BLAINESWORLD #1008 (Please send any comments to:

Section 2, part 2

(1) Len E. in NC: I agree with you on Joy. It was a very interesting movie but shot full of Hollywood holes. Too bad. It could have been an Academy Award nominee. First goof: why was a guy going to try to sell a mop without even knowing its virtues or how to use it? Second goof: why would Joy sign the bankruptcy papers and then suddenly do research and meet a shady character in a hotel room in Texas?

(2) Why do we find things funny?

(3) Linda H. in NC: ’Not everything happens for a reason’: The magic words to say when everything’s going wrong

(4) Our vegan diet almost killed us

(5)  A Multitude of Fans, With a High Regard for Broadway

(6) Arlene D. in PA: Went to see “Concussion” today. It is a really good movie. Will Smith is at his best. I highly recommend it.

(7) The art of home staging

(8) The cult of Marie Kondo

(9) Natalie K. in PA: Saw a very good movie last night. It had won the best Foreign Film Award last year or the year before, I think. It’s called Kolya. Have you seen it? It’s from Czechoslavakia.

Response: I haven’t seen it–yet. But now want to because of Natalie’s recommendation.


Section 12A, NC events



carolina jews for justice

 Carolina Jews for Justice to Preview New Documentary “Faces of Poverty” Followed by Panel Discussion – February 18th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Carolina Jews for Justice/West will preview a new documentary produced by Just Economics, “Faces of Poverty” on Thursday, February 18th from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Congregation Beth Israel, 229 Murdock Street in Asheville.  The film focuses on the lives of five Buncombe County residents.

“At the core of its vision of a just society, Judaism demands compassion for the economically less fortunate:  You shall open your hand to your brother, to the poor and needy in your land.  Deut.15:11.  Other passages of Torah require that the worker’s wages be sufficient to sustain life. Our ethical mandate does not permit us to turn aside from our obligation to help those in need,” says Judy Leavitt, Chair, Steering Committee, Carolina Jews for Justice/West.

Panelists will include representatives of Just Economics and Green Opportunities who will share their personal experiences of living in poverty here in Buncombe County and others who are seeking to do something about it.

“To act in a way that makes a difference, we must understand the condition of those who need our assistance and advocacy,” Leavitt added.

For more information about Carolina Jews for Justice events and projects go to and sign up to get regular e-blasts.

In the event of inclement weather, please call Congregation Beth Israel at 252-8860 for news of a cancellation.

(3) Skills for Independence: 5 Steps t Empower Your Daughter to be Confident and Stay Safe

Are you a parent or guardian of a young girl? Would you like her to feel more confident, self assured, and willing to express herself?

Join us Thursday, January 28 at 7 pm at Franklin School of Innovation on Sardis Road, not far from Asheville Outlets.

Anne will be sharing strategies and tools for parents to help their girls discover and connect with her inner strength.

This 1-hour program is sponsored by Franklin School of Innovation and is free and open to parents of girls of any age.

Anne will be offering a training series for middle school age girls in February entitled The Power in You. The training will offer experiential exercises and activities to learn about confident body language, positive self talk, increasing opportunity while decreasing risk, safety strategies, trusting intuition, defining and defending boundaries and using our voice. Details and registration information here:

About Anne: Anne Heck is a leader of empowerment programs and counseling for women and girls in WNC. She has worked with and advised women from around the country on issues of self-confidence, self awareness and personal safety. For the last 20 years, Anne has worked with nonprofits in western NC promoting self confidence, personal protection and greater awareness for women. Anne has been interviewed by Diane Sawyer of ABC News and was invited to share her personal story of empowerment on the TED stage. Anne facilitates mother-daughter workshops as well as weekly women’s gatherings. She is a mother of two children and a survivor of sexual violence. You can learn more about Anne at

“Anne obviously holds great passion for this work; any training with her promises to have a positive and powerful impact on those attending. If you work with young people or adutls who are seeking to learn assertiveness, self-protection, or simply wish to feel more empowered in their lives, I highly suggest you schedule an event with Anne.”
~ Diane Delafield, Exec. Dir., Under One Sky Foundation


Section 12B, PA/NJ events

(1) Welcoming the Undead to Kelsey Theatre in ‘Zombie Prom’ Feb. 5 to 7

West Windsor, N.J. – Merge 1950s teen flicks with “Atomic Age” sci fi films, add some musical satire, and presto, you’ve got “Zombie Prom,” coming to Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre.   The Kelsey Players and Tomato Patch Workshops present this Off-Broadway cult musical Friday, Feb. 5, at 8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 6, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 7 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road.

It’s a tale of teenage angst gone radioactive. Sweet teen Toffee is drawn to bad-boy Jonny, much to the dismay of Delilah Strict, the principal of Enrico Fermi High. When Miss Strict persuades Toffee to break off the relationship, Jonny commits suicide by driving his motorcycle directly into a nuclear cooling tower at the local power plant. The tale gets more twisted when Jonny returns as a zombie looking for his lost love. Enter TV journalist Eddie Flagrante, and the story is about to get much bigger.

