Tag Archives: music

The Vic & Paul & Dana Show

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Mee-Ow Art JPEGMy wife Victoria and I have known Dana Olsen since our days at Northwestern University in the late 1970’s. Dana was a damned funny guy then – and he’s gotten even funnier over the years.

While Victoria and I worked on the stage and then in television, Dana focused on screenwriting. Among the many films he’s written are The Burbs, Memoirs of an Invisible Man and George of the Jungle.

Document6 JPEGVic and I have remained close with Dana since graduation – and in the past few years we’ve been performing together again. The last time was when we joined Dana and other friends for Mr. Olsen’s New Year’s Rockin’ Neighborhood on New Year’s Eve 2013 at 27 Live in Evanston, Illinois – the college town just north of Chicago where we all first met in 1976.

For the past several months, we’ve been getting together with Dana whenever he’s in town – or we’re in Chicago – to brainstorm and improvise comedy sketches (which is just about our very favorite thing to do in this world). And, golly, the world’s been giving us some great subject matter this year!

Steve & RonnyThen, two great musical friends agreed to join the party: our longtime Practical Theatre Company musical director and Whiskey Lounge impresario, Steve Rashid — and drummer Rockin’ Ronny Crawford, who’s hit the skins for Lisa Loeb, Anna Nalick and The Rockme Foundation, among many others.

VPD Poster #7 JPEGThus comes “The Vic & Paul & Dana Show” — an improv sketch revue featuring music, comedy and a few cocktails. Baby Boomers by birth, we’re all wading chest-deep through middle age. But blessedly, our sharp taste for humor and irony – and a neat Manhattan — has not been dulled. Our show is a toast to grown up fun amid the craziness of contemporary life.

“The Vic & Paul & Dana Show” will play for just three nights – from Thursday, November 19 to Saturday, November 21 at the iO West Theatre in Hollywood, CA. All shows at 7:30.

Come out, enjoy a beverage or two — and share some well-earned laughs with us.

Here’s a gallery of shots from our photo session with Bradford Rogne. (He’s really good, folks.)

Photo by Bradford Rogne Photography

Photo by Bradford Rogne Photography

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Eva sings “A Sunday Kind of Love”…

If you haven’t been to Steve Rashid’s “Live at the Whiskey Lounge” series at 27 Live in Evanston (just north of Chicago) — then you’re missing the opportunity to enjoy fine, soulful jazz like this. Our daughter Eva sang there on August 13 with Steve and some of our most talented musical friends. This is another selection from what turned out to be a most entertaining evening. Dig it.

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Eva B. Ross sings “Thou Swell”

Screen Shot 2015-06-29 at 11.20.17 PMCheck out my jazz-singing daughter, backed by the most swinging jazz cats on the North Side of Chicago!

And, hey North Siders! If you aren’t regulars every Thursday night at 27 Live on Church Street in Evanston for impresario Steve Rashid’s “Live at The Whiskey Lounge” series — this is just a small hint of what you’re missing.

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It Was 49 Years Ago Today…

Beatlesbanner1101934-004-CD2C8F59I was just a young, working class Cleveland boy — two months shy of my 6th birthday — and what happened on this day, 49 years ago, at 8:00 pm ET on Sunday February 9, 1964 became an unforgettable moment in my life.

2e76b29da002e58a18b357d85a67a91ae0a2392aOn that incredible, magical, epochal day, The Beatles – Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr — made their first live appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show in New York City. There were just three TV channels in those days – and most televisions in America had their rabbit ears tuned in to the Sunday night broadcast that marked the U.S. debut of the rock n’ roll band that would soon transform international pop culture.

Beatles_399x400Upon their arrival in New York and in the months to follow, I was besotted by The Beatles. My older brother Peter and I would hang out beneath our neighbor Dino Zaccardelli’s bedroom window on West 33rd Street, listening to the glorious, transformative album that Dino’s mom had just bought for him: Meet the Beatles.

I vividly remember how Peter and I listened to that thrilling album over and over, playing passionately along on badminton rackets posing as guitars. Unfortunately, we rocked out while standing on his older brother’s car – and that got is in trouble. (We left a lot of jubilant, rocking footprints on his hood and fenders.)

