Advertisements

Mr. Selfridge, Season 3, Ep. 6

SPOILER ALERT

A lot happened this week!

I can’t believe they killed off Doris! Was this necessary? She’s been off screen for two years, married to an ungrateful whiner. They bring her back and reveal that an indiscretion with a school friend, has resulted in her first son and a lie to her husband Mr. Groves.

Doris confided in Miss Mardle, who was involved with Mr Groves before Doris came into the picture. Miss Mardle suggested Doris talk with this friend and let him see his son. Now what will happen? Yes, killing Doris in a car accident opens up a lot of possibilities with the story, but she doesn’t have to resolve this with Mr. Groves. He can now whine some more and perhaps get back with Josie, a.k.a Miss Mardle. I’d hope she doesn’t fall back in with Groves. She’d have to quit her job, which is fine for the right man, to take care of his brood, which doesn’t seem her strong suit. I think she’d go crazy at home, taking care of small children.

This week against Mr. Crabb’s advice, Harry sells some of his shares in the store so he can build a number of homes for WWI veterans. Now he doesn’t have a majority stake (as was the case with the real Harry). Nancy’s conning Harry and stringing him along. So he’s going to lose big soon. The Nancy story isn’t recounted in Lindy Woodhead’s Shopping, Seduction, & Mr Selfridge so I don’t think it’s historical. It is suspenseful, but I’d like to see Harry less of a victim. The season began with Rose’s funeral, now this? I know the real Mr Selfridge wound up penniless, but I wish they’d postpone that. I do hope Nancy and her partner get their just desserts, i.e. jail time. I wish Mama Selfridge would look into Nancy Webb through the store’s information bureau.

Gordon hired, Pierre Longchamp to replace Henri. (I do miss Henri and Agnes. Again, I think they could have enriched the story by staying.) Longchamp’s arrogant and individualistic. He’s quite creative, but doesn’t think how his ideas and lack of communication impact the store. Gordon made a major faux pas by approving Pierre’s window display. It was to include something French. Rather than seeming out of it and asking for particulars, the newly promoted and very green, Gordon gave Pierre carte blanche. Little did he know he was approving a window featuring women in their undies. Quite a scandal for the era! Mr. Groves saw the trouble brewing and gleefully waited for disaster. Yet it was averted as the striking window brought in the crowds.

Pierre seems less refined and far more arrogant and immature than Henri, or anyone who should run this department. He’ll bring more trouble to Selfridge’s I fear. In this episode he just annoyed me, though his tree display was clever.

Despite her father telling her to stay out of trouble and avoid Victor, defiant Violette can’t help but rebel. When she spoke of not having a purpose, Harry did convince her to help Nancy with the homes for veterans. At first she wanted to do something administrative, but Nancy wants no one looking too closely at this con so she had Violette organize a charity dance, which was a big success. As the party round down Violette slipped off to see Victor, but was turned away at the door. She doesn’t seem like a woman who takes no for an answer though. I do wonder what’ll happen when Violette discovers Nancy’s a con artist. I’d like to see her take on Nancy. It’d be a good way for Violette to come into her own and not be a rich, bratty vixen. She was such a quiet girl in the previous seasons.

Victor might as well join the mafia. He’s continuing on the slippery slope with his night club. So much for the Italian restaurant he was going to start last year. Now for him to open he has to pay the dirty cop three times what was asked earlier. Rather than going out of business, he agrees to let Mike Reagan open a gambling den in the back. George is shocked when he finds out. I think he should go back to work for Harry since Victor’s place is sure to be raided again.

Advertisements

Sepia Saturday

2015.02W.47

It’s time for another Sepia Saturday post. This week’s prompt had me searching Flickr Commons for photos of parades way back when.

Virginia militia parade 1920s

Virginia militia parade 1920s

Sufferage Parade

Sufferage Parade, 1913

London, after WWI, 1918

London, after WWI, 1918

Finally, here’s a video of the pet parade my brother’s town has held since the 1950s.

If you want to see what other bloggers have posted, click here.

Sepia Saturday

2015.01W-63

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt featured buses and transportation as a theme. If you think about it, it’s amazing all the various conveyances used to help us get around. Here’s a few I found on Flickr Commons.

4669580487_8a3d7a9b9d_z

Washington State, woman driver, no date

Traffic, London 1927, London Transport Museum

Traffic, London 1927, London Transport Museum

from Florida Memory, 1922

from Florida Memory, 1922

Chicago Theater Tour

DSCN2439

It’s Theater Week in Chicago, which means discounts for theater events. I took advantage of the discounts and went on a tour of the Chicago Theater. I’d never been inside before and wasn’t prepared for it to be so palatial. Designed by the Rapp brothers and opened in 1921, the French Baroque theater awes.

DSCN2457

Our guide was informative and upbeat making for a fun experience. He clearly loves this landmark. We learned all about the building, which was run by the Balaban & Katz group (who started in show biz by showing films for a nickel in the back of their parents’ grocery store). The Balaban & Katz group spent $4 million on construction. When it opened, a nickel got you the right to stay all day — from 10 am to 10 pm and to watch the show consisting of two films, a concert and vaudeville, over and over again. Originally, there was no food available in the theater and restrooms were hidden, not for patrons’ use. If you left the theater, you’d have to buy another ticket to get back in. Evening tickets cost 25¢. This theater was pioneered the use of air conditioning, which the owners falsely claimed brought purified mountain air into the theater, which would benefit patrons’ health.

