THE ART OF DATING-PART ONE

Now that spring is already in the air, it’s the traditional season where those that are not attached to anyone partakes in the ritual of what’s known as “dating”; the phase where one person seeks another person for the notion of some method of romance, either as on a permanent basis or just for the moment.

For many generations, this act usually takes place when a person who becomes of a age hold upon the desire to seek somebody of their own kind that is for the most part, of the opposite sex. Thanks to social aspects that have broaden within the last twenty five or so years (give or take), this notion has extended itself to those that are members of the same gender. Although this writer will respect those that choose this method, this article will concentrate of those that are of different genders living in today’s domestic post modern society, although many of these rules (whatever those rules may tend to be), can fall within those that will stick to their own sex.

There are many ways one can find that so-called “special someone” that exists out in the world one live within. A simple search using one’s favorite search engine under “dating choices” or something to that effect will give plenty of options to anyone who desires such. Finding somebody through personal methods are ideal. Finding somebody online isn’t just a novelty, it’s a way of life.

But this article won’t concentrate on how to find somebody. (That’s is what the search engine pursuit is all about!) This article will focus upon where to meet on that first date where  the man and woman in question would gather for their first (or only) time to introduce one another over food, drinks, or both, taking part in idle chitchat, scoping one another to discover if the other person is worth meeting again on a longer term bias or again, just for the moment.

Deciding where one can meet for the first and/or only time has been easier than ever to choose. Thanks to smart phones, the device that only matters to many, anyone worth their tech savvy can download the appropriate app to not only pick a place, but to even place an order before one heads over to the joint!

One particular dating app, Clover, currently limited to Apple’s iOs platform, analyzed data from its 200,000+ users on where their uses choose to meet, from restaurants, bars, coffee joints, and related places.

Based upon its data collected earlier this year form the 200k users aged 18-65 in the US, it appears that Stabucks, the place where one can do such tasks as write screenplays, read text via print or through an electronic device as well to generally “hang out” (and to drink coffee ‘natch), is the most picked place to join forces. (53% of women pick a coffee house regardless of brand, compared to 31% of the men folk.) Chipote Mexican Grill came in at second place. (Those 18 through 24 picked this place to meet restaurant wise). Panera Bread, another fast casual place, ranked in at number three. The Cheesecake Factory, a restaurant that has been noted for its title delicacy, came in at number three, and as the number restaurant for those aged 25 through 34. Texas Roadhouse, another franchise that falls under the casual dining aspect, ranked in at number five. (A little over half of men picked a restaurant to meet, vs. 35% of women).

Rounding out the top ten places to meet are (again, according to the survey), Buffalo Wild Wings (number one bar meeting place for the 18-24 set), Olive Garden (number one restaurant place for those 35 and up), Chili’s Bar & Grill, In-And-Out Burger, and Applebees at number ten. BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse is the chosen restaurant place for those 25-34, and ranked in at number 14, while Yard House is the most picked restaurant for those 35 and over. (Number 21 total.)

And bars are not as popular to meet for the first time as they once were. 18% of men and 13% of women picked a watering hole of some kind to meet.

Again, these stats are here just generally covers where one may meet at based to its franchise brand, and what the franchise stands for. It doesn’t speak for other places such other franchises not listed, or at regional establishments that are unique and one of a kind as well as local!! The stats also don’t give out any other details on how often these places are used or in what means. In-And-Out Burger, a California based burgers and fries joint that’s limited to the states of California and Nevada, doesn’t offer any in house seating as its primary food service. (It’s mostly a drive through place). So if anyone desires to meet at an In-And-Out, it’s going to be either in a car, or perhaps seated at tables that some of their locations may have to offer–usually placed right next to the driveways that cars do their in and out-ing!

Throughout the year, additional articles will appear in this newsletter that will speak for this passage of life and times. Just stay tuned to this very newsletter to gain the latest details! (Isn’t that the reason why you are here in the first place??)

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NEWS AND REVIEWS

    Theatre West presents their annual Writer-In-Rep series, presenting a pair of world premier plays created by playwrights who had their works developed through the Theatre West company ensemble.

The first of the two is Julie Selbo’s BOXES, a dramatic piece that centers around Sigourney (Caitlin Gallogly), a progressive medical student living in New York who was involved in a research program but met its end due to a lack of funding. She would prefer to get back into a project not only to become advanced within her field, but she could use the money. Her boyfriend Marvin (Greg Nussen) is rather supportive in her with the hope that the two will become a couple, perhaps living together as if they where married! So in order to make her rent money each month, she follows up in a recommendation as an assistant to Dr. Robert Eden (Eddie Alfano) to perform research. Once meeting Dr. Robert, she finds him with a sense of a mystery to him with a hint of revere. In order to see if she is qualified for the job, he gives her an assignment by handing her a small box with an object inside to have her describe what’s contained, and to file a report the next day. The items inside are small articles of clothing, such as a scarf or a glove. There is something about these pieces that she must describe–not for any medical research per se, but perhaps as something else. Does Dr. Robert hold any attraction toward Sigourney, although the doctor has a woman of his own, Dr. Kelly Branford (Ashlee LaPine)–the same person that recommended this job to Sigourney! What is behind Dr. Robert’s work, and is this research for the good or for other mysterious purposes?

This new and original play by Julie Selbo begins as a standard drama and eventually morphs into a psychological thriller, complete with the median twists and turns that constructs the story line advancing as intense and interesting to boot. The cast of players that represents their roles are able to maintain the momentum as performed, never losing track to what’s going on thanks to Mary Lou Belli’s stage direction. Although this play is a one act, it doesn’t seem that way! Single act stage pieces tend to be that way because of a lack of material–not enough scenes and dialogue for two sets. This play packs enough conflict and pathos where all elements maneuver in a rapid mode without the conviction that that action is all going too fast.

Also appearing within the cast is Oliver Singer as Cliff, Marvin’s best bud.

BOXES is sharp, thrilling, and a play that keeps on keeping onward. Again, it’s not often that a stage play of this forte can perform in this method, but this one can and does! It’s a play that is worth the experience to see for its first time ever!

     BOXES, presented by and performs at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd. Los Angeles, (Universal City adjacent) until May 31st. Showtimes are Thursday through Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. For tickets and for more information, call (323) 851-7977, or via online at http://www.TheatreWest.org

     The second production of Theatre West’s Writers-In-Rep series is Chris DiGiovanni’s The Claw, opening on June 4th. This presentation will be reviewed in a future issue of this news service.

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Art Shulman’s DOUBTING THOMAS, a comic drama about a man who receives an inherence from the father he never knew, and the down and out man he encounters that knew of his late dad in more ways than one, makes its appearance at North Hollywood’s Secret Rose Theatre.

The story finds John (Ted Ryan) a unemployed ad man seeking work, receiving word that his father Warren had recently died from an accident, and left his only child a small fortune. John’s dad departed from the family when he was a toddler and thus, never got the know him. He was only identified through a debt card on his person, and the attorney traced John as his sole heir. John and his family, consisting of his spouse Marilyn (Nancy Van Iderstine) who writes children’s book, and their teenage son Dylan (Adam Simon Krist, alternating with Ian Hamilton) going through his growing pains, is thrilled in receiving the money they desperately need. But before John can collect his inheritance, he must find a park bench since his father requested in his will that he is to be buried while prone on the bench! (He was in a homeless state, and his bench served as his “home”.) While at the park looking for a matching bench, he encounters another man lying on a bench,Thomas (Art Shulman), who was aware of Warren. John discovers something interesting of Thomas, a man what knew a lot about his deceased father. Could Thomas, a man who sports his share of intelligence from holding a library card checking out eclectic reading material, really be his dad?

This play by playwright Art Shulman first appears as a comedy by asking the question if John was going to receive a fortune from a vagrant? But its tone is more of a comic drama, or “dramity” where the drama aspect isn’t as heavy while its comical tones are lighter that expected. This method of story timbre actually works well since the basic theme is the sense of rebounding family ties that have been unbounded through circumstance. The dialogue is quick witted, brisk, and irons out the logic expressed. (How did a homeless man gain access to a half a million dollars while living on the street like a bum?) The cast of four, including the playwright as the “doubting” Thomas, interact well with each other from its humble opening to a conclusion that features a climatic twist to it all. Stan Mazin directs this piece as a tight production throughout.

With such a close stage setting, Chris Winfield’s set design is rather simple, consisting of a living room representing John and Marilyn’s humble homestead, and a city park scene where Thomas calls his abode. J. Kent Inasy provides the lighting design, with Steve Shaw providing the audio effects and design.

Art Shulman, a local playwright based in the San Fernando Valley, has created a collection of plays over the years that range from light comedies to serious dramas. Many of these works have played in regional theaters within the Los Angeles area, with a selection of them have also been previously reviewed by this writer. This latest stage piece blends these two genres into a work that showcases a mix of humor and conflict with the right amount of sentiment added.

DOUBTING THOMAS is a real crowd pleaser that has its genuine moments. And there’s no doubt about that fact!

  DOUBTING THOMAS, performs at the Secret Rose Theatre, 11246 Magnolia Blvd. (off Lankershim Blvd.), North Hollywood, until June 21st. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. 

     For reservations and for more information, call (818) 465-3213, or via online at http://www.DoubtingThomasPlay.com

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Kelrik Productions presents VIOLET, a musical tale of a young woman who travels a distant journey seeking a physical healing and the pair of military men she befriends along the way, currently performs at the Monroe Forum Theatre in North Hollywood.

The story begins in the Great Smokey Mountain region of western North Carolina where Violet (Kristin Towers Rowles), a young woman who was born and raised in this region, suffered a hideous accent with an ax by having her face cut, leaving a massive scar across her forehead and nose. That mishap occurred with she was thirteen years old. It’s late September, 1964, and as a woman now in her middle 20’s, she hears about a TV evangelist who preaches the power of healing. Desperate for getting her face the way it should be, she travels via Greyhound bus to Tulsa, Oklahoma where the preacher’s congregation is based, to get herself healed. Along the way, she meets a pair of solders traveling to Ft. Smith, Arkansas: Monty (Michael Spaziani) who is white, and Flick (Jahmaul Bakare), a negro. Flick, passing through an area where segregation fully remains although integration is (supposedly) the law, is aware of the suppression. But through her journey, Violet still pictures flashbacks between her younger self (played by Jaidyn Young), and her recently deceased father (Jason Chacon) from her misfortune and the keeping of her long deceased mother’s spirituality alive, still latching on to her catechism book kept from those years before. Its the setting between a woman who clasps enough faith to become normal once more, and the two fighting men that hold their affection to this lass, regardless of her facial nonconformity.

This show piece with musical score by Jeanine Teseri and book/lyrics by Brian Crawley, takes its plot from the Doris Betts short story The Ugliest Pilgrim, and creates a tuneful saga with the title character that has kept her belief of becoming attractive, along with her self discovery through the aid of her father and the things he taught her as a girl–such as how to draw cards playing poker in order to teach her ‘rithmetic so she won’t be shortchanged from grocery shopping! Her discovery continues by meeting the pair of Army men and how one of these GI’s Flick, as played by Jahmaul Bakare, encounters a “seperate-yet-equal” attitude with others. The ensemble of performers in this production keep the pace moving throughout the performance. Its lead player Kristin Towers Rowles as the elder Violet is very vibrant and is loaded with spark and energy through her vocalization and stage movement. She comes from a very talented musical theater background (her grandmother was MGM film star Kathryn Grayson), and has performed in many other regional musical theater presentations with the same vibrance. Her “alter ego” character, the young Violet as portrayed by Jaidyn Young, matches her ability to keep the pace up in equal mode. Her two costars Michael Spazian and Jahmaul Bakare as Monty and Flick, have the voice that surpasses in what they can perform in this very robust and tight show.

And speaking of “tight”, the stage presentation is set within an intimate performance space, adding to the intimacy of this musical enhancing the “less is more” modus of theater. Samantha Marie’s choreography fits in to the performance space allowed, and Joshua Finkel’s stage direction adds to the flavor. Erik Austin’s set design shows a backdrop that is minimized with a stage where its three piece orchestra resides, featuring Joe Lawrence on keyboards as well as providing musical direction, along with Barrett Wilson on guitar, and Jason Chacon on percussion.

And adding to the above noted ensemble of cast members are Richard Lewis Warren, Gail Matthius, Erika Bowman, Benai Boyd, Jeremy Saje, and Justin Anthony Long. These players appear in various roles that become part of Violet’s journey of finding the hope and salvation she strongly desires.

VIOLET is a musical whose score harks folk and gospel rhythms, along with contemporary tunes. It’s a solid show and of one that is fresh and original–perhaps a show that its audience can experience for the first time. That notion is refreshing as that stands!

