ONE FOR THE RECORD BOOKS

     Among the many press release this here publication receives, this particular one caught the attention of this writer, not so much on what it reads about, but for the so-called “importance” the press release totes upon. This particular one dated January 29th of this year and came from the kid’s TV channel Nickelodeon, one of America’s longest running cable based channels first going on the air in 1979.
     In recent years, Nickelodeon, or “Nick” has expanded throughout other nations across the globe, providing much of the same kind of programming as seen here on there shores, adding to the local flavor and culture found in the countries it’s accessible to. (All of the programming coming from the USA is dubbed in the local language if not being aired in English.)
     In the United Kingdom, Nick takes part in the local community by creating a program called Nick Kicks, a weekly series that features news and highlights from the regional Football aka “Soccer” leagues, reporting on news bits of its players and teams. Within the program’s content, the character SpongeBob SquarePants, extracted from Nick’s successful cartoon series of the same name, will take on club mascots in weekly challenges.
     Mentioned in one part of the press release, it states that this program created a “word’s record” of sort. It noted that the SpongBob character, dressed as a team’s mascot, boned with eleven other mascots from the UK Football leagues has banded together setting the record for the highest number of football penalty kicks scored by a team of mascots in one minute with 16 goals. This feat was acknowledged by the team behind the Guinness Book of World Records, awarding SpongBob and company a certificate establishing this feat.
     That’s all fine and dandy for what that is, adding to the tone to what this series brings to its local demographic. However, this form of record doesn’t appear to be one of importance in terms of skill, ability, or something that’s tough, if not impossible, to meet or beat. Granted, it does hold bragging rights for the series, stating that they are perhaps the first (and only?) kind of a program that can ever reach this mark.
     The scope of this article won’t speak on the Nick UK series or the record it created. It will focus on how this book of records that’s been around since 1955, has changed over the course of its existence from placing interesting and informative facts to limiting itself of noting records that are amusing and make great human interest stories, but holds no real importance outside of the fact they these feats are entertaining for what they are.
     The book known as the The Guinness Book of World Records in the USA was originally created by Guinness Breweries in the 1950’s to settle basic bar bets. To explain in further details, let’s state that two patrons at a pub would start a conversation questing what bird was the fastest to fly, or where is the farthest known planet located in the solar system. A book as this type could give the answer.  Since the Guinness brand of beer was a popular one found in all of the pubs around the nation, it would be a great advertising vehicle, although there were no ads found in each print edition. Soon, plenty of drinking establishments would have a copy on hand in case somebody wanted to settle a score of some sort.
     However, the scope of the book’s facts well well beyond the bar betting kind. Others would find these facts to be rather amazing, both of the natural world (The heaviest rock, the slowest turtle, etc.) to the “human” world and the feats created. (The most recorded song, the most expensive automobile, etc.) Before long, other features made by those human beings were attempted and entered, making this kind of publication something that was entertaining and rather amusing.
     The whole scope changed around the start of the 21st century. Guinness Breweries sold off their publication to an outside company, and later being bounced through other firms. Today, it’s operated by the parent company of Ripley Entertainment, connected to the long running newspaper feature Ripley’s Believe It Or Not!
     In these current times, the Guinness Book of World Records emphasis feats that are more geared toward entreatment, such as the largest dance ensemble assembled, or the most painted flagpole. Although they will no longer accept eating and drinking records due to liability issues as well as anything connected to chain letters including messages sent via e-mail and text, they still will accept other feats that are a lot safer to complete in and is just as amusing.
     It’s going to be a long time if the record of football/soccer mascots scoring goals will ever be beaten. However, there are many other stunts folks can compete with in order to have bragging rights to! Social media is the best place to toot one’s horns over by creating the world’s biggest banana cream pie, or building the shiniest blast furnace. After all, records are to be made, and those same records are there to be broken! All it takes is a lot of time, skill, and the desire to become famous for something or other! After all, if somebody doesn’t complete the record for tossing chicken wings the farthest distance using one’s feet, who’s gonna do it anyway??
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                                           NEWS AND REVIEWS
     SEX, FAITH, AND JASON WEXLER, Dan Frischman’s romantic comedy about a young man who meets a young woman that fall in love only to have a complication set because of their higher power, opens at the Two Roads Theatre in Studio City.
