FOMO-A-GO-GO

For those that aren’t living in a tech-savvy universe, one of the many terms that was created thanks to antics done through the ‘net that’s been kicking around in recent years is the moniker “FOMO”. That just means “fear of missing out”, created through the usage of social media portals where one would post a picture, image, along with some description of an event, activity, or some other doing where the poster would tend to brag about stating that this person was at some sort of happening that was worthy enough for a mention to their social media fans and/or followers.

Many times, a person will, let’s say, be attending a party taking place somewhere. The person will be posting the details to this party to their social media “friends”. If one person is part of that “friendship” one can find out about this party. If the friend doesn’t bother to check in with the person posting the details, this person will miss out of the event! Why? Because they didn’t bother to follow the poster’s details on the party details.

So in order to keep up with everything, the friend and/or follower must make sure that the details are checked in on a regular basis. And the reason for this constant checking? To avoid missing out on everything! That may being some kind of anxiety in the person constantly checking to see if there is any updates in order to avoid missing out on anything. Thus, the checker build up some kind of fear that they will be missing out. Thus, they possess the fear of missing out, or FOMO for short! Get the picture?

Since the days of the on-line chatrooms of the 1990’s, folks created terms and sentences that were at times too long to type in full. So shorthand versions of these words and phrases were created to express a notion in more of an ease to the typer.

If one recalls the methods of chatrooms from way back when, one would type a sentence. Then another person would give a response to that first sentence. Sometimes somebody else would enter the “room” to type something that was outside of the scope of the first sentence. Then others would enter the room, giving off their entries that didn’t necessarily have anything to to with what was being expressed. Before long, one would have a string of sentences that read much as a staggered conversation where at times, the flow of expressions were out of sync and didn’t necessarily make any sense!

So in record to combat this rapid fire of typing communication, one would type in a short statement that meant a word of phrase. For example, if a kid (usually these chat rooms attracted those as young as ten years old), and their parents were nearby where they could glance at the video monitor to read what was being stated, they would warn the others that their parents were in the room, or “PIR” for short.

Many of these chat room initials were adapted with conversations through text messaging, giving the typer less letter to type. Before long, these set of letters became words into themselves. Perhaps the most famous one was to describe one laughing out loud through a comment over something the typee found humorous. This “LOL” became a new word. If somebody wanted to comment about a statement that was in their humble opinion, they would not start off with “In my humble opinion..”, they would type IMHO, another new word. If one wanted to so something themselves, they would type DIY. (“Do it yourself”). And the list of worlds from initials goes onward.

But getting back to the FOMO ordeal. With communication as it stands, one can always keep in contact with anybody as things occur. No need to wait weeks until updates are obtained. One can get the details when things are occurring at that very second. “Breaking news” isn’t just for the media’s use anymore. It’s for anyone that has an internet connected device!

Of course, we don’t worry about being left out on anything as we here at Accessibly Live Off-Line receives the details on something or another long before the fact. And if we do miss out on anything, it’s because whatever we missed out on wasn’t worth the fear factors connected toward the event that was missed.

We do have to give this notion a heady LOL! We don’t set an ordeal to have our PIR. However, if one is with your SO, just keep the PDA to a minimum–IMHO!!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

LOVE, MADNESS, AND SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN, James J Cox’s single person performance about a personal tale about one man’s journey through a darker life and times, performs as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival, taking place at The Hudson Guild Theatre.

In his performance, James tells about the story of “Jimmy”, a kid from a bedroom community in Long Island, New York who experienced a traumatic childhood of his father dealing with alcohol that later morphed into Jimmy’s own adulthood, a case of physical abuse from a member of the clergy at his community church, a stint in the Naval forces, and his later redemption of being an “angel warrior” in a pediatric cancer ward at a children’s hospital. He tells his story in a non-linear fashion, jumping from one episode to another through a stagnant fashion that ties into a sense of desire, fear, emotional pain, and finally reaching the act of forgiveness from what occurred all those many years beforehand. It’s all within a round robin flight of mini epic portions speaking upon the settlements Jimmy faced through his standings of life.

This solo show by James J. Cox is one that emotes a narrative that blends a sense of stability, only to spin out of proportion, finally catching up to itself and to rest upon a sense of steady control. To place this performance in basic terms, James’ show is well titled. It is a place of love, madness, and surrendering into middle ground. Only using a few props as a guide through this virtual pilgrimage with no sets to speak of, it’s James all the way with his own self and the strange tale he weaves.

Trace Oakley directs this show that only runs for an hour’s time, while Zahra Husein serves as the assistant stage manager whose purpose is to hand James a few props and well as to give some stage cues for him to move into the next phase of these tales.

This production performs as a limited program, and is billed as a powerful one-man show. This line speak as the truth and James aka Jimmy, holds upon the title states of being. It’s a trip that’s well taken for the (im)proper reasons.

LOVE, MADNESS, AND SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN, performs as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival at The Hudson Guild Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood. Remaining showtimes are Friday, June 21st and Saturday, June 22nd at 8:30 PM, and Sunday, June 23rd at 4:30 PM. Tickets are available online at
http://hff19.org/5920, or http://www.OnStage411.com/LoveMadness (Promo code 008)
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2019 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

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EXPERTS AGREE: EVERYTHING IS FINE!

The above quote was once spotted on a bumper sticker affixed on the rear end of a car seen on a street now long forgotten. It told the reader (or the driver of the car trailing the said vehicle) that it had to take a league of experts in some form of field to acknowledge that everything going on is “OK”, no matter what those may say otherwise!

It appears within the last few years, stress and anxiety has been on the rise lately. People seem to become nervous for some reason or another through various elements that are around them, either within a “public” scale, or through personal reasons.

And recent statistics tend to provide these facts into its new light. Deloitte, a research and marketing firm based in New York, released its report on the personal feelings upon Millennials and Gen Zs’ take on optimism in terms with economic, social and political aspects as witnessed within this nation and those based from abroad.

Before we begin to quote the stats, the group the report speaks for are those born between 1981 through the early-middle 2000s. These two groups tend to be the focus with advertisers, marketers, and others that desire to push product and/or services to these “young adults” or those that are on the brink of adulthood. These are the folks that are part of the so-called “wired” generation, meaning that they do not remember life before the internet, cell phones, or related electronically based communication that make up a good chunk of their lifestyles on almost everything they do, see, hear, or to express themselves!

According to the Deloitte report with the specific title The Deloitte Global Millennial Survey 2019, it states that economic, social, and political optimism stands at a record low point. They are concerned that their lives through these means based upon current circumstances are not functioning through upon what they have expected those results to be.

Although the economy tends to be in a boom period at the moment, those boom times are not reaching those young(er) workers. They are also concerned with their local governments taking note toward local and domestic situations. (According to the report, some 26% of those stated that economics within their homelands will be better in the year ahead. This number appears to be the lowest response to this question for the years that this survey was conducted!)

And one (or a number) of elements to blame on the stress factor is social media. This portal stands as the be-all-to-end-all for this selected group. The report continues to note that over half (60%) of millennials and 59% of Z-ers saying they’d be happier if they spent less time on social media, believing that if they would take a step away from their Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc., would give them more peace and personal happiness. (64% and 63%, respectively, believe in this aspect.)

Instead of this writer quoting all the facts and figures, why don’t you folks read all of the news yourself through this link https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennialsurvey.html

Although the above noted reports tends to focus itself upon the younger set, it also affects the other demographics. Mainly, the Gen Xers (born between 1965 through 1979), and those ever lovin’ Baby Boomers (born 1946-64) that have been around at the birth of the ‘net, and can actually recall a life before the ‘net became what it is now!

Granted, stress and anxiety has been around domestic life for as long as domestic life existed. One hears about it more nowadays because these subjects are not as taboo as they once were conceived. Yes, folks living in the communities found within this local landscape has had their stresses going on for some time. It was just treated in different ways, as well as what was stressing themselves out. Kids were always going through peer pressures at home, at school, or where kids tend to be placed. As they got older to complete their schooling, stopping at either a college level, or in many cases, ending at high school, they indeed do take on a worry if what they knew in terms of being “book smart” was going to deliver them where they wanted to go career wise. When they got married (and well into the 1980’s, young folks in their twenties did get married and did start families), there was the parent figure that worked outside of the home, and the parent figure that did all of the household related activities, usually as a husband working, wife being a mother/housewife/domestic engineer, and so on and so forth.

But within the last fifteen or so years (give or take), it seems that personal stress and overall depression became more openly noted. The so-called taboos were out in the limelight. When more people reported upon their stress levels, it became more of an accepted trait. To give one an idea toward this factor, if person “A” was suffering a case of sadness due to a various amount of reasons, person “B” going through the same elements would realize that they were not alone. Before one would know it, person “C”: would give out a “me too”. Then person “D” would admit they are within the same status, and the list would continue onward.

