Once upon a time, there was an annual publication that came out called The Guinness Book of World Records, a 300+ page paperback book that features facts and figures that reported on the world records found in nature and those from the human world.
Originally published by the Irish brewery Guinness as a guild that would settle bar bets, this title would host dozens upon dozen of little tidbits of such marvels ranging from the most distant known star from the solar system, the tallest man and woman on record, the oldest song, the most valuable diamond, the movie that grossed the most money since its release, and so on and so forth. For those that desire to know anything about everything, this book was the go-to title! Yours truly as a kid obtained the latest edition from a local bookstore and newsstand, and would use the book as reading material when the need called from it, such as reading during long road trips, bedside reading, or whenever I had a hankering to spend my time when there was nothing good on TV or when I didn’t care much for the radio, although I did have the radio on playing my to-40 hits as I clamored with the book just so I can tell anyone who cared that I knew how heavy was the world’s heaviest rock!
For a while there would be records recorded on human feats. Those tasks were sports related (the fastest human ever to run on a track), or perhaps done to prove a point. (The longest time one ever sat on top of a flagpole, or the person that climbed the highest mountain peak.)
There were even eating records, from the person that ate the most clams in one sitting, or the person that used the fastest time to wolf down hot dogs. However, because of safety issues, the folks at Guinness decided to no longer recognize such eating feats. Even so, people still wanted to be the first (only) person to chow down on that 72 ounce steak served at the roadside restaurant along Route 66 in Amarillo, Texas.
The Guinness people eventually decided to get out of the world record business around the turn of the 21st century, selling off the title to an outside entity. Since that time, most of the records acknowledged were not as earth shattering as they used to be.
To give an example, the article reprinted below came from AdWeek, a print and online new source that reports upon the advertising and marking industry. Here, they report upon a Chinese based electronic firm that reported a “new worlds record”. The article reads…
…A Chinese consumer electronics company Xiaomi broke the Guinness World Records title over the weekend for “Most People Unboxing Simultaneously.”
Over the course of an hour, 703 participants simultaneously unwrapped hundreds of boxes filled with Xiaomi gadgets including cameras, scooters, power banks and more.
The event, held outside the Oculus in lower Manhattan, was designed to promote the company’s new Mi Box S android set-top box. A social campaign generated awareness of the event.
The previous record was held by Mercado Libre (an Argentina-based eBay-like company) for an event staged in Mexico City in September.
Simultaneous events of one kind or another have become a thing over the past few years. And not just involving people, either. There’s a Guinness record for simultaneous dancing robots….
That above noted feat gives one an idea to what kind of so-called “world records” are reported through this publication.
There have been other kind of amazing triumphants recorded that are very akin to the above, such as the longest parade consisting of golf carts, the largest gluten-free pizza ever created, the funniest joke ever told (this entry really doesn’t exist yet, but it should be!), and you get the idea!
It would be interesting to see people making an attempt to break a record on something that hasn’t been broken before, such as an effort to create the biggest governed country in the world, or the loudest shriek uttered by a domestic wombat, or perhaps creating the cleanest bathroom space! If we do hear about such attempts being made, we will report those noted element right within these pages of Accessibly Live Off-Line.
NEWS AND REVIEWS
Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills present their 4th entry in their 2019-20 season with the world premier of Tony Blake’s SUNDAY DINNER, a drama about a family who gathers for an evening meal on the title day of the week, only to receive more than what’s being served on the table.
The setting is a family residence located in The Bronx, New York. James Tabeek is Michael Matera. He’s a priest of the Catholic faith who arrives in town from his residency in Chicago shortly after the passing of his grandfather. He’s present to meet some of his family inside of the residence he grew up in, a place that his family has lived for generations. There is his parents Eddie (John Combs), his mother Rose (Sharron Shayne), his Aunt Margaret (Michelle Schultz), along with his brother Richie (Kevin Linehan), his cousin Flip (Dennis Hadley), and his former sister-in-law Diane (Meghan Lloyd), who was once married to Richie. It appears that Michael’s mom and dad desires to sell their home while they can, as their Bronx neighborhood hasn’t gone through the gentrification as other nearby communities has witnessed over the recent years. The family could use the money for their home, especially Flip as he has medical bills to pay for his mother. Before a nice and plentiful Italian dinner is to be served (quite right as Italian is the family heritage), Eddie takes Michael aside to present a confession to him. (After all, he is a priest!) The confession involves something that Eddie arranged many years before, an act that would have been a benefit for the family. However, little episodes within the clan starts to revile itself and not necessarily for the better. In fact, things go from bad to worse! Before long, this family shows off their true colors to one another where everyone has a skeleton in their personal closets that needs to get out in more ways than one. This Sunday dinner isn’t really a dinner at all, but more than a one way trip to hell!
This new play, written and directed by Tony Blake, is loosely based upon an actual episode from the playwright’s own family where some skullduggery was performed many years before, only to have the clan know about it all long after its fact! Here, the playwright creates a heavy drama that features a cast of characters that speak their own minds toward one another. Although they may seem charming and serving for their good, not one lives up to this trait. In other words, it’s a dysfunctional family at their worst for a kindred meal that isn’t Thanksgiving!
