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admin | to meditate in silence | 01.08.2014
Published December 3, 2012 at 640 × 360 in Holiday Procedures: How far out do I need to book?
Celtic knots, particularly the triskele or triangular knots, symbolize the Trinity and their Christian faith. This collection is a treasure and includes stories, original photos, documents, and 8mm movie clips that date back to the late 1930's and 1940's. The picture of the photo album is Max's actual photo album and many of the photos portrayed are from his own collection. Special thanks to Marie Isabelle Schikora O'Malley (Mom), for her eye-witness accounts as she tells the stories about her Mom & Dad. Also a very special thanks to Cathy Buss Clark and Wayne Nerger for sharing their research. Despite the media packaging, Thanksgiving, like any other major family occasion, can be fraught with underlying tensions. One example of this is Phil Olson’s “A Nice Family Gathering” now open at the Whittier Community Theatre. As a story it’s sort of a modern “A Christmas Carol” meets “All in the Family.” The Lundeens are gathering at the family home in small-town Minnesota for their first Thanksgiving since the death of their father.
And then, in walks the ghost of their father, offered one day to – through his writer son, who can see him – tell his wife he loved her, something he never quite got around to doing while alive. Meghan Duran gives the ignored sister Stacy an aura of fatalistic acquiescence, which works up to a point, though it doesn’t explain the connections suddenly created in the second act. Director Karen Jacobson doesn’t seem to have talked her cast through their characters’ transitions much. In any case, “A Nice Family Gathering” has some cute moments, and handles some difficult material with humor and pathos. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.
Once you recognize a family member is having difficulty, create an environment that allows for inclusion.

Make sure your hearing-impaired family member is paying attention to you before you begin to speak.
If you’re dining out during the holidays, try to choose a quiet restaurant with good acoustics. If you’re eating at home, consider using paper plates and plastic eating utensils instead of china and flatware to cut down on the amount of background noise while the family is gathered at the table. The coat of arms on the right is a contemporary version that I designed based on previous collections.
Greg Stokes plays the father’s old golf buddy Jerry with a genuineness, which helps dispel the father-ghost’s suspicions regarding Jerry and the ghost’s widow.
Supposedly hyped on hormones and desperate for a fertility that eludes her, her only way to show emotion is to face-plant into someone’s chest and make weeping noises. Michael’s abusive behavior of his little sister is simply gone suddenly, and dismissed in the process.
Still, as served up at Whittier Community Theatre, it has some significant flaws one cannot overlook. Noted, there are flaws with the script, but these flaws are to be found in the writing, not the actors. Some of your critiques might have found footing had there been evidence of any thoughtful research of the play prior to viewing it. Our doctors have a few key elements to help create a successful gathering for your hearing-impaired relatives – all it takes is a little advanced planning! Opt to keep the mood light and all members of the family engaged in the conversation as much as possible. Making fun of this potential for awkwardness and insanities can prove great fodder for playwrights. As produced at WCT, there are still struggles to find the balance of quirky comedy and meaningful family message. Murphy all but vibrates with personal frustration, and juggles well the subterfuge necessary to hold conversations with someone nobody else in the room can see.

Jerry Marble plays the ghostly father rather all in one key, but perhaps that would happen if you had one day to watch your family rearrange itself without being able to contribute. A show about kids sure that all quirks of their parent are oncoming dementia, not to mention ending up listening to the ache of a long-time spouse for a companion wrested away too soon, doesn’t seem to be the kind of thing these folks would laugh at. On the other hand, if you come with food for a local food bank, they’ll give you free goodies at intermission.
When the time is right, suggest your loved one have a hearing evaluation and become educated about the latest hearing instrument technology. His older brother, the doctor, feels the pressure to continue following in his father’s footsteps. As his older brother, Michael the “good son,” John Warner becomes the stuffy image of respectability, melting just a bit as he explains how such rigid goodness is dooming his marriage. Either the emotions and interactions on stage are far more intense than the script, or that transition is supposed to be telegraphed by actions that are missing.
The resulting lack of feedback may also be a part of the timing problems for the performers. That, and the support of the oldest community theater in the greater Los Angeles area are incentives for attendance all by themselves. Actors cannot include transitiions in character development or plot if they are nonexistent in the script. Sorry if you didn’t like the portrayal of Jill, but she is more of a characterization included for easy laughs than a fully-rounded character.

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