FACEBOOK THE MUSIC -PART 3(?)

It seems that Facebook, the be-all-to-end-all spot within the social media cyberworld, isn’t what it used to be in terms of placing one’s self on the line for all to see!

A recent poll conducted by Toluna, a marketing firm geared for so-called “influencers” that exist in cyberspace to market products and/or services, asked 100 consumers in December of 2018 about the places on the ‘net that they would not trust in terms of keeping one’s information safe and secure, away from sources that may use such data for questionable, and perhaps evil purposes.

It seems that Facebook is now the least trusted company. Some 40% of those polled noted that Facebook holds the least amount of honor with it comes to keeping details safe from those that shouldn’t know those details.

Although 40% may not be a large amount from the 1000, its second place in line, Twitter and Amazon, a both tied in at 8%.

Uber, the ride hailing service, comes in next at 7% Google is cited by 6%. And Lyft, Uber’s biggest competitor, also ranks in at 6%. Apple comes in next at 4%, Microsoft, Apple’s biggest rival, comes in at 2%. Right at the very bottom of the heap is Netflix, coming in at 1%

It isn’t much of a surprise why Facebook has been ranked this bad. Within the past year, there have been reports that those outside (and perhaps inside) of the Facebook universe has been going through security breeches. Those in Russia and other places on the globe have been using this social media spot to place posts about activities and events geering to be steered toward another direction. And with those hacking away as real, imagined, or otherwise, gave those using the site a real reason to limit themselves, or just to totally back off!

This writer isn’t as surprised as well. Although we do hold a presence on the Facebook site, we don’t necessarily post anything that hasn’t been reviled on these pages on Accessibly Live Off-Line beforehand. And even thought this writer never had a personal place via Facebook, anything yours truly wanted to have others know about would also be listed through this head articles.

In fact, this same writer made a point to find out if we were able to get details from other Facebook “friends” without making any attempt to ask or prompt then to provide us with anything! Back around 2010, “a long, long, time ago” in terms of postmodern technology, we started an experiment to purposely post fake people on the site, creating a backstory for these folks that were eventually “never-weres”! We contacted others we found asking for “friendship” with these people. Soon over time, we ranked up a robust number of “friends”. We even went ahead of posting pictures (stock photos in reality) of people and events we claimed that were ours. There were people passing a real friends, relatives, family members, etc., as well as events that the fake person was involved with. In other words, we created a profile of a person and their activities that were anything but real.

Sure enough, we were able to mine some personal details of others based upon information provided by the other folks. For instance, we were able to get details of a (then) 14 year-old girl living in a small town in central Illinois, getting her address, phone number, where she went to school, etc. We also received information from others (adults mostly) that provided the same information. Again, none of this data was asked for. We just found it!

Over time, people got rather wise in listing such details. Some even went through a state to delete themselves off. A few walked away from their site, not posting anything for years! And the number of phony people we created still exist, although we did lose track of a few! And one of those people we created, a middle aged woman we called “Tiffi Purewhite” was part of a column we called “Tiffi’s Friends Say…”, that reprinted some of the comments and on-liners posted through Tifii’s 2500+ friends!

An example of that column, appearing in ALOL Vol. 17, No. 2-Week of January 9, 2012 is listed below..

I made it back safe and sound. Going to bed now.
-Paula

FYI It’s thundering and raining. Time for bed i’m tired gnite!
-Laura

Sun pm -Weekend ending. (Darn, have to work a Monday again!) Giggled over parts of the “Twilight” movie dialogue, got lots done on projects, ate at Renate’s deli, visited with Angie, read three books, good sermon on surviving tough times (like now for many)…reading, praying!
-Elisa

Long day but good day … I’m off to dreamland 🙂
-Aggi

Sometimes I really need to learn how to bite my tongue. Not sure if I’m praying for tact, or just how to count to a zillion before speaking. (What is a zillion anyone? Is that even a real number?)
-Kristine

As of January 9th, Tiffi has 1357 Facebook “friends” and counting!

So there you have it, folks! Granted, we won’t necessarily say that we told you so, but we were aware of the fact that one day, the ol’ cat’s gonna get out of the bag. However, with anything one does in cyberspace, one has to be careful. And although one can delete anything one could post, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s gone forever. There has been examples that posts, comments, tweets, or anything that can be linked to the source, is out there somewhere. It may exist as a saved file existing on a hard drive or in a “cloud”. It may have been reposted on another website somewhere, ready for access. In other words, it may be gone, but it’s not forgotten. All it would take to find it is in a search. And for those that do this as a hobby, that search is a lot easier to do than one can imagine!

We don’t know if that one-time fourteen year old girl in Illinois ever knew that we were able to find her if we wanted to. We has the chance, but just didn’t take it. But for the rest of you, just use common sense and play it safe! Besides, Facebook in our personal opinion isn’t the place to be as it once was. At first, it was rather amusing. In today’s scope, it’s now rather dull and even annoying! (See examples above!) But there are other places to go on the ‘net. After all, doesn’t one believe that people are as obsessed with their phones because they call call anyone they wanted on a whim! Right…?
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre 40 presents for its alternate program, ROD SERLING’S STORIES FROM THE ZONE, a pair of staged tales to astonish taken from Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone TV series.

The first saga, Mr. Garrity and the Graves takes place in the Arizona territory post of Happiness c.1890. A mysterious stranger arrives in this community who claims he can bring back the dead. The townsfolk at first find this man holding a questionable talent. But when they become convinced upon seeing a dead dog brought back to life, they take upon his offer, only to realize that those berried at boot hill should remain where they are, and pay this stranger handsomely to keep them where they belong–dead!

The second entry, Will the Real Martian Please Stand Up?, takes place in a rural isolated area. There’s been a report that some kind of object falling from the sky. A pair of stare troopers visit a nearby diner to investigate where a bus loaded with passengers has just arrived. The bus driver knows he had six passengers aboard. But there are actually seven that departed the bus. Is one of these passengers an alien from another world in disguise?

These two stories, written by Rod Serling and adapted for the stage by Jeff G. Rack, are short pieces that fall between fantasy and science fiction with a narrative that is in line to a O. Henry scenario, complete with a surprising climax! A cast of performers that feature Mark Bate, John W. Combs, Yancey Durham, Henry Herman, Richard Large, Meghan Lloyd, Brianna Parcel, Brian Pope, Phillip Sokoloff, Toni Trenton, and Jeffrey Winner appear in both productions performing in repertory. Jeff Rack, director of “Martian”, appears as the narrator of these two short stories. Charles Mount directs “Mr. Garrity”, and Mr. Rack once again designs all of the sets.

The Twilight Zone has been called upon as one of the best recalled and most beloved TV series that have been part of the domestic video landscape for the past sixty years, and is one of the few forms of television that refuse to die! It’s been revised twice with new stories, and is subject to yet another revival! But the original run, with Serling writing a good number of these tales, had been part of repeats, marathon showings, and in today’s video landscape, the subject of binge viewing that keeps those tuning in coming back!

This program may become the first of a possible series of additional Serling penned T-Zone tales appearing on stage. There’s a lot more of these mini-epics to showcase culled from the dimension of sound, sight, and a state of mind that fall between shadow and light. Just look for the signpost up ahead…

ROD SERLING’S STORIES FROM THE ZONE, 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 17th. Showtimes are Monday, January 28th and February 11th, Tuesday, February 5th and 12th, Wednesday, February 6th, Thursday, February 7th, Friday, February 8th, and Saturday, February 16th at 8:00 PM, and Sunday, February 17th at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM.

Also performing in rep at Theatre 40 is Alex Goldberg’s It Is Done through February 19th. (See review Vol. 24. No. 3)

For ticket reservations or for more information on both shows, call (310) 364-0535, or visit online at http://www.Theatre40.org
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Continuing at The Lounge Theatre of Hollywood is Cindy Lou Johnson’s BRILLIANT TRACES, a play about a man and a woman that meet through very unusual circumstances at an equally unusual location.

The location is an isolated cable somewhere in the wilds of Alaska, the homestead of Henry (Chris Cardano). He works at an oil rig located in the state as a cook. When he’s off duty, he lives alone in the cabin leading a hermit’s life. One night during a blinding snowstorm, in walks Rosannah (Caitlin Carleton). She has been driving for days after her escape from a wedding ceremony–hers! Her car gets stuck in a snow drift, and nearly becomes frostbitten wandering in the snow and cold, still wearing her wedding gown! She barely arrives at the cabin alive but in semi-hysterics! Henry wonders what she is doing there. Upon her entrance while sleeping it off for a while from frostbite and her hysteric situation, the two begin to trace each other’s existence in where they are and where they came from. This meeting isn’t by chance, nor it resembles a “meet-cute” setup. It’s the tale of a modern hermit verses a runaway bride that took her fleeing into a very new extreme.

This single act play written by Cindy Lou Johnson takes upon a massive twist to a romantic comedy premise, and creates a drama of two lost souls that are misfound for totally different reasons. The pair of players, Caitlin Carleton and Chris Cardano, perform as an unlikely pair of people that maintain a personality-based chemistry with one another holding on with more conflict and pathos rather than with romantic intentions! The dialogue and drama moves within a quick pace once it gets itself going. With an eighty minute or so running time, one won’t know what will occur next! Kiff Scholl directs this program with those same rapid intentions in mind.

Among what is seen on the stage is John Mahr’s set design of the single room cabin, a place that is cozy and rather clean looking for a shack located in the middle of Alaska’s nowhere!

The only caveat to this play? It needs a second act! Perhaps the playwright left a few story stones unturned on purpose. That is what makes this play unique without being odd or strange. Then again, runaway brides may go far, but for 3000 miles?

BRILLIANT TRACES, presented by Red Sage Productions, and performs at The Lounge Theatre, 6201 Santa Monica Blvd. (one block east of Vine Street at El Centro), Hollywood, until February 10th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM.

For tickets reservations, call (440) 465-8878, or via online at
http://our.show/BrilliantTraces
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THE POW & THE GIRL, Katrina Wood’s new play that’s speaks for a relationship between a grandfather and his granddaughter while the two become part of a struggle between one’s present and one’s past, makes its world premier at North Hollywood’s Sherry Theatre.

The setting is London in the 1980’s. Living in a small yet comfortable flat is Sarah (Samantha Mallory) a young adult attending a public university to obtain an educational certificate as a paramedic. She’s into the punk/new wave movement as many of her peers are, while working on hobbies such as playing the recorder (flute) and making plants grow by exposing music to them. She lives with her granddad (Chas Mitchell) as he is the only relative in her life. There is one element that keeps her granddad at bay. He still struggles with the memories he had while he was in the service during World War II. He was imprisoned in a Japanese POW camp, and although that was forty years after the fact, much of those harsh memories still linger. But Sherry has her own life to live, even taking upon a relationship with Paul (Adrian Burks) a young man also into the new wave movement as he lives with his disabled mother (Natalia Bibao). In spite of these trails and tribulations, Sarah stands true to her granddad, her boyfriend, and most importantly, herself.

This single act play written by Katrina Wood is based upon her own relationship with her father, British character actor Percy Herbert whose appearance in many TV programs and feature films made him as a familiar figure. His best known movie was The Bridge Over the River Kwai, where he played a prisoner of war inmate. When Percy served in WWII, he was actually imprisoned inside a Japanese POW camp. As to the play itself. It sparks an honest look between a young woman and her grandfather that come from different backgrounds. The granddad tends to live with his inner past suffering to what was once known as “shell shock”. Sarah as sassy as she tends to be at times, desires to do good for herself. She’s within the period where she is a responsible adult while holding the spirit of somebody much younger. She and her elder repel with one another at times, but it all comes out as good in the end. This is the idea to what this play is all about without attempting to provide a lesson to what is proper or what should be done about it. This notion is shown throughout. Trace Oakley’s stage direction keep the pacing in gear following this conviction in a progressive stretch.

Arron Grazer’s set design shows a number of the spots the story takes place with a few simple yet proper pieces of props and furnishings. But for most of the play’s stage time, it’s the humble flat of the named POW and the girl.

Also appearing is Lucas Helersson as Kyle, a bully-type that doesn’t take Sarah very seriously in what she wants in her life, and Jeffrey Gibson as the ghost of the Japanese soldier that kept guard at the POW camp during the war.

THE POW & THE GIRL is a story where two people generations apart still learn from one another, even with those demons still dwelling in the far off backdrop. Although those same demons are from long past, there is always that element to rise up to the occasion through its genteel moonlight serenade.

THE POW & THE GIRL, presented by Strongerwood Productions, and performs at The Sherry Theatre, 11052 Magnolia Blvd. (between Lankershim Blvd. and Vineland Avenue), North Hollywood, until February 16th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 5:00 PM. For ticket reservations, call
(800) 838-3006, or via online at https://www.BrownPaperTickets.com/event/3742908
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Megan Dolan’s solo show LEMUR MOM, a so-true-it’s-got-to-be-real tale on a post-modern mother who attempts to handle her toddler-aged child and the “special” needs he requires, performs at The Whitefire Theatre of Sherman Oaks for a limited run.

Megan herself is the mom in question. Her son Tyler is the focus of her story. As a mother raising her child in the second middle decade of the 21st Century, she could strive to be what’s known as a “Tiger Mom”, a mother figure that keeps her child in check by using an intense aggressive measure where the best is placed upon the kid to be the best as (s)he could be! However, she is quite the opposite as a mom who is rather passive and even timid in nature, wanting her child to be the best without the aggression and stress that comes with holding on to a Tiger Mom handle. What makes things complicated, Tyler isn’t quite the same as his peers. He is a rather picky eater, and won’t speak to the other kids during playdates. It seems that there is something not quite right. So thanks to her friend, good ol’ Google, she finds a specialist that can diagnose these behavior patters. It appears that Tyler may be autistic, or perhaps as someone with Aspergers, or maybe diagnosed with ADHD–or even with another ailment that could begin with the letter “A”! It’s a slice of life episode featuring a mom finding out more about her child as she finds out more about her own self.

This single person one act program written and performed by Megan Dolan, takes a situation that may become a crisis for some parents, while develops a presentation that is comical in substance, in spite of the seriousness to what her son holds emotionally. Her performance is rather bouncy, high in spirit, and shows that she is teetering close to being on the verge of having a nervous breakdown. But the trouper that she is, she rises to the occasion in the same notion that moms of this day and age holds on to! Wendy Hammers directs this program that flows in a very fast pace. With the use of a few props on stage as well as some semi-animated illustrations illuminated onto a rear screen as projected by Fritz Davis, the audience can witness the real story of one mom’s family, and how that kid with “special needs” can indeed be special in his own right!

This form of solo storytelling (illustrated), is part of those eight million stories found in the naked city–and this has been one of ‘em! With being a mommy-type in the eon where mothers must do everything for this child no matter what, it’s nice to know that Megan isn’t the only one like her out there! This performance is that living proof!

LUMUR MOM, presented as part of Solofest 2019, performs at The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd (at Sunnyslope), Sherman Oaks. Performances take place on Sunday, March 31st, and Sunday, April 28th, both at 3:00 PM. Ticket reservations can be obtained online at http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com/event/3570240
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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) announced their nominations for the 91st annual Academy Awards on January 22nd.

The following titles and names received the nomination for the following categories:

Best Picture

Black Panther (Disney)
BlacKkKlansman (Focus Features)
Bohemian Rhapsody (Fox)
The Favourite (Fox Searchlight)
Green Book (Universal)
Roma (Nexflix)
A Star Is Born (Warner Bros.)
Vice (Annapurna)

Best Actor

Christian Bale-Vice
Bradley Cooper-A Star Is Born
Willem Dafoe-At Eternity’s Gate
Rami Malek-Bohemian Rhapsody
Viggo Mortensen-Green Book

Best Actress


Yalitza Aparicio-Roma
Glenn Close-The Wife
Olivia Colman-The Favourite
Lady Gaga-A Star Is Born
Melissa McCarthy-Can You Ever Forgive Me?

Best Director


Spike Lee-BlacKkKlansman
Paweł Pawlikowski-Cold War
Yorgos Lanthimos-The Favourite
Alfonso Cuarón-Roma
Adam McKay-Vice

As of this writing, a host has yet to be named for the awards ceremony, taking place on Sunday, February 24th 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
http://www.Oscars.com
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During the previous week, The Golden Raspberry Foundation announced their list of nomination for the 39th RAZZIE Awards for the worst in feature films released in the previous calendar year.

The following titles and names has been selected for the worst in the following categories:

Worst Picture

Gotti (Vertial Entertainment)
The Happytime Murders (STX Entertainment)
Holmes & Watson (Sony/Columbia)
Robin Hood (Summit Entertainment)
Winchester (Blacklab Entertainment)

Worst Actor

Johnny Depp (Voice Only)-Sherlock Gnomes
Will Ferrell-Holmes & Watson
John Travolta-Gotti
Donald J. Trump (As Himself)-Death of a Nation and Fahrenheit 11/9
Bruce Willis-Death Wish

Worst Actress

Jennifer Garner-Peppermint
Amber Heard-London Fields
Melissa McCarthy-Happytime Murders and Life of the Party
Helen Mirren-Winchester
Amanda Seyfried-The Clapper

Worst Director

Etan Cohen-Holmes & Watson
Kevin Connolly-Gotti
James Foley-Fifty Shades Freed
Brian Henson-Happytime Murders
The Spierig Brothers (Michael & Peter)-Winchester
The RAZZIE Awards will take place on a date and location to be announced shortly.
For a complete listing of all nominations, visit the official RAZZIES web site at
http://www.Razzies.com
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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!

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HAPPY HOLIDAYS -NOW PAY UP!

For most folks, this is the time of the month when those credit card bills start to come rolling in that calculate all of the spending made on those cards from the previous billing cycle.

As one can guess, December is usually the time when spending is at its peak, where millions of folks that hold access to those plastic little cards with the magnetic strip on the backside (or the microchip embedded on the front surface) use that card or cards to make purchases of goods and services that cater to the festive seasons that fall within that time frame. And with that season comes all of the merrymaking associated with such.

That’s all fun and stuff. Now that it’s January, it’s a period to start anew. It’s also the time where it’s the moment to pay the piper. That is, to make sure that those goods are accounted for to those that sold you the items in question.

Yep! Reality struck, and for many, it hit rather hard! Some folks were so caught up into the merrymaking that was going on, one tends to forget what would be the results long after the holly and mistletoe is put away in bins, boxes, and/or garbage cans for the season or for good. And those results are slapped onto their faces.

This year, the folks that do business online rose up to their ranks to gain a good part of that seasonal retail pie. Ad spending for online retailers rose some 21% according to the marketing firm Standard Media Index. Department stores also saw that ad increase by about 7%, meaning that the push to get folks to buy stuff was rather intense. And being in those stores held quite an experience for many, from Black Friday through Christmas Eve. In fact, the day after Christmas, December 26th a.k.a. Boxing Day, the retails outlets both in-store and on-line did see a massive amount of shopping. This was the day where folks went to the physical stores to return gifts received but unwanted, trade up those gifts for something they did desire, or to use those gift cards folks received as gifts to purchase something or another.

But now that the shopping is completed, it’s the moment to pony up. Granted, many credit card providers do offer some sort of premium where one receives some kind of point system calculation for discounts and/or credits as a reward for being loyal to the card. This method allows those to use the card while getting something in return–outside of a bill of course! And those rewards may lead of other notions, depending on the card provider. However, with many using physical cards, or through other methods of payments from online banking to many of the phone apps that exist, there’s always something to give and get in return!

Although the seasonal shopping may be already put to bed, there’s always more deals to find. If one wanted those big-deal 4K television machines, many retailers will offer sales close to the end of January as tied in with the Super Bowl game. The notion for this is to convince those TV set buyers that if one is going to host a Super Bowl watching party, it’s best to grab a bigger and sharper TV set to see each and every play in its finest detail! Even if one didn’t care so much for the game, that time is best to get a set, even though the Christmas, etc. season is lost past!

Then again, there are the January “white” sales to get linens and towels. But that’s for those that keep a household. Then again, one can wash their hands over the deal while binge watching their favorite video series on the streaming channel of choice on that 55” 4K high(er) def video device!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre 40 present Alex Goldberg’s IT IS DONE, a play that deals with three people in a roadside diner, each one possessing a specific journey in mind that doesn’t take a physical path.

Kurtis Bedford is Hank, the proprietor of a diner and bar located in an isolated part of a “middle of nowhere” location. The place receives little to no customers since it’s too far away from anywhere. A raging windstorm is causing havoc from the outside. Two mysterious travelers come in. The first one is Jonas (George Villas). He’s on some kind of escape. He’s not running away from someone, but from something that isn’t physical. He’s been having some kind of thoughts dealing with his past. He calls them dreams, but appears to be more of nightmares. As he and Hank are downing shots, in walks Ruby (Kate Whitney), She enters because her car broke down and wants to call roadside service for assistance. She joins the three and becomes interested in Jonas’ thought demons. But there is more than a basic curiosity factor that Ruby desire to know. Where did she come from? Why did Jonas arrive to a lonely diner just to ease his thoughts through booze? Is Hank just trying to get lucky with Ruby? It just might to a chance encounter between these three, or is it really just a “chance”?

This single act play composed by Alex Goldberg starts out as a basic story of three people brought together through circumstance where personal issues come out in the open, but later changes into a method that holds supernatural tendencies. These story points makes this play very interesting, if not challenging. It holds a selection of plot twists that takes form as the play progresses, becoming darker in terms of mood and ambiance. The cast of three are very likable, in spite of the program’s basic temper factors. Kurtis Bedford as Hank is more of the “fall guy”. His traits speak for what he does at the diner, such as amusing himself while awaiting for customers. (It has to do with ogling through girly magazines while he “spanks his monkey”!) George Villas as Jonas is calm yet neurotic, attempting to run away from something he isn’t too sure of. And Kate Whitney as Ruby is more of a mature yet sexy woman that holds more power than one could believe. All of these characters add to a production that is amusing at first yet alters to dramatic, with a healthy blend of mystery that isn’t easy to solve–assuming that there is a notion to solve a case in its first place!

Jeff Rack, Theatre 40’s residential set decorator, directs this play that moves in a steady clip, never letting itself go from its opening scene to its taxing conclusion. The play itself may not please everyone through its result as it doesn’t necessarily hold a traditional conclusion that one could expect. But to those that appreciate its sense of mystery, it hits the mark hard!

And yes, Mr. Rack also dresses the stage set, complete with all of the stock items one can expect in an isolated diner set in that middle of nowhere, from deer heads mounted to the walls, a rotary dial pay phone affixed on the wall, to a classic style corner jukebox loaded with Hank Williams’ greatest hits!

IT IS DONE sets the mood and spirit to another production that Theatre 40’s will present in repertory, a staging of a pair of classic Twilight Zone episodes originally written by Rod Serling call Rod Serling’s Stories From The Zone. That production will be the focus of a separate review that will appear in the next issue of Accessibly Live Off-Line.

IT IS DONE, 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 19th. Showtimes are Monday, February 4th, and 18th, Tuesday, January 29th and February 19th, Wednesday, January 30th and February 19th, Thursday, January 31st and February 14th, Friday, January 25th, Saturday, January 26th and February 9th at 8:00 PM, and Sunday, February 3rd and 10th at 2:00 PM and 7:00 PM.

For ticket reservations or for more information, call (310) 364-0535, or via online at http://www.Theatre40.org
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The Road Theatre Company of North Hollywood presents as its second production for its 2018-19 season, Jason Karasev’s DEATH HOUSE, a saga of a seasoned chaplain assigned to a prison death row complex who passes the assignment to a younger man in the ministry, only to engage in conflict with each other along with their next client who is about to be executed.

The setting is an unnamed state prison located somewhere in the nation. George (Sam Anderson) is a chaplain whose mission is to comfort death row prisoners that are about to be put to death for their committed crimes. He’s been at this job for over twenty years. Entering a stage of retirement, he will pass this job to Allen (Chase Cargill), a younger preacher at a regional Christian church. Allen became an admirer of George since he was a youth, sitting through a number of church services that George conducted. Now it’s time for Allen to do what his mentor has done for years. The two meet in the room at the prison where the death row inmate would spend their last few hours before entering the galleys. The room is dressed with a few furnishing consisting of a sofa, a writing desk, an end table, and a side chair. Not necessarily the comforts of home, but much better than a barren prison cell. George attempts to teach Allen his pointers on how to do his job. Allen, still a bit nervous, finds out about a number of elements from this newly minted assignment of his. He learns that his superior has this method set in different ways as he holds. These differences raises a number of conflicting issues that turn temperamental. But then there is the person who will be placed to death: Lilliana (Verity Branco), a young woman that lived through a troubled domestic life on the outside. Now it’s her time, and George and Allen are there to offer their serenity. But is there any comfort presented to Lilliana? And will Allen discover success in being the new prison chaplain, in spite of what George has done for the past number of years?

This play was first presented through a number play writing workshops through the recent years, including The Road Theatre’s Summer Playwrights Festival in 2017. This stage version presented as a world premier, holds a number of episodes of intense drama. Its first act deals with the conflicts of a pair of “men of the cloth” that shows little to resemble in what they preach! George the elder, and Allen, the new recruit, can’t seem to get along with each other, almost engaging in an intense fight! Its second act shows their dealing with death row inmate Lilliana, one of the few female prisoners that will be set to take the last mile. This is where redemption sets in. Perhaps this redemption is the only moment where this stage presentation displays anything that is close to being upbeat.

The three cast members that appear in this program holds toward their own personalities. San Anderson as George is the senior of the bunch that has gone through this death row process more than anyone of recent times. Chase Cargill as Allen is the youthful “preacher man”-type that is married with a child on the way. He could fit in any Christian-esque church created for a post-modern audience. And Verity Branco as Lilliana knows why she is in the inside, and why she is about to meet her fate. Her crime was committed for a reason, and she regrets in what she did. But justice must take part in her ordeal.

Michael Peretzian directs this performance that shows a range of drama that can become tender and bitter, with a light touch of humor. (Nervous humor at that!) This blend of emotions make what this play proves itself to be. That in spite of what has been done and what will take place, one can be more connected to elements that one may desire to admit.

With a title and theme as DEATH HOUSE, it won’t be a spoiler alert to state that this play is on the “down” side. There won’t be a happy ending presented, or at least, a happy ending that is of the traditional sense. Then again, its moral to the story can be described that it’s never too late to mend one’s heart or being. It just has to be executed (no pun intended) in the right practice.

DEATH HOUSE, presented by and performs at The Road Theatre Company, 5108 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, until March 10th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

For tickets and for further details, call (818) 761-8838, or via online at
http://www.RoadTheatre.org
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
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@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
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(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
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#AccessiblyLiveOffLine

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

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!

FEELING THE EARTH MOVE

In the category of “Real Stories from Life”, this humble writer will present an actual tale taken from somebody’s own personal domain. Although the story we are about to present is true, no names were changed become there is really nobody to protect. In fact, all names mentioned within this article are not only true and accurate, but are being stated because of genuine accuracy. Read on…

A good friend of this writer named Kurt got married to his long time sweetheart Karen in early 1994. They were living in Chicago at the time, and spent their honeymoon at a ski resort just north of London, Ontario where they spend their weekend on the slopes. They didn’t spend much time there, only being gone between Friday through Sunday, but once they were going to come back, they were going to get their apartment in order.

Kurt had a brother who lived at the time in Northridge, California, a community that was part of Los Angeles proper located in the San Fernando Valley. Kurt’s brother, whose name won’t be mentioned due to his insistence, lived in an apartment unit located off Nordoff Street, not too far away from a shopping center and other businesses. Kurt’s brother called the happy honeymooners while they were at their resort on his cellular phone he had for the job he held at the time. Kurt and Karen accepted his congrads as the newlywed couple since he wasn’t able to attend their wedding held a few days beforehand. All were pleased to hear from the brother with his many good wishes.

On that Monday upon their return, Kurt was tuned in to the local all-news radio station, WBBM as he tends to do each morning. Around 6:30 AM (CST), the station broke off of their usual reports of time, temp, and traffic to report that there was a massive earthquake that hit the Los Angeles region. There were the early reports that the earthquake was intense in strength. As the local news reports were stating to trickle in, the station was able to get in contact with the station’s Los Angeles affiliate, KNX, presenting on-the-spot coverage. As the hours passed and reports of the devastation were stated to come in, there was a blurb that the earthquake’s epicenter was centered in the community of Northridge–the same community that Kurt’s sibling lived!

Of course, attempting to call anyone in that area was fruitless. All phone lines were either jammed or down. Anyone who tried to make a call to any number in the 818 area code received a recording that all circuits were busy. Although Kurt constantly tried to call his brother to check in on his status, all attempts failed.

