HERE'S WHAT IRV SAID ABOUT HIS FAVORITE THINGS
"Since I am an old guy, I go for the old music of the thirties and the forties, in terms of popular music. Sinatra is a favorite, and since we have a DJ who plays a lot of old blue eyes, I listen to it a lot. I am a devotee of Stephen Sondheim, and that sort of intellectual theatrical compositions. Of course, I like Rogers & Hammerstein, who wouldn’t, and some of the other musical experts. I am especially enthralled by the Yip Harburg’s lyrics. And although the now quite well known guitarist, ‘Doctor Luke,’ of SNL is my niece's son, I don’t understand his music or the music of the kids today at all. Incidentally, I may have seen or met Luke once or twice, he wouldn’t know me if he fell over me. I have been exposed to my share of classical music. My wife and I held ‘season’ tickets to the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra for over 35 years. We went with dear friends, but when those friends died a few years ago, we have been unable to bring ourselves to go to the Kimmel for concerts. So, I would guess one would say that my musical tastes are pretty much eclectic. What I have no interest in whatsoever is opera. Most opera leaves me pretty cold, and I think the composers belong with Salome, heads on a plate."
"It is hard for me to isolate the books I favor. I have read and reread Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn...repeatedly. I have even managed to read Ulysses--but I am not smart enough for Finnegan’s Wake. My favorite authors these days are WEB Griffin, whom I read and reread, Robert B Parker, Both of the Kimmelmans, Tony Hillerman, Sue Grafton, J D Rowling, my dear, personal friend Bill Hallahan, who is very good but lacks the public acclaim he deserves, Ed McBain; I read and enjoy Sara Paretsky and Lisa Scotoline, and others whose names do not come readily to mind. As I grow older my reading has been curtailed, and so I no longer devour books as I used to. I get a lot of them on tape though, and enjoy those a lot. When I drive somewhere, listening to books on tape is a great way to spend my time."
"Like many of my generation, I believe that Casablanca is one of the great entertainments of all time. I can't recite it by heart, as some people can, but I love it. I am also thrilled when I can see The Wizard of Oz. I think Judy is wonderful, and the lyrics...ah the lyrics, lovely. One of my favorite movies is the Spencer Tracy classic: Bad Day at Black Rock. War movies are painful for me, but I still like Twelve O'clock High. I thought Private Ryan was great, as was Von Ryan’s Express with Frank Sinatra. I thought the Guns of Navarone and Force 10 from Navarone are worth watching again and again. They were making The Godfather when I worked in NY and I watched them convert Fifth Avenue and 32nd Street for the movie. (I worked on Madison and 32nd, so I could see the transformation of the area.) Of course, it, too, is one of the great movies. So are some of the musicals: Singing in the Rain, Meet me in St. Louis and A Star is Born. No doubt if I thought long and hard, I could come up with a lot more like On The Town, West Side Story and the Harry Potter films."
Number one on my list of TV shows is, of course, MASH. I prefer those done after McLean Stevenson left the cast. Also on my list of favorites are Jag and Cagney and Lacy. Like everyone in America today I watch TV. Not many shows at the moment, except Jeopardy, get my attention. As did NYPD Blue and some of the Law and Order episodes. I don’t have HBO so I haven’t seen Sex in the City or those shows. And I can make no comment about them. "
"I have gone to a lot of Theater in my life. I started with the famous Yiddish theater on the east side of NY, and at that time, I even could understand the language. (I don’t do that very well anymore). I saw the famous Orson Welles performance of Julius Caesar, and can still remember the stark stage and the actors in Nazi black shirts. I was a New Yorker then, so I saw the original Oklahoma and all of the others from that point on: Carousel, King and I, South Pacific, even Flower Drum Song. I’ve seen most of the Sondheim plays, and an awful lot in between. My favorite shows include My Fair Lady, Fiddler on the Roof, Most Happy Fella, Fiorello, The Rothchilds (which I loved) Annie, and of course Les Mis, and Phantom. I was almost destroyed by Cabaret, which I first saw in London. We go to the theater here in Philadelphia often. We probably see ten to twelve shows a year."