AND THERES A NIFTY CONTEST TOO…PRIZE IS DINNER WITH THE DIRECTOR AND CAST
The Odd Couple celebrates its 50th Anniversary this year and the Sierra Madre Playhouse production promises NOT to be your grandparents version of the play. There are some interestsing twists. This cast has character and chemistry. The one rehearsal I sat in I was enthralled and had to keep my attention diverted so I didn’t get so wrapped up I spoiled opening night for myself.
Artistic Director Christian Lebano and Director Alan Brooks bring some fun to the table in their interpretation of “The Odd Couple” that won’t go unnnoticed. To give it some local flavor the Pigeon Sisters are played by actors Kari Lee and Jane Lui. The little bit I saw they bring a whole new range of interest and humor to the roles of the love interests of accidental bachelors Oscar and Felix. Worth a see, trust me.
What is really fun is the contest. Since this is the story of a mismatched roommate situation, the Sierra Madre Playhouse is running a contest for the worst roommate story. The stories will be read prior to the play start each week and the winner will be announced at the Sunday matinee on June 12. Story must be entered by midnight May 31, 2015. You can enter by submitting your story on the Sierra Madre Playhouse Facebook page, or emailing them at [email protected] As noted in the headline…the best story gets dinner with the director and cast.
Christian Lebano, the Artistic Director at the Playhouse has his own roommate story to share here:
The Odd couple opens May 8 and runs through June 27. You can order tickets HERE. Here’s an added surprise and reason to attend opening night…you get to go to the opening night reception and mingle with the cast, directors and board of the Sierra Madre Playhouse. Location of the reception is announced at the play…so no crashers.
Sierra Madre Playhouse 87 W Sierra Madre Blvd. Sierra Madre CA 91024 MAP HERE Box Office 626/355-4318
Blogging leads one on many adventures, Brett Lemick and Ross Everett of Los Angeles are about to partake on a new one. Fresh off digitour that they served as hosts, these Los Angelenos are 1 of 6 Teams that will race from L.A. to New York (save your boos) and back home again in a NBC reality show that starts March 31st. The show will pit the teams in challenges as they road trip across the country. The teams will have home audience fans that will help them with their challenges. In the end the winning team and one of their “fans” will win a new 2013 Ford Escape.
As a couple of YouTubers they have already vlogged as much as they can about the show in the opening video in this post. They are looking forward to the trip and have been promised by the producers that they will be “terrified” by the tasks they will need to complete along the way. Brett and Ross did their due diligence in preparing for this race. They watched last years Focus Rally that included teams of Los Angelenos for clues as to what sort of challenges they can expect. To even better hedge their chances they have been working with personal trainers to be in best shape possible for those challenges. Continue reading “Brett and Ross and their next big adventure: Escape Routes”
Just to give you a little peek behind the b.la curtain, the nice people at Goldenvoice often grace us with delicious bundles of free tickets to their events, in hopes that we will write about them and increase attendance.
We love this – and I have to say that I love it in particular because
a. I’m too cheap to buy tickets to things, and
b. I like to feel like a bigshot.
Most of the time there are tickets a-plenty, which means the person who blogs the story gets two, and everyone who wins the contests we run gets the rest. Nice deal.
Except now. When we only get ONE PAIR of Foo Fighters tickets!
That means I have to be generous and groovy and give YOU these tickets, without even getting to go myself! Think of it! The horror!
Update: Winners have been notified! Congratulations!
I’ve got a secret that I can’t explain…actually, it’s not a secret now. We’re giving away TWO PAIRS of tickets to see OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) this coming Friday, October 7th at Club Nokia. I was excited when I learned earlier this year that OMD was still performing. I admittedly hadn’t thought of them in a good while, but I do have fond memories of their music I had some nice emo times listening to them and pining for a certain young man, before emo was even a thing.
If you are also nostalgic for some great 80s synth-pop and would like to see OMD live, leave a comment below (be sure to sign in with a legit email address) no later than Noon on Tuesday, 10/4.
We’ve been on a concert tear lately at Blogging LA with our ticket contests to see Jane Lynch, Blondie — and now Peter, Bjorn & John. They are, of course, known for that whistling song, but they’ve done so much more that is just as great. The band is on their “All You Can Eat” tour now, and we have tickets to give away for their October 5th show at the El Rey. To enter, simply leave a comment with your favorite Peter Bjorn & John song other than “Young Folks“ and I’ll pick a winner by Friday at noon.
The day started off with the announcement of the Green Car of the Year award. It went to the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt. Mayor Antonio V gave a speech, in short LA is poised to be the electric car capital of the world. Not a bad goal as it will help us clean up our air more than simple emissions control has already done. Of course, its just shifting the emissions and CO2 out to the desert where the fossil fuel plants are that generate our juice that recharges them, but that’s another issue for another time.
Day 2 of the Auto Show is a tough one. The premiere car press conferences and unveiling continue non-stop and a dozen green cars, mostly Electrical cars (EV) are available to the press to test drive. Its tough to do both and involves a lot of running between the various events one chooses and their scheduled drives.
I suppose this is the part where I should apologize to LA for the added traffic along the route caused by the press. If you were on the loop that was Venice to Hoover, to Alvarado, to Pico, then Figueroa back into a parking garage, I’m sorry if you got stuck in the mess. Half the press there wasn’t used to driving on our side of the road, or on the left and side of a car, and most importantly realize that pedestrians have the ultimate right of way in LA. I don’t know who was more scared the manufacturer chaperones or the motoring public in general as some of the press were just that bad. Sorry.
I opted to drive a mix of cars as the immediate future include just that a mix of traditional gas, hybrid, EV’s and in the near future more fuel cells. After driving them all I can see where the hybrid will have its place, particularly in the mid-size to large car categories. EV’s are in their infancy and have limitations that currently will keep them in the urban commuter category with their limited range and depending on the model, long recharging times.
Fuel Cell’s vehicles too are in their infancy with only a few cars coming to market in very limited production and even more limited infrastructure to support them. Currently the only fuel cell available to us is a leased Honda FCX Clarity. There are a total of 4 hydrogen fueling stations in So CA, with the one in Santa Monica the only one providing clean hydrogen via water and solar energy to remove the hydrogen. (Others are cracking natural gas which leaves nasty CO2 to be dealt with). Seriously, the fuel cell coupled with a hybrid drive is what in my not so humble opinion be the major player in our future. You give up nothing in terms of range, fueling time to a gas engined car and literally your exhaust is water vapor. With the help of CARB grants the infrastructure is going to improve to a dozen fuel stations in the LA Area by 2015 according to the Daimler rep I spoke with.
I started with what is the current state of the art offerings and worked my way into the future. As I had kid duty in the AM I missed getting into the line to sign up for the driving portion and many cars were booked solid by the time I got to the sign in station, cars like the Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf that I was very curious to test were gone.
Absent from the list was the Wheego LiFE that is going on sale soon here but has been in Europe for a few years. From the rumblings in the line I was able to gather that Wheego hand picked which press would be given access to the car in advance of the LA Auto Show. Could be sour grapes but I overheard an interesting exchange with some of the world press regarding this car. It went along these lines “I drove the car in London and there it was limited to 25 and it scared me. I understand its been reprogrammed to have a top speed of 65 and wonder how scary it will be now”. I wonder too. Seriously, though most of our freeway driving is during the commute hours you won’t see much more than a crawl so the top speed shouldn’t be an issue.
On to the driving impressions which are just my opinion and observations. They aren’t reflective of blogging.la as a whole, just my own not so humble opinions and snarks.
Traditional Gas powered clean cars included the only nominee on the Green Car of the Year for this year. The Ford Fiesta. It is a nice little subcompact. It has electronic toys like Sync that others in its class don’t have yet. Compared to the European spec model I drove a year ago I can say nothing was lost in the translation to the US Market. Actually there was a gain, they 1.6L engine standard in our cars lent a noticeable difference in quickness compared to the 1.4L powered European prototype. With EPA ratings of up to 40 mpg on the highway it makes a good representation of the class for now and into the future.
