I was once informed by a person (whose name has been long forgotten) on the art of starting a conversation with someone, especially if that someone wasn’t anyone well know to the other party. From what I can remember, I believe this advice dispensed on me was based upon my effort to meet somebody of the opposite sex. I was around the age of what’s now known as a “tweener”. So whoever this person was (the person whose name I forgot), was giving me this advice from an adult (person “X”) to a kid (me!)
The advice I was given was something to the effect that if you are going to start a conversation with somebody, begin your spiel on the weather. It’s a safe topic, and everyone is affected with that element in some kind of fashion. It may not to something that’s exciting or anything, but it’s a subject that is ideal for the twelve year old mind to decipher.
Now I am not going to get into any story about if this advice ever worked with a girl I met at a junior high dance or anything like that (that’s a topic for another article), but the notion why yours truly brought it up is the reason behind this article you are reading! It’s a topic we are going to “talk” about–the weather!
Last Friday February 17th, the Los Angeles basin was hit by a massive rainstorm. Depending what source you get your weather news, it was the biggest storm of its kind ever to hit Los Angeles and southern California is six years, ten years, or even twenty two years! It was a storm that dumped anywhere from three to six inches of rain within a twenty four hour period.
There were the usual weather related elements that occurred during that rainstorm. Their were mud and rockslides, flooded streets and highways, downed trees, power outages, a number of heroic rescues, and even a death due to the rain. And since the state of California has been under a drought for a number of years, this rain, as well as the other rains that occurred since October 1st of last year, has either wiped out the drought stage, or impacted it to a point where the dryness isn’t as bad as it once stood.
But with the drought gone away, this means that doing domestic stuff with water won’t be much of a burden as it use to be. Many communities used to set limits on how much water can be used to keep a lawn green, or how often one can wash their car on their driveway or carport. The line “Save Water. Shower with a Friend” that had its origins from a 1960’s water ration program that New York City was going through, even made a comeback of sorts.
But with the rains will come the spring, scheduled to begin on March 20th. This is the time where winter is over (duh!), and those flowers that are supposed to bloom take their part. Then the sun will shine, the birds chirp, and those domestic types will start doing their springtime activities, such as watering their lawns without guilt, washing their cars on their driveway or carport without feeling any remorse, and jazz like that! There is also that “shower with a friend” idea, but that’s a totally different subject to ponder upon. Besides, the shower bit really isn’t limited to springtime as that can be done year round!
This is one of the many reasons why this writer never dives into the subject of the weather as the lead article. Although the topic itself is rather amusing for what it is, it becomes rather dull after a few paragraphs. However, rain–any form of rain that falls within the Los Angeles area, is somewhat interesting since that form of weather only takes place a few weeks of the year.
Around the time when I was twelve years old–the same period that person “x” was giving me advice on how to attract a girl’s attention at a junior high dance, a song that was a staple of top-40 radio was being played by the stations I used listen to, mainly WLS and WCFL, was recored by Albert Hammond entitled It Never Rains in Southern California. Albert was a British born singer-songwriter who performed “easy listening” type music. In the song in question, he tells about somebody coming to California (Hollywood really) to peruse his dreams but alas, fails to do so. (Nothing newsworthy for sure!) Anyway, in the chorus, Hammond sings: “It never rains in California, but girl don’t they warn ya. When it pours, man, it pours.”
I never really understood that line since yours truly wasn’t even living anywhere near Hollywood, or even California, at the time, since I though it rained all the time out in California. And besides that, I really never liked the song! When Larry Lujack played that sone on his air shift, I either didn’t pay attention to the song, or I just switched the station. But now that those “music on AM radio” times has since faded away, I only hear that song every once in a while, and when I do, it’s mostly for mild nostalgia purposes. However, now that yours truly lives in southern California, (and not too far away from Hollywood), I can somewhat relate to what Albert was singing about some forty five years before. Perhaps he was just giving me a weather report for the future. Then again, that song was a whole lot better than another tune that was being played on the radio at that same time–Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Alone Again (Naturally). That tune was just as sappy (if not downright depressing) as one could have had! If WLS played that record, I’d also switch the station to hear another record–Donny Osmond’s cover version of Puppy Love.
