Bits and Pieces: Belated Headlines

One unfortunate result of reducing my frequency of blog posts a few months ago was that my "evergreen" story ideas piled up, some of them becoming quite dated and proving not to be so evergreen after all.  Before they become outright ancient, here's a brief rundown of headlines I had in mind to write about at length, but now will salvage as nothing more than brief nuggets.

1.  Billy Joel Sells Out in a Good Way -- The "piano man" proved that Madison Square Garden struck gold by signing him to become the New York City arena's first music franchise.  Fans quickly bought all the tickets for his monthly concerts throughout the year. As of this writing, the earliest you could get tix is for the December show, and those are going fast. I've always enjoyed his music and it's great to see that I'm not alone in admiring his talent.

2. Oz on Stage and Screen -- Everybody seems to be hopping on L. Frank Baum's public domain bandwagon, making adaptations of the fantasy land where Dorothy, Toto, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, the Wizard, and the Wicked Witch had their classic adventures.  In addition to all the projects I mentioned in my essay "Neverending Oz," we also saw ABC's Once Upon a Time take a turn over the rainbow, and on the big screen we have an animated movie coming up called Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return.  On the stage, 59E59 Theaters had a wonderfully inventive version of the tale, The Woods Man, told through puppetry and song.

3.  Keeping Up with the Film Festivals -- So many film festivals, so little time.  I was going to write about the notable films that screened at the South By Southwest festival in Austin, Texas (better known by its shorthand SXSW) -- like Jason Bateman's Bad Words, the crowd-funded Veronica Mars, Robert Duvall's A Night in Old Mexico, and Neighbors, starring Zac Efron and Seth Rogen. But SXSW came and went, and then the Tribeca Film Festival was upon us and I was going to share my thoughts on some of the movies screening here in my city's very own cinema fest -- movies like Match, starring Patrick Stewart; Miss Meadows, starring Katie Holmes; Third Person, starring Liam Neeson; Just Before I Go, Courteney Cox's directorial debut; Boulevard, starring Robin Williams; Champs, a documentary about Mike Tyson, Evander Holyfield, and Bernard Hopkins; Jon Favreau's Chef; and When the Garden Was Eden, a documentary about the New York Knicks glory days, directed by Michael Rapaport. Maybe there's time for me to do as roundup of movies at the Cannes Film Festival.

4.  100 Reasons to Like The 100 -- Okay, I'm kidding, that was never going to be a headline. Still, the CW's new science fiction show has some redeeming qualities and I'm actually enjoying it. It has its ridiculous moments, but some fun sci-fi concepts are buried in there too.

5.  Revisiting the Serial Killer Trend -- Finally, I wanted to discuss once again the over-use of gore in horror and the seemingly unending, over-the-top serial killer trend in popular fiction. Maybe I'm just the squeamish type, but shows like The Following freak me out.  I'm conflicted, at the same time enjoying the creative storytelling while also wondering if all this death and violence is therapeutic for our society or just damaging our psyches even further.

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