BOYS WILL BE BOYS(?!)

Within the last few years, the on-again-off-again so-called war between men and women has been ranging upon the (social) media landscape, from gender equality, sexual harassment cases popping out from the woodwork, to various political and social movements that sport a title with a hashtag as its first letter in its label. Many of these movements are for real, with others tend to speak for a selected few, if any!

Granted, it’s wise to being some of these issues to the attention to the public at large. Thanks to the powers that the ‘net holds, it’s been a whole lot easier to conduct these viewpoints from what previous generations used to do before. This is both viewed as a good thing and a not-so-good thing, and it holds an ideal side and its weaker end. The good notion (one of many) is that anyone can bring these issues to everyone’s attention. The bad notion (again, one of many) is the fact that anyone can bring these issues to everyone’s attention, wherever the masses want to know about these standards or not.

Between the sides, who has the upper hand in these actions, men or women? It all depends on what the situations speak of and speak for. The woman’s issues have been the “loudest” between the two for various reasons. However, the men have given their backlash of the points that the other side accounts for. Those counterpoints hold a vast range to what they are and the notions that they are expressed. However, there has been related points that are not necessarily of a legal or moral standpoint that these men (and even women) point out. Perhaps they may not necessarily be related, but the social and political climate notes that this is perhaps an ideal time to bring these elements out in the open for what they are all worth.

Marketing groups have been studying the habits of men and women for decades. Ditto for organizations that study the domestic behavior of men and women, boys and girls, guys ‘n gals, and so on. Even though the idea notion is to have everyone stand upon equal ground, these habits and traits have their differences when it comes to age, lifestyle choices, and how they see themselves within the neighborhoods they exist in.

One study (out of many no doubt) focused upon the Millennial and “Gen Z” aged male. To bring the reader up to date, a person of Millennial age range between the birth years of 1981-1995, making these folks in their early twenties through middle-late 30’s. A “Gen Z” person (the name comes from “Generation Z”, far removed from a “Generation X” person that would be born between 1965-1980) was born between 1996-2006, making this group aged from twelve through twenty-two. Anyway, this study as conducted by Youth IQ questioned those between age thirteen through 35 to rate a series of attitudinal statements about how they see themselves and the world around them. Within this report, men from their early 20’s through middle 30’s have shown themselves to be intensely more in step with their emotions than previous and transpired generations. In this report, some 68% of age men agree to the fact that there is nothing wrong with men/guys acting sensitive.
 To express further, three out of five Millennial men admitted they are into food and cooking. This is no real surprise there since outlets as The Food Network brought a number of men as their stars, such as Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, and a host of others. They also express a passion of travel as 63% acknowledged this fact, and not necessarily any form of “adventurous” travel either. They are pleased to see London and Paris for what these places stand for verses going into the backlands to fight alligators along the Amazon river.

But getting into the sensitive stuff, 80% of men stated they do believe in true love, and a little over half noted that their parents (or parent figures) are their best friends. The same amount noted their being spiritual–not necessarily “religious” per se, but fall into a related element of belief. And 60% do agree that it’s very important to support their own social causes through time, financial support, or both. (The same amount of women also believe this fact).

With the good comes the not-so-good. Many of these same men see their gender being challenged. With the sexual harassment stories coming into view, some 25% of men feels that the “world” hates men as a whole. 27% agreed to the notion that is rather difficult to be a man. And 70% of men agreed to the fact that “I am happy that the victims are finally able to come out of the darkness” and “I am happy that these men will no longer be able to use their power to hurt people.”

This reporter also sees a vast difference between the social and emotion differences that men and women tend to hold on to. For instance, this writer participated in a study over the dynamics of friendship that domestic men and women go through. Women tend to have large(r) support groups when it comes through their personal ups and downs ranging from work and employment, family life, martial status, and stage of life and lifestyle. Men, on the other hand, don’t appear to have such support groups placed within an obvious placement. Many churches for instance, both conduct men and woman’s spiritual and ministry groups. The woman’s groups have their bible studies and all, but many of these woman’s groups also acknowledge a sense of happiness with the most common term “laughter”, and the encouragement of friendship. The men’s group (when they do exist) carry their support through emotional (spiritual) strength. When they do have get togethers, it’s usually over BBQ. One men’s ministry group based in a church in central Oklahoma even have their bible study meetings that involve shooting firearms(!)

