THE NOT-SO-FRIENDLY GHOST

In the wired based world, many new words and phrases have been passed into the domestic lexicon that didn’t exist as recently as twenty years ago. One of the many words created since the post-wired age is ”ghosting”. This term means, or as described according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary as ..the act or practice of abruptly cutting off all contact with someone (such as a former romantic partner) by no longer accepting or responding to phone calls, instant messages, etc.

This writer recently experienced an episode between a person personality known by yours truly (not as a romantic partner), and the situations connected to being ghosted. And remember, everything described in this article is true. Only the names were changed to protect this writer from possible lawsuits!

A person known to myself and my spouse is a woman we will call “Gloria”. Gloria is a person that has an association through my spouse and I (hereon known as “us”) through our portals. My spouse even knew Gloria for a number of years way before I came into the picture. Although we lost track of her presence for a bit, she returned into our fold. Presently, we are establishing a casual friendship with her through dinner parties, some activities myself and/or my spouse are involved in, or through other matters that are related to both. Generally speaking, Gloria is a pleasant person to associate with.

Not too long ago, we planned to perhaps host a casual dinner party or maybe a lunch event at our humble home. We hosted two previous events where Gloria was one of the people attending. This time around, it would be just Gloria and us. One can even call this gathering a “threesome”, although that term sometimes is connected to having an orgy consisting of, well, three people! But this isn’t an orgy by any means. It’s just a pleasant time to meet over the usual antics with good food, good beverages, and good company.

Our communication if not done in person, has been through the method of sending text messages. This form of communication became rather popular when the flip phones of the era had this function available to its users. Naturally, the youth that had access to sending text messages used this new form of communication to send quick notes to its receiver by typing in so-called single words as “Whusupp?”, or as typing messages that resembled those abbreviated messages once written on telegrams in order to save money paying per the word. (“R U going 2 eat lunch, or did U 8?”)

When smartphones replaced the flip variety, texting continued. This time, adding those picture words that originated in Japan using the original Japanese term emoji (The folks at Merriam-Webster describe this term as ..any of various small images, symbols, or icons used in text fields in electronic communication as in text messages, e-mail, and social media) to express the emotional attitude of the writer, convey information succinctly, communicate a message playfully without using words, etc.)

Of course, the “picture word” became popular with the youth. However, those pic words were also adapted by the “adults” that wanted to express their meanings without words, but through pictures! (i.e. a smiling face, a crying face, a smiling face with a “thumbs-up”:, a smiling pile of “poop”, etc.)

Nowadays, sending text messages became the norm between people (kids and adults) since there are at times when people can’t take a voice call, but can take a short message to later respond when it’s more practical to do so. (This party has even made business transaction between others through exclusive texting. This is very usable when such details as addresses and phone numbers are involved within the messages, as well as getting specific details over something or another. Again, we don’t chat per se, but we were able to complete what we wanted to do with a written record now available to prove it all exists!)

Anyway, let’s get back to our story! So we sent a text message to Gloria suggesting a few things to do over that Memorial Day weekend. The weekend in question was some two or so weeks off, meaning that this wasn’t necessarily a last minute set of plans. We just gave Gloria the basic details and asked what was best for her.

So on an early Wednesday evening, this message of suggestions was typed out by this writer using the classic method of the “hunt and peck” style of composing words on a keyboard platform. After all of the words were checked as correctly spelled and if the sentences were composed using proper grammar (no abbreviations used consisting of single letters and numbers), I hit the “send button”. Now all there was to do was to await for her reply. Perhaps not necessarily at that moment, but within a reasonable amount of time in order to start the next step in plans.

To make a very long mini-episode short, Gloria did not reply for the next few days. No messages were received or acknowledged from her. A total period of silence.

There could be a lot of reasons why Gloria never replied. Perhaps she had other issues to deal with at the time that prevented her from responding. Maybe she did receive the message only to accidentally erase it. (Unintentionally of course!) Perhaps she did receive the message and perhaps it slipped her mind in replying. Or other reasons where it prevented her in sending a simple response.

So on the following Sunday morning, yours truly sent her a courtesy message asking if she indeed received the message and to ask upon her suggestions. Sunday is usually the time were folks are taking it easy far removed from their weekday schedules as well as their Saturday based chores. Perhaps Gloria would take advantage in her leasure time and reply on that Sunday so we can go on to the next step of arranging things.

Monday morning came, and no word from Gloria. Tuesday arrived and the same. Ditto for Wednesday. No reply. No news. No nothing!

