It’s another Wednesday evening here at BCB After Dark: the grooviest get-together for night owls, early risers, new parents and Cubs fans abroad. We are so glad you decided to join us this evening. We hope you’ve been doing well since we saw you last. Come on in out of the heat. There’s no cover charge. We’ve got a few tables still available. Bring your own beverage.
BCB After Dark is the place for you to talk baseball, music, movies, or anything else you need to get off your chest, as long as it is within the rules of the site. The late-nighters are encouraged to get the party started, but everyone else is invited to join in as you wake up the next morning and into the afternoon.
Thanks to Mike Tauchman and Nico Hoerner, the Cubs throttled the Nationals, 8-3 to take the series, two games to one. Other than Tauchman’s big day and Hoerner’s game-clinching grand slam (off former teammate Cory Abbott), the other really heartening thing was that Seiya Suzuki had two more hits and a walk tonight. I feel like he’s finally coming out of that slump he was in and the Cubs really need it. That’s tonight’s poll question, in a manner of speaking.
Last night, I asked you if the Cubs should trade closer Adbert Alzolay if they could get a Top 100 prospect in return. You were pretty against it, with eighty percent of you saying “no.” But I at least appreciated that no one called me an idiot for even suggesting it. Many of you said “I understand the thinking, but no” or words to that effect.
Here’s the part where I talk about jazz and and movies. You’re free to skip ahead to the baseball question at the end. You won’t hurt my feelings.
Although I love the old masters, I always want to stress that there is great jazz being made today and even by young people. One of those young people is pianist Isaiah J. Thompson. This is another one of those NPR Tiny Desk concerts featuring the Isaiah J. Thompson Quartet. On tenor sax is Julian Lee, on bass is Felix Moseholm and Kyle Poole is on drums.
On Monday night, I wrote about King Creole and I mentioned in passing that Elvis Presley’s co-star Dolores Hart left acting in 1963 to become a nun and join a monastery. I also mentioned that there was a 2011 documentary about Hart entitled God is the Bigger Elvis. So for tonight, I’m going to write a few words about that documentary, which is available on Max. There also appears to be a complete copy uploaded to YouTube if you don’t have Max. The film is only 36 minutes long, so it’s not a major time commitment.
Mother Prioress Dolores, as she was known in 2011 and is called in the film, was a pretty big rising star in 1963. She got her big break when she was cast in her first film opposite Elvis in Loving You in 1957 and then got to play opposite him again the next year in King Creole. But she got lead billing in the 1960 film Where the Boys Are, which was a big hit at the time and is still considered a classic today. (I should actually write about it someday. It’s actually quite a sophisticated movie for an elevator pitch of “Four college girls head to Florida for Spring Break.”)
But although her next few films weren’t as successful as Where the Boys Are, she was still a very much in-demand actress. And in 1963, she decided to leave it all behind and join the Abbey of Regina Laudis monastery in Connecticut, where she still lives today.
Most of God is the Bigger Elvis is about life in the monastery, which consists of prayer seven times a day and farm work. They have some other activities—Mother Prioress Dolores did start a theater camp for the local school children, for example. But most of the day is spent in silent prayer and manual labor.
Mother Prioress Dolores never really bad-mouths Hollywood in the film, often saying that she had a grand time while she was there. The closest she comes to criticizing her former life is when she calls it “hectic.” But it was those pressures that allowed a friend of hers to convince Dolores to spend a weekend retreat at the monastery. She wasn’t won over by the experience at first, although she did enjoy it. But as her time went on as an actress, she was more and more drawn back to the monastery. But eventually in 1963, she made her decision to leave her former life behind and become a nun.
The film talks to her oldest friends—the nuns that were already living there when she took the vows. And they readily admit that they were very skeptical of this glamorous Hollywood actress.
Dolores does not hide from her acting career. She still gets fan mail, which she answers, and she has movie posters on the wall of her very cluttered office. She looks back at the glamour pictures that were taken when she was young and says “I was such a child.” But not once does she ever give the impression that she regretted her decision. In fact, she talks at length about what the religious life means to her. At one point, Dolores says that she feels that she never left Hollywood. That doesn’t make that much sense, but I think what she means was that her decision to join the monastery was never about quitting acting. It was about becoming a nun and living a religious life. She didn’t run from Hollywood, she ran to the Church.
The film interviews other nuns in the monastery. They talk about Mother Prioress Dolores’ role in their own spiritual journey, but also just about their own stories about why they became nuns. They also speak of what the monastic life means to them.
If there is anything that Mother Prioress Dolores regrets, it is Don Robinson. Dolores Hart was engaged to marry this dashing young architect and Edith Head was already making a wedding dress for her. Not that Dolores asked her to, it was the studio’s idea. She wanted a small, quiet wedding. Dolores makes it clear that she and Don were in love and that one night, she had to break off the engagement so she could become a nun. As she says, how can you explain something like that to someone you love?
The film talks to Don as well, and he says that he never got over it. He says he did date some, but he never married. He visited Dolores at the monastery regularly over the next fifty years. And when the two of them talk in the film during one of his visits, it’s clear that the two of them are still very much in love. Dolores doesn’t regret joining the monastery and not marrying Don, it was what she was called by God to do. But it is clear that she does regret that she hurt someone she cares about so deeply.
God is the Bigger Elvis was nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary (Short Subject), so in 2012, Mother Prioress Dolores attended her first Academy Awards ceremony since 1959.
Here’s the trailer for God is the Bigger Elvis.
Welcome back to everyone who skips the music and movies.
The Cubs didn’t have a bad month of June. They went 14-11, which was their first winning month of the year. But because they had such a poor month of May, they really needed to do better than that. And while some players certainly excelled in June, others struggled.
Tonight’s question is “Which Cubs player who had a poor June do they most need to get going for the rest of the year?” Yes, I know that July is more than half over, but there was a week in there with no games, so the month is still going on. Plus, it is not like some of these players haven’t struggled in July as well. Although Patrick Wisdom was just hurt.
Forget for a moment about the Trade Deadline and whether the Cubs are punting this year for next season. Assume the goal is to try to win as many games as possible. If the goal is to win, which one of these players most has to improve over their month of June?
Which one of these struggling players needs to excel in the second half?
This poll is closed
Someone else (leave in comments)
Thank you to everyone who stopped by this evening or this week. And an especially big thank you goes out to everyone who voted or especially commented. Please get yourself home safely. Clean up your own table—the busboys are already gone for the weekend. Tip your waitstaff. And join us again next week for more BCB After Dark,