Monday, December 26, 2011

The Last Straw Awards 2011

By Joe Straw

This year has been a remarkable year for theatre in Los Angeles.  Scores of theatregoers are leaving their commercialized TV programs at home and rushing to see a living breathing body creating a moment, just a few feet away, right here, live in Los Angeles.

This year I’ve witnessed some amazing productions with wonderful actors filling the roles. And as the year progressed the productions just got better and better.  I’ve observed over 40 productions and have seen hundreds of actors and it is important to say their commitment to the craft alone has been remarkable.    

Also, new theater venues are opening all over town. The new A Noise Within Theatre in East Pasadena is absolutely magnificent.  And Casa 101’s new home is exquisite!  The Latino Theatre Company on Spring Street is playing to capacity crowds and it has become quite the place to see and be seen.  Also, The Blank Theatre and The Elephant Theatre are producing wonderful new plays along theatre row in Hollywood.   

This year the presentation for The Last Straw Awards 2011 will be given not only to actors, but to writers and directors as well.  This award puts out the energy or notice of those who have given 110 percent of themselves and their craft.  It is important to recognize the hard work that went into these productions and in doing so here they are.


Luca Ellis – Hoboken to Hollywood – The Edgemar Centers of The Arts

John Southwell – Breaker – Firehouse – The Whitefire Theatre
Kamar de los Reyes – Robert Miranda – Firehouse – The Whitefire Theatre

P.J. Ochlan – Angelo – The Comedy of Errors – A Noise Within Theatre
Michael Stone Forrest – Egeon - The Comedy of Errors – A Noise Within Theatre

Peggy Dunne – Margaret Hyman – Broken Glass – Pico Playhouse
Michael Bofshever – Phillip Gellburg _ Broken Blass – Pico Playhouse

Jack Laufer – Harry the druggist – The Cradle Will Rock – The Blank Theatre Company at the Stellar Adler Theatre.

Amad Jackson – Joseph Asagai – A Raisin In The Sun – Ebony Repertory Theatre – Nate Holden Performing Art Center.
Kenya Alexander - Beneatha – A Raisin In The Sun – Ebony Repertory Theatre – Nate Holden Performing Art Center.

Michelle Clunie – Abby – The Mercy Seat – Inside the Ford Theatre

Tanya Frederick – Sylvia – The Edgemar Center for The Arts
Tom Ayers – Tom and Phyllis – Sylvia – The Edgemar Center for The Arts

Stephanie Ann Saunders – Natasha Rambova – Lavender Love – Macha Theatre
Michelle Bernard – Evie Raven – Lavender Love – Macha Theatre

Dennis Christopher – Harry Hay – The Temperamentals – The Blank Theatre
John Tartaglia – Bob Hull – The Temperamentals – The Blank Theatre

F. Murray Abraham – Shylock – The Merchant of Venice – The Broad Stage
Melissa Miller – Jessica – The Merchant of Venice – The Broad Stage
Christopher Randolph – Prince of Arragon – The Merchant of Venice – The Broad Stage

Aaron Hendry – Tartuffe – Theatricum Botanicum
Ted Barton – Tartuffe – Theatricum Botanicum

Tara Karsian – Gertie - The Interlopers – Bootleg Theater
Darryl Stephens – Victoria – The Interlopers – Bootleg Theater

Andrew Friedman – Charlie – Stones in His Pockets – Zephyr Theatre
Jerry Richardson – Jake – Stones in His Pockets – Zephyr Theatre

Miriam Peniche – Estela – Real Women Have Curves – Casa 101

Thea Gill – Dusk Rings a Bell – The Blank Stage
Josh Randall – Dusk Rings a Bell – The Blank Stage

Peter Van Norden – Various Roles – The God of Isaac – Pico Playhouse
Corryn Cummins – Shelly – The God of Isaac - Pico Playhouse

Kenny Suarez – Chris – Love Sick – The Elephant Theatre Company
Salvator Xuereb – Jeff – Love Sick – The Elephant Theatre Company

Lina Hall – Greta Garbo – Garbo’s Cuban Lover – Macha Theatre
Lisa Merkin – Salka Viertel – Garbo’s Cuban Lover – Macha Theatre

