DON’T LEAVE THE DRIVING TO…

There are many reasons why people living in urban areas don’t take public transportation in order for those folks to get from their point A to point B. And the reasons given from those asked can vary within a very wide range.

Perhaps the most obvious reason why folks don’t take the bus and/or subway or “El” (especially in one lives in New York or Chicago where the elevated trains are very alive and living), if the fact that taking the bus isn’t practical because of the hours of operation, or it doesn’t take them anywhere they would need to go. This is very true in such a city as Los Angeles (where this news service is based in) for the reason that its public transportation service isn’t as great as it could be.

However, there are personal reasons why people won’t take the bus or subway, and those reasons have to do with the others that take the bus along with them. And a new poll report gives some of these reasons coming up on the surface.

KRC Research, a marketing and research firm based in Washington, DC, recently filed a report on some of the things people find annoying when they are on some form of public transportation, be is a local bus, a train, or even aboard an airplane.

According to the poll as conduced by the company completed last June via online with a sample of 500 adults aged 18+, 412% stated that people eating a messy meal is what gets them off. (Not getting them off the bus–just getting off!) In LA’s bus system as well as many other locations, eating while on board is prohibited. But people still seem to get away with chowing down! 41% also stated that riders taking up more than one seat is annoying, usually placing their personal goods on a seat rather than on the floor or in some overhead compartment. 46% noted that they are bothered when others won’t give up a seat to somebody that needs it more then the seater, such as someone with a disability or a senior citizen.

And the number one reason to become annoyed when taking the bus? Having to hear somebody talk on their cell phone!! (50% gave this reason to be totally ticked off!) This act of speaking on a phone with others hearing isn’t just limited to a bus or train. This method of mass communication is shared by all sources, from restaurants, waiting rooms, retail outlets, or any place where people tend to gather either by chose or through circumstance.

Of course, there are methods where one can get around town without driving from point A to point B themselves keeping themselves away from those that can make them annoyed. Thanks to the “sharing economy” that’s been in vogue within the last few years, there are those car services to consider. However, getting away from annoying folks isn’t necessarily a guarantee that one won’t become bothered. One might have to share a ride with somebody who can and will talk on the phone, etc. This is the same method as aboard a carpool. Carpooling is normally arranged through a place of employment or perhaps a school where fellow employes or students consist of the riders. Again, it is quite possible that some bad apple will become part of the bunch–so to speak! So there goes one’s proof!

In spite of all this annoyance, there could be ways to make riding the train and/or bus more enjoyable for all. There are the rules to consider of course, but for some folks, rules are made to be bent, reshaped, or just plain broken! Sure, that isn’t fair for the so-called law abiding citizens that watch their Ps and Qs at every given moment. But then again, when were times fair to begin with?

So as public transportation makes it mark within the urban societies they serve, it’s just best to suck up any annoying behavior that somebody going to pull sooner or later! Although this sucking up won’t solve the problem per se, it will at least give the riders the moment to get to where they are going. Once arrived at the destination, the ones annoyed will depart the bus/train, only to leave the annoying folks to themselves–assuming that they didn’t get off the bus/train first!

—————————————————————————————————————————- NEWS AND REVIEWS

     The Colony Theatre of Burbank continues its run of the California premier of THE FABULOUS LIPITONES, John Markus & Mark St. German’s comedy of a barber shop quartet that takes a new member that is slightly different from the rest while adds a new slant in their musical and physical presentation.

The Fabulous Lipitones is a barber shop quartet that vocalizes in four part harmony those classic tunes from not so long ago, performing in many competitions representing their middle Ohio hometown. Right before competing in a regional contest, their lead Andy drops dead. The three remaining members, consisting of Howard Dumphy (John Racca), Wally Smith (Steve Gunderson), and Phil Rizzardi (Dennis Holland), are sadden to see their faithful friend departed, but must make their plans over the group’s future. They have a few hills to climb, from facing fierce competition of other rival groups (including the leading team, “The Sons of Pitches”) to realizing the fact they they are not only getting old, but barber shop music isn’t as popular as it once was–if it was popular to begin with! As they congregate in Howard’s rec room basement, they must either find a fourth person to make their quartet a whole, or to disband. By happenstance, they learn about a local garage mechanic that singes a great vocal while working on cars. They invite this mysterious person known as “Bob” to come in sight unseen to audition. When Bob arrives, the trio discovers that Bob is really Baba Mati Singh (Asante Gunewardena), a younger man of East India decent. At first, it brings a culture shock to these guys, not knowing how a “foreigner” can sing classic all-American standards, but Bob shows these men that he can indeed sing. Howard and the rest learns a few pointers from Bob, while Bob learns the songs from their songbook, enough to compete in an upcoming competition to fetch the top prize of the best barbershop quartet in the land–American or otherwise!

