TV IN THE SUMMERTIME

Once upon a time back in the days when television was received via an indoor or outdoor antenna and for the most part was available for free, viewing the tube during the summer months didn’t have the same priory as it did during the rest of the year. Between September of one year through May of the next, much of the programming that was made available during the “prime time’ viewing hours, usually between the period of 8:00 PM to 11:00 PM (or 7:00 PM through 10:00 PM in the central time zone), consisted of the standard mix of dramas, police shows, situation comedies, variety programs featuring comedy, musical numbers, or both, with the occasional sporting event as well as a news/information/documentary title thrown in for balance. These evening hours was the time when the most amount of viewers would be tuning in for their choice of home based visual entertainment.

During the summer months, generally between Memorial Day (or staring in 1971, the Memorial Day weekend) through the Labor Day weekend, many people would be spending their evening hours outdoors, not only to take advantage of the better weather, but to spend the time in longer daylight hours.

Many of the networks (three actually) knew through their programming departments that ratings–the measured amount of viewers that would be turning into a specific program during a specific time period, would normally drop during the summer months. Another reason for the drop was due to the selection of programming offered since there would be plenty of reruns. Shows that were on would’t be offering a new collection of episodes until September, assuming that the program was even going to return. And there was the program that was called the “summer replacement”. This was a program that had a built-in short shelf life where only a handful of episodes would run, and once September kicked in, the title would be off the air, never to return. Many of these summer replacements consisted of comedy/variety shows that were easy to produce (for what they were) and didn’t necessarily have any continuity. The summer replacement title can begin anytime, and end at any moment without the notion that the series has some plot point that had to be resolved by its conclusion.

Now this writer is speaking for summer TV long before the modern elements of TV viewing started to kick in, mostly in the form of cable TV and home video. Programming on cable TV always lagged behind in terms of quality and content compared to what the three networks can offer. This was due to budgeting since ABC, CBS, and NBC can afford to pay for better shows than, let’s say, what the USA Network, WTBS, WGN, etc. can offer. So those cable channels were not under the same pressure to provide better programming in the summertime, or anytime for that matter! It was just quantity of viewing choices rather than quality. The premium, or “pay” cable channels such as HBO, Showtime, and the like, offered recent uncut feature films, with an occasional original program added for balance and for “filler”. But that choice of programming was offered throughout the year, so that didn’t effect the summer viewing much. Besides, people through that if they were paying some $14.00 or so dollars a month just to receive HBO, etc., they might as well take advantage to what they were paying for! And if they could not watch a title when it aired, the ol’ VCR took care of that.

In today’s video world where TV is literary everywhere, one can watch whatever content they want when they felt like it, summertime or otherwise! And since new programming choices begin their run when the video provider is good and ready to offer the program in question, one can find it throughout the year. In many cases, all at once!

So as June turns into July, people will keep their gadgets that can produce visual content handy and watch whatever and wherever they may be. The notion of being forced to watch lame variety shows and perhaps tuning in to an anthology series featuring single episodes of sitcoms that will never see the light of day (called in the business as “garbage can theater”) has longed passed. But summertime as it is will still remain the period of the year to take advantage of the so-called great outdoors, even if that outdoors involves long associated indoor antics.
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Continuing its run at the VS Theatre in Los Angeles is the world premier of Giovanni Adams’ LOVE IS A DIRTY WORD, a solo performance with music that speaks upon a personal journey of a young African-American being living in a world where he seeks his own identity upon others as well as for himself.

In his presentation, Giovanni recites his saga of being raised by his mother in Jackson, Mississippi in a Christian homestead. His father was not around much as his household became broken due to having his father serving time, later leading toward divorce. He continues his life by his discovery of what he desires for himself, going through the many phases on who is is and what he desires to become; A full standing Christian black man who is full of sprit, that later holds the notion of becoming “out”–a far removed state of the drawing of a man of his form.

This solo show, developed by Becca Wolff (who also directs) and written by Giovanni Adams (who also performs), is told in a prose fashion. This method of storytelling is very reminiscent to reciting “slam” poetry. That is, narrated in a style where each line and phrase holds its unique patten of verbiage that adds enough descriptive color where what is said delivers more meaning to each episode that Giovanni dictates. It’s very much to the flavor to a radio drama. Close one’s eyes to hear the words, and the invisible pictures are there to view.

What makes this show as unique is the fact it features original songs composed by Giovanni that he sings in selected moments. The program is not really a “musical” per se. Arturo Lopez performs the musical selections and arrangements as well as the background score on guitar in a troubadour approach. Although the guitarist is present on stage, he only serves as the background as Giovanni unfolds his saga that capsulizes his twenty-five or so year long epic in roughly eighty minutes.

Rachel Myers creates a stage setting where Giovanni presents his parables that shows his life placement, from a simple yet humble homestead complete with furnishings showing off a bedroom, living room with a well worn chair as its only reminder, a bathroom whose only focus is a classic-style bathtub, and a tight virtual outdoor space sporting a floor laden with dry Mississippi mud. Each space represents a phase in his life as he progresses as who and what he became; a performer that holds extensive talent reliving his individualized excursion through his life and times, even if that love is far from being an expression that’s forbidden.

Giovanni Adams has progressed since his days living in a place and age where people of his character has continued to experience traumas not necessarily of their own creation. With shows as this one, his personal passage in life serves as a stepping stone where he can decent upon his roots to head back home and beyond.

LOVE IS A DIRTY WORD, presented by Tilted Field in association with the Vs. Theatre Company, performs at Vs.Theatre, 5453 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, until July 15th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM. For tickets and for more information, call (323) 739-4411 or via online at
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2951780

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The Morgan-Wixson Theatre of Santa Monica closes out their 2016-17 season with the family favorite SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL, a stage journey that weaves a fable based upon the beloved characters and whimsical settings of the creator of such tales, Dr. Seuss.

Chris Tiernan portrays The Cat In The Hat, who serves as our host introducing his audience and companion JoJo (Nicholas Vizzi) to a number of beings living within the Jungle of Nool, home of Horton the Elephant (Steven Flowers). Horton discovers a speck of dust on a stock of clover that is the home of the Whos living in Whoville lead by the Mayor (Danoel Koh) and Mrs. Mayer (Fiona Porter). He vows to protect these Whos since after all, a person’s a person, no matter how small! Then there is the lazy Mayzie (Amy Coles) a bird that only has one tail feather but desires more! As she receives her wish, Horton, the kind hearted elephant, meets up with another bird Gertrude (Annie Claire Hudson) that asks Horton to sit on her egg while she goes off for the afternoon. Horton agrees to sit on the egg while Gertrude spends her time in Palm Beach! Then Jojo is twisked off to a military school for thinking too many thinks, lead by the General (Daniel Koh), who is at war for those that like their bread butter side down!. This leads to the characters of the Circus McGurkus with all of the filly thrills, with the Sour Kangeroo (Zoe D’Andrea, alternating with Alicia Luoma) and the Wickersham Brothers (Daniel Gaitan, Lauren Blare, and Niko Montelibano.) All of these events (and many more) note upon the places you will go, because you are there!

