The above article resembles those heading news-type write ups one sees on various social media posts. These are known in the business (among other sources) as “click-bait”. One usually finds these articles placed within legit news outlets such as the Associated Press website that holds a sensational headline such as ours. When you “click” on that blurb, it will take the viewer to another website that will attempt to sell you something or another, and perhaps place those ever lovin’ “cookies” within your web browser so it may track you to place more ads for you to ponder upon.
But this article isn’t meant to be viewed as “click bait”. However, it does refer to food. And since food, especially entries known as “comfort food” that makes its revival since the deep dark times of the pandemic, is still a hot topic, we thought we would give you readers out there a little bit of insight to where we stand upon those measures.
Of course, healthy eating has been going around for quite some time, especially since the start of the 21st Century where such elements as sugar, salt, grease, and caffeine are out, and “natural” or even “plant-based” foods have had their share of love and hate.
Instead of going over a rave of foods that are “good for you”, and actually have some flavor packed within such dishes, we are going to spend a bit of time speaking about the opposite. That is, foods that are anything but healthy, but do service as a form of comfort to its consumer.
One place to obtain such foods are at county and state fairs. For a ten day period (give or take a day), country/state fairs are known for its traditional foods one would find served within a carnivalesque setting with such entries as burgers, hot dogs, popcorn, cotton candy, and the like.
However, some vendors at carnivals started to be a bit creative when it came to foods not necessarily served any other place outside of the carnival. Those foods, also known as “Midway foods”, are offered in dedicated food booths normally found on the midway of the fair where all of the rides are placed as well as the game booths that are lined up at the carnival, all decked out in their bright and shiny neon lights and massive amount of bulbs and LED lighting schemes.
Of course, the foods that are offered may vary from one carnival to the next, so the list of what’s offered may not necessarily be available at your local fair. That is what makes the carnival unique. It shows that the consumer can only get this delicacy at this fair and nowhere else. Or you can get the fairs’ version of this dish that may be better (or worse) that the same offering at another fair.
To give one example, we’ll focus upon the entries offered at the Wisconsin State Fair that takes place this year (August 4th through the 14th) in West Allis, Wisconsin, a Milwaukee suburb. According to the notes recently received by this writers, there will be an offering of eighty new entries made available on the fairgrounds, Instead of this writer presenting a laundry list of what will be for your dining pleasure, we’ll provide the link from the state fair’s website where you can actually plan your means right before your arrival. And they even have a printable menu listing on what you and your clan can take while at the fair. Keep in mind that if one has to avoid one of the items listed on the four basic food groups (see paragraph three for that list). We highly recommend that you use their judgment in picking and choosing what to have, or have not!
Of course, what the Wisconsin State Fair is known for is its selection of cream puffs, served on the fairgrounds for generations. Many folks that have visited the state fair (this writer included) have sampled this delicacy that consists of a baked pastry shell loaded with off-white cream filling. One has to be careful when biting on one of these things so the cream wouldn’t spill out of its pastry shell. It’s not only tasty (for a cream puff) but it’s a challenge to eat. It’s even fun to watch folks making their attempt to properly eat these puffs, making this viewing an event within its own right.
And yes, the state fair even sells these cream puffs by the box and offers them as a mail order item as well. One can get these puffs to ship to friends from out of town, or for those that recall these puffs from back in the day when one can be on the hallowed grounds of the fair. (Visit the official Wisconsin State Fair website for details at https://wistatefair.com)
On a side note of those cream puffs. Yours truly used to attend the fair many years before. I was tempted to get one of those puffs as I used to see others chomping down on this treat. However, irony set in while I was waiting in line to get one of these puffs during one summer afternoon. When I was in line, there was news that people were whispering about. It was something that just happened that day, and it was very tragic! In fact, I recall a group of four women (teens maybe) sobbing and crying. Others were in shock. Some were even still and silent when the news came around!
So what was the tragic thing that occurred while I, along with forty others started in line to grab a cream puff? That was the day that Elvis died! Yep, the King of Rock and Roll was announced dead at the age of 42! The big “E” was an entertainer that was in his prime when it came to music! But when it came to his health? That’s another story as it is!! And if the fair has a vendor booth offering peanut butter and banana sandwiches, you can bet that folks would have been flocking to that booth to grab their big hunk ‘o love to pay their tributes to their newly departed idol. Thunka-Thunka-Thunka-Verymuch!!
But being healthy is something to always take into consideration. One can create meals that are not only good for you, but just good to eat. If one desires to take part in a plant-based burger, so be it. If one had a hankering to lunch on greasy french fries, why not? If one even wanted to make a classic comfort dish of macaroni and cheese, there are the simple one one can make from a box, and there are the gourmet versions one can create on any stovetop. And mac and cheese can be made as healthy as one can create! Even the folks at Kraft Foods that has been marketing their boxes of Macaroni & Cheese for as long as the Wisconsin State Fair has been peddling their cream puffs went to the trouble of relabeling this entry as “Mac & Cheese”, a name that folks have been calling this product.
So while you dine on your deep fried pickle and sauerkraut served on a taco shell doused with sour cream, just remember the old line as quoted by some TV chef whose name has since been long forgotten, “Enjoy the day as tomorrow we diet!” And if anyone attempts to try out the fried pickle with sauerkraut, drop us a line at Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com and tell us your experience. And if you are the winning entry, we’ll send you a roll of antacid tablets as our prize!
Disclaimer: Open to all residents residing in the United States. Not responsible for misguided details! Don’t say we didn’t warn you!!
Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills opens their 2022-23 season with the Los Angeles premier of THE METROMANIACS, David Ives’ comical farce in the French style about a group of poets addicted to composing verse, and the many comedy of slight errors that come and go around when poets are are at their craft, both as word and deed.
It’s really a tale of poets of affection. Taking place in the robust spring of 1738, the story unfolds as an upcoming poet Damis (Alec Anderson Carraso) takes heart for a mysterious poetess from Breton. This poetess is actually a gentleman named Francalou (David Hunt Stafford) a man of substance with a bit of poetry mania himself. He holds the desire to unload his rather titillating but slightly dimwitted daughter Lucille (Josephine Nunez) who also just happens to be crazy for couplets. Before long, wily servants, well versed acrobatics, and mistaken identities bring out a hyperactive series of twists and turns in this breezy farce that only the French can muster off.
This “new” play by David Ives who is known for adapting nearly forgotten French comedies from the 18th century, uses Alexis Piron’s c.1738 release of La Metromanie as its source, and creates a play that is indeed French in nature and just as witty for domestic audiences. All of the dialogue is spoken in rhyme where its characters enter and exit its scenes in the form of a Shakespearian piece, but doesn’t speak in Shakespearian prose. It’s more contemporary in nature, but French all the way! Unlike French comedies of yore, the sexual hijinks are toned down quite a bit, meaning that there isn’t anything uncouth depicted. It’s just a bunch of poetry fanatics donned in 18th century-era clothing as designed by Michele Young. Judi Lewin provides the wigs/hairstyles and makeup, making everyone as French appearing as they could get. Jeff G. Rack, Theatre 40’s residential set designer, dresses the set to resemble a backdrop of a French “grand room” in muted tones, along with facades of trees and rocks that look like bland stage settings. This was done intently so its backgrounds don’t conflict with what goes on stage.
Also appearing in this production are John Wallace Combs as Mondor, Hisato Masuyama as Baliveau, and Jeremy Schaye as Dorante.
Directed by Marjorie Hayes, THE METROMANIACS title may resemble a stage piece about those that are fanatics with public transportation! Actually, the original title generally translates as The Poetry Craze that was a fad connected to poets and poetry that was sweeping the French nation at the time. If this occurred in this day and age (early 21st Century), many of these poets would serve as influencers plastered on social media, and perhaps to serve as intellectual property sources. But this is a play from the 18th century arranged for 21st century audiences. And to add to the rhymes as spoken, it’s a play that holds its humor, and that is no rumor!
THE METROMANIACS, 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 August 21st. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights @ 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.
For ticket reservations, call (310) 364-0535, or via online at http://www.Theatre40.org
The Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum of Topanga begins its latest entry of repertory plays for the 2022 calendar season with the world premier of Ellen Geer’s stage adaptation of Rebecca Dwight Bruff’s TROUBLE THE WATER, the little known yet true tale of Robert Smalls, who became the first “negro” man of honor of the American Civil War of the 1860’s.
Gerald C. Rivers plays the elder Robert Smalls, who serves as on-stage narrator of his story. He begins to tell his tale noting that some of the facts may be heresy as people who were born into slavery never has their lives well documented. However, the tales he projects were indeed true and factual.
Born in the community of Beaufort, South Carolina in 1839, he earned the nicknamed of “Trouble”, a fitting name as other slaves of his age fall into this category as many paid for such trouble with their lives. Terrence Wayne Jr. portrays the young Robert a.k.a. Trouble who dwelled within a plantation owned by Henry McKee (Alister McKenzie) and his spouse Jane (Robyn Cohen). Trouble lived his mother Lydia (Earnestine Phillips) who was also part of the McKee “property”, and never knew his father. Although he was a slave, Trouble did what he could to make better for himself. He later worked on the docks in Charleston who earned a decent wage, mostly going to his owner. He even did better for himself learning how to read and write on his own power. As South Carolina and the other neighboring states were attempting to succeed from the nation, Trouble joined forces with others of his kind, His greatest success was to take command of a Confederate warship sailing it into the side of the Northern Union with a group of slaves aboard making them officially free. Upon delivering the ship along with an arsenal of rebel weaponry for the Union army, he was declared a hero. His meeting with President Abe Lincoln influenced the commander in chief to allow former slaves to fight for the Union and toward the freedom of all slaves.
This play is a dramatic story of Robert Smalls that did more for his people during a challenging time for the American nation and for his race. The story itself is expressed in a dynamic fashion that shows its drama as an influence from being a people that lived as lowlifes into a group that proved that they could succeed and eventually did.
This production under the stage direction of Gerald C. Rivers who appears as the elder Smalls, holds up to a very large ensemble cast of performers, some appear in multiple roles. Those that are most noted feature Rodrick Jean-Charles as the young Trouble’s Uncle George, Clarence Powell as his second Uncle Reuben, Tiffany Cody as Hanna, Trouble’s first wife, Franc Ross as Robert Barnwell Rhett, a neighboring slave owner and later a Confederate agitator, Michelle Merring as Small’s second wife, and Justin Blanchard as Reverend French. And with such a big story comes that for noted ensemble cast of performers that consist of (and listed within their alphabetical order), Matthew Clair, Joseph Darby, Emerson Haller, Ethan Haslam, Fallon Heaslip, Frank Krueger, Eden Lederer, Joelle Lewis, Tariq Mieres, Danezion Mills, Michaela Molden, Kenneth Montley, Venice Mountain-Zona, Susan Stangl, Sage Michael Stone, Monique Thompson and Elliott Grey Wilson
Adding to the drama as depicted on stage is the presentation of Street Corner Renaissance, a group of singers consisting of Charles (Sonny) Banks, Robert Henley III, Maurice Kitchen, Torrence Brannon Reese and Anthony Snead providing the musical interludes sung sans musical instruments in the style of a cappella. Many of their numbers consist of legacy “negro spirituals” that enhance the story line, proving that the meaning of these suppressed slaves held toward their spiritual faith with the beliefs that they would one day be free and to live respected lives for the many generations to come.
This production is the fourth of a quartet of stage pieces as presented by the Theatricum Botanicum that will play throughout the rest of the season as longer term showscapes. This theater saved the best for last as this stage play is just as powerful as the story concept itself. Over the last few years, the roles of what the confederate side of the Civil War did has been downplayed and even been attempted to be erased. But true facts are indeed true facts. This showcase brings out the better of these said and unsaid facts and makes this theater production an uplifting one. The saying has been going for generations noted that the South shall rise again. This show gives witness that those within the south did rise up for the good of others for then and for now. Those lives are the ones that matter.
TROUBLE THE WATER, presented by and performs at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd. Topanga, until October 2nd. Showtimes are August 5th, 14th, 20th, 26th, September 11th, 16th, 24th, and October 2nd at 7:30 PM, with special matinee performance on Sundays, July 31st, and September 4th at 3:30 PM.
For ticket reservations and for further information, call (310) 455-3723 or via online at http://www.theatricum.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2022 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!