  VIOLET, presented by Kelrick Productions, and performs at the Monroe Forum Theatre located within the El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd. North Hollywood, until May 31st. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8;00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. For ticket reservations and for more information, call (818) 508-4200, (866) 811-4111, or via online at http://www.ElPortalTheatre.com, or http://www.KelrikProductions.org

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Performing at North Hollywood’s T.U. Studios is the Shakespearian self titled farce THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, a play that involves a pair of twins and the mistaken identities that come along with being identical.

The story tells about Antipholus and his servant, Dromio, who arrive in the village that’s the home of Antipholus and his servant, Dromio. It seems that the two Antipholus were separated at birth, so when these twins meet up as grown adults, their accountancies and family members mistake one over the other! Thus begins a series of comical highjinks that only The Bard and conger up. Of course, all’s well that ends well where everyone learns from their comedy of errors, and things conclude on a higher note measure for measure!

This production as directed by Gloria Gifford, transports the setting of this farcical caricature and sets it in 16th century Greece, where all the action takes place in a single day, unlike other works by the playwright where the storyline can stretch out for years! It’s also the shortest play written by W.S. in terms of dialogue and scene settings. The dialogue itself even has a rhyming method to it all, adding to the humor as interjected.

As to this actual production itself, if features a rather large cast of players that are rotated per each performance. There are a total of thirty four players involved in this show, and space doesn’t allow for this writer to post each and every name! However, there is one main conceit for sure is that this cast does know their Shakespeare–and it shows!

An interesting twist to this work is the notion that it features a team of belly dances as part of the ensemble. They do not speak the words of The Bard per se, but this addition adds some choreography to an otherwise talky play. (All of Shakespeare play were rather “talky”! A genuine reason to concentrate on the prose spoken rather than to focus upon any action that may be portrayed on stage!)

As to the technical side of things, Davia King and Jeffrey Casciano provides the set design, Chris Rivera designs the lighting, with Gloria Gifford, Kasia Pilewicz, and Nakta Pahlevan providing the period costuming that enhances the color (tone and stance) to this showpiece.

There is always a moment where the theater classics do take their stand in order for existing audiences to witness for the first time or the first time again! That is the many reasons why 600 year old stage works are revived again and again! THE COMEDY OF ERRORS is again, a comedy that still maintains its laughs, and always promises a happy ending. That is what Willie wanted, and he, along with the audience of the new millennium, receives!

THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, presented by Jamaica Moon Productions, performs at the T.U. Studios, 10943 Camarillo Street (at Lankershim Blvd.), North Hollywood, until June 28th. Showtimes are Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:30 PM. For ticket reservations, call (310) 366-5505, or via online at http://www.Tix.com

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The Angel City Chorale under the direction of Sue Fink, will present their upcoming presentation entitled EPIC, a blend of music and choir extracted from popular media, from motion pictures, television, and even the world of video games–a medium that has successfully mimicked the grandeur once limited to feature films and television, and now available at one’s fingertips.

The choir, consisting of a membership of 150 plus singers backed by a 25 piece  instrumental ensemble, will present a vast selection of songs from selected media titles from a variety of genres (comedy, drama, science fiction, and all points in between) pulled from those virtual worlds found on the big and little screen. This range comes from such time tested favorites as Frozen, The Lion King, Friends, I Love Lucy, World of Warcraft, Tetris, 2001: A Space Odyssey (performing Richard Strauss’ biggest hit) and more! A preference of highlights will also be presented, including the men’s ensemble vocalizing the opening number from Mel Brook’s Blazing Saddles–Its theme tune sounding as majestic as the choir itself!

A number of languages will be represented in this presentation, including Russian, Latin, Italian, Swahili, and Dovahzul–the Dragon Language. (One has to hear it to fully believe it!)

The event will take place on Saturday, June 6th and Sunday, June 7th at 7:00 PM, at the Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Blvd. (adjacent to the Wilshire-Ebell Theater), Los Angeles. This majestic church, a pillar of the community since its opening in 1925, serves as the performing home of the Angel City Chorale with its grand architecture influenced by Italian, Spanish, and Gothic form, and functions as a acoustically perfect setting where choirs have performed to congregations for generations.

For more information on the Angel City Chorale’s presentation of EPIC, as well as for ordering tickets (save five dollars per ticket when obtained in advance), call (310) 943-9231, or via the ACC’s website at http://www.AngelCityChorale.org

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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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