Friday, October 16, 2015

Disneyland Double Exposed, 1961 by Charles Phoenix

Dapper Day is my faaave day of the year to experience Disneyland. It's the day everybody dresses up in their beautiful best and struts their stuff in the original Magic Kingdom and California Adventure!
This magical event is a perfect match for my …
WHEN: Sat, Sept. 19 – 12 noon to 1:15-ish
WHERE: Anaheim – Downtown Disney's AMC Theater
And now … Disneyland Double Exposed, 1961

Sleeping Beauty's Castle is slightly double exposed on the House of the Future. Its medieval meets mid-century! Medievalism and modernism have never been so close. For a mere, but marvelous ten years, between 1957 and 1967, Disneyland's legendary all-plastic House of the Future was just outside of Tomorrowland, perched on a pedestal, steps from the castle. They both represent fairy tales – one speaks of the future and the other of the past.
But who is supposed to be posing for this pic? Is it the twins wearing matching puffed-sleeved-pinafore party dresses over white bobby socks and black patent leather? Or is it the woman who wears sensible yet stylish shoes and her two followers, whose stride seems clearly interrupted?

‘Awake and Sing!’: Still Going Strong by M.R. Hunter

It has been 80 years since the Group Theatre premiered Clifford Odets' first full-length play, 'Awake and Sing!,' a family drama set in a Bronx apartment during the Great Depression. The critical success in 1935 bolstered both the playwright and the company's reputation for creating socially conscious, character driven works under the then nouveau Stanislavski method of acting. Although the Group Theatre lasted only a decade and later Odets would eventually stand trial at the HCUA (House Committee on Un-American Activities) for joining the Communist party, tarnishing his standing among Hollywood's elite, (many of these former members of the Group Theatre), Odets' 'Awake and Sing!' has remained in the repertoire of great American plays.

In Los Angeles, another milestone has passed, and with it, a revival of not only Odets' gripping tragicomedy, but of director Elina de Santos and many of the original cast members themselves in the 20th anniversary of the smash hit production at the Odyssey. From this original staging two artists stood out, cementing their own reputations in L.A.: de Santos and Marilyn Fox, esteemed actress and Artistic Director of Pacific Coast Repertory in Venice. It seems for anyone with the right vision and chutzpah, Odets, (buried in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale), is a career-maker all these years later....

Friday, October 2, 2015

Eyestrology: Happy Birthday Libra! by Cici Psy-Chic

For the month of 9/23/15-10/23/15

Happy birthday to these celebrity October Librans: Julie Andrews (10/1), Sting (10/2), Gwen Stefani (10/3), Russell Simmons (10/4), Kate Winslet (10/5), Amy Jo Johnson (10/6), Simon Cowell (10/7), Bruno Mars (10/8), Tyler James Williams (10/9), Mario Lopez (10/10), Emily Deschanel (10/11), Hugh Jackman (10/12), Ashanti (10/13), Usher (10/14), Tito Jackson (10/15), John Mayer (10/16), Eminem (10/17), Zac Efron (10/18), Floyd Mayweather Sr. (10/19), Snoop Dogg (10/20), Kim Kardashian (10/21), Christopher Lloyd (10/22), Ryan Reynolds (10/23)

Mercury is almost out of retrograde, but don't celebrate too much just yet. This is still an excellent period for us to be pragmatic in our choices. Make sure to have as much information as possible before committing to anything through Oct. 9. Avoid any legal entanglements. We should be aware of our emotions and how we respond to others. Our feelings can guide us to what we most desire or what we no longer need. Pay attention to communications, and ask questions if anything is unclear. We should remain vigilant about our mercurial mood swings.

The Other TWA Rocket: Lost & Found, Kansas City, MO by Charles Phoenix

The TWA Rocket to the Moon is an icon of Disneyland's early days. It was the centerpiece and crowning outer space touch of the original Tomorrowland, "the world of 1987." But that wasn't the only TWA Rocket to the Moon. I'm not talking about the smaller scale "tribute" to the original that stands in Tomorrowland today.
In 1956, TWA's big bad boy, Howard Hughes, ordered a copy of Tomorrowland's TWA rocket and prominently perched it atop TWA headquarters in Kansas City MO, where it stood for, well, I'm not exactly sure. When the rocket was removed, through what had to be an odd set of circumstances, it wound up in a trailer park somewhere in suburban Kansas City...

Friday, September 18, 2015

Dramatizing History: “The Princes of Kings Road” by M.R. Hunter

Much of history leads one to the invariable musings of what ifs—a queried playground for writers to slip and slide down in its endless jungle gym of imaginings. This is no easy feat. Writers tend to magnify contexts, characters and relationships in order to best tell their story, sometimes, regardless of its truthfulness. But too little embellishment leads to didacticism.

Screenwriter and TV writer Tom Lazarus tackles a rare gem of L.A. lore between a pair of architectural giants, Rudolph Schindler and Richard Neutra, whose contributions can still be seen throughout the city, their modernist preeminence peeking out among the mishmash of stucco, siding, or gabled gaffes, let alone the industrial heave of 1970s featureless utilitarianism. Rising to prominence, both men were born and educated within miles of each other in Vienna, before coming to America—Schindler working under the famed Frank Lloyd Wright, and Neutra invited by his then friend Schindler to join him and his wife in their new home on Kings Road in West Hollywood. Both became naturalized citizens, and both took Los Angeles by storm with their forward-thinking structures created with both function and aesthetics to work in harmony...

Friday, September 11, 2015

Eyestrology: Happy Birthday Virgo! by Cici Psy-Chic

For the month of 8/23/15-9/23/15

Happy birthday to these celebrity September Virgos: Dr. Phil McGraw (9/1),  Keanu Reeves (9/2), Charlie Sheen (9/3), Beyonce Knowles (9/4), Michael Keaton (9/5), Rosie Perez (9/6), Gloria Gaynor (9/7), Pink (9/8), Adam Sandler (9/9), Colin Firth (9/10), Ludacris (9/11), Jennifer Hudson (9/12), Ben Savage (9/13), Robert Herjavic (9/14), Tom Hardy (9/15), Nick Jonas (9/16), Kyle Chandler (9/17), Jada Pinkett Smith (9/18), Jimmy Fallon (9/19), Phillip Phillips (9/20), Stephen King (9/21), Tom Felton (9/22), Bruce Springsteen (9/23)

We'll want what we can't have these first few weeks in September. Patience is a virtue. Driving our dissatisfaction is the conflict of relating information to others with confidence. It might be easier to address people through group emails and conference phone calls instead of approaching them individually. Don't make more of issues as they arise than necessary. Keep perspective by viewing problems as natural bumps in the road. We should take this time to step back from any uncomfortable situation and assess before assuming we have all the answers.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Steering the Mark Twain! by Charles Phoenix

Behold the glory of the Mark Twain, the prettiest paddle wheeler on the planet. Divine in every Dixie detail, it’s the ultimate old-timey attraction in Disneyland’s Frontierland and has been since the day it was launched, 60 years ago. Here, you see it in 1957.
Over the years, I’ve boarded that beauty more times than I can remember, and enjoyed that round-the-island journey enough times to have gone down the entire Mississippi river at least once.
So, what a surprise it was when I heard you could actually “drive” the Mark Twain, and then get a certificate that says “I drove the Mark Twain,” or something like that.