MID WINTER BLAHS AND SHOPPING IN-STORE

Although the two subject matters as noted above really don’t seem to have anything in common with each other, this article with attempt to fuse these traits as how shopping and the middle winter blahs can be of an alliance. Read on for the details!

It seems that every time around this part of the year, a good number of folks are feeling what’s called the middle winter blues. It’s the period where spring is appearing around the corner, yet winter hasn’t completed its seasonal cycle quite yet. The weather can be cold (or colder), the skies can be gray, daylight isn’t long enough, and there isn’t much going on at this time to make the moment be just a bit brighter, if not festive.

As to the seasonal part. Yes, ol’ man winter is doing his thing! (No, we are not sexist here! Winter is known to be an ol’ man, while spring is a young lady! So there!) And winter was scheduled to arrive on time! Here in California, perhaps we don’t receive the traditional scope of winter as a good part of the national experiences, but we do feel some of the aftermath in what winter can bring! Cold and flu bugs travel faster and father out around this same time no matter where and how the scope of the local weather projects. This means that folks feel rather lousy. And much of this lousy feelings make the winder blahs more blah-er!

As to what’s going on this time of year. The Super Bowl is long and past. So was Valentine’s day. It makes things more frustrated if one doesn’t care much for pro football and/or doesn’t have a sweetie to share Valentine’s Day with! This week is President’s Day, a holiday that people usually forget about. And though the holiday is to commemorate Lincoln and Washington’s birthday, the day speaks for all presidents, past and present. (This writer won’t continue to that notion on celebrating selected government leaders, so we’ll proceed!)

There are ways and methods to supposedly beat the mid winter blues. Those tips range from exposing one to more light, to eating better, get as much exercise as one could, listing to their favorite songs, may and do help. And even if one has to do such outside of where they live, that would become ideal.

“Cabin fever”, that element where one feels that they can been cooped up within their homestead for longer than desired, tends to kick in. Granted, many homes out there have that sense of being cozy. However, even that coziness has the notion of becoming a bit on the stale side at times. People want to get of their house to see a bit of scenery, even if that scenery isn’t anything of nature. (Heading out to the beach is fun, but depending on where one lives, that idea shows no practical use!)

Of course, one notion to beat those so-called blahs is to find out what’s within the retail sector of things. For communities that still have their indoor shopping malls in place, one can find their time around these so-called halls of retail. And never mind that nearly anything can be bought online!

Although shopping with the aid of one’s electronic device may be easy for what it is, one can’t receive the same notion of an emotional appeal when it comes to shopping or even browsing! Taking a real look at an item has more emotional value that seeing that same piece of merchandise as a pixelated image. And best of all, unlike shopping online where one has to wait for the item to arrive on one’s doorstep, one can grab that good right then and there! It’s just that simple!

This writer has already expressed the notion of using one’s shopping skills to suppress the middle winter blahs! So what are you awaiting for! Do your part to keep this economy going! Or you can wait for Spring to arrive!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Phil Olson’s DON’T HUG ME, WE’RE FAMILY, the latest entry of the continuing saga of the life and times of the friendly (and frozen) folks of Bunyan Bay, Minnesota, makes its world premier appearance at the T.U. Studios in North Hollywood.

At the local watering hole where the beer is cold and its patrons are a lot colder, the bar’s radio station KOLD features its flagship show Crappie Talk that talks about fishing for Crappies. (That’s a fresh water fish for those that are not in the know!) It’s host Gunner Johnson (Andrew Carter) doesn’t get much of an audience. In fact, it appears that nobody is tuning in! Its sole sponsor, a local bait shop and deer petting farm, doesn’t feel their ROI is worth a damn, so they pull out supporting the program. However, Gunner’s wife Clara (Truett Jean Butler) who hosts “Book Beat”, a book review series, receives more listeners and ad dollars to boot. Since the radio station supports the bar, the relationship between the bar, Gunner, and Clara becomes rather sticky. What makes matters even more complicated is when two others that don’t seem to be from this neck of the woods step in. Sal (Michael Cortez), a “goomba”-type who dons fancy Italian suits and silk ties and hails from Brooklyn (“The” Brooklyn, not Brooklyn Park/Brooklyn Center!) comes around announcing that he bought the radio station. Along with Sal, another mysterious person shows up. Donna (Christina Gardner) another Brooklynite, bought the local hotel lounge outside of town, changing it as a fancy club for the men folk. What are these two doing in this humble hamlet, and how are they going to change these beloved institutions that made this hamlet located in the ice box of the nation famous?

This play by Phil Olson has all of the wit and charm showcasing how these pleasant folks get by through living within the wilds of the upper midwest. Not only this production features a (fishing) boatload of comic episodes that range from silly to goofy to downright fun, but it’s also a musical! Featuring lyrics by Phil Olson with musical score by Paul Olson, the set of fourteen (count ‘em) selections (with twelve radio commercial “jingles”) are just as giddy as the comedy presented. The songs themselves are far from being anything that could be “Broadway” ready, but this notion isn’t the point! Besides, this is not the great white way! It’s Minnesota–the great snow-packed white way!

Along with the above noted cast, this show also features Allison Hawkstone as Bernice, David Pluebell as Kanute, and Micky Shiloah as Aarvid. Doug Engalla directs this production that contains lotsa laughs that’s just as potent as a tall serving of 3.2 Grain Belt Beer!

And speaking of the tavern, Chris Winfield’s set design of the bar has enough placing that could qualify as a classic example of those “What’s wrong with the picture?”-type games. There’s enough to view on its staging that is nearly as humorous as the comical situations that unfolds through every moment.

Phil Olson has created a number of plays from the “Don’t Hug Me” series, most (if not all) had made its first appearance in the Los Angeles region, thousands of miles away from the land of 10,000 lakes! This one is no exception! Whatever the case, DON’T HUG ME, WE’RE FAMILY is the funniest play about the folks from the frozen north this side of Anoka County! This writer can hardly wait until the next entry from this collection makes its mark!

DON’T HUG ME, WE’RE FAMILY, presented by Don’t Hug Me Productions, and performs at the T.U. Studios, 10943 Camarillo Street, located off the intersection of Vineland and Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, until March 25th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.

For ticket reservations or for more information, call (818) 850-9254, or via online at http://DontHugMe.brownpapertickets.com.

Visit the official Don’t Hug Me website at http://www.DontHugMe.com
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The Glendale Centre Theatre presents JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical of the epic saga of Joseph, interpreter of dreams and his coat of many colors.

Taking place in Egypt during the age of the Pharaohs, it tells the tale of Joseph (Robert Marra) and his many brothers. His father chose Joseph as his favorite, presenting him with a multicolored coat. His brood of siblings seeking rebuttal of this favoritism, sold him to slavery to the Pharaoh (Lance Zitron). However, the young Joseph has a special gift of interpreting dreams. This ability was able to discover the meaning of a dream the leader of Egypt had, predicting when the land would experience a bountiful of crops and when famine would hit.

This musical was the stage piece that would make Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice a major name in musical theater, both in their native country of the UK and through the entire world. The story itself comes from the the book of Genesis in the Old Testament, and was extended as a full length musical with very little spoken dialogue. (Not as an ‘opera’ per se, but comes rather close!) In this GCT production, it’s presented as a very high energy fun musical! It features an extremely robust cast of players (too many to list the names of them all) that can sing and dance. Lee Martino provides both the main choreography along with the stage direction. Gillian Bozajian serves as Assistant Choreographer. Adding to these pieces are Steven Applegate’s transcribed musical direction, and Angela Manke’s costuming, ranging from classic Egyptian, to modern western, to Caribbean, with a touch of a gold jumpsuit piece fit for the King of Rock ‘n Roll!

At the performance attended by this reviewer, an understudy appeared to take place of the narrator of this show, Katy Jane Harvery. Katy lost her voice that particular morning. As an eleventh hour decision, the person stepping in was Jennifer Strattan, the daughter of George Strattan, one of GCT’s repertory directors. With only shy of twelve hours to learn her vocal parts and stage blocking, she stepped in and did a masterful performance, carrying each and every note with the finest voice talents she possess! Granted, she did appear with the musical score in hand, cleverly disguised as a “jeweled” studded book of the Old Testament. This small touch added to the flavor and spirit that this musical has carried throughout the musical theater ages!

This musical still maintains its charm and appeal that all ages can enjoy and appreciate. With the GTC’s theatre-in-the-round setting, any place one sits will experience a full frontal look at this show that can still wow ‘em with its upbeat score, high flaooting dancing, and colorful appearance! (No pun intended!) As the entire theme of this musical suggests, it’s a go-go-go for Joseph and its GCT audience!

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, presented by and performs at the Glendale Centre Theatre. 324 North Orange Street, Glendale, until April 7th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM, Saturday matinees at 3:00 PM, with a Sunday afternoon performance taking place on February 24th at 3:00 PM.

For more details and for ticket reservations, call (818) 244-8481, or visit the GCT’s web site athttp://www.GlendaleCentreTheatre.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!

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PASS THE PASSWORDS

Not too long ago, an IBM Cloud Service study conducted by eMarketer, stated that some two-thirds of adults (18+) now have some type of subscription video-on-demand streaming service.

Called “Over The Top” television (OTT), this kind of television viewing consists of services such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO-GO, and perhaps the biggest one of them all, Netflix. Every one of these services provides visual programming that can be accessed through any electronic device that sports a screen, be it a laptop, an electronic pad, a smartphone, and of course, a television monitor. Many of the said TV devices are now “smart” sets, meaning that they hold the capacity of getting any streaming service without the aid of an outside settop device (i.e. AppleTV, Ruku, etc.) connected to the unit itself. This method of obtaining video is now the new procedure of how one can get access to programming as home-based entertainment, even if the viewer isn’t watching “at home”!

What makes this study interesting is the fact that legitimate subscribers to these services have a tendency to share their accounts with family and friends. According to the report, the survey found that nearly half of streaming service subscribers share their password with others within the subscribers’ domain. To encounter this fact, little more than one-third (35.5%) said they didn’t reveal their password to anyone.

As this domestic society is becoming obsessed with so-called modern technology that is now becoming accessible to the public at large thanks to the smaller-faster-cheaper method of offering, it’s no surprise that people and their gadgets are now becoming a way of life, far removed from the time where such gadgetry was once considered a novelty that appealed to a selected few.

Over the previous Christmas/Holiday shopping season, many folks took advantage of a number of the sales that were going on through Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and all days in between. They were grabbing such devices that can depict visual signals and content. Although phones, pads, and laptops can perform the same functions in terms of displaying moving imagery, TV sets were the choice of those fans of streaming services. These devices can offer a big picture with its booming sound. And many of these new devices can offer 4K high-def pictures. However, there are only a handful of programs out there that can offer 4K. But at least it’s nice to know that one can eventually get 4K when the moment arrives.

But getting back to the passing of the passwords. Although it’s rather cheap for what it is to get a month’s worth of unlimited programming through Hulu, Netflix and the like, others who subscribe don’t seem to mind (let alone care) if somebody they know can get access to their account. Some people that are subscribers offer internal crowd funding plans with their family and friends. They may have others chip in a dollar or two per month paid to the subscriber to gain access. So if somebody who shells out ten dollars a month for a Netflix account, and knows of nine others who also want Netflix, everybody pays a buck per month! This may be a bit sneaky, but it does work out for all!

Right now, traditional content services by way of receiving programming through a satellite dish or coax cable are making efforts to hold on to their existing subscribers that are paying as much as $100 per month for 100+ channels of programming where the subscriber only tunes in to a handful on a regular basis. That “many are called but few are chosen” method of viewing habits go back to the days when getting 50 channels was mind boggling! It really wasn’t easy to watch every channel the subscriber was paying for, so only a few selections that catered to the subscriber’s tastes were viewed, while the others were totally ignored! However, in those earlier days of cable TV (pre-1990), many of the cable companies did state that they has some 50 or so channels as part of their lineup, but many of those channel spaces didn’t have any content! One only saw a graphic text message on the screen that read “reserved for future use”. On the soundtrack, one only heard music, mostly the signal of a local FM radio station that programmed “beautiful music”.

So even though Netflix, Hulu, and the rest don’t encourage anyone passing their passwords to anyone else, people still do and will continue to do so. But then again, getting video over the air by way of one’s 1950’s-era TV antenna on one’s rooftop is still accessible! It’s all hi-def, it’s local, and best of all, it’s still free! One really can’t beat that notion with a stick. And no passwords are required!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Performing at the River Street Theater in Hollywood is Steve Tesich’s THE SPEED OF DARKNESS, a tale of one man’s family, the business that he’s involved in, and the recently misplaced friend that comes back into his, and family’s, life.

Taking place in rural South Dakota in the year of that state’s centennial lives Joe (Eddie Kehler), a man that operates a small construction company, living with his wife Anne (Janet Chamberlain) and their daughter Mary (Sara Molinar), who is on the cusp of turning eighteen. Joe is a hard working soul who takes pride in his family and what he has done in his life, working his way since he served his country fighting the war in ‘Nam shortly before his daughter was born. Things are looking bright for Joe as he’s been nominated as “South Dakota Man of the Year”, a title that brings him some form of attention–wanted or otherwise. What he didn’t expect is a visit from Lou (Kenny Johnston), a old war buddy who is also Mary’s godfather. Unlike his fellow military chum, Lou’s success in life didn’t match up to Joe’s. He’s living a homeless lifestyle on the streets, and his visit to Joe’s humble home has been the first time in a while that he feels welcomed, but only to a point. But there is more to Joe getting his pal to return. There’s a few secrets that Joe must face. And what is going on with the mesa that is located near the family homestead?

This play written by the late Steve Tesich who also penned a number of other plays and screenplays, creates a very dark and somewhat depressing look at a man who did well for himself, but only to have his life slowly unravel for events that took place long before the fact. But in spite of this rather deep undertone this play projects, the cast that portrays their roles live up to every moment on stage. Eddie Kehler as Joe is the man that exists for his family while moving up the (rural) corporate ladder. Janet Chamberlain as Anne holds that hard scrubbed look and feel that folks dwelling in that part of the upper Midwest keeps toward their image. Sara Molinar as Mary is the teen that has a whole life to look forward to, even having the notion of attending college soon. Kenny Johnston as Lou is rather upbeat in nature, even through he’s yet another homeless vet that is starting to make up the post-modern nomads that will eventually multiply in the few years ahead. And rounding out the cast is Leo Ramsey as Eddie, Mary’s close friend that could pass as “boyfriend” material.

Along with the performing cast on stage is Zack Guiler’s set design of Joe’s home, a pleasantly furnished dwelling one could find in the so-called wilds of South Dakota. (Nothing rustic per se, but quaint and comfortable!) And Jo Amari’s costuming consists of everything between formal ware to the dingy duds found on homeless vets drifting between one part of town to another.

William Alderson directs this production that has been described as provocative, suspenseful, and mesmerizing. Those adjectives fits this play and program to its correct marks. THE SPEED OF DARKNESS shows off its shade with its own deep movements.

THE SPEED OF DARKNESS, presented by the 437 River Street Theatre Company and performs at the River Street Theater, 1103 North El Centro Avenue (off Santa Monica Blvd., one block east of Vine Street), Hollywood, until March 18th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. For ticket reservations, visit online at http://www.RiverStreetTheater.yapsody.com/event/index/171616.
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The Actors Co-Op Theater Company presents Lee Blessing’s A WALK IN THE WOODS that features a pair of munitions negotiators representing two world superpowers on a chance to compromise a deal to lay down their weapons of total destruction.

During the era when the cold war was still rather “hot”, two designated diplomats meet face-to-face in neutral Geneva, Switzerland. Russian Andrey Botvinnik (Phil Crowley) and American Joan Honeyman (Nan McNamara) are together to work out an agreement regarding each nation’s supply of weaponry. Instead of meeting at an embassy, a government building, or some other certified location, they come to face in a wooded area, free from government officials, the media, or anything that may influence anything stated. Their only backdrop is nature. When they first meet in the late summer, their attitudes hold a difference stance. Andrey desires a friendly meeting, while Joan is all business. Andrey encourages small talk, while Joan wants to know what are the concepts of keeping said weaponry at bay. Over time and tide as summer turns into fall into winter, these two will keep a number of meetings in the same woods throughout the seasons. Their walk doesn’t confide of much walking, but mostly as a deep meeting of the minds while encountering sincere irritation with the notion of the mistrust of both governments

This well respected play by Lee Blessing was created based upon an actual episode in 1982 where a pair of intermediaries did meet in a wooded area, far from the intense backdrop of a war room-type setting. In this play as presented by Actors Co-Op, Phil Crowley as Russian Andrey Botvinnik is a man that has seen it all within his nation and how they desire to progress through their national dominance. Nan McNamara as Joan Honeyman plays her role as the no-nonsense diplomat that desires to get to the point right away. Although they do meet over time, their moods and points of view change through progression. The dialogue they speak swings between charming wit and intense drama, never missing out on a beat. Standing among a minimal stage set as designed by Ellen Lenbergs consisting of a wooden bench and a flat platform representing a bridge over a creek, these two focus upon their characterizations keeping up through their pacing as depicted. In short, it’s a mood moving showpiece as effectively staged. Ken Sawyer’s stage directions adds a lot of intimate interludes throughout. Those added episodes may be trivial in nature, but they do add a lot to the tense drama this play projects.

A WALK IN THE WOODS as produced by Actors Co-Op is a great performance. Although Russia is no longer the treat as they once were, that doesn’t mean that the so-call “cold war” is total done and over with. There are other nations that are stockpiling their “toys”, and they are willing to play with them all! If they eventually do, then that’s going to be another incident to face, far away from any stage! Stay tuned!

A WALK IN THE WOODS, presented by Actors Co-Op, performs at The Crossley Theater, located on the campus of Hollywood First Presbyterian Church, 1760 North Gower Street (at Carlos Street), Hollywood, until March 18th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:30 PM. Special Saturday matinees take place on February 17th and 24th at 2:30 PM.

For ticket reservations or for more information, call (323) 462-8460, or via online at http://www.ActorsCoOp.org
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 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!

WITH LACK OF FRIENDS LIKE THESE…

It seems that the younger one is, the easier it is to make friends with others. The stages begin as kids enter a school-type situation. Those same youth later become part of a group, club, or organization that meets for a purpose,. That morphs into entering their teen years as friendship establish as groups or as one-on-one. Those same teens later become “young adults” as they enter collage, the work/employment field, or some method of environment. Every one of these stages within domestic life are ways and methods to gather a group of people not related to one another through family lines as an opportunity to get to know each other. Some start off their friendship cycles as vague acquaintances. Others come more casual. and a selected few become rather emotionally close, given labels as “BFFs”, or as ones that hold a “bromance”. Some even become more than friends either with dedicated commitment or as one with just “benefits”.

It’s been stated through many ways and through many sources that friendship is very important for a person living a domestic life in these post modern times. This importance is based on one’s physical and emotional state of being. Human beings as a whole are hard wired as social creatures. Isolation is a mental aspect that can seriously ruin a person leading to death. One time Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy even took note that domestic society faces a loneliness epidemic that can negatively impact every aspect of physical and mental health. But whatever the case, one can have an army of friends, or one can have a close friend that can accept the other as their pal, chum, companion, best bud, or whatever term one can find to describe a friendship.

That is all good for that that is. However, this article started itself noting that the younger one is, the easier it is to establish a friendship with another person. Granted, that friendship may be just somebody one plays a game with and noting else. As one matures, one can use the other to discuss ideas, plans, or schemes that has been story fodder for too many TV sitcoms to note here. (After all, what would I Love Lucy be like without Lucy and Ethel, or The Honeymooners minus Ralph and Ed?) And depending on one’s personal preference, that “chum” can either become part of a domestic relationship (maximum) or a “F-Buddy” (minimum). The possibilities are endless!

Those nominations can really apply to those under the age of thirty-five or so covering the so-called Millennium and “Gen-Z” demographic groups. As one becomes older, possibly reaching middle age and even beyond, the art of establishing new friendships become harder. The reasons can vary, but many of these blocks of succeeding are based upon people’s own personal agendas. Work or employment may be of an issue. Raising or keeping a family may be another. People became “too busy” to form a friendship. Some even have the desire to get rid of the so-called “friends” they already have at the moment. Many want to only keep the list of people they personally know as what’s called “container” friends. These are the people one may know from their work environment, their school, their church or related house of worship, a club or organization they may belong to or hold a connection with, and so on. When the person is at the office, the classroom, the weekend services, the club meeting, etc., there is a contact with the others found within this setting. The bonding can range from small talk to the exchanging of ideas or thoughts. However, this communication as friends are only limited to the said office, school, temple, etc. If one decides to leave the workplace, school, church congregation, etc., chances that the friendship would continue would be rather limited or nonexistent. These people can also be known as friends for the moment and nothing more!

As one becomes older (say, age 55 and up), creating new friends can even become nearly impossible as by that age one is already established in their lives, and having to fit others in can throw things out of sync. The intentions to have somebody wanting to become friends with another may be of the good, but if the other doesn’t want the friendship for various reasons, then that friendship notion can fall flat fast!

This element is rather of a concern to the few since there are people that want to establish new contacts due to the dissatisfaction of what one may have as it is. Many of those senior communities that exist out there stress to the possible client that desires to buy into these places to live for the rest of their days state that their are groups or clubs that exist for social purposes. A good number of the senior communities that were built by Del Webb, perhaps the “granddaddy” (no pun intended) of the senior community development companies normally list the physical amenities that can be found within the property, such as community rec centers, athletic fields and play areas, and so on, also lists all of the clubs, groups, and organizations one can find within the community. They range from hobby clubs, community service groups, and physical activities teams that play for fun and entertainment. One specific senior community listed five different clubs devoted to clogging(!)

Of course, the facts and figures listed within this article can and do vary. Whatever the case, friendship, either establishing them or holding on to them can be an art or science to itself. There isn’t any real magic spell to make any of this happen. It all depends of who’s doing the friendship making and/or keeping, and who is on the other end of the spectrum. For those that have success if creating a bonding with others, then that’s great! For the rest of those that try to develop a relationship with others but can’t, then it might be for some reason that may be obvious or not. They may just not be into you—whatever THAT means!!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The 45th ANNIE AWARDS, celebrating the best in animation in media, was presented on February 3rd at Royce Hall located on the UCLA campus.

This year’s awards program was dedicated to the memory of voice-over talent June Foray, a co-founder of the Annie Awards and long time friend of the International Animation Society (ASIFA), who also orchestrated the category of Best Animated Feature for the Academy Awards.

Among the many categories presented for television programs, feature films, and video games (best storyboards, best character design, best writing, etc.) were a selection of special awards to commemorate those that made their marks in the animation fields.

The June Foray Award, going to the person that posed a significant and benevolent or charitable impact on the art and industry of animation, was presented to Didier Ghez, president of the Hyperion Historical Alliance, preserving elements related to the art of the Walt Disney Company.

A Certificate of Merit, awarded to an individual or organization for the service, art, craft, and industry of animation was given to David Nimitz, who served as a personal assistant and companion to June Foray from 2002 until her death in 2017 at the age of 99.

A Special Achievement Award, for outstanding achievement in animation not recognized any any other Annie Award category, was presented to Studio Mdhr Entertainment for the videogame Cuphead, created in the style of a 1930‘s-era Fleischer brothers/Ub Uwerks cartoon.

The Ub Iwerks Awards, for the technical advancement that made a significant impact on the art or industry of animation, was awarded for the software program TVPaint.

The Winsor McCay Award, for the recognition for career contributions to the art of animation, was presented to a set of three individuals. (Four actually). The first award went to animator James Baxtor for his thirty-year presence in animation for Disney and DreamWorks Animation; Stephen Hillenburg, for the creation of the long running Nickelodeon cartoon series SpongBob SquarePants. And the third Winsor McCay Award went to Wendy Tilby & Amanda Forbis for their work in animated short subjects for The National Film Board of Canada.

Out of the many titles nominated for their individual categories, perhaps the most significant program achieved at the awards was for the Disney/Pixar feature Coco, that one every single award it was nominated for, making that title the real “winner” of all.

For the entire list of nominees and winners, visit the official Annie Awards webiste https://annieawards.org/
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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!

UNDECKING THE HALLS

It’s been a month or so since the so-called “holiday” season came to its close. And in the previous year, those same people that took advantage of making things merry and bright placed up their decorations along with the lights that came around with it.

Although it’s coming close to February, a month where Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, as well as other days that mean something to somebody but not necessarily to the public at large, some homesteads still have their Christmas lights still up and running.

Granted, this writer doesn’t seem to mind viewing somebody’s piece of property all decked out with lights all a glow, but a few folks that live nearby tend to become rather irritated is seeing a home with lights celebrating a holiday that has since been passed. These neighbors find such an act as a point of disrespect to the block or local community that live in. They want those lights either taken down, or shut off completely.

Personally, there is nothing wrong with a house that has their light display on, along with artifacts that are part of the season as long as there are no distractions occurring. These same people did make an effort of getting those lights all strung up, as well as setting those figments that are part of the same festive seasonal time. It’s something they wanted to do in spite of the fact that it may involve some hard work. But when it comes to taking those same joyful decorations down, that may be another matter in its own right!

Some folks do enjoy the holidays, and that’s something that is known and understood. But when those events of making merry come to its end, that is just a whole different matter. These same folks that go full force with the season to embrace it while it’s current and new. When those moments come to their conclusion, then the attitude changes, sometimes for the worst!

Even as recently as of this writing, this same humble reporter has seen dead Christmas trees still sitting along curbsides waiting for the city or local community’s department of streets and sanitation come and pick up these long dead trees off the street sides and to a compost center of sorts. Some areas had their trees already picked up, while others are just “getting around to it”, or so its assumed.

January tends to be a rather slow month. For some folks, it takes a whole month for themselves to get their acts together. Not a whole lot occurred this previous month so to speak. People have since received their credit card bills from their previous month’s spending. Folks are starting out doing their taxes. And some selected groups are taking advantage of stocking up on their choice of “wacky weed” that is now part of their personal landscape. So perhaps this is the reason why some folks are keeping their decorations up and running.

But January is about to bleed into February. Some people next Sunday will host Super Bowl “watching” parties when friends and others will gather to enjoy snack foods, mingle with others, and perhaps watch the game on somebody’s big screen TV device. They might pay attention to the TV commercials that are just as memorable as the game itself. But the real reason for these get togethers is just an excuse to host a party. After all, what is there to do in early February, outside of getting taxes done and over with, paying off credit cards bills, and perhaps taking down those lights and decorations commemorating an event that has since been long passed?
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Opening at the Hudson Backstage Theater in Hollywood is the West Coast premier of Reginald Andre Jackson’s THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM-1963, a dramity about the misadventures of a “negro” family living in Flint, Michigan in the title year, and the journey they make for the sake of their eldest child.

The Watson clan consists of father Daniel (Marcus Clark-Oliver), mother Wiloma (Tiffany Coty), and their three kids: elder Bryon (Javen Marquise Smith), middle child Kenny (Ken Ivy), and Joetta (Victoria Elizabeth Newman), the youngest. They live a middle class lifestyle in a middle class blue collar community. The stories of this group is seen through the eyes of Kenny. He looks at his family as humble and sincere, yet he does sport poor vision, having what’s called a “lazy eye”. He looks up toward his brother Bryan, although he gets into bits of trouble, both at school and at home. (One of his faults is that he has a thing with playing with matches!) Although Bryan is far from being a juvenile delinquent, his behavior is somewhat of a concern of his parents. So that summer, the family decides to make a rather long road trip to Birmingham, Alabama to visit their Grandma Sands (Sonia Jackson), a hearty woman living in a semi rural community. The basis of this trip is to have Bryan live with her throughout the summer, and perhaps remain there during the school season. In spite of these good intentions, they realize that they are in an area where racial strife is rather high, perhaps teetering toward a dangerous level. But the family (and Grandma) remains true hearted with a strong sprit, until they experience a very close call within an event that became a major turing point.

This play by Reginald Andre Jackson, based upon the book of the same name by Christopher Paul Curtis, is very charming in some of the little episodes that occur as noted by the Kenny character. These small yet well noted segments can be called mini “slices of life” that other families may also go through; Nothing drastic, but is just part of a life of a very strong willed family. The cast that portrays the Watsons are true to the era it speaks for. There is plenty of references of this time where between scenes (and some in progress) the sound features bits of R&B “Motown” music as mood placements. Although there isn’t much of a set to note (minimal furnishings are used as scene reference), there are the period costumes donned by the cast as designed by Ashphord Jacoway. Jamal Y. Speakes, Sr. provides the multi-media design consisting of still photos to note where the family is (physically and otherwise), as projected at the rear of the stage area. Also noted is the choreography by Shari Washington Rhone and Ashe Osei Vita a.k.a. AXE. This said choreography consists of dance segments that are utilized as “dream” elements that the protagonist Kenny is exposed to through incidences that he created and some he came rather close to.

In addition to the above noted cast, also featured are Antoine Lee, Tireni Oyenusi, Zaria Amiyah Kelly, Chantel Deniese, Monty Montgomery, Zacerous LaRue Jones, and Jalen Parker.

The only caveat of this play? It seems that it ends a bit too soon! This reviewer was really getting into what was going on and all! Perhaps the playwright was making a tease into what was going to happen to the Watsons. No matter, though! Director Bernadette Speakes provides a robust blend of humor and drama rolled into one play that notes a cautionary phase of time of a family that did survive, knowing that a change is gonna come!

THE WATSONS GO TO BIRMINGHAM-1963, presented by All The Way West Productions, and performs at the Hudson Backstage Theater, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. (at Hudson Street, one block west of Wilcox), Hollywood, until February 25th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 3:00 PM. For ticket reservations or for more information, call (323) 960-1055, or online at http://www.Plays411.com/newsite/show/play_info.asp?show_id=4757.

Also view a promo trailer for this show at https://youtube.com/watch?v=To9zohK-6hs
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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) announced their nominations for the 90th annual Academy Awards on January 23th.

The following titles and names received the nomination for the following categories:

Best Picture

Call Me By Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics)

Darkest Hour (Focus Features)

Dunkirk (Warner Bros.)

Get Out (Universal)

Lady Bird (A24)

Phantom Thread (Focus Features)

The Post (20th Century Fox)

The Shape of Water (Fox Searchlight)

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Fox Searchlight)

Best Actor

Timothee Chalamet-Call Me By Your Name

Daniel Day-Lewis-Phantom Thread

Daniel Kaluuya-Get Out

Gary Oldman-Darkest Hour

Denzel Washington-Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Best Actress

Sally Hawkins-The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand-Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie-I, Tonya

Saoirse Ronan-Lady Bird

Meryl Streep-The Post

Best Director

Paul Thomas Anderson-Phantom Thread

Guillermo del Toro-The Shape of Water

Greta Gerwig-Lady Bird

Christopher Nolan-Dunkirk

Jordan Peele-Get Out

Jimmy Kimmel will once again host the awards ceremony, taking place on Sunday, March 4th at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center-Hollywood, and airs on ABC.

For a complete listing of nominations, visit the official AMPAS web site at http://www.Oscars.com
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On January 22nd, The Golden Raspberry Foundation (RAZZIES) announced their list of nomination for the 38th RAZZIE Awards for the worst in feature films released in the previous calendar year.

The following titles and names has been selected for the worst in the following categories:

Worst Picture
Baywatch (Paramount)
The Emoji Movie (Sony/Columbia)
Fifty Shades Darker (Universal)
The Mummy (Universal)
Transformers XVII: The Last Knight (Paramount)

Worst Actor
Tom Cruise-The Mummy
Johnny Depp-Pirates of The Caribbean XIII: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Jamie Dornan-Fifty Shades Darker
Zac Efron-Baywatch
Mark Wahlberg-Daddy’s Home 2 & Transformers XVII: The Last Knight
 
Worst Actress
Katherine Heigl-Unforgettable
Dakota Johnson-Fifty Shades Darker
Jennifer Lawrence-Mother! 
Tyler Perry-BOO! 2: A Medea Halloween
Emma Watson-The Circle
 
Worst Director
Darren Aronofsky-Mother!
Michael Bay-Transformers XVII: Last Knight
James Foley-Fifty Shades Darker
Alex Kurtzman-The Mummy
Anthony (Tony) Leonidis-The Emoji Movie

The RAZZIE Awards will take place on March 3rd at a location to be announced at a future date.
For a complete listing of nominations, visit the official RAZZIES web site at http://www.Razzies.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.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!

DESERT ISLAND WEBSITES

Recently, an inquiring mind placed a question on the website Quora.com where anyone can ask about anything on nearly any topic within reason. The question asked was stated as: If you can only bring twelve websites onto a desert island, what twelve would you take with you?

Over 100 entries were placed by folks that were able to pick their dozen websites that they would take on their virtual desert island or sorts. Of course, the choices folks placed were rather vast. Some replies were based on practicality i.e. what kind of service the websites provides, while others were based upon personal preference. (Hobbies, tastes, human background, etc.)

Among the many choices, a number of websites were mentioned more that others. The ones this writer noticed as top picks are listed below in their alphabetical order, presented as a baker’s dozen…

Amazon
CNN
eBay
Facebook
GitHub
Google
The Internet Archive
LinkedIn
Reddit
Twitter
Quora
Wikipedia
Youtube

It isn’t surprising why many people picked out the above list as these sites allow the user to gain knowledge, information, history, entertainment, as well as communication through social media. Perhaps that is why the internet as its known was invented in the first place!

Some picks by others were found as interesting. A number of people chose Pornhub to get assess to, well…porn, SoundCloud for music, Dictionary to look up words, OkCupid (or related websites) for singles or singles for the moment to find one another for a relationship or for a “hook up”, Instagram, Netflix, and the list goes up and onward!

As stated, many of these picks were based on necessity and as something to have on hand, but isn’t something that would mean a life vs. death situation. After all, the above “hit list” were sites that’s been around for a while (some going back to the 1990’s), while others took a bit of time to become popular, if not to eventually become a way of life!

However, one can make up their own desert island list. It would be based upon the person whose going to that so-called desert island, wherever or however it may exist. Interestingly enough, very few folks listed travel based websites. Perhaps if one is going to be stuck on that island, where would one go? Then again, it all depends on the island of choice. Hawaii is a better location than, an atoll somewhere in the South Pacific. So much for the traveling part!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills presents Kate Henning’s THE LAST WIFE, a dramatic play that takes its focus upon Katherine Parr, who would become the sixth and final wife of King Henry VIII, the ruler of the British empire.

David Hunt Stafford plays King Henry VIII. Olivia Saccomanno portrays Katherine Parr. She’s a widow that came from well bread stock. She becomes through default the mother to Henry’s children from his previous wife consisting of elder daughter Bess (Lily Daugherty) who later in life would become Queen Elizabeth I, adolescent aged Mary (Nathalie Rudolph), who would be known as “Bloody Mary”, and eight year old Eddie (Andrew Grigorian), who would be next in line as heir to the royal throne, becoming King Edward VI. The play opens with Henry within the company of Katherine, who he would eventually marry. She has a role in running the British empire with the study of ships to use for war by the Navy, the empire’s strongest military force. When Henry goes off to war with France, she become Queen by default. She is rather intelligent and knows how to run a nation, even trusting Henry’s daughters to become involved in some method of rule. However, Katherine has a fling with nobleman Thomas Seymour (Caleb Slavens). This causes a possibility for Katherine to be charged with the crime of adultery, and have her head cut off by guillotine–the same death as a few of Henry’s previous wives faced.

This play by Kate Henning takes a number of actual episodes of the King of England’s final years (he would eventually die and making his son king at the age of nine) and places its emphases on Katherine Parr. What also makes this play rather unique that it’s not a “costume epic”. (Henry VIII ruled in the 16th century). Every cast member is donning 21st century-era clothing. Henry wears a blue business suit, and Katherine wears a gown. Some of the dialogue is also from the present day as well. However, the play still sticks to the personna of the 1500’s, meaning there is no electronic devices in use, only hardcover books as literature and to discuss trade and war ship statistics.

L. Flint Esquerra directs this show that moves in a well paced fashion, in spite of the fact that its running time is two hours and twenty minutes, including intermission. However, one will receive their money’s worth as this play shows the emotional strength of the women roles in terms of power and respect–something that was missing during this period of time.

Jeff Rack, Theatre 40’s residential set designer, creates a set that resembles a lavish contemporary palace that consists of blue-green marbled walls, situated within its center a “grand” staircase that only consists of a few steps. This method shows how a king’s castle can be in a world of now that doesn’t resemble anything from the tudor era. Many old-fashion steak houses sports such a decor. This set is anything but!

THE LAST WIFE is a play that has a lot going for it, keeping the look and feel of a post-modern period. (The king doesn’t wear a crown, either!) But even with his presence, you know who should really be in charge! Rue Britannia!

THE LAST WIFE, presented by Theatre 40 and performs at the Reuben Cordova Theatre, located within the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 South Moreno Drive (off little Santa Monica Blvd.) Beverly Hills, until February 18th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 7:30 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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Santa Monica’s Morgan-Wixon Theatre presents Ken Ludwig’s modern classic MOON OVER BUFFALO, a comic farce about a pair of thespians that has seen their better days working on the stage, and getting their last gasp chance for a much needed comeback–with the usual comic results!

It’s the summer of 1953, and performing at the Erlanger Theatre in Buffalo, New York are George and Charlotte Hay (Edwin Scheiberner and Wendy Way). They were in their prime a number of years before. Their career has since faded quite a bit, as well as their marriage. The two are performing within a touring company of a pair of plays; Cyrano de Bergerac and Private Lives, both playing in rep. Although George’s portrayal of Cyrano is just passable, he receives an important phone call that informs him that film director Frank Capra is seeking a couple to appear in his next feature, The Scarlet Pimpernel, and will be coming into town to view their performance! However, George tends to hit the sauce too many times, giving his performance as a picked affair. Adding to this mix is their daughter Rosalind aka “Roz” (Desiree Gillespie), Charlotte’s deaf-as-a-post mother Ethel (Rebecca Tudor), Paul (Eric Pierce), a fellow actor and Roz’s ex-boyfriend that still hangs around, Howard (Josh Breeding), Roz’s current fiancé and works as a local TV weatherman, Eileen (Haley Rade), a young actress who had a fling with George and is carrying his child, along with their attorney Richard (Jack Strong), this crew does what it takes to get their own acts in order, and might give George and Charlotte’s acting career (and marriage) one final shot of success!

This play by the master of post-modern stage farces Ken Ludwig, is a perfect example of a screwball comedy where charactors do and say outlandish things as an attempt be as normal, people running in and out of doors in some sence of hurry, along with a few mistaken identities thrown in for good measure! These humorous bits makes this play very funny for what it is. In this Mogan-Wixon version, the cast of eight keeps up with the fast pacing hijinks that this show demands, thanks to Michael Thomas-Visgar’s stage direction. Zach S. Johnson-Dunlap provides the costume design that is of the period (1950‘s) as well as providing the Cyrano “nose”, and William Sawyer’s set design features a number of doorways (to make quick entrances and exits), as well as the usual backstage objects one can find within a ragtag theater, such as photos of leading stars on its walls, various props from past unmentioned stage plays, as well as a few furnishings since there isn’t a lot of sitting still here!

It really doesn’t matter how many times one may have seen this show somewhere before as it just gets better over time! This is why MOON OVER BUFFALO is been hailed as a modern classic. A few stage pieces can’t even boast this fact!! But it still has to be seen at The Morgan-Wixson in order to prove itself right!

MOON OVER BUFFALO, presented by the Morgan-Wixson Theatre Guild, and performs at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, until February 14th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. A special talk back session where the cast and crew discuss their performing as well as taking questions from the audience, occurs after the presentations held on Friday, January 26th, and Sunday, February 4th.

For more information as well as ticket reservations, call (310) 828-7519 or via online at http://www.Morgan-Wixson.org.
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.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!

THEATERS AND “CHILL”

This writer has been seeing his share of movie campaigns since last November with statements that can be translated as “Please consider us for your movie award(s)!” The kind of features that hark this message tend to be of the “art” or “independent” type that holds an aspect of a cast of actors and actresses that may not necessarily be big names in terms of box office fodder, but are ones that do their performance on screen in a respected matter. The movie itself is also be more melodramatic in nature. That is, the movie has a linear plot line with human characters taking place in some society that exists in the present time or in a historic past. The special effects used are either very minimal or non-existent. Some special effects may be utilized, but are used to create an illusion that made the movie a bit easier to create i.e. people riding in a car that posts an artificially generated background image. Overall, the movie may resemble an episode of a TV program that looks and plays better on a small screen rather than on a giant viewing area found in traditional theaters.

These same titles also attract a more mature “adult” audience as well. Because these titles are bucking for awards for categories such as ones that are “below the line” (editing, music score, special effects, art direction, etc.) or “above the line” (acting, directing, etc.) they cater to those that are involved in voting these features for those said awards. And a good number of these voters are of a mature age, ranking over the age of fifty. These are the type of movie goers that were weened in seeing newer movies in theater houses rather than on any electronic device that sports a video screen.

In today’s landscape, many folks that do watch movies, new or otherwise, have the choice to viewing these films in any environment that is anything but a theater! Of course, there is the convenience level. One can take on a flick anytime they want through a traditional TV device, their laptop, their electronic pad, or their smartphone. Granted, they may not receive the “big screen” pleasure when it comes to viewing a feature on a hand held device, but at least one can take that viewing experience wherever they may rome, assuming that one can access to a wifi connection somewhere!

As to the movie houses themselves. They have been attempting to bring much of the comforts of homes to their theater spaces, such as serving gourmet meals, alcohol by the glass, and even offering seat side service where waitstaff will take your order only to serve it to you within minutes. The seats themselves may range from oversize plush chairs to downright “Lay-Z-Boy”-esque seats complete with reclining backrests and ottomans to prop up one’s legs and feet. In other words, one can have the comforts of home without being home!

However, if one wants to have these elements at their disposal, one would have to pay for the privilege! Movie houses that offer such premiums can charge as much as $20.00 per person–not counting any other surcharges as to seeing a 3-D version of the same movie or viewing the film on an extremly large image method (IMAX, etc.), assuming that the title exists as large screen and/or 3-D.

Regular movie houses that may not serve fancy meals at their concession stand can also be pricey for what’s offered. A local movie house operated by one of the larger movie chains charges $15.20 for regular admission. There are discounts for kids under a certain age, seniors, those in the military, and for matinee screenings, but paying $15.20 for a movie may be a bit too much for some. (Why this movie chain charges that 20 cent addition is not known to this writer, unless that 20 cents includes any sales tax added to its admission price.)

For those in the know, video streaming may be more of a practical choice. Although sources such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, etc. pushes original content, there are movies to view. And since the charge is on a month-to-month basis, anyone can gain access to an active account and watch as much content as one can stand for as little as ten dollars per thirty days! That’s a lot of “chillin’” to do no matter where and when!

Of course, there are exceptions to this scenario. Many of the super-hero titles are best seen on a big screen. Ditto for any Star Wars related entry. But for the most part, any movie that looks and acts in the same way that one can view on a video screen would be better off on such a screen. It can be done for a lot less, too!

This writer can also get into other reasons why movies in theaters has lost its appeal to the public. It could fall under the range of encountering rude staff, ruder patrons, as well as the chore of sitting through twenty minutes of advertising (not counting trailers as those are of a different entity) before the film actually begins! But the notion of having the movie fan finally making their stand has taken the industry’s attention in more of a serious matter.

But movie theaters are not going away at all! Retail stores also still exist even though anyone can buy nearly anything online. People do enjoy the emotional appeal, as well as the fact that they can get out of the house for a while! So to state that it’s the end of the world as we know it may be a bit extreme. It’s just another case for us to “chill”, and enjoy the show!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Kentwood Players presents as their first production of the calendar year, Arthur Miller’s THE CRUCIBLE, a play that speaks about some supernatural events taking place among a Puritan settlement.

Set within the waining decade of the 17th century inside of the new world settlement of Salem, Massachusetts, the village minister, Reverend Samuel Parris (Daniel Jruger) recognizes that his daughter Betty (Brenna Piller) niece Abigail (Caitlin Barry) as well as other young girls from the community engaging in some strange dance rituals in the nearby forest with his domestic slave Tituba. (Blinda A. Skinner) Betty soon falls into some from of deep sleep from the dancing. Rumors come about that some form of mysterious application was conducted among these girls, leading into the theory of the practice of pagan witchcraft that’s fully against the strict following of the Puritan lifestyle as dictated within the written biblical scriptures the community follows. Before long, there has been some notions of fears and doubts that such witchcraft is affecting the citizens and the remaining sect toward the community’s faith. What occurs is a struggle between their belief of God, the holding upon their scriptural based ways of existence, and the Devil itself, where its understood that this conviction can destroy their community and the people that dwell within.

This play, perhaps one of the greatest plays written by a 20th century American author, has been analyzed in many different ways and in many different formats. Perhaps the most well known and possibly accepted theory speaks for the anti-”red” political movement that was going on at the time of this play’s creation. (1950’s). As viewed within a contemporary domestic landscape of the present, its focus is set upon the actual witch hunts that were occurring in the latter era of the 17th century. Although over 400 plus years has passed since these events took place (or not), the play still rings true to the notions of the fear of the unknown and the aftermath it brings.

In this Kentwood Players production, some twenty-two performers appear within the cast. Among some of the notables, Harold Dershimer appears as John Proctor, a farmer that once had a fling with the Reverend Parris’ niece. Brad Halvorsen appears as the Reverend John Hale, a noted investigator of the supernatural. Stuart James Galbraith plays Deputy Governor Danforth, arriving to Salem to preside over the witch trials., and Aaron Merken plays Judge John Harthorne.

Even though this production does boast a hearty cast, the play itself is very talky (enough to fulfill its dramatic quotient), and it’s very long. (A running time of three hours including its fifteen minute intermission!) George L. Rametta directs this stage piece into a stirring drama that never lets itself down from its momentum, right to its final few moments.

Four (count ‘em) set designers were used in this stage production. Featured are the stage talents of George L. Rametta, George Kondereck, Jim Crawford, and Doug Carlson.

THE CRUCIBLE is indeed a modern classic work that only gets better (and perhaps more timely) over the ages. And what better way to experience this said classic work is on the imitate stage setting as presented by the Kentwood Players.

THE CRUCIBLE, presented by the Kentwood Players, performs at the Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Avenue (at 83rd Street), Westchester, until February 17th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. A set of three talkback sessions with the cast and crew will take place following the Sunday matinee performances of January 28th, February 4th, and February 11th.

For tickets or for more information, call (310) 645-5156, or via online at http://www.KentwoodPlayers.org
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 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!

SQUASHING THE SQUISH

Not too long ago, we received this rather interesting message sent via e-mail. Unlike the letters we occasionally receive commenting on what we write about, this one appeared to ask us on some advice of a personal nature. It read…

There is this person that I see once in a while at a church-related group I belong. This person has a nice personalty that I’m attracted to. Although I am part of a domestic relationship, I feel that I am taking a strong liking toward this person. What should I do to surpass my feelings toward this person without jeopardizing my current relationship?

