Rise of Tribes

As a board game, Rise of Tribes is one of the most enjoyable games with fair conflict resolution systems. The game gives you the capability to handle conflict resolution and explore the world of civilization through the gathering of resources in the most strategic manner. While it’s fast and straightforward, the game allows you to plan for the outcome by making the right moves.

How to Play

The Rise of Tribes game is a modular board game design aimed at growing, moving, gathering, and leading various tribe members in prehistoric times. The game board comprises of hexes whereby each hex consists of a particular population limit. When playing the Rise of Tribes, you need to select a specific number of people to manage to trigger or avoid conflict.

A player resolves each of the four actions, namely GROW, MOVE, GATHER and LEAD, by rolling a dice. In each turn, an active player achieves victory by building villages or completing goal cards. This is how a player achieves civilization for his/her tribal faction in the final steps of the game board’s turns.

Setup

An active player should shuffle, arrange, and determine the number of game tiles he/she needs to create a playing area. After defining the spatial tile arrangement, each player should then shuffle the Event tiles deck and place them face down into an area above the game board. Each action should be placed with a configuration of three dices, namely sun, moon, and blank.

Next, each player should choose a faction and select the appropriate colors for playing the pieces. The victory point (VP) of each of the players is set to 0, and all Goal cards placed near their tribe members beneath the players’ playing areas. All the other village tiles and resource chits are put to the side.

To start playing, a start player is selected to place his tribe members. Subsequent players will also be prompted to place a higher number of tribe members than what previous players placed.

Dice Placement

Each player is supposed to tactically roll two dice in turn order and assign each die to a specific action. Each of the four actions a player assigns has three spaces that can accommodate three dices.  The die faces that show when you select an action is what determines the efficiency of any action you choose. So, this is the phase for setting up your turns and those of your opponents.

Taking Action

The game provides you with four actions:

  • Grow: Is for adding tribe members to your playing area.
  • Move: Is for moving your members across your playing area to form presence on various tiles.
  • Gather: This is for gaining resources from the tiles where you have formed a presence.
  • Lead: Is for drawing Goal cards from the deck and placing them onto the “In Progress Goals” area.

The success of your actions largely depends on the dice that was present when you took the action. For example, you can only add two tribe members to your playing area when two moons are present, but the number increases to four members if two suns are present.

This is purely a race game that triggers a lot of tension as you try to figure out whether you should constrain your opponents or score points. Focusing on your own game and forgetting to pay attention to limiting your opponents gives the other player an added advantage. So, being able to strike a balance between the two is what makes the game an exciting, enjoyable challenge.

“Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz” at Paper Mill Playhouse

papermill playhouse

We just saw the new play,”Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz”, at Paper Mill Playhouse. Continuing until October 27, this world premiere focuses on the early life of Francis Gumm, who became Judy Garland. Best known for her breakout performance as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, her life and family are brought to life in a musical.

Honestly, I thought it was a bit….well, lets say “light hearted” in it’s presentation. Her mother, well documented as a nightmare stage parent, was portrayed as a little rough but doting. Her father, whom she adored, was also a bit much. His homosexuality was really hammered on, with long, dramatic songs, and quite a few scenes that a fellow theater-goer described as “over the top and self indulgent”- to which I agree. Over indulgent and almost mocking, so light hearted (and even joking) was made of her theater experiences with her mother and different people in the business, such as directors, owner, and other cast members. She had such a rough go in reality, and to present it in this way really seemed to belittle her life and to mock her life and experiences. It seemed very unfair to her, in my opinion. Abuse should not be downplayed as bumbling or nonsensical, her body shaming and resulting dysmorphia and eating disorders barely touched upon and again, very light, drug abuse (which killed her) pushed upon her and encouraged by those that should have been there for her, never mentioned.

NJ theater

The songs were odd and disjointed, nothing really played all the way through or presented in any sort of logical way, with the exception of “All Ma’s Children”, which was both fun and lively, as well as made sense in it’s placement (and was the entire song in one go). In my opinion, it was the best part of the show. Some songs, such as “You Made Me Love You” were done over and over, in bits and pieces, some of which were weird- such as between Judy and her father. Love songs between parent and child, not great.  The music was all over the place and jumbled, we really would have loved some consistency. As well, some more upbeat numbers to fill the 3 hour show.