Social media, the curse of this now generation of stress, has also become a blessing. Many online groups exist where the topic could be an example of an anxiety. These groups, virtual as an on-line source, or based upon real live people that physically meet in person face-to-face, are used to exchange ideas, analyze problems, or even give moral support. Thus, these portals exist so anyone going through an episode of stress for, let’s say, an adult aged person taking care of an elderly parent or related loved one, will know that other people are also taking care of an aged parent, relative, personal friend, or somebody who is part of this person’s personal domain. They exist to state that they are not alone in the wilderness.

Yes, stress and anxiety will continue to exist. On the other hand, so will the sense of peace, hope, and love. A current method to spruce up a living space is to hang a sign on one’s home wall that sports a brief quote emphasizing that the home in question is one that features the traits of peace, joy, desire, and other emotions that are far away from the world of stress and fear. These signs were most likely inspired by various posts on Instagram and may have a picture of for example, a mountain stream with a quote that says that this picture promotes peace. Or maybe featuring a picture of a cute looking domestic animal (dog, cat, bird, etc.) along with an inspiring quote that is either relaxing, joyous, or downright funny. (Funny to the beholder anyway!) And these digital posts are now made available as a framed picture ready to hand up on any wall as a reminder that there will always have that peace and joy associated to the place where the picture if found. These pictures and related accessories can be found at any retail space (in-store and/or on-line) that caters to the “feather-your-nest” crowd!

Keep in mind that the world isn’t necessarily going to hell in a hand basket. If that was the case, that hand basket would have arrived in hell generations ago. And if it’s going there now, one can bet that there won’t be a shipping charged attached to that journey. That’s just part of the way life is interesting–so to speak!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

As part of the annual Hollywood Fringe Festival, The Hobgoblin Playhouse at the Arena Stage presents THE 2nd ANNUAL TRUMP FAMILY SPECIAL, an original musical comic show featuring an all-star review with the “First Family” of the good ol’ USA.

Presented as a TV special, the show consists of Melania (Mary Birdsong), Eric (Ryan Murray), Donald, Jr. (John Shartzer) and Lisa St. Lou as Ivanna, as they star in a musical review, singing and performing about how America is great again. Of course, the head of the clan isn’t present for this showcase, but does make his appearing while tweeting how this program is very good for the country, and for his assets!

This political satire with book and lyrics by Daniel Salles with music and additional lyrics by Tory Hymans & Lisa St. Lou is very witty and is just as cocky in attitude as the real Donald (or make that “The Donald”) could muster up! With a seventy minute running time, the cast of four (also playing additional roles) give this piece its real trump card. (Pun indented!) With a roster of fourteen song numbers performed by the cast with choreography by Benji Schwimmer and stage direction by Daniel Salles, this show deserves a 3rd annual treatment! Next season is an election year, and with a dozen or so candidates on the Dem side, it’s gonna be a challenge. But as The Donald would say (or Tweet), it’s going to be the best show of the entire Fringe Fest this side of the USSR!
That’s no fake news!

THE 2nd ANNUAL TRUMP FAMILY SPECIAL, presented by Semi-Cool Productions, Inc., and presented as part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival at the Hobgoblin Playhouse at the Arena Stage, 1625 North Las Palmas Avenue, Hollywood. Showtimes are Thursday, June 13th at 8:30 PM, Friday, June 14th at 7:00 PM, Saturday, June 15th at 10:30 PM, Sunday, June 16th at 3:00 and 10:00 PM.

For tickets, visit http://www.TrumpFamilySpecial.com

Follow the tweets @TrumpFamilySpecial
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MOBY DICK REHEARSED, Orson Welles’ stage adaptation of Herman Melville’s high seas saga of the hunt of the great white whale called Moby Dick, performs in repertory at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga.

The play opens not in the 1850’s off the coast of Nantucket, but in a theater setting of now where a group of actors brushing up on a few “sides” of King Lear takes upon themselves to blend into a dress rehearsal telling the legend of Moby Dick. This dress rehearsal turns into a full fledged stage drama of a troupe of sea going men under the leadership of Captain Ahab (Gerald Rivers) who seeks a personal revenge of a great white sperm whale where on a previous voyage, it bit off part of his leg. Now armed with a gallant team who set sail upon his ship The Pequod, Ahab and his valiant crew are off to capture this bright beast of the seas, and will do so come hell or high water!

At first, one will witness what appears to be a play within a play, where a group of thespians form to conduct a presentation of Moby Dick where it becomes reshearsed to its fullest. This team isn’t presenting an improv version of the whale hunt, but as a stage show that becomes the real deal! That is the general backdrop to the story. By the moment this crew become serious into this mission, it’s Moby Dick all the way, rather than as a feeble attempt cast by a group of actors just playing their roles on command from its director. Franc Ross performs as the director and as the character Mapple where he holds a resemblance of the playwright. He doesn’t look like Herman Melville, but resembles the Orson Welles version that is far removed from the days when he was once billed as a “boy genius”! (i.e. The era when Citizen Kane became a staple of The Late Late Show appearing on after-hours TV, as well as a few revival screenings usually held on a college campus somewhere.)

But getting back to the stage version as performed on the Theatricum Botanicum floorboards. It features a very robust cast that consists of Tavis L. Baker as Stubb, Tim Halligan as both a Carpenter and Pegleg, KiDane Kelati as Pip, Jacob Louis as Elija, Melora Marshall as a Landlady and as Flask, Michael McFall as Queequeg, Dante Ryan as Tashtego, Colin Simon as Starbuck, Isaac Wilkins as Daggoo, Julia Lisa as an unnamed actress, and Dane Oliver as the man who insists you call him Ishmael.

Ensemble players also consist of (as listed in their alphabetical order), Louis Baker, Matthew Domenico, Colin Guthrie, Matt Mallory, Cavin Mohrhardt, and Matthew Pardue.

Ellen Geer once again takes on the director’s seat to present a play that is big in scope, complete with intense drama, full fledged action (thanks to Dane Oliver’s fight choreography), as well as offering a selection of sea chanties as its musical soundtrack performed for salt-air moodiness. Marshall McDaniel provides an original music score for these ditties showing itself off as the only way to feel the said saltiness of the ocean deep without using water for effeteness.

For those that never bothered to actually read this classic novel, MOBY DICK REHEARSED will fit the bill. Would it be a spoiler alert to note that Cap’n Ahab finally settles his score with the title whale? And would it be another spoiler that the same title whale is never seen on stage? After all, Mr. Welles got his fame through radio, so let the theater of the mind do its thing to “see” Moby D! Thar she blows indeed!

MOBY DICK REHEARSED, presented by and performs at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 North Topanga Canyon Blvd, Topanga, until September 29th. Showdates run on Saturdays, June 15th, August 17th, September 7th, and September 15th at 8:00 PM; June 22nd, June 29th, and July 20th at 4:00 PM, and on Sundays, July 14th, August 4th, August 25th, September 22nd and September 29th at 4:00 PM, and September 15th at 8:00 PM. Special Friday night performance takes place on August 9th at 8:00 PM

For ticket reservations and for more details, call (310) 455-3723, or via online at http://www.Theatricum.com

One can also follow the Theatricum Botanicum through social media via Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Theatricum, Twitter @Theatricum, and Instagram @Theatricum_Botanicum
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2019 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

THE NOT-SO-FRIENDLY GHOST

In the wired based world, many new words and phrases have been passed into the domestic lexicon that didn’t exist as recently as twenty years ago. One of the many words created since the post-wired age is ”ghosting”. This term means, or as described according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary as ..the act or practice of abruptly cutting off all contact with someone (such as a former romantic partner) by no longer accepting or responding to phone calls, instant messages, etc.

This writer recently experienced an episode between a person personality known by yours truly (not as a romantic partner), and the situations connected to being ghosted. And remember, everything described in this article is true. Only the names were changed to protect this writer from possible lawsuits!

A person known to myself and my spouse is a woman we will call “Gloria”. Gloria is a person that has an association through my spouse and I (hereon known as “us”) through our portals. My spouse even knew Gloria for a number of years way before I came into the picture. Although we lost track of her presence for a bit, she returned into our fold. Presently, we are establishing a casual friendship with her through dinner parties, some activities myself and/or my spouse are involved in, or through other matters that are related to both. Generally speaking, Gloria is a pleasant person to associate with.

Not too long ago, we planned to perhaps host a casual dinner party or maybe a lunch event at our humble home. We hosted two previous events where Gloria was one of the people attending. This time around, it would be just Gloria and us. One can even call this gathering a “threesome”, although that term sometimes is connected to having an orgy consisting of, well, three people! But this isn’t an orgy by any means. It’s just a pleasant time to meet over the usual antics with good food, good beverages, and good company.

Our communication if not done in person, has been through the method of sending text messages. This form of communication became rather popular when the flip phones of the era had this function available to its users. Naturally, the youth that had access to sending text messages used this new form of communication to send quick notes to its receiver by typing in so-called single words as “Whusupp?”, or as typing messages that resembled those abbreviated messages once written on telegrams in order to save money paying per the word. (“R U going 2 eat lunch, or did U 8?”)

When smartphones replaced the flip variety, texting continued. This time, adding those picture words that originated in Japan using the original Japanese term emoji (The folks at Merriam-Webster describe this term as ..any of various small images, symbols, or icons used in text fields in electronic communication as in text messages, e-mail, and social media) to express the emotional attitude of the writer, convey information succinctly, communicate a message playfully without using words, etc.)

Of course, the “picture word” became popular with the youth. However, those pic words were also adapted by the “adults” that wanted to express their meanings without words, but through pictures! (i.e. a smiling face, a crying face, a smiling face with a “thumbs-up”:, a smiling pile of “poop”, etc.)

Nowadays, sending text messages became the norm between people (kids and adults) since there are at times when people can’t take a voice call, but can take a short message to later respond when it’s more practical to do so. (This party has even made business transaction between others through exclusive texting. This is very usable when such details as addresses and phone numbers are involved within the messages, as well as getting specific details over something or another. Again, we don’t chat per se, but we were able to complete what we wanted to do with a written record now available to prove it all exists!)

Anyway, let’s get back to our story! So we sent a text message to Gloria suggesting a few things to do over that Memorial Day weekend. The weekend in question was some two or so weeks off, meaning that this wasn’t necessarily a last minute set of plans. We just gave Gloria the basic details and asked what was best for her.

So on an early Wednesday evening, this message of suggestions was typed out by this writer using the classic method of the “hunt and peck” style of composing words on a keyboard platform. After all of the words were checked as correctly spelled and if the sentences were composed using proper grammar (no abbreviations used consisting of single letters and numbers), I hit the “send button”. Now all there was to do was to await for her reply. Perhaps not necessarily at that moment, but within a reasonable amount of time in order to start the next step in plans.

To make a very long mini-episode short, Gloria did not reply for the next few days. No messages were received or acknowledged from her. A total period of silence.

There could be a lot of reasons why Gloria never replied. Perhaps she had other issues to deal with at the time that prevented her from responding. Maybe she did receive the message only to accidentally erase it. (Unintentionally of course!) Perhaps she did receive the message and perhaps it slipped her mind in replying. Or other reasons where it prevented her in sending a simple response.

So on the following Sunday morning, yours truly sent her a courtesy message asking if she indeed received the message and to ask upon her suggestions. Sunday is usually the time were folks are taking it easy far removed from their weekday schedules as well as their Saturday based chores. Perhaps Gloria would take advantage in her leasure time and reply on that Sunday so we can go on to the next step of arranging things.

Monday morning came, and no word from Gloria. Tuesday arrived and the same. Ditto for Wednesday. No reply. No news. No nothing!

So on that Thursday, a little over a week after the first message and a few days after the second, yours truly sent Gloria a third message stating that we have not heard from her in a while, and suggesting that we are still open in hosting a humble get-together during that three day holiday weekend. It was now up to her to reply to our notions in what we felt was a friendly and open greeting for a simple meeting.

As one can guess, Gloria’s message was AWOL. For whatever reason, she never replied. She never even sent a message with a simple “Thanks but no thanks”! It was dead ‘silence’ from Gloria.

Because of the fact that Gloria may be going through some issues and/or concerns that may not necessarily be of our business, we just let her slide over this lack of response. Our Memorial Day weekend plans were never established. We never got together for anything. We didn’t want to nag Gloria as that would be considered as a bit rude. (After all, we are adults!) It was just her way to say that she just wasn’t interested in meeting with us. So her method of reply was taken with a few words or actually, with no words!

Yeah, we were a bit hurt emotionally when we could not gather with Gloria. However, she wasn’t the only person within our personal bunch that replies through never replying. We (and I) have a lot of people we know as “friends” that occasionally associate with, but for some reason or another that we can’t conceive, will never reply to any of our communication attempts, be it a voice mail message, a text message, or a message sent through e-mail! Even if what one desires from the other is an element that is for their benefit or gain, they still won’t reply! And this gang of friends isn’t just limited to friends through association. These from of “ghosters” even occurs with family members! My spouse has a few folks that are either siblings or as nephews and nieces (along with their spouses when applicable) that for some reason or another, won’t reply no matter what! Granted, these nephews/nieces et. al. are of the millennium age, but that is not an excuse of never getting back with you, even if your intentions are of the good!

Even with what occurred, we won’t totally write Gloria off. We will keep in contact with her to meet with ideas that is already up our sleeves. Perhaps we will bump heads with Gloria again, or we won’t! It’s just part of the methods that people who dwell and exist in this domestic society behave. We just can’t make people do what we want them to do, even if that doing is for the good for all involved.

To use the phrase to describe this episode, that’s life! That’s show biz!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre Palisades presents Ken Ludwig’s time tested classic LEND ME A TENOR, a comical farce of a struggling opera company that hires a famous tenor to star in the company’s fundraiser, only to have their plans spin into a near sour note!

The Cleveland Grand Opera Company as part of their annual fundraising campaign, sets off to present a performance of Verdi’s “Othello” with Italian opera master Tito Merelli (Peter Miller) as its lead. The company’s director Henry Saunders (Greg Abbott) along with his assistant Max (Jeff DeWitt), are making sure that anything goes right on schedule, keeping their star settled in his hotel suite. But things begin to unravel when Tito appears to be arriving rather late, if not being missing! The tenor is currently having a spat with his wife Maria (Maria O’Connor) since Tito, being the great opera singer that he is, constantly flirts with many of his “groupies” that attempt to call to his attention! Meanwhile, Henry’s daughter Maggie (Holly Sidell) who is Max’s sweetheart, also flirts with the grand tenor that doesn’t bond too well with Maria. Adding to more complicated issues is the opera company’s chairwoman Julia (Martha Hunter) who is not only trying to keep Henry in line, but also wishes to seduce Tito! The same attention grabbing applies from budding opera singer Diana (Stephanie B. Stern), and even the hotel’s bellhop (Randy Oppenheimer) who makes every effort to provide an on-the-spot audition to the grand master with his vocal knacks. Will the Cleveland Opera Company pull off their fundraising show to a success? Will Tito’s “followers” get the attention they they are looking for? And is the grand master of the opera stage really dead? (The show still must go on!) If it’s not one episode, then it’s another as this laughable parody shows itself off from one comical installment into the next!

This is one of those plays that’s been making the many theater rounds for some time. But it just gets better with each performance! The cast of eight appearing prevail in terms of presenting comedy and satire with each and every move they partake in. The players not only provide the verbal laughs that this show contains, but also gives the cast an ideal and frantic physical workout under the direction of Sherman Wayne. In addition, there are the standard traits found in such stage farces, from the ever present running in and out of doorways (four doorways at least), the mistaken situations that are present, as well as a few characters that appear scantly clad.

Adding to his directional duties, Sherman Wayne also designs the stage set that consists of a rather fancy two-room hotel suite. (For Cleveland anyway!) Wayne is also in charge of the lighting design. June Lissandrello provides the costuming that ranges from tuxes, gowns, as well as a pair of Pagliacci clown outfits!

LEND ME A TENOR is just as fun to view for the first time, or as a first time in a while! No matter, though! It’s still a comical laff fest. And what better way to experience this production is on the intimate stage of Theatre Palisades!

LEND ME A TENOR, presented by Theater Palisades, performs at the Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road (off Sunset Blvd.), Pacific Palisades, until July 7th. 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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Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum opens their 2019 repertory season with William Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT, a tale of romance, mistaken identities, with blends of comedy, drama, and action with a bit of stage musical added.

The story occurs in the kingdom of Illyria where a shipwreck has just taken place. Twin siblings Sebastian (Cavin Mohrhardt) and Viola (Willow Geer) become separated, yet neither knows that the other survived the shipwreck. Viola, who disguises herself as a man calling her new identity as Cesario, becomes passionate with Count Duke Orsino (Max Lawrence), who in turn is in love with the wealthy Countess Olivia. (Christine Breihan) Upon encountering Viola, Countess Olivia falls in love with her believing that she is a man. This leads toward other notions from the follies of an eccentric uncle, a servant that is a foolish jester, and a love triangle between the likes of Viola, Duke Orsino, Olivia, and Cesario.

This grasp on The Bard’s play, first written around 1601 and made its world premier in early 1602, takes place some two hundred years later (c. early 19th century), where the costuming by Amy Mazzaferro reflects the fashion of the era using hints of english and french styling. Many of the characters hold Italian roots (their origins) where at times, performs their staging as a cross of a classic Italian opera where a lot of characters are standing around someone who is in song, and a Broadway musical where a tune is performed out in the open upon the context of a plot point. Marshall McDaniel’s transcribed sound design and musical score serves as both interlude (background) music, and as a score to the song “lyrics” as written by the playwright, as moody in frame. This gives this stage production a balance between the comedy and drama that exists throughout.

