The above headline isn’t a typo! And sorry for those selected few–and you know who you are–that claim that this newsletter is full of typos, misspellings, and other printed nonconformities that you folks love to pick upon! At least we will give you credit to you for actually read this thing!
Anyway, the above headline is a quote from one of this writer’s selected favorite movies, the 1971 Warner Bros. release of Dirty Harry, starring Clint Eastwood as the title police detective in San Francisco who’s out to get a serial killer that’s stalking the city, using his own method in getting his man in spite of what his superiors say! It’s a movie that took the lead to how many of the cop-based features would eventually be created in the many years to follow–for its better or for its worse!
Perhaps the most famous scene in this feature takes place in its first third. While having a cup of coffee in a local diner, Harry C. springs into action by shooting a suspect attempting to get away in a vehicle. He whips out his .357 Magnum to shoot the escaping vehicle. The car collides with a fire plug, flipping the car on its side. Then Harry makes an easy spring to where the driver of the car is spread out on the sidewalk along a side of a building. Harry stands right over in front of the suspect, pointing his weapon at the suspect to show him how powerful his gun is that’s ready to blow the suspect away! However, among the confusion, Harry couldn’t keep track if he shot six shots or five since his “tool” can only hold six bullets. So as he points his piece to the man that’s showing an expression of fear while still sprawled on the sidewalk, Harry asks the man if he feels lucky. Harry’s ready, willing, and able to blow this man away right then and there. If he pulls the trigger, will the gun go off, or will the device just give a “click” to the hammer?
Harry, sill in a rather calm mode since its assumed that he’s done this method of getting the bad guys at bay beforehand, asks “Do you feel lucky, punk?”, only to then walk away! The suspect, again still sprawled on the sidewalk leading on the side of a building, calls out the the departing Harry, “Hey man! I gots to know!”
Harry, hearing the man’s plea, turns around, points the gun to the man and pulls the trigger. The gun goes “click”, only to have Harry give this cocky grin as if to say “Sucker!!”
This reply from the “lucky punk” was kept inside of my head for the many seasons since yours truly saw this feature in a local neighborhood “scratch” theater all those years before. From that time, whenever I wanted to obtain an answer or reply to a burning question or inquiry, I would always say “I gots to know”, either within my head or to those that could supply me with the answer I was seeking. Yes, I was totally aware that my answer wasn’t correct English, as its reply would be “I’ve got to know”, or as I would say “I gotta know!” (The reason for the “gots” was the fact that the suspect in the feature was black, and was speaking in what was then referred to as “getto talk”, meaning that the suspect came from the mean streets of the Bay area such as to the “getto” communities that existed back in the early 1970’s!)
The term “gots” rather than “got” was more of a unique or colorful (no pun intended) way to use that line when I had to know of an answer or result in anything that I desired a reply to. As I progressed in and through life from my elementary school days when I was of that age when I saw the movie, toward my later times as a so-called young adult, to the current demographic where I stand, that single line always played within my head and/or my speech when an answer was needed by me. Sometimes I would ask the source to give me an answer based on the importance to the inquiry saying “I gots to know”! At other times, that line would repeat through my head over and over again until I receive a reply, or when I gave up on the idea that an answer would arrive much later than desired, if at all! Whatever came first!
In today’s domestic life, one can ask many questions that makes up part of that same domestic life this reporter is writing about. The questions can range between inquiries created just for the moment (“When will the pizza be delivered?” “Who won the ball game?”), questions that can change the results of elements through finance (“When will I receive my tax refund?” Will I receive a tax refund?”), to queries that can be of just for the peace of mind. (“Will I get the job?” “Will the person I sent a message to ever reply?”) The list is endless!
These question of life (so to speak) are part of the anxiety that people have within their personal domains. Some will speak about it openly and freely. Others will keep those little secrets to themselves that would be part of those skeletons hiding out inside of their closets just taking up valuable space when one can otherwise store that clothing collection that they usually ware, or outfits that they just might put on again one day as soon as the opportunity arrises! These awaiting opportunities just add to the anxiety that builds up if the owner of the clothes collection will lose weight, be invited to that formal gathering, or when the hit fashion trends of 1979 will make a comeback and its good enough to be considered as “retro”!