This comedy, or to be precise, a comedy with music, is a very witty and charming piece. It shows in classic fish-out-of-water style how these guys, long withstanding buddies from the heartland of American, can eventually cope with an alien from the Middle East. There are the typical setbacks and the gags that go along with such reactions that one could expect from folks that lived a somewhat sheltered Midwestern life, such as first thinking that they new man is a terrorist! But that is part of the humor that is imbedded in this comical play. The four appearing on stage play their roles in a very believable fashion, right down to Bob’s acceptance of his presence, in spite of the fact that his new harmonious colleges may think otherwise! And these four players can actually sing barber shop-type harmonies with style, pitch, and grace! Many of the songs sung come from various sources, from traditional standards, to a few tunes made famous by Tom Jones!! (Randy Courts and Mark St. Germain provides some original music pieces as well!)

As to visuals both performed and what’s seen on stage, Murphy Cross provides the choreography with Sam Kriger’s musical direction. David Potts scenic design adds to John M. McElveney’s set decoration that showcases a very cozy basement den, complete with mandatory home bar! Dianne K. Graebner’s costuming showcases that these Fabulous Lipitones can dress up (and down) as the story progresses.

Directed by John Markus, THE FABULOUS LIPITONES is a play that is very pleasing to experience. Although some elements may press a few emotional buttons mostly on the notions of tolerances, it still remains to become nearly pitch perfect! Ain’t she sweet indeed!

THE FABULOUS LIPITONES, presented by and performs at The Colony Theatre, 555 North Third Street (at Cypress), next to the Burbank Town Center Mall, Burbank, until August 23rd. Showtimes are Thursday through Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, with matinee performances on Saturday at 3:00 PM, and Sunday at 2:00 PM. Special talk back presentations with a Q & A with the cast and crew takes place following the performance on August 13th.

     For ticket reservations or for more information, call (818) 558-7000 x 15, or via online at http://www.ColonyTheatre.org

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PAPER TOWNS (Fox) tells the tale of Quentin (Nat Wolff), also known as “Q”, a young man that lives with his parents in a post modern middle class subdivision in central Florida. He first meets Margo (Cara Delevingne) when she moved into the neighborhood around the time both were eight years old. They quickly became friends at first as kids. Over time, she and Q drifted apart. But Q always took a shine to Cara, eventually attending the same community high school. The story picks up when the two are seniors in their high school. Margo has an adventurous mind, even inviting Q in some of her escapades, pulling pranks as revenge to those that did her wrong in some method. Now its the end of their high school years with the school’s big prom on the horizon. That is, until Margo mysteriously disappears. There isn’t any foul play suspected, since her parents knew that she tends to disappear with minimal warning. But Q knows that Margo has a knack of dispensing clues to her antics. And one of those clues points toward her whereabouts–a place thousands of miles from their central Florida suburban landscape. So with the assistance of Margo’s closest friend Lacy (Halston Sage), along with Q’s buds Ben (Austin Abrams), Radar (Justice Smith), and his girlfriend Angela (Jaz Sinclair), the pack heads off to the area where Margo might have gone to, and to perhaps kindle a relationship that Q always wanted.

This feature film that takes its story from John Green’s “young adult” novel of the same name, is a follow up to Fox’s 2014 early summer release of The Fault In Our Stars (See review-Vol. 19-No. 23) that featured lead Nat Wolff, as well as keeping the same producer (Wyck Godfrey), the same director (Jake Schreier) and the same screenwriters (Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber). The film itself plays itself as something one would find as a feature seen on the ABC Family Channel. It’s more melodramatic that a title found of Nickelodeon or The Disney Channel, meaning that the comedy relief is more subdued. (Nothing that would be considered as slapstick or as juvenile humor either!) The budget of this film is slightly smaller that the for noted The Fault In Our Stars. That feature took its lead characters to Europe, while Paper Towns moves its players to upstate New York. It was also shot in Orlando, Florida, and Charlotte, North Carolina as well, but that’s besides the point!

It doesn’t boast any major stars as well. The lead players (Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne, et. al.) hold out as their own, showing that these “kids” are depicted as teens living in a post modern domestic society. Although their technology at hand (smart phone mostly) play a minor role to what they do, it doesn’t overpower their lives, or at least not depicted on screen.

It’s rather obvious that this film will cater to more of a younger female demographic, somewhere between the ages of twelve to their twenties. This means that for those boys out there, this movie is the ideal “date film” to see. Unlike TFIOS, Paper Towns isn’t much of a “weepie”, so leave those tissue packs in one’s pocketbook!

This feature is rated “PG-13” for underage drinking, TV style cussing, and sexual references. Currently playing at all the leading multiplexes nationwide.

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