Around 8:00 AM (CST), Kurt’s phone rang. It was his brother calling on his newfangled cell phone. For some reason or another, he was able to get through to Kurt. He did report that he was able to get out of his apartment unit safely. He was stating on the street with other folks from the unit, all huddled together. He was stating that most, if not all people who lived in the building was able to escape safely. Of course, it occurred around 4:30 AM local time where many folks were sound asleep. Many of these people were in their bathrobes, or were able to put on whatever clothing they could find. One person was even wearing an ugly looking Christmas sweater he received as a gag gift as his company office party. Kurt was able to get as much news he could from his brother. However, the phone Kurt’s sibling was using wasn’t fully charged, and within twenty or so minutes, the batteries died and the phone’s connection were cut off.

Kurt and Karen tried to keep abreast over the news stories that were coming in through the radio and the major TV networks. They couldn’t watch any coverage via CNN since the unit they rented out didn’t have cable TV installed yet as that was scheduled by the CATV company for the next week!

This little episode could be billed on how the modern technology at the time became a godsend. Kurt’s brother was able to use his portable phone device while landlines were totally down, and would remain down for weeks afterward. And that other communication device called “the internet” wasn’t available on a large scale. So the only forms and means of getting news and details out was whatever phone lines one could find (if any), or through radio, television, and print, although print was the slowest means of news.

Of course, that was some twenty five years ago, and a lot has changed since that third week of January of 1994. In today’s post modern world, the details on getting specific news out for anything of that scale, or even details on trivial events, can take place within seconds. If is quite possible to stream video from one’s newfangled smartphone to a number of social media platforms. Still imagery can also be send as events occur. Although a number of these forms of aspects involve events of importance such as the recent wildfires that broke out in California last November, anyone can bring out details or any event as they happen. Folks are also using this method to stream family events, such as Kurt and Karen’s wedding (and honeymoon) if they married twenty five years after the fact!

And with more technology that’s coming in droves, there may be a time were said communication can arrive via a number of smart devices found in a home, a vehicle, or wherever one can be. The possibilities are endless!

Today, Kurt and Karen are now living in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, but not in Northridge! They have two kids. One will graduate high school this spring while the other is in the first year of grad school at California State University located in (where else?) Northridge! Kurt’s brother’s apartment unit was “yellow tagged”, meaning that the building suffered minor damage but was still inhibitable. Kurt’s bro eventually moved to another place in Los Angeles proper. He met a woman who was an “illegal” alien from El Salvador. They had a child, and eventually separated. And twenty five years later, the above story now falls as a nostalgic memory. Granted, it wasn’t anything of a festive nature, but does fall into the category of the so-called eight million stories in the naked city. This tale was indeed one of ‘em!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills presents for its seventeenth season, the return engagement of Katherine Bates’ THE MANOR, a play that speaks of a rise and tragic fall involving a very dignified family living in one of the nation’s prestigious communities.

The story begins in the roaring 20’s, where liquor flowed if one will find it, jazz music was all the rage, and fortunes were climbing at sky high paces. The MacAlister family that made its capital gains in mineral mining as headed by Charles MacAlister (Darby Hinton), is celebrating the wedding between his son and heir Sean (Eric Keitel) and the blushing bride Abby (Annalee Scott). As the two are joined in marriage, Charles meets up with his friend based in Washington DC, Senator Alfred Winston (Daniel Leslie) on a business opportunity. It appears that in the US territory of Hawaii, the Navy desires to build a naval base station within the location known as Pearl Harbor. Alfred asks Charles for a $100,000 loan to finance this development. In return for the requested amount, Alfred would receive exclusive rights to mine a valued mineral deposit that Charles operates. This well intended exchange opens in what later becomes a scandal developing into government bribery, business corruption, and an overall disgrace to this wealthy family estate leading up toward dire consequences. This aftermath not only involves Charles, but to the others within this domain set high among their “quaint” 50+ room estate overlooking the bedroom community village called Beverly Hills.

This original play written by Katherine Bates was inspired upon the actual family of Edward Doheny, who made his fortune in oil production. He was involved with tactics that later lead to a bribery misconduct known as the “Teapot Dome Scandal” that followed upon the breakup of the Standard Oil monopoly in the early part of the 20th century. What makes this play rather unique, outside of the fact that the plot is inspired by actual events that involves greed, corruption, family disgrace, and even death, but the settings takes place at Greystone Mansion, a 46,000 Sq. Ft. building and estate once owned by the Donehy family. Many of the play’s backdrops are founded in what did occur within the mansion when Edward “Ned” Doheny, son of Edward Sr., took his own life with a pistol. (The reasons leading up to this death vary, but it was indeed billed as a murder-suicide!) The play itself offers plenty of drama as depicted by the cast members that also include Carol Potter as Marion MacAlister, Kira Brannlund as Henrietta Haversham Pugh, Melanie MacQueen as Cora Wilson, Martin Thompson as family attorney Frank Parsons, Esq. with Daniel Lench as James the butler, Katherine Henryk as Ursula the housekeeper, and Ester Richman as Ellie, the mute maid.

As to how this play is set up. It takes place within a handful of rooms in the mansion where the audience is broken up into three groups. After the first scene is performed, each group is lead by one of the domestic staff into another nearby room where a second scene is presented. Then the groups, rotating to other rooms, witness yet another unfolding scene. These scenes performed for the selected audience groups are presented in a different order, but not out of context as each scene keeps its continuity in check. The background of the mansion itself serves as the backdrop giving this production an authentic feel. Each room offers limited stage furnishings as the original furniture and other decor has long been removed. David Hunt Stafford & Jackie Petras provides the set design that is part of the play, rather then to the actual building where this showpiece is housed.

THE MANOR has been part of Theatre 40’s repertory since 2002, offering limited run performances at the location where many of the inspired stage settings developed. If one attends this performance, one will see just a small glimpse of a humble home built when elegance, even at an excess, was at its peak. They don’t build places like these anymore, and it’s just as well! Along with viewing the homestead and the grounds, one will witness a great play that’s fully loaded with all the drama that such a stage work firmly allows.

THE MANOR, presented by Theatre 40 in association with the city of Beverly Hills Recreation and Parks Department, performs at the Greystone Mansion located within Greystone Park, 905 Loma Vista Drive (north of Sunset Blvd. off Mountain Drive), Beverly Hills, until January 27th. Showtimes are January 17th, 18th, and 25th at 6:00 PM, at 1:00 PM on January 19th, and 27th, and at 2:00 PM January 16th, 23rd, and 24th. For further information and for ticket reservations, call (310) 364-3606, or via the website http://www.Theatre40.org
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The 24th annual Critics’ Choice Awards ceremony was held on January 13th from the Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, California, and was aired on the CW Network.

Taye Diggs served as the master of ceremonies where awards were presented by the choosing of The Broadcast Film Critics Association, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, presenting the best in television programming and feature films.

Among the many awards that were presented, ranging from Best Ensemble Cast (feature films), Best Actor/Actress in a Comedy/Drama (ilm/television), Best Supporting Actor/Actress in Feature/TV, Best Action Feature, etc., two special awards were presented.

Claire Foy was awarded as part of the #SeeHer movement where females are presented in movies and TV shows in a positive and progressive light, and Chuck Lorre was awarded the Creative Achievement Award for his work in the production of such TV series as (among others), Roseanne, Cybill, Grace Under Fire, Two and a Half Men, and his current work, The Kominsky Method.

The Best Picture Award was presented to the feature film Roma.

The Broadcast Film Critics Association, and the Broadcast Television Journalists Association consist of members who work as professional journalists that write and review films and TV shows in publications that exist through multimedia outlets. (Disclaimer: This writer is a member of the BFCA.)

For a complete listing of all titles nominated and its associated winning categories, visit http://www.CriticsChoice.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
https://www.facebook.com/accessiblylive.offline
@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEHxSllfDItpWh3z8vuUb_w
(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
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#AccessiblyLiveOffLine

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

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!

THE CHANGES ARE A-TIMIN’!

As the Christmas/holiday decorations are already socked away for the next eleven months in boxes and related storage containers, the Christmas trees are stuffed in trash and recycle bins (or sitting along street curbs) ready for pickup, and the January white sales are going on in full tilt at retail outlets in-store and online, it’s time to wipe the slate clean and start anew.

This starting anew always serves as a bittersweet act where one may look behind themselves to see all of the events and notions that went on within the past twelve months, while looking forward to the good and perhaps not-so-good times that may or may not happen. Although one can’t predict to what will take place, at least one can plan to arrange for an event to appear, or at least appear in a way that might just make some kind of sense to it all!

And that is what this here newsletter has in mind. Although our company fiscal year is now in its second half, the newsletter itself runs under the calendar year. And since we are speaking for the newsletter, it’s about time that this writer lays a few ideas around that we, the editorial staff, would like to get around doing, or “talking” about doing.

We have been churning out this newsletter for some twenty-three years. Granted, being 23 isn’t that spectacular. Usually anniversaries are commemorated when something is ten years old, or twenty, twenty-five years, and so on. It will be our silver anniversary come 2021–should we live that long! But recalling the day one was born is looking back. We are going to look forward.

First, we will still continue to place news and reviews of community theater based within the Los Angeles region. We dwell in a media town. Los Angeles, or to be specific, “Hollywood”, is the movie making capitol in the world! Any civilized spot on the globe that can house a moving picture theater runs American movies. Many places that has access to television signals and/or higher speed internet access programs television shows–many of such coming from the USA by way of Hollywood. And theater is a distant cousin to movies and TV. What brings these mediums together is the talent behind it all, mostly in the form of writers, directions, costumers, and of course, actors! And local theater can keep these people in the limelight to make way for movies and/or TV. Sure, stage theater may not reach a vast audience as a TV show or feature film could, but these folks are ready and willing to hone their crafts while hoping to become “discovered”. And out of all of the columns appearing in each edition of ALOL, the theater reviews are the most read–number one! So those theater reviews won’t ever go away, or at least not through our making.