“Zombie Prom” premiered in Key West, Fla., in 1993 and opened Off-Broadway in 1996. It had an Off-West End run in London in 2009. It was also adapted into a short film.

Zombie Prom” stars Pam Jorgensen of Franklin Park as Miss Delilah Strict; Samantha Phillips of Hamilton as Toffee; Marissa Marciano of West Windsor as Candy; Kaitlyn Anthony of Bordentown as Coco; Jacqueline Galli of Lambertville as Ginger; Jon Logan of West Windsor as Jonny Warner; Zach Abbruscato of Hightstown as Joey; JC DeMaria of South Brunswick as Josh; Jack Lynch of Princeton as Jake; and Scott Karlin of Plainsboro as Eddie Flagrante.

Featured in the ensemble are: Robbie Angarone of Hamilton, Emma Behrens of East Windsor, TaylorRae Carter of Lambertville, Evan Chartock of Princeton Junction, Maddy Chartock of Princeton Junction, Jordyn David of Robbinsville, Mia Davis of Hamilton, Zachary Finacchio of Hamilton Square, Zamir Gorden of Lawrenceville, Abby Kenna of Robbinsville, Jasmine Livingston of Florence, Melissa Logan of West Windsor, Brandon Luckenbaugh of Hillsborough, Alexys Pulsinelli of Bordentown, Rachel Rivera of Lawrenceville, Clara Ruggieri of Hamilton, Reva Sangal of West Windsor, Abigail Valerio of Robbinsville, and Ava Zoltanski of Robbinsville.

The production staff includes Directors Dan Spalluto and Jackie Robinson, Musical Director Elizabeth Rzasa, Assistant Musical Director Madelyn Curtin, Choreographer Rachel Tovar, Stage Manager Jackie Robinson and Assistant Stage Manager Ryan Strack. The show is produced by Kitty Getlik, with set design by John Maurer and lighting design by Harrison Seefelt. The rehearsal accompanist is Sergey Tkachenko.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for senior citizens, and $16 for students and children. Free parking is available next to the theater. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333.  Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater. For a complete listing of adult and children’s events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.

(2) ‘Room Service’ Serves Up Cure for Winter Doldrums at MCCC’s Kelsey Theatre February 12 to 21 

West Windsor, N.J. – A treat is in store for anyone who loves theater and the people who make theater. Theater To Go (T2G) serves up a comic screwball delight with “Room Service” at Mercer County Community College’s (MCCC’s) Kelsey Theatre in February. Dates and show times are: Fridays, Feb. 12 and 19 at 8 p.m.; Saturdays, Feb. 13 and 20 at 8 p.m.; and Sundays, Feb. 14 and 21 at 2 p.m. Kelsey Theatre is located on the college’s West Windsor campus, 1200 Old Trenton Road. A reception with the cast and crew will follow the opening night performance on Feb. 12.

It’s time to laugh along as Gordon Miller, a wheeling-dealing Broadway producer, struggles to find a backer for his new show, which he just knows will be a smash hit. Holed up in a Times Square hotel with 19 hungry actors and a ballooning room service bill, he tries to forestall eviction by concocting a series of ever-more preposterous events.

Penned in 1937 by Allen Boretz and John Murray, “Room Service” is considered by many to be the funniest play of the 1930s. Striking just the right chord in post-Depression America, it was a huge hit on Broadway under the direction of the famed George Abbot and was made into a popular Marx Brothers movie of the same name in 1938.

The talented cast includes: Charles Acosta of Levittown, Pa., as Faker Englund; Arnold Brown of Monroe as Sasha Smirnoff; Lew Gantwerk of Princeton as Dr. Glass; Stan Karuzis of Lawrenceville as Gregory Wagner; Madison Kotnarawski of Hamilton as Hilda Manney; Rob Lasky of Hamilton in multiple roles; Alfie Mannino of Collingswood as Gordon Miller; Destyne Pitts of Trenton as Christine Marlowe; Paul Rahter of Haddon Height as Leo Davis; Steven Smith of Princeton Junction as Harry Binion; and Mark Violi of Hamilton as Joseph Gribble.

The creative team includes Director Ruth Markoe, Stage Manager Hannah Knight, Sound Designer Eric Collins, Set Designer John Russell; and Lighting Designer Kitty Getlik. Props are by Amy Besselieu with costumes by Ritzzy Productions.

Based in Lawrenceville, Theater To Go (T2G) was founded in 1992 by Ruth Markoe, who has been acting and directing regionally for more than two decades. The company’s first production at Kelsey Theatre was “Lend Me A Tenor” in 1995; last season they performed “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” T2G has also presented popular audience participation movie sing-alongs at Kelsey Theatre, along with community and corporate performance events around the region.

Tickets for “Room Service” are $18 for adults, $16 for seniors, and $14 for students and children. Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling the Kelsey Box Office at 609-570-3333.  Kelsey Theatre is wheelchair accessible, with free parking available next to the theater. For a complete listing of adult and children’s events, visit the Kelsey website or call the box office for a brochure.



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