Although the two subject matters as noted above really don’t seem to have anything in common with each other, this article with attempt to fuse these traits as how shopping and the middle winter blahs can be of an alliance. Read on for the details!

It seems that every time around this part of the year, a good number of folks are feeling what’s called the middle winter blues. It’s the period where spring is appearing around the corner, yet winter hasn’t completed its seasonal cycle quite yet. The weather can be cold (or colder), the skies can be gray, daylight isn’t long enough, and there isn’t much going on at this time to make the moment be just a bit brighter, if not festive.

As to the seasonal part. Yes, ol’ man winter is doing his thing! (No, we are not sexist here! Winter is known to be an ol’ man, while spring is a young lady! So there!) And winter was scheduled to arrive on time! Here in California, perhaps we don’t receive the traditional scope of winter as a good part of the national experiences, but we do feel some of the aftermath in what winter can bring! Cold and flu bugs travel faster and father out around this same time no matter where and how the scope of the local weather projects. This means that folks feel rather lousy. And much of this lousy feelings make the winder blahs more blah-er!

As to what’s going on this time of year. The Super Bowl is long and past. So was Valentine’s day. It makes things more frustrated if one doesn’t care much for pro football and/or doesn’t have a sweetie to share Valentine’s Day with! This week is President’s Day, a holiday that people usually forget about. And though the holiday is to commemorate Lincoln and Washington’s birthday, the day speaks for all presidents, past and present. (This writer won’t continue to that notion on celebrating selected government leaders, so we’ll proceed!)

There are ways and methods to supposedly beat the mid winter blues. Those tips range from exposing one to more light, to eating better, get as much exercise as one could, listing to their favorite songs, may and do help. And even if one has to do such outside of where they live, that would become ideal.

“Cabin fever”, that element where one feels that they can been cooped up within their homestead for longer than desired, tends to kick in. Granted, many homes out there have that sense of being cozy. However, even that coziness has the notion of becoming a bit on the stale side at times. People want to get of their house to see a bit of scenery, even if that scenery isn’t anything of nature. (Heading out to the beach is fun, but depending on where one lives, that idea shows no practical use!)

Of course, one notion to beat those so-called blahs is to find out what’s within the retail sector of things. For communities that still have their indoor shopping malls in place, one can find their time around these so-called halls of retail. And never mind that nearly anything can be bought online!

Although shopping with the aid of one’s electronic device may be easy for what it is, one can’t receive the same notion of an emotional appeal when it comes to shopping or even browsing! Taking a real look at an item has more emotional value that seeing that same piece of merchandise as a pixelated image. And best of all, unlike shopping online where one has to wait for the item to arrive on one’s doorstep, one can grab that good right then and there! It’s just that simple!

This writer has already expressed the notion of using one’s shopping skills to suppress the middle winter blahs! So what are you awaiting for! Do your part to keep this economy going! Or you can wait for Spring to arrive!

Phil Olson’s DON’T HUG ME, WE’RE FAMILY, the latest entry of the continuing saga of the life and times of the friendly (and frozen) folks of Bunyan Bay, Minnesota, makes its world premier appearance at the T.U. Studios in North Hollywood.

At the local watering hole where the beer is cold and its patrons are a lot colder, the bar’s radio station KOLD features its flagship show Crappie Talk that talks about fishing for Crappies. (That’s a fresh water fish for those that are not in the know!) It’s host Gunner Johnson (Andrew Carter) doesn’t get much of an audience. In fact, it appears that nobody is tuning in! Its sole sponsor, a local bait shop and deer petting farm, doesn’t feel their ROI is worth a damn, so they pull out supporting the program. However, Gunner’s wife Clara (Truett Jean Butler) who hosts “Book Beat”, a book review series, receives more listeners and ad dollars to boot. Since the radio station supports the bar, the relationship between the bar, Gunner, and Clara becomes rather sticky. What makes matters even more complicated is when two others that don’t seem to be from this neck of the woods step in. Sal (Michael Cortez), a “goomba”-type who dons fancy Italian suits and silk ties and hails from Brooklyn (“The” Brooklyn, not Brooklyn Park/Brooklyn Center!) comes around announcing that he bought the radio station. Along with Sal, another mysterious person shows up. Donna (Christina Gardner) another Brooklynite, bought the local hotel lounge outside of town, changing it as a fancy club for the men folk. What are these two doing in this humble hamlet, and how are they going to change these beloved institutions that made this hamlet located in the ice box of the nation famous?