So on that Thursday, a little over a week after the first message and a few days after the second, yours truly sent Gloria a third message stating that we have not heard from her in a while, and suggesting that we are still open in hosting a humble get-together during that three day holiday weekend. It was now up to her to reply to our notions in what we felt was a friendly and open greeting for a simple meeting.

As one can guess, Gloria’s message was AWOL. For whatever reason, she never replied. She never even sent a message with a simple “Thanks but no thanks”! It was dead ‘silence’ from Gloria.

Because of the fact that Gloria may be going through some issues and/or concerns that may not necessarily be of our business, we just let her slide over this lack of response. Our Memorial Day weekend plans were never established. We never got together for anything. We didn’t want to nag Gloria as that would be considered as a bit rude. (After all, we are adults!) It was just her way to say that she just wasn’t interested in meeting with us. So her method of reply was taken with a few words or actually, with no words!

Yeah, we were a bit hurt emotionally when we could not gather with Gloria. However, she wasn’t the only person within our personal bunch that replies through never replying. We (and I) have a lot of people we know as “friends” that occasionally associate with, but for some reason or another that we can’t conceive, will never reply to any of our communication attempts, be it a voice mail message, a text message, or a message sent through e-mail! Even if what one desires from the other is an element that is for their benefit or gain, they still won’t reply! And this gang of friends isn’t just limited to friends through association. These from of “ghosters” even occurs with family members! My spouse has a few folks that are either siblings or as nephews and nieces (along with their spouses when applicable) that for some reason or another, won’t reply no matter what! Granted, these nephews/nieces et. al. are of the millennium age, but that is not an excuse of never getting back with you, even if your intentions are of the good!

Even with what occurred, we won’t totally write Gloria off. We will keep in contact with her to meet with ideas that is already up our sleeves. Perhaps we will bump heads with Gloria again, or we won’t! It’s just part of the methods that people who dwell and exist in this domestic society behave. We just can’t make people do what we want them to do, even if that doing is for the good for all involved.

To use the phrase to describe this episode, that’s life! That’s show biz!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre Palisades presents Ken Ludwig’s time tested classic LEND ME A TENOR, a comical farce of a struggling opera company that hires a famous tenor to star in the company’s fundraiser, only to have their plans spin into a near sour note!

The Cleveland Grand Opera Company as part of their annual fundraising campaign, sets off to present a performance of Verdi’s “Othello” with Italian opera master Tito Merelli (Peter Miller) as its lead. The company’s director Henry Saunders (Greg Abbott) along with his assistant Max (Jeff DeWitt), are making sure that anything goes right on schedule, keeping their star settled in his hotel suite. But things begin to unravel when Tito appears to be arriving rather late, if not being missing! The tenor is currently having a spat with his wife Maria (Maria O’Connor) since Tito, being the great opera singer that he is, constantly flirts with many of his “groupies” that attempt to call to his attention! Meanwhile, Henry’s daughter Maggie (Holly Sidell) who is Max’s sweetheart, also flirts with the grand tenor that doesn’t bond too well with Maria. Adding to more complicated issues is the opera company’s chairwoman Julia (Martha Hunter) who is not only trying to keep Henry in line, but also wishes to seduce Tito! The same attention grabbing applies from budding opera singer Diana (Stephanie B. Stern), and even the hotel’s bellhop (Randy Oppenheimer) who makes every effort to provide an on-the-spot audition to the grand master with his vocal knacks. Will the Cleveland Opera Company pull off their fundraising show to a success? Will Tito’s “followers” get the attention they they are looking for? And is the grand master of the opera stage really dead? (The show still must go on!) If it’s not one episode, then it’s another as this laughable parody shows itself off from one comical installment into the next!

This is one of those plays that’s been making the many theater rounds for some time. But it just gets better with each performance! The cast of eight appearing prevail in terms of presenting comedy and satire with each and every move they partake in. The players not only provide the verbal laughs that this show contains, but also gives the cast an ideal and frantic physical workout under the direction of Sherman Wayne. In addition, there are the standard traits found in such stage farces, from the ever present running in and out of doorways (four doorways at least), the mistaken situations that are present, as well as a few characters that appear scantly clad.

Adding to his directional duties, Sherman Wayne also designs the stage set that consists of a rather fancy two-room hotel suite. (For Cleveland anyway!) Wayne is also in charge of the lighting design. June Lissandrello provides the costuming that ranges from tuxes, gowns, as well as a pair of Pagliacci clown outfits!

LEND ME A TENOR is just as fun to view for the first time, or as a first time in a while! No matter, though! It’s still a comical laff fest. And what better way to experience this production is on the intimate stage of Theatre Palisades!

LEND ME A TENOR, presented by Theater Palisades, performs at the Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road (off Sunset Blvd.), Pacific Palisades, until July 7th. 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

Theatre Palisades can also be found and followed through social media via Facebook and Twitter as “Theatre Palisades”.
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Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum opens their 2019 repertory season with William Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT, a tale of romance, mistaken identities, with blends of comedy, drama, and action with a bit of stage musical added.

The story occurs in the kingdom of Illyria where a shipwreck has just taken place. Twin siblings Sebastian (Cavin Mohrhardt) and Viola (Willow Geer) become separated, yet neither knows that the other survived the shipwreck. Viola, who disguises herself as a man calling her new identity as Cesario, becomes passionate with Count Duke Orsino (Max Lawrence), who in turn is in love with the wealthy Countess Olivia. (Christine Breihan) Upon encountering Viola, Countess Olivia falls in love with her believing that she is a man. This leads toward other notions from the follies of an eccentric uncle, a servant that is a foolish jester, and a love triangle between the likes of Viola, Duke Orsino, Olivia, and Cesario.

This grasp on The Bard’s play, first written around 1601 and made its world premier in early 1602, takes place some two hundred years later (c. early 19th century), where the costuming by Amy Mazzaferro reflects the fashion of the era using hints of english and french styling. Many of the characters hold Italian roots (their origins) where at times, performs their staging as a cross of a classic Italian opera where a lot of characters are standing around someone who is in song, and a Broadway musical where a tune is performed out in the open upon the context of a plot point. Marshall McDaniel’s transcribed sound design and musical score serves as both interlude (background) music, and as a score to the song “lyrics” as written by the playwright, as moody in frame. This gives this stage production a balance between the comedy and drama that exists throughout.

As to the rest of the cast, the players appearing in this production also features Steven Gordon (alternating with Harrison Poe), as Curio, Christopher W. Jones as Sir Toby Belch, Melora Marshall as Malvolio, Sean McConaghy as Antonio, Dante Ryan (alternating with Isaac Wilkins) as Valentine, Lawrence Sonderling as the Sea Captian, Elizabeth Tobias as Maria, Frank Weidner as Aguecheck, and Time Winters as Feste. Garrett Botts, Jacob Louis, Moriah McAda Salvia, Julia Stier, Anna Telfer, and Laura Wineland appear as ensemble players.

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum is presented in an outdoor location set within a grotto area. This location may bring a chill in its air, even in the middle of a summer heat wave. It’s suggested that an attendee brings a jacket along. And even though the bleacher-esque seating consists of hard benches, it may also be ideal to bring a seat cushion along for personal comfort. (If one doesn’t have access to a seat cushion, the theater offers cushions to use for a two dollar surcharge!) And with the said outdoor setting, one might hear the sounds of nature such as frogs croaking, crickets chirping, and an occasional dog barking. But those sound of the wild only brings the emotions up that come with adding to a performance that is classic in nature and upbeat in spirit, even if that “upbeat” is used for a dramatic effect!

Directed by Ellen Geer, the daughter of the theater’s founder and namesake Will Geer, TWELFTH NIGHT or “What You Will”, is a great stage piece to experience Shakespeare for the first time, or for the first time in a long while. It may also be a good idea to “brush up your Shakespeare” in order to become familiar with the program presented as it may be a bit hard to follow. (After all, it is some 400+ years old!) But once one gets past of all the flowering dialogue spoken, one will witness high moving theater at its finest! And as ol’ Willie might say, the play’s the thing as you like it!

PS…the “twelfth night” reference relates to the twelfth day of the Christmas season, January 6th aka Three Kings Day. Although there is no mention of either period within its plot or dialogue, it’s still a work that’s Shakespearian in style and grace to its fullest!

TWELTH NIGHT, presented and performed by Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 North Topanga Canyon Blvd, Topanga, until September 28th. Showtimes run on Sundays at 4:00 PM June 9th and 16th, July 21st, August 11th and 18th, and September 15th; Saturdays at 4:00 PM July 6th and 13th, and September 7th and 21st; Saturdays at 8:00 PM August 24th and September 28th; Sunday nights at 8:00 PM June 23rd and 30th, and September 1st; and on Friday, August 2nd at 8:00 PM.

For ticket reservations and for more details, call (310) 455-3723, or via online at http://www.Theatricum.com.

One can also follow the Theatricum Botanicum through social media via Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Theatricum, Twitter @Theatricum, and Instagram @Theatricum_Botanicum
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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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