A FACEBOOK IN THE CROWD

Facebook, perhaps the grandest player in the social media world, have been going through a lot in recent times. They have been accused by those that are involved in such things that this site reports fake news stories–the kind of info they should take account for. The have also been sided to hold more alliance with sources that are only for the good of those in power. They have also been noted to breach privacy rulings by taking so-called personal information by those that are listed on the site, only to sell that info for big time profits–usually at the expense of those that use, misuse, and abuse their presence. And it’s the place to go for many to keep up with one another on a regular basis for days at a time, or even for every waking hour!!
For the thirteen years that Facebook, a place in cyberspace for those connected to a school or university to keep up with one another by telling everything about themselves and the antics they are up to, has grown into a heaving giant. They could be the 800 pound gorilla in the room, but come out more as a 10,000 ton King Kong causing havoc by running loose in Manhattan!
Yours truly discovered this place for those to know about somebody or another around the time the site lifted the restriction where in order to become part of the “family”, one had to register with an e-mail address that ended with “edu”. Now it was no longer restricted to those in a school or any kind, but accessible to all! In those early days, it was somewhat fun to see who was on line, and to get to know some personal information that many posted about themselves. It was kind of becoming a peeping tom, except one wasn’t peeking through a window or obtaining such details on somebody for evil purposes. One would even see pictures of themselves, either as a solo or with their friends. And you can become “friends” with them by asking for “friendship”. Once a friendship was accepted, you could see more details about this person to exchange with. Granted, doing all of this information exchange wasn’t important by any means. It was just part of one of the bigger time wasters that was available on the good ol’ ‘net!
However, Facebook wasn’t the only place to get connected with others one didn’t know. MySpace was the real leader. That was the place to post your details and all of the stuff you wanted others to know about. You can give out long winded info on your personal tastes in movies, books, music, TV, or anything else that was worth sharing about. Before long, you would have a whole load of pen pals found in cyberspace, keeping in contact about anything your really wanted to know about.
Of course, just as any form of media takes hold upon, the ways everything operates changes over time and tide. MySpace saw their competitor Facebook take the lead in the social media race. Before long, Facebook was the place to go to when you wanted to be known out there, while MySpace, along with the other social media sites that tried to jump on the social media bandwagon, saw their numbers dwindle into a few where some wound up to close up shop or to change their brand and style.
One of the more noted elements I ever did through Facebook was to place a number of listings of people that didn’t exist! I would create a profile of a person using a made up name, posting a stock photo found either on the net or through my personal archive of photographic images of people, and spin a story about this invisible person. I would even post more archival photos in their album pages, making up stories about the people in these pix. Once all of these details were completed, then I would find others through random searches asking these folks if I could become their “friend”. A few weren’t interested, but many did accept my friendship request. Before long, these fake-o people we churned out became somebody with many friends!
An article that was posted by an outside source reported that many of the comments posted by those through their Facebook pages would be commentary noted as annoying or obnoxious if that same person spoke their lines to somebody face to face. One of our fake profiles, a middle aged woman named “Tiffi Purewhite” would obtain these comments from her “friends”, receiving these lines on a daily (hourly?) basis. So we thought it would be fun to repost some of their “words of wisdom” in an article we called “Tiffi’s Friends Say..” that appeared in Accessibly Live Off-Line from 2011 through 2014. It was to show to our ALOL readers how annoying these people can really get.
In today’s Facebook world, people are still posting commentary that can be billed an obnoxious, but a number of these same people aren’t get as personal as they once did. Many of these folks are posting (or reposting) links from media companies, (ads really), or from causes they believe in. And if these people aren’t doing this, big time companies and groups are doing the same thing for the sake of advertising and/or selling something–be it a product or service. It’s within the same scope of reading a magazine where ninety percent of the content is advertising, while ten percent is a lot of dribble. In other words, the so-called intimacy one could find through Facebook has long faded to black.
As to those fake profiles we created those not too many years ago? A few are still around, or at least the ones we still remember. The others have been forgotten about. Since we don’t remember a lot of the people we created, we can’t say if they are still up and running. However, if there hasn’t been any activity for these people, granted the Facebook folks most likely deleted their images. After all, who is going to miss them anyway?
