HELL IN A HAND BASKET

Not too long ago, I was with an associate driving him around town to take care of his number of errands. This person, who I’ll call “Olif” (I changed his name to protect myself from possible lawsuits), presently has a bad foot due to an advanced case of diabetes. He can’t drive himself around, so as a courtesy to him as I knew Olif for some time, I sometimes play taxi driver for him.

During our misadventures going from one unremarkable place to another, Olif tends to engage conversation with me. Sometimes he asks me advice upon getting himself published–he is currently writing a book discussing a physics entry, a topic that this writer knows nothing about, or perhaps something in the news.

One question he asked, or actually, a series of questions, dealt with the conflicts going on in North Korea. He was rather concerned over North Korea’s collection of arsenal, mostly in the form of H-bombs.

Among the many inquires he made to me, he asked be about what if that nation let loose a series of bombs toward Los Angeles. He asked “If a bomb went off in Los Angeles, would my homeowners insurance cover the damage, or would FEMA take care of it?” He also went on over other inquiries that, when finding them in another perspective, would sound like a series of skit ideas performing on Saturday Night Live.

He also went on upon other concerns within this nation, drifting back and forth over the current political regime. Finally, he make a general statement on the shape of things.

“Do you think that the world is finally going to hell in a hand basket?”, he asked me, right before he went upon another semi-topical subject.

I really didn’t know if Olif was serious with his questions, or was he just trying to be funny. Granted, his various errands he wanted to me do for him wasn’t anything remarkable. If fact, it was rather boring and dull! Perhaps he was asking me these questions and stating his concerns just to break the monotony over this nearly forgettable afternoon.

However, the statement he did inquire about that spoke upon–the world going to hell in a hand basket, was the one that had some form of meaning, especially of what’s been going on within the previous weeks.

When anything happens, be it for the good or for the not so good, the news of such can travel as fast as the elements will allow. If the news is good and it’s of importance, such details can make a decent flow. When the news is more of a tragic nature, it tends to move much faster with every little detail reported within seconds of occurrence. And thanks to social media, just about anyone with some tech knowledge, as well as an ever lovin‘ cellphone, can send text messages and capture still and/or moving imagery (i.e. digital photos and videos) ready to be uplinked via any platform that accepts such elements. (Twitter, YouTube, etc.)

In the case of tragic events from the big ones to the trivial occurrences, such information can be sent by anyone and accessed by anyone! And since the notion of news that uses the oft quoted yet unwritten law of “If It Bleeds It Leads” sneers, the bad stuff rises above the good details, no matter how important or trivial the tragic facts may appear.

Since the days when technology became accessible and somewhat affordable, people held the tendency of capturing each and every moment of their lives for all to see. Even when such imagery isn’t available online per se, people can record just about anything and everything they want. There has been countless details on, let’s say, a new birth taking place. Many of those not only make an attempt to capture the actual birth through moving imagery, but will forward the images to those that are within the birther’s domain. And if they want to upload the pictures and/or video somewhere, so be it!

But getting back to the tragic events. When something does occur, such as the episode that took place is Las Vegas recently, imagery of what went on was being uploaded within minutes of the episode with a few pieces of moving imagery going online as live! And these images were not performed by any professional news media. They were created by John and Jane Q. Public with their every present phones in hand, always ready, willing, and able to capture the moment for all to see!

When the recent natural disasters from fires, floods, earthquakes, and unsettled weather patterns occurred, there were news reports coming in at a breakneck pace, mostly from those that were in the area when everything happened. And since all of this bad news were coming in by the second, one may think that society is letting loose and thus, going to hell in a hand basket!

There have been tragic events going on in this nation and the rest of the world since the beginning of time. Depending on the occurrence, the news and information of such episodes traveled in a slower pace. If the tragic episode was localized, such as a house on fire, one would not know about that house fire if they were not in the neighborhood where the fire took place. Thus, such bad news would be shielded. In today’s world, people will report on a house fire to anyone with a electronic device with a screen and an internet connection no matter where they are! (This writer has seen such local tragic events from communities yours truly will never visit, let along knew they existed beforehand!)

So to answer’s Olif’s question if the world is indeed going to hell in an hand basket or any for of carrying device, the answer is “not necessarily”! In spite of all of the bad news, there are many people who do care for one another! There are more of these forms of good souls than the ones that are harmful! However, texts, tweets, and YouTube videos of people of the good are not as amusing as material as, perhaps somebody getting shot! Yes, this sounds a bit macabre, but this is how it appears to be-take it for what it’s worth!

And for those that want to know if your home owners insurance covers h-bomb blasts? See your policy if such “events of a human nature” (or related wording) are indeed covered–assuming that the bomb doesn’t blow up the insurance company to smithereens!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Performing at Hollywood’s Stella Adler Theatre is the world premier of DAUGHTERS OF THE KUSH, George W. Corbin’s play that takes place at a legacy Black sorority set within a smaller college in the Midwest that takes as a new pledge, a white woman that would become its first “non-Negro” member.

It’s the start of the 1963 fall semester at Plains University in Iowa. Among the many sororities that exist on campus is Lambda Kappa Nu, a long established Black institution where its sisters (members) are called “Daughters of the Kush”, named for a sect once located in ancient Egypt. Its pledge chair is Claira (Vanoy Burroughs, alternating with Charlotte Williams) who, along with her associate “sisters” Rhonda (Charlotte Evelyn Williams, alternating with Alisa Murray) and Brenda (Dee Dee Stephens), decides upon just who can become a chosen “daughter”. One woman who desires to become a member is Kathy (Hanna Mae Sturges). Unlike past pledges, called “Kandies” that must go through the rituals that the sorority dictates, Kathy is rather unique. She is of the Jewish persuasion, and she’s white. She was adapted by Black parents, and her adoptive mother was once a member of this group. But there is more than the expected liturgicals that make up sorority life. There are the conflicts between the blending of the races as the era faced, as well as the consequences that resulted.

This is a play that deals with some of the trails and tribulations that were occurring during the period in domestic society on the attempts to integrate of the various races, especially those that were Causation (White) and those that were Negro (Black), set within a collage campus. The production focuses upon how an outsider makes an effort to become part of a group whose ethic origins had been suppressed unfairly. Playwright George W. Corbin, himself a member of a historical Black fraternity in his collegiate years, created a work that are toward these points. The director of this production Veronica Thompson, also comes from sorority background. These two blend their collegiate experience in expressing its noteworthy elements where its cast members brings these same expressions on to the performing stage.

Also featured in the production are Mack Miles, Paris Nocole, Brandon Raines, and Conor Sheehan.

DAUGHTERS OF THE KUSH is far from being another play that takes a look upon “greek life” on a college campus. It’s focus set itself upon a stand where being with one’s own kind can be both a blessing and a curse. Integration in its traditional sense would take generations to eventually fall into place. There has been the progression as well as setbacks. But college life differs from so-called “real life”. That difference does hold its own long after pledges become accepted and acknowledged.

DAUGHTERS OF THE KUSH, performs at The Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Blvd. (at Highland), Hollywood, until October 29th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 3:00 PM. For ticket reservations, call (213) 908-5032, or via online at https://corbinkush.eventbrite.com
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Returning to the Santa Monica Playhouse is Jerry Meyer’s comedy A LOVE AFFAIR, a tale of the life of a domestic married couple that looks at the ups and downs found within their times, through careers, sex, and all points in between!

The couple in question are Jimmy and Alice Diamond, seen within a nearly forty year time span. The tale opens with the elder Jimmy and Alice (Chris DeCarlo and Evelyn Rudie) packing their goods as they downsize their home. Jimmy became a successful writer of sitcoms, while Alice became a homemaker. The story shifts between the current Alice and Jimmy to their younger selves. Jacob Cooper and Andrea Adnoff play the younger Diamonds as they are first seen on their honeymoon in Acapulco in the early 1950’s. Their lives are later experienced between the past and present as Jimmy starts out as a struggling writer, hoping to make it in the “biz”, as Alice become involved in supporting politicians running for higher office. Throughout the decades, Jimmy and Alice encounter the successes and failures in their lives. Some are good while others fall short, even running very close to disaster, both financial and emotional. In spite of it all, there is one bond they they hold on to within the four decades of their togetherness, and that bond is themselves.