It just felt like…too much. With her life, her wild, brutal, and interesting life- this was what they came up with, presented? Perhaps they were trying to appeal to the crowd that cult loves “Wizard of OZ”, and indeed there were so many rainbow dresses and purses and ruby glitter shoes in the crowd that night, they did so indeed. But it felt disingenuous to me. It made light of Judy Garland’s life and her suffering, which she sadly had so much of. Light topics likely go over better, but theater goers are overall a deep group, thinkers, and I think they would have gone for a real look at Francis, the woman who became Dorothy (and so much more).

In addition, the play was 3 hours long. It was a long, long play, and we were bored and thankful when it was over. That’s not something you want to aspire to.  So many long staring off into space, slow walking off to the side of the stage, gazing into the abyss while walking at a snails pace to who knows what or why, oh so lengthy dramatic pauses- it just felt overdone. And so, so long.

The cast, however, was extremely talented- the children especially wowed us. As well, all the music used in the show was actually sung by Judy Garland in her life, which was very cool. Some of it was unknown to me, so it was neat seeing some new things brought to life.

More about the show;

Before she burst onto the big screen as Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Judy Garland was a young vaudeville trouper named Frances Gumm. In this highly anticipated new musical chronicling Garland’s early career from vaudeville baby to MGM teen star in the making, the road to Oz is paved with adversity. At its heart a story of love between a father and daughter, featuring such legendary songs as “Over the Rainbow,” “You Made Me Love You,” and “Everybody Sing,” Chasing Rainbows is a poignant coming-of-age tale about “the little girl with the big voice,” who went on to become one of the world’s most beloved entertainment icons. The show has already earned praise from Liza Minnelli, who said, “My mother said that her biography is in her music, and now a talented creative team is using that music to tell the story of her early years and her extraordinary rise to fame.”
Chasing Rainbows: The Road to Oz begins performances Thursday, September 26, 2019, and will continue through Sunday, October 27, 2019, at Paper Mill Playhouse (22 Brookside Drive, Millburn, NJ).

Get your tickets at https://papermill.org 

Tech Your Kids Will Really Fall For

 

Now that school is (finally!) back in session, you might be looking for fun ways to keep the kids stimulated and learning but still having fun while at home. We like board games and hiking as much as anybody, but sometimes a little hands-on building and creating goes a long way towards getting your child(ren) interested in something new, or perhaps just learning a little more about their favorite activities and what makes them “go”.

smart toys

If your kids like computers, video games, robots, or construction, Botzees might be the tech for you. This smart toy brings together virtual and hands on play in a way that is both fun and educational. Kids will enjoy playing, and won’t feel like they are having more “ugh, learning” heaped on them.  Botzees, the newest toy from Pai Technology, is a new robotics kit that is meant for kids ages 4 and up. This is a great way to sit with your kids and learn together- I have to admit this is an area my son is far and away better then I typically. It’s fun to learn together, and he loves when he can show me things. With this kit, you and your kid(s) can build, program, and code. There are six pre-designed robots, or you can go all out and create your own.

Once you build your Botzee, it can “be taught to move, drum, dance, make sounds and light up using the free Botzees app. Additionally, the 30 interactive Augmented Reality puzzles will teach even more coding concepts with visual cues.” (as per Pai Technology) It is available for $100 at https://www.pai.technology/botzees and Amazon.

Labo

If you have a child that is into video gaming, there is a new construction toy available that enhances gameplay. Nintendo recently released Nintendo Labo, which is one part game and one part construction toy. According to  Nintendo, they “designed Labo as a way to teach principles of engineering, physics, and basic programming”. You and your child build the kit out of sheets of pre-cut cardboard (thick stuff, not the weak stuff that instantly falls apart on you) and other parts. These you then use with your Nintendo Switch and it’s joy cons, and the creation is what Nintendo is calling a “Toy Con”. You use your “toy con” to interact with software and games.  With the basic Starter Kit, you can build VR Goggles and a Labo Blaster to take on aliens (not my favorite aspect, honestly).  The Blaster Labo Toy-Con can be played with either one or two players. Everything is in VR.  Starter set is $39.99 at https://labo.nintendo.com/kits/

kirby's extra epic yarn

If you are looking for a fun and non-violent game to play with the kids, check out Kirby’s Extra Epic Yarn. Rated “E” for everyone, it’s the latest in the Kirby series.  In this game, Kirby was banished by a baddie into a world where he is made of yarn. While that may seem like a problem, the plus side is that Kirby can transform himself into all sorts of awesome like tanks, UFOs, a dolphin, and more. He gets “power ups” that give him advantages like getting a sword or becoming a tornado. Of course, he still has his classic copying abilities. Collect treasure as you move along the game, and show them off with the “Street Pass” feature, or switch out of story mode into “Devilish Mode” to try to earn even more. There are also two minigames that feature Meta Knight and King Dedede.  Available for $39.99 at https://www.nintendo.com

 

APPLE STORES INTRODUCE NEW AUGMENTED REALITY CODING ROBOT FOR KIDS

Looking for a smart toy that brings virtual and hands on play together in a fun and educational way – one that sets it apart from the rest?

Introducing Botzees, the latest and greatest from Pai Technology, innovators that excel in pairing children’s growth through all stages with technology, science, and art to strengthen imagination, problem-solving, critical thinking, and healthy lifestyles.

Botzees is a new robotics kit for kids ages 4 and up that combines creativity, construction, and coding, all in one. Kids can build, program and code six different pre-designed robots or choose to create their own with the specially designed blocks that come with the kit.

Once built, Botzees can be taught to move, drum, dance, make sounds and light up using the free Botzees app. The kit’s 130 gender neutral, uniquely shaped, easy-to-grip blocks with rounded edges will inspire kids’ imagination with tactile, tangible hands-on learning. Additionally, the 30 interactive Augmented Reality puzzles will teach even more coding concepts with visual cues.

“We are tremendously excited to introduce a new way for younger children to enjoy the experience and benefits of coding,” said Amy Braun, Pai Technology’s Head of US Marketing and Communications. “Screen time is beneficial if used appropriately and we are happy to provide positive and physical STEM-focused products that do just that.”

Winner of the prestigious Seal of Approval from The National Parenting Center, Botzees is available now for $99.99 in Apple Stores and Amazon. To learn more visit pai.technology/botzees.

The most important thing to be sure of is that your device is compatible. Compatible devices are attached. Then:

  1. Update to the latest software on your device (be sure it is android 8.0 or iOS 12)
  2. Close any other apps open on your device
  3. If you are using an android device you will need to download the AR core app
  4. Download the Botzees app

You should follow the instructions on the slip and can download the manual at www.pai.technology/botzeesmanual

Pai Technology combines the latest advancements in technology and research to make familyfriendly educational products. We are innovators that excel in pairing children’s growth through all stages with technology, science, and art to strengthen imagination, problem solving, critical thinking, and healthy lifestyles. Our products are innovative, creative, safe, and above all, fun! Learn more at www.pai.technology .

Paper Mill’s “Half Time” Announces Cast Recording and Pre Order

FEATURING PAPER MILL PLAYHOUSE’S STAR-STUDDED LINEUP OF BROADWAY LEGENDS INCLUDING NEW TONY AWARD WINNER ANDRÉ DE SHIELDS, TONY AWARD WINNERS LILLIAS WHITE & DONNA MCKECHNIE PLUS A FINAL PERFORMANCE FROM THE LATE GEORGIA ENGEL.

Paper Mill Playhouse (Mark S. Hoebee-Producing Artistic Director, Michael Stotts- Managing Director), recipient of the Regional Theatre Tony Award, along with Sony Masterworks Broadway announces the July 19th release of HALF TIME (ORIGINAL CAST RECORDING), with music by Matthew Sklar, lyrics by Nell Benjamin and additional music by Marvin Hamlisch and Ester Dean.  Available for preorder now, the album features music from the Bob Martin and Chad Beguelin-written musical, which made its 2018 debut at Paper Mill Playhouse and tells the uplifting true story of ten New Jersey seniors with extraordinary dreams.

