Friday, March 28, 2014

SWAN Day Action Fest Celebrates Female Playwrights

Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative and Little Black Dress INK present a day of playreadings and connections to celebrate Support Women Artists Now DaySWAN Day Action Fest takes place at Samuel French Bookshop in Hollywood on Saturday, March 29 from 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Admission is free.

The day’s events include readings of plays written and directed by women, as well as two sessions of Micro-Reads (open to women writers in attendance) and opportunities for theatermakers (of all genders) to network and find future collaborators — women artists working in Los Angeles.

SWAN Day Action Fest plays are Civilization by Velina Hasu Houston, directed by Laura SteinroederDouds, Iowa by Debbie Bolsky, directed by Katherine MurphyThe Stiff by Kathryn Graf, directed by McKerrin KellyOver Ripe by Becca Anderson, directed by Gloria Iseli; and Awesome Big Somebody by Sarah Tuft, directed by Holly L. Derr.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Not a Typical One-Man Show: Pat Kinevane in "Forgotten" by M.R. Hunter

One-person shows can seem a lot like enduring a 90 minute therapy session…only the audience isn’t the one getting paid for their time. At best, the performer may entertain, enlighten or stimulate thought like any other production, but in the worst of scenarios, there’s more navel-gazing, ego-stroking and basking in the glorious limelight of someone’s own scripted biography.

Irish actor Pat Kinevane is none of the latter and better than the former. He’s the real deal both as an artist, a writer and an activist using the stage to broach conversation about the unspoken. His two plays “Forgotten” and “Silent” running in a limited three-week engagement at the Odyssey Theatre touch on the absurdity of life, loss, aging and loneliness—in effect, humanity.

I had the privilege to interview Kinevane for EyeSpyLA during his “Forgotten” run in 2011 (Read interview HERE). His concerns for the elderly, lack of support as well as the psychological and emotional toil pivoted between his contemplative observations, frustration and witty candor. Much like his personality, “Forgotten” which follows the lives of four seniors in a nursing home is keenly astute and literarily sublime, but brimming with dollops of humor as he engages and flirts with the audience.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Post St. Patty's: Irish Whiskey Lucky Charms Cake by Charles Phoenix

Magically Delicious and Intoxicating !!!

I can’t remember life without Lucky Charms on the cereal shelf of every supermarket and, when I was lucky, on my childhood breakfast table. Their very distinct flavor of magical deliciousness had me at first bite.

This year cereal munchers everywhere are celebrating Lucky Charms’ 50th anniversary. But that’s not the only reason to party, it’s St. Patrick’s Day season. Cheers!

And that’s the perfect excuse for me to get back on the Charles Phoenix Test Kitchen and play matchmaker. I wanted to find out what would happen when I swirled a box of the most St. Patrick’s Day appropriate cereal with a big bottle of Irish whiskey into a cake. As I separated the charms from the cereal, blended in the whiskey and added bottles of food colorings, I felt the magic and got lucky. The suns, moons and stars all came together. The cake turned out to be magically delicious!!!

Cheers to St. Paddy, the latest recipe from the Charles Phoenix Test Kitchen and YOU !!!

Charles Phoenix
Los Angeles

Eyestrology: Happy Birthday Aries! by Cici Psy-Chic

For the month of 3/21/14-4/20/14

Happy birthday to these celebrity March Arians: Gary Oldman (3/21), Reese Witherspoon (3/22), Perez Hilton (3/23), Jim Parsons (3/24), Elton John (3/25), Steven Tyler (3/26), Mariah Carey (3/27), Lady Gaga (3/28), Lucy Lawless (3/29), Celine Dion (3/30), Christopher Walken (3/31)

Celebrity April Arians: Asa Buttefield (4/1), Christopher Meloni (4/2), Eddie Murphy (4/3), Robert Downey Jr. (4/4), Zak Bagans (4/5), Paul Rudd (4/6), Russell Crowe (4/7), Julian Lennon (4/8), Kristen Stewart (4/9), Steven Seagal (4/10), Joel Grey (4/11), Vince Gill (4/12), Al Green (4/13), Sarah Michelle Gellar (4/14), Emma Watson (4/15), Martin Lawrence (4/16), Victoria Beckham (4/17), David Tennant (4/18), Kate Hudson (4/19), George Takei (4/20)

Most signs will be feeling revitalized and adventurous over the next few weeks. Indulge this insatiable thirst for wanderlust by exploring new places, special events and unique festivals. One of our mottos for this Aries month should be: know thy self. Watch The Matrix scene with the Oracle if you need some words of wisdom. Do what feels right for you even if it means unplugging from Tweets and social media for the day just to take a long, luxurious hike. This is an excellent period for soul searching but you can’t do that if you’re not willing to take a timeout.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

"Forbidden Love" Comic Book Style with Captured Aural Phantasy Theater by M.R. Hunter

“I wanted Dick. I was a fool for Dick. All I ever wanted was more of Dick.”

Sexual innuendo was ripe in the heyday of romance comic books with vivid depictions of star-crossed lovers falling into outstretched arms or running towards one other on a secluded beach. For almost 40 years, romance comics enjoyed a healthy audience of teenage girls before the advent of soap operas dominated television. Conservative critics, always the perennial killjoys, attempted, and in some cases, were successful in banning comics considered carnally explicit.

Oh yeah, baby!

Wonder Bowl, Anaheim, CA, 1958 by Charles Phoenix

The Wonder Bowl bowls me over!

That twisted fan splay of signposts skewering big bowling balls is one of the great wonders of the Mid-Century modern world.

Who knew a space age suburban sign could have the poise and grace of a prima ballerina or a pro bowler about to bowl a strike?

The little companion billboard strikes a rare balanced pose, too. On the bill: OPEN BOWLING 24 HRS, FREE INSTRUCTIONS DAILY, HELEN TERRY AT PIANO BAR, ROAST SIRLOIN OF BEEF TENDERLOIN $1.65, COFFEE SHOP and 95 LUNCHEON. Sounds like a feast for the senses. Let’s go!

They're Baaack! "Urban Death" @ Zombie Joe's Underground in NoHo

“They won’t stay dead!”

If you recognize the tagline to this classic zombie film, then you’re the perfect victim viewer for Zombie Joe’s Underground in-urbane “Urban Death” back again by popular demand. Macabre fans and lovers of all things dark and disturbing can’t get enough of the horror-centric company who've made their home in NoHo. This ghoulish production puts the MORE in morbid with its rapidly paced one-act featuring the oddest assortment of visceral scenes ranging from the creepy crawly to the shockingly sinister.

Those who’ve already seen one of the earlier signature productions of “Urban Death” should return like the Living Dead and get ready to party because Zombie Joe and his crew always adds more to keep fans sated. 

You can read M.R. Hunter's full terrifying 2012 review of "Urban Death" HERE

Runs through April 26
Saturday nights at 8:30 pm
ZJU Theatre Group
4850 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood. CA 91604
Reservations: (818) 202- 4120
Tickets: $15

Glendale Youth Orchestra Performs like Pros by Robert Kerr

Last Sunday night I had the good fortune to attend a performance of the Glendale Youth Orchestra at the Alex Theatre. It was a last minute invite, but going to the Alex is always a treat. I usually go to this venue to see movies, (they have a Three Stooges marathon every Thanksgiving weekend), but this was the first live show I was seeing there and my interest was definitely piqued. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Captured Aural Phantasy Theater presents the Forbidden Love Show

Enjoy vintage tales from the darkside of Hollywood and romance – uncensored and LIVE! Captured Aural Phantasy Theater presents the FORBIDDEN LOVE SHOW at the historic El Cid for 1 night only, this Sunday, March 9! This eclectic theater troupe uses their signature retro-radio style to create a unique and hilarious variety show that is entertaining for fans of theater, comic books, and yesteryear. This live performance of stories are pulled from vintage, mid-century romance comic books, but these aren’t heart-warming tales – these are the comic book love stories that were banned for being too racy! Along with multi-media comic book performances, the evening includes comedic acts, prizes and the finest live music. Spend the evening with Captured Aural Phantasy Theater for naughty, uncensored entertainment!

The FORBIDDEN LOVE SHOW is the first in their new Seduction of the Innocent series, monthly shows that highlight comics once deemed harmful to kids. The series is in anticipation of the 60th anniversary of the Senate hearings of April 21, 1954, which damned the comic book industry. CAPT will be re-staging this historic event with a special theatrical performance later in the spring. In the meantime, get the back story and enjoy this “bad influence” at El Cid. All the cool kids are doin’ it.

You can read MR Hunter's review of their "Night of Noir" show HERE.

El Cid
4212 W. Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA  90029

Sunday, March 9
7:30 pm doors open and dinner seating begins
8:30 pm show

Wendy Graf's "Closely Related Keys" at the Lounge Theatre by M.R. Hunter

Playwright Wendy Graf’s compelling drama about a pair of unlikely half-sisters hits every note, just not always with equal measure in her world premiere at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood.

Directed under the keen and sensitive eye of Shirley Jo Finney with Diarra Kilpatrick (LA Weekly and NAACP award-winner from last season’s hit “In the Red and Brown Water”) starring as Julia—a brash, workaholic corporate attorney, Graf has a veritable dynamic duo maintaining a pleasing rhythm, even when occasionally the play loses its own intrinsic tempo in its overpower.

Widely known and well-esteemed for portraying fiercely determined women in such works as “Behind the Gates,” and “No Word in Guyanese For Me” starring Anna Khaja (currently in the Fountain’s “My Name is Asher Lev”), Graf’s marked ability to illuminate the feminine psyche is matched by her intrepid fascination with differing cultures through the tension of the foreigner. Combined, it makes for an intoxicating social commentary about the ‘Other’ underscored by a rich veracity to her characters. In “Closely Related Keys,” all these elements are present, but instead of unfolding fluidly, the conflicts rival each other with unresolved satisfaction or nuance.