Observations Along the Road

Theatre Writeups, Musings on the News, Rants and Roadkill Along the Information Superhighway

Things That Are Going Away… But Maybe Not

Written By: cahwyguy - Wed Sep 02, 2015 @ 9:35 am PDT

userpic=zombieAnd the process of cleaning out the links continues…. this collection brings together a number of stories about things that are going away… but then again:

  • Maui Potato Chips. As I’m on the island of Maui right now, let’s start with something that I’m craving, that used to be easy to find, but now is very difficult to find: The Original Maui Kettle Cook’d Potato Chips. When I was out here 30 years ago, they were everywhere (and you used to ship them back to the mainland). Today? You’re lucky to find a small bag for $7.99 in a few stores. They’ve been replaced by a knockoff chip from the state of Washington. Washington?!?!? But if you know where to look, they are still available. (but of course, I can’t eat them — I’m watching my weight and blood pressure :-( )
  • Renaissance Costumes. I’ve written before about how  the theatrical landscape in Southern California is changing due to the machinations of AEA. Many theatres have retrenched in various ways, and this is now starting to have ripple effects. AJS Costumes, a large theatrical and renaissance costumer, has started a GoFundMe to help them survive the ripple. As they write: “As you may or may not be aware, the live theater scene in Los Angeles has been going through an upheaval for the past several months.  Changes in the local 99-seat theater community are causing many theater companies to be very conservative in selecting their projects.  To avoid collapse, many theater companies are doing smaller productions, with less costume design needed, and fewer period plays. The rental business and costume design services of AJS Costumes has slowed to a trickle. This downturn has been sudden.  It has been unforeseen.  It has been devastating.   Despite this crisis, we are continuing to serve our clientele and assure you that all outstanding orders are being fulfilled.   But in order to survive, we must explore and secure new income options for our shop.”
  • Verizon Contract Plans. You may have heard that Verizon was getting rid of subsidized phone plans. That’s actually not true — it is only true for new customers. Old customers — as long as you keep renewing or have phones on the old plan — you can keep it.
  • iPod Classics. Well, they aren’t going away. You can even do as I’m thinking of doing and put in a SSD. But, alas, Apple is declaring them obsolete as of Labor Day. I’m sure you can still get them repaired, although some parts may be harder to get.



Life as a Theme Park

Written By: cahwyguy - Tue Sep 01, 2015 @ 8:23 pm PDT

userpic=eticketAs we continue the process of cleaning out the links, today’s three-theme brings together articles related to current and former theme parks, although the term is used loosely:


I Don’t Have a Good Feeling About This

Written By: cahwyguy - Tue Sep 01, 2015 @ 10:46 am PDT

userpic=theatre2Continuing the process of cleaning out the accumulated links, as themed link three-sets form like hurricanes in the Central Pacific…. This collection all relates to upcoming theatre productions that don’t leave me with a good anticipatory feeling:

  • Jordanian Adaptation of Oliver!. Lionel Bart’s musical, Oliver!, is a well known adaptation of Charles Dicken’s “Oliver Twist“. One of the more problematic features of Oliver Twist (a story I happen to like) is the potentially antisemitic portray of Fagin, the old man who runs the gang of thieves. The musical version made a distinct attempt to tone down the antisemitism (especially when it came to Broadway — if you contrast the original version from the West End). So naturally, hearing that this show will be done in an Arab country — an area where antisemitism isn’t only common but encouraged — doesn’t bode well.  Adding to the fear is the following note from the article: “Working with a local community center in the Jordanian capital, the story has been updated to a modern Arab city.” Let’s see: Lovable Jewish merchants running a gang of thieves in a modern Arab city. What could possibly go wrong?
  • K-Pop Adaption of In The Heights. Lin Manual Miranda’s musical In The Heights, was a hit when it reached Broadway in 2008. It brought a hispanic flavor to inner-city hip-hop with a language that theatre hasn’t seen before. Theatremania is reporting that the show is soon to open in Seoul Korea, with some footage already available. The musical will play the Blue Square Samsung Card Hall in Hannam-dong beginning September 4, with a cast led by several K-pop stars including Key of SHINee and Jang Dong-woo of INFINITE sharing the role of Usnavi. Mixing K-Pop stars and hip-hop. What could possibly go wrong?
  • I Can’t Hear You. There are loads and loads of shows planning to open on Broadway., from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s School of Rock to a musical version of American Psycho. But the mind boggles when it hears about another production planning for the Great White Way: The SpongeBox SquarePants Musical. Yup, and no, this isn’t a kids theatre show.  Nickelodeon will make its Broadway debut as a producer on the musical, with a score provided by a mixture of classic and contemporary rockers. The full list of composers was announced Aug. 31:  Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of the band Aerosmith, Tony winner Cyndi Lauper, They Might Be Giants, Jonathan Coulton, Dirty Projectors, The Flaming Lips, John Legend, Lady Antebellum, Panic! At the Disco, Plain White T’s, and T.I., with an additional song by David Bowie and additional lyrics by Jonathan Coulton. The plot is as follows: “The end is near. Only one sponge can save the day. But he’s going to need help from some of the greatest songwriters in rock and pop music history.” Again, what could possibly go wrong?

