All posts by Los Angeles Life and Style

Los Angeles based writer, Margie Anne Clark began her career in journalism in 2000. A prolific writer, Margie's work encompasses the entertainment world, with profiles on celebrities, luminaries and impresarios in and around Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, Simi Valley, the OC and the Santa Clarita Valley.

SCV Youth Project Gears up for its 3rd Annual Sweet Charity Auction

By Margie Anne Clark

Santa Clarita, Calif. The Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project is getting more exciting every year and it’s not too late to join in the fun.

Providence Medical Center is Proud to Present The Santa Clarita Valley Youth Project’s 3rd Annual Sweet Charity Cake Auction & Competition, judging panel coming up on on April 9, 2011 at the Tournament Players Club in Valencia.
A 2010 entry for the SCV Youth Project’s Sweet Charity fundraising event. This year April 9, 2001 event is expected to draw even more creative entries. Photo by Margie Anne Clark

Judges include: Jim Moret, chief correspondent for Inside Edition, Chef David Lawrence, the host and Creative Food Director of the hit web cooking series Good Bite, and Cindy Schwanke, culinary instructor at College of the Canyons.

Also joining in the fun will be the famous Porto’s Bakery & Café, siblings Margarita and Raul Jr. Porto

“It should be a great night. We have great new sponsorships and we continuing to see such excitement amongst the community members!” said Kim Goldman, Executive Director for the SCV Youth Project. “Having Jim, Chef David and of course Cindy, is going to add some spice to the night, it will surely make for a memorable evening.”

For more information call 661.257.YOUTH (9688) or visit the SCV Youth Project website at:

‘Avenue Q’ Muppet parody opens at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre –

By Margie Anne Clark

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David Colston Corris, Ashley Eileen Bucknam, Michael Liscio Jr. (Top-Bottom) Actors Michael Liscio, Jr., David Colston Corris and Ashley Eileen Bucknam pose at the opening night of “Avenue Q” at the Pantages Theatre on March 1, 2011 in Hollywood, California. Photo by Chelsea Lauren/Getty Images North America)

Hollywood, Calif., – Taking its cue from the groundbreaking years of public television’s Muppet lore, Broadway’s Tony Award winning musical ‘Avenue Q’ is sweeping the clouds of political correctness away during its whirlwind stop at the Pantages Theater. The show opened tonight and runs through Sunday in a special limited engagement.

‘Avenue Q’ cast member Ashley Eileen Bucknam who stars in two roles as “Kate Monster” and “Lucy the Slut,” reflected on the early days of ‘Sesame Street’  – which starred the likes of Bert and Ernie, Kermit the Frog, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster.

“There are many similarities to the original characters of Sesame Street but there is a lot more to it than a-b-c and one two three. You get involved in their lives and every character is someone you can relate to and have fun with,” said Bucknam, assuring that audiences are sure to be entertained by the show’s unique and risqué format.

“You have to come into the show with an open mind, and by the end of the show you end up really feeling for these puppets,” said Bucknam who was born and raised in South Jersey where passion for the arts took flight at the age of two while growing up along the beaches of the Jersey Shore.

While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, ‘Avenue Q’ has not been authorized or approved in any manner by The Jim Henson Company or Sesame Workshop, which have no responsibility for its content.

In a departure from Sesame Street, the puppeteers of ‘Avenue Q’ take to the stage more in the tradition of a ventriloquist than a muppeteer.

Bucknam and her fellow cast members are fully seen on stage as they provide the voices for their colorful furry, Styrofoam-eyed characters with their lips moving in full sight.

“All of the actors wear black, but as the show progresses they are watching the puppets – it’s like watching the subtitles in a movie,” explains Bucknam of the challenge audience members may have of suspending belief with the actor’s faces and moving lips in full view. “Eventually you get used to it end up watching the puppets.”

As the play opens, ‘Avenue Q’ introduces audiences to a young man named Princeton, a bright eyed, college grad who moves to NYC with big dreams and a tiny bank account. The only apartment he can afford is way out on Avenue Q, where everyone is looking for the same thing he is: a decent job, a stable relationship, and a “purpose.”

“Every show is different because the characters evolve over the course of the tour,” Bucknam said of the show that has been seen in more than 96 cities in the United States and Canada.

