KEEPING BUSY

There was once a character performer named Billy De Wolfe who, among his many routines, would say in a rather hissy tone, “Can’t you see I’m always bus-y, bus-y, BUS-Y!”, with a strong emphasis on the word “busy”.

Although that line was always stated as comic relief, it seems that many of the domestic population nowadays always keep their lives into a state of busyness. When two people would meet, one would ask the other how they were doing. The other person would reply in various methods, “I’m keeping busy”. Sometimes they would add a little bit of flavor to their reply that can range from “I’m crazy busy!” to “I’m so busy, I don’t have time to take a s#it!”

There is nothing wrong by staying busy. In fact, many folks tend to say their being busy by keeping it as a badge of honor. They want to appear that they have so many things going on in their lives. These things that prevent them from staying idle range from responsibilities from their job, their family, their social life, and all points that keep these ever moving folks on their toes. And many of these same folks, especially those that don this invisible so-called badge of honor enjoy telling others on how full their lives are.

Some of these people that receive this information find this news rather amusing, while other don’t really seem to care. After all, if somebody has a whole lot of things to do at the office–where ever that office space tends to be, then why bother to inform anyone else that they have a lot of slogging to do at their jobs–whatever that slogging consists of!

It is rather understandable that in this same domestic society, people from their time of birth well into adulthood, are always active in something of another. Within the last thirty or so years, parents of kids have arranged their little one with many activities and events. Post-modern mothers (or those that act as mother figures), start off by arranging “playdates” for their kids by placing them in a setting where other kid of their same age play with one another. As they get older, there is their schooling set away from their homestead if not at their home. This blends in any pre- and post-school activities, such as playing sports or sport-type meetups, events related to the performing arts (dancing, acting, singing, etc.), social events that cater to a specific topic or subject (scouting, events at a scriptural center, etc.).

This moves toward their tweens, teens, and even young(er) adult phases as well. It continues toward their salary based jobs and careers, domestic family environments, and so on. In other words, parent figures keep their kids always busy, and the kids themselves keep on their business by arranging events on their own as they progress in life.

At the other end of the domestic life spectrum, many older folks aged 55 and up, don’t necessarily desire to keep on a traditional retirement. They want to work as long as they can get away of it. Some of these people do work as a necessity, while others do so to keep themselves within the loop of things as they enjoy what they do. And if they no longer can work in a company or operation where others exist on some kind of salary, they seek out in performing a career or related service on their own. It may not be a full time job per se, but it’s something that keeps them..well, busy!

Looking at the other side of the busy tracks, a few people have been admitting that they enjoy some time of being idle, where they can take out some time by just doing nothing! They would rather be relaxing by reading a book, watching TV, or just taking on the world through a de-stressed state as this method of living is the ideal choice for these folks. Some will use this same method of living as their badge of honor. A few, even through they enjoy this sense of non-busyness, won’t necessarily admit to anyone and everyone that they keep things in a slow state with the fear that being idle is at times linked as being lazy. Some will remain in their virtual closet for a while, only to later reemerge from stating that they have enough to do every day while keeping a sensible head to it all!

Life will continue, no matter what others are doing, or what others are not doing. Staying active all the time has its moments as well as its dangers and defaults. The same can go for being too easy. However, it’s been noted that as long as one is pleased with what they are doing or what they are not doing, then their goals are completed.

Now if you will excuse this writer, I must now wash the dishes, feed that cat, mow the lawn and stuff like that. Give us smoking, never chew, pay the bills before their due….
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Sierre Madre Playhouse presents for a limited run, DORIS AND ME, Scott Dreier’s musical presentation on his personal desire for one of filmdom’s biggest stars who could sing, act, and charm–almost all at the same time!

In this cabaret program, Scott tells his audience on how he became mesmerized with Doris Day, a figure who could light up the big screen with her personality that made her the classic “girl next door” type that didn’t have a personna that was anything Hollywood-esque to her, but could sing her way with appeal. Scott lets the audience know these facts through his distinctive viewpoint. He emotes on how he first discovered her through viewings of her older movies aired on local TV, how he parallels his life to hers by both starting their performing career in their teens, and how he was able to meet her in person, a feat that is rare into itself! (Doris, involved in her animal rescue efforts, tends to shun away from the public eye in her recent years, even though she is still admired by her fans worldwide!)

But Scott’s performance isn’t just limited to his gushing out his heart and soul for a show-biz type from another era to an audience. With the on-stage musical backup featuring Andy Langham as musical director performing on piano with Gary Wicks on bass, Scott has the opportunity to sing a selection of Doris’ bigger and even lessor hits from her movies and record albums. His presentation holds plenty of that same charm, grace, heart, and soul. Not a funky soul, but a soul that possesses energy, vitality, and sprit. There are at times where Scott, as joyful as he could be through his storytelling and vocal talents, even hides a tear in his eye, eager to tell his audience (and the world perhaps) on a woman he loves. His crush on Doris is more of a “squish” than anything else!

Richard Israel directs this program that keeps the same dynamism as Scott projects on the stage he shares with his intimate orchestra.

As with many of the greats known within the media, Doris Day was indeed one of a kind. And in this day and age, there will be nobody else that will even come as close as she was. That is a good thing of sorts, since Scott will have more time to devote his performance to a woman that even far away from the glitz and glimmer, is the same person in real life as she was in “reel” life. Maybe they don’t make ‘em as they used to, but DORIS AND ME still proves that charisma never goes out of style. Her human fans and her furry ones will all agree!

DORIS AND ME, presented by and performs at The Sierre Madre Playhouse, 87 West Sierre Madre Blvd., Sierre Madre, until April 14th. Performances take place on Friday, April 13th at 8:00 PM, and Sunday, April 14th at 2:30 PM. For reservations, call (626) 355-4318, or online at http://www.SierreMadrePlayhouse.org
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Performing at The Hudson Theatre’s Mainstage is LES MIZ AND FRIENDS A PUPPET PARODY, a take-off of one of literature’s greatest novels and as one of musical theater’s greatest productions, performed by a cast of humans and puppets!

Of course, there is the plot of Victor Hugo’s very long novel Les Miserables that takes place years after the French revolution of the 18th century, as well as the late 20th century’s stage musical of the same name as created by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonburg. This time around, this 1400 page (give or take) novel, as well as the three or so hour length musical has been reduced to 120 minutes (not counting the standard 15 minute intermission) as done on a lot smaller stage. Within the mix of human performers are a bevy of puppets that perform the various characters found in the novel and musical! A few of the original musical numbers are sung (with a bit of creative license added to the mix), but in general, it’s all presented as a parody, meaning it’s done for laughs! The cast of players, consisting of Nathan Makaryk, Genevive, Christopher Robert Smith, Hailey Tweter, Gabrielle Jackson, Jaycob Hunter, Carter Michael, Kelly Rogers, and Kevin Garcia, do their damnedest to not only attempt to keep the spirit of the musical version in check, but also to add to the flavor of how long and confusing the plot is while all of the puppets make it all worth its while!

Geneviève Flati and Nathan Makaryk writes and directs this program as a stage piece that is very witty and very original! When the puppets appear, they are manipulated by some of the performers donning black. (In theater etiquette, anyone wearing full black means “Don’t Look At Us Because We Are Not Supposed To Be Seen”-or something to that effect!) The puppets themselves resemble puppetry as once created by a Mr. Henson. They are colorful, funny looking (is there such a thing as a serious looking puppet?), and even “cute”! However, these puppets act rather “blue”, meaning they are prone to cuss on occasion. These elements prove that this show is NOT for the kiddies! Kids won’t understand the storyline, and even some adults don’t get it either! Chris Patstone, billed as the Assistant Prop & Puppet Maintenance person, maintained some lavish puppets that make ‘em the real stars of this show! As to the props? The barricade wall (remember the barricade wall in the musical?) consists of a rolling clothing rack with some flatten out cardboard box pieces and colored foam cylinder sticks all held together up with brown packing tape. This should give the audience an ideal on how much of a satire this show is. (Is the mention to the barricade wall a spoiler alert?)

Devin Norris arranges the transcribed music, billing this program as a musical. And yes, the puppets do sing with a little assistance to those controlling the puppets while donning black!

Written and directed by Geneviève Flati and Nathan Makaryk, LES MIZ AND FRIENDS is indeed a real hoot to experience! As advised beforehand, this ain’t no kid show. It’s for the grown-ups! And it’s never too soon (or too late) to actually read the novel. It just might even make sense!!

LES MIZ AND FRIENDS: A PUPPET PARODY, performs at The Hudson Theatre Mainstage, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. (one block west of Wilcox), Hollywood, until May 11th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, with Saturday matinees at 3:00 PM. Ticket reservations and more information can be obtained online at https://www.lesmizandfriends.com

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2019 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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