In the 50s, theater attendance slid and the new owners decide to modernize the theater. Essentially, they got rid of all the elegance and panache. That didn’t get the desired increase in ticket sales. The owners let the theater to go pot and by the 1970s there were rats scurrying through the lower seats. The theater was sold and scheduled to be demolished and replaced by another office building. People protested and the mayor canceled the building permits. Thankfully, rather than getting demolished, a committee formed and with the city had it restored to its original glory. The Chicago Theater reopened in 1986 with a Frank Sinatra concert.

I won’t share each fact I learned during the hour tour, but I will share some of the celebrity scuttlebutt. Different celebrities request different amenities when they perform and some won’t go on if their requests (demands?) weren’t met. For example, Jerry Seinfeld requires a bowl of green M&M’s and has years before you could order specialized M & M’s. The reason for the bowl of green M & M’s was that, Jerry could arrive, see the green M & M’s and know that the theater had read the contract and did everything he stipulated.

Katy Perry insists upon 10 white couches, Beyouncé specifies black carpeting back stage and Mariah Carey asked for a kitten to play with. (After her concert, the Humane Society got the kitten back and sold it as “Mariah’s kitten.”)

Since John Mellencamp’s crew was setting up we couldn’t go on the stage or take photos of it, but we did get to see them setting up.

All in all, the Chicago Theater tour is well worth taking, especially on days when the weather’s bad and an architecture tour isn’t appealing.

Sepia Saturday

2015.01W-42

Source: Flickr Commons, Univ. of Illinois

Source: Flickr Commons, Univ. of Illinois

Source: Flickr Commons, Library of Congress, 1893

Source: Flickr Commons, Library of Congress, 1893

Source: Flickr Commons, National Library of Ireland

Source: Flickr Commons, National Library of Ireland

This week’s Sepia Saturday prompt made me think of pottery, one of my great loves. The top two images I’ve chosen have illustrations, which I think connect them with their eras in a particular way.

If you want to see more Sepia Saturday interpretations, click here .

Sepia Saturday

2014.12W.40

This week’s prompt is court-related. Judges, lawyers, and trials come to mind. Here’s what I found from Flickr Commons.

2967602339_6915774ae3_z

John Marshall portrait, National Gallery

John Marshall was the fourth and longest serving Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Under the 34-year leadership of Chief Justice John Marshall, the Supreme Court of the United States transformed itself from a minor court of legal issues into a powerful third branch of government. Marshall infused his court with the power to declare laws of the federal government unconstitutional and to declare that state laws violated the federal constitution. Further, Marshall provided the Supreme Court and the new republic a vision of the nature of the Union–a nation powerful enough to act but not so powerful as to smother the states. Marshall’s “judicial nationalism” became a beacon of unity in the United States before the Civil War. Most important, John Marshall defended and fulfilled the constitutional goals of a strong federal judiciary and a Supreme Court equal to the president and Congress in prestige, influence, and power ” (Historic  World Leaders, 1994).

Below are two very serious judicious photos from Canadian Archives found in Flickr Commons:
Judges - First Appellate Division

9210508586_e9273355f2_z

Reference

“John Marshall.” Historic World Leaders. Gale, 1994. Biography in Context. Web. 17 Jan. 2015.

Sepia Saturday

2014.11W.11

This week’s prompt inspired me to look for vintage Macy’s Thanksgiving’s Day Parade photos. The parade began in 1924 and features lots of huge balloons of popular characters. Here’s some from the 1930’s.

 

Vintage Macys Parade 13

macy's old

mickey

1937 macys

super man

Which one is your favorite?

eBook: Ragged Dick

Screen Shot 2014-10-25 at 10.57.22 AM

I’ve adapted the Horatio Alger, Jr. novel, Ragged Dick for English language learners. You can get it for just 99¢ on Amazon.com. The story’s got humor, history and adventure.

Sepia Saturday

2014.09W.11

The photo of two men goofing around in front of a stagecoach is this week’s prompt for Sepia Saturday. I went to the Library of Congress and found a series of staged photos of a stage coach robbery. I envision a good movie sparked by them. The photos were taken in 1911 by Ed Tangen.

Source: Library of Congress

Source: Library of Congress


“Hands up!”

Source: Library of Congress

Source: Library of Congress

Source: Library of Congress

Source: Library of Congress

The Jungle

Friday I saw a marvelous play adapted from Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle. Staged by the Oracle Theater, a cast of about a dozen actors brought the meat packing industry and Chicago slums to life. While The Jungle’s most known for exposing the terrors of the food industry, the book and the play both reveal how immigrants were swindled through bad real estate brokers and others trying to make a quick buck.

How on earth would you depict the slaughter of cows in a tiny theater? Or a big one for that matter. The Oracle did this with amazing creativity using large rolls of butcher paper, ink and woodblocks to imprint the cows before the audience. The paper also served as a screen to project the waves of Lake Michigan or a canvas for painting the bars of a prison.

The show offers much more than ingenious stagecraft. Every performer gave a compelling performance which featured lots of singing.

As if a good play isn’t enough, the price is outstanding. The play was free. The Oracle Theater models its finance on public radio where subscribers donate what they can on a monthly basis. If you can’t pay, that’s fine as The Oracle wants everyone to be able to see a good play.

I do hope they succeed and are around for years to come.

Tickets are available at publicaccesstheatre.org. Street parking is readily available.

Previous Older Entries Next Newer Entries

Disclaimer

Dear Fellows, The State Department has requested that any Fellows who maintain their own blog or website please post the following disclaimer on your site: "This website is not an official U.S. Department of State website. The views and information presented are the English Language Fellows' own and do not represent the English Language Fellow Program or the U.S. Department of State." We appreciate your cooperation. Site Meter
%d bloggers like this: