THE END OF THE SEASON FOR THE MOVIES FROM A PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW!

For those that were following the previous summer season of theatrical movies, it’s been a great year. Perhaps the winner of them all was The Walt Disney Company. According to the folks at BoxOfficeMojo.com, a website operated by the folks at Amazon that reports upon how movies did box office wise, four out of the five features released since late April of this year–the period where the summer movie season begins, were titles released through Disney. Those titles still in theatrical release as of September 1st in their order of domestic dollar gross: Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King, Toy Story 4, Spider Man: Far From Home, and Aladdin. Although Spider Man: Far From Home was released through Sony/Columbia, the Spider Man character is part of the Marvel Comic Group universe that is owned by The Walt Disney Company. So it appears that the folks at 500 South Buena Vista Street in good ol’ Burbank is the dominate leader!

However, this article isn’t so much about the current summer movie season. It’s in reality, a personal recollection how this writer, better known as “me”, used to commemorate the end of the summer season by going to the movies to say goodbye to those lazy hazy crazy days, and the known fact that for the next nine months (give or take), I would spend much of those weekday hours trapped inside of a school house where I would have to go through the rituals of leaning about reading, writing, and ‘rithmatic! And never mind the fact that I didn’t know what a hickory stick had to do with anything about school days!

Anyhow, here’s the back story. For five years during the period I was enrolled in grade school to the time I would start high school, I made an effort of heading off to a neighboring theater (or actually, neighboring movies theaters as there were more then one located near where I was living at that time), to see a flick that wasn’t airing on TV.

Although I did enjoy going to the movies, I didn’t do it as often as I would have liked to. Perhaps the reasons heading that notion was the fact that I didn’t necessarily have transportation to get to the movie house. I could not drive a car, and I didn’t know the bus routes too well. So I had to rely upon my mom to drive me to the local moving picture house. (One theater was walking distance from my home, but most of the others were not!) Also, my budget was rather scarce. Although I did go on a child’s ticket for the most part, plunking down anywhere from seventy five cents to $1.50 ate a large chunk of my savings, so I had to pick the movie titles I wanted to see wisely. However, all of these times I usually went with somebody else, either it was with a sibling of mine (with their friends) or with my gang of best buds. Nevertheless, I had to pay my own way. And since I wanted to have snacks with my movie, I had to figure how I can surpass the concession stand since a medium sized bucket of popcorn cost anywhere from seventy five cents to as much as $1.75. A cup of soda was at least fifty cents! And those boxes of movie style candy? That would set me back another fifty cents for a box of Milk Duds, Rasinetes, and those ever lovin’ Jujubes that would stick to your teeth if you didn’t watch out!

But since I brought my own snacks along where the theater didn’t seem to care if I did (or at least they never enforced the rule of “no outside food permitted” to me), that notion was well taken care of. However, going to the movies for me was indeed, a really big thing to do!

With this being said, I will reminisce on those five Labor Day weekend years where I conducted my ritual to say good bye to summer with a little help from the folks in Hollywood.

This timeline stretches from the Labor Day weekends 1971 through 1976. All of these movie screenings occurred on Labor Day itself–the first Monday in September. The neighborhood theaters were located in the community of Evanston, Illinois, a north shore suburb of Chicago. Sadly, none of the movie houses I attend back then are still in existence!

In 1971, I, along with an elder brother and his buddies, attended a double feature: Willard and The House That Dripped Blood. Willard starred Bruce Davidson about a social misfit who seeks conform in raising two pet rats, only to discover his revenge through his pets who had since multiplied! The House That Dripped Blood was made by Hammer Films of England and was an anthology of four separate tales taking place in the title home. My brother and his gang chose this entry. Since both were horror films, I was convinced to come along!

The next year, (1972), I attended a triple feature. Earlier that year, United Artists made a deal with the ABC TV network for the rights to air the James Bond films for the next ten years. To commemorate that deal, UA released in a selection of neighborhood theaters, a packaging of the first three Bond films. The titles I saw were Dr. No, Goldfinger, and From Russia With Love–in that order! An elder sister and I attended. We both picked this screening! Out of all of the Labor Day movie screenings in this list, this one was the best of them all! It beat tuning in on the Summer Olympics from Munich that ABC was airing around that time.

In ’73, sticking to the Bond theme, that same sister and I attended Live And Let Die at a neighborhood movie house where on its marque it stated “All seats 75 cents”. From what I recall, the theater was packed! Also to note that in the back of the theatre, a stuffed couch was alined along a rear wall there anyone can sit on that couch as if they were watching the movie in their living room! I recall that the couch itself looked rather shabby. Perhaps it was dragged in from the alleyway into the theater? Who knew? But for 75 cents admission, what did one expect anyway?

The next year (1974), I shifted away from my siblings, and stated to hang with my gang from my junior high school. That year, I attend a neighborhood theater not too far away from where my school was located. The theater itself was once a single screen movie house that just converted itself to a due screen joint. One theater featured first run films while the second one served as a “scratch theater”, showing second run titles or more of the “B” movie variety. That year, my boys and I saw The Groove Tube, a comedy that was a satire of TV shows with take offs of everything from TV commercials to the evening news. It was co-written and directed by Ken Shapiro who was part of the satirical TV series The Great American Dream Machine that aired a few years before on PBS. Although The Groove Tube was a hit-and-miss film, it did clear the path for such future series as NBC’s Saturday Night (Live) that premiered a year later. In fact, one of its early stars, Chevy Chase, made his film debut in this feature.

My gang and I picked out the title to see since we were going to meet the next day for the first day of school, located a few blocks from the theater.

In 1975, I, along with my gang, returned back to the same movie house to see The Great Waldo Pepper, starring Robert Redford as a barnstorming airplane pilot in the 1930’s. That movie was a lot better that the previous year’s Groove Tube. And from what I can recall, the movie that was playing in “cinema one” was Chinatown. That title was a lot better that Waldo Pepper, but it would be many years until I took a glance at that flick at a revival screening sometime in the late 1980s. (Not on the Labor Day weekend though, and it was just by myself!)

In the final year (1976), I had since graduated from junior high school, so my gang broke up to attend their own separate high schools. I would be starting high school the very next day as a fresh (and somewhat fearful) freshman. My elder sister would be starting off her senior year at the same school. So she and I, along with my sis’s BFF Tina who I had took a mild shine to (another story into itself), attended the same movie house where we saw the Bond triple feature a few years before, to see the re-release of the Warner Bros. feature The Exorcist. As one could expect, this movie scarred the hell out of me–no pun intended! My sis and her best bud picked the title, and were “forced” by my mom to take me along! Since this movie house was only a few blocks away from my home, the arrangement was that after the movie, my sis and Tina would go to her house to spend the night and to head directly to the high school the next morning. I would go back to my house to meet them at the school–or something like that! What made this movie attending memorable to me was the fact that they picked the last showing of the evening, around 9:45. So that means that the movie was out by 11:45 that night. Since I was scared s#itless, I had to walk some three blocks home all by myself in the dark!! After the gals left me after the movie, I attempted to walk home alone through the darken streets. I was looking behind my shoulder ever ten seconds, looking for creepy figures that were ready to get to me. I stopped at the mouth of an alleyway before crossing to glance if anything was lurking in the shadows. When I saw a strange figure moving somewhere in the darken alley (either it was an alley cat or just my imagination), I panicked! I then took off running as fast as I could in udder fear! I finally made it home within five minutes. My folks were sound asleep so the place was dark and quiet. I then bolted into my room. Once inside, I turned on my Sony black and white portable TV set to calm my nerves. What came on the set once I turned it on was The Tomorrow Show, where host Tom Synder’s guests were a group of pinball machine fanatics speaking on the art of playing pinball! Although I tried to watch, I was still rattled.

Perhaps the most interesting thing on that movie going junket was the fact that the movie theater featured a selected short subject, one of those corporate sponsored titles, on the subject of glass blowing! It was presented by Corning Glass, and showed how the art of glass blowing was indeed, a unique treasure. As for The Tomorrow Show, I recently did a preservation assignment for The Paley Center for Media providing the center a series of Tomorrow Shows recorded off-the-air for their collection. That pinball machine episode was one of the titles I provided to them. So I did have the chance to see Tom speak with a group of pinball machine players when I wasn’t breathing heavily, my heart pounding, my hair standing on end, while breaking out in a cold sweat. I also viewed the show in color as I originally saw it on a black and white set. All of this took place some forty plus years(!!) long after the fact!

Sadly, that ended my Labor Day movie going. I never repeated that ritual ever again since I was going through a challenging period in my life at that time. (That explanation is for another article!) My movie going was since placed into a sporadic mode, just attending the flicks based on opportunity, such as the time I could have waited in my with my brother and his buds to see Star Wars at the only movie house in the area that was playing that film. I didn’t go then since there was a chance of severe thunderstorms for that evening, and my mom didn’t want me to get caught in a heavy cloudburst while waiting in line. But as time went on, going to the movies wasn’t the big thing as it used to be. Thanks to home video as well as pay cable TV, movies were plentiful, and looked just as good on the small screen as it did on the big. Although there was the emotional appeal in seeing a flick in a theater setting on a big screen in a darken room full of strangers that laughed, cried, yelled, and otherwise reacted to what was going on, sometime the hassle of dragging one’s self to a movie house to take advantage of that emotion wasn’t necessarily worth the time and effect. This was especially true if the movie one was seeing wasn’t that good to begin with! That was OK since all of the movies I would see of late in a theater setting was for free. However, if I was at a flick that wasn’t as good as expected, I would never get my time back! This could be the reason why the movies I look at in a theater to this very day are carefully chosen!

So on this Labor Day weekend, it’s the week to say “so long” to summer, and to say “howdy” to fall. However, living in Los Angeles shows how much fall looks like summer. And those movies currently in theaters that consist of action/adventure titles, animation picks, and other movies that are of the franchise/sequel/tentpole variety, drift off toward drama titles bucking for major awards that interestedly enough, look just as good on the small screen that on the big(ger) one! But as stated, that argument is set for another article!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre Palisades of Pacific Palisades presents Agatha Christie’s THE MOUSETRAP, a mystery “whodunnit” where a group of people staying in a remote country homestead isolated by a heavy snowfall discover that there is a person within their midst may be set for murder!

The backdrop takes place during the winter season at Monkswell Manor, a courtly dwelling converted as a guesthouse run by the Ralstons-Mollie (Grace O’Neill, alternating with Kelsey Koon) and Giles (Carl Meyer-Curtis, alternating with Jake Scozzaro). Mollie hears by way of a report on the wireless (radio) about the murder of Maureen Lyon that occurred nearby and the police manhunt for a suspect wearing an overcoat seen near the scene of the murder. Meanwhile, four expected guests are to arrive at their guesthouse for a stay, consisting of Christopher Wren (Benjamin Orf, alternating with Shane Weikel), Mrs Boyle (Peggy Flood, alternating with Sherry Coon) and Major Metcalf (Michael Bernstein, alternating with Richard Little), and Miss Casewell (Antonia Czinger, alternating with Cheyanne Gustason). A fifth person arrives, Mr. Paravicini. (Mark Fields Davidson, alternating with Samuel Capaldi). He enters the place claiming that his car ran into a snow ditch and is unable to travel further. He isn’t know by the Ralstons, but is allowed to stay. During that evening, a heavy snowfall occurs trapping everyone inside. Another visitor arrives by skis, Detective Sergeant Trotter (Michael Coleman, alternating with Jake Scozzaro), He’s investigating the Lyon murder, but visits based upon the address of Monkswell Manor found written in a notebook discovered near the murder scene. Det. Trotter interviews everyone with a notion that clues may be found. Before long, the phone line is cut. Then the five residents becomes rather restless. Is it because of their entrapment due to the weather? Or perhaps one of these five committed the crime? Did some other person do it? If so, where is the suspect?

This play, considered to be a modern classic and one of many of Agatha Christie’s “greatest hits”, is a stage piece that just gets better throughout the ages. Every character represented hold their own personality and charm, even if that character and charm possess itself with possible evil intentions. Within this production as presented by Theatre Palisades, the ensemble cast works very well with one another under Marc Antonio Pritchett’s stage direction. They supply their performance methods to a theater work where murder and mystery rings true.

What is also impressive is the set design by Theatre Palisades’ resident set and lighting director Sherman Wayne. The set showcases Monkswell Manon as a warm locale, stocked of brick laden walls, traditional candlestick wall light fixtures, and an feel of a classic English tudor setting. It’s not necessarily a spot at The Ritz, but it serves as a guesthouse that is conformable enough for hosting a murder!

No matter how many times one has experienced a murder mystery as THE MOUSETRAP, it is recommended to keep one’s “trap” shut on relieving the killer. That is what make murder mysteries as this one alluring. And this production holds the same appeal. Even if that said appeal is at the expense of whoever is getting bumped off!

THE MOUSETRAP, resented by Theater Palisades, performs at the Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road (off Sunset Blvd.), Pacific Palisades, until October 6th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM.

For more information and for ticket reservations, call (310) 454-1970, or via online at http://www.TheatrePalisades.com

Theatre Palisades can also be found and followed through social media via Facebook and Twitter as “Theatre Palisades”.
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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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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SHOPPING ON SCHOOL TIME

In our last issue, this writer discussed upon how people take advantage of getting their shopping done while at their place of employment. Although that notion isn’t new nor interesting (except to the sources that are selling the goods), the fact of the matter is that folks are grabbing their goods far sooner as they should, while waiting for the last moment in order to sneak in some 11th hour bargains.

To present an idea to how this is all happening, this week signifies the peak of the “back to school” period. This is the time where many folks taking part in an organized method of schooling are becoming settled into a traditional practice of education. Generally speaking, the ol’ school season has started, already started, or is about to start. Take your pick!

First, let’s get the air cleared up a bit. This writer is referring about traditional school programs where those from kids still in their signal digits of age to those that are in their 20’s and beyond, will be attending a physical and traditional school system where the kids and/or adults will be sitting inside of a classroom (or equivalent) for a scheduled period of time to hear about a specific skill or trade as a professional or just to learn about the stuff one should know about while living in this domestic domain. Anyone that is enrolled in a home school based system or will be taking courses online won’t really count here, but can apply through the many circumstances.

Retailers have been taking heart on jumping the gun for these back to school sales, first announced in late June. Although these sales were primarily focused on parents or caretakers of kids entering elementary school, high school, or college, these retailers were harking away in what would be suitable, if not ideal, for these younger students to have while they are getting their educational aspects in gear. And these sales were not on the basic items such as writing instruments, paper, notebooks and the like, but everything from electronics, furnishings for dorms, clothing, and other items that these retailers would see fit for a back to school-type offer.

However, it appears that many of the goods that were being plugged tended to focus upon a specific demographic, both as to the shopper and for items for the shoppee. That demographic tended to be of the female variety where said goods would be more of an interest to women that are the parent/caretaker of the student, or for the student herself.

The biggest retailer of them all that primarily exists (for the most part) in cyberspace is Amazon. And their Amazon Prime service has stated that their “average” Prime subscriber tends to be middle aged women that are of a parental status. And a lot of what was sold from Amazon’s “Prime Day(s)” tend to be Amazon-based electronics, from Kindle book readers to Alexia devices. And a good chunk of these items will be used by those students aged 12 and up for their use for school or used within dorm spaces. Those uses are of that prime “Gen Y” generation born after 1995. This is the generation that was wired since birth, thanks to their parent/caretaker of the said kid, mostly from a “Millennium” (Born 1980-1995) or perhaps a “Gen Xer” (Born 1965-79) parent that were of the first generations to be exposed to high tech, be it in school and on their jobs. It’s usually traditional where a parent of a child pass on those traditions to their kids, assuming that their kids are will accept those traditions.

The same goes for the other goods toted as a back-to-school item, such as clothing and dorm goods. Much of what this writer has seen appear to be focused on girls and on young(er) women. The clothing choices are rather obvious. The dorm stuff tends to be more of the “feather-your-nest” variety, something that hold a bigger appeal to a young woman that a young man. Granted, perhaps a guy heading off to a far off campus would be willing to add some touches to his living space. However, many a guy would be willing to live on what’s offered or available at their living space, or to pick whatever is handy for the moment!

On a side note, when yours truly was in college not so long before, the “hottest” item to use in a dorm dwelling was those stackable milk crates used by dairies to haul their milk products from store to store on their trucks. The milk crates were made of sturdy plastic vinyl, and were designed to stack in rows using an interlock grid on its topside edges. Just about anyone who was savvy enough would use these crates as shelving, for makeshift furniture, or for placing heavy objects on the crates as support. The crates were so much in demand, many dairies and retailers would be forced to lock them away out of sight. Stacking them up in the open along a back wall alley space behind a supermarket would no longer cut it! Otherwise, the crates would wind up as stolen!

Yours truly still has a collection of milk crates that were once used for the above noted applications, still decked out in bright or subtle colors with the names of the dairies for where they came from. Some of the dairies labeled are no longer in business, but their crates still remain!

But whatever the case, the goods have been purchased, are being purchased, or will be purchased. The tradition school season will be around until early next summer, so one’s goods must last! That is, until the next year when the cycle (and another set of Amazon Prime days) will continue. Shop on!!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

No reviews this issue. Stay tuned for the next installment of Accessibly Live Off-Line for more reviews! See you then!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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#AccessiblyLiveOffLine

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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!

