"The Squirrels"; world premiere of a new play

https://www.flayrah.com/7156/squirrels-world-premiere-new-play

The La Jolla Playhouse, in La Jolla, California, a suburb of San Diego, will present the world premiere of a new play, “The Squirrels”, during its 2018-2019 season. The dates and casting have not been set yet.

“The Squirrels” by Robert Askins, directed by Christopher Ashley.

Winter is on its way, and the squirrels are restless. Mistrust is growing between the Grey Squirrels, who enjoy a rich cache of nuts, and the outcast, hungry Fox Squirrels. When a wily outsider ignites a savage war, the consequences are catastrophic. This epic play reveals the animal instincts driving us all.

The choice of species is fitting for the local given the squirrels in Southern California are primarily fox squirrels and gray squirrels.

An article on November 8 in the San Diego Union-Tribune says that Director Ashely calls the new work "playful and super-funny and unexpected in every possible way," and says that as with good sci-fi, the fantastical setup allows the piece "to explore our society with just enough remove that you can make bold, interesting statements. It’s squirrels in a tree, but you would recognize lots of things in this cultural moment."

Ashley noted that the costumes were not going to look like 'Disneyland', but they will convey an essential ‘squirrel-ness,’ to coin a term.

Tickets to the Playhouse’s 2018-2019 season are available only via subscription at the moment: (858) 550-1010 or lajollaplayhouse.org.

Keep tuned in as more news will be added here when it is available. It will be interesting to see how much the play’s costuming looks like fursuits.

Anthro Northwest premier forgets history of Furlandia's rough first year

https://www.flayrah.com/7155/anthro-northwest-premier-forgets-history-furlandias-rough-first-year

Washington state has had a rough time with furry conventions in recent history. Rainfurrest had to shut down after they gained a sour reputation with hosting hotels due to reports of vandalism. So local furries were elated to hear of a new organization starting up by the name of Anthro Northwest. This convention, while a bit more stringent on their rules (particularly around adult material), was a welcome possible restart in relations with hotels in the region with furries.

But as activities started word leaked onto the internet of on camera release forms being deseminated for a show called "This is Life with Lisa Ling", a property of the channel CNN. Instantly locals had recollections of another incident that had occurred at another pilot convention one state south, Furlandia.

Update 11/15/17: Attendance has been announced and Anthro Northwest has been noted as being the largest attendance for a first year furry convention at 809, article updated to reflect this.

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Book review: 'The Species of Blessing Avenue' by Graveyard Greg

https://www.flayrah.com/7148/book-review-species-blessing-avenue-graveyard-greg

Cover artwork by Ninja V.The Species of Blessing Avenue is a collection of short stories by Graveyard Greg, published in 2012.

Even before I got past the introduction, I liked two things about this book. First, it's got a were-lion in its leading role. Second, it was inspired by characters created for the Buffy The Vampire Slayer RPG.

I was warned that I shouldn't have tried to read this as a novella instead of three short stories. I'll try to correct that mistake as I go along with this review.

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Movie review: 'Guardians' (2017)

https://www.flayrah.com/7153/movie-review-guardians-2017

The Guardians' English promotional image.Guardians (English trailer) is a Russian superhero film released in February 2017. The early trailers looked promising - fights, explosions, and a bear-guy! It's the Russian Avengers! Expectations were high, and it did well on its opening weekend... and was so disappointing that by its second weekend, it only took in 10% of its previous box office revenue.

It's a very formulaic movie. This isn't necessarily bad - Sing was formulaic too. But if you're going to use a formula, you have to do it well. You have to add a couple of entertaining surprises, mix it up a little, and maybe throw in some humor that mocks the very structure you're relying on. Guardians fails on all these counts.

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Review: 'Hotblood!' by Toril Orlesky

https://www.flayrah.com/7147/review-hotblood-toril-orlesky

A gay western centaur romance isn't the kind of story I encounter enough, even in furry fandom. Hotblood! A Centaur In the Old West is a webcomic by Toril Orlesky that ran from 2013-2016. The color artwork is as stark as the landscape, but the story is a bit more complicated than the black-and-white world that the western genre is known for.

The art is lovely enough that I was mostly able to put aside the sometimes uneven pacing. As the story circles around the action, it digs deeper into its characters' pasts - and their hearts. The two main characters are not morally whole men, and therefore they caught my interest.

Rook is a centaur. In the story universe, centaurs are an integrated part of American society. There's some social stigma, but not as much as you might think for someone who looks half-animal. There's at least one centaur in the U.S. Senate, for example. Rook is employed by Asa, a human steel tycoon. We don't get to see much of the world outside of their relationship, and and it's only by the second half of the story that we really start seeing the two of them bond, sexually and romantically.

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Ranked: All the episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 7

https://www.flayrah.com/7140/ranked-all-episodes-my-little-pony-friendship-magic-season-7

The end of last month saw the finale of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 7. To celebrate the conclusion of another season, I will look back and rank all the episodes from worst to best. There are some spoilers.

25. Fluttershy Leans In

Although I know this episode has its supporters, it was undoubtedly the worst episode in season 7 for me and one of the worst in the show. It's nice that Fluttershy is becoming more assertive but I found almost nothing funny in the episode, I thought the plot was pointless and the lesson, while not totally wrong, seemed to conflict with previous lessons. All around, it was awful.

24. A Health of Information

Another Fluttershy episode and another disappointment. I really expected to like this episode. I like the characters involved and the seriousness of Zecora's condition was a big change of pace from an average episode. Despite that, it never caught my attention. The characters behave in some very strange ways and there's a lack of any logic behind the plot. DWK though his parody review of the episode, does an excellent job (w/ some strong language) pointing out the unusual callousness of almost all the ponies involved.

23. Forever Filly

This one, and the next few, are on the lower end of average. They are not bad episodes but they don't try to be anything more than filler. Here, it's nice to see how Sweetie Belle has matured but nothing in this episode is particularly memorable. Finally, I would've preferred if the ending had been Rarity sharing one of Sweetie Belle's newer interests rather than just eating ice-cream like children.

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