About one year ago when we completed our last State Of The Union Address issue, we were really looking forward to our next fiscal year that lied ahead. At the time, we were going to call the last six months of 2019 as a success. Although we were planning to cut down on our editorial content, we were receiving email letters asking us to not cut down. If we were to cut down, we were asked to add more personal stories for the life and times of yours truly rather than news one can find somewhere else. This meant that our readership was going up (which it was by the fourth quarter of ’19 according to our audits of circulation and the count of online “hits”), and the notion that we were receiving a genuine following i.e. “likes”!
We were also looking forward to a new decade! This decade told us that we were getting the Roarin’ 20’s back! We were going to celebrate the end of the teens and a welcome to the 20s! We were going to whip out a recipe for bathtub gin, taking our raccoon coats out of storage, cranking up the Ford Model “T” to take it out for a spin, catch up on the latest phrases such as “Hot-Cha-Cha”, and “Vo-Do-De-Oh-Do”, dance to the Charleston with the music by Rudy Valee and Paul Whiteman playing on the Victrola, while catching up with some dramatic flicks starring Clara Bow or Rudolph Valentino, get a few laughs with the antics of Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd, and to hear Al Jolson tell us that we ain’t heard nothing yet! It was going to be a new year and a new decade full of hope, wonder, and how much we have been progressing with the Great Recession getting farther and father away as seen on our rear view mirror!
Well, we did get our roarin’ 20s all right, but not the kind of things we had in mind! All we got was a taste of the Great Depression, loaded with massive unemployment, breadlines snaking around the blocks, people full of anxiety, fear, and uncertainty, and it was lead by a President that didn’t seem to care much for its citizens and the “common people” that made up the majority of those living and working in the US of A.
For 3/4” of our fiscal year that ran from July 1st, 0f ’19 and ending on June 30th, it appeared that we were going to have one of those “best years yet” times we love to brag about. But around March 13th a.k.a. Friday the 13th, our stepping out on the good foot turned out that we just stepped into a pile of dog s#it! Since that moment, all hell started to break loose. Folks were getting some strange illness that didn’t seem to have a proper name, only a moniker that resembled a vanity license plate number. Some people did get this illness. Many recovered, while some perished. In order to stop this virus that seemed to have been invented by a hack writer of lame science fiction stories, businesses were ordered to limited patrons entering its doors, then shutting down completely. Movie theaters started to shut down, So did Hollywood itself. Live theater shows came to a grinding halt. Schools were ordered to shut down, forcing their students ranging from elementary school to post-graduate to take classes online, later taking those online portals into graduation. A little known web application calling itself “Zoom” became the app of the year, if not for the new decade! Before long, just about any and every form of in-person meeting were suddenly turned into virtual meetings and events via Zoom.
Before long, the name Zoom became a verb in the same stance as “Google” changed its part of the domestic lexicon. Cancellations of any form of live something or another arrived from everywhere. It was a “Slaughter On Tenth Avenue” for conventions, gatherings, and just about any from of activity that was going to be attended by more than three people standing at clos(er) range.
Even holidays were on the calendar came and went, but they didn’t play out the ways intended. There we no St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in bars or on the street. No Easter egg hunts or Easter brunches. Ditto for Mother’s Day brunches. Memorial Day was nearly forgotten. Father’s Day may have a barbecue going, but no sports to watch on the big screen TV! And for fireworks on the Fourth of July? Instead of going off with a bang, it went off as a bust!
Although yours truly has been working for home for quite a while virus or otherwise, it became part of the so-called “new normal” by default. WFH was now linked to WTF. With those that were lucky enough to take advantage with WHF, many didn’t! Just ask the 40 million that applied for employment insurance. Or ask the businesses that applied for a PPP loan from the SBA–if they were able to snag a loan! As it’s now getting to a “wait and see” to find out who’s going to be the last (wo)man standing!
Finally, there was a brief wave of “civil unrest” taking place in this nation, only to make the sense of a virus threat only worse within the morals of its citizens.
So where does all of these aspects fit within on our status at ALO-L? First of all, our goal here was not only to provide some from of editorial content based upon current trends or through personal perspectives from the life and times of this writer. And we were providing news and reviews from the fields of movies, selected television programming, and the realm of regional and community theater–or bread and better so to speak.
Our last theater review was published back in Vol. 25-No 12. We haven’t reviewed a live show since then because there were no live shows to review. Some of the smaller theater companies and the theater locations itself may not present a program for a while. A few of these outlets will never come back. And everyone is hurting for everything from cash money to keeping the lights lit–ghost lights be damned!
But we will still be plugging away, we are lucky enough to keep our lights on, our internet connection going, our Zoom accounts active and up to date using Zoom 5.03, and even making sure that dinner will still be on the table and our coffee pots will be full in keeping up alert and awake! And to add a disclaimer, our parent company Linear Cycle Productions did apply–and received–a loan from the SBA for our media archiving services. (Visit http://www.LinearCycleProductions.com for more information.)
So as we start another fiscal year, we will have our chins up as high as we can get away with it all. We will keep reminding ourselves that everything is going to be fine ‘cuz the experts all agree! And yes, this too shall pass! By the next year, we are going to look back at these times with a hearty laugh or with a good cry, whatever comes first! But in all forms of strife, one winds up to be smarter, stronger, and ready to take upon the next challenges that may lie ahead! As the old song once told us, “We’ve done it before and we can do it again!” We can do it again! This time around, we will finally know just what we are doing!
PS…We also learned how to cook too! Have you ever made a macaroni and cheese dish that is far better than the slop once served in a elementary school lunchroom? This dish isn’t for kids that are fixed on their smartphones, but for the former kids that didn’t even have a dime in their pockets to use a pay phone!
As so it goes….
NEWS AND REVIEWS
The Sierre Madre Playhouse of the city of the same name will present a staged reading of David Henry Hwang’s YELLOW FACE on Wednesday, July 8th.
Yellow Face is the playwright’s memoir of a protest he lead in the 1990’s objecting the casting of Jonathan Pryce as the Asian pimp in the original Broadway production of Miss Saigon, who wasn’t of Asian decent, but was causation. This caused a scandal in the theater world that note that those playing a role of a specific race should be performed by a person that was of that same ethnic origin.
Drew Barr will direct the reading of Yellow Face for this one day only performance. Unlike previous Sierre Madre Playhouse stage readings, this upcoming reading will be conducted online.
Although this reading will be presented online without charge (although the theatre will be honored to accept a donation), reservations are required. To reserve your spot, visit the link at https://ci.ovationtix.com/35040/production/1030062?performanceId=10551708
Under General Admission, select the number of people for whom you would like to make a reservations. Select Checkout and follow further instructions to complete checkout No physical tickets are required for this event! Disregard the Will Call ticket details from the purchase confirmation email reply.
This performance will be available to view online on July 8th between the hours of 12:00 PM through 11:59 PM (PST)
Those making their reservations to “attend” will be offered to view a live post-show talkback with Sierra Madre Playhouse Artistic Director Christian Lebano, Director Drew Barr, and a cast member (to be announced) on Thursday, July 9th at 6:00 PM (PST). An online link to access this talkback will be sent following the show.
The Sierre Madre Playhouse is located at 87 West Sierre Madre Blvd. in Sierre Madre. Live performances at this playhouse will begin in the 2021 calendar year. For more details, visit the theater at http://www.sierramadreplayhouse.org
We’ll still keep you posted when we will offer new reviews in the world of regional theater, feature films, or anything else of noteworthy interest!
Keep watching this space!
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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!