Good Housekeeping, the evergreen magazine title that for its many years of publishing, catered to the domestic home maker (read: housewife) offering articles and tips on how to keep a homestead in prim and proper order, posted a brief blurb in its January, 2014 issue asking those that “liked” the magazine via their Facebook presence on what topics are not to be spoken around the dinner table or where the family gathers around.
According to this poll (along with the percentage of those responding) the toxic topics chosen were: Anything about money (46%), Politics (24%), How to raise kids (19%) and Religion (11%). (The poll in question was asked in the month of December, the time where families would most likely gather around for the holiday seasons. However, it’s assumed that this laundry list of evil topics remains the same year round!)
It’s not too surprising that these choices of what not to say or even bring up are still on the “hit parade” of what can constitute the start of a family war. The religion and politics rule has been around nearly forever. Raising kids only applies when somebody within the family domain has kids or has access to those under legal age. Money, a long time taboo topic, is the real new kid on the block. Thanks to a depressed economy, folks are still struggling with having enough monitory credits to their name, in spite of what the folks in Washington and places related have to say. We can’t (and won’t) revile on who and what these “folks” are since that involves politics, and we don’t have anything to say about the going ons in DC and points outward. Besides, that’s one of the evil choices on what NOT to discuss! (Remember?)
By now, those festive holidays that occurred during the final six or so weeks of the year are starting to become memories. Those meeting of the minds that took place in family dwellings during that time are now long over. Thanks to social media, people that have the desire to keep in touch can do so with a click of the mouse and/or through the tap of the screen. Folks can also use the old fashioned way by sending off a card or letter, but that takes too much time and effort! And glancing over Good Housekeeping’s readership, (it’s still a “woman’s magazine”, in spite of the fact being that housewife doesn’t hold the same status as is used to), its targeted demographic of women aged 30 through 60 (give or take a year) would rather present updates through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and related social media outlets, as well as grabbing their smartphones and/or tablets using the various apps out there in order to keep in touch. However, when notices are posted, sent, retrieved, or created, one of the four topics that one isn’t suppose to acknowledge tends to creep out of the woodwork (so to speak) and lands into the world of cyberspace.
This here publication can testify to this fact. Although ALOL has a presence on Twitter, we don’t bother to “follow” anyone since what is being stated by those ranges from trivial notations, or those that lean toward advertising a product and/or service. However, Facebook posts are rather notorious on stepping upon many people’s cyber toes. Tiffi, our  ever loving presence on the giant of all social media domains, has a car load of “friends” that are middle aged and somewhat Christian women. (We didn’t necessarily pick these demographic keywords to create Tiffi’s gang. It just happened that way!) When something in the news occurs that becomes a concern over some element that they may believe in, they will speak their mind (again, so to speak) about the topic, even if such speaking might offend somebody. For instance, last month a person that is one of the “stars” of a so-called reality series that airs on the cable channel formally known as the Arts & Entertainment Network, made some comments that were anti something or another. (To be honest, this writer isn’t too clear on the facts of who said what and why, since this kind of news was of minimal interest to us!) Many of Tiffi’s “friends” ranted and raved over it. One person insisted to send a message (via e-mail or course) to the executives of A&E condemning this action. There is even a place on Facebook where one can boycott the network by “liking” it! Whatever occurred, it sure irked a lot of people, enough to create a cyber rally against this person’s action. As noted above, this writer isn’t too sure of the facts involved, but it’s assumed it has something to do over a spiritual based belief and/or a domestic form of lifestyle. But if one really desires to get the lowdown on this matter, that is why search engines exist!
As January tregs on, these topics will still make their mark around people. The months and seasons will change, but the notions do remain. However, one can always talk about the weather, but for the long run, one can’t do too much about it! Besides, it doesn’t make quality drama, or even a bad sitcom plot! Just as long it’s always sunny and 72 degrees, that’s all that matters!
The Eclectic Company Theater presents WE’RE NO HEROES, a production of nine sets of single person monologues that speak about a number of particular subjects.
Nine separate performers appear speaking upon a few topics, such as a writer who becomes distracted due to writer’s block, a post modern vampire explains the low down on some of the misimpressions on the titled subject, a baby boomer woman living in a resort community in a coastal Mexico town, a woman on the tribulations of working late nights at a fast food joint, a marginally successful Satanist at his craft, and other motifs that make up this unique series of mini-plays.
A cast of these nine performers tally toward this presentation, featuring (as listed in the order of appearance): Paul Duffy, Ann Simmons, Sean M. Kozma, Carolyn Wilson, Fuz Edwards, Tyler Tanner, Taylor Ashbrook, Jonathon Trent, and Sarah Allyn Baur, speak the words as written by (again, in their appearing order), Mark Bate, Taylor Ashbrook, Tyler Tanner, Laura Lee Bahr, Ken Patton, Jeff Folschinsky, Niki Blumberg, Sean M. Kozma, and Chelsea Sutton.
This showcase comes from the writing talents belonging to the Eclectic Voices group, consisting of those that desire to write stage pieces that are new and unmatched, bringing such skills into the art of spoken word works.
The show’s visuals here are basic; few props with no backgrounds to speak of. It’s the voices and performers that are its real stars. It’s a genuine “less is more” stage piece, with a heavy emphasis on the “more”. It’s for those that prefer their theater simple and served in bite size morsels, as this preference will do its trick in fullness.

