Friday, April 25, 2014

Fabulous Ferris Wheel, Las Vegas, Nevada by Charles Phoenix

Fabulous Las Vegas, as it’s accurately and historically described, has done it again. They’ve gone and built another icon. This time it’s the biggest Ferris wheel on earth! The whole thing is SO futuristic. The nearby monorails whizzing by add to the effect. For a moment or two I thought I was on another planet.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Calling All Playwrights! Skylight Theatre Offers a Home for New Voices to Shine by M.R. Hunter

Like any art, theater is in a constant state of evolution. It enjoyed preeminence before the talkies appeared a century ago. Everything changes. Newspapers struggle against the internet, critics who once wrote essays and books on the state of theater let alone verbose reviews are reduced to a mere doubling of Twitter-sized word counts and a diminishing of their importance. Actors are not so nearly eager to dive into a six-week run at the expense of a better paying gig. The trickledown effect has been enormous and palpable. One role has remained the same, the playwright. Without him/her, there is no show excepting improvisation. Yet, much in how theater has been indelibly altered by technology and dwindling, less-than-captive audiences, so too has the playwright suffered the slings and arrows of theater's hegemony by lack of accessibility.  

For a playwright to find a foothold between his/her script and the stage door one has to crack the door, or in this case, a window to let opportunity and development shine its way through.  Artistic Director Gary Grossman of the Skylight Theatre Company (previously known as Katselas) is determined to offer a place for playwrights to experiment, hone, fail or succeed. Having produced over 300 plays and over 50 world premieres, Grossman is fearless in his conviction: emerging playwrights are the future of theater. Finding and developing raw talent is his goal. It is a lofty mission in the face of flagging audiences, competing revivals (where everyone knows at least the play is good) and word of mouth. In a city rife with writers like Los Angeles, the demand is great but the supply, up until the company's rebranded vision, has been poor with few options beyond the Fringe Festival or workshops. A playwright haven is an oasis.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Rance’s Chicago Pizza in Costa Mesa by Valerie Mitchell

After visiting Illinois, Rance Ruiz dreamed of creating the perfect Chicago style pizza. He practiced and perfected his skills and his recipes for years before opening up his dream restaurant – Rance's Chicago Pizza.

I tried out the restaurant for the first time and loved the food. Obviously, I am not the only one who enjoys it. There was a steady stream of people coming in to eat at the restaurant and to pick up to go orders.

The House Salad was delicious. It's made with fresh ingredients and the salad dressings are handmade by Rance's mother. This salad would have been a satisfying meal on it's own.

Eyestrology LA: Happy Birthday Taurus by Cici Psy-Chic

For the month of 4/20/14-5/21/14

Happy birthday to these celebrity April Tauruses: George Takei (4/20), Queen Elizabeth II (4/21), Jack Nicholson (4/22), George Lopez (4/23), Kelly Clarkson (4/24), Al Pacino (4/25), Channing Tatum (4/26), Tess Daly (4/27), Jessica Alba (4/28), Jerry Seinfeld (4/29), Willie Nelson (4/30)

Celebrity May Tauruses: Tim McGraw (5/1), David Beckham (5/2), Frankie Valli (5/3), Randy Travis (5/4), Adele (5/5), George Clooney (5/6), Robin Strasser (5/7), Enrique Iglesias (5/8), Billy Joel (5/9), Bono (5/10), Prince Royce (5/11), Tony Hawk (5/12), Stevie Wonder (5/13), George Lucas (5/14), Emmitt Smith (5/15), Megan Fox (5/16), Bob Saget (5/17), Tina Fey (5/18), Eleanor Tomlinson (5/19), Cher (5/20), Mr. T (5/21)

This will be a fortunate month for most signs. Reap the benefits by keeping a glass half full perspective and making the most of the small stuff. Late spring is an excellent time to socialize. Mix and mingle through most of May and be open to meeting new people in different venues. Energy should be riding high, so put that to good use by working out in time to hit the beach. Artists and creative types will find this extra burst of tenacity helpful for finalizing projects or maybe starting one that's been percolating. By staying positive, we can be open to surprises.

Friday, April 11, 2014

"Recall" Needs a Recall by M.R. Hunter

The theater can rise up to meet almost any genre, but the realm of science fiction, no matter how psychological, is a difficult milieu to navigate. The Visceral Company rises to the challenges of Eliza Clark’s derivative, barely entertaining script with creative flourishes in its set, solid performances from some of the ensemble and a sensibility for the visual and suspenseful.

Unfortunately, director Dan Spurgeon and set designer Chris Bell can’t save a faulty play by a writer with a smattering of TV credits and too many positive reviews that are frankly undeserved.

Why? The play doesn’t offer anything new. It’s a cross-haired attempt at pre-cog recognition ala “1984,” “Minority Report” and similar storylines in both the sci-fi and horror genre. Fans of these tropes might enjoy seeing a play with valid quality elements as opposed to a blockbuster movie or Netflix night in but that’s about the most one can say in the positive realm of this play.