Let’s face it, folks. Who doesn’t love a pie? Be it apple, cherry, or even chocolate, pie isn’t just a desert, it’s on obsession!
Now if anyone thinks that the above statement was either copied from a press release, and/or this writer received some “pie” (i.e. money) to write the above paragraph, you are wrong on both accounts! Or actually, wrong on one and three quarters! This statement was actually inspired through a press release this same writer received a few weeks back on a cross promotion between The American Pie Counsel and Paramount Pictures over the January 24th release of the feature film Labor Day.
According to the press release, National Pie Day, which was January 23rd this year, is the day that pays tribute to one of the favorite sweet dishes ever to come out of an oven. The tie in with this feature is connected to a scene where Frank Chambers, an escaped prisoner on the lam as played by Josh Brolin, befriends single mother Adele Wheeler (Kate Winslet) in order to hide out in her home until the heat blows over. In this particular scene, Kate receives a load of apples from a neighbor. Franks, thinking on what to do with these apples, decides to bake a pie through improvisation. Although this particular scene doesn’t do much for the plot, it does make the Frank character a subject of Adele’s romantic interest. (For those that are interested, the review for Labor Day appears in the Vol. 18-No. 51 issue of this here newsletter!)
Anyway, the press release speaks on the joys of pie, noting that apple pie (the pie baked in the film) is America’s favorite, based upon a poll taken by the APC and Nielson marking, asking some 1000 people “across the country” (quoted from the press release) on these same people’s opinions on pie. The release states a few fun facts on pie, such as its the preferred dessert on special occasions other than Thanksgiving, chocolate pie tied with pumpkin in the second favorite spot with cherry pie coming at third place.
As with everyone else, the ACP has its own website http://www.piecouncil.org, and is a participant in various social media outlets, catering to a mostly female demographic.
Pie is not only a favorite dish to bake and serve, but it’s been the subject in movies long before they has soundtracks. The classic “pie in the face” is one of the oldest sight gags ever conjured up, used in more silent comedies than one can count upon. assuming that they’re all accounted for! There are a number of Three Stooges shorts that utilized this kind of gag. Soupy Sales used this routine in many of his television programs–catering to kids mostly, as well as a few grown ups who never admitted the high comedy that ol’ Soup had in him!
But pie isn’t just a movie prop! It still brings charm to any kitchen and to the folks that conger up this dish. Getting back to media for the moment, thanks to such cable channels as The Hallmark Channel, HGTV, and the granddaddy of them all, The Food Network, there are countless programs aired where pie is its center, giving folks new ideas on what to do with a pie tin loaded with, well, pie dough! Anything baked in a pie is accomplished. If there was a way where one can stuff two dozen blackbirds in a pie shell, that would have been demonstrated in finesse!
Troll around the ‘net, and one can find just about every imaginable pie recipe around, from the standards to the unique and unusual. If anyone wishes to stock to make classic or traditional kinds of pie, there are zillions of cookbooks that will fill that void. The possibilities are nearly endless!
Now that this writer somehow inspired you to bake a pie or two, we would love to hear from you! Just drop us a line at AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com with your pie stories and recipes. We may publish a few of those tales in a future issue. And if anyone wants us to sample a pie, we won’t say “no” to that idea!
So that old saying goes (give or take a few words), Time is short: Eat dessert first! That’s one for the ol’ mug!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills presents Lucille Fletcher’s NIGHT WATCH, a tale of a woman’s witness of a murdered corpse, her possession with distressed memories and blurred fears, as well as latching on to a mysterious and tragic past
Taking place within the Manhattan townhouse of the Weeler clan, Elaine Weeler (Jennifer Lee Laks) undergoing a night of insomnia, glances out her living room window that faces of vacant building across the way. She sees a window on that structure that always had its shades drawn. However, the window is open where a dead man is seated on a overstuffed chair. She shrieks in fear, arousing her husband John (Martin Thompson). She insists that she did see a murdered body at that window. John, taking a glance, sees nothing, only the window with its shades drawn as always. Shriveling in fear, she insists that John contacts the police to investigate. Law enforcement does arrive, only to find nothing. In fact, the building is totally vacant from a fire that broke out months before. John sees that his wife is on the verge of having a nervous breakdown, but she insists of calling the cops to investigate. Lt. Walker (David Hunt Stafford) of the NYPD is called on the case, but still finds nothing. This leads John to bring in a psychiatrist, Dr. Tracy Lake (Leda Siskind), suggesting that Elaine checks into a prestigious and rather elite sanitarium for treatment. But there is more to Elaine’s emotional breakdown, springing from a set of emotional episodes she encountered years before. Is this corpse playing a part from her troubled past? And is John involved in something that is also triggering Elane’s current state of being?