WE’RE NO HEROES, presented by Eclectic Voices, and performs at the Eclectic Company Theatre, 5312 Laurel Canyon Blvd, Valley Village, until January 25th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 9:00 PM. For reservations and information, call (818) 508-3003, or via online at http://www.EclecticCompanyTheatre.org.
     Visit Eclectic Voices at http://www.EclecticVoices.org
Neil Simon’s modern classic THE ODD COUPLE, a tale of two divorcees attempting to get their lives together (and taking a gender twist), performs at Santa Monica’s Morgan-Wixson Theatre.
This time around, it’s the womenfolk who make up the leads. Dalia Vosylius is Olive Madison, a news writer and sports nut that hosts her gal pals for their weekly get together paying Trivial Pursuit at her upper west side apartment. Although she’s been separated from her spouse for some time, her group of gals that have known each other since their  high school days, have at it in their weekly board game. The gang consists of Mickey (Sarah D. Gibson) one of New York’s finest (a cop); Vera (Mara Roshal), and Renee (Randi Tahara). They soon find out that one of their fellow game players, Florence Unger (Charlotte Edmondson) has broken up with her spouse after fourteen years of marriage. Now not having a place to live, Olive has Flo to move in with her in order to get Flo’s life back together. Olive even arranges to invite two single men of Spanish decent, Jesus Contuzuela (Jason Avalon) and Manolo Costazuela (Scott Gerard) for dinner and possible romance. Of course, Flo and Olive have their own little tiffs. (Flo is a slob while Olive is too tidy around the house, and can even cook!) These two opposites don’t attract, but adds to a series of comedy of many errors!!
This female version of one of Neil Simon’s signature plays has more laughs that his original piece that he created twenty years before this rewording. Although the playwright’s female version was first presented c.1985, it’s one of the few Neil Simon non period piece plays that’s the least dated! (Many of his works, although still comical for what they are, hasn’t necessarily kept up with the times!) In this Morgan-Wixson presentation, Charlotte Edmondson as Flo and Dalia Vosylius as Olive team up very well, portraying their roles that fit their characters to a perfect “T”. The pair of leads bounce back the witty one liners to each others while the rest of the cast keeps up to the rapid pace! Michael Rothhaar directs this production with high strung comical timing and ever sprit grace; Not a grace that is artful in the traditional method, but a grace that is diverting and too humorous to boot!
A special note that’s outside of the performing as seen on stage is William Wilday’s set and lighting design, that shows off a rather spacious apartment unit that one may (or may not) find along Manhattan’s Riverside Drive thoroughfare.
It isn’t often that the female version of this play is presented on a local or regional stage. But the Morgan-Wixson Theatre’s intimate setting makes this rendering of THE ODD COUPLE worth another looksee. Coping with divorce had never been taken so light hearted, if not as a regular comical riot!

THE ODD COUPLE (female version), presented by the Morgan-Wixson Theatre Guild, and performs at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, until February 9th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. Special audience talk back sessions where the cast discuss their roles to the audience with a Q & A, takes place preceding the performance on Sunday, January 26th. For reservations or for more information, call (310) 828-7519, or online at http://www.Morgan-Wixson.org
DON’T LEAVE IT ALL TO YOUR CHILDREN, Saul Ilson’s musical review that celebrates life upon the senior track, opens at The Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks.
In this showcase, a cast of four seasoned performers (Barbara Minkus, Marcia Rodd, John Shull, and pinch hitting for character performer Ronnie Schell, playwright Saul Ilson) personate songs and spoken word cuts that pays tribute to today’s “baby boomer” generation; The demographic that developed viewpoints and created mass popular culture that continues to thrive in today’s post modern domestic landscape. The songs, as well as a selection of mini skits, speak about everything from how becoming the boomer age really matters; the discounts one receives by being this selected vintage; how one’s kids (and grandkids) are the be all to end all; where for every single boomer man, there’s three single boomer women (more to choose from!); how age is just a number; a salute to the king of Sunday night television-Ed Sullivan, and plenty more! The comedy, as well as the song lyrics, are a harmonious blend of wit, sweetness, charm, and overall a delight to experience!
These quartet of players know their chops toward this subject, because each and every one of ‘em has lived to tell the tale, and they insist on continuing to live as time (and their lives) progress! Saul Ilson comes from a long way in show biz, writing for the stage and 21” screen for 40+ years. (He wrote for and co-produced The Smother Brothers Comedy Hour  in the 1960’s, as well as many other entertainment based creations too numerous to mention!) He developed this stage musical review in order to compensate kudos toward a demographic of people that the media has all but ignored. (Media programmers tend to chase the market of those under the age of fifty!) However, boomers-born between 1946 through 1964-not only changed life as one knows of it from rebelling against authority for proper causes to “inventing” rock ‘n roll, but they hold the money, power, and fame that other later generations would long envy for. They may not necessarily be wired to the max, but they clench the communication skills and accurate knowledge to thrive longer than anyone can expect, and this showcase drives this point while holding on to the charisma one can count upon from gramps and nana! (No attitudes from these folks!)
As to the stage setting, it’s relatively simple. There isn’t an elaborate backdrop used; only a basic darker red screen, a hat rack of costume pieces, along with a few hand props utilized, as these four players speak and sing through their comical brilliance under the musical direction of Ron Rose on the keyboards.
The title DON’T LEAVE IT ALL TO YOUR CHILDREN, comes from what these boomers should do with all of that money they earned and invested with throughout their past and current working years. They may be spending their children’s inherence, but they are also spending the high times of their lives. Best of all, one doesn’t have to be north of fifty to enjoy and appreciate this tuneful retrospect as everyone from the millenniums on up will honor those that have it all! Just ask any of these boomers to show proof, and they will Googel the facts for you on their iPhones!

     DON’T LEAVE IT ALL TO YOUR CHILDREN, performs at The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd. (at Sunnyslope), Sherman Oaks, until March 31st. Showtimes are Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. (No performance on February 9th and 16th)
     For ticket reservations, call (800) 838-3006, or on line at http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com/event/526560
The Broadcast Film Critics Association held its 19th Annual Critic’s Choice Awards program on January 16th, taking place at the Baker Hanger in Santa Monica and aired on the CW Network, hosted by Aisha Tyler.
Among the many awards presented, Matthew McConaughey won the best actor award for the feature The Dallas Buyers Club, Cate Blanchett won best actress for Blue Jasmine, Alfonso Cuaron won best director for Gravity, and 12 Years a Slave won best picture.
Forest Whitaker won the Joel Siegel Award for his part in being involved in humanitarian concerns, Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke won the Louis XIII Genius Awards (named for a brand of cognac), for their part in the “Sunrise” series (1995’s Before Sunrise,  2004’s Before Sunset, and 2013’s Before Midnight)
The Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA) consists of those who report and review feature films on either broadcast media, or through internet based applications. (Disclaimer: This writer is a member of the BFCA)
For a complete listing of nominees and winners, visit the official Critic’s Choice Awards web site at http://www.CriticsChoice.com
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) announced their nominations for the 86th Annual Academy Awards on January 16th.
The following titles and names received the nomination for the following:
Best Actor
Christian Bale: American Hustle
Bruce Dern: Nebraska
Leonardo DiCaprio: The Wolf of Wall Street
Chiwetel Ejiofor: 12 Years a Slave
Matthew McConaughey: Dallas Buyers Club
Best Actress
Amy Adams: American Hustle
Cate Blanchett: Blue Jasmine
Sandra Bullock: Gravity
Judi Dench: Philomena
Meryl Streep: August: Osage County
Best Director
David O. Russell: American Hustle
Alfonso Cuaron: Gravity
Alexander Payne: Nebraska
Steve McQueen: 12 Years a Slave
Martin Scorsese: Wolf of Wall Street
Best Picture
 American Hustle (Sony/Columbia)
Captain Phillips (Sony/Columbia)
Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)
Gravity (Warner Bros.)
Her (Warner Bros.)
Nebraska (Paramount Vantage)
Philomena (The Weinstein Company)
12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight)
The Wolf of Wall Street (Paramount)
Ellen DeGeneres will once again host the awards ceremony, taking place on Sunday, March 2nd, and airs on ABC.
For a complete listing of nominations, visit the official AMPAS web site at http://www.Oscars.com
The Golden Raspberry Foundation (RAZZIES) announced their list of nomination 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 Actor
Johnny Depp: The Lone Ranger
Ashton Kutcher: Jobs
Adam Sandler: Grown Ups 2
Jaden Smith: After Earth
Sylvester Stallone: Bullet To The Head/Escape Plan/Grudge Match
Worst Actress
Halle Berry: Movie 43/The Call
Selena Gomez: Getaway
Lindsay Lohan: The Canyons
Tyler Perry: A Madea Christmas
Naomi Watts: Diana/Movie 43
Worst Picture
The Lone Ranger (Disney)
After Earth (Sony/Columbia)
Grown Ups 2 (Sony/Columbia)
A Madea Christmas (Lionsgate)
Movie 43 (Relativity Media)
(Note: Worst Director nomination list was not made available as of press time)
The Razzie Awards will take place on Saturday, March 1st at a location to be announced. Although there will be no live television coverage, currently there is a fund raising campaign through the web site Indiegogo to provide TV coverage for the 35th Razzie Awards, taking place in 2015.
For a complete listing of nominations, visit the official Razzies web site at http://www.Razzies.com
(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)
My make-up arrived by mail today. I feel like Jimmy Stewart, “I want to live again. I want to live again.” My priorities are shallow.

I’m feeling Wild Country on Friday! Who’s down?!

Kenley Jane is supposed to be napping but instead I hear her up there saying, “Mommy loves me, Daddy loves me, Grandie loves me…” She’s a hoot! And she’s right.


Excited! Vacation reservations made. I see little umbrella drinks in my future!
As of January 20th, Tiffi has 2,007 Fabebook “friends” and counting!
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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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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