-Anonymous

We don’t know the genders of the people addressed within the letter. However, be it between a man and woman, or as a pair of men or women, the notion is still the same. It seems that person “A” is taking a shine toward person “B”. Person “A” holds a desire with person “B” that doesn’t involve any love, romance, or anything of a sexual nature. However, person “A” keeps a liking toward person “B”. However, it’s assumed that person “B” doesn’t necessarily knows of person “A”’s real intentions, or perhaps person “B” isn’t necessarily interested in person “A” in the same way that person “A” holds.

This method of fondness is known as a “Squish”. It’s a second cousin to a “crush”–a feeling toward another person that may contain romantic purposes.

According to the website UrbanDictionary.com, a “squish” is of the equivalent of a “crush”, but explicitly lacking an interest in forming a romantic couple or having a sexual relationship with the person in question…A squish is an intense feeling of attraction, liking, appreciation, admiration for a person you urgently want to get to know better and become close with…

Generally speaking, this is a person that you want to be with because some element the person has, yet holds no interest in having a sexual relationship with. One may like a person because of their personality. It may be the same of a “BFF” (“Best Friend Forever”), or even a “Bromance”. (A pair of guys that are close or being brotherly in nature, but remain asexual.)

This stage of taking attraction toward another person begins at a very young age. Kids tend to make friends with little effort since they have yet to learn or develop many of their trials and tribulations one holds as an adult. Many kids find their friends through school, sport activities, or clubs or groups the kids in connected to. As they get older, that is where the term “crush” kicks in, and these kids become of age. It continues through middle school, high school, and even for the college bound. Folks in their 20’s make efforts for friendship as well. However, “crushes” may continue. But it’s quite possible to develop “squishes” during this stage of life.

As one become older, these same feeling progress, but not necessarily as strong as they were a near decade or two beforehand. Assuming that one is living within a local domestic domain in this post-modern universe, one may be involved in a romantic relationship, or perhaps had some kind of involvement of that nature. But squishes can develop. Women tend to have such feelings toward their “girlfriends”. Even men may have a liking toward their “best buds”. These guys can hang out through their associations at the gym, the golf course, the playing field, the office space, or even through spending quality time at their favorite watering hole tipping a few cold ones while watching the game on many TV screens that are all over the joint!

Squishes, like crushes, can work in one’s favor. However, unlike crushes where one is seeking a deeper relationship toward another, squishes can be a bit problematic. Sure, one can go to the other to say something like “wanna hang out?”, but sometimes the other may not have the time, ability, nor interest to “hang out” with the other. Some people feel that they don’t want nor need another friend. A few can’t understand why somebody would ever want to hold an interest toward themselves unless some notion might be on the horizon, although this was never intended nor implied as evil or wrong.

There’s a quote posted on this topic of human attraction that’s been attributed to Thrya Samter Winslow that states “Platonic love is love from the neck up.” Yes, it’s quite possible to love somebody, but not to be in love with that same person! It’s a form of emotional feelings that people tend to receive. It all depends on the people involved, the realm that the people are set in, and how the people react.

So to answer anonymous’ quest on what to do, we will give our half heeded advice. Try to talk to the other person while you at your group event. Suggest in passing that you would like to meet this person for lunch, a cup of joe, or maybe for a “real” drink that may be alcoholic. If the person holds a mutual interest, swap business cards, phone numbers, or whatever way one would communicate with another. Once that is done, then one will find out of person “B” is really cracked up to what person “A” suspects. However, if person “B” isn’t interested toward meeting with person “A” later for a bite to eat, etc. then one would have to accept that outcome. Maybe it just wasn’t meant to be and would have saved a lot of time, effort, money, and a load of emotional heartache.

Although we here at Accessibly Live Off-Line do appreciate your input, we don’t necessarily dispense advice on relationships or anything of that nature. This writer is answering this question based upon personal experience as yours truly recently encountered as a form of a “squish” episode. But that’s another story as that stands since it doesn’t hold the same sectionalism comparing to the recent “coming out” of the Hollywood casting couch!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Making its world premier at Hollywood’s Lounge Theatre is Marja-Lewis Ryan’s BUGABOO & THE SILENT ONE, a saga of two woman behind bars and the consequences they must face living on the inside, both physically and mentally.

The place is the Henderson County Jail, located somewhere in West Virginia. Within the woman’s prison block is Margaret (Heidi Sulzman), who holds the nickname of “Bugaboo”, a handle she earned since her excessive talking would make the bugs fly into her mouth without her knowing it. She’s doing a stretch of twenty-five-to-life due to a drug charge based upon the “three strikes” rule. The two things she has to keep herself going is a chalk set giving to her by one of her many cousins, and a dogeared bible to assist her to find Jesus. She uses the chalk to make tic-tac-toe boards to play endless games of solitaire. As she awaits a transfer to a more permanent home (a state prison), she receives a cell mate, (Jacqueline Toboni), whose fate awaits her for her crime. It didn’t involve drugs per se, but was enough for her to do a long stretch. Bugaboo makes her cell mate welcomed, although she talks about anything she could, from the brood of kids she mothered, to the man she was involved with, and how she got caught. Before long, there is some emotional bonding that develops, since these two will be locked up for quite a while.

This one act play, written and directed by Marja-Lewis Ryan, isn’t another “woman in prison” story that’s been depicted as something as violent (women on the rampage), or as erotic. (Lesbian Jail!) It’s really a story of two individuals that may have done some kind of crime, but are in reality good souls. Heide Sulzman as Bugaboo plays her part as a woman that has a lot of spunk, always going emotionally and knows what she only needs to know in spite of never having much of a formal education. Jacqueline Toboni as the silent one is meek and mild, although she’s emotionally unstable. These two personalities form an emotional bonding that can become quite rare in the free world. But they don’t live in such a universe, and may never see the freedom they were once accustomed to.

As to the visuals on stage, Skye Stewart-Short provides the costuming, mostly consisting of drab beige prison garb, and Michael Fitzgerald presents the set design of a large prison cell consisting of bedding, a combo sink and toilet, a shelf or two where a prisoner can hold all of their worldly possessions, and not much else! (After all, it’s a prison cell!)

Also appearing in Michelle Gardner as Peterson, the prison latchkey guard. She is Bugaboo’s only link to the outside world, providing if Peterson would tell her anything beyond keeping the place in order!

This play is an ideal case study on the notion of building onto a friendship in spite of the circumstances depicted. And will there a happy ending to this tale? Well, it’s a prison story. Is that concept a hint?

BUGABOO & THE SILENT ONE, performs at The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd. at El Centro Avenue, one block east of Vine Street, Hollywood, until January 27th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sundays at 2:00 and 7:00 PM. For more information and for ticket reservations, call (800) 838-3006, or online at http://Batso.BrownPaperTickets.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 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!