Hybrids, specifically the Green Car of the Year nominee the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid was what I drove. Nice, very nice car with the luxury goodies one expects in the class. Good performance, not as stellar as the large v6 models in the class, but an acceptable trade off for the gains in fuel economy (epa city rated 41). With no increase in base price to get into the hybrid version of the MKZ your return on investment from fuel savings is immediate.
EV’s and there was a boat load of them, some manufacture built others aftermarket conversions. I focused on the manufacturer built as, well those are the ones that will have the dealer network in place to support them. They also were the ones that had ample cars that I was able to get on the drive list. The one common theme that they all had a way of addressing was a) home charging and b)range anxiety.
Cooper Mini-E. This is the slot car of the bunch. In many ways it actually drove like one too. The usual Cooper Mini ride was softened a bit with the weight of the battery pack but still handled like you expect a Mini to handle. It did have a short learning curve to get used to driving it as it has a very sharp cut off to regenerative braking, like down shiftin’ more than a gear if you abruptly remove your foot from the brake. Once you get the hang of driving with the electronic drive, it is very much like driving a regular car, IE you give up nothing to the experience. Currently the car is available only for lease as a test with a few large corporations and power company’s. We’ll see a refined EV using the technology developed for this car in future BMW EV’s.
Mitsubishi MiEV is another EV that I drove. This one was more like your typical compact car, except it had really useable room in the back for two real passengers. Nice leg room and driving it you gave up nothing to a gas car. (It was right hand drive so that was an experience getting used to as even the turn signal stalk was in reversed position and every time I went to signal I hit the wipers instead…apologies to anyone behind me that got short notice of intent to turn). Mitsubishi has a novel approach to the range anxiety.
Mitsubishi teamed up with Eaton and Best Buy to set up “quick charge stations” that are either at the Best Buy stores or mobile to assist should you run low on charge. The system is capable of bring the battery pack to 85% of charge in 15 minutes. They will even have 20 mobile “quick Charge” trucks set up near key freeway interchanges or be able to move to large concert/sporing events to take care of their customers to help relieve their “range anxiety”. They will even have an iPhone app that will show on a map where you are and where the nearest Quick Charge station is located. This sort of infrastructure change is moving fastest for the EV’s and will make it possible to get a larger fleet of them on our streets than any other alternative fuel technology we have coming at us at the moment.
Volvo C30 DRIVe. This car I have to be fair with is just a prototype, chassis #2 to be precise so it wasn’t as refined as the others I drove. Refined as in battery capacity, not fit and finish. The drive itself was very much like that of the regular C30. It is indicative of the direction Volvo intends to take in the future, rather than purpose built EV’s it will be conversions of existing models. Its programming was more like a typical hybrid with a good “sail mode” or coasting without abrupt regenerative braking like the Mini-E. An impressive car in terms of what Volvo will give us in terms of a safe luxury EV in the future. One common comment made by the press was in regards to the position of the charge in the front grill. What happens if you break it when you bump someone and can’t get repaired right away. Interesting design feature or flaw, you decide.
The last and final car was the Mercedes. F-Cell. It’s a hydrogen fuel cell that when filled with hydrogen from a solar conversion plant produces zero emissions at point of use as well as zero emissions at energy conversion source. It is based on the “B” class Mercedes that is not sold in this country. Size wise think of it has a half scale minivan with some nice luxury toys tossed in by Mercedes. It gives nothing up to a traditional gas car in terms of the driving experience and has a refueling time as fast as filling your tank now. I was impressed with the amount of immediate torque and the silence of the car. Giving up nothing to driving experience and no need to learn a new way of driving and thinking will make the fuel cell the easiest conversion for the US market.
There you go…what the final day of the Press Days at the LA Auto Show entailed for me. Fun driving cars (I am a car guy after all) and getting a first hand glimpse into what the future holds in store for us. This is just a sampling of the nearly 30 alternative fuel and EV’s at the LA Auto Show. Definitely change coming, for the better and it will be easy to adapt as well.
