Shari Barrett (SB): What would you like readers to know about your own theatrical background?
Kristin Towers-Rowles (KTR): I am a born and raised LA Arts girl, and grew up in and around the Theatre and Film industry. Some families have Law Practices, Accounting Firms, Car Dealerships—my entire family is a Performing Arts family who has made their living for generations because of Film, TV, and Theatre.
My grandmother was MGM leading lady Kathryn Grayson, who starred in over 20 musicals in the Golden Age of Hollywood. (“Kiss Me, Kate,” “Showboat,” “Anchors Away.”) She also took over for Julie Andrews as Guinevere in "Camelot" on Broadway, and played the role on the 1st National Tour. My Grandfather, Johnny Johnston, starred in movies (“Rock Around The Clock,” “Unchained”), was a recording artist, and was on Broadway in “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.” My father, Robert Towers, starred in “The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button” and has played hundreds of character roles in Film, TV, and Theatre.
After attending Hollywood High Performing Arts, I went to AMDA in NYC and trained as an actress, singer, and dancer. Even after moving back to LA from NYC to focus on Film and TV. I never stopped doing theatre; in fact, it was truly all I cared about. Not only was it what I loved most but it was also where I found my chosen family. I was very active in L.A. theatre but also did 7 national tours, worked almost an entire year at Sierra Rep in Northern California, worked in Asia, Europe, on Cruise Ships. I was truly living the dream! I had an apartment I saw a few times a year that was little more than an expensive closet. I would come home, re-pack and be off again.
After sustaining a life-altering back injury on tour in 2002, I stopped performing for 7 years, got married and had 3 children, now all accomplished young artists in their own right. Since returning back to work as an actress, singer, and director in 2009, I have been very fortunate to be onstage playing incredible roles in musicals and straight plays. Since then, I've been splitting my time onstage with also being a director at the helm of many award-winning productions, both musicals, and straight plays.
As a woman in a field still dominated by men, it has been wonderful to have the many opportunities I have had to be on stage as an actress and to direct, and have often been employed doing both at the same time. For me, the two go hand-in-hand since I'm a better actress because of my 360-perspective as a director. My understanding of direction comes from being an actress and knowing, first hand, what actors need to hear. And, quite frankly, rarely having had a director that has known how to communicate what they want and how to get me there, I try to be that director to the actors with whom I work.
(SB): What production(s) were you involved with when word went out you needed to immediately postpone/cancel the show?
(KTR): We had just finished an insanely difficult tech week for Andrew Lippa's "The Wild Party" at The Morgan-Wixson Theatre (MWT) in Santa Monica, which I directed. The entire production team, including Choreographer and Assistant Director, Michael Marchak, Musical Director, Daniel Koh, Stage Manager, Ryan Rowles, Producers Spencer Johnson, and Kristie Mattsson, and cast had been working ourselves sick to have a phenomenal show for opening night and we were more than ready. The show one of the toughest in the Contemporary Musical Theater canon and we had pulled no stops: gorgeous set design by Yelena Babinskaya, phenomenal lighting by Derek Jones, Jazz Age spectacular costumes by Ovation Award-winning Michael Mullen, Scenic Design by Orlando de la Paz, Props by Maggie Randolph, Intimacy Coordinator, Mia Schachter, a stage combat director, Amanda Newman–all designers new to the MWT–and we were excited our show was to be the flagship production for the new direction that theatre is moving in with more daring, broad, and diverse artistic choices. I have only directed one other show at The MWT before, "Company" in 2017, and was so elated to be back and entrusted with this rarely produced theatrical gem: a sexy, slick 20s musical for the 2020s. And everyone was ecstatic we would soon be opening.
(SB): How did you communicate the shutdown with your cast and production team?
(KTR): The President of the MWT Board, the wonderful Michael Heimos, along with a small group of invited friends and family, were present at our final dress rehearsal (for which we received a full standing ovation). Before that rehearsal, he chatted with our cast and team in a truthful and frank with us that the board was meeting that night to discuss the possibility of postponing the opening. This was March 12, , and at this point, there was news every hour about new guidelines for public gatherings. Everything was changing all the time and the board wanted to make the correct call for everyone: the audiences, the cast, and in light of everyone's safety.
At intermission, he told me the board had decided to halt the opening. I sat through the 2nd act with tears streaming down my face, watching the beautiful work we had all created, and then watching the audience jump to their feet at the curtain call. I wanted the audience to understand what they had just witnessed so I asked the President of the board to come up and tell the cast and the audience the news of our being postponed as I felt it would be better if we all heard this together to be able to support each other. Of course, everyone was in tears, the cast, the team, the audience, since we all were heartbroken that this incredible piece of theatre would have to wait. But mixed with that heartbreak was the feeling of joy for what we had all just experienced.
(SB): Are plans in place to present that production at a future date, or is the cancellation permanent?
(KTR): At this time, The MWT still plans on opening our show when the bans are all lifted and it is safe to do so. However, they have an entire season that will most likely need to shift so we have no idea what any of that will look like. It is surreal to think that our sets, costumes, lights, props--everything is just sitting there, frozen in time... waiting. Just like a Ghostlight awaiting our return to the stage.
(SB): What future productions on your schedule are also affected by the shutdown?
(KTR): I was supposed to be directing the North Carolina and National Tour productions of "The Lost Virginity Tour (TLVT)," a play by Cricket Daniel. I directed the L.A. Premiere last year at the McCadden Theatre and it was picked up by Jeanie Linders, creator of "Menopause The Musical," and I was brought on to direct. I've been told the show’s tour will have to wait until at least November. I had turned down other acting and directing work to do "TLVT," but now that we are in this crisis, none of it would have happened anyway since all theaters are dark.
