Local Musicians Rally to Help Greg “The Pope” Romero

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Movies Till Dawn: Tough Guys and Doberman Cops

The Yakuza” (1975, Warner Archives) Ex-private eye Robert Mitchum is hired by Brian Keith to settle a beef with Japanese gangster Eiji Okada, whose displeasure over an arrangement gone wrong has led to the abduction of Keith’s daughter. Mitchum is sent to Japan, where he encounters an old wartime flame (Keiko Kishi), as well as her brother (Takakura Ken, “Black Rain”), a former hood who puts aside his disregard for Mitchum to help orchestrate a blood-soaked rescue mission. Directed by Sydney Pollack (“Three Days of the Condor”) and penned by Paul Schrader (“Taxi Driver”) and his brother Leonard (with help from Robert Towne, fresh from “Chinatown”), this thriller works overtime to keep all its parts in play – violent set pieces, bittersweet drama via Mitchum’s reunion with Kishi and Ken, terse discussions of honor, obligation and Japanese organized crime culture – and at times, it sacrifices emotional impact in favor of addressing all of these elements. “The Yakuza” works best when it focuses on Mitchum and Takakura Ken’s partnership, which lends a weary, worn humanity to the occasional didacticism and copious bloodshed. WAC’s Blu-ray includes commentary by Pollack recorded in 2007, as well as a lengthy vintage making-of featurette and a trailer that underscores the company’s uncertainty on how to market the film, which led to its dismal showing at the box office.

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Los Angeles’ Poke Me to Open First Orange County Location

After their success with three Los Angeles locations in Westwood, the Miracle Mile and Palos Verdes, Poke Me is coming to Orange County. On Friday, August 18, they will hold a Grand Opening for their first Irvine location at Heritage Plaza, at Trabuco Road and Culver Drive. As part of the festivities, Poke Me will be giving away 25 swag bags of goodies (including Poke Me gift certificates) to the first 25 customers on Friday, August 18 at 12pm. There will also be a prize awarded to someone, the lucky winner will win FREE POKE FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR! The celebration will also include an official ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Irvine Chamber of Commerce.

Poke Me’s key to success is delicious poke. Chef Seungmin (Min) Choi’s poke is both creative and tasty, heavily influenced by his background as a sushi chef. Chef Min told the LA Beat why his poke is so popular, saying “I believe they appreciate the various tastes & how it all mixes well with our house made sauces like truffles ponzu, yuzu wasabi & sweet Habanero. It keeps them coming back for sure & our self serve unlimited toppings bar”. Poke Me’s format is the popular build-your-own, where guests can choose their base such as white or brown rice and mixed or baby kale salad. They then choose a side, including seaweed salad, edamame, avocado, crab meat or spicy crab meat. Continue reading

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Tommy “Chiffon” Martinez: Punk Blood – Thicker than a Cold Shot

Glam-punk-rocker Tommy Chiffon, bass and vocals,at the Five Star Bar in Los Angeles, July 18, 2017 (Photo by Monique A. LeBleu)

With freshly bleached, close-cropped hair, relaxed in denim overalls and black baby-doll tee cut to reveal a striking Bette Midler tattoo, Tommy Martinez, AKA Tommy Chiffon, sat neatly tucked into the smooth mustard booth of the Hermosillo’s HP Brewery in Highland Park.

While sipping a micro-brew blond, Chiffon spoke candidly and openly on growing up gay, coping with addiction, being punk in the ’80s, the deaths that have punctured-yet-shaped his life, and his brother Anthony Martinez of Black Flag.

Now five years clean from heroin, cocaine, and a meth habit that also gave him a brief walk with death, Chiffon says he and his band have re-emerged to reinvent the R & B infused glam-punk sound he birthed during the early L.A. punk scene.

Coming from a Latino Catholic family of music as the “number seven child of eight kids,” and living in East LA, Chiffon and his brother Anthony were each encouraged to study music at an early age by their parents, especially their father—a jazz piano player in 1940s jazz era. Chiffon’s concentration was piano and guitar, and Anthony, drums.

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‘Rainbow Bridge’ A Comedy About a Mother, a Sister and a Dog


Photo by Ed Krieger

‘Rainbow Bridge’ directed by Mike Myers and written by Ron Nelson is a new comedy now playing at Santa Monica’s Ruskin Theatre.

When the play opens, we meet Jerry (Paul Schackman) a lawyer who is at his vet, Dr. Klein’s (Jaimi Paige) office, to put his ailing dog, Charley to sleep. Dr. Klein, however, seems more interested in seducing Jerry than euthanizing his pet. However, in all fairness to her, she does get Jerry to read a poem entitled ‘The Rainbow Bridge’ out loud to Charlie. The Rainbow Bridge is where all pets go after they die. Supposedly it’s also the place where we will meet up with them after we leave the planet.  After Jerry finishes the poem, he tells Charlie he loves him and that he was a very good dog. Continue reading

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Random LA: Killer Shrimp MDR

Killer Shrimp MDR (all photos by Afropix)

Killer Shrimp 4211 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292


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Marilyn Monroe’s 55th Annual Memorial and Celebrity Soiree

All Photos by Billy Bennight for The Los Angeles Beat

It was a wonderful 55th Marilyn Monroe Memorial that took place on Saturday hosted by “Marilyn Remembered” President Greg Schreiner in Westwood. This is an annual event and this year marked the 55th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s passing. Devoted fans of Marilyn Monroe’s flew in from around the world to hear Marilyn Monroe’s friends and colleagues share fond memories of the beloved super star.

Westside Story Oscar Winner George Chakiris spoke, as well as Renee Taylor, Terry Moore, Kathleen Hughes, Daniel Selznick, Kelly Rooney, Susan Bernard, Juliet M. Hyde-White, Gabriel Reis, Enid Steckler, Leslie Kasperowicz and Harrison Held. Harrison read touching remarks from Barbara Eden and Chris Lemmon as he eulogized their memories of Marilyn. Daniel Selznick, Terry Moore and Renee Taylor‘s stories resonated with their moving and intimate experiences with Marilyn. Kelly Rooney, Kathleen Hughes and Susan Bernard shared tales and rare glimpses of stories they heard from those they loved who were close to Marilyn. Every story pointed to what a beautiful, passionate and gentle soul Marilyn had, portraying her amazing gifts and earnest humanity. These were the most salient and moving remembrances of this legendary mid-century sex symbol and Hollywood super star.

Others attending the service were Claudia Moriarty, the niece of Marilyn Monroe’s longtime stand-in and friend Evelyn Moriarty. Greg Schreiner, Scott Fortner, Elisa Jordan, Jackie Craig and their team put on an amazing event honoring Marilyn. “Marilyn Remembered” had a full house with overflow outside intensely listening to every revelation and nuanced detail the speakers offered.

Photo Gallery After The Jump

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American Horror Story at The Paley Center

American Horror Story at The Paley Center (All photos by Lori Nyx)

The Paley Center in Beverly Hills is presenting a free exhibit, “American Horror Story: The Style of Scare” through August 13th. The exhibit, featuring the work of writer-director-producer Ryan Murphy and award-winning costume designer Lou Eyrichis encompasses nearly 4000 square feet. The exhibit seems to have a lot of costumes and props from “Freak Show” and “Hotel.” It would be nice if there were more from “Murder House” and “Roanoke.”  “The Style of Scare” is open Wednesdays to Sundays from 12:00 noon until 5:00 pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

“American Horror Story: The Style of Scare” at the Paley.

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Actor/Doctor Rico Simonini Unveils Latest Executive Produced Film “Frank and Ava” via an Evening of Entertainment and Education!

Photo by RA Enterprises, Courtesy of 8th House Entertainment

Medicine and Movies,
Doctoring and Drama,
Cardiology and Catharsis,
Acting and Allopathy,
Theatre and…The Thorax! (Okay…okay…that last one was admittedly kinda lame, but any excuse to use the word “thorax” in a sentence, let alone an entire article, is always a good one.):

What do the above things have to do with all the other above five things…? Well, a lot more than you might think, particularly when the executive producer, star, and adaptive screenwriter to the premiering film you are about to see also doubles as a heart doctor to boot!

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‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ is Theatre at its Best

Adam Langdon as Christopher Boone in the touring production of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Photo by Joan Marcus

‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’ is based on the best selling novel written by Mark Haddon. It’s the story of a 15 year old math genius, Christopher Boone (the extraordinary Adam Langdon) a high-functioning boy who probably has  Asperger’s Syndrome even though his condition is never named.

Christopher lives in London with his father, Ed (Gene Gillette) attends a school for children with special needs run by a woman named Siobhan (Maria Elena Ramirez). Christopher, in fact, is quite exceptional. He thinks in numbers in a very abstract way that helps him understand the universe as well as the whole solar system. He cannot stand to be touched. He never tells a lie, is terrified of strange toilets, hates the color yellow, loves animals and never forgets anything. Continue reading

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