SPOILER ALERT!!

Thanks to the ever presence of how news travels faster than ever before by way of social media and its related applications, it seems that anything connected with content in terms of moves, TV shows, musical events, and anything else for that matter, just about anyone and everyone–or at least it seems to be as “everybody”, wants to spread the juicy gossip on how something or another is going to unfold, even if that unfolding is going to ruin one’s enjoyment over the aspect.

This spreading the news so to speak, has formed its own catch phrase called the “spoiler”. This is a term where a plot point, an answer, a solution, and an overall outcome to something that is kept as a mystery becomes reviled where the answer, solution or outcome is known before it ever takes place. In other words, it spoiled the entire theme or mood to the secret.

And leave it to the research markets to conduct a survey over the fate of spoilers. TiVo Research and Analytics (the latter a division of Google), recently conduced a report upon this act of uncovering the answer before the question is said and done, noting that 78% of those stated that a movie, TV show, or sporting event has been spoiled for them with 33% of those respondents stated they were angry over it.

The report, conduced last June with 14,673 respondents, noted that  27% believe being “spoiled” over an outcome for a noted TV show, etc. isn’t such a big concern. In addition, 28% noted that some read or hear about spoilers on purpose, even if they plan to  watch the program later.

Most people revile elements with unintentional means; 40% have done so by accident and felt bad about it, while a scant 2% did so on purpose just to cause trouble or to be a virtual “troll”-a term used when somebody using social media writes a comment that upsets others with the intention of starting a heated rage; Kind of how trolls act in fairy tales, or fantasy based stories and fables that seem to be the rage for the moment.

And what was the biggest “spoiler” experience? Nearly two thirds (64%) stated it was about a major plot point on a TV show being revealed. A little over half (56%) noted that the spoiler told about the death of a character on a TV show. And a little over a quarter (23%) of those surveyed said a sports game result was the worst kind of spoiler.

And who’s behind this kind of spoiling? Friends, acquaintances and coworkers are the culprits here as 65% noted. 59% blamed the news reported through internet platforms, 57% blame TV itself, and almost half (49%) site social media, notably Facebook!

Spoilers, that act to telling about an ending or result before it occurs is far from new. In fact, it’s one of the oldest notions of ruining a result, either through a work of fiction (in a murder mystery story, stating that “the butler did it” turns the mystery itself into a hacked plot), or presenting the final score to a sports game before one experiences it doesn’t make the game worth watching. It was rather common when VCR’s became the norm to viewing TV since the 1980’s when people would record the televised game because they couldn’t watch it “live”, and the person who wanted to view the match would find out about a score through an outside news report, or when a friend, acquaintance, or even a perfect stranger says “I heard that the _____ won!”, only for the sports fan not to bother watching the game because the viewer already knows who won–or who lost!!

It’s also been used as a minor plot point in other forms of media. One of many notable scenes used in Charles Schultz’s Peanuts comic strip occurred in the 1960’s where Lucy sees her bother Linus watching TV. She looks at the screen from behind then to walk away saying “Rosebud was his sled”, only to have Lines reply with a loud “AGGH!”

The sad truth to the matter is that spoilers will become part of the media experience, no matter who “spills the beans” on whatever is worth spoiling about! Social media for what it is, will be just as guilty as charged. However, one can just let this little worry in life be what it is, and just take heed that no matter what, everything’s going to conclude, be it happy, sad, and all points in between!

So to kick things off, yours truly will reveal a spoiler! Here it is…

Nobody will win the thoroughbred!

Now your assignment is to guess what element that spoiler is connected to. At least you were warned!

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NEWS AND REVIEWS

     Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills presents the world premier of Steven Peterson’s AFFLUENCE, a dark tale of a family inherence that’s being threatened due to a series of ironic timing and unfortunate circumstances.

The setting takes place on the last week of 2010 right after Christmas (Boxing Day) and right before New Year’s Day (December 31st), at the home of the Woodley family. Robert Woodley Jr. (Lloyd Pedersen) was at one time a man of influence and wealth. The Great Recession of 2008-09 took a beating to the family’s financial situations, nearly wiping the entire estate out. He, along with his spouse Jean (Rhonda Lord) has the burden to taking care of Robert’s elderly mother Namoo (Nan Tepper). They don’t hold the entire burden as they have a hired woman Inez (Christine Uhebe) as a live in nurse dispensing her medications. Adding to the mix is the Woodley’s two kids; elder son Robert III (Justin Huff) whose nickname is Arthird and is a “boomerang” adult child, and his younger sister Barbara aka Beanie (Ilona Kulinska) who’s hoping to be accepted at a prestige (and unnamed) Boston based college. There’s a bit of irony set upon the household capacity. Jean took part in obtaining some pills when Namoo was in a hospice, nearly getting into some legal trouble and paying dearly to the family attorney in order to bail her out. Then there’s something about a federal inherence tax that will go into effect on January 1st. If Namoo passes on before the stroke of twelve on December 31st, the family will collect the entire inherence worth millions and pay no tax. If she passes after 12:01 AM on January 1st, the family must fork over the steep tax to the government. Deep in debt through his many conditions, Robert has a possible way out–and what is that way out? Will he hatch a scheme to bump his mother off before Midnight to avoid the taxes? Will Jean be left off the hook from what she did on getting her pills? Will Beanie become accepted to the college of her choosing? And Is Arthird having a bit of a romantic filing with Inez?