This play by Phil Olson has all of the wit and charm showcasing how these pleasant folks get by through living within the wilds of the upper midwest. Not only this production features a (fishing) boatload of comic episodes that range from silly to goofy to downright fun, but it’s also a musical! Featuring lyrics by Phil Olson with musical score by Paul Olson, the set of fourteen (count ‘em) selections (with twelve radio commercial “jingles”) are just as giddy as the comedy presented. The songs themselves are far from being anything that could be “Broadway” ready, but this notion isn’t the point! Besides, this is not the great white way! It’s Minnesota–the great snow-packed white way!

Along with the above noted cast, this show also features Allison Hawkstone as Bernice, David Pluebell as Kanute, and Micky Shiloah as Aarvid. Doug Engalla directs this production that contains lotsa laughs that’s just as potent as a tall serving of 3.2 Grain Belt Beer!

And speaking of the tavern, Chris Winfield’s set design of the bar has enough placing that could qualify as a classic example of those “What’s wrong with the picture?”-type games. There’s enough to view on its staging that is nearly as humorous as the comical situations that unfolds through every moment.

Phil Olson has created a number of plays from the “Don’t Hug Me” series, most (if not all) had made its first appearance in the Los Angeles region, thousands of miles away from the land of 10,000 lakes! This one is no exception! Whatever the case, DON’T HUG ME, WE’RE FAMILY is the funniest play about the folks from the frozen north this side of Anoka County! This writer can hardly wait until the next entry from this collection makes its mark!

DON’T HUG ME, WE’RE FAMILY, presented by Don’t Hug Me Productions, and performs at the T.U. Studios, 10943 Camarillo Street, located off the intersection of Vineland and Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, until March 25th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.

For ticket reservations or for more information, call (818) 850-9254, or via online at http://DontHugMe.brownpapertickets.com.

Visit the official Don’t Hug Me website at http://www.DontHugMe.com
The Glendale Centre Theatre presents JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical of the epic saga of Joseph, interpreter of dreams and his coat of many colors.

Taking place in Egypt during the age of the Pharaohs, it tells the tale of Joseph (Robert Marra) and his many brothers. His father chose Joseph as his favorite, presenting him with a multicolored coat. His brood of siblings seeking rebuttal of this favoritism, sold him to slavery to the Pharaoh (Lance Zitron). However, the young Joseph has a special gift of interpreting dreams. This ability was able to discover the meaning of a dream the leader of Egypt had, predicting when the land would experience a bountiful of crops and when famine would hit.

This musical was the stage piece that would make Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice a major name in musical theater, both in their native country of the UK and through the entire world. The story itself comes from the the book of Genesis in the Old Testament, and was extended as a full length musical with very little spoken dialogue. (Not as an ‘opera’ per se, but comes rather close!) In this GCT production, it’s presented as a very high energy fun musical! It features an extremely robust cast of players (too many to list the names of them all) that can sing and dance. Lee Martino provides both the main choreography along with the stage direction. Gillian Bozajian serves as Assistant Choreographer. Adding to these pieces are Steven Applegate’s transcribed musical direction, and Angela Manke’s costuming, ranging from classic Egyptian, to modern western, to Caribbean, with a touch of a gold jumpsuit piece fit for the King of Rock ‘n Roll!

At the performance attended by this reviewer, an understudy appeared to take place of the narrator of this show, Katy Jane Harvery. Katy lost her voice that particular morning. As an eleventh hour decision, the person stepping in was Jennifer Strattan, the daughter of George Strattan, one of GCT’s repertory directors. With only shy of twelve hours to learn her vocal parts and stage blocking, she stepped in and did a masterful performance, carrying each and every note with the finest voice talents she possess! Granted, she did appear with the musical score in hand, cleverly disguised as a “jeweled” studded book of the Old Testament. This small touch added to the flavor and spirit that this musical has carried throughout the musical theater ages!

This musical still maintains its charm and appeal that all ages can enjoy and appreciate. With the GTC’s theatre-in-the-round setting, any place one sits will experience a full frontal look at this show that can still wow ‘em with its upbeat score, high flaooting dancing, and colorful appearance! (No pun intended!) As the entire theme of this musical suggests, it’s a go-go-go for Joseph and its GCT audience!

JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, presented by and performs at the Glendale Centre Theatre. 324 North Orange Street, Glendale, until April 7th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM, Saturday matinees at 3:00 PM, with a Sunday afternoon performance taking place on February 24th at 3:00 PM.

For more details and for ticket reservations, call (818) 244-8481, or visit the GCT’s web site athttp://www.GlendaleCentreTheatre.com
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 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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