Not so long ago, The Atlantic magazine through its presence on the web, published an article on the anxiety that people face every day. It noted upon an article that appeared in New York magazine (the “city” magazine covering New York city and its boroughs) about the dangers of climate change–assuming it’s speaking on the subject on a worldwide scale rather limited to a seventy-five mile radius of Manhattan. And thanks to communications methods that’s been around since the turn of the 21st century, that buildup only went from bad to worse. The article reported that folks reported upon these dangers to those through their Twitter accounts, Facebook friends roster, blog posts, text message portals, e-mail mailing lists, and so on and so forth. Some people were indeed scared. Others felt concerned, only to just become more aware of the subject on hand. The rest couldn’t give a crap! Although events or occurrences that one can’t control, let along change, can bring caution, one can only handle matters based upon what they are worth.
Another article from The Atlantic recently posed the question of anxiety to its readers, encouraging those same readers to send on their take of what makes them anxious and how they handle it. Many of the anxious replies made up a part of daily living. One person noted upon a play-by-play description on how the reader makes an important phone call. The person stated that they start off their call by spending time rehearsing what they are going to say to the person on the other end. After the rehearsal, they might dial the number. If somebody answers, they may modify their lines, or state those same lines verbatim. If an answering device takes the call, they may leave a message, or simply hang up without saying a word. Sometimes the person picks a specific day and time of day to make this call. (“Thursday afternoon at 3:17 PM!”) And the cycle continues.
The reasons behind all of this anxiety ranges vastly. Some are concerned on what’s going to happen next. Others might worry if the results they may receive may not be of their desire. The rest just worry because if you don’t show any concern, then what’s the whole point of the issue? After all, even if you don’t get that job, that doesn’t mean you will never get a job from that source! It may not be now, but it can be at a later time.
As yours truly is writing this article, I am experiencing a bit of concern in receiving a pair of replies from two separate people regarding to an activity that I am planning. These events that I am making are based upon the good and well beings toward the other parties. As far as I am aware, both of these sources do understand the reasons behind these inquires as they are based on their personal benefits. I’m even hoping that I can even merge these events as both sources were informed about the others involved. (“The more the merrier!”) Of course, they are not obligated to sense a positive reaction toward these suggestions, although the reasons behind their refusals may not necessarily be known to me.
That notion of receiving a flat “no thanks” just adds more anxiety toward my side of the issue. It even reminds me about a lyric in a song that’s part of the 1960’s-era rock band The Animals’ hit portfolio where its chorus goes “I’m Just a Soul Whose Intentions Are Good. Oh, Lord! Please Don’t Make Me Feel Misunderstood”.
In spite of this all, much of the anxiety people face every hour of their day can be changed while others cannot. Some are vasty important while other are important for the moment. The rest don’t seem to really exist. Although what I am facing at the moment of this writing might have resulted in a positive answer by the time this issue “hits the streets!” This means that my anxiety was just all for naught. If the results were not to my linking, I would let the others know about it, not giving blame to what has happened. Their reply could have been based on a reason never made known to me, and perhaps it was just as well! Whatever the case, I will still play out that line heard in a flick featuring one of my two favorite “movie cops”, Harry Callahan. The other favorite one is Popeye Doyle from The French Connection, another movie I also saw in a theater that same year! And never mind the fact that I was way too young to see an “R” rated movie without anyone that wasn’t my parent or adult guardian! As long as I paid my 75 cent admission, the box office lady didn’t seem to care! The theater didn’t even seem to care that I was carrying a grocery bag full of popcorn, soda pop, and other goodies I dragged from home to wolf down on! Those movie going antics were just showing off I cheap I was for not paying for popcorn, etc. with money I didn’t have. Another reason to raise the bar of anxiety!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Continuing its run at Hollywood’s Lounge Theater is David Margulies’ TIME STANDS STILL, a drama about a couple that stands between what they do within the world of journalism, and how they challenge themselves as a domestic pair.
Nicole Pacent and Jamie Zwick play Sarah Goodwin and James Dodd. The two work within the same field, journalism, where James writes freelance articles covering various subjects, from fluff pieces to hard news. Sarah is a photo journalist who has covered the various wars going on within the middle east region. The scene opens where Jamie has just returned back from a war front, barley surviving a roadside blast that nearly killer her. She returns injured and scarred. James attempts to get her back physically and emotionally. Although they do share the same small apartment in Brooklyn, they are living as an unmarried couple. James’ editor for the print journal he writes for is Richard Ehrlich (Paul Urcioli). He is presently involved with Mandy Bloom (Kelly Fischer), a woman that isn’t connected in the journalistic field, but is young enough to be Richard’s daughter! Sarah, knowing that her life was at stake when she accepted her assignment covering the current conflicts, holds the desire to get back in the action, although James is pleased enough to stay where they are while continuing to write his pieces. This leads into a consequence of either leading a life of domestic bliss, or to serve within the duty of informing the public on the real conflicts found within the world just for the sake of reporting the news.