This stage work by Jerry Meyer is a semi-autobiographical tale that mirrors much of the playwright’s own life, with a bit of creative license added for comedy relief. The writing is witty and sharp, much akin to material found in a sitcom. No surprise here, as Jerry has penned many real sitcoms that graced the TV landscape for many decades. (Many of the sitcoms that Jimmy Diamond wrote for appear as thinly disguised titles to actual TV programs that Jerry Meyer created!)

The play’s production values also speaks for the quality of this piece as well! Eric Jon’s lighting set design and video imagery easily morphs between the life and times of Jimmy and Alice from its 1950’s origins to the early 1990’s–the period that this play was first created and presented. Adding to the production aspects are Steve Mayer’s (son of the playwright) musical interludes that are heard between shifts of scenes.

In addition to the cast of four, Rachel Galpher appears in various characters that become part of Jimmy and Alice’s life throughout the junctures and eras they both share.

Directed by Chris Decarlo, A LOVE AFFAIR is a classic tale of a couple that still sets themselves through the good times and the not-so-good periods of their lives. The catch phrase of this program is “Till debt to us part”, meaning it dose speak for many married couples that hold their own personal trails and tribulations. It doesn’t matter what a Mr. and Mrs. (or “Ms.” if one desires) goes through in life as the moral of this story is that love conquers all, even if that love can be written in a script that performs in a 24 minute time span–not counting for the commercial breaks!

A LOVE AFFAIR, presented and performs at The Santa Monica Playhouse, 1211 4th Street (at Wilshire Blvd.), Santa Monica, until November 19th. Showtimes are Saturday nights at 7:30 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 3:30 PM. For more information or for ticket reservations, call (310) 394-9779 ext. 1, or via online at http://www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com/A-Love-Affair.html
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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!

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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

This issue’s date lands on a holiday. In the USA, the second Monday of October has been declared since 1971 as Columbus Day, the day to commentate the moment when Christopher Columbus supposedly discovered the New World that eventually became North America and connected to that, the good ol’ USA.

For many years, school kids in this nation learned about Chris and his antics convincing Queen Isabella of Spain to fund his trip by placing her jewels at a hock shop. The year this episode took place was in 1492. There was even a ditty created to remember this date that went under the effect of “Christopher Columbus set sail on the ocean blue in 1492”. To throw the kids off when they were going to take their history test that contained the question “What year did Christopher Columbus discover America?”, somebody composed “Christopher Columbus sailed the deep blue sea in 1493”. This little catch phrase caught on, giving these poor kids a wrong answer on their test. Of course, this may have been arranged back during the time where commercial jingles were at their peak. Many a kid that was hooked on to media that was at the time limited to radio and TV, knew the lyrics to short and catchy songs that attempted to sell something, everything from kid-friendly products allowing those same kids to wish they were an Oscar Meyer weenier, to products that were anything but kid-friendly! (“Winstons taste good like a cigarette should”, etc.!)

Over time and tide as commercial jingles were no longer as catchy as they used to be, the notion of having a federal holiday that commemorated Chris’s journey to the so-called new world had also lost its luster. There has been notes circulating that Chris’s treatment to the people that were living on the land he discovered were anything but friendly. Also, the notion of Chris being a hero of some sort has also been faded through time. For those that are of Italian decent, his being is felt as a sense of legacy and pride. In many cities that have a strong Italian presence mostly located in the northeast and midwest parts of the country such as New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, and so on, Columbus Day parades are held that pay tribute to the man in question as well as to celebrate the Italian heritage as its focus.

Since the 1990’s when political correctness started to kick in, the notion of changing the name and scope of “Columbus Day” has been a subject that’s been coming and going around. There have been groups that state that the day should reflect upon the native people that existed at the time of Chris’s discovery. Those people were known as “Indians”. This name should not necessarily be confused with the former name of “Indians” now known as “Native Americans”, since at the time of landing (1492), there was no “America” to speak of. However, those of Italian decent state that the day should commemorate the presence of Italians that are part of the melting pot that make up the population of America. Others that are of a different heritage stated that they should receive a day where their background should be recognized that also make up the same melting pot. And the argument continues.

Columbus Day as a whole is one of those federal holidays that don’t receive the same respect as to the other holidays that are on the USA calendar. Unless one lives near or is part of a community that is of Italian heritage, the day isn’t mentioned as much. Here in Los Angeles, there are no Columbus Day parades taking place to speak of. Ditto for any other forms of celebrations outside of “Columbus Day Sales” that some retailers may use to lure customers into their stores and/or their websites. In fact, many people have nearly forgotten about Columbus Day as a whole. The only time they even notice that it’s a holiday is when they find out that banks are closed, no mail delivery takes place (assuming that people still remember mail delivery, but that’s another topic as it stands), and city government may not be doing anything that day! Many businesses don’t close on that day either, not even recognizing that day as a holiday! (When yours truly was once employed at a cable TV company owned by Westinghouse, we had a choose to either take off Columbus Day or the day after Thanksgiving. No prize will be offered to anyone to guess what day everyone picked as their holiday!)

However, it is a holiday in Canada as it’s Thanksgiving Day where the banks are closed, mail delivery stops, and local government isn’t doing anything! However, unlike the American Thanksgiving that falls on the fourth Thursday in November (not necessarily the last Thursday in November) that unofficially kicks off the “Holiday” (formally “Christmas”) shopping season, the folks in Canada uses another backstory to their Thanksgiving. To get the details, one can always look it up! That’s why Google exists, no matter what name you use!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
Skypilot Theatre opens their theater season with a pair of one-act plays: Sean Abley’s ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART… and Jalisa LeeLee Jackson’s COMB YOUR HAIR (OR YOU’LL LOOK LIKE A SLAVE), each one takes upon a basic subject as told by a variety of characters through a non-linear pattern.

The first play as part of the double bill ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART… speaks for a situation where an up-and-coming ballet dancer is driven to her death by falling in the path of a subway train in the lower bowels of New York. A series of characters confess about this death through their own means. Some knew the late dancer, a few knew of the victim, and others become affected in more of a distant sense as the characters tell their side through monologues and first person accounts.

The second production COMB YOUR HAIR (OR YOU’LL LOOK LIKE A SLAVE) consists of a collection of short skits and formal orations by African American women of various ages and sizes that deal with their hair, expressing notions ranging from fashion statements to personal self dispensation and privilege.

Both of these plays were composed by playwrights based in the Los Angeles area, and each one became a national finalist for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s 2017 John Cauble Short Play Award. (These two were finalists out of four!) What makes these plays unique is its method of delivery, carrying these works through its progression of its dialogue, speaking upon its subject matter through self driven monologues addressing the audience. ABSENCE.. uses as its base, the Hans Christian Anderson fable “The Red Shoes”, while COMB.. uses personal experience as its platform, as playwright Jalisa LeeLee Jackson has previous written plays for women and femmes of the African diaspora.

Each production features a separate cast. Featured in ABSENCE are (in order of their appearance), Catherine Davis Cox, Marie-Francoise Theodore, Miss Barbie Q, Maggie Manyan, Ian Stanley, Javier Melgar Santovena, Thomas Colby, Sarah Lilly, Ian Salazar, Andra Nguyen, Kasey Miller, Tony Kim, Natalie Nicole Dressel, Francoise Tiadem, Easton Schirra, Heather Boothby, Kieth Wheeler, Carlyle Coash, Sarah Marcum, and Morris Schorr, performing under the direction of Chrisanne Blankenship-Billings.

COMB features (again, in order of appearance), Shereen Macklin, Miss Barbie Q, Alexa Briana Crimson, Skye Ellis, Carene Rose Mekertichyan, and Mimi Tempestt, performing under the stage direction of Kumi James.

Single act plays are a distinctive breed as they tend to cram as much detail about its plotting and characters as told within a shorter time span. If done correctly, this condensed method of theatre can become a powerful aspect that gets its points across quickly yet throughly. And these two accomplish these elements throughout through timing, dramatic grace, and the notion that it speaks for its subject matter directly to its audience in an intimate setting.

ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART… and COMB YOUR HAIR (OR YOU’LL LOOK LIKE A SLAVE), presented by Skypilot Theatre, performs at the Arena Stage, 1625 North Las Palmas Avenue (one half block south of Hollywood Blvd.), Hollywood, until October 29th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.
For ticket reservations, order online at http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com/event/3085800.
Visit Skypilot Theatre through social media outlets via Facebook at
http://www.Facebook.com/SkypilotTheatre, and via Twitter @SkypilotTheatre

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A PIECE OF MY HEART, Shirley Lauro’s play that tells the unique stories of a group of six women who served their time during the battle of Viet Nam, performs at The Charles Stewart Howard Playhouse in Woodland Hills.

