LIFE ENDS AT 60?

It appears that people are living longer more than ever. There has been reports that folks are surpassing ages when they should have been long dead. Turing 80 is no longer such a big deal. People beyond 90 is getting to be more common. Even hitting the big 100 is an age that is not only worth celebrating, but something to even make a joke about it. A person that this writer knows recently hit the century mark. When this person was informed that people reaching 100 would normally receive a birthday card from The White House, the person hitting the the big “C” gave the statement, “If I get a card from the SOB, I’ll send it back and he could shove it up his a$$!” (That’s an actual quote from a 100 year old man, so don’t shoot this messenger!)

The AARP, the organization that caters to those age 50 and up, have been celebrating the efforts to those that are of a mature age with what they can do, and how “hip” they can become during their lives. Granted, this demographic may not be the first on their block when it comes to the access and use to high tech devices and their applications, but they are adapting to this technology. It’s now more common to see those of a better age to use a smartphone that a classic style flip phone–the same kind of phones that were all of the rage during the earlier part of the 00’s!

A poll conducted by the staff of SeniorLiving.org, a website to assist those to find senior living communities, assisted living facilities and senior care sources, recently asked some 1100 people based in the USA on what age would be appropriate to conduct a selected activity, and what age should be the cut-off point in ending such a pursuit. The survey divided the groups by age as Millenniums, those born between 1980 to 1995, Gen Xers born between 1965 through 1979, and the Baby Boomers born between 1946 through 1964. All were asked in what form of activity should be age appropriate.

There were a few acts that were rather obvious, such as baring a child as all demographics noted that age 45 should be the proper cut off point due to medical reasons, and the fact that it’s rather difficult to raise a child at more of an advanced age. But there were a few other activities noted when one should stop doing because it was no longer cool to take part in. In some cases, there wasn’t any “cool” factor connected to the said activity, but still didn’t seem very appropriate to conduct.

Some of the activities that would be considered as “cool” consisted on when it was “too old” to attend what was labeled as a “Keg Stand”. It’s assumed that a keg stand consists of a party-type atmosphere where a massive amount of folks are clustered into a crowed room, loud music is being played, and the center of attention is a metal keg with a CO2 tap on its top dispensing warm flat beer consumed in plastic red Solo cups–the kind of bashes one would attend as a “young adult”, and would be an idea set scene for a media production depicting college life. (32 was deemed the age where one would be too old to attend a kegger.)

Some acts of age limits were also noted. Some were surprising, let along subject for debate. 39 was the maximum age to have a one-night stand, 49 was the limit for casual sex, 52 was considered to be too old in using a dating app, and 59 was the top age for viewing porn.

Other activities that learned toward standard life applications also worth noted focused on moving/relocating on a whim (51), working excessively (53), going to college (58), starting a new career (61), starting a business (70), getting married (73), applying for a credit card (75), and having a long term relationship (85).

Again, this survey was far from being scientific. It only expresses the views and opinions to those that answered the survey. To quite a line normally mentioned in car ads, your mileage may vary.

Media for the most part has always geared itself toward the younger generations. Pepsi-Cola, as this brand was once called, had a commercial jingle in the 1950’s entitled “For Those Who Think Young” sung to the tune of Making Whoopee. In the 1960’s Polaroid marketed its Swinger camera to the teens and college age folks allowing these people to take pictures that can be obtained immediately to capture their moments as prints. These commercials would air on such youth based TV programs as Hullabaloo, American Bandstand, Shindig, etc. In the later decades, the younger set continued to rule (or so it seemed), that made all youthful demographics as the set place to be!

In this current era, the new troupe advertisers chase are those called “Gen Y”, born between 1996 through 2005 (give or take a year). These are the folks that hold their own issues, beliefs, and places in life. And because they are the most wired, they hold to power to do whatever they want, assuming they have access to conducting whatever they need to do. (i.e. time, money, etc.)

But to those that are more seasoned, it appears that limits do apply. But these limits are not necessarily seen as a burden. Sometimes, and depending on what the activity is, performing an act at an advanced age may work out for the better. When it comes to a career, starting a new career when one is far beyond the 61 age as the survey suggests isn’t much of a bad idea. Many of these folks use the gig economy to refresh themselves in a new career, since performing a project on an single application basis gives them more flexibility. There are other perks that also exist as well. However, there are the downsides to. The fact that if one is starting a career, it means starting a business on their own instead of working for and in a larger conglomerate. There is the cloak of age discriminating that exists. Although their are rules and regulations when it comes to placement due to age, it’s rather difficult to prove somebody is stepping over the line. Ditto when it comes to gender. However, the focus here isn’t about how somebody can’t do anything because of age, it’s about when somebody should not be doing something just because of their age.

But the survey that this article uses as its base have a few interesting notions connected to it. The Baby Boomers, those that consists of the widest demographic period spanning eighteen years, enough to be divided between “first tier” (born between 1946-55) and “second tier” (1956-64), agreed to the fact that going to college can go beyond their 60’s and 70’s since many of these same colleges offer programs and incentives geared toward non-traditional students. (Some offerings are for college credit and for non-credit). The same goes for attending house parties, casual sex flings, and using dating apps. It may not be done in the same way as how it was once conducted while these folks were younger, but a lot of the same interest remains.

Perhaps the boomers take heed of The Who’s 1960’s hit “My Generation” where the lyrics stated “I hope I don’t die before I get too old”. The later generations also believe these words since many of them still listen to those songs that were popular way before they were born! It was from an era that seemed to be simple, yet it was far from that content.

Many others would find somebody doing an activity more geared toward a younger set as something that’s cute to do. Perhaps the activity may not be as wild and crazy, but there would be performed within a better mindset. After all, one is as young (or old) as they feel!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

CRE Outreach presents MARCHING ON, a stage performance created and performed by eight veterans that served in the military, telling their stories that are far removed from the battlefields and training exercises that are part of the American armed forces.

In this piece, eight service people, consisting of Josie Benford, Irene Cruz, Paul E. Johnson, Monty Montgomery, Jefferson Reid, Mason Vokes, Judith Welch, and Carla Brame Wilkerson, appear in the first act in their military greens. This crew served in the Army, Air Force, Marines, and the Navy within various ranks. Told as monologues and mini skits, they speak of some of the aspects of military life. Not so much as what they did while under defense regulation, but what they did outside of military protocol, still keeping rank and file in doing their important and complex duties and assignments. The second act shows this same crew as civilians donning their street clothing. Now considered as veterans, they experience some of the benefits in living a former military career, while at the same time, experiencing the rather lack of respect from the majority (read: civilians) of the general population that is far from removed of the understanding on how tough it was in servicing their nation, while keeping their emotional toughness–even if that toughness comes with a price.

This production was created by this cast that takes on their actual personal stories to what is was like being a person in the service and exiting as a vet in this theater piece. Jefferson Reid serves as lead playwright extracting the basic structure to these stories from this crew that blends in these episodes as seen and experienced by those that were there. What is expressed on stage is a cross between comical antidotes and sobering tales. Granted, with such services comes the aftermath. However, the negative elements are not emphasized. Instead, what comes across is the pride of standing up to the nation they believe in, and will continue to pledge their allegiance in the present and beyond.

Although there is no stage set to speak oft (the performance is presented within a black backdrop with a few black table elements that serve as various barrier points), Scot Renfro creates the design of this stage area that the military personnel is showcased front and center.

Directed by Greg Shane, MARCHING ON, speaks for the declaration of marching on as the military presents, as well as marching on long after the honorable discharge is granted. Again, it may be difficult to understand to what goes on with those that have served their nation when one never became close to what these men and women had lived through. For those that were there, it’s a refreshing experience to see in many dimensions. But for the rest of those that never served for various reasons, it’s a small wake-up call reminding those same people that without the aid of these former service people, the USA may not be in the same place and function to where it stands today within the world. Military might may be right, only if it serves for a respectable purpose.

MARCHING ON, presented by CRE Outreach in alliance with Veterans Empowerment Theatre, performs at The Blue Door, 9617 Venice Blvd., Culver City, until July 22nd. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoon at 3:00 PM. For tickets and for more information, visit online at:
https://creoutreach.org/event/marching-on/ ———————————————————————————————————————
Stephen Adly Guirgis’ THE MOTHERF-CKER WITH THE HAT, a dark comedy of two couples living within New York’s mean streets that rotate with one another, and the odd man that may assist in settling the score, opens at the Gloria Gifford Conservatory in Hollywood.

The setting is one of the tougher boroughs that make up the urban landscape of New York City. Jackie, a street-smart Italian that spent over a year in prison and is currently serving a stretch of his parole, is living with his longtime girlfriend of Puerto Rican decent Veronica. Jackie is undergoing his twelve-step program for alcohol, while “Ronnie” does her coke bingeing. Their relationship consists of heated sex, heated arguments, and heated make-up sex. After going through the rounds, Jackie finds a mysterious hat in their shabby apartment, suspecting that Ronnie is cheating on him behind his back, something that she denies. Although Jackie has a gun that he shouldn’t have due to his parole, he would be willing to use it on the man with the hat for doing Ronnie. He tries to have his cousin Julio (hispanic) to hide the gun in fear that his parole officer with catch him packing heat, and the fact that he just might use it! Meanwhile, Jackie’s friend and twelve-step sponsor Ralph D. (African-American) assists him on taking it a bit easy since Ralph D. leaves a clean life with his healthy eating. Although he’s married to his wife Victoria, their relationship is rather strained. This gives rise to an uneven circle of one doing the other’s wife/girlfriend, leading toward more compilations that is complicated as it stands!

This single act play written by playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis who’s known for developing stories and characters that are as gritty and street urban as they come, creates a tale that is extracted from the gutters and back alleys of the gettos that makes The Big Apple just what it really is–the armpit of the nation! Gloria Gifford, who received her training in theater in New York, and was the first to direct the New York based playwright’s show in Los Angeles, Our Lady of 121st Street a few years ago, brings her unique talents in creating a sense of a dark and dingy urban landscape found within this production. It becomes so absorbent, one can almost hear the roar of the “El” trains rumbling across the row houses that dot the neighborhoods while kids play in the streets–light years away from the glitz of Manhattan and the posh settings of The Hamptons.

This show features a rotating cast that vary in each separate performance. Jackie is played by Danny Siegel, Billy Budinich, and Chad Doreck. Ralph D. is performed by Keith Walker and Halie D’Alan. Veronica is played by Joey Marie Urbina, Nancy Vivar, and Raven Bowens. Jade Ramirez Warner, Leana Chavez, Keturah Hamilton, Cynthia San Luis, Lucy Walsh, Lauren Plaxco, and Samiyah Swann play Victoria, and Cousin Julio is performed by Christian Maltez, Benito Paje, and Joshua Farmer. (Specific cast rosters will be announced before each performance.)

The stage set as designed by Lucy Walsh & Chad Doreck consists of three separate sets lined up side-by-side one next to the other, showing off Jackie and Ronnie’s sparse apartment (center stage) with a futon placed directly on the hard floor as the bed with a beat-up love seat couch on the opposite side of the room, Ralph D. and Victoria’s unit (stage right) that is better kept with Ralph D.’s stash of large sized whey extract containers placed on a shelf for easy access, and Cousin Julio’s purple laden place (stage left) that is nearly in the style of an east Indian palace–almost feminine in nature, but not quite!

Of course, with such urban dark comedies, there is a lot of cussing nestled within the dialogue, making this play more enhancing! This method of playwriting and performing proves to the audience that the stories depicted on stage are not coming for the nicer neighborhoods found in Yonkers. It’s very hip and downtown in nature, complete with all of the mofos it can carry. And this show carries!

THE MOTHERF-CKER WITH THE HAT, presented by Jamaica Moon Productions and the GGC Players, performs at the Gloria Gifford Conservatory 6502 Santa Monica Blvd. (at Wilcox), Hollywood, until August 26th. Showtimes are Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:30 PM. For ticket reservations, call (310) 366-5505, or online at http://www.Tix.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 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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IDOL INFLUENCE

Many people have a person or a group of people that they look up to for various reasons and influences. These people could be those that are known to the person, such as friends, relatives, co-workers, or persons of some form of local authority. (Teachers, clergy, etc.) Others are those that are known of in a large scale. These folks can be athletes, those in the entertainment realm, world or political leaders, founders in businesses, or those that made some kind of impact to the world or the world around them.

Much of the notion of looking up towards someone begins early in life. A child may look up toward their parents or those that served as parents or caretakers. As time progresses, the celebrity trait may fall in ranging in from athletes, musicians, actors, and others that tend to become part of the public limelight. As the person becomes older, those one-time stars become shoved aside to others such as political leaders, writers, or those that serve a purpose or mission. And those people may be shoved over to others that may be known to the domestic world, or known to the person doing the idol-ness!

In today’s post modern landscape, it’s not too difficult for those of a younger age to find somebody they could look up to. Kids perhaps are the most vulnerable when it comes to influence. Thanks to media available anywhere and everywhere, young folks can be exposed to people or groups that hold some kind of bonding through actions, words, accomplishments, or a mashup or all three! These folks coming of age turn toward these people for influence, entertainment, encouragement, or giving them the lowdown of what to do and how to do it!

Social media is perhaps the most influential source to find such people to look up to. Thanks to posts, tweets, and other methods of electronic expression, it’s not to surprising that these people make themselves accessible through social media. Each and every day (sometimes each and every hour), these folks of influence makes their presence known to those that want to know what’s going on and about. Many of these posts, etc. are real, some are prefabricated, and the rest are spots that can be taken for what they are worth!

Not too long ago, the market intelligence agency Mintel filed a document reporting on the influence of social media celebrities on America’s youth and how influential they are to this demographic. The report notes that more than one third (34%) of those aged between six and seventeen consider social media stars to be among their top role models. Musicians come a close second at 33%, followed by athletes (27%), actors (22%) and the President (16%).

Social media stars are those that are normally found on YouTube, a place that nearly anybody that has access to capturing moving imagery can upload their content for anyone to watch and consume. These people, who tend to be of a younger age range, place their programming based upon aspects that teeters between being informational and holding entertainment value. These same folks use there two values (among others) that develops a following where these people become celebrities in their own right. To make these facts bond even more, a convention was recently held in Anaheim, California last moth called VidCon that consisted of a large scale gathering of YouTube stars where the convention attendees can actually see the person or persons live and up close! This convention even has for its registrars a “lottery” where one can enter for a chance to win access to this exclusive, 90-minute live entertainment showcase at VidCon. (The sentence written in italics is an actual quote from the VidCon folks!)

However, don’t feel too bad for the youth of this nation that at times are referred as “Gen-Yers”, those born between 1996 to 2009. The Mintel report does acknowledge that kids say their parents/caretakers are their top role models ranking in at 86%. And to further this method of parent-child relationship, 85% of kids do agree that they have a closer relationship with their parents than most kids.

Coming in at second place, top role models for kids and teens include teachers (62%) and siblings (41%). This means that those that are physically connected to the kids are the ones that they do look up to.

These facts do not stray too far away from the era when this writer, a kid that was influenced through existing media at the time, had influences to look up to. Yours truly will admit that parents and siblings were not high on my list for influence, although teachers, or in this case, a teacher, became a personal inspiration. The media, mostly through television, fulfilled my quest to find people that I could admire for what they did, or at least what they did in front of the TV camera.

Over time and tide, many people as they grow up (mentally anyway), keep those that they look to while others drop on the wayside. Some come around as newer entries as well. It really doesn’t matter where one finds their source to look up upon. Just as long as that person takes their greatest and perhaps not-so-greatest as an influence of what to do and otherwise. That is what makes life amusing through words, actions, or a through a carload of followers on somebody’s Instagram account.
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Continuing its run at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks is Ryan Paul James’ DESPERATE SEEKING LOVE, a comical tale about six people, three men and three women, that are out for one thing: a chance to find love and romance in The City of Angels.