As to the rest of the cast, the players appearing in this production also features Steven Gordon (alternating with Harrison Poe), as Curio, Christopher W. Jones as Sir Toby Belch, Melora Marshall as Malvolio, Sean McConaghy as Antonio, Dante Ryan (alternating with Isaac Wilkins) as Valentine, Lawrence Sonderling as the Sea Captian, Elizabeth Tobias as Maria, Frank Weidner as Aguecheck, and Time Winters as Feste. Garrett Botts, Jacob Louis, Moriah McAda Salvia, Julia Stier, Anna Telfer, and Laura Wineland appear as ensemble players.

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum is presented in an outdoor location set within a grotto area. This location may bring a chill in its air, even in the middle of a summer heat wave. It’s suggested that an attendee brings a jacket along. And even though the bleacher-esque seating consists of hard benches, it may also be ideal to bring a seat cushion along for personal comfort. (If one doesn’t have access to a seat cushion, the theater offers cushions to use for a two dollar surcharge!) And with the said outdoor setting, one might hear the sounds of nature such as frogs croaking, crickets chirping, and an occasional dog barking. But those sound of the wild only brings the emotions up that come with adding to a performance that is classic in nature and upbeat in spirit, even if that “upbeat” is used for a dramatic effect!

Directed by Ellen Geer, the daughter of the theater’s founder and namesake Will Geer, TWELFTH NIGHT or “What You Will”, is a great stage piece to experience Shakespeare for the first time, or for the first time in a long while. It may also be a good idea to “brush up your Shakespeare” in order to become familiar with the program presented as it may be a bit hard to follow. (After all, it is some 400+ years old!) But once one gets past of all the flowering dialogue spoken, one will witness high moving theater at its finest! And as ol’ Willie might say, the play’s the thing as you like it!

PS…the “twelfth night” reference relates to the twelfth day of the Christmas season, January 6th aka Three Kings Day. Although there is no mention of either period within its plot or dialogue, it’s still a work that’s Shakespearian in style and grace to its fullest!

TWELTH NIGHT, presented and performed by Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 North Topanga Canyon Blvd, Topanga, until September 28th. Showtimes run on Sundays at 4:00 PM June 9th and 16th, July 21st, August 11th and 18th, and September 15th; Saturdays at 4:00 PM July 6th and 13th, and September 7th and 21st; Saturdays at 8:00 PM August 24th and September 28th; Sunday nights at 8:00 PM June 23rd and 30th, and September 1st; and on Friday, August 2nd at 8:00 PM.

For ticket reservations and for more details, call (310) 455-3723, or via online at http://www.Theatricum.com.

One can also follow the Theatricum Botanicum through social media via Facebook http://www.facebook.com/Theatricum, Twitter @Theatricum, and Instagram @Theatricum_Botanicum
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2019 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

THOSE LAZY HAZY CRAZY DAZE

This week kicks off the summertime season. Or actually, it kicks off the unofficial summertime season. The summer solstice, if one desires to be accurate about it, doesn’t officially begin until June 21st according to this writer’s paper calendar provided as a “free will gift” from the Boys & Girls Town of America as founded by Father Flanagan, or at lease as depicted in that classic MGM feature Boy’s Town. (Catch this pic on Turner Classic Movies whenever they next schedule it!)

This week (or the previous weekend) is the time where folks start off on their summertime antics, from hosting a traditional BBQ, to taking a getaway to the woods, beach, or desert. (This last choice is listed assuming one lives near a comfortable vehicle driving range from a desert!) Perhaps it’s the time to take it easy by catching the first (maybe second) wave of movies hitting the multiplexes that feature the usually blend of over laden special effects, or other type of subject matter that appeals to a rather larger audience. Or even still, it just might be the weekend were one remembers those serving in the military that didn’t necessarily return from the battlefields of the world to later recall their stories and tales of what occurred “over there”!

But summer is the period where the weather is warm(er), the sun shines (most of the time), and where the ACs tend to be cranked up. In other words and phrases, it’s the period where everything is normal–or it’s suppose to be!

Since this news service tends to write on the media based landscape, this writer will incorporate some of the notions linked to this time of year and what the media does to reflect this period on the calendar where the sun is as closest to this part of the world–the northern hemisphere. And those those reading this news service from places such as Australia, you folks already has your summer fun a few months ago while we folks on this part of the world were either freezing our a$$es off, or were going through other periods of weather stuff. In California, we folks were drenched with a lot of rain, along with mudslides thanks to the wildfires of November, as well as the springing wildflowers that bloomed in March. But this article isn’t about weather reports. It’s about what one does when the summer is fun, so let’s proceed!

We have written before about the times when people were actually getting out of the house to take advantage in summer activities rather than staying home and watching TV. The three TV networks that dominated the domestic landscape way before such media as cable television (or CATV as it’s known in the industry) became the industry standard, somehow knew that not as many eyes would be viewing their content between early June well into the Labor Day weekend. Thus, many of the programs that ran during their prime time hours, between 7:30 PM to 11:00 PM eastern and pacific time zones, and 6:30 through 10:00 PM central/mountain time, mostly consisted of reruns or programs running for a while, or shows that had built-in short schedules. These kind of shorter run programs were called “Summer Replacements”–programs that were scheduled in place for another program that ran on its time slot due to the previous program taking a “summer vacation” until the fall, or for a title to never return until a new bright and shiny program would fill the time slot.

These summer shows tend to be of the throwaway variety. They were amusing for what they were but nothing too special. The kind of shows airing consisted of musical variety program that featured lesser known talent (cheaper to book,no doubt) that did well in what they did, but were far from being actual can’t-miss TV stars,. Or they were reruns of older shows not seen in a while, only to make a final comeback before dropping out into obscurity, or an anthology of programs that were ordered by the networks as possible new programs only to be later rejected. These shows called “pilots” ranged from comedy, drama, and points in between. Since the networks paid for the production costs for these single episode titles created to be seen later by the program muckety-mucks, they might as well pay off the expenses placed by selling ad time to recoup the losses. These shows were called in the business as “Garbage Can Theater”, meaning the TV audience can view what the “big three” tossed into their trash heaps.

And if TV wasn’t one’s thing, there were the movie theaters to entertain the masses. For many years, the studios didn’t think too much for the summertime with the assumption that regular movie goers were rather be basking in the warm weather rather than spending their time in a movie house that may host air conditioning or not!

Of course, that all changed when in 1975, Universal Pictures released a film version of Peter Benchley’s best selling novel “Jaws”, about a shark that threatens an ocean side community in New England and the team of brave souls that risk their lives into capturing this beast. This feature film of the same name because the first modern blockbuster in moviedom. Since that time some forty plus years ago, the movie industry never became the same again. Even leading up to the present time of now, every studio plans an entry of a film that is big, lavish, and to use a term quite trendy as “epic”, puts out a tile to please the masses. And never mind the fact that this so-called “summer season” began last April. Just as long as folks are willing to plunk down ten dollars and up to view a movie not seen on their big screen TV devices or their smaller screen phone things, Hollywood and its related sources will churn ‘em out! And yes, there are the so-called “indy” and “art” titles released at the same time, but those features are another league of their own.

So there you have it! Summertime wrapped up in a few hundred words. So whatever you do, be safe, be happy, and of course, be what you can be! You can bet your bottom dollar we will also keep the faith! But you already knew that!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Wallis Anneberg Center for the Performing Arts of Beverly Hills presents the return of Hershey Felder in HERSHEY FELDER: A PARIS LOVE STORY where he performs both in character and harmony, the story and music of the French composer Claude Debussy.

Hershey begins his presentation as he walks upon his stage as Hershey Felder, telling his audience on how he discovered this composer of music through a box set of classical records put out by The Reader’s Digest. One of the selections on the disk was Debussy’s “biggest hit”, Clair de lune. He began to learn the melody while starting off on his piano lesions as a child. His mother chose this tune as her favorite because the young Hershey played it too many times! This episode in Hershey’s musical background brings this character to life. Donning a long coat from the era (c. late 19th century) while sporting facial hair, Hershey (now Debussy) emotes upon the consciousness and color of Paris, blending these descriptions into his intimate life. These backtales notes upon a composer that wasn’t as gentle and mellow as many of his musical pieces place. He was a womanizer where he spent his affairs with females through various lengths of time, a few lasting a number of years. It wasn’t until his fifth lady friend, Emma, that stabilized him. Now with a daughter named Zou-zou, Debussy continued to express himself through many of the views he witnessed around him and placed these emotions into his musical works.

This latest showcase by Hershey Felder brings upon a new light to the music that is moody and hosts color that one can hear as much as “see”. It’s the form of melody where Hershey states is the kind that can one also feel less afraid. Hershey continues to note that it brought him into a personal peace when his own mother became ill for a length of time. Many of Debussy’s pieces are performed on a Steinway grand piano set upon the center of the stage where on both sides of the piano via stage left/right, a Parisian-style foot bridge extends. (Hershey also designed the stage set!) This bridge represents the community where Hershey once lived near when he was taking residency within The City of Lights.

To illustrate much of the music of Debussy as well as the life of the named composer, animated and static visuals are projected along the upper back stage wall as created by Christopher Ash, influenced within the style of the sketches of American artist James McNeill Whistler. (Whistler’s art had a profound effect on how Debussy would create his works through the shades of color that his paintings possessed.) But the entire show is focused upon Felder as Debussy, emoting all of the joy that his music gave to many of his admirers, both as music fans and through those that played and composed their pieces, many of them dwelling within the universe of jazz! (Did Debussy invent Jazz before Jazz was invented? Hershey confirms these facts!)

Trevor Hay, who has worked with Hershey in the recent past, takes upon the director’s spot that enhances the spoken and illustrated life and times of one of France’s profound contributions of music still heard around the globe.

Among the many musical celebrities that existed within the last 300 years (Franz List, Ludwig Von Beethoven, George Gershwin, etc.), Hershey states that Debussy is more of a personal choice just because his mother associated Clar de lune through her young son’s piano lesions of not so long ago.

So what is Hershey Felder’s next choice to emote through story and music? That show will be called Hershey Felder: Anna & Sergei, opening at The Wallis Anneberg on July 18th, 2020. Stay tuned!

HERSHEY FELDER: A PARIS LOVE STORY, performs at the Wallis Anneberg Center for the Performing Arts, 9390 North Santa Monica Blvd, Beverly Hills, through June 16th. Showtimes are Tuesday through Saturday nights at 7:30 PM, Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM (through June 9th) with matinee performances Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 PM. No performances on June 11th and 12th.

For ticket information, call (310) 746-4000, or via online at http://www.TheWallis.org/show-info.php?id=401
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ALADDIN (Disney) stars Mena Massoud as the title character. Living in the middle eastern metropolis of Agrabah, he is a lowly street rat and lives off stealing valuables for resale or for its value. He is rather charming, but as a young adult aged orphan, he must do what he can to get himself out his poverished life while keeping his will to become a better person. While roaming the city’s massive bazar, he makes a chance encounter with a young woman named Jasmine (Naomi Scott), who tries to keep a low profile while at the marketplace. In reality, she is the daughter to Agrabah’s Sultan (Navid Negahban), a well respected city leader. Although Aladdin and Jasmine see a charm with one another, anything beyond that can’t be done since she is a princess and he is a low hung commoner living off the streets. But Aladdin, the cunning kid he is, somehow sneaks in the royal palace dressed as a servant to meet Jasmine. He’s caught by the guards, but is placed into service by making Aladdin enter a secret cave where jewels and valuables are kept by another kingdom. He’s ordered to fetch one item–an oil lamp. While Aladdin is trapped inside the cave, he rubs the lamp to conger a blue colored magic genie living inside. (Will Smith) The genie grants his new “master” three wishes. One of his wishes is to become a prince where he can meet with his new fondness.

This (somewhat) live action feature film that is part of a series of movies that The Walt Disney Company is presenting based on its roster of animated titles, adapts the 1992 cartoon release of the same name that is itself adapted from the old tales of the Arabian knights that has been part of the media landscape for the many years before. (Disney or otherwise!) However, this adaptation is the “Disneyfied” version from the cartoon with a few minor changes. But let’s get to the non-cartoon feature first.

This movies resembles a light comical version of what could be a release from the 1950’s or 1960’s where the special effects could have been created by Ray Harryhausen and shot in “Dynamation”. (Actually, a stop motion figure animation process.) In this case, it’s presented with a load of CGI-computerized based special effects where animals behave (not necessarily sporting human traits), a magic carpet has a personality of its own, and a blue genie that runs amuck. (Chas Jarrett serves as its Visual Effects Supervisor working with a team of EFX personnel too numerous to list in this review.) What is present is much of the elements extracted from the cartoon, such as the song score by Alan Menken on music, Howard Ashman and Tim Rice on lyrics, along with new lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul.

As to the other lead players, there’s the evil Jafar (Marwan Kenzari), the Sultan’s Royal Vizier who wants to take over the throne for himself, Jafar’s parrot Iago (voiced by Alan Tudyk), his animal “sidekick”, as well as Abu, Aladdin’s right-hand monkey. There is also a few minor lead characters not expressed in the cartoon. There’s Dalia (Nasim Pedrad), Jasmine’s handmaiden and the “BFF” she confides in that encourages her to become independent although her father The Sultan wants to find her a suitable husband to marry, Prince Anders (Billy Mangnussen), a good natured yet bumbling prince from Skanland who has his own desires to marry Jasmine, and Hakin (Numan Acar), Jafar’s human right hand man who oversees the palace guards.

Although this live action version is impressive, amusing, and overall entertaining for what it is, one elements can’t be matched–the fast pacing and comical antics of the late Robin Williams who served as the Genie, one of the more memorable and fondly desired characters ever to grace an animated title created by Disney. His over-the-top protrail of the blue genie was a perfect match between a vocal personality and a fluid character that was a stand-alone cartoon into itself. In this live action version, Will Smith is amusing and comical for what he is. Sadly, he is playing a Robin Williams eight-cylinder genie operating on four. In other words, Will Smith’s version is getting toward the top but never reaches over it.

What makes this film a little to get over is the fact that this movie is being marketed to families. There is nothing wrong with the notion with its “PG” rating (mostly for some “action/peril” scenes as noted by the MPAA), but most (if not all) families of the post-modern age has already seen the cartoon–if not in a theater setting, then on any electronic medium that sports a video screen. (Never mind the countless “sequels” that Disney produced in the 1990’s!) Thus, one can’t help compare this version with the cartoon that been part of Disney’s renaissance era of the 1989-1994 release period when it became a respected movie making source that could have competed with the five other studios existing at the time (independent outlets not included) curing out their goods.

Directed by Guy Richie, ALADDIN is the second of a trio of live action version films from Disney that has/will grace the big screen theater-wise. The first was Dumbo (See review-No. 23-No. 13), and third is the soon-to-be released The Lion King. This latter title promises to be more of a serious nature with the added comedy relief. Call this “reimagining” part of this studio’s “circle of life.”

ALADDIN is now playing at all of the usual selection of multiplexes nationwide.
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The Angel City Chorale presents for their spring concert, Angel City Chorale: As Seen on TV…And More!: An event that will feature as its centerpiece, the concert the ACC presented last summer on the NBC-TV series America’s Got Talent.

Under the direction of Sue Fink who has lead this group since 1993, she will once again takes the baton to lead this ensemble of some 200 voices of all octaves as well as their orchestra to vocalize an eccentric blend of tunes from the musical worlds of pop, jazz, blues, classical, world/folk, gospel, and all points in between.

Besides their recreation of their video concert appearance from last summer, the ACC will also feature a momentous medley of TV theme songs from now and then, including a selection from the epic program Game of Thrones. For those into video gaming, there will be inspiring renditions of Liberi Fatali extracted from Final Fantasy VIII, and Sogno di Volare taken from Civilization VI.

For fans of world music, there’s Rauði riddarinn from Iceland. There will also be the gospel inspired So Good, as well as a contemporary classical piece Let My Love be Heard composed by Jake Runestad. Joining this troupe will be as special guest stars, the Angel City Youth Chorale, young singers especially selected from the talent pool of the Los Angeles Boys & Girls Clubs.

Angel City Chorale: As Seen on TV…And More! will be presented on Friday and Saturday nights, June 21st and 22nd at the ACC’s new venue, Barnum Hall, located on the campus of Santa Monica High School, 600 Olympic Blvd., Santa Monica. Both concerts begin at 8:00 PM.

For more information and for ticketing details, visit the Angel City Chorale’s website at http://www.AngelCityChorale.org
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 ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2019 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

WE’LL REMEMBER ALWAYS…

This weekend, a person that this writer knows, a parent of an eighteen year old daughter, will experience the same daughter graduating from high school. The school, a public institution as part of the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), will be hosting their ceremony on a Sunday afternoon taking place at the outdoor track and field stadium located behind the main school facility. There will be some sixty or so students donned in their royal blue caps and gowns to take part in this ceremony where they will be awarded their sheepskins acknowledging that they have graduated from high school after some four years worth of education and related activities.

There will be a guest speaker present, a lower level community spokesperson involved within the regional political scene (and a former student as the same high school) that will wish everyone well within their new life journeys they face ahead. They may take up a college level education, or they may be involved in some form of employment. A few might take a stint in the military, while another few may take a year off in order to “find themselves”. Whatever the case, these soon-to-become adults are now entering another milestone in their domestic life by holding the choice of taking on a new path in what they are going to do with themselves for the next few years.

This same writer was lucky enough by the parent (Ia single parent due to a divorce that occurred a few years beforehand) for yours truly to be invited for the ceremony. It’s scheduled to take place outdoors at the stadium–or actually, it’s going to be held while those attendees will be seated on benches placed on a set of metal bleachers as the graduates will be gathered on the field seating along a wooden platform in the front center of the bleachers with a podium placed off to the side of the platform (what side of the platform is yet to be reviled) where the hosts of the event will say a few things before it’s time to fob off the diplomas to the graduating class.

This kind of event is the type of moment that is part of one’s domestic life living (and perhaps growing up) within a urban/semi-urban setting. These kids (or soon to be adults in age, not necessarily in mind and spirit), have been enrolled in some sort of educational curriculum that would be equivalent to a method in what’s known as “high school” for the past four or so years, running the age gambit between fourteen and eight years old. Some of these folks may be a bit younger in age than the others. A few may even be older. However, they all fall within the period where they moved from being “tweeners”, (older than kids, but younger than teens), and the time they are between eighteen and twenty-one–the period that they are legally classified as an “adult”.

In the media, the so-called high school life is perhaps the most favored period to depict young people going through their motions. Countless TV shows, as well as a few from the days of radio, had as their focus characters and settings that revolved around young folks in and around a high school. A few of these media properties also focused on teachers that are part of a high school. The adults in this case may be depicted as the leading stars, but the kids enrolled in the high school play off of the adults, making these characters more profound as the ones much older.

The same goes for feature films where much of the plotting takes place in or near a high school. These form of properties (movies and TV shows) tend to cater to those that are either high schoolers themselves, or to those that have yet to reach that high school period in their lives. The folks at The Walt Disney Company tends to play out their high school antics properties using this method of pre-high school demographics. Perhaps the best known of the recent bunch was the rather successful 2000s-era TV series High School Musical. In this series, a group of rather sanitized kids attending a high school located in Anytown, USA are connected to a program where they are part of a stage musical of some sort where these kids sing, dance, and do other things associated with such a Broadway-esque production. Of course, there is the usual backstage and off-stage drama that takes place among each character depicted. The adults (usually teachers and/or coaches, as well as parents/guardians) appear as supporting cast members, with the kids pretty much taking over the events as seen on TV. This program was mostly geared toward the “tweeners’–those aged as young as eight and as old as fourteen, although the bracket between ten through twelve is the program’s “sweet spot”.

Those of “real” high school age didn’t tune in because the plotting depicted within each episode wasn’t necessary portrayed as realistic or something the actual high schoolers could relate to. However, those not enrolled in high school yet may see these kind of program as events yet to come, if at all! Even if what is presented in each installment may be a little on the fake side, it’s just there to makes the series more entertaining for what it is.

After all, it’s not a documentary, so it isn’t anything that’s presented as misleading. If those tweeners who eventually go on to a high school setting do not experience those same situations as depicted on TV, then there is no one to blame except the kids that await for something to happen that may never occur!

But this article isn’t really about how high school kids are depicted through fictional depictions seen via moving imagery programs. It’s about a real high school student ready to graduate, and this writer will be a prime witness!

Even though this same writer is honored to be part of the festive festivities, it will be just another depiction of one person’s phase of growing up in the world they live in.

As for the student graduating. She will be attending college in the fall, although that college won’t be some big-deal campus located in the far (or not so far) reaches of the neighterland loaded on a plot of land full of a mix of old buildings with ivy covered walls set along new(er) structures that may be seen as architectural wonders. It will be a community college located a few miles away where she can beef up her grade point average before she is enrolled in one of those schools that have a load of ivy covered walled buildings. If the parent will be kind enough to inform yours truly on this student’s school status, perhaps we can present another article about her updated details in a future issue. In the mean time, she’s leaving high school this month, and enrolling in college sometime in the fall, right after the Labor Day weekend.

As the 1950‘s-era vocal group The Four Freshman sang about and as heard on the hit parade from not so long ago, “…we’ll remember always, Graduation Day…”
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills concludes their 2018-19 season with John Patrick’s
A BAD YEAR FOR TOMATOES, a comedy of errors about an actress who settles in a rural home in New England in order to write her autobiography, and to use a creative method to fend off the locals who tend to get in her way.

Diana Angelina is Myra Marloew, an actress what’s been around for some time, usually seen on various TV programs. With much of her life already behind her, she decides to get away from Hollywood for a while to settle in a home located in Beaver Haven, Vermont to compose the story of her life. Her long time agent Tom Lamont (David Datz) makes sure she is comfortable in this home where she can have the peace and quiet she needs to conduct her writings, as well as perhaps doing a bit of gardening on the side. The moment she arrives, she is visited by a few neighbors, Cora Gump (Amanda Conlon) and Reba Harper (Ann Ryerson), who serve as an impromptu neighborhood welcoming committee. Then there is the eccentric Willa Mae Wilcox (Leda Siskind) that is paranoid with her surroundings, as well as with Myra. Rounding up the group is local farmer Piney (Jeffrey Winner) that offers to perform farm-type stuff for Myra from chopping wood to selling her manure. Since Myra can’t get any peace with this bunch, she creates a sister called Sally, depicted as a borderline homicidal maniac that’s locked up in an upstairs bedroom while wielding a mean looking pair of scissors. This new character only leads toward further complications with her friendly neighbors where Myra’s goal in writing her life story becomes a new life story into itself!

This stage piece written by playwright John Patrick is a play that is humorous in nature and concept using the characters depicted to enhance the laugh cycles as it moves in a mellow yet steady pace. The characters themselves, especially the ones that are the “yankees” of the bunch, are the most likable of them all. They are seen as a being cartoonish using a method lifted off from a sitcom. That concept is what makes this play worth all its while. All of the supporting cast members plays off the lead protagonist, an actress that is humble in terms of someone living and working in Tinseltown. Larry Eisenberg directs this stage bunch performing among one another to keep up with the humor factor this program offers.

And staying along with the New England flavor to it all is Jeff Rack’s set design that sports a lot of that so-called early American decor that was once the rage back in the day.

Also seen within the cast of characters is William Joseph Hill as a local sheriff that also speaks in that east coast “twang” the other locals dictate within their speech patterns.

It may be A BAD YEAR FOR TOMATOES, but it is a good year for Theatre 40 as this troupe is set to begin their fifty-fourth season with six unique plays that consist of three world premiers, two American premiers, and a pair of Los Angeles premiers. There will be comedy, drama, and all points in between. More details on their upcoming season can be found at Theatre 40’s website as noted below.

A BAD YEAR FOR TOMATOES, presented by Theatre 40 and performs at the Reuben Cordova Theatre, located within the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 South Moreno Drive (off little Santa Monica Blvd.) Beverly Hills, until June 16th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.

For ticket reservations or for more information, call (310) 364-0535, or via online at http://www.Theatre40.org
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The Road Theatre Company of North Hollywood concludes their 2018-19 season with the Los Angeles premier of Michael Perlman’s AT THE TABLE, a drama about a group of close friends who get together for a weekend’s stay that talk about the issues they care about, and the aftermath that comes within.

The setting is a cozy county homestead in upstate New York. A group of six friends meet for a weekend’s worth of good food, good wine, and their good company. Those friends consist of Stuart (Justin Okin), Nate (Christian Prentice), Lauren (Cherish Monique Duke), Elliot (Ray Paolantonio), Chris (Avery Clyde), and Nicholas (Blake Young-Fountain). They are all in their early-middle 30‘s (i.e. “millennials”), and consist of a blend of different races, ethnicities, and sexual orientations. In spite of these differences, they are all good friends! During their dinner party, plenty of wine is served. The blend of friendship and the liquid spirits gives each person a chance to talk about what is going on within their lives, as well as the opinions expressed. This form of fast paced conversations triggers a few positive points each one carries as well as revises a few sore spots. These moments of thoughts and words challenges upon how their friendship can lead toward other matters for the good and otherwise.

This work by playwright Michael Perlman can be described as a “The Big Chill” for the post-modern generation, where such mixes of different backgrounds are more accepted and tolerated then other legacy-based generations could stand. The play itself is divided into two scenarios. The first act features the above noted cast and the characters they portray. The second act takes place one year later with two new “friends” that were not around the year beforehand: Sophie (Jacqueline Misaye), and Leif (Nick Marcone). These two did replace two others that dropped out for their own reasons. Sophie and Leif also experience the good times and the conflicts that happened the year before with similar ‘stress-test’ strategies.

As to the production as presented on The Road Theatre’s intimate stage. The cast of eight perform their parts in a rather rapid pace, sometimes speaking between and on top of each others conversations–a method of communication that actually occurs in so-called “real life” when familiar groups gather to meet, greet, and bicker! This method of dialogue emoted is what makes this play work! One will actually feel much like that “fly on the wall’ to spy upon the deep secrets each one of these folks experience, for their better or for their worse!

Brian Graves’s set design also highlights this production. The setting consists of a country home complete with the touches of “rural” (sliding barn doors, hardwood flooring, fireplace as its hearth, etc.), and “urban”. (Furnishings that could have originated from Ikea, Z-Gallery, Pottery Barn, and other ‘feather-your-nest’ retailers!)
This set feels as the perfect spot for the post-college and wired generation to establish a habitat.

Directed by Judith Moreland, AT THE TABLE’s moral could be labeled as everyone has their perceptions in common, while their diversities can either bond or tear apart. Then again, serving quality wine doesn’t mean one will have quality time! Dinner party hosts–you have been warned!

AT THE TABLE, presented by The Road Theatre Company, and performs at The Road on Lankershim, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., inside of the Lankershim Arts Center, North Hollywood, until July 7th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

For ticket reservations or for more information, call (818) 761-8838, or via online at http://www.RoadTheatre.org
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2019 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

WHAT IN THE WORD?

As with everything else, the words, phrases, and other forms of expressions that’s been part of the domestic spoken and written lexicon of communication has been evolving for nearly forever. Over time and tide, the way things are said and written advanced for the better or otherwise. What was once the standard method the way things are described may have held off in different means from one generation to the next. It’s just part of how things change as well as how they have remained the same.

Merriam-Webster, the publisher of the dictionary in North America since 1828, recently announced their latest series of words and phrases that has been acknowledged as “real words” to be added to the publisher’s entry into their dictionary, either as a print medium or as something existing within cyberspace–the place where folks usually turn to in order to find out the meaning of a word, or to find out if indeed the word in question is real. (Those Scrabble players usually perform this search in order to rack up points within their game play!)

It isn’t much of a surprise that the for noted cyberspace, or to be specific, social media, has been playing their part in creating new words that have become the way to write, speak, or even text! Within the last twenty-five or so years (give or take), the ‘net and its applications has become a way of life to many, and usage of these words has been so realized, folks may have already assumed that the words and their meanings are just part of the way everyone talks, writes, and texts.

For starters, there’s the word “influencer” that means (according to Merriam-Webster) “a person who is able to generate interest in something (such as a consumer product) by posting about it on social media.”

Then there is “buzzy” “…causing or characterized by a lot of speculative or excited talk or attention : generating buzz”: “tweetstorm” “…a series of many, often impassioned tweets posted in quick succession on the social media site Twitter”: “gig economy” “..economic activity that involves the use of temporary or freelance workers to perform jobs typically in the service sector”: and “on-brand” “..appropriate to, typical of, consistent with, or supportive of a particular brand.”. These, among many other words currently in use or soon to be created, are now part of the method of how we speak, talk, etc.

Of course, words and phrases fade in and out over the years. Some words that then had one meaning are now referred to as something else. Perhaps the most obvious term is the word “gay”, where up until the 1960’s meant “happy” and “joyous”. And there have been some words that also became popular and well known thanks to the communication that was as nearly everyone’s disposal. In the early 1960’s when “gay” still meant “happy”, The term “A-OK” fall into the lexicon since astronaut Allen Shepard used it quite often in his space flights stating “everything’s A-OK!” During that same time, the term “I kid you not!” became popular when Jack Parr used it quite often when he was host on NBC’s The Tonight Show. And when one wanted to describe the human race of some sort, it was referred to as “man” as in “mankind”. Since women are also part of the said human race, the term “man” changed in the 1970’s as “the human race”, thanks to the woman’s liberation (“woman’s lib”) movement that was going on back then.

But the way that everyone communicates will be adding new words, while dropping a few on the wayside since their meaning doesn’t hold the impact as it once did. Some of those wayside words were replaced by others such as “groovy” to “awesome”. But that is how methods of speech keep up to date, as well as how the user may evolve over their total verbiage.

It will be hard to say how such terms as “tweetstorm” will hold up in twenty years. The ‘net and its applications are a fickle bunch as many trends connected to this cyberspace tends to come and go. After all, is the term “chat room” still dropped around nowadays? (For the record, the Merriam-Webster’s meaning calls it “a real-time online interactive discussion group”)

But words as they are will be around until somebody invents a form of communication where thought patterns will be used without the forms of written and printed speech. And that form of communication isn’t as far off as one may realize! It’s coming soon to a chatroom (or is it a tweetstorm?) near you!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Santa Monica Playhouse presents as its world premier, Jerry Meyer’s MISTAKES WERE MADE-COULDA-WOULDA-SHOULDA, a play about three old friends that reunite after a bitter disagreement, only for them to also reunite with the errors they made in their lives, and to realize they those mistakes can be corrected.

The place is Canter’s Deli, located not too far off from Hollywood. Dick Turner (Paul Linke), Jeff Cohen (Greg Berger), and Mel Friedman (Kyle T. Heffner), a trio of sitcom writers, meet at their favorite spot after a fifteen year leave of absence. It seems that these three had an argument over if Jewish writers are funnier then gentile writers. However, it seems that a truce should be held. From there, Dick, Jeff, and Mel confess that they themselves made many mistakes that could have been avoided, but were not. These three are aware that they are in the “late autumn” in their lives, and it’s not worth the effort of taking their disagreements to their graves. Although what they did can’t be reversed, that doesn’t mean that they could avoid such errors in the future. It’s not a story of what they should have done, but a tale of what they can do to further detour their misevaluations–with a few laughs added along the way!

This latest entry by legendary sitcom writer Jerry Meyer creates a play that shows how a group of friends that’s been around for a while can prove they are not as perfect as they may appear to be, even if each one became a success in their own right. They did experience quite a lot, and much of that “lot” became a collection of valuable lessons. That is what makes this play a portrait of a slice of life. (The playwright’s life really, but it is adaptable for many others; Be it of sitcom writers, or others that were far from perfect!) The three leads, Paul Linke, Greg Berger, and Kyle T. Heffner as Jeff, Mel, and Dick, play out their roles as three classic friends that really need one another, even if they don’t always see eye-to-eye. Their personna are depicted as a bunch of old coots stuck in their ways, but they laugh off this fact! They know what they did and are willing to change, even if they remained stubborn for a brief generation. Chris DeCarlo, co-artistic director of the Santa Monica Playhouse, directs this program that shows wit and heart. A few of the flashback scenes depicted may be projected as bittersweet. However, that is what life is all about; Comedy and drama all rolled into one!

In addition to the above members of the cast, Matt Fowler, Rachel Galper, and Christine Joelle also appear as various characters that made up the life and times of three joke writers that never lost their style of being funny!

James Cooper provides the lighting, set, and video projections that move each scene to the next, and Steve Mayer (son of the playwright), creates the musical score that is mostly background and transition music–the kind of music usually heard in TV sitcoms that are noticed for its dramatic effect around a visual show that is far from drama! But this show is funny as it stands, so comical music may be amusing, but not necessary!

For a single act production, this show is simple yet sweet. There are no real “mistakes” seen here. It could ask the time tested question if one has a chance to do their life all over again, would it be done in the same way. The answer is to perform all of the mistakes a lot sooner! Whatever the case, this show is a keeper, and that’s soon enough!

MISTAKES WERE MADE COULDA-WOULDA-SHOULDA, presented by and performs at The Santa Monica Playhouse’s 2nd stage, 1211 4th Street (at Wilshire Blvd.), Santa Monica, until June 30th. Showtimes are Saturday nights at 7:30 PM, and Sunday matinees at 3:30 PM. For ticket reservations or for more details, call (310) 394-9779 ext. 1, or online at http://www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com/Mistakes.html
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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)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEHxSllfDItpWh3z8vuUb_w
(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
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#AccessiblyLiveOffLine

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2019 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!

STILL GOIN’ TO THE MOVIES!

In the media world, there is always some form of news being announced about updates on those TV streaming services consisting of TV “channels” where one can watch content delivered through an internet-based connection either for free (with advertising) or for a monthly fee. (No ads!!) This method of information informs upon what service will be offering what, when, how, as well as how much.

From all of these details, it appears that obtaining long(er) form entertainment is more accessible than ever before! Not so much on what to see and how, but just the fact that if one wanted to view some form of content, be it a “TV” series, a feature length movie, or even short form video–content that runs ten minutes of less, then it’s available for cheap or for free!

With this being all said and done, one would think that going out of one’s way to view content for entertainment purposes would be considered as “old hat”, and perhaps something from another generation, especially to a much younger demographic. However, this doesn’t appear to be the case.

On April 26th, The Walt Disney Company released the feature Avengers: Endgame, supposedly the “last” entry to the Avengers movie series. This super-hero comic book action/adventure title became one of the top box office entries in all of moviedom. On its opening weekend from Thursday, April 25th (when it showing as a “preview”), through Sunday, April 28th, it grossed some $350 million in North America. Adding the rest of the world, that came to some 1.2 billion dollars. And these numbers only reflect the time period noted above!

Many of the numbers that came through such sources as BoxOfficeMojo.com, recorded that this movie broke many previous records in terms of the money earned through theatrical showings. The previous movies that once held said records as biggest grossing amount on a Friday, biggest international gross (international meaning outside of North America), and so on, were either the previous Avengers titles Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Age of Ultron, or Star Wars: The Force Awakens. All three titles were released by The Walt Disney Company. Two other tiles once holding some kind of money making record now broken by Endgame; Jurassic World, The Fate of the Furious, and Despicable Me 3, are owned by Universal. Those movies hold a similar link as those tiles are also action/adventure comic-book-esque selections, but not falling into the “super-hero” category. And Despicable Me 3 is an animated title. That is more “comic book” than any other those making making movies noted above.

However, those numbers are from the theatrical showings, the ones where people physically head over to a movie theatre, plunk down anywhere from $5.00 to as much as $20.00 per adult (18+) for the privilege of viewing this title inside of a large darken room along with other strangers that can laugh, cry, scream, and yell with the action taking place on the big screen. This method of watching content has been around for over 100 years! The type of content screened, the way it’s presented (silent, sound, color, widescreen, 3-D, etc.) and to what is viewed and how within those methods changed over the generations, but the procedure hasn’t. It’s all the same, and for a majority of the time, somebody has to pay up for this privilege.

Of course, when television became first accessible in the late 1940’s, this was counted as “the beginning of the end” to the movie industry. Many of those big deal studios that churned out content on a regular basis (at one time, MGM used to release a movie every week!), thought that within a few years, nobody would ever see a movie in a theater when they can stay home and become entertained at for free. (Not really “free” since one had to go about to buy a TV set in order to watch the said content at home!) But unlike buying a TV set, there wasn’t anything else to pay–not counting electricity to fire up the set or to pay a TV repair man if the set itself goes on the blink!

Movie theaters however, changed admission. Depending on where one was seeing a movie, those costs could range from as little as fifty cents to as much as $4.00 based upon dollar amount values from the time period.

As one can guess, TV may have changed the ways and methods that movies are created and distributed, but movies themselves never totally went away! And the above statistics all prove these points.

So why do people still go out to the movies when they can watch content on any electronic device that sports a screen for the same price or less? Perhaps the biggest argument to this notion is the fact that it gives people a change to get out of the house, as well as experiencing something with others that react in methods the single viewer may not necessarily experience on their own! For instance, if one was viewing a comedy, then one would hear some laughs along with what was being said and/or done on screen! If the viewer was watching the same content sans audience, that joke or gag may not appear to be as humorous. It may not even be noticed! That in-person “laugh track” makes the joke more funny, depending on the amount of laughs the gag in question received! TV sitcoms always presented a laugh track that made almost every single joke, gag, or situation fall into the same level of humor, even if the person experiencing the gag didn’t think much of the schtick presented.

So what this all breaks down to is the fact that movie theaters exist so one can watch a title with built-in emotional appeal, and to get away from where one dwells. The person is inside of a place, the movie theatre, not seen as often, or never been seen before. Yes, one may have to plunk down a few dollars for this experience (not counting concessions where the theaters make their most money), but one will do so for the experience, rather than anything else. One can’t necessarily receive that same experience watching a movie (or anything for that matter) on a 50” wide TV monitor, or on a hand held device with a screen as little as 4” in diameter.

So don’t worry folks! That nearby movie house that sports as many as 30+ screens in one place won’t be going away for a while! So if one has a hankering, one can still spend a Saturday night at the movies. And who cares what picture you see! When it comes to being in the balcony with your baby may be a bit of a challenge as these same theaters no longer have balconies, and babes in arms also need a ticket, if they are even allowed inside of a moving picture house! Then again, there is always the chance that one can hand that babe a smartphone to view anything age appropriate. However, that topic is for another article as that stands!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Ensemble Studio Theatre/Los Angeles presents MOVING ON: THE 2019 ONE ACTS, a performance consisting of five different short plays that deal with the life and times of now.

The program starts off with Sophia Lewis’ ROCK LOGIC, directed by Katie Lindsay, where Sammy (Kait Schuster) tells her girlfriend Taylor (Saliha Muttalib) that as a child, she was assigned to be the “earth assistant” to a series of large rocks located in a nearby park where she can communicate with its spirit.

The second entry, Jeannie Webb’s SMILING CAT CANDY HEARTS, is about a newly separated couple that hold a discussion at a fast food restaurant on how they will schedule visitation custody of their twelve year old daughter who only communicates by speaking in “emojis”. Christopher T. Wood plays the father, Lauren Campedelli, alternating with Desiree Mee Jung, is the mother, and Juliette Allison Bailey, alternating with Julianna Riley, plays the daughter. Directed by June Carryl.

The next production, Ashley Rose Wellman’s THE COLD PLACE, is about Robin (Lizzie Peet, alternating with Brenda Varda), and Daniel (Wes McGee), who meet at a motel room that resemble the two having an affair. However, this meeting doesn’t turn out to be as what’s expected. Christopher James Raymond directs.

The fourth entry is Christine Hamilton-Schmidt’s POSSIBLE DERANGED LUNATIC, where a mother and her adult daughter (Sarah Brooke and Poonnam Basu) spends their late nights listing to a podcast that tells true crime stories of horrendous murders. They receive a visit from Peter (Michael James Bell) who is a neighbor that just moved in. He brings a cherry pie as a welcoming gift. Is Peter really a friendly neighbor, or does he have an evil plot in mind? Directed by William Charlton.

The fifth and final entry is Ken Levine’s SIGNING OFF, about a meeting with Teddy Hold (Nick Ullett, alternating with Michael C. Mahon), a well known late night TV talk show personality, and Josh Barnes (Clayton Farris), an up and coming stand-up comic who is chosen to become Teddy’s replacement. Is Teddy really ready for retirement, and will Josh take over to represent the new generation? Tony Pasqaulini directs.

This anthology of short single act plays (thus the title of this collection), speaks for how the times are indeed changing, while the conflicts each presentation speaks for can be as timeless. As with anthologies, it’s indeed a mixed bag as some short pieces are better that the others. However, in spite of this eclectic selection, each passing stage piece shows off its own unique voice, even if that voice falls upon a quirky slice of life as one may know of it–or not!

It’s not often that one can experience a group of short plays as this collection consists of. It’s been stated that big things come in small packages. MOVING ON.. is a stockpile of those intimate packages that hold plenty of ideas, with a few good laughs inserted to boot!

MOVING ON: THE 2019 ONE ACTS, presented by Ensemble Studio Theatre/Los Angeles, and performs at the Atwater Village Theatre Complex, 3269 Casitas Avenue, Los Angeles (Atwater Village), until May 26th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.
For ticket reservations, visit https://dime.io/events/2019-one-acts. For more details, visit http://www.EstLosAngeles.org/2019-One-Acts
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Theatre West presents Abbott Alexander’s solo show THE LONG GRAVEL ROAD, a spoken saga about one soul’s personal journey through time, space, and reaches yet to be taken.

Abbott enter his space where he begins to emote about what he sees. Not in any physical capacity, but through points that lead up within his mind, noting a vast arrangement of thoughts. Upon entering a “dark mystical neither world”, leading toward a sprinkling of pop culture references (some well known, other long forgotten), he brings himself back to where he came and where is is heading–perhaps the fore noted long gravel road of life!

In this performance, Abbott’s one man showcase is not akin any type of single presenter’s performance. Unlike the other said shows where the performer acting as storyteller spins a narrative about a background that was experienced, he speaks in a service of prose that isn’t necessarily connected, yet forms toward a poetic stance to it all! His speech doesn’t fall as a “once-upon-a-time-I-lived-a-life” persona, but as an antidote that must be realized from the master itself. In other words, it’s a theater piece that is difficult to describe in a linear sense. One must be there to fashion it all…and what fashion! Donning an outfit of total black (t-shirt and darken slacks) hoisted on a stage that is as black, he carries on for roughly sixty-five minutes uttering his say of his unique prose sans metrical structure. It’s all Abbott standing tall on his theater podium.

Along with this vast staging of witticism, Garrett Parks provides the musically based soundscape effects seated off stage right, ranging from a rap on a drumhead, to the audio vibe of musical sounds played upon an electronic keyboard that add drama to Abbott’s speeches. His musical effects speak for its own self!

Again, this solo show as presented on Theater West’s stage is more of a poetic slam that doesn’t slam. It doesn’t suck either because it’s idiosyncratic! And yes, there is a bit of humor added to this mix of verbal prose. One may have to seek for it, but it’s indeed present. For those that desire their stage theatrics verbiage as a stand alone, Abbott’s presentation is for that fan. As the theory states, you have to be there to really receive and interpret to the message! That long gravel road is there, so take it!

THE LONG GRAVEL ROAD, presented by Theatre West in association with Pergola Productions, performs at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd., Los Angeles, until June 1st. Showtimes are Saturday nights at 8:00 PM.
For ticket reservations, call (323) 851-7977, or via online at http://TheatreWest.org/The-Long-Gravel-Road/
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
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@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
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(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
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#AccessiblyLiveOffLine

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

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2019 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!