In 1969, six women that originated from different backgrounds and backdrops became aware of the current war the nation was in conflict with. The women were Martha (Janet Lee), Sissy (Tuesday Grant), Whitney (Sarai Jimenez), Leann (Kaleen Ugai), Steel (Markietha Ka ‘Von) and MaryJo (Mackayla Hill). Steel served in the Woman’s Army Corp (WAC). The others were registered nurses, while one was a member of a small country & western group, hired through her group’s manager to perform in touring USO shows. Although they would not fight in battle (females were restricted to perform in combat at the time), they would eventually become part of the military action. However, most of these women were rather young. With only a high school education, they trusted their recruiters that serving in a military war front would be limited to the base, far away from any battlegrounds. However, this would not be the case. Dealing with military protocol while mingling with the servicemen with care, (sexual relations were against military rules), along with the exposures of the horrors of war and its aftermaths, these women performed to the best in not only serving their nation, but to come to the physical and emotional aide of these “fighting boys”. Upon their discharge, the battles continue. This time, it’s a reaction between the disrespect by war protesters, post-traumatic stress, and the effects to chemical exposure–elements they would take upon themselves for many years after long after the guns turned silent.

This play shows the causes and effects of war that were based upon an act of patriotic duties as told through the perspectives of these women, presented by a series of linear scenes and monologues. The mood changes from promising and upbeat (what did these women know what they would get themselves into?), to horrific (serving within a war zone would lead toward exposure to horrific injury and death), leading to their post-war inner and outer personal conflicts, finally settling to a recognition of respect of duty long after the fact. The cast of the six female leads featured in this presentation perform in a harmonious fashion, keeping up to the momentum that the play expresses. Marshelle Giggles-Mills directs this program that doesn’t take sides, but showcases an honest truth.

Also appearing within this production are Paulina Logan, Caitlyn Rose Massey, Chris Clonts, Bradley Sharper, Nancy Woods, Jaime Dorsch, and Silky Eugenia Bell.

The title A PIECE OF MY HEART, suggest that these women wanted to offer a “piece of their heart” in serving for the good of their nation and for humanity as a whole. Although it would take a generation to finally obtain the respect they well deserved, they did receive their own memorial wall in Washington DC, a little over ten years after the original Vietnam War Memorial wall was erected. In today’s landscape, anyone who does their part for humanity, be it for a military situation, a civilian based confrontation, or anyone that “rallies around the flag” toward the aid of others deserves their place in the limelight within their own right. The human spirit does exist today, no matter how popular (or not-so-popular) the cause calls for!

A PIECE OF MY HEART, is presented at the Charles Stewart Howard Playhouse (Harter Hall) on the campus of Woodland Hills Community Church, 21335 Dumetz Road (at Canoga Blvd.)Woodland Hills. Performances take place on Saturday and Sunday, October 14th and 15th at 7:00 PM. Ticket reservations can be obtained via online at http://pomh.brownpapertickets.com/
Visit the CSH Theatre through social media at https://www.facebook.com/WHCTheatre/

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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!

WHO WATCHES THIS STUFF?

Since the Labor Day weekend, this humble writer has been receiving a number of e-mail messages from public relations companies informing me about a new film that is going to be opening within the upcoming days or weeks. These movies (and I am using the term “movies” are most of these titles will be released in a traditional theatrical distribution system), appear to be selections that are either of a melodramatic nature, hipper and perhaps “smarter” comedies, or are documentaries that deal with subjects of importance ranging from human trafficking to political strife here in this country and other nations abroad. These same features are being released or distributed by smaller independent companies that are separate from the standard Hollywood studios. If the company is connected to a bigger studio such as Sony Classic Pictures witch is linked to Sony Studios aka Columbia Pictures, then the distribution firm deals with so-called “independent” films or are one that are of an “art house” nature.

Anyway, this humble writer has been receiving notices that these titles will be released into theaters. And unlike traditional features where their opening means a massive amount of movie screens will screen this movie at the same time (say, 2000 screens plus), these titles will open in just a handful of places, even as little that one sole theatre, usually found in New York City and/or Los Angeles.

Now, why you may ask (assuming that you readers even care), on why is this writer getting all of these press releases about these movies that feature a heavy story line with a cast of performers that are far from being “box office” material, or are documentaries are were created to speak about an issue or issues of importance?

First or all, yours truly is a member of a film critics trade group whose same members write about newer movies, and these notices are being sent for general awareness. In addition, these notices are also being sent in connection to their release dates as it’s coming closer to the end of the calendar year–the deadline when movies can be eligible to become nominated to win awards, from the citations given by the trade groups (Director’s Guild, Writer’s Guild, Art Director’s Guild, etc.) to the holy grail of them all, being able to win an Oscar or two!

That’s all fine and good for what that stands for. However, upon seeing what films are coming through the pipeline of late, this writer sometime have to ask one question. What demographic are these movies being addressed to? The movies that were released during the summer season that ranges from late April-early May to the end of August, tend to be bigger titles that are either an action/adventure genre with a lean toward comic book super hero types, all-ages animation, or other similar titles that are big on star power and are overladen with special effects! And that market that desire those type of movies are steered toward a younger group, usually the under the 30 year old set. Even through this age group is perhaps the most wired of the bunch, they are still willing to plunk down $10.00 and up to see these movies in a traditional theatre setting even though these same folks can see these same movies on any electronic device that sports a video screen. The method they may use may not be legal by any means, but it can be done nevertheless!

So who are these smaller movies geared toward? From what it appears to be, the demographics are of folks of a certain age that grew up on the notion to see movies in a movie theatre and are not based upon comic book characters or are animated titles more appealing toward kids! That demographic are those over the age of 55, better known as the ever lovin’ “Baby Boomers”. This same demographic are also members of those for noted trade groups that hold the voting privilege to choose a film to win some kind of award.

Or course, there is noting wrong for movies that might be favorites to the more seasoned groups. These folks are just as willing to watch films that are not viewed on a screen device and pay for the privilege. However, the younger set are just as willing to watch movies in a movie house as well. Those films just make more money that a “art” movie can churn out.

Recently, the AARP, that writes about movies geared toward their demographic calling their musings Movies for Grownups, made a comment over the movies released during the summer of ’17. They stated that out of the film titles that made the most in domestic gross, the top five, Wonder Woman, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Despicable Me 3 and Dunkirk, only one was an original title, the Warner Bros. release of Dunkirk, a movie that takes place in the early days of World War II. The AARP also noted that unlike the big summer hits ruling the way, there were a few disappointments, such as The Mummy, Alien: Covenant, Baywatch and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. Those same studios should not overlook the more mature potential moviegoers that will still see a movie that isn’t viewed through their phones!

But in spite of all of this notion of what movies are for who, this is all based upon simple business principals. The reason why movies are made is to make money. The reason why people want to see movies is to be entertained. If a studio makes a movie that is indeed entertaining, people will plunk down admission to see these films and thus, will generate movie for all involved. It’s the basic case of supply and demand!

It’s going to be rather hard to tell if these so-called award grabbing films will make money as that is generally up to the movie goers who pay to view these movies, and the titles that the studios will make available. Some will indeed make an amount that is of blockbuster quality, while others will be praised by the industry to be declared as the best films ever!

Again, just as long as the movie is worth one’s time and it’s entertaining for what it is, then you have an appealing film to deal with! But keep in mind that video content is just about anywhere and everywhere wherever and whenever the user wants it! Movie houses for what they are, still holds its appeal. With admission prices for what they are, as well as the audience that sit in the same room to where the film is showing, these movies better be worth one’s 100 or so minutes! Super hero action pictures can be amusing too, y’know!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
The Victory Theatre presents the world premier of RESOLVING HEDDA, Jon Klein’s comical farce that serves as a soft-of sequel to Henrick Ibson’s classic play Hedda Garber where the title character makes an effort to change the plot of her play in order for her to not kill herself as she eventually did.

