Not too long ago, this writer (“me”) was visiting one of the many “bulletin board” sites that still exist within cyberspace. This bulletin boards tend to have those post a specific comment on a topic of some sort, and others can reply to that comment through words, links, and emojis. Many of these bulletin boards sites, some going back to the early 1990’s, are for various topics and subject that deal in popular culture. Other express notions dealing with such domestic topics as employment, raising families, and the sporting world. And alas, a few express points of view that may not necessarily be of the mainstream and could be suggesting a form of harm to someone or something.

However, I am focusing upon a bulletin board called Talk of the Villages, a bulletin board for the residents of a retirement community called The Villages located in central-east Florida. This community (actually, three communities) are so large in size and scope, they have their own zip codes, and are sustaining in the same fashion to a small town of village. (Thus, the name of this community complex!) The only difference here to an actual town is the majority of those living in The Villages are over the age of 55 and for the most part, retired.

Anyway, there was a post posted by a resident(?) living within that community with the headline topic “Fake Food Has To Go”. Here in this ranting, this person states…

Recently, my grandkids sent me a phone letter saying that they don’t want burgers no more, but these things that look like steak but are made from trees! They say these are much better for you because nobody gets killed in the process!

I tried one of these “burgers”, and they taste like crap! I don’t know why Taylor and Hunter like this junk! I think they switched from real food to the phony kind is because their phones told them to do this!

Has anyone out there tried these fake foods? Did you like them or do you agree they taste like s#it? And do your grandkids also eat this junk, or are they smart enough to eat what’s real?

Some of the response from this post came through such as this….

I remember Tang. Diet sodas which are extremely bad for people for numerous reasons I avoid like the plague. Cheap fake sugar sweetener made from corn is difficult to avoid but I try. My mother served oleo (gag!); I stick with real butter.

Fake meat is not for me. These kids are propagandized in school by radicals from outfits like PETA the schools let in to not eat real meat.

…tofu, kale .now this.. give me a break .. or better yet, a steak

I have a cousin who insists her dog is vegetarian the same as her. I slip it meat whenever I visit. She can’t understand why the dog is so friendly toward me.
The neighbor spotted me doing it once, but said “It’s OK, I have been slipping the dog meat leftovers for ages!”

Our youth has been brainwashed to blindly accept things labeled by certain buzzwords such as echo, green, sustainable, enviro friendly, etc… And God forbid they avoid anything that “empowers” them, whatever that means? Just label something with the appropriate buzzword and it is like mosquitos flying straight into the bug zapper.

Why are some of you so angry? I can guarantee that no school had a PETA assembly to brainwash your grandchildren. Some people find foods enjoyable which others dislike. Bush hated broccoli. Whether a plant based diet is better for your health is debatable. But there is nothing wrong with being aware of how your food choices may impact your health and the planet’s health. There is no debate that the amount of water required to produce equivalent animal vs plant protein is huge. As well as differences in waste, fertilizers, pollutants both air and water, and greenhouse gases. Science has become a dirty word in some communities. Funny how those same anti-science people all want the latest cancer treatment if they or a loved one needs oncologic care. And the best internet and cell phone. All brought to you by science.

They say coconut oil is the best thing to go with kale, it makes it much easier to slide off the plate into the trash…

It seems that the new line of foods that has been coming around within late tends to focus upon substitutes for meat products. Such brands of these products, extracted from plant-based sources are from the likes of Impossible Foods Inc. and Beyond Meat Inc. These items are even gaining the attention of the quick service restaurant (i.e. “fast food) industry. Burger King, for instance, has been testing out a product called the Impossible Whopper. White Castle, a chain of hamburger places that’s been around since the early 1920’s mostly in the midwest and east coast parts of the nation, offers the Impossible Slider. Carl’s Jr. and their midwest counterpart, Hardee’s are offering Beyond Meat products. (Carl’s Jr.‘s turn is available now while Hardee’s will be offering the product later this season.) Even breakfast joints as Dunkin’ (Donuts) and Tim Hortons, a chain of coffee and donuts places mostly in Canada, offers products from Beyond Meat.

And perhaps the biggest one of the QSR of ‘em all, McDonalds, is interested in getting into the game. After all, McD’s is what’s called the “gold standard” in terms of the fast food industry. And anything that The Golden Arches provides, patrons and perhaps their competition, sits up and takes notice.

And there has even been some backlash to this change, but through comical means. Recently, Arby’s, the king of the roast beef sandwiches, recently offered a “carrot” veggie item made from meat products. It’s not known by this writer if this food entry was taken seriously, but it does offer a good laugh to it all!

