JOAN OF ART: A Very Merry Magic Mania, Cars and More Cars, Evolution of L.A. Street Art and a Musical Icon

I know a lot of you are busy Xmas shopping and taking advantage of all the sales going on, but if you decide to take a break from all that and want to have some fun, here's a few events that you should check out.

One of my favorites is A VERY MERRY MAGIC MANIA hosted by Magician Extraordinaire Albie Selznick. I've seen many of Albie's shows and have always been blown away by his talent.

After a summer of bringing magic to the masses at the Santa Monica Playhouse, Albie is back with a new show called A VERY MERRY MAGIC MANIA. It will still be at the Santa Monica Playhouse, but instead of Mondays, it will be Saturday and Sunday evenings, from November 23rd through December 29th.

This Saturday at 8pm magicians Trigg Watson, Chris Randall, Dave Cox and Chris Moorman will be performing while on Sunday at 3pm Michael O' Brien will be added to the show.

A VERY MERRY MAGIC MANIA offers the opportunity to see multiple world class magicians in an intimate venue. Albie's guest magicians have appeared on America's Got Talent, Penn & Teller: Food Us, Masters of Illusion, Wizard Wars, to name just a few.

For tickets or more information go to MagicManiaLA.com or call 310-586-1166.

Now besides magic I love cars. Well in truth I love vintage cars, but I still can't resist going to the LA AUTO SHOW every year and this year is no different. Starting Friday, November 22nd through Sunday December 1st one of the world's largest auto shows with 1,000 vehicles will return to LA and I can't wait to see what the future holds when it comes to driving.

This show is a one stop shop for comparison shopping for cars, trucks, SUV'S, electric vehicles and more without any sales pressure.

Whether you're shopping for a new vehicle, or just want to do some free test drives while experiencing the latest tech or exploring an assortment of customized rides and exotics, you will find it here at the LA AUTO SHOW at the LA CONVENTION CENTER, 1201 South Figueroa Street in Downtown LA next to the Staples Center.

Besides the cars, there will be numerous celebrity appearances from the entertainment, sports and automotive worlds and they're available for meet and greets, autograph signings and selfie sessions. For more information go to LAAutoShow.com or call (310) 444-1850.

Another thing I can't get enough of is STREET ART. I've walked the streets of downtown L.A. where I saw some of the best Graffiti art. Well now you don't have to travel that far to see some great Street Art. Just go over to the Annenberg Space For Photography on Friday, November 22nd at 7pm where you'll find THE EVOLUTION OF STREET ART IN LA, an evening with Judy Baca, Brooklyn-based street artist Swoon, and graffiti artist Saber.

Since the 1970's street artists - from muralists to graffiti artists have tried to 'maintain real estate.' Whether protecting giant murals from small but marring graffiti tags, to ensuring giant 'bombs' are not whitewashed by city or state authorities, L.A.'S STREET ART SCENE has battled to preserve its representation of the city's civic life.

Building on these themes for this lecture and discussion, muralist and Social and Public Art Resource Center co-founder Judy Baca will present on the transformation of L.A.'S storied mural and graffiti art scenes.

Known best for her work, The Great Wall of Los angeles (1976-83, Baca will also lead a conversation with the Brooklyn based street artist Caledonia Curry (aka Swoon) and graffiti artist Saber to explore the roles graffiti and mural art plays in representing marginalized communities in a quickly gentrifying city.

The Annenberg Space for Photography is located at 2000 Avenue of the Stars, in LA 90067. For more information go to AnnenbergSpaceForPhotography.org.

Last but never least there is a Musical icon performing at the Wiltern Theatre. The icon is known simply as MADONNA.

We all know she gives larger-than-life performances so it'll be interesting to see her 'scaling-down.' Ahead of the release of her new album, MADAME X, Madonna is embarking on a small-ish theatre tour including 11 nights at the Wiltern Theatre located at 3780 Wilshire Blvd, in Koreatown, 90010.

The doors open at 7:30pm but Miss M. won't be going on until 10:30pm. The tour actually started on Tuesday, November 19th and continues through Monday November 28th. For more dates, times, tickets, etc go to Wiltern.com.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend, I hope you all have a blast.


JOAN OF ART: A Weekend of Wonders, Art, Fashion, Food and Magic

Cirque du Soleil-Corteo is back and appearing live in Inglewood at The Forum. This is a celebration of the life of a clown. The clown Mauro has passed, but his spirit is still with us.

Instead of mourning, the funeral cortege celebrates the here and hereafter with laughter and exuberance. Rich extravagant memories frolic with the senses.

The sound of laughter peals around the stage, visions of joyous tumblers and players fascinate the eyes. Regret and melancholy retreat in the face of a cavalcade of lively recollections of a life gloriously lived. A festive parade that entertains, the perfect event for the whole family.

What a perfect way to spend the weekend. For tickets go to CirqueDuSoleil.com. But hurry up because the show is only here from March 27th to March 31st.

The next event is definitely not for kids, but one I highly recommend. I saw it last year and it was absolutely awesome. It's the Nude Art and Fashion Show in downtown Los Angeles.

More than just an art show, Nude Art and Fashion Show LA is an experience. You will find some of the best original artists, designers and performers at our shows, all presenting work focused on the nude in art and fashion.

From traditional fine art (including paintings, sculpture, photography, digital media and more) to an incredible and unique 'Naked Fashion Show' full of wearable art and stunning looks you'll love, to jaw dropping live performances and interactive exhibits that include burlesque dancers, live nude sketching session, aerial pole dancing, live music and other dazzling performances this show has something for everyone.

I for one can't wait to be there on opening night which is this Friday March 29th. The show runs from 8-11pm. If you can't make it Friday you can get tickets for Saturday, March 30th from 7:30-11pm.

The event takes place at the Cooper Design Space, 860 South Los Angeles Street. For tickets go to NudeArtLA.com

I'm sure the above events have given you and me quite an appetite, so I'll be going to the 7th Annual ¡Latin Food Fest! which comes to L.A. State Historic Park March 29th - 30th for two days celebrating Hispanic culinary excellence.

On March 29th there will be a kick off party "Chefs Night Out' which is a wine, spirits and beer party that takes place from 5:30-7:30pm. Cost of admission is $29 and includes complimentary drinks, music by Dj Ty, photos with your favorite chef, access to a silent auction and a ticket raffle to the Gran Tasting Los Angeles which takes place on March 30th from 1-4pm.

General admission tickets range from $25-$35. Early admission at noon is also available for $49 and VIP tickets cost $149 with perks including early admission, access to special tasting and a gift bag. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it.

L.A. State Historic Park is located at 1245 North Spring Street, Los Angeles. For more information go to LatinFoodFest.com/events-los-angeles

And now for a different kind of art - The Art of Magic...Albie Selznick, magician extraordinaire returns with his awesome magic show entitled MAGIC MONDAY. I know Mondays aren't officially part of the weekend, but his shows are so fantastic I thought I'd make an exception.

Reappearing at the Santa Monica Playhouse starting Monday, April 1st MAGIC MONDAY reopens and I for one cannot wait. I've seen Albie's shows many times including his last one at the Magic Castle and he is the 'real thing' and so are his fellow magicians.

Albie is an actor-magician and he makes it a point to feature the very best magicians and variety acts from The Magic Castle, America's Got Talent, Penn & Teller: Fool Us, Masters of Illusion and Wizard Wars. Every Monday there are new and different acts and all ages 8 years and up are welcome.

Albie is a lifetime member of the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood and created the theatrical smash hit, SMOKE AND MIRRORS which the LA Times called 'A superb theatrical magical show!'. As an actor Albie performs regularly on TV, stage and film, most recently recurring on Amazon's The Last Tycoon, Good Girls and Ryan Murphy's upcoming Netflix show The Politician with Gwyneth Paltrow and Ben Platt.

The show runs about 75 minutes and features an ever changing lineup of over 70 world famous magic and variety acts.

To purchase tickets and for more information go to... MagicMondaLA.com or call 310-586-1166. The Santa Monica Playhouse is located at 1211 4th Street, Santa Monica CA.

Whatever you choose to do this weekend including Monday, make it a fun one.