Long time Los Angeles resident Gary Owens of radio and TV Fame passed away today. He was the voice of KFI for years but is known nationally as the enthusiastic announcer and newcaster on Laugh In a TV sieries in the late 60s and early 70s. RIP Funny man, thanks for the laughs.
Look forward to your next ‘cast from “Beautiful Downtown Heaven”.
No spoilers. But its a grand performance by all concerned
Nancy Youngblut and John Prosky star in Sierra Madre Playhouse’s production of “A Walk in the Woods”
Last night was the opening of Sierra Madre Playhouse’s performance of “A Walk in the Woods”. It opened to a sold out house. Its an entertaining, often poignant look at the world of diplomatic negotiators during the Reagan Era arms talks and their interchange on what makes us the same and different at the same time. This play by Lee Blessing is directed by Geoffry Wade.
The four scenes take place during the four seasons in an American election year in a secluded forest in Switzerland. The jaded and cynical Soviet negotiator Andrey Botvinnik is portrayed by John Prosky. Andrey has survived several U.S. Negotiators and capably guides his newst adversary through the mine field of arms negotiation. He does this through humor and utter avoidance of the task at hand. The new American negotiator that he must work with is Joan Honeyman played by Nancy Youngblut. Joan is the spunky, starry eyed new kid on the block with ideals she can work out a deal to end the arms race that both sides can live with. Andrey foils her at every step often leaving Joan aggravated and flabberghasted. And the audience roaring with laughter.
Interlaced in this is the big politics of each nations history as a world power and fear of a past repeated. All good stuff, hard to believe one can laugh condsidering the task at hand and the issues they face. Its also a very enlightening look at the process. You walked away wondering how it all went down and how anything was ever accomplished. Or was it? I highly recommend “A Walk in the Woods” if you are looking for a fun and enlightening theater experience. These two actors carried you through the process of negotiations and becoming friends that respect each other very well.
This play is the 4th in the 2014-2015 Season that explores the American experience as told by American playrights. This play and those to come are what will continue Sierra Madre Playhouse’s transformation into a Regional Destination Theatre.
The good folks at Esotouric Bus Tour Adventures, Kim Cooper and Richard Schave do a lot more than give really nifty tours of the city. They are historians with a major heart on for the city. In the best way of course.
This weeks newsletter outlined the winners and losers in their efforts to help preserve the cities architectural history. It outlines 25 things this year, good bad and ugly, that happened in terms of historic preservation.
The most exciting bit was the passing of city ordinance 13-1104 requiring public notification when any building more than 45 years is to be demolished. Why does this matter? It will give preservation groups around the city the chance to speak up and stop the destruction of those building with a history or architectural significane from being trashed in the name of progress and a new high density mixed use project. Not all buildings need to be preserved that are that old, but many should as it is part of the texture and character of the city that shouldn’t be trashed for a new parking lot or apartment jungle.
Pic by me of the Broadway Arcade while on an iphone safari. Click to embiggen
By now most of you should know that I’m a complete and utter fool when it comes to Raymond Chandlers works. I’ve read so many of the books and loved how they incorporated Los Angeles history and places into their fictional story.
I caught wind of the operetta a few months ago at a LAVA meeting. Its titled “The Princess and the Pedlar” and is co-authored with pianist Julian Pascal. Sounds pretty cool and should be easy to bring to the stage, right? Not so fast, the estate of Raymond Chandler say its insignificant and won’t grant release of the work. It will have to wait until 2029 at the earliest when its released to the public domain. Sad.
But all is not lost, Kim Cooper of Esotouric and author of the “The Kept Girl” isn’t taking that hard no as a final answer. She has a petition on change.org asking the Estate to reconsider its position. Please sign. I have, its an important bit of the Los Angeles story by one of our own authors that deserves to be seen.
This is one of my most favorite series that we do. It outlines our diversity as a group and underscores our love of Los Angeles and the millions of souls that call it home. During the course of the last several days you’ve read about the following non-profits and charities that we devote our time and energy too. In the order they appeared:
By now those who know me know I don’t just jump in half assed when I decide to support a non-profit. They have to have a hook that gets my attention. Sierra Madre Playhouse is just that and they need help…volunteers and donations if they are to grow to the next level.