Bucknam stars opposite David Colston Corris Princeton, Rod), Michael Liscio, Jr. (Nicky, Trekkie Monster, Bear & Others), Lisa Helmi Johanson (Christmas Eve), Tim Kornblum (Brian), Anita Welch (Gary Coleman) and Kerri Brackin (Mrs. T, Bear & Others). Rounding out the company are ensemble members Ben Hart, Kate Lippstreu, Katie McCreary, and Zach Trimmer. Avenue Q features music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, a book by Jeff Whitty, based on an original concept by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx; and is directed by Jason Moore. Puppet design is by Rick Lyon, with orchestrations by Stephen Oremus, choreography by Ken Roberson, scenic design by Anna Louizos, costume design by Mirena Rada, lighting design by Howell Binkley, and sound design by Lew Mead. Associate director is Evan Ensign and music supervisor is Andrew Graham.

“We’re thrilled and excited to be performing right in the heart of L.A.,” said Bucknam in between performances during her San Francisco stop prior to making her way down to the streets of Hollywood’s storied Tinseltown.

“Everything in life is for now only,” the classically trained actress added borrowing a line from the last song of the show when the characters come to the realization that growing up isn’t so bad at all.

“I hope that LA will love it as much as we do – and you never know what will happen next!”

Tickets to ‘Avenue Q’ may be purchased by visiting or by call 800-982-ARTS (2787). Parental warning, Due to adult situations (like full-puppet nudity), ‘Avenue Q’ may be inappropriate for kids under 13. (Everyone must have a ticket; children under 5 will not be admitted to the theatre).

Tom Cruise Attends Rock of Ages at Hollywood’s Pantages Theatre during a surprise vist –

Hollywood, Calif. – Tom Cruise gave audiences a real treat on Saturday, February 19th, when he attended a performance of ROCK OF AGES.

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Immediately following the performance, Tom Cruise visited the cast and crew backstage to get a taste of ROCK OF AGES up close and personal with stars Constantine, Maroulis, Rebecca Faulkenberry, MiG Ayesa and company. The L.A. born ROCK OF AGES is currently celebrating its triumphant Los Angeles homecoming and Pantages Theatre Premiere playing now through Sunday February 27th.

The Pantages Theatre is located in Hollywood at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard at Vine Street.

Regular tickets for ROCK OF AGES range in price from $25 – $115. Prices are subject to change without notice.

For more information on ROCK OF AGES, please visit

For more information about the ROCK OF AGES’ Los Angeles engagement, please visit the Pantages Theatre’s official website,

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Tony Award Nominee and American Idol finalist, Constantine Maroulis, will reprise his acclaimed performance as Drew in the First National Tour of the five-time Tony Award nominated smash-hit musical ROCK OF AGES, which will mark its L.A. Premiere at the Pantages. As Rolling Stone magazine says, “ROCK OF AGES has found a perfect lead in Maroulis,” and so like Bartles & James, big hair and Dep, some things are just meant for each other.

In 1987 on the Sunset Strip, a small town girl met a big city rocker—and in LA’s most famous rock club, they fell in love to the greatest songs of the ‘80s. It’s ROCK OF AGES, an arena-rock love story told through the mind-blowing, face-melting hits of Journey, Bon Jovi, Poison and many more. Don’t miss this awesomely good time about dreaming big, playing loud and partying on.

ROCK OF AGES: Triumphant Return To L.A. February 15 – 27, 2011 – Where It All Began!

Hollywood, Calf. – In 1987 on the Sunset Strip, a small town girl met a big city rocker—and in LA’s most famous rock club, they fell in love to the greatest songs of the ‘80s. It’s ROCK OF AGES, an arena-rock love story told through the mind-blowing, face-melting hits of Journey, Bon Jovi, Poison and many more.

Don’t miss this awesomely good time about dreaming big, playing loud and partying on.CONSTANTINE MAROULIS TO REPRISE HIS TONY AWARD-NOMINATED PERFORMANCE
Tony Award Nominee and American Idol finalist, Constantine Maroulis, will reprise his acclaimed performance as Drew in the First National Tour of the five-time Tony Award nominated smash-hit musical ROCK OF AGES, which will mark its L.A. Premiere at the Pantages. As Rolling Stone magazine says, “ROCK OF AGES has found a perfect lead in Maroulis,” and so like Bartles & James, big hair and Dep, some things are just meant for each other.The Pantages Theatre
Individual Tickets: CLICK HERE TO BUY NOW!
Or Call 800-982-ARTS (2787)

