JOAN OF ART: Lots of Laughs in Long Beach, Dance at The Odyssey, 90's Beer Festival and One GroundBreaking Play

Even though the holidays are over there are still plenty of fun things to do, starting with the LONG BEACH COMIC FESTIVAL held at the Long Beach Convention Center.

This is a celebration of comic books and pop culture that showcases the exceptional works of talented writers, artists, illustrators, and creators of all types of pop culture.

You will find exhibitors promoting various products as well as entertaining and educational programs, guest signings, and meet & greet sessions with celebrities.

The event starts Saturday, January 11th from 10am - 6pm and Sunday the12th from 11am - 5pm. For information about the festival and the expo go to LongBeachComicExpo.com.

The Long Beach Convention Center is located at 300 East Ocean Boulevard in Long Beach 90802.

Another kind of entertainment can be found at The Odyssey Theatre in West Los Angeles. DANCE AT THE ODYSSEY begins on January 10th and runs through February 9th.

You will find L.A.'s most exciting dance here including the world premiere by String Theory, Acts of Matter and Dance Aegis. Also performing will be JA Collective and Slauson Rec, L.A. Contemporary Dance Company and Victoria Marks.

On Friday genre bending String Theory will premiere their work Landscapes & Layers which explores the intersection of sound and movement through interactive sculptures, dance, sound design and music.

Layering sound against the backdrop of contemporary dance, the ensemble creates a highly visual and textural world with an echo of the old west. I've seen this company and absolutely love them.

Also performing this weekend is Rebecca Lemme/Acts of Matter with special guest DANCE AEGIS. Rebecca is a choreographer, performer, educator and visual artist. This is another dance troupe you do not want to miss.

For more information and to purchase tickets go to OdysseyTheatre.com. The Odyssey is located at 2055 South Sepulveda Blvd. in West LA 90025.

Now I'm sure there are many of you that want to keep partying even though the holidays are over and what better place to do that is at the 90's BEER FESTIVAL on Saturday starting at 6:30pm until 10:00pm.

So put on your best flannel and grunge shirt and make your way downtown to enjoy unlimited samples of beers, ciders and specialty cocktails like the Capri Sun Cocktail cooler and the Red Gusher martini.

You will also enjoy live music from the nineties boy who will be taking you on a musical journey of hits over the entire decade.

All drinks and food are included in the ticket price. The festival takes place at Civic Center Studios 207 South Broadway in LA. For more information and to purchase tickets go to FeverUp.com.

A great way to end the weekend is making your way over to the Mark Taper to see the 2019 Tony nominated Best Play and Pulitzer Prize finalist WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME by famed writer Heidi Schreck.

This boundary breaking play breathes new life into our Constitution and imagines how it will affect the next generation of Americans.

Fifteen year old Heidi earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the United States. In this hilarious, hopeful and achingly human new play, she resurrects her teenage self in order to trace the profound relationship between four generations of women and the founding document that shaped their lives.

Schreck's timely and galvanizing play, directed by Oliver Butler became a sensation off Broadway last fall before transferring to Broadway where it received to Tony Award nominations among countless other accolades. This play is absolutely brilliant.

To purchase tickets go to CenterTheatreGroup.org. The Mark Taper is located at 135 North Grand Avenue, Downtown LA.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend people, make it a fun one and HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone.


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 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.


JOAN OF ART: DARK SIDE OF THE DOME, 100 MUSICIANS, AND ANOTHER SCORSESE MASTERPIECE

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 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.


JOAN OF ART: A Musical Satire, A Musical Fantasy, Art Universe and an UnCabaret

I love Broadway musicals and this weekend there are two I'm going to see starting with the wonderfully outrageous satire THE BOOK OF MORMON. First staged in 2011 in New York, the play is a satirical examination of Mormon beliefs and practices that ultimately endorses the positive power of love and service.

The script, lyrics and music were written by Trey Parker, Robert Lopez and Matt Stone. Trey and Matt are best known for creating the animated comedy South Park. Lopez co-wrote the music for the musical Avenue Q. 'The Book of Mormon' won the ten Tony Awards including one for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score.

