CHANGING OF THE GUARD

Either this is a trend of sorts, or perhaps it’s part of our imagination. Or maybe this writer is just paying more attention to these things. Who knows?

Anywho, it appears that people we know or know of are taking vast efforts in making some sort of a career change. This form of change is part of a shift to what the person is doing or did do something for a living i.e. “a job”, and creating a newer opportunity of doing something else that’s different or unique in what they were doing beforehand. This change is based upon actions that are of the person’s own making and choosing. This change isn’t to be confused with being laid off at their place of employment. Or worse, being fired from their occupation! (Also known as “getting 86ed”, “canned”, “pink slipped”, “being axed”, given the boot”, and other colorful named meaning leaving a job because somebody decided that you were no longer needed to be paid for doing something there!)

Getting back to the story here. For a lot of folks, especially for those that are at a certain point in their life, changing a career or occupation is a move that can bring joy and excitement, holding an adventure that the person wanted to experience but never did (or never did as expected), or one that give them an opportunity to pursue something they would never do because of various reasons, from getting “outside of the box” (whatever that term means), or trying to overcome being chicken s#it! It also could bring fear and anxiety, not necessarily knowing what’s going to happen next! However, that fear and stuff isn’t as scary as they may have imagined. It’s another method of rising to the occasion.

Those circumstances could fall because that person isn’t feeling satisfied in what they have been doing. Perhaps they are working their assets off and never even getting a token “thanx” from anyone in what they have accomplished. Perhaps the person is working for a company, a firm, or some other outside entity that isn’t doing what they should or what they once performed. Or maybe the company or firm itself is getting out of their business, meaning that unless the person involved in that outlet finds something else to do with another force, that person will be out on the street when the bigger company calls it quits. Usually, there is advance notice when this occurs for those working under their roof with the notion that they have been warned before the fact. There had been a few cases especially during the era called “The Great Recession” (2009 through the early 2010s), where a firm’s source came abruptly to a finish, meaning that on Friday afternoon, those involved at the workplace discover that there won’t be a Monday morning to come back to.

There is one person that we personally know of that has been part of the same company for a little over thirty years(!) This person arrived to Los Angeles from her native state of New Jersey to obtain this position back around 1988. Over that time, she progressed in that company as well as in her personal life, She married only to have that domestic partnership dissolve, and self raised a (now adult) daughter. She even purchased a house that she still has to this very day! And for those thirty one years, she did what she did for the firm receiving the utmost respect.

Sadly, over the last few years, the company went under different managements. After careful consideration, she decided that after a little over three decades with the same firm, it was time to move on. Yes, she is getting to that point in her life where the traditional age of retirement isn’t as far off as it used to be, but she isn’t considering retirement. She has a lot of life in what she dose, and has other things to perform to gain that self respect. She is involved with duties at a nearby church, and assists two elder ladies in getting to and from the church to attend services each weekend. She presents herself in what she does with pride.

There are others that are doing the same shift as well. There is another person that writes for a weekly travel blog for a company she founded a little over ten years ago. In her recent blog posting, she says that she is merging her travel firm with another company and will be moving into new avenues. Yours truly doesn’t know this person personally or otherwise, so we can’t comment too much on what and where she is going. We just know these facts because we just so happen to be on her mailing list. So we take what she has to say for herself for what it’s worth!

This writer is paying attention to all of this since yours truly is around the same age of the person who was with the same company for thirty one years. (The travel lady is a bit older or so we assume!) And although we won’t necessarily admit it, we are not getting any younger. Granted, there is a lot of life to live ahead, but it’s not the same life we experienced when we were living inside of a domestic life from times past when we were younger, dumber, and full of…you get the idea!

So we give our congrads to our thirty-one year veteran of the job site. We do hope to get updates from this person to pass along some of the details in how she is handling things to our curious readers. But we ourselves are just chugging along.

What will be in store for ALO-L as we soon enter the roarin’ 20’s? We’ll keep you posted! And that’s gonna be the cat’s pajamas!!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Matrix Theatre on Melrose presents the world premier of Carole Eglash-Kosoff’s THE DOUBLE V, a story about one man’s effort to write a “letter to the editor” to a newspaper that would start a long process of the declaration of equality through victory.

