This the the week that Football season begins its annual run. Between now and early February, millions will be taking part in this game of the gridiron in terms of fandom, tuning in to the many matches via TV and related devices that will occur in stadiums and football fields across this great land.
As to its popularity, pro football is the nation’s most popular sport. Every Sunday along with Monday night and the occasional Thursday evening, folks will be glued to their video devices to watch all of the action wherever they are able to receive a media signal. For those that were lucky enough to score a ticket or two, those pass holders will be sitting in the stands to do the same thing as they would do if they were not at an arena, unless they insist of watching the game on their phone and/or electronic pad while seated within the stands, making sure they they can see the close ups, the instant reply, and hear the play by play and the “color”.
If they are not watching the game, they will be grabbing the various merchandise that has been available since the end of last season’s Super Bowl, spending they share for clothing, jewelry, along with various knickknacks that feature the logos and colors of their favorite teams. Ditto for grabbing items that bare the likeness of a specific player.
Although men seem to be the biggest demographic that adore the game, women are also are becoming part of the frenzy as well, even donning clothing that are tailored to their size and shape. It may be a so-called man’s world, but the females are becoming attached to the fan frenzy to boot.
College football, that features the players and perhaps football stars of tomorrow, also have their following, ranking in at number three in terms of popularity. Every Saturday, along with an occasional Friday night, colleges from around the nation, from the “brand names” schools as Michigan, Duke, Georgia, and others known for their initials than proper names (UCLA, USC, etc.) will have the same frenzy as the pros witness. Of course, much of their fandom comes from alumni where they still cheer on for the team long after those same fans once wandered around campus. Some of these fans even graduated from those schools, making them more attached and staying loyal, no matter how well (or not so well) the teams subside themselves.
And then there’s high school football. In some communities, especially in the southeast and southwest portions of the nation, football is a religion! Although its fan base is a lot smaller, and TV coverage is limited to the community the school reside–assuming that there is TV coverage to begin with, those that have offspring participating on the team, as part of the school body, or even those that are alumni, keep their school spirit up and about.
So what’s the big deal with football? This question can be pondered upon through different means. If one uses a search engine to type “football fandom”, one will receive millions (literally) of reasons upon why such a following exists. It could be for the rough and tumble action one will see at every game. Or it could be how fans react to one another when they watch a game in a group setting, either in person or perhaps in a public place such as a sports bar. They may become part of the frantic notion because its just amusing! They may not care much for the game itself, let alone understand just what’s going on. It’s just the sprit and atmosphere that makes this sport just what it is; A contest where two teams decked out in heavy gear, collide with one another just to get the ball on the opposite side of the playing fiend while the crowd roars with excitement. For many, the scene can’t get any better than that!
As for Baseball, the one time “America’s pastime”? Their popularity holds out at the number two spot. However, unlike football, the action depicted on the field is a lot different in terms of battle and drama. No players collide with one another (not intentionally anyway), so the plays aren’t as harsh or rough. Football is only played a few days of the week, while baseball is featured on a daily basis. And lastly, football, along with basketball and hockey, is played based on a fixed time setting. Baseball doesn’t play its games in a limited time period, so a game can run as little an an hour, or run as long as six hours or more! That aloof time span doesn’t necessarily capture the passion that the game can hold, just because the game was either too short (not really enough time to absorb the thrills), or too long! (Mostly becoming boring and dull!)
So for the next six months, football fans around the nation and perhaps the world will keep up to the games, real or as fantasy. Football widows will have to suffer as their partners becomes part of the craziness the game partakes in. And for the rest who don’t care much for the game will just let it pass by them. After all, there are other things to be concerned about, and football, as amusing it can become, isn’t everything! It’s only a game!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Neil Simon’s modern classic BROADWAY BOUND, a saga about a young man’s dream of becoming a big time comedy writer akin to the family he lives with, begins its run at the Pierson Playhouse in Pacific Palisades.
The setting is the humble Jerome household located in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. It’s the middle winter of 1949. Engene (DL Corrigan) lives with his housewife mother Kate (Georgan Groege), his father Jack (Kenneth Steven Bernfield) who is a clothes cutter for the garment industry, and his grandfather Ben (Larry Thaler) long retired. Living in the same homestead is Engene’s elder brother Stanley (David Tracq), who shares the same dream as his sibling–to become big time writers of comedy skits and jokes for that new medium called “television”. Stan arranges a deal with the bigwigs at CBS to create a spec script. Now all they had to do was to write some comedy material to show off their talent, assuming they can create an idea for a script. Meanwhile, some real life drama is unfolding within the family dwelling. Ben, a long time socialist, doesn’t seem to care to relocate to sunny Florida to live out his sunset years. Engene’s aunt Blanch (Caroline Westheimer) lives the good life on Park Avenue with her spouse who made it big in the garment industry, making more money that Jack in the same industry. And Jack himself is beginning to feel distant from Kate, not being the same man as he used to be. Engene and Stanley eventually sells a script for an early evening radio show, taking much of their material from what’’s going on within their household. Their comedy gets laughs on the radio, but not so much with the Jerome clan as they suspect that their own personal selves isn’t something to be laughed at!
