Hip to Be Square


by James  Tuttle

Gentle reader,

Okay, so don’t tell anyone, but I’ve been watching Smash on NBC from the very first episode.  That surprised me because I hate musicals, aside from Cabaret and Chicago, both of which are among my favorite films, but that’s because the songs are integral to the plot; they’re largely about singers and dancers.

Tyson Paige in Hipster-with-a trust-fund swimwear. (Ph: Steven Chee)

My Fair Lady gets a pass, too, because Audrey Hepburn was so beautiful and Cecil Beaton’s Ascot scene was so brilliant, but if I hear so much as the first two bars of “Seventy-six Trombones” or “The Surrey with the Fringe on Top” I will claw my way through the fucking wall to get out of there.

Tiny Dancers


By James Tuttle

Gentle reader,

As disturbing as it sounds, I finally decided to tune into Lifetime’s Dance Moms the other day and saw a bunch of little girls in red tracksuits chasing after a really big lady in a black schmatte.  It turns out that they are students of the Abby Lee Dance Studio attending a competition in Chicago and that big lady is their coach Abby Lee, who is extremely bossy and reminds me of a brunette Paula Deen with Kirsty Ally’s voice.  Oh, wait.  I guess that just means she reminds me of Kirsty Ally.  I’m confused now.  Fat people can do that to you.

Filip Jankovic found a way to spend less on clothes. (Ph: Rick Day)

After the little girls put on so much makeup they could easily work the corner of Santa Monica and Highland, they’re ready to dance.  First up is petite, pretty Maddy and she does an impressive job, but I’m confused by the mime action and the gymnastic back flips interspersed throughout the dance, like it’s a ballet and a floor routine at the same time.  Maybe it’s some new thing.  Her main competition is a little redheaded boy named Justice who looks like Little Orphan Annie.  Where’s the justice in that?  They’re followed by a trio of older girls from the studio in Rainbow Brite tube tops over black tutus who dance pretty well despite their horrid outfits.