ARTS AND LEISURE, Dec. 12, 2013

 

PLAY REVIEW

“Peter and the Starcatcher,” a new play by Rick Elice, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Now playing at the Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, 90012, through Jan. 12, (213) 628-2772, www.centertheatregroup.org; ticket prices: $20-$110; running time: 2 hours 35 minutes.

 

by Larry Blake

LW contributor

 

For decades Hollywood and Broadway have produced sequels. Audiences enjoy seeing stories with characters they already know and love. We are seeing more prequels, which is a story about the beginning or previous lives of known characters and stories. The enormous success of “Wicked,” the prequel to “The Wizard of Oz” has made Broadway producers take notice. The newest prequel is “Peter and the Starcatcher” about the characters created by J. M. Barry for “Peter Pan.” It is, ultimately, an enjoyable prequel to those beloved characters.

The stage is mostly bare. An ensemble of actors beckons us to use our imagination to harken back to the Victorian era. Suddenly we are on a bustling port. We meet Lord Aster (Nathan Hosner), his precocious daughter, Molly (Megan Stern) and her nanny, Mrs. Bumbrake (Benjamin Schrader). Two identical trunks are delivered. One contains precious cargo belonging to Queen Victoria. Lord Aster is assigned to guard the trunk on its voyage to Rundoon aboard the Wasp, under the direction of Captain Scott (Ian Michael Stuart). The other trunk is a decoy full of sand. It will voyage on the ship Neverland, captained by the villain Bill Slank (Jimonn Cole). Slank switches the trunks, putting the trunk with the Queen’s treasure on his Neverland, and we are off and running.

Aboard the Neverland are three orphan boys: Boy (Joey deBettencourt), Prentiss (Carl Howell), and Ted (Edward Tournier). The boys are sold and doomed for some not-so-pleasant times.

The boys meet up with Molly on the Neverland, and their friendship leads us into adventures as we follow them as they escape from Slank. Molly is determined to save the Queen’s treasure trunk from landing in the wrong hands. Molly and the boys escape with the trunk and swim to an island.

On the island with the pirates chasing Molly and the boys for the treasure, the play in act two gives us the beginnings of what will become Peter Pan. We learn how the captain lost his hand, how the crocodile swallowed a ticking clock, how the boy became known as Peter Pan, the origin of Wendy, and how Peter met Tinker Bell. The play ends where the story of “Peter Pan” begins.

Once this play gets past an enormous amount of exposition, it does soar and entertain. In the beginning it is structured for each actor to have one of the lines of exposition, which are delivered with the speed of a laser tag game. The lines often get lost in the cavernous Ahmanson Theatre. Once this play becomes a story told between characters, its cleverness and inventive staging shine.

The actors, only 12 in number, perform what seemed like over a hundred roles. However, this is not a story for children. This is a version of “Peter Pan” for adults, as most of the humor will most likely be lost on small children.

The success of this play, and several others, means that prequels will be around for some time. That’s not a bad thing. The characters from “Peter Pan” have endured for over a century. And who doesn’t want to revisit Peter, Wendy, Tinker Bell, and Captain Hook?

“Peter and the Starcatcher,” a new play by Rick Elice, based on the novel by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson. Now playing at the Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, 90012, through Jan. 12, (213) 628-2772, www.centertheatregroup.org; ticket prices: $20-$110; running time: 2 hours 35 minutes.

 

It’s Christmas time, and the Sunday Night Ballroom Dance Group will present an evening of festive music by Carl Hatheway’s Velvetones Sunday, Dec. 15, in Clubhouse 4. At 5 p.m., deejays Diane and Chuck Burnett will provide dance music. The buffet dinner, $10, starts at 5:30, and the Velvetones will play at 6. The 19-piece band with vocalists Lori Banta and Tommy Williams will play live music for a night of dancing. Those who want to come and listen are welcome. Tables and chairs will be set up in Section C, and people may bring their own refreshments. The only requirement is an advance reservation by calling 596-2669 or 598-4056 by Friday afternoon.

There will be no dances on Dec. 22 or Dec. 29.

—Marge Archibald

 

THE DANCE CLUB

The Dance Club will offer a Holiday Dance Sampler Class from 6-7 p.m., Fridays, Dec. 6, 13 and 20 in Clubhouse 6, upstairs in Room C. The class is for all levels of dancers.

The ongoing west coast swing class will be taught every Friday from 7-8 p.m. in Clubhouse 6, upstairs in Room C. Come and learn smooth west coast swing styling that is fun and easy.

There will be no classes on Dec. 27. Classes resume Jan 3.

Instructor Jeremy Pierson welcomes singles and couples. People do not need partners. All are welcome. Cost is $5 a class per person. For information, call Jeanine Greb, 296-5921.

—Jeanine Greb

 

FRIENDS OF LIBRARY

The annual meeting and election for the Friends of the Library officers and board members will be held Friday, Jan. 10, in Clubhouse 3, Room 1.

