TV & Radio
As the 12th inductee in the Postal Service's Legends of Hollywood series, Judy Garland is considered by many to be one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century. An all-around performer, she acted with equal effectiveness in comedy or drama, sang a varied repertoire with unparalleled skill, and partnered with the leading male dancers of her time, Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire among them. Her show business colleagues have been nearly unanimous in their praise of Garland's natural brilliance - indeed, she was a "star of stars."
Garland triumphed in most media of her era. She appeared in 32 feature films, winning international fame as Dorothy, the girl who rides a tornado from her home in Kansas to an imaginary land in the 1939 musical The Wizard of Oz. She also was a best-selling recording artist who released more than a dozen albums and nearly 100 singles and made hundreds of radio broadcasts. She starred in her own television show and made guest appearances on many others. Her live performances, widely regarded as her supreme showcase, frequently broke box office records for theaters, concert halls, and nightclubs.
Garland's extraordinary talent was honed from an early age. She was born Frances Ethel Gumm, June 10, 1922, in Grand Rapids, MN, where her father, Frank, managed a theater, and her mother, Ethel, played the piano. The family was musical: Frank and his wife billed themselves as Jack and Virginia Lee, Sweet Southern Singers, and their three daughters performed as The Gumm Sisters. Frances made her professional debut at the age of two, on December 26, 1924, first singing with her two older sisters, Mary Jane and Virginia, and then delighting the audience with a solo rendition of "Jingle Bells." A laudatory review in a local newspaper noted that "the two oldest girls are becoming accomplished entertainers, while the work of Frances, the two-year-old baby, was a genuine surprise."
In 1926, the family moved to California, settling in Lancaster (north of Los Angeles) in 1927. In her new home, "Baby" Gumm, as she was known, continued to receive glowing reviews. As a student at Lawlor's Hollywood Professional School, where she was enrolled by her mother, Frances first met Mickey Rooney, also a student. They first shared the bill at a Lawlor recital in 1933.
The Gumm Sisters renamed themselves The Garland Sisters in 1934 at the suggestion of entertainer George Jessel, headliner at Chicago's Oriental Theatre when the girls played there that year. Frances soon began to be called "Judy," a name she chose after hearing it in a song, and was signed in 1935 to a contract with MGM. She made her network radio debut shortly thereafter
It took some time to find an appropriate property for the precociously talented girl who sang with the voice of a woman, but within four years MGM had made Garland a star. When the box office records for 1939 were posted, two Garland movies, The Wizard of Oz and Babes in Arms, were on the list of top 10 pictures. In 1940, Garland won a special Academy Award "for her outstanding performance as a screen juvenile during the past year" and one of the songs she sang in the Wizard of Oz, "Over the Rainbow," won the Oscar for "best song."
The movie, For Me and My Gal (1942), in which Garland co-starred with Gene Kelly, set box office records and received rave reviews. Garland had an even bigger hit with Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), in which she sang "The Trolley Song" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas." She played her first dramatic role in The Clock, released the following year.
Garland vividly conveyed a range of emotions when performing, and was felt by many who saw her in concert to erase the line between popular and high art. She won a special Tony Award for her storied run at New York's Palace Theater beginning in 1951, and frequently moved audiences to tears.
Garland received an Academy Award nomination as "best actress" for her role in A Star Is Born, the 1954 film in which she sang another of her signature songs, "The Man That Got Away." She received another Academy Award nomination for her supporting role in the drama Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), in which she played a German matron.
In April of 1961, Garland gave a concert in New York City at Carnegie Hall that immediately became a show business legend. The recording of that celebrated performance topped sales lists for 13 weeks. "Judy at Carnegie Hall" won five Grammy Awards in 1962, including those for "album of the year" and for "best female vocal performance."
A television special, "The Judy Garland Show," featuring Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, was broadcast in 1962 and garnered several Emmy nominations. The following year, Garland began work on her own series for the CBS television network.
In addition to her many professional achievements, Garland was also the mother of three accomplished children: Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft, and Joe Luft.
After her death on June 22, 1969, Judy Garland was lauded around the world for enriching the lives of her legion of fans. Many celebrated contemporary entertainers, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, and Bette Midler among them, have hailed Garland as an inspiration and influence.