It’s early 1942. The United States, as well as a good part of the world, are at war. It’s a battle taking place “over there” as well as what has been called as “the home front”. James “Jimmy” Thompson (Preston Butler, III) a young Negro man from Wichita, Kansas, works at an aircraft factory that are building planes for the Army Air Corps. He doesn’t work on the assembly line through. He works in the kitchen as many of the “colored” employees assembles for their jobs. He would like to do his part in winning the war. Alas, because he is of the negro race, he faces a lot of obstacles just because he isn’t white! So he writes a letter to the editor of The Pittsburgh Currier, a leading negro newspaper and states within his letter that there are two victories to win-one over our enemies from without–meaning the battles in Europe and the Pacific region, and the enemies within-meaning those that suffer from discrimination because of race. This letter calls to the attention of the newspaper’s editor Ira Lewis (Nicholas Few) who assigns a budding reporter Madge Evans (Brie Eley) to write a story about Jimmy Thompson’s effort to call for victory on both counts. Upon arriving in Wichita, she sees that this battle to win a war isn’t as equal for everyone, especially for those of color. Before long, a Double V movement would spread to other colored communities around the nation that affected those negros that desired to become as equal as their white counterparts. The movement not only received the attention to the negro populace, but to other sects including the FBI! The letter that Thompson penned in the days of World War II would eventually become the seeds to the civil rights movement that occurred later in the century.

This play written by Carole Eglash-Kosoff is based upon the actual Double V movement that occurred during this period. However, its history toward the effect was eventually lost over time and tide, but continued through other rallies and events that would last well into the new millennium. In this stage production, Preston Butler, III as Jimmy plays his role as an energetic lad that holds a passion to fight for what is right for his nation and his people. He strives to continue through his ways and means, even though his boss as the aircraft factory, Charlie Simpson (Joe Coffey) tends to only tolerate his efforts with the secret desire to keep him, as well as the other negros in their space! (For the record, this writer is using the terminology of the era as today’s African Americans were called “Negro” and “Colored” in the 1940’s as to when the story takes place.)

Michael Arabian’s stage direction shows off the many faces to what is transpiring within the editorial regions of the Currier, as well as the middle America zones of Wichita. This is especially true to how the white community treated those that were not white, even calling the battle as “the white man’s war”!

The rest of the cast that appear in this production also features Terra Stong Lyons as Annie Culver, with Cary Thomson, Jamal Henderson, and John Apicella performing in duo roles.

John Iacovel’s scenic design shows on center stage Ira Lewis’ office, complete with wooden-yet-study desk, library chairs, an old file cabinet, a typewriter that was at the era of the 1940’s was a thirty year old relic, among many other period items. Stage right’s space is the setting for the aircraft factory, and stage left is a couch that makes call for Jimmy’s humble abode shared by his father along with Jimmy’s girlfriend.

THE DOUBLE V presents itself as a drama that showcases a young man’s patriotic duties and his struggles to become equal in a world of inequality. From this point, this eventually lead toward the mass marches, the efforts of the freedom riders, even leading into the post-modern era of the #Black Lives Matter factions. The play’s reach is far, and holds plenty of uplifting intentions. The war may become long over with as well as becoming victorious, but the efforts for racial equality has yet to be won. It’s another “V” to go!

THE DOUBLE V, presented by CEK Productions, and performs at The Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Avenue (east of Fairfax), Los Angeles, until November 24th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 3:00 PM.

For reservations and for more information, call (323) 960-7776, or online at
http://www.OnStage411.com/DoubleV
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The Santa Monica Playhouse presents LOVE IN BLOOM, an original musical that takes place in a fairy tale world that foretells the fable of a prince involved in a pre-arranged marriage to a princess-to-be, along with the other myths and legions that just as mystical.

Evelyn Rudie and Chris DeCarlo appear as Talia, the Queen of the Fairies and Orion, the Faerie King. This royal duo tells the saga of Prince Hamelot (Patrick Censoplano) that is set for a marriage to the fair maiden Lady Merrymount (Rachel Galper). The good prince isn’t too keen into this marriage as his characters is self described as “wishy-washy”! In spite of the prince’s attitude toward, there are others in this storied kingdom to guide him along. From this mix is the informal scamp Frivolio (Graham Silbert), a pair of sister siblings (Tara Brown and Cynthia Zitter) who disguise themselves as men disguised as women, and a “monster” appropriately named Calabasas (Zane Garcia). From this blend of beings, they all bloom to reach that pinnacle point of a mythical tale where a pleasing ending awaits for all!

This musical with book by Evelyn Rudie & Chris DeCarlo, with music and lyrics by Evelyn Rudie & Matthew Wrather and stage direction by Chris DeCarlo, is a parable that is a harmonious fuse of mime, commedia dell’arte, with touches from the quill of Willie Shakespeare inspired from his midsummer’s night dream, the wit of Gilbert & Sullivan, as well as some bawdiness (from nobody in particular) added for flavor. The fore noted bawdiness isn’t anything explicit per se, but is more of the “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” variety! Overall, it’s a delightful musical that creates an illusion of a world where anything could happen with a secure placement that everyone comes form the happy and content stock.

