It’s been going on for many years, a lot longer that people have realized. But media, be it as print or electronic, is undergoing yet another phase of its long(er) life and times.
Perhaps the most obvious change is the difference between online based media and so-called traditional stock. The latter (traditional) means the form of media that’s been around for generations, if not “forever”. The former (online), referrers to anything that associates itself via a wired or wireless connection that is linked to anything that is called the internet.
First, let’s go to the traditional elements: newspapers, radio, and television. Newspapers, of simply, “the news”, is perhaps the oldest of the three. Newspapers in this nation, as well as in other industrial based communities, has been the prime method to deliver the news of importance. Depending on the newspaper in question, one can find out what’s going on based on the topics the paper covers, as well as its community where the newspaper is based. The news can be important or trivial. Many smaller towns that had newspapers featured “community news” that gave reports of local events from city council meetings to the reports filed by local clubs and organizations. (Much of the featured articles that appeared in one local paper published in Los Angeles, once called “The Van Nuys Daily News” featured said stories filed from such groups as the local woman’s clubs and fraternal groups as The Lions, The Rotary, and related organizations well into the 1970’s!)
Radio came around the 1920’s that offered news and entertainment. It took a while for radio to catch on since radio receivers were rather pricey for what they were. When the great depression hit, it became a choice for entertainment since radio prices dropped a bit and the radio signals were available for free! It was also the prime source for news during the days of World War II as that war made radio a prime leader in broadcasting news. Newspapers, at first thought that their business would be killed by radio since this medium could offer faster and timely news and information. However, newspapers still continued to thrive.
After the war, television stepped in to become the next choice, taking one major advantage of radio. If offered pictures while radio didn’t! Although TV did catch on right away, many folks didn’t necessarily get a set because of price as well as the lack of receiving local TV signals. The three broadcasting networks saw an opportunity in television, slowly phasing out entertainment radio programs throughout the 1950’s. However, radio continued to thrive but into a different format calling for news, more music, as well as entertaining talk and discussion. Newspapers still hung around as well!
The biggest and perhaps most profound change in when the internet started to creep into the 1990’s. Many newspapers and print magazines began their websites in the during this period. However, the only way to receive such stuff online back then was to get access to a computer with an internet connection. If one didn’t have one or the other at their home, there was the public library or an internet cafe-a public place that one can sit in front of a connected computer. However, libraries offered limited time for patrons to use their machine, and internet cafes rented their time by the hour or half hour. By the turn of the 21st century, subscribing to an internet service at home became cheaper and more practical. (Ditto for getting those computer machines!) Did radio, TV, and newspapers feel the crunch by this new competition? Eventually, they did!
In today’s media landscape, newspapers are either throwing their emphasis through their websites and through their spots on social media. Many newspapers and magazines that were once print sources are now online only, such as “The Seattle Post Intellenger”, “The Christian Science Monitor”, and soon, “The Village Voice”, among many other titles. Radio has seen some changes as well. CBS is the last traditional broadcasting source that held out in radio, although they are in the process of selling off their stations and network. (NBC sold its network and stations in the late 1980’s, and ABC sold off its radio portion in the middle 2000’s.) Television is giving away to streaming sources such as Amazon, Hulu, and the biggest one of ‘em all, Netflix, allowing subscribers to view content whenever they want and how much at a time, without those pesky commercials, too! Many of the cable channels in addition to “the big four” offers streaming service as well, either for a monthly fee (no commercials), or for free. (Advertising supported, meaning commercials included!) However, the best part is the fact that one can get access to these programs with any device that connects to the ‘net and sports a video screen! So if you want to binge an entire season of The Handmaid’s Tale on their smartphone, then so be it!
We here at Accessibly Live Off-Line has also felt the change. We stopped our print service many years ago, and on October 1st, we announced to our e-mail subscribers that we will discontinue the e-mail delivery service with its final e-mail edition as issue Vol. 22-No. 51. But don’t worry folks! Accessibly Live Off-Line will still remain online at http//www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com. Again, we are just going with the flow!
Time and tide will tell what will become the next big media based thing! It’s somewhat hard to tell what this media may be, allowing other forms to place its virtual head on the chopping block. Just as long as the ideas flow, so will its next element ready to take over! However, as its been said for many a time, stay tuned!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Performing at West Hollywood’s The Other Space at the Actors Company is Shirley Lauro’s THE RADIANT, a biographical story of Marie Curie, whose knowledge in science and physics lead toward a major discovery in medicine, but not without the consequences she faced while researching those studies.
Nina Salinen portrays Marie Curie née Maria Sklodowska. A woman of Polish decent, she studied physics in Paris, eventually meeting her husband Pierre Curie. The play opens in 1906, right after Pierre’s death due to a tragic accident. Now standing as a widow, Marie, a professor of General Physics at the university where she studied, continues her work in spite of the fact that she is living on a widow’s pension. While working on a scientific research project, she encounters Paul Langevin (Conrad Cecil). Paul himself has a family of his own. Yet the time these two work within the laboratories leads from a professional relationship to more of an intimate venture. This affair continues toward a major scandal within the Parisian community as to a woman of science taking advantage of a fling with a much young man that has a wife and three children, as well as the sexism and xenophobia that was occurring during this era. But Curie’s research and discoveries lead toward her winning a pair of Nobel Prizes, the sole female to ever achieve these accomplishes.
This one-act play is presented on an intimate theater set. Its various sets as designed by Karen Ipock is staged as a seamless cluster, making this program’s visuals and performances very tight. With a cast of four players, featuring Andrea Flowers as Katarina (Marie’s seventeen year old niece), and John Moschitta Jr. (in various roles) in addition to the above noted Nina Salinen and Conrad Cecil, this program in not only entertaining, but very informative and even inspiring. It presents a woman that faced tragic events–some of these episodes were based upon her making, yet her discoveries created a much desired link that continued on to scientific research methods that still holds up to the present day.
Directed by Jane Edwina Seymour, THE RADIANT “radiates” quality theatre. This production is also a fine example of a “big production inside of a small package”. As to the theatre space: It may be a bit hard to find as the theater itself is located off the street facing an alley-type setting. However, the journey to experience this play is well worth the search.
THE RADIANT, presented by Resource Performance Workshop & Stories About Humans, performs at the The Other Space at The Actors Company, 916A North Formosa Avenue, (two blocks south of Santa Monica Blvd. and one block west of La Brea), West Hollywood, until November 19th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. For ticket reservations, call (323) 960-7712, or via online at http:www.Plays411.com/Radiant
The Glendale Centre Theatre continues its run with IS HE DEAD?, David Ives’ adaptation of Mark Twain’s story about a failed artist living in Paris who stages his own death for the sake of increasing the value of his own paintings!
Grayson Wittenbarger is Jean-Francious Millet, an artist working in Paris in the middle 19th century. He’s anything but successful and in debt. He is set to marry his fiancee Marie Leroux (Ashlee Abrams). Her father Papa Leroux (Tom Hall) is also deep in debt, owning an amount of francs to the same man Millet is owed to: the villain Bastien Andre (Ted Wells). While in his studio with his two best friends, Agamemnon “Chicago” Buckner (Joshua Evans) and Hans Von “Dutchy” Bismarck (Austin LaCroix), they make an accidental discovery with a potential buyer of one of his works who asks if the artist is dead. The theory goes is once an artist dies, the paintings created by the now deceased artist increases in value. An idea is hacked where Millet fakes his own death, and in disguise, become his “sister”, even donning a poofy french gown and a curly wig. Of course, Millet become praised as a great dead artist, while his “sister” become the fancy of many a man, receiving proposals for marriage. Is Millet better off as a living legion or just better off dead?
This comedy is loaded with slapstick, mistaken identities, and plenty of opportunities to have the lead protagonist dress up in drag! The action and comedy moves in a frantic pace that just gets better as it progresses. The cast of performers that appear in this production that also includes Cheryl Ann Carlson, Cara Newman Ruyle, Barbara Trenn, John David Wallis, and Alex White, keeps up to the comical timing as directed by Todd Nielsen. Such timing never slacks from its opening scene to its climatic conclusion!
Since this is a period comedy, there are the period visuals in the method of Angela Manke’s costuming, and JC Windel’s scenic designs.
This is the first time the GCT presented this play. In fact, Mark Twain (nee Samuel Clemens), wrote the draft to this play in 1898, but was never formally produced. If was found in the early 2000‘s within the holdings of Twain’s manuscript collection at UC Berkeley. David Ives, whose many comic plays include the audience favorite All In The Timing, adapted it for the modern stage. It was well worth the 100 or so year wait as it still remains a forcefull hoot! And what better way to experience this piece is at the CGT in a theatre-in-the-round setting. At 360 degrees, it’s just as funny, no matter what angle it’s seen!
IS HE DEAD?, presented by and performs at the Glendale Centre Theatre. 324 North Orange Street, Glendale, until November 18th Showtimes are Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 3:00 PM.
The GCT will once again present the time-tested Charles Dickens classic, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, running from November 24th through December 24th. For more details on these two productions, call (818) 244-8481, or visit the GCT’s web site at http://www.GlendaleCentreTheatre.com
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE (Universal/Dreamworks) stars Miles Teller, Joe Cole, Scott Haze, and Beulah Koale as four servicemen who completed their tour of duty fighting the war in Iraq, returning home to their midwestern community of Topeka, Kansas. Sargent Adam Schumann (Teller) is married with a family, His spouse Saskia (Haley Bennett) is the mother of two young kids. Will Waller (Cole), is another serviceman who survived many a battle being “blown-up” several times while in combat, Tausolo “Solo” Aeiti (Koale) has an injury to his head due to an exploding bomb. Michael Emory (Haze) received a bullet in the head that disabled him to the point where he’s learning how to walk, speak and overall function. And rounding out this group is Amanda Doster (Amy Schumer) whose husband was killed just a few days before his tour of duty was completed. This bunch, now living a civilian life, must face many of the consequences of post-military life that deal with physical and emotional healing, handling government “red tape”, as well as the attempt to remain military strong long after the battles and gunfire has ceased.
Jason Hall, the screenwriter to the 2014 feature film release American Sniper, adapts and directs David Finkel’s book of the same name that examines a set of military personnel who served their nation in war, only to return not so much as heroes, but shadows of their former selves. The feature isn’t so much a traditional war movie where battles are depicted, troops are deployed, and an enemy is targeted (and vice vera). This film is more of a dramatic view of soldiers going through post traumatic stress that affect themselves and those around them. The movie’s basic tone is somber and somewhat depressing where each lead player is losing an inner war than winning an outer one. Such a theme would make a good melodrama set for the smaller (video) screen, but not so much for the big (theatre) setting. In fact, a good number of scenes depicted of people in this movie as staged by cinematographer Roman Vasyanov consist of medium shots and close ups of the characters, a method that is commonly used in TV programs and related productions fit for video consumption. This format to stage shots would give the impression that this movie will hold its shelf life longer existing on electronic media that one that is viewed in a theater type setting.
This feature, as well as the many other titles released within the last quarter of the calendar is geared toward voting members of movie-based awards, and not so much for a general audience such to the blockbuster hits released in the Summer season. Again, there is nothing wrong to target a movie title for a specific audience. However, one should keep in mind why movies are made and why people will still go to the movies as seen in a theatre! (Hint: The answers involve making money and being entertained!)
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE is rated “R” for war violence, implied sex scenes, and assorted cussing. Now playing in selected theaters nationwide.
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