FIRST RULE OF COMEDY -- BE FUNNY. NOT SO EASY, FOLKS

Sally Field and Tom Hanks in the film "Punchline" At some point in the 1988 film Punchline, starring Sally Field and Tom Hanks as aspiring stand-up comics, Field asks Hanks:  "How do you know if something is really funny?"  Hanks (as the Jewish comic Steven Gold) tells her...

Pasadena Film Festival, part 3: THE WORLD IS BROKEN. CAN IT BE FIXED?

HIPSTER'S LAMENT The ABC-TV dramatic series American Crime is just two episodes into its third season (Sundays 10-11 pm), and it's already a crashing bore.  As usual, the series is pursuing multiple storylines, which include a Mexican man searching for his lost son in the fruit-picking fields, the many Grapes...

Pasadena Film Festival Roundup, part 2: FEARING (AND BEING) THE OTHER

The great 20th Century theater critic Harold Clurman said that the relative health of any society could be measured by the vitality of its theater scene.  I'm not sure that this is true anymore in the age of Trump, where his election can be viewed as the triumph of...

Pasadena Film Festival Roundup, Pt. 1: Funny in Search of Money

Bruce Ladd is Beethoven and Nan McNamara is a modern day musicologist in 33 Variations at the Actors Co-op Hipster Tip of the Week:  33 VARIATIONS by Moises Kaufman at The Actors Coop.  They just added two more performances - Saturday the 25th at 8 and Sunday the...

LA LA LAND, Part 2b: LA-BASED ACTRESSES HAVE A LOT TO SAY!

HIPSTER BLAST FROM THE PAST:  25 years ago, the Twisted Hipster had a play running Off-Broadway that got 17 rave reviews, including from the NY Times.  He got a call to come pitch movie ideas to Dustin Hoffman, at that time the Hipster's favorite actor, who had won the Oscar...

A Modern Musical Shines Light on a West Coast Landmark

How “La La Land” is saving jazz in Los Angeles In a recent interview, Damien Chazelle (Director of “La La Land”), said that his initial impression of Los Angeles being a cultural vacuum changed after he moved here from the East Coast.  He found that LA is a fascinating city,...

LIVING IN LA LA LAND, part I

Love it, hate it or feel indifferent about it, Damien Chazelle's film La La Land is more than just a movie for those of us in the arts living in the Hollywood area.   Dealing as it does with the unexpected and yet somehow inevitable love affair between two aspiring artists,...

Heather Lipson Bell

Heather Lipson Bell Heather Lipson Bell is a genuine Los Angeles hyphenate; dancer, choreographer, actress, educator and entrepreneur.  She has carved out a successful career by following her heart and soul, connecting experiences and collaborators and weaving them together to create a tapestry of creativity, artistry,...