ARTS & LEISURE FEB. 20 2014

NEW VELVETONES FRIDAY DANCE—The Velvetones Big Band will host a night of swing music on Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in Clubhouse 4. Admission is free. Bring favorite beverages and snacks. Singles are welcome; 50/50 tickets will be on sale at the door. Spend the night dancing with the Velvetones and enjoy the singing of Lorie Banta and Tommy Williams. Special guest stars are Ben Berg and the Rhythm Rockers.

PLAY REVIEW
“The Light in the Piazza,” a revival of the musical, book by Craig Lucas, music and lyrics by Adam Guettel. Now playing on the Segerstrom Stage, South Coast Repertory, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, 92628-2197, through Feb. 23, (714) 708-5555, www.scr.org; ticket prices: $40-$80; running time: 2 hours, 30 minutes.

by Larry Blake
LW contributor

In 1970, the landmark musical “Company” opened, ushering in a new era of musicals. “Company” is a character-driven Chekhovian style musical. Sondheim’s rich score put emphasis on the characters, not plot points, like in traditional musicals. Forty years plus later, a new generation of composers and lyricists, having been influenced by Sondheim for over a generation now, are exploring new ways to present a musical.
One of those of this new generation is composer/lyricist Adam Guettel. His lush score for “The Light in the Piazza” is now on display in a charming production at South Coast Repertory.
The time is the summer of 1953. We are in the romantic city of Florence. Texans Margaret (Patti Cohenour) and her daughter Clara (Erin Mackey) are touring and soaking in the art treasures of Florence. In the piazza, Clara and Fabrizio (David Burnbam), have one of those romantic love-at-first sight moments.
Being an overly protective mother, Margaret does all she can to keep the lovers separated at first. But Fabrizio has been hit by Cupid’s arrow, and he finds ways to continually run into the pair while they are visiting the City’s art treasures.
Fabrizio speaks little English. Clara speaks even less Italian. But the attraction is there and strong. The language barrier and their cute attempts to hurdle it add to their attraction. So why does Margaret object so much to her daughter’s romance? We finally learn that as a child Clara was struck in the head, which slowed Clara’s emotional and intellectual development. But because of the language barrier, Fabrizio does not see the problem.
When the subject of marriage starts to enter the conversation, Margaret takes Clara to Rome, without giving any warning to Fabrizio. Here she hopes Clara will forget her Prince Charming. But the plan backfires, and Clara becomes frustrated and angry at her mother for denying her the chance for a marriage. Back in Florence, Fabrizio cries with all the passion and despair of a tragic Italian opera hero.
This musical initially keeps us from the knowledge of the extent of Clara’s disability. That’s always been its major flaw for this writer. But in the end, a mother’s desire for her child to have a good life wins over, and we witness the wedding of Clara and Fabrizio, as Margaret, in the evening’s musical highlight in the song “Fable,” reconciles that she has made the right decision, and all ends happily.
Adam Guettel, the son of composer Mary Rodgers and the grandson of composer Richard Rodgers, explores a new type of song in that the entire score is almost without rhymes.
Lyrically it gives us rich character developments, although it takes an adjustment to generations that get comfort from rhymes.
I found this production more accessible than the grander Broadway production where the large orchestra and loud orchestrations overpowered Guettel’s lyrics.
This musical and several others of the past decade indicate the new roads that the creative forces in musical theatre are exploring.
“The Light in the Piazza” is a charming lyrical musical evoking the centuries of lush Italian melodies.
“The Light in the Piazza” has the romantic charm of a moonlight walk among the charming neighborhoods of Florence.

DIXIELAND JAZZ
DIXIELAND JAZZ CLUB—The next concert will feature the Mardi Gras music of the South Bay Dixie Jazz Band at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 5, Clubhouse 4. The concert will feature celebrity singer and tenor sax player Jack Widmark, leader of Pure Sax Jazz Band and president of the American Legion of South Gate Jazz Club. Bring friends and enjoy a night of jazz.

