ARTS & LEISURE MAY 1, 2014

GRAPEVINE LINE DANCE – The intermediate class is doing the hustle. Everyone is welcome to come and learn the cha cha, fox trot and West Coast swing. New dances include the “Cucaracha,” “Cowboy Cha Cha,” “Went to Calypso, Mexico,” “Don’t Say Goodbye,” “New York, New York” and “Seduced.” Note the schedule change. Classes meet every Thursday, 3-5 p.m. in upstairs in Clubhouse 6. Beginners meet from 3-4, and intermediates, from 4-5. For more information, call 596-8273.

PLAY REVIEW

“The Tallest Tree in the Forest,” a new drama, written and performed by Daniel Beatty; now playing at the Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, 90012, through May 25, (213) 628-2772, www.Centertheatregroup.org; ticket prices: $20-$70; Running time: 2 hours.

by Larry Blake

LW contributor

“Paul Robeson did not fit into a comfortable black history”—that line is delivered by a professor teaching about entertainer/activist Paul Robeson in the new drama, “The Tallest Tree in the Forest,” written and performed by Daniel Beatty. It sums up why Mr. Robeson’s fame has faded over the years. This biographical story about Paul Robeson is now being presented at the Mark Taper Forum in a production, though not compelling, that is full of biographical facts about Mr. Robeson.

Paul Robeson was a pioneer in the Civil Rights Movement. Born in 1898, he was one of a handful of African-Americans who had careers in a racially divided world. A graduate of Rutgers University and Columbia Law School, Robeson grew disenchanted with the speed with which racial equality was moving.

He then turned to the theater, where he starred in two plays by Eugene O’Neil—“The Emperor Jones” and “All God’s Chillun’ Got Wings”—and the London version of “Show Boat.” He stopped the show with his interpretation of “Ol’ Man River.” This role led him to Hollywood, where the roles were few. But he can be seen in the 1936 version of “Show Boat” with Irene Dunne, reprising his role of Joe and lighting the screen up with his version of “Ol’ Man River.”

The critical and financial success that followed Robeson in Europe led him to conclude it was easier for him to live among Europeans.

The race issues that existed in the United States were diminished in most of Europe. In the Russia of 1930s, he felt he was given the opportunity to live free of prejudice and bigotry.

However, his conscious bothered him. Here he was enjoying equality of a kind, while others he knew in the United States were not. He returned to America and became an activist in the NAACP. He was not a silent activist, but a noisy and loud one.

Thus began his troubles for the rest of his life as he continued to fight compromise for what he saw as his rights as an American citizen. We learn about a long series of events in Robeson’s life, told by Robeson and over 40 characters, all played by Mr. Beatty.

The performance of Mr. Beatty as Paul Robeson is the strength of this production and the play itself. Playing these 40-plus characters, Mr. Beatty gives what we call a tour de force performance. His passion for his subject is inspiring and overwhelming.

The play falters because it fail to engage the audience. We never feel compelled to hear most of the facts driven into us by the chronological script. Most of these facts can be found in the large amount of material written about Robeson.

The play becomes a sort of primer on Robeson, not an engaging evening. As theater it never seemed to capture the spirit of Robeson.

It is only when Beatty sings a spiritual or a song that had been sung by Robeson that this evening comes alive.

Some patrons were overheard saying they didn’t know anything about Paul Robeson. Those patrons were grateful about this introduction to his life and struggles.

In that respect, the play is successful. It is important that stories of Americans like Paul Robeson be repeated and not lost to history.

Paul Robeson is an important building block in the history of the Civil Rights movement of the 20th Century.

COMMUNITY KARAOKE

The Community Karaoke Club celebrated Rick Reynado’s 90th birthday, with Joe Sabroso leading the group in a rousing birthday song. Rick was beaming as he accepted the good wish “bucks” from his karaoke friends as he sang “This Love Of Mine.” Joanne Gado sang “Time After Time” and got “bucks” from her husband and other encouragers. Ray Barnum got a standing ovation for his “Unchained Melody,” and Helen Schulz explained the bump on her head and then sang “Why Me Lord?” “You’re The Reason Our Kids Are Ugly” was a cute song done by Bruce Smith and Vickie Van Ert. There were a few other duets, and everyone was in good voice and enjoying themselves.

Some people left to go home early, but when a pizza delivery guy showed up, singers started “Karaoke Kamikaze”—choosing a song that anybody can sing with help from friends. It was a lot of fun, and the club closed it down at 10.

Try out singing on stage. There is a great audience Wednesday in Clubhouse 1 at 5:30 p.m. Singers can practice each Tuesday in Clubhouse 6 from 1-3.

STAMP CLUB

The Stamp and Collectible Club will meet at 1:30 p.m., May 7, in Clubhouse 3, Room 9.

The club meets on the first Wednesday of the month.

The program will feature baseball and Indian collectibles. Everyone is invited to bring in collections to share.

Thanks for the stamp donations.

People who have stamps they don’t want may bring them to meetings.

COMMUNITY SING

On May 6, the Community Sing will meet in Clubhouse 1 at 6:30 p.m. Amateur performers need to sign in at 6 with two copies of their own sheet music, prepared to sing for 3-4 minutes only, since time and spots are limited. Group singing will be led by Carmen Edwards. Her half-time guests will be the Hui O Hula dancers.

On April 21, Betty Ballen and Carmen Edwards did “Vaya Con Dios” as a duet to kick-off amateur time, followed by Joe Sabroso, “Besame Mucho”; Byong Choi, “Via Con Dios”; Bob Barnum, “Always On My Mind”; Anita Ragole, “What’ll I Do?,” and Ben Berg, “Kansas City.” Accompanying pianists were Betty Ballen, Carol Robinson and Pat Kogok.

Ethel Carter led a fine group of Leisure World songsters through her first selection of show tunes until she brought out Ric Dizon, who presented “Blue Hawaii,” “Island of Love,” “Hawaiian Sunset” and “Hawaiian Wedding Song” as his finale. His program was warmly received with much applause.

After first-timer introductions, Felicia led the group in “How Do You Do New Friends,” and Ethel followed with an energetic wrap-up of group singing until closing time, when everyone joined Lewis and Felicia in “Kum ba Yah,” to bring a fine musical evening to a close.

Thanks to Joe Sabroso, book lender and stage manager; Pat Kogok, pianist; and Felicia Ward, emcee.

DANCERS AND MIXERS

Everyone is invited to attend Dancers & Mixers Cinco de Mayo dance Tuesday, May 6, from 7-9:30 p.m. in Clubhouse 4. Live music, including a cumbia and salsa or two, will be provided by Linda Herman. A variety of music will be played, and there will be something for everyone. There will be a mixer and some line dancing. Partners are not needed.  Bring favorite snacks and beverages. Members pay $1; guests, $3; 50/50 raffle tickets will be sold. 

Caremore Healthcare Group sponsored the April dance. It will be back in June. Clubhouse 4 had a spring-like atmosphere, thanks to the decorating crew of Dave and Marian Lufitz, John Hayes, Marian Beattie and Linda Herman. Thanks to greeters Margie Thompson and Walt Bier. Live music was provided by Linda Herman. 

Dancing is great exercise. The club’s goal is to have a fun relaxing evening with friends.

DANCE CLUB

Country two-step and East Coast swing will be taught on Friday from 6:15-7:15 p.m. in Clubhouse 6, upstairs in Room C. Salsa dance class will be held from 7:15-8:15. The Dancing from the Heart and for the Heart class continues every Wednesday from 2-3 p.m. in the lobby of Clubhouse 3. Learn to move to the music. Dance without a partner using basic dance steps taught in a line dance format.

Beginning Friday, May 9, the 6:15 p.m. class will learn rumba and the 7:15 p.m. class will focus on Latin club dances.

On Friday, May 16, a swing dance lesson will be taught in Clubhouse 4 from 5-6 p.m. before the Velvetones’ performance. Take the swing dance lesson and then stay to dance to the Velvetones.

Singles and couples are welcome. Invite friends and family. Classes are $5 a class per person. Instructor Jeremy Pierson has taught dancing for over 20 years. For more information, contact Jeanine Greb, 296-5921.

GLASS FUSION

A glass fusion jewelry-making class will be held Wednesday, May 14, from 9 a.m.-noon in the Lapidary Room in Clubhouse 4.

The class is for beginners and advance students. Come make something special for a friend or loved one.

Class size is limited to six people, so each student can have more time with the teacher.

The cost is $10 and includes two large pieces of glass or five small pieces. Sign up at the Lapidary Room to make sure there are enough supplies for everyone.

BALLET CLASS

A ballet class meets at 1:30 p.m., Saturdays, in Clubhouse 6, second floor. All are welcome. Wear comfortable clothing.

The class is $3 each. Instructor Mel Lockett has studied ballet at the Laguna Beach Ballet Company and jazz with Steven Peck in Orange County, and he teaches at his own dance studio.

For more information, contact Diana Winkler at 493-0139 or Lynn R. Heath at 296-5588 or lynnRheath@gmail.com.

GRF WEEKLY DANCE

The Golden Rain Foundation sponsors a weekly dance on Saturdays from 7-10 p.m. in Clubhouse 1.

The Jim Gilman Band will play May 3.

GRF MOVIE

“Georgia Rule,” rated R, will be shown at 2 p.m., May 4 in Clubhouse 4. Some scenes and language may offend some people.

Fed up with her unruly daughter’s antics, exasperated mom Lilly Wilcox takes the wild teen to Idaho to live with her flinty, no-nonsense grandmother, who lays down a set of rules centered on two things: God and hard work.

ART LEAGUE

ART LEAGUE—Winners of first-place awards at the April 24 Art League meeting are Martha Lannon, master’s and 3-dimensional (l-r, front row); Alice Sioson, Intermediate; and Sharon Hamilton, popular vote; and Carmen Leslie, Best of Show (l-r, back row) and William Hayes, advanced.

ASTRONOMY CLUB

The Astronomy Club will meet from 6:30-8 p.m., Wednesday, May 7, in Clubhouse 3, Room 3.

The program will include a DVD, “The History of Astronomy.”

Due to recent discoveries on Mars, members will discuss the possibility of life on Mars and the other earth-like planets that have been discovered.

Other topics include objects that can be seen through the club’s large Dobsonian telescope. In April, Mars, Jupiter, the Orion Nebula, and the moon.

All are welcome. Free coffee and snacks will be available.

THE COMPANY

The Company’s Evening at the Copacabana was a huge success April 19. There was a standing-room-only audience and enjoyed by all. The Company wants to thank everyone who made this performance possible:

The cast included Eric Nelson on piano, Sandy Hunt on violin and Terry Humphrey singing “Old Cape Cod.” Eric’s sang “You Go To My Head.”

Tommy Williams sang “Copacabana” and “Treat her Right” with Jeanine Greb and Vickie Van Ert. He also did “Over the Rainbow,” accompanied by Eric on piano and Sandy on violin, to his mom Helen Schultz as Dorothy and pup Tea Cup as Toto.

Ben Berg did “Johnny Be Good” and “Great Balls of Fire.”

Ric Dizon was Elvis on campus with Bruce Smith as Col. Tom Parker. His groupies were Sally Glausser, Audrey McKenzie and Helen Shultz among others.

The Pure Joy Dance Group danced to “Hello Dolly,” “These Boots are Made for Walking,” “Addicted to Love” and the grand finale of “Time of Your Life” with Vickie Van Ert, Jeanine Greb, Steve Nichols, Shirlene Chavez, Joseph Chavez, Sandy Hunt, David Noble and the director Lynn R. Heath. The newest additions are Marie and Bob Greb playing “Baby’s” parents

The Pure Joy Dance Group added singing to their talents with “Fever,” “Hello Dolly,” “Treat her Right” and “These Boots are Made for Walking.” Shirlene and Joseph Chavez sang “Soul Man” to perfection.

Special thanks to the crew that helped made this production happen.

Lynn R. Heath was show producer and director; Steve Nichols and Tommy Williams, co-producers; Ric Dizon on the soundboard and deejay; Paul Bassett, videographer who managed four cameras with Joe and Oralia Osuna; Tommy William, did decorations; Bill McKusky, lighting; and Diana Winkler, make-up and quick-change artist.

Stage crew David Noble and Joseph Chavez perfectly timed the curtains, props and escort service. The 50/50 cash drawing was headed up by a team of Sandi Post, Terry Humphrey, Alexis Sweeney and Elaine Lundborg. David Noble won the grand prize, and cash winners were Al Pertie, $100; Betty Sawgent, $100; and Bill Zurn, $114.

John Harper was the photographer. Check the Leisure World website to see more of his photos.

Donations were appreciated. Four bamboo folding chairs were loaned by Bruce Smith of Mutual 7; guitars, by Woodshop 2, curtains, the Theater Club; and the final dance scene was choreographed by the Friday night ballroom teacher Jeremy Pierson.

“At the Copacabana” will be shown on SBTV-Channel 3 in June and posted on the LW website.

The Company will have a holiday extravaganza Dec. 14 in Clubhouse 1. All are welcome.For more information, call Lynn R. Heath at 296-5588 or email her at lynnRheath@gmail.com.

Join the club by signing up on its email list. There are no dues. Join the volunteer group, Behind the Scenes and help with the 50/50 drawings, costumes, sound and scenery by calling Lynn R. Heath.

—Lynn R. Heath

DIXIELAND JAZZ CLUB

The South Bay Dixie Jazz band will perform in concert from 6:30-8:15 p.m., Wednesday, May 7, in Clubhouse 4. The concert will feature Dan Zellinger, acclaimed tuba player, composer, arranger and music director. He plays the sousaphone, trumpet and trombone and has performed in Canada, Mexico, London, Japan, Morroco, Italy, Hungary, Spain, China and Australia.

The concert will include a parasol parade.

Annual membership is $5; guests are $2. There is a 50/50 raffle. 

For more information, log on to www.dixielandjazzclub.com or call 799-9934.

QUILTING BEES

Nature quilts will be the focus of the Quilting Bees’ third annual tea to be held at 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, May 28, in Clubhouse 3, Room 2.

The room will be decorated with the theme “Birds of a Feather Quilt Together.”

The luncheon will be catered by Janet Faria. An opportunity drawing for a donated quilt and several other items will be held after lunch.

People need not be present to win. Non-members may attend the tea. Call Bee McConnell, 430-8271, for tickets, $10, or buy them at club meetings Wednesdays at 9 a.m. in the Clubhouse 3 lobby before May 21. Tickets will not be available at the door.

GARDEN CLUB

by Katie Hamilton

LW contributor

The Garden Club will host a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony at 10 a.m., Monday, May 12, on the patio between the Leisure World Library and Friends of the Library Bookstore.

The club will unveil its 50th golden anniversary gift to the LW community. As a remembrance of past members and to continue its legacy into the future, the Garden Club adopted the motto “Fifty Years and Still Growing.”

In this spirit, the Garden Club is gifting the community a newly landscaped entrance way to the LW Library and Friends of the Library store. The club thanks Don Hemry who donated to the club an artistic, watercolor rendering of its proposed design. The club commissioned the Bill Jacobs Total Landscape Co. to bring it all to life. Everyone in the LW community is invited to attend the commemoration of the club’s past history and to see its ongoing efforts to enhance the LW community.

The Garden Club was established in 1964 to promote interest in plants, gardens and beautification of the LW common areas. The Memorial Rose Garden adjacent to the library is another example of club-initiated projects.

Maria Giegerich, president of the LW Garden Club, and Randy Ankeny, executive director of the Golden Rain Foundation, will preside at the May 12 dedication ceremony.

Also attending will be the Board of Directors of the Garden Club; GRF President Mario Michaelides, GRF Community Facilities Manager Mark Weaver and GRF physical property/recreation supervisor Terry DeLeon. After the ceremony, light refreshments will be served on the patio.

People who cannot attend the ceremony are welcome to come by later and see the new entrance way. They can take the opportunity to walk through the lovely Rose Garden Memorial, visit the LW Library, and browse through the Friends of the Library store. Thanks to every member and supporter of the Garden Club for the past 50 years and for all the years ahead.

GENEALOGY WORKSHOP

A new series of discussion group topics will start in May. Each Wednesday for the first three weeks of the month, the Genealogy Library has a discussion group from 1:30-2:30 p.m. to help with research. The library is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 1-4 p.m. Everyone is welcome and there is assistance available. Discussion topics for May are as follows:

•May 7 – Common Surnames—Finding Your Smiths

•May 14 – County Websites (an overlooked resource)

•May 21 – Who and What?—How to use Your Discoveries

There is no discussion group on the fourth Wednesday of the month as that is the day of the Genealogy Workshop meeting.

The topic for the Genealogy Workshop meeting May 28 is “Maiden Names.” Speaker Vera Broyles, a new club member, has a vast background in genealogy research.

A visit to the Huntington Beach Library is scheduled for May 16 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. It will be an all-day session so bring a sack lunch. People need to sign up at the Genealogy Library by May 9 or contact Linda Johnson at (714) 742-4044.  The location and meeting time will be announced.

The Genealogy Workshop will have a picnic on July 23.

COIN CLUB

The Coin Club will meet May 14 in Clubhouse 3, Room 2, at 1:30. The program will recap the club’s presentation to sixth-graders at Oak Middle School on April 22. Presenters will bring their displays to share with everyone at the meeting.

First-time guests receive an uncirculated coin as a gift. The coin club meets every second Wednesday, and everyone is welcome to attend.

Leisure World residents who have foreign coins remaining from their travels are encouraged to donate them to the club for next year’s outreach program during National Coin Week.

After the presentation, there will be a break for refreshments, followed by a coin auction, a 50/50 raffle, and coin raffle. Members in good standing may sell coins in the coin auction.

LEISURE TIME DANCE

Leisure Time Dance classes are held Mondays in Clubhouse 6. This month, instructor Richard Sharrard will teach the rumba at 2 p.m. and the tango at 3. Everyone is welcome to dance their way into summer. For more information, call 434-6334.

WHIRLERS

The Whirlers Square Dance Group will host a Cinco de Mayo party Friday, May 2, in Clubhouse 4 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Dress up, and dance the night away. Pre-rounds are from 6:30-7 p.m. Square and round dances will alternate from 7-9 p.m. Potluck finger-food and socializing start at 9 p.m. following the dancing. Singles and couples are welcome. There will be a singles rotation, so everyone can dance. Parties are $6. For more information, call 237-2682.

Leisure Whirler Dance Club parties are held the first Friday of each month from 6:30-9:30 p.m. in Clubhouse 4.

A new round dance class will start Sunday, May 4, from 6:45-8 p.m. An ongoing beginners round dance class is held Sundays from 5:30-6:45 p.m. Arrive at 5 for extra help. Classes are $5 and are held at 5946 Westminster Blvd. at Springdale and Westminster in Westminster. Singles and couples are welcome.

For information, call Mel Branham at (714) 803-0250.

Experienced square dancers are needed for the class that started March 2 so that all class members may dance. Classes are held Mondays from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Garden Grove Women’s Club, 9501 Chapman in Garden Grove.

Singles and couples are welcome. There is a singles rotation. The ongoing beginners line dance class is also held Mondays from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the same place. For information, call Mel Branham.

A “Meet Me in St Louis, Meet Me at the Fair” dance will be held June 6.

SATURDAY MORNING DANCE

Candi Davis teaches dance classes at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., Saturdays in Clubhouse 1 for the Saturday Morning Dance Club. In May, she will teach the rumba from 9-10 and nightclub two step from 10-11.

Dancers rotate, so partners are not required. People may attend one or both sessions, $5 each.

FOLK DANCE

INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCE—Ann Dean and Frances Freedman wear their Easter bonnets for a party at folk dancing. Beginning dances from many countries of the world are taught every Friday morning at 10:30 in the lobby of Clubhouse 3. Good exercise and fun every week for $3. Visitors are welcome to watch the dancing and enjoy the music of the world.

VIDEO PRODUCERS CLUB

Terry Otte & Abilene will entertain at the Video Producers Club’s Ranch Hand Round Up dinner-dance tomorrow, Friday May 2, in Clubhouse 2. Tickets are $25 a person. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Bring favorite beverages.

Harry Reitchman is the bass guitar player, positioned next to singer Tina Schaffer, for the Abilene band. Harry was born in Indonesia, and speaks Indonesian, Dutch, French and English. He moved to Holland in 1951 and then to the USA in 1962. He had an exotic car dealership in Newport Beach before retiring. He had his own band in 1998.

At the age of eight years old, he took up playing the ukulele and migrated to the guitar. Currently he plays a jazz base Fender guitar. He likes Nat King Cole and Chuck Berry. Harry says that music makes him feel “free.”

Harry will play at the Video Producer’s Club dinner dance tomorrow Friday May 2, at Clubhouse 2. Tickets are $25 a person for the catered chicken supreme dinner. The dinner includes an evening with the Terry Otte & Abilene.

Tickets sales are limited to a few tables and are going fast. A few may be available for purchase today and Friday from 10 a.m.-noon in Clubhouse 5 on the ground floor, northwest corner. The door opens onto the alley; there is a sign on the door.

For more information, contact Joe Osuna at 430-0389 or joosuna@verizon.net or Joseph Valentinetti at (909) 800 4102.

COMPUTER CLUB

The Leisure World Computer Club will offer a variety of classes starting May 19 from 9-11:15 a.m. in the Computer Lab of Clubhouse 5, located on ground level. People should sign up as soon as possible because space is limited. Sign up from 1-3 p.m., weekdays, Friday or at the Computer Club meeting at 7 p.m., May 12, in Clubhouse 4. There will be a waiting list available in the event a class fills.

The following is the list of classes:

•Monday, May 19, Windows 7

•Tuesday, May 20, Windows 8

•Wednesday, May 21, iPad

•Thursday, May 22, Android Smart Phone

•Tuesday, May 23, XP Tips and Migration

Refreshments of coffee, tea and snacks will be available during the break. New computers are available, and laptops can be used where possible. Handouts will be provided. Classes cost $5 each. Customized training for groups can be arranged by talking to John Retterath, 544 2210. Additional training features can be covered in class sessions.

RADIO CLUB

The Amateur Radio Service Club will meet from 10-11 a.m., Wednesday, May 7, in Clubhouse 3, Room 9.

The club conducted a workshop on the operation of the Family Radio Service (FRS) radios, which do not need licensing and are commonly used for short-distance, two-way communications. The small, portable hand-held devices function similar to walkie-talkies. The event was sponsored by the Planning for Emergency Preparedness Foundation (PEP) of Leisure World.

The Radio Club invites all FRS radio operators to check out club meetings on the last Wednesday of every month at 9 a.m. Use Channel 13. Give your first name, last initial and mutual number.

FRS operators and ham radio operators are always needed. Coffee and snacks will be available.