OPRAH, ELLEN, AND TAYLOR ARE NOT YOUR BFFs-PART II

      Two weeks ago (Vol. 20-No. 14), the leading article of this here news service spoke about how some so-called celebrities, names found within the media that have a rather large female based following, tend to present themselves to their public as people that could be your best buddy, your first choice chum, or to place it in cyberspace text speak, your “BFF”! (Best friend forever!)
Right after we placed that issue to “press”, we found an article that appeared in Redbook’s web site and Facebook post. It was a piece called 19 Celeb Friendships That Make Us a Little Jealous. The title compared nearly twenty pairs of celebrity women that appear in places reachable within the public eye that make this pair as part of a bonded friendship, along with short comments on how these two gals are their own BFFs along with photos of the same gals proving the written facts.
Within the write up, the article listed Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner, noting These two hard-working Hollywood mamas just get each other. “If I run into Reese, she and I have so much to talk about,” Jen has said of Reese. “We’ll be on the street corner and just be like, ‘What do you do about this, and how did you handle this?’ I’m so grateful for that very specific kind of friend.” It continued with Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert as These country stars recently performed together at the Billboard Music Awards-and Miranda just gave Carrie a motorcycle. Carrie tweeted this in response to Miranda’s gift. The write up continued with Courteney Cox and Jennifer Aniston stating The duo has been tight since Friends aired its first episode in 1994-and they’re still going strong. Jen has said of Courteney, “She’s extremely fair, ridiculously loyal, and fiercely loving… She’s been there for me through thick and thin.”
There were the other sixteen pairs as noted. However, much of what was written about such gal-pals as Jennifer Aniston-Emma Stone, Tina Fey-Ellie Kemper, and the rest on how these people that are employed as actors, recording artists, or possibly both, find their friendships to be close, tight, and are pleasing for their fans, proving that these people are just like the fans in question!
When this article was posted on Facebook, one person, identified as Kathi of Winchester, New Hampshire, stated On your article Celebrity Best Friends that make us a little jealous – Well they can have whoever they want for a friend, all I know is that my family, in-laws and friends are all ROCKSTARS to me – they are my celebrities, they are my angels. My husband almost died this week and is still critical, it wasn’t the people in my life who are famous, it is the common ordinary people in my life who love me for me, who want to be there because they love me, who want to be there not for the fame, the photo ops or the glamour, but for the reason JUST BECAUSE. My friends are not all close in distance to me, but are there via facebook or phone every day. They are their with a prayer or just Hi if they think that is all that is needed. Everyone needs to remember “None of us knows what might happen even the next minute, yet still we go forward. Because we trust. Because we have Faith.” _ Paulo Coelho, Brida So again – I for one am not jealous of them, I just hope that they have TRUE friends when a crisis arrives and these people are there for them HEART AND SOUL, that is what it is about, not that they or their friends are celebrities. Wishing all the world a wonderful day, filled with LOVE, HOPE and FAITH!!!!
It’s interesting to note that the article was titled 19 Celeb Friendships That Make Us a Little Jealous. For starters, it’s assumed that the “us” reefer to the readers or followers of Redbook, a woman’s magazine that caters to a middle class female demographic that are mostly likely married, has kids, and live a humble domestic lifestyle. It’s most likely that these readers do not work in media, nor have access to the people the article focused upon. They also do not live the same lifestyle the celebs in question has access to. They don’t were the same clothing, attend the same red carpet events, and perhaps the most obvious, they don’t earn the same amount of money these celebs rake in. In other words, what one celeb can earn in a week is as much as the fans can earn in a year!
We don’t know what drove Facebook friend Kathi to make the comments as she did. It’s nice to know that she has “real” friends as her disposal. However, if she can have Tina Fey as a BFF, would Kathi take her on while dumping the rest of the people within her social circles? Maybe, or maybe not!
Whatever the case, there will not be any shortages of stars that appear to be humble and downright friendly toward their fans. Just as long as the fans appreciate these folks as who and what they are as well as keeping their distance, then those BFFs will shine as long as their Twitter posts remain! Friendship doesn’t get any better than that!
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           NEWS AND REVIEWS
Continuing as its midweek run at The Glendale Centre Theatre is the musical DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, a saga of a pair of con men who vie for the same target-a charming woman that the two fall for.
Marc Ginsburg is Lawrence Jameson, a man who charms women, especially those that are aires to wealth and fortune, from their valuables making a nice tidy living from his scams. His beat is the French Riviera, so his victims are richly plenty and plenty rich! He meets Freddy Benson (Justin Wilcox), another con man who does the same thing, except his style doesn’t hold the same suaveness as Lawrence’s, and the fact that Freddy is an American! Although they do make a token attempt to work as a team, it seems that the south of France isn’t big enough to hold both of them! Until word comes around that a woman billed as a “soap queen” from Cincinnati named Christine Colgate (Andrea Arvanigian) arrives. So the two cons make a bet worth 50 grand on who would be successful in taking her out to the cleaners so to speak. But her charm makes a creative turn that devises a scene where the two cons become fit to be tide! Will Lawrence remain the king of the cons where the Champaign flows freely? Will Freddy win his side of the bet, and perhaps win the heart of Christine? And is this “soap queen” from Cinci really an heiress to the biggest maker of suds that side of the Ohio River?
This musical with book by Jeffrey Lane and musical score by David Yazbek is based on a 1960’s-era feature film and later an 1980’s remake where this musical takes its namesake. It has plenty of keenness, attraction, and is a delight to take part in. The two leads Marc Ginsburg as Lawrence Jameson and Justin Wilcox as Freddy make a nice pair; Lawrence is the man who carries an attitude that appeals to the fairer types, especially if they have lots of valuables and lesser amount of smarts and logic, while Freddy is indeed the comic relief that is still able to pull his stunts minus his competition’s gratefulness. Their fellow players on stage include Christopher Carothers as André Thibault-Lawrence’s right hand man, Tiffany Labarbera-Palmer as Muriel Eubanks-one of Lawrence’s con attempts, Rachel McLaughlan as Jolene Oakes-another one of Lawrence’s con attempts who hales from Okie-homa, and the ensembles of players consisting of (as listed in alphabetical order), Christopher Curry, Christa Hamilton, Kevin Holmquist, Tim Lim, Katy Marcella, Kristin Morris, Paul Reid, and Jade Rosenberg, that perform as various characters that serve as the backdrop to the duo of con men and the woman they contest for. This ensemble acts, dances, and sing their way through this very amusing theater piece!
Many of the regular GCT personnel return to provide the visuals and sounds appearing and heard at stage reach, including Orlando Alexander’s choreography, Steven Applegate’s transcribed musical direction, and Angela Namke’s consume design. This blend of crafts are the trademark of musical shows that this theater-in-the-round provides throughout.
Directed by Randy Brenner, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS is as enticing to see, or perhaps see again! Although the word “dirty” appear in its title, it’s still family friendly, although it can be slightly “blue” at times–nothing that hasn’t been presented on over the air TV before! And it’s the first of three productions that this theater will present in addition to its regular run of shows that play on weekends. Based on how this presentation was appealing to the audience present, more midweek shows may be in the GCT’s future. Stay tuned to this newsletter for further developments!

DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, presented by and performs at the Glendale Centre Theatre. 324 North Orange Street, Glendale, until May 6th. Showtimes are Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at 8:00 PM, with a matinee on Sunday, May 3rd at 3:00 PM.   
     This production performs in repertory with Dear Ruth, performing on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, as well as Saturday matinees and on selected Sunday afternoons. (See review-Vol. 19-No. 15)
     For reservations or for information, call (818) 244-8481, or visit the web site at http://www.GlendaleCentreTheatre.com
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Teatro Luna presents the world premier of GENERATION SEX, a multimedia ensemble program featuring members of a Latina based theater company performing skits, monologues, as well as dance presentations that speak for humankind’s essential function: Sex.
This troupe, consisting of Khanisha Foster, Elizabeth Nugaray, Pili Valdes, Abigail Vega, Denyse Walls, and Kelley Williams, partake in short pieces that deal in sex, from dating, relationships, identity, physical acts and attacks of a sexual nature, and all points in-between. Some of these pieces are in skit from, such as a satire of an exploration of the female reproductive anatomy in the style of a program seen on A&E complete with members speaking is somewhat fake Australian accents, or a woman recalling an encounter of a coworker who took advantage of the situation while her office workers find the results as something “cute” when it was not, a bit where the boyfriend being away from his girl insists that she send him a picture of her topless only to have the photo be seen through cyberspace, another relationship of communicating via text messages, and many other bits that speak for a side of sex for the new ages.
This production was conceived by Abigail Vega that features other theatrical elements, such as dance segments as choreographed by Ysaye McKeever, shadow play, as well as original video and music. Yee Eun Nam provides the set and projection design that add to the live presentation by the cast of six, along with Mark Van Hare’s sound and Pablo Santiago’s lighting. These audio and visual components make this show an experience to regard, although the topic in question is just as curious and appealing.
Although sex itself affects all humans (especially those of consent), the contents also uses a lot of references to modern technology, from sending texts, using one’s devices as its primary (only?) form of communication, and related magnitudes that seem natural to the so-called millennium crowd while serving as a supplement to those more seasoned. This is ideal for the troupe since the on-stage performers are of that demographic. The cast itself perform in what appears to be dance rehearsal outfits. They show off their legs and their various figures, proving that real women do have curves that fanfares the sexual freedom (so to speak) they all possess.
This showcase takes its material as created and composed by thirty(!) writers that are blended within this presentation that holds a running time of seventy-five minutes. And in between sets, there is a bit of audience participation as well! (It isn’t what one may think!) This from of participation breaks up a bit of the show’s live and electronic generated landscape where the ensemble’s playfulness really rings true.
Directed by Alexandra Meda, GENERATION SEX has its moments. Some are very intriguing while a few are acceptable for the instant. This mix can be compared to one’s collection of sexual partners one may have over time and tide. That’s is just the part of the mystery of what living through this form of sexual expression is all about. As the old saying says, if you can’t be good, then be careful!

   GENERATION SEX, presented by Teatro Luna, performs at the Los Angeles Theatre Center (Theatre 4), 514 South Spring Street, Los Angeles, until May 17th. Showtimes are Thursdays at 7:00 PM, Friday and Saturday nights at 7:00 and 9:30 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 PM. For ticket reservations and for more information, call (866) 811-4111, or via online at http://www.TheLatc.org
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Harold Pinter’s BETRAYAL, a drama of an affair between a married couple that takes upon a number of consequences over a span of years, performs at North Hollywood’s NoHo Arts Center.
The story revolves around a pair of couples; Robert and Emma (Brian Graves and Elizabeth Kimbell), and Jerry (Greg Crooks) and Judith, who is referred to but never depicted. These three (four) become involved in a circle of infidelity. Emma and Jerry’s intimate encounters run within a period of seven years. Robert doesn’t become aware of this fling until its into its fourth year. Robert in turn cheats on Emma. These sexual splurges becomes deeper eventually bringing all matters into its magnitudes.
What makes this play unique is through its basic story structure. It progresses in a reverse method. It commences with Jerry and Emma meeting some two years after their affair ran its course and as Emma’s marriage with Robert is falling apart. Then the plotting reverts in time, concluding at the start of the compassionate beginnings of Emma and Robert’s relationship. In this production, the three lead performers hold their charm throughout, giving each player a sense of belonging, though the belongings are not necessarily for the proper reasons. Greg Crooks as Jerry engages a clean shaven look to his head, sporting a mustache that makes up for his smooth lack of hairpiece. Brian Graves as Robert is more of the so-called “man” type that is just as guilty as Jerry in the not-staying true-to-the-one-you-marry category. And Elizabeth Kimball as Emma is just as sweet, but again, not to her spouse! As to the stage setting, all of the visuals are set to a minimum frame. There are no real sets depicted, just a few black painted boxes and simple chairs that stand for locations and furnishings set forward to a blacken backdrop area with faint visuals of faces depicted. Its just the performers and drama that hold this presentation up! Although the play itself is a period piece taking place in the 1970’s and 60’s (it’s going backwards–remember?) the cast’s costuming reflects the period, complete with snazzy clothing of the era that may either seem “loud”, or of fashions that are steadily seeking their comeback as “retro”.