And if anyone desires to view some of these people that aren’t, please visit and perhaps say “hi” to Tiffi, (she “lives” in Murphysburo, Illinois) or to Sherry Dunhurst from Calgary, Alberta. You can become “friends” with Tiffi, while Sherry has already exceeded the maximum number of friends one can have through her site. (5000)
PS…Yes, we as “Accessibly Live Off-Line” is also present as well! We are sure you already knew that! (Did you…?)
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
Theatre 40 presents its fifth entry in their 2016-17 season of plays with the world premier performance of APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE, a dramity by Gary Goldstein about a trio of sisters who meet after a number of years absence, attempting to get their recently departed mother’s estate in order, only to discover a long hidden secret.
Gathering at the modest home of their late mother are three sisters from the family. April (Jennifer Lee Laks), the eldest. May (Jennifer Taub), the middle child, and June (Meredith Thomas), the baby of the bunch. These sisters were only born a year apart, and lived in the same household until they left the nest for college and for family life. April recently ended her marriage after that relationship fell on its wayside. May’s marriage is very well intact, while June also ended her relationship with another woman as she lives within a different lifestyle. Now in their middle 40’s, these siblings are finalizing the closing off of the home they lived in for generations. Although the many years have passed, they are somewhat the same as they were as kids, in spite of the pecking order with April as the unofficial leader of the pack, May as the forever middle child, while June is far from being the baby. This reunion of theirs is rather bittersweet as they recall some of the lighter and darker moments of their domestic clan. While gathering some knickknacks that holds sentimental value and nothing much else, a series of letters are found, neatly bundled together as part of some kind of keepsake. Yes, they appear to be love letters that were addressed to their mom from back in the day, but they don’t appear to be written by their dad! It is at that moment where the sisters thought they knew about their family only to discover that their knowledge was rather incomplete.
This new play created by Gary Goldstein holds a high sense of humor with an awareness of mystery. Not a “whodunnit” kind of mystery, but an element that is more of a mystique, adding to the notion upon how family members can change of the decades while remaining the same since their so-called glory days. The three actresses that are featured in this production, Jennifer Lee Laks, Jennifer Taub, and Meredith Thomas play their parts as a near accurate perception of siblings of the “Gen-x” generation. They see their better years in a virtual real view mirror, but they still keep their eyes ahead of themselves, far different as their parents did while living at the same age. Those aspects are what makes this play very appealing. It depicts a slice of life that is more realistic, rather than played out as a series of one-line jokes found in post-modern domestic sitcoms depicting dysfunctional family members. Terri Hanauer directs this stage piece that shows off that the sisters that can bond together, giving each one the understanding of a family.
The set design by Theatre 40 rep set decorator Jeff G. Rack shows the rather spacious living room setting of the family home that has furnishings that are of decent shape, along with a collection of wall art, books, and the for noted tchotchkes that are not as hideous as one might find in a real home that’s been lived in for nearly fifty years!
APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE is an ideal play to take part of as a basic study on how family members can still get along, no matter how mom and/or dad never lived to what a “perfect” family could have been. There were the good times, the not so good times, and the events that were never seen or known about until long after the fact. That’s part of domestic life between being ideal and being “F-ed up!

APRIL, MAY, AND JUNE, presented by Theatre 40 and performs at the Reuben Cordova Theatre, located within the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 South Moreno Drive (off little Santa Monica Blvd.) Beverly Hills, until April 16th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.
For ticket reservations or for more information, call (310) 364-0535, or via online at http://www.Theatre40.com
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Continuing its run at Theatre 68 is a duo of plays written by John Patrick Shanley: PANIC, making its world premier, and DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA. Two stories about love and relationships that present themselves in a rather different light.
The first play, Poison has Kelly (Kelsey Flynn) seeking aid from an old gypsy (Katie Zeiner) asking the mystic to get her boyfriend Kenny (Nicola Tombacco) back. She prescribes a bottle what appears to be an energy drink, but is really poison that would kill his soul. Taking her advice (as well as paying a hight amount for the stuff), Kelly serves Kenny a drink. It’s support to kill him off–but does it?