The setting is the same living room where all of Hedda Garber’s play takes place, located within the stylish home of Hedda (Kimberly Alexander) and her husband George (Ben Atkinson). Hedda, now living within an early 21st century mindset, is hell bent on keeping her character alive by making no effort of shooting herself with a pistol as she did in the original play. The regular cast of characters are present, such as the well meaning Aunt Julia (Alyce Heath), Judge Brack (Tom Ormeny) who still takes a shine towards Hedda, Thea (Marisa Van Den Borre), a childhood pal of Hedda’s whose current married life is still miserable, and Eilert (Chad Coe), Hedda’s one time lover. Each character still keeps in character as they appeared in the original source. Now Hedda is in charge, making every effort to damage the original concept of a play that’s still a function of stage theatre study, as well as part of a repertory of plays still performed on theater floorboards somewhere in the world!

This “new” version of a classic work moves in a very rapid place, full of comical hijinks, witty one-liners, and plenty of buffoonery that waters down upon the concept and seriousness that Ibson’s masterpiece (one of many?) tries to get across. Kimberly Alexander as Hedda is now a very strong minded woman of the post-modern age who is as cocky as she could get away with. The rest of the characters make their attempt to catch up with Hedda, still somewhat stuck in the latter 19th century. However, they are still within their same methods as they are (were?) when Ibson first placed his pen on paper to write his piece! However, Ibson’s didn’t know where to place the funnier lines, so Jon Klein did his part in making this play a laugh fest!

Maria Gobetti, co-artistic director of The Victory Theatre, directs this show with humor, comic pathos, and overall, proves that a quintessential play can indeed become a “laff riot” in spite of the fact that the Ibson version is heavy in plotting, yet can be rather dull for contemporary audiences.

Beside the cast of players that appear in this production that also features Sean Spencer as a stagehand (a character not found in the original Ibson work), is Evan Bartoletti’s set design of Hedda’s living room space, loaded with period furnishing that reminds the audience that it’s still the late 19th century! The same goes for A. Jeffrey Schoenberg’s costuming. Both entries make this show a feast for the eyes that adds to the fun and mirth as depicted and spoken by the cast of seven.

RESOLVING HEDDA is a fun screwball type of a comedy. It’s only caveat? Unless one is familiar to the oft-noted Hedda Garber play, the characters presented and their backgrounds can be slightly confusing to follow! However, because it’s too funny and amusing, those lost elements are quickly forgotten! Henrick Ibson’s estate might like this show as well, but can’t do a damn thing about anything since all of Ibson’s works are in the public domain!

PS..does Hedda keep herself alive as she desires? This writer placed enough spoiler alerts toward the original source, and we’ll leave it at that!

RESOLVING HEDDA, presented by the Victory Theatre Bare Bones Ensemble, and performs at The Victory Theatre (Mainstage), 3324 West Victory Blvd. (one block east of Hollywood Way), Burbank, until November 12th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 4:00 PM. For ticket reservations or for more information, call (818) 841-5421, or via online at http://www.TheVictoryTheatreCenter.org
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The Impro Theatre opens their 2017-18 season taking selected residency at Santa Monica’s Broad Stage’s Edye Second Space Theater.

For once a month through June, The Impro Theatre company, specializing in creating shows based upon various forms of literary works ranging from the classics, 20th century authors/playwrights, and from the media, develops a brand new full-length play based upon the genre highlighted improvised right on the spot! By working with a suggestion or two taken from the audience, a set of performers creates a work in the style and fashion of the subject matter only using their wits and wisdom that matches the genre in near perfect timing and style, not knowing what they are going to do next! Since these shows are made up right in front of the audience, their creation will be seen once and never again! Every performance serves as both opening and closing night–or day, depending on the time of performance! Its result is a presentation that is witty, amazing, perhaps deep and moody, and in short, a show birthed right on the stage!

The series opened at the end of September with Sondheim Unscripted, that performed a musical work resembling a creation by Steven Sondheim. A team of six rotating players, consisting of a combination of Kelly Holden Bashar, Kari Coleman, Lisa Fredrichson, Brian Michael Jones, Stephen Kearin, Brian Lohmann, Edi Patterson, Ryan Smith, Michele Spears, and Floyd VanBuskirk, presented a musical that features much of the style and persona that one would find in a standard Sondheim musical. These team of players knew their stuff pretty well as they were able to pull off a production that was born by its opening number, and died once the virtual curtain closed the show forever!

Dan O’Conner, artistic director of Imrpo Theatre, co-directed with Michele Spears a piece that’s funny, charming, warm in mood, and perhaps the most important stance of them all, a show that didn’t previously exist! And since this was a musical, Peter Smith alternating with Matthew Loren Cohen, performed the musical score on the keyboards.

For the rest of the season, the Impro Theatre will host another presentation using a different genre and format. The weekend of October 27th-29th will be Horror Unscripted taking its inspiration from a 1980’s-era horror “B-movie”. November 10th-12th will be L.A. Noir Unscripted featuring back-alley characters from the gutters of 1940‘s and 50‘s Los Angeles. Jane Austen Unscripted takes place December 15-17th using the methods employed by this early 19th century author. February offers two separate shows: Fairytales Unscripted on February 3rd suitable for the entire family, and Chekhov Unscripted February 23rd-25th for the adults. Submitted for your approval, Twilight Zone Unscripted returns on March 16th-18th. April 20th-22nd will host Shakespeare Unscripted, featuring a classic as sort-of written by The Bard. Dorothy Parker Unscripted performs May 18th-20th inspired from the musings of The Algonquin Round Table (or not). And rounding out the season will be Tennessee Williams Unscripted June 15th-17th, highlighting those characters direct from the hot and steamy (and whiskey and gin soaked) confederate states!

The Broad Stage is located at 1310 11th Street (at Santa Monica Blvd.) in Santa Monica. For further details on all Impro Theatre shows performing at The Broad Stage, visit the official website for ticket information and for specific showtimes at http://www.TheBroadStage.com.

For more information on Impro Theatre, visit http://www.ImproTheatre.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 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!

YOU, THE PEOPLE SPEAK! LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

And now, some of the letters we have received over the past few weeks with our reply. If you’re quite ready, let us begin…

Why doesn’t this blog ever report or comment upon what’s been going on this week? I’d like to get your honest opinion to these happenings!…

The above letter was one of many letters we have received throughout the spring and summer that asked us why we have never made any commentary over some of the news that has been eating up the media landscape. We will give our answer to those questions in a very straightforward manner.

Most (if not all) of these inquiries were based upon events taking place mostly in the USA that are part of some form of political or idealistic stand. Those events, some for the good while others were not, are events that should be brought up to one’s attention. However, as important as they are, these events and other occurrences do not fit within the scope of what these newsletter stands for. We don’t make any judgements or opinions over these events and the people behind them. We tend to avoid politics as much as we can. We don’t stand on any side be it right, left, or the middle, and the only “alt” we have access to aexists as the buttons found of the keyboard that (ironically) are placed on the left and right side of the space bar! And frankly, this writer doesn’t possess any knowledge on why these people and their ideals really exist in the first place. One can state that we are ignorant. Others can note that we are stupid. The rest can comment that perhaps we just don’t care. Take your pick!

In spite of the fact that these issues are important, we are not the place to find such opinions. When we began this news service way back in the day, there were a few places to visit on the ol’ world wide web to find such notations, from “official” news sites to anonymous posts placed on electronic bulletin boards. Those places were only made available to those that could get access to the ‘net, assuming one knew that those places to read and/or post commentary were aware that they even existed! In today’s post modern world where social media is the be-all-to-end-all, commentary can be found in so many places, one can’t decide just where to go and how! If one wanted to read a long essay created in a New Yorker style, or just spot of tweet at 140 characters of less, so be it! And if one doesn’t have access to any of that stuff floating around cyberspace land, then it’s because of the person’s own choosing!

Just remember folks! Accessibly Live Off-Line’s goals is to report on what’s going on in terms of media as well as some lighter commentary from yours truly. Much of that same commentary can be viewed as something that ranges to folksy to being “square”! And if I make any opinions on any political element, it’s not going to be too deep! If you want to find anything deeper, then seek it on our own. After all, why do you think Google exists in the first place?

…You don’t make much comments over current TV? Do you ever watch any of the (programs)?…
-Greg

To place things in a nutshell, the reason why I don’t comment on specific new TV shows is for the fact that yours truly doesn’t have much of a chance to see what’s out there due to minimal interest. With the notion that “TV is everywhere” and in my humble opinion, (or “IMHO” in text speak), I don’t spend much time in actually viewing the shows itself, unless it’s a program that is based upon something of interest. But when it comes to a new sitcom, melodrama, or perhaps another super hero/comic book/graphic novel inspired action piece, I may know if it. But when it comes to actually watching it? That’s another story as that stands.

As a media archivist, I do watch a lot of TV. However, it’s programming created and aired some forty years after the fact, a bit too late to comment upon. However, it does prove how television did change since then when the “big three” networks did indeed rule. In today’s world, they still exist, but are attempting to race with the new(er) TV kids on the block as over-the-top (or “OTT”) video tends to be. That includes watching moving imagery on a smartphone at a screen size at 4” and less!

That’s all the news that’s fit to post for now! If you want to place your letters to the editorial staff, please see the contact sources found at the end of this edition. We’d love to hear from you!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

DAEDALUS’ DAUGHTER, a new dance theatre piece written and directed by Carol Katz and currently performing at the Bootleg Theatre of Los Angeles, is a stage opis performed in five movements that remarks upon a distinct emotional state of being that uses the Greek legend of Daedalus and his son Icarus as its metaphor.

In this presentation, it begins its narrative of the saga of Icarus who, sporting wings made of wax, desired to fly as close to the sun as he could, only to have the wax melt from the sun’s heat, bringing Icarus to fall to his death. The myth is heightened upon the telling of this tale through the emotions of Daedalus’ daughter. This saga is then interwoven upon separate tales by others from a more modern era. But these fables from the others hold a common bond to one another that speak of an emotional state that is nearly unspoken of: An inner disorder, a maladjustment, or perhaps an instability. The element is part of a mental demise that leans toward self destruction, known as taking one’s life.

Although the basic theme may appear as grim, the method is expressed not presented as macabe, but as a series of flowing dance movements, A series of five performers, consisting of Lavinia Findikoglu, Clementine Gamson Levy, Kearian Giertz, Sean Spann, and Kirk Wilson, express the aspects of what this form of emotional vastness can bring to those involved through the motions of dance, set within a haunting and poetic mode using a blend of sound and sight.

Carol Katz, who created this concept of theatre and dance as its writer and director, uses her personal background of experience through her discovery found within her family legacy, as well as her own self being. WIth the association of choreographer Rosanna Gamson, the program exists as a theater program that dosen’t preach or scorn, but to show the face this form of manner holds using an expressive aspect. Its mood is felt toward a positive nature as driven with hope and grace.

In addition to the dancing as witnessed within the intimate stage set, there are the technical elements to note. Simon Greenburg provides the sound design as part of the score, with Darius Gangei’s lighting methods and set design by Tanya Orellana. The stage set consists of a row of columns resembling birch tree trunks placed upstage among a black stage floor tilted toward the audience. Although the stage itself is minimal, the dance movements are the real focus here among the theme this show presents within its seventy minute stage presence.

DAEDALUS’ DAUGHTER exhibits an intermix of personal discovery, sorrow, healing, and hope, moving toward a method to express itself in a poetic and somewhat surreal characteristic as intimate as it is epic.

DAEDALUS’ DAUGHTER, performs at The Bootleg Theatre, 2220 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, until September 30th. Performances are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 7:30 PM. Tickets may be obtained online at http://www.bootlegtheater.org/event/1554271-daedalus-daughter-los-angeles, or at https://www.facebook.com/events/336497893477592. Carol Katz may also be found online at https://www.carolkatzprojects.org.
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Making its west coast premier at Beverly Hills’ Theatre 40 is David MacGregor’s VINO VERITAS, a comedy about two couples sharing a strange brew with one another, receiving an unexpected result from its consumption.

It’s All Hallow’s Eve-Halloween Night. And living in a suburban bedroom community is Lauren and Phil. (Christine Joelle and Shawn Savage) They are a married couple with a pair of young boys. Their neighbors and good friends Ridley and Claire (Daniel Kaemon and Kristen Kollender) come over ready to leave as a group to attend another neighbor’s Halloween party. Lauren and Phil run a local photography business, but were once photographers taking pictures in exotic locations. Ridley and Claire, also parents of young kids, have their own line of work as Ridley’s a doctor while Claire holds an occupation once known as a “housewife”. While decked out in their best Halloween duds where the party they are about to attend offers a costume contest, Lauren decides to offer a special wine they picked up while on a long past assignment in Peru. This wine, blue in color as made from the skin of a blue dart tree frog, was known by the natives to carry some kind of “truth serum” where whoever drinks the wine will speak the truth. So upon consuming this wine, an unintentional game of truth or dare begins among the pair, leading into many unwitting climaxes.

This play starts off as a comedy as the four characters go through many detailed and amusing domestic bits and pieces that would normally be found in many post-modern TV sitcoms. Upon completing of its first act that bleeds into the second act, the mood shifts from comedy into drama. The truths that the characters speak about when they consume their blue colored concoction become rather serious in nature, touching upon topics that are not humorous by essence. This method in writing sobering subject matter from a comical backdrop is very reminiscent to a 1980’s-era sitcom that featured a “very special episode” that began in a normal fashion. Once the serious subject matter is brought up by the cast by the end of the first act, its second act deals with the extended topic sans laughs, ending upon a lower emotional stance. That what this play presents as its mood. However, when it becomes funny, it’s funny! The cast of four that portray a bunch of friends from suburbia are very likable for what they are in that sitcom method of humor. Michael Karm is on hand to direct this production that moves when its comical, and becomes rather limited when its temper takes its next step.

What also makes this play a treat to see visual-wise is its set by Theatre 40’s residential set designer Jeff G. Rack, presenting a living room that is big in size and inviting by nature with plenty of Halloween decor scattered throughout. Its costuming is helmed by two parties. Michele Young provides the standard ware, while Angela Nicholas provides the design to a pair of Halloween duds worn by Christine Joelle and Kristen Kollender. Kristen as Claire dresses up as Queen Elizabeth I, and Christine as Lauren is decked out as a “hokus pokus” witch.

The title of this play VINO VERITAS comes from a Latin proverb that means “in wine, the truth”. Although this writer isn’t much of a wine fanatic (no offense, folks!), perhaps this same writer will note the truth, stating that if the second act offered as many laughs as experienced in the first act, this show would be presented as an upbeat and comical play with a “screwball” persona. But with “very special episodes”, sometimes one can’t properly laugh toward what is spoken about! However, it’s still entertaining for what it is! And one doesn’t have to drink the wine to discover that fact!

VINO VERITAS, 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 October 15th. Showtimes are Monday, 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 Morgan-Wixson Theatre of Santa Monica presents [TITLE OF SHOW], a stage musical about two guys that make an attempt to write a stage musical and the so-called success it may bring or not.

Daniel Koh plays Jeff, and Chris Tiernan is Hunter, a pair of friends that are also struggling writers. They learn that a theatre festival is seeking new and original musical pieces. However, the deadline to submit an entry is only three weeks off, and they have no ideal of what to write about! With the aid of two struggling actresses Susan and Heidi (Keaton Talmadge and Alica Reynolds Luoma), they brainstorm on getting a musical created so their entry can be submitted and possibly become a big Broadway musical–or perhaps an off-Broadway hit–or maybe just a musical! Using any idea they can think of as well as any plot taken from other sources–a musical based from a movie, TV show, or comic strip, they create an original entry about two struggling writers attempting to create a musical, calling it “title of show”, inspired from the first line found on the entry form! Will Jeff and Hunter’s new musical become the next big hit, or will their work become one of the many burned out bulbs found on Great White Way theater marques?

This musical about writing musicals features the music and lyrical score by Jeff Bowen with book by Hunter Bell. It shows itself off as a very witty musical by a pair that knows what sells on Broadway, and what may not! It’s also a very minimal program as well. All that is seen on stage are the four cast members, four mismatched chairs, and off on stage left is the keyboardist performing the musical score. (Zach Neufeld plays the music playing a character called “Larry”). The show itself is charming, witty, and holds enough “Broadway” content that fits within its 90 minute one-act package. Laurne Blair provides the choreography as no musical would be complete with some kind of dancing under the stage direction of Aric Martin.

This show was actually based upon an attempt for the playwrights to create a musical entry for the New York Musical Festival. It seems that it eventually become a success since regional community theaters such as Santa Monica’s Morgan-Wixson Theatre opens their 2017-18 season with this piece! It may not be a big production, but big things tend to come in very small packages!

[TITLE OF SHOW] presented by the Morgan-Wixson Theatre Guild, and performs at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, until October 15th. 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, October 1st, and Friday, October 6th.
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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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!