Each blackout scene depicted is offset by a live two piece jazz combo, consisting of Ed Cosico on guitar, keyboards, and vocals (vocals on Saturday and Sunday performances), Jordan Craig on standup bass, as well as Renee Massie on vocals (Fridays). Although this play isn’t a musical, the band performs their version of a tune that sets up the mood to each stanza, all speaking for love in places that are right, wrong, and in between.
Also appearing in the cast is Joe Capucini in a supporting role.
Directed by Aaron Craig, BETRAYAL is a play that still backs a dramatic cuff. Cheating on one’s spouse still brings its conclusions to a torrid beat. It’s the kind of melodramatic material that also holds appeal down to its virtual knees. (No pun intended!)

BETRAYAL, performs at the NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd. (at Lankershim), North Hollywood, until May 17th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. For tickets and for more information, call (323) 960-7773, or via online at http://www.Plays411.com/Betrayal or http://www.BetrayalNoHo.com/#Betrayal
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Pasadena’s Theatre @ Boston Court presents the west coast premier of Eric Coble’s MY BARKING DOG, a drama about two lost beings that create a bond between an unexpected encounter with another creature of a different kind.
Michelle Azar and Ed. F. Martin play Melenda and Toby. Melenda works as an employee at a facility that prints inner sleeves found in CD albums. The job is dull and tedious, yet she’s been doing the same work for a number of years–enough for her ID badge’s photo to remain the same in spite of the passing years. Toby is in-between jobs, looking for a new position while seeking for the ideal (and stray) wifi connection! Both live in the same high rise apartment complex in the same urban landscape, yet were never aware of each other’s existence. That is, until late one night, the two separately find a creature wandering on their exterior rear staircase; A coyote that appears to have lost its way. Both Melinda and Toby find it unusual to find such a creature that would be normally be found dwelling in a wooded area or in a desert, not within the city they live. The coyote doesn’t appear to be a threat, so they make a token attempt to welcome the creature. Melenda and Toby do finally meet. But as they become friendly (and vice versa) with the coyote, they also encounter a form of a bonding, but not with one another! This bonding rests between nature, where such coherence takes an alternative turn for the two as they detach from one landscape and fall into another atmosphere that makes a surrogate discrepancy.
This one act play takes a so-called normal situation (two people leading empty lives in an anonymous dwelling), and begins to morph into an aspect that is totally different from what the character’s previously conducted. The two leads, Michelle Zara and Ed. F. Martin, portray their roles as a pair who hold the deep desire to break free from who they are (were), yet didn’t know how to conduct such a task until a third person steps in; A party who isn’t human, but an animal that wasn’t supposed to even be present–unlike a domesticated animal such as a dog, cat, or even a parrot! This animal can be impersonated as either a visionary sign or as a form of comic relief! There is an unexpected twist into the plot where reviewing such a twist within this review would face itself as a “spoiler”, so no mention will be stated in this writeup! The dialogue is sharp, starting off as the two speaks for themselves so the audience will know what’s going on with their person, only to have the two communicating to one other, if not getting back to themselves and/or the audience. Playwright Eric Coble creates a play that holds some method of inner notions that can be intercepted in many ways. That interpretation is left to the audience’s senses.
The stage setting as designed by Tom Buderwitz is semi empty with no backdrop. It consists of a pair of plain looking chairs on a carpeted platform, but later opens up to a perception where nature does take a course while keeping its virtual sense of urbaness. (One has to see it to get the total concept!)
Directed by Michael Michetti, MY BARKING DOG is a play that may not necessarily fit all tastes, but does present itself on what can be found in a city, and where it’s time to give it back to a natural state of being. For the record, there are no coyotes (or dogs) appearing in this play, meaning that no said animals were harmed, given, or even implied. (That last statement wasn’t necessarily a spoiler alert either!) This dog doesn’t bark nor bite!

     MY BARKING DOG, presented by and performs at The Theatre @ Boston Court, 70 North Mentor Avenue (at Boston Court, near the intersection of Lake Street and Colorado Blvd.), Pasadena, until May 24th. Showtimes are Thursday through Saturday nights at 8;00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. For tickets and information, call (626) 683-6883, or via online at http://www.BostonCourt.org
     Note: A selection of performances will host pre- or post-show discussions. Check the website for specific performance dates and times.
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2015 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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