Group Tickets: Save up to 10% when you
purchase 10 or more
Click Here For More Information

Season Tickets: 4-show packages from as low as $122
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Running Time: 2 Hours and 20 Minutes
Price Range: $25 – $90
Parent Advisory: Ages 14 and Up (Everyone must have a ticket; children under 5 will not be admitted to the theatre)

Young French Canadian Troupe Wow’s LA in “Traces,” a Must See

Hollywood, Calif. – The Amazing 7 Fingers (Les 7 doigts de la main) are an astonishingly talented young French Canadian company who have pioneered a whole new brand of circus. Their show TRACES was a runaway hit at the Edinburgh Festival in 2007 and now it’s here in Los Angles for the very first time.
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Combining awe-inspiring circus training with infectious urban energy, six men and one woman give dazzling, gravity-defying displays of skill, balancing casually on each other’s heads, or tumbling through hoops and leaping spectacularly up giant poles without using their hands.TRACES is more than just a display of acrobatic brilliance as snippets of the performers’ real lives are revealed through film clips, narration and music. We are gradually drawn into their story, and by the final, dramatic climax of the show, the audience is on the edge of their seats, willing them to pull off the seemingly impossible.

Please Note: Everyone must have a ticket; children under 5 will not be admitted to the theatre

Editor’s note: I just saw a matinee of “Traces” this afternoon and I totally loved it!!! My review will be posted soon, but please go see this show, it is full of heart, passion, tons of humor and a whole lot of amazing talent!! – Margie Anne Clark

Veluzat Family Opens Up Fabled Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studios during Santa Clarita’s Cowboy Festival


By Margie Anne Clark
Santa Clarita, Calf. – It’s time to gussy up in your cowboy dudes and get your tickets for five days of cowboy culture and excitement! This year, the best performers in western entertainment will help celebrate the City of Santa Clarita’s 18th annual Cowboy Festival, April 27-May 1, 2011.
Image and video hosting by TinyPicThe Veluzat Family, pictured above, will be opening up Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studios to the Public during this year’s Cowboy Festival. Photo by Margie Anne Clark

There are several events throughout the Santa Clarita Valley with the main festival taking place on Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 when visitors are invited to Melody Ranch Motion Picture Studio, a real working movie ranch formerly owned by Gene Autry.

General Admission tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children. A special two-day weekend pass is available for $30 for adults and $15 for children. The City offers a limited number of “Friends of the Festival” packages, which includes admission to Melody Ranch for both Saturday and Sunday, preferred seating at all Melody Ranch Stage shows, all-weekend access to the Melody Ranch VIP Bunkhouse. Weekend Passes and Friends of the Festival packages must be purchased by April 15, 2011.

“The annual Cowboy Festival event is consistently recognized as one of the best in the world, taking visitors back in time to enjoy the sights, sounds, and spirit of the American West,” commented Mayor Marsha McLean.

The festival’s 2011 headliners include: Hot Club of Cowtown, Don Edwards, Sons of the San Joaquin, Wylie and the Wild West, Waddie Mitchell, Belinda Gail, Sourdough Slim, Chuck Pyle and Larry Maurice.

For more information on the 2011 Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival, including tickets, event times, prices, venues and more, visit or call the Cowboy Festival Ticket hotline at (661) 286-4021. 23920 Valencia Blvd., Suite 300 Santa Clarita, CA 91355 T.: (661) 259-2489 F.: (661) 259-8125

‘Titanic’ star, Frances sheds light on energy concervation efforts in Old Town Newhall


By Margie Anne Clark
Newhall Calif. – Frances Fisher, actress and Environmental Media Association (EMA) Board Member paid a visit today to Old Town Newhall, home of the Walk of Western Stars – in support of green energy changes that are being made as part of the historic downtown area’s revitalization.
Frances Fisher, Actress and EMA Board Member addresses local dignitaries in Old Town Newhall. Photo by Margie Anne ClarkThe City of Santa Clarita is transforming the once-neglected area into a neighborhood of mixed residential and commercial uses that are strategically close to public transit services and centered on streets that are safe and pedestrian friendly.Santa Clarita’s vision for the Old Town transformation brought praise today from the Environmental Media Association (EMA) and California Green Communities.

“Old Town Newhall – where Hollywood meets Heldorado – is being reshaped by the City of Santa Clarita into a real star,” said Debbie Levin, EMA President. “Old Town will become an inspiration for community design in other cities that want to become more sustainable.”

Speaking before an invited crowd of community and business leaders in front of the Canyon Theatre Guild, Santa Clarita Mayor Marsha McLean spoke about the City’s Downtown Newhall Specific Plan. The Plan was adopted in 2005 and is guiding Old Town improvements.

“This is part of Santa Clarita’s ongoing commitment to smart, environmentally friendly development,” said Mayor McLean. “Our Plan calls for transit-oriented development – which means that people who live, work and do business in downtown Newhall will be able to rely less on their cars.”

The city has just finished the second phase of “streetscaping” work in Old Town Newhall, which has been spruced up with new brick sidewalks and crosswalks, drought-friendly landscaping and bicycle parking.

Santa Clarita is one of 10 southern California cities currently participating in the California Green Communities challenge. Each city has designed a unique plan to address sustainable activities from energy efficiency and conservation to green building, recycling and waste reduction, efficient transportation, land use and community design and other areas. View Santa Clarita’s action plan.


The Environmental Media Association (EMA) is a Non-Profit 501(c)(3) Organization founded in 1989 by Cindy and Alan Horn and Lyn and Norman Lear.

EMA is dedicated to harnessing the power of celebrity and the media to promote sustainable lifestyles and believes through positive role modeling the entertainment community can inspire consumers to take action. The organization has grown into a diverse group of industry professionals from film, television and music dedicated to the mission of promoting environmental awareness through the entertainment business and the media.  EMA serves as a valuable link between the entertainment industry and the environmental community.

California Green Communities (CGC) is a project of USA Green Communities, Inc., a non-profit benefit corporation.
CGC is an environmental recognition program that fosters innovative ways for cities in southern California to reduce carbon emissions and energy consumption, while building vibrant, sustainable communities. Cities currently participating in the program include Claremont, Culver City, Los Angeles, Monrovia, Redlands, Riverside, San Gabriel, Santa Clarita, Santa Monica and Simi Valley.


By Margie Anne Clark

Hollywood, Calif. – The stars came out to shine as West Side Story celebrated its Los Angeles Premiere with Celebrities from the worlds of Broadway, film and television celebrated on on the red carpet at the Pantages Theatre on Wednesday. Image and video hosting by TinyPic Jennifer Love Hewitt talks to Entertainment Tonight on the red carpet at the opening night of Broadway LA’s revival of West Side Story at the Pantages in Hollywood on Dec. 1. Photo by Margie Anne ClarkThe fun continued with an after party at Ivan Kane’s Cafe to celebrate the arrival of this classic treasure of American theatre.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic Vanessa L. Williams walks the red carpet at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood during the opening night of West Side Story. Photo by Margie Anne Clark.Image and video hosting by TinyPic Kenny Ortega and his son join in on the red carpet ceremonies during the opening night of West Side Story at The Pantages. Photo by Margie Anne Clark

Attendees included such Hollywood favorites as original West Side Story film stars George Chakiris and Russ Tamblyn, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Vanessa Williams, Eric Stonestreet, James Denton, Christopher McDonald, Cloris Leachman, Melora Hardin, Lea Thompson, Melinda Clarke, Sofia Milos, John McCook, Vik Sahay, Scott Krinsky, Robert Morse, Kenny Ortega, Masiela Lusha, Kate Linder, Barry Williams, Nia Vardalos, Jo Anne Worley, Kym Johnson, Nolan Gould, Ken Davitian, Marcia Wallace, Lainie Kazan, Jenna Leigh Green, Mindy Sterling, Jai Rodriguez, Robin Antin, Romi Dames, Lauren Storm, Charlene Amoia, Jason Robert Brown & Georgia Stitt, John Lloyd Young, Katherine Tokarz, Josh Sussman, Rosanna Pansino, Anne Jeffreys, Kat Kramer and Tim Martin Gleason.

WEST SIDE STORY is now playing in Los Angeles at the Pantages Theatre this holiday season through Sunday January 2nd, 2011.

For more information on WEST SIDE STORY, please

The Pantages Theatre is located in Hollywood at 6233 Hollywood Boulevard at Vine Street.

The Pantages Theatre engagement of WEST SIDE STORY will feature two performance schedules. Performances now through December 19 will be Tuesday through Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 2pm & 8pm, and Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm. The performance schedule for holiday weeks, December 21-January 2, will be Tuesday & Wednesday at 8pm, Thursday at 2pm & 8pm, Friday at 2pm, Saturday at 8pm, and Sunday at 1pm & 6:30pm.