The half dozen consists of Sarah (Kate Linder), Tanya (Heidi Cox), Ray (Keith Coogan), Adam (Mark Elias), Catherine (Melissa Disney), and Bill (Thomas F. Evans). Each one of these people are single i.e. unmarried, and are out seeking a companion of some sort. With different people comes different personalities. Ray is a middle aged SciFi fanboy who never grew up emotionally. Tanya is a free spirited woman. Adam is an actor seeking a role in something that pays. Catherine had many partners, all for the moment. Bill and Sarah are each of a seasoned age and became single not of their own making as both of their sole mates passed on. Although they do go though their motions of finding their perfect match, they do have their chance to shine as each one meets coupled up at a white tablecloth restaurant. The questions remains. After they go out on their first date, will there be a second one?

This play written by Ryan Paul James is very witty and funny to boot. It takes some of the stereotypical traits of love and dating (rather than “hooking-up”) in today’s Los Angeles–or any urban American city for that matter, and blends these notions that can be real because some of the situations depicted speak for the truth! Those truths gives this show its comedy relief! The team of six on-stage players have the comical talents that enhances their characters, down to a point where if single and of the appropriate gender, one would actually want to date ‘em–if not “hooking-up”–while having a good laugh in the process!

In addition to the above noted cast, Merryn Landry provides voice overs in some of the skits presented. Her character is the only one not finding love–at least not for the moment!

As far as the stage visuals are concerned, Dayna Lucas provides the costuming, and Brandon Loeser provides the technical aspects.

Directed by Moosie Drier, DESPERATE SEEKING LOVE is an idea play to go out as a date! There will be plenty of things to talk about after this show in order to get to the next level. For the rest that are satisfied with their love lives, this show will provide a good chuckle or two! Whatever the case, it shows that love is there once you find it. And if you do find it, make sure somebody stops over at the local drugstore to pick up something that’s going to matter, and we don’t mean toothpaste!

DESPERATELY SEEKING LOVE, presented by RPJ Productions, and performs at The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd. (at Sunnyslope), Sherman Oaks, until August 3rd. Showtimes are Friday nights at 8:00 PM. For tickets, order online at
http://www.Yapsody.com
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The world premier of THE ROAD-TRIP MONOLOGUES, a selection of eight solo monologues that have a theme in common that speak for taking a trip going somewhere, real or virtual, performs at The Zephyr Theatre, located on the Melrose Avenue strip of Los Angeles.

A series of eight different performers present eight unique monologues as composed by eight varying writers, many of which come from a different nation outside of the USA, although many of them hold a domestic flavor to them where they all speak for the art of travel by way of a vehicle or as a state of mind.

The eight pieces as listed in their order of appearance, starts off with American Kim Yagad’s Hypocrites and Strippers, featuring Laura Walker about a woman who leaves her lover who works as a stripper in Pennsylvania and heads to Los Angeles only to meet another lover who just happens to be a stripper, The Weary by German Michael G. Hilton with Schafer Chesey recalling his dad’s wager of driving a hugh Lincoln across the ladscape with he and his brother in tow: Boot’s Vacation by Rex McGregor of New Zealand, with Emma Chelsey playing an adolescent skateboard thrasher whose parents “forces” the kid to take an European vacation, only recalling the best places to lay a board down, and having a chance to thrash at a New York museum located on the upper east side–followed by American writer Lesley Asistio’s Roller Coaster, featuring Juliet Ladiner in a story of another adolescent of Filipino decent recalling family trips to various American amusement parts, only to discover that both dad and mom held secret romantic affairs. Nina Sallinin performs in Medea’s Medea by American Chas Belov about a woman who believes she is the Greek goddess Medea that has traveled through thousands of miles through thousand of years, where in reality, she lives within a four by eight jail cell; Australian Roger Vickery’s New Girl, featuring Kenlyn Kanouse as an elderly woman who was a survivor of the Holocaust who migrated to Australia; Crossing The Bridge, by Australian James Balian starring Henry Kemp who recalls an attempt to save his son’s life by crossing an expansion bridge risking the lives of others and himself through auto traffic, and rounding out the eight is British writer Doc Andersen-Bloomfield’s Hope For Us All featuring Sonya Wallace as an African-American woman traveling to Charlottesville, Virginia on business during a so-called “white lives matter” rally.

This one-act anthology of short solo skits ranges from comedy to drama as these takes upon the art and science of getting between point “A” to point “B”, and occur based upon fun and recreation to desperate circumstance. With anthologies, the stories vary on moods and tastes. However, each one of the performers that appear on their stage platform presents their acting skills at their utmost progress. Only equipped with a few props as reference points with little to no sets or scenery to work with, the cast that performs alone as one dose a formidable role in telling these tales that come from the soul of those whose mission is getting to here from there and all points in between! Jane Edwina Seymore directs the cast in their quest of coming, going, and even the notion of standing still while they are moving about through any vessel that can do its due.
Road trips as a whole can either be fun become a panic. Whatever the case, the traveling showcases that exist out of the millions of trips taken in a given time window, only these eight stand out among them all. And no GPS app is even required–or a road map for those that travel the classic way!

THE ROAD-TRIP MONOLOGUES, presented by Resource Performance Workshops & Stories About Humans and performed by the Raw Bites ’18 Ensemble, is presented at The Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, until July 22nd. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. For tickets and for more information, visit http://www.Plays411.com/Roadtrip
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 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!

STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS

It’s time for our annual report on what we have been up to, and where we are going. Since the moment that we began our fiscal year on July 1st of ’17 concluding it on June 30th of ’18, we have a load of news to report, and a lot of it is positive in nature.

For starters, our circulation has increased since the last report, although it wasn’t as great as our last increase at the end of our 2016-17 year at 10%. We have roughly increased by less than 5%. (4.80% to be exact!) This slight increase isn’t too surprising since over time and tide, other sources that report news (not necessarily competing with us per se) has seen their growth either shooting upward, remain stagnant, or possible seeing a decrease. With all being said, we are holding out on our own.

As to our appearance on the web. We are undergoing a change in our formatting at http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com. Although we may be looking different, we will maintain the same news and reviews that has been our staple (or our “bread and butter”) since we got started some twenty-two and one-half years ago.

But as to changes. We have receiving occasional letters requesting that we should post pictures and/or video links to our site. This notion isn’t so much of a bad idea, assuming that we have photos and/or moving imagery to post. Granted, we won’t gop up our site to post pretty pictures and/or links for video imagery unless there is a real reason to do such. Many websites out there that are not coming in from newspaper based sources reporting upon timely issues that could change content by the hour post pictures and stuff because they can! We can do the same! Granted, our text notices say what we wish to state. However, one must be competitive in this industry, and that is what we are striving to be.

We have been proud that for the 22 1/2 years of existence, we have remained as a sole proprietorship within our service. Unlike other firms that may be controlled by larger firms and corporations, we have remained independent for all of these years. We will admit that we have received occasional offers to be bought or taken over. Many of these said offers appeared to be rather lucrative. However, we turned those offers down for various reasons ranging from not maintaining creative control, or just being taken over for the sake of shutting us down as a “clean out”! Nevertheless, we are still here, and that is what really matters!

So as we begin yet another year, we wish to thank all of our readers by using us as one of your trusted news sources with all of what we write about as for real! You can find news that is legit, news that is half-baked, or news that is outright phony! But we are the real deal! Honest!!

Lastly, we do encourage you all to drop us a line. Just send all of your comments and suggestions to our e-mail address at Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com. Granted, we may be able to answer you right away, but we do read all letters that are legit in nature. Let’s make this a two-way street. After all, isn’t that the real link to journalistic success?
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Art Shulman’s I GOT TROUBLES, a comical play that takes place within an eclectic coffeehouse, makes its world premier at North Hollywood’s Crown City Theatre.