The second and main entry Danny And The Deep Blue Sea, strays Renee Marino and J. Bailey Burcham as Roberta and Danny, two down-and-outs who meet at a dive bar somewhere in the Bronx. They drink. They talk. She brings him home. They discuss a life together. They find their reality.
These pair of plays written by one of the most respected American playwrights in contemporary times, creates deep sagas where the action presented comes from its characters and the dialogue they speak. Those elements are seen within these two plays. Its first entry Poison, serves as the “selected short subject” since it runs around 12 minutes, and is the most comical one of the bunch. The second selection and the main feature Danny And The Deep Blue Sea, is more of the somber entry. It speaks for two lost souls that are not seeing their better times taking place, assuming that they did have a better life to begin with! It’s a character study indeed, and that is what make this stage piece, as well as the “short subject”, progress rather well. One can only focus upon its performers, the roles they depict, and what their characters speak about.
POISON, is directed by Kay Cole, and DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA is directed by Ronnie Marmo. Set design for both plays is created by Danny Cistone. Aaron Craig performs lighting design.
For those that prefer their theatre experience in a minimalist fashion, this program will fit that bill. The minimal elements is seen within its staging. Its maximal aspects are found in its dialogue and performances. It’s a big prize dressed up in an intimate package.

POISON and DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, presented by Panic! Productions, performs at Theatre 68, 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, until April 2nd. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. For ticket reservations or for more details, call (323) 652-7222, or online at http://www.plays411.com/danny
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Making its world premier at the Write Act Repertory theatre in North Hollywood is Michael Antin’s musical LILI MARLENE, that tells about a love story taking place in a nation that is undergoing new changes of its leading political party.
Germany, early 1930’s. The nation is weathering out its recent economic breakdown, and a new ruling political group is shifting toward an alternative command. In the office of the State Department in Berlin, Count Hans Wilhelm van Keeister Graff (Tavis L. Baker) is the one that issues out passports for its citizens to travel aboard. He takes a visit to one of the nearby cabarets that features lively musical reviews performed by (among others) scantly clad showgirls. Its leading performer Rosie Penn (Amy Londyn) performs many of the beloved tunes, including “Lili Marlene”, a classic number she learned from a previous cabaret headliner; Marlene Dietrich. He attempts upon a friendship with Rosie. Among this relationship, The Count realizes that political times are undergoing into a different turn as the Third Reich is growing in leadership. He understands that German citizens of the Jewish persuasion has been deemed to become “enemies of the state” and thus, must flee the nation for their lives. WIth the power of issuing passports to those under siege that are as noted, such as educators, artists, writers, and those involved in scientific and cultural aspects, he arranges for his family as well as Rosie to flee. The Count and Rosie’s love affair is established, but must take upon what’s safe for them, even if they must depart from the country they once took pride within.
This new musical by Machael Antin (book and music) with dramaturge by Jim Blanchette, is a lively and charming stage work that speaks for a love story under troubled times. The musical selection consists of eighteen songs as well as the title tune–all neatly fit in just one single act! This show is also presented in an intimate theatre space, giving this production a bigger theatrical stance. Generally speaking, it’s a big show in a small package! (And that’s actually a good notion to boot!) It’s a musical that has plenty of promise since its set plotting takes upon a part of history that stands within a darker side, although this show never really dwells upon those blacker moments, giving it a more confident attitude to it all.
David Kammenir presents the musical direction performing on the keyboards. Ava Soltani-Wiltse provides the costume design, and Tim Secrest is on lighting and the Audio/visual elements depicted in this program.
Also featured in the cast are (listed in their alphabetical order) Aubrie Alexander, Jessa Campbell, Anna Dawahare, Darren Mangler, LeAnna Sharp, Darcy Silveira, Justin Selig, and Judd Yort.
The is the latest work by Michael Antin, a former tax attorney now playwright. His last musical play, Pillars of New York also performed at this same theatre space. (See review: Vol. 21-No. 4) Although that production was about people set against a tragic episode, this one holds a similar patter, but presented within a different light. It’s not necessarily known to this writer if it would be a spoiler alert if to state that a happy ending is present. Since this is a love story, that element constitutes an upbeat conclusion!

