Written by: Colin Bruce Munro Wood - 12:01 EST - 09/30/2017

This Friday Night, the 29th, I was seduced into seeing a brand new acting troupe's first presentation of performances at the Ti-Ahwaga Performing Arts Center. This group of actors and singers call themselves Transcend.

Transcend is founded by four members who after working on a previous show together, decided to get a theater group of their own started. This weekend, Friday and Saturday night audiences were and will be treated to an Actor's Weekend Showcase, starring the four founding members in various short scenes written for the stage, by Edward Allen Baker, Tennessee Williams, and Maxwell Anderson.

The four members consist of three adults of varied ages, and an astounding 17 year old teenager. They are in no certain order, Talia Saraceno, Kylee Thetga, Paul Sanna and Francesca Decker. Two of whom are taking off for big pastures, to turn their crafts into careers. Francesca is giving up everything and heading for Hollywood, and Talia will take a shot at the Big Apple next!

They performed in four sSoncenes, the first being a song called Sonya Alone from Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812. This was performed by the 17 year old Kylee Thetga, and backed by the bass playing of Paul Sanna. Kylee showed potential in being a great singer, with an original sound, and with continued training, can and I'm sure will become a prominent singer in the area.

The second scene of the play was Baker's Up, Down, Strange, Charmed, Beauty and Truth. Honestly, this reviewer had never heard of any of the short plays in this presentation, and this scene started out with dialogue that at first, didn't clearly represent what the scene was about. I had just a little problem understanding some of the dialogue from Paul Sanna, who worked hard at producing a waywardly, out of luck Uncle to Marley, played by Kylee Thetga. But, as the scene progressed, the darkness, and the heart wrenching concept of what was occurring began to dig deep into my soul, and the performances of Kylee and Talia Saraceno, who played Marley's sister Steph were in-depth, emotionally charged, and incredibly well delivered personae, that caused me to forget I was watching a play. That is what you call amazing acting! Both Kylee and Steph, whether they've been trained or not, which is unknown to this reviewer, seemed to show aged, and crafted techniques of acting, from great breathing technique to incredible character development, and excellent use of their bodies in presenting and throwing their emotions on the stage. I walked out of the theater at intermission with tears pouring down my face, as the tragedy of broken families was so beautifully rendered in front of me.

The next scene Mary of Scotland, by Anderson, was a complete and immediate turn around in character for Talia, as she went from a sickly, worn down woman in the previous scene, to a powerful, and Christian woman in Mary. Francesca appeared for the first time on stage as Queen Elizabeth, and gave a perfect, cold, and cunning rendition of the Queen. That, served up with the enticing and deeply tuned performance of Talia as Mary, made for a very professional, and perfectly crafted scene, with all dialect, and accents very well spoken!

Next up for these two fierce starlets of the stage, and who knows, possibly film and television, was Williams short play Something Unspoken, which unsurprisingly for Williams is another one of his writings to shake up the common way. In this short scene we meet two women who obviously live together, and have a relationship, in a time when it was probably still inappropriate to make obvious to the public. So, it seems, they kept it private in their own home. However, the intricacy of Williams shines through when you realize that one of the women in the relationship is also a sub-servant to the other, by acting as her secretary for many many years. I think it was 15, if I remember right. The back story of the scene,  is that Cornelia, played by Francesca, is trying to become the President of the Daughters of the Confederacy, but will not accept defeat, and says she will immediately drop out if anyone else runs, and so phone calls ensue between her and another character, all in the mean-time, we are watching two women deal with their "unspoken" love for each other on their Anniversary of becoming a union. Talia played Grace, and offered us a perfect, meek, and harmless woman, as opposed to Francesca's portrayal of a powerful, and cunning lady of society. Again, these two women's strong and very real performances made me forget it was the stage once more, and I was drawn in by their incredible acting abilities, that again seemed as if they had been training for years to produce.

All in all, last night, Friday night, when most often I'm sitting home, I was truly treated to inspiring stories, sacrificial acting, and a new group of enticing actors, and am very thankful for the opportunity to have seen it and review it.

I hope that Transcend continues to grow, and that we see more incredible performances from this new and young group. I think Francesca and Talia are going to do just fine in their next endeavors, and wish them each a broken leg!

On a last note: Kylee Thetga will be around for a while, since she is 17, and I encourage anyone who has the chance to see this young lady act on stage, not to miss it! She has incredible, deeply rooted abilities to perform, and truly made the stage her own!!

