HOW’S THE WEATHER OUT THERE?

That question can only be answered depending on where one is located at the moment.

For starters, this nation has experienced not one, but two (count ‘em) hurricanes to hit the shores. The first one was Hurricane Harvey that devastated the Houston area. The second one that’s heading toward south Florida as of this writing is Hurricane Irma. That force is going to be the biggest thing to hit that area of the state since Hurricane Andrew did its thing in 1992.

Much of the focus has been getting the Houston area back on its feet. Many organizations, from disaster aide groups such as The Red Cross to community churches has been raising funds and arranging assistance to aid those that were affected by the flooding, the majority of the type of damage that occurred in the area. As of this same writing, it’s not known how much is Florida going to receive in terms of destruction, be it from wind, water, or a combination of both.

This writer can’t really speak for what the infrastructure consists for the Houston and southeast Texas area, but yours truly can briefly comment on how southeast Florida is set up as this humble reporter spend some time there a few years back while out on assignment.

Shortly after Hurricane Andrew hit the area, Miami-Dade county set some strict building codes for structures to be equipped such as reinforced roofing, intense window shutters and related fixtures, as well as other factors where commercial and non commercial building must be ready to stand for higher winds and rains. Businesses such as gas stations, supermarkets, and hospitals is required to be equipped with generators to supply much needed power should the standard electric grids goes out. And many of the roadways have signage that states that the routes are to be used for evacuation purposes.

These factors are the same for nearby Broward County where yours truly was once based. I was located only one mile off the shoreline where highway A1A runs across while Highway 1 runs parallel a mile or so inland to A1A and is a divided highway. The business that are alined through this road are somewhat away from the pavement. Thus, if any buildings may topple over, chances are they will fall far from the road pavement, allowing free passage going through its north-south alinement.

I-95, about two or so miles father west, it also set up where buildings and billboards are far away off from the roadways. This highway is far from cluttered. However, then yours truly was going out and about, I never went anywhere father north than the West Palm Beach area, but can testify it’s about the same level.

But tracking the storms as seen within the last weeks has been a lot easier. The tracking stations set up through The National Weather Service and other storm tracking groups can pinpoint nearly anything one needs to know within a matter of seconds, And social media plays a major part of this complex, from giving warnings to those in the areas that are affected through the storm’s path. These elements give the same messages through Twitter tweets and Facebook posts presents a positive spin of what social media can do for the good. Many folks may accept social media as a waste of time, but it can also serve a meaningful purpose.

The only element to do right for the moment is to hang tight. Granted, we can still talk about the weather no matter how one can do the talking through speech or otherwise. And what can one can do? Just be prepared, no matter how important or trivial it may present itself.

For the record, the weather where this writer is located (Los Angeles) as of this writing is currently seeing sunny skies at 85 degrees. Nothing too crucial, but that’s the weather for you!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Disney’s Aladdin, Dual Language Edition/Edition De Language Dual, performing as a guest production at Los Angeles Theatre Center in downtown Los Angeles, takes place in a time of not very long ago.

Daniel Sugimoto is Aladdin. He’s a young lad living in the middle eastern city of Agrabah that takes upon a fancy for the fair Princess Jazmin (Sarah Kennedy, alternating with Valeria Maldonado). While the princess is part of royalty, Aladdin is not as he only serves as a commoner. Jazmin’s father, the Sultan, (Henry Madrid) would be honored to give her daughter’s hand in marriage to someone worthy. But the young lad feels he would be far out of reach. That is, until he finds a lamp that is quite dusty. Upon rubbing the vessel, he encounters a Genie (Finley Polynice, alternating with Lewis Powell III). The Genie, a very high energy being, declares the lad as his master as he holds possession of the lamp with the promise of three wises! However, there is the evil Grand Vizier to deal with; Jafar (Luis Marquez, alternating with Omar Mata), who had cast a magic spell upon the city. Will Aladdin ever get the attention of Jazmin? Will Jafar get his hands on the magic lamp? How can the Genie assist his new “master”? And will Aladdin’s pick of three wishes be of a wise and careful choice?

Based upon the Disney animated feature of the same name and adapted for the stage by Jim Luigs and Jose Cruz Gonzales, it features many of the elements found within the animated film, from its colorful characters to its song sore by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. What makes this production unique is the fact that it’s bilingual, spoken in alternative English and Spanish. This form of duo verbiage is not only easy to follow as anyone who may not understand one language can conceive the flow of the story, but the way it’s spoken is one step behind a form of speakage called “Spanglish” where every other word is either English or Spanish. Here, only sentences are either one form of speech alternating with the other. This method of speaking is rather amusing to witness as it doesn’t affect the concept at all, only to enhance it!