In the last few years with the arrival of Managing Director and Estelle Campbell and Artistic Director Christian Lebano, they have brought a vision to change this once sleepy community theater into something else. Its a very special place well on its way to being the regional destination theater they have envisioned.
There has been a lot of dialogue lately about the state of theater in Los Angeles. It is so often overlooked and under-appreciated, and there are constant wails over how theater is dying. But the magic of that combustion, the ephemeral now, is what I think will keep theater alive. If you haven’t experienced that, I invite you to see a show at the Playhouse. Once you feel that magic you will be seduced.” – Christian Lebano, Artistic Director
Like so many non-profits they are starved of man hours and money to carry out their mission to bring quality plays written by Americans about Americans. This last year has seen them shake the joint up and brought in uniquely American plays like 6RMS RIV VU, 4,000 Miles and A Little House Christmas. On tap next is “A Walk in the Woods” which continues the trend of stellar productions. But they need helpif they are to carry out their plans. If you got a few hours to donate, they’ll take it. If you have some spare change to donate to the cause (Its tax deductible as they are a 503.c non-profit organization) they gladly accept that too.
You can easily pay via credit card through PayPal. An even more painless way is bring the attached PDF Coupon to Ralphs when you go grocery shopping and they donate a percentage of your sale to Sierra Madre Playhouse.
Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W Sierra Madre Blvd, Sierra Madre CA 91024
This is a group that I have devoted tons of energy and time to over the last 10 years. Their mission statement sums it all up: “Enhance the lives of those within our community through interaction with the arts. Increase the opportunities of our children through art education.”
Its something I completely believe in, live and breath it. I got involved 10 years ago as a way to help promote my art, but after a few meetings I found its something that benefits the entire community in ways I never knew.
My kids were in the MUSD system and I was disappointed to learn that Art Education wasn’t part of the curriculum as a separate class at the elementary level. Monrovia Association of Fine Arts, MAFA for short, was just getting ready to make its first donation to the schools the year I joined to help fund art educatoin at the elementary level. Over the course of the next few years our cash donations totalled over $75.000. But it didn’t stop there. Read the rest of this entry →
Live theater in Los Angeles is a tough gig. Anteaus in Noho is no different than the rest, to bring quality theater to the community they need help. Volunteers and tax deductible cash donations are welcomed.
Yup, its a big deal for your first venture. A Sunny Christmas is based on the art of Joseph R Davis and animated by him and Brian Gerson. They were invited to submit this to the 5th Annual ACRS Film Fest, they did and its been accepted. Nice to see new talent here in L.A get recognition beyond our borders.
Paint n Play Winter Art Camp application, click to embiggen and print
Winter Art Camp has got to be one of the best things going in the SGV if you have school age kids and you lose your usual day care during the Holidays. I’ve witnessed the activities that Lisa Barrios and her crew at Paint n Play Art Studio and Gallery here in Monrovia line up for the kids and its pretty amazing. Tons of ceramic crafts for the kids to do every day with expert instruction by the staff at Paint n Play is included in the price of your childs time at Winter Art Camp.
All you need to do is pick out a week and its M,T, F they provide Art Camp for either Christmas Week or New Years week. Monday and Tuesday be sure to pack your kids a sack lunch. Friday no worries, its Pizza Party day.
Space is limited and you do need to apply early. Click on this application to embiggen and print and bring it in to Lisa and gang at the store.
Deets. Week one 12/22, 12/23 NS 12/26,week two 12/29, 12/30, 1/2. 418 S Myrtle Street, Monrovia CA 91016 626-256-4848
The Ingalls family as played by Hanna Victoria Stock, Valerie Lohman, Pamela Daly and Eric Charles Jorgensen. Click to embiggen
Breaking a decades long tradition and following Creative Director Christian Lebano vision of bringing American plays by American authors, A Little House Christmas opened to applause last night in Sierra Madre.
A little backstory about the play. We all know Laura Ingalls Wilder and her stores of growing up in the 1800;s in the big woods or out on the Prarie, It was even a TV show for many years which is how many of us learned of the books. The play is based on the book and was adapted to stage by James DeVita. The Little House Heritage House allows little deviation and creative license, That didn’t stop Directro Emily Chase from working with music curator Lindsey Stand-Polyak and music director Rebecca Lord from getting permission from the trust to incorporate period apporpriate music into the play. It works. It works really well. The songs, many of them “new” to this century are a marvelous addition to this simple themed play and adds real depth to the story. I loved it.
The play takes places in the 1870s on the prairie and spans the course of 1 week with a wicked storm that wreaks havoc on the Ingalls family Christmas. I won’t give any spoilers on how Christmas was saved, you need to watch the play to see the execution of the play and the heart warming ending. Suffice it to say, kindness to others previously brought about the happy ending for the Ingalls family.
The Ingalls family as portrayed by Hanna Victoria Stock, Valerie Lohman, Pamela Daly and Eric Charles Jorgensen doesn’t deviate from the books or TV Show. Added bonus to this is that “Pa Ingalls” in real life can play the fiddle and whips it out at appropriate times in the story to add some real life to this simple story line. Read the rest of this entry →
What is L.A. Auto Show press days without a manufacturer party or two? My absolute favorite is the Hyundai party. Again this year at the Hotel Figueroa a few blocks from the show itself.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Yes, they were our live entertainment. Nearly shat myself when they were announced to be our entertainment for the evening. Tons of fun, she hasn’t lost her edge. Totally fun night.
I can’t tell you all enough how absolutely marvelous this play and cast presenting it are. I’ve blogged it twice here. Go see it the final weekend. Wrap up your evening at either Lucky Baldwins or the Buccaneer, the latter if you prefer dive bars).
The tweet itself wasn’t threatening. He said he wished obama’s plane would crash. Its free speech. He certainly didn’t tweet he was going to take him out or similar that should have warranted eyebrows being raised. Certainly in bushys day there were plenty of hostile thoughts tossed out by the left that weren’t so aggressively looked at. What has become of us? Is the division between left and right so extreme now that no one can say whats on their mind if its contrary to anothers political beliefs?
If you desire you can follow the rants and missives of SABO on twitter as @Unsavoryagents
Personally I’d love to meet the guy and find out more about him and his art.
Who’s got two thumbs (and her index fingers, with which she primarily types, like a spazzy T-Rex on a typewriter) and is back in LA?!
Along these rhapsodic, elegiac and thrilled welcome-home lines I’m walking, here’s some songs to make you love your city again. Fall outta love? Don’t do what I do and leave. Or do…it might be what you need to appreciate it.
Rilo Kiley, Let Me Back In: link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXZR0rwhXvs
“From the Eastern seaboard, the landlocked Midwest
The Keys, the Alps, the Black Hills and Budapest
With my heart in a sling, tail between my legs a-swinging
I’m sorry for leaving
But when the palm trees bow their heads
No matter how wrong I’ve been
L.A., you always let me back in
And you can bury me when my body breaks
In the earth that created me, in the Golden State
By my mama and her brother and their mama too…”
And then there’s this one, by the Delta Spirit, for the folks I left behind in the South. ;)
I mean, this sorta already happened, and that fellow is now happily married, so….everybody come on out! Apparently I’m a great vector for changing your life. :P
(Yes, this post is enormously personal. Kevin Roderick may have a field day with this one. Or he may not, which will make me feel like a loser. Whateves.)
“I want you to move to California for yourself,
I want you to find whatever your heart needs,
I want you to move to California for yourself, but not for me.
I want you to go out there and find somebody else,
I want him to treat you like I know he should,
I want you to find somebody new for yourself, if not for me.
all of the feelings that I know you never felt,
and all of the simple words you never said,
I want you to keep them like a secret to yourself, they’re not for me.
I want you to wander silent past my outstretched arms,
I want you to hide yourself from all I see,
and though my heart will fight until its dying breath, you’re not for me.”
Also…I love the video for this one.
So, yeah. I’m back. We did hot dogs, we did donuts. What do you think should be next?