THE GREATEST SHOW OFF THE EARTH

    Although this year is a little over a month old, a lot of things have occurred. Within the last thirty or so days, we’ve seen everything from a heavy rain storm that went through California and possibly ending (or near ending) a six year drought, to a royal coronation in Washington DC crowning a new king of the USA, to another amusing Super Bowl game. (Congrads to the xxx!) However, perhaps the biggest news story that happened in January was the announcement that Rignling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus will be calling it quits this year after 147 years of existence!
Since the news was released around January 15th, folks on social media platforms will all abuzz on this announcement. Each one were giving their reasons to this news, blaming everything from rising costs of brining a circus to communities around the nation (and in some cases, to various nations around the globe), to the lack of interest by families living in a post modern wired world, to attempting to change the circus by adding daredevil motorcycle acts than traditional circus fodder, to the appeal of Cirque De Soleil-type productions, or to the buckling down of complaints from animal welfare pressure groups stating that the circus treats their animals in a cruel fashion.
According to reports stated by Feld Entertainment, the company that has owned and managed the circus for the last fifty years, noted that all of the above were part of the decision to end its run. Perhaps the biggest blow to it all was the fact that last season, the circus did away with the elephants. Die hard fans of the circus know that elephants are just as part of the circus atmosphere as to the clowns, high wire acts, and the three rings where much of the action takes place.
The circus was perhaps one of the forms of entertainment that were driven to the public at large in this nation right after the Civil War. People wanted to become entertained, and what better way to wow them was to present a show that would just do that! Granted, much of the entertainment was mostly for adults as kids were in those days were “seen but not heard”, so the form of amusement was rather crude. However, the circus offered just about any form of high (and low) amusement that can fit under a big top tent.
Over the many years, long after Phineas Taylor Barhum met Al Ringling and his siblings along with James Anthony Bailey to form a circus troupe, this form of entertainment has been part of the domestic landscape for generations, even surpassing the appeal of circuses based in Europe as well as the area known as the Soviet Union where the whole circus bit was first created and established. Throughout the twentieth century, Ringling Bros. thrived, offering those epic shows that packed the public into the tents that sprang up in communities far and near. Even when movies and later TV came to view, people still wanted to see the circus as this medium was best viewed live, rather than on a screen of some kind.
Yours truly was first exposed to the circus through television. My mom, who unintentionally weaned me with television, allowed me to stay up on Friday nights to see International Showtime on NBC, where Don Ameche would serve as host presenting many of the circus acts from Europe and other nations around the globe. (Thus the name International Showtime!) In that same decade, CBS would present their first TV special of the new season that showcased a “sneak preview” of the traveling Rignling Bros. circus. Roy Rogers and Dale Evens would serve as hosts this time around, showing off to those TV audiences bits of pices of the acts that would be “coming to your home town soon!” as Roy and Dale would say.
My first Ringing Bros. live show was the season when the circus celebrated their centennial year. Everything one excepted in a circus show was presented around those three rings. There were the high wire acts, the bareback riders, the lion tamers (featuring Gunther Gebel-Williams handing the big cats), the parade of clowns, and of course, the elephants! The big finale featured a group of elephants bringing a large prop birthday cake in the center of the arena stage by pushing it with their heads. Then another elephant brought in a large “candle” that was a big as a tree trunk. That elephant placed the candle in the top center of the cake with its trunk. Then the candle emitted a shower of colored sparks shooting upward that celebrated one hundred years of the circus, and expecting to last another one hundred years! Oh yes! The circus was not taking place inside of a tent as that was phased out by the middle 1950’s. The greatest show on earth was inside of a arena. But there were smaller tents placed around the arena grounds where the public could see the elephants up close!
Since that time, yours truly attended the Ringing Bros. circus on and off through the years. In recent times I took on a show that occurred at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles. And while heading toward the entrance to Staples were these groups handing out flyers and holding sign stating that the circus showed cruelty to their animals, especially for their elephants. Many people who were attending the circus (mostly as families) would see these protesters making their point come across. I would even take a flyer they were handing out to read about the notions that they were stating about, only to stick the flyer inside of the oversized program I would eventually get. (Those flyers are still stuck within the programs I have kept within my archives.)
Whatever the case, Feld Entertainment will play out their current traveling shows through this year making its end run around early-middle May. From that point, the circus will be placed to its end. Rumors have been springing around that Feld will place the circus on hold, perhaps bringing it back soon. However, there has been no official word. The company will still present their others shows, mostly the ice and stage shows co-produced by The Walt Disney Company that features the regular Disney stock as well as a separate show that has the Marvel Comic super heroes. That form of media is more of a cash cow than anything else!
So as the last of the circus fades into the landscape, this is indeed the time to send out the clowns, and to drive the elephants into the elephant graveyard. As for family entertainment? That will still continue and can be experienced through a hand held video screen device. It may not be the greatest show on earth, but what difference does that make–unless there’s an app for that!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
Performing at the Actors Workout Studio in North Hollywood is Sarah Kelly’s WAR STORIES, a play about four up-and-comers involved in the notion of love, romance, and the ups and downs of this human emotion.
The story involves a quartet of people (two guys and two gals) living in the big city (Los Angeles) that hold a connection to one another. Sarah Kelly is Jen, a professional therapist. Alexander Carroll is Jake, a client of hers. Roxanne Jaeckel as Chelsea. She’s an actress seeking some foothold in her career. Samuel Martin Lewis as Sam, a writer who’s also looking for his big break writing for some form of media. Sam wrote a script that featured a character that was a striking resemblance to Chelsea’s persona. She actually auditioned for that part! Those two eventually became a couple. Meanwhile, Jake also has a girlfriend–Chelsea! He tells Jen through his therapy session about his love life, down to the kind of shoes worn by his lover. Jen herself once has a relationship with Sam while the two were in college–not that many years before! These episodes morph into an aspect that gets deeper as it progresses. It’s a simple tale of a not-so-simple situation asking the musical question, why do we love who we love?
This play written by Sarah Kelly who also performs as Jen, can be labeled as a romantic comedy for the new Millennium. Its characters are those of that demographic who are involved in very Los Angeles-centric occupations. (Actor, writer, therapist, etc.) They speak about a rather simple subject of love that becomes anything but! Although it does involve a romance of sorts as well as the humor that comes out of this topic, its expression isn’t anything that’s sappy nor sweet. In fact, it’s more told as an emotion what can be somber, perhaps bitter, and could ask if getting involved with love is really worth the price? Although the playwright claims the characters and their plot points is of fiction, it does contain elements that comes from personal experience. That experience is what makes this play very appealing as is has realism into it rather than nonsense that’s found in a network TV sitcom.
What also makes this show appealing is the simplicity seen in its staging. The stage itself only contains a few furnishings, enough to only establish a setting to where the characters react with one another. This form of theatre is a classic example of using a less-is-more approach. The “less” part is the set decorating. The “more” element is of the players speaking their dialogue and their reactions to it all. Stacy Ann Raposa directs the cast that do ring true to the methods noted and demonstrated.
WAR STORIES is about a battle, but not in the tradition sense. It’s about a conflict that makes the art of love as tough as the theory of war. Emotions can do what they do. And what’s done here is the fight for a war that can be won or otherwise!

