JOAN OF ART: A Film About Two Great Men With a Dream, A Rocking Rocker From The Past, A Beautiful Garden of Lights, and A Night of Comedy

As everyone gets ready for Thanksgiving (my favorite holiday) and shops for sales online and the old fashion way (in retail stores), there are many fun things to do this upcoming weekend to relieve the stress of it all.

First, one of my favorite films of the year (yes I've said that before, but the list keeps growing) is about to open this Friday at theatres around town.

The film is FORD v FERRARI starring Matt Damon as American automotive designer Carroll Shelby and Christian Bale as the fearless British race car drive Ken Miles.

This is the true story of how the two men battle corporate interference, the laws of physics and their own personal demons to build a revolutionary vehicle for the Ford Motor Company. Together they plan to compete against the race cars of Enzo Ferrari at the 24 hours of Le Mans in France in 1966.

Directed by James Mangold this film will have you sitting on the edge of your seat. The car races are amazing and Matt Damon and Christian Bale do an incredible job of acting. The film, besides being extremely entertaining, is also a fascinating glimpse into history.

It's definitely a 'must see' on the big screen.

Remember the song HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN? How could you not? There has been countless renditions of it by more singers than I could possibly name in this space. Well Eric Burdon, the English singer-songwriter and vocalist of the rock band The Animals and funk band War who made this traditional folk song famous in 1964 will be appearing Friday, November 18th at the Fred Kavli Theatre in Thousand Oaks and I will definitely be there.

He will be appearing of course with his group The Animals and this promises to be one electrifying concert. Eric has been a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame since 1994 and named one of the 100 Greatest Voices of All Time by Rolling Stone Magazine. He has one of the most distinctive and soulful voices in rock.

This is one show you don't want to miss. The Fred Kavli Theatre is located at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd in Thousand Oaks, CA. For tickets and more information go to or call the box office at (805) 449-2787.

Now if you're craving something a bit more mellow this weekend, head for The Descanso Gardens to see their Enchanted Forest of Light starting this Sunday, November 17th and playing through January 5th 2020.

Enchanted Forest of Light is an interactive nighttime experience unlike anything else in Los Angeles featuring a one mile walk through unique lighting experiences in some of the most beloved areas of Descanso Gardens.

There are a variety of large scale light displays, many of which are interactive, allowing visitors to manipulate the lights and sounds. If you've never been to Descanso Gardens just know that you are in for something very special. They are renowned for their botanical collections and spectacular seasonal horticultural display.

Descanso founder, E. Manchester Boddy preserved these 150 acres of gardens, woodlands and chaparral for future generations to experience the natural heritage and beauty of Southern California.

For tickets and more information go to They are located at 1418 Descanso Drive, LaCanada, Flintridge 91011.

Lastly I plan on ending the weekend this Sunday laughing and what better place to do it then at The Hudson Theatre where their all new TMI Hollywood Thanksgiving Show, featuring music and stand-up by Luke Null from Saturday Night Live and the new album 'Guitar Comic'. will be playing.

If you love SNL and love to hate TMZ then TMI HOLLYWOOD, LA'S longest running comedy show is a hilarious night out for you.

Every Sunday night TMI presents an all new 90 minutes of sketch comedy based on the stories of the week in entertainment, celebrity and pop culture. It's hosted each week by a celebrity guest and featuring live performances by some of Los Angeles' best up and coming musicians and stand-up comics.

Nothing is off limits. Nothing is too silly or trivial and nothing is too controversial. TMI with its own unique and hilarious take on a story will have you laughing so hard you may fall out of your chair.

The Hudson Theatre is located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd in Hollywood. For tickets and more information go to or call 323-856-4249.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, make it a fun one.


There are so many unique events going on this weekend and since I won't be able to attend all of them, I picked out a few of my favorites.

On Friday I will venture to Downtown LA to visit the acclaimed experiential immersive theme art Park WISDOME.LA.

I've been there in January for their amazing shows Samskara and this one promises to be just as awesome.

This weekend, November 7th and 8th, PINK FLOYD's Dark Side of the Moon will be playing live in a 360 dome by Think:EXP FT members of Pink Floyd, Jane's Addiction, Kid Rock, and Fishbone. The popular, new, full dome music and art venue in the Downtown LA Arts District transforms into a 360 degree virtual reality experience for'Dark Side Of The Moon.'

Think:EXP combines musical art and eye popping visuals with 3D sound, as an all star band plays Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon' album in its entirety. You will journey into the magical realms of virtual reality, iconic musical art and 3D sound for the mind-bending debut of Think-EXP who bring together the 10 piece above mentioned bands which includes world renown musicians: Scott Page from Pink Floyd, Roberta Freeman from Pink Floyd, Stephen Perkins from Jane's Addiction, Kenny Olson from Kid Rock/Hendrix Experience and Norwood Fisher from Fishbone.

On 8th and November 9th - 10th you can join Melvin Seals & JGF as they celebrate Jerry Garcia and the Grateful Dead with an immersive exploration of his music and art.

For tickets and information go to Wisdome.LA/dark-side-of-the-dome or call 323-689-6530. The park is located at 1147 Palmetto Street, LA.

Come Saturday I am also venturing Downtown again to see an amazing event entitled ART AT THE RENDON - RHYTHMS OF THE CITY. I've been to the one hundred year old vacant hotel The Rendon to see another one of their shows and it was incredible.

From November 8th to the 10th Art At The Rendon will present an immersive, site-specific experience that will fuse various styles of live music and dance into a simultaneous, collaborative performance that transforms the building itself into a musical instrument.

RHYTHMS OF THE CITY will highlight the musical and cultural diversity of Los Angeles while emphasizing the synergy of the city as a whole. 100 musicians will come together to perform a piece of music by Grammy winning composer Heitor Pereira - a love song to Los Angeles.

