I come to you from Russia with toothache. After a short cruise from Helsinki to Estonia via St Petersburg, I’m now in Tenerife and off back to the dentist. What was supposed to be a straightforward extraction (the upper ones are usually not too much trouble) turned into dry-socket (agony) which then got infected, then my sinuses got infected... twice, and now the remaining adjacent molar needs a filing. I should be sponsored by penicillin.
The soundtrack of our lives plays on even when we’re in the dentist’s chair. As a distraction from the extractions, scrapings and injections, I tried to decide on the most appropriate songs. ‘Under My Skin’ is an obvious one, then there’s ‘All of Me’ (why not take all of me?) and of course ‘Stayin’ Alive’ which always helps.
Hal Prince, the legendary theatre producer and director has died. The winner of a record 21 Tony Awards, he was instrumental in many Sondheim hits including Sweeney Todd, Follies and Company. He directed huge commercial successes like Evita and Phantom of the Opera but his unconventional methods also produced plenty of flops including A Doll’s Life which ran for only five performances. I met him in 1995 and found him likeable and remarkably down to earth.
This week’s Legends of Las Vegas ‘listen again’ features the life and music of Johnny Mathis. He could have been an Olympic athlete, but became a singer instead. Lucky us. It’s available from wherever you normally get your podcasts or click here to listen now.