Friday, December 28, 2012

Friday Night Videos: Chicken Ranch edition

Last week I reported that Larry L. King had passed away, the legendary Texas writer who penned the Playboy article that later became the Broadway hit, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. In one of those sad cosmic coincidences, Charles Durning, who portrayed the sidestepping Texas governor in the film version of the Broadway musical, died this past week at the age of 89.

Durning's career is too vast and varied to go into here, and his life outside of acting is fascinating, indeed. But in getting back to The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, I feel compelled to point out that Durning, performing the scathingly funny political satire "The Sidestep" in the august halls of the state capitol building, provided one of the few bright moments in an otherwise disappointing film. For anyone who has seen the live play, the reason is obvious--"The Sidestep" is one of the few elements of the musical that the filmmakers didn't dramatically alter in some fashion. Apart from the changing locations and special effects, what you see on the screen is pretty close to what you'd see on stage. That's pretty telling.

And yes, I like to think that somewhere, Durning is giving Dolph Briscoe pointers on a few dance moves while Larry King and Edna Milton watch with amusement.

Previously on Friday Night Videos... Eartha Kitt.

Now Playing: Amy Winehouse Back to Black
Chicken Ranch Central

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