I'm still in shock. I wake up and it takes me hours sometimes to wrap my head around the devastation to my own work and the work of all my colleagues. All of us are out of work. All of our projects are shelved. Everyone I know is suffering a collective grief. And I know that everyone is out of work right now, no matter what field you are in. But the devastation to the Arts, a field that constantly has to beg for money to stay afloat as it normally is, is just absolutely unfathomable. I know that many theatres I've loved and called home are hanging on by a thread and some may not make it through this. It's just unbearable.
(SB): How are you keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?
(KTR): I am not very savvy at Zoom or any of the online platforms but I have been happily supporting others. I'm part of an LA Arts Collective having virtual think tanks and meetings to figure out ways to get our work online. But in all honesty, I don't think theatre transfers well to being filmed and I don't enjoy the idea of taking something meant to be experienced live and reducing it to a flat-screen. Just my opinion.
That's where my grief really comes into play. My heart breaks because what we do, as performing artists and performing arts designers, is meant to be experienced in person, with others in attendance. It is a meeting of human beings all creating that moment together, either as the performer or as the audience member. It's symbiotic and that cannot happen watching something on a screen.
(SB): What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the L.A. Theatre community while we are all leaving the ghost light on and promising to return back to the stage soon?
(KTR): As I said earlier, I was injured for seven years and was unable to work. It was hard, depressing, and felt like the end of the world. And then the seven years ended and I was back with my tribe; and for the last 11 years, I've been creating nonstop.
The LA Theatre Community has been through a lot and here we all are. We are the storytellers, the dreamers, the music makers, and the world is beige without the color we bring. We will get through this, and through our unique voices, we will be the ones to teach future generations about it. But in the meantime, stay safe, stay home, and wash your hands! Let's make this end so we can all be back doing what makes our hearts sing.
IAMA Theatre Company presents the West Coast premiere of Found, a new musical inspired by Davy Rothbart’s popular Found magazine, which features scores of actual discarded notes and letters that have been “found” in the real world by everyday people.*
Enjoy this interview with the cast of “Found at The Los Angeles Theatre Center, playing through Mar 23rd. You can listen to this interview while commuting, while waiting in line at the grocery store or at an audition, backstage and even front of the stage. For tickets and more info Click here.
First up is a film I saw at a press screening this week and was really surprised by how good it was. Actually considering it was written and directed by horror maven Leigh Whannell ('Insidious: Chapter 2 & 3', 'Saw') I shouldn't have been that surprised.
The film is The Invisible Man starring the excellent Elizabeth Moss who never makes a wrong move. She's in practically every scene and absolutely nails it.
I always rate how scary a film is by how many times I jumped out of my seat and grabbed the arm of the stranger sitting next to me. I counted at least five times.
The Invisible Man is a 2020 science fiction horror film and a contemporary adaptation of the novel of the same name by H. G. Wells and a reboot of The Invisible Man film series.
It follows a woman who believes she is being haunted by her brilliant, wealthy, abusive husband, despite the fact that he has died from an apparent suicide.
The film has a couple great twists and scares you won't see coming, so if that's what you enjoy, you will not be disappointed. The Invisible Man produced by Universal opens in theaters this Friday, February 28th.
Next up is BURLESQUE RHAPSODY: A QUEEN TRIBUTE which will require you to take a little trip to Harvelle's in Long Beach.
The title of the show is Dirty Little Secrets and it pays tribute to the musical sounds of one of the most commercially successful bands of all time: QUEEN!.
Dirty Little Secrets brings their very own special touch to the amazing songs that Queen produced and at the same time pays tribute to the incredible talent of Freddie Mercury.
The show is a mix of comedy and brilliant burlesque performers and having seen it before, it's something you do not want to miss.
Dirty Little Secrets plays at Harvelle's at 201 East Broadway in Long Beach on Friday, February 28th. For tickets call 562-239-3700 or go to LongBeach.Harvelles.com.
Now if monsters are your thing then this weekend head on over to the Lovelace Studio Theatre at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts to see the world premiere of FRANKENSTEIN, an exuberant amalgamation of dynamic physical theatre, live music and experiential design bringing Mary Shelley's tale to life in a modern take that spotlights the dangers of unregulated technology.
Sourced predominantly after Shelley's novel the production features a cast of twelve all doubling as musicians . The show is created, staged and composed by Four Larks' Mat Sweeney with design and choreography by Sebastian Peters-Lazaro and libretto written with Jesse Rasmussen.
This is Shelley's nightmarish vision of inverted creation and a show you will remember long after the curtain falls.
The remaining performances are Friday, February 28th until Saturday March 7th 2929. To buy tickets and for more information go to TheWallis.org/Frankenstein.
The Wallis is located at 9390 North Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills 90210.
Whatever you choose to do this weekend people, make it a fun one.
Like a box of chocolates, here's a rich and varied collection of L.A. theatrical, comedy, magic, and variety shows, readings, and classic films to enjoy for your Valentine's, Galentine's, or Palentine's Weekend--and beyond--currently registered on Better Lemons' Calendar.
SHE LOVES ME - Romantic, charming and brimming with joy, this musical comedy reminds us that one kind deed can open up a world of possibilities. At Maraczek’s Parfumerie, clerks Georg and Amalia are constantly at odds. https://t.co/zIecVyUoTUpic.twitter.com/MrRERNnR9f
Mistakes Were Made coulda-woulda-shoulda - Returning in January 2020. Enjoy schadenfreude at its finest as you safely experience other people's mistakes (all of them all too true.) in the world premiere of Jerry Mayer's latest play. https://t.co/Ca9cyFTevqpic.twitter.com/Wvrjc7SC0V
Even though most people will have their minds on Super Bowl Sunday, there are still a lot of other fun things to do this upcoming weekend starting with seeing The Lula Washington Dance Theatre. I've seen them many times in the past and they never cease to blow me away. They are that good!
Lula Washington's company focuses on using dance to explore social and humanitarian issues, including aspects of African-American history, culture and life.
This brilliant ensemble of dancers will be celebrating their 40th anniversary on January 30th through February 1st at the Bram Goldsmith Theatre which is part of The Wallis Annenberg Center for The Performing Arts.
This company has built an international reputation for their earthiness, vitality, energy and humanism of its repertory, bringing charisma and interpretive power to every dance.
The performances are at 7:30pm on Thursday, January 30th, Friday, January 31st, and Saturday, February 1st. The Wallis is located at 9390 North Santa Monica Blvd. in Beverly Hills.
To purchase tickets go to TheWallis.org/Lula or call the box office at (310) 746-4000 from 10-5pm. This is definitely a 'must see' event.
Another event I go to every year is photo l.a.. The event is starting at 6pm today and running through Sunday, February 3rd. Once again it will be at the Barker Hangar at 3021 Airport Avenue in Santa Monica.
photo l.a. brings the best of the photography world to you with a collaborative platform that links dealers and collectors with a gamut of galleries from around the globe. If you're a lover of photography this is definitely the place to be.
They will have over 65 galleries represented along with 10,000 collectors and enthusiasts. Personally I can't wait.
To purchase tickets or to find out more information go to photola.com.
Now if you're in the mood for some Rock & Roll, then head down to the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills to see the legendary Jefferson Starship on Saturday night, February 1st.
The band rose from the ashes of another legendary San Francisco band, Hall of Fame inductees, Jefferson Airplane. Founder Paul Kantner who died in January 2016 at the age of 74 knew that combining powerful creative forces, personalities and talents could create something far greater than the sum of its parts and that's exactly what he did.
Between 1974 and 1984 Jefferson Starship released eight gold and platinum albums, twenty hit singles, sold out concerts worldwide and lived out legendary rock and roll escapades.
Today the Starship remains dedicated to breathing new life into the living catalog of the Jeffersonian legacy, going to the edge, pushing the sonic boundaries and staying true to the original spirit of the music.
The music that defined a generation and spanned decades is alive and well and more relevant than ever in pop culture. Songs such as Volunteers, White Rabbit, Wooden Ships, Somebody to Love, Today, Miracles, Count On Me, just to name a few, continues to reverberate throughout the collective consciousness today.
The Jefferson Starship go on at 9pm with doors opening at 6pm. The Canyon Club is located at 28912 Roadside Drive, Agoura Hills 91301-3304. To purchase tickets click here or call (888) 845-5006.
Lastly if you are done seeing all the Oscar nominated movies and want to see a film that is so much fun and so well acted, then head over to your local movie theatre and see Guy Ritchie's new film, The Gentlemen. I absolutely loved it.
It stars Charlie Hunnam, Matthew McConaughey, Michelle Dockery, Colin Farrell, and Hugh Grant who has never been better. Everyone in the cast absolutely nails their part. The film is funny, clever and full of twists and turns that you won't see coming. At least I didn't.
Without wanting to give too much away, The Gentlemen is the story of Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) who is an American expatriate who became rich by building a marijuana empire in London. When word gets out that he's looking to cash out of the business, it soon triggers an array of plots and schemes from those who want his fortune.
This action comedy opened wide and it's playing at an AMC theatre near you.
Whatever you do this weekend people, make it a great one.
Well first I have to say, besides reviewing films, I'm in the Writers Guild so this is the time of year I've seen so many films that they are all starting to blend together except for a few outstanding ones, which I've mentioned in my columns in the past.
To remind you: FORD VS. FERRARI, 1917, THE JOKER, THE IRISHMAN, THE FAREWELL, WILD ROSE, MARRIAGE STORY, AD ASTRA, CAPITAN MARVEL, AVENGERS END GAME, CATS, JO JO RABBIT AND DOLEMITE IS MY NAME are some of the films that I absolutely loved. There are probably many more but that's all I can remember right now.
Okay so this week I have to start off with the film that everybody has been waiting to see...STAR WARS: THE RISE OF THE SKYWALKER directed by J. J. Abrams. To my surprise this film (which I saw yesterday), which is the last one in this beloved epic, has gotten very mixed reviews. In fact some critics have downright hated it. I am not one of those critics. I actually loved it.
The film stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega and Oscar Isaac. Of course, C-3PO, Chewbacca, BB-8 are also back along with a few new characters. Basically it doesn't matter what I or anyone says about this movie. If you're a fan you will see it. If not, then you won't.
Personally I think you will walk out of the theatre satisfied and in my case teary eyed because in the end, it's about friendship and good vs. evil with good winning out. Something that I'm sure, considering what is going on in our country now, you all can relate to.
STAR WARS; THE RISE OF THE SKYWALKER opens in theaters this Friday, December 20th. Love to know what you think.
Next up and on a totally different note is Matthew Bourne's beautiful, mesmerizing, amazing SWAN LAKE playing at The Ahmanson. This is a spectacular production that will make you laugh, dazzle you and make you cry tears of joy.
The choreography is absolutely stunning. Bourne keeps the iconic elements of the original production loved by millions around the world, but he creates an exciting reimagining of this classic. It is thrilling, audacious, and emotional. This SWAN LAKE is perhaps still best known for replacing the female corps-de-ballet with a menacing male ensemble which shattered conventions turned tradition upside down and took the dance world by storm.
It won an Olivier Award in the UK and three Tony's on Broadway. Matthew Bourne's powerful interpretation of Tchaikovsky's masterpiece is a passionate and contemporary SWAN LAKE for our time.
For tickets and more information go to CenterTheatreGroup.org. It plays through January 5th, 2020. The Ahmanson is located at 135 North Grand Avenue, Downtown LA, 90012.
I have seen the show CATS three times...Once on Broadway. Once in Los Angeles at the now closed Schubert Theatre and once in Vancouver. My poor husband hated it the first time he saw it with me in New York, but somehow I convinced him to see it with me two more times. It didn't make any difference. He still hated it.
Now the film CATS is opening and I saw it yesterday. (Yes I did a double feature.) and I thought it was so unique, beautiful, touching with amazing choreography and beautiful acting and singing. All I wanted to do after is go home and hug my cat.
Tobe Hooper directed and it's based on T. S. Eliot's poetry collection 'Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.' Lee Hall and Tom Hooper wrote the screenplay with music by the great Andrew Lloyd Webber.
The film stars Judi Dench, James Corden, Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Ian McKellen, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson and newcomer Francesa Hayward. The story is simple and yet it's not. A tribe of cats must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.
The most famous and one of the most beautiful songs ever written is MEMORY and I have to admit, I kept waiting for Jennifer Hudson to sing this incredible piece of music. Now I am a very big fan of hers, but truly I did not like the way she sang the song. Not sure if it was the director's idea or hers. Having said that, if you are a fan of CATS you will love the film.
CATS opens in theatres this Friday, December 20th.
California natives QUITAPENAS will bring a tropical Latin heat to the holiday season at Union Station’s final Cocoa Concert on Friday, Dec. 20, at 6:30 p.m. on the South Patio, in collaboration with Metro Art Presents.
QUITAPENAS delivers a rhythmic contagion with a unique combination of Afro-Latin music. Inspired by música tropical y bailable, each song echoes a remix of history with a nod to the music of Angola, Peru, Colombia and Brazil. The band, whose name translates “to remove worries,” will have guests dancing their holiday cares away all evening.
Having lived in Peru, Columbia and Brazil for two years I am a very big fan of this genre. You can't help but feel happy while listening and moving to these incredible sounds.
The festive, family-friendly holiday celebration will transform the station into a winter wonderland featuring live music, Cocoa Bars with Elftenders, Santa selfies and a Candy Cane Lane where a custom neon photo-op will make your season bright alongside a soaring Candy Cane Queen and holiday-themed arts, crafts, interactive games and entertainment.
I'll be here Friday, dancing the night away and I suggest you all come down and join me.
Whatever you chose to do this weekend and upcoming week, I want to wish you all a very happy, fun, joyous and loving holiday and New Year. Hopefully all the hatred and anger of 2019 will end and 2020 will bring about a new way of doing things...a way that helps mankind, helps the planet and helps all the creatures on Planet Earth.
Rest your feet after all that shopping, get out of that L.A. holiday traffic for a few hours, and slip into a cozy theatre or concert venue during the Holidays!
Los Angeles theatre is alight with dozens of musicals, comedy, cabaret, magic, live radio plays, film and live mash-up productions, classic Dickens, music, dance, variety, and family-friendly shows themed to get you into the spirit of the season.
Here's is a healthy collection of shows available now and until you are just about ready to ring in the New Year.
ENSEMBLE THEATRE COMPANY (ETC) presents the second show of its 2019-20 Season, the can’t-miss, holiday event of the season, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY, adapted by Joe Landry, from the screenplay by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra & Jo Swerling and directed by ETC’s Director of Education and Outreach, Brian McDonald.
Actors Co-op Theatre Company is proud to present the Los Angeles premiere of a new adaptation of Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play, based on the 1947 Lux Radio Hour, adapted by Lance Arthur Smith, original songs and arrangements by Jon Lorenz, directed by Joseph Leo Bwarie.
"Miracle on 34th Street" brings a heartwarming and classic tale of faith, love, and the gift of miracles to the holiday season, featuring live Foley effects and a score of holiday carols this beautiful story is sure to ring in Christmas for all. OVATION RECOMMENDED PRODUCTION!!! At the Actors Co-op David Schall Theatre.
A Christmas Carol: The One-Man Play - The Porters of Hellsgate Theatre Company presents Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol: The One-Man Play, directed by frequent Porters collaborator Drina Durazo. "Charles Dickens was known for being a performer of his own works; his novels were written with such vivid theatricality that they were almost like plays," says Durazo. "We're aiming to recreate the experience of Dickens' public recitals with a A Christmas Carol, The One-Man Play, and it's been a great joy exploring this beloved classic by way of Krieger's dynamic performance."
Having most recently taken on the roles of Theseus in The Two Noble Kinsmen and director of Romeo and Juliet, Associate Artistic Director Gus Krieger portrays over thirty characters in this telling of Dickens' classic tale. Having assumed iconic roles for the company including Richard III, Shylock, Benedick, and King John, Krieger is thrilled to return to the boards of North Hollywood.
A Los Angeles holiday tradition is back with some show veterans for just a few dates in a special engagement! It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play takes place at KAWL, a struggling 1940s radio station that good-hearted owner Michael Anderson is barely keeping alive. He calls on some old friends (with big personalities) and some less-than-professional station employees to offer up a live radio version of Frank Capra’s touching masterpiece It’s a Wonderful Life in what might sadly be the station’s last live show. But it’s the holidays, a time when miracles can happen…
TROUBADOUR THEATER COMPANY continues its 25th SILVER ANNIVERSARY SEASON with "A CHRISTMAS CAROLE KING." Musical Direction by Derrick Finely, Directed and Adapted by Matt Walker, in a limited Engagement opening Friday, December 13, 2019, at The El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood!
For their 18th annual holiday offering, The Troubies have combined the soulful sounds of songstress Carole King with one of the most enduring stories of our time – Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” – and the result is SO FAR AWAY from what you'd expect!
Charles Dickens' classic Christmas tale, A Christmas Carol, at A Noise Within, Directed by Geoff Elliott & Julia Rodriguez-Elliott.
ANW’s delightfully festive, musically merry holiday tradition returns! Families love the inspirational story of Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and Scrooge—the perfect burst of boundless good cheer for the season, and beyond!
“Only a die-hard humbug could remain unmoved by so charming a yuletide treat.” – Los Angeles Times
A Christmas Carol at South Coast Repertory. This is the 40th year for the beloved Orange County holiday classic—and marks the final time that Hal Landon Jr. will portray everyone’s favorite curmudgeon, Ebenezer Scrooge. Nineteenth-century London comes to life when your family joins the SCR family for the holidays. Recapture the spirit of an old-fashioned Christmas with this timeless Dickens classic and all your favorite characters—Tiny Tim and the Cratchit family, the Fezziwigs, the Ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet-to-come. No children under the age of 6, please.
Instead of performing Charles Dickens' beloved holiday classic for the umpteenth time, actors decide to perform every Christmas story ever told -- plus Christmas traditions from around the world, seasonal icons from ancient times to topical pop-culture, and every carol ever sung. A madcap romp through the holiday season! An outrageous holiday romp for the whole family (except those who still believe in Santa!) Written by Michael Carleton, James FitzGerald and John K. Alvarez. Music by Will Knapp. Directed by Gary Lamb. Musical director: Sean Paxton.
Yippie ki yay, theatre goers! We're settling the debate, once and for all. Yes, "Die Hard" is a Christmas movie. But when John McClane meets Ralphie from "A Christmas Story," let's just say more than just your eye might get shot out! What better way to end the year than by mashing up classic Christmas movies like "It's a Wonderful Life" with characters from some of your favorite "Not A Christmas Movie" movies like "Batman Returns?" Mix in a few iconic movie props, a team of talented writers, directors and actors and let the holiday drama and hi-jinks ensue! The way only our RUSH play festival can! Great for the whole family!
Written by Tyler Bianchi, Evan Baughfman, Jeff Folschinsky, Holly Sidell, Samantha Grace, Adam Neubauer, Samantha & Lilia Marquis, Directed by Jonathan Fahn, Jennifer Novak Chun, Holly Witham, Corey Chappell,
Randy Marquis, Tom Jones & Stacy Ann Raposa. At the Actors Workout Studio.
Developed in the Antaeus Playwrights Lab, Eight Nights is the heartfelt, lyrical portrait of a German Jewish refugee haunted by her past...witnessed over the course of generations of the same family that inhabits a single apartment from 1949 to 2016. Set during the eight nights of Chanukah, and spanning eight decades of the protagonist’s life, Eight Nights weaves together heart-aching moments with life-affirming humor to call out the trauma experienced not only by concentration camp survivors, but by African American descendants of slavery, by interned Japanese Americans, and by current victims of war in Africa and the Middle East.
Dysfunctional Family Christmas - Misunderstandings, Mistaken Identities, and Holiday Chaos create a fun-filled Christmas Morning at the Logan Home.
Before they sell the family home, Dean and Joanne Logan want one perfect final Christmas with their adult children. Although, once Grandpa is found dead, their plans go haywire as they attempt to hide the body from the family.
"A sardonic, merrily subversive tale—just the antidote to bright-eyed joy before too many shopping days have passed. Worth more than a photo album full of Santas!" NY Newsday. When it was first broadcast on National Public Radio, The SantaLand Diaries generated more requests for tapes than any story in This American Life’s history except the death of Red Barber. Timothy Olyphant brought the story to life on stage off-Broadway, and for the fourth year in a row Patrick Censoplano dons the candy-cane tights for a Santa Monica Playhouse holiday celebration in this outrageously funny one-man play from NPR’s well-loved humorist David Sedaris about the author’s experiences as an unemployed writer taking a job as an elf at Macy’s department store in New York City, taking a wry look at how the holiday season brings out the best – and the worst – in us all. Toast the Holidays! Your ticket includes a pre-show glass of champagne or non-alcoholic eggnog.
The story of Sugar Plum Fairy, based on Loh’s original tale on This American Life, follows a 12-year-old Sandra and her over-the-top dream of landing the lead in the inevitable dance school production of The Nutcracker. Loh and friends are pitted against the vicious hierarchy of desirable roles in this well-weathered ballet, while she desperately yearns to be recognized as a pre-teen queen in her own right. The play features Shannon Holt and Tony Abatemarco in a rotation of quirky characters from her misfit friends to a rigid Russian ballet instructor, as well as being co-conspirators in spreading some literal holiday cheer around the theater. Wittily set to a classical music score (a la Disney’s Fantasia’s hippopotamus ballerinas), Sugar Plum Fairy is knitted together with moments of audience participation, and attendees are encouraged to dress in their most festive outfits, prepare for sugary showers of candy, and get photos for the ‘gram with Yuletide-themed set designs that include reindeer, an animatronic Santa, and even, if you’re lucky, Frosty the Snowman.
Sixteen actors play nearly 30 characters in a holiday spectacular that will put you in a festive mood! A play-within-a-play, this fast-paced comedy follows a small, LGBTQ+ community theatre as it struggles to pull together its annual holiday pageant.
