This week unofficially kicks off the ever so frantic “last six weeks of the year” where it seems that everyone (or at least almost everyone), tends to place themselves into a mad scramble to become involved in some sort of fashion to participate in all of the rituals and events that occur from late November to the first of the new year. This phase is generally known as “The Holidays” that consist of the holidays known as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve/Day, and any other events of general significance.
To bring up a disclaimer, this article will speak for events taking place within the USA, as Canada had their Thanksgiving on October 10th–the same day as the USA’s Columbus Day, and that nation as well as the other British commonwealths celebrate Boxing Day on December 26th.
Of course, those holidays, in comparison to the other days of note occurring the rest of the year, have much meaning to them to the domestic public at large. And to the retailers out there, these are the times where money is to be made in terms of goods sold and exchanged, as well as the services that tend to go along with the goods in question. Generally speaking, this vastly important six weeks of the year means that the profit margins tend to be much higher than what can be gained throughout the other ten and a half months the calendar year holds.
In this modern day and age, shopping for Christmas and the other holidays where gifts are normally exchanged, has become a battle.The entire object to the shopping season is to be prepared. For weeks before, going back as far as the end of the previous season, people made sure that they are ready, willing and able to perform their tasks of shopping for goods and services that become part of the gift giving. And thanks to modern technology, their have all of the tools on hand to complete their objectives in full order.
A recent article that appeared in Adweek noted upon what a shopper will use in order to not only get the best deals around, but where and how to find them all. According to the report, this post modern shopper will have on average, three to four electronic devices to research products, compare prices and make purchases. The shopper may view a moving image ad for the product as well to find a link to make the purchase where it will be picked up from a regional retail outlet, or to have the item shipped to the party receiving the gift complete in fancy gift wrapping and a greeting card enclosed to boot. And all of this shopping can be done with a few swipes or taps on a screen on one hand, along with a valid credit card held in the other.
Shopping, one of the most common rituals one partakes in during this season, may be important, but isn’t necessarily limited to. There are the massive number of parties that will take place through private means or through public/general audience measures. Many large(r) companies will once again host get togethers for their working staff. For many firms, this calendar year has seen bigger profits, and thus, reflect this graduated to their employed folks that made it happen by offering celebrations that contain the usually party-type antics.
And there are the other vices that are linked to festive parties and the attendance of them, mostly in the realms of eating and possible drinking more that what’s standard. Thanksgiving of course, centers around wolfing down a meal of turkey and all of the trimmings. Christmas, etc. also consists of too many goodies. A few are “healthy”, but most are not! Sugar and oil, one of the so-called deadly sins of cuisine, will take front row to all of the offings made. The same goes toward alcohol. A few glasses of wine on Thanksgiving day, numerous sprits from hot toddies to tom and jerrys in December, and a glass or two (or possibly three or more) of champaign consumed to ring out the old and to ring in the new, will be downed in full force.
In spite of the other events that will take shape, such as the January crowning of the new king king/queen of the USA as well as the Super Bowl playoff games, the holiday season is already here, like it or not! But after all of the dust settles and all of the wrapping paper is swepted away, at least one can’t say there is nothing going on! It’s just one of those times of the year that folks love to hate and hate to love!
Don’t say we didn’t warn you!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills presents the west coast premier of THE CONSUL, THE TRAMP, AND AMERICA’S SWEETHEART, a comedy by John Morogiello about a former silent star turned movie mogul, another silent star turning toward “talkies”, and a foreign council whose position is to make sure that Hollywood is treating its ruling political party is a respected light.
The time is 1939, the period when Hollywood was at its peak. At the offices of United Artists run by Mary Pickford (Melanie Chartoff), an unexpected visitor arrives by the name of George Gyssling (Shawn Savage). He isn’t an actor nor does he have a screenplay to sell. He serves as the official council of the Third Reich, a German political party that is building in strength in Europe. Rumor has it (or at least according to Hedda Hopper’s newspaper column), that UA is to film a picture called The Great Dictator starring Charlie Chaplin (Brian Stanton). This feature will be the first where Chaplin actually speaks, and won’t be playing the “little tramp”. Pickford’s secretary Esther Hollombe (Laura Lee Walsh) tries to stop Gyssling in barging in. But he is there not only to halt Pickford in shooting this film, but threatens to ban any UA releases in Germany, Austria, and other territories that the Nazi party plans to take over. So a meeting is held between the three that will decide the fate of this movie, and perhaps UA itself. Will this film become Chaplin’s greatest pic of all time? Will Gyssling get his way to stop a picture that will make fun of Der Führer? Will Pickford risk to lose part of their European market? And how will Esther become part of this mess?
This one act play is a very comical look at the best of “old Hollywood” when studios were run by actual people that once made and/or stared in films, rather than bigwigs that came from business or law school. The cast of four that appear in this play fit the bill when it comes to movie stars and the like of the era, as well as the innocent bystander that can really change things, along with the “bad guy” that really might make that difference! Out of the four, Brian Stanton as Charlie Chaplin is perhaps the best one of them all, playing his character in a very animated fashion. His portrayal of this one time silent star of two reel comedies is nearly perfect, if not entirely perfect! Jules Aaron directs this program in a very tight method where the comedy and action never buckles down for one moment!
Along with the action as seen on stage is the set where all of the comedy and movement takes place. Theatre 40 resident set decorator Jeff Rack creates a setting depicting Mary Picford’s office space that is more akin to an executive suite, complete with classic antiques and other pieces that were in vogue when Chaplin and Pickford were acting without using words, or at least speaking them!
Overall, this production at Theatre 40 is just as comical as one can get. The Hollywood from this bygone era has a lot to take note about. It’s a period that won’t be ever coming back either, so it’s nice to see a depiction of the period when Tinseltown, USA really shined through! But then again, that’s just show biz!
THE CONSUL, THE TRAMP, AND AMERICA’S SWEETHEART, presented by Theatre 40 and performs at the Reuban Cordova Theatre, located within the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 South Moreno Drive (off little Santa Monica Blvd.) Beverly Hills, until December 18th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. No performances on November 24th and 25th. For ticket reservations or for more information, call (310) 364-0535, or via online at http://www.Theatre40.com
Angel City Chorale presents BRING ON THE JOY, a concert set for the holiday season that offers a selection of musical numbers led by a 160 plus member choir backed by a twenty five piece orchestra.
Sue Fink, Artistic Director for the ACC, will head the ensemble on a musical journey of traditional and contemporary songs and musical pieces that cover many cultures and observances from classic spiritual to the modern era. There will be melodic selections that are well known, and a variety that are ready for new found discovery. From scores with African, Celtic, and Medieval roots, to those extracted from Gospel, R&B, and even popular standards sources with a few post modern selections tossed in will be presented that celebrate the seasonal time that speaks for joy, hope, peace, and all points in between.
The concert will take place for two shows only, Saturday, December 3rd and Sunday, December 4th at 7:00 PM at Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Blvd. in the Hancock Park district of Los Angeles. This church has been the pillar of this community for some ninety years and serves as the performing home of the ACC. With its grandiose spacing and near pitch perfect acoustics, this location is ideal to host such a concert that follow with the grandest traditions of style, grace, and overall total enjoyment for all ages.
For more information on the Angel City Chorale’s presentation of BRING ON THE JOY, as well as to order 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
On behalf of the staff and management of Accessibly Live Off-Line, we wish each and everyone one of our readers and subscribers a very Happy Thanksgiving.
We’ll see you for our next issue coming next week!
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