I've seen it in New York City on Broadway and almost fell out of my chair laughing. It's that good. They go out of their way to break every boundary in the most unexpected ways.

The musical is playing at the Fred Kavli Theatre located at the Thousand Oaks Civic Plaza, 2100 East Thousand Oaks Blvd, Thousand Oaks, CA. The show plays July 10th and 11th at 7:30, Friday July 12th at 8:00pm, Saturday July 13th at 2:00pm and 8:00pm, Sunday July 14th at 1:00pm and 6:30pm.

To buy tickets or for more information go to CivicArtsPlaza.com or call 805-449-2787.

Now for a very different kind of musical...The Musical Theatre West Production of Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID at Carpenter Performing Arts Center located at 4350 East 7th Street in Long Beach.

The musical is based on one of Hans Christian Andersen's most beloved stories and the classic animated film of the same name.

This is a hauntingly beautiful love story for all ages. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner, Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater and a compelling book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will definitely capture your heart with its irresistible songs, including Under the Sea, Kiss The Girl and Part of Your World.

I loved the film so I know I'm definitely going to love this stage production. I've seen many productions by Musical Theatre West and they do great work.

The show runs Friday, July 12th at 8pm, Saturday, July 13th at 2pm and 8pm, Sunday, July 14th at 1pm and 6pm and the following two weekends. The last show is Sunday, July 28th at 6pm. For tickets or more information go to Musical.org or call 562-985-7000.

A different kind of art entitled ART UNIVERSE can be found at Westfield Century City starting on July 12th and ending on July 21st. This is an original production by Likuid Art and 360Art, inspired by paintings and photographs which will take you on a visual journey that transports each viewer to a series of artistic worlds - bringing each piece to life through this animated, virtual spectacle.

Guests will enter a fully immersive, 360 dome theater, outfitted with surround sound where they can lay back and enjoy an experience that combines the future of art, entertainment and technology.

Art Universe features original score and sound design by Dynamite Laser Bean, showcases work by various artists including Android Jones, Greg 'Craola' Simkins, Karen Bystedt, Risk and Chris Saunders.

Their work has been reimagined using 3D modeling, animation and compositing to bring still images to life putting the audience inside of the art. How cool is that?

For more information including ticket prices, dates and time and tickets click HERE. The Westfield Century City is located at 10250 Santa Monica Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Finally the best way to end any weekend is by laughing and the best place to go for that is Beth LaPides UNCABARET. This Sunday, July 14th Beth will host comedians Julia Sweeney, Moon Zappa, Moses Storm, Byron Bowers, Debra DiGiovanni, Jamie Bridgers and Terra Naomi.

UnCabaret takes place the second Sunday of every month, 7:30 at the Rockwell.

The original 'alt-comedy show is now celebrating it's 25th year. Beth invites the most original voices in comedy to share the stories ripped from the headlines of their own lives for one-time-only nights, orchestrated to uplift and inspire. it's intimate, conversational and funny.

The Rockwell Table and Stage is located at 1714 North Vermont in Los Angeles. For tickets go to UnCabaret.com. I guarantee you'll have a great time.

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


JOAN OF ART - Art in Pasadena, Protest, Eating Vegan, and the Heritage Square Museum

There are many great events going on this weekend but the ones I'm really interested in are all about 'art'. First I have to say if there's something I really want to see, I'll drive hours (well at least a couple of hours) to see it. So my first stop this Friday evening will be in Pasadena to see ART NIGHT.

This is a free evening "of art, music and entertainment as Pasadena's most prominent arts and cultural institutions swing open their door. Begin your journey at any of their 19 participating cultural institutions where free shuttles will be waiting to transport you to your next destination I was there last year where over 29,000 people experienced the excitement of ArtNight." according to their website. I loved it so much that of course I'm going back. To see the venues participating go to ArtNightPasadena.org.

Oh and I guarantee all this exploring will give you an appetite so I suggest you start the evening with a bite at one of Pasadena's very cool cafes. One of my favorites is MY VEGAN RESTAURANT located at 633 South Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena. Their phone number is 626-578-9017 and their website is MyVeganRestaurant.com.