P.S.: I can’t resist adding a non-theatre item that also strikes fear in my heart. In Los Angeles, Metrolink has indicated they are purchasing some state-of-the-art locomotives to replace their well worn engines. These Tier 4 locomotives are powerful, fuel-efficient vehicles designed to slash potentially harmful releases of nitrogen oxide and fine particles of diesel exhaust. They also have never been used in passenger service — and heavy service — before.  Metrolink officials say the Tier 4 engines have up to 1,700 more horsepower, use less fuel, have longer service lives and are more reliable than rebuilt engines.  However, Paul Dyson, president of the Rail Passenger Assn. of California, was concerned the new engines could have “plenty of teething problems” as they go into service, as they are so new they don’t have any service history for passenger use. Some Tier 4 engines are being tested for freight service at Union Pacific Corp. and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Co., two of the nation’s largest carriers. Lena Kent, a spokesperson for BNSF, said the railroad’s prototypes have “experienced operating issues,” but she declined to elaborate.

Here’s where I get worried. McCarthy, Metrolink’s deputy chief, disagreed with Dyson, saying all Tier 4 components have been tested successfully. “We are not concerned,” he added. “It’s a tried-and-true locomotive.” This reminds me of the High Assurance Brake Job; in particular, the process people. They may never have done a brake job before, but: “Well, no, but we’ve done other mechanic-type work before, and our processes are designed to be adaptable to all situations. We’ve got processes for making sure bolts and stuff are loosened and then tightened later. We’ve got processes to check that we don’t have left over parts when we’re done with the job. We got processes for…”

They’ve never run the locomotive in passenger service before, but all the components have been tested successfully. What could possibly go wrong?

P.P.S.: If you haven’t read the High Assurance Brake Job, you really must. It’s a classic (PDF).

California Highway Headlines for August 2015

Written By: cahwyguy - Tue Sep 01, 2015 @ 9:24 am PDT

userpic=roadgeekingAugust. The dog days of summer. A time when you’re either out driving in the heat or hiding from it. I’m on the beach in Hawaii m’self, but I did collect these headlines for you:

  • State Agency Cites Caltrans, Contractors for ‘Serious Violations’ Leading to Willits Bypass Collapse. A state investigation has determined the falsework that collapsed on the Willits bypass on January 22 “was not properly designed, was not erected as per the design plans, was missing components, [and] deficiencies were not identified when inspected and signed off by the project engineer for the company erecting it.”
  • On 91 Freeway, a $2-billion effort to keep up with increasing traffic . The 91 Freeway between Fullerton and Corona is one of the most congested stretches of highway in California — an often frustrating bog of idling engines, squeaking brakes and commuter angst. The rush hour traffic results from an abundance of jobs in Orange County and more affordable housing in the Inland Empire. But for almost a decade, Caltrans and local transportation agencies were prevented from improving the heavily congested portal.
  • I-680 toll express lanes construction set to start. The project to bring toll express lanes to Interstate 680 through the San Ramon Valley is expected to start construction this month, with completion estimated for late next year. “The beginning of work on the 680 express lanes between San Ramon and Walnut Creek is an important milestone,” John Goodwin, spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) said Tuesday.
  • 1963 Orange County Freeways Master Plan. It’s just a map, but what a map.
  • Contra Costa driver tolls on the I-680 horizon. Express lanes — toll roads for solo drivers willing to pay for speedier commutes — are about to bring Contra Costa County drivers into the world of high-tech traffic controls. Work was to begin Wednesday night on the first of three express-lane segments that in time will extend from the Benicia Bridge to the county border at Alcosta Boulevard in San Ramon. The first segment is on both directions of Interstate-680 from Walnut Creek to San Ramon.
  • San Antonio Road Bridge replacement plan in works. Plans to replace the San Antonio Road Bridge near the Marin-Sonoma border are in the works at the Civic Center. The bridge, built in 1917, will remain standing for pedestrian and bicycle use as a new $5.5 million span is constructed. The project, financed by federal grants, is part of the Marin-Sonoma Narrows freeway widening program. It involves realignment of San Antonio Road between Novato and Petaluma, including the span over San Antonio Creek.
  • Caltrans Talks About Replacing PCH’s Alamitos Bay Bridge. California’s Department of Transportation (Caltrans) is beginning a process to replace or repair the Alamitos Bay Bridge on Pacific Coast Highway. The bridge was built in 1959 over the river channel between Second Street and Loynes Drive. It was widened eight years later, but now has been deemed seismically deficient (in danger of collapse in an earthquake).
  • Caltrans: Grass Valley public meeting on Hwy. 49 widening . To get local feedback on the State Route 49 highway widening project, the California Department of Transportation will host an open house from 4-7 p.m. Wednesday in the Hullender Room at the Grass Valley City Hall. In an attempt to improve traffic operations and safety, the project proposes to widen Highway 49 to a four-lane highway, with 10-foot shoulder upgrades, from Nevada County’s section of the highway from miles 11.1 to mile 13.3.
  • New Life for Old East Span Steel. The Bay Bridge Steel Program, being administered by Oakland Museum of California (OMCA), was created in response to significant public interest from Bay Area artists and creative communities in making steel from the original 1936 East Span of the Bay Bridge available for repurposing and reuse. The steel that will be made available through this program will be drawn from the second phase of bridge demolition that began this summer. Noted photographer Sam Burbank, who also documented the dismantling of the Carquinez Bridge, has graciously provided the amazing photos on this two-page spread to give our readers an idea of the raw materials that will eventually become public art.
  • Why the time is right to re-examine the L.A. freeway
    . In 1981, a young writer named David Brodsly described the Los Angeles freeway as one of the city’s indispensible metaphors, “one of the few parts capable of standing for the whole.” He argued that the freeway had expanded “the realm of the accessible” for drivers in Southern California — that it was a powerfully democratic force, in essence — and lent “a new clarity” to a vast metropolitan region that newcomers had long found illegible and tough to grasp.
  • ‘The prettiest park in Los Angeles’ and why a freeway runs through it. Freeways are brutal structures. And they have been dropped into many communities — especially poor ones — in often indiscriminate ways. Exits from the 101 spill out onto quiet residential streets in Silver Lake. The monumental stacks of the 105 and the 110 lord over single-family homes in South L.A. And all over town you find homes and businesses tucked into the noisy, inhospitable curves of a freeway access ramp. There is Offramp Gallery, a contemporary art space in Pasadena, which lies within the roar of the 210, and the Psychic Center of Los Angeles, sandwiched between a towering freeway wall and an onramp on the southbound 5. (Freeway noise aside, they do excellent readings.)
