IT’S “MAGIC TIME”! or WHAT I DID DURING MY SUMMER VACATION (Pt. 2)

In last week’s issue, this writer (“me”) composed an article on the “magic time” of August. I went on to note the reasons why this month has all the magic. Among those reasons came from the fact that I would take on many road trips to various places that month. These road trips first began as family based vacations and the first “real” road trip that went beyond the weekend’s time, took place not-so-many years ago when my family embarked on a road trip from Chicago (where I was living at the time) to Niagara Falls, New York, then to Washington DC. The previous issue gave some insights to how we planed for the trip, how we planed to get there, as well as an almost forgotten side story on an encounter with a bus charter company ready to sham our bunch in paying for a bus ride to the falls where we could have taken our car there with minimal problems. (We wound up going there on our own!!)

This week’s chapter begins after we completed our excursion to Niagara Falls, now ready to head on over to the Nation’s Capital where there was much more to see and do. After all, outside of the falls, there isn’t anything unique to do or see in Buffalo–or at least at that period of time!

After the falls, we were making the trek through Pennsylvania to the D.C. area, passing by (but not stopping in) Pittsburgh and various other communities throughout the state. Some of these places I barely recall, while others became long forgotten. I don’t necessarily remember the exact route we took since I wasn’t driving, and the AAA through their “Triptic” map that resembled a reporter’s notebook, made the route easy to follow through its pages. The pages consisted of a section of map with the road taken as centered. A special marking pen that was colored blue/green highlighted the road(s) to take. It was a map that was easy to follow. In fact, it was so easy, even my mom could make out the routes and places to enter/exit to dictate to my dad. He was the captain of the goodship Ford Country Squire wagon, and my mom was second in command. We kids were just the raw recruits on this journey, so we didn’t have much to do except to enjoy the ride for what it was worth.

Although it seemed that we were in the Keystone state for a good part of the trip (that wasn’t too difficult to understand as it extends some 400+ miles going east-west), there were a few memorable episodes to recall that made the trip amusing for what it was.

First, many of the interstates taken were turnpikes, meaning that they were toll roads. I knew of taking toll roads where if a driver was coming toward a toll booth, one would have to throw some coins down a hopper device. Then a light would change from red to green, a gate would open where one could pass through. On the turnpikes, a driver would arrive at the toll booth only to take a IBM punch card that would spit out from a slot on the left hand side with the details printed on where one got the ticket. When the driver was to make an exit or if it was the end of the line, one would drive up to the booth, place the card into a slot, and then one paid the amount of the toll based on where one received the ticket. It seems that the farther one traveled, the more one would pay. Every one of these booths was “manned” by a Pennsylvania Turnpike person, complete with uniform with a patch stating that the person wearing the shirt (it was mostly a “men-only” operation from what I recall) was an official toll taker–just in case somebody came to a fake toll booth that was plopped along the road by some evil doer that wanted to gyp drivers out of their toll money!

Another notion that I recall was there were a lot of Howard Johnson restaurants and/or motor lodges along the Turnpike. HJ was still using that bright orange color scheme that made this roadside attraction famous. Some of their restaurants and motor lodges still used their 1950’s-era neon signs that were not as orange, but mostly blue-ish in color. I recall that for the motor lodges, there was an image on the top of the sign that consisted of a lamplighter (of “long-long-ago” variety) lighting an old streetlight with an elongated lamplighter thing, where a young boy was looking up at him. It could have been taken from a scene from an Charles Dickens story with the boy saying to the lamplighter “Please, Sir. I haven’t a place to stay.” I really liked the orange-colored scheme that was part of HJ. However, I knew that by 2001, there would be no more orange colored Howard Johnson’s since the one located at the space station in the movie of the same name didn’t feature a speck of orange anywhere to see! That’s progress I guess!

We stayed in a motel somewhere outside of Pittsburgh as we checked in closer to 6:00 PM. The first thing we did once we settled in our room was the turn on the TV set–a color RCA “motel room” model, complete with the ability to hear music without a picture on channel 13. (Actually, hearing a local FM radio station that programmed “beautiful music”!) The local TV network affiliates were airing their early evening newscasts.

During this time, there was a newspaper strike going on. The two Pittsburgh dailies (The Pittsburgh Press and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette) were not being published due to the union workers going through a work stoppage. So one of these channels (KDKA?) featured a segment on their 6:00 PM newscast where a local news reporter read a selection of the daily comics, very much in the same way where in the 1930’s, the Mayor of New York, Fiorello La Guardia, read the funnies on radio because the New York dailies were going through a strike. This time around, the local station showed a panel of one of the comic strips it was showcasing (Dick Tracy) where the same newscaster read the dialogue that was coming from the characters via the “word balloons” while a camera panned from one panel to the next. At the time, Tracy was battling over a criminal who has an obsession for munching on popcorn with a popcorn popper at his disposal! (I wasn’t following the comic strip at the time, so I can’t give you details on what was going on. I was more into the “funny” funnies such as Blondie, Andy Capp, “B.C.”, and of course, Peanuts.)

After traveling what seemed to be forever on the Turnpike, we entered the state of Maryland where the freeways were free. We were going to stay somewhere on the Maryland side. Once we checked into our motel room (It wasn’t a Howard Johnson’s, but a Holiday Inn where the colors of choice were kelly green and white), we were going to plan on what we were going to do while in DC. So with AAA guide books in hand, we choose some of the places to see while in Washington. Tours through the White House weren’t available at this time for reasons never brought to my attention. So we were going to cram about two, possibly three days, of serious DC sightseeing!

So what did we see? The Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial (in reality, just a big empty building with a statue of a seated Lincoln in its middle), the Capital building where we just looked at what was under the dome–the only interesting thing to see, one of the Smithsonian museums, among other sights. But perhaps the most memorial tour we did was at the old FBI building. We were lead by some young guy that was thin as a rail and donned a smart looking suit and tie combo. (Was this guy an intern or was he a real G-Man in training?). He showed our tour group a lot of interesting things, as well as the ballistics shooting range! (I was not lucky enough to get a paper target with the black silhouette of the figure decked with bullet holes.) However, when it was a Q&A time, I did ask this G-Man if we can visit with J. Edgar Hoover. The G-Man replied “His office is on the 7th floor, and he’s too busy today!” That meant we didn’t see G-Man number one! At least I asked!

Oh yes. When we ate out, we got friend chicken from Gino’s, a local chain of chicken and burger joints that had an affiliation with many of the local Kentucky Fried Chicken places found within the Baltimore/DC area. Gino’s had a premium offered where for one dollar, one can get this toy consisting of a plastic cup with a spring activated plunger in the middle. A plastic ball fit inside of the cup. The object was the pull down on the plunger, where the ball would be shot upward, and one had to catch the ball into the cup. Then one would release the ball by way of the plunger and catch it in the cup, and so on. I had a whale of a time with this toy. On its handle was a small round sticker with the Gino’s logo on it. I played with this toy for many years after, always recalling this trip to DC where I saw what was under the dome of the Capital, and missing a chance to say “hi” to J. Edgar Hoover!

Outside of that toy device from Gino’s, what souvenirs did I get? Since I was into television at the time as my viewing started to increase, I got the local editions of TV Guide magazine. At the time, TV Guide featured on the first dozen or so pages and well as the last few pages articles and other news and were national in scope. In its middle were the local listing of stations available to the area that issue was sold. I was able to get the same national news while in the inside were different schedules for stations covering Buffalo, New York, Pittsburg, PA. and Baltimore, MD/Washington, DC. Each issue cost fifteen cents and were purchased at a local supermarket. (In Buffalo, it was at a Tops market, Kroger in the Pittsburgh region, and Pathmark in Silver Springs, MD.). And what was on the cover for these editions for the week? The entire cast of As The World Turns!

After some two weeks of heading from one place to another while seeing things that were not found in my neighborhood, we finally arrived home, tired and happy. However, my happiness was rather snubbed as I realized that within a week’s time, I would be returning back to school where for the next eight or so months, I would be cooped up in a stuffy classroom full of kids I didn’t know too well with a teacher that could either be cute and perky a la Sandy Duncan’s character in her sitcom Funny Face, or could be old, mean, and grumpy a la Miss Grundy from the Archie comics. That also meant that I could no longer stay up late on a “school night” to watch The Dick Cavett Show, The Tonight Show, or whatever old movie was playing on one of the local TV stations. But little did I know that I would be meeting up with a teacher that would become my first “adult” friend. (It’s not necessarily what you think, folks!) But those tales occurred from September onward. This is an article about August events.

With all of these things being said (or written about), that is why August is a magic time for yours truly. There were other August trips I have been on with the family, and as I got older, as a solo. Those episodes will be written about in future editions of this here newsletter. So as the announcer would say at the end of each episode of As The World Turns, “Tune in tomorrow, same time, same station, for ‘As The World Turns’. This is the CBS television network.”…
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Performing at The Beverly Hills Playhouse is David Henry Hwang’s YELLOW FACE, a semi-autobiographal play that is about race, proper casting, and the conspiracy of a foreign entity that might have had an influence toward political fundraising.