But there is more to the characters, music, and snappy dialogue that is part of this showcase. Ashley Hayes’ costuming shows off the world of farce and fantasy that is more akin to a “as you like it” form of experimental theater. That is, the complementary kind of experimental theater in apposed to something that’s weird!

Cydne Moore’s choreography is very imaginative that uses the art of mime as its base. This form of stage movement leans toward the notion of illustration of a description to the plot points.

James Cooper’s lighting, set, and video projection design add toward its look and feel that fits very well within the compact stage. Something depicted on a larger playing field (i.e. a stage) would have been otherwise lost!

These notions as witnessed within this production is why the Santa Monica Playhouse is one of the best (if not beloved) theaters in the Los Angeles region. The team of DeCarlo & Rudie, who also serves as its artistic directors, has taken this theater into its new highest over their many years on stage and off. And with shows such as this one, there isn’t any doubt that one won’t find quality theatre of this ilk anywhere. And it’s not just limited for the “grown-ups”! On Saturday and Sundays, there are other shows that are fit for the younger ones that the adults will find just as charming! (Visit the theatre’s website for more details on those productions!

LOVE IN BLOOM is a musical showpiece that is giddy and whimsical as a lovestruck “fool”! It’s not a spoiler alert to say that everyone lives happier ever after. And within this universe of the time of now, everyone needs a bit of content more than ever!

LOVE IN BLOOM, presented by and performs at The Santa Monica Playhouse (2nd Stage theater space), 1211 4th Street at Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, until November 24th. Showtimes are Saturday nights at 7:30 PM, and Sunday matinees at 3:30 PM.

For ticket reservations or for more details, call (310) 394-9779 ext. 1, or via online at http://www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com
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Santa Monica’s City Garage Theatre presents the world premier of Jeton Neziraj’s DEPARTMENT OF DREAMS, a surreal play about a bureaucratic center where dreams are obtained, catalogued, and deposited, and the people that control this inventory of thoughts.

Set within a unnamed nation, there is a governmental department calling itself “The Department of Dreams”, were every citizen is required by rule to report their dreams to this entity. Its mission is to transcribe these dreams, then to separate the dreams based on its practical use, then to ever further sort the dreams by topical category, finally to deposit these dreams for the full use and control to those that desire access. Within this department are those that enforce these tactics. John Logan plays Dan, a newly hired worker whose job as interpreter is to analyze the dreams that are otherwise difficult to decipher. This translates if such decrypted dreams are to be otherwise used as a possible threat to the nation’s wellbeing. Dan’s superior is his boss known as Master (Bo Roberts) that gives the outlines to what Dan should be seeking in terms of what occurs within these dreams. The person that Dan replaced was a worker known as Shortleg (Gifford Irving) who left as he spouted wings and few off to parts unknown. This act of Shortleg could have been itself a dream that Dan was required to translate. One entry he finds comes from a woman named Night. (Angela Beyer) This woman’s dreams seems to haunt Dan that drive him deeper into her psyche. Dan faces this challenge that could place him into other sections within this governmental ministry leading toward being cleansed–stripped down to a default pattern. Are these dreams being used for the benefit of its citizens, or only for the good to the national republic?

This single act play written by Kosovo native Jeton Nezira and translated into English by Alexandra Channer, is a haunting tale of an unnamed nation’s dominance to collect the dreams of its people as required by statute. These dreams are its citizen’s form of utmost privacy, very much akin to the times when Kosovo, located within the Balkans region of Europe that was once known as Yugoslavia, a one time suppressed region through political and economic aspects. In this play, much of what once occurred within this part of Europe is expressed throughout, yet presented in an unreal pattern. It can even be noted that its just as dreamlike as its citizens cannot keep their their dreams, but to pass those inner thoughts toward this agency accessible to a select class. The cast of performers mostly consist of those working within this department. David E. Frank plays an official to this bureaucratic entry, and Aaron Bray portrays a Dreambuilder that creates the dreams that is more suitable to the department.

The stage set for this production as designed by Charles Duncombe consists of a two winged structure to represent its working space it occupies as located within the seven story building where the dreams are housed. Its center stage on floor level is where some of the alternative occurrences takes place. The backdrop shows animated graphics as designed by Gaston Vinas that illustrates the inner intellect of what is unfolding through this inventory of dreams as collected in the past times, formed within the present mode, and the future destiny for the remainder.

This production can be witnessed as a statement of how a superior sect may be collecting the inner thoughts of those users by choice or circumstance. Although the basis may lean toward a political nature, it also could represent how non-governmental agencies are taking over the privacy of others in the form of high tech cyberspace based outlets through internet search engines and posts via social media outlets.

Directed by Frederique Michel, DEPARTMENT OF DREAMS can be a tale of fantasy, or a epic dose of hard reality cloaked as something from a parallel universe. Whatever may be the case, it questions to proceed these heeds with caution as everyone’s dreams may be next in line!

Please note that there is brief nudity depicted within this production.

DEPARTMENT OF DREAMS, presented by and performs at City Garage theatre, 2525 Michigan Avenue (at Bergamot Station off Olympic), Building T1-Santa Monica, until December 8th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 PM.

Special performances will take place the weekend of November 8th through the 10th featuring in person panel discussions with the playwright and other distinguished guest speakers.

More details on these special events, as well as for ticket reservations for all other performances can be obtained by calling the City Garage theatre boxoffice at (310) 453-9939, or through its website at http://www.CityGarage.org
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The Gloria Gifford Conservancy of Hollywood presents Tina Howe’s THE ART OF DINING, a comedy on a couple’s efforts within their new restaurant and the patrons that take part in their cuisine.

Ellen and Car are proprietors of The Golden Carousel, an upscale eatery located off the New Jersey shore. The new establishment was opened by this couple with Ellie as the master chef and Cal and the Maitre’D, as well as a $75,000 business loan to start everything off. Now it’s up to this couple to plan their menu, take reservations by phone, and to make sure that their customers can dine on many of their specialties found on the menu. The guests that arrive that evening consist of a married couple that are gourmands seeking the best for their tastes buds, a young writer of short stories awaiting to meet a rep from a publishing house with the hopes of making a deal, and three women out on a girl’s night out shopping trip that are there to enjoy their own company. Through the multiple courses of the evening, many little stories unfold, including of Ellie’s and Cal’s fighting and harmony in the kitchen. It’s really all about the mood and the food that takes center plate!

This production can be described as to how the “foodies” first came to light into the dining world. The play itself was first presented some forty years ago, back in the day when people would really dress for dinner, exotic cuisine was limited in reach (and was well worth the search), and reservations were only taken via the phone. Outside of these little methods on how restaurants operated and how patrons took its advantage, there really isn’t anything “dated” in this play. People still love to eat out, and restauranteurs still have their differences. However as noticed, nobody was fooling around with their phones while seated at their tables!

A rotating cast of players perform within this production. Billy Budinich, Keith Walker, Chris Jones, and Christine Maltez play Cal. Joey Marie Urbina and Kelly Musselwhite portray Ellen. Chad Doreck, Danny Siegel, Dan White, and Joshua Farmer portray Paul Galt, while Lucy Walsh, Keturah Haminlton, Cynthia San Luis, and Abigail Kochunas appear as Hanna Galt. (The married couple). Elizabeth Barrow Colt-the budding writer, is played by Kasia Pilewicz, Sabrina Won, and Justine Estrada. David Osslow, the publishing house executive, is performed by Haile D’Alan, Benito Paje, and Joe Flippone. And the trio of woman as the “girls night out” group consists of Leana Chavez, Nancy Vival, Samiyah Swann, Jade Ramirez Warner, Raven Bowens, Irene Gerakas, Amber Dancy, Danielle Abraham, Gloria Alvizar, and Rosa Frausto.

What also makes this play quite interesting is the detailed set design by Gloria Gifford, Keturah Hamilton & Lucy Walsh. On stage left is a real working kitchen space were food is actually prepared for the actors to dine on stage. Center stage are three white table clothed tables and chairs complete with cloth napkins, fancy china, and a stage candle placed on each table for mood and for show. Stage right is the reception lobby area of the restaurant (complete with a gold colored carousel hobby horse) all decked out in purple. These elements show that this restaurant isn’t another greasy spoon diner, and well as a bland quick service (i.e. “fast-food”) franchise joint!

Directed by Gloria Gifford, THE ART OF DINING is a play that hasn’t been performed in the Los Angeles region for some thirty five years! It’s long awaited revival is now available that enjoy a good number of laughs, in addition to how eating has become an art within its own right! Being a real foodie takes skill and effort. Not only that, it also takes a lot of good taste to pull it all off! As the pre-meal “prayer” goes, “Good food, good meat, good gosh, let’s eat!”

THE ART OF DINING, presented by Jamaica Moon Productions and the GGC Players, performs at the Gloria Gifford Conservatory theater, 6502 Santa Monica Blvd. (at Wilcox), Hollywood, until December 8th. Showtimes are Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:30 PM. For ticket reservations and for more information, call (800) 838-3006, or online at http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com/event/4404222
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2019 Linear Cycle Productions. All rights reserved. The views and opinions are those of the writers, and not necessarily of the staff and management. ‘Nuff said!