HOW TO BECOME A CRITIC

Even so often, yours truly will receive an e-mail asking how we attempt to create a weekly issue of this newsletter. Many of the oft-asked questions we receive is based upon our media reviews. One example of these inquiries (and perhaps the most direct question we received of late) goes something like this..

  What are the rules you follow in order to write a review…?
     -Frank

Perhaps the best way to answer the above question is to state that we don’t have any rules to follow. There are a few guidelines we cater to, but these guidelines are not necessarily “rules” in the traditional sense.
Many people that write media reviews do hold their own agendas when it comes to commenting upon what they write for. Some of these commentaries do hold some impact based upon the program vs. how the review is seen and distributed, as well as the nature of the writer of said review. The rest of the reviews only serve as a basic guide that one can use for what it’s basically worth.
Back in the so-called “good old days” of journalism–that is, before the year 2000 right before the internet took its hold, people were employed (i.e. “got paid”) to comment upon a media-based source be it a book, music album, a television program, a feature film, a stage play, etc. for a newspaper, a magazine, a newsletter, or some kind of print based outlet. These people would hack out columns on a daily or weekly basis that not only gave their personal opinions to whatever they were writing about, but would analyze the basic structure over the specific element. Sometimes these reviews examined content that got a bit deep into the subject (sometimes too deep) where if one isn’t paying attention to the writing prose, one would not know what the writer is really writing about!
This method of writing usually was linked to writers of feature films. This kind of media once held the biggest impact to its market and to its audience, where these film critics, usually writing for big-time newspapers such as The New York Times would be the be-it-all person to review. They were almost celebrities within their field. Ads for such features would post quips from these writers in their advertising (“The Best Film Of The Year!” says Judith Crist) making these critics “experts” within their areans, although the majority of the movie going public didn’t seem to care much. These critics and their quotes were used as second opinions by the same movie going public to use in their decision if they would go out to spend their money to see the feature that was raved!
Fast forward to the post-modern era-after the year 2000 and when the internet of things became a way of life! Today, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of media critics that write about movies, (the most common form of critics), television/video, recordings, books, and related. A few are still professional while others receive little to nothing for their work. Each one of these writers have their own agendas on how they write and what they write about. Again, it all depends on who is doing the reviewing, what source hosts their reviews, as well as the subject on hand.
Not so long ago, Adam Buckman who is a TV critic for Television News Daily composed a piece entitled Seven Simple Rules For Writing TV Reviews, giving his expect advice on how he hacks out a review for a TV show or related program.
He did state that his rules are not “rules” per se, and he did note that some of the elements he uses such as being honest and fearless within his commentary. (“Honest” means to not lie about what’s good or bad, and “fearless” means to stick to what you feel about the subject even if you are the only person who says otherwise!) He also writes using simple English and avoids tired cliches. This means to write to somebody who understands essays that a high school student can conceive, and to avoid words and expressions that have been overused! Too many critics wrote about blockbuster movies that were akin to a “roller coaster ride”, dramas that were the “feel good movie” of the day/week/month/year, as well as actors/actresses that were “Oscar worthy” for their performance.
There were other guidelines he noted. But for the most part, there are no real rules or guidelines to follow. Perhaps the rule yours truly first learned about to write about anything came from my junior high school years–the period in one’s domestic life that is not only popular to focus upon (especially with TV content fodder usually found on a Nickelodeon and/or The Disney Channel drama/sitcom), but speaking for a life moment where these “tweener” kids are undergoing a transaction between living a silly childhood to entering a sobering adult life. That rules to follow in composing an essay of some sort consisted of three steps:
1)-Tell the reader what you will be writing about. 2)-Write about what you are telling the reader. 3)-Tell the reader what you just wrote about.
That was it!
Granted, it may not give any details on just how to write a review, or if what you are writing will be any good! (Amusing or informative to read!) However, it does serve as a base to become a critic of anything! And never mind the fact that you may receive as many as a zillion “hits” on your blog (give or take a few), or one will receive as little as two! Just as long as you are making those opinions for real, then you will be OK! After all, this writer isn’t the only one out there who hacks out this kind of stuff, and won’t be the last either!
To get a real idea on the method this writer uses to create a review, please take a peek at the examples below. These reviews were created to be as fair and rather honest to describe on what the show in question is really all about! Enjoy!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills presents the world premier of Samuel Warren Joseph’s MORAL IMPERATIVE, a thriller about how an individual will do anything just to get what’s desired, even if involves murder!
Taking place at Briarton University, a small yet respected private academic institution located within the New England states, Seth (Martin Thompson) a high ranking professor and university chair, holds his status through the long standing connections he holds with the school. His spouse for 30 plus years Mary (Susan Damante) is also a professor there that teaches upon medical aspects. He holds a bit of bitterness with Briarton’s current president Oscar (David Hunt Stafford), since he isn’t pleased with the ethics the current university president carries. He even believes that he is better suited for the position, in spite of what the university trustees thought otherwise. Seth’s university colleague Robert (Ken Kamlet) also feels the same way. However, Seth’s solution to this situation is the remove Oscar from his position through the act of murder. This devious deed would be of benefit toward the college’s moral standing, or so Seth’s confidence tells. So a plan is created and takes shape. However, many questions remain. With the removal of Oscar, will Seth become leader of his respected institution? How can Seth and Robert go forth in Oscar’s permanent removal? And perhaps the most burning question of them all; Will they get away with it? Many elements are at stake that speak for what’s correct, what’s for the good, and what is just moral.
This play written by playwright Samuel Warren Joseph is very much akin to a classic murder mystery, but not necessarily in any traditional sense. It’s not so much as a “whodunnit” where somebody is bumped off and everyone near the crime scene is assumed to be a suspect until a police detective, private eye, or a sap that knows how to solve a crime through sheer wit or just plain dumb luck, solves the mystery. This play unfolds as a platform that has the scheme planned out and the diabolical plot brought forth, only to have the plan of action undergo its twist and turns until the results are discovered without a focused guilty party. The count of thrilling waves experienced are just as intense as one can get, all presented in a vast and tight manner. The cast of players presented that also include Kyoko Okazaki as Robert’s spouse Karen, and Brandee Steger as police detective Pauline (nearly every story that contains a murder plot has a detective working on the case), fit fine together. Seth, as played by Martin Thompson, is the well respected college professor type that has a bit of evil within. Susan Damante as Mary is the noble wife within an educated grouping. Robert as performed by Ken Kamlet isn’t as strong witted as Seth. He is a bit softer, but far from being another Milquetoast. Kyoko Okazaki as Karen is also a nobel wife to Robert, but in more toward a humble and scriptural stance. Oscar, as portrayed by David Hunt Stafford, who is also Theatre 40’s artistic director, plays the “heavy”. He may be bigger in size, but keeps is attitudes slightly in check in spite of what Seth believes otherwise. And rounding out the cast is Brandee Steger as detective Pauline, who looks hip, acts hip, and is hip to what’s been going on! Howard Storm, who directed a number of previous plays presented by Theatre 40, is back to helm this show that does hold an intense impact from its opening scene to its final plot twist.
Jeff G. Rack, Theatre 40’s rep set designer, once again creates an impressive set that consists of the living room of Seth and Mary, loaded with classic and modern styled club chairs, antique-eske furnishings, along with deep wood paned walls, vintage framed art, and a massive book shelf with important looking books lined up just for show and perhaps reading.
MORAL IMPERATIVE will keep one intrigued throughout its two acts. It may not have one at the edge of their seat per se, but it will latch that same seated audience member to have the desire to find out what’s going to happen next–no matter what!

MORAL IMPERATIVE, presented by Theater 40 performs in the Reuben Corova Theater located on the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 South Moreno Drive (off Santa Monica Blvd.) Beverly Hills, until October 17th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees 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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BARS AND MEASURES, Idris Goodwin’s play about two brothers that hold a common bond separated by an uneven relationship where society kept them apart  while dealing with the circumstances behind it all, makes its world premier at Pasadena’s Theatre @ Boston Court.
Donathan Walters and Matt Orduna are Eric and Bilal, two brothers that grew up exposed to jazz music-the bebop variety-from their father. As they aged into adulthood, Eric got into his music and his born faith as a Christian. So did Bilal, but changed directions faith wise and became a Muslim. When their dad died, they received a generous inherence. Eric kept his, while Bilal gave his away to the sect where he practiced his faith. However, he got caught by the feds suspected in funding an extreme terrorist group. Now waiting trail in prison, Bilal attempts to keep in connection with Eric through family links and the passion of jazz music. Eric also learns about his sibling’s spiritual belief through Sylvia (Zehra Fazal), a woman Eric works with in performing classic auras. She too is Muslim, but on a lower key level. The real challenge foretold is the saga of these two family members as they await the fate if Bilal is indeed supporting a terrorist group alining with Eric’s success into progressing as a jazz musician.
This new play by playwright Idris Goodwin uses a focus upon two brothers that support an interest in music, and an extreme opposite of what one believes in, even if that such belief may create a right or a wrong. This theme doesn’t take any sides that state that one character lives as good and correct while the other serves within an evil purpose, even if the cause may present some form of harm. As to the performers, Donathan Walters and Matt Orduna holds their dramatic chemistry in fluid manner. Their roles say that they bond toward the other due to their blood legacy and the music that matters to them. (They can even “scat” in perfect sync!) This mesh of music and family hold through to the themes this theatre piece expresses. Zehra Fazal as Sylvia, Eric’s student, shows heart to the matter, keeping Eric as bay for his brother. Her role isn’t as outstanding as it could be, but shows its promise. Weyni Mengesha’s stage direction views all of these these features as the ensemble cast interact with one another directly within this single act program.
As to the stage setting presented, Francois-Pierre Couture’s scenic and moving image design creates a minimal standpoint. Using a few furnishings, the set consists of a white table that services as the prison that is interchanged as Eric’s piano set upon a circular stage that can rotate upon different scenes, with a lone standing bass located at stage right. The bass serves as Bilal’s musical instrument when he created his jazz, long before he was considered a threat toward the American society he was born and raised in.
Also appearing as part of the cast is Brian Abraham as Wes, the prison guard Bilal must serve under.
It’s been stated directly or indirectly that a number of aspects found within a human society keeps one together with the other(s). Out of those many choices come in as family, music, and spiritual practice. BARS AND MEASURES blends these three elements within a method of bliss and a procedure of becoming cursed. Whatever the causes and outcomes, the play’s overview and presence serves as an example of intense and solid dramatic theatre.

   BARS AND MEASURES, presented by and performs at The Theatre @ Boston Court, 70 North Mentor Avenue at Boston Court, (one block north of Colorado Blvd and one block east of Lake Street), Pasadena, until October 23rd. Showtimes are Thursday through Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. A special Wednesday evening performance takes place on October 19th at 8:00 PM, and the performance for Saturday, October 8th will be at 4:00 PM.
     For ticket reservations or for more information, call (626) 683-6883, or via online at http://www.BostonCourt.org
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2016 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!

REDBOX AND CHILL or MAKING IT A BLOCKBUSTER MOMENT

Now that summer is “officially” over with (for many, it ended on the Labor Day weekend), it’s the time to slowly move one’s external activities from the great outdoors to the inner confines of the homestead, where many of these same folks are attempting to get away from the chill in the air that this season provides. In southern California, it still feels like summertime. But for a good part of the nation, the leaves are already changing their colors and that for noted chill is in the air
One of the most popular of indoor activities around is spending more time with one’s television machine, that device that was once noted as a box full or elections that holds a glass screen on its front. Nowadays, it’s a flat picture frame-looking thing that does the same functions of that electronic “idiot box” of old. This time, the picture is sharper, its sound quality more booming, and is much smarter than ever before. Granted, it can’t do your accounting or anything like that, but is dose have the ability of being connected to the internet where one can receive its programming from a ‘net connection thanks to a process called streaming. It resembles a connection via a coax cable or even a TV antenna–a device that’s been around since TV began some seventy or so years ago. However, it’s not coming from a source from a local broadcaster or a cable TV company. It’s coming from a “cloud” based from somewhere in the world!
Of course, watching TV isn’t just limited to a coax cable or an ethernet connection. Many folks have devices that can play back programming found on a DVD disk, or even using media from back in the day-videotapes and laserdiscs! This is where people have collections of programming embedded on these media sources where one can play back (and re-playback) the programming that’s captured on them. The programming itself varies, but for the most part, people watch feature length programs that can be called “movies” that were originally created for showing to a paying public theatrical type setting.
Home video, the method where one can watch content on a videotape/laserdisc/DVD has been around since the late 1970’s. It took off in the 1980’s, and continued well into the 2000’s. In the early days, prerecorded videotapes were rather pricey to buy. A commercial version of, let’s say, The King and I, would cost one something like $80.00!, or actually, $79.95 MSRP! Unless one wanted to own the tape for their own for whatever reason, one can pay that amount and maintain a vast collection.
Then came video rentals where one can borrow the tape for a short time (24 hours usually) at a video rental store. During it’s peak in the 1980’s and 1990’s, there here hundreds of these outlets found in neighborhoods across the land. Many were “mom and pop” outlets that were small storefronts that offered a few hundred of titles-mostly the “hits”, although some were speciality places that catered to a niche audience such as those that wanted “art” films and the like. Others were bigger outlets, big enough to be supermarket size, stocking toward thousands of titles in many genres and formats. These bigger outlets were mostly of the franchise quality, where these companies would maintain stores found in most of the nation.
Out of these franchise outlets, perhaps the biggest one of them all was Blockbuster Video, usually found in those same neighborhoods that the mom and pops once catered to. Sadly, many of those smaller outlets were put out of business thanks to the arrival of the “big box” store. Blockbuster would have many of their titles (again, emphasizing movies) on display on rowed shelves that slightly resembled a supermarket-type arrangement where one can see what’s available to rent for the day, or in most cases, for the night! The videotapes that would be the media of choice morphed to DVDs where its physical size was a lot smaller and the picture and sound quality was a whole lot better! This process to view content made its merry way once the millennium came into view.
Then came a company called Netflix where from a monthly subscription fee, one can rent DVDs through mail order, allowing the subscriber to rent as many DVDs as they could, providing that they had the time and gumption to so such in a given month. Redbox, a company that maintained vending machines usually found in supermarkets and the front foyer of a box box retailer (Walmart, etc.) offered the same service. This time, one can rent a disk through its vending machine one disk at a time. Instead of inserting coins into these machines, one would swipe a credit card to pay the overnight rental fee, currently standing at $1.25 per disk per rental period.
Netflix did one better to the DVD rental scheme. It provided offering the same content, later adding original TV-type series, through internet streaming. This method resembled over the air broadcast and cable TV services, but it was neither! And unlike the cable and broadcast sources where one had to watch whatever programming they provided when they scheduled, Netflix allowed one to watch content whenever they wanted! No day and time allowances were necessary. You saw whatever whenever, down to something called “binge” watching where one can see an entire TV and/or movie series in one single sitting viewing titles back to back! This form of viewership became something from a hyperactive obsession to a royal badge of honor–so to speak! Many folks were nearly bragging that they were able to see an entire run of The Walking Dead or even The Simpsons for days and even weeks on end!
In today’s media landscape, Netflix has company, and lots of it! The current players of video streaming is Hulu, Amazon, Pandora, and a host of others that function like the TV networks of old. As with Netflix, there is no time schedule to deal with, and there are no commercials too–providing one subscribes to the pay version of the service (Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, etc.) where advertising is minimal or non existent.
In spite of all of this video streaming, people still have a preference of viewing their programming from physical media (DVDs), although it’s not as aggressive as it used to be. According to a report filed by the consumer marketing researcher GfK, almost half of those polled (46%) have rented and/or purchased digital copies of individual movies or TV programs. Two-thirds of those in the poll, based on interviews with 1,006 consumers combining internet-based interviewing with probability-based sampling, stated that the availability of an subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service was a prime reason not to purchase digital copies of individual titles. And of those that purchased DVDs/Blu-ray discs that included access to a digital-only version of the video, two-thirds of these same buyers never activated the digital content. The reason for this noted that consumers they were just not interested or had no need to get access. This result is a far cry from the days where as much as 86% of consumers rented DVDs in a given period.
In spite of this change, Netflix still offers their classic DVD subscription via mail rental, and Redbox still has their vending machines found in supermarket and big box store foyers for those that just wish to view content on occasion one title at a time. But in these days of smaller-faster-cheaper, these sources may find their way moving out within the same method as the 12” laserdiscs and the ever loving VHS videotapes. (Beta too, if one really goes back!) But whatever the case and whatever the method, folks will still plop themselves in front of their TV-eske devices to take part of that moving imagery they feel they must view and absorb. Of course, thanks to football season (college and pro), some of these folks will continue to take a peek at over the air and cable TV! They will just make it a Blockbuster night and day and night!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
Continuing its run at The Eclectic Company Theatre is the world premier of THE CIVIL WAR REMEMBERED, a theatre piece written and directed by Maureen Lucy O’Connell that tells the tale of The Civil War as told through the spouse of the 16th president of the US, as well as others that became part of the battle called The War Between The States.
Marby Steward (alternating with Jennie Floyd) portrays Marry Todd Lincoln, a woman from Kentucky who eventually became the wife of Abraham Lincoln (David Pinion), a young prairie rail splitter turned lawyer who would become the leader of a nation fallen as a house divided. Told through short vignettes expressed in a linear fashion, those that were present in the war as well as those effected from its aftermath proclaim their episodes through actual letters and documents, as well as a number of spurious based sagas that give the feeling of the war that was fought for the good of the nation, depending upon what side one stood. Outside of the war itself, Mary also reviles upon her personal “first family” life that mixes a blend of joy and sorrow. It gives a strong impression that Mary is just as robust as her husband as followed right up to his abrupt term in office.
This is a theatre production that doesn’t keep a plot in the traditional sense. It is presented though a selection of short installments that are all tied through an informative aspect of the conflict that occurred through Lincoln’s presidential term. A number of characters appear, some historical while others become the common man (and woman) that were for their nation, in spite of the fact that one time neighbors became enemies of the state. Added to its creativity and accuracy of the middle 19th century is a selection of folk ballads that were popular of its era as sung by its cast members. The presentation of these ballads of old doesn’t make this show a musical per se as they are expressed acapella. Playwright Maureen Lucy O’Connell and David Pinion collaborated on the musical selection showcased, from vocal arrangements to the tunes that told about the war with the feeling of jubilation knowing that Johnny would indeed come marching home! With its music are the visuals displayed that enhance the stories told and sung as projected on the rear of the stage. Period photographs, etchings, with letters and manuscripts written by those that were in battle and those affected from its aftereffects are displayed among its set consisting of a blacked chairs and blocks as designed by the director/playwright. This example of a minimalist stage setting allows the performers that don period costumes as designed by Tsebahat Fiseha to tell about a war in both a passionate mode, along with some hellish story approaches appended for balance.
The cast that appear in this presentation include (listed in their alphabetical order), Erin Cote, Richard Harris, JC Henning, Gerard Marzilli, Julianna Pirillo, Roger K. Weiss, Nate Werner, and Zack Zoda.
THE CIVIL WAR REMEMBERED is a very information, entertaining, and tight one act presentation. It recalls a domestic conflict that divided a nation that has never been seen beforehand, and as never been experienced since. It was a time where its citizens worked hard and fought harder, while holding a sense of both triumph and tribulation. It’s been some 150 plus years since the war first made its mark and to have its conclusion, but its sprit through its rallies and resurgence still live on.

THE CIVIL WAR REMEMBERED, presented by and performs at the Eclectic Company Theatre, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Valley Village (Los Angeles proper), until October 16th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. For ticket information and reservations, contact through Spooniad2014@gmail.com, via http://www.CivilWarRemembered.com, or through its presence on Facebook at http://www/facebook.com/TheCivilWarRemembered
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The Morgan-Wixson Theatre of Santa Monica opens their 2016-17 season of plays and musicals with PETER AND THE STAR CATHER, a play with music by Rick Elice that tells the tale of a young man yet to grow up, and his encounters with pirates, a mysterious island, and his quest to grab hold of a desired star set for Neverland.
Christopher Tiernan is a lad who at first doesn’t have a name. He doesn’t have a home or friends to catch upon either. However, he holds a passion to never grow up! Taking place within the British Empire during the reign of Queen Victoria, Peter, the name he will acquire, becomes shipped along with some fellow orphans to a vast island far off the coast of the British isles. While on board, he meets Molly Asher (Annie Claire Hudson), a robust young woman who believe she she can do anything as equal to a man’s job! She, too, is a starcatcher as Peter is. On board the ship is a trunk that holds a cargo of starstuff, a form of matter that is so powerful, it must never fall prey to evil doers. But there are pirates at bay aboard a vessel lead by Black Stache (Aric Martin), whose band of ruffians takes heed to this treasure for their own! Peter and Molly make their stands as they fight their causes between good and evil, adding to all of the passions of adventure, along with adding a robust ensemble of colorful characters that builds on toward the fantasy of never growing up!
This play with music, called such because there are only a handful of musical numbers presented (with score by Wayne Barker) that wouldn’t allow this showcase to labeled as a full fledged musical, serves as a prequel to the beloved tale of Peter Pan. Using J. M. Barrie’s original tale, along with Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s adaptations of novels that extend the Peter Pan universe, this stage production is a whimsical view to the aura of Neverland, along with the adventures one would expect in such a saga. There are sword fights, shipwrecks, mermaids, and witty humor ejected throughout. Although there are dozens of characters that appear within the story, a selection of the ensemble cast perform in multiple roles, donning eccentric over-the-top costuming as designed by Kristie Mattsson & Lauren Blaire. Although the story itself occurs in late 19th century England, the set design by Christopher Daroca is a busy collection of pieces that could resemble haphazard scrap, but is far removed from that particular sense. Such a setting as depicted on stage only enhances the fantasy that plays throughout this program, having its cast with their outfits suggest that everyone is felling their scenic attitudes on not wanting to grow up while latching on to their maturity-type beings. This latching on isn’t held as tightly as expected, although its far from existing as immature!
As to this Morgan-Wixson Theatre production, Christopher Tiernan as the lead character Peter performs his task of the forever boy in a pleasant stance. Annie Claire Hudson as Molly as the only female cast member works just as well with Peter and his company.  Although her character believes that a female can do anything her male counterparts can partake, she stands out on her own rather than just being another one of the boys! And Aric Martic as Black Stache is the ideal pirate. He isn’t as evil as he resembles, making his plot as family friendly although he still remains a pirate!
Lauren Blaire directs as well as choreographs the cast and they show off their theater stuff, making the world of adventure on the high seas as appealing in today’s post-modern world as it was back in the day! Daniel Koh provides the musical direction performing the scant number of songs presented in addition to providing the underscore on the keyboards on stage just off stage left. He is meant to be heard, but not necessarily seen.
The rest of the ensemble cast that appear are Jacob Nye as Prentiss, a fellow orphan, Chandler David as Ted, another orphan, Jordan Segal as Smee, the Black Stache’s first mate, Michael Heimos as Lord Asher, Molly’s father, Tristan Griffin as Mrs. Betty Bumbrake, Molly’s nanny, Ian Scott Mitchell as Alf, a sailer on the schooner Neverland, along with Jonathan Beran, Spencer Johnson, and Daniel Koh in multiple roles.
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER is a fantasy that is delightful, imaginative, and is an overall delight to view. Granted, it may be a bit intense for younger kids, so a bit of being “grown up” is required to attend! As legions go, the epic of Peter Pan will never fade away. Just as long as a boy, girl, or otherwise, seeks the prime aspiration to remain a forever child, but old enough to vote come this November! Just as long as that “old enough” is emotional rather than just physical. But that’s another story as that stands!

PETER AND THE STARCATCHER, presented by the Morgan-Wixson Theatre Guild, and performs at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, until October 9th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. A special talk back session where the cast and crew discuss their performing as well as taking questions from the audience, occurs after the performances held on Friday, September 23rd, and Sunday, October 2nd
     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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In the previous week’s issue (Vol. 21-No. 37) of the review for One Woman Gone Wrong, the name of the director of that show is Maria Burton.
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

AccessiblyLiveOffLine@twc.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
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@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
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(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) 2016 Linear Cycle Productions.
All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and                                                   not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

WHAT’S HOT ‘n NOT FOR THE MOMENT

Over time and tide, those creations that exist in the so-called domestic popular culture world comes and goes through various stages for the seasons ranging from personal tastes to market demand value. Many of these pop culture items are based upon fads and fandom. Some elements in the world of pop culture icons last what seems to be forever–Mickey Mouse and the rest of the Disney empire is one of those forever notions. Others come, go, and eventually come back. Nitendo’s Pokemon is a prime example. It was a big hit when the ever loving “pocket monsters” came to the US in the late 1990’s. Ten years later, the art of “gotta catching ‘em all” became rather tired, only to resurface in vengeance within the last few weeks! (See Vol. 21-No. 29). Some did come back and should have remained missing in action! Universal studio’s attempt to bring back Jem and the Holograms, based upon a 1980‘s-era animated TV series targeting the pre-teen girls market, returned as a live action feature only to disappear after two weeks in a theatrical run. (Sorry, no sequels for Jem and her girls!) And a few came and went, never to be heard from again! (Too many to list those items in the “here today gone tomorrow” category!)
So what pop culture items did remain popular in this part of the world as of this writing? (This part of the world referred to the US and perhaps Canada!) Leave it to the folks from ebay, the one time be-all-to-end all place on the ‘net to find nearly anything and everything worth buying and selling (legal or otherwise), to conduct a market survey on what elements from the world of popular culture are selling, buying, and all in between.
The ebay Data Labs has been tracking down since 2006 on what forms of merchandise is being advertised through their portals that deal in various forms of popular culture memorabilia and related aspects. Many of these items were in the range of toys and playthings, but other aspects were also part of the collectable market, from knickknacks one can display on a shelf, or items better suited for a museum worthy display. Since ’06, e-bay started to encourage those posting items list their goods as a “buy now” option, since more common or semi-common materials were better suited to be sold directly rather than to be bidded upon. To place in perspective, valuable saught after comics that can go for multi numbered figures are auctioned, but comics that are less in demand are better off sold. The novelty of bidding petty amounts for some figurine has since worn off! Besides spontaneous buys are preferred to the seller of the goods, and ditto for the buyer!
Nevertheless, these goods bought and sold within the previous ten years (2006-2016) were tallied. Again, some items came to stay, to go, to later return or to vanish forever. So here’s the names of the franchises and the total amount these items were sold on a worldwide scale as tallied in US dollars. Again, all elements are based upon popular culture items in terms of various forms of memorabilia, both as common items and as scarce one-of-a-kind notions:
1)-Star Wars ($593,765,974)
2)-Batman ($216, 670,846)
3)-Transformers ($178,227,137)
4)-Pokemon ($173,476,395)
5)-Star Trek ($112,305,369)
6)-Superman ($96,015,809)
7)-Harry Potter ($84,791,533)
8)-The Legend of Zelda ($83,046,559)
9)-The Walking Dead ($54,635,144)
10)-The Lord of the Rings ($41,323,469)
11)-Naruto ($23,471,413)
12)-Game of Thrones ($22,115,854)
13)-Dr. Who ($21,209,540)
14)-X-Men ($11,947,018)
15)-South Park ($8,784,974)
It’s interesting to note that the range of such items span an eighty year timeline from when the creation made its first appearance to the world it was intended for. Many origins came from comics (Batman Superman, etc.), television (The Walking Dead, Dr. Who, etc.) literature (Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings), and video games (Pokemon, The Legend of Zelda, etc.). Star Wars is the only title extracted from movies, although it branched out to nearly all forms of media.
As a disclaimer to all of this pop culture transactions via ebay, yours truly “tested the waters” so to speak on attempting to offer merchandise via ebay back in the era when the name of the web site was called E-Bay. (The name now is all in lowercase!) I offered only three separate items, all connected with pop culture. My biggest sale among the three items up for bid was a 8” high hollow rubber molded figurine of Yoda that sold for $15.00. I bought it from a local garage sale for a quarter, giving me a profit margin of $14.75! However, I never offered anything else beyond that item. My account with E-Bay has since been long abandon!
Only time, tide, and the powers that be will determine what titles will remain hot and in demand. Again, some will come and others will go. Those that go may return or may never see the light of day again. And a few will never even arrive! A few of those that attended the recent Comic Con orgy in San Diego brought their creations along to have somebody discover them. Will those newly minted titles ever rank up along the “big boys”? Maybe, or maybe not! After all, that’s show biz for you!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
Theatre West opens their 2016-17 season with the west coast premier of Leslie Cavney’s ONE WOMAN GONE WRONG, a production featuring Leslie as the lead where she attempts to perform in a solo show, only to have her ability, spirit, and mind take another direction.
The show begin with Leslie taking stage, standing next to a screen where artistic images of objects appear to illustrate her story about a coming of age episode within her life. Early into her performance, she appear to receive some kind of mental block, forgetting what she is about to say next. This bit of forgetfulness then morphs into a level of low level rage. She falls out from her script and story, only to progress into a state of slow moving neurosis. She makes some confessions through this process. Not due to her behavior, but how she was convinced by some theater flukey into presenting her act not as a play or a musical–something she really had in mind–but as a one person showpiece. From there, she holds a struggle between herself as the Leslie on stage and the Leslie that is set within her own inner self. Adding to her reaction are others that become involved by default, ranging from the stage manager, the lighting director, the person that is her mother, and the person who isn’t! Leslie’s single presentation turns into something that she didn’t call for, and what the audience didn’t expect!
This show, written and performed by Leslie Caveny, can be seen as a textbook example of a middle aged woman who is undergoing a change in her cycle, only to bare this change on a theater stage. Her part in this stage show is rather interesting as it gives one the impression that Leslie is a person and/or a performer that is on the verge of falling apart both physically and emotionally. This type of subject matter was once considered as something unspoken or taboo. It was the same subject matter that was only presented within an artistic measure as a heavy drama where the character in question would change for the better, or for a deep demise. Within the last twenty or so years, this for noted emotional state of being now became comedy relief where the protagonist becomes a rip roarin’ train wreck in order to gain the most laughs. And that form of emotional state is where Leslie receives most of the comedy. The way the audience sees her as she falls apart holds the humor down where one desires to laugh, but may not be too sure that its proper to laugh just because somebody is losing it!
Marie Burton directs this show that gives Leslie all of the time and space to become that woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown! The stage set itself where Leslie stands upon only consists of a black curtain draped in the background with a theatre “tree” standing on stage left (it was a fixture that was suppose to play a piece from her solo act), as well as a few props on stage right. Again, pieces that are part of her monologue. And since this solo act has other performers, those that appear are Anne Leyden, Sheila Shaw, Frank Gengarossa, Seemah Wilder, with Tom Adams.
ONE WOMAN GONE WRONG’s title pretty much describes what this show is really all about. Sadly, Leslie never has the opportunity to complete her solo show, so its autobiographical tale is never told in full. However, it does have a happy ending of sorts! Not for the audience, but for Leslie! Granted, this writer won’t revile what that happy ending is as that will just create a spoiler! However, it’s something that she wanted, and she got it!

ONE WOMAN GONE WRONG, presented by and performs at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. Los Angeles (Universal City adjacent), until November 27th. Showtimes are Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM.
     For ticket reservations or for more information, call (323) 851-7977, or via online at http://www.TheatreWest.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) 2016 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!

END O’ SUMMER

Yep! It’s that time again! It’s the moment where the first weekend in September means a lot of things to a lot of people. For starters, the Labor Day weekend notes the unofficial end of the summer season, meaning that those oft mentioned lazy hazy crazy days have since ended its run. (Never mind the fact that Summer solstice ends on September 22nd. We are writing about seasonal times rather than what the almanac reads!) For those that are in the schooling loop, those days of reading, writing, and ‘rithmetic have already moved forward. Football season is well under way from junior varsity standings through the pro leagues, including the first time that the NFL has graced a local (for Los Angeles anyway) in over twenty years. The TV networks used to start out their new Fall season where they did a big deal ballyhoo on bringing in new shows. However, since the networks, or any other source that provides original content through moving imagery, introduces new programming no matter what the calendar states, that new line of of programs have since lost its punch.
Of course, summertime has its moments be it for the good or otherwise. But for the moment where the beachwear is placed in storage only to be replaced with the heavy clothing set for the winter months to come, it shows that this passage of the moment is one of those instances of time where it’s somewhat expected, but not necessarily welcomed with the open arms one would present when it comes to the said passages of the moment.
And rightly so! When we wrote about this subject around the Labor Day weekend not too long ago, we received a few replies via e-mail that gave a few opinions about Summer’s end..
I’m a native Floridian and have lived in all the far corners of our state as well as a few central towns. We have two seasons here. Summer, which lasts about 11 months and Christmas, when it gets fairly cool sometimes. More and more people seem to be flocking here to live out their days and most of them complain constantly about the humidity and their high electric bills.
-Claudia
Another person stated….
  Summer is officially over for me when I put the cover on the air conditioner.
And here in Minnesota that’s September 1st.
-”Boots”
And lastly…
...Summer’s only over when I say it’s over! Never mind the fact that the leaves are turning brown, Halloween is the biggest holiday between Labor day and Thanksgiving, and winter’s too damn cold! Summertime is with me where ever I go, and I go far!…
-Anonymous
So there you have it! Summer is fun for what it is, but then again, the other seasons have their moments! Some people love the fall, while other adore the spring. Wintertime is where some folks have their day in the limelight, especially if they are big time skiers! But in short, this summer had its moments! Now that it’s nearly fall, it’s the time to become concerned over other matter such as the upcoming election. That, of course, is a whole other matter, and a whole other article topic!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
Theatre Palisades present Neil Simon’s modern stage classic THE ODD COUPLE, a tale of two men who test their nerves as they move in together due to their failed marriages.
Michael Sorich is Oscar Madison, a divorced father of two who resides in his Manhattan apartment living his own life if not paying alimony to his ex. He has his buddies over at his joint for their weekly poker games, consisting of Speed (Stevie Johnson), Murray the cop (Bob Grochau), Roy (Mark Fields Davidson), Vinnie (Stephen Holland), and good ol’ Felix Unger (Scott Gardner). The news hits when it’s discovered by the gang that Felix’s wife leaves him ending twelve years of marriage. In order to show some support to his pal, Oscar tells Felix that he can stay with him for the duration. Although they are bust buds, they are total opposites. Oscar is the slob while Felix is a neatnik. Can these two live with each other in some kind of harmony, or will they challenge their friendship by not killing each other first?
They way this play is presented by Theatre Palisades is done in a very fluid mode. It not only has all the standard Neil Simon one liners the playwright is famous for, but the performers that appear in this production while sporting those classic one-liners do their work as very cartoonish. (That’s a good thing!) Jonathan Fahn’s stage direction has this cast progress in a rapid manner. (That is where all the cartoonish attitudes kick in!) As to the two lead players themselves, Michael Sorich as Oscar is direct, rather loud, and very robust. Scott Fardner’s role as Felix is a cross of being a prim and proper man with hints of being a milquetoast. This blend of ying vs. yang is what makes this presentation work. These forms of character style and attitudes as depicted on this T.P. stage is what makes this play just as funny as seen for its first time or for its umpteenth!
Sherman Wayne, Theatre Palisades’ resident set decorator, once again provides the set design and staging that consists of a rather large apartment that is messy in one act, and neat in the other!
Within the above noted cast, Star Calvet, alternating with Eleen Hsu-Wentlandt, appears as Gwendolyn Pigeon, while Sara Guarnieri, alternating with Samantha Labrecque, portrays Gwen’s sibling Cecily. Both of these actresses perform their parts as charming giddy English school girls!
As stated above, this play can be called one of the best admired American stage comedies created within the last half of the 20th century. It’s also a play that is performing on some stage somewhere across this nation if not found across the globe! It’s not necessarily to travel to some distant spot to relive it again. Just head on over to the oceanside community of Pacific Palisades and enjoy it within the comfort of this unique and charming village by the water.

   THE ODD COUPLE, presented by Theater Palisades, performs at the Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road (off Sunset Blvd.), Pacific Palisades, until October 9th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. For more information and for ticket reservations, call (310) 454-1970, or visit online at http://www.TheatrePalisades.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) 2016 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!

STUFF WE ALL GET

One thing that this writer looks forward to when attending a trade show or related convention are the items I get from exhibitors that attend the show. These items are better known as SWAG, the acronym that means “stuff we all get”-hence, the title of this article! This “stuff” usually consists of small items that are given away by the exhibiters in question that will remind the taker of the goods who exactly gave it to you. These items that are given away with the company’s name and logo affixed vary, depending on the company and the venue one is attending. For the most part, these goodies consists of pens, letter openers, t-shirts, cell phone stands, tote bags, and other similar items that are low cost of create, but it’s nice enough for the taker to grab them for its intended purposes.
Over the many years since this writer started to attend these said shows, I have collected a good number of these knickknacks where I grabbed them first, usually from the exhibitor’s booth or some related exhibitor’s event (an after party perhaps), only to wonder why I took the thing in the first place! Some I still have, while the others has since been disposed of or have been long forgotten where I no longer remember them and thus, don’t miss them to a beat! The items I did keep hold some practical usage such as the previously noted pens, letter openers, tote bags, and the like. Some items I have such as t-shirts are worn on occasion, although t-shirts themselves aren’t as common to find as they used to be. That is just as well since I have some t-shirts I have obtained from trade shows going back thirty years(!) that I have yet to wear! However, I do tend to be a bit picky on what I grab since whatever I take might be in use, or it might wind up in a box that I keep in case I have to give a gift to somebody for whatever reason. Never mind the fact that the goods I may give folks might have a company name and logo affixed to the item. As long as the item is nice and holds some form of practicality, then the receiver doesn’t seem to mind! To give an example, not so long ago, an in-law of mine had sold her home and moved into a smaller and yet easier to maintain condo-type apartment unit. (A classic example of “downsizing”!) To keep up with what she disposed of and what still had kept, she got herself an iPad mini device to allow her to keep tabs on all things. As a welcoming notion, I presented to her a padded wrap around slipcover for her device that was nicely gray trimmed in color with the name of a start up cable TV channel on its backside. The cover fit perfect on her new iPad and she was pleased. Whenever the fact that she noticed the name slapped on it was a whole other matter.
As stated before, much of the swag I received goes back to the days when I once attended such conventions as the Summer Consumer Electronic Show when it was held in Chicago around June. Its winter version of the CES still exists, and it’s the biggest trade show to take place in Las Vegas. Although I never can get away to attend the current CES, I’m sure that the swag there is something to take note of! However, the Summer CES is where many of my “antique” t-shirts came from. Most, if not all, of the products and services advertised on the items no longer exist, such as early video games, electronic accessories, as well as for a TV series called “The New Tech Times”, a series of programs that reported upon new technology that was then available or to be coming soon. (For the record, this series was carried by many PBS stations in the early 1980’s!)
Out of the many conventions I once attended that perhaps had the best selection of swag ever to be given out had been the 1994 Video Dealers Software Association trade show in Las Vegas. The VSDA was a trade group for video stores operators, dealers, wholesalers, and related associates. At this show, dozens of stuff were given away. There were the pens and t-shirts ‘natch, bet there were other things as well. Many videotapes of new releases were handed out, or at least tapes plugging new titles that were meant to be played through a video monitor at a video store as point of purchase advertising. A number of celebrities were in attendance to endorse or promote a new video release. Many of them were there to sign photos of themselves. I have a stack of these 8×10 black and white glossies picks. Sadly, I don’t have enough wall space to display them all! But the best part of waiting in line to get these picks is when the opportunity allows, one can take a brief moment to say a nice comment to the celebrity, and perhaps one will receive a pleasant and memorable reply. After waiting in line to receive a autographed picture of Dudley Moore at the Columbia/Tri-Star Home Video booth, it was my turn to go up to the counter to get Dudley’s picture signed and dedicated to me. As he was signing the pic, I said to him  “I good friend of mine who collects 16mm films of features has a print of “Arthur” and that is his favorite movie”. After I said that line, Dudley replied in a soft voice, “Y’know, that’s my favorite movie, too!” and he gave me a playful wink! (PS…I still have the signed photo filed away somewhere in a file cabinet!)
I can go on about attending other trade shows that gave away nifty swag. Sadly, many of these shows as to the Summer CES and the VSDA, no longer exist. However, much of the swag I received from long forgotten conventions advertising long forgotten products and services still remain. They exist to remind me of those times when I were able to get away to attend these steal-a-thons and to take home goods that I could use, give away, or wind up with while scratching my head still wondering why did I take these items in the first place! But even in these days of the ‘net where info on companies, products, and services can be found through a click of the mouse or through a tap on the screen, trade shows and the swag that they come from will still exist. And perhaps I’ll wear that t-shirt that was given to me from a company that attended the Spring Internet World show that later became a victim of the dot com bust! (Ah, the good ol’ days!!)
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
The Glendale Centre Theatre present another full fledged musical with ANYTHING GOES, a mirthful tale than involves a classic boy-meets-girl scenario, along with a Wall Street broker, a nightclub singer, some mistaken identities, and a comical gangster set within an ocean liner cruise.
Billy Crocker (Bobby Burkich) is the assistant to Elisha Whitney (Stephan O’Hara), a rather successful banker on Wall Street. Billy’s boss is about to set sail on the S.S. American, an ocean liner traveling between New York and London. Before the ship sets off, Billy hops on board to deliver Elisha’s passport, winding up as an unintentional stowaway. Meanwhile, Reno Sweeney (Sarah Vanek) an evangelist turned nightclub torch singer, is a passenger on the boat. Billy and Reno were once involved with one another. Billy holds a romantic flame with debutant Hope Harcourt (Katie Moya) who is also on board with her fiancé Lord Evelyn Oakleigh,(John David Wallis) a wealthy Englishman. Tagging along is Hope’s mother Evangeline Harcourt. (Cindy Bullock) Hope and Evelyn plan to marry once arriving at port in London. Adding to this mix is a gangster on the lam, Moonface Martin (David Gallic) and his moll Erma Latour (Colette Peters). With these characters on board, along with a comical blend of time tested hijinks, show stopping dance numbers, along with an energetic musical score by Core Porter, one has a classic 1930’s-era screwball comedy set on stage!
And indeed it is a very upbeat and lively musical! Based upon the original 1934 stage musical from the original book by Guy Bolton, P.G. Woodhouse, Howard Lindsey, and Russell Crouse, this revised version conceived by Timothy Crouse and John Weidman, keeps much of the genuine plotting intact. What really makes this musical appealing is the selection of tunes created by Cole Porter that is part of what’s been called as The Great American Songbook. With such musical tidbits as You’re The Top, Easy To Love, Let’s Misbehave, Friendship, along with the title tune among the many other hits presented, one has a score that is very appealing that stands out as its own! The comical pacing never lets itself down, always moving in a frantic yet controlled stride.
In addition to the diverting action and dialog, there’s the dancing–and plenty of it as well! Paul Reid’s choreography includes an appealing blend of tap and ballroom dance numbers, along with a high spirited ensemble to provide the hoofing by way of Steve Applegate’s transcribed musical scoring! Angela Manke’s costuming has the entire cast donned in their best period threads that is serious enough to be conceived as priceless. Mark Knowles’ stage direction keeps up with the liveliness involved, making this show a real crowd pleaser!
And with such a showpiece, there is a rather robust ensemble cast involved. As noted, this review only has so much space to work with where there are too many other names to list as part of the players. But rest assured, each cast member did their part to make this performance as seen on the GCT stage a real treat to experience!
ANYTHING GOES is one of those musicals that do speak for a period where such shows were bright and cheery with heavy doses of pure escapism added for good measure! (Remember, the 1930’s wasn’t necessarily the best of times for many!) That said escapism has since turned into nostalgia. And with every musical presented within the confines of this unique theatre-in-the-round showcase that the GCT maintains, it is indeed an accurate description of stating to this facility that they are “the top”!

  ANYTHING GOES, presented by and performs at the Glendale Centre Theatre. 324 North Orange Street, Glendale, until October 8th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM, and Saturday matinees at 3:00 PM with Sunday afternoon performance at 3:00 PM on September 11th and 18th.
     For more information and for ticket reservations, call (818) 244-8481, or visit the GCT’s web site at http://www.GlendaleCentreTheatre.com
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The Falcon Theatre of Toluca Lake opens their 2016-17 season with the Mo Gaffney/Kathy Najimy comical review PARALLEL LIVES, starring Crista Flanagan and Alice Hunter.
This show consists of a selection of skits and two way monologues as Crista and Alice appear as a number of characters, some with names and others without, in plots and settings that resemble a standard life. Some bits are linked while others are isolated. The skits in question ranges from its opening scene consisting of two angels attempting to create the human beings that will populate the earth, a duo of youths from Brooklyn (or the Bronx) analyzing their lives after viewing West Wide Story, a pair of sisters at a funeral reception for their recently departed grandmother, two long-time elder friends attending a feminist review at an organic cafe, two teens attending a Bible youth camp, an encounter between two regulars at a honky-honk bar, as well as other backdrops and situations that are a bit off-kilter to what one would see in a so-called “real world”.
This review, written by Mo Gaffney & Kathy Najimy, is based upon related material that made up their showcase, called The Kathy & Mo Show, that had its theatre rounds in the early-middle 1990’s, both starring Mo and Kathy. Here, Crista Flanagan and Alice Hunter sub for Gaffney & Najimy as they play the spots that the for noted writers/performers originally did a generation before. As with stage anthologies such as this specific show, the quality and humor factor of the skits are of the hit-or-miss variety. Granted, every one of these mini-plays comprise of comical interludes. Some contain a bit of drama as well. The level of humor witnessed can be best described as quirky with a hint of cockiness added for “flavor”, making selected moments objective and may not be for all tastes. This is what makes this presentation live up to its title. It does demonstrate a parallel life it speaks for. Jenny Sullivan directs this show that guides the talented Crista Flanagan and Alice Hunter as a performing pair that is level with their comical timing. They don’t do slapstick, not do they show any tacky or cheesy cuteness. They hold their performance as humorous sans the belly laughs that may go along the process.
As to its stage look and presentation, Trefoni Michael Rizzi’s set design gives the performance arena a cosmic feel without being overly “outer spacey”. Although a majority of the skits themselves only takes up a few bits of floorboard space, most of the stage left/right/center air only contain set pieces and/or props. This method suggests that this production is a classic example of a small item nestled inside of a big package!
PARALLEL LIVES is a program for those that enjoy their comedy in small bits and bites. It’s a far cry to the level or comedy blackouts once seen and performed on a TV variety program from the 1960’s and 70‘s. But to see this show as it stands on stage in this post modern world is ideal, even on and in a wide(r) open area.
PS…Nearly another worth their pop culture salt already knows about the importance of what an “E-Ticket” is worth! So why bother explaining it all? Then again, that does speak for another era–right?

PARALLEL LIVES performs at The Falcon Theatre, 4252 Riverside Drive, Burbank, until September 18th. Showtimes are Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, with Sunday matinees at 4:00 PM. Talkback Thursdays, where the cast members discuss their roles to the audience while taking an informal question & answer session, takes place after the performances of September 1st, 8th, and 15th.
     For ticket reservations and for more information, call (818) 955-8101, or visit online at http://www.FalconTheatre.com.
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2016 Linear Cycle Productions.
All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and                                                      not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

THE VACATION DOG DAYS CONTINUE!

This is the annual time of year where it appears that a lot of folks (in compared to “everybody”) tends to take advantage of their vacation days during the period of the later summer season called the “dog days”. Of course, those days really have nothing to do with Fido–unless you really want to place that member of “man’s best friend” into the mix. However, it’s the time where summer, as blazing as it goes, is slowing hinting to itself that those lazy-hazy-crazy days will be coming to its standard conclusion.
And for a few folks, it already did! Here in Los Angeles proper known as the city limits itself that’s not a stand alone suburban community, the school season begins this week. This means that parents and/or caretakers of school aged kids who will be enrolling their little (or not so little) ones into a LAUSD school, will have those same kids start their new season of the standard reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic antics! That’s good for the parents/caretakers (It will keep those kids out of the parents/caretaker’s hair), but not so much for the kids as they will have their summer freedoms come to their end–assuming that these same kids would rather be outside of a classroom rather than be cooped up in one!
Also for the most part, this time of year is vacation time. Again, assuming that somebody will have a desire to get away for a brief time, this is their moment to see and do stuff they really can’t see and do while being stuck at their home base.
Many folks that are employed (or at least “work”) don’t tend to take advantage of taking a week/weekend/day/hour off for the much needed R’ n R. There have been many studies and findings (use your favorite search engine to look ‘em up) that folks who are employed in some form of entity do not take their opportunity for a vacation time. Of course, the reasons why do vary, but many of the findings note that people who don’t use their vacation time is based on the fact that they don’t want their work piled up while their gone, waiting to be worked upon once they return. And let’s face it. After spending a week/weekend, etc. of camping, beach combing, or visiting various tourist traps, who wants to return back to the slave pit with a whole mess of stuff to do?
Most of us live in this so-called modern age where technology is everywhere. No matter where one roams, there will always be a wifi connection somewhere, along with cell phone reception. With those elements on hand, anyone can grab their phone/laptop/pad along and work to their little heart’s content while visiting a national park courtesy of the US government, a national park courtesy of Universal and/or Disney, or some place where one would visit to normally get away from work! And never mind the fact that one may take a traditional vacation with a traditional family. Chances are, the kids coming along as just as wired as the parents/caretakers if not more! So there goes that notion of getting away from it all! (To set the record straight, a “traditional” family would consist of a female mother figure, a male father figure, and a person or persons under legal age via various ages and genders. So much for political correctness!)
But for those that don’t have to worry about kids and their schooling, vacation time is that moment to see and do stuff one can’t do while stuck at home. It’s been some time since the “staycation” mode made its mark on domestic society since economic times are now better, and gas is a whole lot cheaper that it was as recently as a year ago this time. However, there are a few folks that take their vacation while not making a big trip somewhere. Their version of a vacation is to take what’s been called a “head trip”. This trip has nothing to do with mind alternating substances, but it’s a virtually reality extended moment where folks take advantage of turning their devices totally off to spend a moment or two from the folks they know and the folks they don’t know! One person this writer once knew would get away for a week or two, and not tell anyone where they were going or how long they will be gone! This was rather possible to do as recently as twenty years ago when cell phone usage was not as common and there was no such thing as wireless internet connections, let alone any internet connections! So it was quite possible to disappear for a short time, only to return by the time that same person was discovered missing!
If you the reader is heading off somewhere for that vacation, just came back from one’s vacation, or perhaps is currently on vacation (taking your electronic gadgets for the ride), all we have to state is to just enjoy yourself! Don’t forget to e-mail or text us that postcard stating that you are having a wonderful time and you wish we were there–unless we have to read all about it through your social media outlets!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
No reviews this week, but check back with us in the next issue for more of the reviews you seek for. See you then!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2016 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!

TAKING THE BINDGE

As the summertime progresses through its dog days, many folks are taking advantage of their vacation times. Sure, there are folks that make lavish getaways, heading over to a favorite vacation spot, be it a beach cove, a cabin in the mountains, or perhaps a sprawling spa set in a desert community. Or there are a few that take “staycations”, where one doesn’t go anyplace in the tractional sense. They are the ones that stay at home (or pretty close near it), doing what they find just as relaxing than spending that same moment camping somewhere. The staycation rage hit its peak during the dark(er) days of the Great Recession, where nearly anyone living in the domestic society were forced to hunker down financial wise. And part of the so-called “new normal” was to take a vacation away from their work (assuming that these folks were still working) by staying home, doing the things they would normally do while on a trip.
But this article won’t comment about getting away or cutting back to save a few bucks while taking a little R&R. This article speaks about a kind of leisurely activity one can do on a vacation home or away, or at anytime–vacation period or otherwise! That noted activity is plopping one’s self in front of a video screen to watch their favorite television program series at one sitting, catching up to all of the antics that takes place inside of a TV program universe, but all at the same time.
This act of watching a TV series all at once (or at least watching three or more episode of the same series in that same sitting) is called “binge watching”, and it’s part of TV’s “new normal” (just like a “staycation” is a “new normal”) that has changed the television landscape within the last few years. Thanks to easier access to such notions ranging from home video to streaming services, it now allows one to watch an entire season of programs one episode after another. And according to a report conduced by the marking firm GfK MRI Research, 57% of TV viewers report regular binge viewing that occurred within the last year, a rise of 12% from the previous year.
The report notes that 14% who binges “usually” do it all or most of the time, while 18% “frequently” binge more than half the time. 25% of those polled “sometimes” binges half of the time.
And behind the amount folks take the binge, there’s the reasoning behind it all. Granted, it’s a great way to catch up on a program one holds a liking to. According to the report, some 41% of standard bingers stated that TV shows they have never seen take up a good chunk of their binge viewing time, aside to 35% that view favorite and familiar programs. And when it comes to original stream only shows–program title made available through the streaming channels (Netflix, Hulu, etc.) 22% of viewers bindge on those shows.
It’s also no real surprise who does all of the binge watching. Leave it to the good ol’ Millennials to do all of this form of marathon watching. 53% of those under the age of 35 noted that they are regular bingers.
The term “bingeing” tends to be a word that describes an act that can have negative outcomes, such as binge eating or drinking–a part of many other forms of human vices that can be of a taboo nature to discuss or even bring into the open. But does bindge watching have that same stigma as those other rather unspoken forms of overindulgence? According to the findings, bindge watchers feel pretty good in how their TV is consumed. 73% of regular bingers state upon having a positive view in their binging habits. A little over three quarters (77%) note that bindge watching is fun, and can be hard to stop! Almost half (48%) say that that TV binging keeps them up to date or in the know about a program’s progression.
So what does all of these facts and figures mean? Well, it does note that people can and do consume a favorite program far beyond one episode at a time in one (or possibly two or three) sittings at a moment. And thanks to mobile devices, one can bindge where ever one roams–assuming that there is an internet connection made available somewhere! Watching TV isn’t just confined to being in a place where they are in front of a TV monitor viewing the content of their choice. One can watch on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, but one is only limited to the screen’s size and the sound that comes out of the device. Some folks are rather picky, while others don’t really care on how to view their programming. Just as long as they can look at the entire run of Game of Thorns however they can! It’s thought that the bigger the screen and the booming quality of the sound is better to consume. But if you’re a diehard fan, then size doesn’t necessarily matter–but it does help! And for the rest of everyone else? They can bindge if they want or not depending on one’s access and even in their stage in life. But who knows? There may be a person of the early generation “baby boomer” demographic that would want to binge watch Gunsmoke episodes back to back on their traditional living room TV set! Then again, maybe not!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
AS STRAW BEFORE THE WIND, Felix Racelis’ play about a woman of Philippine decent who manages a convalescent residential dwelling that still recalls a traumatic moment from her life, and the daughter who tries to comprehend the situation on hand, makes its world premier at the Complex Theatre in Hollywood.
Taking place at a group dwelling facility located in the San Gabriel Valley region of Los Angeles, Nene Santos (Tita Pambid) operates the unit that houses a number of elderly people. She takes upon a hands-on approach, interacting with a selection of the residence. Two of those are Poncing (Muni Zano), and Mildred (Anita Borcia). Nene’s daughter Pilita (Sarnica Lim) works as a residential nurse, making sure that those dwelling are in good care and in good sprits. Nene desires to expand her operation but hold difficulty obtaining a loan from the local financial institution. But her real trauma isn’t about not getting the loan, nor about her relationship with her daughter soon to be married. It’s related to an long past episode that took place in her home of national origin during the dark days of World War two when the Philippine were overtaken by the Japanese in their goal for domination. Although that episode was many years before (and somewhat reduced to pages in a history book), Nene faces the challenges of carrying on to what occurred those many years before, and how such feelings are linked to the present day.
This one act play written by Felix Racelis is a piece that was inspired by the playwright’s own experiences with his mother who once served as a nurse during the war. This inspiration was first formed as a two act play only to be condensed into a single act. The result to this inspiration as seen on the stage is a story that tells how the lead character who serves a purpose in assisting others in their need faces a past that is far off and hidden, only to have that concealed past move toward its surface. In this performance, the cast of players present their roles in a leveled manner. Its lead performer, Tita Pambid as Nene portrays her character as a hard working woman that cares about her residents, especially with the ones featured. Pilita, as played by Sarnica Lim is the daughter figure who looks upon her mother as a guide. Poncing, played by Muni Zano and Mildred portrayed by Anita Borcia are a balanced mix: The former a bit feisty while the latter holding a kind sprit–if not sneaking off to take a smoke! Lesley Asistio directs this production that gives prominence to its rosters of players as equally fitting.
In addition to the above noted performers, Doan Nguyen and Gabriel Garcia also appear playing in various swing supporting roles.
AS STRAW BEFORE THE WIND is a even paced play that touches upon an emotional subject matter dealing with a personal occurrence that holds its spot in a historical time lime. This reviewer doesn’t wish to review too much as dodging what’s called a “spoiler”. Nonetheless, this production speak for the phase of human care, as well as bringing to attention a time that hold a deep darken past.

AS STRAW BEFORE THE WIND, presented by As Straw Productions, and performs at the Ruby Theatre located with The Complex theatre center, 6476 Santa Monica Blvd (at Wilcox), Hollywood, until September 4th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 PM. For tickets, call (800) 838-3006, or via online at http://StrawBefore.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) 2016 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!