CONFESSIONS OF AN EMMY VOTER -PART TWO

In last week’s issue, this writer (“me”) made a number of comments regarding to my rather brief stint as one of the “official” judges for the Daytime Emmy Awards as presented by the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, a individual yet connect organization of The Television Academy–formally known as the Television Academy of Arts & Sciences.
My role was to look at a number of clips of programs eligible to win an award in its respected category; in this case, picking what program should win an award for best Set Decoration/Art Direction. Since I would be ideal to be a judge, mainly because I am rather impartial to all of the programs lined up (I have no connection to any of them outside of being a viewer), I went through the effort of looking at some titles. A few I haven’t seen in years (decades?) while most of them I have seen for the very first time.
It appears that one of the more popular kind of programs that air between the hours of 6:00 AM through 6:00 PM (weekdays) is the talk program. When yours truly watched daytime TV in the 1960’s and 70’s, the personalities that were seen in talk shows were folks as Art Linkletter, Virginia Graham, David Frost, Mike Douglas, Dinah Shore, and a host of others, a few short lived and a number of them long forgotten!
In this report, I’ll make my notes on two titles, both in syndication but seen in most of the nation. Unlike such programs as Today where it’s a mix of talk and news/information catering to both men and woman, these two title are more female centric, catering to what was once known as the “housewife”. Many of the guests that appears are more of the entertainment celebrity type that will perform some routine, as well as offer lively chat to its host while plugging their latest album/book/TV show/movie/blog, and/or a combination of one of the media properties listed. And the two shows (out of the ten or so offered) that I’ll make my stand for are The Dr. Oz Show, and The Queen Latifah Show.
Mehmet Oz, a professor at the Department of Surgery at Columbia University, was one of the discoveries of Oprah Winfrey who first appeared on her program some ten years ago, and now has his own program. (The other discovery of Oprah, Dr. Phil, still hosts his own talk show, but curiously, isn’t one of the titles eligible for a set decoration/art decoration Emmy!)
Anyway, in the Dr. Oz clips seen, the good doctor gave details to his studio audience of what appears to be middle aged women, such simple yet important advice on how to pop a blister, how to pop a pimple, and what occurred inside of the brain that leads to Alzheimer’s disease. In the first two demonstrations, Dr. Oz used a mock up of a pimple and blister (not actual size, but 1000 times bigger) that was made up of rubberized foam that contained some kind of colored sticky goo. Using an assistant picked within the studio audience, he had the “contestant” demonstrate on how to pop the noted skin blemish. The foam mock up of the pimple/blister was popped with a few “eeews” heard murmured from the audience. In the Alzheimer’s set, the doctor has another doctor on the stage (an expect in this disease) show an actual brain cut in two laying on a metallic pan–the same kind of pan one uses to dissect frogs in a science lab. Since an actual brain was used, the only touching of the item was between the two doctors donning surgical gloves. The three segments were rather informative, while the first two has a bit of silly fun attached.
As to Queen Latifah aka Dana Elaine Owens, her program was more show biz celebrity. In the clip seen, yet another Halloween episode, had QL dressed as Egyptian Queen Nefertiti riding in on an arc carried by four beefcake “slaves” dressed in period costumes-the kind one would see in a 1950’s Hollywood epic. Her studio audience (again, mostly middle aged women) were garbed up in various Halloween fair, cheering the queen on. Following that opening, there was a prerecorded skit called “Office Scandal” (a take off of a “CSI”-type TV show) that had OL as a high power investigator, finding to where the missing Post-It notes went to! Then Martha Steward appeared demonstrating how to create Halloween cakes and goodies, followed by another person (his name escapes yours truly) on the art of pumpkin carving. These kind of bits are fun to see during the day while the kids are off at school, and when the dinner dishes are going through the rinse cycle.
And beside the QL clip, I was also able to see a printed version of the credits that appear after each program-the only show out of the twenty titles that provided printed end credits. The OL show listed a total of eight executive producers (including Dana Owens), six names listed as “Theme By..” (D.O included), as well as the copyright name and date and other legal stuff stating that the program is protected by Article 15(2) of the Berne Convention and all national laws given effect thereto. (Use a Google Search regarding Article 15(2) of the noted convention to get the details!!)