One building, 40 Rooms, 100 Musicians. Don't miss it.

100% of the proceeds will be donated to Play with Music, a Los Angeles non profit that brings music and technology education to undeserved youth. For tickets and more information go to The Rendon is located at 2055 7th Street, Downtown LA, 90021.

So after all this great music what could be better then to see a great film and Martin Scorsese's THE IRISHMAN is a masterpiece. The film directed by Scorsese and written by Steven Zairian was produced by Netflix, where you'll be able to see it at the end of November. But you should definitely see this film on the big screen, so check out your local theaters for the showtimes.

It stars Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino. The Irishman follows the misdeeds of Frank Sheehan (Robert DeNiro) a real life hit man for the Philadelphia mob who first cozies up to the head of the Bufalino crime family (Joe Pesci) and eventually becomes an enforcer for Teamsters chief Jimmy Hoffa (Al Pacino)

As the story crosses decades, Scorsese and his screenwriter use Sheeran as a narrative means of dipping in and out of the East Coast underworld, painting an expansive and disturbing portrait of American avarice that has ever been produced.

There is so much more I could say about this film but I won't because this is one film that should just be seen without spoilers. THE IRISHMAN is playing at theatres around Los Angeles.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, I hope you all have a fun one.

'Film Maudit 2.0' Inaugural Film Festival Comes to 'Highways'

Highways Performance Space & Gallery in Santa Monica will present four days dedicated to Outré Films its Inaugural Film Festival, Film Maudit 2.0, Thursday, November 14 Through Sunday, November 17, 2019.

Festival Founder and Highways’ Artistic Director, Patrick Kennelly, curates this festival program to include six feature films and 40 shorts from around the world, with work from Belgium, Canada, Columbia, Estonia, France, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, and the UK.

Feature film "Happy Face, by Alexandre Franchi, Film Maudit 2.0. Photo courtesy of Big Time PR.

Dedicated to outré films, the "Film Maudit 2.0 Film Festival" was inspired by French film auteur Jean Cocteau’s 1949 "Festival Du Film Maudit," which celebrated "overlooked and neglected at the time," with the term “film maudit” literally meaning “cursed films,” according to a release. The festival is to showcase “genre-driven cinema to blend narrative, documentary and experimental films that in style or subject matter are deliberately bold, extreme, confrontational or unusual,” including subject matter addressing socio-political issues, the taboo, and works that challenge artistic assumptions and sexual mores.

Each feature and short film in the program will make its Los Angeles premiere, with half of the selected films by female-identifying filmmakers, and awards are to be given for Best Narrative Feature, Best Experimental Feature, Best Narrative Short, Best Experimental Short, and Best Animated Short.

Kennelly, Highways’Artistic Director since 2017, received the 2008 Princess Grace Award for Theater and has received fellowships and grants toward the production of theater in Los Angeles. Highways Performance Space & Gallery has been one of Southern California’s most important non-profit alternative cultural centers for 30 years, encouraging radical artists from diverse communities to develop and present innovative new work in various media and promoting the development of contemporary socially involved artists and art forms. Under the helm of Executive Director, Leo Garcia, Highways has received special funding and support from organizations such as the California Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Warhol Foundation, and the Getty Grant Program.

Film Still from "Dollhouse: The Eradication of Female Subjectivity from American Popular Culture," by Nicole Brending, Film Maudit 2.0.

Festival Highlights Include:

The Los Angeles premiere of Lucas Heyne’s directing debut, MOPE, a feature-length drama co-written by Zack Newkirk and Heyne and produced by Parkside Pictures in association with Saxton Cinema and Uncooperative Pictures. Set in the San Fernando Valley, the drama is based on the tragic true story of best friends Steve Driver (Nathan Stewart-Jarrett) and Tom Dong (Kelly Sry), two low-end porn actors who sought fame but gained infamy. The film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and includes David Arquette as Rocket. Among the featured cast also are Brian Huskey, Max Adler, Tonya Cornelisse, Clayton Rohner, and Peggy Dunne.

LAKE MICHIGAN MONSTER (USA) – The Los Angeles premiere of Ryland Tews’ feature debut, Lake Michigan Monster - Winner of the Audience Award - Best International Film Award at the 2019 Fantasia Film Festival, is a whip-smart comedy that follows an eccentric ship captain and a crew of specialists as they plot revenge against the most mysterious creature of the deep – the Lake Michigan Monster. Among the featured cast are Ryland Brickson Cole Tews, Erick West, and Beulah Peters.

DOLLHOUSE (USA) – Other features include DOLLHOUSE: The Eradication of Female Subjectivity from American Popular Culture, winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative Feature and the George Stark Award at Slamdance 2019. A disturbingly entertaining film that charts the rise and fall of fictional child pop star Junie Spoons as her life story (and the ensuing disasters) unfold - as told by those who knew her. Revealing the hypocrisies of a society that preys on the talents and contributions of women, DOLLHOUSE is a scathing look at what it means to be female in a modern world. Among the featured cast are Nicole Brending, Sydney Bonar, and Aneikit Bonnel.

JESUS SHOWS YOU THE WAY TO THE HIGHWAY (Spain, Estonia, Latvia, Ethiopia, Romania, UK) – Written and directed by Miguel Llansó, Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway, an unexpectedly goofy sci-fi-adventure-comedy in the spirit of Team America: World Police, is a Spanish, Ethiopian and Estonian co-production that looks like nothing else out there, blending an afro-futurist outlook with the retro cool of the Cold War spy thriller. Among the featured cast are Daniel Tadesse, Guillermo Llansó, and Agustín Mateo.

