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THE PRACTICAL THEATRE CO. & EVANSTON’S OWN STUDIO5
PRESENT 5 NIGHTS OF SMART, SEXY & SATIRIC COMEDY & MUSIC,
“VIC & PAUL & DANA’S POST-PANDEMIC REVUE” –
STAGED LIVE AND COVID-SAFE FROM DECEMBER 29th TO JANUARY 2nd.
It’s time again for classic improvisational sketch comedy.
Time to get out of the house and gather in a comfortable cabaret with fellow human beings for a memorable evening of laughter, music, and adult beverage
The Practical Theatre returns to the Chicago area with the latest in a series of hit holiday shows, “Vic & Paul & Dana’s Post-Pandemic Revue,” starring writer-actors Victoria Zielinski, Dana Olsen, and PTC co-founder, Paul Barrosse.
Great, groovy music is provided by PTC musical director and Studio5 impresario Steve Rashid and his Studio5 All-Stars: Rockin’ Ronny Crawford on drums, Jim Cox on bass, and Don Stiernberg on every stringed instrument known to man.
“Vic & Paul & Dana’s Post-Pandemic Revue” is a smart comedy cocktail, mixing sex, music, variety and vaudeville — while stirring in everything from marriage to quarantine to cancel culture, conspiracy, climate change, Olympian gods, William Shakespeare, Rod McKuen, Looney Tunes — and the fragility of major appliances. It’s an intoxicating comic combination!
There’s no better place to enjoy a comedy revue with your favorite friends than Evanston’s own Studio5, which has comfortable, socially distanced seating, state of the art sound and lights, and acres of free parking
Proof of vaccination is required. Studio5 will observe the mask rules in effect Dec. 29 to Jan. 2. Socially distanced seating means limited seating — so getyour tickets now!
Operated by Bea and Steve Rashid, Studio5 is located at 1934 Dempster Street in Evanston. (It’s on the southwest corner of Dempster and Dodge, adjacent to Dance Center Evanston.) Website at: https://www.studio5.dance
Make no mistake – you must vote for Gavin Newsom.
As for the forest fires? Gavin Newson called for global action to combat climate change. Trump told Californians to rake the forests. Trump and the GOP were head-in-the-sand fools. Governor Newsom told the unpopular – yet utterly honest – truth. Climate change is real. And the need to act is NOW!
I don’t care if you think Gavin should’ve passed on a party at a swanky restaurant during the pandemic. The fact is, he stood with teachers, medical personnel, first responders, and union members who demanded that masks be worn to defeat Covid-19.
On September 14, 2021, Californians will decide whether to retain Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom – or elect any one of a clown college of Republican opportunists, taking advantage of our state’s archaic laws to supplant the will of the vast majority in favor of a radical minority.
For this – and so many more reasons – my fellow Californians, you must send in your ballots ASAP in favor of Gavin Newsom!
Gavin Newsom is the best bet for the future of our beloved Golden State! And the world!
The future of your children is on the ballot THIS YEAR!
Vote AGAINST the cynical Republican recall — and double down on Democracy!
And then, there’s THIS from Ron Crawford — who always manages to capture the moment!
If you haven’t checked out “Into The Mist”, don’t miss it. My wife Victoria and me performed in a variety of ways over the year — but this is truly the most unique venue we’ve every played. It’s like find your way through an old hotel to experience a door-to-door, interactive variety show. Actually, it’s hard to describe. Go “Into the Mist” yourself and have fun back in 1927!
The significance of December 7, 1941 is something that most of our parents do not need to be reminded about. It was a shocking, indelible moment for them, much like September 11, 2001 was for another generation of Americans. I don’t want to spend time here comparing those two disastrous attacks: one by a hostile state, the other by a handful of extremists. That’s for another time, another post.
This is a day of remembrance.
There are few veterans of Pearl Harbor still with us. Not many are left who saw the Japanese planes diving out of the sky, felt the concussions as great battleships shuddered, burned, and sank. Not many left who can stand on the observation deck of the USS Arizona Memorial, gaze at that sunken iron tomb and say, “I knew a guy who went down with that ship.”
On December 7th, we remember what was lost at Pearl Harbor: the lives, the ships, the planes – our national innocence.
But on this day, we should also remember the miracle of Pearl Harbor: the incredible effort that raised so many of those ships from the bottom of the harbor, patched them up – and sent them back into the fight. Only three of the ships that were bombed in Pearl Harbor on that day of infamy were forever lost to the fleet.
And of the 30 ships in the Japanese fleet that attacked Pearl Harbor, only one survived the war without being sunk.
