The above noted headline is perhaps one of many oft-quoted quotes that came from the pen (or whatever was used to jot down these words way back when) of William Shakespeare, one of the greatest playwrights within the English speaking world to compose plays. His plays were so great that somewhere in this world right this very minute, some theater company is presenting one of his works or some form of variation of his pieces. This is an impressive track record because not only that his creations hold plenty of drama and comedy, but all of his works are in the public domain! As it’s been stated many a time before (not from Willie however), that dead men collect no royalties!
But this article isn’t about The Bard, playwrights, or even about the theater as a whole. It’s about how people receive their names and the source(es) responsible for the naming rights. Generally speaking (or writing in this case), it’s about how parents and/or caretakers name their kids that are born into their domestic family-style domains.
Even since people were first known as something to be referred by, people were given labels as a method of identity-a label that would separate person “A” from person “B”. Depending on where in the world they existed as well as what culture they were extracted from, folks obtain names that would be kept for life, either as intended or otherwise. This form of naming would consist of a first name, perhaps a middle name or series of “middle names”, and a last name or surname that would identify the family, tribe, group, or other body that assisted in where the person came from–physically or through placement. That first name can give some form of ID that would distinguish the person’s gender. The same can also go for the middle name. The last name, or final label, gives the source of the family, troupe, or sect to the person in question. Middle names can also be used for lineage as well!
Not to get too far off the topic that this writer desires to discuss within this article, we are going to stick to the current domestic society where this news service originates–the USA, since most of our readers hail from this area in addition to the writer. So let’s proceed.
Not too long ago, a notice appeared within the pages of a church bulletin. This church, located in another part of the nation that is outside of the confines of Los Angeles, gave notice of a birth. The notice read…
Bugh Thomas Ray was born on February 12th. Bugh is the son of Ben and Emily
Ray, the grandson of Cindy Ray, and the brother of Julia, Jack, and Anna.
First and foremost, we give our wholesome congrads to Ben and Emily for the birth to their son. However, one element remains. How does one pronounce the name of the kid? Is it “bug”, “burgh”, or perhaps something else?
This writer is not aware of the people stated within the birth notice, so yours truly falls into a neutral stance. The real question to this situation is one that could present some thought. Why did Ben and Emily name their child “Bugh”? Is this name extracted from some source that is part of a family legacy? Is the name one of those monikers of old that have since fallen out of popularity over the many centuries and is seeking a revival? Is this label part of another title that holds some other significance? Or are these parents just trying to become hip and trendy in naming their kid?
The method of names over the years has its tendencies of becoming popular at one moment, only to have its popularity fade over time and tide. This can be due to a number of reasons based upon the parents/caregivers, how the family’s legacy was built, or perhaps whatever the popular fads were of the era.
The Social Security Administration, that government agency that dishes out those nine digit numbers that every citizen has that until recently, had minimum value to those outside of the person’s realm, ranks the most used names in terms of male and female as assigned within a given decade. This ranking is perhaps the most accurate measure of who was named what and how common that name was used within that stretch of the period.
To give an example, in the 1950’s, perhaps the most popular and sought over decade of the 20th century, the top five names given to newly born boys and girls were of this order: (Boys): James, Michael, Robert, John, and David. (Girls): Mary, Linda, Patricia, Susan, and Deborah. Two decades later in the 1970’s, the names that were in the hit parade were Michael, Christopher, Jason, David and James for the boys, and Jennifer, Amy, Melissa, Michelle, and Kimberly for the girls.
It’s not too surprising that this same writer known of a number people who correspond with these names and the decade that they were born in. Although some names didn’t necessarily make the top five, the names ranked by the SSA do jive with the other names that were popular at that moment.
And if anyone is interested to know what are the current top five names in this decade (the ‘10s), those names are Jacob, Noah, Mason, William, and Liam for the boys, and Emma, Sophia, Olivia, Isabella, and Ava for the girls. Keep in mind that this only covers the years 2010 through 2016. Granted that only three more years need to be tallied. (’17 through ’19). But it’s not too likely that this ranking order would be modified by the time the 20’s come roaring in again!
And for the record, the name “Bugh” didn’t list anywhere within the survey of 200. Interestingly enough, some unique names were listed, including (but not limited to), such monikers as Ryker, Hayden, Gage, Ximena, Tanner, Jace, Maddox, Londyn, and Brooklynn–with two “n”s! We will let you the reader guess the proper sex that this names are connected with! ‘Nuff said!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
PLAY ON!, Rick Abbot’s comedy about a theatre troupe attempting to stage a murder mystery play, opens as the second show for Theatre Palisades’ 2018 calendar season.
Within the realms of a community theater, a new murder mystery entitled A Murder Most Foul, written by community theater member Phyllis Montague (Cindy Pearl) is set to perform. It’s a few days before the opening, and the production is attempting to get under way. The AMMF cast consists of Henry Benish (Michael Bernstein), playing the role of “Lord Dudley”, Polly Benish (Marina Tidwell), playing “Lady Margaret”, Marla “Smitty” Smith (Keely O’Sullivan, alternating with Bella Dixon), appears as “Doris the Maid”, Saul Watson (Richard Conolly), as “Dr. Rex Forbes”, Billy Carewe (Robert Watson), as “Stephen Sellers”, and Violet Imbry (Lauren Chapman) as “Diana Lassiter”. Geraldine “Gerry” Dunbar (Catherine Rahm) is set to direct this stage program, but there are other notions to deal with. The stage manager Aggie Manvall (Ria Parody Erlich) attempts to get things correct, and Louise Pearly (Sue Hardie) who controls the technical aspects, is somewhat getting the sound effects to work on cue. When things go wrong in this production (including the playwright making last minute revisions at a near moment’s notice), they somehow do succeed while applying upon the usual comical antics!
This production presented by Theatre Palisades, programs a ‘play-within-a-play’ play that shows how a theater company tries their best (or lesser best) to get a show going. Although their program is a murder mystery, it’s a rather talky one! But that isn’t the issue here. Rick Abbot, who penned this stage comedy, makes the same effort in keeping this show going akin to its characters and their situations. With the efforts of the set of actors and behind the scene folks as played by a selection of actors, it creates this Theatre Palisades show as an endeavor that is rather amusing. Sherry Coon, the “real” director here, brings the cast afloat toward their comical efforts. With the aid of a set of “real” tech people with Susan Stangl on audio design, Sherman Wayne’s stage design, and June Lissandrello’s costuming (featuring “English Murder Mystery”-style outfits for the actors playing actors), one has a pleasant comedy about theater at its nearly-as finest, but never gets there! However, the theater brood do rise to the occasion!
Theatre Palisades is one of these charming community theaters within the region that presents their plays and musical with charm, appeal, and grace. It’s one of these little gems that showcases live stage programs found within a cozy community setting. And in this day and age of existing in an overly wired world, it’s always a treat to experience entertainment the classic way–live and in person! It’s a concept that still works well with a real audience that reacts in-person to what’s seen and depicted on an intimate stage!
PLAY ON!, presented by Theater Palisades, performs at the Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road (off Sunset Blvd.), Pacific Palisades, until May 13th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.
For more information and for ticket reservations, call (310) 454-1970, or via online at http://www.TheatrePalisades.com
Skypilot Theatre presents Craig Jesson’s MIDNIGHT REQUISITION, a drama about three siblings that gather for their father’s funeral, and their mother who betrayed them all many years before, performs at the the Hollywood Theatre of Arts in Hollywood.
A trio of sisters consisting of Heather (Kelsey Risher), Ashley a.k.a. “Ash” (Laura Walker), and Grey (Serena Anis) meet to attend the wake and funeral of their father David (Morry Schorr). Although these siblings have already established their lives on their own, they do make an effort to rebond with one another. Joining this troupe is their mother Maggie (Michelle Begley). Maggie was the former spouse of David, and was the one who started the divorce process, taking off and leaving the kids to David’s care. She also arrives with her current partner Ernesto (Gerry Del Sol), who hails from Latin America and is involved in a number of business deals. In this trying time, Maggie also attempts to rebond with the family she long left behind. But through time and tide, they begin to understand of their late father’s life from the times he experienced while in the military service back in the 1960’s, to getting involved with possible business deals with her ex-wife’s husband. It’s the type of family ties that were undone a generation ago with a vague change of being retied.
This new play by Craig Jessen takes the elements of families broken and adds plenty of established twists between each character. The dialogue is sharp, upfront, and never holds back. The six players add to this effort as seen throughout this performance. James Carey directs this piece that has enough humor to where the drama never becomes too heavy, and is far from anything that’s sappy!
Director Carry also designs the stage set that only consists of a few pieces of furnishings (mostly as a series of floating tables and chairs) minus any backdrop. This method of less-is-more theater works quite well to such a stage piece and the performances that go along with it.
Skypilot Theatre chooses their plays by selecting playwrights that work and are based within the Los Angeles region, giving an opportunity for those involved within the theater structure to showcase their talents. Granted, L.A. may not necessarily be associated with theater in the same sense as New York, but the quality and aptitude for the stage scene is indeed present. This play is a prime example of that noted stage flair!
MIDNIGHT REQUISITION, presented by Skypilot Theater, and performs at the Arena Stage, Hollywood’s Theater of Arts, 1625 North Las Palmas Avenue, (off Hollywood Blvd., adjacent to the Egyptian Theater), Hollywood, until April 29th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. Tickets can be obtained through Brown Paper Tickets at http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com/event/3368581. Visit Skypilot Theatre online at http://www.SkypilotTheatre.com
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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!