Geoff Elliott – Malvolio – Twelfth Night – A Noise Within

Salome Jens – Henrietta Szold – Daughter of My People – The Met Theatre

Fergal McElherron – Dromio – The Comedy of Errors – The Broad Stage
Cornelius Booth – Egeon – The Comedy of Errors – The Broad Stage

Jon Jon Briones – The Romance of Magno Rubio – Inside The Ford
Elizabeth Rainey – Clarabelle – The Romance of Magno Rubio – Inside The Ford

Esperanza America Ibarra – Gina – Hope:  Part II of a Mexican Trilogy – Latino Theatre Company
Sam Gozari – Rudy – Hope:  Part II of a Mexican Trilogy – Latino Theatre Company
Dru Davis – Bobby – Hope:  Part II of a Mexican Trilogy – Latino Theatre Company

Carl Crudup – Ice – Short Eyes – Urban Theatre Movement – Latino Theatre Company
Donte Wince – El Raheem – Urban Theatre Movement – Latino Theatre Company


The Romance of Magno Rubio - Written by Lonnie Carter
Jon Jon Briones                      Eymard Cabling                      Giovanni Ortega
Muni Zano                              Ed Ramolete                            Erik Esteban
Elizabeth Rainey                     Vincent Reyes

Short Eyes – Written by Miguel Piñero
Miguel Amenyinu                   Carl Crudup                            Cris D’Annunzio
Darby Hinton                         Matthew Jaeger                      Jason Manuel Olazabal
Daryl Anthony Harper           Matias Ponce                          Mark Rolston
David Santana                         Donte Wince                           Alex Alfaro
Jon Lance Dura                       Daniel Zornes

Hope:  Part II of a Mexican Triolgy – by Evelina Fernandez
Geoffrey Rivas                       Dyana Ortelli                          Sal Lopez
Esperanza America Ibarra       Sam Golzari                            Dru Davis
Olivia Cristina Delgado           Keith McDonald                    


Pedro Antonio Garcia – Firehouse – Whitefire Theatre

Evelina Fernandez – Hope Part II of a Mexican Trilogy – The Latino Theatre Company

Lonnie Carter – The Romance of Mango Rubio – Inside The Ford

Donald Freed – Devil’s Advocate – The Latino Theatre Company

Neil Labute – The Mercy Seat – Inside The Ford

Stephen Belber – Dusk Rings A Bell – The Blank Theatre


Daniel Henning – Director – Dusk Rings a Bell – The Blank Theatre

Phylicia Rashad – Director – A Raisin In The Sun – Nate Holden Performing Arts Center

Bernardo Bernardo – Director – The Romance of Magno Rubio – Inside The Ford Theatre.

Julian Acosta – Director – Short Eyes – Urban Theatre Movement – Latino Theatre Company

Michael Michetti – Director – The Comedy of Errors – A Noise Within

Zeljko Djukic – Director – Stones In His Pockets -Zephyr Theatre

Jose Luis Valenzuela – Director – Hope:  Part II of a Mexican Trilogy - Latino Theatre Company 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Color of Rose by Kathrine Bates

By Joe Straw

Sometimes I wonder how all this came about.  Why I’m sitting here, in a lonely room, pecking away at the computer. Well, let’s see, the journey into theatre started in college, then to legitimate theatre with the Nederlander Organization, starring in plays, producing and directing plays, movies, television, back again into movies, then directing and producing independent theatrical features.  Piecing it all together would take time and energy and my imaginary staff of writers would go ape trying to make sense of it all.    

Theatre 40 presents the world premier of The Color of Rose written and directed by Kathrine Bates.  I saw this in a reading over a year ago and was pleasantly surprised by this full-scale production.

The Color of Rose is a fictionalized story of Rose Kennedy (Gloria Stroock) as she waits in a suite of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel to give an interview with, one suspects, a noted writer.   

However there’s a problem.  The writer on the phone does not want to limit his questions. Rose politely tells the writer that questions of a personal nature are forbidden and suggests they do the interview another time.  The writer aquiest to her demands and Rose has won one more battle in a life filled with tumultuous campaigns.

But the phone call is disturbing.  It is yet another invasion into her private life of painful remembrances.  And at this point in her life, her memory is not what it used to be and the medication (she used in real life) to calm her nerves is not enough. She needs help.

Finding solace at the vanity table and looking into the mirror at her reflection, Rose contemplates her life, and reproduces herself as the younger Rose (Shelby Locee) who strolls into the room like an uninvited ghost.  Moments later, at the same mirror, a mature Rose  (Lia Sargent) walks into the suite of remembrances and together they fill in the missing pieces.

Upstage, on the back of the wall, is a huge vase filled with roses that spark twinkling memories in a life of long forgotten moments.  The various colored roses in the vase hit home a memory or an emotion of a forgotten noun.   A blue rose is “unattainable” and is represented by Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., the white is Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, the yellow rose represents friendship, in Victorian times meant jealousy, and the pink rose is purity. Each rose captures and/or represents a significant moment in Rose’s life.

The vase stands silently behind the photographs of Joe Kennedy, Jr., Jack, Rosemary, Kathleen, Eunice, Patricia, Robert, Jean, and Edward.  Rose carries her photographs everywhere she travels to gaze at the moment when they looked their best and to speak fondly of those times.  

Not everyone has been keeping track of the Kennedys and their movements from the early 1900’s to present day but the Color of Rose by Katherine Bates will give you a linear narrative of what went on in her life during those years, complete with photographs projected against a nice screen.

Which presents a question:  Is this a play or a linear narrative? That may be something one has to decide when viewing this enjoyable production.  

And that is that!

Still, one can easily dismiss this production as a writer’s folly but upon closer inspection one realizes there is a lot here.  There is an overriding need to talk about this production. I want to make some production suggestions and bounce some ideas around, in keeping with a tradition of giving this holiday season and with the hope this show will be taken to other places and shown to a wider audience.

First, in the credits and in keeping with politically correct nomenclature, “Young Rose” is fine, “Middle Rose” should be Mature Rose, and “Older Rose” should be Senior Rose.  (Maybe it’s just me.)

The writer should be a stronger force, a strong name with a national publication behind him. Rose thinks of her conversation with the writer as a victory of sorts, but in reality the conflict is greater when she realizes she may have made a mistake.  This idea creates a greater conflict and moves the story along.  

So now Senior Rose, alone in her room at the Waldorf Astoria, goes to the mirror, sees herself as Young Rose and brings her into the room.  Why? Because she needs Young Rose to recreate her younger years and fill her in information she has forgotten.  (Could this be a character trait of losing her memory?) She is basically getting a refresher course of her life, which Senior Rose appreciates.  Also she needs Young Rose to convince her that giving the interview, with the gory details, will be all right.

But conflicted memories suggest Young Rose is not going to be enough, so she needs Mature Rose to fill in the details of her life in the middle. Mature Rose is somewhat bitter about the way Joseph Kennedy conducted himself.  She is a little savvier about life’s goings on.

Senior Rose needs to (for lack of another word) demand the memories.  While in character, she must receive the information, record it, and use it for the interview.

In the end Senior Rose must wait for the writer to come in for the interview, with the two younger Rose(s) behind her ready to back her up.  Symbolism goes a long way with this ending.

Beautiful photo by Ed Krieger

Gloria Stoock as “Older Rose” does a fine job. She has her moments but one can’t get over the fact that she has a purpose and that purpose is to prepare for the interview.  Those are the reasons she is in the room waiting for interview.  She needs to control the flow of information, physically and emotionally from the younger Roses and decide what information she is going press forward.   

Lia Sargent as “Middle Rose” is slightly frustrated by the events surrounding her.  One gets the sense she is a little worldlier and sees Young Rose as naive and “Older Rose” as slightly senile but still she is there to set the record straight. Her entrance, though the looking glass, should command more respect in the way she walks in and presents herself. Still, the conflict between yourself, young and old, can present unimaginable problems for the actor and one gets the sense this difficult problem has not been resolved.  Still Sargent is a fine actress and did an admirable job.

Shelby Kocee as “Young Rose” has all the enthusiasm of wild-eyed youth.  She also needs an entrance worthy of a young women woman in her position. She deeply regrets not going to Wellesley College. Instead she marries and has nine children.  Kocee has problems as she tries to negotiate the acting challenges in this play.  One problem is that the character can only take us up to a certain point but no further.   (It’s this strange theory of time travel floating around in my head.)  There is nothing wrong with the performance; in fact it is quite good.  But I believe there is something more to be had here.

Also, there is something wrong when a person from the past delights in the happenings of her own future.  For example Young Rose taking delight in her son becoming the President of the United States.  While rules in theatre were meant to be broken, this just seems an exercise in silliness. Perhaps there is a better way of capturing the spirit.

Transition is not a good word when dealing with a passage of time.  Still the characters need to move from Young Rose to Mature Rose seamlessly.  Young Rose should rely on the possibilities of future endeavors and once Young Rose is finished with her story, we should see a dramatic shift to Mature Rose. 

The Color of Rose presents some interesting ideas about conflict within oneself.  Kathrine Bates may have stumbled upon an idea of fighting an inner battle to reach a significant kind of truth. Maybe it’s not as stylized as it should be and maybe it needs to move in a direction that requires more focus and a stronger though line. Still it says a lot about the battles we have with our memories memories each and everyday.  

Bates as the writer and director wonderfully creates this extraordinary life. And yet this is a show that needs to think more outside the box. Take the acting to another level and style that delights and stuns at the same time. One cannot take a play like this and expect to run it like a normal play or treat it like a normal play.

And one couldn’t help thinking that adding a song or songs the characters sing would help as well.

Produced by David Hunt Stafford.  Set Design by Jeff G. Rach and Lighting Design by Ellen Monocroussos.  The Sound Design was by Bill Froggatt.

Through December 21, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Short Eyes by Miguel Piñero

By Joe Straw

I’ll be shot down by a police, who will say it’s a mistake, I accept it, as part of my destino… Sí, es mi destino morir en la calle como un perro… - Paco

During the course of the play, I heard some distracting noise at the end of my row, cup of water falling, something dripping or leaking, candy wrappers opening.  These were just annoying sounds one would hear in a prison detention center somewhere so I didn’t think much of it.  Leaving the theatre, I came to the seats at the end of my row to discover multiple Milky Way candy wrappers, plastics cups, and papers lying everywhere on the floor. (Wasn’t this where the producer, Paul Tully and director, Julian Acosta were sitting? One supposes nerves got the better of both of them on this opening night.)

Opening night played host to a very eclectic audience—I noted multiple body tattoos, even on women.  The playgoers were young, old, bald, thick, thin, tall, wide, short and slick, and there was an abundant amount of cleavage in lace.  Some patrons had lost teeth, others hair.  Some were wearing pristine graphic tees, ratty vintage shoes, and nice hats. This is the kind of audience you would expect to see at the play, Short Eyes by Miguel Piñero. 

Short Eyes, by Miguel Piñero and directed by Julian Acosta produced by the Urban Theatre Movement and the Latino Theater Company, is a play that never lets up.  From the very beginning, events tear the viewing soul into pieces. It is a play about criminals finding order in chaos. This is an inspired eclectic cast that moves past the mundane and creates a physical world beyond comprehension.  It is, in short, a wonderful production.  

Short Eyes is the story of thieves, adulterers, drug addicts, homosexuals, and lost men who can’t find ways of making things better – and those are the guards.  Lost further down and in the depths of hell are the criminals who are in detention (incarcerated), all with no idea as to the date of their release and with sharp divisions among their ranks.

As the play opens, there is a loud and disturbing gate buzz after the words “On the gate.” are spoken. It is a harsh buzz that grabs everyone within earshot and wakes him or her up into the harsh reality of life in jail.  The buzz is a primal jarring note that speaks to the perverted soul looking for order.  This buzz swathes us into the ambiance of absolute despair.  And in jail, despondency is the first order of being.

The play takes place in the day room of a nice enough floor of a county jail with a broken television set hanging above them.    Omar (Miguel Amenyinu), Longshoe (Mark Rolston), El Raheem (Donte Wince), Paco (Jason Manuel Olazabal), and Ice (Carl Crudup) watch Cupcakes (Matias Ponce) as he comes down the stairs with hoots and hollers much to the dismay of Juan (David Santana).

Cupcakes has a name.  It is Julio.  But the other men in the cell regard him as feminine and want a piece of him. (In the most appreciable jailhouse way.)  But Cupcakes tells them he is not “that way.” And yet, they stare hoping to have that special moment alone with him, especially Paco.

The men are divided into three groups sitting in three different tables.  The first group, starting from stage right through stage left, are the Puerto Ricans: Paco, Juan, and Cupcakes.  The second group is made up of one lone white man Longshoe, a tough drug addicted Irishman.   The third group is African American: El Raheem, Ice and Omar. There is a reason why they all have their separate but equal tables and that is explained in the play.

El Raheem, a Muslim, thinks this lone white man is the curse of what’s wrong with life in general.

“Yacoub…maker and creator of the devil…swine merchant. Your time is at hand… Soon all devils’ head will roll and now rivers shall flow through the city-created by the blood of Whitey…Devil…beast”. – El Raheem

Pretty heavy stuff and tensions run high, it’s easy to see why these inmates have frequent conflicts.  There are divisions by race, religion, and sexual desire. And these divisions are accentuated when one enters another’s domain.  

The inmates are watched over by Mr. Nett (Cris D’Annunzio) who is strong but supportive of their needs including attempting to get the broken television set fixed.

Omar asks Mr. Nett the reasons why he can get “on the help.”

“Is there something about me that you don’t like?” – Omar

“Why no.  I don’t have anything against you.  But since you ask me I’ll tell you.  One is that when you first came in here you had the clap.” – Mr. Nett   

Also, because he’s gotten into a lot of fights.  Ten fights as a matter of fact, but Mr. Nett tells Omar he will think it over.

Meanwhile Paco comes back from a meeting with his defense attorney who wants him to plead to a felony.  Paco says he can wait for a misdemeanor because he “ain’t got money for bail.”

Cupcakes wants Paco to play cards for pushups but Paco wants none of it. Paco wants to play for coochie coochie. A dance for lonely cell inmates. El Raheem accuses of Paco of thinking like the “white Devil”.

Something Longshoe takes offense to so much so that he and El Raheem get into bobbery.  Mr. Nett breaks them up and then organizes a legitimate jailhouse fight to which a muscular and cut El Raheem wins.

“Wake up black man, melt these walls?  You ask me, a tangible god, to do an intangible feat?... There is nothing mysterious about me.  Tangible gods to tangible deeds.” – El Raheem

Meanwhile, in keeping with character and in a prison toast, Cupcakes gets everyone to sing “Mambo tu le pop”.

And then Clark Davis (Matthew Jaeger) meekly slithers into the detention area.  Clark is Caucasian.

“First time in the joint.” – Clark Davis

Loneshoe takes him in as a brethren (another white guy), introduces himself, and tells him all about the floor.  It is Longshoe’s litany of who’s who, and where one should sit, etc.

Mr. Nett storms into the room, beats Clark senseless, and throws him to the floor. Nett accuses Clark of being a child molester and Paco gives him the name of “Short Eyes” (Child molester; according to prisoners, the lowest, most despicable kind of criminal.) Longshoe spits into Clark’s face.  Clark’s life goes into a downhill spiral.   

The production seemed to have been cast mostly against type but so much the better as the actors each had exceptional moments on stage.

Miguel Amenyinu as Omar is listed in the play as a boxer who has gotten into multiple fights.  This character background is not well represented.   He was fine, he filled the slots, but the character requires more definition and a reason for being.  In short, Amenyinu needs to justify the final assault.   

Carl Crudup as Ice was fantastic. Crudup succeeds marvelously in a role that appears made for him.  This was a performance that gave a complete truth.  It was filled with humor and sympathy. This was just a fantastic job and a performance not to miss.

Cris D’ Annunzio as Mr. Nett does a nice job as the detention center attendant. As the character he gets a little too close to the prisoners, organizing fights, and making sure things run smoothly on his floor. He lets his emotions get the better of him so much so he is on the verge of losing his job.  But without realizing he may have caused the death of an inmate.  He tries to blame others when, the fault lies mostly, within him.  This is a marvelous look at a type of character we love to hate simply because he is not honest and tries to protect his job at all costs.  Annunzio gives a grand performance.  

Darby Hinton as Captain Allard is a hard nose, stick to your guns, straight shooter.  While he wants to get to find the truth, in reality he knows he will get nowhere.  Still, he has a piece of evidence that will silence all if he chooses to use it.  In the end, he doesn’t.  He is not willing to listen to anyone panegyrize Clark except for Clark’s relatives to which he seems to be on the hook. And I’m not convinced he is conflicted about what he has just done. Still this was a wonderful performance.

Matthew Jaeger as Clark didn’t have a chance.  His character is the worst of the lot. He’s a cornered mouse, frightened of all inmates around him.  But when he says, “First time in the joint” one gets the feeling that it’s probably not. The character is a pedophile, probably insane, and can’t remember some of what he’s done. Jaeger is convincing as a man who’s gotten himself into trouble, and just keeps getting himself into more trouble.  This was a very nice performance.  

Jason Manuel Olazabal was very seductive as Paco, a man who is not gay but likes having sex with men.  (I believe this is in keeping with the Latino tradition.)  His character rides the horse of destiny of which he is not able to disembark to live a civilized life. That aside, there seems to be something missing in the role, his addiction to drugs, withdrawal, or his place in this world.  Sure, he wants out, on his own terms, but he wants others things or persons as well. When he doesn’t get what he wants (Cupcakes), he resorts to a kind of violence and involves the others. This is an excellent performance in need of a stronger and focused objective.   

Daryl Anthony Harper as Mr. Brown did his job effectively as the character, still nothing got under his collar.  Missing were character choices that solidly defines this role and they are choices that must be made to drive the character and give a concrete base to his objective. That being said, there were a lot of nice moments from this actor.

Matias Ponce gave a nice little touch to Cupcakes.  The role says he is slightly feminine but one does not really see this characterization.  He keeps telling us “he’s not that way” and yet he bounces around from table to table in his cutoff jeans.  Perhaps he is not in touch with his feminine side.   Still, his incarceration seems to be a slight error, he shouldn’t be there and yet he is caught up in a terrible nightmare that only gets worse as the play continues.  In the end, he is part of the group whether he likes it or not.  The question is: how does he respond to the fact that he is involved in another crime that will haunt him the rest of his life? When he is released on bail he is connected to the other criminals and will be looking over his shoulder for good.  (Note:  Got to do something about the hair in the eyes.  If the eyes are the windows to the soul, the hair eliminates a great deal of the performance.)

Mark Rolston as Longshoe has dipsomania. As the character, it is something he has not beat and it is probably part of his fighting Irish heritage.   His racist words against his fellow inmates are blades that cut viciously.  He is prone to defending his heritage and armed robbery, which is the reason he is in jail now.  He administers his own brand of justice as he takes the law into his own hands.  It is a disgusting display of justice administered in a chaotic situation.  Rolston lives in the moment and physically moves about the stage with ease giving orders and demanding respect while giving nothing in return.  This is a very nice performance by a very fine actor.

David Santana plays Juan the conscious of the inmates.  He is a standup man who wants to play by the rules.  The problem is, in jail, there are no rules. As the character, he is forceful, not taking anything from anyone and seems to stand for the weak and intimidated. His relationship presents problems and most of the problems stems with his relationship with Clark even at one point threating to kill him, which he does not.  It is a performance that is at times confusing, not specific, and without a clear objective.  For example, Clark must find protection while Santana, as Juan, cares more about cleaning up.  The relationship must be strengthened during the revelation scene to give both men a way out.   

Donte Wince as El Raheem was outstanding!  His moments on stage were captivating.  His objective was clear and his conflict crystal clear.   He is a self-declared “God” and this God, I suppose, is the vengeful God from the Old Testament.  In the moment when the blade is given to him, he still cannot come to grips.  His intellect gets in the way of “the white man is the devil”, no matter what crime the white man has committed.

Also support in this fine cast were Alex Alfaro as Gypsy, and Jon Lance Dura as Blanca playing two transsexuals giving a very brief show. Daniel Zornes played Sergeant Morrison.

Other members of the ensemble and understudies were J. Antonio Baguez, Sean Escalante, Adam Jaso, Christian Levatino, Jason Nieblas, Charles Sanchez, Paul Tully, and Yonathan Zeray.

Julian Acosta has done a fantastic job directing Short Eyes.  It is a wonderful production with a lot of terrific moments.  It’s very obvious he has a distinctive eye and a terrific handle on the craft of acting.  That being said the show plays as though it were over many days and not one day.  But this is very minor in a very strong play.

One can only hope for the success of The Urban Theatre Movement and more shows of this caliber at the Los Angeles Theatre Center.

Run to see this production through December 18, 2011.  Extended!