WAR STORIES, presented by Dry Martini Productions and Boston Bred Productions, performs at the Actors Workout Studio, 4735 Lankershim Blvd. (one block south of Camarillo Avenue), North Hollywood, until February 26th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday, February 12th at 2:00 and 7:00 PM, Sunday, February 19th at 7:00 PM, and Sunday, February 26th at 2:00 PM.
     For ticket reservations or for more information, call (818) 506-3903, or online at http://edm.ticketleap.com/war-stories/  
     Find WAR STORIES on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/WarStoriesThePlay, and on Instagram at @WarStoriesThePlay
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CORRECTIONS: In the review of the play FUGU, appearing in our previous issue (Vol. 21-No. 5), the names noted within the review are corrected as follows:
The Japanese diplomat posted in Lithuania was Sugihara.
The actor playing Kotsuji is Scott Keiji Takeda
The Japanese dancer is Kaz Matamura
The director is Howard Teichman
Thanks to our eagle-eye readers for spotting those errors!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 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!

LIVE TV IS DEAD!

    Perhaps the above headline is a bit too rash. It should read “Live TV Isn’t As Live As It Once Was” so something to that effect. However, that same headline is a bit too long, and it’s still not totally accurate. Let us explain, shall we?
This article speaks toward the notion of watching television “live” without the aid of a DVR, a streaming service, a downloaded torrent app, or even a VCR. (Yep, although the good ol’ video cassette recorder isn’t as in vogue as it once was, some of those machines from not so long ago are still being used by folks out there in TV land!)
In this day and age where moving imagery can be consumed by any electronic device that sports a screen, watching television when it originally airs can be bypassed through various methods, from one’s phone, electronic pad, laptop, or any related method. Of course, watching a video element after the fact only makes sense through selection options. Scripted programs fall into the category of bring taking advantage of when it’s connivence for the viewer, but when it comes to timely matter from a standard newscast (especially when the newscast has a “breaking news” event), a sporting event (think Super Bowl Fifty One aka “ SB LI”), or even an awards show, watching live as it occurs makes a whole lot of sense. Then again, depending on what the program is all about, many of those folks are checking in through social media to place their two cents worth. Granted, much of this “two cents worth” has that kind of equal value, unless those tweeting away are backed by a well known name that has a million followers–give or take a few!
In this every changing world of ours (whatever that line means), people now have that the upper hand when it comes to viewing video content when the same viewer feels it’s the proper moment to do such. It’s not like back in the “good old days” when if one wanted to take advantage of watching a program of some kind, they had to park themselves in front of the television device at a certain day and time to look at the program for their own personal amusement. That was the basic method of becoming a TV viewer for one’s desired programming. That is, until the video cassette recorder was first made available to the public at large beginning in the late 1970’s. The VCRs available in the latter 1970’s were somewhat pricy for what they were. RCA’s VBT-200, known as the first VHS machine to be placed on the market in October of 1977, has a “suggested retail price” or about $1200.00. Blank 60 minute cassette tapes retailed for around $10.00, while two hour tapes came around $14.00 each! It wasn’t until the 1980’s when those handy machines dropped in price making those devices available to all, and brought the phrase “time shifting” into the TV watching vernacular.
Moving the calendar up some twenty five plus years later, the VCR faded toward the digital video recorder (DVR) in the middle 2000’s. The DVR was a device that was similar to the VCR of days before. Unlike the VCR that used physical videotape to record the programming desired, the DVR did the same thing, but to capture the imagery as a digital file imbedded onto a hard drive. Again, it did the same thing as a VHS tape did, but offered a cleaner high defination picture that even looked “live”, but wasn’t!
In today’s TV imaging, folks can now view content without necessarily capturing it on a hard drive, let along using a videotape, for later viewing. Streaming video, the art of watching imagery that comes from a source internet connected, is the way to go, or at least based on Nielsen’s third-quarter (2016) Total Audience Report. This report stated that live TV viewing actually slowed down during this period as the number of households with TV devices adding more streaming services, dropping down to around four hours and six minutes per day using a so-called “traditional” TV device. This can compare to an increase of using an app on a smartphone to view the same content. That came to an increase of two hours, ten minutes a day. (It was around one hour, fourteen minutes a day a year before!)
But rest assure folks, live TV is far from being deceased! It’s just not as common as it used to be. But with the Super Bowl coming around, as well as all of the entertainment based awards shows that feature the usual set of stars and related performers appearing on camera, folks will still tune in for all of the antics as they nearly occur. And if you can’t watch, there are the social media folks that will take the reins to present the play-by-play! Sometimes they do a better job in reporting what’s going down–whatever that means!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
The West Coast Jewish Theatre presents the world premier production of Steven G. Simon & Howard Teichman’s FUGU, a story based upon true facts on a settlement of refugee Jews from Lithuanian emigrating to Japan during the early days of World War II.
The place is Kobe, a city located in the center portion of the nation. A colonization of some 6000 people of the Jewish persuasion had been established through an arrangement from Japanese diplomat Chiune Sigher, offering the refugees a safe distance from the Nazis that took over their former country. The Japanese minister of foreign affairs Colonel Nohiro Yasue (Ryan Moriarty) holds the notion to make terms with the USA by not getting into war, as he believes that President Roosevelt is of the Jewish persuasion and thus, tries to form an understanding between the US and Japan. He selects Dr. Avram Kaufman (Warren Davis) to become a delegate with the US in terms of factors of discussion of the Jewish sect between politics in Washington, finance through the traders at Wall Street, and through the movie studios in Hollywood. This diplomatic plan is called “Fugu”, named after the puffer fish that is a delicacy but is very toxic when incorrectly prepared. As an attempt to make this plan become in effect, there are other issues of concern that being to take note. There is Colonel Josef Messenger (David Preston), a German officer that is making check of the alliance made through the Nazi party and its allies, as with Japan, that the Jews not flee Japan, even as protected refugees. Adding to this political strife is Yasue chief aide Setsuzo Kotsuji (Scott Keiji Tacked) who is forming a friendly alliance with Sarah Kaufman (Rosie Moss), Dr. Avram Kaufman’s daughter. This alliance turns into a romance that is considered to be one as crossing lines of culture. The clouds of a world war are darkening as time progresses as many involved will feel some form of political and personal strife that places the lives of the Jewish population at stake.
This production tells a story in world history that isn’t well known. Howard Thiamin, artistic direction of the West Coast Jewish Theatre, first heard about these historical episodes while attending a Seder, meeting with a fellow attendee whose relatives fled to Japan to escape the Nazi suppression. This small encounter grew into an idea of a play. Joining forces with co-writer Steven G. Simon, the pair eventually developed a play that speaks upon a time in history where a country set for participation of world battle would assist a group of exiled peoples from an allied nation, allowing that populace to settle as a safe harbor. This play takes upon those historical moments and brings them all into this dramatic program that is as informative as it is entertaining. Although this theatre piece is a drama, there are some lighter episodes expressed that holds some comical tones, but never stays away from its dramatic and sobering moments. The cast of performers in the program speak out among themselves as they present their characters involved into a practice of keeping one’s faith and traditions through a backdrop of love and war! Along with the previous noted performers, Kaz Matura, Matt Gottlieb, Peter Altschuler, and Marcel Licera are also featured under the Howard Teichman’s stage direction.
In addition to the players that are seen on stage, the set decoration created by Kurtis Bedford combines customary Japanese motifs with traditional placement of Jewish artifacts. This establishes a sense of community for the refugees to stay as long as they are accepted in a colony far different than whence they came
FUGU is a very well written and well researched historical stage drama. It’s unique as it unfolds an episode during an era where many lives would be at stake while a force of world superpowers attempt to overcome through their dominate goals. Yes, there is a bit of dramatic license that is added to expand the story, but those bits of creation never seems to ever get into the way of what this play is all about–along with the fact that this production is highly recommended to see, and to possibly teach a respected lesson though its outcome!