This very macabre play written by Steven Peterson has as many twists and turns within its plotting that makes this piece totally unpredictable. Although it’s billed as a dark comedy, there isn’t as many laughs as one would expect in a stage work that uses “comedy” as its genre. Although there is some comedy relief used within, most of what’s billed as humorous is isolated and is better akin to a play that carries more drama than genuine belly laughs! As to its casting, Lloyd Pedersen as Robert is the father figure that took a hard lambasting through destiny that wasn’t of his making. Rhonda Lord as Jean is a spouse that was once supportive toward her husband, but appears to look only for herself. Justin Huff as Arthird is more of a child in an adult body, playing his character as a goofus. Ilona Kulinska as younger sister Beanie is more mature for her age (not old enough to legally drink) and accommodates more emotional independence. Christine Uhebe as Inez is a hard working caretaker and would bend the rules if she has to, but only when put up to the test. And rounding out the cast is Nan Tepper as Namoo, the sweet person whose sadly, is in the middle of much of the family’s burdens that’s set upon fate rather than through actions!

Larry Eisenberg directs this piece that gets better (and darker) as the play progresses. One can’t predict what’s going to take place, as this play hold a similar notion to a murder mystery, yet the smoking gun (so to speak) is as not as obvious until its final climax.

This play was the winner of the 2013 Julie Harris Playwright Award as presented by the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild, and its winning of this award was very well deserved. This is a stage production that is worth a good look, especially within a setting of an intimate stage space as seen at the ninety nine seat Rueben Cordova Theatre, the home of Theatre 40.

AFFLUENCE presented by Theater 40, and performs in the Reuben Corova Theater located on the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 South Moreno Drive (off Santa Monica Blvd.) Beverly Hills, until October 20th. Showtimes are Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights 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

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Tom Stoppard’s ON THE RAZZLE, a comical farce about a pair of low level grocer’s assistants who decide to head over to the big city to go on the title emotional antic, opens the 2014-15 season at Theatre West.

The setting is Vienna, Austria c.1900. The city is undergoing a deep phase of the Scots, meaning that donning tartan and playing bagpipe music seems all the rage! Herr Zangler (Andrew Walker) runs a grocery store in the community. He’s set on to go into town to woo a widow of means, Madame Knorr (Cathy Diane Tomlin) who runs a successful clothing outlet. In order to conduct his romantic duties, he leaves his shop in the care of his  apprentices, Weinberl (Joey Jennings) and Christopher (Lacy Blake). Taking their cue from their boss, they themselves decide to take advantage of going to town for a little bit of fun and adventure. So they close down the store and head into the big city to make merry for themselves. Of course, they run into their own incidents of thrills and spills that hold a heaping dose of slapstick, shenanigans, mistaken identities, misdirected orders malapropisms, double entendres, with romantic complications–and not necessarily in that order!

This play written by the celebrated playwright, was created in the early 1980’s that was adapted from an 1840’s play written by Johann Nestroy, witch in turn was recreated (or “rebooted” in early 21st century speak) by Thornton Wilder in the 1930’s that was later remorphed by the same playwright in the 1950’s, only to be added with a musical score by Jerry Herman in the 1960’s as Hello Dolly. (The play seems to have a lot of mileage attached to it!)

Getting back to the Tom Stoppard (and Theatre West) version for the moment, this play contains plenty of classic gags, both verbal and physical, nearly performing as an amusing blend of live action cartoon, vaudeville routine (complete with period dressed showgirl parading on stage holding a sign informing the audience on the name of the next scene) and a reminiscent to a French-style farce with a dash of flavor to the old Carry On film comedies created by Ealing Studios of England in the 1950’s and 60’s. The cast of players performing in this TW show know their stuff, making each circumstance depicted as farcical as it can get without becoming overly frantic. (Such wild and wacky action might work at times, but can become exhausting for the audience as well as for the players themselves!) Pete Parkin directs this show that presents all of the liveness that early 20th century Vienna was famous for. (Whatever that was, it’s funny enough!)

This showpiece also boasts a cast that is just as robust as the material applied. Outside of the above noted players, it also features (listed in their alphabetical order), Jeanine Anderson, Frank Gangarossa, Mary Garripoli, Gera Hesmann, Maria Kress, Ernest McDaniel, Donald Moore, Lindsey Jean Roetzel, Chloe Rosenthal, and Janie Steele.

As to the behind the scenes stuff, Jeff G. Rack designs a set that consists of a number of backdrops that are rather streamlined, such as suggesting the grocery store as a counter window, as well as a few doorways to walk in and out of. Marjorie Van Der Hoff’s costuming is within the flavor of the period, making this show a mini “costume epic” so to speak!