220px-IntroducingtheBeatlesAt the time, I had no clue that Meet the Beatles was actually the second Beatles’ album released in the United States. Ten days before the release of Meet the Beatles, Chicago’s Vee-Jay Records released the Beatles’ first U.S. album, Introducing…The Beatles.

As far as my brother Peter, Dino and I were concerned, Meet the Beatles was where it all began – and The Ed Sullivan Show on CBS 49 years ago was our introduction to full blown Beatlemania.

usa_meet-the-beatlesFrom those indelible days in February 1964, my life was changed in ways I am still learning to appreciate. To have grown up during Beatlemania is a formative, fundamental  blessing that subsequent generations cannot possibly understand or fully appreciate. (Because they take rock & roll for granted.)

My daughters learned to love The Beatles.

RR0910_603_lgBut I was grew up with The Beatles.

49 years ago – my brother Peter and I got lucky.

All us kids got lucky.

Yeah, yeah, yeah!

YEAH!

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More Thrills & Glory…

THRILLS & GLORY: THE BRIEF, BLESSED HISTORY OF THE PRACTICAL THEATRE CO.

Part Three: A Tale of Two Spaces

To read the latest chapter in my personal history of The Practical Theatre Company, click here.

After you’ve read our ancient history, you can check out video clips of far more recent PTC-style comedy if you click here.

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My YouTube Channel

It’s hard to believe that YouTube is barely 5 years old.

It should be obvious to anyone with access to electricity that since the debut of YouTube, popular culture has changed dramatically. Whether it’s a dancing cat, a woman getting hit in the face with a watermelon, an Indy band with a homemade music video, or a too-comfortable politician saying something off-color at a fundraising barbecue – YouTube can make the trivial, the talented, and the downright terrible alike nationally known within hours and days.

This revolutionary online video portal was the founded in 2005 by Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim – but it was Hurley who studied design at my mother’s alma mater, Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Chen and Karim were computer science geeks at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, or as we use to call it in Chicago, Champaign-Urbana.

YouTube’s early headquarters was housed above a pizzeria and Japanese restaurant in San Mateo, California and the first YouTube video was was uploaded on April 23, 2005. That first video, Me at the zoo, features founder Jawed Karim at the San Diego Zoo. You can still find it on YouTube.

Me at the zoo has scored 3,597,873 views.

Now, even a dinosaur like me is aware of YouTube. In fact, as you’ve seen if you’ve been following this blog since “The Vic & Paul Show” ran in June, I’m gradually getting the hang of how to use YouTube to post video clips and embed video on this blog.

And now I’ve figured out how to create my own YouTube channel. It wasn’t hard. The technology was right at my fingertips. But since nobody uses technical manuals anymore, you’ve just got to stumble around until you figure this stuff out.

My YouTube channel is currently a place where “The Vic & Paul Show” clips live, plus other video treats that will accumulate over time.

You can access Paul’s Channel at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/58pab

But if you’re looking for videos of dancing cats, don’t look here. Our noble beast Caliban just isn’t the dancing type.

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A Salute to Walter Cronkite

“And that’s the way it is.”

Those of us who are of a certain age remember the days when there were only three TV networks (and those two weird UHF channels) – and network news was the Big Deal every night. In those years, back when the network evening news was an important daily event, Walter Cronkite was the Big Man Behind the Anchor Desk.

Walter Cronkite, the anchorman of CBS Evening News, was the most trusted man in America. Seriously. He really was. And he deserved our trust. After all, it was Walter Cronkite who went to Vietnam and said, essentially, game over: we’re losing and we should get out. (Can you imagine Wolf Blitzer going out on that limb?)

So, what’s happened to TV news since the days of the legendary Walter Cronkite?

Here’s a musical reflection on the gradual ruin of television news from “The Vic & Paul Show”, written and performed by Paul Barrosse and Victoria Zielinski — with musical director Steve Rashid.

The show was directed by Shelly Goldstein and performed in June 2010 at Push Lounge in Woodland Hills, CA.

This is the final installment of clips from “The Vic & Paul Show” available for free on this blog and on YouTube. The entire show will be available very soon on DVD. If you’re interested in getting a copy of the DVD, let me know by e-mail or via comment to this blog entry.

I’ll send you a copy of the whole show for $5.00 – which should just about cover the cost. (It’s the cheapest, coolest, and funniest Christmas gift ever!) You can send me a check when you get the DVD.

And that’s the way it is…

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