    FUGU, presented by the West Coast Jewish Theatre and performs at the Pico Playhouse, 10508 Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, until March 19th. 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) 821-2449, or via online at
http://www.WCJT.tix.xom
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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) announced their nominations for the 89th annual Academy Awards on January 24th.
The following titles and names received the nomination for the following categories:

Best Actor
Casey Affleck – Manchester by the Sea
Andrew Garfield – Hacksaw Ridge
Ryan Gosling – La La Land
Viggo Mortensen – Captain Fantastic
Denzel Washington – Fences

Best Actress
Isabelle Huppert – Elle
Ruth Negga – Loving
Natalie Portman – Jackie
Meryl Streep – Florence Foster Jenkins
Emma Stone – La La Land

Best Director
Damien Chazelle – La La Land
Mel Gibson – Hacksaw Ridge
Barry Jenkins – Moonlight
Kenneth Lonergan – Manchester by the Sea
Denis Villeneuve – Arrival

Best Picture
Arrival (Paramount)
Fences (Paramount)
Hacksaw Ridge (Lionsgate)
Hell or High Water (CBS Films)
Hidden Figures (Fox)
La La Land (Lionsgate)
Lion (The Weinstein Company)
Manchester by the Sea (Roadside Attractions/Amazon Studios)
Moonlight (A24)

Jimmy Kimmel will host the awards ceremony, taking place on Sunday, February 26th at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center-Hollywood, and airs on ABC.
For a complete listing of nominations, visit the official AMPAS web site at http://www.Oscars.com
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On January 23rd, The Golden Raspberry Foundation (RAZZIES) announced their list of nomination 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 Actor
Ben Affleck-Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Gerard Butler-Gods of Egypt & London Has Fallen
Henry Cavill-Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Robert de Niro-Dirty Grandpa
Dinesh D’Souza [as Himself]-
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Ben Stiller-Zoolander No. 2

Worst Actress
Megan Fox-Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows
Tyler Perry-BOO! A Medea Halloween
Julia Roberts-Mother’s Day
Becky Turner [as Hillary Clinton]-
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Naomi Watts-Divergent Series: Allegiant & Shut-In
Shailene Woodley-Divergent Series: Allegiant

Worst Director
Dinesh D’Souza and Bruce Schooley-
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
Roland Emmerich-Independence Day: Resurgence
Tyler Perry-BOO! A Medea Halloween
Alex Proyas-Gods of Egypt
Zack Snyder-Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
Ben Stiller-Zoolander  No. 2

Worst Picture
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (Warner Bros.)
Dirty Grandpa (Lionsgate)
Gods of Egypt (Summit Entertainment)
Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party
(Pure Flix Entertainment)
Independence Day: Resurgence (Fox)
Zoolander No. 2 (Paramount)

The Razzie Awards will take place on Saturday, February 25th at a location to be announced.
For a complete listing of nominations and other details, visit the official Razzies web site at http://www.Razzies.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 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!

WE’RE NOT GOING THERE!

If you are a reader of this newsletter, it will be assumed that you are interested in what’s going on in this nation. You are a person that is always informed within the latest news taking place across the county and perhaps around the world. You are someone that wants to know (or perhaps needs to know) on every little matter that occurs, from the important to the trivial. It is very likely that you own a hand held electrical device that is internet connected. You subscribe to a number of news sources (some legit, while others can be a bit questionable) that informs you on the latest scoop on the subjects and topics you find important. This way, if somebody you may encounter holds questions to a topical subject on hand, you can answer that inquiring subject with anything and everything on that matter. You can even win small friendly bets by challenging those by sporting all the headlines and the bylines! In this overly connected society most of us live and dwell in, these factors are not too hard to pass.

No, this isn’t a pitch to advertisers on connecting with us to know what kind of demographic we cater to, although we do like to toot our horn on occasion so to speak! However, we will state a number of things that we wish to do within these electronic pages, along with a few notes we won’t even discuss.

Within the last few days, the media has been saturated upon last Friday’s (January 20th) crowning of the new king of the USA. Within the previous year of ’16, headlines and bylines have been springing around both in print and through pixilated pixels on what might happen once that day of reckoning finally rolls around. Well, that day came on schedule, and just about anyone and everyone that can read and write jotted down their play-by-play coverage on everything and everyone involved, from composing 3000+ word essays enough to fill a journal, or through jotting down a few words that total no more that 140 characters. Many were read and passed around through social media, while other laid dormant, hoping that somebody will discover those notes, even if that discovery came long after the fact!
So you may ask yourself, if you already didn’t ask–”Why isn’t the Accessibly Live Off-Line editorial team giving their two cents over these issues?”
There are a lot of reasons behind these matters, but we will just stick with a very short reply. Here at Accessibly Live Off-Line, we do cater to a few topics on hand. We write reviews on regional theatre shows that take place in the Los Angeles area. We report on some notes and reviews that cater to feature films and television programs. We will present a book review as well. And our opening essay (such as the one you are reading), gives this writer a space to report on things that can be labeled as “the passing scene”. And as much as we wish to cover, we can’t report on everything since that so-called “everything” can be topics that are way out of our scope.
To give you an idea, if one wanted to know about what’s on TV, one can find these bits of news that report of television programming, depending on how deep wants to dive in that subject. The Hollywood Reporter will focus on those behind the scenes details that are more business like, while TV Guide will focus upon the program itself and the stars that appear in these shows. Granted, those two sources may cross one another within the same journalistic field. THR will write a piece on an actor appearing on a TV program, while TVG will make a few entries on a TV network executive. But for the most part, these two news sources will generally stick to what they know and what’s expected by their regular readership.
So with this all being said and done, we here at ALOL will not report on the new king of this nation, even if he’s going to stick around for the next four years assuming that nothing is going to happen that will prevent that leadership, either by choice or through circumstance. We’ll just see these events taking shape as another entry to what’s going on while taking it for what it’s worth. It’s just that simple!
But if you insist on knowing anything and everything, we will recommend that you log on to those news places that you know and know of to get the latest scoop, be it as news and as “news”! Then again, perhaps you know more on what’s going down than we would! And if you want to keep up in the loop, we encourage you to let us know! At least we can’t say we’re always in the dark!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
Theatre 40 of Beverly Hills presents the American premier of Jordan Tannahill’s LATE COMPANY, a drama where two couples meet along with their teenaged son over dinner, arraigning a closure between them all with the attempt to receive an emotional healing.
Grinnell Morris and Ann Hearn play Michael and Debora Shaun-Hastings. Michael is a regional politician while Debora is a sculpture artist. They have invited Tamara and Bill Dermot (Jennifer Lynn Davis and Todd Johnson) along with their sixteen year old son Curtis (Baker Chase Powell) for dinner at their home located in a well-to-do neighborhood. This dinner party isn’t really a gathering of friends. In fact, Michael and Debora don’t really know the Dermots too well. Their only connection is the notion that Curtis attended the same high school as their late son Joel. The passing of Joel who took his own life, was driven upon the harassment he received due to Joel’s chosen lifestyle; a lifestyle that didn’t bode too well with some of the other kids-Curtis included. This dinner event was created to make some form of peace with one another. However, because of the tempestuous stage all are facing through Joel’s death, things start to go in different directions, leading up toward emotional wounds being torn open rather than healed. Blames to what happened and who’s responsible are tossed around to one another, blurring the conclusion to who is the real bully of them all, and who is the victim.
This one act play by Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill takes its premise upon an actual episode that occurred in Ottawa, Ontario where a 15 year old boy was harassed by his peers just because he was gay, and eventually took his own life. The playwright used that event as his guide, along with the fact that Jordan himself was also bullied because he was gay and wasn’t accepted by the kids he knew. That is what makes this play very emotional; it’s culled through experience! The drama depicted in very tense where at times, the audience that views this show can experience moments where it becomes eerily quiet, adding to the charged responses this production congers up. The cast of five players that appear in this program shows off their dramatic timing very well, from the first lighter (and even comical) moments to its final epilogue. Bruce Gray directs this stage production that speaks upon an issue that isn’t brought into a conscious effort as often as it should, although social media’s power to express this issue plays an important role (both in this play and in real life) for the good or otherwise!
Jeff G. Rack, Theatre 40’s residential set designer, presents a set that consists of a fancy looking polished dining room table set for six along with a backdrop of a matching buffet. The side wings of the stage are barren. This condensed setting was intentionally designed where the audience would focus upon the dinner party around the table where all of the drama (and the lighter moments) takes place.
The title of this play, LATE COMPANY, expresses the fact that whatever happened in the past is being resolved, but long after the fact–much too late to do anything except to learn, understand, and accept. A teen’s life is never easy to live through, no matter when or in what era one experienced that moment of existance. It all depends upon acceptance, and how one tolerates another person’s personal lifestyle of choice. This play proves its point in a sufficient and though provoking manor.

LATE COMPANY, 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 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.com
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Performing at the Sacred Fools Theatre in Hollywood is the West Coast premier of ROSE AND THE RIME, a tale about a young girl’s search to find the source that placed her community into an icy curse.
The setting is Radio Falls, a hamlet that can be like any other, except it’s winter all of the time! Rose (Amy Rapp), is a young girl who lives in this town with her uncle Roger (Andy Hirsch). They dwell within this year-round winter as set through the Rime Witch, a mysterious supernatural being. She hears stories when once a summertime was present when the sun was warn and shining, people went to the beach, and ate hot dogs rather than drink hot chocolate. She keeps this beverage in a thermos bottle inside of her backpack along with a two-way radio so she and her uncle can communicate with each other, and so Roger can warn Rose not to be out after dark when it is at its coldest. When Rose learns about what became of her true parents from her uncle, she makes a journey to find this witch and to get a magic coin that can break the winter spell. And when it’s broken, then the sun will be out and summertime arrives. But can Rose learn about what’s ahead for her, and will those days of the beach and hot dogs really mean something? Is it any different than the state of where and how she exists?
This one act play, written by Nathan Allen, Chris Mathews, & Jake Minton, plays as a form of a modern fair tale, or a kid’s theatre production geared toward adults–or those that sport an adult method of thought! This Sacred Fools Theatre production uses as illustration, a staging set of three video projected screen space panels placed one next to the other a few feet apart as part of the scenic design as created by Chris Hutchings. (Hillary Bauman created the physical sets and staging that take up most of the performance space!) Those panels shows off animated segments that become part of Radio Falls, the seasons it lives in, as well as the other forms of life as experienced by Rose and company. The drama expressed is more of the whimsical kind that adds to the fantasy aspect of what this play holds. And in the tradition of kid’s theatre for adults (and vice versa), it has some dancing (as choreographed by Sierra Taylor), a few musical elements performed (not real songs per se, but enough to be heard as musical “bits”), and even puppetry! (Miles Taber created the puppets!) The storyline never speaks “down” to its audience as a kid’s show might do. But then again, this “kid’s show” are for those who are far from their childhood years!
Jacob Sidney directs a well rounded cast of players that also include Desiree Mee Jung, Brian Brennan, Sean Faye, Mandi Moss, Corinne Chooey, Allison Reeves, Aaron Mendelson, and Bart Tangredi. These performers make up the community of Radio Falls as a winter wonderland and a place in the sun.
Overall, ROSE AND THE RIME is a production that is suitable for all. Again, this isn’t a play for youth in mind since the storyline, as easy it may seem for those grown-ups out there, may be a little above the knowledge for anyone under the age of ten. Unless one takes advantage of a matinee performance (performed only twice in its run), then the kids will have to see this show in the evening hours. Then again, it never performs on a “school night”. Nevertheless, it’s still choice family-style entertainment for kids or otherwise!

     ROSE AND THE RIME, presented by the Sacred Fools Theatre company, and performs at the Sacred Fools Mainstage theatre, 1076 Lillian Way (one block west of the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd. and Vine Street), Hollywood, until February 25th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, with Sunday afternoon performances on February 12th and 19th at 3:00 PM.
     For ticket reservations or for more information, call (310) 281-8337, or online at http://www.SacredFools.org
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LA Stage Alliance presented the 27th annual OVATION AWARDS, declaring kudos for the best in stage theatre found in the Los Angeles region. The ceremony took place on January 17th at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center, located in the downtown LA region.
Alexandra Billings served as host for the awards event that presented a selection of citations that involved the various crafts that were seen on stage, as well as off stage as “behind the scenes” elements within theatre programs that performed between August 31st, 2015 through August 28th, 2016.
Among the many awards presented, The Geffen Playhouse’s Guards At The Taj won for best production of a play in a large theatre, Dry Land, presented by the Echo Theatre Company won for best production of a play in an intimate theatre, HAM: A Musical Memoir won for best musical production in a large theatre, Celebration Theatre’s The Boy From Oz won best musical in an intimate theatre, and for the best theatre season (large or intimate) was presented to the Los Angeles LGBT Center for their three shows: Fool For Love, HAM: A Musical Memoir, and Hit The Wall.
Pablo Santiago, a theatre lighting director, was this year’s recipient of the Richard E. Sherwood Award for his commitment in LA Theatre production. A special tribute for Gordon Davidson, the founding artistic director for the Center Theatre Group who passed away on October 2nd, 2016 was acknowledged and dedicated.
In addition, the newly designed Ovation Award was presented in its debut. The previous award piece was a blue colored glass figurine of a human likeness standing in a side arching stance raising its arms in an upward position. Starting this year and continuing onward, this figurine is now is made of an alloy of silver colored polished metal. This new construction will avoids any breakage when dropped on a hard surface!
A theme that was presented within the award show spoke for the notion that theatre is an art form that promotes joy, love, acceptance, and diversity. These elements of emotion was expressed by Alexandra Billings, as she as a transgender, told about an encountered experience at the Cal State school facility where she teaches the art of theatre. Her students within her classes, as well as the rest of student body, expressed her mutual feelings toward the diversity aspects that make up part of the populace of Los Angeles–both as a theatre community and as a bonded city.
For an entire list of all nominees and winners, visit the LA Stage Alliance website at http://www.LAStageAlliance.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 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!

