SUM-SUM-SUMERTIME!

As this edition hits the streets (or actually, hitting one’s e-mailbox or media screens), it’s the Memorial Day weekend. And it’s the start of the long awaiting summer season.

Through the many years we have been in existence, we have published (in digital form, not necessarily in print) a number of essays and related matter on how the start of the summer season has been the be-all-to-end-all time of the year that is perhaps the most welcomed, through activities, rituals, and other forms of visual celebration that makes summer just what it is,; A time to get out to enjoy the better things found within domestic life.

And why not? The notion of summertime holds to a lot of different and unique aspects to people at large, all depending on interests, tastes, and appeals. For kids and those a bit older, it means that school is out for a while. Others may find this time to get out performing outdoors-y stuff, such as camping, fishing, hitting the beaches, and related leisure activities. A few might find this time to change a pattern in their lifestyles–some for the good and otherwise. Generally speaking, summer for the most part is many folks’s favorite time of the year, if not one of the more preferred points of the season.

And summertime was the season that I embraced the most! Ever since I was a little shaver who didn’t shave (yet), summer did sense that I would be out of the classroom until that dreaded day after the Labor Day weekend where I would have to return back. That would mean a few things for yours truly. Not only I would be on my own (within reason), but my habits of watching TV on a regular basis would become shifted. For starters, since I would not be required to fill much of my weekday hours sitting inside of a classroom, I would spend those daytime moments catching up on my daytime television habits that would start in the early morning hours (around 7:00 AM central time) tuning in to programs from The Today Show to Captain Kangaroo. Some of the local channels would offer their morning programs as well. A local station aired a morning movie hosted by some perky woman, (a TV personality whose name I have since forgotten), would not only introduce the film on camera, but would take phone calls from viewers during the commercial breaks to chat on the air and to offer prizes a la Dialing For Dollars.

The movies programed tended to cater toward the housewife crowd, mostly running melodramas from the 1940’s and 50’s, but would on occasion place a decent movie on that time slot. (One film I recall was The Window, a 1949 RKO release that’s part of classic film noir!)

But my pick for daytime TV were the game shows as I always enjoyed the flashy sets, the excited contestants, and the ever smiling and witty MCs that were part of the daytime TV landscape, starring everyone from Wink Martindale, Jack Barry, Bob Barker, and perhaps my favorite one of them all, Bill Cullen, a nerdy looking guy was just always witty than ever! I did notice he was rarely seen standing on his feet (he was always pictured seated on a stool that was located hidden behind a podium), and never walked on camera! That was because he limped due to catching polio as a child. The TV networks and game show producers didn’t want the public to know that he was indeed “handicapped”!
The morning hours has most of the game show while a few did air in the afternoon. Since I didn’t care much for soap operas as those took too long to move their stories along as soap operas have done since they all began long before TV was in existence, I never tuned in. By that time, it was time to get away from the ol’ set to perhaps get outside of the house to perform summertime antics. These “adventures” usually consisted of puttering around. Some kids in the neighborhood were around where we formed an unofficial “gang” where we pulled off our antics. Not exactly like those seen on the old “Our Gang” shorts, but were close enough to what we had, what we could do, and what we could get away with!

During the early evening hours (around 6:00 PM or so), there was the self service dinner parties I would create for myself. Depending of what I felt like doing, I could open a can of pasta that was targeted toward a kid friendly demographic. The Chef Boyardee brand did heavy advertising campaigns on Saturday morning “kidvid”, and that brand of pasta was always stocked up within the pantry cupboards thanks to my influence(?) that drove my mom to get a couple of cans of this stuff for yours truly to chow down on. And if I wasn’t heating up the stuff found inside of the can featuring the smiling chef (who interestingly enough, resembled Bob Keeshan a.k.a. Captain Kangaroo) donning his hat on every label, I would make a frozen dinner that resembled a “TV dinner”. Although Swanson was the brand that coined the name “TV dinner”, we didn’t get that brand since is was a bit pricy for what it was. Besides, every other competing company offered their frozen dinners that was just as good(?) as everyone else’s! Besides, I wasn’t really picky to begin with!

After dinner, it was back to the ol’ TV machine for the prime time selections. All of the three TV networks were either airing reruns of their fair that was around since the start of the previous season (the last September), or offered what was called the “summer replacements”, those programs that were around only for the summer months that held limited episodes. These shows were created only to tide the TV viewers over until the new season would begin after the Labor day weekend. These programs were mostly of the comedy/variety type that were amusing for what they were, but nothing really special! And since I didn’t have school and thus, living through “school nights”, I could stay up later with more TV follies, from The Tonight Show to a roster of old movies that played until the wee hours. These flicks made me appreciate the movies from not so long ago when Hollywood was indeed, Hollywood!

That little slice of life was how I did spend my “summer vacation”! Activities did vary over the years, but was mostly of the same idea. Of course, kids of this generation take upon a different method of spending their summers, mostly through activities and related matters as dictated by the kid’s caregivers. Some continue through school by way of a classroom setting or through a home school process. They may take on various “summer camps”, from the traditional ones (going off site to a camp ground located outside of the area) to the alternative camps, ones that focus upon a sporting activity, those that are career driven in artistic measures such as theatre, art, creative writing etc., or ones that concentrate on science/physics/math. (STEM stuff!) The type of summers that yours truly spent back in the day are seen nowadays as totally unappealing by the adults in charge, and perhaps by the kids themselves.

But whatever the case, summer is going to hang around for a while, so enjoy it while one can! And when the season shifts to another phase, one will make plans for the times ahead, such as picking out a Halloween costume, or getting ready for Black Friday! Stay tuned to this news service for further developments!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Son of Semele Theatre presents the American premier of Caridad Svich’s ARCHIPELAGO, a story of two souls who live within in their unique worlds that cross between affection, conflict, and the sense of losing one another while becoming connected through fate.

Michael Evans Lopez and Sarah Rosenberg portray the souls, a pair of lovers that come from contrasting backgrounds. They take upon a journey not of place of being, but through circumstance. They are first present an illusion that they are of a one. But through a movement that mimics a dream setting, their place between one situation to the adjoining calls for a time of content, only moving toward strife and war. These elements spreads them far apart as they witness where they have been and where they may be heading toward. They do wind up as one, long before they place the sense of where they belong within their universe.

This production is told through a series of dreamlike scenarios presented in a non-linear fashion. The characters presented that are unnamed, speak to one another while they apprise through prose, detailing what is taking place in their worlds they reside, even if though worlds no not necessarily exist in any real form. A lot goes on in this one act play as the players, Michael Evans Lopez as the man, and Sarah Rosenberg as the woman, dwell within their spaces as a cluster of islands set within oceans of water; close enough to be as a single body yet distinctive to be part of its own identity. The title of this stage work comes from the meaning of this description: an expanse of water with many scattered islands. Barbara Kallir shows these feats through her stage direction of this program as the characters fade between their sets, or “islands”, as they witness their higher stances between discord and their togetherness.

In addition to its players and their theatrical prose, Meg Cunningham’s scenic design features drapes that resemble clouds in a mist that enhances their dream-esque placing. Adding to this view is Alexander La Vallant Freer’s lighting that is ever changing in tones of subtle blues and greens, while Katerina Pagsolingan’s projection design depicts visions of moving imagery that are just as a stupor as the visions presented.

ARCHIPELAGO can be called a love story sans the traditional elements that would be found in such an epic. It holds a vast storage of imagination while never omitting where their is to go, and the purpose it leads upon.

   ARCHIPELAGO, performs at the Son of Semele theatre, 3301 Beverly Blvd. (at Hoover), Los Angeles, until June 18th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 5:00 PM. For tickets or for more information, visit the Son of Semele’s website at http://www.SonOfSemele.org
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

FEELING BAD TO FEEL GOOD!

Not so long ago, one of our Accessibly Live Off-Line associates who are “cord nevers” (see Vol. 22-No. 20 for a detailed explanation to what a “cord never” is), subscribes to a number of the media streaming services that’s been part of the TV landscape of late. This party’s prime choice to view programming is Netflix, perhaps the be-all-to-end-all pick for watching new content, as well as what Netflix uses as their bread and butter–movies! One title these folks picked to view one early Sunday evening was the film Queen of Katwe, a 2016 release from The Walt Disney Company that features Madina Nalwanga as a young woman living in the African nation of Uganda that masters the game of chess. This flick was praised by film critics and by the public alike. Granted, it really didn’t place many big name stars (David Oyelowo was also featured, and although he does hold a number of film credits of noted movies to his name, he really isn’t considered to be a “big name film star” in the traditional sense), the film tried to carry itself on its own. It wasn’t a big box office smash either, only to gross less that $10 million during its theatrical run. But was a title that was presented to woo those voters of movie awards, perhaps picking this selection for a noted category. (Best Director, Best Picture, etc.)

When our associates (Steve and his spouse Christine) viewed this film using a big screen TV set rather than through their iPad sporting a 10” viewing area, they were pleased in what they experienced. However, one element form that viewing came to them. It really wasn’t about the acting, directing, or even the cinematography (they are not really involved in “the industry”, so those matters were really all for naught), but for its theme the movie spoke about. That concept that somebody living in a poor world nation can become a success in nearly anything, just as long as one tries to make an effort as well as the oft-told rule of believing in one’s self.

That’s all fine and well. However, Christine made a note of that idea. Yes, the film did show somebody that was downright poor and all, and was able to rise up by making a unique accomplishment in spite of the situation and odds that were faced. However, Christine made a comment about what she saw in the film. If the story shows that somebody can do this “anything”, what has Christine, a person that lives a much better life than the protagonist depicted in the movie, done for her life?

Christine and Steve live a standard “middle class” lifestyle. Christine is a school teacher for the public school system while Steve works for a company that makes a major product, making sure that the company’s goods are delivered to their distribution points around the Los Angeles county basin. It’s a real blue collar job but pays rather well. Christine’s gig is teaching classes in the 3rd grade level. Although she’s been doing this for some time, she feels she would rather do something else that’s more fulfilling. She’s a bit trapped in her work through various circumstances. She can’t move up to something else, both in the school district she works for, as well as finding something outside of the education community.

That scenario brings this mini story back to the the experience of watching what is suppose to be a movie of inspiration only to have that intended experience fall flat! Christine wanted to have those “feel good” moments that these kind of movies are expected by bring. But instead of finding this feature uplifting, it actually did the total opposite by making her somewhat depressed! She tended to ask herself questions such as “What have I accomplished for myself? How can I do such accomplishments?” “Where am I going in my life”?

This article isn’t going to limit itself with one’s personal life journey. This article speak for how a source (in this case, a movie) attempts to make a noteworthy point across only to have it fail or even backfire where its real meanings are not accepted or understood.

Domestic society now lives in an age where details and information over matters of significance can be obtained at nearly a moment’s notice that brings the facts in light. Granted, some of those facts may not be facts at all i.e. “fake news”. But one has to use their own judgement in taking on those notions in order to make situations in more of a progressive mode, weeding out what’s useful and what is there only for one’s use.

Not so long ago, a reader of this newsletter wrote to me directly stating that the reviews for shows I post are presented in a more positive light using the classic “glass 1/2 full” method of thought. Although not everything one sees or consumes is great. In fact, there is a lot of s#it out there! However, yours truly won’t write something to the effect of “this thing sucks!”, but will find something that is pleasing and acceptable for what it is. That can be used for much of other aspects as well. Christine for instance, does hold an occupation that has been well underrated, yet she provides a service that will affect the lives of the kids she teaches every day of the school year. Some may even progress in life recalling how such a teacher of theirs from their past schooling did something to change their life, even if that change was just only for the moment. These efforts may not show any immediate results, but does make an important difference nevertheless!

But movies are movies, not depictions of the so-called “real life”. One can guess that a lot of creative license was placed within the film, so the episodes depicted may not be totally accurate. However, the point was to set up a situation that anyone can use in their own life. It may be mastering a chess game, or even playing caretaker to a friend or family member who might need this care. It’s all what one does and the impact it brings.

But all was not lost for Christine. After she and Steve soaked up the efforts of that film, they watched another feature right afterwards, Suicide Squad, an action film based on a DC comic that was released around the same time of year that Queen of Katwe was playing in the moving picture houses. Although that movie was more of a commercial success playing to more of a general audience as well as having a different theme, there wasn’t much of anything in that picture to make in uplifting! But it was entertaining for what it was. At least Christine and Steve enjoyed it!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills closes out their 2016-17 season with Terence Rattigan’s SEPARATE TABLES, a drama that blends a pair of stories that uses the same characters and setting.

The location is a residential boutique hotel placed within a small seaside village located a distance from London. Its period is in the latter years of the 1950’s. The first episode entitled Table By The Window, speaks upon a left wing politician writer John Malcolm (Adrian Neil) who in recent years had fallen upon hard times with his excessive drinking. He also did time in prison for assaulting his now ex-wife Anne Shankland. (Susan Priver). John is currently having a fling with the manager of the hotel, Miss Cooper (Diana Angelina). Anne then shows up at the hotel unexpectedly. Was her appearance at this hostel an arranged appearance or was is totally “accidental”? The second act Table Number Seven takes place over a year later at the same hotel. The focus is resident Major David Pollack (David Hunt Stafford), a retired army officer who has taken an interest with Sybel (Roslyn Cohn) who lives with her mother (Mona Lee Wylde) at the hotel. Sybel is rather awkward, but still respects this former military official. However, the Major holds a deep secret. He’s been accused with molesting female patrons at the local movie house, and Sybel’s mother exposes him for what he has done. Sybel’s mother manipulates the remaining residents of the hotel to expel him for his evil deed. Will the Major leave the hotel or will be allowed to stay, and will Sybel herself join suit?

This melodrama by British playwright Terence Rattigan is a play that is very talky, meaning that there is more dialogue spoken throughout than character driven action. This form of play writing comes from the standard variety of theater pieces that is normally found in plays originating from the UK in the pre-television era, or at least before television made any major impact!

Theatre 40’s presentation of this play holds much of the same traits. It features a rather powerful cast of players that includes in addition to those noted above, Melissa Collins as Jean Stratton, John Wallace Combs as Mr. Fowler, Michele Schultz as Miss Meacham, Caleb Slavens as Charles Stratton, Suzan Solomon as Doreen, and Mariko Van Kampen as Lady Mathison that do speak in droves while extracting their emoting.

Jeff G. Rack, Theatre 40’s resident set decorator, creates a setting that features a center drop that fluctuates between the hotel’s main sitting room and the restaurant through a large turntable that’s spun between scenes. The wings of the stage at left and right remain the same, blending in its appropriate stage sites.

Directed by Jules Aaron, SEPARATE TABLES as displayed by Theatre 40 holds a respected title as the two stories stand alone to one another, yet mingles with its physical presence.

And speaking of this theatre company, Theatre 40 has released its listing of plays that will be performed as part of its 52nd season. The year kicks off on July 20th with the west coast premier of Arun Lakra’s Sequence, followed by another west coast premier, David MacGregor’s Vino Veritas, opening on September 1st. Its next presentation, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily by Katie Forgette opens as a Los Angeles premier on November 16th. On January 18th of ’18, Kate Henning’s The Last Wife makes the stage as another Los Angeles premier, followed by John Morogiello’s Engaging Shaw, opens as yet another Los Angeles premier on March 15th. And rounding out the season is A.A. Milne’s Mr. Pim Passes By on May 17th. Complete details to all shows can be found through Theatre 40’s website as noted below.

SEPARATE TABLES, presented by Theatre 40 and performs at the Reuben Cordova Theatre, located within the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 South Moreno Drive (off little Santa Monica Blvd.) Beverly Hills, until June 18th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.
For ticket reservations or for more information, call (310) 364-0535, or via online at http://www.Theatre40.com
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LONG WAY DOWN, Nate Eppler’s black-esque comedy about one’s woman’s self conflicted campaign to save little ones in a peril and the family she holds a connection to, makes its west coast premier at the Sherry Theatre in North Hollywood.

Taking place at a run down home in a semi-rural community just north of Nashville, Tennessee lives Saralee (Christa Haxthausen) and her husband Duke (Lane Wray). Living within this same household is Sharleen’s younger sister Maybelline (Meg Wallace). Maybelline lives at home since she can’t function on her own due to something that occurred in her past, making her appear rather awkward and perhaps mildly “retarded”! Sharleen herself is the breadwinner of the family since Duke can’t work on his construction assignments due to his depression. Karen (Lauri Hendler), a friend of Sharleen, tends to hang around the house in spite of Sharleen’s wishes, nearly forbidding her to be present. Karen, as she holds a rather questionable past, discovers that at the local day care center one of the babies there was seen with a black eye, giving the impression that the mother is beating the child. So Karen hatches a plot to save these babies from their possible destruction from their parents. This notion of Karen’s leads into something that is far deeper that imagined, even getting Maybelline into this scheme.

This is a form of play that features characters that can be described as classic “poor white trash” that live a lower middle class lifestyle, speak with southern twangs, and holds as much intelligence as a high school (GED) graduate! Those elements boost the comic relief that production suggests. However, the plot becomes rather macabre that eliminated much of the laugh factor one would expect. (This writer won’t give any plot points away, but take it from yours truly that the story becomes darker as it progresses!)
This form of black-ese humor makes this play rather appealing! The cast of four that appear play their roles as the group of backwaters that actually exist in some mode. Not necessarily as the characters depicted on stage, but they do come pretty close enough!

Steve Jarrard directs this program in a tight progressive method, making everyone an anti-hero without anyone doing anything remotely heroic!
LONE WAY DOWN can be a vague description of going down a long way! Although what does happen isn’t anything as a laughing matter per se, it still posses that humor one would want to find. So be it!

LONG WAY DOWN, presented by the Collaborative Artist Ensemble, performs at the Sherrie Theatre, 11052 Magnolia Blvd. (one half block east of Lankershim, and one half block west of Vineland), North Hollywood, until June 18th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. For ticket reservations, call (323) 860-6569, or online at http://LongWayDown.BrownPaperTickets.com
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The Angle City Chorale presents INTERACTIVE, a musical program that’s described as an imaginative multidimensional event that is of the sight and sound.
This presentation will be a unique and involved program that is far from a customary choral performance. Interactive will blend the theory of choir and cyberspace to mesh the elements between the chorale as performers and its audience that respects the essentials of being connected in this post-modern society.

Interactive will be bridging the gap between the classic style of musical performance that the ACC is well known for, as well as introducing aspects that make up what appears to be all around most of everyone: the opportunity to become part of what’s all everywhere media. Sue Fink, ACC’s artistic director and founder, will take the lead in presenting its legacy harmonic tones fusing classical with gospel, rhythm & blues, jazz, and world (folk) music as performed by its 160 plus male & female vocal choir and a 22-piece orchestra, taking full advantage of the natural sound-enriching acoustics of its performance space.

Oh, yes! According to a note as expressed by Sue Fink, since this show is indeed “interactive” she states that this time around, she will encourage those in attendance to NOT turn off their phones!

INTERACTIVE, presented by the Angel City Chorale, will take place for two shows, Saturday, June 3rd, and Sunday, June 4th at 7:00 PM at the Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (Hancock Park) located between Highland Ave. and Crenshaw Blvd. and right next door to the Wilshire-Ebel Theatre. Tickets can be obtained in advance (a $5.00 savings) or at the door. It’s recommended to arrive as early as possible as the church’s parking lot can only hold a limited number of vehicles, and finding street parking can be problematic.

To obtain tickets in advance, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2920022. Information on ACC can be found at http://www.angelcitychorale.org and through social media via Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/AngelCityChorale, Twitter – https://twitter.com/AngelCityChoral, YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/AngelCityChorale
and SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/angelcitychorale
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

WHAT IS TELEVISION?

In what appears to be as the never ending saga of the ever changing status of the “idiot box”, that so-called “box” really isn’t a box anymore. It’s now either a large sized picture frame that carries moving imagery with sound, a notebook sized picture frame that dose the same thing its large sized cousin dose, or it can be a hand held device that also dose the same thing. This time, the picture is tiny and its sound isn’t of any better quality or even louder!

All three devices are television machines, or so says a recent report from the marking group GfK MRI. The report addressed the aspects on how people receive their programming choices. And it notes that its new selection is what’s called streaming, a method where video and audio content is delivered through an internet based connection. This study focused on the attitudes and behaviors from 10,000 people across the US within the last few months.

This study divided those polled and researched into two unique groups of viewers. One group called “cord cutters” are those that once subscribed to cable and/or satellite TV for a monthly service fee, and those called “cord nevers”, those that never held a subscription to cable or dish delivered TV signals.

The former CATV subscribers tended to be middle aged, around 43 or so years old (i.e. “Gen Xers”), while the cord nevers were younger, around 34. The latter age are the Millenniums that advertisers and marketers tend to love and embrace,. Never mind the fact that that age groups hold plenty of debt through student loan payments, they aren’t necessarily earning a lot through their newer entry into the work force, not to they hold a lot of equity. But they are tech savvy, and that’s what matters for the moment!

Anyway, both the cord cutters and nevers receive their television through streaming services such as Hulu, Amazon, HBO Go, and the granddaddy of them all, Netflix. Although each one dose charge for their services, it’s usually for a cost that’s a whole lot cheaper than what cable/satellite would want each month. And unlike traditional cable where programs are aired when the programmer decides when to air the shows, streaming allow those to watch whatever they want when they want, without going through the trouble to setting up a digital video recorder (DVR) to capture a specific program on a specific channel on a specific date.

The report when on to state that the cutter and the nevers have their own lists of favorite programs they stream each session, either as single installments or as watching in bulk a.k.a. binge watching. Their “top-10” list of programs have similar interests as streaming only titles. The cutters stick to Netflix exclusively, while the nevers do enjoy Netflix titles, or do have favorites streaming on both Hulu and Amazon.

And what are those top-ten faves? The cutters choose (in order of preference from one through ten), Orange Is The New Black, Stranger Things, House of Cards, Fuller House, Making a Murderer, Luke Cage, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Black Mirror, and Arrested Development.

As for the nevers? Their picks are (again, from one through ten), Orange Is The New Black, Fuller House, Stranger Things, Daredevil, The Mindy Project, All or Nothing, Narcos, Black Mirror, Arrested Development, and Man in the High Castle. The Mindy Project is a Hulu series, while All or Nothing and Man in the High Castle come from Amazon. Nexflix takes on the rest.

So where is all of this going? It just presents how habits are shifting within TV viewers and the stuff that they take a peek at. Although streaming is the new method of TV consumption, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the standard way of presenting TV fodder is going on the wayside, yet along what device is used. It that is really the case, it’s not going to be that way for quite a while. After all, even if one does hold an opportunity to binge on a program series doesn’t mean they will actually do that. It’s not really easy to binge watch a series on a screen 2” in size. That’s just asking for a lot of eyestrain!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Road Theatre Company of North Hollywood closes their 2016-17 season with the Los Angeles premier of Nicky Silver’s THE LYONS, a rather darkish comedy about a family that undergoes one crisis to another with the (almost) expected results.

The Lyons family could be described as a typical Jewish middle class clan that lives through their content life, but they are anything but happy! And if they are, they are all pleased for the wrong reasons. The scene opens in a hospital room somewhere in midtown Manhattan. Ben Lyons (James Handy) the patriarch of this group, is dying of cancer. His visitors in his large yet private “suite” consist of his wife Rita (Judith Scrapone) and their two adult kids, Lisa (Verity Branco) and sibling Curtis (Chad Coe). Lisa, a recovering alcoholic, has recently divorced her husband while getting custody of her kids, and Curtis, a struggling writer of short stories, has his own issues with his domestic partners–assuming that they actually exist! Rita and Ben have been married for some time and it shows! Even when he’s lying on his hospital (death) bed, he continues to bicker with Rita and anyone else within reach. Although everyone has their own dealings to face, it doesn’t seem that anybody has any desire to care for anyone. And that scenario is just the first act! The second act has Curtis looking for an apartment meeting with Brian (Kris Frost), the real estate agent. That innocent episode turns into something more intense than inspecting dwelling places that are far from Curtis’s affordability based on what he earns as a writer. Whatever the outcome, this “happy” family shows off their true colors to one another and then some!

This play by Nicky Silver takes upon a subject that can be extracted from a post-modern yet melodramatic “art” film, and turns it into a comical episode that is indeed a hoot, in spite of the fact that is features a character getting closer to death. This form of expiration only brings the comedy factor towards a higher level, as all of these family members are just as F-ed up as the rest! The four leading players as seen in their performance mesh together as a family that has no bonding, unless the bonding has something to do with an “every-(wo)man-for-his/herself” attitude! Scott Alan Smith directs this production in a rapid pace, meaning that most of the fighting is somewhat limited to verbal barbs rather than physical i.e. throwing fists. That is the method normally used in domestic brawls. But this normal family as depicted on the stage are far from bring normal, so there goes one’s proof!

Special note is taken to Sarah B. Brown’s scenic design of the hospital room that factors with what one would find in a upper scale hospital, complete with bland hotel-type decor along with the standard medical fixtures placed. Ditto for a second scene location (an empty apartment) that is transformed through a clever scenic change method.

Also appearing in this production is Liz Herron (alternating with Amy Tolsky) as the hospital nurse–the only “normal” character of the bunch.

THE LYONS is indeed a very black comedy that is funny for both the correct and incorrect reasons. Although the name of this play gives out the title of the family moniker, one may believe that “The Lyons” is part of some majestic bloodline that holds a prestige lineage. But as reality as it is, it’s just another depiction of a dysfunctional family that is just as s#itty as the next! That may not hold much status, but it’s a whole lot comical than that!

THE LYONS, presented by The Road Theatre Company, and performs at The Road on Lankershim, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, until July 1st. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. For tickets or for more information, call (818) 761-8838, or online at http://www.RoadTheatre.org
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

A NEW WORLD RECORD?

A few weeks back, we received a news story that came from one of those so-called “news” sources that concentrates on reporting a cross between human interest stories and celebrity/entertainment fodder. Whatever the case, we found it as a bit amusing.

It appears that the record for binge watching virtual reality video content has been broken by not one, but by two individuals, clocking in some fifty hours of watching video content as this new method of TV viewing
According to the report, Alejandro “AJ” Fragoso, and Alex Christison, of New York City successfully completed the feat by watching VR video content staring on a Saturday at around 8:45 AM through the next Monday at 10:45 AM (EST) with a five-minute break per hour.

AJ and Alex completed this feat through a sponsorship from CyberLink, which has a VR-playback feature on its Power DVD17 software. The report continues to state that this pair used Oculus Rift headsets connected to VR-capable laptops.
The report also noted that Aj still holds the record of binge watching standard video content that he completed this feat last year through a ninety-four hour marathon.

And for what its worth, both champs are of the Millennium demographic. AJ is 26 and Alex is 37.

So what does the above news story mean? Not too much really! It’s just another tale on how folks consume their television, no matter what medium is used to view all of these wonderful programs.
It’s no real secret that television and its viewing elements has drastically changed since the turn of the 21st century. Back in 2001 the first year of the new millennium, television was viewed through over the air broadcasts, cable TV, and through a satellite dish that mimics what one would normally see through a CATV hook up. There was the trusty ol’ VCR where one can watch videotapes either as pre-recorded titles such as movies, or stuff recorded off the air for later viewing. DVDs did exist as well. However, one really couldn’t recorded on a DVD, so videotape was more of a preferred method. The picture quality as a whole wasn’t as good as what a DVD could generate, but if one recorded that week’s installment of Friends to view later, then the image quality was acceptable for what it was. Even if the person wanted to keep the show for their own library, the programs as recorded was still acceptable. After all, one can build up a nice collection of programs recorded off the air for very cheap; Mainly, for the price of a blank videocassette. (Blank tapes were going around $5.00 or so, and a lot less if one purchased in bulk.)

Today, videotapes as a whole (pre-recorded or off-air recordings), are so out of demand, people tend to dump their tapes at garage sales for “make offer” prices, or toss them in the trash! Second hand shops such as the Goodwill won’t even take VHS tapes anymore as they no longer sell! And when it comes to the TV machines that were used back on ’01? Unless the set was something rather unique or special, one can’t even give those old tube sets away anymore! This writer would observe a tube set (usually a 1990’s-era set around 24” inches in screen size), sitting along a curb ready for anyone to take it away! At one time, one can find an average of two TV sets abandon on a curb every week!

Now this binge watching stuff! Leave it to the folks at Netflix to start this habit of consuming television. Although this video service do offer a selection of feature films and catalog television programs, they have their line up of original TV programs. Unlike how the networks would present a program by offing a new episode per week, Netflix, as well as their competitors (Hulu, Amazon, etc.) would premier their shows as a whole, not as one episode at a time! So when, let’s say Hulu, introduces a new program (not necessarily in some given part of the calendar year compared to the traditional fall season in September), one can see the entire season in one sitting. Granted, one isn’t obligated to see every episode all at once, but depending how one finds the program interesting, one can do that! It all depends on how one can ether find the time or effort to take every bit of a specific show. Call this method as “all in the timing”!

A few years ago, the folks as 20th Century Fox TV held a contest that involved the animated series The Simpsons. The contest involved a marathon watching event where a large tent was placed (in this case, within the Hollywood and Highland shopping complex) that was set up auditorium style. A large 80” TV monitor was placed at the end of the tent. In front of that monitor was a series of folding chairs lined in rows. The object of the contest was to watch every episode of The Simpsons projected while seated in the tent, and the person that remained in the tent watching for the longest period of time would be declared as “the winner”. This writer didn’t get the details on the contest rules, such as allowing for breaks or anything like that, let alone who was the winning contestant, how many hours (days?) they remained, or even what the prize was! However, one can do their ever lovin’ Google search to find those answers.

So as TV sets become bigger and smarter, and TV program providers become more creative in how their shows are viewed, we can assume that this method of TV consumption is here to stay. This is supposed to be television’s second coming. (Again!)

It just can’t get any better that that!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Pasadena’s Theatre @ Boston Court presents the world premier of Dan O’Brian’s THE HOUSE IN SCARSDALE: A MEMOIR FOR THE STAGE, a performance about a playwright’s quest to write about his family for artistic purposes, only to discover there’s more to his cause.

Brian Henderson is Dan, a writer living in Los Angeles that has a desire to compose a stage play (instead of a screenplay) that uses his family as its basis. Originally from the New York area (Scarsdale), he begin his personal journey attempting to contact various people in finding out about his roots and the reasons behind his removal from the family domain. Tim Cummings portrays these diverse virtual citizens that dwell within Dan’s practical junket (including “Dan” himself) that informs him about siblings, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and those not necessarily related through blood, marriage, or existence. The farther Dan travels, the more he becomes aware about these beings, while not knowing about who they are and what they are not. Dan’s memoir develops into a plateau that isn’t part of a physical theatre, but more of a theatre of one’s mind.

This single act play created by Dan O’Brien takes on a theme of sorts that focuses upon the standard and accepted practice of being part of a so-called dysfunctional family, a basis that was once an unspoken taboo and is presently viewed in this age’s post-modern domestic society as sitcom fodder! In this production, the play’s concepts begins as the for noted progressive sitcom where much of the humor is expressed. As the plot thickens (so to speak), the tone becomes more sobering as the protagonist finds out hidden secrets about his linage–true or otherwise!

The two performers seen in this program, Brian Henderson as Dan, and Tim Cummings as Dan (and others), communicate through a myriad of settings and personalities that ranges from comical to solemn. The words and emoting that Dan et. al. speaks holds more wit than traditional comedy, while at the same moments, are more dramatic in words than dramatic through physical action. Michael Michetti’s stage direction keeps these two players in step, never giving the opportunity to have its pacing falter.

In terms of visual elements, Sara Ryung Clement’s scenic design shows a pair of metallic chairs on stage left-center as its only physical props, Its backdrop are two walls angled at its center that are used to hold projected moving imagery as designed by Tom Ontiveron. These images displays Dan within his journey until he discovers the family he knows of or not.

It’s not quite known if playwright Dan O’Brian used his actual family as the setting to this work, even if this is indeed a “memoir for the stage” as this play’s subtitle suggests. That question doesn’t have to contain an answer as to what is depicted on the stage can speak for itself. One question may remain. Does Dan, the play’s main character, complete his odyssey to create a stage piece that serves as his memoir? Perhaps that is for another stage play or as a “reboot” as it’s known in movie speak!

THE HOUSE IN SCARSDALE: A MEMOIR FOR THE STAGE, presented by and performs at The Theatre @ Boston Court, 70 North Mentor Avenue (off Lake Street and Colorado Blvd.) Pasadena, until June 4th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. Additional performance takes place on Monday, May 22nd at 8:00 PM. For ticket reservations or for more information, call (626) 683-6801, or via online at http://www.BostonCourt.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

I’M JUST A LONELY BOY

The above title beings to mind an “oldie” tune sung by Paul Anka c. 1960 that was not only a hit heard on top 40 radio back in its day (in Los Angeles, KFWB and KRLA placed that record on its playlists), but was heard as a regular staple on those stations that once programed rock ‘n roll “oldies” beginning in the 1970’s and continued well into the 2000s. But this article isn’t about Paul Anka, top-40 and oldies radio stations, or even collecting 45 PRM records! It’s about the topic in question: The sense of feeling lonely and becoming within a state of being where a lonely person doesn’t have others to coincide with.
Not so long ago, The Harris Poll in conjunction with the American Osteopathic Association, conducted an online survey asking participants on their sense of being isolated from others, either as people known to one another, or to those that hold a common bond with each other based upon interest, their place of employment, or just within a stage as a group, organization, clan, or other method that could be considered as a gang of some type.

In the poll’s findings, some 2,000 American adults polled found that 72% reported having felt a sense of loneliness at one time or another, with nearly a third (31 percent) experiencing loneliness at least once a week.
The reasonings toward this isolation vary widely, from working at a job or occupation for longer hours, as well as the ever present social media that has others develop so-called “friendships” with one another without seeing the person face to face, speaking to each other, or even knowing if that person even exists! Thanks to this technology that is supposed to make life easier, it appears that it really didn’t service as a connivence, but as another step to making things more complex.

This trend of the state of being isolated in a domestic society is far from being something as new. When television stated to make its mark in the late 1940’s, folks were flocking to be in front of those television machines in order to take a peek of those programs being accessible on those new fangled devices. At first, TV sets were rather expensive for what they were. Much of the early viewing trends were based on watching within a group-type setting, from going to a local bar or tavern to see The Gillette Cavalcade of Sports or perhaps being at a friend’s or associate’s home to watch Your Show of Shows on a Saturday night. As TV sets became more common and thus, more affordable, those viewing parties faded away where people could and would watch by themselves. In many neighborhoods, especially in smaller towns, television was the cause (blame?) as the reasoning of community breakdowns. Everything from bowling leagues to woman’s groups experienced a fall of membership and events thanks to the presence of television. As recently as the 1970’s, the community of Essex, California was known to be one of the few places in the USA that couldn’t receive television signals from both Los Angeles (too far away) and Las Vegas (too many mountains). When a booster antenna was finally installed nearby, TV signals reached Essex. Community groups within this hamlet saw memberships drop only to induce more isolation within this small town just because people can stay home to watch television rather than do something else with others!

But that story of Essex was a remote case. Over time and tide, people drifted toward isolation through various reasons, yet technology played a part. Around the turn of the 21st century, a book written by Robert D. Putman entitled Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community was released that noted about the drastic decline of social interaction within the last fifty years beginning around 1950. That period was marked between the rise of TV to the dawn of internet usage. But in 2000, the ‘net was somewhat of a different place as it exists in the present time, as well as how one can get access to it all.

Perhaps two elements has since taken place around the time that book title make its mark: Social media, and how one can receive it. Within the last fifteen or so years, social media platforms morphed from being a novelty to a way of life. And cells phone changed from small candy bar shaped devices to mini computers that can do nearly everything from sending text messages, viewing video content, hearing audio sounds, and yes–sending and receiving phone calls! As to social media, that grew in leaps and bounds where many websites came and went where one can know of others in cyberspace land. Perhaps the granddaddy of them all in terms of social media presence is Facebook, where it is quite possible to find many people one may know, one may know of, and others that are total strangers–assuming that these strangers are for real! On Facebook, one can have as many as 5000 “friends” where one can find out anything the “friends” post about themselves on their platforms. In spite of the fact that one can have as many of these friends allowed, one question remains. How many of these online buddies one has spoken to via voice, or have actually seen in person? One of our fake people we have on Facebook reached its 5000 limit, receiving online banter over what the 5000 are doing, what they believe in, and anything else in between. Will we ever meet any of these fine folks? Fat chance for that!

Although social media is OK for what it is, it’s not all evil, and getting out of isolation isn’t something one will be stuck with for life. According to the Harris poll results and what the American Osteopathic Association suggests, there are ways to get out of being all alone and back into group situations, from finding groups to gather with (Meetup.com can be used to find such groups), from shopping locally (such as farmer’s markets), to changing communities where one works and/or lives, and to possibly take an effort to limit one’s reliance of social media! (Or as it’s know, to become “off the grid”!) It’s not impossible to perform all of these steps, but after some trial and error, one can get back with others and to get away from becoming all by their lonesome.

Of course, one has to have a balance in own’s life. Being by one’s self has its advantages. And being with others also holds its perks. Whatever the case, all one has to do is to is try. To quote a c.1959 Peanuts panel strip, when Charlie Brown first has his appointment with Lucy with her five cent physiotherapy session, he asked upon how to beat his depression, Luck replied to “Snap out of it”, and to demand her five cents for her services. Maybe there is more to that solution, but we here at Accessibly Live Off-Line are not doctors, nor do we play them on TV! Just ask the towns folks in Essex just in case you don’t take our word for it!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
Performing at The Actors Company of West Hollywood is the world premier of Michael Harney’s THE AWFUL GRACE OF GOD, a collection of six short plays that take the theater audience through various places of time, location, and space.

The half dozen short tales consists of Off, featuring Curtiz Belz and Bechir Sylvain as two friends living in Flushing, Queens c.1972 as the they deal with living in their neighborhood keeping with their street smarts: Surrender with Tim DeZarn and Janine Venable as an older couple aging in place at their cabin nestled within their rustic spot in an unnamed community in New England, still getting over the death of their child from not so many years before: and Willy and Rose, about a young couple on the run living in a seedy motel room where Wille performed a “job” bringing a lot of money in their coffers, only to pay a price, featuring Johnny Whitworth, Agatha Nowicki, and Joseph Bongiovanni. The second half consists of The Long Walk Home, a period piece set in New York City c.1950 about a man’s dilemma from his drinking and how it affects his wife and kids, only to have his crippled father to set him straight. Features James Harvey Ward, Tim DeZarn, Janine Venable, Rebecca Lidvan, Daniel Litz, Amelia Jackson-Gray, and Joseph Bongiovanni. Need (Shelter From The Storm), stars Marie Broderick as a psychotherapist and Marshall McCabe (alternating with Ilia Volok) as her client where he expresses his devotion to her, in spite of her limiting their relationship as only professional. And rounding out the six is Through, Oscar Best is an African American man tied up at a lynching post as he discovers his freedom through virtual means.

This pool of short plays written by Michael Harney is presented in a very tight mode. Their moods range from light and humorous to downright sobering. Each mini-tale has touches of surrealism contained in various places, some with more doses of this entry that others that give off an equal balance. The method that these single standing scenes as portrayed gives the audience the desire to want more, only to have its conclusions arrive in the nick of time! Michael Harney, best known as playing the character Sam Healy in the Nexflix series Orange Is The New Black, creates through his writings, six unique worlds that journeys through the past, present, and possibly a future that might lead as experienced (or not)!
 As to the visuals seen on stage, Joel Daavid’s set design combining with Fritz Davis’ video projection design creates a backdrop that takes each of these short epics in miniature through every situation and latitude, from the streets of Queens to an isolated cabin somewhere in Yankee country, back to the present urban scene, and far beyond the reaches of physical volume.

Directed by Mark Kemble, THE AWFUL GRACE OF GOD is far from “awful”! In fact, it holds a rather powerful reaction that is set within its slightly over two hour running time! It has been stated before that big things tend to come in small packages. This fact is indeed very true as through the grace of God or otherwise!

THE AWFUL GRACE OF GOD, presented by Go The Distance Productions, and performs at the Other Space at The Actors Company, 916 N. Formosa Avenue (two blocks south of Santa Monica Blvd, and two blocks west of La Brea), West Hollywood, until May 28th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. For ticket reservations or for more information, call (323) 960-7784, or via online at http://www.Plays411.com/GraceOfGod

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Performing at the Charles Stewart Howard Theatre in Woodland Hills is the program THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY, the Neil Bartram-Brian Hill musical that focuses itself on how everything in life is relative and interconnected, no matter how important or trivial these connection presents itself.
In this production, an ensemble of twelve performers consisting of (as listed in alphabetical order) Laila Abdo, Tiffany Bailey, Chris Clonts, Kristne Gilreath, MacKayla Hill, Justin Hoff, Daniel Koh, Paulina Logan, Katie Lynn Mapel, Caitlyn Rose Massey, Kyle Sundman, and Laiya Cheyenne Wynn, emote through song on how personal episodes found within that element called “domestic life” holds some connection to one another, although that interconnection may not seem obvious firsthand.
The mini-stories this musical speak, or sings for ranges between (in no specific order) a person attempting to impress another with a confession to his cat allergy, a pair of BFFs since childhood whose friendship status changes as they eventually mature, another person scuffling on how his uncertainty with the emotion of love is connected with math theory of pi, a college bound student discovering his adult life in progress as unique from his once sheltered family life, how another young man with his fondness of oranges finds the love of his life by way of this fruit, a young woman who believed she found her true love only to have that love take another turn leaving her with a permanent reminder, a person who gathers the courage to say hello while waiting in line for a coffee drink, and other sagas that makes up the rituals of emerging into continuing adulthood.
This musical with music score and lyrics by Neil Bartman and book by Brian Hill, is a piece that is charming, witty, touching, honest, and depending of one’s demographic, nostalgic! The episodes portrayed are mostly told in song, although there is some spoken dialogue emitted that is powered to set up the “story”, making use of some basic laws of physics. That is where the math ends and the musical notions take hold. WIthin this seen production, the cast of twelve are seated on various white colored semi-mismatched chairs at first, only to take the stage when it’s their turn to sing taking upon the character they are playing that’s emoting their little life account. Within the stage backdrop is a blackboard setting placed on stage left and right with math-esque problems scribbled throughout while a vase filled with posies is placed in the center of these blackboards as balance. Jessica Worland’s production design first gives the illusion that this show is just about math and physics. But that feeling takes a backseat when the show extends itself as how people emerge in life.
And how does “nostalgia” fit into this musical work? For the most part, the stories told and the players that depict them are mostly of the “millennium” age. However, a point in life doesn’t make a difference here since nearly anyone who did undergo a domestic form of living can relate to these same tales, except that these epics occurred a few years before when one used their inner emotions and gut feelings rather than through an app loaded into their smartphones!
With Larry Collica providing musical direction performing on the keyboards, and Marshelle Giggles-Mills as stage director, this one-act musical can be described as tight, meaning that its musical and dramatic emotions never bogs down a bit from its opening number to its climatic conclusion.
The Charles Stewart Howard Theatre isn’t a traditional stage theatre per se. Its theater space is found within an auditorium setting located on the campus of Woodland Hills Community Church, a facility nestled within a residential neighborhood just about a mile south of Ventura Blvd. It is indeed off the beaten path, and that is actually a good thing! This slightly out-of-the-way place gives this same theatre space its charm and appeal. And with its size, this theatre indeed subscribes to the “less-is-more” method of performing quality stage works. It’s not really the same as a “Hollywood hole-in-the-wall” playhouse because it’s far from existing as a “hole-in-the-wall”, and it’s some distance from Hollywood! This theatre space is found in the west San Fernando Valley region where high caliber performing art does exist. One just has to look a bit deeper for it!

THE THEORY OF RELATIVITY, is presented at the Charles Stewart Howard Theatre on the campus of Woodland Hills Community Church, 21335 Dumetz Road at Canoga Blvd. Woodland Hills. Performances take place on Saturday and Sunday, May 6th and 7th, at 7:30 PM. Ticket reservations can be obtained by calling (818) 835-0612, or via online at http://Theory.BrownPaperTickets.com or http://cshplayhouse.wixsite.com/the-cshp
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

CABLE TV AIN’T WHAT IT USED TO BE

Once upon a time, say, thirty or so years ago, cable television, or as it was known in industry speak, CATV, was toted as television’s second coming. It was a method where people (or actually, regular TV watchers), would have more choices in their television viewing. For the first time since TV came to be in the late 1940’s, folks would have the opportunity to have access to some 30+ channels to see programs for all tastes, from movies, sporting events, news and information, kid’s shows, and other types of entertainment that the “big three” (i.e. the over the air TV networks), couldn’t or didn’t provide.

Unlike getting access to those “big three”, that is collectively, ABC, CBS, and NBC, having a cable TV subscription became available for a fee, while the over the air networks were free. Many of the local cable companies that were wiring communities toted their services where one can get thirty to forty channels of various CATV networks for a monthly charge, usually around $15.00 to $25.00 per month, depending on the number of channels offered and the company providing such services. Of course, those monthly fees were just for “basic” service. If one wanted to receive those pay TV channels, such as Home Box Office aka HBO, Showtimes, The Movie Channel, or other sources, one would have to pay an extra $12.00 to $15.00 per month. Unlike basic service channels made available, such as The Arts & Entertainment Network (“A&E”), the USA Network, WTBS, ESPN, and a host of others, the pay services would offer recent movies (released at late as one year prior), and a few original programing choices that was uncut and uncensored. Now one can see those recent movies with all of the violence, cussing, and nudity intact! One could see original programs that also featured the said cussing and violence. Of course, all of these pay services offered family friendly programs as well. HBO has a contract with The Jim Henson Company to provide hour long titles that featured The Muppet characters. Showtime would also provide shows suitable for all ages, and all of the pay channels offered movies (their “bread and butter” programming) that were aimed for kids. And unlike basic service, there were no commercial interruptions, meaning that an original hour long show ran 58 minutes, thirty seconds, and movies ran their original lengths.

But that was back in the 1980’s when television was limited to standard analog signals running at 525 lines (NTSC standard). Stereo sound was its latest improvement, and VCRs were all the rage. And at the time, TV’s most profound advancement since its beginnings were color transmissions. SInce those thirty or so years, TV has grown in leaps or bounds. Cable TV is still around, but takes upon a different meaning. Many of those CATV companies around back then have either been bought out, merged, or pulled out of the business altogether. The choice of channels have increased from 35 to 200 plus. The amount for a subscription skyrocketed to $70.00 a month. (Never mind the fact that new subscribers can receive so much for less that $50.00 a month. It’s only good for one year where the regular fee kicks in starting at year two!) And although the pay channels are still available for an additional fee, original programming is promptly featured, while movies, the one time “bread and butter”, is now programmed as an afterthought.

However, the number of cable (or even satellite) subscribers has fallen through the recent years. There are many reasons given why people no longer want their CATV and/or satellite services is the cost factor. Paying $50.00 and up per month for receiving channels that are never watched no longer serves as practical, since a good number of CATV subscribers tend to tune in about eight to ten channels on a regular basis.

What is also killing CATV is what’s known as “streaming”, where one receives moving imagery content through an internet based connection. Instead of limited themselves on viewing through a traditional TV device, one can watch contend through any electronic gadget that sports a video screen, be it a laptop, an electronic pad, or even a phone. Granted, one will receive the maximum audio/video quality through a traditional TV, but it’s still quite possible to catch whatever one wants wherever the viewer is located, assuming that a wifi connection exists. Perhaps the two major advantages of streaming is the fact that one can view content whenever the viewer feel like it, and its monthly service is a whole lot cheaper, less than $10.00 per month in many cases.
But all is not lost for the once mighty CATV channels, as they too, offer streaming services of much of their content, from movies or original shows. And a lot of this content is also uncut and uncensored, too! Yep, there is also lots of family friendly material as well! So go ahead and bring the kids along!

This year (2017) will make the 70th anniversary of the slow-yet-steady start of regular TV programming on a wider scale. Next year will note the 70th year of standard programming available on a regular basis seven days a week! Viewers have come a long way since those early days when Milton Berle became TV’s first real star, and rooftops started to post those TV antennas. Uncle Miltie is long gone, but those TV aerials still can be used to receive those HiDef signals. It’s not wifi, but still works!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Performing at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood is David Lindsay-Abaire’s RABBIT HOLE, a melodrama about a couple coping over the recent loss of their child due to circumstance, and the people that maneuver within their lives.

Much of the drama takes place at the home of Becca and Howie Corbett. (Jordana Oberman and Michael Yurchak), located in a well-to-do bedroom community in New York State. They also had a young son who had perished from an accidental death. Although Becca and Howie had accepted the fact that their son is gone, their relationship they once had begins to falter. And in spite of the fact that they are surrounded by supportive people such as Becca’s sibling Izzy (Toni Christopher), as well as her mother Nat (Darcy Shean), it’s just not enough to keep emotions in line. But one person returns back to the fold. Jason (Rocky Collins), an adolescent who will soon embark into adulthood and beyond, was the person responsible in the family’s tragic event. He seeks for honest forgiveness from the couple, but receives more that his desire. This is a bittersweet tale of acceptance, loss, recovery, and the notion of the realism of substance.

The play, winner of the the coveted Pulitzer Prize for 2007, is a stage work that presents an even blend of humor and temperateness without relying upon one or the other. Within this specific stage product, the cast of five players perform their roles down to a point where one may actually know of an genuine person in so-called “real life” that is depicted on stage. Eric Hunicutt directs this production as intense drama that isn’t too heavy, but effortful enough. The creative work of Lilly Bartenstein scenic and lighting design of the Corbett home: A comfortable homestead fit for the postmodern era. along with Serena Duffin costuming adds to the realism depicted.

Although the theme of this piece deals in tragic affairs, RABBIT HOLE isn’t a “downer” play per se, but has a story line that speaks for emotional high and low points with the theory that one can rise to the occasion, not matter what that occasion may be.

RABBIT HOLE, presented by JTK Productions, and performs at the Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd. (one block east of Vine Street at El Centro), Hollywood, until May 14th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. For reservations and information, call (917) 407-3346, or online at http://www.plays411.com/RabbitHole
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The Santa Monica Playhouse presents for a limited run, Barbara Minkus starring in I’M NOT FAMOUS, a performance with music where Barbara tells her life story on how she became (almost) famous.

Barbara emotes her yarn for her humble beginnings in Chicago where she was first exposed in performing songs in front of her family as well as at her elementary school. Inspired from catching the stage shows at the Chicago Theatre on State Street, she embarked on a rather long clime to stardom. She did over time eventually make it out to Broadway, and well as heading toward “the other coast” i.e. “Hollywood” a.k.a. Los Angeles to appear in a few gigs both both on stage as well as on Television. But in spite of gaining some kind of stardom, she became inspired to lead another life that had nothing to do with show biz. Through her narrative, she has an opportunity to sing a few songs that enhances her saga from one chapter to the next.

This show is far different that a standard solo show where one tells their life story (or a part of their life story) within a ninety minute or so running time. As described above, this showcase features some tunes lifted from Barbara’s personal soundtrack of her life. Many of the songs performed are from the “standards” variety as this is Barbara’s forte. WIth Ron Barnett on the keyboards, she is as her best singing as she is emoting. Within this ninety minute timeframe, she shifts the tale between her professional life to her personal side, from meeting the man that would become her spouse, the desire of starting a family, as well as creating a real “day job”. Although she does touch upon a few darker sides of her life, most of the performance places an emphasis on her brighter moments as she had more of the latter than the former!

Susan Morgenstern directs this program that is funny, charming, witty, with just a touch of sadness added for good measure. There are a few visuals projected within the stage backdrop as provided by visual projectionist and set designer James Cooper. These images just illustrate some of the stories that Barbara tells her audience that make this showpiece a source with the information that gives all the important facts about a person that isn’t famous!
In spite of what the title of this presentation may suggest, Barbara is indeed famous in her own right! Granted, she may not be a household name per se, but this writer knew of her from many years before when yours truly would be seated in front of a Zenith tuning in every Friday night (chomping down a bag of Jay’s potato chips) as well as the next morning while downing a bowl of Froot Loops and/or Lucky Charms. (Tuning in on the same TV network!) I didn’t necessarily know her name, but I knew her look! And for somebody of her vintage (21+), she still has what it takes, having a sense of real talent than let’s say, somebody “famous” through self performed antics uploaded on YouTube. (That’s for another story, and for another stage show playing somewhere performed by somebody else that’s “famous”!)

     I”M NOT FAMOUS-A MUSICAL JOURNEY WITH BARBARA MINKUS is presented by and performed at The Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th Street (off Wilshire Blvd.), Santa Monica, until May 28th. Showtimes are Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. For ticket reservations, call (310) 394-9779 ext. 1, or online at
http://www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com/Im-Not-Famous.html
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

THE SELLING OF YOURSELF VIA FACEBOOK

Facebook, as everyone knows (or should know) is one of the the be-all-to-end-all places in cyberspace that is part of what social media is all about. For the past ten or so years, millions of folks have posted their place on the site where they let anyone within their “friend’s” realms about anything and almost everything about what they do, what they think, and how everything is all up to snuff.

Although elements may vary, it appears that these folks, ranging in age stretching from “Gen Y’s” through the Baby Boomers generation, take the time to express the elements about their life, showing off pictures of their family, the events that attend, the assignments they do, and anything else they feel that others should know about. Never mind the fact that these expressions may be of little to no interest by the others that make up their “friends”. They just perform these things just because they can!
However, one will note that many of these posts about their lives tend to fall into a sense of bragging. Many of these folks give the illusion that their lives are bright and rosy. The work they do are their “dream jobs”, their families are perfect, their pets are oh-so-cute (if not being passed off as a family member), and other bits and pieces that would become a work of a public relations team, making sure that whatever aspects they spin, it must be upbeat and ideal.

Although there is nothing wrong with anyone that “toots their horn” about themselves (after all, that is what having an ego is all about), posting all of this goodness from others can backfire. Some of those that are obsessed with this social media entry may take some of these post seriously, perhaps too seriously! Many studies has found that spending too much time on Facebook (perhaps an hour or more per session), has brought a sense of depression to those that keep on reading all of these people’s post with their reports of joy, happiness, and the elements that “everything is going my way”!
People that continue to read these posts, as well as glancing at their video uplinks, can receive the notion that all is well with these “friends” (when in reality, they are perfect strangers), that may ask themselves, “What have I done with my life?”.

As much as people may believe, Facebook never makes any agreement that anything  people post on their sites that are of a personal nature are deemed to be true and accurate. Anybody can state anything about themselves and/or about those around them whenever they are actually true or not. A person for instance who claims they are a writer can say they just signed a zillion dollar contract with a big deal publishing company on their next romantic novel. (Many of these writers tend to be women, just to let everyone know!) Or somebody can post pictures of a recent vacation that they and/or the family went on where everyone in the pictures are having the time of their lives. However, how would anyone know that these events are real? Perhaps the “writer”  didn’t get a high dollar contract. Perhaps this writer is attempting to write that novel, hoping to sell it to anyone that’s willing to buy it. Maybe that writer doesn’t even exist! How would anyone know these facts? And would anyone really care??

This writer (“me”), has stated many times about the people we created that’s alive and living on Facebook. A few we have forgotten about while two in particular are indeed “alive and living”. Although they do have an active profile going, they are anything but real! They don’t exist!! But one person who as of this writing has 5000 friends–the maximum about of people one can have as friends. But out of these 5000, how many are aware that this person is a fake? A few may know, but for the most part, they don’t care! And then again, how many of the 5000 are real? And so it goes!

So go ahead. Let everyone in your gang know about everything you want them to know about! Just keep things in an upbeat matter. Don’t let anyone know that your life is just as crappy as the next person’s. It will just spoil the continuity of things, and will turn attitudes on its face(book)! It’s just part of the personal PR that everyone wants and needs–assuming that anyone would really give a crap!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS  

At the Zephyr on Melrose theatre located in the heart of the Fairfax district is James McLure’s LONE STAR, a comical tale of two siblings that talk about some of the things in life for better of for worse.
Taking place not too many years ago, Roy (Christopher Jordan) and his younger brother Ray (Christopher Parker) meet behind Angel’s Bar in Maynard, Texas-a place only famous for passing the day and nights away drinking, playing the jukebox loaded with Wayland, Willie, and Hank, shooting pool, and shooting s#it. Roy, a vet that did a duty in ‘Nam, doesn’t have much going for himself with the exception of a beer in hand (“Lone Star”) and his pink ’59 Thunderbird. Ray and Roy talks about the basic in life–or their lives anyway–that has meaning, such as being in Maynard all of their lives. Not much is going on outside of discussing drinking, Roy’s war stories and his car, and the woman they both once knew. The only one that seems to have his life together is Cletus (Brian Foyster). He’s a clean cut Baptist and works at the local appliance store. He does admire Roy as he’s the man that Cletus isn’t. Things just never get any better (or worse) in the Lone Star state.
This one act play is very comical that expresses how being in a small town where drinking in dive road houses is not just a hobby, but an “art”! The three characters that appear in this production are just as backwater Texas as they could get. David Fofi, one of the founders of the Elephant Theatre Company, a long established theater company that made its mark along Hollywood’s theatre row aka Santa Monica Blvd., directs this program that is highly entertaining, although its very short for a one act as its running time is somewhere around 70 minutes!

Special attention goes to Christopher Jordan’s scenic design that consists of a faded and very run down back of a rural road house bar loaded with rusted auto parts, a beat- up car seat serving as a comfy couch, along with long spent longneck bottles of Lone Star scattered about–the only brand of beer that matters!

LONE STAR is very witty on laughs and very short on running time. That’s no blame for this production as that was how the play was penned. But life itself is too short to worry about things as such. Just enjoy while taking a swig of brew while The Man in Black is thumping on the jukebox!

LONE STAR, presented by the Elephant Theatre Company, and performs at the Zephyr on Melrose, 7456 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, until May 7th. SHowtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. For tickets, order online at http://www.plays411.com/LoneStar
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The Glendale Centre Theatre reprises Oscar Wilde’s THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST, a play that banters upon upper class Victorian life, and the notion of two acquaintances being engaged to the same woman–among other follies!
Daniel Deyoung portrays John Worthing, a man that lives in a county estate outside of London. While in the city, he uses the moniker of Ernest. He’s in love with the coquettish Gwendolyn Fairfax (Meghan Lewis). Miss Farifax has a cousin named Algernon Moncrieff (Grayson Wittebarger) who also goes by the alias name of Earnest. Algernon a.k.a. Earnest heads off to Jack’s country home and falls toward romance with his ward Cecily Cardew (Zoe Farmingdale). Things become quite complicated with these two suitors calling themselves Earnest and their attempt to woo the named ladies that leads up to a climatic conclusion showing how important it is to be…Earnest!

There has been many accounts and notations stated about this play by the master Wilde (ironically, his final work), that has been expressed by many a theater connoisseur to become perhaps one of the greatest comedies ever written in English that didn’t come from the pen of The Bard! And after 100+ years from its first appearance, it appears to be just as timeless than ever before! The play itself is very well intact with its ever present wit. In fact, it’s very talky (i.e. use of dialogue than stage action) adding plenty of the for mentioned witticism that is part of its humor factor!

Zoe Bright, who appears in this production as Lady Bracknell, directs this piece with its cast of players that holds as much charm and appeal as the play itself. That said cast features, as listed in their order or appearance, Anthony Papastrat as Lane/Merriman, Dynell Leigh as Miss Prism, Tom Allen as the Rev. Chasuble, and Martin Sottile as Merriman the butler.

Angela Manke of Glendale Costumes provides the period costuming that is just as appealing as the performers that don such outfits, making their fashion statements well know to the era it caters to.

One forgets how such an ageless piece this play presents itself to be, no matter how many times one is exposed to it. After a century plus, it just gets better with time! And this community theater company located in a growing section of Glendale is indeed the place to see it for another opportunity!

   THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING ERNEST, presented presented by and performs at the Glendale Centre Theatre. 324 North Orange Street, Glendale, until May 13th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM, and Saturday matinees at 3:00 PM. Additional performances take place on Thursday, April 20th at 8:00 PM, and on Sunday, April 23rd and 30th at 3:00 PM.
    For more information and for ticket reservations, call (818) 244-8481, or visit the GCT’s web site at http://www.GlendaleCentreTheatre.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

AccessiblyLiveOffLine@twc.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
https://www.facebook.com/accessiblylive.offline
@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEHxSllfDItpWh3z8vuUb_w
(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
http://www.LinearCycleProductions.com
#AccessiblyLiveOffLine

(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!