  • AQMD: 710 Freeway tunnel would raise cancer risk to unacceptable levels. In a detailed critique, the South Coast Air Quality Management District said the draft environmental impact report for the proposed 710 Freeway extension failed to estimate emissions of carbon monoxide and airborne particulates and that the tunnel project would raise the cancer risk to unacceptable levels. The eight-page letter from Ian MacMillan, the anti-smog district’s planning and rules manager, says the lack of basic air quality analysis renders the draft EIR useless to the agency or those deciding on a tunnel or other transit options.
  • Work continues on freeway interchange project. Work on the Interstate 80/Interstate 680/Highway 12 interchange project is continuing with bridge deck installation work related to the new Green Valley Road overcrossing. Crews installed five giant girders at the interchange earlier this week, the California Department of Transportation confirmed in a press release Thursday.
  • Caltrans, San Diego reviewing improvements to congested SR-56 in Carmel Valley. The city of San Diego and Caltrans are working together to find solutions for commuters who struggle daily with the heavily congested SR-56. At peak hours, the 56 can resemble a parking lot, with cars at a standstill. And with all the development occurring along the corridor, traffic is only expected to increase.
  • Caltrans seeking permit to bring down Bay Bridge support pier with explosives. Caltrans is seeking permits to demolish the largest pier of the old eastern span of the Bay Bridge with explosives, a procedure that could be dangerous to native marine mammals, but Caltrans officials say it would have the least impact on bay wildlife. Federal agencies are still taking public comment on the planned implosion, which if approved would take place in November.
  • Levine wants third lane open on Richmond-San Rafael Bridge by September. A third eastbound lane on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge should be opened by the end of next month at the latest, not in 2017 as Caltrans has proposed, says Assemblyman Marc Levine. On Tuesday he introduced a bill — Assembly Bill 9 — in an attempt to push the agency into action, a move Levine, D-San Rafael, believes will help relieve the afternoon commute, which has created bumper-to-bumper traffic in Marin as drivers jockey to get onto the span. Some of that backup has spilled onto northbound and southbound Highway 101.
  • I-80 traffic control system in new test phase. The congestion improvement project meant to help drivers safely negotiate commute tie-ups on Interstate 80 moved into a new phase of testing this week. Overhead signs for the I-80 SMART Corridor between the Carquinez and Bay bridges are being tested during the daytime as engineers integrate the interconnected parts and their controls.
  • 1953 – Newly opened Sepulveda Blvd passing beneath LAX runway.. (photo and comments)
  • Mr. Roadshow: Route 85 Access Points in Saratoga/a>. Q: Where will the access points to the planned Highway 85 express lanes be located? Will there be any in Saratoga?/li>
  • Nobody Walks in LA. Kickstarter for a coffee-table art book of empty freeways in Los Angeles
  • 710 Tunnel: San Gabriel Valley cities take it off wish list for sales-tax funded projects. A group representing San Gabriel Valley cities has removed a controversial freeway tunnel proposal from its wish list of projects that might be funded by a new transportation sales tax. The decades-old idea of extending the 710 Freeway north from its Alhambra terminus near Cal State Los Angeles to the 210 Freeway in Pasadena via an underground tunnel has been divisive. Alhambra wants a tunnel, Pasadena doesn’t. Other cities have taken sides.
  • Tenants worry as Caltrans prepares to sell homes along 710 Freeway corridor. The modest cottages and majestic Craftsman homes that line a swath of quiet streets stretching though Pasadena, South Pasadena and El Sereno are part of the long, tortured legacy of a freeway that was never built. In the 1950s and ’60s, Caltrans began buying up houses and plots of land for what was expected to be the path of the 710 Freeway extension. But in the decades that followed, the 6.2-mile project was stalled by lobbying, lawsuits and legislation. …
  • Rising seas, traffic threaten Highway 37. Highway 37 may mostly sit in Solano and Sonoma counties, but it has the potential to cause major traffic headaches for Napa County. Race days at Sonoma Raceway – such as this weekend—jam Highway 37 with traffic and prompt motorists to use south Napa County highways, jamming those roads too. During heavy winter storms, Highway 37, which sits on a low berm over marshland, can flood, diverting traffic to other routes, including Highway 12/121 in Napa County. With sea levels expected to rise, 37 faces an even more watery future.


On The Move: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Written By: cahwyguy - Mon Aug 31, 2015 @ 9:46 am PDT

userpic=travelContinuing to clear out the links… here’s a collection of news chum all being related by the theme of travel or travelling:


The Art of the Possible

Written By: cahwyguy - Sun Aug 30, 2015 @ 2:51 pm PDT

Evita (Maui Arts and Cultural Center)userpic=theatre_ticketsJust because we are on vacation doesn’t mean the theatre stops. When I’m on vacation, I typically try to see at least one local show. When I confirmed we were going to Maui, I started looking for what live shows would be here while we were here. The only one in our window was Evita (FB), a Maui Academy of the Performing Arts (MAPA) (FB) production at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center (MACC) (FB), which we saw last night. The BLUF (Bottom Line Up Front) assessment is that it was a very good production for community theatre, and quite enjoyable with only a few quibbles. As an aside, I’ll note that there appears to be a fair amount of theatre on Maui, including a regular fringe festival. Who knew?

We last saw Evita in a high-school performance at Van Nuys HS back in 2011. That was my wife’s first exposure to the show; I had seen the original when it was at the Shubert Theatre in Century City back when both existed back in 1980. For those not familiar with Evita, it is the second rock opera written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. It concentrates on the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, the second wife of Argentinian president Juan Perón. The story follows Evita’s early life, rise to power, charity work, and eventual death. It is a sung-through opera, with very little non-musical spoken dialogue. You can find a detailed synopsis of the story on the wikipedia page or on the Rice/Webber page for the show.

This production of Evita was put on by the Maui Academy of the Performing Arts (MAPA) (FB) , the third annual Broadway-style production from the 35 year old arts organization (they did Miss Saigon in 2014 and Les Miserables in 2013). As you can tell from the choice of shows, they like shows with large casts (presumably, to get large community involvement). This show was no exception, with 49 people in the ensemble, 10 additional tango dancers, 13 children in the children’s chorus.

The show was directed by David C. Johnston (FB), MAPA’s artistic director, with Choreography by André Morissette (FB) and staging by David C. Johnston (FB) and André Morissette (FB).  They made some interesting choices in the casting, movement, and staging departments — not necessarily bad choices, but ones that drew my attention. The first was in the casting. If you think about Evita and the typical casting, what comes to mind? A pencil-thin Eva Perón, a relatively thin army-officer type for Juan Perón, and a tall and thin Tango dancer for Agustin Magaldi. Their choices — talented all — were a bit more on the mid-size scale. This didn’t hurt the performances one bit (and I’m sure most of the audience didn’t notice), but it did give a different look to the show. You can see what I mean in the photos accompanying the cast credits below.  I actually enjoyed the casting, and it may have been more reflective of the Argentinian society of the time (size norms have changed over time, and what might be the image in my mind might reflect more the norms of the 1980s when this show came out, vs. the Latin American norms of 1930-1940 Argentina).

The second and third issues were more movement based. The director tended to have his actors use their arms quite a bit during songs (you likely know what a mean — the tendancy to sweep one’s arms in front of oneself as one sings to punctuate everything). This got to the point where it was a little visually distracting — again, it didn’t detract from the overall performance but was a directorial choice that was bothersome. The third issue was the overall movement of the ensemble, which was a bit more simplistic than I’m used to seeing on shows such as this in Los Angeles. My guess is that this was a combination of the extremely large ensemble and the fact that the ensemble was not built from professional dancers and gypsies, but from community members. Given that, the choreography was very good; it was just not all it could have been given what I’m used to seeing. It was great for the community theatre level, and — again — I’m sure most of the audience did not notice. I’m just used to community theatre at the level that challenges the professionals (look at the work of Cabrillo Music Theatre (FB)).

In the overall scheme of things, however, those are minor quibbles. The basic performance and staging went well, with a set that consisted primarily of moving stairways and balconies, a few drop columns, and some basic props. With this simplicity, there was a strong need for the acting to establish not only story but place and time — and it did that well. The show was overall enjoyable with some very good performances. Let’s now look at those performances.

Evita (Publicity Photos by Jack Grace)In the lead position as Eva Perón was Hawai’i’s top selling vocalist of all times (and a product of the early days of MAPA), Amy Hānaili’i Gilliom (FB). She had the perfect vocals for the role and captured the emotional performance quite well. The staging had a few odd costume changes on stage for Ms. Gilliom that were much more noticeable from the balcony (where we were sitting), but she looked beautiful in the costumes and gave a great performance. I’ll note that MAPA chose the staging that incorporated the song “You Must Love Me” from the movie, and Gilliom handled that song beautifully.

Eva’s antagonist, Che, is never mentioned by name during the show, but serves as a sardonic off-side commentator on the proceedings to provide the necessary cynical look on the situation. If you’re familiar with the concept album, you always see him as pushing his insecticide (a plot element that disappeared in the stage transition, leaving a number of musical moments where the words have been removed from the remaining music. Che was performed by Kepa Cabanilla-Aricayos/FB. He brought a much higher voice to the character (as if Patinkin wasn’t high), but worked well. The only oddity was that in a number of scenes he was part of the crowd seemingly supporting Perón; I would have expected him to be more off on the side observing instead. I’m guessing this was a directorial choice, and not a major problem. In general, I expected a strong sardonic and angry nature from the performance — this was particularly noticeable in “Goodnight and Thank You”.

Juan Perón was portrayed by Francis Tau’a/FB. Tau’a had a lovely voice for Perón and brought an appropriate stage presence, including a very touching performance in the second act.

The remaining two named characters were Danielle Dalaunay (FB) as Perón’s mistress, and Joey Schumacher/FB as Agustin Magaldi. Dalaunay (hint: don’t do a Google search on the name; unfortunately an adult industry actress also chose that name) really only has one scene and one song, but she nailed it and gave a lovely and touching rendition of “Where Am I Going To?”. Schumacher’s gave a wonderful vocal performance as Magaldi, but didn’t have the look of a tango singer that would have the teenage girls swooning.

Rounding out the performances were the large ensemble components. The ensemble consisted of (takes deep breath): Jay Agasid/FB, Ashlyn-Jade Aniban (FB), Heather Bartlemus/FB, Craig Bode/FB, Shane Borge/FB, Alfred Cantorna/FB, Emily Cantorna/FB, Dr. Virgie Cantorna/FB, Alice Carter/FB, Maile Castro/FB, Jordyn Clarke/FB, Haylie Daunhauer/FB, Haley DeForest/FB, Gina Duncan/FB, Christie Ellison/FB, Molli Fleming/FB, Marion Haller/FB, Halia Haynes/FB, Casey Hearl/FB, Tasiana Igondjo/FB, Aeris Joseph/FB, Brock Kahoohanohano-Abrose/FB, Julie Kawamura/FB, Kevin Lawrence/FB, Carlyn Leal/FB, Nomi Macadangdang/FB, Betty Miller/FB, Orion Milligan/FB, Danann Mitchell/FB, Kaimana Neil/FB, Tully O’Reilly/FB, Jim Oxborrow/FB, Sara Patton/FB, David Pisoni/FB, Isaac Rauch/FB, David Rooks/FB, Karli Rose/FB, Kela Rothstein/FB, Molly Schad, Cole Shafer/FB, Emma Smith/FB, Scott Smith/FB, Theresa Supera/FB, Joylene Nina Tabon/FB, Marc Toliver/FB, Preston Watanabe/FB, Eliza Wright/FB, and Nolan Yee. The Tango Dancers were Vicky Ayers/FB, Rose Baiot/FB, Marcia Barnett-Lopez, Peter Black/FB, Sugandha Ferro Black/FB, Hawkeye Lannis, Doug Miller/FB, Nadama/FB, Rita Okeane/FB, and Tom Weierhauser/FB. The Children’s Chorus was Avery Ardoin, Madeline Austin, Ashton Chargualaf, Nealon Guzman, Kaylee Herman, Sofia Kafami/FB, Randi Lonzaga, Haley Mahoe, Luna Graham Milligan, Jena Mukai, Elly Smith/FB, Erin Smith/FB, Dutch Tanaka Akana, and Jillian Vince-Cruz.

Music was under the direction of Gary Shin-Leavitt (FB), who conducted the 19 piece on-stage band (something you don’t often see). The band consisted of: Kim Vitterli (FB) (Keyb0ard), Beth Fobbe-Wills/FB (Keyboard), Reid Ishikawa/FB (Keyboard), Judy Waters (1st Violin), Sue Westcott/FB (1st Violin), Ana Kalina (2nd Violin), Darius Soo Hoo (FB) (2nd Violin), Teresa Skinner (FB) (Viola), Patrice Weed-Shearer (FB) (Viola), Cheryl Lindley/FB (Cello), Michelle Ancheta (Cello), Lauralei Singsank (FB) (Flute), Beth Sederstrom (Clarinet/Sax), Cody Sarmiento (FB) (Trumpet), Henry Arroyo (Trombone), Stephen Rodrigues (Electric Bass), Wenlu Duffy (FB) (Guitar), Perry Gragas/FB (Percussion), and Richard Vetterli/FB (Drums).

Turning to the technical side. The set design by Dan Hays/FB was relative simple: two movable staircases, a movable balcony, and a static balcony. Simple, but effective, as they were constantly being reconfigured. These were supported by the props by Jeff Robidoux and Barbara Sedano (FB), which worked reasonably well. My only quibble was with the Argentinian flag, which was often portrayed without the sunburst. Now, it turns out that the sunburst-less version of the flag is the ornamental flag and thus a valid version. Still, I’m not sure if that was the right flag to use. The sound design by Joseph “Joe” Arias  was reasonable, but could stand for a little adjusting (some mics were problematic, and some needed their volume increased). The lighting design by Mark Astrella served to create the mood appropriately. The costumes by Vanessa Cerrito (FB) (Kenneth Peter Lee for Eva Peron) seemed appropriately period, as did the hair, wig, and make-up design by Marc Tolliver/FB and Karli Rose/FBAndré Morissette (FB)  was the costume consultant. Lina Krueger/FB was the stage manager, assisted by Tina Kailiponi/FB. Evita was produced by the Maui Academy of the Performing Arts (MAPA) (FB).

The last performance of Evita at the Maui Arts and Cultural Center (MACC) (FB) is a few hours away, at 2:00 PM HST. Tickets are available through the MACC website, but at this point I’d call the box office. We forewarned: Hurricane Ignacio, as the time I’m writing this, is a Category 4 Hurricane about 400 mi E of the island of Hawaii, with a storm track that has it running to the north and west of the islands. We’re getting wind and some rain here on the north western side of Maui; MACC is in Kahului, on the eastern side of the island (which will have more storms and winds). The show is worth seeing, but stay safe.

Ob. Disclaimer: I am not a trained theatre critic; I am, however, a regular theatre audience member. I’ve been attending live theatre in Los Angeles since 1972; I’ve been writing up my thoughts on theatre (and the shows I see) since 2004. I do not have theatre training (I’m a computer security specialist), but have learned a lot about theatre over my many years of attending theatre and talking to talented professionals. I pay for all my tickets unless otherwise noted. I am not compensated by anyone for doing these writeups in any way, shape, or form. I subscribe at three theatres:  REP East (FB), The Colony Theatre (FB), and Cabrillo Music Theatre (FB). Through my theatre attendance I have made friends with cast, crew, and producers, but I do strive to not let those relationships color my writing (with one exception: when writing up children’s production, I focus on the positive — one gains nothing except bad karma by raking a child over the coals).  I believe in telling you about the shows I see to help you form your opinion; it is up to you to determine the weight you give my writeups.

Upcoming Shows: September starts with Tom Paxton’s last concert at McCabes (FB) on September 12, followed by “The Diviners” at REP East (FB) and “First Date” at The La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts (FB). October will bring another Fringe Festival: the NoHo Fringe Festival (FB). They haven’t put up the Fringe shows yet, so I may start booking weekends. October also has the following as ticketed or hold-the-dates: CSUN’s Urinetown (end of October – 10/30 or 11/1);  “The Best of Enemies” at The Colony Theatre (FB) (Ticketed for Sat 10/10); and  “Damn Yankees” at Cabrillo Music Theatre (FB) (Ticketed for Sat 10/17). November will bring the Nottingham Festival (FB) on November 7; “A Day Out with Thomas” at Orange Empire Railway Museum (FB) on November 11; and Deathtrap at REP East (FB) on November 14. The rest of the month is currently open. As always, I’m keeping my eyes open for interesting productions mentioned on sites such as Bitter-Lemons, and Musicals in LA, as well as productions I see on Goldstar, LA Stage Tix, Plays411.