BUSTED RESOLUTIONS-PART II

In this third week of 2017, long after the Christmas decorations were taken down while dead Christmas trees still sit along curbsides, the lists of 2016 were already compiled and “published”. (We use the term “published” since many of these so-called lists were not limited to print). The predictions of what’s 2017 going to bring have been guesstamated especially on this week as come Friday the 20th, a new king will be crowned. Among these shenanigans, there has been a number of folks that never made it when it came to the new year’s resolutions they were support to compile at the end of the previous year.
One person that this writer knows who I’ll call “Olif” (not so much to protect this person’s privacy, but to protect my own self from possible lawsuits), has started to make a list of resolutions that this person will conduct for the 2017 calendar year.
Olif recently told me at an informal luncheon held shortly after the first of the year announced with some kind of lower key method, that this person will be making a list of things and related assignments that will be performed in this new(er) year. Olif didn’t state what these resolutions consisted of, but noted that these are notions created as self promises, and will become “locked and loaded”! (That was Olif’s quote, not this writer’s!)
First of all, I am glad for Olif for making up a list of things that will be kept for the year, even though it was announced a few days after January 1st. However, only time will tell if good ol’ Olif will keep those promises to itself. (I am purposely hiding Olif’s gender. That is the reasoning behind using words that are not limited to “he” or “she”. So I’ll call Olif an “it”!)
As this same ol’ writer stated in an article that ran in the previous issue, making commitments can become a challenge to a person. These lists tend to become rules where one has to do this and do that, while not being able to do that and do this! It’s not so much as a wish list, but a harsh order! Think of this method as a boss at work yelling at its employees to work harder, longer, and faster. And to do such without any promises of receiving bonuses, promotions, or any other form of incentives. The only reward that will be received for this hard work is either 1)-more work, or 2)-not being fired!
Although our dear ol’ pal Olif is on the right track when it comes to making promises to keep for its own good even though it’s slightly after the fact, it is always a good idea to keep a number of personal goals in mind. It doesn’t have to be a laundry list of self afflicted commands to do by a certain time, but to hold on to those goals to commit throughout the year. Many people state they for the new year that they will be in better physical shape by going to a local gym to work out. Many of these gym facilities see a spike in attendance in January. By the first week in February, that attendance tends to fall, and by the end of February, that spike seen in the month beforehand is back to where is was before January 1st. Since Olif’s new year’s resolutions were never made public, this writer can’t state that “hitting the gym” was on that list. So the above notion won’t apply toward Olif’s keep, even though it’s based upon a proven fact! (Ask any of the local gyms if more people showed up in January comparing to any of the previous months!)
But as the lists for the year have already been settled, it’s time to move on into new ventures. And if anyone is really concerned, we’ll keep you posted on Olif’s progress or lack thereof! Assuming that anyone wants to know, let alone care!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
Theatre Palisades opens their 2017 theater season with William Inge’s modern classic PICNIC, a story that takes place in an ideal midwestern town where a number of its inhabitants live upon various stages in their lives, with a young outsider adding to the small town drama.
The play sets itself in a rural community in Kansas around the mid point of the 20th century. Helen Potts (Laura Goldstein) and Flo Ownes (Sue Hardie) are neighbors and good friends. Helen lives with her elderly mother while Flo is a mother herself, raising two daughter on her own-sixteen year old Millie (Jessica Mason) and eighteen year old Madge (Krystyna Ahlers). It’s the Labor Day weekend, and the big event is the community picnic. Madge will be attending the picnic with her beau Alan Seymour (Spencer Rodman), a recent college graduate. Flo has high hopes for this couple as she desires for the two to marry, a upscale change for Flo as she sans a husband and provider. Living with Flo as a boarder is local schoolteacher Rosemary Sydney (Wendy Taubin) a middle aged woman who never married. Stepping into the scene is Hal Carter (Nicholas Dostal) a drifter who is staying with Helen while performing odd jobs for her. Alan and Hal were once frat brothers in college., but Hal dropped out hoping to make a career as a beefcake star in Hollywood. He eventually returned without reaching this goal. Through his presence, he creates a unique movement where these inhabitants holds upon their inner issues ranging between their hopes for the future, desires toward the present time, as well as the backstory they hold, especially reflecting for the ever charming Hal. It’s a slice of life that exists in their hamlet and a renewed change of sprit for all involved, no matter what stage in life each character posses.
This play with William Inge is a classic American-style coming of age tale that speaks for a period in time that is now a shadow of itself for the present era, both as real or imaged. It does express the notion of loneliness between the main characters, especially the woman involved. They have their desires to become better for themselves, but must take a few risks, even though independence as a whole is yet to become examined or questioned. However, this play takes places in the 1950’s, so its focus is more of a period piece that shows its “good old days” as ideal for its era.
As to the production as seen on the Pierson Playhouse stage (home base of Theatre Palisades), the ensemble cast fits perfectly to their roles they play reflecting the time and space their dwell within; A midwestern rural America populace long in the so-called idealistic generation when almost everyone followed the rules of life. The sole “rebel without a cause” Hal as performed by Nicholas Dostal, stands as the “bad boy” of the bunch. He holds a unique charm that is appealing without being cocky. Spencer Rodman as Alan is the one time frat brother that is gleaming enough to become a pretty boy, although he can become a jerk. Krystyna Ahlers as Madge is the perfect small town girl who has her options in life, but finds them better off with a man who can provide. And Jessica Mason as younger sibling Millie starts off as a rustic tomboy who eventually morphs into a woman, trying to keep up with her elder sis.
Sherman Wayne, a long standing member of Theatre Palisades, directs this production with Martha Hunter that shows itself as a stirring and moving drama, showcasing a time when the American dream can be obtained with a number of steps between hard work and a devoted family setting with offspring to carry the dream alive. Along with his direction duties, his set design with additions by William Pitcher, illustrates both homes facing one another, complete with a front porch on one-perfect for taking a view of the world that folds out front! June Lissanderllo’s costuming is rightly of and for the period it speak for. The woman are nearly dressed up while the men don sport coats when the need calls. (Hal sometimes wears a t-shirt, but is mostly bare from the waist up!)
In additional to the above noted cast, this play also features as listed in their order of appearance, Marcus Maia, Nancy Woods, Tamara Ashton, and Manfred Hofer.
In spite of its dated elements that are found within this stage work, the drama, dialogue, and character relationships are fully engaging. That’s what makes PICNIC a classic. Although this reviewer won’t know if this notation is a “spoiler alert”, but the audience never sees what occurs at the picnic, let along attends it! However, this entire production is just as appealing and comforting as a lunch eaten outdoors consisting of chicken salad sandwiches (with mayo), deviled eggs, creamy potato salad, with a cup of iced sweet tea to wash it all down! Just watch out for the ants!

  PICNIC, presented by Theater Palisades, performs at the Pierson Playhouse, 941 Temescal Canyon Road (off Sunset Blvd.), Pacific Palisades, until February 19th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees at 2:00 PM. For more information, call (310) 454-1970, or visit online at http://www.TheatrePalisades.com
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GLORIOUS!, Peter Quilter’s comedy about an eccentric woman of age whose talent for operatic singing was yet to be spoken for, opens at Santa Monica’s Morgan-Wixson Theatre.
Living in the heart of Manhattan c. 1944, Florence Foster Jenkins (AnnaLisa Erickson) is a woman of means. Living off a rather large inheritance, she keeps herself busy by becoming involved in her many interests. One of these personal passions is to become a soprano. However, her vocal pitch is far from being perfect. In fact, it’s downright awful! Her “boyfriend” St Clair Byfield (Larry Gesling) a man of British decent whose trade is a thespian, is aware of her actual talent, but supports her in what she wants to do in spite of what those who hear her sing may think. With the various charity recitals and extravagant balls her dose her singing, she hires Cosme McMoon (Eric Pierce), a young man who performs on the piano while she vocalizes. Her good friend and fellow society woman Dorothy (Joanna Churgin, alternating with Marina Tidwell), supports Florence as much as anyone else within her close circle. However, they will not admit that her singing needs work–lots of it! This notion of those that hear her singing, laughing in the process, won’t stop Florence as her reachers her high peak by holding a concert in Carnegie Hall. Will this woman make out with a song as a swan, or as her swan song?
This play with songs, comparing this to a traditional musical as this is not, is charming, witty, and heartwarming to boot. This tale of a woman who believed she was a great vocalist when everyone thought otherwise is based upon an actual person. Her tale was first brought to the public attention by playwright Peter Quiliter who discovered the woman’s “talent” by hearing a recording of her screeching through an operatic aura. The play first opened in Birmingham England in the middle 2000‘s, later moving to London’s west end theatre scene where it became a hit. It eventually became a feature film that sported the name of this “first lady of the sliding scale” (what the critics called her) that sang her way through fame! In this Morgan-Wixson production, AnnaLisa Erickson as Florence plays her role as a very sweet woman that holds very good intentions for herself. She has heart and appeal with a very bad vocal pitch! Eric Pierce as Cosme McMoon is a man that also feels for Florence, in spite of her bad singing. She even treats him as the son she never had, encouraging him to even settle down with a woman. (He does find settling down with someone appearing, but not necessarily with Florence’s named suggestion!) Larry Gesling as St. Clair Byfield is more of a “ham actor” type that a serious thespian, although he has performed in a few of The Bard’s plays of old! Joanna Churgin as Dorothy is just as eccentric as Florence, running around with other society women that are involved with a number of the woman’s clubs made popular in New York long before the days of television. Adding to the cast is Diane Baker as Mrs. Verrinbder-Gedge, a music loving woman that wants Florence silenced, and Arriella Fiore as Maria, Florence’s hispanic maid that speaks only Spanish but understands English as well as everyone else!
Anne Gesling serves as both musical director and stage director in this M-W production, keeping the pace fully active while adding to the music score that Florence attempts to sing.
In addition to the performing seen on stage is Thomas Brown’s set design that displays the various settings where Florence makes her mark in the musical world, from her apartment filled with 19th century-era furnishings, to a rather plain recording studio, shifting upon the ballroom of the Ritz Carlton Hotel, winding up on the stage of Carnegie Hall!
GLORIOUS! is just that! For those that have their hopes of becoming a great vocal talent that proves otherwise, this stage production can serve as an inspirational piece. It’s more encouraging that one of those many (too many?) talent shows that currently grace the TV landscape. The talent found on those programs don’t necessarily sing opera auras, but what do they really know anyway?

GLORIOUS!, presented by the Morgan-Wixson Theatre Guild, and performs at the Morgan-Wixson Theatre, 2627 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, until February 5th. Showtimes are Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday afternoons at 2:00 PM. A special talk back session where the cast and crew discuss their performing as well as taking questions from the audience, occurs after the performances held on Sunday, January 22nd, and Friday, January 27th.
     For more information as well as ticket reservations, call (310) 828-7519 or via online at http://www.Morgan-Wixson.org.
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 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!

BUSTED RESOLUTIONS

    As the second week of ’17 progresses, there has been reports billed as “true” news, comparing to that “fake” news that has been the rage of late, of folks already breaking their new year’s resolutions–the annual list of things to do in order to make the resolutions writer a so-called better person within the world they exist in.
The tradition goes something like this. On or around January 1st, a list is compiled where the person who is behind the list creates a personal goal to make that same person a better citizen in some method. Such items within their year long “to do” list can ranges from losing wright, quitting a vice (smoking, drinking, etc.), visiting and/or calling upon a family member to keep a communication line open (mom, the kids, the “ex”, etc.), and other factors that mean more to the person holding on to the list than anything else.
Just as a list is created at the first day of the month on the first month of the year, that list of resolutions wind up as misforgotten by January 31st. Usually there are a follow up list of excuses that’s behind why the promises to one’s self were not kept. (“I had no time to go to the gym!”, “My ex won’t answer any texts I sent out!”, “I forgot!”, etc.). Some of these excuses can be rather legit, while others can be lumped as good ol’ bulls#it!
Of course, the reason why such resolutions are never kept is the fact that these promises are rather hard to keep, if not downright difficult to maintain. These lists of “things to do” and “things not to do” can be overwhelming or just over the person’s head. Although these resolutions were made for the good of the list keeper as well as created with good intentions, the person who compiled that inventory of goals for the new year winds up taking a hard look at the list only to state “phooey”, and thus, walk away from something that just can’t and won’t be kept!
But not all new year’s resolutions wind up in the trash heap by February 1st. There are some folks that make up these lists for themselves. Not so much as “resolutions” per se, but as a list of personal goals.
A report we received right before the Christmas weekend from the folks at MediaPost did a survey asking domestic mothers (adult aged females who are moms or caretakers to kids under the age of eighteen), if they were going to compile new year’s resolutions, and if so, what were some of the items that were going down on their list. Although nearly one third of those polled gave an answer of “yes”, some of those were not to keen in making such a index. According to the report article, one person was quoted by stating “I’m so tired of hearing about resolutions! Why bother making them? I end up breaking them within the first few weeks of the year. Why set myself up for failure?”
But things were not as gloomy as the above quote may testify. The article continued to note that nearly all of those polled (97%) stated that they were going to set up goals for themselves for the new year. And the magic word word here is “goals”, rather than “resolutions” that tend to sound like an order of command where one must commit themselves to accomplish this task–or else!
And what were these goals that these women stated were on their lists? According to the results, those on the hit list were in their order of preference: Get healthy; Be happy; Make my home environment more peaceful and beautiful; and Make a positive impact on my community. (Volunteering for a worthy cause, etc.)
And there was the elements of keeping happy as well as having a balance within their lives. Those notions were stated as: Spending time with family: Doing little things for themselves; Exercising; Having quiet/meditation time; and Spending quality time with friends.
Although this list can be found as overwhelming, that isn’t necessarily the case as their was no hard deadline ever intended to complete these goals. The tasks would be conducted, if not completed, over a undeclared period of time. As the report also quoted from another polled person, “Resolutions are so binary. You are either always doing it or you aren’t. A goal seems much more flexible and achievable to me. I don’t have to be ‘resolute’ in my journey to achieve the goal.”
And to add is the state of emotion where these same moms gave for the new year.
The report detailed that the top three emotions for ’17 are optimistic, being happy, and  coming in at a distant third, anxious!
So leave it up to the moms out there to make the rules when it comes to new year’s resolutions. Granted, the above quoted report only covers a small demographic. This just means that other results may vary! Some people make make long hard list of things to do and to actually accomplish them. Other may make lists that are the same as the previous year’s list. And many don’t even bother for reasons that only make sense to the person in question. Whatever the case, that is what makes the new year just what it is; A year where promises are made, and where promises are changed, mismanaged, or just plain forgotten! That’s another part of the never ending saga of domestic life!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
No reviews this week, but in the next issue, we’ll present two separate reviews of new productions opening up in the region. We’ll see you then!
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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Details@AccessiblyLiveOffLine.com
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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 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!