ON THE RAZZLE is fun and offers enough laughs to make this piece silly yet entertaining! Unlike farces that originate from Britain or France, there isn’t much scantily clad characters moving to and fro, so all of the comic flair presented is within the timing. And for the record, the wording used in its title is a slang term of getting “wild ‘n crazy”–among other notions, but one gets the idea! Whatever the harebrained level may be, it’s still a fun show indeed!

     ON THE RAZZLE, presented by and performs at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. Los Angeles (Universal City adjacent) until November 2nd. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, with Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

     For reservations and for further information, call (323) 851-7997, or via online at http://www.TheatreWest.org

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Santa Monica’s Morgan-Wixson Theatre opens their 2014-15 season with Michael Frayn’s comical farce, NOISES OFF, a play within a play about a rag tag theater company attempting to stage a “serious sex comedy” with the misfortune that if something is going to go wrong, it already has!

The setting is a middle sized theater located in a median British community. It’s the final dress rehearsal for a play called Nothing On where it would open the next evening. The play itself is supposed to be a bedroom comedy of some sort. The cast of actors appearing in this stage “masterpiece” consists of Dotty (Joanna Churgin) who plays the housekeeper, Mrs. Clackett. Garry Lejeune (Scott Gerard) plays Roger Tramplemain, a real estate agent in charge of renting the home who brought along Vicki, played by Brook Ashton (Ellie Jepperson) for a little romp in bed. Philip and Flavia Brent, the owners of the home as played by Frederick Fellowes and Belinda Blair (David Harloch and Megan Blakeley) arrive back secretly to do the same thing that Roger and Vicki are doing. Adding to these sexual escapades is a seasoned burglar as portrayed by Selsdon Mowbray (Don Warburton) who plans to clean the place out of the home’s valuables. But this play isn’t about Nothing On, but the attempt to present Nothing On on stage! Director Lloyd Dallas (Raymond Donahey) knows he has his hands full as his cast can’t seem to get their cues right, as well as anything else! WIth his wits to hold on to and his patience deep at stake, his sole moral support is the flimsy “comfort” of assistant stage manager Poppy (Taylor Pyles) and the overworked theater carpenter and stage manager Tim (Jeffrey McCrann). The motley crew of players carries on with their stage showpiece where nothing can possibly go wrong…or is anyone speaking too soon?

This modern classic by playwright Michael Frayn has anything and everything one would ever want in a British comedy. It contains all of the stock elements featuring characters franticly running in and out of doors, mistaken and flubbed stage cues, sexual innuendoes about, and the ever classic scantly clad folks, from dropped pants about to underwear becoming outerwear! All of its laughs come from the physical movement that goes on in full force (especially in the second act) where it plays very much to a live action cartoon! The cast of nine that appear in this show keeps their humor level in total high gear. Even players such as Jeffrey McCrann as Tim, and Taylor Pyles as Poppy, are just as humorous equal to droll characters. (They play the behind the stage folks!) The “stage” team of actors have all of the better and best physical “lines” that are physically “spoken”! That is, they move just as fast and furious in attempts to get their leading parts corrected! Director William Wilday (the actual director of this show as to the one played on stage) keeps things moving abreast that give this work high marks for laugh out loud comedy!

In addition to his directing skills, Wilday also takes charge of the lighting design as well as the lavish set backdrop, comporting of the stage setting for Nothing On; a two story facade consisting of a set of six or so doors on the upper and lower level with a balcony for the upper level, as to its back side that plays as the show’s backstage! (Seen in its second act!)

NOISES OFF is just as funny and laughable when seen for the first time, or as seen again for its second, third, and for multiple viewings! It never gets tired, just better than ever! And on the The Morgan-Wixson Theatre stage, the comical antics still prevail! It’s as easy as opening a can of sardines, but funnier and a lot less greasier!

NOISES OFF, presented by the Morgan-Wixson Theatre Guild, and performs at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, until October 19th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.

     For reservations or for more information, call (310) 828-7519, or online at http://www.Morgan-Wixson.org. The MWT is also present on all the standard social media platforms. (Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.)

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TIFFI’S FRIENDS SAY…

(As posted on her Facebook “wall”)

Today was quite a day. There was vodka. Thank God for that.

-Mary

Carpenters are in my condo installing custom bookcases to turn an odd-shaped little nook into a library.

-Gail

I am THIS close to making brownies. Someone please stop me.

-Carla

I know nobody will see my status, but sometimes when I am bored…I go into the garden, and I cover myself in soil to pretend I’m a carrot.

-Collette

The Royals made the playoffs?

-Christina

As of September 29th, Tiffi has 2,305 Facebook “friends” and counting!

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WRITE TO US!!

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE

is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com

http://AccessiblyLiveOffLine.wordpress.com

@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)

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(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)

http://www.LinearCycleProductions.com

(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)

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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