FLESH CITY (Germany) – Flesh City, written and directed by Thorsten Fleisch, is an experimental horror film out of Germany. The film follows a young couple who stumbles into a dark, incomprehensible world in the basement of a nihilistic techno club, opening a portal to mutation and mayhem. Among the featured cast are Christian Serritiello, Eva Ferox, and Maria Hengge.

HAPPY FACE (Canada) – Desperate to become less shallow, Stan (Robin L'Houmeau), a handsome 19-year-old, deforms his face with bandages and attends a support group for disfigured people after he learns his cancer-ridden mother will undergo invasive facial surgery. But when he’s exposed as an impostor, Stan strikes a deal with Vanessa (Debbie Lynch-White) the domineering workshop leader. He stays with the group, and in exchange, trains them on how to use their facial differences as a weapon against our beauty-obsessed culture. Happy Face is filmed with real persons with facial differences playing fictionalized versions of themselves. The film also features Dean Perseo, David Roche, E.R. Ruiz, Alison Midstokke, and Noémie Kocher.

Film Still - Caterpillarplasty, director David Barlow-Krleina, an animated short, "Film Maudit 2.0."

SHORTS -  The festival’s program of shorts spreads over five categories, from animation to Avant-horror, to experimental works to the completely bizarre. The animated shorts vary–from storyline and technique–from "a prehistoric fantasy adventure" in with "Savage Death Valley", to a "sardonic take on social obsession with beauty" with "Caterpillarplasty," to stereotypes in rock culture with "Hunks", and a "mixed-media stop-motion piece about a motorcyclist riding between worlds" with "The Motorcyclist." Characters in the Avant-horror category are "a man who fantasizes about being devoured by an anima in "Muil", a "female professor trying to escape the vicious circle of the horror genre" with "The Film Machine," and a "man who makes a deal with the devil in order to learn the truth about dead bodies he finds in a motel" in "IRA."

In the experimental category, is a "first-person video diary of a young jaguar who escapes from the zoo and is recaptured with "Valerio’s Day Out," the "search for masculine connectivity featuring a transsexual transplant in the American South" with "The Eddies," an "endless train ride in the heat of Vietnam" with "Hanoied," and a film that "combines three moments of shared looking at Chicago’s Marina City in "Do It Again." And in the Bizarre Short format, works include the story of a "bullied teenage girl’s revenge" with "It’s Not Custard," a short about "three stoner buddies who confront the supernatural on a visit to a mountain getaway" in "Montana, GA," and "blood n' guts, the deep blue sea, tooth decay, and her lazy [manacing?] boyfriend add up to a really rough night of sleep for Alex" in "Wakey Wakey."

Each night will feature special events. "Cinematic Music Event" on Saturday, November 16, 2019, at midnight, and Joel Jerome and Jimi Cabeza de Vaca will perform live scores to Sergei Eisenstein's unfinished masterpiece Que Viva Mexico as well as the 1910 Thomas Edison produced "Frankenstein."

"Sushi Girl Screening with Cast & Crew" on Sunday, November 17, 2019, at 7:30 pm, will include a special screening of the stylized 2012 crime thriller, “Sushi Girl,” with performances by a rogue gallery of famous character actors including Mark Hamill ("Star Wars"), Tony Todd ("Candyman"), Michael Biehn ("Terminator"), Sonny Chiba ("Kill Bill"), James Duvall ("Donnie Darko"), Jeff Fahey ("Grindhouse") and Danny Trejo ("Machete.") Note: Sushi Girl cast and crew in attendance for this special event sponsored by Magnet Releasing pending availability.

Tickets for individual screenings are $10 each, and go on sale soon, with full festival passes offered at $40 for the entire four-day program.

Highways is at the 18th Street Arts Complex, 1651 18th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90404 - (310) 453-1755. To learn more and for tickets, visit Film Maudit 2.0.  Seating is limited and advance reservations for screenings are highly recommended.

Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – October 21 -27, 2019

Theatrical shows, Musicals, Improv, Workshops, and MORE, now registered on the Better Lemons calendar!

For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.

Skypilot One Act Festival

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The Goodbye Girl

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Tuesday Night Comics

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Dickens UnScripted by Impro Theatre at North Coast Rep

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How to Produce a Hollywood Fringe Show taught by Matthew Quinn

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Celebrity Autobiography

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Champ and His Four Women

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Eight Nights

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Film Maudit 2.0 - Highways Performance Space & Gallery

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Mope - Film Maudit 2.0 Film Festival

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Lake Michigan Monster - Film Maudit 2.0 Film Festival

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DOLLHOUSE: The Eradication of Female Subjectivity from American Popular Culture - Film Maudit 2.0 Film Festival

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Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway - Film Maudit 2.0 Film Festival

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Flesh City - Film Maudit 2.0 Film Festival

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HAPPY FACE - Film Maudit 2.0 Film Festival

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Sushi Girl Screening with Cast & Crew - Film Maudit 2.0 Film Festival

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THE BOOK THAT WON'T CLOSE (Confessions of A Love Addict)

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The Mystery of Edwin Drood

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The 7 Stages of Grieving

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Halloween to Día de los Muertos: 'Rooftop Screams' and 'Wood & Vine' Bring Spookylicious to 'Montalbán'

The Montalbán is hosting "Rooftop Screams" in their Fall Rooftop Movies Series, scheduled through October until November 1, 2019.

"Rooftop Screams" will feature a variety of choice films to make you scream, laugh, cry, and possibly even hide under your beach chair–all curated by The Montalbán–with a sprinkling of special events scheduled for individual films, such as live music before "The Mummy,"  a costume party for "Ghostbusters," and calaca in celebration of Día de los Muertos for "Coco."

For all, bring a date and your ID card. For "Coco," bring your family.

