JOAN OF ART: Three Different Kinds of Theatre and A Celebration of Beer - What Could Be Better?

Last weekend I saw a powerful, emotionally moving, beautifully acted one woman show entitled The Meatball Chronicles and I highly recommend it. If you do only one thing this weekend, run over to the he Hudson Theatre in Hollywood and get your tickets for this excellent must see production.

This is actress Debrianna Mansini's story and one you won't forget. Mansini is a brilliant storyteller and she takes us on a journey of her life and asks the question, 'What happens when from the day your are born you are made to feel invisible by your mother, who just happens to be a narcissist.'

The Meatball Chronicles which first played last year at the Fringe Festival follows Debrianna's journey through humorous and sometimes heart wrenching meals that align with stories of her childhood, her relationships with men and in particular her complicated relationship to her mother.

Mansini crafts the piece in a way that transcends her own story into universal themes that anyone who has a family can love and understand. As she kneads the dough and thickens the sauce through each Italian recipe, the stories associated with those recipes reveal the complex ways that families cope, laugh, grieve and show their love through food.

To purchase tickets go to OnStage411.com/meatball. The show plays Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm. The Hudson Theatre is located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd, Hollywood. The play closes on April 14, 2019.

On Friday I'll be going to another kind of theatre and one I'm a huge fan of...SLAM POETRY which will be playing at Greenway Court Theatre, 544 North Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles from April 5th - April 27th. This is the 3rd Annual LA Get Down Festival celebrating hip-hop and the spoken word.

Da Poetry Lounge Co-Founder Shihan Van Clief serves as the Festival's Artistic Director. The festival features: Atlanta based Poetry vs. Hip-Hop; invitational team and Indie slams from all over the country from youths to adults. If you're a fan of this medium then this is an event you do not want to miss. Also April just happens to be National Poetry Month.

Spoken word expands all ages and cultures. Besides watching the various shows there will be a diverse schedule of talent leading various poetry workshops availabe for you to take. You've never experienced poetry like you will at the LA GET DOWN FESTIVAL

To purchase tickets go to [email protected] or call 323-655-7679.

Come Saturday evening I'm headed downtown to see BIRDLAND BLUE a play with music that takes us back in time. The year is 1959. The place is Broadway and 52nd Street in New York City, the nightblub is the world famous BIRDLAND which was the legendary center of the jazz world, where the glitterati of Broadway, Hollywood and the sports world regularly filled its 500 seats.

In August of 1959 the biggest star in jazz was Miles Davis who earlier that year recorded KIND OF BLUE, regarded then and now as the most innovative and best jazz album of all time.

BIRDLAND BLUE is a behind the scenes look at Miles on one evening. He flirts with a beautiful reporter for a jazz magazine. He copes with division within his rank as two of his musicians Julius Cannonball Adderley and John Coltrane are on the verge of leaving the Sextet to start their own groups. He also deals with substance abuse problems, his own and that of one of his musicians.

The play is put on by the Robey Theatre Company and promises to be a very memorable one.

To purchase tickets go to TheLATC.org or call 866-811-4111. The play runs through Sunday May 12. Showtimes are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3:00 pm except Sundays April 21 and May 12 when the showtime will be 7pm.

So in between experiencing alll this culture you might get thirsty so luckily on Saturday April 6th from 12-8pm at Los Angeles Center Studios located at 450 South Bixel Street, the11th annual LA BEER FESTIVAL is taking place.

The event will feature dozens of international and domestic beers, over a dozen food trucks as well as live entertainment. Your general admission ticket ($45) includes unlimited beer tastings with food sold separately.

If you buy a Connoisseur's Ticket ($85) you get air conditioned bathrooms (that alone is worth the extra money) a taco bar, an indoor/outdoor event deck overlooking the event featuring limited beers/one-offs that are not available with general admission.

I went last year and it was a blast. For more information visit LABeerFest.la.

Whatever you do this weekend folks, have a great one.


The ‘59th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration' Free Music and Dance

This year's 59th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration, performed Live at The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, will also be broadcast live on PBS SoCal and KCET and streamed live at pbssocal.org, Monday, December 24, 2018, from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m.
The annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration presented by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors provides Angelenos of all ages and is Los Angeles' largest multicultural holiday celebration. The event honors the dynamic, rich cultures of the county where many diverse L.A.-based artists and community groups showcase their talent, artistry and traditions on The Music Center's iconic Dorothy Chandler Pavilion stage.
The show is broadcast live in Southern California on PBS SoCal and KCET and viewers can also live stream it on pbssocal.org. An estimated audience of more than 4,000 will watch the show live at The Music Center, with more than 18 million local viewers enjoy the program on television and online.
This year's co-hosts, internationally renowned mezzo-soprano Suzanna Guzmán and actor Brian White (Ambitions, Bronx SIU, Ray Donovan), and over 20 music ensembles, choirs and dance companies from all over L.A. Will help celebrate the season during the free, three-hour holiday show.
Highlights of the 59th annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration include the Daniel Ho & Halau Keali'i o Nalani, performing original songs in English and Hawaiian with hula choreography, Le Ballet Dembaya, a professional West African drum and dance company, Kayamanan Ng Lahi Philippine Folk Arts, a Filipino dance ensemble of traditional music and costumes, Lorenzo Johnson & Praizum, a diverse choir with upbeat, positive hymns, including traditional, contemporary, hip-hop, R&B, Christian and gospel, and Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea, an all-female ensemble of festive Mariachi music.

New to this year's show will feature Infinite Flow, America's first professional wheelchair ballroom dance company, Inner City Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, the largest majority African American orchestra in the country, the Pasadena Girls' Choir, a newly formed under the Musical Director Barbara Allen (America's Got Talent, Dancing With The Stars), the Paso de Oro Dance Company, performing regional dances in celebration of Mexican and Latin culture, and Tres Souls, performing sounds and songs of the 1940s-1960s Bolero style popularized during the golden era of Mexican cinema.
Additional performers will include the Citrus Singers, a 45-member a cappella and handbell ensemble from Citrus College, the Colburn Concert Choir and the Young Men's Chorus from the Colburn School of Performing Arts, the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, the Harmonic Bronze Handbell Ensemble, a music ensemble of 11-to-18-year-olds representing the communities of Acton and Agua Dulce, the Immaculate Heart of Mary and Precious Blood School Children's Choir Filipino youth ensemble performing in Tagalog and English, official Korean cultural ambassador(s) Jung Im Lee Korean Dance Academy, Los Robles Master Chorale, MUSYCA Children's Choir, Pacifico Dance Company with classical and contemporary Mexican dance, and The Spirit Chorale of Los Angeles is a professional ensemble dedicated to keeping alive the Negro spiritual along with jazz, blues and original gospel works.

The 59th Annual L.A. County Holiday Celebration free live show is Monday, December 24, 2018, from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m., at The Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, 135 N. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90012. First come, first seated. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and patrons may come and go throughout the three-hour performance. The live broadcast on PBS SoCal, KCET, and online at pbssocal.org airs from 3 p.m. – 6 p.m. The broadcast program will encore on Christmas Day, December 25, 2018, on PBS SoCal 2 at 3 a.m., 6 a.m. and 7 p.m., and on December 26, 2018, at 11 a.m.
For more information, call (213) 972-3099 or visit the show website at HolidayCelebration.org. The show is free, there are no reservations or tickets needed to attend the show, and there is free parking at The Music Center parking garage.