‘Pizza Man’ A Very Funny, Relevant and Extremely Well Acted Theatre Experience

PIZZA MAN - 3.jpg

Photo by Grafton Doyle

‘Pizza Man’ written by Darlene Craviotto is the second production I’ve seen by the Pop Up Theater and once again they did not disappoint.

The POP UP THEATER  was founded in 2014 by a group of extremely talented thespians who realized that exciting theatre in LA needed some help, and created a company that brings immersive and interactive performances to the audience. They find non-traditional performance spaces that embody the character of the work and make both site and audience part of the story.

Continue reading

Posted in Theater | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Movies Till Dawn: What You Could Be Watching This Weekend (Doctors, Cowboys and Presidents Edition)

Last Flag Flying” (2017, Lionsgate) Vietnam vet Steve Carell seeks out two fellow Marines – hard-living bar owner Bryan Cranston and one-time hellraiser Laurence Fishburne, now a pastor – to assist him in traveling to Washington, D.C., where he will retrieve the body of his son, who died while serving in Iraq. Understated drama is tangentially linked to Hal Ashby’s “The Last Detail” (1973 – both films are based on novels by Darryl Ponicsan, who co-wrote the script for “Flag” with Richard Linklater), but stands on its own thanks to the performances of its three leads.

The mechanics of the story is occasionally bogged down by some heavy-handed emotional beats and an unfocused conflict between Carell and a military colonel (Yul Vazquez) over the choice of burial suit for his son, but as with Linklater’s best efforts (“Boyhood,” “Dazed and Confused”), the film works best in its quietest moments, when Cranston, Fishburne and especially Carell (who seems to have cornered the market on infinitely sad men) are allowed to shine in conversations that recall the high-water marks and disappointments of their lives in plain-spoken terms. Lionsgate’s Blu-ray includes deleted scenes and two making-of featurettes.

Continue reading

Posted in Movies | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

St. Sophia’s Night In Thessaloniki Pleases ‘Olive’ The Senses

Chef Peter Minakis at St. Sophia. All photos by Bob Lee for the LA Beat.

The Philotochos Society of St. Sophia presented its annual fundraising gala this past Saturday, inviting attendees to spend “A Night In Thessaloniki,” Greece’s second-largest city and an important cultural center.

The sold-out gala featured a multi-course dinner from Canadian author, restaurateur and chef Peter Minaki, and free-flowing wines from Macedonia, Peleponnes and Thrace. Top shelf olive oils, homemade Melomakarona and other treats could be purchased at the Greek Marketplace, while the silent and live auctions found diners digging deep for prizes like wine country getaways and the chance to have a whole lamb cooked in your backyard by a popular local chef. Continue reading

Posted in Cocktails, Beer & Wine, Events, Food | Leave a comment

The National Academy of Arts and Sciences Announces Drama Performer Pre-Nominations for 45th Annual Daytime Emmy® Awards!

Photo Courtesy of BHBPR

Oh yes, it’s that time of year again!!! On Jan. 25, 2018 the world was made privy to that of the Drama Performer Pre-Nominations upon their announcement by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences all in rousing anticipation of the 45th Annual Daytime Emmy® Awards!

All contenders were selected via a virtual ballot encompassing four performer genre classifications which consisted of Lead Actor, Lead Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress, after which qualified registered showbiz associates judged their performances. All entrants were listed at random irrespective of show title, and performances were assessed via online clips displaying each contestant’s work.

Continue reading

Posted in Events, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The C-word Shouldn’t Mean Being Serious as a Heart Attack, ‘Chemo Barbie’ Returns to the Whitefire

Photos by Monique A. LeBleu
Heather Keller at Fringe Central during her run at Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017, Wednesday, June 21, 2017.

Told that she had a 98% chance of a cure rate, as of December 2017, actress Heather Keller was given a cancer-free diagnosis after a near two-year battle. And she’s so excited, she’ll even show you her breasts!

Keller’s Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017 Encore Producers Award winning “Chemo Barbie: My Lady Bits’ Journey Through Breast Cancer” opens again for one night only at the Whitefire Solofest 2018 on Sunday, February 4, 2018.

In a uniquely funny show about fighting breast cancer … yes, I said funny … the Real Housewives of Theatre West actress and marathon runner Keller takes the audience along on a one-hour ride through her two-year journey, treatment, endurance, and recovery. Continue reading

Posted in Events, Theater, Upcoming Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Esteemed Hollywood Historian and Matriarch Donelle Dadigan Appointed to California Film Commission

Donelle Dadigan; Photo Courtesy of DC Publicity

In January 2018 Hollywood Matriarch, Entertainment Industry Advocate, and Independent Donelle Dadigan had another notch to add to her belt by way of her most recent appointment to the California Film Commission.  President and founder of the Hollywood Museum, Dadigan is no stranger to the ins and outs of any and all Hollywood machinations from production to pageantry, and also proudly serves as chairman of the Hollywood Historic Trust. Additionally, she is a steadfast associate of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences along with the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and varying and sundry other establishments.

