Now that the summer season antics have been swept under the rug since the Labor Day weekend (as well as the “real” start of autumn equinox on the 22nd), promoting domestic travel destinations are toting toward getting away for specific notions and seasonal activities.
For those that enjoy the fall colors, many travel destination geared for the Midwest and Northeastern part of the nation have been promoting Autumn tours since the Spring. And skiing destinations have never gone out of vogue. Those places have their ad spots running year round. But in order to fill the slopes, many lesser known ski places (i.e. the ones that are less traveled and interestingly enough, more affordable) still attempt to being those in to ski, or to just hang around their joints!
One state of the union that relies upon travel is Florida. Sure, in the spring and summer months (April through October) folks flock toward the Sunshine State to hit the beaches up and down the coasts, as well as all of the usual tourist places in the central part of the state.
But once September hits, many of those taking in the sights fade out while the “snowbirds” come in. Unlike the travelers in the spring/summer, the snowbirds tend to be those of a mature state of bring (those that are of retirement age) that arrive from the Midwest or east coast that stay in one specific place. They do travel and have the disposal income to spread around.
A travel campaign set by the state of Florida’s tourism bureau called “This Must Be the Sunshine”, has been making an ad blitz in those areas where the snowbirds tend to live, although the campaign itself isn’t necessary targeted to that demographic. This promotion is pushing the places that tourists tend to pass by, such as the panhandle section of the state between Jacksonville and the Alabama border. It has a line of beaches and resorts (including a number of casinos) that cater to a more middle class variety. This is why the coastline is called “The Redneck Riviera”. This term isn’t an official name per se, but sound amusing for what it is.
Orbitz is hacking promotional deals in cooperation with the Florida Travel Bureau, where one can book their getaway for that state to take advantage of the cooler weather and the less crowded places to visit. Of course, the crowds will pick up in late November for the Thanksgiving weekend (set for November 28th-December 1st), and the ever loving Holiday season-the last two weeks of the calendar year.
Most of the travel set for this part of the nation will be performed by car. Even though as of this writing gas prices are making a slow climb upward, folks are still going to hit the road to stay around in the state where their may not be a lot of fall colors to take advantage of, but still holds its summertime type weather.
This writer isn’t necessarily promoting a notion to hit the beaches or to view a few of the remaining classic “tourist traps” that didn’t go under through the years thanks to the efforts of oversized amusement parks near Orlando, (though it’s highly recommended to give a look at those little joints that are pre “Unca Walt”) but it ‘s never too late or too soon to take a little getaway somewhere for a brief spot, even if that getaway is one where one doesn’t have to drag their work loads with ‘em! (And you know who you are!) But that’s another issue at that stands!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
The Kenwood Players, a community theater group that’s been part of the regional landscape for sixty plus years, presents Howard Ashman and Alan Menkin’s modern classic musical LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, a tale of a plant gone amuck and the man that created the living thing.
Taking place in a broken down and failing flower shop in the heart of skid row, Mushnik (Peter Miller) hasn’t had a decent customer come in for weeks since nobody visits flower shops in down-at-heel neighborhoods! His only two employees in the joint are Audrey (Kristen Towers-Rowles), and Seymour. (Brett Chapin). Audrey is a “dumb blond” type, speaking in a high-pitched squeaky voice, while Seymour is a bottom-feeder flower handler who keeps a heart of gold. (He’s also Mushnik’s adapted “son”, taking him under his wing when he was an orphaned child.)
Business has gone to a near standstill, so Mushnick is planning to close his business for good when the hard-working yet bumbling Seymour discovers through mysterious chance, a rather odd kind of plant he finds while down at the wholesale flower market. It’s a strange green thing that seems to have a personality of its own. Seymour names this plant “Audrey II”– after the only female working at the shop. Before long, this plant becomes the hit of the neighborhood! But Audrey II has a certain diet it needs to make it grow. That diet is human blood, and in order to save Mushnik’s business, Seymour must keep feeding Audrey II its desired choice, even if that feeding is more than giving it an occasional dose!
Loosely based upon a c.1960 cult “B” movie of the same name that was once played as a “real” horror film, this musical is presented strictly as a camp tribute to that almost forgotten feature. Here at the Westchester Playhouse-home to the Kentwood Players, this musical performs quite well within its intimate stage. The players that are featured in this show really ham in up to where their characters are just as near campy as the musical itself! Peter Miller plays the brow-beaten Mushnik, wending an unsmoked cigar while carrying on. Kristen Towers-Rowles as Audrey, the most amusing character within this show, acts out her role as a third-rate Mamie Van Doren (who was in reality a second-rate Marilyn Monroe during her prime), that wears outfits that fit her personality. (Those costumes were designed by Maria Cohen and Arlene Cohen). Brett Chapin as Seymour is the lovable nerd who tried to do good but lands into something much more bigger that he is!
As to the rest of the cast, Randy Brown is Orin Scrivello, Audrey’s rather abusing boyfriend and a motorcycle riding dentist who also enjoys giving pain to his patients (victims?); Elizabeth Adabale, Amanda Majkrzak, and Brittney S. Wheeler are the street smart “greek chorus” (or an aging “girl group”) that sing and dance (as provided under Michael-Anthony Nozzi’s choreography) throughout the story line. And the real star of the show so to speak is Audrey II. It’s not a real plant per se, but a large puppet designed by Michael-Anthony Nozzi, enough to be operated by as many as fourteen puppeteers. (Including the leaves/vines!) John Devereaux provides the voice of Audrey II in a deep yet sweet sounding vocal tone.
Besides the lead players, it also boasts a rather large ensemble cast. (Too many names to list within this small space, but this reviewer acknowledges them all!) Joshua Eli Kranz provides all of the vocal and live musical direction that adds to the flavor of what’s presented on stage.
Directed by Michael-Anthony Nozzi, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS is still a real treat to see. And even though the story line may resemble something a bit macabre, it’s a production that is suitable for all befitting ages. After all, Audrey II is just another potted plant–or is it?
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, presented by the Kentwood Players, performs at the Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Avenue (at 83rd Street), Westchester, until October 19th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. For tickets or for more information, call (310) 645-5156, or on line at http://www.KentwoodPlayers.org
Rich Borowy, Linear Cycle Productions
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(Vol. 17-No. 37-Week of September 16th, 2013
TIFFI’S FRIENDS SAY…
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Editor’s Note: This week, an untold number of Tiffi’s Facebook friends posted message that were either reposts of human interest stories that came from unverified “news” services, ads that were plugging product (their own or from someone else), or spoke about issues that were only of the interest to the poster. In other words, nobody had anything to “say” this week!
However, as of September 16th, Tiffi has 1,743 Facebook “friends” and counting!
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