Friday, July 28, 2006

Downtown LA: "Curtains" at the Ahmanson Theatre

On Wednesday evening (July 26) , my friend Jessie and I had dinner at CPK at 7th/Fig (conveninently located across from the 7th/Metro station) before heading off to see Curtains at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center (two blocks from the Civic Center Station Red Line stop).

Starring David Hyde Pierce and Debra Monk, Curtains is a backstage murder mystery and musical comedy set in 1950s Boston. This Kander and Ebb show lives up to its promise of mystery, music, and humor. With memorable musical numbers, great comedic timing, and a murder mystery that keeps you on our toes, Curtains is a thoroughly enjoyable show that keeps you laughing throughout. David Hyde Pierce's portrayal of homicide detective and musical lover Frank Cioffi , Debra Monk's feisty Carmen Bernstein, and Edward Hibbert's role as snooty director Christopher Belling is just icing on the cake.

Curtains makes its world premiere here in Los Angeles and the show runs until September 10th.

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hollywood: Day and Night

Featuring: and

My most recent outings have been to Hollywood - primarily the Hollywood/Vine Metro Stop area (See Getting Around Hollywood at

On Saturday (July 15), I grabbed a quick lunch at Sharky's on North Cahuenga before heading out down Hollywood Blvd. While strolling down one of Los Angeles' most famous boulevards, I noticed that the Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) was opened with their current exhibitions:
"Draw a Line and Follow It" and "When Hangover Becomes Form" . It was an interesting contemporary exhibition with really neat figures and abstract shapes to contemplate about. Below are some pictures from my visit:

I then continued my stroll down Hollywood Blvd where I perused a few old bookstores and the great movie books and poster shops that are in the area. No stop in the area is complete without a trip to Amoeba Music on Sunset Blvd - one of the best places to get music and movies at great prices - and I finished the afternoon with some rest from all my walking at Borders on Sunset and Vine.

On Tuesday evening (July 18), I had a spectacular time in the same area at the opening night of Rent. The Pantages Theatre is very conveniently located across the street from the Hollywood/Vine Metro Stop. My friend Jay and I picked up our tickets at Will Call and decided on dinner at Sharky's since he had never been there. We had plenty of time to walk back and get seated for Rent which we both thought was great.

I had previously only seen the show when it had come out as movie a year ago. As per usual, the stage production version was definitely better than the film (though I did like the film). The show was full of energy and the actors were great, it was definitely a show worth seeing. The audience definitely contributed to the energy of the show - many were obviously huge fans. I hear tickets are hard to come by, but no questions asked, I'd recommend seeing this show.

We got out of the show after 10:30, but since the Red Line runs until midnight we had plenty of time to walk down Hollywood Blvd. for a bit before returning for a drink at the chill and cozy Frolic Room next to the Pantages to end the evening.

All-in-all I love the Hollywood area. There's always something to do no matter what time of day it is.

Next scheduled adventure: Curtains at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center!

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator

Monday, July 03, 2006

Downtown LA Neighborhoods Adventure

The following was originally written in March 2006:

Today I meant to just go out for an hour or so to the Toy District area next to Little Tokyo to purchase some arts and crafts material, but I went on a ExperienceLA adventure instead. I didn't know the eastward Metro 16 traversed so many parts of Downtown LA (I had traveled on it westward toward La Brea for theatre, PetCo, Trader Joes, the Grove/Farmers Market, etc.).

Here's the breakdown of my Saturday afternoon:

1:00 - Metro 16 to Toy District/Little Tokyo

1:30 - Purchased craft material at a store on 3rd Street, then headed out to check out Little Tokyo - and realized it was the Saturday Little Tokyo/Arts District Farmers Market and perused through the market

2:00 - Bought some bottled Asahi Oolong tea and then headed into the Japanese Village Plaza to go to the Marukai Forum (Where East Meets West For Less) and get myself random stuff including a magazine rack (mine is currently overfilling) and a teapot (for 98 cents!)

2:30 - Remembered that I need to buy ink for my printer so I headed over to Office Depot.

3:00-ish - Passed by the Japanese American National Museum and wondered if there was a new exhibition there - and there was! I had a spectacular time at the Isamu Noguchi - Sculpture Design exhibition which was part sculpture and part theatrical installation by Robert Wilson. I also became a student member and got a Angry Little Girls bag I've been wanting at the giftshop

4:00 - Realized I needed cash, but I was told there was not an atm from my bank in the area, but I had enough money to head over to Fugetsu-do to buy some mochi/manju.

4:30 - Head over to Union Station to catch the Red Line home, but then I got distracted by tents at El Pueblo de Los Angeles and roamed Olvera Street - where I picked up some of my favorite candy. Then I felt hungry, but didn't have enough money for any of the Mexican food (I had 2 bucks on me)

5:00 - Headed to get a Vietnamese French Sandwich in Chinatown. When I headed into Chinatown, I saw a stairwell that specifically stated "No Sitting/No Sentarse" and of course the irony of the situation goes, there was a man sitting at the top of the stairs. He saw me looking back and forth at the wording and then at him and waved - and I waved back! In any case, I didn't find a decent sandwich place until I got to one of the plaza areas and got myself a Banh Mi Dac Biet (rough translation: special sandwich, essentially has all the deli meat fixings)

5:30 - Grabbed the Gold Line to Union Station then took the Red Line to Downtown and stopped at the atm there before heading back on the Red Line home.

-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator