Back in 2001, Warner Bros received a feature film entitled Artificial intelligence: AI, also known as AI: Artificial Intelligence. (It’s assumed that the latter title was used so movie theater marquees can list that feature as “AI” rather than “Artificial Intelligence”.)

The movie itself was about the creation of a robot sporting the likeness of a young white boy that can show human emotions, and the problems that this “boy” created when a young couple adopted this boy to replace a son they lost. This movie was supposed to be the next feature directed by Stanley Kubrick based upon a short story written by Brain Aldiss entitled Super Toys Last All Summer Long. However, Kubrick died when the feature was getting ready for production. Steven Spielberg stepped in to create the screenplay set for his style in directing, and was released as another science fiction vehicle that was geared to show an emotional affect.

I was invited to attend a screening of this title for press review. When I received the notice from the WB publicity department in the mail before the time that the studios would use electronic means to send these kinds of notices to those on their mailing list, they listed the title as AI: Artificial Intelligence. At first, I read the title as A1: Artificial Intelligence. Of course, the name “A1” means one of two things. It means that this is a description of something that is at its peak (“A1” representing the first letter of the alphabet and as “number one”, versus something at the bottom of the heap as in “Z26”), or it described a brand name for steak sauce with a spicy flavor that was more liquid in form than the type of sauce offered by Heinz that ran more like its ketchup.

At first, I wasn’t too keen on seeing this movie as I was partial to sci-fi features, as well as the fact that Spielberg was attached to the movie as I found his film making as a bit over-the-top. I didn’t even like Kubrick’s previous movie Eyes Wide Shut, released by the same studio two years before. I decided to go since I could hack out another review for this news service, and the fact that I didn’t have anything else to do on the day and time of the screening.

When I showed up to the screen room location (It was in a dedicated screening room that could be rented for the evening rather than at a regular movie theater such as the old Avco Theater, a multiplex once located on Wilshire Blvd. In Westwood), the folks at WB eventually overbooked the theater. They couldn’t find a seat for me and the person I was with at the time. I was told that they would host another screening sometime soon and would let me know about it once that’s scheduled. So I walked away, never having a chance to see that flick and thus, no review to write. I never received any other notice for another screening that the woman from the Warner Bros. PR department said I would get! And it was just as well I didn’t see the film as I later learned that it wasn’t very good for what it was supposed to be!

I can see why the folks at WB rearranged the wording for this movie. It was known to the public at large what artificial intelligence was all about. (Robots mostly, but other forms of machinery and computer-based programming that acted like a human were behind this form of creation and “life”.) But its moniker “AI” wasn’t as known, if at all! Perhaps it was part of the lingo used to those within that kind of industry and its related connections. But for the most part, “AI” could be mistaken for “A1”, the same way that I saw it.

But that was back some twenty plus years ago. At that time, this form of robotics was more science fiction than science fact. Over time, robotics had been created in the same style it was depicted in sci-fi features of yore. They either worked with humans, or were working against them! But AI creating conversations through written and verbal means were at its infancy. There were reports in such publications as Popular Science and other sources that perhaps one day, it was quite possible to have a conversation with a robotic figure only to have that figure reply back in the same way that a real human being could.

Within the past year, it appears that “AI” is indeed a reality. If one scrolls through the media portals out there, there have been reports that many software companies are creating methods of communications that are based on AI. Many of these methods are in the form of “chat boxes”, a place found on a website where the user can type in a message seeking some information and having the “person” on the other end of the chat reply through the input from the human user. AI has even gone beyond chat boxes lately. A few newspapers, even the ones that do not use “paper” as their prime medium, has created news articles with AI based robots, or “bots” instead of a human journalist writing the same news story. 

There are other factors that AI is the given choice, from the creation of new and tested(?) food recipes to writing songs using music with desired musical tones with lyrics that almost make sense. But from the AI formatted songs that this writer heard, they do need a bit of work!

These methods of AI do open ideals where these robotic sources hold a sense of intelligence to work along humans to get their jobs done. The notion of robots taking over to replace humans is always a factor to resolve for many reasons. Perhaps the most obvious reason is costs. One doesn’t have to give an AI source a salary, as well as offering health benefits and a 401K option plan. It could do the work as a human once did while working 24/7/365 on the same pay scale. No overtime or even bathroom breaks! It these robots do need to “go”, there are other methods that they can do such a deed. But this is all besides the point! 

And thanks to technology that strives upon the rule of “smaller faster cheaper”, methods of AI can indeed take over. This is more true to jobs that could be quite dangerous to a human, such as search-and-rescue teams looking for those lost in the woods or stuck upon a mountain top, or on jobs that require a bomb being deactivated. Those operations can work well without a human risking a life. But for tasks that could be performed by a real person but can be taken over through AI? Those are the issues that need pondering upon.

But time, tide, and technology are the factors here. It will be a long time (if at all) when AI will work along with the human race. So when it comes to doing a task that is indeed “A1”, leave it to a real person to get the job done. That’s the real “secret sauce”! 


City Garage theater presents Stephen Greenblatt & Charles L Mee’s CARDENIO, a comical play about a group of friends attending a wedding in Italy while they go through a test of love, and attending a “premier” production of a newly found work that may have been written by The Bard himself.

The setting is the region of Umbria, located in the center of Italy. A group of Americans from the New York region are gathered to witness the wedding of Anselmo (Anthony Sannazzaro) and Camilla (Devin Davis-Lorton). After the ceremony, Anselmo speaks to his best friend and best man Will (Gifford Irvine) stating that he isn’t sure if his now wife actually loves and desires him. So he asks Will to make an attempt to seduce her. If she takes on Will, then Cardenio really doesn’t love Anselmo. Before that “test” is executed, there’s others in the wedding party to deal with, consisting of Edmund (Jason Pereira), Sally (Angela Beyer), Doris (Kat Johnston), Simonetta (Loosema Hakverdian), as well as Anselmo’s parents Luisa (Martha Duncan) and Alfred (Bo Roberts). As part of the reception, Lucia suggests that they perform a play that was once lost, then found, then lost, and then found again that was supposedly written by one of the world’s greatest playwrights, William Shakespeare. The play is called “Cardenio”, yet only fragments have survived over the many centuries. But there’s enough of the material where a few lines can be read from the scripts they provide. But there is more to this story where others in the wedding party take this test to discover who may fall in love for whom. It’s a challenge that can lead toward bliss or another tale of love and devotion–with laughs throughout.

This play that was actually written (for real) by Shakespearian scholar Stephen Greenblatt and playwright Charles L Mee takes upon the idea of this Shakespearian piece that was first composed in the early 1600s as attributed to W.S. and John Fletcher who served as a co-author. The original piece was based upon the idea found in Cervantes’ Don Quixote. (The seduction parts of the storyline anyway!) However, the original manuscript was “found” during the 18th century and re-written by Lewis Theobald and later retitled as The Double Falsehood. To make things more complicated, that original manuscript that Lewis “found” was destroyed in a theater fire in the early 1800s. 

Although the original Cardenio no longer exists, this version as seen at City Garage is a comic farce that consists of a group of friends spending the time in Italy’s wine country attending a wedding and testing their devotion to each other, ending with a load of comical settings. The cast of characters appearing in this program perform their roles with high paced wit and slapstick comedy. The pacing of the said performers never let the action fall into a drag, even when two characters (man and woman of course) are discussing their “tests”, passing them all with flying colors! All of this is thanks to Frederique Michel’s stage direction. She also choreographed all the dance scenes as well as the wedding group going through the motives that celebrate the bride and groom, in addition to the notions of what The Bard wrote about–or not! What presented, let alone performed! The original piece only consists of a few of the characters reading off lines (as a cold audition) with scripts in hand! So this play is more akin to a group of friends at a wedding, leaving the work of Willy S. as an afterthought.

In addition to the cast that also features Troy Dunn, Andy Kallok and Natasha St. Clair Johnson as “Susana”, there’s the visuals as seen on stage. Charles Duncombe’s set and lighting design shows that the backdrop is Italy, but to its right sized minimum. And Josephine Poinsot’s costuming has everyone at their finest during the first act (post wedding), and in more of a casual vibe in the second act. (Around the time of the testing!)

