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Click the links for David Lefkowitz’s oeuvre, which he hopes you’ll loeuvre.

FEATURE STORIES:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/feature-stories/

INTERVIEWS & PROFILES
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/feature-stories/interviews-profiles/

PLAYS: Full Length:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/full-length-plays/

PLAYS: One-Acts:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/one-act-plays/

POEMS: Humorous:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/poems-humorous/

SCREENPLAYS:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/screenplays/

SONGS:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/songs-by-david-lefkowitz/

TABLE OF CONTENTS:
http://wp.me/pzvIo-ac

THEATER REVIEWS:
https://davelefkowitzwriting.wordpress.com/category/theater-reviews/

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SCREENPLAYS

BOOKWORM! (short horror-comedy, 1988)
(co-written with Al Hunter)
https://wp.me/pzvIo-FQ

EXTRA (short comedy, 1987)
(conceived by Zvi Arav, based on a short story by Ephraim Kishon)
https://wp.me/pzvIo-Gf

THE SECOND COMING OF MICHAEL ZIVITZ (screenplay treatment, dark comedy, 1983)
https://wp.me/pzvIo-KZ

SEPARATING (short drama, 1983)
(adapted from John Updike short story)
https://wp.me/pzvIo-Lp

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INDEX – Poems – Humorous

3 TERROR-DACTYLS & A CLERIHEW

(four short and silly verses in dactyl form, 1986)

https://wp.me/pzvIo-HF

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SONGS

by David Lefkowitz

Below please find a list of many of my songs — funny, serious, satirical, dark — with links to their lyrics on this website. Many of these songs were performed on my radio program, Dave’s Gone By, or may be heard on my youtube channel.
For more information, including rights and permissions, please contact me at davesgoneby_at_aol.com.

All songs (c) by David Lefkowitz, unless otherwise noted.

*

ALEPH BAIS (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6b
(a fat-free parody tune from a Rabbi’s perspective when he teaches Bar Mitzvah bochers their Haftorah portions)

ALMOST A SONNET (1981): http://wp.me/pzvIo-O
(a lightly serious love song with a nod to the bard)

AMAGANSETT PRINCESS (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-T
(a fairly serious song about a girl looking for all the wrong things in all the wrong ways)

ANAL DREIDEL (2007, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3y
(Thanks to a new medical procedure, Rabbi Sol Solomon discovers a new toy…and talent)

THE ANSWERS TO BLOWING IN THE WIND (1980): https://wp.me/pzvIo-eJ
(Who said the questions had to be rhetorical?)

THE ANTLERS ARE BLOWING IN THE WIND (aka “Moose You Around”) (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-2g
(An absurdly romantic waltz)

AR-15 (2018): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gh
(Yet another real-life psychopath turning a school into a mausoleum)

AROUND THE OOSTERHUIS (2017): https://wp.me/pzvIo-vI
<em(What else is there to do in an oyster house except run around it?)

BACH PRELUDE #1 IN F.U. MAJOR: https://wp.me/pzvIo-fn
(A goofy plateful of hateful)

BAD, BAD MAN (2017): https://wp.me/pzvIo-eD
(Yet another sociopath doing satistic things, parodically)

THE BAGEL BOAT SONG (1985, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-13
(A “Banana Boat Song” parody, kosher-style, which was performed in the stage play, Shalom Dammit! An Evening with Rabbi Sol Solomon)

THE BALLAD OF PETE TOWNSHEND (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3A
(A tune penned when The Who balladeer was having legal troubles with the interwebs)

THE BALLAD OF TEENY PEENIE (1985, co=author: Scott Rodolitz): http://wp.me/pzvIo-16
(A silly song. Infantile even)

BAXTER HOLVOE’S VOLVO SONG (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8v
(A creepily comic ballad for a sociopathic seducer. Ah, love!)

BEFORE THE GOLDRUSH (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-19
(A semi-serious song about the way rock bands rise and crash.)

BEN GAZZARA (1994): http://wp.me/pzvIo-2d
(A deeply earnest lament about missing this fine actor — written many years before he’d actually died)

BETTER DO IT NOW (1984, auths: Scott Rodolitz, Jay Auerfeld, and Kevin Gerber): http://wp.me/pzvIo-9t
(Wish I’d written this catchy, sharp song about Long Island life, but I didn’t. My bandmates did.)

BRUNO (1981): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gL
(Carey may get out his cane, but Bruno breaks out objects on a whole other level)

CAPTAIN LIFLANDER’S MADRIGAL (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3C
(A satirical tune about American exceptionalism and weaponry)

CAUGHT (w.t.c.o.h.c.) (1986): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1f
(A thoroughly reprehensible comic song about a young girl’s evening proclivities)

CHANUKAH WISHES (2008): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3E
(A comic song about a Jewish boy’s true hopes for the Chanukah holiday)

CHERRY ON TOP (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1k
(A satirical tune mocking 1980s Long Island youth culture, such as it was)

COMING AND GOING (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1q
(A downright depressing song about friendship and betrayal)

COMMUTED SENTENCE (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-e2
(A serious number about the, um, joys of commuting to and from NYC

CONSTIPATED (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6T
(A parody song about a poor woman whose stones aren’t rolling)

COVER’D WITH CRAP (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3G
(A comical and aptly disgusting sea shanty)