Of course, the reasons behind this development of meat substitution is multifold. There are a lot of people that doesn’t consume meat either through personal choice or through a related circumstance, and for those that are not too keen over the slaughter of animals for consumption. Those ideas are honored for what they are. But it’s for a way to create new foods where its sources are more plentiful in supply, and can be presented as the real item that it’s switching from. (No weird looking foodstuffs that may even look or possibly taste unappetizing!) The plant based meat not only looks and appears to be real, it even “bleeds” when it’s cooked!

As far as the taste? Recently, I attended The Western Food Service and Hospitality Show that took place in Los Angeles a few weeks back. As expected, meat products made from plant products were present at the show. I had a chance to taste a few “burgers” made from such meat products, A few of what I tasted were pretty close to the real thing. However, I already knew that these beef burgers were not made from beef, so the surprise elements were not there. However, if let’s say I did visit my friendly neighborhood fast food place, and got a burger made from these products and were never told of such, I may be fooled! However, I tend to overload the burger in question with plenty of mustard, ketchup, and whatever other “toppings” the joint provides. All I would taste is a burger gopping with ketchup and mayo. But whatever the case, the products served at this trade show were mighty impressive for what they are.

Will these products cater to those that don’t (or won’t) eat meat because of their own purposes? It’s rather hard to tell as these same consumers keep faith to their eating lifestyle for their own reasons. However, it’s a right step of direction to keep the world supply of food available to all that consume the products. And for the most part, that means all living people!

To sum it all up as stated by this Villager poster…

….As long as they don’t bring back Soylent Green.. lol

The Sacred Fools Theatre Company kicks off their 2019-20 season with the world premier of DEADLY, a macabre musical of a “horror hotel” built and created during a word’s fair, the man that served as “innkeeper”, and the young women that were lured inside!

The setting is Chicago, 1893. The Columbian Exhibition was taking place where the nation as well as the world set their attention to the city along the lakefront where new artistic, natural, and technological wonders were on display for the public to embrace. While the fair commences, a local enterpriser, Herman Webster Mudgett a.k.a. H.H. Holmes (Keith Allen) who operates a pharmacy, opens a hotel. He notices that a selection of unaccompanied women have been interested in checking in as guests. They come to the big city to seek employment and longer term lodging. Holmes doesn’t just offer them lodging and at times employment, but presents them to a state of murder! His first victim is Lizzie Sommers. (Brittany S. Wheeler). Before long, he hires a “handyman” of sorts to furnish the rooms depending gas for a quick and painless(?) way to die, as well as other forms of death. Benjamin Pietzel (French Steward, alternating with David LM McIntyer) is the man hired, who was previously living in an asylum attempting to curb his excessive drinking. His treatment eventually gave him short term memory loss, clouding his judgement. Before long, other victims surfaced: Evelyn Stewart (Kristyn Evelyn), Julia Conner (Erica Hanrahan-Ball) and her young daughter Pearl (Ashley Diane), Anna Williams (Rebecca Larsen) and her sister Minnie (Samantha Barrios). There were others as well. Yet police detective Frank Geyer (Eric Curtis Johnson), would eventually get caught up with Holmes, giving this man of evil the distinction to be later labeled as the nation’s first documented serial killer to terrorize a community.

This musical stage production, with book and lyrics by Vanessa Claire Stewart, and music by Ryan Thomas Johnson along with additional lyrics by Trey Perkins & Guy Picot, is one of those stories that could have been created as an so-called “urban legend”, where the premise is so outlandish, it couldn’t have happened–but it did! However, very little details about the victims of H.H. Holmes were ever recorded by the Chicago press. Perhaps this was due to the nature of their deaths and what Holmes did to them before and after the fact. The city newspapers brushed those facts aside. (“Yellow Journalism” was mostly a product of New York City!) In this stage production, it’s the victims that are emphasized here, giving each one a bit of humanistic background of these women, even remaining on stage after their deaths serving as spirits. They are donned in ragtag outfits as designed by Linda Muggeridge that is a blend of “gay 90’s” floozyness, with hints of zombie ware. But they do not resemble the zombies as seen in horror based media. They are appealing, holding on their independence, and showing no evil! (The two sisters come from Texas with strong Christian values!)

The musical score itself isn’t lively due to the nature of the show’s themes, but serves as quick, not too quirky, with plenty of moody influence. The show’s orchestra, consisting of Brenda Varda on keyboards, Zachary Bernstean on percussion, Lisa Davis on violin, and Katt Newlon on cello under the musical direction of Ryan Thomas Johnson, perform the tunes off-stage and off sight. This was created so the music would enhance the spirit of this settings without the distractions that an on-stage band may result.