Of course, these differences will always continue in some method. Some will come along to everyone’s attention, while others will fade away. Personal tastes and wide range viewpoints will dictate what will continue and what will blow itself out. Whatever the case, let the boys be boys and the girls be girls, all within reason! If it remains a war, let the two sides reach an agreement and call a truce. If it’s an issue to correct, make the correct changes. If it’s another point to tweet about, then let it be! And if the toilet seat remains in the “up” or “down” position, then let the other raise or lower the seat for their personal use! ‘Nuff said!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills closes out their 2017-18 season with A.A. Milne’s MR. PIM PASSES BY, a light comedy about and man who makes an announcement of a person assumed to be dead is well alive, and a young lady’s desire to wed her fiancé, an aspiring artist.

The setting is the humble country homestead of Olivia and George Marden (Roslyn Cohn and John Wallace Combs). They receive a visit from Caraway Pim (Jeffrey Winner) where he makes a statement that Olivia’s former spouse is not deceased, but very much alive. Since she is already married to George and has been for some five years, this would mean that she may have two spouses, making her a bigamist. Mr. Pim has been known to be a bit absent minded as he becomes confused with names. Meanwhile, their niece Dinah (Nathalie Rudolph) is engaged to marry Brian Strange (Troy Whitaker, alternating with Jacob Osborne) a budding artist who is into creating cubism paintings. Adding to these episodes is the presence of Aunt Julia (Casey Jones), as well as Ann (Laura Lee Walsh) who serves as on-stage narrator giving the details on what is taking place within the household.

This play was written by Alan Alexander Milne, an author of plays and poetry active in England in the early part of the 20th century. He would be forever known for his later creation of a series of stories for children featuring a stuffed bear named Winnie The Pooh. But before Pooh made its debut in 1925, Milne composed Mr. Pim and was first presented for the stage in 1919. With such British plays from this era, it’s very talky. Every character has a lot to say during each plot progression, even though the title character Mr. Pim has minimal stage time. His character first arrives only to leave, and makes an on-and-off appearance.

In this Theatre 40 production, the setting takes place in the USA (Woodbury, Connecticut), where everyone speaks with American accents. Also, the period these antics takes place is in the present. This contemporary setting gives this play its appeal, even though much of the dialogue lasts longer that one would expect in a stage program that occurs within a domestic setting in the time of “now”. As to the cast, Roslyn Cohn and John Wallace Combs as Olivia and George are center stage in this show as they go through their motions. Nathalie Rudolph as Diane and Troy Whitaker as Brian are the younger pair that perform as proper as the elder leads, just in a youthful stance. And though this play takes place in the present era, these couples, as well as the rest of the cast, are free from using contemporary devices i.e. cell phones. This is just because there was no real need to use anything that can transmit a call, although the Mr. Pim character as performed by Jeffrey Winner, has a desire to hand mail a letter! His character is perhaps the most amusing one of them all. His persona resembles the character performer Marvin Kaplan, who was known to play “nebbish”-types. Although this Mr. Pim isn’t exactly a milquetoast, he does come rather close!

As to what’s seen on stage that has nothing to do with actors delivering their lines, Michele Young provides the costuming that ranges from a casual outfits to Mr. Pim’s grey suit. And Theatre 40’s residential set designer Jeff G. Rack provides the living room space for the “House of Marden” where at center stage is a wide entrance doorway where the drapes will hang. A minor plot point contained has Olivia creating a set of drapes that holds a mid-20th Century pattern to it–a design that wouldn’t become a hit for another thirty or so years from 1919!

MR. PIM PASSES BY can be seen as a curio stage piece of sorts as this play isn’t performed as much due to its amount of dialogue spoken, as well as its length! (Theatre 40 took measures of cutting down this pice from its original three acts down to two without missing any of its continuity.) Whatever the case, the production is charming and witty. The humor may not have any belly laughs, but it’s still pleasant to witness on the Theatre 40 floorboards.

MR. PIM PASSES BY, presented by Theatre 40 and performs at the Reuben Cordova Theatre, located within the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 South Moreno Drive (off little Santa Monica Blvd.) Beverly Hills, until June 17th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.