The Half-Time (Original Cast Recording) features some of the last songs written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch, who passed away during the show’s early gestation.  The album also features a who’s who of Broadway talent, including five-time Emmy Award-nominated actress Georgia Engel (The Mary Tyler Moore Show, Everybody Loves Raymond), Tony and Emmy Award winner Lillias White (The Life, Sesame Street), Tony and Drama Desk Award winner Donna McKechnie (A Chorus Line) and Emmy Award winner André De Sheilds (The Wiz), who most recently won a Tony for his role in Hadestown.  The Original Cast Recording is dedicated to the memory of Georgia Engel.

Based on the motion picture Gotta Dance, directed, written and produced by Dori Bernstein, Half Time tells the incredible true story of ten determined dreamers who audition to dance at half time for a major basketball team., inspired by the true story of the Brooklyn Nets NETSational dance team. They have three things in common: they love to dance, they have something to prove, and they are all over 60. Only after making the cut do they learn they won’t be dancing tap, salsa or swing—instead, they will bring down the house with a style that is entirely new to them: hip-hop. Take the uplifting journey with these dreamers—and the young coaches who inspire them along the way—as they battle self-doubt, stereotypes and even each other for a chance to bust a move at center court in front of 20,000 screaming fans. Together they remind us that in life, when the odds are stacked against you and the challenges seem too great to overcome, it’s not the end of the game—it’s Half Time.

HALF-TIME (ORIGINAL CAST RECORDING) – TRACK LISTING

  1. A Number – Company
  2. Who Wants to See That? – Haven Burton and Company
  3. Princess – Lillias White and Nkeki Obi-Melekwe
  4. Follow Me to the Party – Donna McKechnie, Kathryn Kendall, Lori Tan Chinn, Lillias White, Nancy Ticotin, Lenora Nemetz, Kay Walbye, André De Shields
  5. Dorothy/Dottie – Georgia Engel, Garrett Turner, Valton Jackson
  6. The Prince of Swing/There You Are – André De Shields, Mary Claire King, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe
  7. Swagger – Haven Burton, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, Mary Claire King, Georgia Engel and Company
  8. The Waters Rise – Lori Tan Chinn
  9. They All Get to See That – Haven Burton
  10. Princess (Reprise) – Lillias White, Nkeki Obi-Melekwe, Garrett Turner
  11. ¿Como No? – Nancy Ticotin and Company
  12. The Prince of Swing (Reprise) – Georgia Engel and André De Shields
  13. Too Old for This – Donna McKechnie
  14. New Point of View – Company
  15. Gotta Get Up – Haven Burton, Lillias White, Georgia Engel and Company
  16. Time Machine (Bonus Track) – Donna McKechnie

ABOUT SONY MUSIC MASTERWORKS

Sony Music Masterworks comprises the imprints Masterworks, Sony Classical, OKeh, Portrait and Masterworks Broadway. Our artists range from icons to newly developing talents in classical, crossover and adult alternative music, plus new and legendary jazz artists. Our vast catalog of musical theater recordings features classic shows and original cast albums of today’s Broadway hits, including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Prom, SpongeBob SquarePants, Hello, Dolly! (starring Bette Midler), Groundhog Day, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, On Your Feet!, Kinky Boots, Once, If/Then and An American in Paris.

HALF TIME is produced by Dori Berinstein and Bill Damaschke.

 

Blockchain and Independent Films

With the advent of the internet, independent film companies have come about readily, and this does not seem to be changing. Now, more than ever, the ability to make an independent film is accessible to pretty much any individual with a screen. Before this period, making films was reserved for big studios that were given massive budgets. Movies from these large studios are still responsible for the majority of the revenue earned in this industry, but independent films are beginning to make some noise. Film producers such as Heather Parry have seen this industry over the years, and it continues to evolve as time continues. Independent filmmakers have turned to solutions such as blockchains to receive proper forms of compensation.

Providing Faster Revenue Channels

Traditionally, there are a lot of channels independent film companies must go through before they receive compensation. Companies of this nature regularly receive publishing deals from bigger studios and are often the last entity to receive payment. With the introduction of Blockchain technology, this would no longer be the case. Independent film companies would receive more direct revenues, and these filmmakers would earn more money as a result. Since these individuals are responsible for the overall creative process that reaches the audience, they should receive compensation as quickly as the more prominent entities or even faster if possible.

