January 2020

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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Honey Boy

Honey Boy (written by Shia LaBouf) is now playing in theaters (Starring Noah Jupe)

Honey Boy

  • By Michael Jacobo
  • Photo Courtesy of Amazon

We’ve all heard of writers recounting their lives (often tragic, dramatic, transformative moments) in books. Memoirs are a common genre of literature, but why can’t the same be said for the same concept in film. There are biopics (the film equivalent of a literary biography), but rarely are there writers, directors, or even actors whose own lives they repurpose for a dramatic narrative.

Shia LaBeouf, not your average actor, surprised audiences when he announced he had written a screenplay based on his life, more specifically his upbringing as a child actor in the Disney series Even Stevens. Young child star himself, Noah Jupe (A Quiet Place, Wonder), stars as young Otis Lort, while Academy Award nominee Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea, Ben is Back) stars as Otis in his adult years, as he reels from mental health and substance abuse. LaBeouf stars as James, Otis’s father, himself based on LaBeouf’s own father. Also starring in the film are Natasha Lyonne (Russian Doll, Orange is the New Black), Maika Monroe (It Follows), and singer/songwriter FKA Twigs.

LaBeouf wrote the screenplay as part of his treatment while he was in rehab, and his performance as his own father is demonstrative of his coping with the often volatile father-son dynamic he endured. The film is the debut narrative feature for Alma Ha’rel (Bombay Beach). The film had its premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Honey Boy” is now playing.

What The…

Maria Dizzia stars in What the Constitution Means to Me at Mark Taper Forum Jan 12-Feb 16th (Photo Tess Mayer)

What The…

  • By Arlene Winnick
  • Photo By Tess Mayer

With the US Constitution taking center stage in Washington DC, it is no surprise that the 2019 Tony-nominated Best Play and Pulitzer Prize finalist, What the Constitution Means to Me, will be the hottest ticket in Los Angeles this month during a limited engagement at the Mark Taper Forum.  Though the subject is the Constitution, the play is far from strictly political – instead I found it funny, poignant and hopeful as we meet fifteen year old Heidi who earned her college tuition by winning Constitutional debate competitions across the US.  Through Heidi we encounter four generations of women and discover how the founding document helped shape their lives… and how it will affect the next generation of Americans.

The play written by Heidi Schreck started off Broadway and moved to a record-breaking engagement on the Broadway where The New York Times raved “not just the best play to open on Broadway so far this season, but also the most important.” What the Constitution Means to Me stars actress Maria Dizzia (Orange is the New Black) and original cast members Mike Iveson and Rosdely Ciprian. This limited engagement was just extended and will now run from January 12 thru February 23.

For details and tickets, click here.

More of YOU

YOU’s season 2 is now streaming on Netflix (Starring Victoria Pedretti and Penn Badgley)

More of YOU

  • By Michael Jacobo
  • Photo Courtesy of Netflix

Look, we’ve all been there: you or a friend meet a guy at a bar, a place of work, or even just online. Things start off innocently enough, but then very quickly, it escalates into a case of obsessive compulsion. It’s certainly a tale as old as time (or, at least, since that classic 90s thriller Fear with a young Reese Witherspoon and Mark Wahlberg).

After mesmerizing a new batch of viewers on Netflix, You has returned to the streaming service for its much anticipated second season. Not gonna lie, it’s a bit unsettling to even be the least bit excited to see what our favorite serial killer is up to. Joe Goldberg (played by the charismatic Penn Badgley) heads to sunny Los Angeles, where he strikes up a sure-to-be whirlwind romance with Love Quinn (Victoria Pedretti, who delivered a heartbreaking performance in Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House las year). Also starring in the new season are newly cast Jenna Ortega (Jane the Virgin), James Scully (Heathers), and Ambyr Childers (Ray Donovan). Elizabeth Lail, who starred in the previous season, is credited as a guest star.

Where season one was loosely based on the novel of the same name by Caroline Kepnes, season two is based on the book’s sequel, titled Hidden Bodies. Greg Berlanti (Riverdale, Arrow, Nancy Drew), who helped develop the series for Lifetime, returns as executive producer alongside co-creator Sera Gamble.

 You’s” season 2 is now streaming on Netflix.


V DTLA Restaurant


  • By Kymberly Chase
  • Photo Courtesy of V DTLA

Downtown LA’s glamorous heyday has been brought back to life at V DTLA, the new dining destination inside a remodeled 1920s jewelry store once frequented by Old Hollywood. The vault has been converted into an intimate dining space and the original jewelry counter is now the ground-level bar. Other design details include mahogany display cases, aged wood tabletops, the restoration of the space’s ornate ceiling, an antique art collection, emerald tiles, art deco cabinetry, and lush greenery. The restaurant is the creation of co-founder Christian Lagerlof and Benjamin Calleja of Livit, a tech-forward restaurant operator from Stockholm, Sweden.

The menu focuses on shareable small plates like tuna ceviche, burrata and grabs, cauliflower bowls, and delicious Genovese-inspired sourdough pizzas baked in a custom-built oven imported from just outside Genoa, Italy. My favorite was the Italian salumi-topped Bee Sting that’s drizzled with hot honey. There is a full bar in the main dining area that keeps things flowing with its mix of groovy drinks along with pours of beer and wine. The most fantastical and popular drinks are the Smoking Pot and the Champagne and Elderflower Brock and Company which is named after the jewelry store that at one time was going to buy out Tiffany! Available for events and private parties, V DTLA is open seven days a week for lunch and dinner.

V DTLA is located at 515 W 7th Street.

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