This witty and charming musical, with book and music by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens and co-conceived by Eric Idle, uses a selection of characters and settings created by artist and author Ted S. Geisel a.k.a. Dr. Seuss, and devises a musical that is just as amusing, if not slightly mystifying, than the tales created by the good doctor that kids (both current and former) have enjoyed for multiple generations! In this Morgan-Wixson production, it features a huge ensemble of creative players that sing and move their way through the worlds that may be nonsensical, but are just as real as anyone would want to believe! There isn’t a lot of spoken dialogue in this show, just one tuneful number to the next as the cast belts out through its transcribed score selections as set through Daniel Koh’s musical direction. And with such a show, there is plenty to view! Kristine Rutledge’s costuming is just as colorful and flamboyant as a Sesssian story page! Tristan Griffin’s sets also speak of the sprit of Seuss where the backdrops are just as round and wild! With the aid of Lauren Blair’s choreography, one has a team that showcases to how this musical brings the kid-at-heart for all to marvel!

As to the remainder of the cast, it features a troupe of players that outnumber the space this writer can allow. As much as yours truly would desire to list them all, this humber author of tales not as colorful as Ted Geisel created in his time will give a rowdy “yay” to them all!

SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL is one of those stage musical of late that never obtained the respect is should have received. This reason for this was because many other playhouses that presented this showpiece were never able to replicate the same sprit and feeling that these Seuss stories did for those that grew up with this fables. The reason behind that theroy dosen’t really matter as to why one would not liking green eggs and ham! This writer will quote that the Morgan-Wison’s presentation of SEUSSICAL is a real treat to see! This is the reason why this theatre company has been around for some seventy plus years! (It’s current location has been home to this company for a little over fifty years!) With all of those years behind its theatre belt, that shows that community theatre is indeed well and alive even in this overly wired age. PS..this is one of the few community theatres with its own phone app, available for free downloading through the regual app outlets!

SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL, presented by the Morgan-Wixson Theatre Guild, and performs at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, until July 29th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. A special talk back session where the cast and crew discuss their performing as well as taking questions from the audience, occurs after the performances held on Sunday, July 9th, and Friday, July 29th.

For more information as well as ticket reservations, call (310) 828-7519 or via online at http://www.Morgan-Wixson.org.
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Next’s week issue (Vol. 22-No. 27) will feature our annual “State of the Union” address. Don’t miss out!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 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!

VACATION OF WHAT?

There was an article that appeared in a recent issue in First for Woman, (one of the few magazines in print targeting the female demographic that is not published by either Hearst or Meredith) that was titled What Your Dream Vacation Says About You? , informing the reader that taking a vacation to a specific place presents a personality trait to the vacation-ee.

This form of study uses stats as presented by Stanley Plog Ph. D., and Bahir Browsh who are behind the website BestTripChoices.com that analyzed data taken from some 250,000 travelers over a forty year time span. This collected data states its accuracy to be near 100%, and presents a personalty based on where the vacationer chooses to go and do and how the vacation is executed.

For instance, if one travels to a historical place or landmark, say Gettysburg or Mt. Rushmore, one would be a leader type. Someone who’s engaging and intelligent; a person that enjoys historical destinations that challenges one’s complex mind. If somebody prefers going to a tropical destination (Hawaii, etc.) one is a “go-getter”, a person that craves a deep sense of relaxation to balance an ever busy lifestyle. If somebody prefers to go to a place that calls for adventure (rafting down a river, or camping in the woods), that person is curious, somebody that wants to experience something new and exciting. If going to the big city is an ideal vacation spot, one can be somebody who’s dependable. A person that is organized, honest, calm, and somebody who feel at their best when things are all consistent to one another. And if somebody wants to stay where one lives i.e. experience a “stay-cation, one can be labeled as somebody who’s friendly, and lives a carefree style of being. That person enjoy the company of those close to the stay-at-home vacationer.

Of course, much of the above noted descriptions of these personalities was taken verbatim by way of the notes as reported by Stanley Plog Ph. D., and Bahir Browsh who were behind this study of vacation habits based upon where one heads off to for their personal “R & R”.

It’s around this time of the year where folks who plan to take a few days off for their vacation decide upon where their desire is to go. Some folks plan to head off to a place they have never experienced beforehand, while others head off to the same spot that they have been placing themselves for the number of seasons gone by. This “same time same station” routine is either performed through choice, or just through circumstance. The adventurous seek new places to see and the things to do that go along with those new discoveries. They make those vacations a thrill.

As to those that don’t even bother to go anywhere? Those so-called carefree people can be free sprits and all with staying put. But if they remain in their spot, it could be for the reasons set not necessarily by one’s picking. It could be because they just can’t get away, or they can’t afford to spend the time and money to get some “R ‘n R”, as that notion can be more stressful than what it’s worth!

So the study on people’s personalities based on where they go and what they do is very amusing. Where one heads off to or how they take their time off is good for them! One can even send off a postcard to friends stating “having a wonderful time wish you were here” if as fine. But then again, who sends off postcards? That statement is more suited as a tweet or a bland post on one’s wall on Facebook! But it’s vacation time, so who’s really counting?
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

CARS 3 (Disney/Pixar) finds Lighting McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) back in the racing circles. He’s been at it for some time, but not being as the eager, young, and fast racer as he once was. While participating at a race, he encounters a new competitor, Jackson Storm.(Armie Hammer). Jackson may be the new rookie, but he’s part of the new generation of racers, eventuality becoming the latest star of the Piston Cup circuit. In order for Lighting to compete with Jackson, he must train in order to become part of this new generation. His sponsor Rust-Eze was sold off to a new group run by Sterling (Nathan Fillion), a car that’s all business! He assigns Lighting to a new trainer, Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo) that teaches Lighting the new tricks of the trade. Lighting still holds on to the images of his mentor, the “late” Hudson Hornet (voiced by Paul Newman) to guide him through. Although Lighting may not be as fast as Jackson, he can become smarter as his nemesis. It’s up to Cruz, as well as Lighting himself, to find out how!