Reaching Target Market Faster

Since consumers have an endless amount of options to choose from when it comes to visual entertainment, consumers often look toward independent companies to find new offerings. At this time, there appear to be a lot of remakes and sequels in the film industry. While these films are often engaging and draw large crowds, innovation in this space is happening in the independent film sector. With Blockchain technology, independent filmmakers can reach target audiences directly through partial ownership programs. With crowdfunding becoming a big part of the gig economy, many consumers look for avenues that can assist independent artists and filmmakers. As a partial owner, the consumer will become a part of the process and will recoup an investment in real-time once the film begins to make money.

At this time, you no longer have to go through more prominent channels for any form of entertainment. Films of all kinds are released each day from across the world, and this will only continue. For those who have a keen interest in the film industry, this is an incredibly exciting time for independent filmmakers. It is only a matter of time until Blockchain technology becomes integrated into this space.

Dads are FREE at MEDIEVAL TIMES for Father’s Day!

What better way is there to celebrate dad than to make him feel like a king?  Treat dad like royalty this Father’s Day at Medieval Times!  Hope you can please let your readers know about this special Father’s Day promotion.  Thank you!
Available for all shows now through June 16, Dads are FREE at Medieval Times with the purchase of one full-priced adult ticket.  Just use the codeDAD19 to take advantage of this great special offer.
A special upgrade package is available for an additional $25 which includes:
  • Framed photo of dad and family
  • 25 oz souvenir glass stein with the choice of draft beer or soda
Everyone in your party does not need to upgrade to the package.  Guests can purchase packages online, by phone, or at the door.

Artists Are Turning Away From Major Labels and Turning On to Indies

Somewhat surprisingly, independent music labels collectively have led the major labels in total market share since 2017, which begs the question: why are artists signing with indies instead of major labels, which still claim the most money and clout? More money means bigger promotions for an artist’s record, along with bigger advances and signing bonuses for the artist. More clout means major labels have established connections throughout the industry to grease the wheels that help artists succeed.

In addition, because the major labels collectively still have most of the total market share, the economy of scale offers lower costs of production and distribution. Despite these advantages, things are changing and indies area gaining ground. Here are a few reasons why.

Artists Who Don’t Trust the Major Labels Now Have an Option

The major labels have a scurrilous reputation for luring artists to sign with big bonuses and then, once the artists are signed, lowballing them out of the royalties they earn from the music. It’s been estimated that the average musician in a band earns $23.40 for every $1000 the music earns. Artists have repeatedly sued the labels over royalty disputes, including James Taylor, Eminem, Kenny Rogers, George Clinton.

Once artists are wined, dined, and signed, their labels might turn their backs on them as they focus on other, more established stars. Especially if the music doesn’t sell as anticipated, the labels have been known to stop spending money on promotion, leaving the artists at the mercy of the label, with little recourse to promote their product. Until the rise of independent labels, artists had little choice because, with all their clout, the majors were practically the only game in town.

Digital Streaming Technology

The rise of digital streaming technology has helped to give artists a recourse. Musicians can create their own digitized music without signing with the major labels. They can upload their digital music to streaming services such as iTunes and Spotify, which offer direct uploading of music to sell. Even stars who are signed with the major labels can use their clout to gain creative and production control by creating their own brand, known as an imprint, as a subdivision of the major label. For example, Sean “Diddy” Combs gained independent control of his projects within the umbrella of Sony Music. Combs career has been influenced by David Guillod, an accomplished talent manager and TV and film producer who has also helped to make household names of stars such as Jennifer Lopez, Katie Holmes, and Justin Long.

How Indies Rival Major Labels

Because indies have fewer employees and artists than the majors, each artist under their umbrella tends to get more personal attention. Artists have a much better chance to develop a working relationship their indie rep. Artists signed with major labels often don’t know who they are working with from day to day. Also, indies generally offer better record deals compared to the majors with a 50/50 split and a simpler contract common.

The major labels are waking up and taking notice of the changing times. They still have the money and the clout on the production and distribution sides. The question is, is it too late?