The show itself features a rather large ensemble cast as many roles consist of duo players depending on performance. They all present themselves on a vast stage featuring the set design of Marco Le Leon, costuming by Abel Alvarado, and the choreography by Tania Possick. Byran Louiselle provides the transcribed musical orchestration as musically directed by Caroline Benzon.

Directed by Rigo Tejeda, this musical stage show is fun for all the family to experience. (It’s also presented as a single act program making it even easier to consume!) And again, don’t let the concept of two forms of communication that make up the dialogue become a burden. It’s very easy to follow, and it’s even fun for the cast to speak a form of tongue that never seems out of place. Best of all, it’s a part of the Disney based universe! For many, that’s a sure sign of approval! It’s a whole new world indeed!

DISNEY’S ALADDIN, Dual Language Edition/Edition De Language Dual, presented by TNH Productions in association with El Centro Del Pueblo and Casa 0101 Theatre, performs at The Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 South Spring Street, downtown Los Angeles until September 17th. Performances take place Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, with matinees shows on Thursday and Fridays at 11:00 AM. For ticket information call (866) 811-4111, or via online at http://www.TheLATC.org/Events.
Performance of the musical can also be sampled via YouTube at https://youtu.be/UgqkZpNojU

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The Kentwood Players Presents Beau Willimon’s FARRAGUT NORTH, a political drama about a youthful press secretary to a promising presidential candidate as he works the early campaign with some of the cronies he encounters that may stand within his way.

Nicholas Dostal is Stephen Bellamy. He’s a high strung campaign spin doctor with a wiseass attitude to a state governor that he feels would be ideal presidential fodder. Although he has yet to reach middle age by more than a decade, he hold enough experience to push his man in a high political office. While working the caucuses in the great state of Iowa, he’s dealing with those in town for the rallies set to commence the political campaign. In town for the events are political journalist Ida Horowicz (Tiana Randall-Quant), campaign fluky Ben (Brian Patrick Roach), and lead campaign manager–and Stephen’s boss, Paul Zara (Phillip Bartolf). Things start to get tight when Stephen hooks up with Tom Duffy (Manfred Hofer), a campaign manager for a rival opponent that might know of something–or not. And leading up to this campaigning is Stephen’s clash with Molly (Mikki Hernandez), serving as a political intern who is barely voting age. Will these folks taking a ride on the campaign gravy train to get Stephen’s man a passage for the leader of the nation, or will their antics wind up as Stephen’s one-way ticket to a fall from political grace?

This play is a fast paced and rather talky drama that isn’t political per se, but deals with the backroom side of how those in office are lead (or pushed) ahead of others with the usual skullduggery connected. In this production, Nicholas Dostal as Stephen plays his role as a man that is more bark than bite, making sure he’s the hot s#it that his is. Phillip Bartolf as Paul Zara is the father figure type that may have been around through politics, but doesn’t play as “dad”! Perhaps the best encounter as witnessed is with Molly as portrayed by Mikki Hernandez. Her character is much more mature than what a nineteen year old would normally be depicted. But political campaigns and the stuff that goes along with it all can become rather enhancing, and maturity kicks in faster than expected. Sherry Coon, a legacy director of past shows presented by The Kentwood Players, directs this production in a very rapid pace, never letting its momentum settle down.

As to the behind the scene theatre stuff, Jim Crawford and Sherry Conn’s set design is at a minimum. There is no detailed backdrops depicted. Just a few doorways that set off selected scenes, a “bed” that rolls out when needed with a blank wall as positioned backside. (Robert Davis’s lighting shows off various colors as scenery changes.) This form of set design is a classic depiction of the less-is-more method to stage a set.

Also appearing in this production is Phillip Iadevaia.

It’s since been less than a year since this nation had to go through the political landscaping that filled the news coffers. It’s also less than three years ways until it all happens again. The Kentwood Player’s spin of this play isn’t meant to tide one over of all of the political fiddle-dee-dee, but it still makes great theatre as viewed on the intimate stage. For the actual political side of things, just turn where one tweets for real (or for fake) and take it for what it’s worth!!

FARRAGUT NORTH, presented by the Kentwood Players, performs at the Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Avenue (at 83rd Street), Westchester, until October 14th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. For tickets or for more information, call (310) 645-5156, or via online at http://www.KentwoodPlayers.org
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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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