Stephen Gifford’s stage design consists of a wooden scaffold block that represents the hotel and its deadly chambers. Corwin Evans’ projection design consists of still and moving imagery projected along a backwall serving as mood enhances that changes along with the stage action that progresses throughout.

Although this morbid episode hasn’t been told to death (no pun intended) over time and tide, the setting was previously presented as a stage play in the Los Angeles region last year as Villainy or H.H. Holmes’ Own Story. (See review-Vol. 23-No. 42). However, that show wasn’t a musical. Granted, such gruesome tales are never set to song for the theater. However, these are times where mass killings are becoming more common than one would desire, and DEADLY, directed by Jaime Robledo, fits the scope.

The Sacred Fools Theatre Company has been presenting plays and musicals (many becoming world premiers) since their existence in 1997 that teeter toward being far from the mainstream. This show kicks off their brand new season, and for judging what the Fools have to offer, it appear they will be “foolin’” for a good long time right in the heart of Hollywood!

DEADLY, presented by Sacred Fools Theater Company, and performs at The Brroadwater Main Stage, 1076 Lillian Way, off Santa Monica Blvd., one block west of Vine Street, Hollywood, until November 2nd. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM. Special Monday night performance takes place on October 21st 8:00 PM.

For ticket reservations or for more information on this show as well as all other productions as presented by the Sacred Fools, visit http://www.SacredFools.org
The Odyssey Theatre presents the revival of IN CIRCLES, a musical stage review set to the poetry and prose of writer and poet Gertrude Stein.

In this program, a team of players donned in white are posed within a stage totally colored in cherry red. Jacque Lynn Colton portrays Miss Stein, She is seated among the group of white that do have names, but are never referred to by their proper monikers: Cousin (P.T. Mahoney), Mildred (Chloe Haven), Mabel (Shelby Corley), George (Henry Arber), Sylvia (Ashley Dutson), Jessee (Aaron Jung), and Ollie. (Kyle G. Fuller) With Miss Stein seated within her chair as she is holding court, her group, with a few prompts of verse uttered from the “queen”, sing the nonlinear verse that’s compiled as quirky, static, and could rhyme is you want it to, but doesn’t. With Dole the piano man (Kenneth J. Grimes) seated stage left at an upright and blacked schoolhouse piano, he plays the tunes where the words are set to the music, and the music is set to the verse.

This single act program, first presented as an off-Broadway program c.1967, resembles a non-linear musical that was part of the experimental theatre movement of the 1960’s, and/or a show one could find performing on any 1970‘s-era college campus that supported a theater program. In other words, this is far from a so-called traditional musical that would otherwise hold lively characters, a love interest or two, and a score that assists in getting the story moving along. The score by Al Carmines uses a sassy yet subtle blend of folk, blues, jazz, and maybe a hint of rhythm and blues. (There is no “rock ‘n roll” heard as that kind of music didn’t mature enough for quality musical theater–yet!) The performers have the energetic appeal where their verse tells some kind of tale, only to let go into another saga of sorts. Gertrude herself is the grandmother figure. She has the charm and appeal of a “little old lady” that boy scouts supposedly helped to cross the street.

As to the stage visuals, Mark Guirguis’ set design is situated within a totally red space, including the few props used. (High back chairs and pieces of luggage!) Chu-Hsuan Chang’s lighting balances much of the red colored performance space. Ann Class-Farley’s costuming has the entire ensemble dressed in white, while Gertrude herself resembles Maude Frickett, a character created and played by comedian Jonathan Winters around the era that this show was first compiled! And the robust cast (sans Gertrude) perform their routines through Kate Coleman’s choreography that sets the dramatis personae to fall within the circles thay all sing about.

Directed by David Schweizer, IN CIRCLES is a show that is ideal for the small stage. It also a great way to be introduced to the poetry of Gertrude Stein as her written expression holds a craft set within its own terms. And finally, it plays out as a period piece that doesn’t speak for a specific era or time frame. It’s just all part of the circles.

IN CIRCLES, presented by the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and performs at The Odyssey Theatre, 2055 South Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles, until November 10th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. Special performances take place on Wednesday, October 16th and 23rd, and Thursday, September 28th. All shows perform at 8:00 P.M.

For ticket reservations and for more information, call (310) 477-2055 x2, or via online at http://www.OsysseyTheatre.com
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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