Jeffrey Sun is playwright, David Henry Hwang. He had just made a splash on Broadway for writing the play M. Butterfly, making him the first person of Asian decent to win the coveted Tony Award for best play. He came a long way in theater from when he once worked for his banker father Henry Hwong (Alfonso Faustino) a few years before. Now the toast of The Great White Way, Henry hears about a show that’s been a hit in London with the plan to move the production to New York, the musical Miss Saigon. However, one of the leads playing a character of Asian decent was reported to be causation. This leads toward a scandal in the theater world that involved the actor’s union, an Asian-American defiance group, among others that are involved in keeping this heritage true to its origins. Henry writes another play that has Asians characters as its lead. One person cast for this part was Marcus G. Dahlman (Roman Moretti), a young man who is leading man material. His role is Chinese. Marcus is white and of Jewish decent. Although the play becomes a flop, Marcus later becomes cast in a revival of The King and I. This casting (and when Marcus Dahlman changes his identity as Asian Marcus Gee), is just the start of David’s problems. It seems that his father has been involved with receiving and depositing some high amounts of money geared toward supporting a candidate running in the presidential election. And this funding came from the Chinese government. One element leads toward another when the feds become involved. This is not the attention that Henry was looking for, far from the floodlights and floorboards that the theater world can ever muscle up!

This play written by David Henry Hwang, takes some of the facts (adding a bit of creative licence) that did occur through the 1990s leading into the early days of the 21st century, back when such scandals were uncovered through print-based newspaper pages. (That thing called “the internet” was still just a novelty back then!) At first, the play deals with the comical elements that gave to the rise of political correctness in entertainment where Hispanic characters should be played by Hispanics, Black characters should be portrayed by those with the newly minted name “African-Americans”, Indians (now known as “Native Americans”) should be depicted by…you get the idea! Its second act takes upon a sobering nature when David’s father becomes a target with the feds by becoming part of a notion where a foreign nation held influence to a major political run. These changes of mood and tempo makes this play as a comedy-drama, or “dramity” as its known in television speak!

Jeffrey Sun as David Henry Hwang (or “DHH” as his character is officially billed as), is indeed Asian. He takes upon what comes to him in stride, although he, along with his banker father Henry as played by Alfonso Faustino (Asian as well) nearly dodges a bullet! Roman Moretti (non-Asian) as Marcus G. Dahlman a.k.a. Marcus Gee, is the young guy with enough cocky attitude that could get him a meaty part in Beverly Hills 91210, 21 Jump Street, or any other series that was airing on the Fox Network! The rest of the cast appearing in this production consisting of (as listed in their alphabetical order), Dennis Nollette, John Pendergast, Lisagaye Tomlinson, and Jennifer Vo Le, play multiple roles (some Asian, others as “White”) that make up the part of David Henry Hwang’s virtural can of worms.

Rick Allen’s set is rather simple. It just consists of a number of wooden “sweetshop” -type chairs, a pair of scaffolds on center stage left/right as a visual element, along with a few hand props used as telephone devices–land lines mostly! These backdrops only serve as a place mark as most of the location settings are rendered as a virtual reality time and space point of reference. Directed by Robert Zummerman, YELLOW FACE shows off a period that ushered in the political correctness era of the 1990s and later became part of the permanent domestic domain. It also brought to the attention that foreign governing bodies can indeed play a role of how a political campaign for office can be influenced through the acquisition of large amount of funds. These elements still plays a part to the current political landscape of now. This time, the shift moved from Asia to Russia! Those antics would make interesting fodder for perhaps a future stage play (even a musical?) to perform somewhere else! Only time, tide, and the power of social media will bring that idea to stage light! Until then, this play as performing at The Beverly Hills Playhouse will tide one over to a fitting “T”! (Tea?)

YELLOW FACE, presented by the Firescape Theatre in association with The Beverly Hills Playhouse, performs at The Beverly Hills Playhouse, 254 South Robinson Blvd. (south of Wilshire Blvd.) Beverly Hills, until September 26th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. Tickets can be ordered online at http://www.FirescapeTheatre.com
Follow the hashtags #YellowFace, #ItsLikeWhiteOnRice
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 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!

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IT’S “MAGIC TIME”! or WHAT I DID DURING MY SUMMER VACATION (Pt. 1)

August is one of those months that mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. August means it’s vacation time, where for a day/week/month, one would get away to some location for a little R&R. Others may see this time as the “beginning of the end” of Summer, where it’s the time to start cramming all of those summertime based antics before Labor Day comes rolling around. For those that are attending a formal school session, it’s the period of the year where for the next few weeks and/or months, one will be placed in a classroom facing an instructor or two for a moment of readin’ ,writin’, and ‘rithmatic–or something to that effect! And for you sports fans out there, Baseball reason is progressing while Football season is just around the corner! So August holds a lot of unique qualities for a lot of different folks.

This writer is a big fan of August as well? Why? It’s mostly for the sentimental reasons as yours truly would take vacations where I would hit the road to see things, do stuff, and otherwise soak up all the sights and sounds of an area that was not available in the community I once hung around in.

What vacations could this writer of prose start upon? When I was a kid far too young to vote, my family, consisting of mom ‘n dad, as well as a pair of siblings (brother and sister) would plan to go off on a motor trip to some domestic destination far off from the ol’ homestead. Since traveling by air was rather pricy for what it was, we chose the “See America-Best By Car” motto that many of the oil companies used to place on their road maps. (Remember folks! This writer speaks for the period beginning in the late 1960’s progressing through the 1980’s. So if I note any elements that are not found within today’s landscape, now you know! This will also “date” me through my age. Just call this as a trip down memory lane!!)

Anyway, my first August vacations consisted of a weekend journey. Starting out from Chicago where I was once based out of, we would spend a weekend getaway to such places as the Illinois State Fair down near Springfield, as well as a side trip to St. Louis, where any tourist worth their salt would visit the Gateway Arch, perhaps one of the so-called “wonders” of the domestic world. Another weekend August trip was to head within the natural and semi-urban wilds of Wisconsin to see such places as Lake Geneva as well as nearby Madison. Or maybe we would spend a weekend visiting the Wisconsin State Fair in West Allis, a Milwaukee ‘burb.

The first “real” vacation trip, a junket that went beyond a two or three day weekend, occurred when the family clan would head on over to Niagara Falls to see the…well, Niagara Falls, and then drive in an easterly route to Washington DC, the home of a lot of well-washed monuments and a whole lot of government!

We were planning to start off that Monday, the first Monday of the month. That year, the first Monday of the month was August 2nd-my dad’s birthday. However, because my dad’s buddies wanted to take my mom and the “man of the hour” off to some dinner party, our vacation was put off until the next day. The kids, including yours truly, were not invited to the dinner party. However, we were able to pack our gear for the trip while mom n’ dad and their company wined and dined somewhere. The next day Tuesday, we were ready to go. But tragedy struck. Apparently, there was a minor problem that was going on with the bathroom sink. (What that problem was had since been long forgotten!) The original plan was to take off around the late morning/early afternoon period in order to avoid that day’s rush hour traffic on the expressways! So my dad called the plumber he’s known for a number of years, stating that he would arrive around 10:00 AM or so. Well, the plumber arrived two hours later that stated. He went on to fix the situation that was on hand, only to leave to get some parts he needed at the local hardware store that was only a few blocks away. He completed the plumbing work around 4:00 PM. Although we planed to leave to avoid the morning rush hour drive, we were now facing the afternoon rush hour! Nevertheless, we climbed into our fully packed 1968 Ford Country Squire station wagon (colored white with the fake wood paneling on its sides), and took off!

After facing the afternoon traffic that was clogging up the expressways named Edens, Kennedy, and Dan Ryan, (Chicago expressways are named after local, state, and federal based politicians), we were off and running with my dad behind the wheel, my mom seated “shotgun” reading the road maps, and the kids (yours truly included) nestled in the back seat. (The luggage was in the cargo area behind the back seat). Three kids of various sizes were crammed along the vinyl bench-type seat that Ford used on all of their station wagons build from the middle 1950’s well into the 1980’s. Our only entertainment was a lot of paperback books we took along ranging from picture books, books loaded with puzzles and games, and other forms of reading material to keep one busy. My elder sister was starting to get into novels written by J.R.R. Tolkien. My elder brother took a number of comic books along, mostly in the form of superhero titles. (Today, these comic book titles from DC and Marvel would be considered as “bronze age”–editions from the 1970’s that fetch decent prices in the comic book collecting markets.) And I had a few paperbacks consisting of reprints of comic strips from Blondie, Andy Capp, “B.C.” and of course, Peanuts. My folks controlled the car radio where we would be forced to listen (most of the time) to whatever station was pleasing to them. Since my dad hated rock ‘n roll, (and what other dads that were forty-plus aged would agree musical taste wise), that would mean that we kids could not hear the sounds of WLS as we traveled out of the city to the open country! But it wasn’t a total loss as we did hear segments of CKLW coming from Windsor, Ontario (serving the Detroit market) as we passed through Toledo, Ohio heading east along I-80.

