The Winners at the 50th Annual 'LA Drama Critics Circle' Awards Ceremony Held at the Pasadena Playhouse

The 50th Annual LA Drama Critics Circle Awards at the Pasadena Playhouse, Monday, April 8, 2019. (Photo by Better Lemons)

The LA Drama Critics Circle (LADCC) held their 50th Annual Awards ceremony at the landmark Pasadena Playhouse where Better Lemons was in attendance to live tweet the evening's festivities and entertainment, Monday, April 8, 2019.

Wenzel Jones presided over the festivities, and Christopher Raymond served as music director with musical performances by Kristin Towers Rowles, Constance Jewell Lopez, and Zachary Ford.

There were four recipients of the 2018 Production award: Cambodian Rock Band (South Coast Repertory), Come From Away (Center Theatre Group/Ahmanson Theatre), Cry It Out (Echo Theater Company), and Sell/Buy/Date (Geffen Playhouse / Los Angeles LGBT Center).

Better Lemons' Chief Operating Officer Stephen Box (Left,) Publisher Enci Box, and Playwright & Screenwriter Steven Vlasak at the 50th Annual LA Drama Critics Circle Awards at the Pasadena Playhouse, Monday, April 8, 2019.

The Antaeus Theatre Company received the most awards, with three of its productions winning a combined seven trophies. Celebration Theatre's Cabaret took home six awards, the most awards for a single production, including one for Revival. Tom Hanks received a lead actor award for his performance as Falstaff in The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles production of Henry IV in a competitive category. 17 awards were presented in other categories with 17 productions taking home the honors.

In its inaugural this year, the Theater Angel award was presented to Yvonne Bell in recognition of her "long career devoted to fostering theater in Los Angeles ... [and] successful fundraising campaigns" to help open several cultural institutions, such as The Museum of Contemporary Art and the California Science Center.

Eight previously announced special awards were presented, including the Margaret Harford Award for sustained excellence in theater to Sacred Fools Theater Company and the Ted Schmitt Award for the world premiere of an outstanding new play to Lauren Yee for Cambodian Rock Band.

The LADCC was established in 1969  “to foster and reward merit in the American Theater and encourage theater in Los Angeles,” the LADCC site quotes from an announcement in the L.A. Times of that year.

Here is the list of award recipients as announced during Better Lemons' live coverage on Twitter:

Featured photo by Enci Box - Theatre patrons in the courtyard of the Pasadena Playhouse for the 50th Annual LA Drama Critics Circle Awards, Pasadena, California, Monday, April 8, 2019. Enci Box contributed to this story and photos.


JOAN OF ART: Big Band Music, Rock and Roll Memories, PhotoLA, and of Course the Super Bowl

I know most of America will be watching the Super Bowl. I have to admit I'm not into football but I do love the commercials. But Sunday makes up just one day of the weekend so here's some fun suggestions before the game of games starts...

One of my favorite swing bands, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is coming to town on Saturday night.

2018 marks the 25th anniversary of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's remarkable arrival onto the music scene. Since it's formation in the early nineties in Ventura, California, the band has toured virtually nonstop, performing on average over 150 shows a year, and has produced a sizable catalog of recorded music, with sales of over 2 million albums to date. Early on, during their legendary residency at the Derby nightclub in Los Angeles, they reminded the world, in the midst of the grunge era no less, that it was still cool to swing. The band, co-founded by singer Scotty Morris and drummer Kurt Sodergren, was at the forefront of the swing revival of that time, blending a vibrant fusion of the classic American sounds of Jazz, Swing, and Dixieland, with the energy and spirit of contemporary culture.

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy will be performing at The Rose in Pasadena. The all original core line-up includes Scotty Morris (lead vocals and guitar), Kurt Sodergren (drums), Dirk Shumaker (double bass and vocals), Andy Rowley (baritone saxophone and vocals), Glen “The Kid” Marhevka (trumpet), Karl Hunter (saxophones and clarinet) and Joshua Levy (piano and arranger).

After 25 years, 11 records, over 2800 live shows, and countless appearances in film and television, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is showing no signs of slowing down, and is looking forward to celebrating it's 25th anniversary in 2018.

February 2, 2019 at The Rose in Pasadena
Doors 6pm. Music 7pm. Headliner 9:00pm.
Opening sets by Nick Marechal and Man on Fire
$38 / $48 / $58 / $68 + applicable fees

If you purchase a ticket at a table, you are required to purchase dinner. Minimum spend is $25.00 per person. You must arrive by 7pm. For tickets and more info visit WhereMusicMeetsTheSoul.com/events/big-bad-voodoo-daddy-pasadena

For the past ten years I've been going to PHOTOLA and this year is no exception. A collaborative platform that links the international photographers, galleries, dealers and publishers. That is PhotoLA. Located at the Historic Barker Hanger in Santa Monica the show runs January 31st to February 3rd, 2019.

You will see the works of the industry elite as well as up and coming talent alike. This is the longest running international art fair on the West Coast that has been in operation for nearly three decades. My favorite photography is black and white and they have plenty of amazing vintage works on hand.

The Barker Hanger is located at 3021 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica in the Santa Monica airport. To purchase tickets to to PhotoLA.com.

Now if you're a collector of Rock and Roll memorabilia you definitely do not want to miss L.A's Rock 'N' Roll Flea Market which people say is more like a party that happens to sell stuff. I've been there and I completely agree. This is a very cool place especially if you're into vinyl which I am. With vinyl vendors, vintage guitars and continuous cocktails, the Rock 'N' Roll Flea Market gives Los Angeles a hangover cure featuring both the 'hair of the dog' and shopping.

Jamming from 10am to 3pm on the first Sunday of every month at the Regent Theatre downtown, the RNR Flea Market can kickstart a Sunday with the same raucous fun that closed out Saturday night. The $2.00 cover charge is waived for those who eat at Prufrock before shopping which is a lovely pizzeria attached to the venue, offering a simple brunch with a complete section of cocktails.

This is a smaller version of massive outdoor venues like the Rose Bowl and in contrast it offers shoppers a fun social experience while they browse. Great way to spend Sunday morning before the Super Bowl.

And speaking of the Super Bowl if you're not into having a party at your house, there's some classic bars to watch the game. One is The Abbey, voted annually as one of the world's best gay bars.

They have four full bars and the drinks are strong. The place is Gothic meets the Mediterranean with indoor/outdoor spaces, plentiful cabanas and hunky bartenders. The Abbey is located at 692 North Robertson Blvd. West Hollywood CA. For more information go to TheAbbeyWeHo.com.

Now if you're into watching the game, L.A. icon Barney's Beanery is the place to be.

Located at 8447 Santa Monica Blvd in West Hollywood this is the original branch of a landmark local chain serving an eclectic mix of pub grub in kitschy digs. It opened in West Hollywood in 1920 and very quickly established itself as a fixture in L.A. with a history and a following that is unmatched.

Barney's is a fantastic place to watch your favorite sporting event, play pub style trivia with friends or sing some karaoke.. No reservations are needed. For more information or to check out the menu go to BarneysBeanery.com.

So folks whatever you choose to 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.