ARTS AND LEISURE FEB 13 2014 HUI O HULA
Hui O Hula meets weekly for authentic hula. Call 252-9676 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for class information. Cool Hula—a free Hawaiian dance session—is offered every Monday morning at 11:15. It is a good introduction to hula.
During Cool Hula, dancers follow the leaders and sway to the music while using their hands and expressions to tell the story in dance. It is a great way to relax and provides mild exercise. Instructor Jojo Weingart explains the essence of each song before dancing it.
Jojo will be gone for the next few weeks. A new hula, “Aloha No Kalakua,” in honor of King Kalakaua, the Merrie Monarch, will begin on Monday, March 10 in the regular class. Those who would like to learn this hula may join the class at 10 a.m.
GRAPEVINE LINE DANCE
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.
On Monday, Feb. 17, the Community Sing begins promptly at 6:30 p.m. with Amateur Time. Prospective singers need to sign in at 6 with two copies of sheet music, ready to perform for three minutes only. Group singing starts at 7, led by Lewis Ward. His special “Valentines” guests are Bob and Galit Slater, a popular singing duo.
On Feb. 3, Margie St. Clair opened with “Ebb Tide” as a piano solo. Sam Calderone on the ukulele with “I’ll Walk in the Rain” and “Birth of the Blues.” Pat Kogok did “Somebody Loves Me,” accompanied by Barbara McIlhaney; Ethel Carter sang “Feed the Birds,” and Byong Choi did Schubert’s “Serenade;” both accompanied by Pat Kogok. Ben Berg on piano closed the segment with a lively rock and roll number, “I’ve Got a Woman.”
Ellen Brannigan led a fine group of Leisure Worlders in favorite songs until half-time, when she introduced Luz Contreras and Larry Portugal as her guests. Luz sang two solos: “Where or When” and “Funny Valentine.” Larry followed with “Windmills of Your Mind” and “My Love, Forgive Me.” Both singers presented their songs with professional artistry and were loudly applauded by an appreciative audience.
Ellen wrapped up group singing with enthusiastic participation. An enjoyable evening of musical variety closed with everyone joining Lewis and Felicia Ward in “Kum ba Yah.”
Thanks to Joe Sabroso, book lender and stage manager; Barbara McIlhaney, pianist; and Felicia Ward, emcee.
The Company is sponsoring a new ballet class that meets on Saturdays at 1:30 p.m. in Clubhouse 6, second floor in front full-length mirrors. Cost is $3 per class. The first class is free.
Mel Lockett, the new ballet teacher, started dancing when he was 10 years old. He studied Russian and Royal Ballet with the Laguna Beach Ballet Company and Orange County Ballet Company plus 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.
The class is open to men and women. Wear comfortable clothing. Stretch from head to toe, and have fun at the same time.
For more information, call Diana Winkler at 493-0139 or Lynn R. Heath at 296-5588 or email lynnRheath@gmail.com.
Leisure World Cloggers dance classes are held every Wednesday on the Amphitheater stage. Intermediate and advanced clogging classes are from 8:30-10:30 a.m. A beginning class is from 10:30-11:30 a.m. The class is for people who have never danced or have not danced for many years. Instructor Diann Van Stralen starts the class with basic steps and dance routines.
As the classes progress, she introduces easy to intermediate steps and routines. She uses all types of music and styles, western, broadway, rock and roll, Dixieland jazz and Latin. All residents, men and women, are welcome to participate or just observe.
For more information, call Betty Currie at 598-9974.
“The Producers,” a revival of the musical; music and lyrics by Mel Brooks; book by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan. Now being presented by 3D Theatricals at the Plummer Auditorium, 210 East Chapman Ave., Fullerton, 92832, through Feb. 16, and from Feb. 21-March 2 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Redondo Beach, 90278, (714) 589-2770, www.3DTshows.com; ticket prices: $23-$60; Running time: 2 hours 35 minutes.
by Larry Blake
Mel Brooks has had a remarkable career. He started out as a comedian and gradually worked his way into the movies. His film, “The Producers,” has become a cult classic. For years people encouraged Brooks to turn “The Producers” into a musical.
In 2001, the stage version of “The Producers” arrived and was a big hit. In many ways, it has been at the peak of Mel Brooks’ career. “The Producers” is now being presented in a fun and enjoyable revival by 3D Theatricals.