Update: U.S. Postal Service to Celebrate Life and Legacy of Judy Garland Through Music and a New Postage Stamp
WASHINGTON, June 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by the U.S. Postal Service:
WHAT: On what would have been her 84th birthday, the U.S. Postal
Service honors legendary entertainer Judy Garland with a 39-
cent First-Class commemorative postage stamp. The stamp will
debut only in New York on June 10. It will be available
nationwide June 11.
WHO: Lorna Luft, Daughter of Judy Garland, professional singer
Joe Luft, Son of Judy Garland
Liza Minnelli, Daughter of Judy Garland (via video)
Robert Osborne, film historian, host of TV's Turner Classic
Michael Feinstein, Professional singer and pianist
Rufus Wainwright, Singer, songwriter, and performer
Jane Powell, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer actress and colleague of
Dick Cavett, television host, moderator, and author
Terrance McNally, American Playwright
Diane Schuur, acclaimed jazz singer
Anita Bizzotto, USPS Chief Marketing Officer and Executive
WHEN: June 10, 2006
The event is free and open to the public. Tickets will be
available at the Carnegie Hall box office beginning at 5 p.m.
WHERE: Carnegie Hall (Zankel Hall)
57th Street & 7th Avenue
New York, NY 10019-3210
BACKGROUND: The 39-cent Judy Garland stamp is the 12th in the "Legends of
Hollywood" series, and the first in the program to be debuted
outside of California. Art director Ethel Kessler designed
the stamp using a portrait of Garland by Brooklyn artist Tim
O'Brien, based on a publicity photo for A Star Is Born.
Garland's signature appears at the bottom of the stamp, and
the photo on the selvage shows her in her signature role as
Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.
Carnegie Hall was the venue for Garland's legendary 1961
concert, heralded as "the greatest night in show business
In Japan, theater by women, for women
by Kaori Kaneko
Fri Jun 9, 1:11 PM ET
Japan's traditional kabuki theater is a man's world, with male actors even in the roles of women. But there is also a passionate flip side: the Takarazuka Revue -- a troupe by women, for women.
The rigorously trained company, which has performed for nearly a century starring young single women, has drawn generations of devoted, yet decidedly mild-mannered, fans.
Hisako Fujimatsu, a 35-year-old office worker, has been going to see the Takarazuka since her grandmother took her to one of their plays at the age of three. She has already booked tickets for several performances this year.
"Actresses playing male roles are attractive in a different way than real men," she said.
"They are gentle, stylish, beautiful and broad-minded. Above all, it is good that they exist only in a dream world on the stage."
In a rigid training regiment akin to kabuki -- which has banned women from acting since the 17th century -- only graduates of the Takarazuka Music School are allowed to take to the stage.
They study for two years between ages 15 and 18, with about 50 girls entering annually.
Their careers at the Revue can be short-lived, as they must quit if they marry, although some go on to lucrative television and film positions.
The troupe, with a theater in Tokyo and several others in western Japan, has some 470 performers, divided into five troupes under the names Flower, Moon, Snow, Star and Cosmos.
Takarazura's motto is, "Modesty, Fairness and Grace".
"In Japan, we have the kabuki culture in which men play women's roles. The Takarazuka are the opposite. Actresses play the parts of the men of women's dreams. And the audience is fascinated," said top young actress Yuri Shirahane.
Shirahane dressed in pannier-style dress with tiara and feather in her hair as an 18th-century princess to play the leading role in the company's most loved production, "The Rose of Versailles", a Japanese take on Marie-Antoinette.
Since it was first adapted into a musical comedy in 1974, "The Rose of Versailles" has drawn more than four million Japanese -- mostly affluent middle-aged women and their daughters.
Among them was Shirahane herself, who saw the pageantry of the Takarazuka's play on television as a girl.
Based on a cult manga first published in 1972, "The Rose of Versailles" ("Berusaiyu no bara") relates the tale of France's opulent final queen from a female perspective. It features a fictional Lady Oscar-Francois de Jarjayes, who is raised as a boy and disguises herself as a man to guard the Austrian-born princess.
The play was a turning point for Takarazuka Revue by bringing gender-bending roles to center-stage, said Atsuro Kawauchi, a theater critic and professor at Shukugawa Gakuin College.
"Takarazuka used to play typical love stories attracting both male and female theater goers," Kawauchi said.
"But the themes of their plays have changed since 'The Rose of Versailles' which offered the audience not just a love story but also comradeship and women's self-empowerment," he said.
"Takarazuka also attracted those female comic fans," Kawauchi said.
Takarazuka Revue, established by Ichizo Kobayashi, who was a founder of the Hankyu Corporation of railways, first performed in 1914. It is named after the troupe's birthplace in Takarazuka, a small spa town in the western Japanese prefecture of Hyogo.
The all-women phenomenon has a special appeal, according to critic Akira Izumo.
"Japanese female fans of the Takarazuka's male role actresses probably feel close to the performers as they are also women," Izumo said.
"But the Takarazuka's success also owes to the success in creating stars through 'The Rose of Versailles'," he added.
Shinji Ueda, 73, legendary director of the Revue, who has written dozens of scripts for Takarazuka in the past fifty years, says performers have moved with the times.
"The change is rapid. Since abundant information has become available all over the world, the actresses clearly know what is good or bad and which role will bring benefit for them," he said.
"Ten, 20 years ago, they were simply working hard in practicing their art because there was not much news around," he added.
The actresses in the coveted roles are celebrities for the hundreds of fans who waited outside the Tokyo Takarazuka Theater when "The Rose of Versailles" ended for the night.
The fan club members lined up in rows as they watched the actresses leave, and wore scarves, jackets and other mementoes of the performers they were supporting.
In a tacit rule, the fans never scream or get carried away with emotion. Instead, they quietly take photos or hand letters or presents to the actresses.
Many of the fans include mothers heading to the theater with their daughters, building the next generation of Takarazuka fans.
"Male role performers are attractive because they come off as beautiful men while being sexually neutral," said Kayoko Uchida, a 53-year-old mother who came out of the theater with her daughter Chiaki.
For Chiaki, the theater has an air of fantasy.
"The perfomers' luxurious costumes and the stage set are like a dream world and I can be in it by watching the play," Chiaki said.
Student born male, registered as female
Thursday, Jun 08, 2006,Page 17
Students walk to school in Tokyo.
A Japanese school board has allowed a child who is biologically a boy to register as a girl in what transgender activists hailed as a breakthrough.
The seven-year-old was diagnosed a year ago with gender identity disorder and has been admitted to school as a girl, said Yukihiro Okano, deputy superintendent of education in Hyogo.
"The child is very small now. We will deal with the case at various phases of growth to meet the person's needs," Okano told a news conference.
The parents of the student had asked the school to admit the student as a girl, because their child has always behaved as a female.
The school has not seen any trouble related to the student, Okano added.
The case is groundbreaking in Japan, where it can be difficult to get public understanding on the issue, said Ran Yamamoto, who heads an organization supporting people with gender identity disorder.
"The local community and her parents appear to have been very considerate of the needs of the child. That is very fortunate," Yamamoto said.
The student should receive continued counseling, she added.
"It would be wonderful if those concerned could create a situation in which the person would be able to express her true self," she said.
In July 2004, Japan introduced a new law for transsexuals that has allowed hundreds of people to register under a different sex after they have had sex- change operations.
The law was meant to end embarrassment and discrimination against Japanese who have changed sex. Under old laws, they had to present birth records that showed them to be of a different gender when they tried to get jobs or housing. (AFP)
Today's Word 今日單字
毎日新聞 2006年6月9日 東京夕刊「キャンパる」
毎日新聞 2006年6月9日 東京夕刊
（スポーツ報知） - 6月10日8時1分更新
ＳＨＡＺＮＡは１９９７年に大ヒットした「Ｍｅｌｔｙ Ｌｏｖｅ」でメジャーデビュー。ビジュアルの強烈なインパクトを武器に、その後も「すみれ Ｓｅｐｔｅｍｂｅｒ Ｌｏｖｅ」などヒット曲を生み出したが、００年１０月のツアーを最後に活動を休止した。
活動再開第１弾イベントとして、９月５日には東京・渋谷ｄｕｏ ＭＵＳＩＣ ＥＸＣＨＡＮＧＥで復活ライブを開催。来春にはシングルの発売も予定。ＩＺＡＭは「まだデモを作っている段階。懐かしさと、やっぱりＳＨＡＺＮＡを愛しているなと感じる」と、再始動に向けて、気持ちを高ぶらせている。
（スポーツ報知） - 6月10日8時1分更新
（スポーツ報知） - 6月10日8時1分更新
プルートで朝食を （英）愛を求める女装癖の男 (読売 2006/06/09)
Her name is Kitten and she's fond of fake fur - C. Murphy makes his mark in 'Pluto'
Channel News Asia
Entertainment News »
Time is GMT + 8 hours
Posted: 09 June 2006 1459 hrs
Woman, man and vice versa
By Felix Chong, TODAY
When even a Hollywood teen flick gets into it, you know it's finally gone mainstream. Big time.
