Category: Arts & Events

Living Through History

The Braid actors share true stories, from kissing Meghan Markle to 9-11 heartache By Bridgette M. Redman From Meghan Markle’s first kiss to a mother’s fears that COVID-related hearing loss will mean she can no longer sing lullabies to her daughter, The Braid’s next salon tells the everyday stories of people living through historic times. “The Rest Is History” will be performed on May 15, 16, 20 and 24. Curated, written and directed by members of The Braid’s Emerging Artists Program master class, it is billed as “powerful and thought-provoking stories about living through a historical time or a personal moment that changed someone’s life or changed the world.” “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be moved to think about history in a new way and you’ll also remember your own personal moments,” said The Braid artistic director Ronda Spinak. “Where you were at 9-11, what it was like for you during the women’s movement — those stand-out moments in your life.” The Braid has been presenting its salon series using live actors on Zoom, which is how this piece will be delivered. A kiss revealed “Are you the Joshua Silverstein?” was a question that first alerted the actor-comedian and beatbox artist that Meghan Markle had kissed and told. In 2013, Markle was on Larry King and at the end of the interview was asked who her first kiss was....

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Pulling Back the Curtain

‘Reveal’ series takes audiences behind the scenes at The Broad Stage By Bridgette M. Redman Getting to peek behind the scenes is often a privilege reserved for a theater company’s biggest donors. The Broad Stage in Santa Monica is not only opening up the opportunity in a virtual way, but it is going into greater depth than just a talkback with the actors or an invitation to a rehearsal. Their new “Reveal” series started on May 6 and will continue throughout the next season. They are free for anyone to watch. After the live premiere broadcast of each episode, the programs are available on demand. There are plans to offer three episodes for each of the next five original productions that The Broad Stage has commissioned for the next two seasons. This month, the series begins with “Reveal: The TEAM’s Reconstruction (Still Working but the Devil Might Be Inside).” The episodes premiered on May 6, 8 and 15, each its own look into how this new work is being created. The TEAM is a Brooklyn-based artistic group who are the collaborative writers of this project, co-directed by Tony winner Rachel Chavkin (“Hadestown”) and Zhailon Levingston (“Tina: The Tina Turner Musical.”) “We really want everyone to get to know these artists,” said Ilaan Mazzini, The Broad Stage’s director of programs and activations. “They all have important reflections and narratives to...

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An Hour of Rock for Earth Day

Peter DiStefano plays through a flurry of earth-friendly tunes By Anthony Torrise Peter DiStefano always seems to be playing guitar either for himself or an audience. The founding guitarist of ‘90s alternative rock outfit Porno for Pyros never seems to slow down. Since his residency at Harvelle’s Santa Monica ended due to COVID last year, DiStefano has been putting out monthly livestreams on social media with continued tenacity. This year’s Earth Day called for a special livestream where DiStefano played along to 30 songs in the span of an hour with music videos playing behind him. The list of songs curated by his friend, manager, producer and partner, Douglas Kaplan, all promoted a similar message of caring for our shared planet, the beauty it contains, and each other. “We missed Earth Day last year when our Wednesday night residency with Harvelle’s was shut down due to the pandemic,” Kaplan said. “We didn’t want to miss it this year so Oro Playa Lounge created an opportunity for us in support for Earth Day.” DiStefano went through each song playing everything off the top of his head, at one point switching from the more relaxed sound of John Denver to the frantically fast speed of Metallica. “It was pure improvisation with notes from Doug about how to bow on these songs, etc.,” DiStefano explained. “Doug directed the vision but the guitar...

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An Hour of Rock for Earth Day

Danny Elfman reprises role in ‘Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas’ live concert By Kamala Kirk After three long years, one of Los Angeles’ pre-eminent and classic live Halloween experiences for all ages, “Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas”, returns to the stage on October 29. Award-winning composer Danny Elfman, who composed the original film’s music, lyrics and score, will reprise his singing voice role of Jack Skellington. Acclaimed conductor John Mauceri will conduct a full orchestra and choir performing the film’s classic score and songs live, accompanying Elfman singing live in sync with the film. Additional original voices and special guest stars will be revealed at a later date. “Jack is back!” Elfman said. “I was so sorry to have missed last Halloween (we all know why), but I’m not skipping this year. Jack wants to get back on stage. I can’t wait to see you all.” The event will include a variety of pre-show activities such as a costume contest and trick-or-treating, bringing the spirit of Halloween Town to the Banc of California Stadium. As the first-ever film music concert event at the stadium, the show will be uniquely tailored to the venue to provide a new experience even for those that have previously seen the show. The concert event will be transformed into a spectacular and unique visual experience by exhibiting jaw-dropping living scenery and animation...

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Movies Under the Stars

Rooftop Cinema Club returns to Santa Monica, debuts new venue in El Segundo By Kamala Kirk After a wildly successful run last winter, Rooftop Cinema Club (RCC) has returned to the Santa Monica Airport, announcing a new line-up of socially distanced movie screenings that will play every night of the week throughout May. “We’re excited to reopen our premier drive-in experience in the heart of the Westside,” said RCC founder Gerry Cottle. “Guests can enjoy movies under the stars in the age of social distancing while having a safe ‘away from home’ experience from the security of their own vehicles. Movies will be projected onto a 52-foot screen and audio will be broadcast through the FM transmitter radio on their car. Guests are welcome to bring their own food, but we are also offering concessions through a completely contactless system.” In addition to award-winning films, attendees can look forward to a “We Love LA” lineup, a “90s Weekend”, family-friendly flicks and cult classics. The Drive-In at Santa Monica Airport will offer two screenings on most days: a prime screening starting between 8 and 8:30 p.m. followed by a late screening starting between 10:30 and 11:30 p.m. “We’ve missed our fellow Angelenos and being able to explore LA over the past year, so we’re kicking off our return to LA with some of our favorite quintessential LA movies,” Cottle said....

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