According to a recent marking report filed by the marking research sector of PwC (once known as PriceWaterhouseCoopers), some 35% of polled consumers stated that they will plan to do some shopping on “Black Friday”, that so-called “shopper’s holiday” that takes place the Friday after Thanksgiving where retail stores offers special one-day-only sales on goods that people have the desire to buy, usually in the form of Christmas/Holiday gifts for somebody on their list, or for themselves. This amount of those stating their shopping plans for that day falls a bit over one third of those asked, is down from a 51% statement by shoppers polled the previous year. In 2015, 59% noted that they will be waiting in line that day after Turkey Day to grab the goods for cheap(er)!

So what is the reason why these folks are not going to rise at dawn, head on over to their favorite retailer(s), wait in a long line, only to be ready, willing, and able to rush into the store to fight with other shoppers in their frenzy just to take advantage of grabbing something that was marked down a significant amount? A lot of reasons!

First, retailers over their many years, tied to beat each other out in starting their Black Friday sales a lot earlier, moving the Black Friday to a week before Thanksgiving. Then they moved it to October, then toward the Summer season, even having Black Friday sales all year round! This changing of the dates gave those the idea that sales take place whenever and wherever the retailers feel like it. Also, since economic times are a lot better that they have been, people have more income to grab goods! Granted, everyone likes to snag a bargain no matter how much money they have. Besides, most of the items folks tend to buy on Black Friday are for themselves. What’s the difference if you give a gift to yourself in December, or in July? And perhaps the most obvious reason why shoppers are not to keen on waiting in line on a cold(er) November morning. Thanks to the ever lovin’ internet, many of these same retailers offers Black Friday sales via the comfort of one’s internet connected device. Cyber Monday, the name of the post-Thanksgiving shopping day where additional bargains were offered via the ‘net, became popular within the last ten years. And using the same game plan that the physical stores offered, Cyber Monday was pushed earlier and earlier where is eventually became an all year-round ploy.

Amazon, the be-all-to-end-all form of shopping to many, had a “Prime Day” last summer, offering discounted items made available to their Prime members, those that fork over $99.00 a year to receive free shipping and other perks. Although Amazon didn’t state how much they made in specific terms, they did earn more during that summer day then they did on the pervious Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined!

Black Friday had been over its not-so-many years of existence, both phrased and cursed by many that’s been exposed to these sale techniques for some time. The ones that are fans to the dark end-of-week stated they they got the best deal of the hour/day/week/month/year thanks to their savvy shopping! Those that curse this day noted that the Thanksgiving weekend spoils the notion of enjoying those four days in November with family, friends, and those within their domain, as this holiday is considered a “family” holiday. Also, many people that work at these retail places may feel they must report to their job the day after Thanksgiving, sometimes reporting an hour before the store opens, sometimes as early as 4:00 AM! And there has been reports of people fighting for items ranging from pushes and shoves, to throwing fists at one another!

However, thanks to a combination of technology and savvy marketing techniques, the art of shopping for the best deals the day after Thanksgiving has lost its luster. This is a good thing for some, and a not-so-great idea for others! But as things tend to progress, so will the art of getting the best deal around for the item one wants, but not necessarily needs! Keep in mind that not everything is offered as the deal of the week! If one needs plumbing supplies, the chances that a plumbing supply outlet will offer door bustin‘ deals are rather low! Maybe the idea of offering a sale on 1/4” elbow joint pipes at 20% for one day only doesn’t have the same appeal to the majority of savvy shoppers. That is, unless one is in the market for a 1/4” elbow joint pipe fixture! (Those even make great gifts, too!)

Theatre Palisades closes out their 2017 calendar year with Steve Franco’s IN-LAWS, OUTLAWS, AND OTHER PEOPLE (THAT SHOULD BE SHOT), a comedy about a near dysfunctional family getting together for the festive season, only to have their event interrupted by a pair of outsiders that are just as dysfunctional as the rest of the bunch!

It’s Christmas Eve in Brooklyn New York. And another family gathering is about to take place. Dad Thomas (Jonathan Fahn), and his teen daughter Beth (Tessa Marts) is getting ready to host their clan for a ham dinner. Beth’s mom Janet (Terri Parks) is coming in from an out of town junket but is expected to arrive shortly. Until her arrival, there’s enough family to go around to keep things busy. The guests include Janet’s sister and brother-in-law Bud and Bunny (Andrew Margolin and Laura Goldstein), their teen daughter Tracy (Sierra Laurin Parsons), along with Aunt Rose and Uncle Leo. (Sue Hardie and Mitch Feinstein). The family receives a pair of uninvited and unexpected guests, Tony and Vinny. (Eric Pierce and Cruz Flores). These two are not family members, but a bunch of criminal that knocked over a liquor store and need a quick hideout until the heat’s off. Although Tony and Vinny take the family hostage, nobody seems to take things too serious as everyone holds their own with their mildly annoying personalities. This may not become the best Christmas ever, but it sure is different!

As one can expect, this comedy by Steve Franco is a classic example of a comic farce. The characters involved and the plot the plays is more of a cartoon show than a thrilling drama of a family under siege. The family members are the type of people one would (or could) have in your family–like it or otherwise! Vinny and Tony, as portrayed by Eric Pierce and Cruz Flores aren’t threatening, but play more as bumbling bafoons. Those elements is what makes this play enjoyable, as it’s not real or believable and should be! It’s performed for laughs! However, some of the characters depicted may remind of somebody you as somebody that you may know–or not!

Rounding out the cast includes Darcy Silveria as first neighbor Sue Draper, second neighbor Mrs. Wakowski (Lois Bostwick) and her adolescent kids Paul and Emily (Jeff DeWitt and Hayley Dixon), with Prince Johnson as Officer Henley. Everyone depicts their roles as created within the humble homestead using the set design by Theatre Palisades long standing rep set designer Sherman Wayne.

Directed by Ria Parody Erlich, this play is ideal to have a good laugh for the festive season! The whole concept is about family. The group may be of eccentric stock, but everyone still has heart in their own unique (and possibly weird) way! As the notion found within this production suggests, one can pick and choose their friends, but you are stuck with your family! Or are you really stuck?

IN-LAWS, OUTLAWS, AND OTHER PEOPLE (THAT SHOULD BE SHOT), presented by Theater Palisades, performs at the Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road (off Sunset Blvd.), Pacific Palisades, until December 10th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

Theatre Palisades has announced their 2018 season of plays and musicals. The new season opens with Arthur Miller’s The Price on January 12th, followed by Rick Abbot’s Play On! on April 6th. On June 8th, Frederick Knott’s Write Me A Murder opens, followed by Bark! A Musical on August 31st. Winding up the season is the comedy Parfumerie on November 2nd.

For more information on all shows including how to make reservations for IN-LAWS…, call (310) 454-1970, or via online at
This humble reviewer recently had the opportunity to stumble across a little jazz club located within an out-of-the-way restaurant located within the downtown region. The club calls itself Bar Fedora, named after the hat that made Frankie of Hoboken famous for donning. This hint sets the mood for this place–a small dimly lit location that sports an art deco-esque motif that one can find perched in the back of a cosmopolitan dressed restaurant, very much akin to those jazz clubs that grew from the speakeasy era and were the set place to hear live jazz. This spot is more tidy as it’s not smokey (thanks to current bans of smoking inside of eateries), but is friendly enough to have a drink, perhaps to grab a light meal, and to ponder upon the musical notes heard within.

One venture yours truly attended was last Saturday, November 4th. On the bill that night was something called “The Triad Sessions”, consisting of a trio of “..ladies with unique voices, solo sets, and three part harmonies”. (The term used in quotes were taken from the ad bills for this show, but this writer will borrow those words because it sums up to what the show was really about!)

The three ladies performing in question were as listed in alphabetical order, L. Aviva Diamond, Kathryn Hopkins, and Karen Celeste Kruz. These vocalists did what the notices states. They all shared the imitate stage setting signing something old (“classic”), something new, (“original”) as well as the borrowed and blue monikers. The “blue” used here was more of a bluesy tone, rather that sadness or the color. Nothing heard was really sad, while blue is the color that represents cleanness, and being clean is a good!

These three do work as a team as that can present tunes via the three part harmony setting, yet they do host themselves as soloists. Although all three hail from this region, Kathryn Hopkins originates from New Zealand, part of the “down under” that piece of the world is usually referred as. Her native accent she holds just enhances her singing voice, presenting the fine jazz numbers that had indeed held through the test of time.

Backing up these ladies was a five piece band, featuring Nolan Shaheed on trumpet, Rich Eames on the keyboards, Gabe Davis on bass, Al Garcia on guitar, and Kevin Winard on percussion.

This small yet mighty concert is part of a series of musical sessions called Saturday Night Jazz DTLA, where for a number of Saturday nights along with a few isolated Friday night gigs, one can hear a selection of jazz musical artists and vocalists, with a little blues and R&B added for measure.

The shows take place at Bar Fedora, located within the Au Lac restaurant, 710 West 1st Street (at Hope Street), downtown Los Angeles, right along the shadow of the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and the Walt Disney Concert Hall. For more information on the Saturday Night Jazz DTLA series as well as ticket reservations, visit
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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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