This latest entry to the “Cars” franchise is a much different feature than to the previous entry “Cars 2” that was released some six years ago. In that feature, there was more emphasis to the character that serves as comic relief, the tow truck Mater (voiced by Daniel Lawrence Whitney aka Larry The Cable Guy). Although Mater does appear along with most of the cars that made this franchise to what it is for the folks as Disney and Pixar, his character is reduced to a minor role. In Cars 3, the focus is between Lighting and Cruz as the former aims to be what he always was, while the latter attempts to teach an older car some new tricks as the “old car” learns a few tricks of his own!

The screen story by Brian Fee, Ben Queen, Eval Podell, and Jonathon E. Stewart, with screenplay by Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson and Mick Rich has more heart and soul than the previous entries. There isn’t as much wacky humor as one would expect for an animated feature of late, where the comedy focus can be leaning toward the snarky side! (This method of comedy found in animation features is geared toward the adults rather than the kids!) In fact, this lack of cocky humor makes this feature quite enjoyable where one doesn’t expect have fast paced punch lines uttered by its cast. Brian Fee directs this film that is amusing (not necessarily “funny” in the traditional sense), and is the best of the animated features released this year–so far! After a while, one actually forgets that this movie is really a “cartoon”. Much of the racing scenes is conducted in a very realistic manner, showing off to the rest of the CGI animation world that Pixar has the tools of the trade. If they didn’t invent those tools, they rewrote it!

Although it’s too soon to tell, there might be a Cars 4 that Pixar will create sometime soon! Among all of the titles this animation studio has released within the past twenty plus years, the Cars series is the most profitable in terms of merchandising. And since Disney lives on merchandising, expect to see a fourth entry sometime soon! As long as the cash registers ring, so will Cars!

This feature is rated “G” for nothing offensive! Now playing in multiplexes nationwide!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 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!

WORK CAN STILL BE A DREAM!

In last week’s issue (Vol. 22-No. 23 in case you’re keeping track), this writer was laying down a piece about working in a “dream job”, a form of work or employment that one holds a personal passion to do, and perhaps doing such a gig for a real salary or perhaps for any salary! In order words, doing what you would like to do and getting paid for it, too!

Of course, it’s indeed possible to land such a sport that is for the good of one’s self. However, depending on what one wants to do can be a challenge, since finding such a gig may be more difficult as if could get, if indeed even possible!

For a number of folks, the art of finding such a role in life can be tough. Some will be constantly on the prowl looking for the so-called “magic job” that’s out there somewhere, only to find it immediately. Others may come across it later in their search. And sadly, a few may never find it, only to discover that that job may not even exist at all! That is, unless one creates such a spot for themselves.

This writer has heard about a few stories from those that stated that they held the desire to become involved in such a form of employment by finding somebody who’s in the same field, only to ask them for a job or at least to ask them who to see for such a spot, hopefully for pay! (More on that in just a bit!) And a few of these tales from the job field involved the media, specifically the “entertainment” industry–that type of business that many people tend to have some kind of interest in.

Of course, the entertainment industry involves such mediums as movies, television, and to a lesser extend, the theatre. (There are other forms of businesses that can be categorized as part of “the entertainment industry”, but we’ll stick to the first two choices for this example!)

Those picks tend to involve actors and acting. (When we state about “actors”, we mean those that create some kind of characters are people of both genders!) These are the kind that are first seen in the spotlight, and hold the most fame and even fortunes! Then there are those that work behind the scenes, such as directors, writers, and the like. Then there are those jobs that are called “below the line”, such as set decorators, make up artists, film/videotape/moving image editors, etc. Those gigs may not hold the glamor and notability as those that act for a living, but are important nevertheless. Those that are established within those fields tend to be known within their own circles. Granted, there are some directors that hold the same status as an actor, but for a prop master? Not so much! (You won’t read about prop people in People magazine, or even hear about them on some piece appearing on E! Entertainment.)

As to those “true stories” this writer heard about involved those that wanted to become a writer in TV and/or movies. Not just any kind of writing mind you, but to write comedy pieces, either one-line jokes and full blown comical epics.

Those tales had the wannabe writer attempt to get their craft out to those that are connected, such as stand up comics, or those that write for well known or even lesser known TV sitcoms. There mission was to create samples of their writing skills on some form of fixed media (paper), and to give those sheets to those power-that-be to add a “Look what I can do!” response.

Once source that this writer personally knows told me in some form that he wanted to write comedy. His self-given assignment was to stop over to the offices of a writer (or in this case, the writing team) to say hello and to give to them a sample of his writing abilities. So he went over to the studio lot where the writers held an office space. He told the secretary on duty at the office that he wanted to see this pair of writers. She told him that they were in some kind of meeting, but he could sit in the office to wait until they were done. So he took a chair to sit down upon and wanted. And waited. And waited. Finally, one of the writers exited the office where the meeting was held. The wannabe got up to say something to the affect of “Oh Mister Big time Writer! I’m a wannabe writer, and would like to meet with you!” This big time writer looked at this lad and noticed that he held a lot of enthusiasm as well as patience to wait all of this time. To make a long story short, our hero did get a gig as an assistant to this writing team. Their friendship lasted for many years since and continued when one of the big time writers passed on. And this form of connected started out by attempting to make our wannabe writer known with the sincerity he possessed.

One can guess that this little episode occurred a few generations ago when walking in coldly to a writer’s office was a lot easier that it would be in today’s world. Nowadays, if one wanted to get to one’s office, the management would call security and before one would know it, our wannabe writer would be tossed out of the place, if not charged on a trespassing rap. Even if one could even get close to the writer, the wannabe writer has to be of a certain age; Let’s say under the age of 35, or even 30! (The younger the better!)

This method of getting a dream job won’t get one far in the current landscape as there are other methods to reach out to those out there. Social media has served as a springboard to those that have the desire to not only get what they want, but to even become famous in their own right. Even if one has no desire to become an actor, writer, or something out of “show biz”, if it quite possible to get a job in something they want to do. Granted, it may not be easy per se, but it’s more possible than one may think! It’s part of the thrill of the chase to do something that is part of being somebody or something. Even if the pay is small for what it is, one dose has the chance to move somewhere!

This writer will continue upon this tale on dream jobs in future issues. Until then, just stay tuned to this news service for updates!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

No reviews this week, but stay tuned to this very newsletter for all of the news you really need! See you then!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 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!

WORK CAN BE A DREAM

On the first Friday of every month, the US labor board posts the job index for the previous month. These stats posts the so-called official unemployment rate, the number of reported hires, and the general filing on how people that are able to work are working. These notes gives a notion on how the domestic economy is doing.

