Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – February 11 – 17, 2019

Theatrical shows registered on the Better Lemons calendar!
For more shows visit our Calendar.
For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.

Accidental Death Of An Anarchist

“In this piece of classic international theatre from 1970, Fo writes of a madman, who invades a police station interrogation room where an anarchist accused of bombing a railway station has recently “accidentally” fallen out of a window. Donning various disguises and voices, the madman manipulates policemen into a truth-inducing hysteria. This world-renowned farce is produced in honor of one of The Actors’ Gang inspirations and mentors, Dario Fo. Famed artist Ralph Steadman, known for his iconic images a lifetime of illustration, magazine and other work, including his longtime collaboration with Hunter S. Thompson, has created a logo that helps to bring this production context. Also, a Dario Fo – Ralph Steadman exhibition will be on view throughout the run of Accidental Death of an Anarchist.”

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Anderson Lena and the Things That Don’t Matter

“In 2012, researchers at Northwestern University concluded that when we recall a memory, we’re not actually the recalling the memory, but rather the memory of the last time we remembered it, thus irreparably distorting our perception of the past. This is a play about that. With an offbeat yet authentic voice (and a structure to match), “Anderson Lena and the Things That Don’t Matter” explores the unsettlingly distinct possibility that objective truth is about as real as a fluffy pink unicorn. It starts off simply enough: a girl dancing alone in her bedroom. But, much like life, this story is nowhere near as simple as it should be. Three characters, two timelines, and one room later, you’ll leave questioning every memory you ever held dear. But, you know, in a cool way.”

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RAGTIME: THE MUSICAL

“The great American musical has returned to LA for its first major production in 20 years. Nominated for 13 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Ragtime tells the story of three families at the turn of the 20th Century in pursuit of the American dream. The award-winning score uses ragtime rhythms to paint a portrait of the people who built this country with the hopes for a brighter tomorrow.”

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Ohad Naharin/Batsheva Dance Company: Venezuela

“Batsheva returns with Venezuela, a new work which explores the dialogue and conflict between movement and the content it represents. Venezuela is a multifaceted piece where the endless possibilities of a choreographer’s craft are at play and compel the audience to challenge their own notion of freedom of choice.”

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Attack of the Second Bananas

“Who killed beloved stage stars Ruby Moss and Andrea Hammond? Find out as the LAPD detective on the case pieces together the clues. Attack of the Second Bananas is a comedy noir about the ultimate price of fame. Running time is 90 minutes with no intermission. WORLD PREMIERE.”

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Fifty Words

“Adam (Eric Larson) and Jan (Olga Konstantulakis) are alone together for the first time in almost 10 years. Without the buffer of their nine-year-old son (who is away at his first-ever sleepover), this smoothly scripted multi-layered play reveals how closely love and hate can be linked in marriage … how with each problem experienced as parents, each subsequent layer that’s revealed shows yet another problem in their marriage. The play is an incisive close-up of the emotional battleground of contemporary relationships and the lengths to which a couple will go to save it.”

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How We’re Different from Animals

“Over three years in the making, ÉLAN Ensemble’s inaugural production is the culmination of the company’s work, adapting Miranda July’s book of short stories No One Belongs Here More Than You. The show breathes life into July’s quirky, lonely, odd, lovable characters in an oddly hilarious tapestry that reflects the complexity, isolation, and unexpected connectivity of life in Los Angeles.”

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Home

“Writer/performer Nancy Ma’s coming-of-age tale about growing up sandwiched between two cultures. Desperately seeking approval from her Chinese Toisan immigrant family, Nancy journeys away from her home in New York City’s Chinatown in search of the American dream — only to learn that you can only find “home” when you accept where you come from. Feb. 28 – March 24 at The Los Angeles Theatre Center, 514 S. Spring St., Los Angeles, CA 90013; $24- $38; For reservations and information, call (866) 811-4111 or go to http://thelatc.org.”

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The Joy Wheel

“Life is changing for Frank and Stella. On the day of Frank’s retirement party, this once loving and simple couple find themselves pulled in different directions as the winds of change blow through Joy, Illinois. The world is not what it was. Joy is not what it was. Stella is shaken, but inspired, by her best friend becoming a liberated, sexualized, independent woman, while Frank decides to emulate his doomsday prepper friend by building an underground bunker that once was the family swimming pool. It’s as if all of them are riding the Joy Wheel, hanging on to someone else so they can stay their ground.”

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Church Basement Ladies

“The Glendale Centre Theatre is America’s longest-running continuously family-owned theatre in the round. Now in its 72nd year, GCT has just opened its second show of the 2019 season: Church Basement Ladies!”

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The Pack at The Pico

“The Pico will be presenting a monthly reading series of original short comedies by Emmy® nominated and Drama Desk Award-winning writer Eugene Pack. Every month, The Pack at the Pico will feature a new evening of material and a revolving noteworthy cast.”

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Geronimo: Life on the Reservation

“Return engagement of the critically acclaimed seldom told story of Geronimo’s life as a POW on the Fort Sill Indian Reservation. Starring veteran performer Rudy Ramos (Yellowstone, Ironsides, The High Chaparral, Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman: The Movie, The Enforcer, Defiance, Colors), helmed by respected actor/director Steve Railsback (The Visitors – dir. Elia Kazan; Helter Skelter, From Here to Eternity, The X-Files), and written by award-winning novelist Janelle Meraz Hooper (As Brown As I Want: The Indianhead Diaries, Custer and His Naked Ladies), GERONIMO focuses on the resiliency, humor, and genius of the great Apache leader, bringing his final years to life on the stage in a dramatic recounting of a fascinating, largely forgotten chapter in American history. Two shows only!”

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Pirates of Penzance

“The Gilbert and Sullivan classic Pirates of Penzance sails into Glendale Centre Theatre March 15!”

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Rex & Bob’s Excellent Misadventure

“Rex & Bob’s Excellent Misadventure is the story of The Music Man’s and My Fair Lady’s two leading men. What happens when they switch lives?”

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Nunsence

“The mega musical returns to the Glendale Centre Theatre! Pure nunsense!”

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Four Weddings and an Elvis

“Come enjoy four weddings in Las Vegas with the King himself! This musical comedy is a treat for the whole family.”

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More Guns! A Musical Comedy about the NRA s

“The National Rifle Association is here to save the day – through song and dance! Praise the lord and NRA-men! Ron Barkley is the head lobbyist for the NRA, and his life is real tough — his daughter is a liberal socialist with a penchant for protests, and for some reason, the entire country is up in arms about gun control. But when Ron prays to God for divine intervention, he receives a magical gun that turns people – into guns. Because after all, if you’ve got problems, the solution is always More Guns! With songs like “Semi-Automatically”, “Everybody Do The Lobby!” and “Liberal Love”, MORE GUNS! is a satire of the NRA, the “woke” left, and all those boring moderates in between. This is a show for the whole family, and by whole family we mean adults only (16+)”

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Birdland Blue

“At Broadway and 52nd Street in New York City, the nightclub Birdland 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, 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. The Miles Davis Sextet, as constituted that summer, was regarded as the best jazz combo ever. Birdland Blue is a behind-the-scenes look at Miles on one evening that August. He flirts with a beautiful reporter for a jazz magazine. He copes with division within his ranks, 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 deals with substance abuse problems, his own and that of one of his musicians. He argues with the club owner/manager over proper compensation. His biggest challenge may be coming from a violent, crooked, racist cop.”

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Julius Caesar

“From the presenters of the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, join us indoors at the ISC Studio at Atwater Crossing.
Beware the Ides of March! Rome teeters on the brink of civil war as Caesar’s ambition for a crown threatens the stability of the Republic. Part ghost story, part political murder thriller, ancient Rome comes to vivid life in ISC’s first ever mounting of one of the greatest hits of the Elizabethan stage. Inspired by Orson Welles’s 1937 Mercury Theater production, this pared down version of the text immerses the audience in the multiplicities of the conspiracy to save Rome and even gives the spectators a voice in the action. Audience participation encouraged (but not enforced!)”

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The Apple Tree

“When the Winslow sisters are forced to return home to confront their past, they must choose either to hold tight to anger or open their arms to change. ‘In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself.’-Deepak Chopra. This is the world premiere of The Apple Tree and the inaugural production of Firefly Theatre Group.”

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🍋


Audio Interview: The cast of “Rod Serling’s Stories from the Zone” at Theatre 40

Rod Serling’s Stories from the Zone. Two classic tales from a master storyteller.*

Enjoy this interview with the cast of “Rod Serling’s Stories from the Zone” at Theatre 40, running until Feb 17th. 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.


*taken from the website


Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – February 3 – 10, 2019

Theatrical shows registered on the Better Lemons calendar!
For more shows visit our Calendar.
For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.

Two Trains Running at Matrix

The team behind last year’s acclaimed Ovation, LADCC, and Stage Raw award-nominated production of August Wilson’s “King Hedley II” returns to the Matrix with another installment of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright’s “American Century Cycle” the playwright’s decade-by-decade exploration of the black experience in 20th century America. It’s 1969 in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, where the regulars of Memphis Lee’s restaurant struggle to cope with the turbulence of a world that is rapidly changing around them.

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USC School of Dramatic Arts presents: CHILDREN OF THE SUN

Maxim Gorky’s darkly comic play is set in Russia on the eve of the revolution. The country’s new middle class flounders about, philosophizing and flirting, blind to their impending annihilation. Protasov wants only to immerse himself in his experiments and is oblivious to the advances of the half-crazed widow and his best friend’s pursuit of his wife, let alone the cholera epidemic and the starving mob.

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USC School of Dramatic Arts presents: GNIT

Meet Peter Gnit, a recklessly aspiring, self-deluded anti-hero. This twisted adaption of Henrik Ibsen’s Peer Gynt is a rollicking and cautionary tale that challenges what we think we know about this classic character. At this unique moment in U.S. history, the questions and problems raised are alive with relevance.

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USC School of Dramatic Arts presents: SWIMMERS

Coyotes evading police. Billboards predicting the end of the world. It’s been a strange day at the office, and it’s only 9 a.m. Moving floor by floor from the basement to the roof, scenes between employees in a corporate office explore the angst-ridden relationships between those that people often take most advantage of: their coworkers.

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USC School of Dramatic Arts presents: THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA

Young Proteus only has eyes for his hometown sweetheart, Julia. But one look at the beautiful Silvia on a trip to Milan changes everything. Now he’s smitten with his best friend’s lover and his sweetheart has no intention of going away quietly. Events spin out of control as romantic rivals face off in this wild comic tale.

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USC School of Dramatic Arts presents: HOLY GHOSTS

Coleman Shedman arrives at the rural meeting house of a southern Pentecostal sect with a lawyer in tow, seeking to retrieve his runaway wife (and the possessions she has taken with her). But his wife, Nancy, is unwilling to forsake the love and protection of her new “husband,” the Reverend Obediah Buckhorn, and return to the brutal, hard-drinking Coleman. Rich with atmosphere and the feel of Southern rural life, the play blends humor and poignancy as it probes into the circumstances and stories of the various cult members.

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USC School of Dramatic Arts presents: THE BUSYBODY

First performed in 1709, this brilliantly witty and fast-paced comedy follows the characters Miranda and Isabinda as they attempt to arrange marriages to the men they love. Meanwhile, the hapless “busy body” Marplot tries to help his friends, but his valiant efforts only succeed in leading them closer towards disaster.

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USC School of Dramatic Arts presents: SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE

Inspired by the painting “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine’s stunning musical masterpiece, merges past and present into beautiful, poignant truths about life, love and the creation of art. One of the most acclaimed musicals of our time, this moving study of the enigmatic painter, Georges Seurat, won a Pulitzer Prize and was nominated for an astounding 10 Tony Awards, including best musical.

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USC School of Dramatic Arts presents: ROUGH MAGIC

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s action-adventure-fantasy conjures a mythical, magical meta-universe in which evil sorcerer Prospero steps out of the pages of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and threatens death and destruction in modern-day Manhattan. To combat this supernatural foe, a quartet of unlikely heroes (including a dramaturg with magical powers) will emerge from the ashes to save the city and its citizens from complete and utter destruction.

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USC School of Dramatic Arts presents: QUEEN MARGARET

Margaret of Anjou becomes the central character of her own story in this edit of William Shakespeare’s first tetralogy of history plays (Henry VI, Parts 1 -3; and Richard III). Intrigue, betrayal, romance and revenge play out as Margaret evolves from daughter to bride to queen to avenging warrior and grieving widow. Our BFA sophomores tell her tale of resilience, resolve and charisma.

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James and the Giant Peach

Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach features a wickedly tuneful score by the Tony & Academy Award-winning team of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (Dear Evan Hansen, La La Land, The Greatest Showman)and a curiously quirky book by Timothy Allen McDonald…When James is sent by his conniving aunts to chop down their old fruit tree, he discovers a magic potion that results in a tremendous peach and launches a journey of enormous proportions.

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Ada and the Engine

As the British Industrial Revolution dawns, young Ada Byron Lovelace (daughter of the flamboyant and notorious Lord Byron) sees the boundless creative potential in the “analytic engines” of her friend and soul-mate, Charles Babbage, inventor of the first mechanical computer. Ada envisions a whole new world where art and information converge – a world she might not live to see. A music-laced story of love, friendship, and the edgiest dreams of the future. Jane Austen meets Steve Jobs in this poignant pre-tech romance heralding the computer age.

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Man Of God

A hidden discovery in a hotel bathroom changes the lives of four Korean American Christian girls on a mission trip to Thailand. Samantha is hurt that someone she trusted could betray her. Jen is worried about how this might affect her college applications. Kyung-Hwa thinks everyone should adjust their expectations. Mimi’s out for blood. Amid the neon lights and go-go bars in Bangkok, the girls plot revenge in this funny, feminist thriller.

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Venus in Fur

Thomas Novachek is a playwright/director looking for the perfect actress to play the lead in his adaptation of Leopold Sacher Mashoch’s novella, Venus in Furs. He hasn’t had much luck and is ready to call it a day when a very late arrival bursts into the room in a wave of chaos. This actress appears to be the worst of a bad lot. Despite his protestations, she manages to cajole him into letting her read and from that point on the night veers into titillating and uncharted territory where Thomas’ biases and desires are laid bare. Venus in Fur is about human relationships, gender power dynamics and the matrix of stereotypes and assumptions that root seeming subversions. Its dark comedy and sexually charged scenarios provide fertile soil for exploration of subconscious and culturally mired desires, motivations, and expectations.

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Othello

The Bard’s most intimate of family tragedies about the terrible force of love and the breakdown of a man who has everything—power, position, and passion—only to find his world decimated through intense mind games with his ensign. Prescient in its searing social commentary of prejudice, betrayal, and thwarted ambition, Shakespeare’s thunderous drama examines who we trust and the price we pay for choosing wrong.

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The Twins of GillyGate

We find our twins on the eve of their 18th birthday in the kingdom of GillyGate. One is set to take the throne while the other sits in her tower with only a dragon to keep her company. Unbeknownst to both, a prophecy is about to unfold much to the dismay of their uncle, Lord Grimbert, who will do anything to stop a woman from taking the throne with the help of his trusty talking high horse. A musical tale woven together by a misfit traveling ensemble, this show will take you back to the Ren Faire. Full of bawdy, drunken fun mixed with some good ol’ audience interaction, this show is fun for your whole family!…well maybe not your kids.

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The Chekhov Comedies

See Chekhov as you have never seen him before! Combine 5 short comedies, 25 characters, and 4 female actors, and you get 1 night of hilarity!

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Little Shop of Horror

For the misfits of Skid Row, life is full of broken dreams and dead ends. Seymour Krelborn is a meek and dejected assistant at a floral shop who happens upon a strange plant, which he affectionately names “Audrey II” after his crush at the shop. Little does he know that this strange and unusual plant will develop a soulful R&B voice, a potty mouth, and an unquenchable thirst for human blood. As Audrey II grows bigger and meaner, the carnivorous plant promises limitless fame and fortune to Seymour, as long as he continues providing a fresh supply of blood … Featuring an electrifying early 1960s-style score from Alan Menken and book and lyrics by Howard Ashman.

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Canyon

In a backyard deep within a canyon during Labor Day weekend 2016 — before everything in America changed — we meet a newlywed couple and a Mexican father and son as they all try their best to find a better view. IAMA Theatre Company partners with the Latino Theater Company to present an immersive staging of this driving new play that takes a look at what happens when two families are rocked by an unpredictable accident that changes their lives forever. A look at gender, citizenship, and the costs of trying to live a conventional American life

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Too Much Sun

The West Coast premiere of the acclaimed off-Broadway hit by Nicky Silver (Broadway’s The Lyons). Celebrated actress Audrey Langham reaches her breaking point while rehearsing Medea in Chicago — walking off the stage, out of the production and into her married daughter’s summer house in Cape Cod, where her unexpected and unwelcome arrival sets off a chain of events alternately hilarious and harrowing.

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Phalaris’s Bull: Solving the Riddle of the Great Big World

Harvard-educated molecular biologist, visual artist and provocative visionary philosopher, Steven Friedman has the answers to life’s big questions. Using personal narrative, poetry, art, and science, he delivers a spell-binding performance reflecting his prismatic, transformative and deeply consoling vision of the world. Friedman offers a solution to the worlds pain based not on belief or faith but on logical rigor a philosophy starting from Kierkegaards story of an ancient torture device, Phalariss bull, that turns the terrible sounds of pain into music. To create is to enter Phalariss bull, and our pain becomes beauty.

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Lemon Butter: Best of L.A.’s Theatre Adjacent Restaurants and Bars – February Edition


Lemon Butter is a bi-weekly column featuring choice restaurants, lounges, Happy Hours, and other spots where hospitality is offered, that are convenient to theatre venues throughout Los Angeles. For distances and times given traffic and parking are not factored in. Where available, contact all hospitality venues for valet or parking information and/or reservations.


Café Gratitude

Walking distance to the Stephanie Feury Theatre,  Thymele Arts, and Studio/Stage Theatre is vegan restaurant Café Gratitude in Larchmont Village.

Their fresh, healthy menu includes salads like the “Fantastic”, a Torta Española Chopped Salad with a chickpea frittata, roasted red pepper, escabeche, cashew mozzarella, sun-dried tomato pesto, and toasted almonds, an assortment of Bowls such as the “Humble,” an Indian Curry Bowl with red lentil dal, spinach, roasted garnet yams, coconut mint chutney, spicy tomato jam, and brown rice or quinoa, or entrees like the “Elated,” with Mole Abuelita Enchiladas made with mole tempeh, corn, black beans, roasted tomatillo sauce, cashew queso fresco, avocado, coleslaw, and escabeche.

Café Gratitude – 639 N Larchmont Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90004 – (323) 580-6383
Distance to Stephanie Feury Theatre  – 364 feet (1 min. walk.)
Distance to Studio/Stage Theatre– 1.1 miles via Melrose (3 min. drive)
Distance to Thymele Arts – 1.4 miles (3 min. drive)

KASS Restaurant + Wine Bar

Photo by Monique A. LeBleu – The Tortellini with ricotta cheese and green asparagus coulis at a Media Tasting, KASS Wine Bar + Restaurant, Los Angeles, California, January 29, 2019.

Debuting just this month and now open is KASS Wine Bar + Restaurant by Michelin starred Chef Christophe Émé.  KASS’ 40-seat dining room and wine bar on La Brea is just off of Wilshire’s Miracle Mile, close to Theatre Row, and conveniently close to the newly remodeled Lyric Theatre. A beautiful, intimate spot for quick bar bites featuring an assortment of French cheeses and charcuterie with a glass of wine before the show, a relaxing glass after on the patio, or an anytime leisurely lunch or dinner.

Émé, of Iron Chef America, serves a rotating menu based on market fresh produce with openers such as the salad of Baby Beets with black lentils and aged Comté cheese, a Farro Risotto with celery root, kale, and Morel mushrooms, or the grilled octopus with baby fennel, Yukon potato, and red bell pepper coulis. Some suggested entrees are a Farro Risotto with celery and morel mushrooms, Tagliatelle pasta with Braised organic Beeler pork ragù, Tortellini with ricotta cheese and green asparagus coulis,  a “Chicken Cooked in Clay” served with wild mushroom sauce and green asparagus, or an Oxtail Parmentier—a smooth-layed French cottage pie of potatoes, bone marrow and Burgundy truffles.  Some appetizers and openers, such as the Beet Salad, Ceviche or Kusshi oysters, and chilled desserts like the Chocolate Tart accompanied by chocolate sorbet, may be served on the restaurants unique and visually stunning chill plate—a water-filled concave envelope of glass.

Of their collection of wines—characterized as “Energetic,” “Fruity,” and “Muscular” for whites and “Bright,” “Juicy,” “Earthy,” and “Plush” for reds—available by the glass are a “muscular” white Domaine Dupasquier, Roussette de Savoie, Savoie 2013,  a “pink” such as the Vinca Minor, Carignan Rosé Sonoma County 2017, a “Bright” red Domaine de Majas, VdP Côtes Catalanes Carignan Blend Roussillon 2017, or an “earthy” red 2016 Brovia, Dolcetto d’Alba ‘Vignavillej.’

KASS Wine Bar + Restaurant – 320 S. La Brea Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90036 – (323) 413-2299

Distance to  Lyric Theatre – 0.9 miles via La Brea (17 min. walk/2 min. drive)
Distance to Theatre Row – 2.9 miles via La Brea/Melrose (7 min. drive)

Norah/Le Fête

Nearest the Marilyn Monroe at Lee Strasberg  and a short jaunt from Theatre Row, Norah provides elegant fare such as fresh oysters, Cauliflower Croquettes, or Cast Iron Corn Bread, to start, with entrees such as the Uni Butter-poached Shrimp with smoked tomato, scallions, and cilantro on toast, a wood-grilled Whole Sea Bream with chermoula, shaved celery, grapes, and sumac, or an 8oz American Wagyu Zabuton served with crispy fingerlings and black garlic chili oil. Dishes for vegans and pasta lovers, such as the Pumpkin Cavatelli, with Brussels sprouts, miatake mushrooms, pomegranate and ricotta salata, Maltagliati with fresh tomato, summer squash, shelling beans and ricotta, or Black Truffle Potato Gnocchi with truffle conserva and shaved black truffles.

At its adjacent lounge bar of cozy candle-lit elegance, Le Fête bar director David Kupchinsky serves craft cocktails such as his “Le Daiq” of Rhum JM, Calvados, Genepy des Alpes, house triple lime cordial and lime, the “Le Spritz” of Lillet Rose, Cava, house rhubarb-sage gastrique and tonic or the “Le Frappe” of Rhum JM, housemade Matcha coconut cream, orange juice, pineapple juice, and Small Hands pineapple gum syrup over crushed ice.

Norah/Le Fête gallery photos by Monique A. LeBleu.

Norah/Le Fête – 8279 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood, CA 90046 – (323) 450-4211

Distance to  Marilyn Monroe at Lee Strasberg – 0.4/0.7 miles via Santa Monica (8 min. walk/2 min. drive)
Distance to Theatre Row 2.2 miles via Santa Monica (4 min. drive)

Spoonfed/Bar Joe

Spoonfed opened just last year in July and is adjacent to most Theatre Row venues, including The Hudson, The Blank Theatre, The Complex, Oh My Ribs! TheatreStudio C, and The Broadwater.

This new and cozy burger bistro has a spacious bar and generous patio area decorated with an updated post-modern feel. For breakfast, the spacious patio enclosed bistro-style restaurant features items such as the Blueberry & Orange Ginger Ale Cakes with orange crème fraîche, bourbon maple syrup, the Stuffed Brioche French toast with peanut butter, caramelized bananas, with seasonal berries and maple syrup, or the Mediterranean Hash with skillet-roasted sweet potatoes with pearled onions, chickpeas, Santa Barbara olives, oven-dried tomatoes, and Mediterranean Four Spice, topped with two poached eggs or without (Vegan option.) For lunch or dinner they offer the Spoonfed Burger with Gruyère & Blue Cheese, bacon balsamic caramelized onions, Heirloom tomato, pickles, butter lettuce, and aioli on a potato bun, served with crinkle cut fries and curry ketchup, the Eggplant Sandwich with grilled cold-smoked eggplant, broccoli sprouts, heirloom tomato, pickled red onions, lemon avocado mash, grilled whole grain bread, or the Fuhgettaboutit flatbread pizza with prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato sauce, arugula, and shaved parmesan, just to name a few options.

Bar Joe features craft cocktails such as their “Draft Pimm’s Cup” made with Pimm’s, Chartreuse, ginger, and cucumber, a “Carajillo Collins” of Grey Goose Vodka, Liquor 43, and cold brew coffee, or their spicy “It’s An Old Fashioned!” of Street Pumas Scotch, maple, cacao, and cayenne. Perfect for brunching before matinee performances are a range of white and pink sparkling wines, their “Bellini” of Ugni Blanc, peach cordial, and St. Germaine, their unique take on a “Mimosa” of Cremant, orange juice, and orange oil from their signature collection of artisian oils and essences—the latter of which are also featured in their generous list of Mocktails.

Spoonfed/Bar Joe gallery photos by Monique A. LeBleu.

Spoonfed/Bar Joe – 959 Seward St, Los Angeles, CA 90038 (corner of Seward and Romaine in Hollywood) – 9323) 347-7000

Distance to  The Hudson Theatres/Hudson Guild – 0.2 miles via Seward to Santa Monica (6 min. walk/ 1 min. drive)
Distance to The Blank Theatre, The Complex, Oh My Ribs! TheatreStudio C – 0.3 miles via Santa Monica (7 min. walk/1 min. drive)
Distance to The Broadwater – 0.5 miles via Santa Monica (10 min. walk/1 min. drive)

Wood & Vine

Walking distance from The Montaban and directly across from the Pantages is Wood & Vine, nestled at street level in the landmark Taft Building at one of the most famous corners in Hollywood. The restaurant has a direct and birdseye view of the Hollywood Pantages Theatre, designed with a loft view that also overlooks both the central dimly lit dining room and its spacious bar, as well as a lounge on the enclosed back patio with cozy seating around the central fire pit and conversation corner.

With plates for sharing, Chef Rick Sipovic’s menu features openers such as a “Kale Caesar” with anchovy vinaigrette, shaved egg, Reggiano, and sourdough croutons, Chef Sipovic’s own “Scotch Eggs” with pickled onion, beer mustard, and cornichon, or “Shrimp and Grits” with green chili cheddar grits, pan jus, and friese. For vegans, “Impossible Meatballs” served with spicy red sauce, plant-based spaghetti, and vegan mozzarella. And for dessert, “The Butterscotch” with house butterscotch, maple ice cream, and a sweet thyme crumble, Sour Cream Donut Holes dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with vanilla sauce, or a Peach Cobbler with smoked bourbon maple ice cream.

Craft cocktails are served throughout the space, such as the “Sage Advice” of Belvadere vodka, sage simple syrup, Campari, and grapefruit, “The Color Peach” with Hennesy, DiSarrono, Giffard Peche de Vigne, lemon, simple syrup and egg white, or “My Other Lover” with Mezcal, lime, simple syrup, peach bitters, sage and blueberries, or a Black Manhattan” of Larceny vodka, Amaro Averna, Angostura bitters, and black cherries.

Plates are shared family style and a 20% service charge is included in lieu of tip. The menu can evolve, so be sure to check with the restaurant for updates.

Wood & Vine gallery photos by Monique A. LeBleu.

Wood & Vine – 6280 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (at Vine Street at The Taft Building) – (323) 334-3360
Distance to  Pantages – 425 feet (across the street (2 min. walk)
Distance to The Montalban – 0.1 miles (3 min. walk)

Now registered this week on the Better Lemons Calendar August 13 to August 19, 2018

New shows registered on the Better Lemons calendar. For more shows visit our Calendar. For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.
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YELLOW FACE


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What Happened When


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Longing Pinocchio


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All Night Long


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A View From The Bridge


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She Loves Me


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Sell/Buy/Date


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SILENCE! The Musical


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Female Fusion Spotlight on Debbie Devine

Female Fusion — At the intersection of art and action

A column highlighting and exploring the careers of women creating art and changing the world, one community at a time.

Debbie Devine
Artistic Director of 24th Street Theatre, Director of Drama at the Colburn School and a director for artistic programing at the LA Philharmonic

Debbie Devine

Debbie Devine Directing Hansel and Gretel, Bluegrass with Caleb Foote (Hansel) Angela Giarratana (Gretel)

Debbie Devine has a great laugh. Deep throated, full and infectious, it invites you to actively take part in the conversation. When you do, what a joy ride you will experience! The discussion ricochets between theater, music, education, and human rights – illuminating all of the places where they intersect in a gorgeous kaleidoscope of life and one woman’s astonishing career.

debbie-devine-headshot-1

Debbie Devine. Photo courtesy of 24th Street Theatre

Ms. Devine is a director, an educator, a writer and an advocate. She moves seamlessly from one to the other, often occupying several spaces at once. She is the founder and artistic director of 24th Street Theatre, whose mission statement reads, “To engage, educate, and provoke our diverse community with excellent theatre and arts education.” 24th Street Theatre creates gorgeous work that is family inclusive, but in no way simplified or generic. The work is multi-layered, innovative in its content and vision and without fail intensely moving. The list of awards and accolades is much longer than this column can accommodate. In addition to what would be, for most people, more than full time job, she is the Chair of Drama for the Colburn School (both dance and music) and an artistic director for the LA Philharmonic, where she creates content and programs that bring the music and process of creating music to life for young audiences.

When I asked Ms. Devine how she found her calling she recounted that, like many people in the theater community, she was a painfully shy kid, someone absolutely unable to communicate. Her mother was concerned and as a last resort put her in a summer theater program. It worked. She found her life’s passion, saying that “it was such an incredible experience for me to understand how the voice is used…how making believe and then actually being able to believe what is make believe can change lives.” She began working professionally as an actress while still in high school and started her teaching career while still quite young.

It was as a high school drama teacher that she found her path. She was working in a school for deeply troubled kids when Jack Black walked into her room. Ms. Devine’s relationship with this incredible actor, singer, musician and comedian is well documented. He has, as in this LA Times quote, often credited her with saving him. “I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t met Deb Devine, who inspired me and for the first time gave me a reason to really love going to school. [She] opened my mind and soul to an exciting world of literature and communication…. All of a sudden I knew all these new things.” She was able to get past his rough exterior and helped him uncover the brilliance that was hidden inside. They have stayed close over the years, even sharing a Rose Bowl float in 2015 in honor of their joint initiative, Thank A Million Teachers, which does just that.

It is easy to go down the celebrity worm hole and focus on this ongoing and charming partnership, but Ms. Devine has saved, and I don’t use that word lightly, many many people over the years. After she broke through with Mr. Black she said, “I started to look around and I realized that this is happening with all of these kids and I started to realize that this art form [theater], it’s magic.” In 1997 she founded 24th Street Theatre with her partner Jay McAdams. It has grown into an internationally recognized organization dedicated to blending professional productions presented by world-class artists with quality arts education. In addition to these critically acclaimed shows, many of which debut here in LA and then tour nationally and internationally, there are arts education programs, community outreach programs and continuing arts education and professional development programs for school teachers.

We spoke in depth about the theater’s production of Mike Kenny’s Walking the Tightrope, which premiered 24th Street in 2012 and went on to win numerous awards, including a best direction award from LA Weekly for Ms. Devine and Best Production from the LA Drama Critics Circle. It is currently touring the country. We spoke of the power and beauty of the piece, which is the tale of a grandfather who is not quite able to bring himself to tell his 5 year-old granddaughter that Grandma is gone and in the process goes about building a beautiful new relationship with her. The play is incredibly moving, in a truly visceral way. Ms. Devine explained the process of approaching the story not as a child’s tale but rather as the grandfather’s story. The grandfather is suicidal and believes he cannot go on, but in trying to explain his wife’s absence to this child, he finds a way to continue. That is really the mission of the theater and the method to building family friendly productions; tell a simple story in a truthful way that has meaning and sophistication.

One of the programs at the theater which speaks directly to the community at this moment in time is called Enter Stage Right. A part of the Field Trip series, it is a 90 minute show about the magic of theater. The show culminates in a scene set in 1870 at a train depot at which a Mexican mother and her child are stopped from getting onto the train by a racist Irishman. Many issues are explored through music and improvisational acting throughout the show. Ultimately you find a relatable dynamic for modern audiences between the mother and child; the child can read and is able to navigate the situation by standing up for their rights. Literacy and standing up to injustice are illustrated in a very familiar way to the 10,000 students a year see this show, as many of these children are in a similar situation with their own parents, serving as translators for them in Los Angeles. Teaching artists go to the children’s classes before and after the field trip to share and explore why the Irishman is so cruel, how to speak truth in intimidating circumstances and how history can teach us about the present.

24th Street Theatre occupies an amazing old building in the predominantly Latino neighborhood near USC. The theater is an old carriage house originally built in 1928. This is truly a community space; always open so that people can come in for a tour, a cup of tea or simply companionship. In addition to the Field Trip programs there is an after school program, After ‘Cool which brings teenagers into the fold and helps them develop into ambassadors and translators to help with bilingual programing. There are additional leadership programs and The Teatro del Pueblo series which brings the parents of all of those kids into the theater and has them create a play. This serves to further strengthen ties to the community and increases the number of Spanish speaking audience members exposed to live theater. Finally, there is a professional development program for teachers. They basically get to experience a three hour acting class with both a live musician and film/technical director in order to create stories. Part of this process is curriculum based and connected to the core standards so that they can take what they learn back to their students. The second and arguably more important piece reminds teachers why they became teachers in the first place. The process of creating art reconnects teachers, these teachers who get so caught up in the day to day bureaucracy of the school system, to their hearts and reinvigorates them as they re-enter the classroom. This is a theater that is as much about life as it is art.

How, then, does her work at 24th Street compare to her duties at both the Colburn School and the LA Philharmonic? She works with composers, musicians and conductors, at both venues and with symphonies around the country, teaching workshops on how to communicate about music with people. Many musicians don’t naturally talk about their art and Ms. Devine helps them bridge the gap between their solo work and the people that they work with and for. She points out that a musician can practice solo for six or eight hours at a time and never have to speak to another soul! Speaking to other artists, audience, members and donors can take practice and the workshops facilitate that. The second part of her work in these venues, which is similar to her work with 24th Street, involves building, as a director and co-writer, original theatrical pieces which support library cuts of music that the Philharmonic is playing. She directs and co-writes a theatrical story which supports the music. The current piece that she is working on with Joanne Pierce Martin, the head keyboardist at the Philharmonic, is called The Art of the Piano. The piece is about the relationship between the pianist, the piano tuner and the piano. This is one of three pieces this year. She does similar work at Colburn, both coaching musicians and creating stories.

When I asked jokingly asked her about hobbies or outside interests, knowing that she couldn’t possibly have time for them, she laughed that awesome laugh and agreed that maybe she needs an outlet, but that she loves what she does and that is everything.

Ms. Devine’s current show is Hansel and Gretel, Bluegrass, currently running through December 11 (with a possible extension) at 24th Street Theatre. It has received rave reviews. The LA Times says, “ Masterful staging by 24th Street co-founder Debbie Devine situates the fine performances within a stunning visual tableau. ….The play’s message about interdependence may seem simple enough, but this is no kiddie show. The siblings’ trials are a rite of passage to adulthood, one with intentional implicit relevance to today’s headlines about desperate parents in troubled regions trying to send their children out of harm’s way.” It appears to be exactly what is needed in these dangerous and uncharted times.

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