They get 5 out of 5 teardrops!!

Photo courtesy of: http://tiahwaga.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Interior-1.jpg


Monday Night Premier TV Review

Monday Night Premier TV Review
Written by: Colin Bruce Munro Wood - 12:05PM EST - 09/27/017

The 2017 Television season kicked off this Monday night, with some new and not so new shows, and their premier episodes.

Following up an excellent 2016 season on The Voice, one might imagine it couldn't get any better. Further distancing itself from it's first cousin American Idol, by bringing forth molded and incredible singers from the start, The Voice sparked their return with new judge Jennifer Hudson, along with Miley Cyrus, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton by entertaining us with amazing and powerful singers, one after the other. The show, as it always does, brought more tears to this writer's eyes, watching people's dreams begin to come true, who fully deserve to be on this avenue to star-like recognition.

Monday night also saw the introduction of two new shows, The Brave & The Good Doctor. Both shows envelop story-lines that have been used before in previous successes such as 24, Homeland, Doogie Howser, M.D., and a handful more. So, when they began, I thought, here we go again, just a new cast, and new time-frame.

Fortunately, both shows grew into much more than something I've seen before. The Brave, offered up a good script, focusing on a female star, and added emotion, and compassion to the feeling of the show, and gave what sometimes are overly serious shows, a more empathetic mood that touched you in it's ending. On the other hand, I can't say enough about The Good Doctor! This program threw in surprise after surprise, beginning with the fresh and exciting idea of an autistic young man as a resident doctor, who's incredible memory, and ability to see things the normal person can't see. However, it also tackles the already existent argument this very day in social media and across our nation of accepting people, and their way of thinking, and living. While getting to know the Good Doctor, we also watch an intense battle take place within the Hospital Board over whether or not, an autistic doctor has the ability to see and feel what regular doctor's feel, and whether or not that would be a danger. The argument through-out this episode mirrors the argument happening through out America, about accepting people different from each other, and learning to thrive with them, and through them.

The scripts, performances, and direction in both shows were excellently played out by all involved, and I would perchance to say that they will both survive their pilot show/season. 

I might add that I wept like a baby a few times during The Good Doctor. So, if you are compassionate, watch out!!!

Those were my top choices for Monday night! Catch my review of Tuesday night top choices in my next article.

The Voice - 5 out of 5 teardrops
The Brave - 4 out of 5 teardrops
The Good Doctor 5 out of 5 teardrops


Manafort Down! Manafort Down!

S.O.S. - Manafort Down! Manafort Down!
Written by: Colin B M Wood 
09/18/2017 - 9:27PM ET

Paul Manafort is sinking. The FBI is indicting! The tip of the Trump inner circle is tipping, and who knows where it will crumble and crash.

Paul Manafort is being called "sketchy" on CNN and all kind of things. How does a man who has reportedly spied get hired into a future President's inner circle?

Manafort is an American Lawyer, lobbyist, and political consultant who joined Trump's team in June 2016 as the Campaign Manager, and only lasted until the end of August.

Reports are that Manafort was being investigated prior to his working with the Trump Team, and after, and that he was also wire tapped. 

Trump may state he has case on Twitter now which proves that he was right when he stated he was wire tapped. However, that will not quite be the truth. It was only Manafort being tapped. However, Manafort having a place in Trump Tower is not a fault of the investigation, and so it goes to wondeer, if Trump may have been recorded himself in such recordings. 

So, how long has the Trump team known what Manafort was up to, and what he was doing?

As Mueller begins to pursue, subpoena, and now indite actors in the Trump/Russia Scandal, it begins to leave doubt in Trump's claim that he's done nothing wrong, and wasn't involved. It seems that multiple obstruction of justice charges are going to be coming his way at the least, which may not get him jail, but should be enough to impeach.

This scandal has embarrassed the history of the White House, and our position of Presidency, and caused America to be looked at by our allies as a laughing stock.

Now, Trump's lawyers are caught talking out loud about the Russian Probe in a public restaurant, possibly opening up documentation to the prosecution Trump may want protected.

Now, the American political system seems to be in shambles. Both major parties are divided among it's highest members, an Independent Socialist is forcing legislation and bills, turmoil disrupts the White House daily, Campaign Managers are being shamed and now indicted. Journalism that is putting this all out in the open is being warred upon by our President, Hurricanes are battering America and the islands without end, health care seems to be more of a joke to Congress, than a serious condition of the American public, and "Dreamers" are being threatened to be denied existence in the only place they can survive.

This blemish which Paul Manafort, and possibly others have wrought upon Americans is coming to fruition, and it's just beginning to rear it's ugly head at us. This will be just the beginning of a hail storm from Investigator Mueller. Where it all ends for Trump is still actually up in the air, believe it, or not.

Unfortunately, we can all only imagine now what a Clinton or Sanders WH might have looked like. I would take a good guess that most Americans would trade the historical mockery we are observing, for that story.

I miss the brevity and honor Obama and Bush brought to the WH. They were respectable men, as were most of our past Presidents. Trump is the reflection of America now, though.

As the hurricanes continue to tragically barrel through the Caribbean, the investigation continues to barrel ahead, and the devastation of its' path may be as harmful to America as as CAT 5 storm.

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Written by Colin Bruce Munro Wood - 4:11PM - 09/17/2017

While many of us continue to battle on social media with tweets, memes, and opinions about Trump, something odd has been taking place, that maybe we are all missing.

Many of us are still arguing Charlottesville, and some are rioting in St. Louis, rightfully, over yet again another acquittal of an officer who shot a young unarmed black man. Yet, some in the world are dealing with recent historical tragedies, through ever changing weather and political patterns, of war on humans.

During this time, Trump has suddenly given up on his right tilting constituents, and has begun crossing a line, promised by him during his tumultuous run for President of the United States. He promised us that he would change government, and be different, and stir the pot.

All of that has already, obviously, happened. However, the change that those on the democratic side who may have voted for this man, were seeking, or hoping for, may finally being sign of the off balance character President Trump really is.

Spending years living in Manhattan, I learned of Trump's personality through daily stories in the local city papers the NY Times, and Daily News. I warned of who he is in articles last year, and have spent much time on Facebook and twitter hounding Trump to be a better President, a better man.

So, if you haven't been paying attention, we can now put together a list of acts by Trump over the past two weeks, that most of us are missing, and seeing past possibly. 

Trump actually got hands on with not one, but two Natural Disaster Relief efforts. Sure, maybe not hands on like we've necessarily seen in the likes of Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, or George Bush, but he actually put forth a recently unseen form of humanism towards those in need. In fact, he became less pompous, and more caring in his speech and words at the Hurricane Irma news event. 

Okay, big deal, that's what a President should do, right? Well, as we all know, it was probably not expected of this President, and I think He genuinely in his own odd way reached down to those in need for a short period of time in his busy schedule.

Then there is the private, secret dinner meeting with Democrat stalwarts, Nancy Pelosi, and "Chuck" Charles Schumer. Seemingly, sealing a package deal to help storm victims, leave open stricter boarder restrictions, and keeping DACA residents in their American homes.

We can also look at the ever growing tension in North Korea. Again, to much of Trump's dismay, including myself, we all have harped on him not to be a war monger, and a nuke pusher. Yet, despite his careless words on the news, he has actually held stealthily chill for months on North Korea, and remains working diligently with the same United Nations he swore off last just months ago. Pushing harsher and harsher sanctions on North Korea. We have not seen the hot-tempered President react in the way we all expected at all. Now, North Korea is shooting missiles over ally countries, and we still expect him to hesitate devastating North Korea with an all out Air attack that would simply put all this to a stop? It seems, he has actually been seeking democracy in this situation, and we are blind to his patience.

In Afghanistan, we have been tripping along with minimum troops to end the conflict there for almost 2 decades. Now, Trump has decided to send in an undisclosed amount of increased troops to get it over with, and get our troops home finally. Another democratic win.

Now, word is Trump is working with Democrats on a fair health system for all....Hurricane Maria is approaching the islands again, expected to take same path as Irma, North Korea is breathing down his back, and then of course, there is Mueller and the Russians, looking set to blow the Trump Organization out of the water and the White House...

Is it possible that Trump is leaning to the middle....for whatever his reasoning may be....his inconsistency.....his self-absorbent way of doing what he pleases just may be rewarding the left and middle right now, and maybe we should all try and give him an inch to breath before he heads to the big house!

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America. Stop The Hate, Please!

Photo by  Avi Werde  on  Unsplash Look, folks. The government will always be the government. We’ve all seen it from BO...