The dynamism, optimism and resolve displayed by those military crewmen and civilians who, within months, raised and repaired the devastated wreckage of Pearl Harbor are qualities that Americans must call on once again to overcome our national challenges. Would that our leaders would spend less time sowing the fear of future attacks – and more time appealing to the better angels of our national identity.
“Can do” was the unofficial motto of the Seabees, the legendary Navy outfit that led the reconstruction effort at Pearl Harbor.
Where’s that American “Can do” spirit now?
P.S.S. On this day, let’s remember one of the great WWII POW escape artists. If you have any pals who love The Great Escape or Shawshank Redemption, please point them toward the story of William Ash: Texan, RAF pilot, POW — and a guy who escaped the Nazi prison camps 13 times!
He’s the guy that inspired Steve McQueen’s character in The Great Escape.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1481088858/
Kindle ebook: (free to Prime members) http://amzn.com/B00AF4I0K8
Comments from authors on UNDER THE WIRE:
What a splendid book! A young Texan brought up in the middle of the Depression who pulls himself up by his bootstraps, thereafter hikes to Canada to fly Spitfires for the Brits while America is still neutral. Just as the U. S. enters the war, he is shot down, and another exciting and terrible episode in his life begins. Living under terrible conditions he makes several attempts to escape until he finally succeeds in saving himself and many of his fellow POWs. This is a moving and heroic story of a young man who overcomes all obstacles with a sense of humor and succeeds in the end. Hollywood should snap this book up in a flash. Buy it, read it, enjoy it.
Charles Whiting, author of Hero: Life and Death of Audie Murphy
UNDER THE WIRE is a well-written and exciting memoir of wartime captivity that is packed with incident and vividly recreates the oft-neglected early days of Stalag Luft III and the now forgotten mass escape from Oflag XXIB, Schubin — a sort of dress rehearsal for the famous Great Escape. The author himself is one of the great unsung heroes of the Second World War, as are some of those whose adventures he records in this remarkable book. It also makes a refreshing change to read a memoir by someone who is politically literate and knew exactly what he was fighting against and what he was fighting for.’ There are passages in this book – particularly those concerning the political awakening of POWs and their determination to create a better post-war world – that make the reader want to stand up and cheer.
Charles Rollings, author of Wire and Walls, Wire and Worse
UNDER THE WIRE is everything I would expect from a memoir by Bill Ash — fast-paced, exciting and moving, but also colored by his mischievous sense of humor. He has a real gift as a storyteller — the characters and events come off the page as if we were meeting and experiencing them ourselves. Bill Ash was one of the great escape artists of the Second World War, and always managed to put himself in the centre of the action. He endured a lot, but never lost his essential humanity and zest for life, something that comes through very strongly in his book. That’s what makes UNDER THE WIRE such a joy to read — getting to know the irrepressible Ash and reliving his adventures with him.
Jonathan Vance, author of A Gallant Company: The Men of the Great Escape.
In this strange time when we await the transition from the unfortunate Trump administration to the most welcome Biden administration, let us consider the size of Biden’s victory over Trump.
As of this moment, Joe Biden leads Trump in the popular vote by nearly 5 million votes.
5 million votes. That’s a very big lead.
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have won more votes than the total voting age population of 7 states: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming and Vermont – a total of 4,716,657 voters.
Joe Biden has already won more votes than that – and the counting continues.
Go ahead, GOP, make my day.
As stated in a previous post, when we learned that Donald Trump planned to hold his first post-Covid-19 rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, my wife declared that we had to go. She was, as usual, right. We had to be there.
It was bad enough that the impeached, popular vote-losing, historically unpopular President originally intended to gather his MAGA minions on July 19th— the holiday known as Juneteenth — the day in 1865 when slaves in Texas finally learned they’d been emancipated by Lincoln’s proclamation back in 1863.
But there was more.
Worse than Trump’s Juneteenth affront was the city that he chose for his 2020 campaign kick-start. Nearly a century earlier, a white mob in Tulsa destroyed a prosperous African American neighborhood known as Black Wall Street, murdering hundreds of innocent Black men while burning more than 35 square blocks of homes and businesses to the ground. Trump wasn’t sounding a racist dog whistle. He was blaring his racist message through a stack of 100 Marshall amplifiers turned up to 11.
The swift critical blowback against Trump’s outrageous, race-baiting bit of scheduling forced him to move his rally from the 19th to the 20th – but that was just the first taste of defeat for Mango Mussolini that fateful weekend. He envisioned his visit to Tulsa as a re-boot of the traveling Trumpian circus that had served his Presidential aspirations – and his ego – so well in 2016.
Trump and his various campaign hacks and flacks trumpeted the news that Tulsa’s 19,000 seat BOK Center was nowhere near large enough to hold the hundreds of thousands of fans who had pre-ordered tickets for the rally. So, the Trump campaign arranged an outdoor venue for the overflow horde of cult followers eager to bask in their master’s mendacious message.
But there was a problem with those ticket reservations. It starts with the fact that my wife and I had six tickets and our youngest daughter had two – and none of us had any intention of going to the rally.
It was our daughter who hipped us to the subversive plan days before we left for Tulsa. She’d learned through the youthful online grapevine that, inspired by a TikTok video, the kids were snatching up tickets for Trump’s Tulsa rally as a massive prank. The kids were out to punk Trump.
This fast-moving youth movement followed the lead of Mary Jo Laupp, a 51-year-old grandmother from Fort Dodge, Iowa, who posted a TikTok video on June 11th suggesting that people book free tickets to the rally to inflate the attendance numbers and ensure there were empty seats. Laupp’s video earned more than 700,000 likes. Trump and his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, had no idea what was happening. They bought their own hype.
They swallowed the kids’ bait. Hook. Line. And sinker.
When my wife and I arrived in Tulsa on the 19th, we found a much sleepier downtown area than we imagined. My wife kept saying, “Where is everybody”?
By the day of Trump’s rally it was clear where everybody was: not in Tulsa!
Only 6,200 MAGAs showed up to bask in the first stop on President Man-Child’s Ego-Gratification Tour: just one-third of the BOK Center’s capacity.
What follows are images and commentary on Trump’s 2020 campaign Waterloo as we experienced it.
SPOILER ALERT: Those desperate excuses made by Trump loyalists about how the rally throngs were kept from getting into the BOK Center by protesters blocking their entrance? Pure lies, as you shall see…
Note the National Guard presence, the sparse crowd — and NO protestors. This was the pattern all day leading up to the rally.
The MAGA crowd is getting a little larger. But where are the protesters blocking the MAGAs from attending the rally? They don’t exist. Do you see any? Of course not. We are two blocks from the BOK Center at this point.
The Oklahoma National Guard is ready for action. Nervous kids doing their duty.
Another shot of the not-so- massive throngs gathering a couple blocks away from the BOK Center. Still no protesters. Actually, no protesters will show up until all the MAGAs are in the building and the rally is already underway. Oh yeah, there WAS that one older lady wearing an “I Can’t Breathe” t-shirt who was handcuffed and hauled away from the entrance.
There were at least three layers of security in order to get inside the gates leading to the BOK Center: concrete barriers, three rows of National Guard, and a fence. You’ll note that you don’t see any protesters blocking this entrance. It was the same at all entrances.
One you get past the concrete barricades and three rows of National Guard, there’s a fence — and then a temperature-testing site. Notice all the violent protesters blocking these MAGAs from entering? Of course not. Because they weren’t there! Sorry, Trump campaign. No excuses. Also — nobody is wearing a mask and there’s no social distancing.
Speaking of masks and social distancing. Oklahoma Senator Lankford (in the suit with red hair) was definitely not wearing a mask or social distancing. Nice example, Senator!At this point, the MAGAs have it made past the barriers, past the National Guard and past the fence. Now, they pause to get a mask (which hardly anybody wore) and have their temperature taken. Still no protesters blocking anything. No protesters at all.Now, it’s just a few hours until the rally starts — and all the MAGAs are in the building. There’s nobody left in line. If this was a Rick Springfield concert, a monster truck rally, or even a minor league hockey game there would still be folks in line. But all the members of Trump’s angry army coming to Trumpapalooza are already inside the BOK Center. No reinforcements are coming.The scene from one section of the upper deck. Trump fans! Tired of all the winning yet?
When we learned that Donald Trump intended to hold his first post-pandemic rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma on June 19th, my wife and I knew we had to drive from our home in Los Angeles to be there in Tulsa. Not because we wanted to be among the throng of MAGAs at the BOK Arena for the Mango Mussolini’s Celebration of His Ego – but because we wanted to protest Trump’s insult to African-Americans in Tulsa and across our nation.
Trump’s choice of date and location for his rally was either an act of extreme ignorance or something much, much worse.
June 19th– or “Juneteenth” as it has come to be known – marks the day in 1865 when the slaves in Texas were finally informed by Federal soldiers that they had been emancipated since 1863 and were, in fact, free from bondage. So, given Trump’s history with regard to race relations, Juneteenth was a horrible date for a MAGA rally.
And why should Trump choose Tulsa?
Was he unaware of the fact that in June of 1921, Tulsa was the site of one of the most horrible episodes of white racist violence in American history?
Was Trump’s choice of Tulsa a racist dog whistle akin to Ronald Reagan’s campaign kickoff in Philadelphia, Mississippi – cite of the infamous murder of the Freedom Riders in 1964? Either he has no advisors with knowledge of 20thcentury U.S. history – or he’s running the same racist “Southern Strategy” that Nixon, Reagan and George H.W. “Willie Horton” Bush ran to victory.
So, off we went to Tulsa.
Last night, we enjoyed the celebration of Juneteenth in the Greenwood section of Tulsa where Black Wall Street once stood – and where the horrors of the 1921 massacre remain a painful, open wound.
What follows are some photos and video of our experience yesterday evening. It was a festival atmosphere, enjoyed by a multi-racial crowd of several thousand that largely wore masks and maintained social distance. It was a joy to be there.
Like any street festival, local musicians — from rap to jazz to funk to soul — entertained the crowd — waiting to hear from Reverend Al Sharpton.
And now some words from Reverend Al…
Tonight, Trump will hold his mini-Nuremburg rally. I’ll report on that scene later.
Would Trump Measure Up as a Boy Scout?
I’m proud to say that my older brother Peter and I were in the Scouting program — from Cub Scouts to Webelos to the Boy Scouts of America.
Peter and I proudly pledged to adhere to the Boy Scout Law.
We understood that the Boy Scout Law was a list of aspirational ideals that would make us better people and honorable citizens if we had the grit, faith and spirit to live up to them.
The Boy Scout Law, which I can still recite by heart, had a profound effect on me. I haven’t always lived up to the high standards they demand – but throughout my life, I’ve aspired to be equal to the personal ethics they challenge me to uphold.
So, let’s look at the 12 Boy Scout Laws.
How many of these laws does Donald Trump model in his everyday life?
A Scout is…
As I see it, the impeached, popular vote losing Donald J. Trump is Zero for 12 on observing the Boy Scout Law.
Seriously. Impeached President Trump violates every single one of the Boy Scout Laws.
If you can argue that I’m wrong — and that Trump is a Boy Scout, after all — please post a comment and make your case. Which of the 12 Boy Scout Laws does Trump uphold and observe?
Here’s my take. What’s yours? (Please give concrete proof of Trump adhering to any of these laws.)
- Trustworthy: According to the New York Times, Trump had told more than 18,000 lies since he was inaugurated. And counting…
- Loyal: How many cabinet members and staffers has he fired for telling the truth and/or not kissing his ass square on the hole?
- Helpful: Has he ever made a bad situation better? Has he ever offered assistance to the needy? Read about Puerto Rico.
- Friendly: Not a chance. He’s a cruel, nasty bully — and a defensive, easily-offended snowflake and selfish jackass.
- Courteous: Stood in front of the Queen of England, walks in front of his wife, shoved other world leaders aside to get a better spot in a G-7 group photo, etc.
- Kind: Please. Donald and his KKK member father kept black people from renting their properties. They were even sued by the federal government.
- Obedient: You’re kidding. Obedient to whom?
- Cheerful: Only when he thinks he’s got a leg up on his enemies.
- Thrifty: Multiple bankruptcies. Massive, all-time-high, federal debt due to his needless tax giveaway to the 1%.
- Brave: His daddy arranged a Vietnam military draft deferment for his son’s specious bone spurs. Decades later, Trump was sent to his White House bunker in fear of Americans protesting police brutality.
- Clean: Okay, they say he’s a germaphobe— but why no mask?
- Reverent: Sure, this adulterous, porn star-banging libertine sucks up to the religious right. But is he really a Christian believer? Not a chance. Ask Jeffrey Epstein. Or Michael Cohen. Or Stormy Daniels. Or Karen MacDougal. Or the, at least, 25 women who have accused Trump of sexual harassment, abuse, assualt – and rape.
Can you imagine Trump reciting the Boy Scout Law today — and not being struck by lightning?
Go ahead, Trump supporters. Explain.
I challenge you — especially those I’ve known since high school in my beloved hometown, Cleveland, Ohio — to show me, Boy Scout Law by Boy Scout Law, how Donald J. Trump measures up to the standards we pledged to uphold as young men in the late 1960’s and early 70’s.
I’m waiting to hear if you can actually mount a case for Trump. Can you actually defend the behavior of this thin-skinned, narcissistic, racist, Adderall-snorting, anti-scientific, anti-intellectual, willfully ignorant, 6-times bankrupt, wannabe strongman dictator?
You have by Election Day, November 3, 2020 to make your case.
I swear by the Boy Scout Law to give you a fair hearing.
As for the Scouts motto, “Be Prepared”?
Consider his flat-footed, ignorant, personally defensive response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Pathetic.