Friday, August 14, 2020

Tony Charmoli (1921-2020)

(Tony Charmoli, at Your Hit Parade rehearsal. Photo via Paul Manchester, from the Tony Charmoli archive)

I've written previously, in this space, about the well-known, critically-admired, and Emmy-honored television choreographer and director Tony Charmoli.

Paul Manchester, who edited and designed Mr. Charmoli's 2016 memoir, Stars in My Eyes, and who was friends with Mr. Charmoli for many years, announced earlier this week that Mr. Charmoli died on August 7th, at age 99.

On his Facebook page, Mr. Manchester shared the above photograph of Mr. Charmoli, from the period, in the early-to-mid-1950s, during which he staged and choreographed the NBC-TV program Your Hit Parade. (The photograph also appears in Stars in My Eyes.)

Here are two of the posts I'd previously written about Mr. Charmoli:

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

The virus

At the time of my July 13th post, which concerned COVID-19, the U.S. had reached 135,000 deaths from the virus.

Today, sixteen days later, the number of deaths in America passed 150,000.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

John Lewis

This is a 2007 portrait of Congressman Lewis--a brave, heroic man--who died on Friday, at age 80.

The photograph, by Eric Etheridge, is from Etheridge's 2008 book, Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders (New York: Atlas & Co. Publishers).

Monday, July 13, 2020

The President, and COVID-19

For some time, it is clear, President Trump has been pretty much done with COVID.

On June 17th, he said that the coronavirus was "dying out."

Nine days before, on June 8th, he said: "We may have some embers or some ashes, or we may have some flames coming, but we'll put them out.  We'll stomp them out.  We understand this now. We'll stomp them out and we'll stomp them out very, very powerfully."

On July 2nd--his impersonal locution, I think, was interesting; it was suggestive, perhaps, of his own remove from the issue--he said: "The crisis is being handled." 
Two days later, during a July 4th address, he sought to minimize the virus's severity.  He said that "we have tested over 40 million people. By so doing, we show cases, 99% of which are totally harmless."

My previous post was written June 22nd. At that time, more than 120,000 Americans had died as a result of the virus. 

As of today--three weeks later--there have been approximately 15,000 additional American deaths.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Our era

This has been a staggering, harrowing time.  

First, the cataclysm that is the pandemic.  Near the end of May, 100,000 Americans had died due to the virus.  Less than a month later, there have been more than 20,000 additional deaths.  By October, it is now estimated, more than 200,000 Americans will have died.

And then, on May 25th, there was the world-shifting death--hideous, chilling, and heartbreaking--of George Floyd. 

It is a time of enormous consequence--as regards the health catastrophe, and the issues of race, bigotry, inequity. Yet the President--a remarkably hollow man--has shown, routinely, that he is fully incapable of helping to heal the country.

Friday, June 19, 2020


Offering good wishes to everyone who is observing, and honoring, the Juneteenth holiday.