Regular tickets for WEST SIDE STORY range in price from $25 – $100. Prices are subject to change without notice.

WEST SIDE STORY is produced by Kevin McCollum, James L. Nederlander, Jeffrey Seller with Terry Allen Kramer, Sander Jacobs, Roy Furman / Jill Furman Willis, Freddy DeMann, Robyn Goodman / Walt Grossman, Hal Luftig, Roy Miller, The Weinstein Company and Broadway Across America.

WEST SIDE STORY is presented locally by Broadway/L.A. as the first show of its 2010-2011 Season.

For more information, please visit the Pantages Theatre’s official

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Los Angeles Premiere! More than fifty years ago one musical changed theater forever. Now it’s back on Broadway mesmerizing audiences once again. From the first note to the final breath, WEST SIDE STORY soars as the greatest love story of all time. Tony Award-winning librettist Arthur Laurents’ Broadway direction will be recreated for the tour by David Saint, the Associate Director of Broadway. The original Jerome Robbins choreography is reproduced by Tony Award-nominee Joey McKneely. WEST SIDE STORY remains as powerful, poignant and timely as ever. The new Broadway cast album of WEST SIDE STORY recently won the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. The Bernstein and Sondheim score is considered to be one of Broadway’s finest and features such classics of the American musical theatre as “Something’s Coming,” “Tonight,” “America,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Somewhere.”

See LA Times review by

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By Margie Anne ClarkHollywood, Calif. – “This has been a long love story,” Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, said Monday as he accepted his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in front of the Kodak Theatre where the international entertainment company’s newest show “Isis” will open in the summer of 2011. Image and video hosting by TinyPic Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté. Photo by Margie Anne Clark”We believe this marriage between Hollywood and Circus has the promise for a long life in Los Angeles,” said the man behind the internally acclaimed success of Cirque du Soleil. Image and video hosting by TinyPicGuy Laliberté amd James Cameron. Photo by Margie Anne Clark

Laliberté is bringing his new show “Iris, a Journey Through the World of Cinema to the Kodak Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center debuting on July 21, 2011..
Image and video hosting by TinyPic Legendary film directorrJames Cameron and Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté, Photo by Margie Anne Clark

Presenting the honor to Laliberte was Canadian-born filmmaker James Cameron who lauded the vision and creativity of Laliberté amidst a backdrop of derby clad clowns, mime faced ballerinas – beneath sunny skies as blue as the humanoid species from his 2009 Academy Award winning film, “Avatar.”  Colorful Cirque du Soleil troupe members. Photo by Margie Anne Clark

“If you’re fans of cirque de solie, and I absolutely love them, those artists are empowered by this man here,” Cameron said. “To have the boldness and the courage to let that dream-like creativity be the most important thing is something that Hollywood could be inspired by.”

Laliberté who was born in Québec City in 1950, began his career as an accordionist, stilt-walker and fire-eater. He founded Quebec’s first internationally-renowned circus with the support of a small group of accomplices. A bold visionary, Guy Laliberté recognized and cultivated the talents of the street performers from the Fête foraine de Baie-Saint-Paul and created Cirque du Soleil in 1984.

“When I went to see Avatar, I envisioned a journey which was very similar to what I was living when I started my own show,” said Laliberte, who said he sees many similarities between his career and Cameron’s. “I started my own career on the streets of Quebec and now, Lalibert said with a smile, “I have a permanent home on the streets of Hollywood.”Image and video hosting by TinyPicCirque du Soleil troupe members take in the festivities. Photo by Margie Anne Clark

*Cirque du Soleil recently announced that tickets go on sale to the general public on Monday, November 22 at 10:00 a.m. Tickets are available at or by calling 1-877-943-IRIS. Performances begin July 21, 2011.


City News

Hollywood, Calif. –
Stephen Moyer will read the classic children’s story, Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas at Universal Studios in Hollywood at a special December 11th live performance.
Image and video hosting by TinyPicStephen Moyer

The event will kick off the theme park’s 18-day Grinchmas celebration. The reading will also feature the Grinch’s faithful dog Max, a heap of (through Hollywood magic) fresh snow and a “Whoville Whobilation” on the original sets where the 2000 live-action Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, starring Jim Carrey, was filmed.