Hocus Pocus (1993) - Thursday, October 24, 2019*

This charmingly delicious wheel of cheese, directed by Kenny Ortega, stars Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and Sarah Jessica Parker, follows a trio of witches, who are resurrected by a teenage boy in Salem, Massachusetts on Halloween. A cult favorite for Halloween, the film is full of rich colors and covetable fashionable costumes, with a wonderful chemistry blend between the three actresses. It's an exercise in good, campy, Halloween fun.

"Another glorious morning. Makes me sick!"

Dawn Of The Dead (2004) - Friday, October 25, 2019*

Dawn of the Dead, directed by Zack Snyder, is a remake of George A. Romero's 1978 film. This film stars Sarah Polley, Ving Rhames, Jake Weber, and Mekhi Phifer. A handful of human survivors living in a shopping mall located in the fictional town are surrounded by swarms of zombies. The stuff of original zombie lore.

You perhaps might wish to eat your MontalBox Picnic Dinner first. Just a suggestion.

The Mummy (1999) - Saturday, October 26, 2019*

The 1999 American action horror film that stars Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, and Kevin J. O'Connor, with the glorious Arnold Vosloo as the reanimated mummy. And adventurer Rick O'Connell (Fraser) travels to Hamunaptra, the city of the dead, with a librarian and her brother, and accidentally awaken Imhotep from his cursed death sleep. Stylish and loaded with action and some choice one-liners make this a fun night at the movies and a great date movie.

The Sinister String Quartet will perform the score to "The Mummy" during a pre-show tribute.

Ghost Busters (1984) - Sunday, October 27, 2019*

"Who You Gonna Call?" Ghostbusters is quintessential Ivan Reitman as Director. Written by Dan Aykroyd (SNL) and Harold Ramis, this hilarious, charming, and visual effect-rich sci-fi fantasy romp stars Bill Murray, Aykroyd, and Ramis as the ectoplasmic slime-braving parapsychologists, Venkman, Stantz, and Spengler, respectively, who perform ghost-catching services in the haunt-ridden city of New York City. Two additional–and perhaps very best reasons–to see this film are for the sublime Sigourney Weaver and equally brilliant Rick Moranis whose respective characters at one point inhabit star-crossed poltergeist gods. Annie Potts, William Atherton, and Ernie Hudson round out this as close-to-perfect and insanely funny cast as any action-packed slapstick-laced slime-fest can get.

The screening of "Ghostbusters" includes a costume party, with special guests. But if your costumes come fully-functional to await the coming of Gozer the Destructor and Zuul the Gatekeeper, just remember that you ARE on a "rooftop." Don't cross the streams.

Be sure to photos in the Selfie Photo Booth.

Death Becomes Her (1992) - Tuesday, October 29, 2019*

Death Becomes Her is a brilliant black comedy, directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future) that stars Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn, and smooth as silk Isabella Rossellini. The Oscar-winning film for Best Visual Effects a pair of narcissistic and manipulative rival actresses each drink a magic potion, gaining eternal youth as well as a plethora of unpleasant side effects, resulting in some hysterically grotesque results. Again, great chemistry here between the actors, but this is prime choice Streep comedy!

"Do you remember where you parked the car?"

Beetlejuice (1998) - Wednesday, October 30, 2019*

Beetlejuice, by Halloween-friendly film auteur, Tim Burton, is a highly imaginative, hysterical romp about a pair of recently deceased newlyweds (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) decide to “haunt” their house in order to rid it of the obnoxious and pretentious uber-hip contemporary “townies” tenants. Annoyed at their failings, they employ a devious poltergeist named "Betelgeuse"—played by the ever-brilliant Michael Keaton–to scare away the new inhabitants, played by the exquisite Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones, Glenn Shadix, and Winona Ryder.


Get Out (2017) - Thursday, October 31, 2019*

This Oscar-winning horror for Best Picture and Best Screenplay—a first in the horror genre—written and directed by Jordan Peele, stars Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Lil Rel Howery, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root, and Catherine Keener in a terrifying story about a black photographer, Chris (Kaluuya), and Rose (Williams), his white girlfriend, who go to meet Rose's family where disturbing secrets are revealed.

Stay woke.

Coco (2018) - Friday, November 1

This vibrant, imaginative, and beautifully animated Oscar-winning film of Disney Pixar sends us on an adventure into the colorful The Land of the Dead, as aspiring young musician Miguel (Anthony Gonzalez) quests in search of his great-great-grandfather—a legend in his family and his world—for answers as to why the family bans music.

The family-friendly film is, in itself, is a beautiful, warm, heart-tugging celebration of the Día de los Muertos tradition.

Rooftop access is available to the whole family for this special event screening of “Coco.” Come dressed for this Día de los Muertos celebration and calaca for the event. Be sure to take photos in the Selfie Photo Booth.

Rooftop Movies, Silent Disco, The Bar, and Umami Burger, at The Montalbán, Hollywood, California, July 23, 2018. Photo by Monique A. LeBleu.

For the Rooftop Movies, the doors open at 6:00 p.m. so that early birds can stake out one of the beach chairs or love seats, get headphones, refreshments, settle in with MontalBox Picnic Boxes,  grab Umami Burgers and fries, examine the Hollywood rooftop view, play Jenga, or to just chill before the movie starts.  Movies are from 8:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

There are free MontalBags of candy for everyone, special Halloween elixirs all month long, and new MontalBox picnic dinners from Wood & Vine.

The MontalBox Picnic Box dinners from Wood & Vine are $29, contain a picnic dinner-for-two, and are available for pre-order direct from Wood & Vine (at Hollywood & Vine, across from The Pantages. See map**) Direct pick-up is available at the restaurant or have it delivered to the rooftop which a choice of pick-up times available.

The “Pork Shank Redemption” consists of a Watermelon Salad of romaine, watermelon, cantaloupe, mint, and green onion, Crackling Pork Shanks with a spicy honey glaze, Coleslaw, and Donut holes with vanilla dipping sauce. The “Easy Sliders” includes Scotch Eggs with pickles and beer mustard, Pulled Pork Sliders, with coleslaw and a brioche bun, Caesar salad, and Butterscotch Sweet Thyme Crumble. “Fistful of Greens” consists of 2 Garden Salad with vinaigrette, Mushroom Risotto with shiitake, oyster, and crimini mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, and Crispy Brussels Sprouts. “The Ten Condiments” includes chef choice charcuterie and cheese, baguette, pickles, olives, mustard, jam, and House Chips.

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#scotcheggs with Ryan @riborozo_eats

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At The Bar, the venue’s mixologist, Joel Ramos, will stir up elixirs exclusive to the month of October with a "Deadly Margarita," "White Russian Roulette," "BeetleJUICE," or a "FRESH BLOODy Mary."

Again, be sure to bring your ID for rooftop access. Please be advised that there is no ADA access for the rooftop screenings on the roof and that access to the rooftop is via stairs only. The Montalbán is a 100-year-old historic theatre currently with no elevator service.

Visit Rooftop Screams for more information.

*Please be advised that the evening event listed is 18 and older only.

Wood & Vine - 6280 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (at Vine Street at The Taft Building) - (323) 334-3360
Distance to The Montalbán - 0.1 miles (3 min. walk)


Rooftop Movies, Silent Disco, and The Bar at The Montalbán, Hollywood, California, July 23, 2018. Photo by Monique A. LeBleu.

Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – October 14 - 20, 2019

Theatrical shows, Staged Readings, and Musicals now registered on the Better Lemons calendar!

For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.


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Romeo and Juliet in Hell

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A History of World War II

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La Vie En Rose

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Relics of the Hypnotist War

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More Beautiful for Having Been Broken

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Ruthless! The Musical

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Silence! The Musical

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Big River: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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A Dark, Disturbing but Relevant Film, A Classic Play, Music That Will Have You Up On Your Feet and Get Ready To Laugh

To quote the Joker, 'What do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society that abandons him and treats him like trash?' 'You get what you f-ing deserve.' That about sums up the brilliant, dark, disturbing, profound film JOKER directed by Todd Phillips who also wrote it along with Scott Silver.

The film stars Joaquin Phoenix who gives an astonishing performance as Arthur Fleck/Joker proving once again he may just be one of the top ten great actors of our generation. Phoenix lost a lot of weight to play the part. He looks thin, frail, hungry. Phoenix is in practically ever scene and he is absolutely mesmerizing.

Before he becomes the Joker, Arthur is one of societies freaks. He's beaten up, made fun of, a misunderstood loner. All Arthur wants to do is make people laugh. After all he's a clown and that's what he's paid to do.

Arthur tells us he 'just doesn't want to feel so bad anymore.' But that's not to be. We see the mental, moral, emotional and physical make up of the man who becomes the Joker. This is not a comic book movie. It's a devastating film about one of the most iconic villains in cinema history but at the same time, it comments on our society and what's happening in this country now. 'Joker' opens in theaters Friday, October 4th. Get your tickets now.

Speaking of powerful, Arthur Miller's ALL MY SONS is just that. The play opened on Broadway on January 1947 and it's still relevant today. 'All My Sons' is based upon a true story. The Wright Aeronautical Corporation based in Ohio had conspired with army inspection officers to approve defective aircraft engines destined for military use.

The Tony winning play starts in the middle of the action, abruptly in August 1947. Joe Keller, a self made businessman and his wife Kate are visited by a neighbor Frank. At Kate's request Frank is trying to figure out the horoscope of the Kellers' missing son Larry, who disappeared three years earlier while serving in the military during World War II.

The entire play takes place over one day in the yard of the Keller's. Secrets of the past expose who is family and how we justify the sacrifice we make for family. 'All My Sons' is directed by Elina de Santos and she does an excellent job.

Pacific Resident Theatre is located at 705 1/2 Venice Blvd in Venice. The play is presented by the Co-op of PRT. This is an electrifying drama of family conflict, patriotic duty and personal greed and even though it is set in the aftermath of WW II I'm sure it's very relatable for events occurring in 2019.

For tickets go to

Now for something lighter. HARVELLS is a club that has been presenting Blues, Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop, Spoken Word, Burlesque and more since 1931. I've seen a lot of great acts there, but one of the best is called THE TOLEDO SHOW. It plays every Sundays at 9pm.

As quoted by the Los Angeles Times, Toledo is 'the coolest Cat working in Hollywood.' 'The show is top notch and really must be experienced. Toledo is considered on of the hottest acts in modern music.' Toledo is a Soul singer, Jazz man, poet, dancer, choreographer, connoisseur of haberdashery and probably one of the most dramatic and entertaining performers you will ever see.

He's toured all over the United States and Australia always getting rave reviews. His vocal styling's have been compared to Tom Waits, Marvin Gaye, Sly Stone and Barry White. How could it be any better? I'm seeing him again this Sunday and I can't wait. Oh if Burlesque is your thing, you will definitely get to see that as well. It's part of the show and if you like sexy female dancers called 'Dames' in the show, you'll love watching them hanging from rods installed near the ceiling of Harvelle's during a song.

Harvells is located at 1432 4th Street in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-395-1676 or go to

Lastly one of my favorite improv group takes place at the GROUNDLINGS. I've been going there for years and I've always laughed so hard that I almost fell off my chair. Their new show entitled ALL THE LEAVES ARE GROUNDLINGS opens this Friday, October 4th, and I promise you will love every minute of it.

For tickets call the box office 323-934-4747 or go to Some of our best comedians have come from The Groundlings School, including Kathy Griffith, Jon Lovitz and Laraine Newman just to name a few. ALL THE LEAVES ARE GROUNDLINGS plays Fridays at 8pm and Saturday at 8pm and 10pm.