Max Bialystock (Jay Brian Winnick) is a Broadway producer. When we meet him he has had a string of flops. What can he do?
Into Max’s life enters Leo Bloom (Jeff Skowron), an accountant, to review the books of Max’s last flop.
Leo notices an error of $2,000. He casually remarks that if a producer were to raise an excess of money for a production that he knew would be a flop, then none of the investors would be concerned about a return on their investment. The investors would assume that they had lost money in the flop.
A light bulb goes off in the mind of Max, and we are off and running. They search for the worst play ever written and are rewarded when they read “Springtime for Hitler” and decide to turn it into a musical. They hire the worst director they can find, Roger De Bris (David Engel). They purposely choose everything wrong for the show to ensure its failure. The problem is that the success or failure of a show is unpredictable, and “Springtime for Hitler” is an enormous hit. Max laments, “Where did we go right?”
Only Mel Brooks would have the right kind of wit to pull off the satire of “The Producers.” By making such fun of Hitler and the Third Reich, Brooks succeeds in criticizing that dark era in our history better than anyone before him. When we hear and see the huge production number “Springtime for Hitler,” it rocks the theater with laughter. Laughter is one of the best ways to diffuse the dark elements of mankind. As Brooks has stated, “I was never crazy about Hitler. If you stand on a soapbox and trade rhetoric with a dictator you never win. That’s what they do so well; they seduce people. But if you ridicule them, bring them down with laughter, they can’t win. You show how crazy they are.”
Here in Fullerton we see all the reasons why this musical won a record number of Tony Awards. Jay Brian Winnick excels as the manipulative Max. Jeff Skowron is loveable as the cuddly Leo. They are assisted greatly by a supporting cast that includes David Engel as the narcissistic director Roger De Bris, Norman Large as Franz, the crazy playwright who also raises pigeons, Leigh Wakeford as the scene stealing Carmen Ghia, and Hilary Michael Thompson as the sexy love interest, Ulla.
Like most of Mel Brooks works, “The Producers” doesn’t have profound messages. It is designed to entertain and have you leave the theater smiling and laughing. Here in Fullerton, that goal is achieved on the highest level. For a good evening of laughs, go and enjoy “The Producers.”
The Leisure World Theater Club is offering a new series of theater-related classes on the first and third Wednesdays of each month. Each class will be different and will include speakers talking about acting, lighting, sound and other theater topics.
The first meeting, An Hour with Steve Howard, will be at 3 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 19, in the Loft. Steve, a Leisure World resident and working actor, will share his experiences as an actor. He will also do scenes with Theater Club members.
All Theater Club members are encouraged to attend.
Editor’s Note: This poetry feature will showcase original poems by members of the Creative Writers Club of Leisure World and other GRF members. The Poetry Workshop meets at 1:30 p.m. on the second Wednesday of the month in Clubhouse 3, Room 9.
The Gypsy Girl’s Song
I’m a gypsy and so proud of it
I don’t dwell on problems or needs,
I am as happy as a summer breeze
and don’t let gloom into my heart.
I dance to the sound of gay violins
I whirl to the sound of drums,
I laugh with my friends to the end of day
and then I lay down with my love.
I master the woes of every day’s strife
I steal here and there to survive
I bring all my joys to the wagon-trail clan
and know that’s a gypsy girl’s life.
INTERNATIONAL FOLK DANCE—Folk dancers keep rhythm with wooden spoons during a Turkish dance called “Delile.” Dances and music from all over the world are taught every Friday morning at 10:30 a.m. in the lobby of Clubhouse 3. Beginners are welcome. Visitors are invited to see a Greek performing group on Feb. 21.
The Leisure World Computer Club will offer a variety of classes starting from 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. or at the Computer Club meeting at 7 p.m., Feb. 11, in Clubhouse 4. 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.
The Producers, presented by 3D Theatricals at the Plummer Auditorium, 210 East Chapman Ave., Fullerton, 92832, through Feb. 16, and from Feb. 21-March 2 at the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center, 1935 Manhattan Beach Blvd., Redondo Beach, 90278, (714) 589-2770, www.3DTshows.com; ticket prices: $23-$60.
by Don McAfee
“The Producers,” based on Mel Brooks hit comedy movie of the same name with Zero Motel, which became the Tony Award record-holder musical with Nathan Lane, opens 3D Theatricals “dream season.” The jist of the play is a scheme by a down-on-his-luck producer to fleece a couple million dollars off “little old lady” investors that he romances by convincing them to invest in a guaranteed flop Broadway musicale.
One thing you can expect from a 3D show is a stellar chorus/ensemble—they stood out in last year’s “Funny Girl” and this cast deserves a prize as they charged through opening night with more grit and gusto than many professional touring companies.
Playing many multiple roles, they change costumes and characters over and over throughout the evening, dance their hearts out and often sound as good or better than the Broadway cast album.
Hilary Michael Thompson as the sexy Ulla uses her triple threat talents to the fullest.
David Engel as Roger De Bris and Leigh Wakeford as his “common law secretary” Carmenghia steal the show as they camp through one hysterical scenario after another.
Backed up by Chris Duir, Caleb Shaw, Adam Mantell and Bonnie Kover as various theatrical designers, their number “Keep it Gay” is a highlight of the evening.
Sets, costumes and lighting are top notch and professional in quality. 3D needs a larger stage on which to play. The Plummer stage often looks crowded in this production.
David Lamoureux’s orchestra started off tentatively and bloomed as the evening progressed.
The weak point of the production would be J. Brian Winnick as Max and Jeff Skowron as Leo.
This show has so much going on that the lack of chemistry between the main characters almost doesn’t matter.
Max is a part played by Zero Mostel and Nathan Lane, both Broadway legends, doing a script by another legend, Mel Brooks.
Sadly Mr. Winnick is not ready for this role and after marking his way through the bravura number “Betrayed,” one wonders if he ever will be.
Many of the shows big laughs were missed because of this lackluster pairing.
The Leisure World Garden Club will have guest speaker Tim Estes, president of Fiesta Floats, at 1:30 p.m., Monday, Feb. 17, in Clubhouse 2. The company has won the most prizes in the Rose Parade for the past 26 years, including a record 21 consecutive Sweepstakes winners for the “best float” in the Rose Parade.
Besides overseeing work on over 440 Rose Parade floats, Tim led the company in the production of over 280 floats for other parades and festivals such as the Hollywood Lane Christmas parade, the Boise River Festival, and the United Arab Emirates parade in Abu Dhabi. Additionally, he oversaw the creation of Universal Studio’s 25th Anniversary touring float. Tim will give firsthand knowledge of the world of float building from concept to design to parade.
Garden Club members have been celebrating the club’s “50 Years and Still Growing” anniversary. The club thanks the Leisure World community for its ongoing support.
The February meeting will feature Golden Anniversary door prizes, a 50/50 raffle ticket table and a plant-sales table. People may bring non-perishable food items or cash donations to support the We Care Family Support Center in Los Alamitos.
At the close of the meeting, Faye Summers and her staff will serve light refreshments.
All LW residents and their guests are welcome.
ART LEAGUE— Winners of first-place awards at the Jan. 23 Art League meeting were Martha Lannon, 3-dimensional art (front row, l-r); Chun-Yuen Tung, masters; and Cheryl Kearny, advanced. In the back row are Carmen Leslie, popular vote (l-r) and best of show; and Sandra Lynn Hunt, intermediate.
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. It will begin examining the history and developments of the Scientific Revolution, focusing on the work of Copernicus, Descartes, Kepler, Galileo and Newton. Emphasis will be placed on how this history and science is still vital today.
All are welcome. There are no dues or membership requirements. For more information, call Mark Barnett, 430-2435.
SUNDAY NIGHT BALLROOM
The Sunday Night Ballroom Dance Group invites sweethearts everywhere to its annual Sweethearts Ball featuring the big band music of the Goldentones on Feb. 16 in Clubhouse 4. A social hour with hors d’ oeuvres starts at 5 p.m., dinner is at 5:30. Cost for dinner is $10. People who only want to dance may arrive at 7 p.m.
Dance to the big band music of the Goldentones at 6. In honor of Valentine’s Day, the band will play love songs and golden oldies. Carol Robinson will emcee the evening.
The Goldentones Band is comprised of 10 talented musicians, including vocalists Anita Ragole, Terry Humphrey and Carmen Edwards.
