July 2018

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Bernstein @The Bowl!

Gustavo Dudamel Celebrates Bernstein 100 July 10th at the Hollywood Bowl

Bernstein @The Bowl!

  • By Arlene Winnick
  • Photo Courtesy of LA Philharmonic

Leonard Bernstein is my hero.  He was simply a brilliant and talented conductor, composer, and champion of music for all.  I grew up on his “Young People’s Concerts” which aired on CBS in the 1960’s.  I remember the stories he told about the music and was amazed as he played the piano and conducted the orchestra at the same time.

On July 10th, Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Philharmonic will honor Bernstein and his legacy on the 100th anniversary of his birth with a stellar concert at the Hollywood Bowl featuring a program of his most beloved music.   Joining the orchestra for the performance is Broadway star and Tony winning vocalist Sutton Foster making her Bowl debut.

The Bernstein 100 Celebration with Dudamel is part of more than 2,500 events planned around the globe in 2018 celebrating the centennial called, The Year of Lenny.  Bernstein’s universal appeal stems from his unique (often controversial) talent of moving with ease, grace and a bit of flamboyance between the popular and the classical music worlds and sharing this joy with his audiences.

The evening’s all Bernstein program opens with a Prelude, Fugue and Riffs followed by selection from On the Town and three meditations from Mass.  A series of selections from Wonderful Town follow and the program concludes with the always popular West Side Story symphonic dances.

For more details, click here.

Boys in the Band!

Robin de Jesus, Michael Benjamin Washington, Andrew Rannells, and Jim Parsons in Boys in the Band (Photo Joan Marcus)

Boys in the Band!

  • By Ken Werther
  • Photo By Joan Marcus

Mart Crowley’s The Boys in the Band premiered off-Broadway in 1968. Revolving around a group of gay men who gather for a birthday party in New York City, it was groundbreaking for its portrayal of gay life. The play has been called, “A true theatrical game-changer, helping to spark a revolution by putting gay men’s lives onstage — unapologetically and without judgment — in a world that was not yet willing to fully accept them.”

Initially, it was nearly impossible to find actors willing to play gay characters. Despite the ultimate success of the play, all of the gay members of the company stayed in the closet after the premiere. The 1970 film version, directed by William Friedkin, featured the entire original off-Broadway cast. Between 1984 and 1993, five of the gay men in the original production, as well as the director Robert Moore and producer Richard Barr, all died of AIDS.

Honoring the 50th anniversary of the play’s original premiere, a Broadway production opened at the Booth Theatre on May 31st of this year and is playing a limited engagement through August 11th. Directed by two-time Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello, the cast features Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Zachary Quinto, Andrew Rannells, Charlie Carver, Brian Hutchison, Michael Benjamin Washington, Robin de Jesús, and Tuc Watkins, all of whom are openly gay. It seems clear that times have changed. Thank goodness.

For more details, click here.

American Woman!

American Woman is now airing on the Paramount Network (Starring Alicia Silverstone, Jennifer Bartels, and Mena Suvari)

American Woman!

  • By Paige Petrone
  • Photo Courtesy of Paramount Network

American Woman, now airing on the new Paramount Network, is must-see TV, especially if you love vintage 1970s Hollywood style! The show is filled with the iconic fashion and glitz. Alicia Silverstone, the “As if” queen of the classic 90s film Clueless, is as gorgeous as ever portraying the gutsy Bonnie. Showing some serious acting chops, she is outstanding in the role. In one of the premiere’s best scenes, Bonnie loses her fancy lifestyle when she discovers that her husband is having an affair by following him – with kids in tow. American Woman shows that women are strong and not afraid to break barriers or overcome challenges during a time when Bonnie is advised to “shorten her skirt” to get a secretary job as she lacks any experience or skills.

After breaking the news to the kids that daddy isn’t coming home, Bonnie wants the girls to know she told them the truth and that “a liar is the worst thing you could ever be!” Bonnie figures things out very quickly and gets herself the perfect job, and showing she’s a lot tougher and smarter then most people think. American Woman is brought to us by Kyle Richards (Bravo’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) and is loosely based on the life of her mother. The clothes are amazing! The décor, music, cocktails, and smoking make it very authentic. Also, Mena Suvari is terrific as Bonnie’s bored, rich girlfriend who won’t eat. That’s Hollywood!

American Woman” airs on Paramount Network.


The pool at the Annenberg Community Beach House in Santa Monica


  • Photo Courtesy of ANNENBERG HOUSE

Now, if you were one of the unlucky folks to have not visited this sensuous community beach house, then that’s on you. The landmark pool once belonged to the historic Marion Davies Estate. Today it belongs to the public! So come one, come all—reserve a canopy if you wish—because this spot in the Santa Monica sun is only open until September 4th throughout the day. Thereafter, water cutbacks, out of respect of drought conditions, shorten the days during the week. Check the schedule online. And while you’re there, check out the Beach house for a tour or scope out their latest artist in residence. Last month featured a Bolivian impressionist that paints using the poison of the Costa Rican glow frog. Be sure to check back to see who’s in the house next!

Wi-fi, tables and chairs, game room, playground, splash pad, beach courts, beach access, parking lot, and restaurant are all ready for you. Back on the Beach Cafe proudly serves grass fed beef, cage free eggs, and mary’s free range chicken in all shapes, sizes and temperatures, all while your toes can tussle in the sand.

I meant it about that renting the canopy business. It only costs $40 and can fit up to 30 people – which is $1.33 a person! Get partying already. But make a reservation first. Or don’t. Just get down there. Don’t miss the excitement! Or, for the more contemplative types, fall winter and spring offer bird walks and the likes.

For more details, click here.

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