All are welcome to attend, and it is a good way to see what volunteers do with all the hours they spend at the bookstore and how money generated by the Bookstore are distributed.

—Joan Shramek

 

GRF WEEKLY DANCE

The Golden Rain Foundation sponsors a weekly dance on Saturdays from 7-10 p.m. in Clubhouse 1. Now and Then will play Dec. 12.

 

THE GRAPEVINE

The Grapevine Line Dance Club meets from 6:30-8 p.m., Thursdays, in Clubhouse 6, Room 1. There will be no classes Dec. 26 and Jan. 2.

The dances are high beginner/easy intermediate. Newcomers should come early. The group starts with easy instruction and finishes with more challenging dances.

Classes are free. Regular participation helps people master routines. For more information, call 596-8273.

—Aranee Carrigan

 

KARAOKE CLUB

It was a festive evening with holiday decorations, glowing candlelight and fine voices at last week’s Community Karaoke. Joe Osuna from the Video Producers Club filmed the first 12 performers, which made it even more special.

The large audience was treated to many holiday songs. Donna Hughes sang “Sleigh Ride,” followed by Tina Schaffer, “Santa Baby”; Bess Haney, “Feliz Navidad”; Ellen Brannigan and Sandy Hunt, “Joy To The World”; Walt Bier, “Blue Christmas”; Jerry Tester, “Silent Night”; Pat Kogok, “Do You Hear?”; and Bill Frambach, “Silver Bells.” They were all beautifully sung and appreciated with lively applause.

All are welcome each Wednesday in Clubhouse 1 starting at 5:30. Practice sessions are in Clubhouse 6 each Tuesday from 1-3 p.m. with Bob Slater.

There will be no karaoke on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, and New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31.

Song books by artist or title are available for purchase.

—Margie Thompson

 

LEISURE TIME DANCERS

The Leisure Time Dancers meet Mondays for ballroom dance classes in Clubhouse 6. Jeremy Pierson is filling in for Richard Sharrard for this series of classes.

The first class is big band swing starting at 2 p.m. and country/Texas Two-Step starts at 3. Singles and couples are welcome. Dancers rotate. Cost is $5 for one hour; $9 for two hours. For more information, call Jeremy at (909) 996-7713.

—Richard Sharrard

 

LEISURE WORLD LIBRARY DISPLAY

The Leisure World Library will feature a Christmas display shared by Andrea Maas this month. On display are nativity scenes and angels she has collected from around the world for over 30 years.

Andrea invites residents to visit her apartment, 41-B in Mutual 4, on any Thursday during the holiday season to see more of her collection. Call her first at 481-2290.

After visiting the library, check out the Christmas boutique at the Friends of the Library Bookstore. Browse the merchandise for bargain gifts. Both the library and the bookstore are open Monday -Friday, from 9:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. and Saturday 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

—Joan Shramek

 

COMPUTER CLUB CLASSES

The Leisure World Computer Club will offer a variety of classes starting Jan. 20 from 9-11:15 a.m. in the Computer Lab of Clubhouse 5, located on ground level. People should sign up for classes, $5 each, at the lab.

The following is the list of classes:

•Monday, Jan. 20, Windows 7

•Tuesday, Jan, 21, Excel 2007

•Wednesday, Jan. 22, Windows 8

•Thursday, Jan. 23, Internet and Email

•Friday, Jan. 24, Camera with PC

•Monday, Jan, 27, Android Tablet

•Tuesday, Jan. 28, iPad Tablet

•Wednesday, Jan. 29, Word 2007

•Thursday, Jan. 30, Internet/Email

•Friday, Jan. 31, Adobe Workshop

Classes are usually filled but cancellations could occur. Coffee, tea and snacks are available during break time. Arrangements can be made for friends to work together. Customized training for groups can be arranged by talking to John Retterath at 544-2210. Additional training features can be covered in class sessions. Sign up at Clubhouse 5 weekdays, 1-3 p.m., or at the Computer Club meeting Jan. 12 in Clubhouse 4 at 7 p.m.

—John Retterath

 

POETRY CORNER

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 club’s Poetry Workshop meets on the first Monday of the month at 1:30 p.m. in Clubhouse 3, Room 9. The Fiction-Nonfiction Group meets on the second Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in Clubhouse 3, Room 9.

 

The Iceman

 

He stands beside the river frozen to the core.

His past had locked his body tight and chained him to this shore.

A woman came who warmed his heart with her swaying hips.

He watched her shed her clothes to swim and cracked his frozen lips.

 

He shouted out, “I love you! Can’t you hear me call?”

She laughed and said, “You silly fool there is no love at all.”

She gathered up her clothes and ran. Her laughter burned his ears.

He tried to follow where she ran and stumbled on his tears.

Run Iceman Run or are you really dead?

Run Iceman Run. Follow me to my bed.

Now he searches all the world for that witch who ran.

Holding out his frozen arms as only Icemen can.

Always howling frigid words, his life an empty bowl.

Looking for that woman who can free his icebound soul.

Run Iceman Run or are you really dead?

Run Iceman Run. Follow me to my bed.

—Bob Munn

 

WEST COAST SWING

Candi Davis teaches dance classes at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m., Saturdays in Clubhouse 1 for the Saturday Morning Dance Club. In December, she will teach west coast swing from 9-10 and the bolero from 10-11.

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

—Gordon Flewell

 

COMMUNITY SING

On Monday, Dec. 16, the Community Sing will celebrate the Yuletide season with its annual songfest and party in Clubhouse 1 at 6:30 p.m.

Amateur time begins promptly, so prospective singers need to sign in at 6 with the emcee, sheet music in hand, prepared to perform for three minutes only, since time and space is limited.

After amateur time, Anita Ragole will lead Leisure World songsters in selections featuring holiday music for group singing.

Following the songfest there will be a Share Your Favorite Recipe Party so use creative efforts to prepare a treat or pick up something appropriate for the refreshment table.

Hot apple cider, coffee and tea will be supplied. Leftovers will be taken to a local shelter for abused women.

This is one of the two times during the season when donations are accepted to keep the sing operable. Look for the inflated balloons.

On Dec. 2, Bob Smallwood opened amateur time with “Christmas in Dixie,” accompanied by Betty Ballen on piano; Mark Barnett on guitar followed with “My Cup Runneth Over.” Byong Choi sang “La Paloma,” and Peter Innerbickler did “Jasmine Door,” both accompanied by Carol Robinson. Margie St. Clair played “White Christmas” as a piano solo, and Anita Ragole closed with “Stormy Weather,” accompanied on piano by Pat Kogok.

A large group of Leisure World song lovers joined Ethel Carter in her first selection of group songs until halftime, when she introduced Ben Berg’s “Rhythm Rockers” as her guest artists. Their program included “Whole Lot of Shaking,” “Sea Cruise,” “Jenny, Jenny, Jenny,” “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” “Ben’s Boogie Woogie” and “Johnny Be Good.” Singer Vickie Van Ert and Bassist Dutch V.K. were also featured performers. The audience applauded with great pleasure for their outstanding performance.

After Ethel’s spirited wrap-up of group singing, everyone joined in on “Kum ba Yah” to bring a pleasant musical evening to a close. Thanks to Pat Kogok, pianist; Joe Sabroso, book lender and stage manager; and Felicia Ward, emcee.

—Lewis Ward

 

LW ORCHESTRA

The Leisure World Community Orchestra invites everyone to its annual  holiday concert at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 18. The concert has been a Leisure World tradition for more than 30 years. It will feature a program of Christmas and Hanukkah music. The concert will be held in Clubhouse 1, instead of Clubhouse 4, as in year’s past.

Orchestra players have been rehearsing under the direction of new conductor, Rae Boeving. She has been with the group since September, which is the beginning of the orchestra’s year.

The concert will include many traditional Christmas carols,  some featuring sing-alongs; Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker ballet music, Christmas pop music favorites, such as “The Christmas Song” and others; and Hanukkah melodies. Refreshments will be served.

The LW Orchestra invites residents to make this concert part of their holiday traditions and is looking forward to adding joy to the season. 

—Beverly Emus

 

HUI O HULA

On Thursday, Dec. 19, Hui O Hula will celebrate the holiday season in Clubhouse 2. All are welcome; admission is free. Doors will open at 5:45 p.m.; first come, first seated. Bring beverages and food. There will be tables and chairs for everyone.  For parties of eight or more, call Kaye Huff, 431-2242 to reserve a table. Deejay “to da Max” is Max Cadabona and the Hana Hou band will play dance and holiday music, after the performances, for those who want to boogie. Watch for posters in the clubhouses for a listing of the entertainment at Hui O Hula’s annual Christmas Party. 

Starting in January, Cool Hula will be open to anyone who wants to sway to Hawaiian music and get a little exercise in a free class. Cool Hula classes will start at 11:15 a.m., Monday, Jan. 6, upstairs in Clubhouse 6. Everyone is welcome. In this session, Jojo will briefly explain lyrics and steps before each number. The one-hour class will keep the dancers moving.  There is also a wall-to-wall mirror to check posture and make following easier. Many popular and traditional Hawaiian hula will be introduced in this fun session. 

 A new class for beginners will also start at 10 a.m., Thursdays, in January.

This class is geared toward anyone who wants to learn basic hula steps and a simple dance. Coordination and a little dance background will help.

Each session will last from 6-to-10 Thursdays, depending on the hula. Call teacher Jojo Weingart at 252-9676 for more information or to sign up.

 

WRITER OF THE YEAR—Jose Sabroso, a longtime member of the Creative Writers Club and Leisure World resident since 2002, received the club’s prestigious “Writer of the Year” award at the club’s holiday party Dec. 9. Mr. Sabroso, who is a poet and writer as well as award-winning master carver, is a board member for the Filipino Association of Leisure World and a member of the California Carvers Guild, Community Karaoke among other clubs and organizations.

—Jojo Weingart