I was once informed by a person (whose name has been long forgotten) on the art of starting a conversation with someone, especially if that someone wasn’t anyone well know to the other party. From what I can remember, I believe this advice dispensed on me was based upon my effort to meet somebody of the opposite sex. I was around the age of what’s now known as a “tweener”. So whoever this person was (the person whose name I forgot), was giving me this advice from an adult (person “X”) to a kid (me!)
The advice I was given was something to the effect that if you are going to start a conversation with somebody, begin your spiel on the weather. It’s a safe topic, and everyone is affected with that element in some kind of fashion. It may not to something that’s exciting or anything, but it’s a subject that is ideal for the twelve year old mind to decipher.
Now I am not going to get into any story about if this advice ever worked with a girl I met at a junior high dance or anything like that (that’s a topic for another article), but the notion why yours truly brought it up is the reason behind this article you are reading! It’s a topic we are going to “talk” about–the weather!
Last Friday February 17th, the Los Angeles basin was hit by a massive rainstorm. Depending what source you get your weather news, it was the biggest storm of its kind ever to hit Los Angeles and southern California is six years, ten years, or even twenty two years! It was a storm that dumped anywhere from three to six inches of rain within a twenty four hour period.
There were the usual weather related elements that occurred during that rainstorm. Their were mud and rockslides, flooded streets and highways, downed trees, power outages, a number of heroic rescues, and even a death due to the rain. And since the state of California has been under a drought for a number of years, this rain, as well as the other rains that occurred since October 1st of last year, has either wiped out the drought stage, or impacted it to a point where the dryness isn’t as bad as it once stood.
But with the drought gone away, this means that doing domestic stuff with water won’t be much of a burden as it use to be. Many communities used to set limits on how much water can be used to keep a lawn green, or how often one can wash their car on their driveway or carport. The line “Save Water. Shower with a Friend” that had its origins from a 1960’s water ration program that New York City was going through, even made a comeback of sorts.
But with the rains will come the spring, scheduled to begin on March 20th. This is the time where winter is over (duh!), and those flowers that are supposed to bloom take their part. Then the sun will shine, the birds chirp, and those domestic types will start doing their springtime activities, such as watering their lawns without guilt, washing their cars on their driveway or carport without feeling any remorse, and jazz like that! There is also that “shower with a friend” idea, but that’s a totally different subject to ponder upon. Besides, the shower bit really isn’t limited to springtime as that can be done year round!
This is one of the many reasons why this writer never dives into the subject of the weather as the lead article. Although the topic itself is rather amusing for what it is, it becomes rather dull after a few paragraphs. However, rain–any form of rain that falls within the Los Angeles area, is somewhat interesting since that form of weather only takes place a few weeks of the year.
Around the time when I was twelve years old–the same period that person “x” was giving me advice on how to attract a girl’s attention at a junior high dance, a song that was a staple of top-40 radio was being played by the stations I used listen to, mainly WLS and WCFL, was recored by Albert Hammond entitled It Never Rains in Southern California. Albert was a British born singer-songwriter who performed “easy listening” type music. In the song in question, he tells about somebody coming to California (Hollywood really) to peruse his dreams but alas, fails to do so. (Nothing newsworthy for sure!) Anyway, in the chorus, Hammond sings: “It never rains in California, but girl don’t they warn ya. When it pours, man, it pours.”
I never really understood that line since yours truly wasn’t even living anywhere near Hollywood, or even California, at the time, since I though it rained all the time out in California. And besides that, I really never liked the song! When Larry Lujack played that sone on his air shift, I either didn’t pay attention to the song, or I just switched the station. But now that those “music on AM radio” times has since faded away, I only hear that song every once in a while, and when I do, it’s mostly for mild nostalgia purposes. However, now that yours truly lives in southern California, (and not too far away from Hollywood), I can somewhat relate to what Albert was singing about some forty five years before. Perhaps he was just giving me a weather report for the future. Then again, that song was a whole lot better than another tune that was being played on the radio at that same time–Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Alone Again (Naturally). That tune was just as sappy (if not downright depressing) as one could have had! If WLS played that record, I’d also switch the station to hear another record–Donny Osmond’s cover version of Puppy Love.
OK, so maybe that wasn’t the greatest era for popular music! But as a dumb twelve year old who didn’t know better, I would have had the gumption to try to talk to Lorrie Miller about the weather. Maybe she would have finally notice me! But my sad-yet-true stories on being a “tweener” aged kid is set for another topic in a future article, if not for a memoir I’ll write one of these years when I ever get around to it–assuming it’s not raining outside!
The Glendale Centre Theatre presents BYE BYE BIRDIE, the musical about a small time songwriter who attempts to create a publicity stunt for his client before he heads off for military enlistment by presenting “one last kiss” to one of his adorning fans from small town America.
Robert Pieranunzi is Albert Peterson. He’s operates a music publishing company called “Almaelou” that needs a hit so he can out of debt. His company consists of himself, his secretary and part time girlfriend Rosie Alvarez (Colette Peters), and Albert’s doting mother Mae (Cindy Irwin Bullock). Although Mae’s name is part of Albert’s company, she doesn’t do much except to cater to her son of 33 years, still treating him as a much younger boy! Albert’s most promising client, Conrad Birdie (Adam Hollick) an Elvis-type, is joining the Army and thus, won’t be able to cut records as an enlisted man. So Albert and Rosie hatch a plan to have Conrad give one last kiss to one of his teenaged fans before he leaves for basic training. So they pick the president of the Conrad Birdie fan club based in Sweet Apple, Ohio, an all-American small town. When that president of that fan club, Kim MacAfee (Maryanne Burr), receives the news that Conrad is coming to town to give her that one last kiss (also the name of Birdie’s new song release), she becomes the new star in town; In spite of the fact that her father (Danny Michaels), and her boyfriend Hugo Peabody (Taylor Wesselman) thinks otherwise, since Hugo just gave Kim his pin to go steady. It shows how rock ‘n roll changed the youth of America, how Albert can get the song hit he needs, if Rosie will ever become Mrs. Albert Peterson, and if Mae will ever understand her son by being the suffering martyr she places herself to be!
This musical with book by Michael Stewart and songs by Charles Strouse on score, and Lee Adams on lyrics, was the first major stage musical that used rock ‘n roll as its theme basis. It harks a time when those teenaged kids, especially the post-war bobbysoxers, not only dug the music, but shows how those performers made it all happen (with a lot of promotion) as it really was c.1960 when this show first made its mark on the Broadway musical circuit. In this GCT production, the cast and many of its performers (including the ensemble) pull it off quite well, especially for the two leads, Robert Pieranunzi as Albert, and Colette Peters and Rosie. Robert as Albert is the comical genus that can provide he’s in charge, yet Rosie is really the mastermind to everything! Cindy Irwin Bullock as mother Mae is a classic example of a lovable yet pushy and almost obnoxious mother-type that was commonly seen in 1960s-era TV sitcoms. (After all, this show is a period piece!)
And since this program is that period piece, Angela Manke of Glendale Costumes provides all of the outfits that are of the era it speaks for, from the suits for the guys, the downy dresses for the gals, the varsity sweaters for the teen guys, and the capri plants for the teen gals! (Albert’s mom Mae even sports a mink coat–a real fashion statement for a pushy mother of the time!) Other GCT behind-the-scenes regulars also presents their talents, including Steven Applegate’s transcribed musical arrangements, and Orlando Alexander’s choreography, performed with gusto by the cast within the theatre-in-the-round’s stage setting.
Directed by Todd Nielsen, BYE BYE BIRDIE is a showpiece that is still witty, appealing, and boasts some classic hits born and bread on Broadway. (“Put On A Happy Face” and “Kids” are the two signature musical numbers!) Although it’s a bit dated in places, it remains as a pleasant period piece that shows off how things were in the “good old days” when rock ‘n roll was kids stuff where the adults didn’t or couldn’t understand! A song asks “what’s the matter with kids today?” Nothing is the matter with them. They will just eventually take over the world!

  BYE BYE BIRDIE, presented by and performs at the Glendale Centre Theatre. 324 North Orange Street, Glendale, until April 1st. Showtimes are Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM, and Saturday matinees at 3:00 PM. Additional performances take place on Thursday, February 23rd and March 2nd at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees perform on February 26th, March 5th, and March 12th at 3:00 PM.
     For more information and for ticket reservations, call (818) 244-8481, or visit the GCT’s web site at
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions
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In the category of “so what else is new?”-type news, it’s been reported that more than half (52%) of adults in the USA live in households with cell phones but no landline phone, so says a research report from the GfK MRI Survey of the American Consumer.
According to findings from the GfK MRI’s Fall 2016 Survey data release, based on interviews with approximately 24,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and over, cell phone households showed an increase doubling in count within the last six years from 26% in 2010 to the 52% in 2016. As expected, those in the younger demographic has the biggest take of wireless phones. Millennials (those born after 1980) stand in as 71% cell phone only. The Gen Xers (born 1965 through 1979) tag in as second place at 55%. The ever lovin’ Baby Boomers (’46 through ’64) are only in at 40%.
The report also broke down ethnic and racial groups in terms of wireless homes. Hispanic or Latino origin of descent lead in the highest incidence of landlineless phones at 67%. Asian decent comes in next at 54%. White/Causation stands at 51%, and African Americans at 50%.
The northeast part of the nation has the least amount of homes without a land line, coming in at 39% The reason for this is many of the media companies that do business in that area offer packages with internet and TV service along with phone, making the internet and television offerings a priory while having hardwired phone service as an afterthought. (57% households in this region have package deals.) This compares to the homes in the midwest (53%) and south (57%) with cell phones and nothing else.
This bit of information, as amusing at it may read, just states the obvious where hardline phones have lost its luster within the last ten years. Granted, having a landline phone didn’t necessarily offer anything unique outside of calling plans (unlimited phone usage to anywhere in the nation or world, call waiting, etc.). But as cell phones moved from their novelty stage to being a way of life, having a phone device sitting on a desk or countertop was losing its appeal.
Many people kept their landline service because they were receiving their internet service via a phone line. At first, internet service came from a modem that would dial a dedicated phone number to connect with the internet company making that high pitched squealing noise so you would know that you were “on line”, but the service was rather slow for what it was and it would tie up your phone line. If somebody wanted to call somebody while on the ‘net, they would receive a busy signal until you “logged off”. Later, internet companies would offer service that still came from a phone line, but would keep your phone service open. Both signals would remain on the line with your traditional phone handling all the voice calls while a modem would remain on at all times with the internet. However, if your phone service was interrupted through a cut line or through a weather situation, your internet would go out too!
When cable companies offered internet service along with TV and other forms of media, folks switched from phone lines to dedicated cable. That would mean that a landline wasn’t necessary anymore, and that phone number assigned to that land line became disconnected and no longer in service!
Many of the hardline phone providers, such as AT&T and Verizon among other providers, are players in the cell phone industry. Although these telcos do offer the service to businesses who still reply upon hardline phones, many consumers shy away from landlines and thus, don’t necessary push this type of phone offerings as much as they used to as the profit margin is rather low. Many folks are not even aware that hardline service is still available. But with the lower demand, the phone companies will still provide such services only upon request.
Time will tell on the fate of the consumer landline. If it does go away totally, that won’t be for a while. But will it be missed? Some folks, especially those that can remember the times in question, reminisces about the days of the milkman making the rounds each morning, about the same time of day when the paper boy (and it was nearly always a boy) would deliver the morning paper. And if one lived in a cold climate, the coal man would come around making a delivery of coal. These elements make up part of the nostalgia that made the good old days, well…good! But as they say, memory ain’t what it used to be!
Theatre West presents the world premier of Darryl Vinyard’s FAMILY ONLY, a darkish comedy of a family gathering to celebrate the ownership of a homestead by one of its siblings, and the complications that go with everything else!
The setting is the home of Will and Nicole (Roger Kent Cruz and Riley Rae Baker), a couple pushing middle age who is on their way to make the “American Dream” come true by their purchasing a 1950‘s-era ranch house located in a “south of the boulevard” Sherman Oaks neighborhood. In order to commemorate this ownership, they decided to have a get together with other members of the family. Coming along for the backyard party along where the pool is set is father Will (Frank Gangarossa), his third wife Brenda (Sheila Shaw), Will’s half sister Andrea (Anne Leyden), and Will’s grandmother Amanda (Dianne Travis). While Will and Nicole are hosting their event with the usual selection of picnic foods, the people in attendance tend to speak up for what’s going on with their lives. Will has a great idea for an invention he wants to market and hopes that his son and daughter-in-law can invest some much needed cash for his idea. Andrea announced that her divorce has just been finalized, so far taking custody of her six year old daughter Chloe. What makes matters worse is the fact that Andrea can’t hold a job and she’s behind on her rent–enough to be evicted and eventually become homeless in just a matter of days! (She’s even hoping that Will and Nicole will take her in!) As the party progresses, moods change for the worse! Grandma Amanda, a feisty old coot, won’t even put up with what’s going on! Before long, tempers tend to go out of hand while this family proves how out of balance everyone appears to be, because they are!
This very witty comedy by Darryl Vinyard has about everything one would want to experience that speaks for a family that is just as dysfunctional as anyone can get! Roger Kent Cruz and Riley Rae Baker as Will and Nicole are a hard working childless-for-the-moment couple that fought tooth and nail to grab that part of the American Dream, even if that dream needs a bit of TLC–for the house anyway! Frank Gangarossa as Will is the dad that was just as hard working and wants to do best for his kids, even though the kids won’t do the best for his needs! Sheila Shaw as Brenda is the type that has to put up with a lot, although she isn’t treated as “real” family! (She is Will’s third wife!) Anne Leyden as Andrea is a middle aged obnoxious and borderline neurotic woman that can’t seem to get her act together, holding on to the notion that everything bad happens to her and won’t take the blame for her bad luck! And Dianne Travis as Amanda is a two fisted and hard drinking woman that has been around for quite a while, and won’t let anyone forget it! These forms of personalities make this comedy a rip-roaring riot! This domestic family as depicted on stage is far from being perfect and sweet. They are just inches away for nearly killing each other as that’s how families really act! (Admit it folks! The only perfect families around were only depicted in 1950’s and 1960’s TV sitcoms where problems were created and solved within a 25 minute time slot–not counting commercial breaks!) Anden Teresa Lewis directs this “dramity” that holds a taste of sweet bitterness with an emphasis of comical hijinks without the so-called happy ending!
As to the stage sets, Jeff G. Rack creates a setting of a backyard patio area that is normally found in a typical 1500 square foot patch of homestead located in the San Fernando Valley, complete with stone wall fence, sliding glass door, and a color scheme painted in blue. This tint was a very common color found on homes built around the same era when perfect families were depicted on TV sitcoms each week!
FAMILY ONLY is a comedy that proves to domestic society that the “fun” in dysfunctional either means there is plenty of amusement to be experienced, or to describe the setting in an acronym that stands for “F-cked Up Nation” where everyone seems to live in. This play ain’t a 50’s/60’s sitcom and doesn’t try to become one! (Thank goodness!)

FAMILY ONLY, presented by and performs at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles (Universal City adjacent) until March 19th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. A special talkback session with the cast and crew will take place after the Sunday, February 19th performance.
     For ticket reservations or for more information, call (323) 851-7977, or via online at
The Falcon Theatre presents the world premier of FOR PIANO AND HARPO, written and starring Dan Castellaneta that is about the life and times (or ups and downs) of pianist Oscar Levant.
Dan Castellaneta plays Oscar, who started in his career as a classical pianist. Originally from Pittsburgh, he came to New York City to continue his study in piano. He eventually became part of the Broadway music scene hobnobbing with some of the influential folks in New York, and eventually became part of the Algonquin Round Table. But with such hobnobbing, Oscar himself was never on any sane level. Addicted to various forms of pills, he finds himself at the Psych Ward at Mr. Sini Hospital. While in the ward, his personal story moves from various points in his life, from his rocky marriage with his spouse June, to his friendship with Arthur “Harpo” Marx, and his existence under the shadow of George Gershwin, a personality that he could have been just as good as! Oscar’s emotional journey finds himself into a trip of his lifetime that takes a lifetime to complete, if he will ever complete it!
This is a tale that is about one of the greatest pianist known within the music circles that is also the most forgotten. Told in a nonlinear fashion, the story opens on Jack Parr’s post-Tonight Show talk program, then moves to the hospital psych ward from a few years before, then shifts to the interior of Harpo’s rented home during the time he was working with his two brothers, and in all points in between! Dan performs as Oscar in the various points in his life as he deals with his phobias, fears, relapses, and recoveries. He is seen as his own anti hero, both as the good guy and the not-too-well villain that deserved more credit that he could have had.
This show features a well refined supporting cast that perform in multiple roles. JD Cullum appears as Harpo both as the stage Harpo and as “Arthur”, Deb Lacusta is featured as June Gale a.k.a. June Levant, the second wife of Oscar’s that lived through his rises and falls. Gail Matthius, Phil Proctor, and Jonathan Stark also co-star in a variety of roles. (Stark, by the way, plays Jack Parr to an uncanny “T”!) Stefan Novinski directs this production that moves between comedy and drama, keeping the laugh factor in humorous gear while the drama portion sets itself into a stance that never becomes too heavy nor too light.
And since this is a tale about a musician, there are musical interludes heard. As visual backstage performers, musical director David O plays the piano parts for Dan’s role as Oscar (Dan himself never plays a piano, let alone touches one), and Jillian Risigari-Gai performs on the harp. JD Cullum as Harpo is just as silent on the instrument his character is almost named for!
FOR PIANO AND HARPO is rather amusing for what the show is, focusing itself on a personality in the Classical Music/Broadway/Hollywood scene that has since been left as an afterthought. This year will mark the 45th anniversary of his death, and perhaps this presentation will pay its well deserved respect to a man of the keyboards that had as many rises as he did failures. There won’t be another personality as great as Oscar Levant was in his prime because musical tastes has since changed–for the better or for the otherwise!

     FOR PIANO AND HARPO, presented by A Laugh Then Think Production, and performs at The Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank, until March 5th. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 4:00 PM. For more information and for ticket reservations, call (818) 955-8101, or via online at
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions
@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)

(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!


    Although this year is a little over a month old, a lot of things have occurred. Within the last thirty or so days, we’ve seen everything from a heavy rain storm that went through California and possibly ending (or near ending) a six year drought, to a royal coronation in Washington DC crowning a new king of the USA, to another amusing Super Bowl game. (Congrads to the xxx!) However, perhaps the biggest news story that happened in January was the announcement that Rignling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be calling it quits this year after 147 years of existence!
Since the news was released around January 15th, folks on social media platforms will all abuzz on this announcement. Each one were giving their reasons to this news, blaming everything from rising costs of brining a circus to communities around the nation (and in some cases, to various nations around the globe), to the lack of interest by families living in a post modern wired world, to attempting to change the circus by adding daredevil motorcycle acts than traditional circus fodder, to the appeal of Cirque De Soleil-type productions, or to the buckling down of complaints from animal welfare pressure groups stating that the circus treats their animals in a cruel fashion.
According to reports stated by Feld Entertainment, the company that has owned and managed the circus for the last fifty years, noted that all of the above were part of the decision to end its run. Perhaps the biggest blow to it all was the fact that last season, the circus did away with the elephants. Die hard fans of the circus know that elephants are just as part of the circus atmosphere as to the clowns, high wire acts, and the three rings where much of the action takes place.
The circus was perhaps one of the forms of entertainment that were driven to the public at large in this nation right after the Civil War. People wanted to become entertained, and what better way to wow them was to present a show that would just do that! Granted, much of the entertainment was mostly for adults as kids were in those days were “seen but not heard”, so the form of amusement was rather crude. However, the circus offered just about any form of high (and low) amusement that can fit under a big top tent.
Over the many years, long after Phineas Taylor Barhum met Al Ringling and his siblings along with James Anthony Bailey to form a circus troupe, this form of entertainment has been part of the domestic landscape for generations, even surpassing the appeal of circuses based in Europe as well as the area known as the Soviet Union where the whole circus bit was first created and established. Throughout the twentieth century, Ringling Bros. thrived, offering those epic shows that packed the public into the tents that sprang up in communities far and near. Even when movies and later TV came to view, people still wanted to see the circus as this medium was best viewed live, rather than on a screen of some kind.
Yours truly was first exposed to the circus through television. My mom, who unintentionally weaned me with television, allowed me to stay up on Friday nights to see International Showtime on NBC, where Don Ameche would serve as host presenting many of the circus acts from Europe and other nations around the globe. (Thus the name International Showtime!) In that same decade, CBS would present their first TV special of the new season that showcased a “sneak preview” of the traveling Rignling Bros. circus. Roy Rogers and Dale Evens would serve as hosts this time around, showing off to those TV audiences bits of pices of the acts that would be “coming to your home town soon!” as Roy and Dale would say.
My first Ringing Bros. live show was the season when the circus celebrated their centennial year. Everything one excepted in a circus show was presented around those three rings. There were the high wire acts, the bareback riders, the lion tamers (featuring Gunther Gebel-Williams handing the big cats), the parade of clowns, and of course, the elephants! The big finale featured a group of elephants bringing a large prop birthday cake in the center of the arena stage by pushing it with their heads. Then another elephant brought in a large “candle” that was a big as a tree trunk. That elephant placed the candle in the top center of the cake with its trunk. Then the candle emitted a shower of colored sparks shooting upward that celebrated one hundred years of the circus, and expecting to last another one hundred years! Oh yes! The circus was not taking place inside of a tent as that was phased out by the middle 1950’s. The greatest show on earth was inside of a arena. But there were smaller tents placed around the arena grounds where the public could see the elephants up close!
Since that time, yours truly attended the Ringing Bros. circus on and off through the years. In recent times I took on a show that occurred at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. And while heading toward the entrance to Staples were these groups handing out flyers and holding sign stating that the circus showed cruelty to their animals, especially for their elephants. Many people who were attending the circus (mostly as families) would see these protesters making their point come across. I would even take a flyer they were handing out to read about the notions that they were stating about, only to stick the flyer inside of the oversized program I would eventually get. (Those flyers are still stuck within the programs I have kept within my archives.)
Whatever the case, Feld Entertainment will play out their current traveling shows through this year making its end run around early-middle May. From that point, the circus will be placed to its end. Rumors have been springing around that Feld will place the circus on hold, perhaps bringing it back soon. However, there has been no official word. The company will still present their others shows, mostly the ice and stage shows co-produced by The Walt Disney Company that features the regular Disney stock as well as a separate show that has the Marvel Comic super heroes. That form of media is more of a cash cow than anything else!
So as the last of the circus fades into the landscape, this is indeed the time to send out the clowns, and to drive the elephants into the elephant graveyard. As for family entertainment? That will still continue and can be experienced through a hand held video screen device. It may not be the greatest show on earth, but what difference does that make–unless there’s an app for that!
Performing at the Actors Workout Studio in North Hollywood is Sarah Kelly’s WAR STORIES, a play about four up-and-comers involved in the notion of love, romance, and the ups and downs of this human emotion.
The story involves a quartet of people (two guys and two gals) living in the big city (Los Angeles) that hold a connection to one another. Sarah Kelly is Jen, a professional therapist. Alexander Carroll is Jake, a client of hers. Roxanne Jaeckel as Chelsea. She’s an actress seeking some foothold in her career. Samuel Martin Lewis as Sam, a writer who’s also looking for his big break writing for some form of media. Sam wrote a script that featured a character that was a striking resemblance to Chelsea’s persona. She actually auditioned for that part! Those two eventually became a couple. Meanwhile, Jake also has a girlfriend–Chelsea! He tells Jen through his therapy session about his love life, down to the kind of shoes worn by his lover. Jen herself once has a relationship with Sam while the two were in college–not that many years before! These episodes morph into an aspect that gets deeper as it progresses. It’s a simple tale of a not-so-simple situation asking the musical question, why do we love who we love?
This play written by Sarah Kelly who also performs as Jen, can be labeled as a romantic comedy for the new Millennium. Its characters are those of that demographic who are involved in very Los Angeles-centric occupations. (Actor, writer, therapist, etc.) They speak about a rather simple subject of love that becomes anything but! Although it does involve a romance of sorts as well as the humor that comes out of this topic, its expression isn’t anything that’s sappy nor sweet. In fact, it’s more told as an emotion what can be somber, perhaps bitter, and could ask if getting involved with love is really worth the price? Although the playwright claims the characters and their plot points is of fiction, it does contain elements that comes from personal experience. That experience is what makes this play very appealing as is has realism into it rather than nonsense that’s found in a network TV sitcom.
What also makes this show appealing is the simplicity seen in its staging. The stage itself only contains a few furnishings, enough to only establish a setting to where the characters react with one another. This form of theatre is a classic example of using a less-is-more approach. The “less” part is the set decorating. The “more” element is of the players speaking their dialogue and their reactions to it all. Stacy Ann Raposa directs the cast that do ring true to the methods noted and demonstrated.
WAR STORIES is about a battle, but not in the tradition sense. It’s about a conflict that makes the art of love as tough as the theory of war. Emotions can do what they do. And what’s done here is the fight for a war that can be won or otherwise!

WAR STORIES, presented by Dry Martini Productions and Boston Bred Productions, performs at the Actors Workout Studio, 4735 Lankershim Blvd. (one block south of Camarillo Avenue), North Hollywood, until February 26th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday, February 12th at 2:00 and 7:00 PM, Sunday, February 19th at 7:00 PM, and Sunday, February 26th at 2:00 PM.
     For ticket reservations or for more information, call (818) 506-3903, or online at  
     Find WAR STORIES on Facebook at, and on Instagram at @WarStoriesThePlay
CORRECTIONS: In the review of the play FUGU, appearing in our previous issue (Vol. 21-No. 5), the names noted within the review are corrected as follows:
The Japanese diplomat posted in Lithuania was Sugihara.
The actor playing Kotsuji is Scott Keiji Takeda
The Japanese dancer is Kaz Matamura
The director is Howard Teichman
Thanks to our eagle-eye readers for spotting those errors!
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions
@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)

(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!


    Perhaps the above headline is a bit too rash. It should read “Live TV Isn’t As Live As It Once Was” so something to that effect. However, that same headline is a bit too long, and it’s still not totally accurate. Let us explain, shall we?
This article speaks toward the notion of watching television “live” without the aid of a DVR, a streaming service, a downloaded torrent app, or even a VCR. (Yep, although the good ol’ video cassette recorder isn’t as in vogue as it once was, some of those machines from not so long ago are still being used by folks out there in TV land!)
In this day and age where moving imagery can be consumed by any electronic device that sports a screen, watching television when it originally airs can be bypassed through various methods, from one’s phone, electronic pad, laptop, or any related method. Of course, watching a video element after the fact only makes sense through selection options. Scripted programs fall into the category of bring taking advantage of when it’s connivence for the viewer, but when it comes to timely matter from a standard newscast (especially when the newscast has a “breaking news” event), a sporting event (think Super Bowl Fifty One aka “ SB LI”), or even an awards show, watching live as it occurs makes a whole lot of sense. Then again, depending on what the program is all about, many of those folks are checking in through social media to place their two cents worth. Granted, much of this “two cents worth” has that kind of equal value, unless those tweeting away are backed by a well known name that has a million followers–give or take a few!
In this every changing world of ours (whatever that line means), people now have that the upper hand when it comes to viewing video content when the same viewer feels it’s the proper moment to do such. It’s not like back in the “good old days” when if one wanted to take advantage of watching a program of some kind, they had to park themselves in front of the television device at a certain day and time to look at the program for their own personal amusement. That was the basic method of becoming a TV viewer for one’s desired programming. That is, until the video cassette recorder was first made available to the public at large beginning in the late 1970’s. The VCRs available in the latter 1970’s were somewhat pricy for what they were. RCA’s VBT-200, known as the first VHS machine to be placed on the market in October of 1977, has a “suggested retail price” or about $1200.00. Blank 60 minute cassette tapes retailed for around $10.00, while two hour tapes came around $14.00 each! It wasn’t until the 1980’s when those handy machines dropped in price making those devices available to all, and brought the phrase “time shifting” into the TV watching vernacular.
Moving the calendar up some twenty five plus years later, the VCR faded toward the digital video recorder (DVR) in the middle 2000’s. The DVR was a device that was similar to the VCR of days before. Unlike the VCR that used physical videotape to record the programming desired, the DVR did the same thing, but to capture the imagery as a digital file imbedded onto a hard drive. Again, it did the same thing as a VHS tape did, but offered a cleaner high defination picture that even looked “live”, but wasn’t!
In today’s TV imaging, folks can now view content without necessarily capturing it on a hard drive, let along using a videotape, for later viewing. Streaming video, the art of watching imagery that comes from a source internet connected, is the way to go, or at least based on Nielsen’s third-quarter (2016) Total Audience Report. This report stated that live TV viewing actually slowed down during this period as the number of households with TV devices adding more streaming services, dropping down to around four hours and six minutes per day using a so-called “traditional” TV device. This can compare to an increase of using an app on a smartphone to view the same content. That came to an increase of two hours, ten minutes a day. (It was around one hour, fourteen minutes a day a year before!)
But rest assure folks, live TV is far from being deceased! It’s just not as common as it used to be. But with the Super Bowl coming around, as well as all of the entertainment based awards shows that feature the usual set of stars and related performers appearing on camera, folks will still tune in for all of the antics as they nearly occur. And if you can’t watch, there are the social media folks that will take the reins to present the play-by-play! Sometimes they do a better job in reporting what’s going down–whatever that means!
The West Coast Jewish Theatre presents the world premier production of Steven G. Simon & Howard Teichman’s FUGU, a story based upon true facts on a settlement of refugee Jews from Lithuanian emigrating to Japan during the early days of World War II.
The place is Kobe, a city located in the center portion of the nation. A colonization of some 6000 people of the Jewish persuasion had been established through an arrangement from Japanese diplomat Chiune Sigher, offering the refugees a safe distance from the Nazis that took over their former country. The Japanese minister of foreign affairs Colonel Nohiro Yasue (Ryan Moriarty) holds the notion to make terms with the USA by not getting into war, as he believes that President Roosevelt is of the Jewish persuasion and thus, tries to form an understanding between the US and Japan. He selects Dr. Avram Kaufman (Warren Davis) to become a delegate with the US in terms of factors of discussion of the Jewish sect between politics in Washington, finance through the traders at Wall Street, and through the movie studios in Hollywood. This diplomatic plan is called “Fugu”, named after the puffer fish that is a delicacy but is very toxic when incorrectly prepared. As an attempt to make this plan become in effect, there are other issues of concern that being to take note. There is Colonel Josef Messenger (David Preston), a German officer that is making check of the alliance made through the Nazi party and its allies, as with Japan, that the Jews not flee Japan, even as protected refugees. Adding to this political strife is Yasue chief aide Setsuzo Kotsuji (Scott Keiji Tacked) who is forming a friendly alliance with Sarah Kaufman (Rosie Moss), Dr. Avram Kaufman’s daughter. This alliance turns into a romance that is considered to be one as crossing lines of culture. The clouds of a world war are darkening as time progresses as many involved will feel some form of political and personal strife that places the lives of the Jewish population at stake.
This production tells a story in world history that isn’t well known. Howard Thiamin, artistic direction of the West Coast Jewish Theatre, first heard about these historical episodes while attending a Seder, meeting with a fellow attendee whose relatives fled to Japan to escape the Nazi suppression. This small encounter grew into an idea of a play. Joining forces with co-writer Steven G. Simon, the pair eventually developed a play that speaks upon a time in history where a country set for participation of world battle would assist a group of exiled peoples from an allied nation, allowing that populace to settle as a safe harbor. This play takes upon those historical moments and brings them all into this dramatic program that is as informative as it is entertaining. Although this theatre piece is a drama, there are some lighter episodes expressed that holds some comical tones, but never stays away from its dramatic and sobering moments. The cast of performers in the program speak out among themselves as they present their characters involved into a practice of keeping one’s faith and traditions through a backdrop of love and war! Along with the previous noted performers, Kaz Matura, Matt Gottlieb, Peter Altschuler, and Marcel Licera are also featured under the Howard Teichman’s stage direction.
In addition to the players that are seen on stage, the set decoration created by Kurtis Bedford combines customary Japanese motifs with traditional placement of Jewish artifacts. This establishes a sense of community for the refugees to stay as long as they are accepted in a colony far different than whence they came
FUGU is a very well written and well researched historical stage drama. It’s unique as it unfolds an episode during an era where many lives would be at stake while a force of world superpowers attempt to overcome through their dominate goals. Yes, there is a bit of dramatic license that is added to expand the story, but those bits of creation never seems to ever get into the way of what this play is all about–along with the fact that this production is highly recommended to see, and to possibly teach a respected lesson though its outcome!

    FUGU, presented by the West Coast Jewish Theatre and performs at the Pico Playhouse, 10508 Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, until March 19th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 3:00 PM.
     For ticket reservations or for more information, call (323) 821-2449, or via online at
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) announced their nominations for the 89th annual Academy Awards on January 24th.
The following titles and names received the nomination for the following categories:

Best Actor
Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – Fences

Best Actress
Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Ruth Negga – Loving
Natalie Portman – Jackie
Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins
Emma Stone – La La Land

Best Director
Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
Denis Villeneuve – Arrival

Best Picture
Arrival (Paramount)
Fences (Paramount)
Hacksaw Ridge (Lionsgate)
Hell or High Water (CBS Films)
Hidden Figures (Fox)
La La Land (Lionsgate)
Lion (The Weinstein Company)
Manchester by the Sea (Roadside Attractions/Amazon Studios)
Moonlight (A24)

Jimmy Kimmel will host the awards ceremony, taking place on Sunday, February 26th at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center-Hollywood, and airs on ABC.
For a complete listing of nominations, visit the official AMPAS web site at
On January 23rd, The Golden Raspberry Foundation (RAZZIES) announced their list of nomination for the worst in feature films released in the previous calendar year.
The following titles and names has been selected for the worst in the following categories:
Worst Actor
Ben Affleck-Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Gerard Butler-Gods of Egypt & London Has Fallen
Henry Cavill-Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Robert de Niro-Dirty Grandpa
Dinesh D’Souza [as Himself]-
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Ben Stiller-Zoolander No. 2

Worst Actress
Megan Fox-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Tyler Perry-BOO! A Medea Halloween
Julia Roberts-Mother’s Day
Becky Turner [as Hillary Clinton]-
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Naomi Watts-Divergent Series: Allegiant & Shut-In
Shailene Woodley-Divergent Series: Allegiant

Worst Director
Dinesh D’Souza and Bruce Schooley-
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Roland Emmerich-Independence Day: Resurgence
Tyler Perry-BOO! A Medea Halloween
Alex Proyas-Gods of Egypt
Zack Snyder-Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Ben Stiller-Zoolander  No. 2

Worst Picture
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Warner Bros.)
Dirty Grandpa (Lionsgate)
Gods of Egypt (Summit Entertainment)
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
(Pure Flix Entertainment)
Independence Day: Resurgence (Fox)
Zoolander No. 2 (Paramount)

The Razzie Awards will take place on Saturday, February 25th at a location to be announced.
For a complete listing of nominations and other details, visit the official Razzies web site at
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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!


If you are a reader of this newsletter, it will be assumed that you are interested in what’s going on in this nation. You are a person that is always informed within the latest news taking place across the county and perhaps around the world. You are someone that wants to know (or perhaps needs to know) on every little matter that occurs, from the important to the trivial. It is very likely that you own a hand held electrical device that is internet connected. You subscribe to a number of news sources (some legit, while others can be a bit questionable) that informs you on the latest scoop on the subjects and topics you find important. This way, if somebody you may encounter holds questions to a topical subject on hand, you can answer that inquiring subject with anything and everything on that matter. You can even win small friendly bets by challenging those by sporting all the headlines and the bylines! In this overly connected society most of us live and dwell in, these factors are not too hard to pass.

No, this isn’t a pitch to advertisers on connecting with us to know what kind of demographic we cater to, although we do like to toot our horn on occasion so to speak! However, we will state a number of things that we wish to do within these electronic pages, along with a few notes we won’t even discuss.

Within the last few days, the media has been saturated upon last Friday’s (January 20th) crowning of the new king of the USA. Within the previous year of ’16, headlines and bylines have been springing around both in print and through pixilated pixels on what might happen once that day of reckoning finally rolls around. Well, that day came on schedule, and just about anyone and everyone that can read and write jotted down their play-by-play coverage on everything and everyone involved, from composing 3000+ word essays enough to fill a journal, or through jotting down a few words that total no more that 140 characters. Many were read and passed around through social media, while other laid dormant, hoping that somebody will discover those notes, even if that discovery came long after the fact!
So you may ask yourself, if you already didn’t ask–”Why isn’t the Accessibly Live Off-Line editorial team giving their two cents over these issues?”
There are a lot of reasons behind these matters, but we will just stick with a very short reply. Here at Accessibly Live Off-Line, we do cater to a few topics on hand. We write reviews on regional theatre shows that take place in the Los Angeles area. We report on some notes and reviews that cater to feature films and television programs. We will present a book review as well. And our opening essay (such as the one you are reading), gives this writer a space to report on things that can be labeled as “the passing scene”. And as much as we wish to cover, we can’t report on everything since that so-called “everything” can be topics that are way out of our scope.
To give you an idea, if one wanted to know about what’s on TV, one can find these bits of news that report of television programming, depending on how deep wants to dive in that subject. The Hollywood Reporter will focus on those behind the scenes details that are more business like, while TV Guide will focus upon the program itself and the stars that appear in these shows. Granted, those two sources may cross one another within the same journalistic field. THR will write a piece on an actor appearing on a TV program, while TVG will make a few entries on a TV network executive. But for the most part, these two news sources will generally stick to what they know and what’s expected by their regular readership.
So with this all being said and done, we here at ALOL will not report on the new king of this nation, even if he’s going to stick around for the next four years assuming that nothing is going to happen that will prevent that leadership, either by choice or through circumstance. We’ll just see these events taking shape as another entry to what’s going on while taking it for what it’s worth. It’s just that simple!
But if you insist on knowing anything and everything, we will recommend that you log on to those news places that you know and know of to get the latest scoop, be it as news and as “news”! Then again, perhaps you know more on what’s going down than we would! And if you want to keep up in the loop, we encourage you to let us know! At least we can’t say we’re always in the dark!
Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills presents the American premier of Jordan Tannahill’s LATE COMPANY, a drama where two couples meet along with their teenaged son over dinner, arraigning a closure between them all with the attempt to receive an emotional healing.
Grinnell Morris and Ann Hearn play Michael and Debora Shaun-Hastings. Michael is a regional politician while Debora is a sculpture artist. They have invited Tamara and Bill Dermot (Jennifer Lynn Davis and Todd Johnson) along with their sixteen year old son Curtis (Baker Chase Powell) for dinner at their home located in a well-to-do neighborhood. This dinner party isn’t really a gathering of friends. In fact, Michael and Debora don’t really know the Dermots too well. Their only connection is the notion that Curtis attended the same high school as their late son Joel. The passing of Joel who took his own life, was driven upon the harassment he received due to Joel’s chosen lifestyle; a lifestyle that didn’t bode too well with some of the other kids-Curtis included. This dinner event was created to make some form of peace with one another. However, because of the tempestuous stage all are facing through Joel’s death, things start to go in different directions, leading up toward emotional wounds being torn open rather than healed. Blames to what happened and who’s responsible are tossed around to one another, blurring the conclusion to who is the real bully of them all, and who is the victim.
This one act play by Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill takes its premise upon an actual episode that occurred in Ottawa, Ontario where a 15 year old boy was harassed by his peers just because he was gay, and eventually took his own life. The playwright used that event as his guide, along with the fact that Jordan himself was also bullied because he was gay and wasn’t accepted by the kids he knew. That is what makes this play very emotional; it’s culled through experience! The drama depicted in very tense where at times, the audience that views this show can experience moments where it becomes eerily quiet, adding to the charged responses this production congers up. The cast of five players that appear in this program shows off their dramatic timing very well, from the first lighter (and even comical) moments to its final epilogue. Bruce Gray directs this stage production that speaks upon an issue that isn’t brought into a conscious effort as often as it should, although social media’s power to express this issue plays an important role (both in this play and in real life) for the good or otherwise!
Jeff G. Rack, Theatre 40’s residential set designer, presents a set that consists of a fancy looking polished dining room table set for six along with a backdrop of a matching buffet. The side wings of the stage are barren. This condensed setting was intentionally designed where the audience would focus upon the dinner party around the table where all of the drama (and the lighter moments) takes place.
The title of this play, LATE COMPANY, expresses the fact that whatever happened in the past is being resolved, but long after the fact–much too late to do anything except to learn, understand, and accept. A teen’s life is never easy to live through, no matter when or in what era one experienced that moment of existance. It all depends upon acceptance, and how one tolerates another person’s personal lifestyle of choice. This play proves its point in a sufficient and though provoking manor.

LATE COMPANY, 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 February 19th. 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
Performing at the Sacred Fools Theatre in Hollywood is the West Coast premier of ROSE AND THE RIME, a tale about a young girl’s search to find the source that placed her community into an icy curse.
The setting is Radio Falls, a hamlet that can be like any other, except it’s winter all of the time! Rose (Amy Rapp), is a young girl who lives in this town with her uncle Roger (Andy Hirsch). They dwell within this year-round winter as set through the Rime Witch, a mysterious supernatural being. She hears stories when once a summertime was present when the sun was warn and shining, people went to the beach, and ate hot dogs rather than drink hot chocolate. She keeps this beverage in a thermos bottle inside of her backpack along with a two-way radio so she and her uncle can communicate with each other, and so Roger can warn Rose not to be out after dark when it is at its coldest. When Rose learns about what became of her true parents from her uncle, she makes a journey to find this witch and to get a magic coin that can break the winter spell. And when it’s broken, then the sun will be out and summertime arrives. But can Rose learn about what’s ahead for her, and will those days of the beach and hot dogs really mean something? Is it any different than the state of where and how she exists?
This one act play, written by Nathan Allen, Chris Mathews, & Jake Minton, plays as a form of a modern fair tale, or a kid’s theatre production geared toward adults–or those that sport an adult method of thought! This Sacred Fools Theatre production uses as illustration, a staging set of three video projected screen space panels placed one next to the other a few feet apart as part of the scenic design as created by Chris Hutchings. (Hillary Bauman created the physical sets and staging that take up most of the performance space!) Those panels shows off animated segments that become part of Radio Falls, the seasons it lives in, as well as the other forms of life as experienced by Rose and company. The drama expressed is more of the whimsical kind that adds to the fantasy aspect of what this play holds. And in the tradition of kid’s theatre for adults (and vice versa), it has some dancing (as choreographed by Sierra Taylor), a few musical elements performed (not real songs per se, but enough to be heard as musical “bits”), and even puppetry! (Miles Taber created the puppets!) The storyline never speaks “down” to its audience as a kid’s show might do. But then again, this “kid’s show” are for those who are far from their childhood years!
Jacob Sidney directs a well rounded cast of players that also include Desiree Mee Jung, Brian Brennan, Sean Faye, Mandi Moss, Corinne Chooey, Allison Reeves, Aaron Mendelson, and Bart Tangredi. These performers make up the community of Radio Falls as a winter wonderland and a place in the sun.
Overall, ROSE AND THE RIME is a production that is suitable for all. Again, this isn’t a play for youth in mind since the storyline, as easy it may seem for those grown-ups out there, may be a little above the knowledge for anyone under the age of ten. Unless one takes advantage of a matinee performance (performed only twice in its run), then the kids will have to see this show in the evening hours. Then again, it never performs on a “school night”. Nevertheless, it’s still choice family-style entertainment for kids or otherwise!

     ROSE AND THE RIME, presented by the Sacred Fools Theatre company, and performs at the Sacred Fools Mainstage theatre, 1076 Lillian Way (one block west of the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Vine Street), Hollywood, until February 25th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, with Sunday afternoon performances on February 12th and 19th at 3:00 PM.
     For ticket reservations or for more information, call (310) 281-8337, or online at
LA Stage Alliance presented the 27th annual OVATION AWARDS, declaring kudos for the best in stage theatre found in the Los Angeles region. The ceremony took place on January 17th at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center, located in the downtown LA region.
Alexandra Billings served as host for the awards event that presented a selection of citations that involved the various crafts that were seen on stage, as well as off stage as “behind the scenes” elements within theatre programs that performed between August 31st, 2015 through August 28th, 2016.
Among the many awards presented, The Geffen Playhouse’s Guards At The Taj won for best production of a play in a large theatre, Dry Land, presented by the Echo Theatre Company won for best production of a play in an intimate theatre, HAM: A Musical Memoir won for best musical production in a large theatre, Celebration Theatre’s The Boy From Oz won best musical in an intimate theatre, and for the best theatre season (large or intimate) was presented to the Los Angeles LGBT Center for their three shows: Fool For Love, HAM: A Musical Memoir, and Hit The Wall.
Pablo Santiago, a theatre lighting director, was this year’s recipient of the Richard E. Sherwood Award for his commitment in LA Theatre production. A special tribute for Gordon Davidson, the founding artistic director for the Center Theatre Group who passed away on October 2nd, 2016 was acknowledged and dedicated.
In addition, the newly designed Ovation Award was presented in its debut. The previous award piece was a blue colored glass figurine of a human likeness standing in a side arching stance raising its arms in an upward position. Starting this year and continuing onward, this figurine is now is made of an alloy of silver colored polished metal. This new construction will avoids any breakage when dropped on a hard surface!
A theme that was presented within the award show spoke for the notion that theatre is an art form that promotes joy, love, acceptance, and diversity. These elements of emotion was expressed by Alexandra Billings, as she as a transgender, told about an encountered experience at the Cal State school facility where she teaches the art of theatre. Her students within her classes, as well as the rest of student body, expressed her mutual feelings toward the diversity aspects that make up part of the populace of Los Angeles–both as a theatre community and as a bonded city.
For an entire list of all nominees and winners, visit the LA Stage Alliance website at
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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!


In this third week of 2017, long after the Christmas decorations were taken down while dead Christmas trees still sit along curbsides, the lists of 2016 were already compiled and “published”. (We use the term “published” since many of these so-called lists were not limited to print). The predictions of what’s 2017 going to bring have been guesstamated especially on this week as come Friday the 20th, a new king will be crowned. Among these shenanigans, there has been a number of folks that never made it when it came to the new year’s resolutions they were support to compile at the end of the previous year.
One person that this writer knows who I’ll call “Olif” (not so much to protect this person’s privacy, but to protect my own self from possible lawsuits), has started to make a list of resolutions that this person will conduct for the 2017 calendar year.
Olif recently told me at an informal luncheon held shortly after the first of the year announced with some kind of lower key method, that this person will be making a list of things and related assignments that will be performed in this new(er) year. Olif didn’t state what these resolutions consisted of, but noted that these are notions created as self promises, and will become “locked and loaded”! (That was Olif’s quote, not this writer’s!)
First of all, I am glad for Olif for making up a list of things that will be kept for the year, even though it was announced a few days after January 1st. However, only time will tell if good ol’ Olif will keep those promises to itself. (I am purposely hiding Olif’s gender. That is the reasoning behind using words that are not limited to “he” or “she”. So I’ll call Olif an “it”!)
As this same ol’ writer stated in an article that ran in the previous issue, making commitments can become a challenge to a person. These lists tend to become rules where one has to do this and do that, while not being able to do that and do this! It’s not so much as a wish list, but a harsh order! Think of this method as a boss at work yelling at its employees to work harder, longer, and faster. And to do such without any promises of receiving bonuses, promotions, or any other form of incentives. The only reward that will be received for this hard work is either 1)-more work, or 2)-not being fired!
Although our dear ol’ pal Olif is on the right track when it comes to making promises to keep for its own good even though it’s slightly after the fact, it is always a good idea to keep a number of personal goals in mind. It doesn’t have to be a laundry list of self afflicted commands to do by a certain time, but to hold on to those goals to commit throughout the year. Many people state they for the new year that they will be in better physical shape by going to a local gym to work out. Many of these gym facilities see a spike in attendance in January. By the first week in February, that attendance tends to fall, and by the end of February, that spike seen in the month beforehand is back to where is was before January 1st. Since Olif’s new year’s resolutions were never made public, this writer can’t state that “hitting the gym” was on that list. So the above notion won’t apply toward Olif’s keep, even though it’s based upon a proven fact! (Ask any of the local gyms if more people showed up in January comparing to any of the previous months!)
But as the lists for the year have already been settled, it’s time to move on into new ventures. And if anyone is really concerned, we’ll keep you posted on Olif’s progress or lack thereof! Assuming that anyone wants to know, let alone care!
Theatre Palisades opens their 2017 theater season with William Inge’s modern classic PICNIC, a story that takes place in an ideal midwestern town where a number of its inhabitants live upon various stages in their lives, with a young outsider adding to the small town drama.
The play sets itself in a rural community in Kansas around the mid point of the 20th century. Helen Potts (Laura Goldstein) and Flo Ownes (Sue Hardie) are neighbors and good friends. Helen lives with her elderly mother while Flo is a mother herself, raising two daughter on her own-sixteen year old Millie (Jessica Mason) and eighteen year old Madge (Krystyna Ahlers). It’s the Labor Day weekend, and the big event is the community picnic. Madge will be attending the picnic with her beau Alan Seymour (Spencer Rodman), a recent college graduate. Flo has high hopes for this couple as she desires for the two to marry, a upscale change for Flo as she sans a husband and provider. Living with Flo as a boarder is local schoolteacher Rosemary Sydney (Wendy Taubin) a middle aged woman who never married. Stepping into the scene is Hal Carter (Nicholas Dostal) a drifter who is staying with Helen while performing odd jobs for her. Alan and Hal were once frat brothers in college., but Hal dropped out hoping to make a career as a beefcake star in Hollywood. He eventually returned without reaching this goal. Through his presence, he creates a unique movement where these inhabitants holds upon their inner issues ranging between their hopes for the future, desires toward the present time, as well as the backstory they hold, especially reflecting for the ever charming Hal. It’s a slice of life that exists in their hamlet and a renewed change of sprit for all involved, no matter what stage in life each character posses.
This play with William Inge is a classic American-style coming of age tale that speaks for a period in time that is now a shadow of itself for the present era, both as real or imaged. It does express the notion of loneliness between the main characters, especially the woman involved. They have their desires to become better for themselves, but must take a few risks, even though independence as a whole is yet to become examined or questioned. However, this play takes places in the 1950’s, so its focus is more of a period piece that shows its “good old days” as ideal for its era.
As to the production as seen on the Pierson Playhouse stage (home base of Theatre Palisades), the ensemble cast fits perfectly to their roles they play reflecting the time and space their dwell within; A midwestern rural America populace long in the so-called idealistic generation when almost everyone followed the rules of life. The sole “rebel without a cause” Hal as performed by Nicholas Dostal, stands as the “bad boy” of the bunch. He holds a unique charm that is appealing without being cocky. Spencer Rodman as Alan is the one time frat brother that is gleaming enough to become a pretty boy, although he can become a jerk. Krystyna Ahlers as Madge is the perfect small town girl who has her options in life, but finds them better off with a man who can provide. And Jessica Mason as younger sibling Millie starts off as a rustic tomboy who eventually morphs into a woman, trying to keep up with her elder sis.
Sherman Wayne, a long standing member of Theatre Palisades, directs this production with Martha Hunter that shows itself as a stirring and moving drama, showcasing a time when the American dream can be obtained with a number of steps between hard work and a devoted family setting with offspring to carry the dream alive. Along with his direction duties, his set design with additions by William Pitcher, illustrates both homes facing one another, complete with a front porch on one-perfect for taking a view of the world that folds out front! June Lissanderllo’s costuming is rightly of and for the period it speak for. The woman are nearly dressed up while the men don sport coats when the need calls. (Hal sometimes wears a t-shirt, but is mostly bare from the waist up!)
In additional to the above noted cast, this play also features as listed in their order of appearance, Marcus Maia, Nancy Woods, Tamara Ashton, and Manfred Hofer.
In spite of its dated elements that are found within this stage work, the drama, dialogue, and character relationships are fully engaging. That’s what makes PICNIC a classic. Although this reviewer won’t know if this notation is a “spoiler alert”, but the audience never sees what occurs at the picnic, let along attends it! However, this entire production is just as appealing and comforting as a lunch eaten outdoors consisting of chicken salad sandwiches (with mayo), deviled eggs, creamy potato salad, with a cup of iced sweet tea to wash it all down! Just watch out for the ants!

  PICNIC, presented by Theater Palisades, performs at the Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road (off Sunset Blvd.), Pacific Palisades, until February 19th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. For more information, call (310) 454-1970, or visit online at
GLORIOUS!, Peter Quilter’s comedy about an eccentric woman of age whose talent for operatic singing was yet to be spoken for, opens at Santa Monica’s Morgan-Wixson Theatre.
Living in the heart of Manhattan c. 1944, Florence Foster Jenkins (AnnaLisa Erickson) is a woman of means. Living off a rather large inheritance, she keeps herself busy by becoming involved in her many interests. One of these personal passions is to become a soprano. However, her vocal pitch is far from being perfect. In fact, it’s downright awful! Her “boyfriend” St Clair Byfield (Larry Gesling) a man of British decent whose trade is a thespian, is aware of her actual talent, but supports her in what she wants to do in spite of what those who hear her sing may think. With the various charity recitals and extravagant balls her dose her singing, she hires Cosme McMoon (Eric Pierce), a young man who performs on the piano while she vocalizes. Her good friend and fellow society woman Dorothy (Joanna Churgin, alternating with Marina Tidwell), supports Florence as much as anyone else within her close circle. However, they will not admit that her singing needs work–lots of it! This notion of those that hear her singing, laughing in the process, won’t stop Florence as her reachers her high peak by holding a concert in Carnegie Hall. Will this woman make out with a song as a swan, or as her swan song?
This play with songs, comparing this to a traditional musical as this is not, is charming, witty, and heartwarming to boot. This tale of a woman who believed she was a great vocalist when everyone thought otherwise is based upon an actual person. Her tale was first brought to the public attention by playwright Peter Quiliter who discovered the woman’s “talent” by hearing a recording of her screeching through an operatic aura. The play first opened in Birmingham England in the middle 2000‘s, later moving to London’s west end theatre scene where it became a hit. It eventually became a feature film that sported the name of this “first lady of the sliding scale” (what the critics called her) that sang her way through fame! In this Morgan-Wixson production, AnnaLisa Erickson as Florence plays her role as a very sweet woman that holds very good intentions for herself. She has heart and appeal with a very bad vocal pitch! Eric Pierce as Cosme McMoon is a man that also feels for Florence, in spite of her bad singing. She even treats him as the son she never had, encouraging him to even settle down with a woman. (He does find settling down with someone appearing, but not necessarily with Florence’s named suggestion!) Larry Gesling as St. Clair Byfield is more of a “ham actor” type that a serious thespian, although he has performed in a few of The Bard’s plays of old! Joanna Churgin as Dorothy is just as eccentric as Florence, running around with other society women that are involved with a number of the woman’s clubs made popular in New York long before the days of television. Adding to the cast is Diane Baker as Mrs. Verrinbder-Gedge, a music loving woman that wants Florence silenced, and Arriella Fiore as Maria, Florence’s hispanic maid that speaks only Spanish but understands English as well as everyone else!
Anne Gesling serves as both musical director and stage director in this M-W production, keeping the pace fully active while adding to the music score that Florence attempts to sing.
In addition to the performing seen on stage is Thomas Brown’s set design that displays the various settings where Florence makes her mark in the musical world, from her apartment filled with 19th century-era furnishings, to a rather plain recording studio, shifting upon the ballroom of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, winding up on the stage of Carnegie Hall!
GLORIOUS! is just that! For those that have their hopes of becoming a great vocal talent that proves otherwise, this stage production can serve as an inspirational piece. It’s more encouraging that one of those many (too many?) talent shows that currently grace the TV landscape. The talent found on those programs don’t necessarily sing opera auras, but what do they really know anyway?

GLORIOUS!, presented by the Morgan-Wixson Theatre Guild, and performs at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, until February 5th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. A special talk back session where the cast and crew discuss their performing as well as taking questions from the audience, occurs after the performances held on Sunday, January 22nd, and Friday, January 27th.
     For more information as well as ticket reservations, call (310) 828-7519 or via online at
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions
@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)

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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!


    As the second week of ’17 progresses, there has been reports billed as “true” news, comparing to that “fake” news that has been the rage of late, of folks already breaking their new year’s resolutions–the annual list of things to do in order to make the resolutions writer a so-called better person within the world they exist in.
The tradition goes something like this. On or around January 1st, a list is compiled where the person who is behind the list creates a personal goal to make that same person a better citizen in some method. Such items within their year long “to do” list can ranges from losing wright, quitting a vice (smoking, drinking, etc.), visiting and/or calling upon a family member to keep a communication line open (mom, the kids, the “ex”, etc.), and other factors that mean more to the person holding on to the list than anything else.
Just as a list is created at the first day of the month on the first month of the year, that list of resolutions wind up as misforgotten by January 31st. Usually there are a follow up list of excuses that’s behind why the promises to one’s self were not kept. (“I had no time to go to the gym!”, “My ex won’t answer any texts I sent out!”, “I forgot!”, etc.). Some of these excuses can be rather legit, while others can be lumped as good ol’ bulls#it!
Of course, the reason why such resolutions are never kept is the fact that these promises are rather hard to keep, if not downright difficult to maintain. These lists of “things to do” and “things not to do” can be overwhelming or just over the person’s head. Although these resolutions were made for the good of the list keeper as well as created with good intentions, the person who compiled that inventory of goals for the new year winds up taking a hard look at the list only to state “phooey”, and thus, walk away from something that just can’t and won’t be kept!
But not all new year’s resolutions wind up in the trash heap by February 1st. There are some folks that make up these lists for themselves. Not so much as “resolutions” per se, but as a list of personal goals.
A report we received right before the Christmas weekend from the folks at MediaPost did a survey asking domestic mothers (adult aged females who are moms or caretakers to kids under the age of eighteen), if they were going to compile new year’s resolutions, and if so, what were some of the items that were going down on their list. Although nearly one third of those polled gave an answer of “yes”, some of those were not to keen in making such a index. According to the report article, one person was quoted by stating “I’m so tired of hearing about resolutions! Why bother making them? I end up breaking them within the first few weeks of the year. Why set myself up for failure?”
But things were not as gloomy as the above quote may testify. The article continued to note that nearly all of those polled (97%) stated that they were going to set up goals for themselves for the new year. And the magic word word here is “goals”, rather than “resolutions” that tend to sound like an order of command where one must commit themselves to accomplish this task–or else!
And what were these goals that these women stated were on their lists? According to the results, those on the hit list were in their order of preference: Get healthy; Be happy; Make my home environment more peaceful and beautiful; and Make a positive impact on my community. (Volunteering for a worthy cause, etc.)
And there was the elements of keeping happy as well as having a balance within their lives. Those notions were stated as: Spending time with family: Doing little things for themselves; Exercising; Having quiet/meditation time; and Spending quality time with friends.
Although this list can be found as overwhelming, that isn’t necessarily the case as their was no hard deadline ever intended to complete these goals. The tasks would be conducted, if not completed, over a undeclared period of time. As the report also quoted from another polled person, “Resolutions are so binary. You are either always doing it or you aren’t. A goal seems much more flexible and achievable to me. I don’t have to be ‘resolute’ in my journey to achieve the goal.”
And to add is the state of emotion where these same moms gave for the new year.
The report detailed that the top three emotions for ’17 are optimistic, being happy, and  coming in at a distant third, anxious!
So leave it up to the moms out there to make the rules when it comes to new year’s resolutions. Granted, the above quoted report only covers a small demographic. This just means that other results may vary! Some people make make long hard list of things to do and to actually accomplish them. Other may make lists that are the same as the previous year’s list. And many don’t even bother for reasons that only make sense to the person in question. Whatever the case, that is what makes the new year just what it is; A year where promises are made, and where promises are changed, mismanaged, or just plain forgotten! That’s another part of the never ending saga of domestic life!
No reviews this week, but in the next issue, we’ll present two separate reviews of new productions opening up in the region. We’ll see you then!
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions
@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)

(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!