Within the last thirty days, it was a big time to watch a number of television programs that come but once a year. Most of these kind of programs deal with either sporting events, from The Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics (both running on NBC), the NHL and NBA all-star games (nothing really special per se, but amusing for what they are), as well as some selected entertainment-based award shows that the majority of the public would care for. Here in Los Angeles, a number of the various trade guilds held award presentations saluting those in their industry for their work in feature films. Most of those awards were not televised (some were streamed), since no “celebrities” would be present. Unless you were involved in let’s say costuming or picture editing, you would hold an interest. However, most people are not involved in those boring-yet-important aspects in media production, so why would they care? But this situation is besides the point!

This writer has noted that since the Thanksgiving weekend, four (count ‘em) people known personally to this same writer replaced their television devices with something bigger, flatter, and brighter that what they had beforehand. We are not speaking about getting a high-def TV machine for the first time. This is replacing their slightly older (yet still functional) set with something bigger, flatter, and brighter. And interestingly enough, all four of these folks were one time subscribers of a TV service through a local cable TV company or through a satellite service. All four groups discontinued their service with their respected companies to switch to getting their video programming through a streaming service.

One person we can use as an example recently replaced his free standing 48” flat screen device he purchased some three years before to get a 60” 4k “smart” TV that hangs on a wall. (He would have gotten a 72” device, but a set of that size would not fit on the wall space he wanted to place the unit, so the 60” was his only choice!) He had a subscription with AT&T’s service where he was paying for some 100+ channels for a little over $100.00 per month. Out of those 100 channels, he only watched a total of six: four sports channels, one news channel, and the last one was “other”. (This writer doesn’t know what specific channels he tuned in to, but that’s besides the point!)

Now his “smart” set can get access to a number of the streaming services, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, and a few others. With all of this being said, he is paying less per month that what he had to fork over to AT&T for their offerings. As for getting local channels? He still kept his TV antenna that’s been sitting on his roof since the 1980’s, and can receive anything that’s going over the air! That cost? Free! (*gasp!*)

The other three folks also replaced their older yet still working high-def sets with the usual bigger, flatter, brighter features. They too, got rid of their cable subscriptions or satellite devices. (As of this writing, one of these person’s satellite dish is still sitting along the curb, ready for pickup by anyone that collects scrap metal!) Not only they are paying less for their TV programming, but paid less for the sets they replaced vs. getting their older sets as new. Adjusted for inflation, they paid an average of $200.00 less for what they have now, a set that’s been an improvement to what they replaced.

So what does these mini episodes all mean? TV as the public knows of it is far different than what it was even around the turn of the 21st century. Back then, most sets were CRT (tube) units that were analog based standard definition. Videotape was still in use, although DVDs were gaining in popularity. Cable was common, and so were satellite services, still offering most of their channels as standard def. The internet was only limited to desktop computers that only carried graphics and text. Were people pleased with what they had? They were since there wasn’t much of a chose otherwise!

It will be interesting to see the future of TV in twenty years. Perhaps those big-deal sets that were just received will be in some kind of scrap heap by then! Streaming media may be replaced by something bigger, flatter, and brighter! (Cheaper? Maybe, or maybe not!) By then, perhaps they may have access to a device where one can watch TV through something that attaches to one’s head, and can see images and hear sounds through the inner workings of their brain waves! It may sound like science fiction, but how many devices that were once science fiction turned into science faction?

So until all of this nonsense gets itself together, all we can state is to just stay tuned to this same channel for further updates!

Jeff Dinnell’s WICKED PAGAN GAYS, a new comedy about two men that reunite who holds a number of believes on opposite sides, and the former child star who is also reunited of sorts, makes its world premier at the Zephyr Theatre along the Melrose district.

Jeff Dinnell plays Jeff Dibello. He was a journalist for an alternative paper in a small close knit northern California town. Although he had his circle of friends and lovers, he needed to start off anew in his life. So he winds up in West Hollywood to meet up with Greg Arthur (Nathan Tylutki). Greg is an actor nee playwright, looking out for his big break. Although they have their own common bonds, their differences are based on their personal beliefs. Greg is into spirituality, working himself toward the senses of numbers, astrological signs, devotional crystals, and other notions that come from “signs from above”. Jeff is an atheist who believes in nothing! Adding to their mix is Jonathan Tyler Tyler (Eric Allen Smith). Jonathan was a former child star appearing in a popular 1990’s-era TV sitcom. Now as an adult, he recently announced his present lifestyle out to his world. Jeff must face the facts if he and Greg will “hook up”, his affixation toward Jonathan, as well as what is the devine sense between God, god, and god-esque loyalties.

This amusing comedy written by Jeff Dinnell, based on a storyline by Greg Archer and Dinnell, has plenty of gay humor, describing the term “gay” as both the traditional meaning as well as its contemporary definition. Its characters are rather cartoon like, complete with the mannerisms and personalities one could depict associated with this choice of lifestyle, but treated with the conviction of well respect. The cast of players portray their roles as a likable bunch, meaning that if anyone would want to find these kind of folks for personal friendship and beyond, they would indeed become the catch of the day!

The ensemble that also appears within this production features Jordan Michael Green as Tyrell, Jeff’s roommate and “roommate”, Ian Dick as Douglas, one of the guys that’s part of the spiritual journeys, Emily Jerez as Jillian Start, another spiritual journey(wo)man, Krista Conti as Helene Aurora, yet another faithful journey-woman, and Will Gibson as Jacob Falconberg, an attorney at large.

Directed by Kiff Scholl, WICKED PAGAN GAYS is very comical and humorous to boot. Granted, some of the gags may not interplay out too well for some folks because of their sensitivity. But outside of these minor bumps along the comedy road, the play itself has its own appeal. Perhaps the moral of this tale is that one’s believes may be another one’s rewards. All it takes is a little faith from above and below—the belt that is!

WICKED PAGEN GAYS, presented by 20 Milligrams Entertainment, and performs at the Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, until March 31st. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://wplays411.com/Wicked. (The performance on Thursday, March 8th is pay-what-you-can!)
Visit and “like” the play on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/WickedPaganGays

The Wallis Anninberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills presents the American premier of Daniel Jamieson’s THE FLYING LOVERS OF VITEBSK, a play with music that calls upon the relationship between one of the profound artists active in the 20th century, and the woman that would become his partner in life.

The artist in question is Marc Chagall, portrayed by Marc Antolin. Born within the city of Vitebsk located in what is now Russia, he was weened in a Jewish background. In 1914, he would meet Bella Rosenfeld. (Daisy Maywood), a woman that came from a well-to-do family, and was a writer by trade. At their first meeting, it was become love at first sight. Upon their marriage in 1915 , they would settle through many places in their home country and through locations in Europe. Where they would lay ground experienced some of history’s most taxing events. These events ranged from the Russian revolution, to the deep economic depression, leading toward the rise of the Nazi retime. Being that they were both of the Jewish persuasion, they had to keep their safety at close bay. However, Marc and Bella were of one. He would accept her as his personal muse and model in many of his paintings and artworks. Their lives would be in place until her timely death in the 1940‘s due to a viral infection.

This production as depicted as a singe-act showcase, is not so much a story about Marc Chagall the artist. It’s mostly about a scenario of an artist and the love of his life. It’s told in a fashion where this saga is expressed as a method that resembles a blend of vaudeville, yiddish theater, with touches of silent film comedy added as a flavor. Both Marc Antolin as the artist and Daisy Maywood as Bella are decked out in white face makeup with a bit of rosy color on their cheeks. They appear as they can do more comedy than drama. Marc Antolin’s likeness is a blend between Charlie Chaplin (sans mustache, top hat, baggy pants, and cane) and Buster Keaton without the deadpan look. Daisy Maywood resembles Imogene Coca, a person who was active on 1950‘s television! Not only do they speak about their own being and the times they lived through both as good and bad, but they also engage in harmonious tones in the notion of song. Backed by a pair of musicians consisting of James Gow and Ian Ross performing on piano, base, mandolin, and accordion, the tunes they perform are of the period that can be called as “tin pan alley” music. But this isn’t a musical in the traditional sense as the story focuses upon the romantic period of Marc and what he imagined to become his partner for life.

And with such shows where the performers do more that recite lines and move from stage left to right and vice versa, there are some dance movements depicted as choreographed by Emma Rice (who also directs this production), and Etta Murfitt. These dance numbers gives this program that vaudeville feel without the brash slapstick such a show could curtail. Adding to these movements and vocal patters is Sophia Clist’s scenic and costume design, Much of what is worn by these two focus upon the color black, making their pale white faces seem as whiter. Their stage consists of a platform that is sloped with a canapy-esque frame placed above with some figurine set within. This stage corresponds to an image found in a painting created by Salvador Dali, an artist active in the same era as Chagall. However, these two never really crossed paths during their professional career, so this writer can’t confess that this design was conceived as a tribute.

The only notion to this play? There isn’t any scenes or visual slices of Chagall at work as an artist, let alone even seeing any of his art examples depicted on stage. (There is a trace of his artistic talents displayed, but one would have to spot it!) But this is more of a love story than a true biographical look of an figure that would take the art world in respect.

The title to this presentation does describe the notion between two folks that would become as one. They did live for art and were artists of love. That is enough for a happy and pleasing conclusion!

THE FLYING LOVES OF VITEBSK, performs in the Bram Goldsmith Theatre located within the Wallis Anninberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 North Santa Monica Blvd. (at North Canon Drive), Beverly Hills, until March 11th. Showtimes are Tuesday through Saturday nights at 7:30 PM, with Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

To order tickets, call (310) 746-4000, or online at http://www.TheWallis.org/Lovers. Also visit the Wallis found through social media via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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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