According to the latest report, the unemployment rate is around 4.3%. This generally means that less that five percent of the working able population is holding down some form of paid employment. And when the rate is less than five percent as a whole, it’s a sign of a rather robust economy.

A few elements are to be added to these stats. Although the reported number of people are in this rate of employment, it doesn’t state if these folks are working at the jobs they really want to do, rather that being employed at something just for the sake of earning a living. These forms of employed folks tend to have a “job” rather than a “career”. And many of these careers tend to be of a paid performance on something that holds many factors, ranging from advancement to actually enjoying what one does for that paycheck. This article will concentrate on that latter idea. This is a state of working on one’s “dream job”.

Now what exactly is a dream job? A dream job is a notion of employment of doing something that one actually likes to do. It’s a job where one can toil upon for long periods of time, yet never sees the job as something that is dull, tiring, mundane, or annoying. In fact, the job doesn’t seem like a job, but something that is really fun to do!

To place the sense of the definition of a dream job, an organization that performs job training to larger corporations on an outsourced basis wrote a workshop piece asking those participants to what a dream job means to the applicants. Within a few statements, the definitions that participants in this workshop of what a dream job is were spelled out within these realms:

1. My dream job is a career centered on my favorite hobby or greatest passion.

2. My dream job is one that fulfills me and truly helps others as well.

3. My dream job is the job that pays the most money possible, period.

4. My dream job must pay enough to live comfortably while doing work I am passionate about.

5. My dream job is the job that pays the most money for the easiest and least amount of work required.

6. My dream job is to work from home with flexible hours, full benefits and a salary that more than meets my needs.

7. My dream job is to work for a company that provides true lifetime job security and room for growth.

What can one do as a dream job? That of course depends on the person that wants to do the work. Let’s say for instance, one enjoys working with animals. Perhaps the most obvious choice is working in some placement at a zoo. That could be anything from feeding the animals to herding and/or showing them off. If one wants to stick to animals as domestic pets, then there are the animal shelters that exist where one can maintain the critters that are found in such a shelter, mostly in the form of dogs and cats. If one has a passion in art, there could be gigs found in art galleries to genuine museums. If gardening in one’s thing, there are nurseries, garden centers, or even being involved as a horticulturist. The list of what one can do as a dream job goes on. Again, depending on one’s personal passion!

Of course, the two dollar question remains. Can anyone who wants to become involved in their dream job actually find such a job? It all depends on what one wants to do and if the dream job applicant holds the necessary skills and abilities to perform such a task. If anyone enjoys being along a beach and wants to do something that requires the person to be on a beach, then one can be a lifeguard. But lifeguards require various intense expertise; Everything from basic first aid skills to knowing how to swim. If a lifeguard wannabe doesn’t have those abilities on hand, then the chances to being a lifeguard falls flat.

But that above example is a bit extreme. Let’s use another example, say working with domestic animals. One can work in an animal shelter where many of the for noted dogs and cats are found. Using a more “pet friendly” shelter as this example such as a “no-kill” outlet to a shelter that only keeps their animals for a limited time, regardless of if one adapts the dogs and/or cats in question. Many of these places tend to run on limited budgets plans or operate as non-profit organizations. These places tend to have some paid staff, but many of them use a pool of volunteers that can come in to assist in the ins and out of keeping the shelter running at its potential capacity. Granted, the pay in this case is small to nonexistent, but does fulfill points number one and two to the above list. As far as points numbers three and up? That’s a whole other matter as that stands.

Is it actually possible to obtain a dream job that will actually pay a decent wage, if not paying anything at all? That answer can be noted as a basic yes and no. Sure, one can find a job dealing in one’s personal passion, but that all depends upon what the passion is and the skills required to work in one’s dream.

In the next issue, this writer will continue this dream job aspect in an essay that is based upon true facts–if one wants to believe it all! Stay tuned to this station for further developments! See you then!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre Palisades presents VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, Christopher Durang’s comedy about a seasoned dysfunctional family and those that become part of their household.

Taking place in a well aged semi-rural homestead located not too far away from Philadelphia finds Vanya (Scott Gardner) and his adapted sister Sonia (Wendy Taubin). Both of these siblings were named by their now deceased parents who were once connected to the theatre, holding on to a fondness to the works of Anton Chekhov. Both Sonia and Vanya are in their middle fifties and realize that they are slowly approaching their sunset years and have little to prove they accomplished anything in their lives. All they have is the housekeeper Cassandra (Bri Giger), who not only cleans house, but practices the art of voodoo, keeping bad and evil away by conjuring hexes and through the telling of fortunes with a 50 per cent accuracy. The home itself was taken over by a third sibling Masha (Mia Christou), who pops in for a rare visit. Masha is an actress by trade, appearing and performing in a number of feature films and stage shows. She’s not an “A” list star but more of the “B+” variety. Tagging along is Spike (Kyle Jordan), a fellow actor who’s some twenty years younger and serves as her companion and “F” buddy. Masha plans to attend a costume party at a nearby home once owned by Dorothy Parker, and although only the “famous” are invited, Masha has her siblings come along in addition to Spike as well as a young woman Nina (Natalie Hovee) who’s visiting a nearby home for the weekend and desires to meet the famous Masha. This family reunion of sorts turns into something totally unexpected and gives another look at ever classic sibling rivalries.

This stage piece, winner of the 2013 Tony for best play, takes a post-modern turn of the fore-noted dysfunctional family angle that’s been the butt of many plot points of TV sitcoms of late. The six cast members that appear in this Theatre Palisades production ranges from being sweet and charming to borderline arrogant–all presented in a pleasant and very comical method. Out of the half dozen cast members, Mia Christou as big name actress Masha is the most appealing, presenting her character as an “A” star that has past her prime since most actresses hitting the half century plus mark can’t get the choice roles as those twenty-five years younger can easily snag! (A sad yet true fact. But this is a stage play, not a report from Hollywood!) Jonathan Fahn directs this rather long play that clocks in at two and a half hours–including the intermission, through a pacing that isn’t as frantic as one would expect, but never drags! There is enough to keep the theatre audience amused with all the antics depicted on stage.

Sherman Wayne, Theatre Palisades’ resident set and lighting designer, once again presents a stage set of the Chekhov-esque home, complete with outdoor terrance and spread that would be the ideal location for one to “age in place”.

With such a title as VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, it suggests that this play either celebrates the classic works of Chekhov, or it congers the notion of a four-way orgy! Whatever it may advocate, it’s still a very witty play where the characters ring true to its comical pretense. That’s family for you!

VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE, presented by Theater Palisades, performs at the Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road (off Sunset Blvd.), Pacific Palisades, until July 9th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. For more information, call (310) 454-1970, or visit online at http://www.TheatrePalisades.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE

is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 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!

SUM-SUM-SUMERTIME!

As this edition hits the streets (or actually, hitting one’s e-mailbox or media screens), it’s the Memorial Day weekend. And it’s the start of the long awaiting summer season.

Through the many years we have been in existence, we have published (in digital form, not necessarily in print) a number of essays and related matter on how the start of the summer season has been the be-all-to-end-all time of the year that is perhaps the most welcomed, through activities, rituals, and other forms of visual celebration that makes summer just what it is,; A time to get out to enjoy the better things found within domestic life.

And why not? The notion of summertime holds to a lot of different and unique aspects to people at large, all depending on interests, tastes, and appeals. For kids and those a bit older, it means that school is out for a while. Others may find this time to get out performing outdoors-y stuff, such as camping, fishing, hitting the beaches, and related leisure activities. A few might find this time to change a pattern in their lifestyles–some for the good and otherwise. Generally speaking, summer for the most part is many folks’s favorite time of the year, if not one of the more preferred points of the season.

And summertime was the season that I embraced the most! Ever since I was a little shaver who didn’t shave (yet), summer did sense that I would be out of the classroom until that dreaded day after the Labor Day weekend where I would have to return back. That would mean a few things for yours truly. Not only I would be on my own (within reason), but my habits of watching TV on a regular basis would become shifted. For starters, since I would not be required to fill much of my weekday hours sitting inside of a classroom, I would spend those daytime moments catching up on my daytime television habits that would start in the early morning hours (around 7:00 AM central time) tuning in to programs from The Today Show to Captain Kangaroo. Some of the local channels would offer their morning programs as well. A local station aired a morning movie hosted by some perky woman, (a TV personality whose name I have since forgotten), would not only introduce the film on camera, but would take phone calls from viewers during the commercial breaks to chat on the air and to offer prizes a la Dialing For Dollars.

The movies programed tended to cater toward the housewife crowd, mostly running melodramas from the 1940’s and 50’s, but would on occasion place a decent movie on that time slot. (One film I recall was The Window, a 1949 RKO release that’s part of classic film noir!)

But my pick for daytime TV were the game shows as I always enjoyed the flashy sets, the excited contestants, and the ever smiling and witty MCs that were part of the daytime TV landscape, starring everyone from Wink Martindale, Jack Barry, Bob Barker, and perhaps my favorite one of them all, Bill Cullen, a nerdy looking guy was just always witty than ever! I did notice he was rarely seen standing on his feet (he was always pictured seated on a stool that was located hidden behind a podium), and never walked on camera! That was because he limped due to catching polio as a child. The TV networks and game show producers didn’t want the public to know that he was indeed “handicapped”!
The morning hours has most of the game show while a few did air in the afternoon. Since I didn’t care much for soap operas as those took too long to move their stories along as soap operas have done since they all began long before TV was in existence, I never tuned in. By that time, it was time to get away from the ol’ set to perhaps get outside of the house to perform summertime antics. These “adventures” usually consisted of puttering around. Some kids in the neighborhood were around where we formed an unofficial “gang” where we pulled off our antics. Not exactly like those seen on the old “Our Gang” shorts, but were close enough to what we had, what we could do, and what we could get away with!

During the early evening hours (around 6:00 PM or so), there was the self service dinner parties I would create for myself. Depending of what I felt like doing, I could open a can of pasta that was targeted toward a kid friendly demographic. The Chef Boyardee brand did heavy advertising campaigns on Saturday morning “kidvid”, and that brand of pasta was always stocked up within the pantry cupboards thanks to my influence(?) that drove my mom to get a couple of cans of this stuff for yours truly to chow down on. And if I wasn’t heating up the stuff found inside of the can featuring the smiling chef (who interestingly enough, resembled Bob Keeshan a.k.a. Captain Kangaroo) donning his hat on every label, I would make a frozen dinner that resembled a “TV dinner”. Although Swanson was the brand that coined the name “TV dinner”, we didn’t get that brand since is was a bit pricy for what it was. Besides, every other competing company offered their frozen dinners that was just as good(?) as everyone else’s! Besides, I wasn’t really picky to begin with!

After dinner, it was back to the ol’ TV machine for the prime time selections. All of the three TV networks were either airing reruns of their fair that was around since the start of the previous season (the last September), or offered what was called the “summer replacements”, those programs that were around only for the summer months that held limited episodes. These shows were created only to tide the TV viewers over until the new season would begin after the Labor day weekend. These programs were mostly of the comedy/variety type that were amusing for what they were, but nothing really special! And since I didn’t have school and thus, living through “school nights”, I could stay up later with more TV follies, from The Tonight Show to a roster of old movies that played until the wee hours. These flicks made me appreciate the movies from not so long ago when Hollywood was indeed, Hollywood!

That little slice of life was how I did spend my “summer vacation”! Activities did vary over the years, but was mostly of the same idea. Of course, kids of this generation take upon a different method of spending their summers, mostly through activities and related matters as dictated by the kid’s caregivers. Some continue through school by way of a classroom setting or through a home school process. They may take on various “summer camps”, from the traditional ones (going off site to a camp ground located outside of the area) to the alternative camps, ones that focus upon a sporting activity, those that are career driven in artistic measures such as theatre, art, creative writing etc., or ones that concentrate on science/physics/math. (STEM stuff!) The type of summers that yours truly spent back in the day are seen nowadays as totally unappealing by the adults in charge, and perhaps by the kids themselves.

But whatever the case, summer is going to hang around for a while, so enjoy it while one can! And when the season shifts to another phase, one will make plans for the times ahead, such as picking out a Halloween costume, or getting ready for Black Friday! Stay tuned to this news service for further developments!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Son of Semele Theatre presents the American premier of Caridad Svich’s ARCHIPELAGO, a story of two souls who live within in their unique worlds that cross between affection, conflict, and the sense of losing one another while becoming connected through fate.

Michael Evans Lopez and Sarah Rosenberg portray the souls, a pair of lovers that come from contrasting backgrounds. They take upon a journey not of place of being, but through circumstance. They are first present an illusion that they are of a one. But through a movement that mimics a dream setting, their place between one situation to the adjoining calls for a time of content, only moving toward strife and war. These elements spreads them far apart as they witness where they have been and where they may be heading toward. They do wind up as one, long before they place the sense of where they belong within their universe.

This production is told through a series of dreamlike scenarios presented in a non-linear fashion. The characters presented that are unnamed, speak to one another while they apprise through prose, detailing what is taking place in their worlds they reside, even if though worlds no not necessarily exist in any real form. A lot goes on in this one act play as the players, Michael Evans Lopez as the man, and Sarah Rosenberg as the woman, dwell within their spaces as a cluster of islands set within oceans of water; close enough to be as a single body yet distinctive to be part of its own identity. The title of this stage work comes from the meaning of this description: an expanse of water with many scattered islands. Barbara Kallir shows these feats through her stage direction of this program as the characters fade between their sets, or “islands”, as they witness their higher stances between discord and their togetherness.

In addition to its players and their theatrical prose, Meg Cunningham’s scenic design features drapes that resemble clouds in a mist that enhances their dream-esque placing. Adding to this view is Alexander La Vallant Freer’s lighting that is ever changing in tones of subtle blues and greens, while Katerina Pagsolingan’s projection design depicts visions of moving imagery that are just as a stupor as the visions presented.

ARCHIPELAGO can be called a love story sans the traditional elements that would be found in such an epic. It holds a vast storage of imagination while never omitting where their is to go, and the purpose it leads upon.

   ARCHIPELAGO, performs at the Son of Semele theatre, 3301 Beverly Blvd. (at Hoover), Los Angeles, until June 18th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 5:00 PM. For tickets or for more information, visit the Son of Semele’s website at http://www.SonOfSemele.org
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 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!

FEELING BAD TO FEEL GOOD!

Not so long ago, one of our Accessibly Live Off-Line associates who are “cord nevers” (see Vol. 22-No. 20 for a detailed explanation to what a “cord never” is), subscribes to a number of the media streaming services that’s been part of the TV landscape of late. This party’s prime choice to view programming is Netflix, perhaps the be-all-to-end-all pick for watching new content, as well as what Netflix uses as their bread and butter–movies! One title these folks picked to view one early Sunday evening was the film Queen of Katwe, a 2016 release from The Walt Disney Company that features Madina Nalwanga as a young woman living in the African nation of Uganda that masters the game of chess. This flick was praised by film critics and by the public alike. Granted, it really didn’t place many big name stars (David Oyelowo was also featured, and although he does hold a number of film credits of noted movies to his name, he really isn’t considered to be a “big name film star” in the traditional sense), the film tried to carry itself on its own. It wasn’t a big box office smash either, only to gross less that $10 million during its theatrical run. But was a title that was presented to woo those voters of movie awards, perhaps picking this selection for a noted category. (Best Director, Best Picture, etc.)

When our associates (Steve and his spouse Christine) viewed this film using a big screen TV set rather than through their iPad sporting a 10” viewing area, they were pleased in what they experienced. However, one element form that viewing came to them. It really wasn’t about the acting, directing, or even the cinematography (they are not really involved in “the industry”, so those matters were really all for naught), but for its theme the movie spoke about. That concept that somebody living in a poor world nation can become a success in nearly anything, just as long as one tries to make an effort as well as the oft-told rule of believing in one’s self.

That’s all fine and well. However, Christine made a note of that idea. Yes, the film did show somebody that was downright poor and all, and was able to rise up by making a unique accomplishment in spite of the situation and odds that were faced. However, Christine made a comment about what she saw in the film. If the story shows that somebody can do this “anything”, what has Christine, a person that lives a much better life than the protagonist depicted in the movie, done for her life?

Christine and Steve live a standard “middle class” lifestyle. Christine is a school teacher for the public school system while Steve works for a company that makes a major product, making sure that the company’s goods are delivered to their distribution points around the Los Angeles county basin. It’s a real blue collar job but pays rather well. Christine’s gig is teaching classes in the 3rd grade level. Although she’s been doing this for some time, she feels she would rather do something else that’s more fulfilling. She’s a bit trapped in her work through various circumstances. She can’t move up to something else, both in the school district she works for, as well as finding something outside of the education community.

That scenario brings this mini story back to the the experience of watching what is suppose to be a movie of inspiration only to have that intended experience fall flat! Christine wanted to have those “feel good” moments that these kind of movies are expected by bring. But instead of finding this feature uplifting, it actually did the total opposite by making her somewhat depressed! She tended to ask herself questions such as “What have I accomplished for myself? How can I do such accomplishments?” “Where am I going in my life”?

This article isn’t going to limit itself with one’s personal life journey. This article speak for how a source (in this case, a movie) attempts to make a noteworthy point across only to have it fail or even backfire where its real meanings are not accepted or understood.

Domestic society now lives in an age where details and information over matters of significance can be obtained at nearly a moment’s notice that brings the facts in light. Granted, some of those facts may not be facts at all i.e. “fake news”. But one has to use their own judgement in taking on those notions in order to make situations in more of a progressive mode, weeding out what’s useful and what is there only for one’s use.

Not so long ago, a reader of this newsletter wrote to me directly stating that the reviews for shows I post are presented in a more positive light using the classic “glass 1/2 full” method of thought. Although not everything one sees or consumes is great. In fact, there is a lot of s#it out there! However, yours truly won’t write something to the effect of “this thing sucks!”, but will find something that is pleasing and acceptable for what it is. That can be used for much of other aspects as well. Christine for instance, does hold an occupation that has been well underrated, yet she provides a service that will affect the lives of the kids she teaches every day of the school year. Some may even progress in life recalling how such a teacher of theirs from their past schooling did something to change their life, even if that change was just only for the moment. These efforts may not show any immediate results, but does make an important difference nevertheless!

But movies are movies, not depictions of the so-called “real life”. One can guess that a lot of creative license was placed within the film, so the episodes depicted may not be totally accurate. However, the point was to set up a situation that anyone can use in their own life. It may be mastering a chess game, or even playing caretaker to a friend or family member who might need this care. It’s all what one does and the impact it brings.

But all was not lost for Christine. After she and Steve soaked up the efforts of that film, they watched another feature right afterwards, Suicide Squad, an action film based on a DC comic that was released around the same time of year that Queen of Katwe was playing in the moving picture houses. Although that movie was more of a commercial success playing to more of a general audience as well as having a different theme, there wasn’t much of anything in that picture to make in uplifting! But it was entertaining for what it was. At least Christine and Steve enjoyed it!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills closes out their 2016-17 season with Terence Rattigan’s SEPARATE TABLES, a drama that blends a pair of stories that uses the same characters and setting.

The location is a residential boutique hotel placed within a small seaside village located a distance from London. Its period is in the latter years of the 1950’s. The first episode entitled Table By The Window, speaks upon a left wing politician writer John Malcolm (Adrian Neil) who in recent years had fallen upon hard times with his excessive drinking. He also did time in prison for assaulting his now ex-wife Anne Shankland. (Susan Priver). John is currently having a fling with the manager of the hotel, Miss Cooper (Diana Angelina). Anne then shows up at the hotel unexpectedly. Was her appearance at this hostel an arranged appearance or was is totally “accidental”? The second act Table Number Seven takes place over a year later at the same hotel. The focus is resident Major David Pollack (David Hunt Stafford), a retired army officer who has taken an interest with Sybel (Roslyn Cohn) who lives with her mother (Mona Lee Wylde) at the hotel. Sybel is rather awkward, but still respects this former military official. However, the Major holds a deep secret. He’s been accused with molesting female patrons at the local movie house, and Sybel’s mother exposes him for what he has done. Sybel’s mother manipulates the remaining residents of the hotel to expel him for his evil deed. Will the Major leave the hotel or will be allowed to stay, and will Sybel herself join suit?

This melodrama by British playwright Terence Rattigan is a play that is very talky, meaning that there is more dialogue spoken throughout than character driven action. This form of play writing comes from the standard variety of theater pieces that is normally found in plays originating from the UK in the pre-television era, or at least before television made any major impact!

Theatre 40’s presentation of this play holds much of the same traits. It features a rather powerful cast of players that includes in addition to those noted above, Melissa Collins as Jean Stratton, John Wallace Combs as Mr. Fowler, Michele Schultz as Miss Meacham, Caleb Slavens as Charles Stratton, Suzan Solomon as Doreen, and Mariko Van Kampen as Lady Mathison that do speak in droves while extracting their emoting.

Jeff G. Rack, Theatre 40’s resident set decorator, creates a setting that features a center drop that fluctuates between the hotel’s main sitting room and the restaurant through a large turntable that’s spun between scenes. The wings of the stage at left and right remain the same, blending in its appropriate stage sites.

Directed by Jules Aaron, SEPARATE TABLES as displayed by Theatre 40 holds a respected title as the two stories stand alone to one another, yet mingles with its physical presence.

And speaking of this theatre company, Theatre 40 has released its listing of plays that will be performed as part of its 52nd season. The year kicks off on July 20th with the west coast premier of Arun Lakra’s Sequence, followed by another west coast premier, David MacGregor’s Vino Veritas, opening on September 1st. Its next presentation, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily by Katie Forgette opens as a Los Angeles premier on November 16th. On January 18th of ’18, Kate Henning’s The Last Wife makes the stage as another Los Angeles premier, followed by John Morogiello’s Engaging Shaw, opens as yet another Los Angeles premier on March 15th. And rounding out the season is A.A. Milne’s Mr. Pim Passes By on May 17th. Complete details to all shows can be found through Theatre 40’s website as noted below.

SEPARATE TABLES, 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 18th. 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.com
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LONG WAY DOWN, Nate Eppler’s black-esque comedy about one’s woman’s self conflicted campaign to save little ones in a peril and the family she holds a connection to, makes its west coast premier at the Sherry Theatre in North Hollywood.

Taking place at a run down home in a semi-rural community just north of Nashville, Tennessee lives Saralee (Christa Haxthausen) and her husband Duke (Lane Wray). Living within this same household is Sharleen’s younger sister Maybelline (Meg Wallace). Maybelline lives at home since she can’t function on her own due to something that occurred in her past, making her appear rather awkward and perhaps mildly “retarded”! Sharleen herself is the breadwinner of the family since Duke can’t work on his construction assignments due to his depression. Karen (Lauri Hendler), a friend of Sharleen, tends to hang around the house in spite of Sharleen’s wishes, nearly forbidding her to be present. Karen, as she holds a rather questionable past, discovers that at the local day care center one of the babies there was seen with a black eye, giving the impression that the mother is beating the child. So Karen hatches a plot to save these babies from their possible destruction from their parents. This notion of Karen’s leads into something that is far deeper that imagined, even getting Maybelline into this scheme.

This is a form of play that features characters that can be described as classic “poor white trash” that live a lower middle class lifestyle, speak with southern twangs, and holds as much intelligence as a high school (GED) graduate! Those elements boost the comic relief that production suggests. However, the plot becomes rather macabre that eliminated much of the laugh factor one would expect. (This writer won’t give any plot points away, but take it from yours truly that the story becomes darker as it progresses!)
This form of black-ese humor makes this play rather appealing! The cast of four that appear play their roles as the group of backwaters that actually exist in some mode. Not necessarily as the characters depicted on stage, but they do come pretty close enough!

Steve Jarrard directs this program in a tight progressive method, making everyone an anti-hero without anyone doing anything remotely heroic!
LONE WAY DOWN can be a vague description of going down a long way! Although what does happen isn’t anything as a laughing matter per se, it still posses that humor one would want to find. So be it!

LONG WAY DOWN, presented by the Collaborative Artist Ensemble, performs at the Sherrie Theatre, 11052 Magnolia Blvd. (one half block east of Lankershim, and one half block west of Vineland), North Hollywood, until June 18th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. For ticket reservations, call (323) 860-6569, or online at http://LongWayDown.BrownPaperTickets.com
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The Angle City Chorale presents INTERACTIVE, a musical program that’s described as an imaginative multidimensional event that is of the sight and sound.
This presentation will be a unique and involved program that is far from a customary choral performance. Interactive will blend the theory of choir and cyberspace to mesh the elements between the chorale as performers and its audience that respects the essentials of being connected in this post-modern society.

Interactive will be bridging the gap between the classic style of musical performance that the ACC is well known for, as well as introducing aspects that make up what appears to be all around most of everyone: the opportunity to become part of what’s all everywhere media. Sue Fink, ACC’s artistic director and founder, will take the lead in presenting its legacy harmonic tones fusing classical with gospel, rhythm & blues, jazz, and world (folk) music as performed by its 160 plus male & female vocal choir and a 22-piece orchestra, taking full advantage of the natural sound-enriching acoustics of its performance space.

Oh, yes! According to a note as expressed by Sue Fink, since this show is indeed “interactive” she states that this time around, she will encourage those in attendance to NOT turn off their phones!

INTERACTIVE, presented by the Angel City Chorale, will take place for two shows, Saturday, June 3rd, and Sunday, June 4th at 7:00 PM at the Wilshire United Methodist Church, 4350 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (Hancock Park) located between Highland Ave. and Crenshaw Blvd. and right next door to the Wilshire-Ebel Theatre. Tickets can be obtained in advance (a $5.00 savings) or at the door. It’s recommended to arrive as early as possible as the church’s parking lot can only hold a limited number of vehicles, and finding street parking can be problematic.