LILI MARLENE presented by Write Act Repertory, and performs at The Write Act Rep at The Brickhouse Theatre, 10950 Peach Grove Street located one block northeast of the intersection of Camarillo, Lankershim, and Vineland, North Hollywood, until April 16th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. For more information and for ticket reservations, call (800) 838-3006 ext. 1, or via online at http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com.
“Like” the Write Act Rep on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/WriteActRepertory
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BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (Disney) tells the tale of a once hansom prince (Dan Stevens) living within his French kingdom. At a royal ball, an old woman came into the castle to seek warmth. The prince, angry that some old woman disrupted his ball, ordered her to go. But the old woman was a spirit of some kind that placed a spell upon this prince, turning him into a hideous creature known as The Beast. His servants living in the castle were also turned into household objects. His head servants Lumière (Ewan McGregor) and Cogsworth (Ian McKellen) were turned into a candelabra and a table clock. Other royal aids such as Madame Garderobe (Audra McDonald) changed into a wardrobe, Maestro Cadenza (Stanley Tucci) turned into a harpsichord, Plumette (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) into a ornate feather duster. And Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson) and her son Chip (Nathan Mack) became a teapot and cup. What would break this spell? If an enchanted rose under a bell jar loses all of its pedals before another would love the beast, they would all remain within their state forever!
Meanwhile dwelling at a nearby village is Belle (Emma Watson) who lives with her artist father Marice (Kevin Kline). Belle is a young lass what always takes the time to read books. Also found in the village is Gaston (Luke Evans) and his sidekick Lefou (Josh Gad). Gaston is a self centered braggart whose sole desire is to marry Belle. But Belle has no interest with Gaston–a man who won’t take a “no” from her. But a fateful event occurs when Marice, attempting to deliver an art piece he made becomes lost in the woods, stumbling upon the spell driven castle. While trying to take a rose for Belle from the castle’s garden, he meets the angry Beast who imprisons him. Belle, seeking her missing father, finds the castle and her father–along with the Beast. Belle would be the one to possibly break the spell the castle is set in. But will this beauty really fall for The Beast, saving everyone from their fate?
This “reemerging” of the 1991 animated feature (also released by Disney) of the same name can’t really be called a full “live action” feature in the traditional sense. All of its special effects are animated, but not as a 2D cartoon. Generally speaking, its somewhat of a CGI orgy! And what an orgy it is! All of the songs composed by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman that appeared in the original feature are present (including a few number with music by Menkin and lyrics by Tim Rice) making this film a full blown musical! This title holds all of the charm and grace the original release holds and then some! It’s a real family-friendly pick for all ages to see. There are a few intense moments in this release that teeter upon violent scenes, but all of that violence doesn’t involve any bloodshed. That lack of graphic depictions gives this movie a safer “PG” rating!
The cast of players that appear in this flick are quite appealing, including The Beast himself! The story itself is from the 18th century-era tale La Belle et la Bête, that was later reshaped through Linda Woolverton’s screenplay for the animated cartoon. The “live action” version’s screenplay by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos doesn’t stray too far from its original source. But unlike other so-called family features of late, there isn’t any cocky humor embedded in! This lack of snideness makes this new version just as timeless as it’s intended to become!
Directed by Bill Condon, this feature is indeed a “beauty” to experience, and is far from being a “beast”! The adults will enjoy it (including those that grew up with the cartoon version), as so with the kids, especially the girls! The boys might enjoy it as well perhaps! However, Disney, now running off with Marvel Comics under its belt, has a lot of super hero-type flicks up their sleeve that will become the cash cows as they have wound up to be. So the boys will have their movies, and the girls will have theirs as well!
PS…There has been rumors going round that this features hints a bit of a “gay-esque” scene. If you look very hard, you will spot it, even if that scene lasts only for a few seconds! But remember, this is a “PG” feature because for its few intense violent scenes and nothing more! ‘Nuff said!
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is now playing at multiplexes (including a few IMAX theaters) nationwide.
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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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