Not so long ago (last year really), an article appeared on the AARP web site within the Disrupt Aging section (identified as #DisruptAging to make it appear that its members, subscribers, and those that show interest are up to the times) that asked those in various stages within their lives upon the question to what was the best year of your life? These people raging from age seventeen through 103 (as of 2016) gave a brief note on what they felt was the best year of their life, based upon the age they were at the time, what was going on within their domain, and other factors where they felt were the moment(s) they reached a peak in their standing through a change that made them better, aware, or by way some form of existence that was in their own good.
Of course, the younger ones pointed out a moment that took place within the last few years, while the older ones, especially the ones that would fit within the AARP’s targeted demographic, sited a time or era long past. Their brief rundown states why that year or period was indeed their best, and what occurred to make it higher in their timeline than any other moment. Of course, that change was for the better for all as every statement profiled made them successful within their own rights.
For some people, a single year or time could have been a “best” because of an event or happening that stuck around for them, making its presence known for years after and lasting to the moment of now. Others might have experienced a “best year”, only to have that year fade into total oblivion where it makes no sense presently. A few might have experienced a number of “best years” for various reasons. Some might have lasted for years afterward, other might have long faded to black, while a few moments held that magic because the time was right, but will never be repeated the same way ever again due to circumstances that are not necessarily through their making. That moment took place, it went away, and is gone because the names and places are different or no longer exist. But when it occurred, it was indeed part of the “best year” of one’s life so far!
Speaking for yours truly, I have had a number of “best years” that I had gone through. Some were pleasant and somewhat trivial as seen in today’s post modern world. A selection were best for what they were until something better came along to take its place, and some were indeed best because they still remain within my reach to this very day! However, not any one of these years would top the other because each one of those moments were best for what they were. It’s the same idea to ask a parent of more that one child asking which one is the favorite. One will be the favorite because of one or more reasons, while the second (or third, or maybe more), is the pick because of something else. However, one isn’t necessarily better than another.
To explain this notion from yours truly’s standpoint, I had a number of these best years just because of some of the events that were part of my surroundings. One year I will use as this example (and I won’t mention the year or to the age I was within that year) was the best because I was exposed to a number of people that were around based around the school I was attending at the time. Also, I was more of a TV junkie then as I am today, and a lot of what was on the tube made that year as magic. I can’t really pinpoint on why that occurrence of watching TV as special, but it was! There was another year that was the best because it did indeed give me a change for the better that interestingly enough, did last for years and is still hanging around to this very day! That change way back when isn’t in the same form or appearance is it would be now, but nevertheless remains. If it didn’t stick around, this writer would not be spiting out articles such as this one that tells these true and amazing tales for all to read and wonder.
In spite of all of these years, one element does hold a common bond. When all of these events and occurrences that were taking place, I personally didn’t know that the events, people, places, and things would later been seen as a “best year”. Those people, places, and things were just around and that was that! One doesn’t necessarily know that what is occurring would later move toward something that would eventually be classified as nostalgia. It was the present, one was living through it, and that is how it worked. What made it as a best was only recognized long after the fact.
These best years are generally the total opposite to the “worst years” that people also experience. Granted, these moments of not-so-great are not seen within the same limelight as to the years that was the best, but nearly everyone holds those to their personal life as much as those moments that were better. It’s just not something one would want to admit, let alone be as material source for an journalistic article.
To sum everything up, what are the best year of one’s life? To phrase a line that was part of the lyrics in the song “Anticipation” (made famous by singer Carly Simon and was once used as a commercial jingle for Heinz ketchup in the 1970’s), it states that “these are the good old days”. Perhaps you the reader are experiencing your best year of your life right now. You may know this or you may not. If you do, then let your Facebook friends become aware about it, tweet about it to your little heart’s content, and post a moving image on YouTube detailing this point. For those that don’t know about it yet? Don’t worry! You will eventually find out! Really!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Continuing its run at North Hollywood’s Secret Rose Theatre is the Jeff Gould comedy THE MARRIAGE ZONE, a surreal comic play about a middle aged couple who meets up with two other couples in different stages of their lives that reflects as their own!
Cal (Kenny Johnston, alternating with Jeff Pride) and Beth (Rene Ashton, alternating with Anne Leighton) are a couple that’s been together for some twenty or so years, raising a fifteen year old son Ryan (Ciaran Brown, alternating with Zach Louis). They are moving up in their world. So for their progression, they have their house up for sale. A knock on their door brings some interested buyers to the home, Mike (Alex Hyde-White, alternating with Mark Sande) and Liz (Jacee Jule, alternating with Dawn Joyal). This pair is some twenty years younger, and are in the process of starting out in their lives as the two recently became engaged. As Mike and Liz are looking over the home, another knock on the door occurs as Ellie (Megan Barker, alternating with Britt Rose) enter. They are twenty years older that Cal and Beth. But a certain element is discovered as these two couples hold a connection between Beth and Cal. Does Mike and Liz portray themselves as what Beth and Cal were to each other a generation or two before? And is Ellie and Skip represent a version that’s twenty years into the future? How can Beth and Cal handle the fact that their lives have flashed before their eyes? Is this a message warning them of the things that were and is? Does Ellie and Skip hold the key to what is about to take place? Or are these other folks really just interested in the house currently on the real estate market?
This one act play, written and directed by Jeff Gould, is very witty. The barbs and gags has its comic appeal where a simple situation takes upon many ironic twists without losing any of its humor. For its eighty minute running time, one will become highly amused that speak upon the notions that marriages starts off on its good foot, leading to a number of stubbed toes along the way, and finally setting its pace on either having the marriage stand on its own two feet, or to have its feet stepped on, if not being tripped over!
This show features a rotating cast roster that vary during each performance. Please check with the staff management on who is going to appear in the performance and when! However, it doesn’t really matter on who will be present on stage as THE MARRIAGE ZONE is very witty and funny to say the least! It’s also very honest as well as being linked as a married couple (man and woman in this case) does has its moments! Maybe not the same moments as depicted on stage, but it can get pretty close!
THE MARRIAGE ZONE, performs at The Secret Rose Theatre, 11246 Magnolia Blvd. (one block west of Lankershim), North Hollywood, until September 24th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 PM. For ticket reservations or for more details, call (323) 960-7784, or via http://www.Plays411.com/MarriageZone
Performing at the Pan-Andreas Theatre in Hollywood is the musical ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, the 1930’s screwball comic romp about a Broadway show producer’s mad effort to lure a leading film actress to star in his next production while aboard a train heading off to The Big Apple, with a few other rogues in tow.
The plot sets upon Oscar Jaffee (Wade Kelley) a stage show producer whose ego is much bigger than the past stage pieces he’s produced, all laying eggs while his creditors are after him. Now with his theater house shut down, he boards the 20th Century Limited train in Chicago for a sixteen hour journey heading to New York. On that same train is actress Lily Garland. (Alena Bernardi). She was once featured in his plays, now becoming a star of the silver screen. WIth that fame, he hopes to convince Lily to be featured in his next show that will save his career. However, Lily is on her way to be signed up with competing stage producer Max Jacobs (Stephen Juhl) for his next production. In order to lure Lily from Max, he has to offer her more money than what his competitor can provide. Also aboard is Litita Primrose (Georgan George), a woman that might (or might not be) an heiress of some sort. Using her as a promising backer, Oscar gives Lily a better offer, but he must deal with Lily’s new beau, fellow film star and leading man-type Bruce Granit (Nathan Jenisch), who is just as narcissistic as Oscar. All of this action (among many other antics) takes its stand on the rails before arriving at Grand Central Station.
This musical by Cy Coleman on score, and Better Conden and Adolph Green on lyrics and book, is one of those stage musicals that a theatre company would and could arrange as a lavish stage production, complete with large sets, detailed costumes, along with a robust team of stage players that can act, sing, and dance within an elaborate show stopping presentation equal to a Great White Way stage program. This may be true, but what’s seen here is more of a scaled down version of an epic theatre piece. That form of miniature impression is what makes this program more appealing! The performers that appear in this production that featured the above named players, in addition to Rafael Orduna, Nate Beals, Philip McBride, Chelsea Pope, Anagabriela Cordero, Tatiana Gomez, Nicole Sevey, Talya Sindel, and Rowan Treadway perform near the audience, especially if one is seated within the front row! The orchestra musical direction as provided by Alena Bernardi consists of four players: Cynthia Cook-Heath on the upright piano, Millie Martin on bass, Michael Dubin on percussion, and Christain Robinson on trumpet. This small yet mighty musical group adds to this show’s less-is-more attitude. Their sound enhances this method of intimate theatre as everyone that appears provides an impression to those experiencing this show that everyone is having a great time on stage. (True indeed!) Trace Oakley directs this program with the same allure that this presentation shows itself off in its same straightforward method.
No doubt that this musical speaks for another period for ironically, the 20th century where Broadway shows were as big, if not bigger, than movies, train travel was the way to go from here to far, and television was stall part of science fiction. That is what makes nostalgia just what it is, and ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY is part of that era that was, or could have been!
ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, presented by The Proof Doubt Closer Theatre Company, performs at the Pan Andreas Theatre, 5119 Melrose Avenue (at rear), Hollywood, until August 27th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.
For tickets and for more information, call (800) 838-3006, or online at
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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!