In fact, it's turning up so regularly these days that you might be tempted to call it a renaissance.
We're talking about cross-dressing.
Whether it's boys in drag or girls passing off as boys, dressing up as the opposite sex has suddenly found new faithfuls in pop culture and the arts.
A case in point: She's the Man.
Adapted from Shakespeare's classic Twelfth Night, the film centres on a high school tomboy (Amanda Bynes) who's so determined to play soccer that she masquerades as her non-identical twin brother.
There's also the Hong Kong-Singapore co-production, We Are Family, which has Cantopop veteran Alan Tam playing multiple roles, including a grandmother.
Both feel-good comedies come hot on the heels of other gender-benders this year.
There was Martin Lawrence as an FBI agent going undercover and oversized as a nanny in Big Momma's House 2.
There was The Producers, Mel Brooks' politically-incorrect musical that had a transvestite stage director among its eclectic cast.
On the local theatre scene, we've seen not one, but several productions hamming it up.
For instance, in February, Action Theatre staged Confessions of 300 Unmarried Men, a mixed bag of short plays that had actors like Benjamin Ng made up to look like geishas and Vietnamese brides.
Two months later, Wild Rice staged The Magic Fundoshi, a saucy farce directed by Glen Goei and featuring actors such as Hossan Leong decked out in kimono.
Come July, you can expect to see Taiwanese pop idol Fei Xiang piling on the lipstick and eye shadow as the androgynous master of ceremonies in the Toy Factory Theatre Ensemble musical, Cabaret.
And let's not forget the evergreen motor-mouth Kumar, who still shoots from the hip with his risque jokes — while done up in a feather boa and full finery — during his stand-up routine at the Gold Dust club.
A new trend? No, not really.
From Jack Neo's TV personae as Liang Po Po and Liang Simei in the 1990s to films such as The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) and He's a Woman, She's a Man (1994), cross-dressing has always been played strictly for laughs.
It's all got to do with the nudge-nudge wink-wink incongruity of not believing what we're seeing.
And the madcap shenanigans that result from this identity crisis.
It's also about subverting gender stereotypes, a theme which more high-minded films like Tootsie (1982), starring Dustin Hoffman as a down-and-out actor who impersonates a woman in order to land a role, try to explore.
Similarly, Chinese-American playwright David Hwang's M Butterfly (1988), based on a real incident involving a male Chinese spy in drag who seduced a French diplomat, blows the cover on the borderline between appearance and reality.
But there's also a darker, psychological issue which cross-dressing scripts tend to gloss over: Gender identity disorder.
It's a condition in which a person feels he or she was born with the wrong sex and is trapped in the wrong body.
A recent case in south-western Japan highlights this issue.
A seven-year-old boy, diagnosed with gender identity disorder, was allowed to enroll as a girl at an elementary school.
He dresses like a girl, uses the girls' bathroom and, for all intents and purposes, is treated like one.
But such social acceptance is rare for transsexuals, who are often ostracised because they don't conform to norms and expectations.
And typically, one in 30,000 adult males and one in 100,000 adult females eventually seek sex-reassignment surgery.
Recent films and plays try to acknowledge, however tacitly, the cross-dresser's pain.
A poignant example is Beautiful Boxer (2003), director Ekachai Uekrongtham's biopic about Thai transsexual kickboxing champion Nong Toom, who punches his way out of poverty and prejudice.
And of course, the most celebrated of the crop is Transamerica.
Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman pulls off a Golden Globe-winning performance as a man desperate for a sex-change.
But before he can fully cope with being a woman, he has to deal with his past as a man and as a father.
So while clothes maketh the man, they can also betray the woman inside the man. - TODAY/sh