For ticket reservations or for more information, call (310) 364-0535, or via online at http://www.Theatre40.org

Theatre 40 has just released its schedule of plays for their 2018-19 season. Complete details on that line-up can be found on the Theatre 40 website.
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West Coast Jewish Theatre presents Deborah Zoe Laufer’s THE LAST SCHWARTZ, a comedy about a dysfunctional family who gathers for the commemoration of the anniversary of their father’s death, and the bickering and revealing of inner secrets that tend to go with such family gatherings.

The Schwartz clan, whose contemporary ancestors maintain a homestead in the Catskill mountains of New York State, comes together to remember the first anniversary of the death of their father Manny. Jewish tradition dictates that a year after someone’s passing, the tombstone to where the deceased is buried is unveiled. The family itself consists of Norma (Cheryl David) her brother Herb (Warren Davis), his spouse Bonnie (Samantha Klein, alternating with Rainbow Underhill), with siblings Simon (David Amito), and Gene (Mike Bash). Each family member holds their own personalities. Norma is the leader of the group that wants to keep family and faith based traditions alive. Herb is a bit more relaxed to Norma’s beliefs. Same goes for Bonnie who was once non-Jewish but later converted, Simon is in frail health with poor eyesight, and can’t tolerate somebody touching him. He keeps to himself studying astrology, always glancing in a telescope. Gene is more into a freewheeling lifestyle. He even brings his girlfriend along, Kia (Natalie Polisson). She is an actress that’s blond, ditzy, and is a Shiksa. (Non-Jewish!) Although she’s glad to be part of the commendation, she really doesn’t understand what’s really going on. With these family members so far apart physically and emotionally, conflicts arises between the fate of the family estate, and those that may (or may not) get anything from it. But the real battle asks if everyone is going to survive, even though the family legacy is at stake.

This one-act comedy written by Deborah Zoe Laufer contains a lot of stereotypical characters that gives this show much of its comical relief. The setting may not appear to be anything of a humorous nature (a traditional Yahrteit), but with a cluster of family members that are on opposite sides, one can get (and receive) plenty of laughs! The cast of six blend well with one another. The person that really steals the show is Natalie Polisson as Kia, the dumb blond Valley girl-type that may be an adult, but holds the mentality (and the body) of a fifteen year old! Her character has plenty of stage time that just gets better each minute that adds quite a bit to the play’s comic relief. And with its single act presence, the one-liners are tight enough where a touch of bittersweet settlement remains. There’s a hint of sadness present, but it still remains as a comedy.

The set the play takes place in the living room of the Schwartz home is designed by Jeff G. Rack and Amanda Sauter. The stage consists of some pleasant yet slightly worn pieces of furnishings, more worn books on a back shelf, and well as an assortment of various knickknacks that makes this home a home. It’s nothing remarkable, yet it’s still home nevertheless!

Directed by Kiff Scholl, THE LAST SCHWARTZ is both comical and somber with an emphasis on the former. With such a play as this one, let’s hope this production won’t become the last of its tribe. It’s too good to fade away!

THE LAST SCHWARTZ, presented by the West Coast Jewish Theatre, and performs at the Edgemar Center for the Arts, 2437 Main Street, Santa Monica, until July 1st. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 3:00 PM. For ticket reservations or for more details, call (310) 392-7327, or online at http://www.Edgemar.org
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BOOK CLUB (Paramount) stars Diane Keaton as Diane, Jane Fonda as Vivian, Candace Burgan as Sharon, and Mary Steenburgan as Carol. These woman living in the Los Angeles region has been meeting on a regular basis for their own book review club, a ritual that’s been going on for some forty plus years. Over time, each one of them has experience their life going different ways. Diana was once married to an accountant and raised a pair of daughters. After her husband passed, she’s making an attempt to live her life alone, although her two now-adult kids want her to move with them to Arizona. Vivian owns a ritzy hotel in Beverly Hills, and still carries on with no commitment romantic flings. Sharon is a federal judge and has been divorced for years. Carol’s marriage to her husband Bruce (Craig T. Nelson) is just there. Although he’s retired, he seems to be interested in fixing an old motorcycle than anything else. Things changes for these seasoned troupe of women when Vivian picks E. L. James’ Fifty Shards of Grey, a novel that is rather kinky in nature. Although anything with the notion of sex were all far from their minds, things begin to change for everyone by having their love lives enhanced through different means.

This comedy is unique than a standard romantic comedy of recent times. It doesn’t involve a single man and woman. It involves four women over the age of sixty, and each one experiences a romantic fling that isn’t a “hook-up”. However, with the plot lines and the cast of players that are featured in this title, it appears that this movie seems to be a relic of a flick released in the 1990’s! The notions depicted were more commonplace some twenty to twenty five years before when light comedy and drama could be used (and gotten away with) in a theatrical film. Most (not all) moves released in today’s landscape that are classified as comical dramas or dramatic comedies are somewhat geared for video and its equivalents. The screenplay by Bill Holderman (who also directs) and Erin Simms contains a number of witty one-liners embedded that are humorous and cute for what they ares as one can experience older women talk and feel about being romantic, if not sexual! The leading women are far from being prudes, but they aren’t horny either!

The cast appearing this film also gives this movie a twenty-five-years-too-late attitude as well. The four leads, Fonda, Burgan, Keaton, and Steenburgan, were in their peak decades before from the 1960‘s through the turn of the 21st century. Its supporting players also come from decades past that include Andy Garcia, Don Johnson, Richard Dreyfuss, and Ed Begly, Jr. playing the suitors (or ex-suiters) of the four leads. The rest of the supporting cast including Alica Silverstone (of Clueless fame), Tommy Dewey, and Katie Aselton, who are just as amusing and are more suitable to see in a current series for the TV/video streaming landscape.

It is rather obvious that this movie’s target audience is females over the age of 35, (perhaps over the age of 45) who don’t seem to hold interest to superhero/action-adventure features, aggressive comedies, or whatever the fare the major studios tend to churn out this time of the year. And since this movie is rated PG-13 for mild cussing and suggested sexual innuendo that is suitable for cable/streaming television, it’s a great flick to see with one’s BFFs. As for the men folk? Well, there will be other movie releases out there loaded with plenty of explosions, gunfire, and young scantly dressed gals in ‘em to take a glance at!

BOOK CLUB is now playing at all of the standard multiplexes nationwide.
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The Angel City Chorale presents ONE WORLD MANY VOICES II, the concert for the early Summer season featuring music and voices that speak (or sing) for the remote parts of the world, performing at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, located within the Koreatown section of Los Angeles.

The concert will consist of a 160 voice chorale of various tones and octaves performing selections that gives musical speech for the nations and sectors of the civilized world. Countries represented ranges from such nations as Ireland, Mexico, Russia, Nepal, Indonesia, Brazil, South Africa, and points in between.

Sue Fink, artistic director of the ACC, will conduct the vocal troupe backed by a thirty-plus piece orchestra performing legacy and contemporary world music. Such selections presented among others, will be Annie Lennox’ A Thousand Beautiful Things, Antonio Carlos Jobim’s Samba Do Aviao, and a new work by friend of the ACC, the Grammy winning composer Christopher Tin. And the chorale will perform a reprise of their own version of Toto’s Africa, that became a hit on ACC’s YouTube channel!

In addition, The Amy Foundation Youth Choir based in Cape Town, South Africa will share the stage with the ACC as their special guests performing their personal take of tunes that celebrate the world and its citizens.

This concert marks a milestone for the ACC as this group celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, founded in 1993 by Sue Fink when it was based at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica with just eighteen singers as members. A quarter century later, this humble clan grew up to where it has grown to where it remains today by keeping their focus intact in dedicated to building community one song at a time!

ONE WORLD MANY VOICES II will take place for two performances only, Saturday, June 2nd and Sunday, June 3rd at 7:00 PM at their newly adapted home, Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 3300 Wilshire Blvd., between Vermont and Normandie Avenues, Los Angeles (90010).

For more information on this event including ticketing details, call (310) 943-9231, or visit online at http://www.AngelCityChorale.com

Visit ACC through their social media outlets via Facebook http://www.facebook.com/AngelCityChorale, YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/AngelCityChorale, Twitter https://twitter.com/AngelCityChoral and SoundCloud https://soundcloud.com/angelcitychorale
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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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