SHOPPING ON COMPANY TIME

It’s been no real surprise to discover that folks that still work in traditional office spaces where the technology and the systems that go with it all belonging to somebody else i.e the employer, people that use office based computing systems and its access to the ‘net have been using such same sources for personal business and consumption.

Ever since the 1990’s when offices and other business that maintain office space started to install computing systems, either connected to an inter-office server or those that were able to get online to that place called cyberspace, employees that use such devices to get their job done for the source that gives them their paychecks have been using these same machines for business that has no connection to work related applications. These people were first using word processing programs (and its printers) to type letters for their own use, later moving toward using company e-mail systems to type messages addressed to family, friends, and others that otherwise hold no business with the company, and to get access on the ‘net to surf on sites that are far removed from what they are suppose to do between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM–give or take an hour or two.

This was done because these companies would use computing systems that were far better than what the employee had at their dwelling place–assuming they actually did have a computer machine, or if they had internet access. After the turn of the 21st century, high(er) speed internet became the norm for these firms where the employee would otherwise just have a dial-up service that was very slow, or none at all! This is where folks would take advantage in doing on-line stuff, ranging from shopping, visiting websites that were not for business reasons, or other notions that they though they could get away with while getting paid!

Many business started to use security systems that would allow the company to track every user of their computing systems, meaning that a log would be created either from a physical company server or one that exists in a “cloud”, that shows who was, let’s say, surfing ESPN.com or People.com on a given day, time of day, and for how long. Ditto for emails, tracking every email coming and going no matter from who or for what. So for many, the jig was up! No more messing around on the company’s systems on company time. Their boss(es) can find out, and give the unauthorized user a warning, or in many cases, threaten to can them! (Many of them actually did!!)

When smartphones became the rage from being a novelty to becoming a way of life, people working in office spaces that were company owned and/or operated were now able to use their phones to do what they should be normally doing while still on the clock. This time, the company would not gain access to what these people on “slack time” did while on their phones.

Recently, the IT security firm Mimecast conducted a research report where it asked those on how often they conducted cyber business for themselves while on company time. The report noted that some 69% of those stated that they use devices provided by their employers to do non-work stuff, while one third (33%) check and send personal messages via email, either through traditional email services such as Gmail, Yahoo.com, or the source that’s been there since the beginning, AOL. Many of these folks even do their shopping online through the many portals that exist out there, from sites via Esty.com, or perhaps from the “biggie”, Amazon.

In this day and age, more folks are working outside of traditional office spaces that are anything but Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. They work where they can, when they can, and how they can. Just as long as the job can be completed, time and space isn’t the issue. So the joy of watching cat antics videos on YouTube or watching porn on PornHub when they should be typing up the Figbee report doesn’t matter too much. The Figbee report will get eventually done. It may not be completed while sitting in a stuffy and bland office space on a weekday during daylight hours, but it will be completed. Then again, if one really desires to watch a pussy in action on a streaming site is their own business! ‘Nuff said!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

The Hudson Theatre Mainstage presents the world premier of Grafton Doyle’s DOPE QUEENS, a drama about three lost souls living in a city changing under them, and how they attempt to redeem themselves through their trades and personal lifestyles.

The setting is San Francisco, a city that is undergoing a major adjustment. High tech is taking over in terms of reforming communities as high class and far from reach except for one lone holdout: The Tenderloin district where the down and out still dwell. Living in a seedy single room occupancy hotel space on Polk Street are Blake (Michael Antosy) and Goldie (Donzell Lewis). Blake is a drug addict that’s attempting to recover from his vices. Goldie serves as his lover as she is a transgender woman who hustles the streets for financial support. Both were just released from a medium security state prison serving under protective custody. Goldie brings in another T-girl hustler that she knew from her stint in prison: Angel (Malaya), an albino skinned working girl. These two serve as a slanted love triangle of sorts as they are just getting themselves out from the fix they got themselves into. Based on their lifestyles and their place in society, they are always looking over their shoulders not knowing what to expect from each other, if not out for themselves.

This drama, written and directed by Grafton Doyle, was inspired from actual people and episodes that take place in San Francisco’s misforgotten spot of the urban landscape, populated by those of transgender status, working class people of color, those that dwell within the alleyways, and those that hustle the same streets for a hard earned buck–no matter how! In this play, that dark side of the city carries through. The players that appear in this production is Michael Antosy as Blake, serving as the pretty boy that did himself wrong but could be willing to get himself off his knees and on his feet. Donzell Lewis is the T-girl of color that holds enough sass to keep her sprits in check, if not out blowing a “job” to a client of hers. Malaya (single name) as Angel is the albino T-girl that serves as the “third wheel” toward Blake and Goldie’s jagged relationship. She isn’t as spicy nor sassy as Goldie, but she knows what she wants, and the time spend behind bars gave her the smarts to get her desires. These elements bring this play as one that is hard hitting and won’t take any form of “no” as an answer!

And to set the scene for the trio is the living space where these two/three call “home”. Tom Buderwitz’s scenic design shows their SRO hotel room as one consisting of a few pieces of furnishings scattered about consisting of a bed, a chest of drawers, with two lounge chairs surrounded around a table top radio. These furnishings are placed within a room where the carpet is dirty and worn, the walls just as dingy and shabby, with a lone sink affixed to a wall space to provide any method of a clean up job–something that is within reach of this group, but never attempted nor kept figuratively speaking!

In addition to the cast, the voice of Rob Callaway is featured as a DJ of a local radio station playing 1950s/1960’s-era rock ‘n roll–the type of music that serves as a theme this play presents.

In spite of the characters and placement these souls lie, DOPE QUEENS is a very well conceived piece of stage work. The dialogue is hard hitting, its characters are real, and the city it all takes place in are for those that either have everything, or for those that must find that everything someplace else! Before long, the historic Tenderloin district will have those living in the shadows pushed out while the dot com-ers will take over thanks to their money, power, and fame! (Not necessarily in that order!) This play is indeed worth its good and hard look!

DOPE QUEENS, presented by Tommorowland Productions & Pop Up Theatre, performs at The Hudson Mainstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. (off Wilcox), Hollywood, until September 22nd. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 3:00 PM. For ticket reservations or for more information, call (323) 960-7738, or via online at http://www.DopeQueensPlay.com
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GOOD BOYS (Universal) features Jacob Tremblay, Keith Williams, and Brady Noon as Max, Lucas, and Thor, a trio of middle school-aged boys living in a suburban bedroom community. These guys call themselves “The Bean Bag Boys” as they do nearly everything as a group. As kids of the “tweener” generation, they face the usual challenges that boys of their ilk tend to brush up to, from peer pressure, encountering bullies, and of course, sex! Their misadventures begin when one of the girls that they know will be hosting a house party where all of the popular kids will be attending. Rumor has it that this party will be one of a “kissing” nature. If this is the case, they better brush up on their kissing abilities! So in order to get their lessons in check, they decide to spy on a neighbor where two teen girls live, Hanna and Lily. (Molly Gordon and Midori Francis). So Max borrows (without his permission, ‘natch), his dad’s remote controlled flying drone that has a video camera attached. When Molly has her boyfriend over and when they start making out, all they would do is to fly the drone over the kissing couple and image capture in what they are doing! However, the two girls discover the drone, grab it, and place the device up for ransom. This little episode expands to more dilemmas for the Bean Bag Gang, getting in (and out) of one scrap into another!

This movie plays out as a sitcom as seen on the kidvid video portals Nickelodeon and The Disney Channel. However, this flick is more of a raunchy version of a show catering to the tweener market–the demographic better known as “Gen Z”, where hand held technology was always around since the world began. (Their world, anyway!)

Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky’s screenplay covers all the bases when it comes to post-modern adolescence antics. However, unlike the shows seen on Nick or Disney, there are plenty of raunchy scenes depicted. These kids cuss like sailors, they get access to sex toys (never mind the fact that they don’t know what to do with them), and will soon discover alcohol! (As to drugs? They are kind of on the fence for those yet!) Some of the gags depicted in this feature are more of the slapstick variety, and some of the one-liners told hold some wit! (As spoken from a kid, anyway!)

Because the cast of players are not necessarily big name stars (many appeared in TV fodder more than anything else), what drives this movie to its appeal are the comical episodes that move from one antic to the next. It somewhat evolves in a ADHD fashion. This movement is very well noted for a feature where its protagonists are a bunch of ragtag eleven year olds!

Directed by Gene Stupnitsky, GOOD BOYS is a refreshing departure to all of those summertime movies that has been playing since late April. This time, it doesn’t feature anything of a tentpole nature. There are no explosions, no gunfire, and nobody is running around in a super hero costume. However, there is a scene where one of the boys blows chunks! It’s depicted here for comic relief.