The theatre is located at 7307 Melrose in West LA.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend people, make it a fun one.

JOAN OF ART: Never Is Now - A Powerful Play, A Must See Film About A True Legend and a Night of Magic

What makes a play memorable? For me it's one that moves me emotionally and one that makes me think. NEVER IS NOW is just such a play. There are some events in history that are very hard to visit, but at the same time, it's so important that we do just that, which brings me to this world premiere directed by Tony Abatemarco and Celia Mandela Rivera playing at the Skylight Theatre. I've seen numerous productions put on by this theatre company and have never been disappointed. They do excellent work and this production is no exception.

The play asks the question...What happens when people from diverse backgrounds experience the first hand accounts of ten survivors who were labeled 'undesirable' and thrust into Hitler's systematic genocide.?

Award winning playwright/producer Wendy Kout disturbingly links then and now so we may understand what breaks us apart and embrace what bonds us together. NEVER IS NOW according to Wendy is just the beginning of the conversation.

This is a theatre experience that you will be thinking about long after the curtain falls. I know I was. You can see this play Fridays at 8:30pm, Saturdays at 4pm & 8:30pm and Sundays at 2pm through October 27th.

Skylight Theatre is located at 1816 1/2 N Vermont Ave in East Hollywood, 90027. To purchase tickets go to or call 213-761-7061.

When I was a little girl my grandmother told me that her favorite singer was a woman named Judy Garland. After watching her films over the years, she became one of my favorite singers as well.

On Friday, September 27th, the film JUDY starring the brilliant Renee Zellweger opens and having seen it, I predict she will win the Oscar for Best Performance by an Actress. She absolutely nails the part. Not only is her portrayal of one of the world's greatest entertainers right on point, when Renee sings, she sounds just like Judy capturing Garland's emotional intensity.

JUDY takes place during the winter of 1968 when the singer arrived in London to perform a five week sold out run at The Talk of the Town. As she prepares for each show, we journey into her past and get to understand why the singer was so tormented and had to resort to drugs and alcohol to ease her pain.

The film features some of Judy's best known songs, celebrates her voice and shows the audience why she had such a desperate need for love and constant reassurance. Don't miss it!

Next to seeing great plays and films I love watching magic shows and that's exactly what I'll be doing this Saturday night. Ivan Amodei, one of my favorite magicians, will be performing at Janet & Ray Scherr Forum Theatre located at 2100 Thousand Oaks Blvd in Thousand Oaks. Ivan is considered to be one of today's most gifted illusionists.

His show is entitled Secrets & Illusions and having seen it twice before, I promise you, it's one you won't forget.

Ivan could easily settle for just amazing people, but he does so much more. Whether it's his world class sleight of hand, fantastic storytelling or mind-blowing mentalism, every 'trick' embodies a powerful truth about empowerment and hope. He has won six People's Choice Awards for Best Entertainer and his long running show Intimate Illusions was a Top Pick by the Los Angeles Times.

If you love magic as much as I do, than Ivan Amodei is the magician to see. For tickets or more information go to, or call the Civic Arts Plaza box office at 805-449-2787.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, make it a fun one.

Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – September 16 - 22, 2019

Theatrical shows, Film Festivals, Fringe Festivals, Dance, and Shakespeare NOW registered on the Better Lemons calendar!

For more shows visit our Calendar. For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.

Rooftop Screams at the Montalban

The Addams Family

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Evil Dead

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Hocus Pocus

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Dawn of the Dead

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The Mummy

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Get Out

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Theatrical Festivals, Shows, and Dance Performances

Gem of the Ocean

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Driving Wilde

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To Dad With Love: A Tribute to Buddy Ebsen

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Charlotte Stay Close

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My Name is Mommy

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Jack and the Giant

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Yoga Play

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Titus Andronicus

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Tonoccus McClain: Living A Why Not Life

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Buried Child

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The Chinese Lady

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Little Shop of Horrors

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Measure for Measure

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I Never Saw Another

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The Music Man

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Never is Now

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Miss Lilly Gets Boned

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The Dumb Waiter

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Romeo and Juliet

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HalfTruths, Full Plate

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Milkcrate Monologues Vol. 1

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TST Sum Poetry

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Conversations 'Bout the Girls

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Art is Useless When You're Being Mauled by a Bear

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Fourth Annual Binge Fringe Festival of FREE Theatre

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Masoch and Desade

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4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane

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Peter & the Wolf Presented by LA Youth Ballet

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JOAN OF ART - A Cinematic Masterpiece starring Brad Pitt, A Swinging Good Time, and Surviving the Darkest Time in History

AD ASTRA is a film set in the near future about one man's physical as well as psychological journey into space. The film is, in one word...brilliant.

It stars Brad Pitt who gives one of his best performances of his career as Astronaut Major Roy McBride who is sent on a deeply classified mission to investigate a rash of solar surges coming from Neptune that threatens the existence of Earth's survival. Roy's father Clifford (Tommy Lee Jones) who has been presumed dead for years is being blamed for the occurrence.

Clifford McBride a renowned astronaut was sent to Neptune 29 years ago to search for intelligent life, but he never returned. Now U.S. intelligence believes that Clifford is alive and responsible for the calamities that are taken place on our planet.

As Roy travels to the outer edges of the solar system to find his missing father and unravel a mystery that threatens the survival of our planet, his journey will uncover secrets that challenge the nature of human existence and our own place in the cosmos.

The film co-written by James Gray and Ethan Gross has stunning visuals, great special effects, but in the end, it's all about Brad Pitt.

Brad is in every scene and he is absolutely mesmerizing. This is a sci-fi film like no other. There are no aliens...just a man exploring outer space and most importantly his own inner world. Come Oscar time, Brad is definitely going to get a nod for his fine work.

AD ASTRA which is a popular Latin phrase meaning 'to the stars' opens in theaters nationwide on Friday September 20th. Do not miss it!

After exploring the depths of our galaxy I think it would be fun to get up and dance and by dance I mean 'swing' to the sounds of the best big band group around today, BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY.

In case you're unfamiliar with the group, they are a contemporary swing revival band from Southern California that in 2018 marked their 25th anniversary. Since its formation in the early nineties in Ventura, the band has toured virtually nonstop, performing on average, over 150 shows a year with record sales of over two million to date.

Their notable singles include 'Go Daddy-O', 'You & Me & the Bottle Makes 3 Tonight' and 'Mr. Pinstripe Suit.' I've seen them numerous times and can't wait to see them this Saturday evening, September 21st at The Canyon Club.

Doors open at 6pm and they go on at 9pm. The Canyon Club is located at 28912 Roadside Drive, Agoura Hills CA 91301. For tickets or more information call 818-879-5016 or go to

Two weeks ago I saw a beautiful, sad, fascinating play entitled THE CHINESE LADY which actually was a fascinating history lesson. The play is at the Greenway Court Theatre located at 544 North Fairfax Avenue in LA and one that I highly recommend.

Inspired by the true story of America's first female Chinese immigrant, THE CHINESE LADY is a dark, poetic, yet whimsical portrait of America through the eyes of a young Chinese woman, Afong Moy (the excellent Amy Shu).

Afong is just 14 years old when she's brought to the United States from Canton in 1834. She is put on display for the American public as 'The Chinese Lady.' For the next half century she performs for curious museum goers showing them how she eats, what she wears and the highlight of the event, how she walks with bound feet.

As the decades wear on, her celebrated sideshow comes to define and challenge her very sense of identity. Sharing the stage with Amy is Trieu Tran, a powerful actor who plays The Chinese Lady's translator. This is definitely 'a must see play.'

For tickets and show times please go to

Now there's another great music event going on this weekend and it's happening at the Shrine Auditorium. Lenny Kravitz, a four time GRAMMY award-winning singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist elevates the union of rock 'n roll, funk, blues and soul he patented in 1989 and will be performing for one night only on Saturday, September 21st.

He is all about raising vibration. In his own words, Lenny feels that 'we need to reach higher.' 'We need to be more thoughtful, spiritual, loving and open. He says 'we need to stop thinking of borders, boxes and imaginary forms of separation.' 'We're all on planet Earth together and we must do better.' After reading these words, I can promise you that this will be one amazing concert.

The Shrine is located at 665 West Jefferson Blvd in LA. To buy tickets or for more information call 213-748-5116 or go to

Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – September 9 - 15, 2019

Theatrical shows and Staged Readings NOW registered on the Better Lemons calendar!

For more shows visit our Calendar. For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.

Through A Magicians Eyes: Starring Blaise

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House Of Me

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The Music Of Brian Gallagher

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Thelma Houston: From Sunshower To Motown

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In Trousers

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Sight Unseen

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Aleichem Sholom! The wit and wisdom of Sholom Aleichem

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The Pack

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The Three Musketeers At North Coast Rep Theater School


More Guns!

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Opening Night: The Improvised Musical

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The Really Awesome Improv Show

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Canuck As F*ck

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Life In Boobs

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All My Sons

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Omniscope: Dance And Architecture Show

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Supportive White Parents

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To T, Or Not To T

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Steve Grand: The Pink Champagne Tour

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The Nosotros 49th Annual Golden Eagle Awards at The Montalbán Theatre

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JOAN OF ART: Movements at Union Station, a Powerful and Important Film, a Different Kind of Restaurant and a lot of Beer

This weekend has some really interesting and fun things going on starting with MOVEMENTS AT UNION STATION put on by METRO ART.

The show will be held for two consecutive Friday nights starting on August 2nd and ending August 9th. Heat-Wave featuring special guest Norio Sato will host this Friday. A Los Angeles based party series founded by DJs Daniel T and Wyatt Potts with a focus on international funk and disco records. Heat-Wave has hosted DJs from all over the world including Japan, Brazil, Korea, Mexico, Armenia, Greece, Germany and India creating a unique mix of music. The evening also serves as Heat-Wave's three year anniversary celebration.

Soto is the owner of the Flare Groove record shop in Osaka and the head of the Members record label. A true connoisseur of music, he also organizes the parties Metro, Norio AZ Music Radio and Positive Affair.

All that music is definitely going to give you an appetite so delicious meals will be served up by local favorite food trucks, The Bollywood Kitchen and Grilled Fraiche.

Admission for the event is free. For more information about events at Union Station, please visit For more info about Metro's art programs, please go to

Last night I saw a very powerful important film entitled LUCE and this is one that I would definitely call a 'must see.' It stars Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, Octavia Spencer and newcomer, the excellent Kelvin Harrison, Jr. The acting across the board is A plus.

Luce was a child soldier from war torn Africa who had the good fortune to be adopted by Amy Edgar (Naomi Watts) and her husband Peter (Tim Roth). Luce is an accomplished football player and debate team captain who harbors revolutionary beliefs and violent tendencies.

Everyone loves Luce. His smile can light up a room, but when his teacher, Harriet Wilson (Octavia Spencer) reads an essay he wrote, all hell breaks out.

This simmering drama with complex themes of race, privilege, youth, family and parenting is based on an off Broadway play written by JC Lee and is tightly directed by Julias Onah (The Cloverfield Paradox) and it's definitely one that will have you riveted to the screen. The film opens this Friday, August 2nd at select theatres.

Now I'm sure these events will leave you hungry and what better way to satisfy your need for food then to visit one of my favorite Vegan restaurants, PURA VITA which serves plant based Italian food. The restaurant is located at 8274 Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood. Pura Vita not only has great food but it has a beautiful atmosphere, great music and excellent service to go with all your delicious bites.

