COVID-19 THEATER SERIES: Seeing the Funny Side of Life - An Interview with Buzzworks' Courtney Fortner


Born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, Courtney Fortner is a performer, writer, producer, director, and voice coach. She is a producer and board member for Buzzworks, a non-profit theater company. She has directed over a dozen children’s productions and teaches musical theater in Los Angeles. She has performed improv at the Vittum Theater Chicago, Comedy Sportz Theater Chicago, and Theater for the New City, New York. She has been nominated by the Television Academy Foundation for her work writing sketch comedy and currently takes classes at The Groundlings. She has also worked in casting at CBS in New York City. Courtney graciously took time from her busy schedule to interview in April 2020.


Rich Hutchman and Davey Johnson in "The Exit Interview" - Photo by Craig Anton

When did Buzzworks Theatre Company begin? What led to its creation? What is the mission of Buzzworks? Were you involved from the beginning? When did you become producer/board member for Buzzworks?

Courtney Fortner:  Buzzworks is a non-profit theatre company founded by Andrea Hutchman in 1992. After not getting cast as Juliet in Minneapolis and another play fell through last minute, she decided she needed to take her career into her own hands. She got the rights to Painting Churches by Tina Howe and produced and directed it in Minneapolis. It featured Mo Collins (MadTV, Fear the Walking Dead.)  And thus, Buzzworks was born!

Over the next couple of years, we did summer stock on Mackinac Island, Michigan for the next two summers and then continued in Green Lake Wisconsin. At that time, the company was just Andrea and two partners and eventually only one partner. In 1996, Buzzworks moved to LA; but we continued to produce in the Midwest, as well as in Los Angeles.

The mission has always been to produce shows that are funny – that is to say, funny and dark, funny and sad, funny and poignant. Funny always has to be in there. We want to create “a theatrical buzz" meaning producing new works, fascinating or unusual works, or just hilarious pieces that allow us and our audience to play.

In 2003, Andrea expanded the board.  We have had as many as 12 board members, but we have never been a company that keeps a big roster of non-voting members or requires dues. At present, we have ten board members. I was referred by a previous board member and got involved with the company at the beginning of 2019. I became a board member and took on the task of producing our next play alongside our artistic director, Gregory Kucukarslan. Recent productions included Sex by Mae West and Exit Interview by William Missouri Downs. We’ve received several awards, including Best Comedy Ensemble from LA Weekly for our productions of Bad Seed and Eight Ways to meet your Neighbor. So far, it’s been an exciting ride!

Carla Velentine and Wayne Wilderson in "Sex" - Photo by Rich Hutchman

When did you close the theater due to COVID-19? Were you in the middle of a run?

CF: We closed down officially March 16 after LA started regulating the number of people that could gather in a public venue. We were anticipating opening our latest production, It Is Magic by Mickle Maher on April 4.  We were disappointed, of course, but thankful that we were lucky enough to not have opened already or planning to open sooner.

Are you doing anything right now to keep your live theater going? Streaming? Having virtual meetings? Planning for your next show when you reopen? Auditions? Fundraising?

CF: Of course, we are no longer holding rehearsals or meetings in person. We have adapted like many to virtual meetings discussing how to move forward. Buzzworks is anticipating opening our production of It Is Magic as soon as we get government approval on public gatherings and we are able to lock down new dates. We're using this as an opportunity to expand our social media presence and look for new works which we could possibly produce in the future. Currently, we are actively seeking and searching for new playwrights to whom we could commission an entirely new piece – or perhaps workshop one of their not yet produced works.

Samantha Sloyan and Andrea Hutchman in "Munched" - Photo courtesy of Buzzworks Theatre Company

What do you think will be the impact of COVID-19 on live theater in general in Los Angeles? Do you foresee any permanent changes? What would you like to ask of the theater public?

CF: We believe live theater will be more needed than ever after this pandemic clears. People will be thrilled to just leave their house and gather in that magical energy of live performance. I do worry that certain theaters may have trouble paying rent during these months. Hopefully, we can all hold through until the storm is over.

Supporting the arts is more important now than ever. If you love a theater group, or are able to support in any way, reach out and see what you can do for them. As far as Buzzworks is concerned, we are accepting donations and looking for new playwrights. If you know of a fabulous new play, a great writer, or are one yourself, please contact us through our website Buzzworks.org. We also might be interested in commissioning a play.

What are some of your future plans?

CF:  We are planning on running our 2020 season, but there will be a delay in the opening of our first show. In addition to that, we're hoping to continue growing as a theater company with regular seasons every year and more and more plays we are able to produce.


This article first appeared in LA Splash Worldwide.



Spotlight Series: Meet Doug Mattingly, A Multi-Talented Actor, Singer, Director, Composer, Teacher and Sound Designer


This Spotlight focuses on multi-talented actor, singer, director, composer, teacher, and sound designer Doug Mattingly, most recently involved with the production of Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone at Little Fish Theatre in San Pedro.


Shari Barrett (SB): What would you like readers to know about your theatrical background?

Doug Mattingly (Doug): I'm a stage and screen actor and have performed in dozens of plays, features, shorts, commercials, and videos. I've trained at the University of Southern California as an undergraduate where I also appeared in several student films at the time, at Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC, and at Groundlings here in Los Angeles.

Doug Mattingly as Jack in Theresa Rebecks "Dead Accounts" at Little Fish Theatre

I recently won a Stage Scene LA Award for "Outstanding Lead Actor, Comedy - Intimate Theatre" for my performance as Jack in Theresa Rebeck's Dead Accounts at Little Fish Theatre.

In addition to acting, I also work as a theatre sound designer. Most recently I designed sound for Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone at Little Fish, directed by my wife Branda Lock.

(SB): What production(s) were you involved with when word went out you needed to immediately postpone/cancel the show?

Doug Mattingly as Jack in Theresa Rebeck's "Dead Accounts" at Little Fish Theatre

Doug: We had just completed our second weekend of four, of Dead Man's Cell Phone at Little Fish Theatre. I was able to see a design run of the show as well as tech week performances and opening night. My wife and I left for a trip to the Netherlands and Belgium the day after opening and were hoping to see a couple more performances upon returning. But unfortunately, the production closed just after we got back to the States. And given what has gone on since then, we were fortunate to get back when we did.

(SB): How was the shutdown communicated with the cast and production team?

Doug: I believe the director was notified via email and phone the day prior to the email notice going out to the cast and designers, followed by a public announcement. There was talk initially of live streaming or filming the performance, but events unfolded quickly to where social distancing measures made that impossible.

(SB): Are plans in place to present that production at a future date, or is the cancellation permanent?

Doug Mattingly as Ekhart in "Key to Eternity"

(Doug): The broader question right now for many theaters, is if the theater will reopen at all. For now, Little Fish Theatre (LFT) is hosting a Virtual Stage where company members are posting various forms of content. Given my musical background as a performer, composer, and teacher, I've posted a video on songwriting which you can find at the above link. Other actors have posted comedy bits, short films, etc. There's even an ongoing web series happening with material from legendary television writer Ken Levine (M*A*S*H, Cheers, Frasier), prolific playwright Rich Orloff, best-selling author Syrie James (The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen), and LFT Company Members. A full slate of live stream readings, an original web series, classes, and interviews are now available on Little Fish Theatre’s Virtual Stage website.

(SB): What future productions on your schedule are also affected by the shutdown?

 

(Doug): As far as LFT is concerned, everything is up in the air. I also have some on-camera projects that are on hold. Another theatre company I am a member of, Infinite Jest Theatre Company, is working with the City of West Hollywood to mount readings and/or a production in September. As of now, plans are moving forward in the event that there is some return to normalcy by then.

(SB): I think everyone is hoping things return to normal as soon as possible. For now, how are you personally keeping the Arts alive while at home by using social media or other online sites?

Doug: I am an instructor at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Hollywood, a performing arts college that offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts as well as a two-year conservatory certificate, so I am (very fortunately) still working. I am teaching all my courses online for the remainder of the semester, so I am engaging with young artists in live one-on-one video settings and by making prerecorded lesson videos and posting documents in Google Classroom.

Doug Mattingly in "Spray It, Don't Say It"

I've also participated and will continue to participate in live online readings of screenplays and short theatrical plays. As a matter of fact, some actor friends and I are doing a reading of one of my feature screenplays on Sunday, April 26 at 4pm. We'll have an invited online audience as well! So that's a lot of fun! I will provide details for those interested in being part of the audience as the details become available.

I'll also be recording live solo music performances (I'm a guitarist and singer). My wife, who is a fantastic singer, and I have recorded a couple pieces as well and will be posting them in the coming days. I hope folks will check out Little Fish's Virtual Stage since there will be a lot of good material hitting there.

(SB): What thoughts would you like to share with the rest of the LA Theatre community while we are all leaving the Ghostlight on and promising to return back to the stage soon?

(Doug): I will have moments of feeling normal: practicing guitar, working on a screenplay, reading a play, making dinner, watching a movie, preparing for a class I'm teaching, and then remember what's going on outside my front door. That has been unsettling. It's like holding the two ideas in your mind that one day we'll shuffle off this mortal coil, yet you have to do the laundry.

Doug Mattingly staying fit

It's tempting to think of this period as a "hold" or "pause" until we get back to real life. But for me, it's been important to remember that this IS real life. And so I've been doing my best to make the most of each day. I'm using the various video chat formats to keep in touch with friends and family and all that. I had a lockdowned birthday last week. I'll never forget that one, that's for sure.

As people all over the world shelter in place and stream hours and hours of movies and TV shows, creative people should be proud of the service we as a community are providing during this time. When folks watch a movie or TV show, they are enjoying the talents of actors, writers, set designers, directors, gaffers, cinematographers, composers, editors, makeup artists; not to mention the legions of drivers, caterers, accountants, agents, lawyers, union representatives who help make it all possible. We must always remember that artists are vital to our society and we need for all of us to go on creating.

(SB): You have so much going on. How can others stay in touch and/or find out more about you and your projects?

Doug: Folks can keep tabs on me here at my website, where I've recently updated my comedy and drama. And if you've watched all the Netflix, there are a few short films posted including the award winning "Grand Cru," I can also be found on Instagram as dougmattingly.

I'm also posting lots of videos on my YouTube channel. Half Life is a comedic drama about a 40ish struggling actor who returns to his hometown to settle the affairs of his estranged, overbearing father and to find a way to finally move into an adulthood that's been a long time coming. Anyone interested in being part of the audience for the reading of my screenplay Half Life can contact me through my website.


This article first appeared on Broadway World.



Spotlight Series: Meet Multi-Talented Triple-Threat Actor John Devereaux from Hamilton Touring Company


This Spotlight focuses on John Devereaux, a multi-talented triple-threat actor who I shared the stage with in Little Shop of Horrors at the Westchester Playhouse after he arrived in Los Angeles from Houston, and who has gone on to charm audiences across the country in touring productions of Rent and Hamilton. John also appeared locally in Dreamgirls at the Pasadena Playhouse, Spamilton at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, and during the Hollywood Fringe Festival in the world premiere of Recorded in Hollywood, among many other productions.

I was so looking forward to seeing him take the stage in Hamilton at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre soon, but unfortunately the national tour in which he was appearing had to shut down along with the rest of the world’s theaters. So what’s he up to now?


Shari Barrett (SB): What would you like readers to know about your theatrical background?

John Devereaux as Collins in "Rent"

John Devereaux (John): I grew up in Houston, Texas and moved to LA in 2012 to continue my career in performance, beginning with studying Improv at The Groundlings. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of a number of professional productions working with some of the best in the area, including McCoy/Rigby Entertainment, Center Theatre Group, and 5-Star Theatricals. I’ve also toured with the 20th Anniversary Tour of Rent and currently with the Angelica Tour of Hamilton.

John Devereaux on the Angelica Tour of "Hamilton"

(SB): What production(s) were you involved with when word went out you needed to immediately postpone/cancel the show?

(John): I was in Miami with the Angelica Tour of Hamilton when we got word that our shows would be postponed/cancelled 

(SB): How was the shutdown communicated with the cast and production team?

(John): I do believe our company managers did the best they could in the moment with everything going on and there is probably nothing more challenging than managing a touring theatre company. After we had two meetings after two of our evening shows, we were implementing new procedures to keep the company safe (not doing backstage tours, not signing at the stage door, etc.), which left us wondering what was going to happen to the rest of our tour schedule. Then the cancellation of our next city, Jacksonville, was announced publicly on the Hamilton Instagram story before we found out ourselves. Knowing there was work to be done during that time, including the spread of information, I can see why we might have been the last to know. It was just a sad moment personally for me.

John Devereaux backstage in "Dreamgirls" at the Village Theatre

(SB):  Are plans in place to present that production at a future date, or is the cancellation permanent?

(John): Dates are being rescheduled as word comes in. It may not be the company/tour that was originally supposed to do the engagement, but Hamilton will still happen in those cities at a later time.

(SB): That’s great to know that I may get the chance to see you in the show then! Were there other future productions on your schedule also affected by the shutdown?

(John): None as of yet. As of March, I’m scheduled to stay on the Hamilton tour at least through June 2021. But for now, I am coping with all of this by creating bits of humor online. Funny videos mostly on Instagram.

John Devereaux in"Spamilton" at the Kirk Douglas Theatre

(SB): I have been enjoying many of them on your Facebook page! It’s great to see so many creative people bringing humor to the forefront during this pandemic.  

(John): To members of the Los Angeles Theatre community and those across the country, please remember our industry will bounce back. Ours is a business of escapism, people are going to need something else than a screen to entertain them once this is all done. We’re going to get through this.

In the meantime, take a breath. Spend time with the people you love or doing the other things you love or finding new things to love! To those for whom performance was their escape, it’s okay to feel that emptiness. It’s okay if there’s nothing there to replace it right now because this is a time to focus on the other parts of our lives that inform our performances; our art. Life is but an opportunity to be and as long as there is breath in our lungs, we can breathe life into anything.


This article first appeared on Broadway World.



Spotlight Series: Meet Los Angeles-Based Playwright Phil Olson


This Spotlight focuses on Phil Olson who was born and raised in Edina, Minnesota before he moved to Los Angeles. He has won over 30 playwriting and theatre awards with his 16 published plays that have had over 400 productions in seven countries around the world, with ten of his plays published by Samuel French/Concord Theatricals. This past Christmas, his new play, A Twisted Christmas Carol, had its world premieres in eight cities, concurrently, across the U.S. including a production by Group Rep at the Lonny Chapman Theatre in NoHo. But what’s he up to now with such a vast theatrical quarantine in place?


After graduating from Dartmouth, Phil Olson tried out for the Chicago Bears. After his "summer with the Bears," he went on to receive an MBA from The University of Chicago and pursued a business career while writing stage and screenplays. So far, he has written 16 published plays that have had over 400 productions in seven countries around the world, with ten of those plays published by Samuel French/Concord Theatricals. His screenplay, Sioux Falls, is currently under option. And he has sold two screenplays and script doctored three screenplays that were produced. Phil also went through all four levels of The Groundlings, writing and performing with many talented people including Maya Rudolph.

Phil's play Mom's Gift was set to open at the Western Ontario Drama League Festival in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada, on March 20, but was canceled due to COVID-19. The Western Ontario Drama League communicated the cancellation with the cast and crew, and since the entire Festival isn’t taking place, there are no plans to bring back the production.

 

So what's he up to now, I asked. "I wrote a new play and will soon be doing a Zoom reading of it with five actors. If that goes well, I'll do more Zoom readings with theaters around the country. For me, the quarantine has been a good time to write. I'm sort of a hermit anyway, so the shutdown hasn't affected me that much other than motivate me to work a little harder at writing. I would just encourage all the playwrights to keep writing, and don't let the shutdown discourage you. We'll get through this. But it certainly saddens me that theaters are dark right now. It encourages me to see actor and director friends of mine do live Facebook feeds, blogs, and Zoom rehearsals to get through this. The creativity I've seen in using social media to continue with the arts is a shining light."

Phil and I both send a big Thank You to everyone who supports live theatre, and we ask that everyone please continue to support your local theaters so they can remain open to welcome you back when the "Stay at Home" quarantine is over. After all, they need your support now more than ever.


This article first appeared on Broadway World.



More L.A. Venue and Event Postponements, Updates, Cancellations, and Active Shows


Better Lemons has updated more shows in our calendar with any current postponements, updates, or cancelations due to coronavirus and concerns and actions towards the safety of theatre patrons where larger audiences are expected. Most venues are using directives by Governor Gavin Newsom and California Public Health and L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announcements this week as a guide in implementing steps to accommodate for the greater public safety.

The following is a list of venues and shows that we have updated currently. This list includes shows and venues still currently open. Be sure to check with individual venues for any further potential updates or questions.

If you have tickets, please consider either donating your ticket or contacting the venue or show producer for information on available vouchers or rain checks for future shows.

If you have a show that needs updating, please log in and update your show accordingly. If you are postponing, do not delete your event and feel free to email us via our contact form should you need assistance with updating.


VENUES


Dynasty Typewriter


SHOWS




Now Registered on the Better Lemons Calendar – March 2 - 8, 2020


Better Lemons currently has over 140 shows NOW registered on the Better Lemons Calendar!