To obtain tickets in advance, visit http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2920022. Information on ACC can be found at http://www.angelcitychorale.org and through social media via Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/AngelCityChorale, Twitter – https://twitter.com/AngelCityChoral, YouTube – http://www.youtube.com/user/AngelCityChorale
and SoundCloud – https://soundcloud.com/angelcitychorale
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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

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

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 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 IS TELEVISION?

In what appears to be as the never ending saga of the ever changing status of the “idiot box”, that so-called “box” really isn’t a box anymore. It’s now either a large sized picture frame that carries moving imagery with sound, a notebook sized picture frame that dose the same thing its large sized cousin dose, or it can be a hand held device that also dose the same thing. This time, the picture is tiny and its sound isn’t of any better quality or even louder!

All three devices are television machines, or so says a recent report from the marking group GfK MRI. The report addressed the aspects on how people receive their programming choices. And it notes that its new selection is what’s called streaming, a method where video and audio content is delivered through an internet based connection. This study focused on the attitudes and behaviors from 10,000 people across the US within the last few months.

This study divided those polled and researched into two unique groups of viewers. One group called “cord cutters” are those that once subscribed to cable and/or satellite TV for a monthly service fee, and those called “cord nevers”, those that never held a subscription to cable or dish delivered TV signals.

The former CATV subscribers tended to be middle aged, around 43 or so years old (i.e. “Gen Xers”), while the cord nevers were younger, around 34. The latter age are the Millenniums that advertisers and marketers tend to love and embrace,. Never mind the fact that that age groups hold plenty of debt through student loan payments, they aren’t necessarily earning a lot through their newer entry into the work force, not to they hold a lot of equity. But they are tech savvy, and that’s what matters for the moment!

Anyway, both the cord cutters and nevers receive their television through streaming services such as Hulu, Amazon, HBO Go, and the granddaddy of them all, Netflix. Although each one dose charge for their services, it’s usually for a cost that’s a whole lot cheaper than what cable/satellite would want each month. And unlike traditional cable where programs are aired when the programmer decides when to air the shows, streaming allow those to watch whatever they want when they want, without going through the trouble to setting up a digital video recorder (DVR) to capture a specific program on a specific channel on a specific date.

The report when on to state that the cutter and the nevers have their own lists of favorite programs they stream each session, either as single installments or as watching in bulk a.k.a. binge watching. Their “top-10” list of programs have similar interests as streaming only titles. The cutters stick to Netflix exclusively, while the nevers do enjoy Netflix titles, or do have favorites streaming on both Hulu and Amazon.

And what are those top-ten faves? The cutters choose (in order of preference from one through ten), Orange Is The New Black, Stranger Things, House of Cards, Fuller House, Making a Murderer, Luke Cage, Marvel’s Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Black Mirror, and Arrested Development.

As for the nevers? Their picks are (again, from one through ten), Orange Is The New Black, Fuller House, Stranger Things, Daredevil, The Mindy Project, All or Nothing, Narcos, Black Mirror, Arrested Development, and Man in the High Castle. The Mindy Project is a Hulu series, while All or Nothing and Man in the High Castle come from Amazon. Nexflix takes on the rest.

So where is all of this going? It just presents how habits are shifting within TV viewers and the stuff that they take a peek at. Although streaming is the new method of TV consumption, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the standard way of presenting TV fodder is going on the wayside, yet along what device is used. It that is really the case, it’s not going to be that way for quite a while. After all, even if one does hold an opportunity to binge on a program series doesn’t mean they will actually do that. It’s not really easy to binge watch a series on a screen 2” in size. That’s just asking for a lot of eyestrain!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Road Theatre Company of North Hollywood closes their 2016-17 season with the Los Angeles premier of Nicky Silver’s THE LYONS, a rather darkish comedy about a family that undergoes one crisis to another with the (almost) expected results.

The Lyons family could be described as a typical Jewish middle class clan that lives through their content life, but they are anything but happy! And if they are, they are all pleased for the wrong reasons. The scene opens in a hospital room somewhere in midtown Manhattan. Ben Lyons (James Handy) the patriarch of this group, is dying of cancer. His visitors in his large yet private “suite” consist of his wife Rita (Judith Scrapone) and their two adult kids, Lisa (Verity Branco) and sibling Curtis (Chad Coe). Lisa, a recovering alcoholic, has recently divorced her husband while getting custody of her kids, and Curtis, a struggling writer of short stories, has his own issues with his domestic partners–assuming that they actually exist! Rita and Ben have been married for some time and it shows! Even when he’s lying on his hospital (death) bed, he continues to bicker with Rita and anyone else within reach. Although everyone has their own dealings to face, it doesn’t seem that anybody has any desire to care for anyone. And that scenario is just the first act! The second act has Curtis looking for an apartment meeting with Brian (Kris Frost), the real estate agent. That innocent episode turns into something more intense than inspecting dwelling places that are far from Curtis’s affordability based on what he earns as a writer. Whatever the outcome, this “happy” family shows off their true colors to one another and then some!

This play by Nicky Silver takes upon a subject that can be extracted from a post-modern yet melodramatic “art” film, and turns it into a comical episode that is indeed a hoot, in spite of the fact that is features a character getting closer to death. This form of expiration only brings the comedy factor towards a higher level, as all of these family members are just as F-ed up as the rest! The four leading players as seen in their performance mesh together as a family that has no bonding, unless the bonding has something to do with an “every-(wo)man-for-his/herself” attitude! Scott Alan Smith directs this production in a rapid pace, meaning that most of the fighting is somewhat limited to verbal barbs rather than physical i.e. throwing fists. That is the method normally used in domestic brawls. But this normal family as depicted on the stage are far from bring normal, so there goes one’s proof!

Special note is taken to Sarah B. Brown’s scenic design of the hospital room that factors with what one would find in a upper scale hospital, complete with bland hotel-type decor along with the standard medical fixtures placed. Ditto for a second scene location (an empty apartment) that is transformed through a clever scenic change method.

Also appearing in this production is Liz Herron (alternating with Amy Tolsky) as the hospital nurse–the only “normal” character of the bunch.

THE LYONS is indeed a very black comedy that is funny for both the correct and incorrect reasons. Although the name of this play gives out the title of the family moniker, one may believe that “The Lyons” is part of some majestic bloodline that holds a prestige lineage. But as reality as it is, it’s just another depiction of a dysfunctional family that is just as s#itty as the next! That may not hold much status, but it’s a whole lot comical than that!

THE LYONS, presented by The Road Theatre Company, and performs at The Road on Lankershim, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, until July 1st. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. For tickets or for more information, call (818) 761-8838, or online at http://www.RoadTheatre.org
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