We didn’t get as far on the first day as we spent out first night in Angola, Indiana, just east of the Indiana-Ohio border. The motel we stayed in was just “OK”. The TV set in the room was a black and white set, and the antenna didn’t work too well, meaning that we couldn’t get many stations. The ones we did receive were of pool picture quality. but it was a chance to read the maps and plan what we were going to see and do.

After passing by Toledo, Cleveland, and Erie, we finally arrived in the Buffalo, New York area within two days of leaving Chicago. When we checked in to a local Howard Johnson’s motor lodge located in one of the suburban areas (Kenmore?), we then planed our excursion to see the falls as well as the other attractions that existed in the area, using the handy-dandy maps and guides we grabbed from the AAA. Since our trip to the state fair the previous year, my dad took advantage of a family-based membership so we can take advantage to all of the incentives that the Chicago Motor Club (an affiliate of the AAA) could offer!

The next morning with plans in hand (thanks to the AAA), we traveled toward Niagara Falls, New York, home of the title falls in question. Across the border in Canada was Niagara Falls, Ontario. The Ontario side had more to offer in terms of seeing things. It was the home of the “Horseshoe Falls” that was more picturesque that the American side, and was the home to the official Niagara Falls museum. At this museum, one can see a selection of displays on the early days of the falls, including the selection about the people that went over the falls in a barrel. I recall seeing on display, a metal barrel with a huge dent on its side that was used by some person in the late 1910’s. According to what was written in the display, the person did survive going over the falls. But shortly after, he slipped on an orange peel only to break his leg from the fall! I don’t recall the whole story as intact, but that is why Google exists!

Getting back to the trip. As we were heading out to the falls area, my dad spotted a small building with a large billboard-type sign in front stating “Free Niagara Falls Information Here”–or something like that! Since my dad wanted to take advantage of “free” information, we stopped at this building. Although the building itself didn’t have any signage on it to why it was there for outside of dispensing “free” information, it was in reality a sales office for a local bus charter service. This company (the name since forgotten), sold chartered bus rides to the falls area. So upon entreating the building with Dad in the lead, Mom in second place, and the kids tagging along behind. we came to a counter in the front lobby area. Along the side of the room near the front counter was a rack full of brochures advertising other places and events that existed in the Buffalo area, although there were a few pieces of literature for places and accommodations located farther off in upstate New York. The place looked rather bland for what it was, although on the back wall behind the counter was a color photograph mural of the falls itself–the more picturesque Horseshoe Falls found on the Canadian side. Whatever the case, it was just a place to grab that “free” information, and my dad was going to get that info before we headed off to see the falls in person.

The woman behind the counter, an attractive lady (to me, anyway) that must have been in her early-middle 20’s, said “Hello! How may I help you today?”, speaking in an upbeat perky manor with a smile on her face. My dad, the man in charge, said “What can you tell me about what’s there to see at the falls?”. The lady replied “I can bring you somebody who can assist you!” Then she gestured to some man that was waiting at the wings donning a jacket that was more of a uniform that a traditional business suit.

He presented himself to my dad giving his name (also long forgotten) and making mention to my mom as well as the kids in tow. He offered us kids some soda pop dispensed from a beverage machine located just back of the counter off to the side. As we kids were guzzling our sodas, (Coke? Pepsi? Off-brand? What difference did it make to us? We just liked any soda pop, especially with the crushed ice loaded in each cup), this man got very friendly with my folks, asking where we came from, how long we were staying in the area, and other forms of prodding for details. Then he started to get into this kind of hard-sell for us to take a charter bus ride to the falls area. He went on to state that parking was very limited at the falls area and tourists of all kinds were heading off to the falls all at one time in massive amounts. In order to see all of the falls in its glory, he insisted that dad purchase a set of tickets to ride one of their air-conditioned busses that will take its passengers (us?) right up to the welcome center of the falls. There would be no hassles in finding a parking space (if you can find one at all), and one will travel in utmost comfort!

My dad, as the man as he was, would not take this form of information as information, but as a pitch for buying overpriced tickets for a bus ride. He was capable in driving the gang (us) in the family car himself to the falls for no additional cost. So after this man’s elongated pitch, my dad said “We’ll go see the falls to see if we can find a parking space. If we can’t, we head back to you!” And with that, he called for us kids to gather back with mom in second lead, and we headed out of the building and to our wagon parked out front. My dad was going to see for himself about the massive amount of tourists that would take every parking place that existed near the falls.

It seemed that my dad was right. Near the welcome center was a large parking lot in front that was only two-thirds full. The massive number of tourists that would be gopping up the place were nowhere to be found. Although there were a few folks milling around, it did not consist of the huge crowds that the bus charter counter man claimed would be there! Upon seeing this situation, my dad said to my mom “See? I told you so! All they were trying to do was to gyp us! Glad we didn’t fall for that!”

Well, although we didn’t fall into that ploy, I really didn’t know what my dad was talking about! I guess I would’nt know a sham if it was ever presented to me. However, I did see one portrayed on an episode of Dragnet not so long before, but Joe Friday made it more obvious. Besides, that sham took place in Los Angeles, not Niagara Falls, New York.

After seeing what the falls area had to offer, including that side trip over the border into Canada to see the better side of the falls as well as that museum loaded with actual barrels that folks used when going over, we said “good bye” to Niagara Falls and slowly we turned–step by step, inch by inch, to drive along the interstates to our next destination, Washington, DC.

We’ll continue with our take of this August Summer vacation tale in the next issue. See you then!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Performing at The Actors Company theatre is Cyndy A. Marion’s YOU ARE PERFECT, a surreal tale that speaks for the past action, the present situation, and the fate of Susan Atkins, one of the followers of the inner cult lead by Charles Manson.

The setting opens within the prison cell of Susan Atkins (Lindsay Danielle Gitter). She was part of a grouping that was lead by a young and eager man on a mission, Charles Manson. (Michael Wiener). Susan has a visitor in her cell, a middle aged woman (Kristin Samuelson) who is present to assist on guiding her upon what she did that got her inside. Susan takes upon this woman that desires to help, although what she did for “Charlie” was part of something that would be of a change, even if that change involved a detailed emotional passion with the aid of hallucinogens. As The Woman speaks to her, Susan sees Charlie as a man the held his plans for himself and his group of believers to do what was supposed to be carried out. Susan shifts between the visions of Charles, as well as why The Woman is there at her side. Susan learns that The Woman shares a fate that Susan will encounter, perhaps as the two may be of one.

This tight single-act play written and directed by Cyndy A. Marion takes its basis on an actual episode that occurred in Los Angeles almost fifty years ago, during the era where the so-called youthful lifestyle of California included sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll–with a hideous twist. In this show, the three performers play their roles in different dimensions. Lindsay Danielle Gitter as Susan Atkins is a free spirited young woman that may not necessarily fully comprehend on what she did for her leader, although she doesn’t fully admit guild, let alone any other actions. Michael Wiener as Charles Manson is a man that is firmly ground on his undertaking that seeks an eerie blend of revenge and a revolution, based upon the musical “messages” found within the lyrics of The Beatles’ “White Album”. Kristin Samuelson as The Woman (she doesn’t hold a character name) is president first as an aid, developing into a stern near mother-esque personality, finally morphing into Susan’s later being. (Herself?) These trio of performers presents a time and era where the notion of a free sprit can make a difference, for their better of for its worst.

What makes this presentation appealing is its visuals. Ruth Albertyn provides the set and projection design. The physical sets only consists of a folding chair, a table at its stage left side, a folding cot, and a lone toilet. This represents Susan’s only world for the moment. On the back wall projected is moving imagery that represents Charlie’s inner mind and thoughts, as well as the places that Susan, along her her fellow cult members, are upon with their mission. There isn’t anything graphic displayed. Anything graphic are only seen within the eye of the beholder–the audience.

The timing for this show exists is a perfect circle. One year from now (August), will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the life and times of a failed musician turned cult leader who carried on a act that would revolutionize a belief. Although this review won’t get into the details on that episode, this play speaks for that time and era. Granted, a bit of creative license was added for story and plotting purposes. One question remains? Will something of this magnitude ever repeat itself? If it does, then modern technology (and social media applications) will take on a bigger part. Charlie told Susan the title compliment, and that same complement speaks for this stage performance.

