HAPPY DAYS

This is the time of the year where the winter blahs are setting in. Spring won’t kick in for a few more weeks weather wise, and Easter, the holiday that commemorates the first signs of spring (in addition to that oft told scriptural tale depicted in epic feature films from not so long ago), won’t arrive for more weeks. (This year, the day falls on April 20th, so there’s plenty of time to stockpile on chocolate rabbits, jelly beans, and those ever lovin’ marshmallow Peeps!) So the days when folks get out of their droll moods are yet to materialize!
Which brings the time tested question: What days are when folks are at their happiest? According to a recent study by Gallop, the company that has been taking surveys on people’s opinions over various topics and subjects for nearly eighty years, their  research stated that the moods of people improve on weekends and selected holidays.
The results of the survey, as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, asked those through the 2013 calendar year on when one holds a lot of happiness without any stress, worries, and related emotions. According to their report, the day in 2013 where folks stated they were at their peak was Thanksgiving Day (November 28th) where 70% reported to feel at peace. The second best day of ‘13 was on Memorial Day (May 27th), the day that unofficially kicks off the summer season. (65% stated they were at the least amount of stress.) And the third least stressful day? Saturday, June 8th, where nothing much occurred, as far as anyone else knew about!
Taking the flip side of the coin, what days in 2013 were the most stressful? That occurred on Monday, June 3rd, where the Chelsea Manning/WikiLeaks trial began. (20% of those polled expressed higher levels of stress.) The second most stressful day was Thursday, February 21st., coming in at 19%. Rounding off the trio of stressful days in ‘13 was Thursday, February 28th. (18%) The two latter days were worrisome due to the federal government’s budget sequestration and spending cuts program.
One can read the report in its entirety via Gallup.com at http://www.gallup.com/poll/167060/americans-moods-improve-holidays-weekends.aspx
It’s really no surprise that holidays and special occasions such as Thanksgiving day tends to deem on top of the list of days of happiness for many. (This fourth Thursday in November has been leading the pack of happiness reports for Gallup since 2008!) Holidays and weekends are when people associate being with family and friends that become the prime chose to be content with what’s going around.
However, looking at the other side of the coin, days when family and friends traditionally meet, such as Thanksgiving, can totally backfire! Many times when family-those that belong to a domain related by blood, marriage, and/or adoption are within one space, sometimes riffs break out, some newly created and other long dormant. Tempers fly, angers brew, and actions from shouting and yelling to the throwing of fists (if not shooting somebody first) become the final results. Although these type of family antics are usually depicted in sitcoms and melodramatic features, only a small portion of such stress actually occurs. If anyone did encounter such episodes, Gallup never reported on the results.
Taking family gatherings aside, it’s been proven over the ages that weekends are the times where people use their Saturday and Sundays as their “me” moments, where mild manor citizens take control of their lives, even if that control only lasts a 48 hour period. It doesn’t matter what they do on those days since weekends tend to hold a different vibe, comparing to a standard weekday.
People are creatures of habit. They will conduct the same actions throughout. Even those the “9 to 5” workday is a thing of the past, many of those within the working world still subscribe to this method, even if “9 to 5” can take on a different meaning.
And there is schooling. Most, if not all, schools from elementary to college, conduct their business from Monday through Friday. (A few schools operate on Saturdays, but that’s mostly an exception than a rule!) If one isn’t sitting in a classroom, there are parents and caregivers that hustle their kids off to the schoolhouse, as well as getting them ready for their post school activities.
But this isn’t a study on the post modern family homestead. It’s how feeling happy on a special calendar day make all of the difference, and those days are that beloved Saturday, Sunday, and occasional holiday period. Thanksgiving has recently come and gone, but Memorial Day is just a few months off. Time to start thinking of getting the ol’ barbecue ready! Spend that Saturday cleaning it out and making such that once fired up, the meat can be cooked to a turn! And spend the next day reading the Sunday paper (on paper, not on an iPhone), soaking up all the print one can find. And don’t forget to take a peek at the funnies to keep up with the latest antics of Little Orphan Annie, Smilin’ Jack, Mandrake the Magician, and other comic selections that could still be around but isn’t! That’s just another part of a coveted stress free weekend!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
The Group Rep presents Marc Camoletti’s BOEING BOEING, a comical farce about an American living in Paris who juggles a trio of wives-to-be and nearly gets away with it, performs at North Hollywood’s Lonnie Chapman Theatre.
Paul Cady is Bernard. He’s an architect living in one of Europe’s most romantic cities: Paris in the 1960’s. He’s engaged to Gloria (Jennifer Ross) an American stewardess for TWA. He also has another fiancé, Gabriella (Jenny Sue Johnson) an Italian lass also working as a stewardess, this time for Alitalia. And there’s Gretchen (Vesna Tolomanoska), a German stewardess for Lufthansa, and also his fiancé. Each gal isn’t aware of one another, and Bernard is pleased over that since, thanks to keeping up with airline timetables, each future spouse have their stay over in Paris one moment at a time, sometimes having one gal parade into his Parisian flat while another parades out as scheduled. Benard’s old pal from his school days Robert (Patrick Burke) pays him a visit. He explains to his chum that having three fiancés is a form of polyamory, as there is no rule to having more than one fiancé! (More variety involved!) Benard’s housekeeper Berthe (Michele Bernath) doesn’t think too much over his sexual antics, just as long as he knows what he is doing. That is, until each woman has their flights rescheduled, taking their stopover all at the same time. How can Bernard handle three fiancées at the same moment? This is something that he will have to find out for himself.
This farcical caricature told in the French fashion as written by playwright Marc Camoletti in French (Beverley Cross and Francis Evans provides its English translation) is indeed a period piece. It has many of the elements one can expect to see in a Euro farce, such as mistaken identities, people running in and out of doors, sexual innuendoes, and so on. Those plot points make these kind of comedies fun to view, in spite the fact that the days portrayed are long gone! The cast of six players hold up quite well, especially with the three women (or “girls” in 1960’s lingo); Jennifer Ross, Jenny Sue Johnson, and Vesna Tolomanoska. They have the look and appearance of a standard fright attendant, or “stewardess” in 1960’s speak! Each one is young, attractive, and dons smart looking outfits with skirt hemline placed well above the knee. Angelia M. Eads provides the costume design that shows how these working girls of the sky could really serve that coffee, tea, or milk, back when airlines actually fed their passengers! Larry Eisenberg directs this production that keeps things moving to its comic levels. Unlike one’s standard kind of play of this ilk, it holds a long running time, clocking in at two plus hours! (It even has a pair of intermissions!) But this is how the play was originally written, as the French love to savor their comedies!
BOEING BOEING is rather bouncy (pun intended?) and as with such stage banter, everything comes out well in the end! (That’s not really a spoiler alert, since most farces of this period wound up ending this way!) And it shows an era where womanizing was more of the norm, airlines ran tighter schedules, and when being a stewardess was something of a high flying career. (Another pun?) Just pack your bags, check ‘em at the gate, and enjoy the flight!

     BOEING BOEING, presented by The Group Rep and performs at the Lonnie Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Blvd., North Hollywood, until April 13th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. Special “talk back” session with the cast precedes the Sunday performances of March 9th and the 23rd.
     For ticket reservations or for more information, call (818) 763-5990, or via online at http://www.TheGroupRep.com
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SON OF GOD (Fox) is a feature film that tells the oft told tale of the title character; The man that became the focus of the world’s largest spiritual faith called Christianity.
Diogo Morgado is portrayed as Jesus, the sole offspring of God. Before the feature begins with His tale, there is a brief montage on some of the other stories told in the Old Testament (Adam & Eve: Noah and the Ark: David and Goliath, and so on). After those scenes pass rather quickly, the narrative opens with Jesus (Morgado) at the sea of Galilee with Peter (Darwin Shaw) the fisherman. From that point, one witnesses some of the elements that highlight a selection from the New Testament, such as (among others) the formation of the apostles, the razing of Lazarus, the encounter of the money changes in the temple, and of course, the trail by the Romans, the crucifixion, and the resurrection.
As one can expect, the plot (so to speak) isn’t so much the highlight of this spiritual feature, the first one of this kind released in theaters since Mel Gibson’s The Passion Of The Christ  came about some ten years ago. It’s the visuals that make this kind of epic as real eye candy, thanks to Rob Goldie’s photography, Alan Spalsing’s production design, Said El Kounti and Hauke Ricter’s art direction, Ros Little’s costuming, etc. There isn’t any big name stars featured in this film, as this is a good notion since a major star’s presence never becomes in the way as representing within their roles. Diogo Morgado as the lead is best known as playing the same appearance on the small screen in the mini series The Bible, airing on History, formally known as The History Channel. His characterization as Jesus is rather standard as to donning period clothing, having flowing hair while sporting a beard, and so on. He speaks with dialogue that comes close to what was written by Matthew et. al. way back when. Four writers (not listed as “screen writers” or credited as “screenplay”) contributed to the story: Nic Young as lead writer, with additional material penned by Richard Bedser, Christopher Spencer (who also directs), and Colin Swash. Hanz Zimmer & Lorne Balfe provides the music score that enhances its epic proportions in terms of sound. Monaco serves as the backdrop to the settings that would make up the cities and places of the Holy Land.
As for the rest of the cast, there are too many names to list within the space of this review, However, Roma Downey, one of the producers of this title (its second producer is Mark Burnett) is seen as Mary.
The only flaw to this film as with other movies that take place around the Biblical era, just about everyone speaks with British accents, including the Romans that mix in with the crowd. The late Roger Ebert once questioned upon this notion of dialogue asking “If Rome is in Italy, why don’t the Romans speak in Italian accents?” Since nobody in today’s post modern early 21st century never had the opportunity to hear anyone living in that era speak, maybe verbalization in perfect British makes up for the mystery of such things.
It wouldn’t be fair to call this title a “sword and sandal” feature, although there is a lot of swords used with sandals on the “cast of thousands” feet! It’s actually just what it’s meant to be; A humble film that brings “the greatest story ever told” to the big screen. And it should be seen on the big screen, since watching this same movie on a smaller viewing space (read: video screen 48” and less) will lose much of the pageantry that was placed throughout.
Finally, as with similar epics, this flick is rather lengthy, holding on to a running time of two hours and eighteen minutes. Bring your extra large bladder along. It will come in handy!
SON OF GOD is rated “PG-13” for mild violence and intense scenes. Now playing in theaters nationwide.
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On Sunday, March 2nd, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences presented the 86th Academy Awards presenting the Oscar for the best films of the 2013 calendar year, held at the Dolby Theater within the Hollywood & Highland complex in Hollywood.
Matthew McConaughey won Best Actor for the feature The Dallas Buyer’s Club. Cate Blanchett won Best Actress for Blue Jasmine. Alfonso Cuaron won Best Director for Gravity, and 12 Years A Slave won Best Picture.
For a list of all nominees and winners, visit the official web site at http://www.Oscars.com.
The day before (March 1st), the Golden Raspberry Foundation presented the 34th Razzie Awards awarding the Razzie for the worst films released in the 2013 calendar year, held at Ignited Spaces in Hollywood.
Jaden Smith won Worst Actor in the feature After Earth. Tyler Perry (in drag) won Worst Actress in A Madea Christmas. Movie 43 won for Worst Director(s) (thirteen people were credited), Worst Screenplay (Nineteen names were credited), as well as for Worst Picture.
For a listing of all nominated films and people as well as its “winners’, visit the official Razzes web site at http://www.Razzies.com
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TIFFI’S FRIENDS SAY…
(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)
Watching Downton Abbey and decided I want a tiara.
-Barbara

Sick husband and I just ran out of coffee creamer. ……. I am a little worried.
-Nicole

Heather thinks abdominal stitches and coughing do not mix.
-Erica

Busy girl tonight/this weekend. Not much time for socializing unfortunately. I’ll catch you all later though. If you need me, text my phone. Otherwise I’ll be MIA getting shit done and driving my honey back and forth to and from Drill.
-Julie

I could eat my weight in Corn Pops.
-Anne

As of March 3rd, Tiffi has 2,016 Facebook “friends” and counting!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2014 Linear Cycle Productions.
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