This play created by the “Broadway bound” Neil Simon takes another slice of his own life, and transfers his personal story (with a bit of creative license added, no doubt) into a play that holds equal parts of comedy (of course), as well as dramatic elements, showing off a real side of a nearly typical middle class family just getting by in the big city. (Brooklyn, anyway!) DL Corrigan as Eugene is based on the playwright’s own self as he desired to make it big writing gags for TV. David Tracq as big brother Stanley was based on Neil’s own elder sibling Danny who became a writer himself, always living within the shadow of his younger brother. The remaining characters were also shaped upon Simon’s own family who indeed were extracted as a nice Jewish clan living in the heart of Brooklyn, home of Coney Island and the baseball Dodgers!
There’s more to the production itself aside to the cast of players. Sherman Wayne’s set designs shows the interior of the Jerome family as a small yet charming bungalow decked out with a post Great Depression setup, complete with worn yet comfortable furnishings graced within a modest style. The family may not be Park Avenue or Upper East Side material, but they did have everything they needed. June Lissandrello’s costuming also showcases the period quite well with fashions that present what folks donned in those post war years; Not quite Brook Brothers or Saks Fifth Avenue, but far removed from outfits found on Second Avenue shops!
In addition to the cast appearing on stage, this production features the vocal talents of Arnie Wishnick, Susan Stangl, with Chubby Waters as “himself”.
Directed by Sherry Coon, BROADWAY BOUND is Neil’s story of his own personal journey to television eventually writing for Sid Caesar, later moving to the Great White Way where his material still graces the stages both immense and intimate to this very day. And leave it to the folks as Theatre Palisades to keep community theater alive and well. Broadway may be a bit far off, but the talents that keeps stage plays going is just a short distance away!
BROADWAY BOUND, presented by Theater Palisades, performs at the Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road (off Sunset Blvd.), Pacific Palisades, until October 11th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. For more information, call (310) 454-1970, or visit online at http://www.TheatrePalisades.com
Performing at The Lounge Theatre in Hollywood are a pair of one act plays that hold a common bond upon the subject on how siblings deal with one another. This mini anthology is entitled SIBLING RIVALRY, that speak for two rather separate pairs of bothers and sister hold up through their own personal conflicts.
The first play, James McLule’s Lone Star, takes place in Maynard, Texas c. 1972. Roy (Mercer Boffy, alternating with Taylor Handley) meets up with his younger brother Ray (Wes McGee) in the back of Angel’s Bar where drinking is not only a custom, but it’s the only thing to do in their small town! Roy has recently served his time fighting in Vietnam, while Ray hasn’t set himself outside of the forsaken town they dwell in. The two bros do hold their differences, and know that they don’t have much to look forward to, outside of Roy’s cherished car, a ‘59 Thunderbird and his sexy wife; That is, if Ray didn’t demolish the car while taking advantage of his spouse while he was away serving his country. And added to the mix is Roy’s rival, Cletis a.k.a. Skeeter (Joe Massingill) whose dad owns the local hardware store and comes from Oklahoma–and Roy despises Okies!!
The second play, Rosemary With Ginger by Edward Allen Baker, finds Ginger (Kim Hamilton) closing down The Peter Pan Diner in their community of Providence, Rhode Island. Her sister Rosemary (Krista Peterson) is in the process of losing custody of her own kids thanks to her excessive drinking, while Ginger is living inside an empty marriage. Although they do have each other, their support is just as lifeless as their own personal conflicts.
These pair of plays speak for siblings that come from dysfunctional families existing in small town America that tends to breed dysfunctional clans related by bloodlines where at times, the desire to shed the blood from their fellow siblings are rampant! The first play Lone Star holds most of the comedy relief, while the latter play Rosemary With Ginger is more melodramatic. As stated, they do deal with shifted brothers and sisters, showing that the bonding between these two isn’t as bonding as one can expect. After all, only forgotten TV shows such as The Waltons represent families that get along with one another, but only as fiction and is besides the point!
As to this presentation, it features two tight stage pieces that featured a rather stellar cast, set within the intimate theater space that The Lounge Theatre provides. Troy Ruptash directs both shows with a personal gusto that fanfares the best/worst of siblings and how they deal with their own lives–no matter how “F”-ed up they may become!
And speaking of imitate stage settings, Timothy Pacalso’s set design showcases two rather different situations. For Lone Star, the scene depicts the back of a small town dive bar, complete with junk car parts set in a spread to drink local brew. For Rosemary With Ginger, a shut down diner is the place depicted with empty barstools and soon to be dirty dishes ready to be packed away in boxes ready for nowhere!
It’s not often that short one act plays are performed as a mini repertory, especially when those solo acts hold that common bond. That is why this presentation is worth its look, no matter how siblings can get along with one another–or not!!
SIBLING RIVALRY, presented by KKMW Production is association with Aquila Morong Studio, performs at the Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., one block east of Vine Street at El Centro, Hollywood, until September 27th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturdays at 8;00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. Special Sunday matinee performs on September 27th at 3:00 PM. For more information and for ordering tickets, link to http://www.Plays411.com/SiblingRivarly
WE’VE STILL MOVED!! (Kinda…!)
Linear Cycle Productions, and Accessibly Live Off-Line has a new e-mail address!
Our new e-mail address for all current and future correspondence is now AccessiblyLiveOffLine@twc.com. Please revise your address book located within your e-mail service applications to keep in contact with us.
Our previous e-mail address LCP@wgn.net is now disconnected. Messages sent to the previous address will not be received or forwarded.
Thank you again for your patronage. We would be honored if you readers out there contact us at our new location in cyberspace to say “hi”!
CONNECT WITH US!
ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions
(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)
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!