This post also includes the last set of tickets I have to give away for the LA Auto Show. I have just 4 tickets to give left to 4 lucky winners, that is one ticket each. Make sure you have a legit email address so I can contact you for the info to pass on to the LA Auto Show folks so they can have your tickets waiting for you at will call.
Chevrolet premiered its new Camaro Convertible at the show yesterday. Among the things set up is this cool photo booth, but not just any photo booth, but one with something like 4 dozen cameras lined up in an arc that increases in height. You jump, the flashes go off and you are captured frozen in flight. The entire set of images is strung together with a 3d”ish” video of you frozen in flight with the Camaro. Very cool and very fun. I predict that this will be hands down the most used interactive display at the show this year. Its that cool. When done you can facebook it, twitter it or email it to yourself. How cool is that?
I have a ticket for 4 lucky winners with this post, but only 4 can win. Please be sure to include a legit email addy so I can write you for the particulars so your ticket will available for you at will call.
Press days at the LA Auto Show are something to experience. There are so many debuts that the press conferences for each manufacturer are limited literally to 20 minutes. The press folks develop a herd mentality and move en mass from exhibit to exhibit arriving just in time to catch the start of the new show. Except for me. I tend to meander about photographing the exhibits and attend only the few debuts that interest me the most. I absolutely love seeing the show this way.
Don’t get me wrong the debuts themselves are worthy of a Hollywood block buster, often with stunt men. To get the attention of the ever more jaded press as the day wears on you need to have some sparkle and wow in a debut or it gets lost in the shuffle. The best debuts in the past has been orchestrated by the folks at Scion, Honda, Mercedes Benz and Ford in my not so humble opinion. This year did not disappoint with Fiat and Ford giving the best shows today. I really, really wanted to get into look at the Porsche 911 Speedster reveal but alas that room was packed beyond standing room only. Tomorrow is another day for that car.
The first thing I did was make tracks to check out the Green Car of the Year Nominees. The final 5 are the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, Ford Fiesta, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, and the Nissan LEAF. This award from Green Car has become a fixture of the LA Auto Show and has gained importance for the manufacturers. Note of the 5 only 1 is a traditional gas engine, the rest are hybrids this year. If I were to hazard a guess as to which car will win I’d prolly put money down on the Chevy Volt because of inspite of all its marketing hype and expense, it is a remarkable piece of engineering and an indication of what our cars in the future will be like. (Snark alert…anyone else read the recent editorial that labeled hybrids as a novelty like “tail fins” that won’t be around much longer?)
Food. The press travel on their stomachs. And why “buy” lunch when its free? The best by far has been the Audi free lunch with wifi if you can bear the lines to get in. What you get is gourmet treats and a cozy “cafe” set up upstairs at their display. Want great coffee and a pissy bistro atmosphere for a quick recharge? Porsche always does that part up right, though Range Rover’s open bar gave them a run for their money this year. Of course neither are there for the public days, but imagine the mayhem if there was free food then too?
Premiers, whether “World” or “North American” are up significantly this year. In the World Premiere category there is the Acura TSX, Cadillac ULV (Who knows what it means), Chevy Camaro Convertible, Chrysler 200 (rehashed Sebring), Honda EV Concept, Kia Optima Hybrid, Mazda Shinari, Merc’s CLS63 AMG, Mitsubishi i-MiEV, Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet (fancy for convertible), Nissan Quest, Range Rover Evoque, SAAB 9-4X, Subaru Imprezza, Toyota Rav4 EV, Volkswagon Eos, and finally a Wheego LiFE. Not a single traditional monster SUV in the mix and 5 “green” cars that are either EV or hybrid which is a good sign of things to come. The sexy standout in this line up of debuts was the Evoque, even though I’m a car guy, that one is going to get the reech beeches in the city lining up for one.
The list for North American debuts is bigger but with a lot more large cars and crossover type vehicles in the list. The “green” vehicles in the mix is promising as it covers a nice variety of sizes as well as price points. Audi A7 Sportback,Audi A8L, BMW 6 Series Concept, BMW X3, Coda Sedan, Dodge Charger, Dodge Durango, Fiat 500 Cinquecento,Fisker Karma, Hyundai Elantra, Infiniti M35 Hybrid, Jaguar C-X75 Concept, KIA Pop Concept, Lotus Elan Concept,Lotus Elise Concept, Lotus Elite Concept, Lotus Esprit Concept, Lotus Eterne Concept, Lotus Evora S & IPS, Lotus Exige RGB Edition, Mazda 5,Nissan GT-R, Porsche 911 Carrera GTS and finally the Porsche 911 Speedster.
The Bad news…No Lambo Maserati OR Ferrari at this years show. There are however some tricked out models down in Kenetia hall that are interesting. It is just plain weird not seeing them in the center concourse putting on a dog and pony show for us as we walked through. I miss not being able to sit in those dream cars and imagine what it would be like to own and drive one.
I have some more tickets to give away for the LA Auto Show. I have 4 tickets to give away, one ticket each to the first 4 commenters. Bear with me if you don’t get an immediate response as I won’t be near a ‘puter all day tomorrow but I will get back to you.
All Pics and vid by me. Pics do get bigger with a click. More pics are in my flickr 2010 LA Auto Show set.
Every year there is one manufacturer who does an over the top give away that results in lines winding through the halls because it is so good. This years promises to be Yokohoma Tire’s contest where an iPad a day will be given away. I stumbled across the press release info in the inundation information for this years LA Auto Show. Can you guess where I’ll be for at least part of my day Saturday with my boys? If you guessed in line for a chance at an iPad you are correct.
Lifted directly from their press release:
Yokohama Tire Corporation is going digital at the LA Auto Show, November 19-28 at the LA Convention Center. Consumers visiting Yokohama’s exhibit in the West Hall lobby will get a chance to try the company’s new interactive iPad app, plus enter a daily drawing to win a tablet computer.
According to Alan Holtschneider, Yokohama manager, advertising, promotions & events, the iPad app will replace traditional tire and vehicle placards at the show. “We’re excited about the new application that we’ve produced and have taken advantage of some of the interactive features that the iPad offers,” he said. “Visitors to the booth can check the iPad app, which includes Yokohama videos and tire information. All consumer tire lines, such as ADVAN® and GEOLANDAR®, along with tires like the AVID® ENVigor™, S.drive® and the orange oil-infused dB Super E-spec™ have their own sections for users to explore. During each day of the show, one lucky consumer who visits the booth and enters our contest will win a tablet computer.”
Holtschneider said Yokohama’s iPad app will be available through iTunes in early 2011.
Auto Shows usually aren’t the most kid friendly events in the city. Its usually don’t touch and little for them to do. The LA Auto Show is different as thanks to a corporate sponsorship there is a special “kid zone” to let them burn off their creative and physical energy. Bring the kids to this year’s Los Angeles Auto Show and let them play in the bigger and better Nissan Quest Kids’ Fun Zone. The attraction is open both weekends of the show, including the Friday after Thanksgiving, and features a variety of activities for kids to run, jump, explore and learn.
The Kids’ Fun Zone will feature bounce houses, a car driving course from Dodge, video games provided by Game Truck and a chance to meet Otto the Auto from the Auto Club of Southern California. First Five California and the LA Zoo will be on hand with educational games and giveaways, plus there are a variety of other art and craft activities, like face painting from Party Face Magic. Nissan will have a special Quest zone so families can have a comfortable place to sit, play and check out the all-new Nissan Quest minivan. The Nissan Quest area will have multiple iPads loaded with drawing software so kids can create and then project their works of art on a large screen.
With something for everyone, the show is a family-friendly affair that is one of the best entertainment values in town.
Details: Admission for kids 12 and under is free and there is no additional charge for the Kids’ Fun Zone. Located in Kentia Hall, the Kids’ Fun Zone is open both weekends from 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
As with whatever I post this week about the LA Auto Show I have some tickets to give away. To be precise 4 tickets with this post to win. Tell me what family friendly auto you want to see at this years LA Auto Show and I’ll give you one ticket. Make sure you have a legit email addy for me to contact you to set up the ticket.
Image courtesy the LA Auto Show and used with their permission.
The 2010 LA Auto Show opens on Friday November 19th. The show has now grown to being one of the most important shows on the planet and second to only detroit (lower case on purpose) in the US. At least 26 press conferences featuring 20 world and more than 30 North American vehicle debuts. The official arrival of the electric car era with production vehicles on sale to the public. Fiat returns to the U.S. and the LA Auto Show after almost a 27-year hiatus, Lambo after a one year break.
Green Car Journal has announced its five finalists for the 2011 Green Car of the Year, including the 2011 Chevrolet Volt, 2011 Ford Fiesta, 2011 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, 2011 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid and the 2011 Nissan LEAF. For the sixth consecutive year, this increasingly important award will be announced during a press conference at the LA Auto Show Press Days on Nov.18.
I have 4 tickets to give away, tell me why you would want one. Make sure you include a legit email address so I can contact you for your info to get you your ticket. To make this interesting, what are you most interested in seeing? The concept cars, green cars or about to be released production autos? Any particular manufacturer you think that should be included that isn’t?
If you don’t win tickets this time around have no fear, I’ll be running a few more contests for tickets before this is all over. Look for details and stuff from my visit during press days that will also include a chance to win tickets as well.
DEETS: November 19-28. Admission and hours HERE. Los Angeles Convention Center, 1201 S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90015. Directions HERE or Map HERE.
I Have Four Pair of tickets to give away for this Show on Saturday, September 25th!
The Legend! Jerry Lee Lewis! Yes! He is still alive! The Reverend Horton Heat, who just simply must be seen live! No, Seriously, just an AMAZING live band! And The Head Cat. This is Lemme from Motorhead and Slim Jim Phantom serving up some Rockabilly Greatness.
But it’s coming up soon! I have to know who to give these tickets to by Wednesday!
We’re not getting fancy this time, if you wanna go, let me know in the comments, I’ll pick winners at random.
Indie rock slash synthetic pop, with electrically charged guitars and pianos, is all the rage (blame Hot Chip). So is an inexplicably newfound turn-of-the-decade appreciation for Hall & Oates (blame our current fascination with the 1980s and/or Hugh Grant in Music & Lyrics). Mash the two together and you get The Bird and the Bee paying tribute to Hall & Oates this Friday at the El Rey. And guess who has tickets to give away?
For those unacquainted, the singing Bird is Inara George and the instrumentalist Bee is Greg Kurstin, and together they symbolize flowers and de-flowerings. They’re also homegrown – both hail from our fair city of Los Angeles. The pair have popped up on the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack (before you hold this against them, The Postal Service was that show’s poster child for quite some time); they’ve opened for Lily Allen; and, after two albums, they will release a tribute to Daryl Hall and John Oates later this month. The pre-release concert in support of the record is this Friday at the El Rey, and, as I mentioned, we have tickets to give away. To win, all you have to do is post your favorite Hall & Oates song. Include your email address, one that you check often, because that will make it easier to contact you if you win.
Full details of the show are here, but, as they say in the sweepstakes world (or, this is what I would say if I was in the sweepstakes world): enter first, buy later. Good luck!
MTVu and Ford’s College You Drive teamed up for a Tuesday night “red carpet style” in Westwood near UCLA. Pretty simple deal, show up register, take part in the fun on the red carpet, check out the new Sync System, have some fun. The registration is gratis and is your ticket to win a new Ford Focus. Your evening ends with a private screening of “You Don’t Mess with the Zohan”.
This is event is tied in with a contest held earlier this year as part of the MTVu and Ford College You Drive series. A group of college students from across the country won a trip to LA that included invitations to the “Max Payne” premier and party tonight. I’d be curious to get their thoughts on the movie. More so I’d like to find out what being in LA is like for those who are here for their first time ever compared to the image they had in their head. (Hint…can someone get me in?).
Details: Tuesday 10/13 6:15PM – 10PM, 1013 Broxton Avenue, Westwood CA (which we really know is LA).
Pic by me, it is an HDR image…how else can I get details on a black car in the shade?