Category Archives: LA Life and Style

LA Opera presents Wonderful Town Dec 2,3 and 4 at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

 

Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town is coming to The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion featuring Tony Award winners Faith Prince (Guys and Dolls) and Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon) with Mark Kudisch (Finding Neverland) and narrated by Roger Bart (Young Frankenstein and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown). This semi-staged concert is perfect for the whole family during this holiday season!
Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town is coming to The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion featuring Tony Award winners Faith Prince (Guys and Dolls) and Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon) with Mark Kudisch (Finding Neverland) and narrated by Roger Bart (Young Frankenstein and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown). This semi-staged concert is perfect for the whole family during this holiday season!

Los Angeles Don’t Miss Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town featuring Tony Award winners Faith Prince (Guys and Dolls) and Nikki M. James (The Book of Mormon) with Mark Kudisch (Finding Neverland) and narrated by Roger Bart (Young Frankenstein and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown). This semi-staged concert is perfect for the whole family during this holiday season! 
Filled with Broadway snap and jazzy sizzle, Bernstein’s score crackles with electricity and energy. This sassy and brassy love letter to the bright lights of the Big Apple tells the tale of two sisters who move to New York, eager to take the big city by storm. Bernstein’s beloved score, combined with brilliant lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green, makes Wonderful Town one of the greatest treasures of Broadway’s Golden Age.

Tickets start at $19. Family 4 Packs available by phone.

3 Easy Ways to Buy 
Call 213.972.8001 
Click www.laopera.com 
In Person at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office: Mon-Sat,10am-6pm

Universal Studios Hollywood Rings in the Holiday Season with “Grinchmas,” Merry Mischievous Minions and Delicious, All-New Hot Butterbeer

UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD — “Grinchmas” — Pictured: Universal Studios Hollywood Rings in the Holiday Season with “Grinchmas,” Merry Mischievous Minions and Delicious, All-New Hot Butterbeer, as Universal CityWalk Decks the Hall with Free Concerts and Special Appearances by Saint Nick — (Photo by: David Sprague/Universal Studios Hollywood)
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS HOLLYWOOD — “Grinchmas” — Pictured: Universal Studios Hollywood Rings in the Holiday Season with “Grinchmas,” Merry Mischievous Minions and Delicious, All-New Hot Butterbeer, as Universal CityWalk Decks the Hall with Free Concerts and Special Appearances by Saint Nick — (Photo by: David Sprague/Universal Studios Hollywood)
Theme Park’s New California Neighbor Pass Adds Christmas Cheer as Perfect Stocking Stuffers

Hollywood, Calif.  – It’s the most wonderful time of the year at The Entertainment Capital of L.A.SM as Universal Studios Hollywood and Universal CityWalk® deck the halls for a wintry calendar of cool holiday activities and scrumptious treats that families and friends far and wide can enjoy.

Universal Studios Hollywood Rings in the Holiday Season with “Grinchmas,” Merry Mischievous Minions and Delicious, All-New Hot Butterbeer, as Universal CityWalk Decks the Hall with Free Concerts and Special Appearances by Saint Nick

A grinchy-green “Grinchmas™” returns to Universal Studios Hollywood with a Who-lebration fit for The Grinch, his faithful dog Max and a roster of Who-ville Whos.  Holiday whimsy also will permeate throughout “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and the adjoining “Super Silly Fun Land” as a crew of very merry mischievous Minions spread Christmas cheer to visitors of all ages.

Theme Park’s New California Neighbor Pass Adds Christmas Cheer as Perfect Stocking Stuffers

Delectable hot Butterbeer will complement the menu at Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head pub when “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter” at Universal Studios Hollywood debuts this newest addition of the favorite beverage to its offerings of scrumptious fare.  Like its traditional and frozen counterparts, hot Butterbeer is reminiscent of butterscotch and shortbread that’s been perfectly fine-tuned as a Hogsmeade holiday treat. Universal Plaza, the elaborate grand piazza at the heart of the theme park, will once again serve as the backdrop for the “Grinchmas” event where the towering 60 foot tall whimsical “Grinchmas” tree will beautifully twist and spiral as the ideal photo opp for guests.  “Grinchmas” runs weekends on December 3-4 and 10-11, and daily from December 16 through January 1, 2017. As part of the fab-Who-lous event, Martha May Who-vier and the Who Dolls will take center stage by the “Grinchmas” tree, performing energetic musical sets to usher in the Christmas season in style.  TheWho-liday Singers – a hip boy-band ensemble – will perform nightly a cappella concerts featuring a mix of Christmas favorites and pop rock. The spirited “Grinchmas” event will also capture guests’ imagination with a variety of inspiring activities designed to create long lasting memories. These include:

  • Who-ville Post Office – Visitors will have a chance to partake in the “Grow Your Heart 3 Sizes” campaign when they share their good deeds on a postcard and mail them to The Grinch. In return, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. and Random House Children’s Books, the publishers of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, will pay it forward by donating a book to a child in need through First Book on behalf of the sender.
  • Trim up the Tree Lot – Guests can design and personalize their own “Grinchmas” ornaments to help decorate the venue’s other “Grinchmas” trees or take them home as a memorable keepsake.
  • Story Time with Cindy-Lou Who – Cindy-Lou Who and her Who friends will gather guests of all ages – tall and small – for an engaging storytelling show of Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

The spirit of “Grinchmas” also will come to life aboard the world-famous behind-the-scenes Studio Tour with engaging performances by unforgettable Who-ville Whos re-enacting popular scenes and songs from the family favorite at the original film sets from the blockbuster film, Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The holidays at Universal Studios Hollywood are included in the price of theme park admission.  More information is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com. The spirit of the season continues with a wintertime transformation of Universal CityWalk, beginning the day after Thanksgiving on Friday, November 25 through Sunday, January 1, 2017. A spectacular 40-foot tall Christmas tree will glisten with 200,000 LED icicles choreographed to the lights and sounds of the season in the “5 Towers” plaza. Santa Claus will make nightly appearances and offer special photo opportunities at “5 Towers.” The iconic, dancing water fountain situated at the heart of CityWalk also will make a splash this holiday season. This modern and impressive fountain displaying over 230 individual power jets will project streams of choreographed water into the air complemented by red and green LED lights and an array of holiday-themed music. Free concert performances at “5 Towers” and an eclectic ensemble of talented street performers will make CityWalk the ultimate L.A. holiday destination. Admission to Universal CityWalk is free. To learn more about Universal Studios Hollywood and the various Annual Pass options, including the new California Neighbor Pass, please visit www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com/tickets.  Additional information is available at www.UniversalStudiosHollywood.com. Like Universal Studios Hollywood on Facebook and follow @UniStudios on Instagram and Twitter. About Dr. Seuss: Theodor “Seuss” Geisel is quite simply the most beloved children’s book author of all time. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1984, an Academy Award, three Emmy Awards, three Grammy Awards, and three Caldecott Honors, Geisel wrote and illustrated 45 books for children. Hundreds of millions of copies have found their way into homes and hearts around the world. While Theodor Geisel died on September 24, 1991, Dr. Seuss lives on, inspiring generations of children of all ages to explore the joys of reading. About Illumination Entertainment:  Illumination Entertainment, founded by Chris Meledandri in 2007, is one of the entertainment industry’s leading producers of event animated films. Illumination, which has an exclusive financing and distribution partnership with Universal Pictures, is the creator of the hugely successful Despicable Me franchise, which includes Minions, the second-highest-grossing animated film of all time, as well as Despicable Me 2, an Academy Award® nominee for Best Animated Feature of 2013. In all, Illumination’s films, which also include the 2016 record breaking The Secret Life of Pets, 2011’s Hop and 2012’s Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax, have grossed more than $4 billion in worldwide box-office revenues and feature some of the world’s most renowned talent. Upcoming films include Sing, starring Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Seth MacFarlane, Scarlett Johansson, John C. Reilly, Taron Egerton and Tori Kelly, which arrives in theaters in December 2016; Despicable Me 3, starring Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Trey Parker, which is set for June 2017; and a newly-imagined version of Dr. Seuss’ How The Grinch Stole Christmas, starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role of The Grinch, which is set for November 2018. In addition, “Despicable Me: Minion Rush” (more than 750 million downloads) has become one of the world’s most popular apps, and Despicable Me: Minion Mayhem attracts huge crowds at Universal Orlando Resort and Universal Studios Hollywood. About Universal Studios HollywoodUniversal Studios HollywoodTM is The Entertainment Capital of L.A. and includes a full-day, movie-based theme park and Studio Tour. As a leading global entertainment destination, Universal Studios Hollywood delivers highly themed immersive lands that translate to real-life interpretations of iconic movie and television shows. Recent additions include “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter TM” which features a bustling Hogsmeade village and such critically-acclaimed rides as “Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey” and Flight of the Hippogriff™, Universal Studios Hollywood’s first outdoor rollercoaster, as well the all-new “The Walking Dead” permanent daytime attraction.  Other immersive lands include “Despicable Me Minion Mayhem” and “Super Silly Fun Land” as well as “Springfield,” hometown of America’s favorite TV family, located adjacent to the award-winning “The Simpsons RideTM.”  The world-renowned Studio Tour is Universal Studios Hollywood’s flagship attraction, inviting guests behind-the-scenes of the world’s biggest and busiest movie and television studio where they can also experience such authentic and immersive thrill rides as “Fast & Furious—Supercharged.”  The destination also features the Universal CityWalk entertainment, shopping and dining complex, including the Universal CityWalk Cinemas and the “5 Towers” state-of-the-art outdoor concert venue.

Opening Night of HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood was a smashing success!

Elizabeth Banks attends the opening night at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.  Photo by Chelsea Lauren
Elizabeth Banks attends the opening night of Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Photo by Chelsea Lauren

Hollywood, Calif. – The Pink Carpet night of Hedwig and the Angry Inch was a star-studded fulfilled evening at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood on Nov. 2.

Celebrities and Hollywood luminaries on the red carpet included Jeremy Scott, Taylor Lautner, Demi Moore / Scout Willis / Tallulah Willis (with HEDWIG Costume Designer Arianne Phillips), Elizabeth Banks, John Stamos, Rider Strong, Courtney Love, Zelda Williams, Judy Greer, Mindy Sterling, JR Bourne, Margaret Cho, Gia Coppola,  Beth Hall, Patricia Kelly, Vanessa Lengies, Kate Linder (Birthday yesterday) Kate Linder (Birthday yesterday), Greg Louganis, Riker Lynch, Stephen Trask (HEDWIG Co-Creator), Spencer Liff (HEDWIG Associate Choreographer), Vincent Rodriguez III, Sara Rue, Olesya Rulin, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Mae Whitman, Ross Mathews, Rick Baker, Justin Sayre, Mason Alexander Park (HEDWIG Company).

Fashion critic and entertainment commentator Ross Mathews attends the opening night of Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Pantages Theatre Hollywood. Photo by Chelsea Lauren
Fashion critic and entertainment commentator Ross Mathews attends the opening night of Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Pantages Theatre Hollywood. Photo by Chelsea Lauren

Brilliantly innovative, heartbreaking, and wickedly funny,HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH is the landmark musical by John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask that is “groundbreaking and undoubtedly ahead of its time” (Entertainment Weekly). This genre-bending, fourth-wall-smashing musical sensation, with a pulsing score and electrifying performances, tells the story of one of the most unique characters to ever hit the stage.

Rider Strong of Boy Meets World Fame walks the "Pink Carpet" at the Pantages Hollywood at the premier of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Photo by Chelsea Lauren
Rider Strong of Boy Meets World Fame walks the “Pink Carpet” at the Pantages Hollywood at the premier of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Photo by Chelsea Lauren
Demi Moore and friends and talent at the Pantages Hollywood opening night of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Photo by Chelsea Lauren
Demi Moore and friends and talent at the Pantages Hollywood opening night of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Photo by Chelsea Lauren

Directed by Tony Award® winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening, American Idiot) and winner of four 2014 Tony Awards® including Best Musical Revival, HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH played to record-breaking sell-out crowds on Broadway and promises to take Los Angeles by storm with what Time Magazine proclaims is “the most exciting rock score written for the theatre since, oh, ever!”

John Stamos walks the "Pink" Carpet at the premier of Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Pantages Hollywood. Photo by Chelsea Lauren
John Stamos walks the “Pink” Carpet at the premier of Hedwig and the Angry Inch at the Pantages Hollywood. Photo by Chelsea Lauren

May be inappropriate for children 12 and under. (Hedwig and the Angry Inch is recommended for mature audiences — for strong language and adult themes.) Children under the age of 5 are not permitted in the theatre.

Hedwig and the Angry Inch runs 100 minutes, with no intermission.

*The spectacular LENA HALL will appear in the role of “Hedwig” in the following performances:
Sunday, November 6th at 6:30pm
Sunday, November 13th at 6:30pm
Sunday, November 20th at 6:30pm
Friday, November 25th at 8:00pm.

DARREN CRISS will appear in the role of “Hedwig” on all remaining performances, with LENA HALL reprising her Tony-winning performance as “Yitzhak.”

For more information and tickets visit: http://www.hollywoodpantages.com/showinfo.php?id=69

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

By Margie Anne Clark

Image and video hosting by TinyPic
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 www.broadwayla.org 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).

HARRY’S FRIENDSHIPS TESTAMENT TO HIS APPEAL – HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS: PART 1 OPENS NOV. 18 IN THEATERS EVERYWHERE

By Margie Anne Clark

The first installment of the two-part conclusion to the Harry Potter series finds the bespectacled wizard (Daniel Radcliffe) walking away from his last year at Hogwarts to find and destroy the remaining Horcruxes to end Voldemort’s bid for immortality.
Image and video hosting by TinyPic
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I will be releasing in the USA on 19th November, 2010. The $250 Million Dollar film will soon be followed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II to be released on 15th July, 2011. Photo/Warner Bros.
But with Harry’s beloved Dumbledore dead and Voldemort’s unscrupulous Death Eaters on the loose, the world is more dangerous than ever. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I will be releasing in the USA on 19th November, 2010. The $250 Million Dollar film will soon be followed by Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II to be released on 15th July, 2011.
But what makes this spectacular franchise so unique and enduring? In the mind of this reporter, Harry Potter is the ultimate hero to an entire generation of young muggles who literally grew up with the precocious orphaned wizard.
His amazing powers and struggles against the dark powers of Lord Voldemort have become an adventure the whole world has become engaged in.
What makes Harry Potter so special and such a worldwide phenomena is the way in which J.K. Rowling has brilliantly mixed magic and fantasy with the everyday struggles and angst that youth of today must face.
The story of Harry Potter is modern, yet timeless by means of transforming ordinary circumstances into extraordinary adventures.
In his struggle against good and evil, Harry Potter must face the world – mortal or otherwise – in all of its gritty glory, juxtaposed against the wonders of magic.
All the while facing his destiny, and mortal dangers that come with it – with a little help from his friends. And therein lies the real magic and the heart of Harry’s enduring appeal. The friendships that he forges, no matter what the odds, will always win out. And of course, Daniel Radcliffe’s portrayal the title character is the key to the young wizard’s popularity in the movie version of the Harry Potter series.

The modest British actor is endearing, possessing a young Paul McCartney-esque appeal with the charm and British wit to match. And like the timeless appeal of the Beatles, the character Radcliffe has created in film will no doubt stand the test of time and go on to enthrall generations of young muggles to come.

The Harry Potter films represent movie-making at its finest. The stories are gripping and engaging, and the superb special effects are brilliantly orchestrated to render a story that captivates its audience, even as it leaves us wanting more. Harry Potter is truly a Renaissance man, whose story will live on forever.

Margie Anne Clark is a Los Angeles based writer. She can be reached at margie@losangeleslifeandstyle.com