As expected, GOOD BOYS is rated “R” for the above noted idiosyncrasies. Now playing at the usual mix of multiplexes nationwide.
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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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!

SOCIAL MEDIA AND DATA AIN’T HUMAN!

It’s been less than twenty years since the concept of what’s known as “social media” has made an impact in this domestic society as we all know it. When cyberspace was starting to emerge from an amusing novelty to the way of life it has since become, the concept of letting folks express themselves has changed from letting people know that you are out there just to say “hello”, to using the tools that exist to do everything from selling goods to seeking a way to gain “fame” along with the fortune that tends to follow the fame or vice versa. Some folks spend many of their waking hours posting their pics through Instagram, writing sort(er) commentary through Twitter, streaming video (live or transcribed) through Facebook, YouTube, and other forms of streaming, and other methods too numerous to mention.

Within those last twenty or so years i.e. around the turn of the 21st Century, many of the companies that were introducing those methods has grown to become giants, nearly to a point where they are expanding to become almost sovereign nations! Facebook is getting into cyber currency, while Amazon is attempting to control what you can buy, how to use what you can buy, and other commands through robotic devices that you can speak to!

And as the players in social media intentions are getting bigger and more powerful, so are their applications. (And for the record, those companies are Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google, better known as FAANG!) Facebook didn’t create the book on social media, but they sure modified it! Apple, the one-time follower in the computer world and inventor of the ever lovin’ smartphone, is getting into the game. (A bit late, but joining the party nevertheless!) Amazon is expanding into more cyber stuff rather than just selling goods one needs or not. Netflix is holding on in providing TV show-esque program content via streaming (and never mind the fact that Netflix will no longer provide such fan favorites as The Office and Friends) and Google knows that you will be reaching out to them when you want to find something or another.

These “big five” are out there to use one element extracted from their users and abusers. It’s that thing known as “data”. This data is used to discover who is using what, how that what is being used, how much one is spending (or not) in that what, and other notions that is only known to the collectors of data, using robotic means to gather those goods for purposes that are a bit questionable as it stands.

And rightly so! A recent study and survey conducted Ogury, a marketing firm that collects data through electronic devices using robot means, stated in a report entitled The Reality Report: Consumer Attitudes Towards Mobile Marketing 2019, noted that 92% of those polled worldwide (287,000 to be exact) said that these consumers still don’t understand how their data is being used. Every time somebody uses any application, from the millions of phone apps that exist out there, to the notices one posts through said social media, or what you command your robot device to do for/with/against you, some source is collecting that data however the consumer may know of it or not.

Those elements, among many others, is one of the reasons why social media still exists. And sadly, it’s very hard to escape those notions. The only method to become data collection free is to simply get “off the grid”. That is, disconnect your electronic device from any internet connection, get off of one’s phone, (or at least switch to a classic style flip-phone), and communicate with others through humanistic methods, such as taking to them via face-to-face. (Not through “facetime”!) One can even still write letters sent via the postal service! It still works, or it did the last time this writer took of the advantage!

But asking those to get back to where they came from cyberspace-wise will be a tough, if not an impossible climb for those to even consider! It’s very much asking somebody to forgo electricity or even indoor plumbing! Just remember that artificial intelligence is using you to collect the details of what it wants from you, whenever you may know of it or not! This isn’t a friendly warning. It’s just a way of post-modern life!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

City Garage Theatre of Santa Monica presents EURYDICE, Sarah Ruhl’s play extracted from the Greek Mythology of Orpheus, this time witnessing her journey from her own point of view.

Lindsay Plake is Eurydice, a young woman who marries musician and poet Orpheus (Johanny Paulino). During the wedding celebration, she is set astray by a mysterious man (Giffard Irvine) who tells her that he holds a letter written by her father (Bo Roberts) embedded with his well wishes for her if he was still within the human world but dwells in the underworld. She, too, enters the underworld now separated from Orpheus where the communication is spoken by the stones enchanted by those from the underworld: Big Stone (Marissa Dubois), Little Stone (Emily Asher Kellis), and Loud Stone (Brandon Reed). It is among these three that guides Eyrydice through her voyage among the underworld to her father where she seek comfort, yet possesses no recollection to who he is.

This new(er) twist to the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice is viewed upon through the standpoint of the title character as portrayed by Lindsay Plake. The story is set within the modern age of now, yet isn’t committed to a specific time point. This means that its time and space resembles a contemporary setting. The tale holds an emotion of poetic aspects, yet is isn’t advised through prose nor verse. The senses this play presents points toward surreal moments from the start with Orpheus’ promising the world to his new bride, only to have her taken to the underworld where those deceased dwell. The balance of characters fall toward Eurydice and her father where she seeks his tranquility.

The staging of this production is of minimal values while holding maximum potential. Charles Duncombe’s set and lighting design consists of a few spaces that blends a number of vertical and horizontal metallic railings that could be akin to a construction site or even an “erector set”, fashioned through various stages of mood lighting arranged through each episode of Eurydice. The same stands for the contemporary style costuming by Josephine Poinsot and Geraldine Fuentes, showing off that the era depicted could be c. early 21st century, but its setting is of the near and far after. Anthony Sannazzaro’s video design shows off the various points in the space of Eurydice, from the starting drift with Orpheus to her concluding moments in the underworld with those that are the stones.

Directed by Frederique Michel, EURYDICE is a single act stage tale that expresses a story through a lightening moment to a universe of death and redemption. Although this play is billed as one that is comic, tragic, silly, and poetic, the comedy and/or silliness is very nominal, if it exists at all! It’s more of a poetic crusade that does conclude with a level of a fallen spirit.

EURYDICE, presented and performed at City Garage Theatre, 2525 Michigan Avenue (off Olympic), Building T1, Santa Monica, until September 15th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 3:00 PM. Special “talk back” session with the cast, crew, and director will take place post-production on Sunday, September 1st.

For ticket reservations or for more information, call (310) 453-9939, or through the theater’s website at http://www.CityGarage.org
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The Odyssey Theatre of Los Angeles presents FEFU AND HER FRIENDS, Maria Irene Fornes’ play about a gathering of eight women who congregate at the home of a progressive woman to participate on a common purpose, only to have their meeting lead toward other matters.

The setting is the rural New England based estate of Fefu (Tiffany Cole) c. 1935. She is an eccentric woman of means who hosts a gathering of seven other women for the motive of rehearsing a presentation to raise funds toward an education program they are connected with. Those that are present consists of Cindy (Tanya Garlow), Christina (Dominique Corona), Julia (Sandy Durante), Emma (Sydney A. Mason), Paula (Cynthia Yelle), Sue (Alexis Santiago), and Cecilia (Jennifer Lee Laks). Each one carries a personality of their own. Julia is bound in a wheelchair from a hunting accident taking place the previous year. Fefu as host, tends to take control over things as she is fully aware that she lives in a “man’s world”, and that control gives her the confidence that she could succeed in the society she exists in. (She can even shoot a rifle with ease as she does in a game she plays with her spouse with her as the shooter and he as her “target!”) Later that evening, the other woman are in different parts of her home where they discuss things that are more of a personal nature that brings out issues that become rather deep. This brings the group to a point where these bone of contentions are unintentionally brought to the surface, including a reference of a romantic affair that once existed.

This play written by Maria Irene Fornes was first presented in 1977 yet takes place in the middle 1930’s where the sense of feminism although existing at the time, was very limited in scope by only to those that practiced this form of idealism. (By the 1970’s, the notion of a “Woman’s Lib” movement because more mainstream.) Fefu takes dominance by way of her robust and eclectic protocols, acting not as a mother figure, but as a friendly yet firm boss! The other seven holds that same influence thanks to Fefu bring in charge. This influence may or may not have stilted their lives a bit. Then again, if Fefu was a woman leading a so-called “woman’s club” or serving as a leader to a ladies auxiliary-type grouping, would this gathering consists of rehearsing silly skits and signing parodies to popular musical numbers while dishing out the usual stands of gossip?

What makes this play unique in its staging is where the audience members are lead in small groups to various “rooms” found within Fefu’s country estate. Its first act takes place in the living room where the woman meet and get acquainted with their surroundings. Later, each room has one or two characters discussing those various personal issues, suggesting that these mini sagas are taking place all at the same moment. In the second act, they are back in the living room where the real truths become exposed either for the better or for the sake of acknowledging the hard truths. Denise Blasor directs this show where the group gathering is justified dramatic wise by the more intimate episodes that take place in isolated rooms such as a parlor, a bedroom, a garden area, and the kitchen space.

With such period pieces comes the sets and costuming. Frederica Nascimento’s set design is at a minimum with a few scattered furnishings placed here and there within the living room and the various other rooms. Josh Lacour and Denise Blasor’s costuming is of the period that was donned by those that made it through the after affects of The Great Depression.

