As this edition hits the streets (or actually, hitting one’s e-mailbox or media screens), it’s the Memorial Day weekend. And it’s the start of the long awaiting summer season.
Through the many years we have been in existence, we have published (in digital form, not necessarily in print) a number of essays and related matter on how the start of the summer season has been the be-all-to-end-all time of the year that is perhaps the most welcomed, through activities, rituals, and other forms of visual celebration that makes summer just what it is,; A time to get out to enjoy the better things found within domestic life.
And why not? The notion of summertime holds to a lot of different and unique aspects to people at large, all depending on interests, tastes, and appeals. For kids and those a bit older, it means that school is out for a while. Others may find this time to get out performing outdoors-y stuff, such as camping, fishing, hitting the beaches, and related leisure activities. A few might find this time to change a pattern in their lifestyles–some for the good and otherwise. Generally speaking, summer for the most part is many folks’s favorite time of the year, if not one of the more preferred points of the season.
And summertime was the season that I embraced the most! Ever since I was a little shaver who didn’t shave (yet), summer did sense that I would be out of the classroom until that dreaded day after the Labor Day weekend where I would have to return back. That would mean a few things for yours truly. Not only I would be on my own (within reason), but my habits of watching TV on a regular basis would become shifted. For starters, since I would not be required to fill much of my weekday hours sitting inside of a classroom, I would spend those daytime moments catching up on my daytime television habits that would start in the early morning hours (around 7:00 AM central time) tuning in to programs from The Today Show to Captain Kangaroo. Some of the local channels would offer their morning programs as well. A local station aired a morning movie hosted by some perky woman, (a TV personality whose name I have since forgotten), would not only introduce the film on camera, but would take phone calls from viewers during the commercial breaks to chat on the air and to offer prizes a la Dialing For Dollars.
The movies programed tended to cater toward the housewife crowd, mostly running melodramas from the 1940’s and 50’s, but would on occasion place a decent movie on that time slot. (One film I recall was The Window, a 1949 RKO release that’s part of classic film noir!)
But my pick for daytime TV were the game shows as I always enjoyed the flashy sets, the excited contestants, and the ever smiling and witty MCs that were part of the daytime TV landscape, starring everyone from Wink Martindale, Jack Barry, Bob Barker, and perhaps my favorite one of them all, Bill Cullen, a nerdy looking guy was just always witty than ever! I did notice he was rarely seen standing on his feet (he was always pictured seated on a stool that was located hidden behind a podium), and never walked on camera! That was because he limped due to catching polio as a child. The TV networks and game show producers didn’t want the public to know that he was indeed “handicapped”!
The morning hours has most of the game show while a few did air in the afternoon. Since I didn’t care much for soap operas as those took too long to move their stories along as soap operas have done since they all began long before TV was in existence, I never tuned in. By that time, it was time to get away from the ol’ set to perhaps get outside of the house to perform summertime antics. These “adventures” usually consisted of puttering around. Some kids in the neighborhood were around where we formed an unofficial “gang” where we pulled off our antics. Not exactly like those seen on the old “Our Gang” shorts, but were close enough to what we had, what we could do, and what we could get away with!
During the early evening hours (around 6:00 PM or so), there was the self service dinner parties I would create for myself. Depending of what I felt like doing, I could open a can of pasta that was targeted toward a kid friendly demographic. The Chef Boyardee brand did heavy advertising campaigns on Saturday morning “kidvid”, and that brand of pasta was always stocked up within the pantry cupboards thanks to my influence(?) that drove my mom to get a couple of cans of this stuff for yours truly to chow down on. And if I wasn’t heating up the stuff found inside of the can featuring the smiling chef (who interestingly enough, resembled Bob Keeshan a.k.a. Captain Kangaroo) donning his hat on every label, I would make a frozen dinner that resembled a “TV dinner”. Although Swanson was the brand that coined the name “TV dinner”, we didn’t get that brand since is was a bit pricy for what it was. Besides, every other competing company offered their frozen dinners that was just as good(?) as everyone else’s! Besides, I wasn’t really picky to begin with!
