompts us to rearrange the past.
            — Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State of Mind, 1954

 

    
Friendship with oneself is all-important, because without it one cannot be friends with anyone else in the world.
            — Eleanor Roosevelt
eleanor

True friends are those who really know you but love you anyway.
         
  — Edna Buchanan

Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don’t.
          
Pete Seeger

I would be the most content if my children grew up to be the kind of people who think decorating consists mostly of building enough bookshelves.
            — Anna Quindlen

It’s odd that you can get so anesthetized by your own pain or your own problem that you don’t quite fully share the hell of someone close to you.
            — Lady Bird Johnson

If we attend continually and promptly to the little that we can do, we shall ere long be surprised to find how little remains that we cannot do.
            — Samuel Butler

 

Albert-Einstein-1 Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler.
  
         — Albert Einstein, (attributed)

Never discourage anyone…who continually makes progress, no matter how slow.
         
  — Plato

Famous I don’t know about. It’s hard to be famous and alive. I just want to play music every day and hear someone say, ‘Thanks, that was great, here’s some money, same time tomorrow, okay?’
            — Terry Pratchett, Soul Music, page 151

Words calculated to catch everyone may catch no one.
           
Adlai E. Stevenson Jr., Dem Convention Speech ,Chicago, July 21, 1952

There is nothing sadder in this world than the waste of human potential. The purpose of evolution is to raise us out of the mud, not have us grovelling in it.
            — Diane Frolov and Andrew Schneider, Northern Exposure, Cicely, 1992

Some things you do because you want to. Some things you do because of the needs of others in your family.
            — Real Live Preacher, Real Live Preacher weblog, 10-06-05

 


 

Urban Dictionary

Stealth-call

When you have to call someone back but don’t want to talk to them, so you wait until you know they can’t talk and leave a voice mail.

"I don’t want to tell Karen I can’t make it tonight, so I’ll Stealth-call her when she’s on her flight and has her phone shut off."

 


Synonyms

 

NOTE: Recently, for a writing assignment, I looked up “hodgepodge” in my thesaurus, and was amazed at how many synonyms were listed; some of which sound rather silly/fun (omnium-gatherum?).  Here you go:

Synonyms for “hodgepodge”

Oddments, odds and ends, mishmash, omnium-gatherum, ragbag, farrago, hotchpotch, melange, mingle-mangle, olio, imbroglio, gallimaufry, salmagundi

 


 The Evolution of Language

 

“Loan translation”

Languages often borrow only the idea from a different language and translate a word literally. English “skyscraper” becomes rascacielos (literally scrape-skies) in Spanish, gratte-ciel in French, Wolkenkratzer in German, and so on. This process of borrowing is called loan translation or calque (from French calquer: to trace or copy).

German “Gedankenexperiment” becomes "thought experiment" in English through loan translation. French “marché aux puces” gets translated as flea market. The term loan translation itself is a loan translation of German “Lehnübersetzung.”

      

REVIEW: My Brother’s Keeper (Black Ensemble Theater)

BET’s talented tappers pay tribute to the legendary Nicholas Brothers

 

My Brother's Keeper - CAST

 
Black Ensemble Theater, Uptown, presents
 
My Brother’s Keeper: The Story of the Nicholas Brothers
 
By Rueben D. Echoles
Directed by
Jackie Taylor
BE Theater, 4520 N. Beacon
(map)
Through May 16 (more info)
 
Reviewed by Leah A. Zeldes

The Nicholas Brothers were, if not the best known, simply the best dance team of the 20th century. With astonishing splits, seemingly effortless leaps and fabulous footwork, the brothers tapped their way through scores of famous nightclubs, a half dozen motion pictures and performances before nine presidents of the United States s Keeper - Jessica Moore, Kylah Frye, Carrieand several crowned heads of Europe, in a career that spanned nearly seven decades.

Black Ensemble Theater’s world premiere biographical tribute, My Brother’s Keeper, follows the company’s familiar documentary/revue style, tracing the brothers from childhood to death with a straightforward narrative penned by Rueben D. Echoles.

What it lacks in dramatic tension and stirring dialogue, the show more than makes up for in beautifully executed music and dance numbers, arranged by Thomas ‘Tom Tom 84’ Washington and choreographed by Echoles. Drummer and Musical Director Robert Reddrick leads a swinging eight-piece jazz band, featuring Washington on horns, Mark Moultrup on keyboards, Herb Walker on guitar, Tracey Anita Baker on bass, Bill McFarland on trombone, Hank Ford on sax and Paul Howard on trumpet.

Echoles’ choreography streamlines famous Nicholas Brothers routines, including a brief homage to the legendary leapfrogging, stair-step splits from the 1943 film Stormy Weather. The buttery-voiced Rashawn Thompson and elastic Echoles portray Fayard and Harold Nicholas with huge talent on all levels — as actors, singers and dancers. You rarely see performances like this nowadays. While they aren’t the incomparable Nicholas Brothers — no one could be — they give us as close a re-creation as you’re likely to see.

s Keeper - Ruben Echoles, Kylah Frye, RaShawn Thompson s Keeper - RaShawn Thompson, Ruben Echoles 2
My Brother's Keeper - Dawn Mitchell My Brother's Keeper - RaShawn Thompson My Brother's Keeper - Melanie McCullough

The sons of drummer and band leader Ulysses Nicholas (a sensitive performance by Donald Barnes) and his pianist wife, Viola (sweetly played by Dawn Bless), the Nicholas boys grew up in the wings of the vaudeville stage where their parents performed, watching the likes of singers such as Big Maybelle (as whom Rhonda Preston provides a twanging solo) and dancers including Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robinson. Young Fayard is fascinated by the hoofers and soon begins choreographing his own routines. When his younger sister, Dorothy (Shakila), refuses to practice with him anymore, he turns to their little brother, who turns out to have more than what it takes.

s Keeper - Kylah Frye, RaShawn Thompson The boys became dedicated to each other and to their art, and began a professional dancing career in the 1930s, when Fayard was 18 and his younger brother 11. They continued performing together till Harold’s death in 2000.

Tapped by Duke Ellington to perform at Harlem’s legendary Cotton Club, the brothers were the first black performers to be allowed to mingle with club’s all-white audiences. They also got a helping hand from bandleader Cab Calloway (some nice jiving from Daryl Brooks).

Through their tremendous talent, the brothers broke other color barriers, and had an enormously successful career that took them to Hollywood and overseas. Their personal lives were stormy, however. Fayard’s marriage fell apart when his wife (Melanie McCullough) tired of playing second fiddle to his brother, his dancing and — not mentioned in this show — his philandering. Harold married actress Dorothy Dandridge (an evocative performance by Kylah Williams), but the marriage, troubled from the outset, foundered after their daughter was born with brain damage.

The cast also feature the talents of Allison McCorkle,Carrie, Jessica Moore, Christopher Kudiacz, Cory Wright and Michael Bartlett who ably impersonates Bojangles Robinson and Michael Jackson.

My Brother’s Keeper provides a wonderful look back at what entertainment used to be.

 
Rating: ★★★★
 

 

 

The Nicholas Brothers with Cab Calloway in Stormy Weather, 1943 

 

The Nicholas Brothers with Michael Jackson and the Jackson Five, 1977