With this issue being the thirteenth edition of ALOL for this 2014 calendar year, we (meaning this writer), will be paying tribute to that one day of the year where it’s “legal” to play jokes upon one another for a good yet clean laugh. And that day is of course, April Fool’s Day, or April 1st in case there are a few folks that don’t seem to get the message!
We won’t get into the history on the origins of April Fool’s Day (that is why Wikipedia and countless other web sites exist out there for you to look it up yourself), but we (again, the writer) will comments upon whose jokes and gags are the type of acts that become the thing to do in order to obtain a good laugh.
Of course, the jokes and stunts in question are not those over the top routines that became part of the Jackass TV series, but ones that are good hearted in nature that’s presented between somebody that can be a bit impish and another body that is a good sport to the entire mess.
For instance, a classic gag that tends to be a favorite of “tweener” aged kids is what’s called the “April Fools Sandwich”, where one places an object in the middle of an actual sandwich (such as a Lego block) where the fooler awaits for the fool-ee to take a healthy bite of the sandwich while awaiting for the reaction. This gag is usually performed in school lunch rooms where other people’s lunches (usually sandwiches) are most accessible, as well as the objects in question.
Then there are the classic phone gags where one would place a phone call to a phone number, either a specific number or to a number randomly selected. The gags, as old as phone service, are the type that originated from a long forgotten vaudeville routine, such as asking “Is your refrigerator running?”, or calling somebody numerous times asking for a non existing person such as “John”, then calling back saying “The is John! Did I get any phone calls?”. Sadly, although crank phone call gags are still funny for what they are, it lost its punch thanks to those now relying on wireless communication. You can still call on a cell phone to a cell phone to ask a stupid question, but the caller’s phone number is exposed blowing one’s cover.
However, playing such April Fool’s gags can get somebody in some kind of trouble. Again, although there is no harm meant in order to play a gag on somebody, the victim may not hold a nice attitude to the ordeal. So this is where we will place as the disclaimer stating that anyone that wishes to participate in playing a gag or joke to unsuspecting people do so at their own risk, as we (the staff and management of Accessibly Live Off-Line) will not be responsible for any person’s actions based upon what is suggested within this column. It is for one’s information only, and no said suggestions are to be given or implied.
Now that our legal staff had their say on the entire thing, will will continue to note that there is always an excuse to have a laugh, even if that laugh might be at somebody else’s expense. If one knows the theory of comedy (and there is just a notion), the element of comedy is based upon tragedy. In the days of silent movies, comedies replied upon sight gags, such as people falling down, getting hit over the head, and so on. In so-called real life, falling down is anything but comical. However, if one sees such a stunt and knows it’s not for real, then that’s where the humor begins. Audible jokes also have the same notions, though its tragic aspects may not be as obvious. If one watches any sitcom and tries to analyze any portion of the spoken jokes where the studio audience (or its laugh track) tends to howl, there is a good chance that the humor embedded has a tragic background.
But reevaluating humor brings the fun out of April Fool’s Day, the only day where comedy is profound. However, even if one doesn’t pull a prank or is fooled over one, then just enjoy the day for what it is. It’s also a reminder that one’s Income taxes are due in two weeks. Filing taxes has its own form of comedy, but that’s for yet another article! After all, you can’t fool us! (Or can you…?)
Theatre Unleashed, based in North Hollywood, performs a pair of shows that ranges from a French classic to an urban eclectic collection of short pieces that desires for forgiveness.
Its first show, Moliere’s classic comedy, TARTUFFE, tells the tale of the title character (played by Philip Kelly) a supposed devout man. Under the religious disguise of devotion, Tartuffe befriends Orgon (J. Anthony McCarthy), a well to do gent who is so swept away by Tartuffe’s charisma and his message of the simple holy life, he gives him everything from the deed to his home to his daughter’s Mariane (Caroline Sharp) hand in marriage, even though she’s engaged to her dashing young lover, Valere (Lee Pollero). Seeing that their inheritance becoming snatched away, Orgon’s family tries various schemes to expose Tartuffe’s pecksniffery, including Orgon’s wife Elmier (Julia Plostnicks) and their rather sassy maid Dorine (Heather Lake), creating a plan to expose this hallowed con man for the phony that he is.
This version, translated by Ranjit Bolt, unfolds the story in poetic verse. Each character speaks their dialogue in rhyming prose, giving the overall theme to this production as everyone verbalizing in amusing causerie, even in the serious and more sobering parts. (This is how this play was penned some 350 years ago in French!) A cast of ten players keep in line to the era that it speaks for while holding on to contemporary attitudes, maintaining the stage work in its proper historical context–not counting very minor liberties.
In addition to the above noted performers, this production also features Jim Mrtyka as Orgon’s brother-in-law Cleante, Corey Lynn Howe as Damis, Tracey Collins as Madame Pernelle, and Gregory Crafts performing in multiple roles. Jeff Soroka directs this show that fanfares this French caricature with farcefull tone, along with classic wit and witticism. Characters may run in and out of doorways, but far from anything frantic. In addition, unlike French comedies created in more modern times, nobody is really scantly clad either! In fact, Katie Sikkema’s costuming harks of the Louis XIV period, complete with ruffles for the upper crust patrons, simple cuts for the common folk types (servants mostly), to the oblatory powered wigs and pale face makeup.
Sharing the Theater Unleashed stage following Tartuffe is TALES OF A UNSETTLED CITY: REDEMPTION, a collection of eight very short skit-type plays that are seamlessly blended whose themes are redemption in the form of forgiveness, repentness, and just having to say “I’m Sorry”, even if there isn’t anything to be sorry about!
A cast of six rep players (Courtney Bell, Sean Fitzgerals, Ann Hurd, Christopher Loop, Madeline Miller, and Jenn Seuderi), spell out the every morphing meaning of redemption through quirky messages that range from a man seeing prayer by way of voice mail hell, to a woman that offered a could-be poisoned apple for a old woman–and a lot of other messages all in between! Carlos Martinez is in charge directing this piece that not only showcases the cast, but it keeps to its theme that it’s never too late, too soon, or even too much just to seek and have the title state of being in a post modern life.

TARTUFFE, presented by Theatre Unleashed and Mad Magpie, performs at the Belfry Stage, upstairs at the Crown, housed within the facilities of St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 11031 Camarillo Street, one half block west of Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, until April 19th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. Special performances will take place on Wednesday, April 16th, and Thursday, April 17th at 8:00 PM. TALES OF A UNSETTLED CITY: REDEMPTION, performs Friday and Saturday nights at 10:30 PM right after Tartuffe on the same stage. For reservations and for more information on these two shows, call (818) 849-4039, or visit
(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)
-Mary Ann

And miles to go before I sleep…. or more accurately, chores to do.

Jordan, I can’t find your number. Call my home number if you have it. Mom wants me to tell you I am ok and what happened.

I just realized this past Feb. it has been 10 yrs since I had a cigarette…….YAYYYYYYY

Trying my hand at cooking Indian curry. It smells so good. Something so completely out of my norm to prepare. Guess I am getting adventurous.

Do Not Disturb! Watching Once Upon A Time. Love OUAT!!!
As of March 31st, Tiffi has 2,014 Facebook “friends” and counting!
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