Movie reviews still holds its mark here, although the luster has faded within the last few years. Since the internet as we know it began some twenty five or so years ago, movies became one of many topics discussed on the ol’ world wide web. One of the oldest domains that exist in cyberspace land–the Internet Movie Data Base a.k.a.. http://www.IMDB.com, began as a “bulletin board” around 1990 where early computer users could post information about their favorite movies. Since then, many places on the ‘net offered movie news and reviews. However, we will continue to post our reviews of feature films. It may not be as often as a review of a stage play, but they will still be coming around!

One element we may cut back on is our opening column. Over audits we have conducted, we asked a selected number of our subscribers on what columns you tend to read and articles you pass over. The opening column are the ones that tends to be less read. There wasn’t any specific reason to why folks are going directly to “page two”. We can just guess that there is too much to read from other sources out there, both real or otherwise! The amount of other journalists who range from staff reporters to solo bloggers post articles on a more timely basis–daily, hourly, even as events occur. As much as we would like to be on-the-spot so to speak, we are just limited to letting one know what’s going on every seven days. So there may (and we do mean may) be an issue where we won’t hold an opening column. We will just get into the news and reviews. But as things occur, everything is subject to change without notice. At least you were warned for what it’s worth.

But as the news arrises to what we are going to do in 2019, we will let all of you know. We won’t keep you on hold. If we have breaking news, we are going to bust it through these pages! If there won’t be anything to report that fits within our scope, then so be it! After all, no news is good news. We don’t believe in ghosts, so we won’t go around donning a white sheet over ourselves to do our share of ghosting! We will be serving as a friendly ghost looking for a friend!

So as we haul the wrapping paper in the trash and/or recycle bins while making sure that the gifts we got had store receipts with them so we can exchange those gifts for something we really want, it’s all hope for a great “end-of-the-teens” decade. Can you dig it?
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Glendale Centre Theatre opens their 2019 season of comedy plays and musicals with Ruth Hale’s A BUNDLE OF TROUBLE, a story about a father’s unplanned “visit” with his daughter as dictated through his separated spouse.

Randy Marquis is Jeff Baker. He’s a semi-employed inventor who’s working on some sure fire creation for a large company that involves some kind of concoction sporting a rather pungent odor that involves mixing this concoction in his bathtub inside of his San Francisco apartment. His spouse Annette (Megan Blakeley), who separated from Jeff a few years beforehand, holds a more solid career. In fact, she is on assignment for a company based task that requires a trip to South America. Since she will be gone for eight weeks, she leaves their adolescent daughter Abby (Isabella Ponce) in Jeff’s care. His fatherly skills isn’t so up to par as he doesn’t keep house (he’s a mess) and can’t cook as he lives on sardines and bowls of corn flakes and Coke poured in the bowl of cereal! Adding to Jeff’s confusion is his landlady Mrs. Applby (Jackie Sanders), her slightly ditzy adult daughter Lu Ann (Erica Farnsworth), Jeff’s business partner and closest friend Ivan Hall (John David Wallis) who is there to get his buddy out of his domestic jams, Preston Conway (Brett Gustafson) Annette’s fiancé (never mind the fact that Jeff and Anette never officially divorced), Merced Mason (Faith Streng) who is part of the local Child Welfare department keeping her eye on Jeff’s parenting skills, Abby’s adolescent friend Everett Comstock (Van Brunelle) who is growing to be a future wiseass, and Molly the Dog. (Billed as “Bubba Brunelle”.) All of these characters, along with Jeff attempting to invent a “next big thing”, leads toward his personal bundle of trouble.

This play, written by Ruth Hale, the great grandparent of the family that currently operates the Glendale Centre Theatre, is a breezy comedy that holds a hearty slice of cuteness and charm that doesn’t rely upon heavy sided sight gags, lame jokes, or anything connected to post-modern sitcom-esquee humor. (James Castle Stevens, who also directs this showpiece, adapted this play for this staging.) The ensemble cast do work well with one another in a fittingly meaning stage setting. With the grace of the fellow cast members, Randy Marquis as Jeff is the real star of this program. He can neatly play out his role as the dad that does stumble and fall on occasion, but still keeps a golden heart and soul!

The current season of plays and musicals at the GCT will be offering a total of nine shows throughout the year. Following this show will be the Jim Stowell-Jessica Zuehlke, and Drew Jansen musical comedy Church Basement Ladies opening on February 8th, Gilbert & Sullivan’s classic The Pirate of Penzance on March 15th, the world premier musical Rex & Bob’s Excellent Misadventure on April 27th, Dan Goggin’s Nunsence on May 17th, the Nancy Frick comedy Four Weddings and an Elvis on June 28th, the Terrence McNally-Lynn Ahrens-Stephen Flaherty musical Ragtime on August 3rd, the stage version of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir on September 20th, the world premier of Dracula The Musical on October 19th, and rounding out the season is the annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on November 22nd.

Visit the theater’s website for more details on all of these forthcoming shows.

A BUNDLE OF TROUBLE, presented by and performs at The Glendale Centre Theatre, 324 North Orange Street, Glendale, until February 2nd. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 PM, Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM, with Thursday night performances at 7:30 PM starting on January 17th.
For more information, call (818) 244-8481, or via online at
http://www.GlendaleCentreTheatre.com
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FOREVER BROOKLYN, the story of a nice Jewish kid from New York’s most famous borough and his dream of becoming a stand up comic while facing the challenges of his family, his neighborhood, and the local goodfellows that keep things in order, makes its west coast premier at The Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks.\

Danny DiTorrice appears as Melvin Kaplokis. He’s an adolescent kid living in Brooklyn, USA, the only place in New York that really matters! We first find him in the middle 1950’s, where life is rather simple, or it just seems to be. He lives with his mother and dad who runs a record shop, and a pair of younger and older sisters. Melvin’s big dream is to become a stand up comedian, telling jokes while singing parody versions of songs taken from the hit parade. He can entertain his family as well as his aunt and uncle, but there is more to being a comic than to his own clan. He can move on to performing in those resorts located upstate in what’s known as the “Borscht Belt”, an area where folks, especially those of the Jewish persuasion, head off each summer to beat the heat of the city. Melvin even picked out his own stage name–Mel King! But getting to fame can be a tough task. His father and elder sister discourage him, while his mother and younger sis give their blessings. He also must face the goombas that run the neighborhood. Melvin is even hired by one of the mobsters to deliver packages in exchange for giving ”protection” for his dad’s record shop. But fate has it when Melvin-Mel in this case, is given his big break. A local radio DJ that plays that new music called “rock ‘n’ roll” hooks him up with a talent agent that arranges a spot on The Tonight Show! It appears that Mel is on his way to comedy fame! Will Mel hit it off telling jokes that will make ‘em laugh? Will his mother encourage him enough to have her say “My Son, the comedian”? Will the local paisanos that keep the neighborhood in check keep Mel at their side or do they have their own plans? And will this boychik ever find a nice Jewish girl to settle down with?

This solo show, written and directed by Mark Wesley Curran (who for the record, isn’t from Brooklyn and isn’t Jewish), is a loving tribute to life in one of American’s favorite communities when it was a working class area full of people from different ethnicities and places of origin that worked and lived together is some form of harmonious state.

Danny DiTorrice as Melvin Kaplokis holds enough personality where he is friendly and upbeat enough that you would want to take him home to meet the family. In other words, he’s a nice young man only a mother could love, and so will the audience! Not only he can act and perhaps tell a good one-liner with a little corn added for good measure, but he can sing–sort of! Throughout the performance, he singes a few comical versions of songs of the era, along with a few traditional musical numbers. It’s not rock ‘n roll, but it ain’t Sinatra either! It’s just Mel attempting to hit the big time!

Although Danny DiTorrice is the only one gracing the stage, there is more to see while he’s on the floorboards. Allison Cromwell’s set design is rather simple, just consisting of a large living room chair, an upright floor lamp, a small round table with a pair of legacy phones placed on the tabletop, and a super heterodyne radio receiver. These objects depicts the family homestead and other places found through his life. These things are just enough to show that Melvin’s world is a lot bigger than it seems, and rightly so.

Today, Brooklyn is one of the hottest and perhaps most trendy places to live in New York outside of Manhattan. Many of the old-country Jews have since moved away to the outer regions of suburbia or have died. Stand up comics are now turing to social media to get themselves discovered. The local pro ball team that sold itself to “Hollywood” years ago has yet to return. And thanks to air conditioning and cheap(er) airfare, running off to the Catskills for the summer has taken a different stance. But Brooklyn still remains where it is, and will be present for generations to come. FOREVER BROOKLYN is a show for those that were there, or for those that wish they were! And as the local mobsters could say, bada-bing!

FOREVER BROOKLYN, presented by the West Coast Performing Arts Presenters, performs at The Whitefire Theatre, 13500 Ventura Blvd. (at Sunnyslope), Sherman Oaks, until February 9th. Showtimes are Saturday nights at 7:30 PM.
For ticket reservations or for more details, call (800) 838-3006, or online at
http://www.BrownPaperTickets.com/Event/3613939
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
AccessiblyLiveOffLine@gmail.com
Details@LinearCycleProductions.com
http://www.AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
https://www.facebook.com/accessiblylive.offline
@AccessiblyLive (Twitter)
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEHxSllfDItpWh3z8vuUb_w
(Accessibly Live’s channel on YouTube)
http://www.LinearCycleProductions.com
#AccessiblyLiveOffLine

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

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!

Theatre 68 of North Hollywood present the world premier of HOLIDAY PROBLEMS ANONYMOUS, an anthology consisting of short skits that deal with the said problems that come around toward the end of the year where holidays and the difficulties associated with tend to collide.