CRACK OF A WHITE MAN’S ASS (1992): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8t
(A song as anatomical as it is comical)

CRAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN (2008): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3I
(A song parody penned in the midst of the recession)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1u
(A song parody of Joe Cuba’s “Bang Bang” featuring a very bad mother)

DAMN SCHOOL, APPROXIMATELY (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-er
(A Dylan song parody knocking and mocking the education system

A DAY IN THE LIFE (OF A PSYCHOPATH) (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-fC
(I wrote about a sociopath today, oh boy)

DAYENU (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-46
(A Passover parody song that thanks God for…well, something)

DEAD AIR (1985, co-author: Scott Rodolitz): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1A
(A fairly serious tune about the ills of American radio)

DEAD BLOWFISH (2015): http://wp.me/pzvIo-49
(A parody of “Dead Puppies” dedicated, with apologies, to Miley Cyrus’s departed pet)

DEEP IN THE HEART OF DALLAS (2016): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4d
(In response to the Black Lives Matter movement, a darkly satirical song parody of “Deep in the Heart of Texas”)

A DINGO ATE MY BABY (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3t
(A darkly comical number, to be bellowed in a thick Aussie accent)

DO THE ONION (2008): http://wp.me/pzvIo-9f
(A slow, gloomy dance for people who have no interest in dancing)

DO THE PHOENIX (1994): http://wp.me/pzvIo-2j
(A darkly satirical song instructing lucky teens on how they can die just like River Phoenix)

DON’T MESS WITH US (2003, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4h
(A plucky tune, loosely based on an old Yiddish melody, about Jews’ resiliency)

DON’T THINK TWICE, JUST GO (2009): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4m
(A song parody of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright,” dedicated to GWB)

DOUBLE HERNIA (HERNIA BOTH SIDES) (1980): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gT
(With apologies to David Bowie and my intestines)

DRINK TILL I’M DRUNK (2010): https://wp.me/pzvIo-fg
(A jolly Irish song about Irish activities)

ELEPHANT WOMAN WANT GO HOME (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8H
(An a cappella, call-and-response tune perfect for hauling…stuff)

ENEMA BLUES (1978): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5o
(A happily Elvis-ish tune about going with the flow)

EVERY DAY ON THE 5:09 (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1N
(A fairly serious song about enduring life on the Long Island Rail Road)

FLOWERS WEREN’T MEANT TO LAST (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4p
(The plaintive complaint of a singer-songwriter)

FRONTAL LOBOTOMY BLUES (1979 co-author: Scott Rodolitz, revised 2006): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1J
(With apologies to “Mannish Boy,” a sick tune about a sick tot)

FUN IN THE KITCHEN (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5r
(A sick calypso ditty that will not be a hit with PETA)

(I’M HAVING A) GAY CHRISTMAS (2004, co-author: Peter Fitzgerald): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4u
(A pervy nod to alternative holiday celebrations)

GO CIALIS (2014): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4A
(To the tune of “White Rabbit,” this pharmaceutical tribute rocks, um, harder)

HAIR ON MY KNUCKLES (1980): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gF
(Though it’s not true that having hair on one’s knuckles signifies retardation, that doesn’t deter the muse…)

HAPPY FOOT SONG
(see listing under MY FOOT)

HE’S GOT THE SHITHOLE WORLD (IN HIS HANDS) (2018): https://wp.me/pzvIo-g3
(A timely immigration song for our President)

HELLUVA LIFE (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-fs
(The joys of castration, Bee Gees style)

HERE’S TO THE HIGH SCHOOL (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5t
(A bitter alma mater for bitter alma martyrs)

HOLIDAY CONGA (co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon, 2008): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gt
(The beauty of Jewish holidays is not their sacredness or spirituality; it’s that there’s so many of `em)

I FEEL BAD (2020): https://wp.me/pzvIo-Kt

(A Jewish answer to James Brown)

I KNOW WHAT GOYS LIKE (2012): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4G
(A parody tune, co-written with Rabbi Sol Solomon for his stage show, Shalom, Dammit!)

I THOUGHT ABOUT YOU (author: Scott Rodolitz, 1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dU
(A catchy tune about finding the right girl at the wrong time)

I WANNA DECOMPOSE (1979, co-author: Scott Rodolitz): https://wp.me/pzvIo-f3
(Nihilism at its goofiest)

I WANNA HOLD YOUR STUMP (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5H
(Look ma, a Beatles song parody with no hands!)

I’M GONNA PISS MYSELF (2017): https://wp.me/pzvIo-ev
(A Beatles parody about something yellow that isn’t a submarine)

I’M ME (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8K
(A jaunty tune celebrating the self)

I’M TOO SEXY (FOR MY PROSTATE) (2017, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-cN
(A parodic disco ditty about the Rabbi’s various ailments)

IN HIS ASS (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-ea
(A spirited spiritual about items actually inserted by people into their interstices)

IS IT GOOD FOR THE JEWS (2004, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4J
(A Yiddishy ditty that asks the age-old question)

IT WAS AN ALL RIGHT DAY (2017, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-70
(a parody of Ice Cube’s “It was a Good Day” from a Jewish perspective.)