This play can be described as one part thriller, second part mystery, and third part suspenseful, with a collection of plot twists that show off upon who might be behind the “whodunit” up to its final climax. The late playwright Lucille Fletcher has created a number of plays and related works within her long career that emphasis physiological emotion within its lead character. (Her most famous work is “Sorry Wrong Number”, first presented on the radio drama series Suspense in the 1940’s.) As to Theatre 40’s presentation, Jennifer Lee Laks as Elaine is ideal as the woman who is on the end of her wits, even through when prompt, she can keep a cool head. Martin Thompson as her spouse John also keeps composed while supporting his wife as much as he can, even though he might have a skeleton or two within his personal “closet”. These two players interact with one another as the plot thickens from its get-go! And there are the others featured performers as well. Judy Nazemetz plays Helga, the Weeler’s live in maid portrayed as a classic house frau. David Hunt Stafford as Lt. Waker is the standard cop that one would pass for a conventional police detective. Leda Siskins as Dr. Tracy Lake is a no-nonsense psychiatrist that uses her presence, taking a chapter from the Sigmund Freud school of head shrinkers. Leading up the cast is Lary Ohlson as neighbor Curtis Appleby, a flamboyant elder Brit that randomly enters the Wheeler’s home that seems to be interested in what’s going on more than he should. Jonathan Medina plays officer Gonzalez, a young NYPD beat cop. And rounding out the cast is Mohn McGuire as Sam Hoke, a deli owner whose shop is right next door to the vacant building, while Elaine claims that he holds a striking resembles to the dead body she saw through the window.
Bruce Gray directs this showpiece that will trill its audience, making them guess on who is the hero, the victim, and to expose if anyone really “did it”, versus “whodunit”!
And a special note goes to Jeff G. Rack’s set design of the Wheeler living room that combines classic (and slightly stuff) Manhattan-esk vintage furnishings with a slight touch to period modern. The play was first presented c.1972, and although the plot itself is timeless, the usage of communication from the period remains, generally within the mode of the usage of land line dial phones as well as an application of a telegram.
NIGHT WATCH holds a brisk pace throughout and contains its robust share of unique characters. It also keeps a plot that isn’t very easy to solve. That is yet another reason to state that they don’t make thrillers such as this one as they used to. Then again, it’s usually the crazy ones that hold to the most logic, rather than the other way around!
NIGHT WATCH, presented by Theatre 40, and performs in the Reuben Corova Theatre located on the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 South Moreno Drive (off Santa Monica Blvd.) Beverly Hills, until February 24th. Showtimes are Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings 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
THE MONUMENTS MEN (Sony/Columbia) features George Clooney as George Stout, a leading expert in classic art and artifacts. During the climatic days of World War II, it was learned that the Nazis were collecting art paintings and sculptures ransacked from public museums and from private hands located in conquered countries. (Many of these collections came from Jewish families.) These artifacts were to be housed in a museum the Third Reich was going to build once they won the war. Many of these same art pieces dated back to the middle ages. George, through the cooperation of the US Army, arranges a special platoon made up of art historians, curators, and other sorts from the art world. These recruits consist of James Rorimer (Matt Damon), Richard Campbell (Bill Murray), Walter Garfield (John Goodman), and Preston Savitz (Bob Balaban). Their mission is to retrieve these artifacts from the Nazis in order to return them back to their owners. However, none of these men recruited for this assignment have any fighting experience. They may recognize a Michelangelo, but can’t fire a rifle! However, getting behind enemy lines to find these antiquities is much of a dangerous mission as getting into combat. Each man will fight to the finish if they have to just to save part of the world’s greatest collections known to the human race.