It’s been stated that one should brush up their Shakespeare before one take a performance of The Bard’s time tested classics. For this play as written by Greenblatt and Mee, it’s best to brush up on spending an evening (or afternoon) experiencing a very amusing and witty play that is easy to understand as it’s spoken in contemporary English, with plenty of humorous scenes to boot! And if one day where the entire script of Cardenio is found, one can guess that City Garage, or any other finer theater out there, will have that work grace the stages again. Until then, just enjoy this piece and have a great laugh or two in the process!

CARDENIO, presented by and performs at City Garage, 2525 Michigan Avenue (Building 11), Santa Monica, until March 26th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 4:00 PM. Special question and answer session with the cast and crew takes place following the Sunday, March 19th performance.

For ticket reservations and for more information, Call (310) 453-9939, or via online at



is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2023 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!   



Over the past few years, especially around the time that the Pandemic made its mark around the end of the first quarter of 2020, having people going out to attend events with others present has seen its share of ups and downs.

Of course, things have changed since that same Pandemic and all of its emergencies and cautions have faded into memories that can either be seen as nostalgic or harrowing, depending on how one lived through all of that mask wearing and overall hunkering down–for its better or for its worse!

One element that has seen a shift in activity is the simple task at going outside of one’s home for visual entertainment. Among the many things one can do for that overall amusement is going out to a local or regional movie theater to take part in watching content, or as most commonly known as watching a feature film on the big screen.

Of course, this form of entertainment has been around for over one hundred years. But for a long time, that was the only method to do that if one wanted to see a new(er) film from Hollywood, unless one is parting with an “art” movie made in some country where English isn’t the primary language or in a nation that isn’t the USA.

Recently, people who were forced to stay home during the lockdown found alternative methods to experience a movie going experience. They set up theaters of their own inside of their domains. Thanks to the drop in prices in big screen TV devices, especially one that boasted screen sizes of 60” or more or projection devices that can project a screen size of 100”, as well as having a booming sound system hooked up to their visual companions, having a movie house setting at home was not only great, but just a lot better for the user. It was cheaper to view movies at home than going through the elements of trekking to a movie house! One didn’t even have to be at a theater at a certain time to catch whatever may be playing there. You can start the movie up anytime, be it at 3:17 PM, or 3:17 AM. If one was inside of a movie house, there was the chance of experiencing annoying patrons talking (rather loudly at times) during the flick, and even having others play with their phones during the feature! If you do that at home, it’s not as bothersom!

But perhaps one factor to note was the price of admission. Here in Los Angeles, one would have to pony up anywhere between $15.00 and $23.00 per adult person depending on what movie house one is attending. If anyone wanted concessions, it would cost one as well. At a local theater near this writer’s homestead and run by the AMC movie chain, admission to a standard feature cost $18.50 per adult. The smallest sized container of popcorn runs around $9.00, and the standard size cup of soda pop is around $6.00 with unlimited refills. So if one wanted to do the math for a single person for a movie, small popcorn and soda, that would run at $33.50. And one had to get to the movie house in the first place. One has to drive their vehicle there. If there was a bus line running near the movie house, one could do that just costing bus fare. If you were walking distance, one can use their feet. At least that method of transportation is free.

AMC recently announced that they will have “tier ticket pricing” in the same vein as getting a ticket for a live event appearing in a larger theater or stadium. The better view seating would be more than a seat father away from the stage setting. The “cheap seats” are usually located on a balcony, or the farthest away from where one views the action on stage/screen.

In a movie theater, it’s rather different. The choice seats tend to be in the middle of the theater about halfway between the front to where the screen is and the back to where the projection booth would normally be located. 

Starting later this year and rolling out through the next few weeks, AMC will add a dollar or two to its ticket price if one wants to grab a set in its “sweet spots”. (Middle-center) If one wanted the lower price, one has to sit farther back or within the front rows to where the screen is located.

This is rather true since yours truly has seen this method of seating when attending a screening of a feature inside of a movie house. This is even noticed further when the screening is rather sparsely attended. Everyone tends to cluster in the middle center. A few watch from the far back rows. However, the seating within the first three rows are at little to none in attendance. People tend to watch a flick in the same manner as watching it on a TV device. That is, in the center of the screen within a rather comfortable distance from the screen where the visuals show the viewing area in a rectangular viewpoint–a screen size at 1:85:1 in ratio dimension viewed within a darken border around the screen.