Registered NEW this week are Art Shows, Musicals, Comedy, Cabaret, Solo, Readings, and more:
For shows with a LemonMeter rating, visit our LemonMeter page.


Wait Until Dark

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Bernhardt/Hamlet

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One Way Ticket to Oregon

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The Pack

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Darkness Comes Alive: Discover Your Neon Eternity

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Muse of Fire (Henry 4/5)

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A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Divorce

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Scintilla

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2nd Annual NOT REAL ART Creators Conference

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Bakersfield Mist

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ANTIDOTE TO NOISE: FOUR VOICES

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Poor Clare

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Alice in Wonderland the Musical

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Señorita Julia - Staged Reading

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A Dark, Disturbing but Relevant Film, A Classic Play, Music That Will Have You Up On Your Feet and Get Ready To Laugh

To quote the Joker, 'What do you get when you cross a mentally ill loner with a society that abandons him and treats him like trash?' 'You get what you f-ing deserve.' That about sums up the brilliant, dark, disturbing, profound film JOKER directed by Todd Phillips who also wrote it along with Scott Silver.

The film stars Joaquin Phoenix who gives an astonishing performance as Arthur Fleck/Joker proving once again he may just be one of the top ten great actors of our generation. Phoenix lost a lot of weight to play the part. He looks thin, frail, hungry. Phoenix is in practically ever scene and he is absolutely mesmerizing.

Before he becomes the Joker, Arthur is one of societies freaks. He's beaten up, made fun of, a misunderstood loner. All Arthur wants to do is make people laugh. After all he's a clown and that's what he's paid to do.

Arthur tells us he 'just doesn't want to feel so bad anymore.' But that's not to be. We see the mental, moral, emotional and physical make up of the man who becomes the Joker. This is not a comic book movie. It's a devastating film about one of the most iconic villains in cinema history but at the same time, it comments on our society and what's happening in this country now. 'Joker' opens in theaters Friday, October 4th. Get your tickets now.

Speaking of powerful, Arthur Miller's ALL MY SONS is just that. The play opened on Broadway on January 1947 and it's still relevant today. 'All My Sons' is based upon a true story. The Wright Aeronautical Corporation based in Ohio had conspired with army inspection officers to approve defective aircraft engines destined for military use.

The Tony winning play starts in the middle of the action, abruptly in August 1947. Joe Keller, a self made businessman and his wife Kate are visited by a neighbor Frank. At Kate's request Frank is trying to figure out the horoscope of the Kellers' missing son Larry, who disappeared three years earlier while serving in the military during World War II.

The entire play takes place over one day in the yard of the Keller's. Secrets of the past expose who is family and how we justify the sacrifice we make for family. 'All My Sons' is directed by Elina de Santos and she does an excellent job.

Pacific Resident Theatre is located at 705 1/2 Venice Blvd in Venice. The play is presented by the Co-op of PRT. This is an electrifying drama of family conflict, patriotic duty and personal greed and even though it is set in the aftermath of WW II I'm sure it's very relatable for events occurring in 2019.

For tickets go to PacificResidentTheatre.com.

Now for something lighter. HARVELLS is a club that has been presenting Blues, Jazz, R&B, Hip-Hop, Spoken Word, Burlesque and more since 1931. I've seen a lot of great acts there, but one of the best is called THE TOLEDO SHOW. It plays every Sundays at 9pm.

As quoted by the Los Angeles Times, Toledo is 'the coolest Cat working in Hollywood.' 'The show is top notch and really must be experienced. Toledo is considered on of the hottest acts in modern music.' Toledo is a Soul singer, Jazz man, poet, dancer, choreographer, connoisseur of haberdashery and probably one of the most dramatic and entertaining performers you will ever see.

He's toured all over the United States and Australia always getting rave reviews. His vocal styling's have been compared to Tom Waits, Marvin Gaye, Sly Stone and Barry White. How could it be any better? I'm seeing him again this Sunday and I can't wait. Oh if Burlesque is your thing, you will definitely get to see that as well. It's part of the show and if you like sexy female dancers called 'Dames' in the show, you'll love watching them hanging from rods installed near the ceiling of Harvelle's during a song.

Harvells is located at 1432 4th Street in Santa Monica. For tickets call 310-395-1676 or go to Harvelles.com

Lastly one of my favorite improv group takes place at the GROUNDLINGS. I've been going there for years and I've always laughed so hard that I almost fell off my chair. Their new show entitled ALL THE LEAVES ARE GROUNDLINGS opens this Friday, October 4th, and I promise you will love every minute of it.

For tickets call the box office 323-934-4747 or go to Groundlings.com/shows/all-the-leaves-are-groundlings. Some of our best comedians have come from The Groundlings School, including Kathy Griffith, Jon Lovitz and Laraine Newman just to name a few. ALL THE LEAVES ARE GROUNDLINGS plays Fridays at 8pm and Saturday at 8pm and 10pm.

The theatre is located at 7307 Melrose in West LA.

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


JOAN OF ART: A Weekend of Superheroes, Art, Comedy and Amazing Sea Creatures

If rain has been keeping you in the house, once again the sun will be shinning this weekend and I have some fun suggestions on what to do.

First on my list is a film that I saw the other night and it's one that many of you have been waiting for...

Captain Marvel starring the wonderful Brie Larson as Carol Danvers aka Captain Marvel.

Captain Marvel is an American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character, Carol Danvers. The film is written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck with Geneva Robertson-Dworet also contributing to the screenplay.

Samuel L. Jackson, Ben Mendelsohn, Djimon Hounsou, Lee Pace, Jude Law and Annette Bening round out the cast. Oh and an awesome kitty named Goose who is right up there with my favorite characters.

Set in 1995, the story follows Danvers as she becomes Captain Marvel after the Earth is caught in the center of a galactic conflict between two alien worlds. The story borrows elements from Roy Thomas's 1971 'Kree-Skrull War' comic book storyline. Instead of giving anymore of the plot away, I'll just say 'Captain Marvel is everything you'd expect a super-hero to be. It has action, thrills, surprises and lots of humor. I promise, you will not be disappointed. The film opens Friday, March 8th at many theatres around town.

Another kind of art is happening this Friday evening and this event is in Pasadena.

ArtNight Pasadena returns on March 8 for a free evening of art, music and entertainment. 20 of Pasadena's most prominent arts and cultural institutions will open their doors to showcase their artwork. Munchies from some of Los Angeles' favorite food trucks will also be available for purchase, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to help support future ArtNights.

Last fall, 16,000 people gathered in excitement of ArtNight and this year expects the same. ArtNight takes place from 6 to 10 p.m.

The list of participating sites / institutions for 2019 includes Armory Center for the Arts, The Gamble House, Norton Simon Museum, the Pasadena History Museum, and more than a dozen others plus shuttle bus routes can be found by going to ArtNight Pasadena.org. I was there last year and I absolutely loved it. Great people watching as well.

As I've mentioned in my previous columns, one of my most favorite things to do involves laughter and no one does it better than THE GROUNDLINGS.

Their new show GROUNDLINGS 7 GROUNDLINGS, ATTORNEYS AT LAW is now in session representing laughter, fun and good times. The Groundlings are going to have you laughing all night with their always original and hilarious sketch and improv acts.

Director Deanna Oliver leads the Groundlings troupe which includes Matt Cook, H. Michael Croner, Josh Duvendeck, Ryan Gaul, Patty Guggenheim, Kris Kennedy, Emily Pendergast and Greg Worswick.

The show runs every Friday and Saturday night at 8pm and 10pm until April 20th 2019.. Tickets are $20.00. The Groundlings Theatre is located at 7307 Melrose Avenue in West Hollywood. For more information or to purchase tickets please visit Groundlings.com or call (323) 934-4747.

On Sunday I will be in Dana Point commuting with some of natures most exquisite sea creatures. The Whale. Now if I could only convince the creators of this event to let me jump into the ocean and swim with these extraordinary beings.

The Festival of Whales, which began last weekend, runs March 9th and 10th so you don't have much time to drive on down to Dana Point to visit this must-see event.

The festival has been going on for 48 years and besides whale watching it includes food, games and fun for the entire family.

Expert captains and certified naturalists narrate each excursion detailing the whales' movements through their national immigration path. As the originator of Whate Watching in Orange County, Dana Wharf is exclusively endorsed by world renowned marine life artist Wyland. Every trip is a new and different adventure, all showcasing the beauty of the Pacific and of course the Whales.

Excursions depart every hour on the hour from 8am to 4pm during the Festival weekends and every trip is approximately two hours.

Prices: Adults $45, Senior and Military $35. Children 3-12 years $29. Children under 7 always free.

To purchase tickets call 888-224-0603 or go to DanaWharf.com.

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