Mornings at Seven. Theater Review.

Robert Massimi.

When I first saw “Mornings At Seven” at the Lyceum theater in 1980, it was one of my favorite plays. Set in the midwest somewhere never really stated, the year, 1938. The play had charm, great acting and a fantastic set.

1980 saw “Mornings at Seven” win several Tony awards for best revival of a play, best actor award to David Rounds and Vivian Matalon as best director. The play cleaned up the Drama Desk Awards with best Male, Female, lighting, costumes, lighting and director awards. The show would run for 564 performances, many evenings to standing ovations.

In 2002 the show would reopen with Christopher Lloyd and Estelle Parsons taking lead roles. It too would play at the Lyceum theater and play 112 performances. The show would have commercial success being nominated for several Tony awards.

Popular today amongst Regional, Community and Summer Stock, ” Mornings at Seven” is a popular play with theater goers. It has rich, old fashion parlor humor and is the story of four aging sisters. As an audience we can identify with all the characters on the stage.

Deeper to it’s core, the aging sisters, two of which want to change their lives before it is too late to do so. It is a big risk in 1938 because people suppressed their feelings, they went along with what society dictated and what was seen as normal and acceptable.

The trick to this play is not what is so much said but how it is relayed to the audience. The timing of how the actors say the lines, the facial expressions are key. Directing as well as lighting are a must for this play to be a success. Each character plays a huge roll for “Mornings at Seven”.

The Elmwood Players production of this show fell short of it’s efforts. The lighting and costumes were good, as were Tom Stratford as Homer, Scott Nangle as David Crampton and Mara Karg as Esther Crampton.

The problem was that the rest of the cast put in a lack luster effort. The timing and the direction were not on mark and as a result this “Mornings at Seven was really bad. The miscast problem left many audience members heading for the exits after the first act. The play was simply underwhelming.

Elmwood players has put on a lot of terrific plays and musicals (Bridges of Madison County was terrific last year). The theater company has been around for seventy years and produces for the most part fine work. Unfortunately it missed it’s mark with “Mornings “.

The key point of the story is about the four sisters, all of whom are different in many ways. The men in the plot all have different personalities as well, but the key driver is the woman. The direction gets lost in this main plot point. We never see enough tension, nor do we ever feel that anything is wrong between them. The whole premise of the show was missed here and as a result the show was very slow moving and inconsistent.

With a very nice set snd excellent lighting in this production, it would have been really nice yo see a powerhouse cast with influential direction. What is a really great story got lost in the Elmwood Players production of “Mornings at Seven
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Around the World in 80 Days.

Robert Massimi.

Phileas Fogg , the hero of “Around the World in 80 days, has returned to New York, and is at the New Victory Theater for the next few weeks Laura Eason, playwright has adapted Jules Verne’s novel into a fun play for the younger theater goer. The show is a light verson for all ages.

Fogg is a man od independent means, his habits are so regular and disaplined that he fired his man servant for serving him tea at the wrong temperature, ( the novel: it was shaving water).

In his club (Reformed Club), Fogg (Andrew Pollard) wagers 20,000 pounds that a man can make it around the world in 80 days and sets off the same night with his reluctant valet Passepartout ( Michael Hugo), a former tightrope walker.

Traveling by train, boat, sled and elephant, he rescued a Indian widow (Kristen Foster) along the way, he treats time zones and his personal desire to make the world in 80 days as a means to an end. Under the impression that Fogg has robbed a bank, Inspector Fix (Dennis Herdman) chaces him all over the world.

Traveling the British Empire, the book isn’t actually much of a travelogue. Fogg isn’t much into see the sights, but never the less it is still pretty interesting how Theresa Heskins the director moves the characters about. The show is stylishly designed by Lis Evans ( the set is a plethora of suitcases), this production borrows techniques from story theater and devised theater to create country to country with mostly music and lights.

“Around the World in 80 Days is a whirlwind production and a very good one. Good acting, lighting, costumes and direction makes this a wonderful play. Fogg circles the globe in two hours, fun for parents and children alike. Although some parents behind me thought they were watching it from their family room, and an usher in the second act kept oacing up and down the isle ( very distracting), it was a fun evening and worth the journey to the New Victory theater.

The New Victory is dedicated to children’s theater and produces shows that are aimed at the younger audience. Its existence has produced more children’s plays than any other theater in New York City on a professional level. “Around the World in 80 Days uses creative fight scenes, humorous measures in Fogg’s attempt to travel the world.

In a very lite way, we see Fogg’s self assurance and his doubts. Fogg gies through his travels the way he goes through his life, very regimented. A lot of his personality and ways change when he meets the beautiful Indian widow. Fogg becomes a bit less self assured and even bumbling with her in tow. He gives his valet plenty of leeway in countries so that he may be alone with her. The valets travels are equally as entertaining as Fogg’
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Illegals Create Havoc Here And Abroad.

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Robert Massimi.
Illegals create havoc both in the United States and in Europe. whether its fundamentals or South American havoc depends on where you live. From MS 13 to terrorism in Europe, illegals post severe problems to countries.
The welfare system is overburdened by illegals, so are people’s safety. Many illegals do not assimilate to the cultures and mores of the country that they live in illegally. Crime goes up in many cases.
There needs to be a stoppage of the influx of illegals. Countries csnnot sustain the costs that go with it. Over crowded schools, hospitals and welfare are just some of the problems. In Europe, many illegals hate the system that they live in. Often eanting there own community’s, they want to police themselves.
Read below:
Man in country illegally charged with 11 murders in Texas
By DAVID WARREN
yesterday

DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas man previously arrested in the death of an 81-year-old woman has been charged with killing at least 11 more elderly women whose jewelry and other valuables he stole, authorities said Thursday.

Kim Leach, a spokeswoman for the Dallas County district attorney’s office, said 46-year-old Billy Chemirmir was indicted Tuesday on six more counts of capital murder in the deaths of women ranging in age from 76 to 94.

Chemirmir, a Kenyan citizen who was living in the U.S. illegally, also is charged in nearby Collin County with two counts of attempted capital murder for similar attacks there, according to county court records.

A Collin County grand jury also returned five capital murder indictments against Chemirmir on Tuesday.

Chemirmir has been in custody since March 2018 in the death of the 81-year-old Dallas woman, Lu Thi Harris. Police in Plano were investigating Chemirmir in connection with suspicious death and suspicious person calls at a senior apartment complex in that Dallas suburb and found evidence linking him to Harris’ death in Dallas, authorities said. Plano is in Collin County.

The break in the case came when Chemirmir forced his way into the Plano apartment of a 91-year-old woman that March, telling her to “go to bed. Don’t fight me,” according to an arrest affidavit filed in Collin County. The woman was smothered with a pillow into unconsciousness and robbed. However, paramedics revived her and she told investigators that her attacker had stolen a box containing her jewelry. Police identified Chemirmir from a license plate number and were able to find and tail him days later, when they watched him throw a jewelry box into a trash bin. They traced the box to Harris, according to the affidavit.

Plano police Chief Gregory Rushin said at the time that Chemirmir used his health care experience “to his advantage in targeting and exploiting seniors, some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

Police said then that investigators were reviewing about 750 unattended deaths of elderly women for possible links.

Chemirmir’s attorney, Phillip Hayes, said Thursday that this week’s charges were a surprise and that he hadn’t had time to review them yet.

“These cases came out of the blue and I don’t have any information on them yet,” he said.

But he noted that Chemirmir “has denied it since Day 1” that he played any role in Harris’ death. “They have circumstantial evidence that puts him in the area but that’s as far as the evidence goes,” Hayes said.

In addition to the murder charges, Chemirmir is being held on a charge of being in the country illegally.

___

Follow David Warren on Twitter: https://twitter.com/WarrenJourno

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Theater Review. “Enter Laughing”

Robert Massimi.

“Enter Laughing” is the funny musical based on a semi- autobiographical life of Carl Reiner. Based on a star struck boy from the Bronx named David Kolowitz(Chris Dwan), the story takes him on his journey as a young, girl crazy high school boy. Much to the chagrin of his mother, he wants to, and dreams of being a big Hollywood star. In the tight, well choreographed opening song, “David Kolowitz, the actor”, we see David’s young, innocent wishes to be a star.

The year is 1938 and David has a job after school. He attends James Madison High. Working for Mr. Forman, a religious Jew, he balances his best friend, his job, his controlling mother and his girlfriend, Wanda (Allie Trimm). Stuck in a delivery job, not wanting to be a druggist, he takes a class at Mr. Marlowe’s acting school. Compared to the competition, David is a handsome standout by attrition, and Marlowe’s daughter has a crush on him.

Not knowing ques from first base, David tries his hardest to learn how to act. Marlowe thinks this boy has no clue of what acting is, his daughter, Angela (Farah Alvin), talks her father into believing that he will get his part down and will be good in the upcoming play. Director Stuart Ross gives the audience that little nervous tension at all times in the show. In great comedy, the audience needs that tension as to keep us on the tread mill going very fast and also to have that edgy feeling that all may go array at any moment. Ross does a fantastic job in keeping the comedic roller coaster going.

Costume Designer Tyler M. Holland does a fantastic job in “Enter Laughing”. The York Theatre company pulled out all the stops with this production and the costumes were no exception. Capturing the era and the little incidentals, Holland was deft with the costuming. A huge part of comedy is the slapstick outfits in many cases and this evening was chock full of them.

While the lighting was fine, nothing really worth noting, the direction and choreography was exceptional. From the comedic timing, to the up beat dance, “Enter Laughing” will go down as one of, if not the best off Broadway musicals this season. Songs like: “It’s Like”, “With My Eyes”, “The Man I can Love”, “Boy, Oh Boy”, “Being With You”, Hot Cha Cha” and the audience favorite; “The Butler’s Song”, were all sensational and well acted and performed.

While all the actors were very talented, two of the standouts were Marlowe (David Schramm) and Chris Dwan who played David. As Marlowe, Schramm was exceptional. He was funny, great singing and as the acting teacher he hit it out of the park! Chris Dwan as David Kolowitz was up tempo at all times, playing the awkward kid going threw the age of High School, Dwan commanded the stage. Allie Trimm was a standout in her singing. Her range, and the sound she put forth last evening at The York was outstanding.

“Enter Laughing” has everything you want in a musical comedy. The laughs keep coming as does the great songs accompanied by fantastic singing and dancing. From the actors to Direction of Stuart Ross and on to the Choreography by Jennifer Paulson-Lee , the show is a hit. On stage musicians also give this show a warm feeling throughout the performance. Talented musicians that help bang out this winner.

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We Cannot Afford Another War. Robert Massimi.

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ROBERT MASSIMI.
After currently watching the Vietnam documentary by Novak and Burns, I am convinced that another war would be horrific on all fronts. One, we cannot keep fighting wars,losing young men and ccx wonen. Financially it is a disaster as well as psychologically.
The middle east must fight their own battles. We cannot continue to be the world’s police force. Countries threatened must defend themselves. We cannot keep losing American lives over a place that has a history of hatred for one another.
If we get involved in this conflict, we will draw the ire of the middle east nations. Countries around the world must defend themselves. The United States cannot be made to get involved in every conflict in the world.
Like Vietnam, we need to pick our wars wisely or we will tear our country in two. Also like Vietnam, we fight while our allies watch. We do the heavy lifting,pay the cost and they have no skin in the game.
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Bolton beats war drums in US-Iran standoff

Date created : 14/05/2019 – 20:57

With his bushy mustache and beloved yellow legal pad, National Security Advisor John Bolton cuts a colorful figure at the White House, where he is the leading foreign policy hawk and a longtime advocate of regime change in Iran
With his bushy mustache and beloved yellow legal pad, National Security Advisor John Bolton cuts a colorful figure at the White House, where he is the leading foreign policy hawk and a longtime advocate of regime change in Iran AFP/File
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Washington (AFP)

War drums are beating louder in Washington’s long-festering standoff with Iran and National Security Advisor John Bolton, a veteran champion of regime change, is the bandmaster.

With his bushy mustache and beloved yellow legal pad, Bolton cuts a colorful figure at the White House.

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He’s also something of an oddity.

President Donald Trump ran on the promise to pull the United States out of unwinnable post-9/11 wars — from Afghanistan to Syria — that have consumed American lives and military budgets.

That retreat remains one of Trump’s strongest points in his pitch to be the outsider president.

But Bolton, in the most powerful government position he has ever held, is working in exactly the opposite direction. Iran is only the latest country in his crosshairs.

At 70 and with a resume listing federal jobs back to the Ronald Reagan era, Bolton could easily have sidestepped into academia by now or continued taking paychecks from any number of think tanks. He’s worked with a bunch of them.

Instead, he’s in the heart of government and looking like he’s having the time of his life.

In Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea, there’s no shortage of battlegrounds for Bolton’s crusade against leaders he sees as tyrannical enemies.

Communists and their ilk are one thing. But it’s the Middle East that really stirs Bolton’s geopolitical adrenaline.

– ‘Unrelenting force’ –

In the run-up to what is now widely acknowledged to have been the disastrous 2003 Iraq invasion, Bolton — then the under-secretary of state for arms control and international security affairs — was one of Washington’s most energetic pro-war cheerleaders.

Now, analysts say, he’s showing similar enthusiasm for action with respect to longtime US, Israeli and Saudi foe Iran.

The Pentagon’s dispatch to the region over the last few days of an aircraft carrier group and nuclear-capable B-52 bombers was not meant to be subtle.

Bolton warned of “unrelenting force” in response to any attack by Iran.

But sending planes and ships would pale in comparison to Bolton’s latest demand, reported by The New York Times — the possible deployment of 120,000 troops to the Middle East.

Whether Trump would accept that, ditching his mantra of no more “stupid wars,” is far from clear.

On Tuesday, Trump branded the Times’ report “fake news” — but went on to add that he wouldn’t rule out sending “a hell of a lot more” troops one day.

What’s certain is that Bolton, at a minimum, is getting heard.

“Bolton is in ascendancy at White House. He appears tough and strong — two things Trump values,” said Robert Guttman, at the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Advanced Governmental Studies.

– Slide to war? –

No one would appear more unlikely than Trump to target another Middle Eastern quagmire.

He’s talked repeatedly, in remarkably undiplomatic tones, about the tragedy of sending US forces to die in places that Americans could barely find on a map.

But when it comes to Iran, the White House seems to be bristling for conflict.

Trump pulled out of an international agreement regulating Iran’s nuclear activities, ramped up sanctions crippling the country’s economy, and now has added the threat of firepower to increase the pressure.

Having backed Iran into a corner, the Trump administration is warning of severe consequences should Tehran harm US interests.

On Sunday, mysterious attacks by unknown assailants against four ships, including two from Saudi Arabia, sent war talk up another notch.

Paul Fritz, a foreign policy expert at Hofstra University, said the outside world will be “extraordinarily skeptical” about the White House narrative on Iran as a growing menace.

After all, the US-led invasion of Iraq was based on false accusations — supported by Bolton — against Saddam Hussein.

“It does ring awfully similar to the Iraq war. There’s good reason to be skeptical,” Fritz said.

– Trump decides? –

Some fear that Bolton and his fellow hawks are out of control.

“Sixteen years after the US invasion of Iraq, we are again barreling toward another unnecessary conflict in the Middle East based on faulty and misleading logic,” senators Tom Udall and Dick Durbin, both Democrats, wrote Sunday in The Washington Post.

But the unpredictable president may never graduate from bluster to bombs, analysts say.

Trump himself said last week that he’s used to reining in Bolton’s “strong views.”

“I actually temper John,” Trump said.

Barbara Slavin, an Iran specialist at the Atlantic Council, said there have been discrepancies between Trump and Bolton on “numerous occasions.”

Even if Bolton “has been advocating bombing Iran for as long as I can remember,” she said Trump probably doesn’t want a new war.

“On the other hand, I don’t think the president minds this idea of looking tough and of putting more pressure on Iran,” she said.

? 2019 AFP

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The Old Rockers Still A Force.

Robert Massimi.
This summer the PNC will host yet again many artists who are in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Bob Seager is the concert event of the year.Seager does not tour very much, never has, but he is in New Jersey this June.
On the headline is Yes, June 16th. Yes has had a great career snd this Scottish band will no doubt play to a sell out audience.
Alice Cooper returns again this year. I saw him last year with Edgar Winter and Deep Purple. Cooper is the ultimate showman. Alice Cooper’s concert are more like a show than a concert.
Jimmy Buffett returns after many years on August 6th. Buffets laid back style and plethora of great songs should make this worth seeing.
Another person who does not tour very much is Carlos Santana with the Doobie Brothers. I saw the Doobie Brothers two years ago at PNC and it was a upbeat, up tempo concert. The Doobies have many great songs and were able to rock non stop for an hour and a half. With Carlos Santana, this will be right up there with Seager as a sold out, top billing in Holmdel New Jersey.
Always a great venue, The PNC has great sight lines and super acoustics.
Charlie Daniels also retuns this year after a long absence from PNC.
It is great to see the old bands perform once more. Most are in their 70’s, so it could be the last time seeing many of these great bands;artists play. Rock and Roll has lost some great ones over the last two years, so it is important not too miss these talents musicians.
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Rock and roll hall of fame.
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Theater Review. Around The World In 72 Days.

Robert Massimi.

In Scena! Is the Italian Theater Festival put on every year in New York City with KIT – Kairos Italy Theater, which is an internationally recognized Theater Company in NY. KIT’s mission is to spread Italian Culture and to create an Italian Culture Network in order to spread the knowledge of Italy in the United States.

In 2001 KIT ITALIA was created to promote Italian Theater in Italy and abroad . Usually in May, In Scena! Produces shows throughout the city. Twelve shows in all and three readings encompassed this May. KIT is known to produce high quality, educational shows that are vast and broad over many historical landscapes.

Last year I had the opportunity to see “We Are Not Alone”, at the Cherry Lane Theater. This is a play that deals with mental issues in Italy. Originally produced at La MaMa in the 80’s, it had lines around the corner. What was a riveting play and performance by it’s lead, this year was no different.

” Around The World ” is a story about Nellie Bly, who travelled around the world in 72 days back in 1889, beginning 1890. We see her travels on both a teleprompter and brilliantly acted by Diana Forlani. A solo show done in one hour, Forlani magically performs the adventures of Bly. She takes us from New York City, to London and onto India, Hong Kong and other parts of the world.

Along the way, we see Bly’s fears, joys, concerns and he quest to break the w ou rlds recird. As a woman we see her concerns about travelling alone in a great big world.the passion that Forlani puts forth is one of the best pieces of acting I have seen this year. Self assured and stylish, Forlani commands the stage. Her emotions and dedication to this role are breathtaking and robust.

Forlani brings us to different places in the world. With the help of the teleprompter we see exactly where she is and at what time in her travels. India is a place where she is most torn. To her the people are smelly, the country is dirty and backwards. She is appalled by China. She is witness to the tourtures of it’s people. She thinks Japan is classy and graceful.

Through Diana Forlani we see Nellue Bly’s passions and what moves her as a person. She wears one outfit throughout the voyage. Ships, trains and rickshaws guide her around the world in 72 dsys. It is only when she gets to Ssn Francisco that she realizes how much this meant to the world. As a woman whom accomplishes achievement, she is cheered on like no other women ever has before.

A simple stage with wonderful direction by Paola Sarcina, the action is machine gun fire paced. The music is as joyous as the play itself, simple but elegant. Like life itself, Bly sees the beauty and the pitfalls of this world. Humble and gracious, Bly captured the world with her determination. Unyielding in her quest to scurry the world in record time, Bly and Forlani did it with style.

In Scena! The Italian Theater Festival and Laura Caparrotti continue to put out great works. Deep issues and educational, the actors are always superb. Many of the shows are an hour or so, short, pithy and fun.

” Around The World In 72 Days” by Elizabeth Cochrane is a plethora of emotions. Sensational directing makes Bly’s challenges both fun and exciting for the audience. The show is in English subtitles which makes this whirlwind a ferris wheel of sight and sound.

Bernie Wohl theater Manhattan
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Broadway
KIT
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India
Hongkong
China
Japan
San Francisco
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