Perhaps the closest way to compare FEFU AND HER FRIENDS is to take a look at the 1939 MGM feature film release The Women. That movie featured a gathering of women within the same space. However, the latter title was leaning toward comedy and wasn’t as “racy” as the former! (Standards and Practices a.k.a. “the censors” wouldn’t allow such raciness!) However, it’s a interesting look to examine upon how the woman of their worlds would become into their own states of being. To refer to a line sung for a TV commercial jingle advertising woman’s cigarettes, “You’ve Come A Long Way Baby”. That so-called “long way” may have progressed since then, but it’s still a long way for those ideas to show some progress!

FEFU AND HER FRIENDS, presented and performs at The Odyssey Theatre, 2055 South Sepulveda Blvd. (between Olympic and Santa Monica Blvds.) Los Angeles, until September 29th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. Special presentations take place on Wednesday, September 11th and 25th, and Thursday, September 19th at 8:00 PM.

For ticket reservations or for more information, call (310) 477-2055 ext. 2, or online at http://www.OdysseyTheatre.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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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!

IT’S MY LIFE!! (Part two)

In the previous issue, this writer wrote about a tale between a woman’s attempt to move all of her goods from one place to another, and the person who was there to assist in the best way one can.

The story, recapping as brief as possible, has Gloria (not her real name, ‘natch) attempting to pack and move the things she had kept for some twenty years, only to cram as much of that stuff in a place that is only a fraction of size and space. The person making that said attempt to complete this feat is with the aid of an associate (“me”) doing his damnedest in making the impossible possible, along with the trails and tribulations that goes along with it all!

The name of this tale (as listed above) comes from the answer this humble writer received from Gloria when asked why she is packing about five boxes worth of clothing that may never be worn ever again! The answer received to a question she may have perceived as “stupid” was “Because those clothes are my life!”

So let’s pick up from where we left off, shall we…?

So here I am. I’m packing a wardrobe of clothing that may never see the light of day again for somebody who insists that these cherished garments stay in their place. Many of these pieces appear (to this writer anyway) as something one can find in any discount department store, such as a Sears or even a Target or Walmart-type outlet. A few pieces look rather fancy with many of those items holding some kind of backstory to them. This writer even packed the actual outfit Gloria wore when attending the wedding of the couple that once owned the condo from some some twenty years before! I looked at the photos I took during that wedding day (taken on 35mm film), and those photos do feature Gloria donning that same outfit when she was twenty years younger and about forty pounds lighter!! I also saw a few t-shirts with the likeness of the cartoon characters found on brands of General Mills cereals! (Lucky the Leprechaun, Sonny the Cookoo Bird, etc.) I learned that those t-shirts were part of a premium offer that General Mills featured in the middle 1990’s, but this is all besides the point!

After a few hours, we were able to pack a total of five boxes of “good” clothes and four trash bags full of unwanted duds. The good clothing were all set for storage while the bags of cast-off clothes were set for the local Goodwill.

We already knew about the bags, but what was the fate of the boxes? Granted, Gloria’s place is a small room, and the lady renting out the room didn’t have any storage space to speak of. Unless Gloria was willing to rent (and pay) for a storage space to place the rather large boxes, she was stuck!

It turned out that the brother who served as the executor of the estate did have some space in the family garage, and would be willing to keep the boxes on Gloria’s behalf. However, their garage was one of a typical garage found among the older homes located in the San Fernando Valley area. The garage itself was rather dusty, full of cobwebs, along with the fact that there was enough junk kept inside to keep the garage packed as it existed! However, the brother being the good sport as he was, was willing to keep the boxes in place until Gloria would claim them back, or when the brother’s patience ran out–whatever came first!

Gloria’s collection of furnishings were limed to a few pieces: A bed’s headboard, a pair of end tables, a bureau, a student desk, along with a TV cart on wheels. These few items would be moved next. Lucky for her, she has a method of getting the furnishings from her old place to her new. Gloria asked (nagged?) a co-worker of hers who has a big deal Ford F-150 pick-up truck that were able and willing to haul the bedroom set off to her new place. Gloria did purchase a new mattress and box spring set from a nearby dealer. That retailer did deliver the set to her new location, so it was waiting for the rest of the goods to arrive in order to complete Gloria’s room the way she desired.

As this essay is being written, Gloria as yet to complete her move! It’s been around six weeks from the time she started to pack her goods (when the woman died) to the moment where this story ends for now. And the rest of her “good” clothes has yet to be moved from one spot to another! Perhaps the reason for this delay would speak for the fact that these outfits are part of Gloria’s life. Even if that life is shifting gears from an unkept and rather messy place to a newer space that is prim and proper as one can get away with. But once everything falls into place, Gloria will have a spot of her own, complete with the furnishings and the wardrobe that is indeed, part of her life!

And I helped! (Sort of…!)
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Performing at Hollywood’s New American Theatre is BAD HAMLET, a unique and interactive look upon a four hundred plus year old work set for the new post-modern millennium.

The work itself is Hamlet, Willie Shakespeare’s stage piece about the king of Denmark, back in the day when it was an emerging nation rather than a country linked to contemporary furniture design. Here, through the use of shorter episodes told with duo senerios, monologues, and various interpretations with the aid of multimedia applications bearing a significance, the tale (or myth) of Hamlet is exposed. Granted, Hamlet himself, along with his entourage, never really existed by personalty. (If they did, they are all dead, far forgotten, and their likeness long fell into the public domain!)

But this single-act new work, based upon the legend of the bad quarto, a supposedly early draft of this play was taken upon and recreated by one of the original cast members when this play was first presented back around the turn of the 17th century, is finally exposed long after its fact!

This presentation, devised by the ensemble cast and directed by Rob Adler, is a program that isn’t linear in any traditional sense. It’s just a reemergence to a classic piece of theater and set within an interpretation upon the ins and out of the characters, settings, and the outcome through the reasons behind how things got rotten in the name nation. In short, it’s another method of making The Bard’s work (or those credited to The Bard anyway) a whole lot less painful–assuming it’s indeed painful to begin with!

The ensemble cast that appear in this program features as listed in their alphabetical order, Zack Davidson, Casey Dunn, Marguerite French, Julian Juaquin, Akshaya Pattanayak, Elisa Rosin, Chris Schultz, Hanna Trujillo, and Lauren Vitz.

Billed as “bootlegged” by William Shakespeare and the people of Los Angeles, BAD HAMLET isn’t “bad” in any way. In fact, it’s quite appealing! It won’t be a spoiler alert to inform those that has yet to experience this new method of stage storytelling that everyone meets their match since the original source as extracted is some multiple centuries old, but that is what occurs. Call this piece as Shakespeare for a new generation.

BAD HAMLET, presented by Coin & Ghost, performs at The New American Theatre, 1312 North Wilton Place (south of Sunset Blvd.). Hollywood, until August 24th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM.

For more information and for ticket reservations, visit online at
http://www.CoinAndGhost.org/BadHamlet
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FAST & FURIOUS PRESENTS: HOBBS & SHAW (Universal) stars Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham as the title characters, Luke Hobbs (Johnson) and Deckard Shaw (Statham). Both are based on opposite side of the world: Hobbs is in L.A., while Shaw is in London, each doing the same thing–making sure that they get their way no matter what! Hobbs lives his life near the beaches of Venice while driving his motorcycles and his tricked out Dodge M37 pick up truck. Shaw dwells among the posh side of London while using a 2018 McLaren 720S as his set of wheels. Both of these characters worked with each other before, but never really got along with the notion of vowing to never be in the same presence again! That is, until they both hear about a case where Brixton Lorr (Idris Elba) described as a cyber-genetically enhanced anarchist, get hold of a deadly bio virus code named “The Snowflake” so deadly, one contact will turn any person into a pile of goo! Meanwhile, a tough M16 agent Hattie Shaw (Vanessa Kirby) who also happens to be Deckard’s sibling, is also on the case. However, her team was wiped out in an ambush. She was its sole surviver, but was injected with The Snowflake. As time is running out for her, she seeks a cure while Luke and Deckard are out to find the source for The Snowflake, traveling through the ends of the earth by and with all means necessary!

This feature is the latest entry to Universal’s biggest franchise that they own outright, part of the multiple Fast & Furious line of action/adventure pics. Although it’s really not part of the F&F franchise per se (it could be dubbed as Fast & Furious 7 1/2), it does feature two characters that were connected to the F&F team. Johnson, who first appeared in the fifth entry while Shaw made his mark in the sixth. (Furious Five and Fast & Furious 6, just in case anyone is keeping track!)

As with the other entries of the F&F connection, there are plenty of the expected scenes that make this series just what it is, complete with explosions, gunfire, lots of snappy if not chiched dialogue (for an action/adventure pic), as well as a few peeks of some “quiet” moments before the for noted gunfire and explosions takes its toll! Chris Morgan’s story with screenplay by Morgan and Drew Pierce, doesn’t hold anything new and unique expected for the said action. In fact, it’s quite reminiscent to a shoot-em-up from the 1980’s and 1990’s when such stars as Steven Seagal and Arnold Schwarzenegger were at their peak. This time around, the special effects that are part of this movie is a whole lot better then they were as seen by the late 20th century-era film making school of comic book-style adventure movies!

There are other lead characters featured as well, such as Cliff Curtis as Jonah Hobbs (Luke’s bro), Helen Mirren as Queenie Shaw (Deckard’s sis), Eiza González as Madam M, a mysterious weapons dealer and “fixer”, and Eddie Marsan as Professor Andreiko, the title genius who knows of a cure for The Snowflake. But who and what they contain doesn’t really matter here! Just as long as the action is good and plenty thanks to film director David Leitch take, it’s all about what comes out in the end.

Based on how this movie does box office wise, one can bet that Universal, perhaps the only major movie studio that can catch up to their crosstown rivals, The Walt Disney Company in terms of creating money making features–the real reason why movies are made in the first place, will churn out more of this kind in the many years ahead! Just as long as the F&F series keeps its gas tanks full, this won’t be the last time one is gonna see the likes of Hobbs ‘n Shaw!

This movie is rated “R” for cussing and violence. Now appearing at all of the multiplexes nationwide.
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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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!

IT’S MY LIFE!! (Part one)

A few weeks ago, this writer was assisting a personal associate (i.e. “friend”) move from a condo unit she once rented to a new location. The person in question is someone I will call “Gloria”, not so much to protect her privacy, but to product myself over things I will express within this column that may not be of her liking! More on that notion later!

Before I begin in this long episode, allow me to present a big of a backstory to this actual tale of truth! In 1999, Gloria rented out a condo unit located in a section of the San Fernando Valley that was pleasant for what it was, although the location was slightly rough around the edges. The owner of this condo lived in this unit until he got married.

Since he was moving with his new spouse at her family home located not too far away, he wasn’t going to take occupancy. So Gloria, a good friend of the now married man, decided to move in paying him a monthly fee as rent. That was all good since Gloria would have a place to live while the man had somebody staying at this unit.

This began to change slightly when the man died a few years later. The widow received the unit as the surviving spouse. This means that Gloria would now be paying rent to the widow. That was all fine for what that was.

A few years later, the widow was developing a case of an early stage of Alzheimer’s. This illness became worse over the years, enough to where the widow was not longer to function on her own behalf. Her elder bother became the executor of her and her late husband’s estate. Now Gloria was playing rent to the brother. Again, Gloria was still able to stay at the unit as always, now calling to a third party.

In May of this year, the widow became ill and thus, died shortly after. Now the brother as executor of the estate, decided that he no longer want to keep the condo, and hired his son, a real estate agent, to sell the unit. This would mean that Gloria is now forced to move after living in the same unit for some twenty years.

There are a few traits this writer will state about Gloria. First of all, she is in her 60’s, nearly pushing 70. She was never married meaning there is no spouse and kids for her to speak for. She lived in the condo with a roommate who has her own issues that this writer won’t get into! (The roommate after all, isn’t so much part of this story!) She is one of those people that isn’t very tech savvy, either. She still uses a flip phone (c.2005), and doesn’t seem to be interested in catching up with the world (so to speak) when it comes to living with anything internet based–a notion that is today’s domestic society is now a way of life rather than the novelty as it once was. She is also a bit aggressive, sill caring on the traits from where she came from-a community in western Long Island, New York. In fact, she still speaks with a “Niew Yauk” accent that can be charming for what it is–unless somebody pisses her off over something where she will make sure you won’t forget about it! Perhaps this is the reason why this writer can express about her and her situation too much in detail since it would be my ass on the line. Besides, she won’t bother to read this article anyway since she won’t be able to find it sitting in cyberspace! If you asked her to do a search about something by “Googling” it, she will give you a blank stare asking just what the hell you are talking about!

Anyway, let’s get back to the story! I will state that among the many other traits Gloria possesses, keeping a neat house isn’t one of her better qualities! In fact, she is an utter slob! Her place is a rip roaring mess with items scattered about ranging from junk mail, clothing, dishes that hasn’t been put away let alone cleaned out, and other notions that could would describe her home as “The bomb hitting the Goodwill!”

Gloria is a pack rat–a term based on her own self description, where she feels that she has to keep everything, no matter what it is or how she keeps it! So if one can picture a place that has been occupied by a so-called pack rat for a twenty year time span, one can imagine that her unit is one big dump! And to make matters worse, she has to get everything contained in her former dwelling place out of there–or else!

And this is where yours truly fits into this episode.

To make a very long(er) story short, she asked me if I would be to help out in getting her placed ready for her move. I said I would do what I can, but she would have to hold more responsibility in getting her stuff together, such as deciding what she would want to take to her new place. That new location consists of a bedroom that is 2/3rds the size of her former bedroom located in a smaller apartment unit occupied by a 60+ single woman in Burbank

Oh yes, the room she is renting is located within a classic style courtyard apartment complex that was once commonplace found within the Los Angeles region built between 1910 and 1940. The actual apartment Gloria will be living in is around 900 or so square feet. The place itself is so neat, this woman living there has every little thing in its own spot, from little knickknacks to photos among photos of her family and friends set in their frames either affixed to the wall or as stand alones sitting on almost every counter space. In other words, it’s a total opposite to Gloria’s former unit.

So Gloria wanted to be start off by packing her collection of clothing into boxes that were around four feet high and around two feet in depth. My assessment was for Gloria to take out every item found in her clothes closet, inspecting the piece to decide if she wanted the thing. If she didn’t want the item, I would place in itself of a plastic garbage bag for her to donate to a local Goodwill. If the item was going to be kept, I would fold the piece of clothing and place it inside of the box. Once the bag and/or box was filled. the bag/box would be sealed and placed off to the side, ready for another box/bag to stuff.

Most, if not all of her clothing, was part of Gloria’s collection for over twenty five years. Over time, Gloria’s figure ballooned slightly(?), meaning that that cute little something or another she got in 2000 didn’t necessarily fit her anymore, let alone looked good for what it was. But Gloria was hell bent in keeping the item, and would do so by having me place it inside of the box and/or bag until it was full, continuing the cycle.

I somewhat wondered why she was keeping clothing that would be stored away with limited to no access to the item, not even knowing if she would ever ware the piece again. So taking a risk, I did ask Gloria saying something to the effect of “If you are packing these clothes away not even knowing if you are going to ware them again, what is the point of keeping it in the first place?”

Gloria gave me a reaction as if I said something that was insulting in nature. She replied in a rather hostile way, “Because those clothes are my life!”

With that sentence being uttered, this writer was pause for a moment only to continue this tale based upon a true story for the next issue! Stay tuned!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

BILLIE HOLIDAY: FRONT AND CENTER, the capsuled story of one of the greatest singers of jazz and blues active in the 20th century, performs at WACO Theatre Center in North Hollywood.

Sybil D. Jatta is featured as the title vocalist. She performs as Billie through the various stages in her life. As a child, she was molested by her mother’s “cousin”. Before long, she was in and out of the juvenile court system in her native Philadelphia on charges ranging from truancy to prostitution to possession of narcotics. As a young adult, she made an attempt to perform is a small jazz club. That is when she started her climb to her way up, eventually becoming a vocalist for bandleader Artie Shaw–the first “negro” vocalist for a white band! In spite of her working with some of the greats in jazz as well as being married three times, she did carry her issues as a drug addict that eventually lead toward her demise of cirrhosis of the liver in 1959 at the age of 44.

In her performance, Sybil D. Jetta plays Billie through those moments as a solo. Although the story of her life and times is dramatically presented, what makes this show worth its theater weight is her vocals, performing many of the jazz and blues tunes sung in the style that Billie Holiday herself once presented. Backed by a four piece jazz band consisting of Louis Van Taylor on sax, Lance Lee on drums, Michael Saucier on bass, and Casey McCoy on keyboards as well as serving as musical director, Sybil and the band is set cabaret style to mimic a jazz club personna. Her upright mic she uses is one of those “classic” style mics made famous in the jazz/blues/big band era. (A Shure 55SW in case anyone is counting!) Sybil also created the script she uses to tell the tale of Billie Holiday under the stage direction of B’anca. Along with the acting, it’s the music and vocals that make this show really happen!

For those that desire for their theater peppered with jazz/blues music, or their jazz and blues music set with an additional back story, this presentation is flawless. And as the title suggests, it’s all front and center!