     Jason Wexler, played by Robert Werner alternating with Justin Truesdale, is a twentysomething budding stockbroker working in Manhattan. Besides his age, he’s single and Jewish. He only attends temple during high holy days–if at all! While attending an art opening at a nearby gallery, he meets Faith Morgan (Lira Kellerman, alternating with Alexandra Bayless), a sales clerk at the gallery. She’s about the same age as Jason. She’s also single, and she’s Catholic. Unlike Jason, who doesn’t think much of his faith, Faith is a devoted Catholic, attending mass on a weekly basis, and is saving herself for marriage. Her father Bob (Bill Bingham, alternating with Curtis Webster), is a deacon at her parish church, one of the many reasons why she hold more faithfulness to her spiritual devotion. Jason and Faith do fall in love, even becoming close as Faith will engage in sex without actually “doing it”! But Faith sees the big picture for their future. What will their lives become? Will Jason tolerate living in a Catholic based domain? If they have kids, how will they be raised faith wise? Jason best bud Randy (Case Williams, alternating with Tony Nunes) sees Jason in his dilemma, suggesting to do what’s best. So Jason is set upon a number of obstacles to make his relationship work out. The only thing is, how is he going to get himself together?
     This play written and directed by Dan Frischman, is a very charming and comical play that speaks upon one of domestic life’s many little mysteries; That is, how one’s devotion to being spiritual can conflict with one’s love life. It creates this situation that is very realistic without being obnoxious or over the top. In fact, it treats the subject(s) on hand in a very charming manner. In this rom-com, the romance factor between the two lead characters are present (the “rom”), and the comedy level is as extended as well (the “com”)! Unlike movie rom-coms that present its situations that is more self centered and can become annoying, this play has a lot of appeal, enough where one can even feel sorry for this pair of lovebirds that become torn apart become of their spirituality, rather than bringing them closer together!
     This production is also a simple production, using minimalist sets as designed by Case Williams. It uses a few pieces of furniture as well as a small selection of props. This “less is more” method relays upon the solid performances of the cast, as well as the stage material itself.
      In addition to the above named cast, Kathernn Hays and Sharon Spece appears as Rabbi Meyers, Jason’s advisor, and Dan Frischman as “Golf Guy”, appearing in both ensembles.
     The title of this play sums up what is involved. There is sex (to a point), there is faith, and there is Jason Wexler, an everyday man with an almost everyday situation. This play is an ideal “date” show to take with that special someone, as well as for those that have gone through the relationship ringer. Not many plays of this kind can speak for this mode of attraction!

     SEX, FAITH, AND JASON WEXLER, presented by and performs at the Two Roads Theatre, 4348 Tujenga Avenue, one half block south of Moorpark, Studio City, until April 3rd. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. For ticket reservations, call Brown Paper Tickets at (800) 838-3006, or via online at http://www.SexFaithPlay.com
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     On Sunday, February 28th, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences presented the 88th Academy Awards presenting the Oscar for the best films of the 2015 calendar year, held at the Dolby Theater within the Hollywood & Highland complex in Hollywood.
     Leonardo DiCaprio won Best Actor for the feature The Revenant. Bier Larson won Best Actress for Room. Alejandro Gonzalez Inamtu won Best Director for The Revenant. Spotlight won Best Picture.
     For a list of all nominees and winners, visit the official web site at http://www.Oscars.com.
     The day before (February 27th), the Golden Raspberry Foundation presented the 36th Razzie Awards awarding the Razzie for the worst films released in the 2015 calendar year, held at The Palace Theater in Downtown Los Angeles.
     Jamie Dornan won Worst Actor in the feature Fifty Shades of Grey. Dakota Johnson
won Worst Actress in Fifty Shades of Grey. Josh Trank won Worst Director for Fantastic 4, and Worst Picture was awarded to both Fantastic 4 and Fifty Shades of Grey.
     The second annual Razzie Redeemer Award, presented to a previous Razzie “winner” or nominee who have since been performing in better roles in better features, went to Sylvester Stallone, deemed as an all-time Razzie champ!
      For a listing of all nominated films and people as well as its “winners’, visit the official Razzes web site at http://www.Razzies.com
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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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