Even if you're not a vegan you'll find plenty of delicious food to eat. Another awesome place is GREEN EARTH VEGAN CUISINE which is a family owned spot offering vegan dishes from America, Italy, Mexico, China, Thailand and Vietnam. They're at 37 S. Fair Oaks Avenue in Pasadena and their web site is GreenEarthVegan.com. Phone number is 626-584-0268. I've eaten their several times and have never been disappointed. In fact, right now just thinking about them is getting me hungry.

Now on Saturday evening I will be downtown for another art event which is more on the political side. Considering it's almost time for the mid term elections, this is a very important and inspiring place to be. It's called ART SHARE L.A.

Opening Reception for Protest
10/13/2018 7:00 PM—10:00 PM

ART SHARE L.A. is excited to announce a show that is politically inspired by the creative marches and protest signs as well as text based work. It is entitled appropriately, PROTEST. The event runs from Saturday the 13th until November 4th. It was inspired.

The show was created to motivate, provoke, inspire and most importantly get people talking. As Art Share L.A. likes to say 'Let's use our words.'. The show features 20 local artists. They are located at 801 East 4th Place, Los Angeles. Their phone number is 213-687-4278. To learn more about this fabulous group go to ArtShareLA.org.

Finally Sunday I'm taking a trip back in time to The Heritage Square Museum. "This is a living museum that explores the settlement and development of Southern California during its first 100 years of statehood. The eight historic structures located at the museum constructed during the Victorian era, were saved from demolition and brought here." Besides these incredible homes decorated with authentic victorian furniture, there's even a drugstore where you could buy a soda for 25 cents and a hot fudge sundae for the same price. Oh, if you want nuts, it was a nickel extra.

Heritage Square Museum is located at 3800 Homer Street Los Angeles. For more information go to HeritageSquare.org

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, have a great one.


Ticket Tuesday: Sliding Scale pricing! Live Art LA/LA: DURANGO 66, Jan 16-18

This event has a “Pay What You Will” option.
Presented as part of Pacific Standard Time Festival: Live Art LA/LA
A cavernous underground urban space will be transformed for this industrial-strength installation/performance using construction vehicles, tons of soil, and giant projections. Mexican performance collective Teatro Línea de Sombra's Durango 66 (or Duran66o) draws connections between the student protest movement in Mexico in the 1960s and the recent massacres in Mexico attributed to crime syndicates and government collusion, including the mass murders discovered in Durango in 2011 and other recent atrocities. The piece resumes the action taken by a group of students in Durango almost fifty years ago, seeking to reflect on how the social risks involved in privatization and corporate overexploitation of natural resources were not perceptible at the time.
Performed in Spanish and English, with English surtitles.
January 16-18, 8:30 pm
LOCATION: Lower Grand (REDCAT)
631 W. 2nd St, Los Angeles, 90012
Get your tickets at https://www.redcat.org/festival/lineadesombra. Pick them up at REDCAT Box Office and walk 5 minutes to Lower Grand performance area.
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Presentado como parte del Pacific Standard Time Festival: Live Art LA/LA
Un espacio urbano subterráneo será transformado por medio de este performance en una instalación industrial utilizando grúas, toneladas de tierra y proyecciones gigantes. Durango 66 (o Duran66o) del colectivo de performance mexicano Teatro Línea de Sombra traza conexiones entre el movimiento estudiantil de protesta en México en la década de 1960 y las recientes masacres en el país, cometidas por el crimen organizado en connivencia con el gobierno, incluyendo el descubrimiento de fosas comunes en Durango en 2011 y otras atrocidades. La pieza resume la acción tomada por un grupo de estudiantes en Durango hace casi cincuenta años e intenta pensar cómo los riesgos sociales involucrados en la privatización y la sobreexplotación corporativa de los recursos naturales no fueron percibidos en aquél entonces.
Presentación en español con supertítulos en inglés.
16-18 de enero, 8:30 pm
LUGAR: Lower Grand (REDCAT)
631 W. 2nd St, Los Angeles, 90012
https://www.redcat.org/festival/lineadesombra