To the delight of the kids on my street the MPD and MFD escorted Santa through my neighborhood the other night. Call it recon looking for the kidlets and getting them amped for his arrival Christmas Eve. Kidding aside this is a wonderful tradition in Monrovia one that helps build community and break down walls between neighbors. I love it.
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Yup…we end our
Christmas Holiday Parade with Santa. Not some fat lady singing an operetta. AND in 2 short weeks he’ll be cruising the streets of “M” town with escorts rolling code up and down every street and cul de sac in town. It’s Merry Christmas in my ‘hood.
Last night was the sneak preview blogathon at the Sierra Madre Playhouse for “A Christmas Memory” based on a short story by Truman Capote. This is a musical with live musicians, not canned sound tracks.
I was captured from the get go with this play. The performances by the cast were engaging and brought the story to life. To avoid spoilers I’ll not give away too much of the plot or story line. The setting is a man’s boyhood home and sequences between the now and his boyhood spent in rural Alabama raised by cousins in the depression. The story is about a man returning “home” after being gone a long time for the funeral of a cousin who raised him. Its an interesting story of familial love and bonding, with adventures and making fruitcake.
The latter is central to the story and the song “Fruitcake Weather” is lively and just adds to the story line. Young Buddy (Ian Branch) and Sook (Diane Kelber) have a bond that is magical and plays out well on stage.
The music gets a big round of applause, but one of the best sequences in the production is when the cast breaks out the ukelele’s and busts out into song. Fun, well done and did I mention fun?
To read more about the cast and production team visit their website HERE. The Sierra Madre Playhouse has another hit on its hands here. The play has already sold out for Friday and Saturday night its opening weekend. You can still get tickets for Sunday and the remaining dates (the play closes December 27) via the Playhouse HERE.
Deets Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre CA
More pics from the blogathon in the a flickr album
One the things you get in Press Days of the Los Angeles Auto Show that you don’t get in the public days is the grand reveals and Green Car Drives. It is physically impossible as a party of one to hit every press conference so I have to pick and choose which to attend so I can get in and see all the cars on display and photograph them. Trust me its a lot of work and not all party and booze and great food. There is some of that, but the thrust of the 2 day event is press conferences and not all are wowsers.
Audi was a real surprise. Instead of the ususal hype and bluster, they started with an apology for the current diesel kerfuffle with fudged testing vs operation parameters. They promised to earn their customers respect back. Then they went into the discussion on the future of Audi relying on electric cars, first to come is the A3 E-tron and soon to follow an all electric SUV the E-tron Quattro in a few years. By 2025 Audi expects 25% of all cars they sell to be electric. Read the rest of this entry →
First up…Chevy’s Volt took the green car of the year award in a ceremony held Thursday Morning. Later I got to drive it and was impressed. Smoother ride, smoother transition back and forth between EV and gas mode, with much more time in pure EV mode than the prior version. Add in a much more refined, high end materials and fit in finish inside this car is nothing like its hard edged predecessor. I can see easily why it won “Green Car of the Year” for its technilogical and creature comfort advancements. Nice job Chevy.
No one’s lining up yet, but they will be early Sunday morning to catch the 38th occasional Doo Day Parade. It officially starts at 11:00AM but you’ll see folks as early as 8 staking out a spot with their lawn chair and hot cocoa.
The parade route continues to be in East Pasadena where the gentrifiers haven’t invaded and booted the Doo Dah’ers away like what happened in Old Town. Yet. The route is on Colorado Bvld between Altadena Drive and San Gabriel Blvd. It will start at the midway point at Vinedo Ave on the north side of the median on Colorado Blvd.
Queen this year is Ms Juli Crockett at the Grand Marshall, and Veronika MeowMeowz as the queen. Look for the usual cast of crazies rounding out the parade, Snotty Scotty and the Hankies and new folks as well to march in the parade.
Coming from out of town and don’t want to hassle with driving in? The Hilton Garden Inn is having a special for Doo Dah fans…Contact Jason Casas, Sales Manager,Hilton Garden Inn – Arcadia, CA. 199 N. Second Ave. Arcadia, CA 91006. Phone D: 626.321.4498 | F: 626.574.9910. or on the web
The parade route:
Fruitcake that ubiquitous bundle of fruit and nuts, sometimes soaked in booze that you either abhor or adore. I fall into the latter and think this Friday’s Fruitcake tasting party at the Vroman’s book store in the Hastings Ranch shopping center looks to be a ton of fun. The tasting is a joint venture with the Sierra Madre Playhouse who is opening its holiday play “A Christmas Memory” based on a short story but Truman Capote next week. ‘
There are planned to be over a dozen fruit cakes at this event. They are sourced from bakers all over the country as well as the Los Angeles Area. A sampling…
- Sumi Chang and Europane Bakery, Pasadena
- Karen Hansen and Copenhagen Pastry, Pasadena
- Mike McLellan and Patticakes Desserts, Altadena,
Deets: Friday 11/20 6PM Vroman’s 3729 E Foothill Blvd, Pasadena, CA 91107
If you’re interested in seeing A Christmas Memory you can order tickets HERE. The Sierra Madre Playhouse is located at 87 W Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre.
We know little of this car other than an entry on the schedule of premieres during Press Days of the L.A. Auto Show coming up in 2 short weeks. Elio is a new car company the P5 is their debut car. Little is known. Rumors abound. Its a 3 wheel car, .9liter 3 cylnder, 80+mpg, 0-60 in under 10 seconds, top speed over 100. This is either going to be the greatest thing since the Tesla to make us change how we think about cars or will will be another blip on the radar that we snicker over like the Dale. I fear the latter as with “cheap” gas again and a resurgance of guzzing SUV sales and falling hybrid sales, but we’ll see. It may just wow us.
The L. A. Auto Show is open to the public 11/20-29 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Buy your tickets now and avoid the lines at the ticket booths. While there judge for yourself if the Elio Motors P5 is the future or a blip.
Sometimes magic happens on stage. This time around it hit home at Sierra Madre Playhouse with the production of “Always…Patsy Cline”. The cast was magical and I was tickeled beyond belief to been on the sidelines watching the cast grow into their characters and bring this production to life. Some 4000 people from all over the L.A Metro and OC saw the play. You can scroll through for my review from the soft opening.
Actors Cori Cable Kidder (Patsy Cline) and Nikki D’Amico (Louise Seger) gave heartfelt thanks at the end of the show. Artistic Director Christian Lebano and Managing Director, Estelle Campbell also chimed in with their thoughts on the play. Enjoy their closing comments and consider visiting the Sierra Madre Playhouse for their next production opening later this month, A Christmas Memory.
Childish yes, but Disney’s proper names only in a world full of unusual spelling and foreign words that were tried to be Anglofied for govt consumption, the dudes and dudettes at Disneyland held fast to the no nicknames rule for like FOREVER. Rob here at blogging.la, aka robnoxious tried for years getting his ears and finally won a while back. I tried as well over the years and was turned down wanting ID to prove my name. Tuesday was my lucky day, the “cast member” bored to tears gave it to me…couldn’t do lower case “f” due to machine programming, but I’ll still take it. I doubt the fake Russian/slavic accent I used worked but who cares. A Win. Blogger 1, Disney rules 0.
*Running of the Clowns to you who don’t know how to use google translate. Its today. 3PM in the streets and alleys of Old Town Pasadena. Its a parody of the running of the bulls in Spain, only with Clowns so no animals are hurt. I’m not running this year…I’ll be photo and videoing it.
What I can share is that if you want to run be at the Memorial Park Station on the Gold Line prior to 3 PM. Dress all in white with a big red sash just like the bull runners do. When the bull horn sounds prepare to run with the others followed by seriously silly and happy clowns. There are breaks where you’ll walk to catch your breath and safely cross streets. The mile or so loop will end with you buying your own pizza and beer at 800 Degrees Pizza at Colorado and Fair Oaks.
If you just want to witness the fun and silliness just be on Colorado Blvd, between Fair Oaks and Delacy St sometime around 3PM and wait for the runner and clowns to come by and cheer them on.
I can tell you its a ton of fun. I did it as a runner last year along with my daughter. Ending at the now defunct Jake’s basement bar. ITs really a lot of silliness and comraderie…how bad can that be?
What…Truman Capote at the center of a story for Christmas? Yes, in short this is a loosely based story of his childhood in the foster system and the family that contemplated saving him by sending him to a military school for more structure and balance. There’s your synopsis, the real story lies in the casting and direction of turning this short story in to a musical complete with ukelele. Starring a former “harlette” from Better Midler’s cast of talented crazies this play will be directed by Alison Kalmus, a real treasure and supporter of the Sierra Madre Playhouse.
This isn’t her directing debut with the Playhouse, that was 2004 with A Christmas Carol Story, no this will be her 5th play directed for the Playhouse. She brings a creative vision that ties music and the story line together in what is hoped to be a magical evening. Alison is a huge supporter of the Sierra Madre Playhouse and helps to bring their mission of American Plays by American authors in historical context. I can’t wait to see this play.
And I don’t have to wait for the grand opening as I’ll be hosting another soft opening blogathon at the Playhouse for this play the evening of November 25, 2015, Care to be one of the first to get a sneak peak, a little look see and tweet and instagram it for posterity? Message me at [email protected] with your twitter handle and instagram and I’ll get back to you with details. I can promise you a most outstanding theatre experience, booze and of course my famous Browned Butter Brownies to keep you satiated during the intermission and before hand.
Full press release after the jump: Read the rest of this entry →