I've been a vegetarian for years but my husband is a major meat eater. I dragged him here kicking and screaming. Needless to say I won't have to do that again. He absolutely loved the food.


Pura Vita is a female owned and family operated restaurant. All their ingredients are sourced from locally grown organic farms and Italian imports for specialty items.

Everything is 100% vegan, non GMO, organic and made from scratch. The chef Tara Punzone, is an Italian American from my hometown of Brooklyn, New York who has been a vegan for over 30 years. She has converted all her family's traditional dishes to vegan versions  without compromise.

Now what would Italian food be without wine. No worries, they have a wine bar with amazing choices. Dining here is a unique dining experience that has the ambiance of a New York City restaurant with a traditional menu that reflects Southern Italy.

For more information go to or call 323 688-2303. They open at ll:30am. You will love it. I promise.

Now if wine isn't your thing then head on over to the zoo for BREW AT THE L.A. ZOO. We're talking about 40 breweries, live music, pop up zoo talks, animal discover stations and pub style grub. This is L.A.'s unique brew fest now in its ninth year. You will be able to sample local craft br

ews as well as ciders, wines and more.

Some of the craft beers will be 101 Cider House, 99 Cents Only, Anna's Cider, Braveheart Brewing, Brewery at Simmzy's Burbank, Brewyard Beer Company, Cladode Beer, Elysian Brewing, just to name a few.

The music lineup includes GEC Dance Party, Boombox Heroes, DJ Johnny Hawkes and Casual Encounters. The animals you will encounter include elephants, alligators, harbor seals, kangaroos, orangutans, birds of prey, jaguars, komodo dragons, and many more.

The event is Friday August 2nd from 7-11 pm with the last pour at 10:30pm. For more information and to purchase tickets go to

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, make it a fun one.

JOAN OF ART: Tarantino, Vice is Nice, and Art Share

I love Quentin Tarantino's films. I've seen every single one of the them more then twice and I know, having seen "Once Upon A Time In Hollywood" at a press screening early this week, I will definitely be seeing it again.

This time Tarantino takes us on a trip back to 1969. The place is Hollywood, where everything is changing, as TV star Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his longtime stunt double Cliff Booth (Brad Pitt) discover as they make their way around an industry that they hardly recognize anymore.

The ninth film from this writer/director features a large ensemble cast and multiple storylines in a tribute to the final moments of Hollywood's Golden Age. The film is touching, funny and knowing what winds up happening...horrifying.

"Once Upon A Time in Hollywood" opens in theatre July 26th. Also in the cast is Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, Luke Perry in his last role and the wonderful Margot Robbie who plays Sharon Tate capturing her childlike innocence and joy which adds to the audience's pain of knowing her fate.

Compared to all of Quentin's other films, this one is the least violent. It has plenty of humor and insight into a time long gone.

'Once Upon A Time in Hollywood' starts Friday and will be playing in theaters all around town, but get your tickets as soon as possible. I'm sure the film will be selling out quickly.

VICE IS NICE is the next thing on my list and it is not at all what it sounds like. This is an event put on by the Animal Rescue Alliance on Saturday, July 27th from 6:30pm to 11pm. You will have a blast at this event and at the same time make a big difference in the lives of animals are in need of a home.

Last year over 750 animal lovers attended VICE IS NICE and helped raise much needed funds for the Animal Rescue Alliance. This 10th annual event will be the best one ever. Music, dancing, drinks, food, raffle, casino games, tarot card reading and more.

The Animal Rescue Alliance rescues and finds loving homes for abandoned and abused companion and farmed animals. They offer sanctuary to those animals that have special needs and for which it is more difficult to find a good home. The animals come from a variety of backgrounds...from homeless strays and feral animals to rescues from kill shelters and hoarding situations.

Wherever and whenever they see an animal in distress, they help. This is one of my favorite organizations. All an animal wants is to be loved and in return they are forever grateful. I always say, an animal always knows when you save their life. Why not support an organization that does just that?

The Animal Rescue Alliance (TARA) is located at Rancho Providencia, a peaceful four acre ranch in Chatsworth. TARA is a haven for goats, horses, donkeys, parrots, geese, cats and dogs. Their address is 10945 Old Santa Susana Pass Road, Chatsworth, CA 91311.

For tickets and more information go to or call 818-256-0060.

THE FUTURE IS NOW is a free art show that starts on July 27th and runs through August 11th.

Art Share LA'S 'The Future Is Now" poses the question: What then, does our future look like? Will it be a warning? A call to Action? A celebration of ingenuity? Witness for yourself what the future for you, Los Angeles, and the world may hold. Intriguing? VERY.

Art Share LA is located downtown at 801 East 4th Place, Los Angeles. They are opened Wednesday-Sunday 1-6pm.

For more information call them at 213-687-4278 or email them not only about their upcoming shows, but submitting art work as well at...

While you are downtown you might want to head over to the REDCAT theatre to check out THE NEW ORIGINAL WORKS FESTIVAL 2019. At REDCAT you will find some of the world's most intriguing envelope-pushing avant-garde theatre, film, music and performance art.

This Annual New Original Works Festival launches nine new works by Los Angeles emerging and mid-career artists who are redefining the boundaries of contemporary performance to invent hybrid artistic disciplines, re-imagine traditions and confront urgent issues. All artistic teams receive free rehearsal space, tech support and artist fees.

The 16th Annual New Original Works Festival kicks off with a program of works by solo artist Sola Bamis; visual and performing artists, Zach Dorn and Danielle Dahl; choreographer Katherine Helen Fisher and Andrew Ondrejcak's THE MUSES renders a suite of lush and riotous dances that conjures a communal space in celebration of the divine feminine.

For more information and for future performances go to

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, make it a fun one people.