Dadigan’s promotion was proclaimed this week by California Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de Leon (D – Los Angeles) and Chair of the Senate Rules committee via declared new Rules Committee appointees.

Continue reading

Posted in Miscellanious | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Not Just for the Barista: A Con of Every Coffee Lover’s Dream

Photo courtesy of Coffee-Con

CoffeeCon’s 4th Southern California event will be at The Reef on Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 3-4, 2018 in downtown Los Angeles. The event, designed for the specialty coffee enthusiast, is open to the consumer public with 40 plus exhibitors and dozens of classes and panels eager to talk on all-things-coffee.

Continue reading

Posted in Events, Food, Miscellanious | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Crazy Quilt by Peter Kaukonen Album’s A Look At The Musical Musings Of Life

Crazy Quilt by Peter KaukonenPeter Kaukonen‘s new CD Crazy Quilt will have a CD Release Party on Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018. Crazy Quilt by Peter Kaukonen, on the Floating Records label, presents new songs by Peter, a guitarist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has played, recorded and toured with Johnny Winter, Link Wray and his own band, the Black Kangaroos. He has also played, recorded and toured in Jefferson Airplane and the Jefferson Starship with older brother Jorma Kaukonen, whose band the Jefferson Airplane covered some of Black Kangaroo’s songs.

The Release Party, to be held at the Art House Gallery and Cultural Center in Berkeley, CA, will feature a performance by Peter Kaukonen and the Curios, along with special guest artists Lee Parvin and Nancy Hall.

Crazy Quilt presents thirteen original tracks covering a multitude of styles and themes. Driven by Peter’s sensitive acoustic guitar and tasteful electric guitar playing, the album covers themes that are like the well-known style of crazy quilting that was popular in the late 1800’s.

As Peter Kaukonen said, “A crazy quilt can be an existential time capsule, chronicling the quilter’s passage through time with milestones and markers made up of memories accumulated along the way. Crazy Quilt is my musical journey and existential justification”. Continue reading

Posted in Interviews, Live Music, Music, Upcoming Events | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Theatre 40s Production of ‘The Manor’ Brings the Stage to You via a Night of Harrowing Hospitality!

Photos Courtesy of Ed Krieger

Family strife, the marriage of a kept man, a business deal gone bad, foreshadowing of the Second World War, an unrequited love triangle bereft of one of its lines, and murder/suicide: these are all just a few of the subjects addressed in Theatre 40’s latest production, The Manor.

A fictional account centering around one of Los Angeles’ most historically venerated families, playwright Katherine Bates takes us on a journey from mirth to misery in deference to the Doheny family as portrayed by the MacAlister family in the dramatized version in a tale of family strife.

Said legacy, a near living, breathing entity in unto itself, encompasses a heritage so texturally yet inadvertently woven into the tapestry that surrounds some of the most intriguing L.A. lore it is the stuff of historian-based and ghost hunter intrigue alike. (But more on that later!)

Set in the same house as the purported bygone events, The Greystone Manor in Beverly Hills serves as something of an nth character. And the experience itself is like no other. Imagine, if you will, (or if you won’t, it really doesn’t matter because I am going to describe it to you thusly) that you are the stagehands in a superlatively elaborate play, a dramedy that transpires on the great canvas of life rather than any wood and grease paint theatre.

Then, instead of changing sets by will and sleight of hand, you do so via your own two feet bringing scene changes to yourself or you to them, rather than observing black t-shirt clad continuity-breakers as they invade any given living room/bed room/vomitorium thereby almost breaking the fourth wall!

Continue reading

Posted in Miscellanious, Theater | Leave a comment

Chef Neal Fraser of Redbird/Vibiana Hosts All-Star Celebrity Chef “Full Circle” Dinner Benefiting C-CAP

Photo illustration courtesy of C-CAP
Chef Neal Fraser’s All-Star Celebrity Chef “Full Circle” Dinner

On Friday, Feb. 9th, 2018 from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Redbird in Downtown Los Angeles Chef Neal Fraser (Redbird – Vibiana) Hosts All-Star Celebrity Chef “Full Circle” Dinner

The Full Circle dinner will raise funds to benefit Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) and you can be a part of this exceptional evening of food, drink and philanthropy. Chef Neal Fraser has reached out to some of his All-Star Celebrity Chef friends and fellow C-CAP supporters, which include: Josiah Citrin (Mélisse, Charcoal Venice, Dave’s Doghouse), Ben Ford (Ford’s Filling Station), Ray Garcia & Ivan Marquez (Broken Spanish), David LeFevre (Manhattan Beach Post, The Arthur J, Fishing with Dynamite), Jason Neroni (Rose Café), Amar Santana (Vaca, Broadway by Amar Santana), Michael Voltaggio (ink.well) and Sherry Yard (iPic Entertainment). This esteemed group of chefs will come together for one very special evening where guests will enjoy a five-course tasting menu paired with specially selected premium wines and beer.

Continue reading

Posted in Cocktails, Beer & Wine, Events, Food, News & Sports, Upcoming Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment