Since this news service first reported upon COVID-19, a.k.a. the coronavirus, things has been going from very concerned to possibly worse. This form of “worse” isn’t so much of the spread of this virus, but how others are reacting towards the prevention of the said virus.
There has been reports of people stocking up on everything ranging from canned goods, bottled water, hand sanitizer, and even toilet paper for staying away from anything that could cause upon getting caught from this illness. Events that has been scheduled months, and even years in advance, has either been postponed or even cancelled outright in order to prevent those to not to catch the illness. Companies are informing their employees to “work at home” for the same preventive reasons. Ditto for many colleges where classes will be offered through remote means rather than through in-person classrooms. And some sporting events will either be played to empty seats or downright postponed. The NBA and NHL is called off their season for now, and MLB is on close stand by!
Movie theaters are reporting lower attendance rates. Some of the live theater playhouses here in town are giving out notices that they are safe places to visit, event noting that their theaters are getting a clean once over! And in New York City, some Broadway shows are selling tickets as low as $50.00 just to convince folks that indeed, the show must go on and they are going on as scheduled come hell or high water! (Updated note: All major shows running in New York (“Broadway”) has been shut down through middle April.)
Major conventions has been postponed or cancelled unit the next year. Among the many meetings set for the chopping block, the National Association of Broadcasters won’t meet in Las Vegas in April, (ditto for CinemaCon formally ShowWest in Vegas), the video game convention the E3 Show won’t take place in Los Angeles come June, and the Turner Classic Movies Film Fest won’t happen in Hollywood in middle April. (Yours truly was going to cover this annual event this year for Accessibly Live Off-Line!)
And perhaps the biggest closer of them all. Disneyland and California Adventure is shut down–the fourth time the Disney parks in Anaheim has been closed in its nearly 65 years of operation!!
And speaking of movies, according to the folks at Warner Media for their streaming service that offers subscribers to gain access to the Warner Bros. catalog of films released within the last few decades, one of the titles available to view is the 2011 release of Contagion that starred Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishbourne, Jude Law, and others. Its plot line speaks about a deadly worldwide virus going around that a team of medical professionals are attempting to stop the illness in its tracks. At the beginning of the year, this film ranked no. 274 in order of streaming demand. As of the first of this month, the title jumped to number two! (What remains at number one? The Harry Potter series ‘natch!!)
Finally as this issue went to press, the IRS may be considering pushing the tax filing deadline beyond its standard April 15th date just because people may be too concerned in getting out to get their taxes filed by somebody else, let along just remaining in a state of over concern because of the ever lovin’ virus!
First and foremost, there is nothing wrong in the prevention of avoiding any form of disease or illness that may be around. It’s always smart to watch one’s self on possibly getting ill over anything, virus or otherwise! However, having normal activities being altered or even taken away is getting toward a state of forced discipline. It’s almost like being punished for something that nobody did to create it in the same way a kid could become “grounded” for something the kid may have done, or even didn’t do!
It’s rather obvious that nobody did anything to start this virus on purpose. (The tabloids may say otherwise!) However, one doesn’t have to hole themselves inside of a bunker of a home with their stockpile of thousand cans of beans, massive amounts of bottled water, and dozens of rolls of toilet paper to make themselves safe. The only reason this writer could think of on why would anyone needs an immense supply of toilet paper to keep themselves free from any harm is because their bottled water supply came from somewhere where one should not drink the water in the first place! But we digress!
As stated many times before, the best way to prevent any illness, coronavirus or otherwise, is to take basic precaution. Consumer Reports published on their website some basic guidelines to keep one as safe as possible to prevent getting any form of virus, as well as details on the virus itself. Check the link below for the news:
In the meantime, ALO-L will keep an eye on things for updates and revisions. (Note: This issue was revised eight(!) times before it went to press!!) Until then, we just suggest the basic information we provided in our previous issue. It will remain that way for the duration; Keep Calm and Carry On, Let’s Be Careful Out There, and For God’s Sakes Man! We’re All In This Together!
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills presents the world premier of Jack Rushen’s TAMING THE LION, the backstory of a conflict between a movie star and the studio moguls upon the star’s acting off camera than on.
The year is 1933. The setting is Culver City, California, just a redcar ride away from Hollywood. The studio is Metro-Goldwyn-Meyer, run by Louis B. Meyer. (Jeffrey Winner) One of the many stars working at the studio is leading man William Haines (Landon Beatty) who’s been under contract since the silent days. It seems that Louie B. along with fellow studio head Irving Thalberg (Kevin Dulude) holds a concern with their star over the fact that he is of the homosexual persuasion, a trait the studio won’t tolerate. In order to snuff out the rumors that’s been going around, they arrange a plot for William to “date” and eventually marry one of the stars working on the lot, Joan Crawford. (Marie Broderick). And since William is under contract, this idea isn’t a request, but a demand! (The contract allows the studio to treat their film stars as property rather that employed staff.) However, William has his own lover, a fashion designer named Jimmie. (Niko Boles). So if William wants to remain in pictures, he either marries Joan, or he becomes unusable because of his alternative and unspeakable lifestyle.
This play is based upon a true episode that did occur back in the days when such an activity was banned if not illegal! Besides, the Hayes office a.k.a. the censors, wouldn’t allow such a depiction in any of the studio features releases due to its immoral behavior! It’s also part of a Hollywood that never made the pages of Photoplay or the gossip columns of Parsons and Hopper. But making the movies look “clean” was part of the business of feature films, the prime escapist form of entertainment during the era of the Great Depression. In this play, the cast that play the stars and studio heads holds a striking resemblance to the actual characters they portray. Jeffrey Winner is within the same stocky personna that was L. B. Meyer, whose looks was far removed as leading man material. Marie Broderick resembles a young Joan Crawford that had yet to become a mommy dearest. Kevin Dulude also resembles Irving Thalberg, although his likeness was just limited to photos appearing in “the trades”.
Melanie Macqueen directs this drama as an interesting stage work. It contains as much conflict and pathos as one would see in any picture released by Metro in the 30’s. This time, its stakes would be for real!
The atmosphere of Hollywood from the period is very well present, thanks to Theater 40’s residential set designer Jeff G. Rack. Its staging shows off Louie B.’s office at center stage, William’s rather plush home on stage right, and a snug table at The Brown Derby (along with its star caricature pictures on its walls) on stage left.
Also appearing is Jean Mackie as Ida, Louis B’s right hand girl secretary.
And one questions remains. Will TAMING THE LION have its happy ending by the end of its final reel? With Hollywood being Hollywood, there will be smiles seen upon the faces of the stars at fade out! They don’t call this ars gratia artis for nothing!
TAMING THE LION, 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 April 12th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.
Due to current situations involving a national health related crisis, this program may be subject to be placed on hold. Contact the theater for updated information at (310) 364-0535, or via online at http://www.Theatre40.org
OUR MAN IN SANTIAGO, Mark Wilding’s comic spy thriller about an ill-equipped secret agent recruited by the CIA to lead an attempt in the overthrow of a newly elected leader of a South American banana republic, and the fellow agent to see it all through, makes its world premier at Theatre West of Los Angeles.
The setting is Santiago, Chile c.1973. The government has a socialist president in rule, and a plot is being formed between the US by way of the Nixon administration and the Chilean military police force to overthrow the current leader whose been in power since the beginning of the decade. The agency selected Daniel Baker (Nick McDow Musleh) to lead in the coup. The CIA suspects that he’s the man that can execute this dangerous task, but Daniel doesn’t seem to be cut out for this mission. Using a suite in one of Santiago’s finer hotels as headquarters, he’s paired up with fellow agent Jack Wilson (George Tovar) to complete this detail. It’s not going to be as easy as it may appear working through a nation that hasn’t been on a steady political ground. As the two arrange their scheme, another party becomes involved, Chilean woman Maria (Presciliana Esparolini). She isn’t a spy, but the hotel maid! Receiving their cues through sitting American President Richard Nixon (Steve Nevil) and Secretary of State and National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger (Michael Van Duzer), both Daniel and Jack unfold their government backed under wraps strategy to complete their mission, no matter how dangerous it may wind up. But what do they know, and how much are they aware of this outcome? And is Maria somebody to consider, or is she really just the clean-up woman?
This new comedy by Mark Wilding was inspired by an actual event where the CIA was involved in an overthrow attempt of President Salvador Allande during the 1973 Chilean coup d’état with the US as a backing force. This play takes those events and forms a comical farce where its leading characters, Daniel Baker as portrayed by Mick McDow Musleh and Jack Wilson as played by George Tovar, are spies without a mission and vice versa. In other words, they are more Maxwell Smart than James Bond! They don’t have fancy gadgets or unique schemes to complete their assignments in any way shape or form. All they have are their own wits for what they are worth. The humor embedded is of a fast paced variety and plays out as a very refined sitcom. (The high brow quality sitcom sort!) The thrills that exist are of the leads getting deeper in what not to do in order to keep this nation south of the equator free from a military junta. In fact, the laughs outpace the cunning spy-type thrills as each step leads toward more laff-loaded buffoonery than the standard cloak-and-dagger espionage methods of practice.
Theatre West member Charlie Mount directs this program in a clip that just gets funnier by the moment. Steve Nevil as “Tricky Dick” Nixon with Michael Van Duzer as Henry (“missing”) Kissinger are just as comical in this production as they really were in so-called real life back in the day. Those comical characteristic are most appreciated by those of a certain age (Baby Boomers mostly) who fondly recall those times, especially if one followed the newscasts some forty-five or so years ago when all of these things were taking place!
One space for eye-candy is Jeff G. Rack’s set design that shows off the fancy hotel suite located in Chile’s national capitol, and the Oval Office where Nixon and Kissinger are taking roost. (The president’s desk as depicted on stage is more appealing that the man seated behind the thing!)
It’s not often where one can experience a spy thriller play as seen on an intimate stage as Theater West provides. It’s really rare to see a comical spy thriller on the same stage set. But OUR MAN IN SANTIAGO fits the bill quite nicely. It’s a load of laughs, and no secret code is needed, or even used! Besides, overthrowing a government is so easy, anyone can do it! All it takes is a little know-how!
OUR MAN IN SANTIAGO is presented and performs at Theatre West, 3333 Cahuenga Blvd, between Barham and Lankershim Blvd. In Los Angeles. (Universal City adjacent). This production was originally scheduled to perform Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM through April 5th.
Due to current situations involving a national health related crisis, this program has been placed on hold until further notice.
For more details on revised performance dates, contact Theatre West at (323) 851-7977, or by way of its website at http://www.TheatreWest.org
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2020 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!