AMC hopes that this surcharge will make up for the loss of attendance many movie houses are experiencing due to the backlash of the Pandemic, as well as the companionship of home theaters and the available content provided through various video streaming services out in the field. 

This is even more true for specific demographics who attend movies houses. Those aged 30 and younger have been flocking back to theaters. Middle aged people (aged from 30’s and 40’s), are also coming back, but not in the same way as their younger cohorts. Those that are aged 50 and up are the ones that are staying away. This is the age where one would most likely have a home theater set up and are the most frustrated from the content available, as well as not being able to put up with the annoyances. 

Generally speaking (or writing in this case), the age known as the latter “Gen-Xers” and just about all of the “Baby Boomers” only go to the movies as a special occasion. And once they stayed away due to the Pandemic lockdowns now long lifted, they ain’t coming back! 

This may have been connected toward the reason why AMC, as well as other theater chains, offer special discounted admission prices for the recent Paramount release 80 For Brady, since this feature’s targeted audience are of those that are baby-boomer age. This is even true since Paramount teamed up with AARP to market the movie through social media (Facebook mostly as many boomers are on Facebook), as well as their print publications. (The cast consisting of Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, and Rita Moreno made the cover of the February/March, 2023 issue of AARP The Magazine, pushing the notion that this movie was about “…(Female) friendship, fun and why they’re crushing on–guess who?” (An actual quote of the byline for the cover story article.)

But even with this pricing going up or down, one has to ask if anyone is going to the movies? The answer is a simple “yes”! As of this writing, Disney’s Avalon: The Way of Water is already the sixth biggest worldwide grossing movie of all time, and may surpass the biggest domestic grossing movie released in the 2022 calendar year. (Top Gun: Maverick, also from Paramount, holds that title as the movie that racked in the biggest bucks from theaters in the USA and Canada.) 

Again, it’s all going to depend on the movie that people desire to see, especially if it’s a remake/reboot/re-imagining, a sequel, or another superhero/comic book picture. Ditto for family friendly animation. A comedy can withstand depending how funny it is and who’s making it comical. As for drama? One may be better off taking an appearance on somebody’s home theater as that genre is better suited for viewing through those means. Then again, just about any movie can be at its best at home. And if one wanted to “Netflix and Chill”, one can do that as well without heading toward the balcony and hope that an usher won’t catch you two NOT watching the movie! Or so it seems that way….


Performing at the Odyssey Theater as a visiting production is THE DREAMER EXAMINES HIS PILLOW, John Patrick Shanley’s one act play about a shivved young man, his ex-girlfriend, and the girlfriend’s dad that form an odd triangle of sorts as they all look upon their current state of being that they are all facing at the moment.

James Liddell is Tommy, a twenty-seven young man that lives in a run down flat somewhere in New York City. He is an artist of sorts, but spends much of his time sitting in a run down lounge chair that is ready for a space in the alley, unless that chair was pulled from there. His only companion is a run down mini-fridge full of canned beer. He just broke up with his girlfriend Donna (Pamela Portnoy), a street smart woman from “The Heights”. Donna’s rather upset with Tommy. Not from his being a no talent artist, but he’s been “doing” her younger sixteen year old sister! Tommy’s lifestyle is rather reflective of Donna’s father (Eric Larson), who lead a life similar to Tommy’s. He cheated on his wife, spent too much time drinking, and quit painting when his wife finally died. Now these three are coming to terms with one another as Tommy and Donna are completing their full circle with the somewhat aid of dear ol’ dad!

This play written by John Patrick Shanley (his fourth) is loaded with dialogue that makes up for its minimal action that appears on the stage. The three speak not to each other, but at each other, the way that so-called dysfunctional families should act. But this isn’t a play about families, and it’s far from being a romantic comedy even though the humor is rather unique for what it holds. (It does offer a terrific punch line!!)

The three players appearing in this program mesh rather well. James Liddell is the slacker that is lucky enough to live in an apartment in New York based on what he did to deserve the life he presently leads. Pamela Portnoy is Donna is the sassy hardass type from the mean streets that NYC is famous (or infamous) for. And Eric Larson as “Dad” is a man that knew of his faults. But those same faults were in the past, and he’s willing to go forward for what he has left.

Anne Kathryn Parma directs this show as a tight seventy-five minute stage piece that consist of the three actors that bicker yet they don’t fight per se, although they don’t join forces as a whole until its last scene.

THE DREAMER EXAMINES HIS PILLOW is a play that isn’t a nightmare, but is a play that is funny in nature and its climax may be of a happy one. Whatever the case, it’s a program that holds its wit as well as its drama. And how Tommy got away with dealing with somebody underage isn’t the stuff that dreams are made of. It’s the stuff that makes stage plays something to behold.

THE DREAMER EXAMINES HIS PILLOW, performs at The Oddsey Theater, 2055 South Sepulveda Blvd. (between Olympic and Santa Monica Blvds.) until February 26th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 1:00 PM. For tickets and for more information, visit the Odyssey Theater’s website at


A Noise Within of Pasadena presents MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, William Shakespeare’s “rom-com” about false impressions, double dealing, and of course, love!

The setting this time around is Messina, Sicily c. 1943. It’s the period of World War II, and Sicily has just been liberated by the allied forces. Frederick Stuart is Don “The Prince” Pedro, a film star that’s doing his part in the war effort as an enlisted soldier. His companion Claudio (Stanley Andrew Jackson) and Hero (Alexandra Hellquist) appear as one of a pair of romantic couples. Its second pair between Claudio’s pal Benedick (Joshua Bitton) and Hero’s cousin Beatrice (Erika Soto) forms at this tale’s core. The romances between its one and all goes on and off as both of these four carry on with its astons and wordplay! Many episodes leads into others as these romances carry on with their own version of the “merry war” while the rest are out battling in a real war (of sorts) connected with humor, intrigue, high powered comical action, and of course, love!!

This new take of a time tested classic holds many of these honored truths and then some! The back theme to this version of one of The Bard’s beloved creations of jest brings its theme to the middle 20th Century, loaded with characters and situations that range from slapstick farce, zippy hilarity, and comical situations with touches of drama and of course, love! Much of what appears on the stage is very reminiscent to a Hollywood production that was created around the WWII era that could have been done by MGM (in Technicolor) or Universal (in back & white.) Yes, the entire play uses the words and phrases by its playwright as originally composed, but is geared toward a contemporary audience always playing off a good laugh along with its leads going through their romantic conflicts. They keep their place in gear with the ever desire quest for love!!

The cast that appear in this production includes Rafael Goldstein as Don John, Jeanne Syquia as Margaret, Nick Perroccione as Balthasar and Ursula, Tony Pasqualini as Leonato, Westley Mann as Dogberry/Antonio, Randy Thompson as Conrade/Friar Francis, Michael Uribes as Borachio, along with Alejandro Hernandez and Arely Vianet in ensemble spots. (Some of the players appear in double roles!)

Guillermo Cienfuegos directs this program as a theater piece that is not only comical in nature as well as fast paced in spirit, but brings the notion that Shakespeare sagas are not as stuffy as one may realize. Of course, one may get a bit lost in who is who and where its all going. But fear not! Good ol’ Willy won’t leave anyone off in a loop. Just let the characters carry on to bring its many climaxes to where they lay as there is always a happy ending within a comedy scripted through the pen (quill?) of squire W.S.!

Along with the performers as seen on stage, there are other elements to make note. Angelia Balogh Calin’s scenic design consists of a series of floating pieces that bring the theater audience throughout various locations of this part of liberated Sicily. Christine Cover Ferro’s costuming is also reflected in the period. (Middle 1940’s in this case.) And Joyce Guy’s choreography enhances the spirit of all of the banter that this program brings out. This even includes the musical interludes that are played between scenes that use a mix of the transcribed tuneful sounds of Glen Miller, Benny Goodman, and Raymond Scott. (Chris Moscatiello is in charge of sound design.)

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING isn’t about “nothing” as the title term came from a phrase that once meant “gossip”. But one will get plenty of that “nothing” as this ANW stage piece has it all: Comedy, fast paced action, and of course, love!

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, presented by and performs at A Noise Within, 3352 East Foothill Blvd., Pasadena, until March 12th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM with matinees Saturday and Sundays at 2:00 PM. Special “talk backs” with the cast takes place following every Friday evening performance.

For tickets and for more details, call (626) 356-3100, or via online at



is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)

(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)


(Look for us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and see us on YouTube!)

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2023 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!