The location is Angie’s Coffeehouse, where the name beverage is offered. Angie (Amanda Donelan) serves as host, where she encourages those in attendance to present poetry residuals at a selected space where for three minutes, one can deliver their own prose. It doesn’t matter what form of poetic musing is spoken, just as long as it’s creative. A cross selection of patrons are in attendance, from a mother-daughter team who has hopes in the other finding a companion, a tall yet shy actor who lacks a poetic license, a lifeguard who doesn’t have chapped lips, a feeble man recently divorced from his wife seeking to start anew, a a humble man who operates a toy company, a conservative Jew that brings his own coffee mug to keep kosher, the young man who operates a poultry plant in spite of Angie’s desires, as well as other characters that mingle to enjoy their coffee while they deal with their own intimate situations.

This latest piece by local playwright Art Shulman is presented as a play that takes place in a single setting with its characters serving rather independently. The scenes depicted are rather episodic in nature, delivering a method where the focus is set among a few characters placed within their own space while nestled in one location-a very hip coffeehouse that is off the beaten path.

The performers that appear in this stage work are, as listed in order of their speech, Lareen Faye as Bessie, Ellen Bienenfeld as Eileen, Joel Anderson as Scott, Marcia Woodridge as Brenda, Steve Shaw as Arnold, Kevin McKim as Willy, Spencer Mathis as Tim, Camille Aragon as Kimberly, Casey Hunter as Joe, Jody Bardin as Samuel, and Jesseal Amelia as Linda. These characters patronize the coffeehouse, and as the title of this play suggests, they do have their troubles. Some can be taken as a concern, while a few are just troubles for the moment.

The set as designed by J. Kent Inasy shows the coffeehouse as one that is large in size, showing off a selection of eclectic art work hung as a gallery with plenty of table space to enjoy one’s beverage while hearing the poetry extracted on a small platform located center stage. (J. Kent Inasy also serves as lighting design.) Steve Shaw provides the sound design.

Shulman’s plays are just as eclectic as the themes expressed in this production. Some of his works are intently witty and humorous, while others are very serious in nature. This latest entry crosses within that middle. Some episodes as depicted hold humor while other sketches tend to get a bit on the sobering side. But that is what makes a hip and trendy coffeehouse unique using its own distinctive method. Just enjoy your coffee black, or add a bit of almond milk to it for flavor since this place is vegen all of its way!

I GOT TROUBLES, written and directed by Art Shulman, is presented by Borough Park Productions and performs at the Crown City Theatre, located within St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 1031 Camarillo Street, one block west of the intersection of Lankershim and Vineland Avenues, North Hollywood, until August 5th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 PM.

For ticket reservations and for information, call (818) 285-8699, or online at http://www.IGotTroubles.net
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 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!

TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING!

This article, assuming that anyone is actually saving this stuff, can be filed under the category “Stories From Real Life”. This is because that the tales noted within this article have been extracted from past and present episodes this writer experienced. Read on…

A person yours truly knows named Mark (his real first name by the way), and his domestic partner Eric (again, another actual moniker) goes to the movies about once or twice a week. They aren’t too picky on what flicks they see. Their tastes ranges from seeing “art” movies in a theater that runs such films, to the standard Hollywood-type blockbusters that feature a whole lot of special effect explosions, gunfire, as well as other nonsense one would experience in a tentpole picture!

Although they sometimes take advance of some of the promotions that theaters use in order to get people inside of the place during slower days and times of day (i.e. Monday “happy hour” prices, etc.), Mark and Eric spends an average of some $15.00 to $20.00 for admission. (They also take advantage of “senior” rates as both of ‘em are north of 55 age-wise!!) This doesn’t include concession snacks, as Mark usually insists he wolfs down a huge bucket of corn while washing it down with a cup of soda pop! (At times, the concession costs sometimes run more than for the price to get inside of the multiplex!!)

Not too long ago, Eric found out about MoviePass, a subscription service where for $9.95 per month, one can visit a participating movie house and see a non-special feature film once a day, every day per calendar month. This would mean that if Mark and Eric wanted to go to the movies every day for the month of May, 2018 for example, it would cost them on average some 64 cents each day for the both of them. This is under the guise that they are seeing a film that doesn’t have a “3-D” surcharge, or isn’t any other special event that would hold a different price for admission. Of course, this doesn’t including concession fees as well!

Eric signed up for Mark and himself, plunking down the required $19.00 as a pair for a month’s worth of movies. Sure enough, the two of them were going to the movies a couple of times during that period. Friday and Saturday nights, with an occasional Sunday matinee, were their choices for a night (or afternoon) at the movie house. They took a look-see as some of the superhero fare, as well as some of the independent titles that were in circulation.

This ritual began in January. They were able to catch up with all of the “gimmie-an-Oscar” movies that were around at the time. They caught up with the latest Star Wars feature, as well as crowd pleaser titles such as Black Panther. Again, it really didn’t matter to them in what they saw. If they enjoyed the feature, then so be it!

Easter Sunday (April 1st) was the last time they went to the movies. All of a sudden, they stopped their movie going. Eric just placed his monthly $19.00 subscription on hold. When asked by this writer on why they stopped going, Eric replied in his standard deadpan expression, “It was just too much of a good thing!”

This writer can somewhat get the idea on why they placed their movie attending on standby. Going to the movies isn’t much of the “big thing” to do as it once was a generation before. Depending on what feature one desires to take advantage of as well as the accessibility of the movie house running the desired flick, heading off to the movies can become a bit inconvenient. For starters, one would have to get to the movie house location either by driving by car or traveling by some form of alternative transportation. After plunking down admission, one can easily bypass the concession stand by either bringing (smuggling) one’s own snacks, or by just not eating/drinking anything! Once inside the theater space, one has to hope that those around them will not talk and/or text during the feature! After the flick, one will get out of their seat to head out of the place, If one can, there’s always sneaking into another theater room for a self-made double feature!

Once upon a time, going to the movies was somewhat a big thing, nearly as to an excursion! Back when yours truly was a little shaver, my elder sister and I would make a plan to pick what movies we wanted to see. We would grab the movie section page from the local newspaper, scanning the titles of flicks that were playing in the neighborhood theaters. We did this during the era when the bigger theaters located in the downtown region would showcase the first-run movies (and charging a hefty admission price), while the outlying theaters located outside of downtown or in the suburbs would offer selections in second-run offering them “at popular prices”. Because both of us were running on a budget based on what our allowances would bare, we usually picked the local neighborhood movie houses.

After what seemed to be an hour of looking for the titles we would take advantage of, we would see if someplace nearby was running the film. If we were able to get to the movie house on our own by taking the bus, or in one case, walk to the movie house as one theater was located some three blocks away from where we were living at the time! Otherwise, good ol’ mom would have to schlep us to the theater. The same thing occurred when she had to pick us up by calling her from a pay phone in the lobby.

Since we didn’t want to pay for the concessions the movie house sold, we brought our own goodies. We popped our own corn, loading the stuff in a plastic “Baggie” that didn’t leak the amount of butter placed inside. We also gathered up boxes of our favorite candy, as well as adding a few cans of soda to wash it all down! After loading everything inside of a grocery bag, we were ready to spend a night (or afternoon) at the movies!

And believe it or not, we were able to bring in our bag of loot without anyone saying anything to us! Only one time a ticket tearer asked me what was inside the bag I was hauling in. I recall replying to the ticket tearer, an older man in his 60s(?) when he asked me what was inside of the bag I was carrying by saying “Uhh..popcorn and soda and stuff!” He glanced inside of the bag to see if I were telling the truth, and then motioned me inside! It was anything goes!

Of course, this writer is recalling about a time as a kid when the only way to see new(er) movies was in a movie house. Television’s take on running recent films (released up to ten years before) were limited to NBC’s Saturday Night at the Movies, The ABC Sunday Night Movie, the CBS Thursday/Friday Night Movies, and so on. The local stations ran the real old movies released before 1960. But those were old movies that were mostly shot in back & white. Home video was to be just a few years off, and cable TV really didn’t exist. (Not in my neighborhood anyway!) So going to the movies in a theater was the be-all-to-end-all thing to do. I can’t say if it was affordable then, but considering that kid’s admission was around 75 cents and adult prices ran around $1.50 tops, one can calculate how the value was based upon the rate of inflation of then verses now. (For this record, these prices are rated from c.1972!)