This feature is a pleasant hybrid of a war drama, an action/adventure feature, as well as a dramatic tale–with an acceptable dash of comic relief–rolled into one smart package. George Clooney shines in his role as the elder George Stout, a man sporting a mustache along with his graying hair that resembles a low key “Indiana Jones” type minus the broad hat and whip. (His character may not be seeking the lost ark, but he’s still looking for treasure!) The rest of the ensemble that assists him are just as neat to experience on screen. Bill Murray as architect Richard Campbell is mellow, showing his slightly comic deadpan expressions. Murray is humorous in his role; not laugh out funny as he once was back in the day, but comical enough. Ditto for John Goodman as Walter Garfield, a Rubinesk type (sporting a round face with a double chin) that is just as deadpan as Murray. Bob Balaban as Preston Savitz is more of the “nerd” kind, knowing where to find the stash of hidden art kept by the Nazis. And Matt Damon as James Rorimer is the pretty boy of the bunch. His looks may be more appealing that his cronies, but he too can get the job done.
Of course, there is more to the men that work in this platoon. Cate Blanchart is Claire Simone, a one time secretary to a Paris museum who is “chosen” by the Nazis to coordinate the selection the Germans are seeking for their personal amusement. She turns tides to work with Stout from the platoon in order to find where the goods are kept hidden, and to retrieve the cache of priceless art.
This feature is to a point the George Clooney show. He not only takes on the lead role, but serves as director and co-screenwriter, penning this tale with James Rorimer, using the base from the same titled book written by Robert M. Edsel with Bret Witter. As expected, he dose take the lead in George Cloony fashion while the rest of the vast ensemble of players make this feature as thrilling as a war action drama from not so long ago. (Read: the 1960’s!)
One element of how this feature presents its appeal is the fact that the drama isn’t heavy hearted. The cinematography by Phedon Papamichael shows the European scenery to the fullest. (Not many battle scenes are depicted since it’s not a traditional war film, but its a feature about retrieving art within a war setting!) The same notions apply toward the production design by James D. Bissell, set decoration by Bernhard Henrich, and costume design by Louise Frogley. Outside of the fact that this film is “pretty” to look at, it does contain a selection of war based action, although it’s not a “war” film in the traditional sense.
This title could have had the chance to become one of the many “Gimmie an Oscar” features that tend to flood the local theaters at the end of the calendar year, as this title was going to be released on December 18th. According to a sound bite given by Clooney to a media group (who also happens to be one of the film’s “Executive Producers”), he wasn’t satisfied with the music score as composed by Alexandre Desplat, and a few scores had to be tweaked. Because of the delay, its release date was extended to early February-way too late to even be considered to win any award for this period. Sadly, by the end of this year, this feature will be long forgotten to those movie voting members. Nevertheless, this flick is still entertaining for what it is, even if it’s not part of the glut of Oscar bait vehicles!
THE MONUMENTS MEN is rated PG-13 for war violence and mild cussing. Opening on February 7th in theaters nationwide.
TIFFI’S FRIENDS SAY…
(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)
I have just had an annoying unsolicited sales call from a company offering to block annoying unsolicited sales calls if we pay them. Hmmm...
I know the week just started, but I already need a break. Let the SNOW DAYS begin.
All the snow is going south of us! South!!! NOT. FAIR.
YEAH! We have heat. It’s the warmest heat EVER. I told the repairman he was my new best hero. My feet are finally unthawing.
Stay on good terms with your neighbors. You never know when you’re going to finish making a new recipe only to discover you’re missing a slightly important ingredient. Thanks for the rice,
Home made rolls are rising for dinner. Just sayin’ :0)
As of February 3rd, Tiffi has 2,013 Fabebook “friends” and counting!
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