OK, so maybe that wasn’t the greatest era for popular music! But as a dumb twelve year old who didn’t know better, I would have had the gumption to try to talk to Lorrie Miller about the weather. Maybe she would have finally notice me! But my sad-yet-true stories on being a “tweener” aged kid is set for another topic in a future article, if not for a memoir I’ll write one of these years when I ever get around to it–assuming it’s not raining outside!
The Glendale Centre Theatre presents BYE BYE BIRDIE, the musical about a small time songwriter who attempts to create a publicity stunt for his client before he heads off for military enlistment by presenting “one last kiss” to one of his adorning fans from small town America.
Robert Pieranunzi is Albert Peterson. He’s operates a music publishing company called “Almaelou” that needs a hit so he can out of debt. His company consists of himself, his secretary and part time girlfriend Rosie Alvarez (Colette Peters), and Albert’s doting mother Mae (Cindy Irwin Bullock). Although Mae’s name is part of Albert’s company, she doesn’t do much except to cater to her son of 33 years, still treating him as a much younger boy! Albert’s most promising client, Conrad Birdie (Adam Hollick) an Elvis-type, is joining the Army and thus, won’t be able to cut records as an enlisted man. So Albert and Rosie hatch a plan to have Conrad give one last kiss to one of his teenaged fans before he leaves for basic training. So they pick the president of the Conrad Birdie fan club based in Sweet Apple, Ohio, an all-American small town. When that president of that fan club, Kim MacAfee (Maryanne Burr), receives the news that Conrad is coming to town to give her that one last kiss (also the name of Birdie’s new song release), she becomes the new star in town; In spite of the fact that her father (Danny Michaels), and her boyfriend Hugo Peabody (Taylor Wesselman) thinks otherwise, since Hugo just gave Kim his pin to go steady. It shows how rock ‘n roll changed the youth of America, how Albert can get the song hit he needs, if Rosie will ever become Mrs. Albert Peterson, and if Mae will ever understand her son by being the suffering martyr she places herself to be!
This musical with book by Michael Stewart and songs by Charles Strouse on score, and Lee Adams on lyrics, was the first major stage musical that used rock ‘n roll as its theme basis. It harks a time when those teenaged kids, especially the post-war bobbysoxers, not only dug the music, but shows how those performers made it all happen (with a lot of promotion) as it really was c.1960 when this show first made its mark on the Broadway musical circuit. In this GCT production, the cast and many of its performers (including the ensemble) pull it off quite well, especially for the two leads, Robert Pieranunzi as Albert, and Colette Peters and Rosie. Robert as Albert is the comical genus that can provide he’s in charge, yet Rosie is really the mastermind to everything! Cindy Irwin Bullock as mother Mae is a classic example of a lovable yet pushy and almost obnoxious mother-type that was commonly seen in 1960s-era TV sitcoms. (After all, this show is a period piece!)
And since this program is that period piece, Angela Manke of Glendale Costumes provides all of the outfits that are of the era it speaks for, from the suits for the guys, the downy dresses for the gals, the varsity sweaters for the teen guys, and the capri plants for the teen gals! (Albert’s mom Mae even sports a mink coat–a real fashion statement for a pushy mother of the time!) Other GCT behind-the-scenes regulars also presents their talents, including Steven Applegate’s transcribed musical arrangements, and Orlando Alexander’s choreography, performed with gusto by the cast within the theatre-in-the-round’s stage setting.
Directed by Todd Nielsen, BYE BYE BIRDIE is a showpiece that is still witty, appealing, and boasts some classic hits born and bread on Broadway. (“Put On A Happy Face” and “Kids” are the two signature musical numbers!) Although it’s a bit dated in places, it remains as a pleasant period piece that shows off how things were in the “good old days” when rock ‘n roll was kids stuff where the adults didn’t or couldn’t understand! A song asks “what’s the matter with kids today?” Nothing is the matter with them. They will just eventually take over the world!

  BYE BYE BIRDIE, presented by and performs at the Glendale Centre Theatre. 324 North Orange Street, Glendale, until April 1st. Showtimes are Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM, and Saturday matinees at 3:00 PM. Additional performances take place on Thursday, February 23rd and March 2nd at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees perform on February 26th, March 5th, and March 12th at 3:00 PM.
     For more information and for ticket reservations, call (818) 244-8481, or visit the GCT’s web site at
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 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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