As if this writing, Eric is considering relaunching his MoviePass subscription. With the summer fare now in full swing, they decided to catch up with what’s out there and to make it as another “date night” for them. However, it would be a decade later when yours truly would go to the movies as a “date night” with another woman that wasn’t my sister! But that’s for another article as that stands!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Sierre Madre Playhouse located in the city of the same name presents PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES, a musical that takes place in a rural garage and diner whose mission is to offer quality service for your car and for your appetite.

Located somewhere between Frog Level and Smyrna, North Carolina on highway 57 sits the Double Cupp Diner where its two waitresses the Cupp sisters, Rhetta (Cori Cable Kidder) and Prudie (Emily Kay Townsend) are ready to take your order for some good ol’ down home comfort food–hot ‘n hearty and plump as you please! Across the road sits a filling station and garage manned by The Pump Boys, consisting of Bobby (Jim Miller), Jim (Michael Butler Murray), L. M. (Sean Paxton), Eddie (Kevin Tiernan) and Jackson (Jimmy Villaflor). They will tend to your car filling it with gas, unless they are fixin’ to fix your car. Each one of the Pump Boys can perform tunes that have that down home country flavor–just like the food served over across the highway! Each one can dish their speciality piping hot with such topics on fishing, taking it slow, paying tribute to mother a.k.a.. “Mamaw”, thinking about vacation time, and even when one of the boys reminisces about the night when Dolly Parton was almost his–or “mine” as the song says! It’s just another days and the nights in the life of the place to stop for gasoline for the car, and some pie for the belly and soul!

This musical with book, music, and lyrics by John Foley, Mark Hardwick, Debra Monk, Cass Morgan, John Schimmel, and Jim Wann, is a show that doesn’t hold much of a plot (in fact, there really isn’t one per se), but shows how a small town diner and its fix-it garage can become a fun play to visit, even if you’re just passing by!

The show itself consists of the above noted players that can all sing, shake to the choreographed dancing moves by Allison Bibicoff (who also directs), and as The Pump Boys, perform all of the music! Michael Butler Murray as Jim performs on the string guitar and dobro (a wood-bodied, single-cone resonator guitar), Sean Paxton as L.M. on piano and accordion, Kevin Tiernan as Eddie on bass, and Jimmy Villaflor as Jackson on guitar, all showing their musical talents under the direction of Sean Paxton. Each player holds plenty of comedy relief as well adding to the flavor to what this program really is–a good time location that takes place in the heartland of the USA that still exists is one looks hard enough!

Outside of the performing on stage, one must note the costuming by Angela Nicholas. The Cupp siblings sport waitress uniforms that consist of an off-orange color made famous by the Howard Johnson chain of diners once located along many an interstate. Jeff G. Rack’s set design consists of the diner itself placed on stage right with its dining booth, counter space, and cigarette machine as decor, while the garage where The Pump Boys play their tunes has all of the auto garage tools, signage, and grease stained rags about, including the front end of a 1955 Chevy sitting for either mechanical service or as a showoff piece!

For those that enjoy a musical for its high sprits and good time feelings, PUMP BOYS AND DINETTE will fit the bill. It’s the first time that this musical has been performed in the Los Angeles area in over ten years; A period that has been long overdue! Although roadside diners may have been replaced by franchise fast food outlets, and gas stations just consists of self-service pumps that dispense gas and not much else, it’s still great to take part in a musical that never gets heavy or intellectual. Just make sure you save a little space for some pie as dessert! Y’all come back now, ‘hear?

PUMP BOYS AND DINETTES, presented by and performed at The Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 West Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre, until July 29th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Saturday/Sunday matinees at 2:30 PM. For ticket reservations, call (626) 355-4318, or via online at
http://www.SierraMadrePlayhouse.org

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The world premier of Henry Ong’s THE BLADE OF JEALOUSY, a comical farce about a man from the country who enters the big city to meet up with a woman he’s never seen, and the mysterious “other woman” she conflicts with sparking a fit of jealousy, opens at The Whitefire Theater in Sherman Oaks for a summer lenght run.

Terry Woodberry is Melchior, a young man from the wilds of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His faithful sidekick Ventura (Eddie Mui) joins him on the journey to Los Angeles. Melchior arrives in order to meet a woman he encountered online but never met in person. Fascinated with what the City of Angels has to offer, the pair stops over at the Cathedral downtown, only to encounter Magdalena (Natalie Amenula). She sports a veil, hiding her appearance. Once Melchior sees her full faced, he loses interest in her. Magdalena then becomes jealous over the fact. Who she become jealous with is another mysterious woman who just happens to be hersellf! One episode blends to another as the man living in the big city attempts to find his real true love, adding a load of comical hijinks in the process.

This original single-act play written by Henry Ong takes its basis from another play entitled “La Celosa De Si Misma”-Jealous of Herself, written by Spanish playwright Tirso de Molina and first performed c.1622-23. The storyline moves from the back alleys of Madird in the 17th century and moves it all to Los Angeles in the early 21st century, keeping it all in and for the modern times. Its staging takes upon many forms of comical theater. Its secret recipe? Take one part of a Shakespearian play, add a dose of a Moliere-penned farce, blend with a helping of a 1930’s-era screwball comedy, attach a slice of British slapstick (i.e. a charming movie as made by Ealing Studios), top it off with a scoop of a post-modern romantic comedy (“rom-com”), shake well, and what one has is this production! For its ninety minute running time, the pacing is lighting fast. At times, it’s so rapid, one may lose its place with its characters and where they are set for the moment. But just as one may almost become lost, one will find their way back to became caught up with how the characters got themselves into and out of their jams! The characters themselves speak with verbal knack, rapid-fire wit, and a robust sense of mood and space. In other words, one will laugh with its absurdity! Terry Woodberry as Melchior is a strong players with a leading man profile resembling Danny Glover. Eddie Mui as Ventura (an appropriate character name for somebody existing in L.A.) is a “sidekick” that holds out on his own, rather than just being there assisting the leading man. (He resembles the spirit of Mexican comedian Cantinflas!) Natalie Amenula as Magdalena is the strong female lead. She too, holds a “sidekick” as well; Quinones (Cynthia Dane) that also develops at her own place. And taking up the slack is Angela (Carla Valina), and Jerpnimo (Juan Haro); Players that tighten the “screws” into this screwball-esque comedy that becomes better as it progresses.

Although there are no stage sets to speak of, Diana Cignoni’s video design shows where the characters are at both physically and vertically. A visual screen placed above where the cast pace projects the moving and still images that shows how Melchior becomes near and far to the woman who hates the other woman that is in reality herself! Denise Blassor serves two functions in this play. She designs the costuming worn by the cast, and is the stage director where the same costumed cast moves within the related stride reminiscent to a comedy team performing upon a vaudeville stage. Longo Chu performs the live incidental music score on the keyboards and the cello seperately seated off stage left. His musical performance for the play adds to the mood when the show becomes melodramatic. But before it gets too serious, the laughs resume with the same comical timing!

THE BLADE OF JEALOUSY is a hilarious charade that proves to the fact that love still conquers all. And with comedies that hail from the 17th century, it does feature a happy ending. Not bad for a play that comes from a source some four centuries old–give or take a year or two!!

THE BLADE OF JEALOUSY, presented by the Whitefire Theatre in association with Artists Against Opression, performs at The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd. (at Sunnyslope), Sherman Oaks, until August 26th. Showtimes are Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. For tickets, order online at https://TheBladesOfJelousy.brownpapertickets.com
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The next issue (Vol. 23-No. 27) will feature ALOL’s annual “State Of the Union” address! Don’t miss it!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
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@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
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#AccessiblyLiveOffLine

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 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!

