October 2019

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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Haunted Hayride

LA Haunted Hayride Midnight Falls

Haunted Hayride

  • By Debbie Emery
  • Photo Courtesy of Thirteenth Floor Ent Grp

For the first time ever, the terrifying attractions at the Los Angeles Haunted Hayride experience have a universal theme. Welcome to the strange, fictitious town of Midnight Falls – where it is always Oct. 31, 1985. The Los Angeles Haunted Hayride was founded by Melissa Carbone and presented by Thirteenth Floor Entertainment Group, with Plague Productions’ Jon Cooke joining this year as the new creative director.

Nightmare-inducing experiences from the depth of their imaginations include Roadkill Ranch, where dead varmints come back to life; the Midnight Mortuary, run for decades by the ghoulish Marlow family; Trick-or-Treat, which dishes out far more cruel tricks than sweet candy; and the Town Square, where residents morph into monstrous creatures as they celebrate their favorite holiday.

Guests who aren’t totally scared out of their wits and have enough sense left after surviving all of that can challenge their brain power in the Mini Escape Rooms. But be careful not to get locked in … The Haunted Hayride’s first departure is on Saturday, September 28, and also new this year, will continue running one-way trips to Midnight Falls until through Nov. 2, a.k.a. Day of the Dead).

For tickets and more details, click here.

The Light In The…

The Light in the Piazza by LA Opera this month (Starring Renée Fleming and Dove Cameron)

The Light In The…

  • By Arlene Winnick
  • Photo Courtesy of LA Opera

Thank you, LA Opera, for staging a production I can love and understand! For years, I’ve had a love/hate affair with the opera.  I love the singing, costumes and drama but never had a strong interest in the storyline.  All of that has changed with The Light in the Piazza which is really a traditional musical put on by an opera company.  I loved the 1962 film which starred Olivia de Havilland, Yvette Mimieux and George Hamilton – with costumes by Christian Dior!

The Light in the Piazza stars the one and only Renée Fleming, the American born soprano who has performed all over the world and simply owns the opera and classical theater stage. Fleming won a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the 2018 production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel. The show features Dove Cameron known to Disney fans as Mal in the popular Descendants films; Brian Stokes Mitchell as the debonair Signor Naccarelli and Rob Houchen, making his U.S. stage debut as Fabrizio.

While vacationing in Italy in the summer of 1953, American Margaret Johnson (Fleming) and her daughter Clara (Cameron) are touring the Tuscan countryside when a twist of fate sparks a romance for the young girl with Fabrizio Naccarelli, a handsome young Florentine.  Cultures class and the extremely protective mother attempts to keep the young lovers apart… but will she succeed and what secrets will be revealed.

For dates, purchase tickets and more details, click here.

LA Food Festival

LA Westside Food & Wine/Spirits/Festival October 13 (2-6pm)

LA Food Festival

  • By Arlene Winnick

There always seems to be a food and drink tasting event going on in Los Angeles. One of my favorites is happening this month — The 5th LA WESTSIDE FOOD, WINE AND SPIRITS FESTIVAL.  I like it for a number of reasons but the most important is that it benefits the Westside Food Bank, a local organization that feeds more than 100,000 people every year, nearly half of whom are children – simply put:  every donated dollar allows WSFB to provide food for four nutritious meals.

The WSFB’s mission is to end hunger in our communities by providing access to free food including fresh produce, high protein foods and pantry staples.  They work with more than 70 agencies with food assistance programs.

In addition to the 25+ food vendors (including local favorites Gus’s Fried Chicken,  Nothing Bundt Cakes, LaRocco’s Pizzeria, Rush Street and My/Mo Mochi Ice Cream), there more than twenty drink vendors from standout vineyards to spirit producers (tequila, scotch, beer, sake and cider) to non-alcoholic drinks to be sampled.  As you sip and taste, you’ll enjoy the live music, DJs, a photo booth, strolling magicians and other entertainment. Lastly there will be lots of valuable giveaways from name brands like Sprint, Samsung, and other local services.

To purchase tickets, click here.


Anastasia at Pantages this month (October 8-27)


  • By Kenne Hoffman

The National Tour of the Broadway musical Anastasia arrives at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre with an amazing “Journey to the Past.” Adapted from the 1997 animated feature film of the same name, writer Terrence McNally (Ragtime, Master Class) has added historic realism to the music of Tony Award-winning composers Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Once on This Island). The show tells the tale of the Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov. It takes place during the Russian Revolution as Anya, an amnesiac orphan, seeks to rediscover her past, home, family, and love.

In the stage version, sorcery — while linked to the Romanovs — has been replaced with political might, and Anastasia’s antagonist is the new Bolshevik political regime. Sixteen songs have been added to the film score and focus on the character of Anya (Lila Coogan from Broadway’s Mary Poppins) and her story within the turmoil of the Revolution that forced many to leave their homeland during the end of the Romanov Dynasty in 1917. The show reconnects with adult Anya in 1927 on a journey to meet the Dowager Empress who will determine her fate. Don’t wait until “Once Upon a December,” or you’ll miss this glorious adventure!

For tickets and more details, click here.

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