Written by Joe Marshall, directed by Bree Pavey. The cast will feature (in alphabetical order) Cassandra Carmona, Matt Caudel, Noah Copfer, Andrew Cottrell, Madylin Sweeten Durrie, Dan Ellis, Javier Flores, Barbera Ann Howard, Sean James, Corey Klemow, Katy Laughlin, Ignacio Navarro, Alejandro Baquero Sanchez, Scottie Smith, Luke Sookdeo, and Bart Tangredi.
Rubicon Theatre audiences are invited to “rejoice and be plaid” this holiday season as Ventura’s non-profit professional theatre company presents the hilarious and heartwarming musical comedy PLAID TIDINGS in Ventura’s Downtown Cultural District. The production is directed by the original creator STUART ROSS, and the cast for PLAID TIDINGS includes SEAN BELL, ADOLPHO BLAIRE, JOSHUA DAVID CAVANAUGH and ZACHARY EDWARDS, all making their Rubicon Theatre debuts. The show includes holiday favorites such as “Cool Yule,” “Let it Snow,” and “Joy to the World”; a hysterically funny speed-date version of “The Ed Sullivan Show” featuring the Rockettes, the Chipmunks and The Vienna Boys Choir; and other memorable hits from the era, like “Sh-Boom,” “Fever” and “Hey There.”
The Los Angeles Times called PLAID TIDINGS “a many splendored thing.” Variety described the show as Musical utopia…the perfect show. And the Daily News called the show “heaven-sent holiday fare.”
“SANTASIA - A Holiday Comedy” created by Shaun and Brandon Loeser, directed by Shaun Loeser, is celebrating its 20th year. At the Whitefire Theatre, this Off-Broadway Hit and Critics’s Pick laugh out loud annual holiday romp, is the perfect blend of Yuletide snark and sentiment, and has been compared to "The Carol Burnett Show", "The Kids in the Hall", "In Living Color", "Saturday Night Live" and Vaudeville. This multi-media holiday special has it all including classic Rankin and Bass Claymation inspired movies, musical parodies, and heartfelt holiday moments.
The Wallis & For The Record’s biggest, record-breaking hit returns this holiday season! The multimedia concert celebration of one of the most beloved holiday films of all time is back by popular demand, now as a not-to-be-missed Los Angeles tradition. The team behind LA’s award-winning series For The Record transforms The Wallis’ Bram Goldsmith Theater into an immersive cinema, where the modern classic written by Richard Curtis is reborn as a revolutionary stage and screen event. To tell the story, the film and live action seamlessly intertwine throughout the London setting. Iconic scenes on screen share the stage with an all-star cast of singers and a 15-piece orchestra, as they reimagine the film’s hit soundtrack including “Christmas is All Around” and “Trouble With Love." Love Actually Live is a first-of-its-kind, theatrical cinema experience.
WARNING: This production features theatrical haze effects, adult content, and brief nudity. It is recommended for ages 13+.
The San Fernando Valley Master Chorale is excited to bring back one of the most anticipated concerts of the season, our annual holiday sing-along concert! Joining us on stage this year will be the delightful San Fernando Valley Youth Chorus, under the direction of Sean Carney.
Led by Artistic Director Charlie Kim and accompanied by Bob Remstein, expect to hear your favorite holiday classics along with John Rutter's "Gloria" accompanied by a brass quartet. And lots of audience participation! Join us for a night filled with fun, music, and holiday cheer for the whole family. All ages are welcome.
Ugly Sweater Contest: Oh, and don't forget to bring your ugly sweater! This year SFVMC will give away free tickets for a future concert to the audience member who brings the ugliest holiday sweater.
The Merry Little Christmas Show - BroadwayWorld Critics’ Pick and StageSceneLA Award-winner Scott Dreier, star of last season’s acclaimed hit "Doris and Me," returns to The Colony Theatre with his holiday concert. Featuring special guest Kurtis Simmons and music director Andy Langham. Dreier will take audiences back to the feel of cherished, classic, holiday TV specials hosted by Perry Como, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin, and others — paying homage while also providing his modern take with pop and jazz interpretations of holiday treasures. The performance will include holiday classics including "Sleigh Ride," "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "O Holy Night," "I’ve Got Your Love to Keep Me Warm," "Merry Christmas Darling," and many more. This show will transport you back to your living room sitting around the fireplace telling stories and sharing songs of the season.
How did a nice Evangelical Christian girl from Arizona wind up doing a one-woman comical cabaret show at Jewish Women’s Theatre (JWT) in Santa Monica? Audiences will laugh and maybe even sing along, as they learn the secrets of Anna Abbott’s dual life in her new solo show, "A Very Goyisha Hanukkah," playing two performances only at The Braid, JWT’s art and performance space.
The Group Rep presents A Twisted Christmas Carol, a world premiere comedy written by Phil Olson, directed by Doug Engalla, produced by Alyson York, a Texas-style spoof of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”
Talk-backs are after Sunday shows 12/21 and 01/04. Upstairs at the Group Rep on the second floor of the Lonny Chapman Theatre, 10900 Burbank Boulevard, North Hollywood 91601. The Upstairs venue is not handicapped accessible.
The Eight: Reindeer Monologues by Jeff Goode, Directed by Jerry Pilato & Erica Livingstone
Santa's Reindeer Tells All! With each deer's confession, the truth behind the shocking allegations becomes clearer and clearer and seems to implicate everyone from the littlest elf to the tainted Saint himself. Don't miss this expose of North Pole Naughtiness.