The scene opens with a group of people seated on folding chairs arranged in a semi circle a la twelve-step program, present to tell (and confess) on the events that occur this time of year. This scene sets up the other skits that follow, from a woman whose promotion within a department store falls in jeopardy thanks to a last minute replacement Santa; a snow person (compared to a snow man) fed up over global warming, takes the case to civil court; a group of people attending their seasonal office party each receives rather unusual gifts not as expected; a man making out his new year’s resolutions imagines how those resolutions could play out; a person at a store check-out line faces the notion of being political correct to the season with another shopper; a man joins his girlfriend’s family gathering noting how everyone is nutty while on the brink of proposing to her, and a special letter addressed to Santa!

An ensemble cast of players consisting of Jason Kyle, Vikram Bhoyrul, Ed Drer, LeLyn Love, Alexis de Lucia, Bryan Navarro, Heidi Appe, Chad Steers, Caroline Dingwall, Edgar Mota, Wade O Alden, Brandon Ficara, Valentina Tammaro, Edwin Scheibner, Anthony Marc Slade, and Ryan Lancaster, play the various parts proving that the season itself isn’t all merry and bright as it could be, because it’s not!

Jason Kyle created the skits as well as directed this program. As with anthologies, each skit differs in its comical value. The fifth act called Resolutions, is perhaps the most serious one of them all! But the season, either calling it “Christmas”, or “The Holidays” if one desires to lean toward that for noted political correctness, is something more prone to laugh at. And this show provides those laughs with its seasonal twist!

There isn’t much left in the local theater scene that still caters to Christmas, etc. as many of those other shows have already completed their runs, so HOLIDAY PROBLEMS ANONYMOUS is the final one to catch! Merry Christmas/Holidays to all, and to all…g‘night!

HOLIDAY PROBLEMS ANONYMOUS, presented by and performs at Theatre 68, 5112 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood, until January 5th, ’19. Showtimes are Friday and Saturdays nights at 8:00 PM, Sunday afternoons, December 23rd and 30th at 4:00 PM, and Thursday, January 3rd at 8:00 PM. For tickets and for more information, visit
http://www.Theatre68.com
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HOLIDAY FAMILY REPORT

If those of you out there still receives mail physically sent to an address, it will be assumed that you may receive those greeting cards associated for this time of year. We are referring to those cards known as “Christmas Cards”.

It’s been a proven fact that these kind of greeting cards usually purchased and delived and associated with events that take placed in the month of December have been refereed to as “Holiday Cards”. Granted, there are a number of holidays that fall in December. However, the only holiday that holds the tradition where one would exchange greeting cards is “Christmas”. There have been greeting cards available on the market connected with Chanukah as well as Kwanzaa. However, those cards only exist so those that are associated with those holidays can exchange cards, as well as having the greeting card companies make a buck in the process! So this article will focus upon the holiday known as Christmas.

One element that has been part of the Christmas Card exchange ritual was a special letter enclosed with the cards. These letters are generally known as a “What-I/We-Did-The-Previous-Year” letter. This was a letter that highlighted what a person and/or family did from the last time a Christmas card was sent to the current Christmas season, noting the antics those those within the family domain. These events ranged from where somebody in the family went on a vacation, who was involved in a life changing event (birth, graduation, wedding, death, etc.), as well as other news and information that the created of the letter deemed as important or noteworthy.

The letter itself may also focus upon other people and events that the receiver of the letter may or may not know of. And how the letter was written may be in the form of a friendly letter that at times rambles on, while a few read as if they were taken as a newspaper article. A few of these notes may even hold some writing errors. However, it was not so much on how the letter was written, but the news and information that was contained.

And if one was lucky, one may even find a photo of the family and/or person in question so the receiver will have somewhat of an idea of what the person and/or family looks like! This way, one can be tied over with the family/person until the next Christmas where the latest news can be relayed. That is, assuming that the sender will compose another letter with all of the news that fits onto a page! (Both sides usually!)

These letter were very common to create and receive for many years. However, these letters started to fade off into the distance sometime in the early 21st century, when folks that are savvy enough just stopped composing the letters, or even stopped mailing traditional Christmas cards!

And what was the reason for this change of notification? Yep! You guessed it! Blame it on social media!

Ever since some of the giants of social media moved from novelty stage to a way of life, folks that had the desire to post anything and everything about themselves for most of the world to see and consume. Facebook, the grandaddy of all of the existing sites, became the be-all-to-end-all place to post notices, pictures, moving imagery, and anything one could get away with to let those know what is going on with themselves, no matter if the person wanted to know these facts or not! It was the place to report each and every activity on the ol’ world wide web. Folks can post news on a weekly basis, a daily basis, even an hourly basis! Some people give live reports are they are happening!! And they are not limited to giving the news that are of importance (birthday parties, trips abroad, etc.), but even trivial events that isn’t worth the time to report upon! One can tweet “I’m at the local supermarket getting a can a creamed corn!”, or posted a live video stream of the same person getting that same can of creamed corn at the supermarket!

Generally speaking, by the time one received a card by the family and/or person, everyone already knows of what went on, so way bother writing a recap? Just post the news via a podcast, a video uploaded via YouTube, or illustrated pictures via Instagram! Just as one have access to an electronic device and an internet connection, one is ready for action!

Sadly, those printed letters that were enclosed inside of a Christmas card became a document of a history of a family from a specific year or time period. That letter can serve as a written detailed diary that can be kept for as long as the letter exists! Social media, as wonderful as it may be, doesn’t necessarily save everything one can post on them. Unless the poster keeps all of the text, photos, video, or other notions on a hard drive and/or a cloud service, all of the news that was of importance can be gone forever! So anything that was posted on their Facebook account from 2010 may not still be available. And if one was using MySpace when that was the place to become part of, all of that stuff is totally gone! The MySpace of 2018 isn’t the MySpace of 2006! However, if one wrote a letter that same year, the letter is there to be read or read over. The nostalgia will prevail!

So if one ever does receive a printed “What-We-Did-The-Previous-Year” note, by all means keep it! In twenty or so years, one can find out what that family did back in those days. That is, if anyone outside of the family really cares!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Performing at Hollywood’s Theatre of N.O.T.E. is the world premier of Andrew Osborne’s SPECIAL, a comical tale that looks behind the scenes of how “the worst variety show in the galaxy” ever came to light.

The “special” in this case, was called The Star Wars Holiday Special , a television program that took the premise of the characters and persona that was part of the biggest movie ever to come down the pike in the late 1970’s. When Star Wars was released in the late spring of 1977, it became a monster hit! A year later, its creator George Lucas was encouraged to sit in place a TV special that celebrated the notions of Star Wars. Through a series of meetings between media producers, dealing with a flamboyant director, using comedy writers to put something together (including a writer that would later team up with the creators of the film Airplane, and a writer that once served as a music critic for a Chicago newspaper) along with the original cast of Star Wars (Fisher, Hamill, and Ford), it would be a special program that could not miss! And it would air close to Christmastime, giving this special that “holiday” spin. The holiday would not be called “Christmas”, but an event called “Life Day” as celebrated by the Wookie family. It would even air on CBS during the “family hour”, before 10:00 PM-9:00 PM Central and Mountain time where it could be viewed by and for all ages. What could go wrong…right?

This comical play written by Andrew Osborne was extracted through various reports, news articles, personal notes, recollections by those that were there and a few that was reported long after the fact, with placing a healthy dosage of creative license, generates a fast paced play telling upon how a popular movie wasn’t suited for the small screen, or not quite yet! An ensemble of performers consisting of Paris Benjamin, Alex Elliot-Funk, Lance Guest, Jennifer Hugus, Rich Lehmann, Marty Yu, and Kerr Seth Lordygan who also serves as this show’s producer, director, and “special guest star”, play various roles. Those roles ranges from Star Wars creator George Lucas, writers Pat Proft and Bruce Vilanch, directors David Acomba and Steve Binder, Carrie Fisher, Harrison Ford, Harvey Korman(!), as well as fanboys, network executives, and actors in hot airless Wookie costumes. They make up what became a TV special that was not well received! The network CBS never aired the program again, while Lucas himself wanted to destroy any copies that may have been recorded off-the-air by those that had access to a Beta and/or VHS formatted video cassette recorder, as well as the broadcast master tape.

Although the comedy is well paced and the premise of the plotting is interesting and amusing, one would have to view the originally source (The TV special) to have all what’s seen on stage to make some sense. Underground recordings of this special has been floating around for decades as made available through comic book and/or SciFi conventions and gatherings, as well as through internet portals as YouTube. But once the TV special is seen, then the ideas expressed in this show keeps its comedy in high gear.

And for the record, the special itself is rather amusing for what TV programs of the late 1970’s could muster up. It’s not bad, but it’s not good either! Then again, CBS preempted Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk in its time slot. Watching episodes of those programs in today’s media landscape could be seen as “cheesy”. And the program following The Star Wars Holiday Special that night? A long forgotten drama/comedy program called Flying High that focused upon the misadventures of three Los Angeles based stewardesses working for a domestic airline. So much for TV’s “golden age”!

SPECIAL, presented by Ol‘ Bait Shop Productions, performs at Theatre of N.O.T.E,
1517 North Cahuenga Blvd. (Off Sunset Blvd.), Hollywood, until January 13th, ’19. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 5:00 PM. Special New Year’s Eve show on December 31st at 8:00 PM. For ticket reservations, call (800) 838-3006, or online at https://SpecialThePlay.com/tickets
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MARY POPPINS RETURNS (Disney) stars Emily Blunt as the titled character who makes a return back to the Banks household while the family is going through a bit of distress.