WIPING THE SLATE CLEAN

This issue will serve as the first edition of Accessibly Live Off-Line’s entry for 2017, and the first one released on New Year’s Day for quite some time.
As this issue has gong to “press” (although the term “press” is being used as a figurative description as this “publication” hasn’t been paced officially on paper for some ten years), other places found online as well as traditional print has compiled their best and/or worst listing of things and events that made the year 2016 stand out as unique to the other years that has gone by in the recent decades. Some of these lists target a specific topic or subject. (Politics tends to be the biggest subject of interest for the moment.) But other aspects play a role of what became part of the year, such as the best or worst movies released, or the greatest advances in science and technology. These lists, either compiled as a rambling selection or those that take upon a “top-ten” category, show off how the year went that would become as noted interest to the general public at large.
Many people compile their personal lists as well. Many folks living within this domestic society noted changes that occurred within their lives. These changes can rank as something of a positive nature, such as a birth within the family or obtaining a new and perhaps better line of work. There are the events that hold a challenge, such as a move to another location (intentional or out of choice), or even a change toward a line of employment–good or otherwise! And there are the more somber events that occurred, such as a death experienced or a loss of a job. These and related like minded notations become another part of that “2016” landscape.
But wiping the slate clean so to speak, is actually a good thing. It gives one an opportunity to “start over”, making sure that whatever was performed for the good is enhanced or improved, while the not-so-hot events are either modified or removed altogether. Not everyone can make those modifications, but the ones that can do so with their sheer abundance.
So how are we going to make 2017 a better year and a robust season? It’s rather hard to tell. Although we here at ALOL keep our fiscal year as July 1st-June 30th (we are actually at the halfway point), we will still keep those news and reviews rolling along, just as we have for the past twenty one years!
And speaking of “21”, if we were a human being, we would now be old enough to drink legally, although we would still have to be carded by those issuing out the booze in question! Since this news service isn’t one that would have a nip or two, we won’t worry about that matter! Besides, we were made the permanent designated driver, so there goes your point. And besides that, isn’t 2017 the year of the driverless vehicle? Stay tuned to this here news service for further updates!

NEWS AND REVIEWS

     The Glendale Centre Theatre opens their 2017 theatre season with Peter Shaffer’s BLACK COMEDY, a comic farce where much of the action takes place within a pitch blacken room with the expected comic results.
Chance Dean is Brindsley Miller, a sculptor living in the South Kensington district of London. He’s very good in what he creates, although he’s a bit uncertain of himself. Ava Scott is Carol Melkett. She’s Brindsley’s fiancée, a woman who plays as a slightly rash debutante type, yet believes in her beau. Seems that an art collector who holds plenty of wealth is interested in some of Brindley’s art, and has invited this client to his galley set within his home. In order to impress his client, he borrows a number of pieces of fancy furnishings from his neighbor, Harold Gorringe (Ted Wells) without his permission or knowledge. While waiting for his client to arrive with the on hand presence of Carol’s father, Cornel Melkett (Paul Michael Nieman), a one time military man who still has that military train of though to conduct things, something tragic occurs! The lights go out, blanketing the place in total darkness! From that point, Brindsley has more to deal with outside of just selling his work. Everyone from a prissy neighbor friend to a former lover comes around in spite of the fact that the entire place is without light!
This play from the English playwright Peter Shaffer who penned such respected stage dramas as Five Finger Exercise, Amadeus, Equus among many others, creates a comedy that uses what’s known as “reverse lighting”, where the stage is totally lit when it’s suppose to be dark, and vise versa. This method of stage lighting adds to much of the comedy depicted on stage where the characters are moving about in a darken home trying not to run into anything while keeping their wits about. The cast of performers that appear on the GCT’s theatre-in-the-round space move about with the comical timing this play commands, keeping upon the trance of their British inspired wit. Zoe Bright is on helm to direct this play that has the entire cast moving in and about through its opening scene to its final light/dark climax!
Also appearing in the cast is Georgan George as Miss Furnival, the prissy lady who becomes part of the darkness tragedy, Tayah Howard as Clea, Brindsley’s old flame, and GCT rep players Kyle Kelly and Don Woodruff in supporting roles.
And since this is a period piece (the play was first presented in the 1960’s) Angela Manke’s costuming showcases a sample of the fashions of the era to its precise style and element.
This production is idea to take upon one’s self a viewing of in order to shake those post-holiday blues! It offers plenty of laughs from the witty humor to its fast paced physical comedy. The GCT presents this program as a tribute to the playwright who passed away in 2016 at the ripe age of ninety. (Peter Shaffer’s name may have been placed in those “personalities who we lost in 2016” laundry lists, unless other names that were well noted but not necessarily as important or significant came ahead on those registers!)
Whatever the case, BLACK COMEDY isn’t a “black comedy” in the traditional sense. It’s just a fun show to see to make the new year right!

     BLACK COMEDY, presented by and performs at the Glendale Centre Theatre. 324 North Orange Street, Glendale, until February 11th. Showtimes are Friday, and Saturday evenings at 8:00 PM, and Saturday matinees at 3:00 PM. Additional performances take place on Thursday, January 12th and 19th at 8:00 PM, and Sunday matinees perform on January 8th, 15th, and 22nd at 3:00 PM.
For more information and for ticket reservations, call (818) 244-8481, or visit the GCT’s web site at http://www.GlendaleCentreTheatre.com

ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE
is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2017 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!

END OF THE YEAR ALREADY?