Starring David Janisch as Dasher, Eric Trigg as Comet, Christine McCoy as Dancer, Andrew Walters as Hollywood (Prancer), Mclain Parker as Cupid, Melanie Mino as Blitzen, Michael Adler as Donner and Kellen Gold as Vixen.
Emmy Award-winner Leslie Jordan returns to Catalina Jazz Club with his hilarious holiday show "Deck Them Halls, Y’All" for one performance only. Best known for his stand-out roles in "Sordid Lives," "American Horror Story," "The Help," as the beloved Beverley Leslie on "Will & Grace" (for which he is currently shooting the final season), and most recently as Sid on the Fox series "The Cool Kids," Leslie Jordan has charmed fans for over four decades.
His hilarious holiday tales are not to be missed. Jordan’s special guest will be country-pop singer Brandon Stansell.
Los Angeles Times calls Impro Theatre “Amazing!” One of the funniest evenings as the troupe spins an entire play into comedy gold right before your eyes. Starting with an audience suggestion, the troupe creates completely improvised, full-length plays in the styles of the world’s greatest writers. Join us this holiday season for a hilarious comedy inspired by the works of Charles Dickens. Comic portrayals, cruel melodrama and heartbreaking tenderness explode onto the teeming streets of Victorian London. A fun and festive evening of comedy.
Laguna Playhouse brings back its holiday tradition! A Special, Stripped Down to the Abs, Musical Event! "The Skivvies: I Touch My Elf" at Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach!
With Special Guest Appearances by Broadway’s Nick Adams, jackbenny and more! Ho, Ho, Ho, you don’t want to miss this show!
Broadway stars Lauren Molina (Rock of Ages, Sweeney Todd) and Nick Cearley (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All Shook Up) return to the Laguna Playhouse for two nights of the most outrageous holiday show of the season. This undie-rock, comedy pop, award-winning duo perform stripped-down, mashed-up versions of holiday favorites and more. Expect to see ukulele, electric cello and an array of zany instruments.
BenDeLaCreme and Jinkx Monsoon are back in an all-new two-queen holiday extravaganza at The Montalbán!
After last year’s wildly successful "To Jesus, Thanks for Everything," Jinkx and DeLa return to the stage this holiday season in a high-spirited scramble to maintain your interest! DeLa is all sugar and Jinkx is all spice — but how do these two very different gals deal with the stress of the holidays? A little song, a lot of eggnog, and theatres full of people looking at them. Yup ... all they want for Christmas is attention!
Returning to Hollywood by popular demand, platinum-selling recording artist and Tony Award-nominated actor Sam Harris brings his new holiday show to Catalina Jazz Club for one performance only. Led by his longtime musical director Todd Schroeder, Harris will perform Broadway, pop, and holiday fare.
The Theatre School @ North Coast Rep presents "A Charlie Brown Christmas" by Charles M. Schulz, based on the television special by Bill Melendez and Lee Mendelson Stage Adaptation by Eric Schaeffer, and by Special Arrangement with Arthur Whitelaw and Ruby Persson.
When Charlie Brown complains about the overwhelming materialism he sees among everyone during the Christmas season, Lucy suggests that he become director of the school Christmas pageant. Charlie Brown accepts, but this proves to be a frustrating endeavor. When an attempt to restore the proper holiday spirit with a forlorn little Christmas tree fails, he needs Linus’ help to discover the real meaning of Christmas.
The Nutcracker from critically acclaimed Inland Pacific Ballet,celebrating 25 years. The Nutcracker comes to life with this magnificent ballet comprised of beautiful sets, dazzling costumes, and more than 80 dancers on stage. The Nutcracker tells the story of a young girl who receives a magical nutcracker doll on Christmas Eve and sets out on a wondrous journey to the Land of the Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets. Toy soldiers, life-sized dancing dolls, and a fantastic dream with battling mice, dancing snowflakes, waltzing flowers, and the delightful Sugar Plum Fairy stir the imagination. Meet the cast after the performance for photos and autographs. This is family entertainment at its best.
Experience the joy of the season as Jenny Wong, GMCLA’s interim Artistic Director and Associate Conductor of the LA Master Chorale, leads GMCLA in choral classics, timeless Christmas carols, a medley of hits from the beloved film Love Actually, Broadway bonanzas, and Mariah Carey’s anthem – it’s all you’ll want for Christmas. A Los Angeles tradition for the entire family, this concert will be truly Spectacular!
Curated by Performances à la Carte, Jazz ‘n Paz continues with its’ seasonal intimate jazz series showcasing some of Los Angeles’ finest jazz musicians. To ring in the holidays, the December concert, Carols of the Belles, features the vocals of the iconic Barbara Morrison, Jamie Perez, and Renee Myara, at Pasadena’s Neighborhood UU Church. In a jazzy program of standards and holiday favorites, the musicians behind the angelic voices feature Michael Ragonese on piano, James Yoshizawa on drums, Danny Janklow on sax and flute, and Luca Alemmano on bass...A Holiday Champagne Party will follow the concert and may be added to any concert ticket purchase online for an additional $12. The party will feature appetizers, desserts, champagne and non-alcoholic punch along with music, dancing, comedic holiday improv antics and capped off with a Holiday Sing-A-Long.
L.A.’s largest holiday spectacular celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2019 is at The Music Center, Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Join this year’s co-hosts, internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzmán and actress Marissa Ramirez (Blue Bloods), for this free, three-hour holiday show featuring 25 music ensembles, choirs and dance companies from the many neighborhoods and cultures that make up L.A. Once again, PBS SoCal will host a live broadcast of the event that has been a Los Angeles holiday tradition since 1959, while KCET will air the program twice on Christmas Day.
Legendary Cuban jazz trumpet player Arturo Sandoval, accompanied by his world-renowned band, will kick off this year’s celebration with a medley of holiday songs. Returning favorites include Hālau Keali’i o Nālani & the Daniel Ho Trio, the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, gospel choir Greater LA Cathedral Choir, Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy and folklorico troupe Pacifico Dance Company. Some of this year’s newcomers include Latin folk band Cuñao, the dancers and drummers of African Soul International and a cappella group Street Corner Renaissance.
All-female, two-time GRAMMY award-winning Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea will team up with their “brother” band Mariachi Espectacular, and Jewish cultural revival band Mostly Kosher will share the stage with Urban Voices Project, a choir made up of men and women surviving homelessness on Skid Row. Those who can't make it to The Music Center on Dec. 24 can watch the live broadcast on PBS SoCal starting at 3 p.m., with the rebroadcast on KCET on Christmas Day from 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. – 10 p.m., or online at pbssocal.org/holidaycelebration.
It's the most BEAUTIFUL time of the year and for their 18th annual holiday offering, the ridiculously talented TROUBIES, who I've seen more times than I can remember, is presenting A CHRISTMAS CAROLE KING.
The show adapted and directed by Matt Walker has combined the soulful sounds of songstress Carole King with one of the most enduring stories of our time, 'A Christmas Carol' by Charles Dickens and I promise, the result will be so far away from anything you'd expect.
To give you a hint of how it's going to go, Will Ebenezer Scrooge wakes up ONE FINE DAY feeling like a NATURAL WOMAN and eventually we'll find out if he breaks his CHAINS after he's shown what's truly BEAUTIFUL. You get the idea.
The Troubies are an amazing theatrical company and along with the rockin sounds of the Troubadorchestra you will definitely FEEL THE EARTH MOVE UNDER YOUR FEET.
The Troubadour Theater Company continues its 25th Silver anniversary season bringing the Los Angeles audiences a quarter century of mayhem. If you've never seen this incredibly funny, brilliant group now is your chance to be blown away by their creativity, originality, and their talent.
Their fast-paced laugh filled, loose adaptations of classic plays, literature and film, as well as their original productions and hilarious sketch material, make this company an exciting experience for theatre goers of any age.
The show opens Friday December 13th at 8pm and runs through Sunday December 22nd at 4pm at the El Portal Theatre, 5269 Lankershim Blvd in North Hollywood. Performances are Fridays at 8pm, Saturdays at 4pm & 8pm and Sundays at 4pm with an added performance on Thursday, December 19th at 8pm.
For tickets and more information go to ElPortalTheatre.com or by calling the box office at 818-508-4200 or 866-811-4111. Don't miss it!
'There is a bomb in Centennial Park. You have thirty minutes.'. The world is first introduced to RICHARD JEWELL (brilliantly portrayed by Paul Walter Hauser) as the security guard who reports finding the device at the 1996 Atlanta Games. It was his quick thinking and swift actions saving countless lives that made him an instant hero. But within days, this law enforcement wannabe became the FBI's number one suspect, vilified in the court of public opinion with his life ripped apart.
There's no doubt that Clint Eastwood, who directed this film, is a brilliant filmmaker. Sam Rockwell, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm and rest of the cast are all excellent and the story is incredibly gripping and extremely heartbreaking watching Jewell's life fall apart when he was only trying to do the right thing.
My one problem with the movie, and it's not a small one, is Eastwood's inaccurate portrayal of the now deceased, real life reporter Kathy Scruggs (Olivia Wilde) who broke the story in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He shows her willing to do anything for a story including sleeping with the investigation's lead agent (Jon Hamm).
The Atlanta Journal has said that there is absolutely no evidence she slept with anyone to get the story and they along with Scrugg's family, have
demanded a prominent disclaimer but both Eastwood and Warner Bros, the distributor of the film, has refused their request.
Having said that and even though I completely disagree with Eastwood's politics, I still recommend seeing this powerful, gripping film which opens in theaters Friday December 13th.
Now for something lighter...JAMES HOOD'S MESMERIC 360. This is a unique visual music journey designed to stimulate the mind and senses, bringing together the music of Grammy nominated composer and percussionist James Hood together with visually hypnotic, 3D animated art curated from artists around the world.
This is one of the most successful fulldome music shows ever. You will experience the magic of this 360 degree immersive show at The Vortex Dome in Downtown LA. This family friendly, mind blowing projection and live experience is designed to relieve stress and is suitable for all ages 6 years and above.
I've seen this show before and I know I'll be back many times over. The Vortex Dome is located at Los Angeles Center Studios, 450 South Bixel Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017. It takes place Saturday, December 14th and show times are 5:00pm, 6:30pm and 8:00pm. For tickets and more information you can call 213-534-3720 or go to JamesHood.com/mesmerica360.
Finally what would the Christmas season be without a BOAT PARADE and on Saturday December 14th from 5:55pm to 8pm you can watch a trail of lighted boats cruise through the main channel of Marina del Rey. You should arrive early to grab a spot on the lawn at Chace Park or a good photo spot at Fisherman's Village, two of the most popular viewing places.
Narration on a PA system is available at both locations. This year the parade's theme is 'Kids Make Holidays Bright.' A Brief fireworks show starts at 5:55pm to announce the start of the parade. Admission is free. I've been going to this event for more years than I can remember and it has always been fantastic.
Chace Park is located at 13650 Mindanao Way in Marina del Rey, 90292.
Whatever you choose to do this weekend, make it a fun one people.
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 BAPacThousandOaks.com 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 DescansoGardens.org. 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 TMIHollywood.com 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.
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 ArtattheRendon.com. 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.
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:
MOPE (USA) –
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.