The story takes place c.1930s, some twenty-five or so years after the previous time this nanny-for-hire had visited the London based Banks homestead. Michael Banks (Ben Whishaw) is now in his 30’s, still living in the home he grew up in. Now a widower, he is the father of three children: Anabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh) and Georgie (Joel Dawson). Michael’s sibling Jane (Emily Mortimer) is unmarried and works as a supporter for the cause of labor and worker’s rights. Michel is a struggling artist, yet his other job is working as a teller in the bank his father was part of. Money was rather tight in his household, so he took out a loan with the bank against the value of his home. Now a bit behind with the payments, the bank summons a pair of solicitors, Gooding (Jeremy Swift) and Frey (Kobna Holdbrook-Smith) demanding the payment in full, or they repossess the home. Just when things begin to become bleak, Mary Poppins makes a comeback, sailing from the skies through her umbrella, after many years. She becomes aware of Michael’s dilemma, so she assist by not only being a nanny of his three kids, but finds a way where Michael can help himself of saving the home from repossession. All of the is seen through the watchful sprit of a local gas lamp lighter Jack (Lin-Manuel Miranda) that is just as bright and cheerful as the lamps he lights each evening and puts out in the dawn throughout the streets of London.

This long awaited sequel to one of the Walt Disney Company’s “crown jewels” is a very charming and pleasing musical. Its concept is one to a movie musical released during the 1960’s and 1970’s at a time when film musicals, although not as common as they once were, were something akin to a movie “epic”–not so much as epic in scope (no large scale battle scenes with a cast of thousands), but of a feature that was grand due to is overall set-up with lavish sets and backdrops, and song and dance numbers with plenty of high stepping choreography all synced to a rich and plush sounding musical score. In today’s movie landscape, such musical have been created in limited numbers (if at all) thanks to the public’s ever changing tastes in movies and the way they are consumed. This title breaks those barriers with a piece that is simple in idea, yet complex with playing itself as a 60’s and 70’s-esque motion picture! Emily Blunt plays Mary Poppins with the elegance and finesse where she can be the nanny of choice, yet keeps her “magic” to herself only when needed–the way that a magical nanny should perform! Ben Whishaw and Emily Mortimer as the adult Banks children are charming as well They are far from being cute, although the Banks kids as played by Pixie Davies, Nathanael Saleh, and Joel Dawson have their own appeal minus being sappy or overly sweet. Lin-Manuel Miranda as gas lamp lighter Jack serves as Mary’s confident, the same method as Burt the Chimney Sweep did a generation before. (Bert’s name is mentioned as a vague reference to the first movie–more about that in a few later paragraphs!)

The songs heard in this feature as composed by Marc Shaiman (music) and Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman (lyrics) are of the same nature. The tunes are catchy, lively, and would be more suited to a stage musical geared toward a mature level rather than something taken out of a popular music style i.e.. alternative rock or hip-hop. The screenplay by David Magee with screen story by David Magee & Rob Marshall & John DeLuca is one that keeps its genteel motives about that fits to more of a family-friendly audience. Granted, it may more be suited with adults that grew up with the original musical through cable and home video (as well as limited theatrical runs), although kids that are totally abundant with taking moving imagery as seen through a hand held electronic device, may view this feature as something new and different.

As noted, there are a few references made in this film toward the original, but those references are just brief and somewhat vague. However, it is the method that this title gives it a “wink” toward the original source. And the question remains on if there will be a third movie title? This writer can’t really say as it all depends on how well this movie does box office wise! However, one can muster up a stage musical in the works!

PS..Would it be a spoiler that this feature also stars three noteworthy cast members? If it’s a spoiler, then stop reading this review right now! If it won’t be a spoiler, then those cast members are Meryl Streep as Mary’s cousin Topsy, Angelia Lansbury as a balloon lady, and Dick Van Dyke as bank president Mr. Dawes, Jr. reprising his role.

This feature is rated “PG” for some minor intense moments. Opens on December 19th at all of the usual multiplexes!
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On December 12th, The Library of Congress’ National Film Preservation Board announced the twenty five film titles that will be entered as part of the LOC’s National Film Registry.

Under the guise of the National Film Preservation Act, the LOC chooses twenty five titles that are “culturally, historically or aesthetically” significant. The films must be at least ten years old at the time of creation or public release, and must be an American production or co-production. Any motion picture can be chosen as long as it meets those guidelines, and do not necessarily have to be a commercial production. (Amateur and home movies can be selected.)

Each year, the LOC selects the titles are suggested by the LOC’s film preservation staff, moving image scholars, as well as the general public.

Listed below are the twenty five titles along with its year of release/creation. A “#” in front of the title indicates that it is a non-feature length film. (Short subject, amateur film, etc.)

Bad Day at Black Rock (1955)
Broadcast News (1987)
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Cinderella (1950)
Days of Wine and Roses (1962)
#Dixon-Wanamaker Expedition to Crow Agency (1908)
Eve’s Bayou (1997)
The Girl Without a Soul (1917)
#Hair Piece: A Film for Nappy-Headed People (1984)
Hearts and Minds (1974)
Hud (1963)
The Informer (1935)
Jurassic Park (1993)
The Lady From Shanghai (1947)
Leave Her to Heaven (1945)
Monterey Pop (1968)
My Fair Lady (1964)
The Navigator (1924)
On the Town (1949)
One-Eyed Jacks (1961)
Pickup on South Street (1953)
Rebecca (1940)
The Shining (1980)
Smoke Signals (1998)
#Something Good — Negro Kiss (1898)

For more details on the above titles including titles of other films on the registry as well as how to vote for the 2019 selection, visit the LOC’s National Film Preservation Board web site at http://www.loc.gov/film
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The Santa Monica Playhouse will present their annual NEW YEAR’S EVE MUSICAL REVIEW, the self titled event that will celebrate the changing from the old into the new through music, song, dance, with doses of comedy.

Featured in this production are a selection of tunes and dance numbers that hold an eclectic range, from 1940’s-era jazz, country-rock favorites, Jewish patter songs, and even a romantic balled or two as presented by the Actors’ Repertory Theatre-consisting of Andrea Asnoff, Jacob Cooper, Chris DeCarlo, Tiffany Haile, Adya Mahanty, Evelyn Rudie, Elena Rust, Berkeley Sanjay, and Raeva Vasisht. A number of these performers has been seen in previous shows at the SMP, so it’s a “family reunion” of sorts that welcomes the new calendar year in high style!

And what makes a New Year’s celebration complete is all of the goodies that go along with it! Your evening includes a buffet supper, champagne/sparkling cider, and party favors that will guide everyone in attendance to slide from the old of ’18 into the new of ’19.

The SMP’s NEW YEAR’S EVE MUSICAL REVIEW will have two performances: 6:00 and 9:30 PM. The early show are for those that wish to partake the celebration a few hours before the stoke of twelve, or for those that wish to attend a second outside event. The 9:30 PM presentation will give those the moment to ring in the new year with the entire cast! And both shows are family friendly! Bring the kids of any age to partake in all of the festivities!

The Santa Monica Playhouse is located at 1211 4th Street (at Wilshire Blvd.) Santa Monica. For more information on these shows, call (310) 394-9779 ext 1, or visit the SMP online at http://www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com
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This issue will be the final edition of Accessibly Live Off-Line for the 2018 calendar year. We will be taking the next two weeks off, and will return with Vol. 24-No. 1 on the week beginning January 7th, 2019.

On behalf of the staff and management of ALOL, we wish everyone a safe and progressive holiday season! See you in ’19!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2018 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!

CHRISTMAS ON THE TV HEARTH

One thing that this season has to offer is the mergence of media and the rituals that go along with it all that make this month unique where if it was totally missing, it would be noticed!

Over the decades, Christmas a.k.a. “The Holidays” and television have been played as strange bedfellows. Since the dawn of TV, there have been many occations where TV has played its part of how this season is depicted as something that is festive as is part of all of the merry making–or at least as an attempt to be depicted as merry.

Let’s face it! There have been many video events that have appeared on the medium called television that has become an extension of the season to many folks that falls within the same methods as traditional rituals that are part of Christmas. Folks just loved to gather around the TV machine for either a special Christmas themed episode from one of their favorite TV shows, or to view a single “special” program that spoke for the holiday season. These kind of TV specials focused upon a specific person–usually a media personality that has some professional comedy and/or musical background, that participated in skits and segments that overemphasized the season that was for the entire family to enjoy. A good number of these personalities made a second career in bringing warmth and joy for the season through video, such as Bing Crosby, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Judy Garland, and many others remembered and a few long forgotten. The basic theme to these special programs ranged from joyous, bright, gay (the original definition of “gay”), sentimental, and perhaps a bit sweet and silly. However, video audiences didn’t seem to mind too much as all of these TV programs became a welcomed part of the media landscape and served as a vehicle for product sponsors to sell their goods.

These series of stand alone Christmas specials aired on the big three TV networks from the middle 1950’s and continued through the middle 1990’s. Since the 90‘s, cable TV channels has more time and space on their schedules to offer alternative Christmas themed programing that was more akin to its audience, around the same time when the fornoted media personalities were either long retired or dead. Those that did retire never found a personality to fill their shoes (so to speak) in continuing in what they did for TV audiences to be merry and jolly, sing a few songs as either as a solo artist or with the assistance of TV family members or their “special guest stars” to add toward the comedy and/or musical selections performed by the backing of a full orchestra.

One element that cable TV bright to forth was the Christmas themed TV movie, a feature length program that told a story that took placed over the Christmas season (thus the genre “Christmas themed TV movie”), that featured a character that was in some kind of domestic dilemma. The character in question would eventually find some form of salvation through another person and/or source that took advantage of what the season was all about to make things correct for the protagonist(s) with a pleasant conclusion. The stories told were simple enough to bill it as either light drama, comedy, (or both), as well as hold some form of romance added for pleasant and festive flavor.