Although there are less than two weeks before December 31st, the final day of the calendar year, it appears that many sources are reporting their compiling lists for the best/worst/memorable/forgettable notations that existed in 2016, making sure that readers that need to know this stuff have it all down pat for the clock chimes twelve midnight on the 31st.
Depending on the lists on hand, these writers of said lists jot down what the composer believes are the noteworthy mentions that will make 2016 fall into the annals of history. Many of these lists speak about the trends that made the year what it was in terms of current events, the media, and domestic society in general. These lists exist to make a specific point or to generally amuse and entertain, meaning that its importance isn’t something crucial. It’s just a bit of info to use while the so-called holidays are making its mark throughout the land.
Although not a heck of a lot takes place during the final two weeks of the year, it’s most likely that the subject matter won’t ever get outdated. Granted, current events are to change without reason or schedule. They just happen when they happen. But when it comes to let’s say, the best movies of the year, then a film title that isn’t part of that list either won’t come around in January of the next year, or that feature isn’t as good as the ones posted within the list. The same goes for any other media based element as well, be it books, TV shows, songs, or some other aspect that is part of the way of life for the moment.
Although we here at Accessibly Live Off-Line receives a lot of press releases and related news of somebody’s list of the best and/or worst, we don’t necessarily report them on these pages as many of these lists are out of our general scope. (That is what the ‘net is for to find them yourself, and possible spread them around through the usually social media outlets!) When it comes to lists that are based upon subjects we do cover, then we choose to be rather selective.
The movie industry tends to take the limelight here, where groups, guilds, societies, and other forms of organizations compile their list for the best in movies, as well as the worst. Of course, these lists are compiled by those within the groups, be it be by members, scholars, or by basic hanger-oners that feel they should compile said lists.
Out of these many lists we gain access to, the only list we place is found in this very issue posted below. And within the same nature of the other lists, what is placed there is up for debate, making the list the most challenging. That’s generally why these lists exist to begin with!
No matter though. 2016 as a year will go down in history as another era that took place within the second decade of the 21st century. It saw a series of firsts, lasts, and onlys. It witnessed some of the most memorable events, as well as the ones that should become forgotten! It was the best of times, as well as the worst. Whatever the case, these lists will have its moments, only to become latter placed aside and perhaps long forgotten. It’s just something to wrap up another year with, even if that wrapping is taking place some two weeks early! Better early that late–or never!
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NEWS AND REVIEWS
ROUGE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY (Lucasfilms/Disney) takes place long ago in a galaxy far away.
Felicity Jones is cast as Jyn Erso. Her father Galen Erso (Mads Mikkelsen) was once  part of the high intellect team that held alliance with Orson Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) of The Empire. Grlan, who has since moved away from The Empire, lived on an isolated planet as a farmer with his family. He was behind the creation of The Dark Star that could destroy any form of encampment that was not in alliance with The Empire. When her family was threatened by Orson to return back to this confederation as he resisted, Jyn fled her family as a young child as they were now doomed. Now on her own, she was raised by Saw Gerrera (Forest Whitaker) a rebel outlaw. By the time Jyn becomes an adult, she became part of a crack team that seeks the real truth to the creation of The Empire’s Dark Star. Jyn’s group consists of Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), blind monk Chirrut Imwe (Donnie Yen), Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen), Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed) and a droid labeled as K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk) who all join forces to save their civilization over The Empire and their evil methods and ruling pressures.
This latest installment to the evergreen Star Wars franchise is billed as a “stand alone” entry, meaning that it takes place within a domain that isn’t necessarily connected to the other chapters in the Star Wards universe (no pun intended), although there are a few character cameo appearances to take note upon. (This reviewer will skip out any spoiler notations, since some other reviewer will do it anyway!) But outside of the plotting and the cast of players that goes along with them all, this feature has just about anything and everything one expects in a Star Wars picture: action, adventure, battles, and a load of special effects! As with keeping with new traditions as cemented within last year’s entry Star Wars: The Force Awakens (See review: Vol. 20-No. 51), the lead character Jyn Erso as portrayed by Felicity Jones is a classic “kick ass” woman. She plays her role not so much as a female lead per se, but one that takes everything in an in-charge method as somebody who’s sexless. The reason for this mode of performing is to not only attract the female populace into the theaters, but to serve as a positive role model to that same demographic. (It’s also more politically correct in these trying times!) And speaking of demographics, two other performers: Donnie Yen and Jiang Wen as Chirrut Imwe and Baze Malbus respectfully, are one of China’s bigger stars. Since China is currently the second biggest movie market in the world for American based films, especially for action/adventure pics, the presence of these two players will be attractive to the Chinese market as that nation will shell out big bucks to see one of their own kind in a movie that originates from the USA, even though this feature was shot in the United Kingdom and in remote locations as Iceland, Jordan and the Maldives.
Wherever it was shot and who are its targeted markets, this feature gives all of the Star Wars fans their money’s worth!  Chris Weitz and Tony Gilroy’s screenplay with story by John Knoll and Gary Whitta with characters created by George Lucas (who else?) moves on an even flow. There is action depicted (duh!), along with some humor (subtle), drama (not too much!), and even a hint of romance, yet there isn’t anything that’s part of a standard romantic scene! (No kissing, groping, and heaven forbid-no screwing!) After all, this movie is for all ages to take part of. Besides, director Gareth Edwards didn’t have a place for all of that nonsense! This is a Star Wars picture, y’know!
Will this feature live up to the recent Star Wars entries released within the last few years, especially those titles now created under the realm of the Walt Disney Company? Perhaps, although it won’t necessarily reach the same amount of money that The Force Awakens racked in! (That title is the biggest money maker for North America, and the third biggest grossing film worldwide–ever!!) But this movie will please all nevertheless! You can rest assure that Star Wars and everything connected to it won’t go away for a long time, no matter how far that galaxy is. Just as long as it’s near a bank vault!
This feature film is rated “PG-13” for sci-fi action violence. Now playing in multiplexes worldwide!
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FENCES (Paramount) stars Denzel Washington as Troy. The place in Pittsburgh, PA c.1956. He holds a blue collar job as a garbage man for the city, living in the section of town known as “The Hill” that is primary Negro. He lives with his spouse Rose (Violia Davis) in a humble homestead. Troy’s adult son from a previous marriage Lyons (Russell Hornsby) works as a jazz musician around town. He only shows up at the home to borrow money from his dad. His other son (Lyon’s stepbrother) Cory (Jovan Adepo) is completing his high school studies playing football for the school. Troy’s coworker from the sanitation department and best friend Bono (Stephen Henderson) is at his side, always supporting Troy and Rose. Troy himself is doing best in what he can do for his family in spite of the struggles he has to face as a negro working for and in a white man’s world.
This feature film, the first August Wilson play title ever made into a movie, plays much as a filmed stage play. (The screenplay is credited to Wilson based upon the title play.) Most of the action takes place at Troy and Rose’s home, limiting the scenes to a bedroom, living room, kitchen, and front/back yard. It is also a very talky film. In fact, the first half hour or so of this movie is a non-stop talk fest, where Washington, et. al, are at their verbal banter at a mile a minute. This method of talk, talk, talk, isn’t really a bad thing per se. However, the notion of all-talk-no-walk (or limited walk, anyway) is great for a TV program, but not so much for a feature film! Then again, since this is movie award season, many of those that vote for films (this writer included) will watch this title via a DVD screener or through a secure streaming method on a video monitor and thus, the watching this movie as it exists is best served on a smaller viewing area.
But never mind the specs! This film is entertaining for what it is. Denzel Washington does a great directing job that uses a lot of close ups and tight shots to bring their characters up front within a personal aspect. And as noted above, most of its “action” is in the form of dialogue and physical emotions that can be seen throughout, so don’t expect a lot of special effects or other “movie”-type visuals.
Many of its cast members also appeared in a revival run that appeared on Broadway in 2010, making most of the material as they had previous experience with this drama in film form extracting it from its stage presence.
One notion is for certain, FENCES is a really great stage play. As a movie, it’s amusing. But unless a local community theatre ever presents this title in a stage version, this may be the only way to experience the great writing that this playwright has churned out. Take a look and see for yourself!
This film is rated “PG-13” for mild cussing. Now playing in select theaters nationwide.
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On December 14th, 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. Any motion picture can be chosen as long as it meets those guidelines, and do not necessarily have to be commercial productions. (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.)
1)-The Atomic Cafe (1982)
2)-Ball of Fire (1941)
3)-#Beau Brummels, The (1928)
4)-Birds, The (1963)
5)-Blackboard Jungle (1955)
6)-Breakfast Club, The (1985)
7)-Decline of Western Civilization, The (1981)
8)-East of Eden (1955)
9)-Funny Girl (1968)
10)-#Life of an American Fireman (1903)
11)-Lion King, The (1994)
12)-Lost Horizon (1937)
13)-Musketeers of Pig Alley, The (1912)
14)-Paris Is Burning (1990)
15)-Point Blank (1967)
16)-Princess Bride, The (1987)
17)-Putney Swope (1969)
18)-Rushmore (1998)
19)-#Solomon Sir Jones films (1924-28)
20)-Steamboat Bill, Jr. (1928)
21)-#Suzanne, Suzanne (1982)
22)-Thelma & Louise (1991)
23)-20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1916)
24)-Walk in the Sun, A (1945)
25)-Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

For more details on the above titles including titles of other films on the registry as well as how to vote for the 2017 selection, visit the LOC’s National Film Preservation Board web site at http://www.loc.gov/film
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This edition of Accessibly Live Off-Line will be the final installment for the 2016 calendar year. We will be taking the next week off, later to return with Vol. 22. No 1, released on the week of January 1st, 2017. Until then, have a great holiday season!
See you in ’17!
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is a presentation of Linear Cycle Productions

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ACCESSIBLY LIVE OFF-LINE (C) 2016 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!