In last week’s issue, an essay was placed on how television programming used to go on its “vacation” where the TV networks once filled their schedules with repeats, summer replacement-type shows, and movies that were of “B”-quality status. The reason for this was the fact that people would traditionally go off on a summer vacation (or “holiday” is one is one the British track), for a week or so’s worth of a little R&R.
In today’s domestic landscape, TV doesn’t go on that form of vacation as it used to, but people still do. Nearly anyone worth their salt plan to engage on a junket where they will head off to their little spot on the planet for a few weeks/days/hours away for the typical nonsense and riffraff that makes up the lives and times of people that may be in your neighborhood or not!
However, in spite of the fact that folks love to get away, or so we are told based upon reports presented by various travel agencies and related groups, a number of people won’t be able to escape from where they reside to where they would like to go. They would rather stay where they are to take advantage of the best of both worlds. They can have their familiar surroundings at bay while making an attempt to cram in a bit of the so-called R&R that makes vacations just what they are: A time to unwind and take note on enjoying their life for the moment.
This method of vacation was born (or “reborn”) during the darker periods of the Great Recession of the late 00’s-early 10’s when people didn’t (or couldn’t) spend time and/or money for a traditional vacation. Instead of gassing up their vehicle (the most popular method to travel by car, again, according to those for noted travel societies), and plan to head off to a spot on the beach/in the woods/within the desert to take part in what these places had to offer, these same folks would stay in their home bases and take day trips, usually no greater than a fifty mile radios to where they reside. City folks has the most things to do at their disposal as the urban areas had plenty of things to do and places to see for just nearly any age group. Museums were at their feet catering to various tastes that offered admissions that were either cheap for what they were, or even free! (Many museums even had their free days!) Ditto for events that dealt in the performing arts, such as concerts, theater programs, or even sporting events. Those activities may be free, some are inexpensive, while the rest charged a price based on their value. But paying twenty dollars for a single ticket to something was a whole lot cheaper than paying one hundred dollars a day for a hotel room someplace, or for a campground nestled in a wooded area. That price didn’t include the amount of gas to get to this someplace.
The “stay-cation” trend lasted until the end of the recession. Now folks are getting away. However, it’s not so much of a hard times period taking its toll for folks to get away. What is holding them back is the amount of duties and responsibilities that people engage themselves with. This range from duties at their jobs, taking care of family members on both sides of the age spectrum, or for other reasons people tend to create for themselves. They just can’t seem to break away, even if it’s just for a weekend.
However, all is not lost. Taking the tip from how television schedules itself by offering new programming year round, people are taking off at odd times of the year. Fall is a very popular time to get away since, depending on where one heads off to, can see the fall colors at their bloom, take advantage of the cool(er) weather, and to beat the crowds since it’s the off-season for many traditional vacation spots. After all, who says one can’t go on a summer vacation in the fall
However, if you are going to take off for a spell, don’t forget to take us along! We will still be here! And as our name suggests, we are accessible, just as long as you have internet access! And don’t be surprised that your favorite vacation spot offer a wifi connection. (National and state parks included!) One may get away, but that don’t mean you can’t get disconnected, assuming you don’t want to get off the grid!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Hershey Felder returns in HERSHEY FELDER: BEETHOVEN, where he tells some of the lesser known side stories of one of the world’s greatest and best known composers of classical music.
In this solo performance, the character speaking is Dr. Gerhard von Breuning, a Viennese doctor whose father was a good friend of Ludwig von Beethoven in his waining years. The setting takes place in the fall of 1863, many years after Beethoven’s passing. Dr. von Breuning is at a cemetery where a marker for the pianist resides. Nearby is a place where a metal box with his remains lie. Dr. von Breuning, upon finding the box only to uncover it and to examine what is left, tells the story as a child, he would see Ludwig as a great man of works who was losing his hearing and looking rather down and out. He doesn’t necessarily tell backstories that would ruin the character of the composer in question. His tales are for real. When the subject of music would arise, Hersey would change as Beethoven seated at a grand piano as he plays a selection of his works, ranging from the 5th and 9th Symphonies, the Emperior Concertos, as well as the keyboard sonatas and chamber music scores. Although this show is a blend of storytelling and classical music concert, the real presentation is Hershey himself, keeping his music and character aligned in one smart fitting.
Hershey Felder’s previous presentations usually consists of the man playing the title character, presenting antidotes while giving examples of music as he performs each piece with style in grace. In this show, Hershey plays Beethoven, but not always as the “man of the hour”. Taking the written source by Dr. von Breuning entitled Aus dam Schwarzspanierhaus, Hershey composes the dialogue (as playwriter) as presented, and generates a piece that not only enhances the music of Beethoven, but gives some notes to the life of this man. Its formula is part musical performance and other part history lesson.
The setting of the cemetery as seen on stage consists of large tombstones on each side of the stage wings in various forms of disarray. In the center toward the rear is the towering monument of Beethoven. In front of that monument is a Steinway grand piano This is where Hersey plays Beethoven as he plays Beethoven and Dr. von Breuning, although Dr. von Breuning has limited knowledge to performing on the keyboards. Thus, Hershey is Beethoven’s musical score!
Christopher Ash provides the lighting and visual projection design where during the performance, the graphics on the tombstones change from the old German text written to moving image visuals that sets the mood synced to the pieces played, as well as the background far beyond the tombstones and markers. Theatr Hall, Paris provides the costume design based upon of the style of clothing donned in Europe of the middle 19th century, while Hersey Felder creates the scenic design of the graveyard with a resemblance of a macabre settlement.
Directed by Joel Zwick, HERSHEY FELDER: BEETHOVEN gives out the best of both worlds. It’s the worlds of music and spoken word all rolled up into a ninety minute performance. And at the conclusion of the show, Hershey will come out of character to take questions from the audience! It’s a great way to brush up on your Beethoven from the master himself!
HERSHEY FELDER: BEETHOVEN, performs at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 North Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, until August 19th. Showtimes are Tuesday through Sunday nights at 7:30 PM, with matinee performance Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 PM. For tickets, call (310) 746-4000, or online at http://www.TheWallis.org/Beethoven
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