IT’S A STIFF (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4M
(a dark song parody, to “Let it Snow,” about a true New York story)

JEOPARDY KEN (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4P
(A song parody, to the Beatles’ “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill,” written to celebrate “Jeopardy” celeb Ken Jennings)

JERREE (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dx
(Jerry Lewis is no longer with us, but don’t tell that to the retarded boy who loves him…)

THE JERRY LEWIS TELETHON HOP (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dv
(Penned by Scott Rodolitz and Kevin Gerber, a mostly instrumental tribute to the nutty telethon host)

JOEY, THE SPASTIC KANGAROO (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4R
(A bouncy comic tune about an Aussie animal that bounces too freely)

KENNEDY CAR CAR (fka Song for Ted Kennedy) (1980): http://wp.me/pzvIo-de
(A folkie number about the chap acquitted)

KILLIN’ THE CANDIDATES (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5J
(A darkly comic look at the trigger happy)

KISS ME, I’M IRISH (2018): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gA
(A song for the Irishman in all of us)

THE KOSHER HOT DOG PICNIC (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-as
(A children’s folk song about–what else?–depravity)

LA-LA LAND (1988): http://wp.me/pzvIo-J
(A song parody of John Denver’s “Leaving on a Jet Plane” written specifically for a “Howard Stern Show” contest)

LADY LIBERTY (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5L
(A playful number about a statuesque lady)

LAMENT #9 (1982): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5P
(If John Lennon heard this song parody, he’d primal scream)

LET HIM PEE (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-ez
(Even early on, I was a “whiz” at Beatles parodies)

LOOK WHAT THEY DONE TO MY HEAD, MA (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4U
(With apologies to Melanie, a dark song parody for the age of terrorism)

M-O-T-H-E-R (2003): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4Z
(Inspired by moms and Theodore Morse & Howard Johnson’s alphabetical tribute to them)

MANY WAYS (2004): https://wp.me/pzvIo-x0
(A teachable moment about language, Mr. Rogers-style)

MAOZ TZURIS (2007): https://wp.me/pzvIo-wW
(A traditionally non-traditional Chanukah tune))

MADE IN THE USA (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5X
(With apologies to The Boss, a parody song of planned obsolescence)

MAKIN’ POOPIES (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-4W
(A song parody for when you’re in the dumps)

THE MARRIAGE SONG (All You Do is Bitch) (2013): http://wp.me/pzvIo-3w
(A marital song parody of Lennon-McCartney’s “All You Need is Love”)

ME (1988): http://wp.me/pzvIo-20
(A joyfully comical-egocentrical tune)

MEM’RIES OF SCRANTON (1988): http://wp.me/pzvIo-9h
(A country-tinged, comical tune about family travels)

MICHAEL, ROW (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-65
(An environmentally conscious song parody)

MONSTERS OF THE WORLD (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-67
(A political song, both serious and ambivalent. Oh joy.)

MOOSE YOU AROUND (1985):
(see listing under The Antlers are Blowing in the Wind)

THE MOST OFFENSIVE SONG EVER WRITTEN (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7G
(No, really, it’s vile. I dare you…)

MY BLUES (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-fd
(A disease parody from my diseased mind)

MY DOGGY’S CHRISTMAS GIFT (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-51
(A comical tune about how to keep your pet happy during the holidays)

MY FOOT (aka Happy Foot Song) (1990): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7C
(A comical marching tune about our neglected tootsies)

MY LADY’S A WILD BUZZARD (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-f5
(A tender parodic ballad extolling the behavior of a harridan)

NADINE (written by Scott Rodolitz, Jay Auerfeld & Kevin Gerber; 1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dA
(A doo-wop number about teenage love…from behind)

NAPERVILLE (1989): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1V
(A comical tribute to a somewhat underrated Chicago suburb)

THE NIPPLE SONG (1980): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6s
(A celebration of all things nipular)

NIRVANITY (2002): http://wp.me/pzvIo-54
(A parody with all apologies to the late Kurt Cobain)

NOT A FRIEND (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6y
(A serious tune about the limits of platonics)

NOT THE CLAM BAR (1983): http://wp.me/pzvIo-da
(A Clash parody that chooses pastrami over prawns)

NOTHING IN THIS WORLD (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6C
(A seriously depressing song about about muddling through the mundane)

O THURM (a.k.a. THURMAN MUNSON) (1980): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gW
(A Dylanesque tribute, of sorts, to a ballplayer’s demise)

OFF COLOUR (2018): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gm
(A parody song for, and about, young and old)

OH CUM ALL YOU FAITHFUL
(see listing under THE TWELVE PERVERSIONS OF CHRISTMAS)

OH DAT BEN (2015): http://wp.me/pzvIo-56
(A wry tribute to the early years of presidential candidate Ben Carson)

OH, MY LOVE (1984): http://wp.me/pzvIo-61
(A serious love song from a long time back)

ORGY BOY (1987): http://wp.me/pzvIo-22
(A joyfully depraved comic tune about naughty activities)

OY OY (2015, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-58
(A not-so-traditional Jewish hand-clapping song)

PHOENIX ENVY (2004): https://wp.me/pzvIo-fU
(A song for when Glen Campbell was more naughty than tragic)

PISHES SWEETER THAN WINE (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5a
(A parody song about the fountain of aging)

THE PITY ME I’M POLISH POLKA (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5d
(Well, at least it’s not an oberek)

PSYCHO BLUES (2006): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1C
(A darkly comic tune about the activities of a psychopath. Not autobiographical)

PUBIC HAIR (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8M
(An ode to our nether feathers)

RABBI PEARL’S LAMENT (aka “The Schvartze Rubbed My Shmekel”) (1987, co-author Jeff Rothstein): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6G
(A comical cautionary tale for a man of soiled cloth)

RABBI SOL SOLOMON’S RABBINICAL REFLECTIONS THEME (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5h
(How the good Rabbi opens his sermons)

RAIN ON THE BORDERLINE (1986): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6K
(A bit of unhappiness, in serious song form)

THE RECTUM OF EDMUND FITZGERALD (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5l
(With apologies to Gordon Lightfoot and a lot of dead sailors, a dark parody tune inspired by a true Long Island travesty)

RING MY BELL (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-94
(A joyful number in Wild Man Fischer style)

SANDY DUNCAN’S EYE (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5x
(a rhythmic and visionary tribute)

SANTA QUITS (2012): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6h
(a mashup piece, in Buchanan & Goodman style, using short samples from other artists).

SANTASIA (2004): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6m
(a not-safe-for-the-north-pole holiday poem about Santa’s depravity)

SEAMUS THE URINE MAN (1998): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6p
(An Irish tune, based on the true story of a Dublin shop owner with a unique bouquet)

SERVE SOMEBODY (1980): https://wp.me/pzvIo-gZ
(A parody tune ruing Bob Dylan’s stillborn again period)

SEW BUTTONS (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8Y
(A bit of pure absurdist whimsy, with sprinkle of Wild Man Fischer)

SEX WITH A CHICKEN (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-9R
(A comical song for the bestial years of our lives)

SHAKING LIKE A MONKEY (1992): http://wp.me/pzvIo-1Q
(an absurdly happy comic tune about, well, doing the title)

SHEEP ARE MOIST (1982): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7J
(A comical, country-folk number that became the anthem of the band I was in at the time, The Moist Sheep)

THE SHIT SONG (2012, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6X
(A comic ditty about world religions penned for the stage play, Shalom Dammit! An Evening with Rabbi Sol Solomon)

SNIPER’S LULLABY (2002): http://wp.me/pzvIo-aE
(Written for my radio show, a song–to the tune of “Hobo’s Lullaby”–to celebrate the capture of the Beltway snipers)

STUCK INSIDE OF HEWLETT WITH THE BROOKLYN BLUES AGAIN (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-fp
(A parody, of course, about rampant corruption, of course)

SUGAR, SPICE, AND A VERY SHARP AXE (co-author, Scott Rodolitz; 1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dh
(Lizzie Borden has nothing on this girl)

SWIMAWAY (2005): http://wp.me/pzvIo-ax
(A parody song inspired by the 2004 Indonesian tsunami, yet another iteration of “Mbube/Wimoweh/The Lion Sleeps Tonight)”

TAKE YOUR UNDEROOS DOWN (The Rolf Harris Song) (2014): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7w
(A Rolf Harris parody…and pillory)

TEN MORAY EELS (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8B
(A strange poetic chant for those who find the little Indians too un-P.C.)

THAT SONG ABOUT THE LADY OF THE BOWERY: https://wp.me/pzvIo-gP
(Ah, when love is blind, deaf, and impervious to odor)

THE SCHVARTZE RUBBED MY SHMEKEL
(see listing under RABBI PEARL’S LAMENT)

THEN YOU’RE JEWISH (2012, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-73
(A comic ditty about modern Jewish life. The song is performed in the first act of the stage play, Shalom Dammit! An Evening with Rabbi Sol Solomon)

THIS ONE’S FOR YOU (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5j
(The second — yes, second — song I wrote about enemas…and hopefully not the last)

TOILET PLUME (2020): https://wp.me/pzvIo-Kg

(A parody song about toilet etiquette penned during the COVID-19 crisis)

THE TRICKLE-DOWN LULLABY (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-2a
(A darkly satirical number about a desperate man. The piece was written with stage directions and can be performed as a brief one-act solo)

THE TWELVE PERVERSIONS OF CHRISTMAS (aka “Oh Cum All Ye Faithful”) (1979, co-author: Scott Rodolitz): http://wp.me/pzvIo-6O
(The melody is traditional the exploits are not)

THURMAN MUNSON
(see listing under “O THURM”)

TUMOR IN MY HEAD (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8a
(A jaunty, non-autobiographical tune)

VEGETABLES ARE BAD FOR YOU (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7L
(A comical country song about mercy killin’. Yee haw)

WAKKA WAKKA BOOM BOOM PIG (2001): http://wp.me/pzvIo-9o
(Penned in Italy and dedicated to the man selling splat pigs there)

WALK ON THE WEIRD SIDE (1980): http://wp.me/pzvIo-do
(And you thought Lou Reed was kinky?)

WHAT AM I? (1991): http://wp.me/pzvIo-8j
(A joyful song of the self)

WHEN I’M NINETY-THREE (1979): http://wp.me/pzvIo-dq
(A parodic ode to decrepitude)

THE WHITE JEW BLUES (1985): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7S
(Kind of an “oy is me” song for members of the tribe)

THE WORST SONG EVER WRITTEN (2017): http://wp.me/pzvIo-7y
(A love song utilizing every possible cliche and groaner rhyme. Someone should sing it through a megaphone)

YESHIVA BOY (2011, co-author: Rabbi Sol Solomon): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5U
(A bouncy Bob Seger parody that served as the opening number of Shalom Dammit!)

YAYS AND BOOZE (1979): https://wp.me/pzvIo-fi
(A parody ballad with a rather startling blood-alcohol content)

YOU DON’T GET ME HIGH (1980): https://wp.me/pzvIo-eO
(A song parody about love gone up in smoke)

YOUR MEAT’S TOO BIG (2008): http://wp.me/pzvIo-5A
(In Fats Waller parodies, size matters)

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Exclusive Interview with ANNIE POTTS:

Design for Living: Sheldon’s Meemaw on Learning to Walk . . . and Stand Up

(c) 2019 by David Lefkowitz. This article was first published in Long Island Woman magazine, Dec. 2019.)

The South is nothing if not complicated. A veneer of gentility can hide dark undercurrents and steely resolves. As a girl born in Tennessee and growing up in Kentucky, Annie Potts experienced the full range of Southernness, which means her memories are tinged with both fondness and disbelief, alongside an appreciation for telling stories and an ability to power through the worst of times.

Of course, current times could not be better for the diminutive star, who earned a Golden Globe nomination for her film debut in 1978’s Corvette Summer, became a household name thanks to her roles as Mary Jo Shively on TV’s Designing Women and grouchy receptionist Janine Melnitz in Ghostbusters, and retains her place in popular comedy by playing Meemaw on Young Sheldon, the sequel to The Big Bang Theory that is now in its third of at least four seasons. She’s also reaching a whole new generation—at least vocally—as Bo Peep, a character absent from Toy Story 3 but very much central to the recent box-office smash, Toy Story 4. It doesn’t hurt that, in keeping with the times, Bo is, as Potts told MTV News, a character who has shifted from a Damsel in Distress to “a Dame in Charge.”

With her full schedule, three sons, and two-decade marriage to fourth husband, television director James Hayman, Potts is grateful to be charging ahead in her career, noting in our late-summer conversation that—as happens for many ingenues-turned-character actresses, “30 to 40 was was pretty good. 50-to-60 was fallow. I think it’s getting a little better, but there still aren’t as many roles for women. And, of course, they don’t pay equally.” Which is why, at 66, Potts is glad to be a Meemaw: “Although I don’t have any grandchildren, I’m certainly of an age where I could have them. And what else would I play? I’m just thrilled to be working. I’m having a pretty fantastic couple of years here, which I don’t think can be said of a lot of my peers. But I’m as busy as I can be right now!”

Lucky for her, Potts has been preparing for a wide range of roles since her happy years at Stephens College, a private, all-women’s institution in Missouri. “That school had, and has, the oldest master-apprentice program in the country,” she explains. “Professional actors come in to work with the women. So I got to work with wonderful actors and actresses early on. I don’t remember any classes at all; I just remember being onstage. But they had and still have a fantastic program for theater. I’ve been forever grateful for it. They recognized me and gave me a lot of opportunities there.”

Potts admits she was “the golden girl in college who snagged all the great roles,” but she was blindsided, literally, by what came next. “Right after I graduated, I was in a catastrophic car accident. Drunk drivers hit me, and I was thrown from the car, which broke every bone below my waist but one. I very nearly lost my life. I didn’t know for quite awhile if I would ever be able to walk again well enough to be an actor. I mean, it’s not a desk job; you gotta be able to move.

“So I didn’t have the usual, `Oh, God, if I’m not a star by the time I’m 30, I’m gonna give it up’ feeling,” chuckles Potts. “It was more, `Oh, my God. If I can make it out of this, nothing’s gonna stop me!’ But tragic as it was and continues to be, it made me. It steeled me to all of it, really. I was more determined than ever. I loved acting so much that quitting was never an option for me. I didn’t wanna do anything else.”

Lest readers think Potts’s pain is all past history, the unfortunate truth is that the actress will always suffer after-effects of the calamity. “I’ve had 19 surgeries now,” she says, “and I probably have more in store. It’s a long story—I don’t know if your magazine is big enough! It’s just that everything was obliterated. In the beginning they were just trying to save my life, so there were things they did to put me back together that they had to redo later. I had my knee replaced, but the knee replacement wasn’t good. Everything was crooked!” Potts laughs and draws a breath. “It’s been…it’s been. It’s been an interesting journey with my broken bones.”

And yet the SAG and Emmy-nominated actress was able to draw on that Southern resolve five years ago when she appeared on Broadway in Pippin—on a trapeze. “Of course, I was up there with very wonderful athletes from Cirque du Soleil,” she acknowledges. “Still, at 62 to get up on a trapeze with no net and no harness and 17 broken bones—I have to say, that was ballsy. And, oh my God, it was the most fun.”

Echoing the sentiments of many performers, Potts feels that her best, most satisfying work, has been onstage: “Sometimes when I’m in people’s living rooms or on the big screen, I don’t know who I’m connecting to. But when you’re in the theater, you feel connected to the 800-900 people who are there. You pick up that energy from them with an alchemy that you just can’t make up anyplace else.”