YOU ARE PERFECT, presented by White Horse Theater Company, and performs at the Actors Company Other Space Theater, 916 North Formosa Avenue, one block south of Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles (West Hollywood adjacent) until August 10th. Showtimes are Wednesday through Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinee at 3:00 PM. For ticket reservations, call (323) 960-5521, or online at http://www.Plays411.com/Perfect
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 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!

NOT ON VACATION ANYMORE!

In last week’s issue, an essay was placed on how television programming used to go on its “vacation” where the TV networks once filled their schedules with repeats, summer replacement-type shows, and movies that were of “B”-quality status. The reason for this was the fact that people would traditionally go off on a summer vacation (or “holiday” is one is one the British track), for a week or so’s worth of a little R&R.

In today’s domestic landscape, TV doesn’t go on that form of vacation as it used to, but people still do. Nearly anyone worth their salt plan to engage on a junket where they will head off to their little spot on the planet for a few weeks/days/hours away for the typical nonsense and riffraff that makes up the lives and times of people that may be in your neighborhood or not!

However, in spite of the fact that folks love to get away, or so we are told based upon reports presented by various travel agencies and related groups, a number of people won’t be able to escape from where they reside to where they would like to go. They would rather stay where they are to take advantage of the best of both worlds. They can have their familiar surroundings at bay while making an attempt to cram in a bit of the so-called R&R that makes vacations just what they are: A time to unwind and take note on enjoying their life for the moment.

This method of vacation was born (or “reborn”) during the darker periods of the Great Recession of the late 00’s-early 10’s when people didn’t (or couldn’t) spend time and/or money for a traditional vacation. Instead of gassing up their vehicle (the most popular method to travel by car, again, according to those for noted travel societies), and plan to head off to a spot on the beach/in the woods/within the desert to take part in what these places had to offer, these same folks would stay in their home bases and take day trips, usually no greater than a fifty mile radios to where they reside. City folks has the most things to do at their disposal as the urban areas had plenty of things to do and places to see for just nearly any age group. Museums were at their feet catering to various tastes that offered admissions that were either cheap for what they were, or even free! (Many museums even had their free days!) Ditto for events that dealt in the performing arts, such as concerts, theater programs, or even sporting events. Those activities may be free, some are inexpensive, while the rest charged a price based on their value. But paying twenty dollars for a single ticket to something was a whole lot cheaper than paying one hundred dollars a day for a hotel room someplace, or for a campground nestled in a wooded area. That price didn’t include the amount of gas to get to this someplace.

The “stay-cation” trend lasted until the end of the recession. Now folks are getting away. However, it’s not so much of a hard times period taking its toll for folks to get away. What is holding them back is the amount of duties and responsibilities that people engage themselves with. This range from duties at their jobs, taking care of family members on both sides of the age spectrum, or for other reasons people tend to create for themselves. They just can’t seem to break away, even if it’s just for a weekend.

However, all is not lost. Taking the tip from how television schedules itself by offering new programming year round, people are taking off at odd times of the year. Fall is a very popular time to get away since, depending on where one heads off to, can see the fall colors at their bloom, take advantage of the cool(er) weather, and to beat the crowds since it’s the off-season for many traditional vacation spots. After all, who says one can’t go on a summer vacation in the fall

However, if you are going to take off for a spell, don’t forget to take us along! We will still be here! And as our name suggests, we are accessible, just as long as you have internet access! And don’t be surprised that your favorite vacation spot offer a wifi connection. (National and state parks included!) One may get away, but that don’t mean you can’t get disconnected, assuming you don’t want to get off the grid!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Hershey Felder returns in HERSHEY FELDER: BEETHOVEN, where he tells some of the lesser known side stories of one of the world’s greatest and best known composers of classical music.

In this solo performance, the character speaking is Dr. Gerhard von Breuning, a Viennese doctor whose father was a good friend of Ludwig von Beethoven in his waining years. The setting takes place in the fall of 1863, many years after Beethoven’s passing. Dr. von Breuning is at a cemetery where a marker for the pianist resides. Nearby is a place where a metal box with his remains lie. Dr. von Breuning, upon finding the box only to uncover it and to examine what is left, tells the story as a child, he would see Ludwig as a great man of works who was losing his hearing and looking rather down and out. He doesn’t necessarily tell backstories that would ruin the character of the composer in question. His tales are for real. When the subject of music would arise, Hersey would change as Beethoven seated at a grand piano as he plays a selection of his works, ranging from the 5th and 9th Symphonies, the Emperior Concertos, as well as the keyboard sonatas and chamber music scores. Although this show is a blend of storytelling and classical music concert, the real presentation is Hershey himself, keeping his music and character aligned in one smart fitting.

Hershey Felder’s previous presentations usually consists of the man playing the title character, presenting antidotes while giving examples of music as he performs each piece with style in grace. In this show, Hershey plays Beethoven, but not always as the “man of the hour”. Taking the written source by Dr. von Breuning entitled Aus dam Schwarzspanierhaus, Hershey composes the dialogue (as playwriter) as presented, and generates a piece that not only enhances the music of Beethoven, but gives some notes to the life of this man. Its formula is part musical performance and other part history lesson.

The setting of the cemetery as seen on stage consists of large tombstones on each side of the stage wings in various forms of disarray. In the center toward the rear is the towering monument of Beethoven. In front of that monument is a Steinway grand piano This is where Hersey plays Beethoven as he plays Beethoven and Dr. von Breuning, although Dr. von Breuning has limited knowledge to performing on the keyboards. Thus, Hershey is Beethoven’s musical score!

Christopher Ash provides the lighting and visual projection design where during the performance, the graphics on the tombstones change from the old German text written to moving image visuals that sets the mood synced to the pieces played, as well as the background far beyond the tombstones and markers. Theatr Hall, Paris provides the costume design based upon of the style of clothing donned in Europe of the middle 19th century, while Hersey Felder creates the scenic design of the graveyard with a resemblance of a macabre settlement.

Directed by Joel Zwick, HERSHEY FELDER: BEETHOVEN gives out the best of both worlds. It’s the worlds of music and spoken word all rolled up into a ninety minute performance. And at the conclusion of the show, Hershey will come out of character to take questions from the audience! It’s a great way to brush up on your Beethoven from the master himself!

HERSHEY FELDER: BEETHOVEN, performs at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 North Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, until August 19th. Showtimes are Tuesday through Sunday nights at 7:30 PM, with matinee performance Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 PM. For tickets, call (310) 746-4000, or online at http://www.TheWallis.org/Beethoven
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 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!

TV-NOT ON VACATION ANYMORE!

Not too long ago, the Consumer Technology Association’s 20th Consumer Technology Ownership and Market Potential Study was released. This report presented the current (as of 2017-early 2018) status report on how consumer technology has made its mark on the domestic public at large. The tech-based gadgets focused on within the report range from among others, phone devices, media receivers (i.e. television sets), and any other piece of electronics that operates through a web based connection.

According to the report, television devices exists in 96% of all domestic households. Smartphones are found in 87% of those same homesteads. And the latest entry of electronic goods, digital assistants–those speaker-esque devices that go under the brand names as Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple HomePod are now owned by 22% of those same dwelling spaces that have the for noted TV sets and phones.

And when the report notes upon the TV sets, these units are of course, “smart” TV sets that have the ability to connect to a web based application that can steam media without going through a separate set top unit; although all flat screen TV sets that have a HDMI input can get access to steaming video, or any other application that makes a TV set intelligent in its own system.

Each one of these devices, along with electronic pads and traditional laptops, can get access to any video streaming found down the line. The digital assistants, although they don’t have a video screen attached, can make suggestions on what to watch, where to watch it, and how to get access to the programming one can ask for. Granted, depending on what device is used, it may lean toward that company that is connected to the device and/or who is paying the provider of the electronic assistant creator to make suggestions. For instance, If somebody asked their Echo unit on what to watch that week, it might bring up programming available through Amazon Prime. Ditto for any programming that paid Google for their spot found within the cyberspace universe. But if the asker of the assistant isn’t too picky, if not too hip on why their digital assistant suggested one title over the other, it makes the classic task of asking “What’s on TV tonight?” a whole lot easier, considering that TV Guide isn’t as easy to skim through as it used to be when it was digest size and sold at a dollar or less per issue!

But this is the middle of summer. People are usually out enjoying what summertime has to offer. Kids for the most part are out of traditional school-based classrooms until the Labor day weekend (give or take a week). Folks plan to go camping in the woods, heading toward the beaches, savoring the desert landscape, or perhaps taking a day trip to what their home town has to offer. (Museums, etc.) And for so-called indoor activities, there’s taking advantage of a blockbuster/tentpole feature found at the local multiplexes. If folks would rather watch movies on the big screen with a real audience present out in the open, many locations offer outdoor movie screenings projected on the big screen. Some facilities that offer these events charge admission, while many do the same for free. The movie itself may be of a classic title, or one released from the previous year. One can beat the heat and indoor stuffiness by having the best of both worlds!

However, watching TV can be performed on a vacation. Anyone that is located where a WiFi connection exists can catch up on their favorite media through their pad, their laptop, or their phone. And yes, a few folks do drag out their TV screen machines to view media on a size far surpassing 60”.

Once upon a time when television signals came over the air as fed by a handful of channels found in a local area, mostly supplied by a trio of coast-to-coast television networks, television saw their lowest audience levels in the summer months, ranging from right after the Memorial Day weekend through the Labor Day holiday. This was the period where regular series went into their rerun period, or for series that didn’t air repeats, a program called the “summer replacement” aired on its time slots. These summer replacement programs were limited series shows, consisting of episodes ranging from eight to twelve installments, and were not meant to be as a long running series.

Variety programs aired quite a bit when it served as a place holder for an existing variety show not found in the summer months, such as The Red Skelton Hour, or The Dean Martin Show. Situation comedies also has a few brief runs as the networks wanted to test a show that they held interest and if it would be good enough to be included for the fall or perhaps a mid-season add on. Those programs where a single episode was created (called a “pilot”) as part of a potential series that was eventually axed by the networks were lumped into an anthology series with a generic sounding title such as “Comedy Playhouse” or “Adventure Showcase”, also aired where one can see a bit of a show that would never be seen ever again. (In the trade industry, these programs were called “Garbage Can Theater” since one can see just what the big three networks were placing in their trash heaps!)

Since TV seasons no longer need to rely upon a September starting point to gain an audience, any media source can start a series whenever they can, usually with the entire series of shows starting out all at once! If Netflix, perhaps the biggest player of streaming TV, opens their new programs staggered throughout the calendar year. It takes time to view some eight or ten episodes all at once (called “binging”). So if one is camping in the woods, and over a roaring fire pit nestled inside of a campground where the home-away-from-home RV or similar vehicle is nearby hooked up to running water, electrical power, and other post-modern conveniences, one can whip out their phone, laptop, pad, or even their 72” 4K TV machine they dragged along, and have a blast of tuning in to the third season of Dear White People as viewed under a starry night where raccoons hide within the bush, hoot owls perched within the trees give out their hoots, and the crickets chirp along as one watches away–unless the viewer is too busy fumbling through their smartphone to determine how to calculate the current temperature based on how many chirps a cricket makes in a minute.

Then again, the fall season is just right around the corner. That means more TV to consume, and more devices at one’s disposal to soak them all in. Just imagine that back in the good ol’ days, one had to wait until September to see all of the new shows on a real TV set that has a screen no bigger than 26” (if that big at all) to see what’s new on ABC, CBS, and NBC. As an electronics firm based in South Korea uses as their sell line, “Life is Good!”
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills opens their 2018-19 season with Norm Foster’s SCREWBALL COMEDY, a laugh fest about competing journalists chasing the same story in order to either get a job at a big city newspaper, or to keep an existing job at the same paper.

The year is 1938. The effects of Great Depression still lingers on. Mary Hayes (Kate Whitney) just lost her job as a perfumer (perfume saleswoman) at the local department store. Her real passion is to be a journalist. It’s been since her college days ten years before since she was last a reporter. Now pounding the pavement for a job, she tries to land a gig at the big city newspaper The Chronicle. Mary has an uphill climb, since the best journalists around tend to be men! Upon meeting the editor Bosco Godfrey (Daniel Leslie), she encounters Jeff Kincaid (Lane Compton), the paper’s best beat reporter. Bosco give Mary a challenge. He assigns her and Jeff to work as separate reporters to cover the wedding of Chauncey Diddle (Niko Boles) and Gloria Fontana (Jean Mackie). Chauncey is the son of Dolores Diddle (Sharron Shayne), the paper’s owner. Delores inherited the paper, as well as the rest of the family fortune, when her husband drowned after he fell off the family yacht while drunk (again) and for the final time! But this wedding has some suspicion connected to it all. It’s up to Mary and Jeff to grab this story by the horns, perhaps making it worthy for the front page, and to either give Mary her job, or to have Jeff keeping his.

This production is reminiscent to those wild, witty, and somewhat wacky comedies that the movie studios (such as RKO or Columbia Pictures) once churned out in the 1930’s and 40’s where it was usually a battle between the sexes that used plenty of wit, witticism, with a notion of romance thrown in for good measure! Unlike those features created some seventy plus years before, this play depicted on Theatre 40‘s stage was written in the 21st century by a playwright based in Canada! That playwright, Norm Foster, uses the same form of comedy that was very commonplace during that period, even if some of the visual and verbal gags used are not necessarily “politically correct” in today’s landscape. However, this play takes place at the time when men were men, women were women, and the humorous stunts were delivered in rapid fire action! The cast that appear in this production, including Gail Johnston as Jonesy, Bosco’s “girl Friday”, George Villas as Peter Terwillinger, Deloris’ new beau, and David Hunt Stafford as Reginald, the Dilddle family butler, all get into the sprit of the play’s period. Howard Storm, who has directed a number of Theatre 40 shows of recent past, is back on helm to direct this work that is very comical and charming to boot

With such period pieces comes period fashions and sets that go along with the action. Jeff G. Rack, Theatre 40’s residential set designer, creates a scene that fits the era, while Michele Young’s costuming also speaks for the times that gives the cast a chance to give it with all they’ve got!

SCREWBALL COMEDY’s title says it all! It’s the type of comedies that they just don’t make anymore. There are many reasons for that, but that doesn’t mean they still can’t create ‘em! The 1930’s may be long gone, but they aren’t forgotten! The style of comedy depicted is unique. It’s also very breezy where its happy conclusion is light, likable, and gay! (The 1930’s definition of “gay”, that is!)

SCREWBALL COMEDY, 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 August 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 http://www.Theatre40.org
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MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN (Universal) revisits the Greek isle of Kalokairi where Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) is ready to reopen the hotel that her mother Donna (Meryl Streep) began years before. Now called the “Hotel Bella Donna”, it pays tribute to her mom who passed away the year before. With a new hotel comes a grand opening. She invites all of the people that were part of her life, from her mom’s BFFs Rosie and Tanya (Julie Waters and Christine Baranski), to her trio of dads Sam, Bill and Harry. (Pierce Brosnan, Stellan Skarsgård, and Colin Firth) The story shifts into the past that focuses on Donna when she fresh out of college. (Lily James plays the young Donna) She gives farewell to her college pals Rosie and Tanya (Alexa Davies and Jessica Keenan Wynn) and heads toward Paris. From there, she meets the first of her three suitors. (Jeremy Irvine as the young Sam, Jeremy Irvine as the early Bill, and Hugh Skinner as the youthful Harry). As Sophie welcomes her guests along with her additional staff that includes the manager Fernando (Andy Garcia), she reunites with Sky (Dominic Cooper), as well as her grandmother, the well-off vocalist Ruby Sheridan (Cher). Among the festivities, their is plenty of opportunity to sing and dance to a selection of songs made famous by the 1970’s-era supergroup Abba as composed by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus.

This musical piece, the obvious sequel to Mamma Mia! that Universal released ten years before when the studio was then owned by General Electric, could be considered as fun and breezy, without the fluff that musicals of late tend to contain themselves. It’s rather amusing to see most of the original cast that made the first movie, based upon the stage musical of the same name that became a monster hit both on Broadway and on its many road tours. Although some of these players didn’t necessarly age too well in the past decade, mostly limited to the three dads as played by Brosnan, Skarsgård, and Firth, it’s amusing to see them reprise their roles. The screenplay by Ol Parker (who also directs) with story by Richard Curtis and Ol Parker and Catherine Johnson, presents the back tale who how the Donna character wound up in Greece and pregnant with child. It also shows Sophie going through the same motions as her late mother did beforehand (pregnant, but this time knowing who the father is), with the usual happy and content results. (Would it be a spoiler alert to note that she doesn’t marry the man that “did” her?)

The music score takes some of Abba’s more obscure tunes such as “Angel Eyes,” “When I Kissed The Teacher,” and “I Wonder (Departure)”, as well as reusing musical numbers that were in the first feature, from Waterloo, to Fernando (Andy Garcia’s character name is Fernando–thus the connection!) in a new and different format. One doesn’t mind hearing those songs again because they all fit within the storyline.

In short, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again is the ideal feature film to see with your gal-pals as this movie serves the middle aged female demographic that doesn’t care much for silly-yet-amusing family-style animation titles, or overly aggressive action-adventure shoot-em-ups that’s the preference of fanboys, no matter what age they may be. Even if one didn’t care much for Abba when they were part of the top-40 set back in the day, one will enjoy this musical that’s light and bright in all of the right places! Will there be a third Mamma Mia? Only box office results will spell that out for Universal. The studio already has enough Jurassic Park and Fast and the Furious sequels in their pipeline as it stands!

Rated “PG-13” for mild cussing. Now playing at multiplexes nationwide.
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 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!

LIFE ENDS AT 60?

It appears that people are living longer more than ever. There has been reports that folks are surpassing ages when they should have been long dead. Turing 80 is no longer such a big deal. People beyond 90 is getting to be more common. Even hitting the big 100 is an age that is not only worth celebrating, but something to even make a joke about it. A person that this writer knows recently hit the century mark. When this person was informed that people reaching 100 would normally receive a birthday card from The White House, the person hitting the the big “C” gave the statement, “If I get a card from the SOB, I’ll send it back and he could shove it up his a$$!” (That’s an actual quote from a 100 year old man, so don’t shoot this messenger!)

The AARP, the organization that caters to those age 50 and up, have been celebrating the efforts to those that are of a mature age with what they can do, and how “hip” they can become during their lives. Granted, this demographic may not be the first on their block when it comes to the access and use to high tech devices and their applications, but they are adapting to this technology. It’s now more common to see those of a better age to use a smartphone that a classic style flip phone–the same kind of phones that were all of the rage during the earlier part of the 00’s!

A poll conducted by the staff of SeniorLiving.org, a website to assist those to find senior living communities, assisted living facilities and senior care sources, recently asked some 1100 people based in the USA on what age would be appropriate to conduct a selected activity, and what age should be the cut-off point in ending such a pursuit. The survey divided the groups by age as Millenniums, those born between 1980 to 1995, Gen Xers born between 1965 through 1979, and the Baby Boomers born between 1946 through 1964. All were asked in what form of activity should be age appropriate.

There were a few acts that were rather obvious, such as baring a child as all demographics noted that age 45 should be the proper cut off point due to medical reasons, and the fact that it’s rather difficult to raise a child at more of an advanced age. But there were a few other activities noted when one should stop doing because it was no longer cool to take part in. In some cases, there wasn’t any “cool” factor connected to the said activity, but still didn’t seem very appropriate to conduct.

Some of the activities that would be considered as “cool” consisted on when it was “too old” to attend what was labeled as a “Keg Stand”. It’s assumed that a keg stand consists of a party-type atmosphere where a massive amount of folks are clustered into a crowed room, loud music is being played, and the center of attention is a metal keg with a CO2 tap on its top dispensing warm flat beer consumed in plastic red Solo cups–the kind of bashes one would attend as a “young adult”, and would be an idea set scene for a media production depicting college life. (32 was deemed the age where one would be too old to attend a kegger.)

Some acts of age limits were also noted. Some were surprising, let along subject for debate. 39 was the maximum age to have a one-night stand, 49 was the limit for casual sex, 52 was considered to be too old in using a dating app, and 59 was the top age for viewing porn.

Other activities that learned toward standard life applications also worth noted focused on moving/relocating on a whim (51), working excessively (53), going to college (58), starting a new career (61), starting a business (70), getting married (73), applying for a credit card (75), and having a long term relationship (85).

Again, this survey was far from being scientific. It only expresses the views and opinions to those that answered the survey. To quite a line normally mentioned in car ads, your mileage may vary.

Media for the most part has always geared itself toward the younger generations. Pepsi-Cola, as this brand was once called, had a commercial jingle in the 1950’s entitled “For Those Who Think Young” sung to the tune of Making Whoopee. In the 1960’s Polaroid marketed its Swinger camera to the teens and college age folks allowing these people to take pictures that can be obtained immediately to capture their moments as prints. These commercials would air on such youth based TV programs as Hullabaloo, American Bandstand, Shindig, etc. In the later decades, the younger set continued to rule (or so it seemed), that made all youthful demographics as the set place to be!

In this current era, the new troupe advertisers chase are those called “Gen Y”, born between 1996 through 2005 (give or take a year). These are the folks that hold their own issues, beliefs, and places in life. And because they are the most wired, they hold to power to do whatever they want, assuming they have access to conducting whatever they need to do. (i.e. time, money, etc.)

But to those that are more seasoned, it appears that limits do apply. But these limits are not necessarily seen as a burden. Sometimes, and depending on what the activity is, performing an act at an advanced age may work out for the better. When it comes to a career, starting a new career when one is far beyond the 61 age as the survey suggests isn’t much of a bad idea. Many of these folks use the gig economy to refresh themselves in a new career, since performing a project on an single application basis gives them more flexibility. There are other perks that also exist as well. However, there are the downsides to. The fact that if one is starting a career, it means starting a business on their own instead of working for and in a larger conglomerate. There is the cloak of age discriminating that exists. Although their are rules and regulations when it comes to placement due to age, it’s rather difficult to prove somebody is stepping over the line. Ditto when it comes to gender. However, the focus here isn’t about how somebody can’t do anything because of age, it’s about when somebody should not be doing something just because of their age.

But the survey that this article uses as its base have a few interesting notions connected to it. The Baby Boomers, those that consists of the widest demographic period spanning eighteen years, enough to be divided between “first tier” (born between 1946-55) and “second tier” (1956-64), agreed to the fact that going to college can go beyond their 60’s and 70’s since many of these same colleges offer programs and incentives geared toward non-traditional students. (Some offerings are for college credit and for non-credit). The same goes for attending house parties, casual sex flings, and using dating apps. It may not be done in the same way as how it was once conducted while these folks were younger, but a lot of the same interest remains.

Perhaps the boomers take heed of The Who’s 1960’s hit “My Generation” where the lyrics stated “I hope I don’t die before I get too old”. The later generations also believe these words since many of them still listen to those songs that were popular way before they were born! It was from an era that seemed to be simple, yet it was far from that content.

Many others would find somebody doing an activity more geared toward a younger set as something that’s cute to do. Perhaps the activity may not be as wild and crazy, but there would be performed within a better mindset. After all, one is as young (or old) as they feel!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

CRE Outreach presents MARCHING ON, a stage performance created and performed by eight veterans that served in the military, telling their stories that are far removed from the battlefields and training exercises that are part of the American armed forces.

In this piece, eight service people, consisting of Josie Benford, Irene Cruz, Paul E. Johnson, Monty Montgomery, Jefferson Reid, Mason Vokes, Judith Welch, and Carla Brame Wilkerson, appear in the first act in their military greens. This crew served in the Army, Air Force, Marines, and the Navy within various ranks. Told as monologues and mini skits, they speak of some of the aspects of military life. Not so much as what they did while under defense regulation, but what they did outside of military protocol, still keeping rank and file in doing their important and complex duties and assignments. The second act shows this same crew as civilians donning their street clothing. Now considered as veterans, they experience some of the benefits in living a former military career, while at the same time, experiencing the rather lack of respect from the majority (read: civilians) of the general population that is far from removed of the understanding on how tough it was in servicing their nation, while keeping their emotional toughness–even if that toughness comes with a price.

This production was created by this cast that takes on their actual personal stories to what is was like being a person in the service and exiting as a vet in this theater piece. Jefferson Reid serves as lead playwright extracting the basic structure to these stories from this crew that blends in these episodes as seen and experienced by those that were there. What is expressed on stage is a cross between comical antidotes and sobering tales. Granted, with such services comes the aftermath. However, the negative elements are not emphasized. Instead, what comes across is the pride of standing up to the nation they believe in, and will continue to pledge their allegiance in the present and beyond.

Although there is no stage set to speak oft (the performance is presented within a black backdrop with a few black table elements that serve as various barrier points), Scot Renfro creates the design of this stage area that the military personnel is showcased front and center.

Directed by Greg Shane, MARCHING ON, speaks for the declaration of marching on as the military presents, as well as marching on long after the honorable discharge is granted. Again, it may be difficult to understand to what goes on with those that have served their nation when one never became close to what these men and women had lived through. For those that were there, it’s a refreshing experience to see in many dimensions. But for the rest of those that never served for various reasons, it’s a small wake-up call reminding those same people that without the aid of these former service people, the USA may not be in the same place and function to where it stands today within the world. Military might may be right, only if it serves for a respectable purpose.

MARCHING ON, presented by CRE Outreach in alliance with Veterans Empowerment Theatre, performs at The Blue Door, 9617 Venice Blvd., Culver City, until July 22nd. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoon at 3:00 PM. For tickets and for more information, visit online at:
https://creoutreach.org/event/marching-on/ ———————————————————————————————————————
Stephen Adly Guirgis’ THE MOTHERF-CKER WITH THE HAT, a dark comedy of two couples living within New York’s mean streets that rotate with one another, and the odd man that may assist in settling the score, opens at the Gloria Gifford Conservatory in Hollywood.

The setting is one of the tougher boroughs that make up the urban landscape of New York City. Jackie, a street-smart Italian that spent over a year in prison and is currently serving a stretch of his parole, is living with his longtime girlfriend of Puerto Rican decent Veronica. Jackie is undergoing his twelve-step program for alcohol, while “Ronnie” does her coke bingeing. Their relationship consists of heated sex, heated arguments, and heated make-up sex. After going through the rounds, Jackie finds a mysterious hat in their shabby apartment, suspecting that Ronnie is cheating on him behind his back, something that she denies. Although Jackie has a gun that he shouldn’t have due to his parole, he would be willing to use it on the man with the hat for doing Ronnie. He tries to have his cousin Julio (hispanic) to hide the gun in fear that his parole officer with catch him packing heat, and the fact that he just might use it! Meanwhile, Jackie’s friend and twelve-step sponsor Ralph D. (African-American) assists him on taking it a bit easy since Ralph D. leaves a clean life with his healthy eating. Although he’s married to his wife Victoria, their relationship is rather strained. This gives rise to an uneven circle of one doing the other’s wife/girlfriend, leading toward more compilations that is complicated as it stands!

This single act play written by playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis who’s known for developing stories and characters that are as gritty and street urban as they come, creates a tale that is extracted from the gutters and back alleys of the gettos that makes The Big Apple just what it really is–the armpit of the nation! Gloria Gifford, who received her training in theater in New York, and was the first to direct the New York based playwright’s show in Los Angeles, Our Lady of 121st Street a few years ago, brings her unique talents in creating a sense of a dark and dingy urban landscape found within this production. It becomes so absorbent, one can almost hear the roar of the “El” trains rumbling across the row houses that dot the neighborhoods while kids play in the streets–light years away from the glitz of Manhattan and the posh settings of The Hamptons.

This show features a rotating cast that vary in each separate performance. Jackie is played by Danny Siegel, Billy Budinich, and Chad Doreck. Ralph D. is performed by Keith Walker and Halie D’Alan. Veronica is played by Joey Marie Urbina, Nancy Vivar, and Raven Bowens. Jade Ramirez Warner, Leana Chavez, Keturah Hamilton, Cynthia San Luis, Lucy Walsh, Lauren Plaxco, and Samiyah Swann play Victoria, and Cousin Julio is performed by Christian Maltez, Benito Paje, and Joshua Farmer. (Specific cast rosters will be announced before each performance.)

The stage set as designed by Lucy Walsh & Chad Doreck consists of three separate sets lined up side-by-side one next to the other, showing off Jackie and Ronnie’s sparse apartment (center stage) with a futon placed directly on the hard floor as the bed with a beat-up love seat couch on the opposite side of the room, Ralph D. and Victoria’s unit (stage right) that is better kept with Ralph D.’s stash of large sized whey extract containers placed on a shelf for easy access, and Cousin Julio’s purple laden place (stage left) that is nearly in the style of an east Indian palace–almost feminine in nature, but not quite!

Of course, with such urban dark comedies, there is a lot of cussing nestled within the dialogue, making this play more enhancing! This method of playwriting and performing proves to the audience that the stories depicted on stage are not coming for the nicer neighborhoods found in Yonkers. It’s very hip and downtown in nature, complete with all of the mofos it can carry. And this show carries!

THE MOTHERF-CKER WITH THE HAT, presented by Jamaica Moon Productions and the GGC Players, performs at the Gloria Gifford Conservatory 6502 Santa Monica Blvd. (at Wilcox), Hollywood, until August 26th. Showtimes are Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:30 PM. For ticket reservations, call (310) 366-5505, or online at http://www.Tix.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 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!

IDOL INFLUENCE

Many people have a person or a group of people that they look up to for various reasons and influences. These people could be those that are known to the person, such as friends, relatives, co-workers, or persons of some form of local authority. (Teachers, clergy, etc.) Others are those that are known of in a large scale. These folks can be athletes, those in the entertainment realm, world or political leaders, founders in businesses, or those that made some kind of impact to the world or the world around them.

Much of the notion of looking up towards someone begins early in life. A child may look up toward their parents or those that served as parents or caretakers. As time progresses, the celebrity trait may fall in ranging in from athletes, musicians, actors, and others that tend to become part of the public limelight. As the person becomes older, those one-time stars become shoved aside to others such as political leaders, writers, or those that serve a purpose or mission. And those people may be shoved over to others that may be known to the domestic world, or known to the person doing the idol-ness!

In today’s post modern landscape, it’s not too difficult for those of a younger age to find somebody they could look up to. Kids perhaps are the most vulnerable when it comes to influence. Thanks to media available anywhere and everywhere, young folks can be exposed to people or groups that hold some kind of bonding through actions, words, accomplishments, or a mashup or all three! These folks coming of age turn toward these people for influence, entertainment, encouragement, or giving them the lowdown of what to do and how to do it!

Social media is perhaps the most influential source to find such people to look up to. Thanks to posts, tweets, and other methods of electronic expression, it’s not to surprising that these people make themselves accessible through social media. Each and every day (sometimes each and every hour), these folks of influence makes their presence known to those that want to know what’s going on and about. Many of these posts, etc. are real, some are prefabricated, and the rest are spots that can be taken for what they are worth!

Not too long ago, the market intelligence agency Mintel filed a document reporting on the influence of social media celebrities on America’s youth and how influential they are to this demographic. The report notes that more than one third (34%) of those aged between six and seventeen consider social media stars to be among their top role models. Musicians come a close second at 33%, followed by athletes (27%), actors (22%) and the President (16%).

Social media stars are those that are normally found on YouTube, a place that nearly anybody that has access to capturing moving imagery can upload their content for anyone to watch and consume. These people, who tend to be of a younger age range, place their programming based upon aspects that teeters between being informational and holding entertainment value. These same folks use there two values (among others) that develops a following where these people become celebrities in their own right. To make these facts bond even more, a convention was recently held in Anaheim, California last moth called VidCon that consisted of a large scale gathering of YouTube stars where the convention attendees can actually see the person or persons live and up close! This convention even has for its registrars a “lottery” where one can enter for a chance to win access to this exclusive, 90-minute live entertainment showcase at VidCon. (The sentence written in italics is an actual quote from the VidCon folks!)

However, don’t feel too bad for the youth of this nation that at times are referred as “Gen-Yers”, those born between 1996 to 2009. The Mintel report does acknowledge that kids say their parents/caretakers are their top role models ranking in at 86%. And to further this method of parent-child relationship, 85% of kids do agree that they have a closer relationship with their parents than most kids.

Coming in at second place, top role models for kids and teens include teachers (62%) and siblings (41%). This means that those that are physically connected to the kids are the ones that they do look up to.

These facts do not stray too far away from the era when this writer, a kid that was influenced through existing media at the time, had influences to look up to. Yours truly will admit that parents and siblings were not high on my list for influence, although teachers, or in this case, a teacher, became a personal inspiration. The media, mostly through television, fulfilled my quest to find people that I could admire for what they did, or at least what they did in front of the TV camera.

Over time and tide, many people as they grow up (mentally anyway), keep those that they look to while others drop on the wayside. Some come around as newer entries as well. It really doesn’t matter where one finds their source to look up upon. Just as long as that person takes their greatest and perhaps not-so-greatest as an influence of what to do and otherwise. That is what makes life amusing through words, actions, or a through a carload of followers on somebody’s Instagram account.
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Continuing its run at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks is Ryan Paul James’ DESPERATE SEEKING LOVE, a comical tale about six people, three men and three women, that are out for one thing: a chance to find love and romance in The City of Angels.

The half dozen consists of Sarah (Kate Linder), Tanya (Heidi Cox), Ray (Keith Coogan), Adam (Mark Elias), Catherine (Melissa Disney), and Bill (Thomas F. Evans). Each one of these people are single i.e. unmarried, and are out seeking a companion of some sort. With different people comes different personalities. Ray is a middle aged SciFi fanboy who never grew up emotionally. Tanya is a free spirited woman. Adam is an actor seeking a role in something that pays. Catherine had many partners, all for the moment. Bill and Sarah are each of a seasoned age and became single not of their own making as both of their sole mates passed on. Although they do go though their motions of finding their perfect match, they do have their chance to shine as each one meets coupled up at a white tablecloth restaurant. The questions remains. After they go out on their first date, will there be a second one?

This play written by Ryan Paul James is very witty and funny to boot. It takes some of the stereotypical traits of love and dating (rather than “hooking-up”) in today’s Los Angeles–or any urban American city for that matter, and blends these notions that can be real because some of the situations depicted speak for the truth! Those truths gives this show its comedy relief! The team of six on-stage players have the comical talents that enhances their characters, down to a point where if single and of the appropriate gender, one would actually want to date ‘em–if not “hooking-up”–while having a good laugh in the process!

In addition to the above noted cast, Merryn Landry provides voice overs in some of the skits presented. Her character is the only one not finding love–at least not for the moment!

As far as the stage visuals are concerned, Dayna Lucas provides the costuming, and Brandon Loeser provides the technical aspects.

Directed by Moosie Drier, DESPERATE SEEKING LOVE is an idea play to go out as a date! There will be plenty of things to talk about after this show in order to get to the next level. For the rest that are satisfied with their love lives, this show will provide a good chuckle or two! Whatever the case, it shows that love is there once you find it. And if you do find it, make sure somebody stops over at the local drugstore to pick up something that’s going to matter, and we don’t mean toothpaste!

DESPERATELY SEEKING LOVE, presented by RPJ Productions, and performs at The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd. (at Sunnyslope), Sherman Oaks, until August 3rd. Showtimes are Friday nights at 8:00 PM. For tickets, order online at
http://www.Yapsody.com
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The world premier of THE ROAD-TRIP MONOLOGUES, a selection of eight solo monologues that have a theme in common that speak for taking a trip going somewhere, real or virtual, performs at The Zephyr Theatre, located on the Melrose Avenue strip of Los Angeles.

A series of eight different performers present eight unique monologues as composed by eight varying writers, many of which come from a different nation outside of the USA, although many of them hold a domestic flavor to them where they all speak for the art of travel by way of a vehicle or as a state of mind.

The eight pieces as listed in their order of appearance, starts off with American Kim Yagad’s Hypocrites and Strippers, featuring Laura Walker about a woman who leaves her lover who works as a stripper in Pennsylvania and heads to Los Angeles only to meet another lover who just happens to be a stripper, The Weary by German Michael G. Hilton with Schafer Chesey recalling his dad’s wager of driving a hugh Lincoln across the ladscape with he and his brother in tow: Boot’s Vacation by Rex McGregor of New Zealand, with Emma Chelsey playing an adolescent skateboard thrasher whose parents “forces” the kid to take an European vacation, only recalling the best places to lay a board down, and having a chance to thrash at a New York museum located on the upper east side–followed by American writer Lesley Asistio’s Roller Coaster, featuring Juliet Ladiner in a story of another adolescent of Filipino decent recalling family trips to various American amusement parts, only to discover that both dad and mom held secret romantic affairs. Nina Sallinin performs in Medea’s Medea by American Chas Belov about a woman who believes she is the Greek goddess Medea that has traveled through thousands of miles through thousand of years, where in reality, she lives within a four by eight jail cell; Australian Roger Vickery’s New Girl, featuring Kenlyn Kanouse as an elderly woman who was a survivor of the Holocaust who migrated to Australia; Crossing The Bridge, by Australian James Balian starring Henry Kemp who recalls an attempt to save his son’s life by crossing an expansion bridge risking the lives of others and himself through auto traffic, and rounding out the eight is British writer Doc Andersen-Bloomfield’s Hope For Us All featuring Sonya Wallace as an African-American woman traveling to Charlottesville, Virginia on business during a so-called “white lives matter” rally.

This one-act anthology of short solo skits ranges from comedy to drama as these takes upon the art and science of getting between point “A” to point “B”, and occur based upon fun and recreation to desperate circumstance. With anthologies, the stories vary on moods and tastes. However, each one of the performers that appear on their stage platform presents their acting skills at their utmost progress. Only equipped with a few props as reference points with little to no sets or scenery to work with, the cast that performs alone as one dose a formidable role in telling these tales that come from the soul of those whose mission is getting to here from there and all points in between! Jane Edwina Seymore directs the cast in their quest of coming, going, and even the notion of standing still while they are moving about through any vessel that can do its due.
Road trips as a whole can either be fun become a panic. Whatever the case, the traveling showcases that exist out of the millions of trips taken in a given time window, only these eight stand out among them all. And no GPS app is even required–or a road map for those that travel the classic way!

THE ROAD-TRIP MONOLOGUES, presented by Resource Performance Workshops & Stories About Humans and performed by the Raw Bites ’18 Ensemble, is presented at The Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, until July 22nd. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. For tickets and for more information, visit http://www.Plays411.com/Roadtrip
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
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@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
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#AccessiblyLiveOffLine

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 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!

STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

It’s time for our annual report on what we have been up to, and where we are going. Since the moment that we began our fiscal year on July 1st of ’17 concluding it on June 30th of ’18, we have a load of news to report, and a lot of it is positive in nature.

For starters, our circulation has increased since the last report, although it wasn’t as great as our last increase at the end of our 2016-17 year at 10%. We have roughly increased by less than 5%. (4.80% to be exact!) This slight increase isn’t too surprising since over time and tide, other sources that report news (not necessarily competing with us per se) has seen their growth either shooting upward, remain stagnant, or possible seeing a decrease. With all being said, we are holding out on our own.

As to our appearance on the web. We are undergoing a change in our formatting at http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com. Although we may be looking different, we will maintain the same news and reviews that has been our staple (or our “bread and butter”) since we got started some twenty-two and one-half years ago.

But as to changes. We have receiving occasional letters requesting that we should post pictures and/or video links to our site. This notion isn’t so much of a bad idea, assuming that we have photos and/or moving imagery to post. Granted, we won’t gop up our site to post pretty pictures and/or links for video imagery unless there is a real reason to do such. Many websites out there that are not coming in from newspaper based sources reporting upon timely issues that could change content by the hour post pictures and stuff because they can! We can do the same! Granted, our text notices say what we wish to state. However, one must be competitive in this industry, and that is what we are striving to be.

We have been proud that for the 22 1/2 years of existence, we have remained as a sole proprietorship within our service. Unlike other firms that may be controlled by larger firms and corporations, we have remained independent for all of these years. We will admit that we have received occasional offers to be bought or taken over. Many of these said offers appeared to be rather lucrative. However, we turned those offers down for various reasons ranging from not maintaining creative control, or just being taken over for the sake of shutting us down as a “clean out”! Nevertheless, we are still here, and that is what really matters!

So as we begin yet another year, we wish to thank all of our readers by using us as one of your trusted news sources with all of what we write about as for real! You can find news that is legit, news that is half-baked, or news that is outright phony! But we are the real deal! Honest!!

Lastly, we do encourage you all to drop us a line. Just send all of your comments and suggestions to our e-mail address at Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com. Granted, we may be able to answer you right away, but we do read all letters that are legit in nature. Let’s make this a two-way street. After all, isn’t that the real link to journalistic success?
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Art Shulman’s I GOT TROUBLES, a comical play that takes place within an eclectic coffeehouse, makes its world premier at North Hollywood’s Crown City Theatre.

The location is Angie’s Coffeehouse, where the name beverage is offered. Angie (Amanda Donelan) serves as host, where she encourages those in attendance to present poetry residuals at a selected space where for three minutes, one can deliver their own prose. It doesn’t matter what form of poetic musing is spoken, just as long as it’s creative. A cross selection of patrons are in attendance, from a mother-daughter team who has hopes in the other finding a companion, a tall yet shy actor who lacks a poetic license, a lifeguard who doesn’t have chapped lips, a feeble man recently divorced from his wife seeking to start anew, a a humble man who operates a toy company, a conservative Jew that brings his own coffee mug to keep kosher, the young man who operates a poultry plant in spite of Angie’s desires, as well as other characters that mingle to enjoy their coffee while they deal with their own intimate situations.

This latest piece by local playwright Art Shulman is presented as a play that takes place in a single setting with its characters serving rather independently. The scenes depicted are rather episodic in nature, delivering a method where the focus is set among a few characters placed within their own space while nestled in one location-a very hip coffeehouse that is off the beaten path.

The performers that appear in this stage work are, as listed in order of their speech, Lareen Faye as Bessie, Ellen Bienenfeld as Eileen, Joel Anderson as Scott, Marcia Woodridge as Brenda, Steve Shaw as Arnold, Kevin McKim as Willy, Spencer Mathis as Tim, Camille Aragon as Kimberly, Casey Hunter as Joe, Jody Bardin as Samuel, and Jesseal Amelia as Linda. These characters patronize the coffeehouse, and as the title of this play suggests, they do have their troubles. Some can be taken as a concern, while a few are just troubles for the moment.

The set as designed by J. Kent Inasy shows the coffeehouse as one that is large in size, showing off a selection of eclectic art work hung as a gallery with plenty of table space to enjoy one’s beverage while hearing the poetry extracted on a small platform located center stage. (J. Kent Inasy also serves as lighting design.) Steve Shaw provides the sound design.

Shulman’s plays are just as eclectic as the themes expressed in this production. Some of his works are intently witty and humorous, while others are very serious in nature. This latest entry crosses within that middle. Some episodes as depicted hold humor while other sketches tend to get a bit on the sobering side. But that is what makes a hip and trendy coffeehouse unique using its own distinctive method. Just enjoy your coffee black, or add a bit of almond milk to it for flavor since this place is vegen all of its way!

I GOT TROUBLES, written and directed by Art Shulman, is presented by Borough Park Productions and performs at the Crown City Theatre, located within St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 1031 Camarillo Street, one block west of the intersection of Lankershim and Vineland Avenues, North Hollywood, until August 5th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 PM.

For ticket reservations and for information, call (818) 285-8699, or online at http://www.IGotTroubles.net
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
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@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) 2018 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!