After dinner, it was back to the ol’ TV machine for the prime time selections. All of the three TV networks were either airing reruns of their fair that was around since the start of the previous season (the last September), or offered what was called the “summer replacements”, those programs that were around only for the summer months that held limited episodes. These shows were created only to tide the TV viewers over until the new season would begin after the Labor day weekend. These programs were mostly of the comedy/variety type that were amusing for what they were, but nothing really special! And since I didn’t have school and thus, living through “school nights”, I could stay up later with more TV follies, from The Tonight Show to a roster of old movies that played until the wee hours. These flicks made me appreciate the movies from not so long ago when Hollywood was indeed, Hollywood!
That little slice of life was how I did spend my “summer vacation”! Activities did vary over the years, but was mostly of the same idea. Of course, kids of this generation take upon a different method of spending their summers, mostly through activities and related matters as dictated by the kid’s caregivers. Some continue through school by way of a classroom setting or through a home school process. They may take on various “summer camps”, from the traditional ones (going off site to a camp ground located outside of the area) to the alternative camps, ones that focus upon a sporting activity, those that are career driven in artistic measures such as theatre, art, creative writing etc., or ones that concentrate on science/physics/math. (STEM stuff!) The type of summers that yours truly spent back in the day are seen nowadays as totally unappealing by the adults in charge, and perhaps by the kids themselves.
But whatever the case, summer is going to hang around for a while, so enjoy it while one can! And when the season shifts to another phase, one will make plans for the times ahead, such as picking out a Halloween costume, or getting ready for Black Friday! Stay tuned to this news service for further developments!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Son of Semele Theatre presents the American premier of Caridad Svich’s ARCHIPELAGO, a story of two souls who live within in their unique worlds that cross between affection, conflict, and the sense of losing one another while becoming connected through fate.
Michael Evans Lopez and Sarah Rosenberg portray the souls, a pair of lovers that come from contrasting backgrounds. They take upon a journey not of place of being, but through circumstance. They are first present an illusion that they are of a one. But through a movement that mimics a dream setting, their place between one situation to the adjoining calls for a time of content, only moving toward strife and war. These elements spreads them far apart as they witness where they have been and where they may be heading toward. They do wind up as one, long before they place the sense of where they belong within their universe.
This production is told through a series of dreamlike scenarios presented in a non-linear fashion. The characters presented that are unnamed, speak to one another while they apprise through prose, detailing what is taking place in their worlds they reside, even if though worlds no not necessarily exist in any real form. A lot goes on in this one act play as the players, Michael Evans Lopez as the man, and Sarah Rosenberg as the woman, dwell within their spaces as a cluster of islands set within oceans of water; close enough to be as a single body yet distinctive to be part of its own identity. The title of this stage work comes from the meaning of this description: an expanse of water with many scattered islands. Barbara Kallir shows these feats through her stage direction of this program as the characters fade between their sets, or “islands”, as they witness their higher stances between discord and their togetherness.
In addition to its players and their theatrical prose, Meg Cunningham’s scenic design features drapes that resemble clouds in a mist that enhances their dream-esque placing. Adding to this view is Alexander La Vallant Freer’s lighting that is ever changing in tones of subtle blues and greens, while Katerina Pagsolingan’s projection design depicts visions of moving imagery that are just as a stupor as the visions presented.
ARCHIPELAGO can be called a love story sans the traditional elements that would be found in such an epic. It holds a vast storage of imagination while never omitting where their is to go, and the purpose it leads upon.
ARCHIPELAGO, performs at the Son of Semele theatre, 3301 Beverly Blvd. (at Hoover), Los Angeles, until June 18th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 5:00 PM. For tickets or for more information, visit the Son of Semele’s website at http://www.SonOfSemele.org
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