That said, while acknowledging that Designing Women took on big issues and that, if rumors of a revamp are true, “it would be very nice to have those women’s voices back,” Potts seems proudest of her role in the television drama series, Any Day Now, which followed a bi-racial friendship in the 1960s and twenty years later. “Some episodes were spectacularly written,” Potts kvells. “And that character was probably the closest to myself of any I’ve played. She was allowed to carry out emotional tasks that were complicated and interesting. I loved it.”

Certainly, the mixed blessing of growing up in the pre-integrated South helped Potts understand what it means to challenge injustice but also be forced to live within its parameters. “I was born in 1952, so I remember segregation vividly,” says the actress. “My father was from North Carolina. So every summer we’d drive down to North Carolina from Kentucky, and we usually took our cook with us who lived with us on the farm. Of course, at that time, the South was totally Jim Crow. But when I was really little—three or so—I didn’t understand. It was a 16-hour drive, so my father would get us up at three in the morning and put us in the car. When we took our maid with us, we couldn’t stop because there wasn’t a hotel that would have her. There wasn’t even a place where we could eat. We’d stop at a diner, and my father would go in and try to make an arrangement if they were up to it, and they’d let her through the kitchen. But I remember very well that the bathrooms were segregated. When we’d stop for gas, there’d be Men, Women, and Colored. And that was when it was worded in a nice way; there was worse. And it made an enormous impression on me.”

Although the Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954 mandated that Southern states desegregate “with all deliberate speed,” it wasn’t until she was in seventh grade that Potts’s school paid attention. “I remember my parents called us to the table to say, `Well, you know, you’re gonna be going to school with the Coloreds. Are you okay with that?’ And kids always are. They’re so far into the future. So we were like, `Sure. That’s fine.’

“Still,” adds Potts, “I can’t believe I actually lived through that in my lifetime. And I also can hardly believe what we’re living through now—because that was so long ago, and I kinda believed we were done. Or, at least, on a righteous path forward. I don’t think there’s any doubt our President is a racist. He’s made it very clear. He’s the chief of the country, and his words have struck a chord with a lot of people—like that shooter in El Paso. So we’re at a time in our country when you have to stand up and say, `This is wrong. This has got to stop.’ There are children being detained, people being killed. If this many people were being killed by Muslims or Al Qaeda, they would have turned the country upside down, but instead, they’re just letting it happen. So you have to stand up.”

That is just what Powell Potts did on one particular occasion that has forever left its mark on his daughter’s conscience. “In one of our travels to the Carolinas when I was a kid,” she recalls, “we were with our housekeeper. My father had arranged for her to eat in the kitchen of this little diner. Now, we had been traveling a long time and waiting to eat because there weren’t a lot of places that would serve. And it was important to my father that our housekeeper be able to have a meal.

“So we stopped, and we were starving and cranky. The housekeeper was taken into the kitchen in the back door. Us kids were sitting in the diner with our mother. We ordered but hadn’t been there very long. Then we saw the housekeeper coming around the front and going to the car with her head in her hands. She clearly was crying. My father left the table to go out and talk to her for a minute in the car. Then he came back in. Now, my father was a gentle person and didn’t have a temper. But this time he was furious in a way that I’d never seen him before. He came through the door like Rock Hudson in Giant saying, `Come on. We’re leaving!’, just as they were putting our food down. Us little girls looked at each other and were like, `We’re hungry, daddy!’ But he just said, `We don’t give out business to places like THIS.’ He yanked us all out of there.

“We drove for a few hundred more miles in utter silence except for the housekeeper sobbing. I never heard what was said or what went down, but I knew that it was big and that it was hurtful. I couldn’t understand how anybody could be mean to her. She was beloved of me and vice versa. I remember every bit of that like it was yesterday.”

If experiences like that led the adult Annie Potts be politically outspoken, they also nourished her need to share meaningful narratives. “We are a region of storytellers,” she explains. “And that was not lost on me as a child. My parents and sisters were great at it.  A lot of importance was given over to being able to tell a good story. And it was best if you could make it funny. If there were dramatic points, it was good to make those, too. So that was baked into the cake early on.”

Potts adds that the South’s patriarchal social structure influenced her, too—notably the women who muscled past it. “A lot of women down there made an impression on me,” the actress notes. “Everyday women, and people of color, people like Ann Richards. Writers. Everybody. I used to be embarrassed to be where I was from, but that was when I was young and didn’t understand quite the fullness of what my upbringing has given me. I was raised on an isolated little farm, nine miles out of town, in Kentucky. So we had imaginations and used them. And I’ve been employing them ever since.”

Asked if she could ever imagine she’d be married for a fourth time, Potts admits that had she not had a young child in tow, she might have made a different choice, “but it seemed like the right thing to do. And it was the right thing to do. We’ve enjoyed a wonderful family life together for a long time. In fact, we’ve been  apart for seven years now.”

Huh? “He produces and directs NCIS: New Orleans, so he lives in New Orleans. And his hours are impossible: he works 16 hours a day and most weekends. 

I joined him for a year, but then I got Sheldon and came back. And I was also in New York for a year doing Pippin, so the last time we actually lived together was seven years ago. But we have a long history of supporting each other’s work. And we do have epic vacations when we’re on hiatus and take our kids with us when we can. So maybe it’s that `opposites’ thing, or the Southern girl/Jewish boy thing—like Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward. But whatever it is, it’s working.”

*

SIDEBAR 

POTTS’ PICKS

FAVORITE VACATION SPOT

It’s an island in the Caribbean where I’ve been going for thirty years: Anguilla.

FAVORITE SONG?

Stephen Sondheim’s “No One is Alone” (from Into the Woods)

FAVORITE MOVIE?

There are so many. Dodsworth with Ruth Chatterton and Mary Astor. Apollo 13, Gladiator, The Godfather. I also love a rom-com.

DESCRIBE YOUR FASHION SENSE

None at all! No, that’s not true. Whatever I can make look good on top of my Pilates outfit. Just layers on top of that.

FAVORITE MEAL?

Any meal with my family.

FAVORITE DESSERT?

Key lime pie. Or peach cobbler.

THOUGHTS ON TOY STORY CO-STAR TOM HANKS?

The sweetest, loveliest, smartest, kindest, and most fantastic actor. He’s all of that.

THOUGHTS ON WHO IS HARRY CRUMB? CO-STAR JOHN CANDY?

Everything I remember about him is just how unbelievably sweet he was. 

THOUGHTS ON GHOSTBUSTERS CO-STAR BILL MURRAY?

Bill is . . . special. I adore him, but he’s a handful. He’s like a firefly before he perches long enough to do his magic. Or an abstract painting. A very abstract painting.

WHAT’S ON YOUR PLAYLIST?

Honey, I haven’t been listening to anything except CNN and NBC! I have to see if we’re going to have a country, a planet, that is going to support living human beings in the future. If we can go forward with kindness and generosity.

THE LAST BOOK YOU READ?

The Muller Report!

*

BYLINE:

David Lefkowitz hosts the Dave’s Gone By show Saturday mornings live on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/radiodavelefkowitz). He also co-authored the upcoming comedy, Shalom Dammit! An Evening with Rabbi Sol Solomon.

AnniePotts-LIW-12-19

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TV/VIDEO/RADIO INDEX: Teleplays

by David Lefkowitz

MUDDY

1983 (short comedy. Synopsis: A spoof of Paddy Chayefsky’s Marty, wherein (ugly) boy meets (homely) girl)

https://wp.me/pzvIo-Ha

REAL TO REEL

1983 (short comic radio play. Synopsis: Unscrupulous TV reporter covers a fire)

https://wp.me/pzvIo-HL

UP WITH THE JONESES

1985 (short screenplay. Synopsis: A perfect American family has its Walpurgistag)

https://wp.me/pzvIo-Id

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INDEX: Plays – Full-Length

by David Lefkowitz

 

(The One and Only) BASKET EDDIE (drama, 1985)

https://wp.me/pzvIo-Fs

 

KANDIDE (tragicomedy)

https://wp.me/pzvIo-F

 

THE TRIPLE WEDDING (farce)

https://wp.me/pzvIo-o

 

Index to Full-Length Plays: https://wp.me/pzvIo-FI

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THE IMBIBLE
*3/4

This theater review was published in TotalTheater.com, Oct. 2017 

Reviewed off-Broadway at New World Stages.

(c)2017 David Lefkowitz

How drunk to you have to get to enjoy The Imbible? Judging by the boisterous giggles coming from one particular corner of the room, whose denizens likely downed a few before even setting foot in New World Stages’s bar-cum-theater space, the answer is probably a boatload. For the rest of us, the promise of three watered-down (or, in one case, ginger-aled-down) beverages included in the ticket price of this lecture-with-music in no way compensates for the show’s amateurish and wildly unentertaining content.

Yes, the facts about the history of beer, wine, gin, mead (water with fermented honey—who knew?), are dutifully enumerated, but they are also interrupted by the cast prettily performing a few too many barbershop quartet chestnuts and far too many micro-skits that wouldn’t make the cut on a Reduced Shakespeare Company blooper reel. Stitching this together is Imbible creator Anthony Caporale, who, as lecturer, employs the overeager sell of a brewery tour guide (understandable) and the self-congratulatory laugh of a teacher who thinks his jokes are funny and cares not whether his captive audience agrees. Happily I needed no recess bell to flee this sobering exercise, just intermission.

**************************

NOTES & BACKSTORY:

As a Coloradoan for the past several years, I’ve been visiting New York only twice a year, so I have to choose my theatergoing calendar carefully. Most helpful is when a show has a 5pm curtain time, so I can sandwich it in between a 2pm matinee and 8pm evening show on a weekend. Hence, my decision to visit The Imbible, even though the extent of my boozing is generally limited to one beer or a glass and a half of sparkling white bubbly. If I ever had any inclination of becoming an alcoholic, this awful show cured me of it. I just hope it doesn’t do the same for bridge-n’-tunnelers who might have otherwise gotten addicted to theater.

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POEM: Lech Mipo

2016 LECH MIPO

©2016 Rabbi Sol Solomon & David Lefkowitz

It’s the first night of Chanukah
From Tampa to Tulsa
The candles are burning
Just like my ulcer

The dreidels are spinning
The latkes are frying
The Muslims are killing
The people are dying

The year has been tough
That couldn’t be clearer
So Twenty-Sixteen
Here’s your rear-view mirror

The campaign for president took a dark journey
As Democrat dummies picked Hil and screwed Bernie

Huckabee, Kasich, Rubio, Paul
The louder they got, the harder they’d fall

Jindal and Christie, Carson and Cruz
But then Donald Trump bubbled up from the ooze

He battered Ms. Clinton for being a female
She stumbled and fumbled and mishandled email

Trump lied and insulted and mocked with each Tweet
But then he fell in with the party elite

And lo and behold, as he, alone, expected
The con-artist clown is the guy we elected

If that’s not enough to make us all wretch
There’s plenty more reasons about which I’ll kvetch

There’s Brexit and Brussels and murder in Mosul
While Syria looks like a garbage disposal

All across Europe, security sucks
Who’s teaching these young Arab men to drive trucks?

The Istanbul bomber ignited our fears
Another putz shot up a club full of queers

Mosquitoes with zika came in for the kill
While lyin’ Ryan Lochte shamed us in Brazil

Hurricane Matthew brought death and disaster
A wild Turkish cop shot the Russian ambass’dor

An EgyptAir plane crashed into the sea
And North Carolina won’t let trannies pee

All over the world, ISIS steps up attacks
While our police fire at black people’s backs

If that’s not enough to make you all wince
2016 took Bowie and Prince

Gene Wilder, George Martin, and Elie Wiesel
Scalia and Castro — well, they went to hell

So long, Leonard Cohen
Farewell, Harper Lee
Goodbye, Abe Vigoda . . . finally

We lost Garry Shandling, who wasn’t a sick man
We lost Alan Thicke, and Alan Rickman

Muhammad Ali is no longer standing
And hero John Glenn came in for a landing

Merle Haggard, Ed Albee, and Zsa Zsa Gabor
And Fyvush and Blowfly and too many more

But okay, let’s admit the pipeline was stalled
The Cubs and the Indians played ball in the fall

The stock market zoomed to new heights every day
And Hamilton swept all the Tonys away

Manatees moved from endangered to threatened
And a new subway line was built in Manhetten.

So though it was harsh, absurdist, and mean
Shalom to the year 2016

The lesson it taught us with every new curse:
As bad as things are, they’re bound to get worse.

Happy American Rosh Hashanah everyone! See you in 5778!

*************

NOTES & BACKSTORY:

Written specifically to be performed on Rabbi Sol Solomon’s “Rabbinical Reflections” segment on the New Year’s Eve special edition of my radio program, Dave’s Gone By, this poem bids farewell to 2016 and, with much trepidation, ushers in the new year. You’ll notice that 2016 was notable for a lot of famous deaths and the shocking emergence of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States of America. As such, the idiomatic translation of “Lech Mipo” from Hebrew is, “get the hell away from here.”

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POTATO DAY CELEBRATES THE SPUD’S CASH CROP FAME

by Kelsey Hammon

(This article was first published, Sept. 16, 2014, in The Greeley Tribune: https://www.greeleytribune.com/news/local/potato-day-celebrates-the-spuds-cash-crop-fame/.)

 

A quirky collection of stuffed spuds adorned David Lefkowitz at Greeley’s 27th annual Potato Day on Saturday.

He laughed as he shielded a stuffed potato’s eyes from a passerby who munched on a baked potato. Lefkowitz, a stuffed potato enthusiast and UNC English and playwright professor, has found a celebration to feature his unique collection of stuffed spuds. Though he couldn’t possibly bring the nearly 300 stuffed potatoes along, he selected 10 to decorate his ketchup logo shirt, an outfit fit for Saturday’s potato celebration.

Potato Day commemorates Greeley’s first viable cash crop and took place in Centennial Village on Saturday. It was first celebrated in 1894, nearly a decade after the crop’s introduction into Greeley agriculture. The potato, much like the sugar beet, brought many cultural groups in search of work to Greeley. The potato soon became popular because it was hardy and could survive the Colorado climate, said Nancy Lynch, exhibits curator for the Greeley Museums.

The first Potato Day drew nearly 6,000 people and provided baked potatoes for all. Although Potato Day was not celebrated every year, its re-emergence proved an opportunity for Greeley to pay homage to the agriculture roots that make up its rich demographics. Today’s Potato Day still stays true to these roots and included historical re-enactments of the 1880s when the spud first found its fame, as well as baked potatoes and old fashioned games.

The proceeds benefit the Greeley Heritage Society.

“Potato Day is an inclusive history lesson,” Lefkowitz said.

Saturday was Lefkowitz’s third Potato Day. The former New York resident has lived in Greeley for five years, moving from New York to teach at the university. He had nothing like Potato Day to look forward to in New York and instead featured his collection during parties. In Greeley Lefkowitz said he heard about potato day through the spud vine.

“This is a genuine small town experience. You wouldn’t find someone churning butter and throwing tomahawks in New York,” Lefkowitz said.

Lefkowitz’s own interest in potatoes is as unique as his collection and it began with a hernia Lefkowitz experienced 15 years ago. His family had bought two stuffed potatoes to comfort him, and Lefkowitz found the quirky spuds to be more than a comfort.

“It became a novelty, an obsession, and then a lifestyle,” he said.

Lefkowitz finds his story good material for his radio program, “Dave’s Gone By.” The annual celebration has also become chance for him to share his story and experience Greeley history. Much like his fascination with the stuffed spuds, Lefkowitz has become hooked on Potato Day.

“Just the whole aura of it is wonderful. Friends and family just expected that I would be a part of it,” Lefkowitz said.

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