For reservations, call 598-4056 or 430-2531.
The 2014 officers are Marge Archibald, president; Joseph Chavez, first vice president; Chuck Burnett, second vice president; Shirlene Chavez, treasurer; Kitty Miranda, recording secretary, and Donna O’Keefe, financial secretary.
Red hearts and tinsel decorations gave the Community Karaoke Club a hint of Valentine’s Day coming soon. Some romantic songs were chosen and beautifully sung. Vickie Van Ert and Tina Schaffer did a cute “Baby Don’t Go,” followed by new performer Eileen Newquist, who impressed with “Help Me Make It Through the Night.” Bill Hultquist chose a rarely sung “Sweet Dreams Baby.” “Portrait Of My Love” was well done by crooner Pete Tupas, and Mark Barnett did a passionate “Can’t Help Falling In Love.” Popular Joe Sabroso chose “Theme From Love Story,” and Ren Villanueva did a nice “Love Me Tender.” Helen Schultz sang “Sentimental Journey” among the many other songs by regular performers.
All are welcome to come sing or listen. Bring snacks and drinks, chat with friends, dance a little and enjoy yourself. To brush-up on selected tunes come to Clubhouse 6 each Tuesday from 1-3 p.m. for a practice session. Karaoke Night is each Wednesday, Clubhouse 1 at 5:30.
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. This month, she will teach hustle from 9-10 and the salsa from 10-11.
Dancers rotate, so partners are not required. People may attend one or both sessions, $5 each.
PHOTO ARTS CLUB
The Photo Arts Club will meet at 1:30 p.m, today, Feb. 13, at in Clubhouse 3, Room 9. Club member John Harper will demonstrate how to cut custom mats for photos. Bring a picture (any size) and some mat board for hands-on instruction. Everyone is welcome.
Following the general meeting and mat demonstration, club members are encouraged to bring 11x16 mounted photos for constructive comments and voting for the monthly contest. First-, second- and third-place winners will have their photos displayed in the hallway. Non-members are welcome to stay for the judging and learn about photo composition.
The March 13 meeting will feature a discussion on Picassa, a free downloadable software that allows people to easily edit and enhance their photos. Don’t rely on Costco or the drugstore to edit best shots.
WHIRLERS SQUARE DANCE
There is still time to join the beginning round dance class this Sunday, Feb. 16, from 6:45-8:15 p.m. at 5946 Westminster Blvd. (Springdale and Westminster) in Westminster, next to the Goodwill Store. Singles and couples are welcome. For more information, call Mel Branham at (714) 803-0250.
The new square dance class will start 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. For information, call Mel Branham at (714) 803-0250.
The round dance class held Thursdays at 1:15 in Clubhouse 6, Room C, is cancelled.
Leisure Whirler Square Dance Club dances are held on the first Friday of each month.
TOUCH OF CLASS
by Audrey McKenzie
Rehearsals are currently under way for the Touch of Classes’ “A Broadway Trilogy,” which will include “Pajama Game,” “Showboat” and “42nd Street.”
The first show will be held Feb. 20 at 5 p.m. in Clubhouse 4. Shows are also set for 1 p.m., Feb. 27, and 5 p.m., Feb. 28.
Members of the Goldentones band will also perform.
A Touch of Class musical theater group features talented residents.
All are welcome to the free shows.
There will be a 50/50 raffle.
THE DANCE CLUB
The Dance Club has a beginning/intermediate West Coast Swing class that meets Friday at 6 p.m. in Clubhouse 6, upstairs in Room C. People will learn dance figures in slow and medium speed waltz, rumba and foxtrot.
At 7 p.m, the West Coast Swing class will start off with a warm up. The group will work on basic footwork, agility and dance dexterity in a line dance format. The short warm-up routines let people practice without partners for a while. Following the warm up routines, dancers partner up and learn West Coast Swing syncopations.
Singles and couples are welcome. Partners are not needed; $5 per class per person. Instructor Jeremy Pierson has taught dancing for over 20 years.
For more information, contact Jeanine Greb, 296-5921.
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 informaiton. 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.
GRF WEEKLY DANCE
The Golden Rain Foundation sponsors a weekly dance on Saturdays from 7-10 p.m. in Clubhouse 1. Don Peterson will play Feb. 15.