MEDIA ALL OVER THE JOINT!

For those that are in the know, and that would be you folks–the method of entertainment presented as moving imagery is easier to receive more than ever. Television is now accessible through any electronic device that can connect through an internet connection that sports a video screen, no matter how big or small the device is!

The visual media can be seen and consumed as short time video (running as little as six seconds), or for hours at a time! Granted, short form media is a whole lot easier to take since it can be viewed for a limited period of time even while doing something else. One can wait for a method of transportation to arrive while tuning in to a video image on their phone, for instance.

When it comes to movies, that is a whole other matter! Sure, you can watch a feature on a laptop, an electronic pad, or even a smartphone. Unless one is watching a melodrama that consists of a bunch of characters that talk to one another in a method of what’s known as “talking heads”, the notion of viewing something made for the big screen on a much smaller one doesn’t make much sense. Sometimes that is the only way to see a movie, especially if the movie in question was created for a larger viewing area. Looking at visuals that contain a lot of fast moving action, along with detailed elements that is support to enhance that for noted fast moving action would be totally lost on a screen that sports a 2” screen size. And the sound coming along with those visuals would be limited to audio that sounds OK, but could be a whole lot better to hear.

This is one of many reasons why the moving picture house (or houses) still exist in these fast acting and overly wired times. Movie theatre have been around as long as movies themselves, making the movie theater in concept exist for over one hundred years.

The theaters themselves as physical places have changed a whole lot since then. Once upon a time, a theater consisted of a few rows of seats facing a screen that was 3×4 in size. (Three lengths high by four lengths wide.) The imagery was projected from a film projection housed at the upper rear of the room showing imagery from motion picture film without any sound to go along with the imagery. Then film prints had a sound track along the images on the film that can reproduce audio in sync to the moving pictures. The projectors used had to have additional equipment attached to reproduce that sound.

To make a very long story short(er), today’s movie houses consists of multiple theaters that can showcase different movies to different audiences at the same time. The images are much sharper, bigger, and wider, while the sound is booming in ultra stereo! The images are no longer coming from traditional film stock that can scratch or break, but from a massive hard drive that contains a digital video file of the feature. The equipment and the digital imagery housed within the hard drive can provide a nearly error-free showing each time. And all of the projectors found within a mult screen theatre can be operated by a single person. There are even methods where the projectors can be functioning through artificial intelligence (AI) that can do the same job without human assistance. Although smart movie houses always keeps a person on stand-by just in case!

Since media can be seen and consumed anywhere and everywhere, the debate of movies experienced in a theater as an out-of-date method and the movies as a whole is dead and dying. But the question does linger. Is this threat of movies and the theaters that show them are really on their deathbeds? If this method of visiting a neighborhood movie house to see a feature film a thing of the past? Will movies be made so one can see the title on a handheld phone device that has a screen no bigger than three inches across?

The answer to those inquiries is a simple “no”! Movies theaters still exist to this very day, and the movies that come out of “Hollywood” are still being created. Perhaps the most interesting part, people are still willing to pay for the privilege of viewing a movie in a large darken room with dozens of other strangers that laugh, cry, yell, shriek, and otherwise react to all of the action depicted–the same way it’s been done for over a century! The setting of the theater may be different as well as the movie itself along with the way it’s seen, but the idea and concept is just the same!

As this article is being created, the summer blockbuster movie season is progressing in full swing. Movies that seem to draw the folks in (and make money in the process), are titles that are of the action/adventure variety (with emphasis of super hero/comic book form), animation for all ages (no “artsy” animated programs included in this bunch), as well as fantasy. (Fantasy includes sci-fi, or movies that take place in worlds that don’t exist with characters that are not necessarily of the human type!) These kind of movies are entertaining for the masses if they provide the solid entertainment they contain. Adding to that, folks will plunk down the money to see them. That income is shared between the source that created the film and to the movie theater, usually around a 70-30 split, although the ratio can vary!

So to answer to the question of the death of movies can be considered as “fake news!”. TV isn’t dying either! Broadcast TV, as well as channels found through a cable or satellite system may be going out, but it’s far from being deceased. It will change, and perhaps that change is for the better! As far as the quality of the said movies/TV/video programming is open for hard debate!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

No reviews this issue, but check back here next week for more of the news and details you look for! See you then!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
https://www.facebook.com/accessiblylive.offline
@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEHxSllfDItpWh3z8vuUb_w
(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
http://www.LinearCycleProductions.com
#AccessiblyLiveOffLine

(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 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!

SOCIAL MEDIA MANIA

Social Media is no longer the novelty as it was once was. It’s now a way of life, and the stats prove this fact!

Earlier this year, the Pew Research Centerr filed a report upon the habits of social media from the domestic adult public at large based upon its usage, as well as who takes advantage of the type of media expressed via cyberspace land.

According to the report filed last March, Facebook and YouTube are the leaders here at this landscape. Some 73% have used YouTube, while 68% are on Facebook. 78% of younger Millenniums (aged 18 through 24) use Stapchat, 71% take advantage of Instagram, and a little less that half (45%) are on Twitter. And out of the 73% of all adults that use YouTube, some 94% of the 18-24 crowd use this form of viewing and/or posting media to that platform.

The report does go on by noting that 88% of those aged thirty or less use some form of social media. It drops ten points to 78% of those in their thirties and forties. Among those that are in their fifties through early-middle 60’s, 64% note they take advantage of social media. The minority that are social media users are those 65 and up, as 37% of this demographic are online with any of the standard platforms.

How often do they visit a social media platform? Facebook is known to have daily visitors as 51% report they visit the site multiple times per day. Snapchat ranks in second as 49% report they visit throughout the day. Instagram comes in third at 38%. YouTube receives a lot of hits, but not as often. 55% state they do visit but more on an occasional basis.

Breaking down things further in terms of demographic, females tend to use Pinetrest more than males (41% vs.14%), Linkedin are mostly used by those that are college graduates and/or of households that are of higher income. (50%). The messaging service WhatsApp is popular among hispanics as it reaches 49%. (It’s also popular in use within counties of Latin America.)

A question remains. How addictive are these groups in the use of social media? Not as much as one may suspect. When asked on how difficult would it be to free one’s self of social media, 59% as a whole stated they it would not be difficult to do so compared to the 40% that admitted it would be tough to let it go. The younger one is, the difficulty of being free from social media increases. Those 18 through 24 would find this act the hardest as 51% noted they would be in a bind to release themselves from social media. (49% stated that they can live without it for a while). 40% of the 25-29 age bracket gave its difficult ranking while those in their 30’s and 40’s stand at 45%. Perhaps the biggest group to live without all of this social media hubbub are those 50+ a.k.a. the “baby boomers”, as two-thirds noted that they could walk away from social media and function quite nicely!

The above stats came from research done by the Pew Research Center in January of ’18 through phone and online polls. All were done without the usage of specific knowledge of those being polled. So it can be assumed that the accuracy is rather high for what it presents.

It’s really no surprise that social media is what makes domestic life just what it is. It’s a method of gathering information, sharing details, and finding out who holds an interest (or lack thereof) to what’s going on for better or for worse. It’s the world’s biggest soapbox to discover new details, create new ideas, start or finish movements and its related aspects that make up part of the domesticated human drive of existence, no matter where one may be. And it’s a sure fire method for big companies to gather up information from others in order to to sell products, ideas, and opinions. It’s also been proven on how a few (really few) big companies can find out nearly anything and everything on specific groups, no matter what age they may be regardless to the legal aspect of the age(es) in question.

In spite of these privacy issue stances, folks will still flock to a few or perhaps to all of the platforms found in cyberspace land to post, pin, tweet, or whatever one does to get a point across for others to view or hear about an issue in question, no matter how far fetched it may become–if at all!

This writer has seen social media grow from the novelty it once was to the way of life it grew up to be. We will admit that this here newsletter and the staff behind it all is on selected social media platforms, from Facebook, Twitter, and even Linkedin. One can view selected episodes of Accessibly Live, a regional television program produced and hosted by this writer in the 1980‘s that became the predecessor to Accessibly Live Off-Line. And if this same writer ever gets around to it, I may present other program titles from the parent company of ALOL, Linear Cycle Productions. (Coming soon, ‘natch!) And a colleague of ours that assist us in our preservation of vintage television programs has posted bits and pieces of material for all to view and to comment on YouTube. So we are far immune to what social media can do for us, with us, and perhaps against us!

One thing for sure. Social media as we all know it will never go away! Granted, platforms may come and go or change the scope to what is used to be such as the case of MySpace where at one time was the be-all-to-end-all place to make one’s self known to the world, to other places that are long gone! But as the ‘net grows to the megagiant is now is, having a place in the cyberspace world is now smaller, faster, and maybe cheaper! All one needs is an internet connection and the device to get online! And that could be nearly all of us!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre Palisades presents Fredrick Knott’s WRITE ME A MURDER, a tale of two murder mystery writers who team up to create a story of a perfect murder, only to have that story turn into a reality.

The setting is the Rodingham Manor located in a rural community some 100 miles outside of London. Clive Rodingham (Tyler Parker) and his younger brother David (Jeff DeWitt) arrive to their childhood home to take aside of their ailing father, nearly at his deathbed. Clive is in line to inherit everything in the vast estate, but plans to sell much of the property to Charles Sturrock (Phillip Bartolf), a local land developer. David, who writes crime and murder mystery stories, would rather keep everything as they exist. This element brings a strain between the two siblings causing some havoc. Meanwhile, Charlie’s spouse Julie (Holly Sidell) a fledging writer, is asked if David can assists Julie into honing her writing skills. This inspires him to team up with Julie in creating the most perfect murder plot as their story. Perhaps this suggested plot becomes a disguise in the creation of an actual murder. They would be able to use the Rodingham home as their set. And who would become the victim, and most important, can they actually get away with acting on this method of crime? It’s all in the name of fiction, as well as completing a reachable act of possibly getting away with…..!

This play written by the master of mystery and thriller stage pieces Fredrick Knott, was only one of a trio of pieces he wrote in his entire career. (The other two are Dial “M” for Murder, and Wait Until Dark). Unlike the other for noted pair, this title as presented on the Theatre Palisades stage is the lessor one of the group. It does contain the same elements that make up the setting for murder, although with its three act running time, the murder itself isn’t in full development for a while. However, there is the tension aspect to face, and the performers that appear in this TP production add towards the climax that slowly unfolds. The cast that does appear that also features Michele Schultz as the Rodingham family physician Elizabeth Wooley, and Laura Goldstein as domestic maid Mrs. Tibbit, append themselves into the storyline, making this program very enjoyable and amusing–until the murder nearly commences! Michael-Anthony Nozzi, who previously directed TP’s production of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof a few years ago, directs this program with an easy paced yet steady buildup showcase from the basic concept to murder right to the fateful deed.

Since this is a period piece (the play takes place in the late 1940’s), the costuming by June Lissandrello speaks for the era, while longtime TP’s set designer Sherman Wayne creates a library/study space of a old British-style manor full of antique-esque furnishings with vintage weaponry (guns, knives, etc.) hanging on its wall as decor–possibly doubling as handy murder tools!

One can’t beat a classic whodunnit as this show fully demonstrates. And it can be seen with high sprits within the confines of one of Pacific Palisades’ finer gems found within this oceanside community.

WRITE ME A MURDER, presented by Theater Palisades, performs at the Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road (off Sunset Blvd.), Pacific Palisades, until July 15th. 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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Continuing its run at the Hillcrest Center For The Arts of Thousand Oaks is the Tom Kitt/Brian Yorkey musical NEXT TO NORMAL, a domestic story of one’s woman struggle with her emotional nonconformity, and the family that must also face their own conclusions to her inner demons.

Michelle Lane is Diana. She’s been married to her husband Don (Brent Ramirez) for shy of twenty years. Through her marriage, she gave birth to two kids-Natalie (Julia Lester), and Gabe (Landen Starkman). The family lives a middle class life in a suburban bedroom community. Dan goes to work at a local architect firm, and Natalie is an on-the-go high school student. Diana keeps house, assuming that she can have her mind in gear in not only maintaining the homestead, but just keeping her life in check. Ever since she first encountered bouts with depression and anxiety some sixteen years before, she has been on some sort of medication while drifting in and out of various forms of manic ups and downs. She eventually sees a professional, Dr. Fine (Renee Cohen), who suggests more than prescription pills and basic therapy. While Natalie faces her mom’s inner bouts, she meets Henry (Daniel Bellusci), a fellow student in her high school that becomes intertwined between Diana’s emotional states and Natalie’s challenges. All of Diana’s feelings are linked to her son Gabe over an episode that occurred many years before. It’s a mini epic about a family that must face the disputes between emotional gain, loss, affection, and hope.

This musical with music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey is a unique musical of sorts. Perhaps the most obvious difference between this piece and any other musical that takes place within a domestic setting in an contemporary era is the fact that this show depicts a family clan that falls into a depressed and stressed-out state of being. Although Diana, as performed by Michelle Lane tries to be content, she is dependant on way too many little colored pills with names starting with “X”s and “Z”s. Husband Don as played by Drent Ramirez, gives as much support to Diane as he could, assuming that she allows such support. Daughter Natalie, as performed by Julia Lester, is a robust teen. Perhaps she’s a bit on the “full” side, but with what’s going on in the home, who can blame her over her physical state of being let alone emotional? Henry, played by Daniel Bellisci, is a ‘nerdy’ type that will stand for and with Natalie through her rises and falls. Renee Cohen as Dr. Fine, is a doctor that may be seen as a “rock star” type, but is just a therapist nevertheless. Rounding out the cast is Landen Starkman as Gabe, Diane’s son who will be his forever young self, or at least in Diane’s vision.

The dialogue spoken and the musical score it goes with expresses this internal story that consists of tunes that are upbeat at first, only to sink toward moody levels. Jan Roper’s musical direction completes these tasks with his five piece orchestra, featuring Jeff Castanon on guitar, Steve Clift on bass, Jeff Gibson on synthesizer keyboard, Alan Peck on percussion, and Roper on second keyboard. Corey Lynn Howe provides the set design that only shows a physical wall as a cubicle with a picture frame in its center, suggesting the domestic homestead, along with a series of floating sets and scenes that move the storyline along.

NEXT TO NORMAL’s basic theme shows how one can attempt to live a normal life through various methods of change, human effort, and chemical reactions. Granted, it’s not a “feel-good” musical in the traditional stance. But it’s bold enough to be presented in an informative yet entertaining stage technique. In spite of this dare, the method works out!

NEXT TO NORMAL, presented by Panic Productions, performs at the Hillcrest Center For The Arts, 403 West Hillcrest Drive, Thousand Oaks, until June 17th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Saturday-Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

Tickets and further information are available online at http://www.panicproductions.org.
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WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? (Focus Features) is a documentary that calls upon the theories and personna of Fred Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian minister who used television not as a pulpit, but to teach and entertain children over the trails of life in a easy paced yet genteel manner. That program became Mister Roger’s Neighborhood, a staple on the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) from its start in early 1968 and continued into the new millennium.

In this documentary, Fred Rogers is pictured as a man from Latrobe, Pennsylvania who saw television as a powerful tool to present the lessons of life in childhood using basic friendliness and the notion of honor and love. This was a far fetched method in children’s television placed within an era when kidvid was limited to cartoon shows (mostly seen on Saturday morning) as well as live action programming both on a local and national level where its main on-air purpose was to hard sell the sponsor’s products!

Using contemporary on-camera presence from such people as Francois Clemmons, Joe Negri, David Newell (people involved with the original program), as well as Joanne Rogers (“Mrs” Rogers) and musician Yo-Yo Ma, who made an early appearance on this show, comments for the man that spoke with a simple and calm method with the understanding on how kids emotionally functioned. As with the many other programs geared for the “small-fry” bunch (as the trade journal Variety used to refer this demographic) that littered the TV landscape during MRN’s presence on the air, it did use puppetry in its delivery, limiting those puppets in a separate segment called The Land of Make-Believe, a place that was inhibited by such characters as X the Owl and Daniel Tiger (among others), under the rule of King Friday the XIII. (Rogers himself provided the voices to these puppets, and never interacted with them on camera.)

This documentary produced and directed by Morgan Neville, whose previous documentary Thirty Feet From Stardom won him an Oscar, showcases the sprit of Rogers rather than giving him the life story treatment. (Rogers himself stated that if anyone wanted to create a biography of his life, that tale would be rather boring!)

One will get a bit of history of Rogers himself. Born in a rather privileged family, he get his start with a local show that aired on the regional NET (National Educational Television) affiliate WQED-TV in Pittsburgh, PA. in the 1950’s during the time when such stars as Pinky Lee, Soupy Sales, and Buffalo Bob Smith (Howdy Doody) used rowdy physical comedy for entertainment. Rogers had none of that. All he did was to let the viewer become aware that (s)he would be within an environment that had the perspectives of love and understanding, as well as teaching the basic things found in a domestic situation even if those things didn’t ring of the said love, including the notions of death and divorce.

For those that were raised on Fred Roger’s TV neighborhood from the late 1960’s through the turn of the 21st century, this documentary fulfills itself as a nostalgia trip where the former child (now an adult), can see the same landscape through mature eyes knowing that Rogers was one of a kind. Yet he was always in the foreshadow of another kids show that aired on the same TV network, often programed back-to-back, Sesame Street. SS still lives on in physical form, while Fred Rogers (and the neighborhood) still prevails through his belief of kindness and spirit using the magic number “143”!

Now playing in selected theaters. Rated “PG”.
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 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!

I STREAM, YOU STREAM!

If anyone is paying attention to that is going on within the television landscape, the method of getting one’s programming through a streaming service is gaining traction more than ever, and the stats behind this fact prove it all!

According to the All Screen Streaming TV Census Report, as issued by the video intelligence platform Conviva, the number of hours of viewed content of programming provided by internet based media grew by 114% to some 4.8 billion subscribers in the first three months of this year as compared by the same period in 2017.

As to what device was used to view streaming media, also known as “over the top” media (OTT), a bit more than have (54%) was based on using a set-top streaming device (Apple TV, Ruku, Playstation console, etc.). And with the totality of actual video plays, mobile devices were mostly used at 42%, followed by the OTT devices with 35%, and computers (desktop/laptop) at 23%.

Although viewers start to watch more content through their mobile devices, these same viewers remain connected far longer through a dedicated TV unit. And among those same connected TV devices, Apple TV usage increased some 709%. Amazon Fire TV devices also increased by 411% from 2017.

It’s rather obvious that streaming television a.k.a. over the top television a.k.a. OTT, has been the latest rage in viewing video based media since the rise of cable TV in the 1980’s. Out of the many sources that provide such media, Netflix is perhaps the biggest player of them all. Although their offerings started out by providing theatrical movies through DVD rentals via mail order, this company expanded way beyond this method of delivery by not only offering a massive library of feature films, but by providing original TV series akin to what could be seen via cable or over the air, as well as original movies that bypassed a theatrical run.

And believe it our not, Netflix still offers their DVD rental services delivered through the mail for those that still hold the desire to see their video content without the use of streaming.

This form of television–and this writer will use the terms “television” and “TV” to describe how this content can be viewed since any electronic device that has a screen affixed to it mimics a traditional TV even though it may be an electronic pad, a desktop/laptop computer, or a smartphone–is becoming the preferred way to absorb media. Perhaps the reason to this method of getting media this way is the fact that one can watch what they want when they want it. If somebody wants to view an episode of, let’s say, House of Cards while stuck at an airport terminal at 2:00 AM, they can! If one heard about a new series that “everyone” is talking about, one doesn’t have to wait on a Thursday evening at 9:00 PM to catch an episode. They can log on (again, assuming that the viewer is a legit subscriber to the service in question), and watch away. Unlike programming a digital video recorder, or even a video cassette recorder from a generation before, one can view the program(s) on a whim, rather than to get around to set a DTR/VCR to record a specific channel on a specific day and time. The real leader here is the on-demand element to TV enjoyment.

Of course, the traditional cable outlets and the four TV networks are getting into the streaming game by offering the content they control via stream. So in passing, no matter what one wants to see, there it is just as long as the device is connected to an internet traveled line!

It will only be a few short years on how streaming will fit into the TV viewing landscape. It may take a little time, but not a real long time. It’s not the first period that the arrivial of TV became a threat to other existing media. Although movies shown in a theatre was the first sense of threat, movies and the theaters that run them still exist to this very day. And the box office numbers are proof that folks will still drag themselves to a movie house, plunk down the admission cost, and view a feature in a large darkened room full of strangers that laugh, cry, scream, yell, and do whatever one does going along with the action to what is seen on the big screen. The four broadcast networks still run programming over the air on selected days and times as they have for decades! (For ABC, CBS, and NBC, this trio has been at it for some seventy years!!)

So unless it’s no longer in existence, or in existence as it was once known, any form of media isn’t “dead”! Perhaps the only types of media programming that can be classified as dead is radio drama. Yes, it’s still presented from time to time, but only presented as a novelty rather than a regular method of delivery. But outside of this, movies shown within a theatre, TV content seen on a traditional set device, and the use of a TV antenna to get this type of media is well alive and living.

So no matter how one spends their time with TV, it’s going to be worth while! As to the actual entertainment quality of programming is a whole other matter!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The 6th Act presents AN EVENING OF BETRAYAL, consisting of a pair of single-act plays that deal with the title subject on hand, is performing at Theatre 68 in North Hollywood.

The first play is Harold Pinter’s Betrayal that tells the story of an affair between Emma (Liza Seneca) and Jerry (Adam J. Smith). The sense opens with a meeting of the two at a pub shortly after Emma’s spouse Robert (William DeMeritt) left her. Then the storyline shifts backwards a few years that illustrates how this affair developed as these three were once mutual acquaintances. It concludes a few more years before showing off how this trio developed as friends, business associates, and eventually as lovers.

The second act is William’s Shakespeare’s Othello. This time, it storyline concentrates among its four leads: Lago (Adam J. Smith), Desdemona (Liza Seneca) Cassio (Luke McClure), and the title character Othello (William DeMeritt). Its method is also in the same fashion as Betrayal, opening with its final scene, then progressing backwards with the focus on how these four battled through the sense of methods of treachery and falseness, with death added to the aspects of the double-dealings at stake.

What makes this production rather interesting is the fact that these two plays, written hundreds of years apart, deals within the same subject matter as the pair also contains rich dialogue and the fact that the two playwrights were of British decent! The cast of four performers are double billed in both productions, adapting their roles between the 20th century and the 16th. Every one of these players showcase their talents very well, especially with their parts playing the roles The Bard created! Liza Seneca, who appears as Emma in the former program and Desdemona in the latter, adapted the one-act version of Othello that still holds that fierce drama and conflict that has been thrilling audiences for centuries.

With such one-act plays, the production values seen on stage are basic yet tight. Gary Lee Reeds provides the scenic design, while Lena Sands provides the costuming that really proves itself during the Shakespeare portion of the program. Adding Chu-hsuan Chang’s lighting and Nick Neidorf’s sound design, one has a duo of plays that takes on the elements of deception to its final conclusions.

Directed by Elizabeth Swain, AN EVENING OF BETRAYAL presents itself proving that the act of betrayal never goes out of style as it still continues in the present day. Thus, the momentum continues!

AN EVENING OF BETRAYAL, presented by The 6th Act, and performs at Theatre 68, 5112 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, until June 24th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. For ticket reservations, visit http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com/event/3415884

Visit The 6th Act’s website at http://www.The6thAct.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 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!