ELECTION BLUES AND OTHER RAMBLINGS

In case anyone forgot, let alone didn’t notice, this year is a major election year. Since late 2018 (perhaps sooner), there have been a load of campaigning by folks to make themselves known that they have the desire to become elected King of the USA. Over those months, those lucky enough to have the time, space, and money (heavy on the “money” side) have been making barnstorming attempts to get their face in the crowd while blurting out “Vote for me!” to anyone within earshot. They were at it while making the rounds by participating in the usual campaign antics (shaking hands, kissing babies, donning funny hats, etc.) as well as participating in televised debate pageants where each contestant were placed on their “hot seat” to answer questions ranging from healthcare, homelessness, global warming, and other topics of interest. Many of those that began in the race has since dropped out. Some did so in a stream of flames while a few took their quick exit barley saying “That’s all folks!” Whatever the case, the race to become monarch of the land has just been picking up steam, and their is no end in sight–for the moment anyways!

Although we here at Accessibly Live Off-Line central do not take up sides in terms of politics, we do humbly wish each and every one that is in the fight for all of the best. As for the current leader of the land, the process of dethroning the man in charge is getting itself together. Some are for this action, while other may say, “not yet–if at all!” Granted, we don’t know too much in what’s going on in this category, but at least there is some news to follow as January tends to be a very slow month, and it has to give the people who care something to do while they bide their time until its the moment to host and/or attend that Super Bowl watching party!

But never mind that nonsense! It’s the new(er) year, and one must get themselves going on (guess what?) those New Years resolutions that were compiled a few hours (minutes?) before the local clock struck twelve midnight on December 31st of’19. This New Years Resolutions thing is the annual laundry list for folks to make a promise to conduct for themselves in the new year. Those promises tend to fall upon self help rituals ranging from a promise to go to the gym, not yell at one’s kids, remembering special moments within their domestic circles, quit smoking, and so on. On the first of the year, they begin their task in a flurry. By January 15th, they find out that the promises they made for themselves wasn’t going to be as easy as it first appeared. By February 1st, they are ready to give up the ship! By February 14th (Valentine’s Day), they become sidetracked because they had something to do on the day set aside for lovers and other strangers. By March 1st, those resolutions have been changed, altered, or perhaps long forgotten! However, there are a few folks that actually kept all of their promises they had made for themselves. For those people, this writer salutes each and every one of you. For the rest of those that tried and could not make it–better luck next year!

So until the next time we meet, this is your humble writer wishing everyone one of you a bye for now!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre Palisades opens their 2020 season with Robert Harling’s modern classic STEEL MAGNOLIAS, a comical drama about a group of genteel ladies living in small town in the deep south that make their lives in and around the local beauty salon.

Set in the parish of Chinquapin, Louisiana, the story’s focus revolves around a beauty shop run by Truvy Jones (Courtney Shaffer). She has a young assistant Annelle Dupuy-Desoto (Jessica Hogan) who works along aside of her. She’s the newer one in the community where she learns a thing or two on how to style hair, as well as to become absorbed in what’s going in and out of the shop, getting to know the local ladies that come in for a serious ‘do. There’s Clairee Belcher (Catherine Rahm), a widow of well-to-do means as was a former “first lady” of Chinquapin parish. Next is career woman M’Lynn Eatenton-Latcherie (Marie O’Connor) and her younger daughter Shelby Eatenton-Latcherie (Grace O’Neill). Rounding out the group is Ouiser Boudreaux (Sherry Coon) who is so stuck-up, she says that she isn’t crazy. She’s just been in a bad mood for forty years! Told in a time span of some thirty-six months, the storyline shows off the trails and tribulations of these woman folk as they deal with Shelby’s struggle with type one diabetes, how they act toward with the men in their lives–both as family members and of romantic partners, as well as how these same women form a lasting bond with one another through their ups and downs and their various styles of hair.

This is a play that is ideal to see presented for a smaller stage. Its main focus is the characters that make up the spark of this simple salon that is loaded with hair pins and styling mousse, patronized by a group of woman from different backgrounds and stages of life that can’t get by without one another through the “glue” that keeps them as one! The cast of six players that appear in this program live up to their characteristics that make this stage work a real charmer! They all speak their verbiage in southern-style dialogue with touches of sweet charm and hints of sassiness. This said wordiness, as well as what they wear on their persons and on their heads add to the flavor of this production. Brandon Ferruccio directs this show that lever loses any of its momentum, keeping its creative style set in place!

June Lissandrello and Brandon Ferruccio provide the costuming that ranges from conservative on one end of the scale, to sexy on its other end. Jon Sparks provides the wig design that serves as a class unto itself! And Sherman Wayne once again provides the set and lighting design, showing of Truvy’s hair salon with overtones of southern grace, dabs of home spun spot-in decor, with dashes of kitschy-but-cute trims that make this salon more of a comfy home than a place of commerce.

This is a play that is dramatic in places, comical in others, and just a load of fun all around. The community of Pacific Palisades may be different then the parish of Chinquapin, but those differences make this Theatre Palisades program a real treat to experience, or even experience again! Just make sure you keep your Virginia Slims unlit when applying the Aqua Net. Otherwise, your ‘do will be set aglow! (Safety tip for the day!)

STEEL MAGNOLIAS, presented by Theater Palisades and performs at the Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road (off Sunset Blvd.), Pacific Palisades, until February 16th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

Ticket reservations can be obtained by calling (310) 454-1970, or through the Pacific Palisades Theatre website at http://www.TheatrePalisades.com
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Sarah Frutig aka Sarah Benoit, recently performed her solo show called Turn Around at the Tag Studio in Burbank, where for an hour’s time, she told the all true story between the relationship with her father, as well as the many suiters that came in and out of her life.

As a child living in central-east Michigan, Sarah emotes her tale from the moment shortly after she was born, even speaking from the womb of her mother Luella Eleanor Liimakka Frutig. From there, she tells about many of the boys (later men) in her life, from childhood sweetheart Mark, her beau from college Chuck (when she was living in Chicago pursuing an education in performing), Tony whom she ended her virgin status, John, a person that tied her over, finally drifting toward Gary (now settled in Los Angeles), where her two year trial shacking up period lasted for nine years! While she was moving from one male figure to the next, her father, Harrison Benoit Frutig, was her major influence. She kept upon his spirit and image right up to his passing. Sarah learned a lot from him, as well as discovering her inner self as becoming part of the nations of Turtle Island, a place (physical and spiritual) the hosted ceremonies and sacred circles rituals that captured the aura she holds faith to–a conviction she has grasped for a good part of her life.

Sarah’s solo show captures honesty, trust, as well as depicting the comical episodes she experienced as real, because it’s all true! Perhaps a bit of creative license was added for amusement flavor. But the truth does leak out–a frankness Sarah wears as a badge of honor!

The spot where she performs her show is an intimate stage. Actually, it’s more as a platform, where she share the performance area with a few props. These stage tools only show where Sarah and her father (appearing as proxy) stand within one another’s lives.

The sited theme to her program uses reference to the record The Men In My Little Girl’s Life, a tune released c.1965 and performed by Mike Douglas. However, Sarah has since settled down with a man who now serves as her husband. Those other boys/men may have moved on, yet she continues to keep the faith alive between her father and those that are part of the spirit world.

TURN AROUND, performs at the Tag Studio located within The Actors Group Studio, 2812 West Magnolia Blvd., Burbank.

For more details including additional show days and performance times, call (818) 300-2885. Tag Studio can be found online at http://www.TagStudio.org
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The 25th annual Critics Choice Awards ceremony was held on Sunday, January 12th from the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California, and was aired live on the CW Network.

Taye Diggs once again served as the master of ceremonies where awards were presented by the choosing of Critics Choice Association, presenting the best in television programming and feature films.

Among the many awards that were presented, ranging from Best Ensemble Cast (feature films), Best Actor/Actress in a Comedy/Drama (ilm/television), Best Supporting Actor/Actress in Feature/TV, Best Action Feature, etc., two special awards were presented. Kristen Bell was awarded as part of the #SeeHer movement where females are presented in movies and TV shows in a positive and progressive light, and Eddie Murphy was awarded the Creative Achievement Award for his work in many elements on both the large and small screen, from his first major appearance as a Saturday Night Live ensemble performer, to a sting of movies including his latest feature, Dolemite Is My Name.

The Best Picture Award was presented to the feature film Once Upon A Time…In Hollywood.

The Critics Choice Association consists of members who work as professional journalists that write and review films and TV shows in publications that exist through multimedia outlets. (Disclaimer: This writer is a member of the CCA.)

For a complete listing of all titles nominated and its associated winning categories, visit http://www.CriticsChoice.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2020 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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