The cast of six performers in this production are very fit for the roles they represent. James Tabeek as “Father” Michael is the humble appearing man of the cloth that isn’t as holy as he supposedly lives up to. His parents, Eddie and Rose as portrayed by John Combs and Sharron Shayne, are from the the “old school” variety of Italian parents that worked hard in what they did to raise a decent family. Kevin Linehan as Richie is the badass brother that sports a cocky attitude and says and does things through his own concerns rather than what others may think. Dennis Hadley as cousin Flip lives up to his name as being a bit flippant, but never reaching the level as Richie does. Michele Schultz as Auntie Margaret is another old school Italian always ready for a stiff drink and a smoke whenever she can get away for a quick shot and puff. And Meghan Lloyd as Diane is a woman what is trying to get her life back together after a rocky marriage from Richie, and the ability to raise a twelve year old son on her own with little (if any) support from her ex. These characters is yet another snapshot of a family many others (this writer included) can relate to!
Theatre 40’s residential set designer Jeff G. Rack creates a setting of the Matera homestead that shows off the dining and living rooms areas with furnishing and decor that comes from another era making their place very neat and proper for how it all stands.
SUNDAY DINNER can be shocking at times based upon the opinions and viewpoints expressed through its characters. This is what makes this play shine throughout! Granted, what is stated among the clan may become as a bit offensive. However, this is a family that can be labeled as a brood that is just as “F”-ed up as any other family that doesn’t come from a tired TV sitcom. It’s just another part of the life and times of a tribe that nobody wants to be part of! (Yours perhaps??)
SUNDAY DINNER, 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 February 16th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.
For ticket reservations or for more information, call (310) 364-0535, or via online at http://www.Theatre40.org
The Road Theatre Company on Magnolia presents the world premier of NOWHERE ON THE BORDER, Carlos Lacamara’s drama that deals with a border patrol agent, a man seeking his daughter, and her attempt in entering a neighboring country to search for economic opportunity that may cost her life.
The play takes place along the US and Mexican border just off Arizona. A member of a civilian volunteer border patrol agent Gary (Chet Grissom, alternating with Lance Guest)) is on duty to keep those crossing the border on their own side. While on patrol, he encounters Roberto (Jonathan Nichols, alternating with Carlos Lacamara), an older man who claims that he is looking for his daughter Pilar (Natalie Llerena/Gabriela Fernandez) who forged ahead a few weeks before in a border crossing attempt, where she remains missing. Pilar used the aid of a “coyote” Don Rey (Thom Rivera/Juan Pope) to get across. As Pilar and two others, Jesus (Leandro Cano/Roland Ruiz) and Montoya (Diana DeLaCruz/Maricella Ibarra) trudge through the desert, they risk their lives by challenging desert heat, coyotes (the animal), and the US Border Patrol through their journey toward a better life that lies ahead just across the border.
This is a play that was recently re-written and revised by Carlos Lacamara that speaks for a timely issue: The stoppage of those from Mexico and points south to enter the USA under unauthorized means in order to find a better life that they had left behind. It shows the bitterness that is expressed by the volunteer border agent who would rather keep his America just for “Americans” away from those that could be called “illegals”, retaining them in their own place on their side of the border. The drama expressed is tense at times, yet shows the human side of the native citizens who will risk everything just so they can have a better life. The way this play is presented is told within two stories told in a parallel fashion with the conflict of border agent Carl and his perpetrator Roberto. Then the scenes shifts between Roberto’s daughter Pilar, along with companions Jesus and Montoya as they venture along a rough terrain always close to a dangerous spot. Stewart J. Zully directs this single act play that holds the equal balance between getting a better life with risk, and the sole border keeper that carries a personal grudge in who he’s stopping!
As to the technical mentions toward this production. Paul Dufresne’s set design consists of a spot in the desert, complete with rock formations and cactus plants, coated within a beige colored placement. Mary Jane Miller’s consuming shows Gary the border agent dressed in military fatigues, finished with a pistol strap (with pistol) and a large knife. The rest are dressed in “poor people” clothing, showing that the life they are leaving behind is more of the peasant variety. And Nicholas Santiago’s projection design illustrates some of the virtual situations that the characters deal with as they toil through their barren and dry landscape.
Also appearing is Mackenzie Redvers Bryce as a troubadour-type guitarist placed along stage right that performs musical interludes between selected portions of this production.
NOWHERE ON THE BORDER is a very well created stage piece. It’s also sit within a timely subject that’s been part of the domestic political field. Although it doesn’t take any stand or sides about the entry of undocumented aliens or its consequences, it shows the physical and emotional side of what people will do to seek a better life no matter what it may take. And this form of life is accessible to all.
NOWHERE ON THE BORDER, presented by The Road Theatre Company and performs at The Road on Magnolia, 10747 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood, until March 8th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.
For ticket reservations or for more details, call (818) 761-8838, or via online at
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) announced their nominations for the 92nd annual Academy Awards on January 13th.
The following titles and names received the nomination for the following categories:
Ford v Ferrari (Fox)
The Irishman (Netflix)
Jojo Rabbit (Fox Searchlight)
Joker (Warner Bros.)
Little Women (Sony-Columbia)
Marriage Story (Netflix)
Once upon a Time…in Hollywood (Sony-Columbia)
Antonio Banderas-Pain and Glory
Leonardo DiCaprio-Once upon a Time…in Hollywood
Adam Driver-Marriage Story
Jonathan Pryce-The Two Popes
Scarlett Johansson-Marriage Story
Saoirse Ronan-Little Women
Martin Scorsese-The Irishman
Quentin Tarantino-Once upon a Time…in Hollywood
Bong Joon Ho-Parasite
The awards program will once again feature a set of rotating hosts, and will take place on Sunday, February 9th at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center-Hollywood, and airs on ABC.
For a complete listing of all nominations, visit the official AMPAS web site at
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