This play as staged at The Lounge Theatre, is presented within a very tight portrayal. Nicole Pacent as Sarah is a hearty woman that desires to keep on doing what she loves taking candid yet intense photographs, even if this passion may cost her own life. Jamie Zwick as James respects his partner, but would rather keep it safe and content. Paul Urcioli as Richard regards these two as he has known them for some time. Kelly Fischer as Mandy is first presented as a young and perky soul that has first yet to mature, although time and later circumstances presents her in a real adult life. These portrayal of their characters make this play rather dramatic with emotion, showing that the sides of work and domestic happiness runs a thin line. Playwright Donald Margulies has written other plays that focus upon people that compete toward these challenges, and this work leans toward these related principles. Joel Zwick, known for among other works, directing the productions of actor/writer/musician Hershey Felder, recently seen in Hershey Felder: Beethoven (See review-Vol. 23, No. 31) directs this show that focuses itself toward intense melodrama rather than classical music.
Special note goes toward Chris Winfield’s set design that shows the small yet humble apartment that Sarah and James share consisting of a kitchenette at the rear of the stage, and a big and somewhat comfy couch stage front and center as its centerpiece where a good part of the dramatic actions unfolds.
TIME STANDS STILL receives its title from what occurs when a camera shutter button is pressed; A visual illustration created being in view of a scene that stands still. This play stands itself as one that is loaded with drama and emotion, just short of a happy ending–or at least short of a traditional content conclusion.
TIME STANDS STILL, presented by and performs at The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd. (at El Centro-one block east of Vine Street), Hollywood, until September 30th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 PM. Tickets can be obtained online at http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com
The Santa Monica Playhouse presents the Jeff Gould comedy THE MARRIAGE ZONE, a surreal comic play about a middle aged couple who meets up with two other couples in different stages of their lives that refects as their own!
Cal (Dane Bowman, alternating with Matt Harrison) and Beth (Rene Ashton, alternating with Monica Young) are a couple that’s been together for some twenty or so years, raising a fifteen year old son Ryan (Kody Fields, alternating with Tanner Fontana). They are moving up in their world. So for their progression, they have their house up for sale. A knock on their door brings some interested buyers to the home, Mike (Alex Hyde-White, alternating with Michael Dempsey) and Liz (Jacee Jule, alternating with Dawn Joyal). This pair is some twenty years younger, and are in the process of starting out in their lives as the two recently became engaged. As Mike and Liz are looking over the home, another knock on the door occurs as Ellie (Britt Rose, alternating with Leslie Stratton) and Skip (Cameron Tagge, alternating with Ben Bergstrom) enter. They are twenty years older that Cal and Beth. But a certain element is discovered as these two couples hold a connection between Beth and Cal. Does Mike and Liz portray themselves as what Beth and Cal were to each other a generation or two before? And is Ellie and Skip represent a version that’s twenty years into the future? How can Beth and Cal handle the fact that their lives have flashed before their eyes? Is this a message warning them of the things that were and is? Does Ellie and Skip hold the key to what is about to take place? Or are these other folks are really interested in the house currently on the real estate market?
This one-act play, written and directed by Jeff Gould, is chock full of fast paced wit. The barbs and one-line gags holds its comic appeal where a simple situation takes upon many ironic twists without losing any of its humor. For its eighty minute or so running time, one will become highly amused over the marriage challenges that are addressed speaking upon the notions that the marriages starts off on its good foot, leading to a number of stubbed toes along the way, and finally setting its pace on either having the marriage stand on its own two feet or to have its feet stepped on, if not being tripped over!
This show features a rotating cast roster that vary during each performance. Please check with the staff management on who is going to appear in the performance and when! However, it doesn’t really matter on who will be present on stage as THE MARRIAGE ZONE is very witty and funny to say the least! It’s also very honest as well as being linked as a married couple (man and woman in this case) does has its moments! Maybe not to the same moments as depicted on stage, but it can get pretty close!
THE MARRIAGE ZONE, performs at The Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 Fourth Street (at Wilshire), Santa Monica, until November 17th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 3:00 PM.
For ticket reservations or for more information, call (800) 838-3006, or online at http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com/event/3591184
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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!