BILLIE HOLIDAY: FRONT AND CENTER, performs at WACO Theater Center, 5144 Lankershim Blvd. at Magnolia, North Hollywood, until August 18th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturdays at 8:00 PM, with a Sunday matinee on August 18th at 3:00 PM.
Tickets can be ordered online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/billie-holiday-front-and-center-tickets-63407808462
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ONCE UPON A TIME…IN HOLLYWOOD (Sony/Columbia) stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton. He was once the star of a TV western called “Bounty Law” that aired on NBC in the early 1960’s. Brad Pitt is Cliff Booth, Rick’s stunt double and best pal. Rick’s been in a career slump of late. It’s early 1969, and Rick is looking for his next big break. His agent Marvin Schwarz (Al Pacino) recommends that he heads off to Italy to appear in a “spaghetti western”, a “B” quality oater made in the said country. But things start to look a bit brighter as he manages a few guest spots on some TV programs, including a newer one called “Lancer”-another western series. Living in his home up in the Hollywood hills, Rich discovers that his new(er) neighbor is film director Roman Polanski, living in a home once occupied by Dennis Wilson and Terry Melcher. This happenstance just might be one pool party away of a possible Rick Dalton role in a Polanski feature! Meanwhile in another part of town, budding star Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) is looking for her bigger break, fresh from her appearance in the film The Wreaking Crew. While this is going on, a mysterious stranger calls upon the Polanski home, looking for its former tenants. Seems that this stranger is one Charlie Manson (Damon Herriman) a wannabe musician. While all of these things seems innocent, it appears that something is going to happen later in the year, an event that even Hollywood can’t make up!

This latest entry (its ninth) by writer and director Quentin Tarantino is a loving tribute to Hollywood and its show biz entities that were occurring in the latter days of the 1960’s, when the so-called “new Hollywood” was starting to make its mark. It focuses on how show biz stars and starlets were doing during this change from the old Hollywood of yesteryear to the new Hollywood of tomorrow on what can they do to appear in a movie (first priority), or even a TV series. Although the tale’s center point is upon the characters of Rick Dalton and Cliff Booth as portrayed by current Hollywood hunks Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt, the episodes leading into the antics of failed rock star turned cult leader Charles Manson brings upon the focus to the story. This aspect creates this film as a twofold epic, retelling the most notorious true-crime saga that occurred on these shores in the last millennium (one of the many “crimes of the century” to take place in the 20th century), as well as saluting the Hollywood scene of this era as beloved by Tarantino.

What makes that salute fun is the notion that there are many references, some more profound while a few hidden, that shows how Hollywood, or Los Angeles anyway, was like back in the day! (This reviewer doesn’t want to give any spoilers here, but look for signage that was placed on street scenes as well as in a few interior shots!) For those that lived in Los Angeles way back when, it will be in the same nature as a visit from an old friend. For the rest of the movie watching audience, it will be all missed with a few minor errors noted! (And never mind the fact that in 1969, Hef didn’t live in what’s now known as The Playboy Mansion yet! He didn’t get the pad until 1971 as he was still based in Chicago!!)

This movie also boasts a large and vivid cast, from Luke Perry (his final film appearance) to Bruce Dern as the owner of the western ranch where the Manson cult lived to Dakota Fanning cast as fellow cult girl Squeaky Fromme, adding much of the flavor that this film presents. And as an added bonus, a number of radio voices appear in this movie as KHJ jocks ranging from such talents as Humble Harve, Robert W. Morgan, and “The Real” Don Steele, proving to the world that Tina Delgado is still alive! (That’s an inside joke, gang!!)

In spite of all of the summer releases that consists of super hero and related action picks, animated fare, as well as the standard fodder of sequels, prequels, remakes, reboots, and reimagines, ONCE UP A TIME…. is a flick for movie fans, Quentin Tarantino followers, and for those that enjoy a story wrapped around a real and horrific episode that L.A. never totally forgot about, even fifty years long after the fact! It’s the perfect storm for a movie that runs some two hours and forty one minutes in length…and is worth every single second!

This movie is rated “R” for violence and standard cussing. Now appearing at the usual set of multiplexes nationwide.
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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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!

WHAT? ME WORRY!!

In this day and age, it’s not too soon when a magazine title that has been around for generations announced that they will no longer exist as a print title, meaning that their editorial content will be limited to something read and consumed through cyberspace, if at all! Many titles in recent years from Money to Playboy has changed in how they are made available to its loyal or not as loyal yet promising enough audience.

Earlier this month, a magazine that’s been around since 1952 that made plenty of influence in this domestic society while never really taking itself seriously or seriously enough, will call it (almost) quits!

The magazine, originally calling itself as “Humor in a Jugular Vein” will conclude its run with original content. That title is the ever lovin’ Mad.

Mad was originally a comic book that didn’t tell a story in the traditional sense, but it took a look at life in this nation and the nations around the world, and did all of its damndest to make light of everything, hosted by a boy child with curly hair, a toothy grin with a buck tooth missing, and really didn’t speak! This boy was named Alfred E. Newman. Again, he didn’t say much, but has a catchphrase that really didn’t make much sense as a stand along line, but went with the zany themes the magazine covered–What Me Worry?

When the title first made the scene in 1952, it was published by EC Publications, a New York based publishing firm that released comic book titles that were of the “pulp fiction” variety, such as Tales From The Crypt (horror) Weird Science Fiction (sci-fi) and Aces High (high adventure), among many others. This time, it would take on humor with its target as the passing scene, ranging from politics, popular culture, media, and fads and came, went, and came back again. It did it all well and well remembered.

In the early 1950’s, humor was changing from the notion of the vaudeville variety. Popular comedians of the era such as Jack Benny, Jimmy Durante, Eddie Canter, and a host of others were weened on humor that was first seen on a stage, telling gags and perhaps participating in slapstick humor. When TV was kicking in, these comics were seen each night to the millions that tuned in. Around that time, the biggest comedy program on was a live program that aired on Saturday night–Your Show of Shows, where much of its comedy came from satire. Other comics that took that approach used satire with a “quirky” attitude: Stan Freeberg, Ernie Kovaks, Bob Elliot & Ray Goulding (“Bob & Ray”), Steve Allen, and many others were making the scene. The Queen of comedy, Lucille Ball, didn’t rely upon quick and snarky comedy, but still used physical humor to get her laughs across. So she really didn’t compete. Mad, however, took that same notion and carried it through the ages.

Not only was it a hit, but it inspired dozens of magazines that used the same playbook using snarky humor and satire. Such titles as Panic, Trump, Whack, Snafu (written and edited by Stan Lee), and others came and went. Long time editor of Mad, William B. Gains, was said to have a list of other titles that tired to take Mad off its throne affixed on a voodoo doll. When one title bit the bust, he would stick a pin on the doll over the name of the now deceased title. He was able to even place a pin on perhaps Mad’s biggest competitor, The National Lampoon that has its peak in the 1970’s catering to the college/grad school crowd. Most likely, many of NL’s readers were weened on Mad as kids, now graduating to more mature (and rather raunchy) stuff! Although NL also sported special one-shot issues as Mad as done for years, even getting into radio and the movies (The syndicated National Lampoon’s Radio Hour, and National Lampoon’s Animal House, etc.), NL called it quits in the early 1990’s.

So what will happen to Mad? It’s operator, DC Comics, will continue its bi-monthly run with reprints, and will present an ocational special edition as its been doing since the late 1950’s. However, it won’t be the same for that title to take on anything and everything. But that’s the magazine biz! Or to use one of many of the magazine’s catchphrases, “Hoo-Haw!” (Or “How’s Your Mom, Ed?”) Eccch!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS

Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills opens their 2019-2020 season of plays with the American premier of Norm Foster’s RENOVATIONS FOR SIX, a comedy about three couples gathering for a dinner party while they are renovating their homes and themselves.

Shayna and Grant Perkins (Rebecca Driscoll and Lane Compton) are new in town. Relocating from Chicago, they are in a bright phase in their lives. They just purchased a home that needs a bit of tender loving care and are in the middle of a big renovation job. Shayna wants to open up a yoga spa, while Grant is a manager for a furniture outlet. In order to feel welcomed, they decide a host a dinner party. They pool their sources in the few people they know. So they invite three couples as part of the dinner troupe. The first couple consists of Wing Falterman (David Hunt Stafford) and his wife Billie (Gail Johnson). Wing and Billie were once in show business where they were a song and dance duo. But that was many years before as Wing is now a salesman for the furniture outlet that Grant is the manager. The third couple is Maurice Dudet (Martin Thompson and his wife Veronica (Mona Lee Wylde). Maurice gave up his previous engineer career to become a novelist, while Veronica is a psychiatrist and a member of a book club that Billie is a part of. Shayna and Grant feel that this blend of two other couples from different backgrounds would be the center of interesting company and conversation. That became the case, but not necessarily what they had in mind. Once these six meet, the dinner party turns into anything but a pleasant evening with good friends!

This play written by Canadian playwright Norm Foster is a piece that shows how three married couples of unique traditions as well as age groups battle with one another (if not between themselves), all as a series of comical follies and foibles. Its first act shows and establishes the connections of all six, while its second act develops into a scene where secrets are uncovered where nobody even bothers to snack on the cheese, crackers, and pickles! The cast of the six players show how different they are, although the younger ones–Shayna and Grant as portrayed by Rebecca Driscoll and Lane Compton, has yet to obtain the burdens that married life presents. Bille and Wing, as played by Gail Johnston and David Hunt Thompson (who also serves as Theatre 40’s artistic director), along with Maurice and Veronica (Martin Thompson and Mona Lee Wylde) holds on to more emotional baggage than they can carry. This so-called “baggage” provides most of the play’s comic relief.

Howard Storm, who has directed a number of TV sitcoms of such hit series as Rhoda, Laverne & Shirley, Mork & Mindy, Taxi, and a host of others, directs his comic talents and timing that is witnessed throughout. Granted, much of the comedy projected is focused on the other character’s emotional expenses. However, since comedy is based on tragedy, the humor formula is fully on track!

Jeff G. Rack, Theatre 40’s residential set designer, provides a set where the Perkins’ home is seen, complete with furniture that are draped in drop cloths, walls with uneven paint jobs, and a lot of home renovation tools scattered about. These elements are something one would find in a house that is going through its “during” stage.

RENOVATIONS FOR SIX is a charming and rather comical play. The moral of the story can be described as to be careful who you invite to a home based dinner party. Egg could wind up on your face if you don’t watch out, or wash up!!

RENOVATIONS FOR SIX, presented by Theatre 40 and performs at the Reuben Cordova Theatre, located within the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 South Moreno Drive (off little Santa Monica Blvd.) Beverly Hills, until August 18th. Showtimes are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM.

For ticket reservations or for more information, call (310) 364-0535, or via online at http://www.Theatre40.org
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Antaeus Theatre Company of Glendale closes out their 2018-19 season with THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE, Bertolt Brecht’s play about a young peasant woman’s rescue of a babe in arms, and the natural mother’s attempt to gain her child back.

The setting is the Caucasion Mountains located in what was then known as The Republic of Georgia. It is shortly after the Second World War where a village still feels the aftermath of the destruction the battles presented. The local farmers are at a “war” among themselves, seeking how to use the land to their best ability. One set of farmers desires to raise goats and to use their land for grazing. The other half wants to plant an orchard for growing fruit. This battle leads toward the creation of a play with music called The Chalk Circle that has the ruling governor George Abashwili, executed during a revolution. His wife Claudia flees for her life, leaving their young son Michael behind. Grusha Vashadze, a lowly peasant kitchen maid, rescues the young child and raises him as her own sans a father figure. When the revolution ends, Claudia returns to claim her son. This leads toward a court of law that decides the fate of the child, using a method of a “chalk circle” where whoever pulls the child from a spot on the ground boarded by a circular line drawing made of chalk can have custody, and to provide that Michael will become heir as the ruling Governor.

This is a play written by Bertolt Brecht when he was living in the USA in the 1940’s. It was first presented as a student production at Carleton College of Northfield, Minnesota, located south of Minneapolis. This play has a feel of a college based work, although that was not of its original intention. (It was meant to play on a Broadway-type theater!) This work has been called as an “epic” production. Not so much because it’s presented in a grand scale, but it’s created with a number of elements going on at once. (And early version of experimental?) This method of creativity may be a bit different to follow, especially for those that are used to experience theater works set in a more linear fashion.

That non-linear forge is what makes this play rather appealing for how it stands, complete with lots of rich dialogue, interesting characters direct from the “old country”, as well as a conclusion where the Georgian village’s state never qualified for a Marshall Plan. Alistair Beaton’s English translation from the original German enhances the for noted productive dialogue that is far better that how an uneducated peasant could normally speak.

Liza Seneca plays Grusha, the peasant woman who brings up Michael. Paul Baird plays George, the Governor. Claudia Elmore is The Governor’s wife. The rest of the ensemble cast, including John Apicella, Noel Arthur, Gabriela Bonet, Turner Frankosky, Troy Guthrie, Steve Hofvendahl, Connor Kelly-Eiding, Michael Khachanov, Alex Knox, Mehrnaz Mohammadi, Madalina Nastase, Jamellen Steininger, and George Villas portray others within the community, all sharing other roles represented within this piece. Stephanie Shroyer’s stage direction keeps the flow going with its blend of vast characters and broad circumstances.

Frederica Nascimento’s senic design appearing on stage shows the village as a place loaded with worn wooden stands that shows off the area in a bit of disarray, proving that the war’s aftereffects made the community placed in a worse state, unless it was never in any better shape to begin with!

Along with the setting, there are a few musical interludes embedded in the continuity. This is only to bring one episode linked to another, but nobody really breaks out in song as to what one would find in a traditional musical.

It’s not often to see a play as THE CAUCASINA CHALK CIRCLE perform in any legit theater. For those that desire something light and snappy, it’s recommended to venture off to another playhouse. For those that are bold enough to experience a play that is more fruitful in spirit, this is the production to take advantage of. It’s indeed worth its time and space!

THE CAUCASIAN CHALK CIRCLE, presented by the Antaeus Theatre Company, and performs at the Kiki & David Gindler Performing Arts Center, 110 East Broadway, located between Artsakh Avenue and North Brand Blvd., Glendale, until August 26th. Showtimes are Monday, Fridays and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. For ticket reservations and for more information, call (818) 506-1983, or via online at http://www.Antaeus.org
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THE LION KING (Disney) tells the legion of Simba (voiced by John Glover), the cub that was born to Mufasa (James Earl Jones) the royal leader of their kingdom on the African plains, and his “queen” Sarabi (Alfre Woodard). Simba would one day become the next heir to rule as king. Although the king’s animal subjects welcome this latest entry to the royal family, one animal isn’t very keen to its welcome. Mufasa’s elder sibling Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) feels that he should have been king as he is the eldest, and never forgave his younger lion brother obtaining his rule. Scar has an evil plan to overthrow Mufasa’s dominance. Teaming up with Shenzi (Florence Kasumba) the leader of a pack of hyenas, they plan to get rid of Mufasa and his son in order to gain control of their native land.

This latest re-imagined version of the 1994 release of the same name that became the “crown” of The Walt Disney Company’s animation renaissance period, is what can be called a film with a “live action” twist where all of the animals and the African landscaped wilderness backdrops resembles a realistic looking setting. In fact, everything seen in this feature has been created as highly detailed computer generated imagery, or “CGI” as its known in the industry. In other terms, it’s another animated feature, but not to be confused as another two dimensional “cartoon”. Unlike the original ’94 release where all of its imagery is akin to a traditional “cell and hand drawn” cartoon–the type that made Disney world famous, this one looks realistic, feels realistic, and resembles an actual setting where all of the animals can talk by moving their lips and mouths, and act and move on cue. But again, it’s all moving imagery that remain as digital pixels and related computer generated files housed on massive hard drives!

The movie itself has all of the main characters found in the original, such as Zazu (John Oliver), the “footbird” to the king, the wise baboon Rafiki (John Kani), Nala (Beyonce Knowles Carter), Simba’s friend and future queen, and Pumbaa and Timon (Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner) who serve at the film’s comic relief; characters that are oblatory in Disney cartoons.

The many similarities that are found to the original ’94 film and this ’19 version is its plot. Jeff Nathanson’s screenplay is based on the original script penned by Irene Mecchi and Jonathan Robert and Linda Woolverton that uses the same content flow while adding a few bits and pieces of dialogue that makes this movie more appealing to an early 21st century crowd, as well as adding its comical touches with a bit more snarkiness. It also maintains the same music score by Hanz Zimmer and the songs that made this title famous as penned by Tim Rich and Elton John. These touches were kept for continuity purposes.

Directed by Jon Favreau, THE LION KING is a title that is well know to Disney fans and the domestic families that were and are weened to the lifestyle this media company has created. It was perhaps the biggest of all of the “cash cows” extracted from this company before they were involved in Marvel Comics and Star Wars properties, and when Disney got into the musical theater business. (The Lion King stage musical still plays on Broadway!!) In spite of those sucesses, this feature is ideal for those that grew up with the original cartoon, and for the later generations that view this title by way of home video and through streaming. Kids under the age of eight may be a bit overwhelmed, while the older ones might find it as appealing as the adults.

For those still seeking live action versions of the Disney animated features, there will be more arriving down the pike from The Little Mermaid to Mulan, all coming soon to a theater near you!

This film is rated “PG” for non-graphic intense violence. Now playing at multiplexes nationwide.
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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

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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!