These kind of TV features were first aired as part of The Hallmark Hall of Fame when it moved from NBC to CBS in the late 1970’s. When the network aired these programs, they were presented with a bit more drama, yet still kept their happy ending. When The Hallmark Channel became part of the cable TV medium in the 1990’s, its focus changed to something out of a romantic comedy catering to more of a female demographic–the kind of demo that purchase products made by Hallmark Cards and their many offshoots. The quality of these features were just “OK”, as the stories were again simple and sweet. The ensemble players appearing on them were either “B” or “C”-list actors, or those that became famous through daytime television i.e. soap operas. These movies fell into the category as “so-bad-they’re-good”, that resulted a holding toward a cult following.

Before long, mediums such as Lifetime started to air their own take on these TV movies. Later, other sources took advantage of the Christmas TV movie bandwagon, from Freeform, Ion, Bounce, UpTV, and countless others that brought on the seasonal sweetness to the pot.

And thanks to OTT television, one can stream their way where a viewer can partake on a binge fest of their own. Places such as Hulu, Amazon Prime, Crackle, and the giant of them all, Netflix, offers a vast selection of these same movies where they are available for the ever lovin’ 24/7 time period! Their lists are totally endless.

And why are these kind of feature length one-shot seasonal video programs hold toward their appeal? Perhaps they show a time, place, and characters that do not really exist in so-called “real life”. They are shadows depicting a fantasy world that could be real, but are not likely to really be found in the ways depicted. In the same tradition as a male demographic would find an action/adventure feature (especially starring comic book super hero types) as part of a fantasy world they can escape to, those that are of a female demographic can find comfort in a story that star those that look and act as themselves as they are finding the meaning of the season through joy, faith, and perhaps love. Comparing a special-effect laden action pix and a Christmas themed TV movie title may not necessarily be a fair line-up, but the ideas do exist.

So as the season progresses with such items that can be consumed on any electronic device that sports a viewing screen and can get internet access, The Holidays as they are presently labeled, will still prevail, just like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday, and other days of the week that will all run as late as Super Bowl Sunday, although that part of the media landscape that is for another topic and for another article!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Crown City Theatre presents for its alternative production, Jeff Goode’s THE EIGHT: REINDEER MONOLOGUES, that consists of the troupe of reindeer that speak about how Santa wasn’t very nice–but rather naughty!

Seems that Jolly ol’ St. Nick wasn’t much of a saint. In fact, the ol’ boy may have been involved with some actions that may be true–or not. Was Santa taking indecent liberties with the elves? Does Rudolf have a deep secret that we all should know about? The eight reindeer dish out on what’s going on at the North Pole. There’s Dasher (Neil Unger), the leader of the pack. If there is a scandal, he isn’t talking! Cupid (Michael Mullen) is a bit more fluid over what’s going on. He won’t hesitate to tell you that he’s gay and proud of the fact! Prancer (Michael Marchek) has gone Hollywood starring in a movie featuring his name. (Never mind the fact that the movie itself is only “ok”!) Blitzen (Kimberly Patterson) insists that “no” really means “no”! Comet (Eric Keitel) once ran around with a pack of bad reindeer. Santa saves his from a life of crime and drugs, so he’s backing up the man no matter what! Dancer (Valerie Lynn Brett) was once a dancer, but joined the reindeer team shortly after his dance studio was burned in protest of fellow reindeer dancers. Donner (Jeff Wiyzek) became part of the group in order to not speak about past event called the “Foggy Christmas” episode. Vixen (Megan Cochrane) accuses Santa over sexual harassment, and will indeed press charges!

This play by Jeff Goode was first presented some twenty years ago long when such scandals were coming to light. (Not involving reindeer through!) In today’s domestic society, talks and tales of sexual mishaps have been all over the place! This makes this series of monologues more timely than ever before! It develops through dark humor that becomes deeper as this show progresses. With a running time of just a little over an hour, “The Eight” speaks upon how it’s not all happy and gay (except for Cupid) up in the North Pole as one would assume!

The cast of eight play their roles as expected without being too “over the top”! Donning cloth antlers and a black nose, only one would know they are a set of reindeer that speaks the truth. Sonny Lira and William A. Reilly directs this show that is to the point, and of course, not for the kids! It may be The Holidays, but not everything that counts for the season is meant for the entire family–and rightly so!

THE EIGHT: REINDEER MONOLOGUES, presented by the Crown City Theatre, and performs at the Crown City Theatre space located on the campus of St Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 11031 Camarillo St North Hollywood, until December 23rd. Showtimes are Thursday nights at 8:00 PM, Friday and Saturday nights at 11:00 PM, and Sunday evenings at 7:00 PM. For tickets and for for details, call (818) 605-5685, or online at https://www.CrownCityTheatre.com

This production is running in repertory with CCT’s regular production of The Mousetrap. Visit the CCT’s website for more details on this program.
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The Zephyr Theatre presents the west coast premier of Neil Koenigsberg’s WINK, a comedy-drama of the friendship of two different people from two different backgrounds that hold a common bond.

The setting is Los Angeles-the summer of ’17. David Mingrino is Dario Villanova. He was a one time rising actor appearing in big-time features while winning awards for his craft. That was a few years before. Now he’s down to being on the “C” list. His long time agent Peter King (Adam Cardon) is offering a role in some slasher film that may bring him back into the spotlight. Dario himself has been in mourning over the recent loss of his housekeeper’s nephew as he drowned in his pool. When he isn’t working which has been often, Dario volunteers his time at a place that serves LGBTQ youth. One person he meets is a youth that is named Wink. (Andrik Ochoa). Wink is a young adolescent of mixed latinx decent that came from The Bronx, New York and lives where he can, usually inside of a cardboard box under a freeway overpass. Wink is gender neutral-not a boy or a girl–just Wink. Dario discovers that Wink is artistically talented, and loves 1950’s doo-wop music. This preference of music grants these two with a common bond. He eventually takes Wink under his wing as a friend. Manuel Ortiz (David Mingrino), a social worker at the LGBTQ youth center, sees this friendship as a bit odd, yet genuine. This form of bonding is enough for Dario to promise a major financial contribution to the center. But what is behind this friendship between a fading actor and a young person that isn’t a he nor a she? What will this do to his career? Will Wink become a whole person staying on the edge of being a male and/or a female? And how will Dario’s publicist Valerie Smith (Amy Argye) offer to the awaiting press over Dario’s personal and benefactory choice?

This play written by Neil Koenigsberg is a unique look of a friendship where backgrounds differ, yet strings of commonality keeps them together! Dario and Wink are not father-son types. They appear as a father figure and a young human. This method of a relationship gives this play a storyline that is unique and as noteworthy. The two leads, David Mingrino as Dario Villanova and Andrik Ochoa as Wink, play their roles with sincerity. Adam Cardon as Dario’s agent Peter King isn’t as stereotypical as media would portray an agent of his kind, although he really doesn’t understand his client’s choice of who to bond with! Euriamis Losada as social worker Manuel Ortiz is one that supports the community that are labeled with a string of letters that stand for something involving personalized sexual status, lifestyle, or identity. And Amy Argyle as Valerie Smith is an over-the-top publicist that knows how the Hollywood track works.

The play itself is just as dramatic as it’s comical as it’s heartwarming! It’s not sweet, nor it’s bitter. It’s expressed as a basic case study of a honest and trusting friendship. Michael Allen Angel direct this show as a story full of characters that desire to belong. Some with specific labels, and with one (Wink) who just wants to be Wink!

Special note goes to what’s seen on stage, from Pete Hickok’s set design (Just a few pieces of basic furnishings showing where the characters reside), to Katrina Pagsolingan’s projection creation that shows its backdrop through graphics and animation as cast upon the stage area’s artistically drafted back wall.

WINK is a play that treats those that fall within being LGBTQ with respect through the understanding that humans are humans. Granted, not all domestic setting may understand this fact. However, this point isn’t expressed nor emphasized in any overly fashion. It’s just an actor and a questioning youth getting together through their passion of oldies but goodies! (Ooo-WEEE-oooh!)

WINK, presented by Shanks74 Productions, and performs at The Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Avenue (east of Fairfax and west of La Brea) Los Angeles, until January 13th, ’19. Showtimes are Saturday and Monday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 3:00 PM. Added performances take place on Fridays, December 21st, 28th, and January 11th at 8:00 PM. No performances on December 24th and 31st.

For ticket reservations or for more information, call (323) 960-1055, or via online at http://www.Plays411.com/Wink
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The Santa Monica Playhouse will present their annual NEW YEAR’S EVE MUSICAL REVIEW, the self titled event that will celebrate the changing from the old into the new through music, song, dance, with doses of comedy.

Featured in this production are a selection of tunes and dance numbers that hold an eclectic range, from 1940’s-era jazz, country-rock favorites, Jewish patter songs, and even a romantic balled or two as presented by the Actors’ Repertory Theatre-consisting of Andrea Asnoff, Jacob Cooper, Chris DeCarlo, Tiffany Haile, Adya Mahanty, Evelyn Rudie, Elena Rust, Berkeley Sanjay, and Raeva Vasisht. A number of these performers has been seen in previous shows at the SMP, so it’s a “family reunion” of sorts that welcomes the new calendar year in high style!

And what makes a New Year’s celebration complete is all of the goodies that go along with it! Your evening includes a buffet supper, champagne/sparkling cider, and party favors that will guide everyone in attendance to slide from the old of ’18 into the new of ’19.

The SMP’s NEW YEAR’S EVE MUSICAL REVIEW will have two performances: 6:00 and 9:30 PM. The early show are for those that wish to partake the celebration a few hours before the stoke of twelve, or for those that wish to attend a second outside event. The 9:30 PM presentation will give those the moment to ring in the new year with the entire cast! And both shows are family friendly! Bring the kids of any age to partake in all of the festivities!

The Santa Monica Playhouse is located at 1211 4th Street (at Wilshire Blvd.) Santa Monica. For more information on these shows, call (310) 394-9779 ext 1, or visit the SMP online at http://www.SantaMonicaPlayhouse.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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