TOO YOUNG TO KNOW, TOO OLD TO CARE

Now that the younin’s (and perhaps the not-so-youngin’s) are back in school, assuming that they need to be inside of a classroom setting, it’s the moment to see what’s going on within this wide world that we all live in.

As expected, one doesn’t necessarily needs a source as this one to find out the details (we are one of many) as this article isn’t so much about so-called “breaking news” that must be reported on as it happens. It’s about some of the notions that people don’t necessarily think about, or are not totally aware of unless some other source brings the topic up to one’s attention. Our job here at Accessibly Live Off-Line central isn’t so much about reporting the breaking news as it unfolds right before your beady little eyes, but to find some outside aspect to report here, such as food fads, things that go “pop”, or related topics that can be boring yet important for what they stand for!

One place that this reporter tends to visit on the good ol’ world wide web is http://www.Quora.com. This place is where one can post a question of some sort, and to have those that hold interest to the question answer within an “electronic bulletin board” fashion. Many of the questions can be useful (“How can I create a resume that will lead to a job interview?”), amusing (“What’s the dumbest thing you ever did?”) to even something one used to have answered in a Dear Abby or Ann Landers newspaper column. (“I’m cheating on my husband! What should I do now?”)

Remaining to the questions in falls within a human interest nature, one question we found was asked by an anonymous person stating “What makes you feel old?”

Over one hundred participants responded by people who identified themselves in age from the early teens to those well past seventy years. A good chunk of these people appeared to be of the Gen-X era (those born between 1965 through 1979–give or take a few years), and Millenniums, those born within the last two decades of the 20th century (1980’s and 90’s), that marketers seem to dote upon since they are tech savvy and are of legal age. A few people identified their age as post-2000, making them seventeen years old and less–again, give or take a year.

As to the replies. Many state that they have experienced people that never knew that phones were once connected to a wire, television was something you didn’t have to pay for, musical bands that were formed decades before are still popular by those that have no recollection of those bands when at their peak or as once active, such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, The Who, or any other musical group that made their mark within the last fifty years.

A selection of the responses were based upon personal observations that only the responder noticed. One replier stated on watching TV shows as a youth (1970s) that were of a favorite back in the day. That same person had the opportunity to watch the same series again (thanks to streaming media as well as those over the air channels that feature “vintage” television such as MeTV, etc.) That person noticed that the show looked “old”, if not “cheesy”! (Apparently, the show didn’t age well in the eyes of the replier!) Another person stated they realized their aging due to no longer looking forward to birthdays and actually wanted to be young(er) again! (And this person claimed to be fifteen years old!!) Another person who as a kid would collect things of interest that can be used for something else. (A box can become a rocket ship! A button can be used as an art project!) Now as a twenty year old, when the person found a stray button, the button was left alone. The interest of using the button as an art project went away. And there was the woman who looked at a mirror only to see an image of her own mother!

For those that are interested in reading these replies on their own, check out the link at https://www.quora.com/What-makes-you-feel-old

It’s been stated many times that age is only a number or a state of being. Everything and everyone will age based on the laws of physics and other notions that this writer doesn’t understand. Nostalgia has been a well accepted state of being as well, even back in the days when nostalgia for another era was in its peak when that era that used to be the present is in today’s world another era of nostalgia. For instance, during the 1970s and 80s, a group of nostalgia fans in Chicago used to host old movie screenings every Saturday night in a community back multipurpose room that showed feature films from the 1930s and 40s. In today’s landscape (2017), the era of the 1970s and 80s are part of a nostalgia era at its own. And interestingly enough, those “old” movies from thirty to forty years before still have the same appeal today as they did in the 70s and 80s. The then “current” movies from the 70s and 80s are also considered as nostalgic today, but in a different frame of mind comparing to a 1930s or 40s release.

As a media archivist, this writer watches a lot of TV programs for the 1970s. Yours truly watched more TV back then as I do now. Many of the titles that I look at are vary familiar to me as I recall a lot of the imagery, but doesn’t seem to be “old” to me. However, I have to remind myself that what I am looking was created some forty years before! And yes, I personally know of a lot of people that wasn’t even born when these shows first aired while at the same time, many of the people that appeared in these same shows are now long dead!

But time marches on, and the only things to do is to march along. The only way to progress forward is to join the parade and carry on. Perhaps kids today may be going to school on foot or through a shared ride summoned by way of a phone app while “you” used to walk twenty miles to school in a blizzard while shoveling snow and fighting wilder beasts along the way. However, kids won’t believe that story in the same mode as you not believing it back in your era when told to you from an elder. The more things change….
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
Due to scheduling conflicts, there are no reviews in this issue. Stay tuned for more reviews of current stage shows appearing in next week’s issue! 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!

HOW’S THE WEATHER OUT THERE?

That question can only be answered depending on where one is located at the moment.

For starters, this nation has experienced not one, but two (count ‘em) hurricanes to hit the shores. The first one was Hurricane Harvey that devastated the Houston area. The second one that’s heading toward south Florida as of this writing is Hurricane Irma. That force is going to be the biggest thing to hit that area of the state since Hurricane Andrew did its thing in 1992.

Much of the focus has been getting the Houston area back on its feet. Many organizations, from disaster aide groups such as The Red Cross to community churches has been raising funds and arranging assistance to aid those that were affected by the flooding, the majority of the type of damage that occurred in the area. As of this same writing, it’s not known how much is Florida going to receive in terms of destruction, be it from wind, water, or a combination of both.

This writer can’t really speak for what the infrastructure consists for the Houston and southeast Texas area, but yours truly can briefly comment on how southeast Florida is set up as this humble reporter spend some time there a few years back while out on assignment.

Shortly after Hurricane Andrew hit the area, Miami-Dade county set some strict building codes for structures to be equipped such as reinforced roofing, intense window shutters and related fixtures, as well as other factors where commercial and non commercial building must be ready to stand for higher winds and rains. Businesses such as gas stations, supermarkets, and hospitals is required to be equipped with generators to supply much needed power should the standard electric grids goes out. And many of the roadways have signage that states that the routes are to be used for evacuation purposes.

These factors are the same for nearby Broward County where yours truly was once based. I was located only one mile off the shoreline where highway A1A runs across while Highway 1 runs parallel a mile or so inland to A1A and is a divided highway. The business that are alined through this road are somewhat away from the pavement. Thus, if any buildings may topple over, chances are they will fall far from the road pavement, allowing free passage going through its north-south alinement.

I-95, about two or so miles father west, it also set up where buildings and billboards are far away off from the roadways. This highway is far from cluttered. However, then yours truly was going out and about, I never went anywhere father north than the West Palm Beach area, but can testify it’s about the same level.

But tracking the storms as seen within the last weeks has been a lot easier. The tracking stations set up through The National Weather Service and other storm tracking groups can pinpoint nearly anything one needs to know within a matter of seconds, And social media plays a major part of this complex, from giving warnings to those in the areas that are affected through the storm’s path. These elements give the same messages through Twitter tweets and Facebook posts presents a positive spin of what social media can do for the good. Many folks may accept social media as a waste of time, but it can also serve a meaningful purpose.

The only element to do right for the moment is to hang tight. Granted, we can still talk about the weather no matter how one can do the talking through speech or otherwise. And what can one can do? Just be prepared, no matter how important or trivial it may present itself.

For the record, the weather where this writer is located (Los Angeles) as of this writing is currently seeing sunny skies at 85 degrees. Nothing too crucial, but that’s the weather for you!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Disney’s Aladdin, Dual Language Edition/Edition De Language Dual, performing as a guest production at Los Angeles Theatre Center in downtown Los Angeles, takes place in a time of not very long ago.

Daniel Sugimoto is Aladdin. He’s a young lad living in the middle eastern city of Agrabah that takes upon a fancy for the fair Princess Jazmin (Sarah Kennedy, alternating with Valeria Maldonado). While the princess is part of royalty, Aladdin is not as he only serves as a commoner. Jazmin’s father, the Sultan, (Henry Madrid) would be honored to give her daughter’s hand in marriage to someone worthy. But the young lad feels he would be far out of reach. That is, until he finds a lamp that is quite dusty. Upon rubbing the vessel, he encounters a Genie (Finley Polynice, alternating with Lewis Powell III). The Genie, a very high energy being, declares the lad as his master as he holds possession of the lamp with the promise of three wises! However, there is the evil Grand Vizier to deal with; Jafar (Luis Marquez, alternating with Omar Mata), who had cast a magic spell upon the city. Will Aladdin ever get the attention of Jazmin? Will Jafar get his hands on the magic lamp? How can the Genie assist his new “master”? And will Aladdin’s pick of three wishes be of a wise and careful choice?

Based upon the Disney animated feature of the same name and adapted for the stage by Jim Luigs and Jose Cruz Gonzales, it features many of the elements found within the animated film, from its colorful characters to its song sore by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. What makes this production unique is the fact that it’s bilingual, spoken in alternative English and Spanish. This form of duo verbiage is not only easy to follow as anyone who may not understand one language can conceive the flow of the story, but the way it’s spoken is one step behind a form of speakage called “Spanglish” where every other word is either English or Spanish. Here, only sentences are either one form of speech alternating with the other. This method of speaking is rather amusing to witness as it doesn’t affect the concept at all, only to enhance it!

The show itself features a rather large ensemble cast as many roles consist of duo players depending on performance. They all present themselves on a vast stage featuring the set design of Marco Le Leon, costuming by Abel Alvarado, and the choreography by Tania Possick. Byran Louiselle provides the transcribed musical orchestration as musically directed by Caroline Benzon.

Directed by Rigo Tejeda, this musical stage show is fun for all the family to experience. (It’s also presented as a single act program making it even easier to consume!) And again, don’t let the concept of two forms of communication that make up the dialogue become a burden. It’s very easy to follow, and it’s even fun for the cast to speak a form of tongue that never seems out of place. Best of all, it’s a part of the Disney based universe! For many, that’s a sure sign of approval! It’s a whole new world indeed!

DISNEY’S ALADDIN, Dual Language Edition/Edition De Language Dual, presented by TNH Productions in association with El Centro Del Pueblo and Casa 0101 Theatre, performs at The Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 South Spring Street, downtown Los Angeles until September 17th. Performances take place Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, with matinees shows on Thursday and Fridays at 11:00 AM. For ticket information call (866) 811-4111, or via online at http://www.TheLATC.org/Events.
Performance of the musical can also be sampled via YouTube at https://youtu.be/UgqkZpNojU

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The Kentwood Players Presents Beau Willimon’s FARRAGUT NORTH, a political drama about a youthful press secretary to a promising presidential candidate as he works the early campaign with some of the cronies he encounters that may stand within his way.

Nicholas Dostal is Stephen Bellamy. He’s a high strung campaign spin doctor with a wiseass attitude to a state governor that he feels would be ideal presidential fodder. Although he has yet to reach middle age by more than a decade, he hold enough experience to push his man in a high political office. While working the caucuses in the great state of Iowa, he’s dealing with those in town for the rallies set to commence the political campaign. In town for the events are political journalist Ida Horowicz (Tiana Randall-Quant), campaign fluky Ben (Brian Patrick Roach), and lead campaign manager–and Stephen’s boss, Paul Zara (Phillip Bartolf). Things start to get tight when Stephen hooks up with Tom Duffy (Manfred Hofer), a campaign manager for a rival opponent that might know of something–or not. And leading up to this campaigning is Stephen’s clash with Molly (Mikki Hernandez), serving as a political intern who is barely voting age. Will these folks taking a ride on the campaign gravy train to get Stephen’s man a passage for the leader of the nation, or will their antics wind up as Stephen’s one-way ticket to a fall from political grace?

This play is a fast paced and rather talky drama that isn’t political per se, but deals with the backroom side of how those in office are lead (or pushed) ahead of others with the usual skullduggery connected. In this production, Nicholas Dostal as Stephen plays his role as a man that is more bark than bite, making sure he’s the hot s#it that his is. Phillip Bartolf as Paul Zara is the father figure type that may have been around through politics, but doesn’t play as “dad”! Perhaps the best encounter as witnessed is with Molly as portrayed by Mikki Hernandez. Her character is much more mature than what a nineteen year old would normally be depicted. But political campaigns and the stuff that goes along with it all can become rather enhancing, and maturity kicks in faster than expected. Sherry Coon, a legacy director of past shows presented by The Kentwood Players, directs this production in a very rapid pace, never letting its momentum settle down.

As to the behind the scene theatre stuff, Jim Crawford and Sherry Conn’s set design is at a minimum. There is no detailed backdrops depicted. Just a few doorways that set off selected scenes, a “bed” that rolls out when needed with a blank wall as positioned backside. (Robert Davis’s lighting shows off various colors as scenery changes.) This form of set design is a classic depiction of the less-is-more method to stage a set.

Also appearing in this production is Phillip Iadevaia.

It’s since been less than a year since this nation had to go through the political landscaping that filled the news coffers. It’s also less than three years ways until it all happens again. The Kentwood Player’s spin of this play isn’t meant to tide one over of all of the political fiddle-dee-dee, but it still makes great theatre as viewed on the intimate stage. For the actual political side of things, just turn where one tweets for real (or for fake) and take it for what it’s worth!!

FARRAGUT NORTH, presented by the Kentwood Players, performs at the Westchester Playhouse, 8301 Hindry Avenue (at 83rd Street), Westchester, until October 14th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. For tickets or for more information, call (310) 645-5156, or via online at http://www.KentwoodPlayers.org
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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!

WHEN TV BEGAN ITS YEAR

As this is the Labor Day weekend, this period of the calendar year triggers a lot of milestones that some people tend to encounter. For starters, this three day holiday weekend marks the unofficial end of the Summer season, the moment when folks would complete their usual summer-esque antics, from hanging around a beachfront, going on some trip someplace near or far, wear clothing that one would don when the weather is hot n’ sunny, and other things that speak for those lazy hazy crazy days. For a few, it marks the time that it’s back to school for kids, young adults, or not so young adults to spend the next couple of months in a classroom setting to learn about new ideas, either by chose or through circumstances. Depending on where one lives and/or attends a school-type setting, they may have already began their classroom fellowships. But for those where a school season is part of their domestic life, this is the moment where it all resumes, if not begins!

But for those that take advance of the media landscape, this is (or perhaps was) the time when the TV networks would start their new season with brand new programming. Some shows would be completely new titles never seen before featuring talent that might be as new as the shows they appear on, or perhaps some familiar faces that embed themselves into a series playing a different character or playing themselves in a new(er) surrounding. A number of programs would be returning with brand new episodes that won’t be rerun for a while, if at all! It was a time where summer would turn into autumn, the weather would cool down a bit, and the daylight hours would eventually become less and less. These shorter days and longer nights would be the ideal moment to spend time plopped in front of an idiot box for some great (or not so great)
amusement to enjoy with others, or perhaps with themselves.

For those that need to be reminded, media, either through sound or through visuals, can be obtained through any source in today’s world. With the assistance of an electronic device that can capture and reproduce said media and a method where the same media can be obtained usually through a wireless transmission, one can watch television-type programming wherever and whenever. Some of this media is new to the viewer, while others have been seen before, not necessarily within the same aspect as first seen, no matter how soon or how long ago this vision took place.

And that brings this writer to take the title subject at bay. Once upon a time not too many years ago, the television networks would offer in their prime time viewing times (between 6:00 and 11:00 PM–give or take an hour or two), these new shows whose purpose was to inform and/or entertain. And since viewership was at stake in terms of revenue for the networks since it sold ad space in the form of TV commercials, it was important that those viewers return from their summertime antics to stay home (or anyplace where television was accessible) to watch something never seen before. And what better way for “the big three” i.e. ABC, CBS, and NBC, was to promote their new season with all of the hoopla one could stand stating that this new season would be their “best yet!”

So beginning in late August, the three networks would create a separate program that had the generic term of a “Fall Preview Show”, that would feature short clips of some of the new shows making its start sometime in that September, with an announcer presenting all of the same hype and excitement. These programs, as entertaining as they try to be, were generally half-hour or an hour long commercials for the new programming presented. Many of these titles would become hits where they would return for the next year, (And the next, and the next, etc.), while others would be failures. Not wanting to wast time, energy, and valuable ad space, the programming heads of the networks would pull that little watched program off the air, many never returning ever again and would wind up as either a fuzzy memory, or totally forgotten about!

As a media archivist, I have seen a number of these past fall preview reels that the TV networks created back in the day; in this case, the middle 1970’s, when media penetration for the networks reached its peak. In the year 1976, ABC, CBS, and NBC was made accessible to over 95% of the nation that had access to a TV signal. The remaining less than five percent didn’t have access due to a lack of a decent over the air coverage that wasn’t anyone’s making–for the most part!

For instance, I recently has an opportunity to view the network’s program reels for the 1975-76 TV season. Granted, this period was some 42 years ago, a few years short away from when the first consumer VCRs would ever hit the market. Cable TV as its known today really didn’t exist. What did exist as cable (or CATV) only provided transmission from other over the air stations that could not be gained through a standard TV antenna. So what one wanted to see on TV was at the mercy of the TV networks and the local stations that transmitted the programs.

Anyway, all three of these networks did their best to show to those in TV land that they has everything and anything they wanted to view, from comedy, drama, musical variety, sports, and even shows geared toward kids! On the CBS reel for instance, Ted Knight, performing as his character Ted Baxter, the anchorman from The Mary Tyler Moore Show, would introduce clips from the new titles in all of his comical buffoonery. NBC took another approach where their reel was hosted by Lloyd Bridges, who was soon to be appearing in his new series Joe Forrester where he played a beat cop in an unnamed urban city (i.e. Los Angeles!!) ABC was more generic, where a staff announcer voiced over a selection of clips of program titles that were on their roster. However, the type wasn’t limited to these half hour long anthologies! On ABC’s Wide World of Entertainment, an umbrella title of special programs that aired in a ninety minute time slot opposite NBC’s The Tonight Show, a special program was aired featuring stand-up comic Alan King presenting a series of sit-down interviews with some of the stars that would be appearing in the network’s new shows, from the likes of Dick Gautier, who was staring in When Things Were Rotten, a sitcom created by Mel Brooks, Paul Michael Glasser and David Soul appearing in the cop show Starsky And Hutch, film producer Iwrin Allen who created another retelling of Swiss Family Roberson, rising star Gabe Kaplan in James Komack’s latest program, Welcome Back Kotter, among other guests and show titles.

In today’s TV landscape, the new fall season isn’t as important as it used to be since the networks (via over the air, cable, satellite, or streaming) that are known as short names or as a set of letters, present new programs whenever and wherever they feel like it! New programs come and go any time of the year, not just limited to September. However, for the sake of scheduling and perhaps through bookkeeping, the TV season dose still run between September through the next May, although the starting and ending months may vary! (The Television Academy recognizes the TV season to run from June 1st through May 30th, but this is besides the point!)

No matter through! TV is anywhere and everywhere, from screen sizes ranging from 2” through 200” wide. But leave it up to this time where one’s viewing is for the first time or its last! Of course, one can read a book or its equivalent!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre Palisades presents THE FANTASTICKS, the Harvey Schmidt/Tom Jones musical that speaks for a young couple in love, feuding and fussing fathers, and a roving theatre troupe to set is all straight and then some!

The plot, taking place in a world that is here and there, finds a young boy and girl, neighbors Luisa (Giane Morris) and Matt (Jeremiah Lussier) in love. Their fathers Hucklebee (Greg Abbott) and Bellomy (Darin Greenblat) are in a stage of a transparent feud with one another and tends to stand on their sides of the wall separating themselves and their children. Although the boy-meets-girl episode hints of a happy ending, their romance is brought to a reality, as arranged by the narrator of this tale, El Gallo (Drew Fitsimmons) and a character known as The Mute (Jeff DeWitt) whose title describes his speech patterns. With the aid of Henry (Michael-Anthony Nozzi) and Mortimer (Mark Davidson), a ragtag duo of thespian troubadours, these characters shows on hand the harsh realities of being a couple in love. But with such settings, there is always a method and a way, depending on what one pays!

This musical is historic for many reasons. For starters, it became the longest running stage musical ever to play domestically, running at the same theatre space located in New York’s Greenwich Village for over forty years–back in the days when “The Village” was a place for those living a bohemian lifestyle to live and work since that location was far more affordable than living in midtown or uptown Manhattan. It’s also known for the creation of the “less-is-more” rule of musical theatre productions where one can generate an entertaining stage show on a thin monetary budget. And perhaps the best reason for this show’s overall existence is the fact that it’s made for the intimate stage. Here at Theatre Palisades, a community theatre located in the heart of Pacific Palisades, that notion of less-is-more theatre really rings itself as true! The performers that appear in this program brings this musical to life thanks to their ever present talents. The “orchestra” playing those memorable tunes composed by Schmidt and Jones (including the signature song “Try To Remember”) are performed and conducted by Brian Murphy on the piano, with Emma Rostykus and Liza Wallace on duo harps. Sherman Wayne, TP’s residential set and lighting designer who once again formed the noted set and lighting, directs this show with utmost care! He himself was once part of the original production (as the theatre manager) at the Sullivan Street Theatre around the time the show was starting to gain attention in the early 1960’s. Taking this knowledge and experience, he creates a show that still charms theatre audiences that enjoy their musical theatre works to be as simple and pure!

THE FANTASTICKS is a show that is considered as an “evergreen” musical that will continue to be performed on small stages somewhere on the earth. And it’s pleasant to experience such a show that takes pride on its simplicity as very few (if any) musicals of its kind can ever muster. Then again, when this stage work was first presented c.1960, the only way to spread the word of the show’s charm and grace from the theatre itself was to tell others through a phone call from a nearby pay phone at ten cents a call. (Long distance rates did apply!) And as the song brings to mind, try to remember…….

THE FANTASTICKS, resented by Theater Palisades, performs at the Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road (off Sunset Blvd.), Pacific Palisades, until October 8th. 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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The Glendale Centre Theatre continues its run with FOOTLOOSE, a musical about a young man from the big city and his encounter with some small town attitudes that bar one of life’s expressive pleasures–dancing!

Chaz Feuersine is Ren McCormick, a teen from Chicago, He along with his mother Ethel (Christa Hamilton) move from their home town after Ren’s father abandoned the family. Now chosen to start anew, Ren and Ethel move to the small town of Bomont to live with their aunt and uncle. Ren at first finds it difficult to fit in. He encounters Vi Moore (Tracy Rey Reynolds) the daughter of the Reverend Shaw Moore. (George Champion). Besides being a man of the cloth, Reverend Shaw holds some clout in what goes on in this town where everybody knows everything, including keeping a close watch to Ren. This young man eventually discovers that the town banned dancing in any public place based upon a tragic episode that happened many years before. With a little bit of skill, trust, and faith, Ren shows the townfolk on what they are missing out through the experience of the art and joy of dance!

Based upon the 1984 feature film release written by Dean Pitchford (that was loosely based upon an actual episode where a small town in central Oklahoma once banned dancing) and created for the stage by Pitchford and Walter Bobbie, with an added musical score by Tom Snow and Pitchford with others contributing to the song roster, holds true to the film of the same name. The GCT’s production is high energy and full of characters that add to the mood and skill that this show presents. With a musical whose premise speaks for a banned subject (dance), there is plenty of this form of expression witnessed on the stage! Leigh Wakfield’s choreography makes these players really cut loose as a song lyric suggests! Steven Applegate & Martin Lang’s transcribed musical direction contributes to the flavor as presented by a very robust cast of players. There are so many of these performers, time and space won’t allow this reviewer to name ‘em all! However, each one does their own part of keep the spirt of what this musical calls for; The notion of youth that want to articulate themselves through the glee and sprit of dancing!

One notion to mention. The movie of the same name took place in the 1980’s. The GCT’s production is also set in this period with minimal reference. (Angela Manke’s costume design is more small town conservative than “totally 80’s” gear!) Of course, kids in the 80’s had to use their own wits to brings themselves to and for the world. In these post-modern times, it’s another story. But never mind the lack of high tech! FOOTLOOSE is very animated in tone that even the kids of today’s space will still enjoy, as well as the kids from not-so-long-ago i.e. “the adults”! And what better way to experience a great musical is to view it at this theatre’s 360 stage ratio aka theatre-in-the-round! That’s a real treat in its own right!

FOOTLOOSE, presented by and performs at the Glendale Centre Theatre. 324 North Orange Street, Glendale, until October 7th. Showtimes are Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM, and Saturday matinees at 3:00 PM. Additional performances take place on Thursday, September 7th at 8:00 PM, with Sunday matinees performing on September 10th, 17th, and 24th at 3:00 PM.
For more information and for ticket reservations, call (818) 244-8481, or visit the GCT’s web site at http://www.GlendaleCentreTheatre.com

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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!