GO ASK YOUR YOUNGER SELF

We tend to receive a lot of profile bios of people involved in companies both big and small. These bios, written by various PR firms, deal with a short story about a company’s founder, CEO, VP, or whatever title they give to themselves. Some of the bios are written as a straight forward introductory sheet that informs the reader about what they did in their professional career, what companies they are (or were) involved with, as well as their higher educational background. (These are the kind of rundowns one would see on a Linkenin page rather that something found through Facebook!)

A few of these bios are written in a question and answer structure, where the writer of the article will post a question, and then the person being interviewed will give their often long-winded answer.

For instance, the Q&A feature may look something like this:

Q: I see you have called your new book How I Became A Success In Starting A Chicken Ranch On A Chicken Feed Budget. What makes a chicken ranch successful?

A: I wanted to start a chicken ranch because all of my friends were doing it. My pal “Stinky” thought that chickens of the world should be raised on ranches for all of the world to see and later eat! Before long, good ol’ Stink–as I used to call him–would be operating the first chicken ranch open 24 hours, meaning that you can get a chicken at all hours of the day, not just limited to a 9 to 5 operation….

Of course, there will be a selection of question that speak for the person and/or the industry they are involved in that pretty much gets to the point. Once in a while, one will find a question that is getting to become rather common, if not turning into a chiche, in these Q&A rallies.

Among the questions that fall into this category comes to the effect of “What advice you would give to your younger self?”

There are many reasons why the interviewee would ask the person being interviewed. Perhaps one reason that comes to mind is the fact that when anyone was a younger person with a different personality, they had performed tasks and actions where those actions could be called “mistakes”, “errors”, “defaults”, or some other motion where if they knew back then to what they know currently, the person would have performed that action in a different manner by adding to the action for the original response, or not even performing the task at all! Call this part of the “What Was I Thinking?” school of life.

Let’s face it! Just about everyone that has lived within the domestic world that we are presently dwelling in had one of those moments. It doesn’t have anything to do in achieving a form of success in a business or industry. It would involve just living as so-called normal (or near normal) lifestyle. This is a form of life that consists of rather level, perhaps dull and boring, actions everyone does throughout the periods of time they dwell in. It could involve moving to a specific location, accepting some kind of offer or opportunity, or even deciding on what book to read, what diet they should embark in, or even if they should have done something, or not done something, that was regretted long after the fact!

Of course, some of those actions can’t be changed in any way for the same various reasons. The sources that may have been behind it all might no longer exist. A few are now irreverent because what the person who did and/or did not do holds no interest to the matter. And a handful are life long challenges where the person still regrets in doing something or not, even if that action (or lack thereof), was set long in the deep distant past.

It’s quote amusing to discover how people would do things differently if they knew better. Some chuck it up as a simple mistake that has since been corrected. A few post it as an error that made its difference long after the fact. The rest see these actions as an isolated embarrassing moment that they would rather forget. And a lot of these blushing episodes have since been forgotten as they have long moved on.

As for this writer, what would yours truly tell myself as a youthful youth? Plenty! However, those facts o’ life would be ideal for another time and for another article. After all, nobody’s perfect–yet!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Road Theate Company of North Hollywood continues its world premier run of Angela J. Davis’ THE SPANISH PRAYER BOOK, a drama about a woman’s choice to offer a selection of ancient artifacts for auction, and the man that desires to have those artifacts conserved for heritage preservation.

The story opens in London in the early years of the 21st century. Shortly before his death, Jacob Adler (Allan Wasserman) prevents his former spouse Joan (Laura Gardner) to take a series of old Hebrew books and manuscripts he had kept for a long while. A year after Jacob’s passing, their daughter Michaela (Allison Blaize), a high school teacher living in Oakland, California, arrives to attend the unveiling of her father’s tombstone, a ritual based on Jewish custom. Although she has long abandon her Jewish heritage, she still holds respect toward her family. At the unveiling, she meets Julien Nazir (Richard John Seikaly), an American professor of Jewish and Muslim culture and history. She discovers that these books her father had kept for all of those years turns out to be rare manuscripts that are centuries old, “given” to him when he fled his native Germany during the Nazi occupation in 1941. Now these books are being consigned through a prestige auction house going to the highest bidder. These manuscripts, especially one with the informal name “Spanish Prayer Book”, is a 14th Century document that was published in Spain before the Jews were exiled in that nation. Its worth is appraised as a seven digit monetary figure. Julien believes (along with an American based Government official) that the books should not be sold off due to its mysterious background. Michaela, deep in debt, could use the money from the auction sale. But what is the real backstory to these documents? Were they actually rescued from possible destruction from the Nazis, or where they really removed for another purpose i.e. stolen? And how important are these books for the order of the preservation of Hebrew heritage? It’s a balance between the concerns of the legacy of a traditional faith, the power of financial value, and if possession is really nine tenths of the law?

This new play by playwright Angela J. Davis takes its premise inspired by an actual episode where in the 1980’s, a New York based auction house of fine antiquities acquired a collection of unique and rare Hebrew manuscripts where is was being consigned through an anonymous source. Upon inspection, the said documents were connected to a cultural library foundation in Berlin that the Nazis disbanded where its possession were in question. That event was thus dramatized into this play that shows its drama based through that exact premise.

The production itself follows a non-linear pattern between the contemporary scenes (London c.2009) and Germany c.1941 that show off the backstory to the source of the manuscripts where Michaela’s ancestors Alexander Adler (Carlos Lacamara) and Channa Wild (Tiffany Wolff) attempt to flee for their lives from the Nazi regime with the prized documents in hand. These scenes makes an attempt to clear the background of the old books that is the center of the conflicts.

Along with the performers seen on stage that also includes Amy Tolsky performing in a number of roles, Yuki Izumihara’s set design is relatively simple. There are no furnishings depicted. Only a few squared blocks colored off-white that matches the stage set are used to depicted various scenes, settings, and locations. Visual projections are utilized (also designed by Yuki Izumihara), that show off the lavish and detailed illustrations taken from the actual ancient Hebrew manuscripts that depict stories and fables from the Old Testament enhancing its rarity. Heather Harper’s prop design shows in much smaller detail, the books of old that are only to be handled by fiber free archivists gloves.

Directed by Lee Sankowich, THE SPANISH PRAYER BOOK presents in dramatic elements the issues related toward the fate of sacred manuscripts. To quote one of the guidelines that archivists live by, preservation without access isn’t preservation. If that is (or not) the case, then what is…?

THE SPANISH PRAYER BOOK, presented by The Road Theatre Company and performs at The Road on Magnolia, 10747 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, until November 23rd. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

For ticket reservations or for more details, call (818) 761-8838, or via online at
http://www.RoadTheatre.org
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Glendale’s Brand Park presents an outdoor Shakespeare-in-the-park event with KING LEAR, the classic tragic play presented with a contemporary twist.

Carl Weintraub is the name ruler of Britannia who offers to entrust his power and kingdom to his three daughters Goneril (Veronica Maccari), Regan (Chineze Enokwechi) and Cordelia (Jasmine Ilarde). But all three must first prove their honor and love for him. When Cordelia, the youngest and Lear’s most cherished daughter, declares nothing, he is outranged with her answer, only to leave her with literary nothing. This action starts toward his downward spiral into thoughts of his daughter’s betraying him and his slow mental demise.

As expected, this is the classic tale that has been entertaining theatre audiences for some 400 years. (413 to be exact–give or take a fortnight!) This time around, all of the characters are dressed in period costumes from the 21st century as designed by Melissa Wilson. This method of dress points out the timeless notion that Shakespearian theater never goes out of style! Indeed, some of the language can be a bit hard to decipher, but that is what makes plays extracted from the pen of The Bard just as fascinating way back then and it is in the world of today.

In this production, a cast of players that include Jennifer Ashe as (the) Fool, Carlo Di Alba as Albany, Kelton Jones as Gloucester, Massimo Napoli as Edmund, Madison Young as Edgar, John Ogden as Kent, and Daisy Koprowski, Christine Gan, and Emma Petersen as the granddaughters who will perhaps take over the space that the good King Lear vacated, perform their roles into the era of the present while keeping the poetic verse all in check. Rececca Lynne’s stage direction has the characters emote without any formal stage sets or backdrop. In fact, the backdrop is a corner section of the park, where the only elements seen of its “stage” is mostly trees and grass. There is a short platform with a ornate statue sitting on its top, but that is there to represent King Lear’s vast kingdom.

For those that enjoy a play that’s been around for multiple centuries that continues to keep with its pace as well as to experience such a production in a “less-is-more” setting all in the great outdoors of Brand Park, this seek no further because here it is!!

Depending on the weather, it’s recommended to bring a light jacket along as it may get a bit chilly. Also, bring along a blanket or a lawn chair as this program is in a park setting. And picnicking is encouraged!

KING LEAR, presented by the Dean Productions Theatre Company, performs outdoors at Brand Park, 1601 West Mountain Avenue, Glendale, until October 19th. Showtimes are Thursday through Saturday nights at 8:00 PM.

For ticket reservations and for more information, visit the website
http://www.DeanProductionsTheatre.com
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JUDY (Roadside Attractions) stars Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland, a woman seeking her “big break” after going through a series of personal and emotional tribulations.

It’s the winter of 1968. Judy is in her middle 40’s. Her glory days as a young star at MGM has long past. She’s deep in debt, and is undergoing a custody battle between her two kids Lorna (Bella Ramsey) and Joey (Lewin Llody) from her ex (and fourth) husband Sid Luft (Rufus Sewill). Without a place of her own, she attempts to shack up with Sid. However, he can take the kids in, but not Judy. While attending a party in the Hollywood Hills, she meets Mickey Deans (Finn Wittrock) a man much younger that her. He has a lot of business ventures going, yet Judy is attracted to his charm. But she still needs to earn money to pay four million to the IRS, and to have a home for her kids. Without either, she’ll be broke and may lost custody. There is one bright spot. She accepts an offer from Bernard Delfont (Michael Gambon) who operates a club and cabaret in London, The Talk of the Town. Under desperation, she accepts the gig to perform for a five week run. In spite of her working again, she is still unsettled with her addiction to pills that’s been continuing since the days as a child star at Metro. While dealing with her personal demons, she finds her way into a comeback success that is indeed “over the rainbow”.

This bio film dealing with the final year of Judy Garland’s life was adapted from Peter Quilter’s stage play End Of The Rainbow into a screenplay by Tom Edge that showcases one of the “world’s greatest entertainers” into a battle between the people that loved her, the people that once loved her, as well as the her own self.

Renée Zellweger as Judy shows out much of her mannerism to near perfection. She plays this singer as a woman that is 47 years in age with the looks of somebody twenty to twenty five years older. Her singing ability does match very close to the original. The reason why it’s not head-on? Judy Garland is the only one that can sing as well as Judy Garland. Alas, it’s been some fifty years since her passing due to a mix of pills and alcohol.

Within this feature, there are brief flashback scenes to 1938 with the sixteen year old Garland (played by Darci Show) who just joined the studio run by movie mogul Louis B. Meyer (Richard Cordery) that tells the young starlet to do what he says and she’ll be a star, or to leave the studio and become forgotten. There are also flashback scenes between her and her co-star Mickey Rooney (Gus Barry), the first man she falls for, but only in the movies–not in “real life”!

In addition to the above noted cast, Jessie Buckley appears as Rosalyn Wilder, Judy’s personal assistant in London who is responsible of getting her from her hotel suite all ready and dressed and to the theater where an eager audience awaits for her to do what she can do best–sing those favorite tunes that will keep Judy into the limelight. Royce Pierreson is featured as Burt Rhodes, the bandleader of the orchestra who backs up Judy during her club gig. And finally, Andy Nyman and Daniel Cerqueira play Stan and Dan, two older gentleman who are big fans of Judy that eventually befriend her. They appear as mild comic relief who gives this feature film its gay appeal. (Both meanings of “gay”!)

Directed by Rupert Goold, JUDY is far from being the ultimate screen version of the life and times of the former Francis Gumm of Grand Rapids, Minnesota. That tale has yet to be told. However, this film will surface as a movie that isn’t loaded down with Hollywood bio cliches that tends to bog down these types of movies. However, it does leave a few untied story threads. (Those won’t be noted in fear of opening a few spoiler alerts!)

Perhaps the biggest untied thread is that this movie ends six months before her untimely death in June of 1969. What happened during those six months? Does this means there may be a sequel in the works? Since this type of film isn’t the “tentpole movie” variety, it will be hard to say! We’ll see.

JUDY is rated “PG-13” for mild cussing. Now playing in selected theaters.
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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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