Older Technology Revisited: PDP/8s, Wingdings, and Space Jam

Written By: cahwyguy - Sat Aug 29, 2015 @ 11:00 am PDT

userpic=cyborgContinuing with our “clearing out of the links”, here’s a collection about older technology that is still going strong, in some way, shape or another:


Abandon Hope, All Ye Who Enter

Written By: cahwyguy - Fri Aug 28, 2015 @ 5:33 pm PDT

userpic=boredAnother in the continuing series of clearing off the pre-vacation and vacation links.This collection all has to do with thing or concepts that are either abandoned, or should be abandoned:

  • Women Want To Have Extramarital Affairs. If the Ashley Madison hack demonstrated anything, it demonstrated we must abandon the fantasy that women want to have affairs with handsome married men. The New York Post actually said it best:

    The Ashley Madison hack proves men are dogs. But the Ashley Madison service itself proves men are suckers.Not simply because millions of men who were trying to hide from their wives decided to use their real names and email addresses in signing up for an adultery website — though that wasn’t exactly the mark of genius. It’s because they thought that there were millions of halfway attractive, married women out there just waiting for a hot proposition from a married man so they could be unfaithful.

    There aren’t. And chances are there won’t ever be. It’s hard to know how many users of the site are real (it sounds as if some were signed up by friends or enemies as practical jokes). But even taking the numbers at face value, the ratio is abysmal. There were about 28 million men and 5 million women in the account list, while the credit-card information belongs almost entirely to men.

    Ashley Madison confirms what we already know about infidelity. Men are much more likely to engage in it than women. And men are much more interested in casual sex than women.

    To suggest otherwise is either a male fantasy or a feminist one.

    Or, as LA Observed put it:

    But the bigger story is that Ashley Madison isn’t actually a website where men pay to have hot affairs with women then have their names and personal info hacked. It’s a site where men pay and try to have affairs, then have their info hacked. A real distinction.

    The LA Observed article goes on with a whole bunch of statistics about the “women” on the site, including the fact that “Out of 5.5 million female accounts, roughly zero percent had ever shown any kind of activity at all, after the day they were created.”. In other words, Ashley Madison was a huge self satisfaction site for men. Now think about the fact that we’re pillorying people for being on it, even thought it is highly likely they were actually unfaithful. In fact, given they didn’t validate email addresses, it is highly likely that all the people who are on the list were really on the site.* Perhaps what we should abandon is the notion that society knows how to do critical thinking and reasoning.

  • Suitcases. From the 1910s through the 1960s, many patients at the Willard Asylum for the Chronic Insane left suitcases behind when they passed away, with nobody to claim them. Upon the center’s closure in 1995, employees found hundreds of these time capsules stored in a locked attic.  Mental Floss has a fascinating article about the contents of those suitcases, and what it says about the lives and hopes of the patients.
  • Handwriting. Those of us in the computer generation may be of the belief that it was the computer and text message that led to the death of handwriting. Atlantic Magazine has a different opinion: they opine that it was the ballpoint pen that killed handwriting. This was because the pen used different ink that required more pressure and made writing harder. As a regular fountain pen using, I can believe it. A good fountain pen is head and shoulders above a ballpoint.

*: On Facebook, about a week ago, I wrote the following: “Re: 2nd Ashley Madison Data Dump. Perhaps it is just the way my mind works, but what is to prevent anyone with a grudge from taking any past data dump (say any Target breech), doctoring with additional information, and then dumping it as Ashley Madison data? Certainly not the reaction of the victims: they are tainted if they admit, and not believed if they deny.”