As stated within this piece, there were other daytime shows listed, but time and tide didn’t allow me to look at everything. However, I did my darnest to vote on all shows posted. And in spite of the selection offered, I wish each and every person that’s up for an Emmy to “break a leg” in what they do! After all, if it wasn’t for the set decorators and art directors, each program would consist of a TV host standing in an empty room because there was nowhere to sit!
So there you have it in a nutshell, the rounds of daytime TV c. 2013-14. It’s a far cry to what yours truly used to see on the 14” B&W Sony portable that was considered to be “my” TV set. Since that time, TV airings came from color with mono sound via 1:33:1 ratio to high def stereo at 1:85:1 where the special effects are a lot better, with its content still catering to its audience. Although Mike, Dinah, Art, and the rest those stars may be long gone, their predecessors are there to carry the torch. And there is social media as well, but that is another medium and a topic for another article!
PS…The Daytime Emmy Awards will be presented on two separate days. The technical awards will be presented on June 20th at the Westin Bonaventure in downtown Los Angeles. The Daytime Emmy Awards show will take place on June 22nd at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The latter show will be televised.
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
The Glendale Centre Theatre of Glendale presents Meredith Wilson’s beloved musical THE MUSIC MAN, a tale that speaks about a traveling con man in a small midwestern town, and the spinster librarian that wins him over.
Brent Schindele performs as Prof. Harold Hill, a double talking salesman and con artist who arrives to River City, Iowa in the summer of 1912. Through his fast passed motions as well as his gifted charm and appeal, he presents an illusion to the community that the town youth (boys mostly) are becoming corrupt from their use of a local pool hall that happens to be owned by Mayor Shinn (Richard Van Slyke). So Prof. Hill arranges to form a band for the boys in town collecting payment in advance for equipment and uniforms, even though these boys can’t play a note, and Prof. Hill is just as tin eared, not counting to his scheme to high tail it out of town before anyone suspects the real truth! This notion gets the attention of Marian Paroo (Heather Lundstedt), a straight forth and no nonsense librarian that runs the local library. She is known as a “old maid”, a woman of a certain age that never married! Although she suspects that this Professor isn’t what he says who he is, she finds this “leader of the band” something more that just a salesman who is as shady as those so-called misguided pool hall youth!
Many things have been stated about this musical that was first presented in 1957, a scant forty five years from 1912-the era that this showpiece takes place, modeled upon music composer Meredith Wilson’s hometown of Mason City, Iowa at the time of his boyhood. Even though fifty plus years have passed since its first presentation on stage, and over one hundred years since the era to which this story takes place, it only got better with time! Brent Schindele as Prof. Harold Hills performs his role as the “all American” appearing con man doing his job but still has a heart. Heather Lundstedt as Marion the librarian has the classic midwestern sweetness that is just as old fashioned as the character she plays. And because this is a musical, it featured a very large ensemble of players ranging from youthful kids to mature adults. As much as this writer would desire to include every name and character looming in this show, space would not allow this task as their are twenty three others appearing, excluding the two performing show pilots! But this writer will continue to note that the two leads, Brent Schindele and Heather Lundstedt, really steal this show! Their vocal ranges (especially Lundstedt) match their physical stage guise, as they do hit their finer notes.
Besides the players that appear in this showcase, there are the behind the scenes folks that add to this performance, many of these staff members are part of the GCT’s repertory crew; Steven Applegate with his transcribed musical direction, Angela Wood of Glendale Costumes’ period costume ornamentation, and Tim Dietlein’s set design. (Tim Dietlein also services as artistic director and producer of the GCT!) Valerie Rachelle directs this stage parade as well as choreographs the dancing (with Marisa Martinez as assistant choreographer) that adds the life that this show always presents itself with.
This musical also features its “greatest hits” collection of harmonious numbers, from the ballad ‘Till There Was You, to the show stopping pieces Trouble, Seventy Six Trombones, and plenty more!
If one has seen this musical performed on stage time before, seventy six times previous or as a maiden voyage, one has to experience it in the GCT’s theatre-in-the-round setting, the only professional theater in the Los Angeles area known to this reviewer that is indeed 360, meaning that no matter where one is seated, one has a front stage view. And it also proves itself that there is never “trouble” to be found, just great family friendly musical stage entertainment throughout that is indeed “by the book”!

THE MUSIC MAN, presented by and performs at the Glendale Centre Theatre. 324 North Orange Street, Glendale, until July 5th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM, with Saturday matinees at 3:00 PM, with Sunday matinee taking place on May 25th and June 8th at 3:00 PM. 
     For reservations or information, call (818) 244-8481, or visit the web site at http://www.GlendaleCentreTheatre.com
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MILLION DOLLAR ARM (Disney) stars Jon Hamm as sports agent JB Bernstein. He was once on top at his game, signing up big name players and has plenty to show for it. But in recent times, competing sports agencies have been gaining the bigger name talent. His partner in the agency Aash (Aasif Mandvi) knows what’s going on as well, even through JB has a longer track record. (JB, a single man, lives rather “large” in a nice home and drives a sports car while Aash is a family man still keeping a domestic household.) In spite of this downfall, JB gets a wild hair idea. He eventually discovers that cricket players in India throw a fast pitch, so why not go there to find a star pitcher? So JB and Aash make a deal with an investor, a Korean business tycoon Chang (Tzi Ma) to finance a search for the next star. Chang gives them one year to perform this task. So the two arrange a talent show in India, called the “Million Dollar Arm” that will find this new star, bringing them to the USA, and through the training of college baseball coach Tom House (Bill Paxton), they would have it made! Upon arranging this excursion in India seeking high and low traveling from town to village, they eventually find who they are looking for; two eighteen year old kids who can throw yet hate the game of cricket; Dinesh (Madhur Mittal) and Rinku (Suraj Sharma). However, they two can’t live up to learning the game of baseball, let alone mastering the English language!
This feature is based upon an actual incident where the real JB Bernstein did arrange a search to find a baseball player from India, a supposedly untapped market to gain a slew of fans in this large country in the Orient-the same way that Yao Ming earned a following in China. Jon Hamm, in his first starring feature role, plays the agent with the temperament and stock within the same method as he had done on the TV series that made him famous. (Tom Hanks probably would have taken this role if this feature was made a few scant years ago. He didn’t, and it was just as well!) Madhur Mittal and Suraj Sharma, best known for their appearances in Slumdog Millionaire and The Life of Pi respectfully, keep their own charm and appeal. They are the two humble Indian men who at first are amazed to be in America, yet have to learn how to play the sport known as America’s Pastime. Tom McCarthy’s screenplay never sags and keep things moving from its first beginnings to the final climax.
Also seen within this feature are Lake Bell as Brenda, a nurse working in a hospital who happens to rent a guest house at JB’s home who eventually becomes a mentor to the two Indian boys as well as JB himself, Darshan Jariwala as Vivek, an Indian resident who meets JB in his country and joins the team becoming his assistant as well as Denesh and Rinku’s translators, and Alan Arkin as Ray Poitevint, a rather cantankerous long retired baseball scout that even know his game in his sleep. (He tends to doze off on occasion!) Even through that Dinesh and Rinku’s chances of ever getting singed up looks rather slim, Ray finds JB’s attempt to be promising even though other scouts think otherwise.
This title is the first feature release for Disney for the summer flick season that will compete with tent pole films offering more super heroes as well as the usual mix of reboots, remakes, sequels, and related fodder. Unlike those movies that will offer the expected amount of gunfire, explosions, and over use of special effects, this movie tend to cater to those of a certain mature age. (AARP has even dubbed this movie a top chose in their “Movies for Grownups” campaign!) So instead of experiencing the previously mentioned loud noises and GCI orgies, one will find appealing characters and a story line that holds up.
Oh yes! It even looks good too, thanks to Gyula Pados’s cinematography. This type of film look with its glances of India and the life it contains, would really appeal to movie goers that won’t miss out on an overabundance of EFX, let alone even care for such pixelated wizardry.
Directed by Craig Gillespie, MILLION DOLLAR ARM may not be a “million dollars” worth of entertainment, but it comes rather close! And it’s even rated “PG”, too (note the absence of the “13”) for TV-level cussing! Now playing at the usual multiplexes nationwide.
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The Angel City Chorale, a Los Angeles based chorale company, will be presenting a musical work created by Grammy winning artist and composer Christopher Tin entitled ELEMENTS, featuring the piece The Drop that Contained the Sea, making its west coast premier.
Tin, whose musical scoring components are influenced crossing classical and world music dominance, has been featured in a number of media elements, winning a pair of Grammys for the album Calling All Dawns, as well as the score Baba Yetu for the videogame Civilization IV. Sue Fink, Artistic Director and founder of the Angel City Chorale, will be conducting this unique set that blends world music, classical, as well as contemporary popular “pop” music using its musical basis on the earth’s four basic elements, backed by an orchestral set and its chorale ensemble consisting of 160 male and female voices.
ELEMENTS will take place on Saturday, June 7th, and Sunday June 8th, and the Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, located right next door to the Wilshire-Ebell Theatre. Each performance begins at 7:00 PM.
For more details on ELEMENTS, and for ticket information, call (310) 943-9231, or online at http://www.AngelCityChorale.org
The Angel City Chorale is also very active on social media. “Like” them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AngelCityChorale, see them on their YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/AngelCityChorale, follow them on Twitter at @AngelCityChoral, and hear them on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/AngelCityChorale
More details about composer Christopher Tin at http://www.ChristopherTin.com
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TIFFI’S FRIENDS SAY…
(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)
My worst nightmare became a reality this morning!!! I just got pulled over in my pajamas!!! Lisa, YOU’RE NEXT!!!
-Cindy

Granted, Cory is famously unemotional. But he just cried harder than I’ve ever seen him cry over a Youtube video involving a sleeping Japanese man being woken up via water slide.
-Shannon

Getting some editing done on my lunch hour and giggling over this typo: “a fresh batch of ears rolled down her cheeks.” I’m not sure if they’re human ears or ears of corn. Gave me quite the visual, though.
-Kelly

Sometimes, I think I am the only woman alive who finds Rachael Ray incredibly annoying. I have tried off and on for years to get into her show while working from home, and I just can’t do it. It isn’t even about the fact that I am not one who is susceptible to culinary highs. I just don’t think she comes across as a very genuine person, and I tend to have good discernment when it comes to these things, but I could be totally wrong. I am just viewing her through a TV screen, after all.
-Amber

Numb……….
-Andrea
As of May 19th, Tiffi has 2,032 Facebook “friends” and counting!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2014 Linear Cycle Productions.
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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