ASTROMOMY CLUB
The Astronomy Club will meet from 6:30-8 p.m., Wednesday, March 5, in Clubhouse 3, Room 3. The program will include a DVD, “Neptune and Uranus: The Twin Gas Giants of the Solar System.” There will be a report on the best objects to view in the March sky.
As a special presentation, a lecture on the killer comet racing toward Mars will be given. If the comet hits Mars in October, it will be an Armageddon event.
Members will view the sky through the club’s large Dobsonian Telescope. All are welcome. Free coffee and snacks will be available. Loaner scopes are available.
For more information, call Mike Clairmont, 860-0902.

LAPIDARY CLUB
The Lapidary Club collects yearly club dues of $5; and upper lockers are $5; lower lockers, $3. Nelson Melville will collect dues on Monday, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Only members can rent lockers.
During the year, the club will have several different jewelry-making classes and silver classes; check in the Lapidary Room in Clubhouse 4 or watch for announcements in the Leisure World News for upcoming events.
—Rod Carpenter
SATURDAY A.M. DANCE
Candi Davis teaches dance classes at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., Saturdays in Clubhouse 1 for the Saturday Morning Dance Club. Hustle is taught from 9-10 and the salsa, from 10-11. Dancers rotate, so partners are not required. Classes: $5 each.

THE DANCE CLUB
The Dance Club will offer a swing dance class before the Velvetone’s performance from 5-6 p.m., Friday, Feb. 21, in Clubhouse 4. The Dance Club will continue the swing dance classes prior to the Velvetone’s performance every third Friday of each month.
The beginning/intermediate slow and medium speed waltz, rumba, and fox trot class will continue to meet Friday from 6:15-7:15 p.m. in Clubhouse 6, upstairs in Room C. A new dance class will be offered every Wednesday from 2-3 p.m. in Clubhouse 3, lobby. Learn to move to the music. Dancing for the heart and from the heart.
Singles and couples are welcome. Invite friends and family. Partners are not needed; $5 per class per person. Instructor Jeremy Pierson is an experienced teacher of dance who has taught dancing for over 20 years.
For more information, contact Jeanine Greb, 296-5921.

BALLET CLASSES
Ballet classes are held in Clubhouse 6, second floor, every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. Everyone, men and women, are welcome. Wear comfortable clothing and stretch from head to toe.
The class is $3 each with the first class free. Teacher Mel Lockett travels from La Palma to provide instruction.
Mel started dancing when he was 10 years old. He studied both Russian and Royal Ballet with the Laguna Beach Ballet Company and Orange County Ballet Company, and jazz with the Steve Peck Jazz Studio. He also taught at his own school, the Lockett Dance School. Mel is looking forward to teaching again after taking time off to study music and electronics.
For more information, contact Diana Winkler at 493-0139 or Lynn R. Heath at 296-5588 or lynnRheath@gmail.com.

COMMUNITY SING
Community Sing begins at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 24, in Clubhouse 1.
Amateur Time singers need to sign in at 6 with two copies of sheet music, ready to perform for three minutes. At 7, group singing begins, with enthusiastic Ethel Carter as leader. At half-time, she will present soloist Tom Buttera as her guest artist.
On Feb. 10, Margie St. Clair was the first amateur, playing “Over the Rainbow” as a piano solo. Ethel Carter sang “Where Is Love?” from “Oliver,” followed by Ginny Quinn, “It Might as Well Be Spring”; Byong Choi, “La Donna e Mobile” from “Rigoletto”; Peter Innerbickler, “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing” and Ben Berg with an energetic piano boogie woogie selection. Accompanists were Pat Kogok and Carol Robinson.
Song Leader Anita Ragole had a great group of Leisure Worlders singing well-chosen favorites. At half-time, she brought out Betty Ballen, who sang “Nevertheless I’m In Love With You,” “Bei Mir Bist Du Schon,” “If I Had You” and “Botox and Nose Drops.” Her performance was loudly acclaimed with applause. Several first-timers were greeted with “How Do You Do New Friends.” The musical evening closed as everyone sang “Kum ba Yah” with Lewis and Felicia Ward.
Thanks to Joe Sabroso, book lender and stage manager; Pat Kogok, pianist; and Felicia Ward, emcee.

GENEALOGY WORKSHOP
The Genealogy Workshop will meet at 10 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26, in Clubhouse 3, Room 1. All are welcome. Refreshments will begin at 9:30 a.m. This is an opportunity to meet and socialize with other members. The guest speaker will be Paul Lipinsky, who will talk on “Time Lines.” This is an important and interesting topic about how sequential errors can invalidate research.
Handouts will be available with information on Paul Lipinsky and his subject matter.
Linda Johnson will start an eight-week class on beginning genealogy at 10 a.m., Tuesday, March 11, in the Genealogy Library, Clubhouse 3, Room 10. Tuition is $30. There is a limit of 10 students. People do not need to be a workshop member to sign up. This class is a must for beginners. Sign up at the meeting or at the Genealogy Library in Clubhouse 3, Room 10.
The Genealogy Library is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 1-4 p.m. There are computers and helpers to introduce people to the programs and help them. There are workshop discussions beginning at 1:30 p.m. on the first three Wednesdays of the month.  Everyone is welcome to join the club. Several new computer programs are now available, including fold3.com, newspapers.com and chroniclingamerica.com. 
The hospitality chairman would appreciate donations for refreshments. Contact Sharon Simmons at (661) 302-5568 to help. Dues of $10 are now payable.

COMMUNITY KARAOKE
Love and romance were popular themes for the night during this Valentine season. Peter Sequeira beautifully serenaded his special lady singing “Rosemary, My Love.” Rosemary Freman followed up with “My Funny Valentine.” Paul Salay’s favorite song, “Young At Heart,” was done by his caregiver.
Sally Glausser did “Till There Was You,” followed by “Sea Of Love,” a lively number by Frank Destra. Ellen Brannigan asked everyone to sing “Heart and Soul” with her. Shirley Ranaldi’s “I’m So Lonesome I Could Die” got folks dancing. The strong voice of Byong Choi did “Love Me Tender.” Shalla Callahan sang “If I Loved You.” Harold Hughes sang “Who’ll Stop The Rain?,” and everyone appreciated “Let There Be Peace On Earth,” sung by Joanne Gado. A total of 28 singers performed.
Annual dues of $5 are now payable. Singers’ first night in the limelight is free. Community Karaoke welcomes new singers and audience members. Come Wednesdays in Clubhouse 1 at 5:30 p.m.

GRF WEEKLY DANCE
The Golden Rain Foundation sponsors a weekly dance on Saturdays from 7-10 p.m. in Clubhouse 1. Stardust Trio will play Feb. 22.

HUI O HULA

Hui O Hula has been dancing the Hawaiian hula since 2005.  Lessons are offered to anyone who is interested and willing to try. The hui (group) is friendly and helpful to newcomers. It is a fun class, and all are welcome. Call Kaye Huff at 431-2242 or email kumu@huiohula.com for class information.
Cool Hula, the free Hawaiian dance/exercise class, continues to meet every Monday at 11:15, upstairs in Clubhouse 6.  Although hula dancing is a complex art form, Cool Hula dancers are welcome to sway along to the beautiful music and are encouraged to follow the footwork and learn to use their hands like the experienced dancers.  Soon the novice dancers will become familiar with the common hula steps such as vamps, sways and ami (rotation of hips) to start dancing with grace and confidence. Traditional hula is danced barefoot, but dancers may wear socks or soft booties during class. 
Hula instructor Jojo Weingart will be away for the next few weeks. Meanwhile, the Hui will continue to meet weekly for practice and review. Yo Kishi will act as alaka’i (leader) of the hui. 
A new hula, about the Merrie Monarch, the last King of Hawai’i, will start on Monday, March 10, at 10 a.m.

SCRAPBOOK CLUB
The Scrapbook Club will meet Saturday, Feb. 22, from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Join members for all day or just part of the day. New people interested in creating heritage albums, travel albums or albums for their children are welcome.

GRF MOVIE
“Lincoln,” rated PG-13, will be shown at 2 and 7 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 26, in Clubhouse 4. Some scenes and language may offend some viewers. Director Steven Spielberg takes on the towering legacy of Abraham Lincoln, focusing on his stewardship of the Union during the Civil War years.
The biographical saga also reveals the conflicts within Lincoln’s cabinet regarding the war and abolition.

PRODUCERS CLUB
The Producers Club will present its third annual murder mystery in Clubhouse 4 on March 8 at 7 p.m. and March 11 at 1 p.m. The box office opens a half hour before the show. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.
The plot of the “The Case of the Motorcoach Murders” opens when Harry, the leader of a senior group on a road trip, is found dead. Sam Club, the detective, played by Sandy Geffner, is positive Harry was murdered. But who has done the dirty deed? The suspects are Harry’s wife, Minnie, played by Taylor White; Dr. Ovary, coroner, played by Peggy Airhart; Cornelia Bellweather, senior group member, played by Henrietta Bemis; Penelope Periwinkle, FBI inspector, played by Linda Bolt; and Wilimena Club, Sam’s mother, played by Susan “Sam” Jones. Sandy Boardman is the master of ceremonies.
Solving the case causes as much mayhem as it does laughs. The well-seasoned cast that has performed so well in their past presentations keeps the momentum going until the final curtain.
This is the third production by the Producers Club with a majority of the cast being members of the club. Alice Lemon is director, with Toby Richman, assisting; and Alice and Jack Martinez, the sound engineers.
Will the audience figure out who the murderer is or will it be completely surprised? Come and join the fun and find out.

GRAPEVINE DANCE CLASS
The Grapevine Line Dance classes meet every Thursday, from 3:30-5:30 p.m., at Clubhouse 6, Room B. Newcomers should come early. 
The class starts easy and finishes up with more complex dances. The beginning class is from 3:30-4:20; and easy intermediate, 4:30-5:30.
New dances for February include Hot Stuff, Locomotion, Honk if You Honky Tonk, Bicycle Waltz, and Just One Rumba.  All classes are free. 
Come to class regularly to master the routines. For more information, call 596-8273.

THEATER CLUB
The Leisure World Theater Club’s annual membership drive is now under way. Veteran members are encouraged to renew and new members are welcome to join. Dues are $5 a year, which includes Playbill, a newsletter featuring Theater Club news printed six times a year. Anyone interested in theater—singing, dancing, acting or being part of an active audience—should come to the monthly meeting, Friday, Feb. 28, at 10 a.m. to learn more about the club. Meetings are held in the Loft, which is the nickname for the “Little Theater” at the top of the Amphitheater.
Future events include a new series of theater-related lectures and programs on the first and third Wednesdays of each month at 3 p.m. in the loft.
Club members determine the subject of classes, which are geared to enhance theatrical skills and enjoyment while people learn. The next meeting will feature a microphone class on March 5 at 3 p.m. in the Loft.
The club also hosts bimonthly potluck suppers where members share a meal and their talents in a short post-supper performance. The next potluck is scheduled for Friday, April 25, in Clubhouse 4 at 5 p.m.
The 15th annual Cowboy Dinner Dance and Show will be held April 5. Doors will open at 4:15 in Clubhouse 2. Tickets go on sale at the end of February/early March. Watch for definite sale dates.
For more information about the club and how to join, contact Sam Jones, membership chairman, at 598-0880.

HALLMARK MOVIE
The Hallmark movie “The Magic of Ordinary Days” will be shown at 6 p.m., tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 21, at First Christian Chapel on Northwood Road behind Carport 125.
Keri Russell (Livy), Skeet Ulrich, and Mare Winningham star in this touching love story that unfolds during World War II. Livy is a worldly young woman with big plans for her life. Life, however has other plans for Livy. When unexpected circumstances turn her perfect world upside-down, she finds herself living on a remote farm, married to a man she barely knows. She doesn’t plan on staying long, and she certainly doesn’t plan on falling in love.
But Livy’s never met a man like Ray Singleton (Ulrich). Honest, hard-working and kind, Ray adores his new wife and hopes that she can fill the hole in his heart that’s been there since his brother was killed in the war. Ray soon discovers, though, that it will take more than his love and commitment to make Livy stay. It will take faith, forgiveness—and nothing short of a miracle.
The Hallmark movies are popular so people should arrive well before 6 to find seating of their choice. Hearing enhancement devices are available upon request. These movies are free, and everyone is welcome.

STAMP AND COLLECTIBLES
The Stamp and Collectibles Club will meet at 1:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 5, in Clubhouse 3, Room 9. The program will include a collection of over 1,000 postcards, and a giveaways of postcards to everyone (at least five per person).

WHIRLERS
Members and guests celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day at the Whirlers square dance on the first Friday in February. Mel Branham called the square dancing and cued the round dancing mostly in English, with some calls and cues in Chinese.
After the dancing, everyone feasted on a finger-food potluck buffet. A fun time was had by all. Thanks to Lenore Velky, John Bertetto, Marj Earls and Norma Buzbee for all of their hard work in organizing, decorating and putting on the dances. Thanks also go out to everyone who brought food for the delicious buffet.
Because of the great demand for the beginners round dance class, another one will begin Sunday, March 2, from 6:45-8:15 p.m. The ongoing beginners round dance class for more advanced beginners is held every Sunday from 5:30-6:45 p.m. Classes are held at 5946 Westminster Blvd. at Springdale Avenue and Westminster Boulevard in Westminster. Singles and couples are welcome. For information, call Mel Branham at (714) 803-0250.
The new square dance class will be starting Monday, March 3, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Garden Grove Women’s Club, 9501 Chapman, in Garden Grove. Singles and couples are welcome. The ongoing beginners line dance class is held from 5:30-7:30 p.m. For information, call Mel Branham at (714) 803-0250.
Leisure Whirler Club dances are held the first Friday of each month.

SCIENCE DISCUSSION
The Science Discussion Club presents various topics in science at meetings on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month in Clubhouse 3, Room 3, from 2-3:15 p.m. The next meeting is today, Feb. 13. The group is currently considering the history of science in the Western World.
All are welcome. There are no dues or membership requirements. For more information, call Mark Barnett, 430-2435.

QUILTING BEES
The Science Discussion Club presents various topics in science at meetings on the second and fourth Thursdays of the month in Clubhouse 3, Room 3, from 2-3:15 p.m. The next meeting is today, Feb. 13. The group is currently considering the history of science in the Western World.
All are welcome. There are no dues or membership requirements. For more information, call Mark Barnett, 430-2435.

COMPUTER CLUB
The Leisure World Computer Club will offer a variety of classes Feb. 24-28 from 9-11:15 a.m. in the Computer Lab of Clubhouse 5, located on ground level.
People should sign up for classes at the lab weekdays from 1-3 p.m.
Class size is limited.
The following is the list of classes:
•Monday, Feb. 24, Windows 7
•Tuesday, Feb. 25, Windows 8
•Wednesday, Feb. 26, iPad
•Thursday, Feb. 27, Android tablets
•Friday, Feb, 28, Internet, Email
Coffee tea and snacks will be available during the break. Handouts will be provided. Classes cost $5 each.
Arrangements can be made for people who want to work together on assignments by calling John Retterath, 544-2210.

LBSO TICKETS FOR SALE
Jeannie Berro of Mutual 2 has a limited number of tickets for sale for Long Beach Symphony Orchestra (LBSO) Pops and Classics concerts for the rest of the season. The discounted price is $18 per concert because of her longstanding season-ticket group. The regular price for the POPS Concerts is $29 per ticket. These are for side loge seats.
For the Classics concerts, she has a few “best seats available” at $18 per concert.
Concerts are Saturday nights at 8. The Classics Concerts are: Brahms, March 8; Shostakovich/Verdi/Wagner, April 26; and Rachmaninoff, May 31.
The POPS Concerts are St. Patrick’s Day Party, March 15; and Broadway’s Greatest Hits, May 3.
Carpools are available. Call Jeannie at 598-6294 between 9 a.m.-9 p.m. for more information. The deadline for payment is March 1, but people who find they cannot attend a future concert can exchange tickets for any future concert in the season, which ends May 31. Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis.