Friday, March 30, 2007
Hawaiian native and long-time friend Jean Yim and her wonderful family looked forward to seeing Woolford bring to the stage his story about growing up and away from Hawaii. Certain images come to mind at the mention of the lush island: Waikiki beach, luaus serving appetizing pork, the police drama Hawaii 5-0 and all those beautifully sculpted hula dancers swaying to the music. A paradisiacal escape the rat race elements of life. For Keo Woolford, his Hawaii is more than ubiquitous ABC stores found at every corner and considers legendary singer Don Ho as the island's representative. The late 20-something Hawaiian native puts together a tight and amusing memoir chronicling his misspent youth and arduous passage into manhood. It is a journey of self-discovery that could have easily ended in destruction.
Woolford morphs into many characters that helped to shape the man he is today. Among these characters is his demanding Hula God who taught him the origin and meaning behind traditional hula at age 14 and his cool friend Li'l Rock who showed him what having swagger can do for a man's reputation. My personal favorite was the I-don't-give-a-damn attitude of one mean dude named Bruddah who was the neighborhood rebel of the group. Woolford provides distinctive personality traits, body language and speech patterns to each individual. He imitates himself as a scared 14-year old trying unsuccessfully to hula and conveys all the insecurities a teenage boy goes through.
Dance was and still is the most significant aspect of Woolford's life. His roots in hula lead him into performing in pageant shows, and this later evolved into membership in the boy band Brownskin, Hawaii's version of ‘NSYNC. It is not all good times and laughs. He details his darkest times at their bleakest, but always manages to show the power to overcome these times and move forward. And it all happened with his first love, hula. Woolford details his coming-of-age story with humor and honesty. The youngest and most adorable audience member Makana provided sound effects with spurts of laughter in between pauses, which made it all the more enjoyable.
At the end, Woolford honors his culture and himself by performing the kahilani dance while wearing a lei po'o (a wreath around his head), kupe'e around his ankles and wrists and a grass skirt made of hau. It is the most awe-inspiring visual of interpreting history using sharp and precise movements.
I Landplays at David Henry Hwang Theater and is presented by East West Players. The show runs until April 8th.
- Mary E. Montoro, Contributing Writer
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Wednesday, March 28, 2007
Markets Along the Metro Gold Line:
- Old L.A.'s Farmers Market, Tuesdays, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Avenue 57 and Marmion Way, Highland Park station
- South Pasadena Farmers' Market, Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., Meridian Avenue and Mission Street, Mission station
- L.A. Chinatown Farmers' Market, Thursdays, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., 727 N. Hill between Alpine and Ord, Chinatown station
- Pasadena Victory Park Certified Farmers' Market (access from Metro Gold Line with connecting Pasadena ARTS shuttle bus service), Saturdays, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., North Sierra Madre Boulevard and Paloma Street, Sierra Madre Villa station
- Pasadena Villa Park Certified Farmers' Market (access from Metro Gold Line with connecting Pasadena ARTS shuttle bus service), Tuesdays, 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., East Villa Street and North Garfield Avenue, either Lake Avenue station or Memorial Park station
Markets Along the Metro Red Line:
- L.A. Seventh and Figueroa Farmers' Market, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 7th and Figueroa streets, 7th Street/Metro Center station (also accessible from Metro Blue Line)
- Hollywood Farmers' Market, Sundays, 8 a.m. to 1 pm., Ivar and Selma Avenue, Hollywood/Vine station
Markets Along the Metro Blue Line:
- L.A. Seventh and Figueroa Farmers' Market, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 7th and Figueroa streets, 7th Street/Metro Center station (also accessible from Metro Red Line)
- Long Beach Downtown Certified Farmers' Market, Fridays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., 5th Street and the Promenade, 5th Street station
For more information on these and other LA Farmers Markets and to use our Metro Trip Planner to get there, visit ExperienceLA.com Farmers Markets.
-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator
Monday, March 26, 2007
They were first formed in 1986 and their song "Iris" hit the top of the charts back in 1998. 1998!! I remember hearing that song when it first came out... That was when I was still excited to hear the chimes of the AIM world after watching the yellow AOL man run across the screen to the painful sounds of the connecting modem; and I still got songs by simultaneously pushing the Record and Play buttons on the stereo at the precise time that the songs started playing on the radio.
But back to 2007. If you've always wanted to see the likes of the Goo Goo Dolls, Harry Connick Jr., or even Brian McKnight in concert, here's your chance:
Fanbase is offering the chance to win a pair of tickets to a show of your choice from the 2007 Premiere Marquee Club. Restrictions apply but there's a lot of great shows you can choose from if you win. Check out ExperienceLA to find out how to enter this giveaway!
Happy Monday everyone!
-Sarah Koo, ExperienceLA Arts and Culture Marketing Intern
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Not just any movie: 300.
Not just any showing of 300.
300 on the IMAX.
I headed out with my roommates, Kimanh and Serena, and our friend Adam to catch a bite at one of the many restaurant offerings of Universal CityWalk. We settled on a restaurant 3 out of the 4 of us had never tried:Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. It's one of those restaurants that takes a theme and runs with it (yes, there's a bad Forrest Gump pun there). We lived up to the restaurant's shrimp theme by ordering from its assorted shrimp entrees.
After dinner, we headed out to a luckily short wait in the winding line outside of the AMC Theatre. We had been nicely told by the parking attendent that the show was already sold out. Luckily with some foresight and set back (we originally looked at the 7:00pm showing which was already sold out), we utilized the powers of the internet and bought tickets online beforehand. Our friends Jeff and Pat met up with us for the movie portion of the evening.
The IMAX experience definitely lived up to the hype - nothing like capturing large battle scenes, beautiful people, and intricate CGI scenary on a massive screen. My opinion might be a bit bias, as former epee fencer (and I use the term "fencer" very, very loosely), I'm a huge fan of sword battles...which this definitely had plenty of.
Having not seen 300 on the usual movie screen, I would imagine that it's pretty impressive still, but the IMAX experience was definitely worth it. And its preview got me hyped for Spiderman 3 on the IMAX (FX for Venom and Sandman on IMAX, anyone?)...even if reading flashing title slides on a screen that massive was a bit disorienting...
-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator
Monday, March 19, 2007
Strangely enough though, while standing in the subway surrounded by multiple armpits (so much for an upgrade from being butt-level tall in 5th grade), I noticed how people found the situation amusing rather than frustrating. We all just laughed together when more people kept piling in while the rest of us learned to redefine our concept of "personal bubbles". No one seemed to mind the delays - maybe we were all secretly glad to have a valid excuse for being late to work, hee hee. ^__^ It was kind of nice in an odd way... I actually think it's unsettling when a subway's empty. Subways just aren't meant to be empty.
Anyway, for anyone deterred from using public transportation, fear not! Here's four great reasons why we can continue being happy commuters. Or "transit pioneers"... whichever you prefer.
1. Those single-line, painfully scrolling LED signs you may or may not notice on the Red Line? There's a new initiative from Metro that proposes to replace all those displays for 46-inch LCD monitors. And these new displays WILL include vital information... on multiple lines!
2. From March 15-31, Flyaway is celebrating its one year anniversary by offering free round trips to LAX for Metrolink/Amtrak users.
3. Take advantage of Metro's monthly savings with discounted tickets for Universal Studios, the LA Kings home games, and much more. Metrolink is also offering a discount to Universal Studios.
4. For all the Metro groupies, Metro is teaming up with Mattel's Matchbox to create mini replicas of the Metro Local, Metro Rapid, and Metro Express buses.
-Sarah Koo, ExperienceLA Arts/Cultural Marketing Intern
Thursday, March 15, 2007
...not if you're an ExperienceLA user! Carlos De Antonis and Sports Placement Service have set aside a number of tickets to give away free to the first 50 ExperienceLA users to respond! Find out more information at ExperienceLA on how to score your free tickets before they run out!
If you don't know who the world class tenor Carlos De Antonis is... here's a brief introduction to catch you up. Performing for large crowds is nothing new to De Antonis, as he was cast as the original lead for the "Hunch Back of Notre Dame" where he gave 300 sold out performances in the famed Luna Park, in Buenos Aires. Out of the many performances Carlos has done while traveling the globe and performing roles in the most prestigious Opera houses in the world, a few highlights include: the lead in "Dracula" where he was seen again in Argentina and Chile, the 2000 World Polo Championships in Berlin where he closed the ceremonies in front of 100,000 people, and his performances in the famous Giuseppe Verdi Conservatory theatre in Milan taking on lead roles in Gioacchino Rossini's "Il Barbiere di Siviglio", Giacomo Puccini's "La Boheme", and Giuseppe Verdi's "La Traviata", all with the famed orchestra Pommeriggi Musicale.
At the March 23rd show, he'll be performing his songs from his new record, Del Cuore. Don't miss out on this awesome opportunity!
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Either way, you can still celebrate St. Patrick's Day this coming Friday, yay! If you're in the Downtown LA area, check out the St. Patrick's Day Parade and Concert at Pershing Square. The parade starts at 11:30am at Main and Arcadia and ends at, well... Pershing Square. At 12:30pm, you can see a free concert featuring the DUBLIN 4. If anything, it'll be a great way to take a break after being holed up in your office for however many hours.
Humans need sunshine, after all. Really.
For more ideas on how to get your fill of Vitamin D and Irish celebrations this coming weekend, check out our March 1st newsletter.
-Sarah Koo, ExperienceLA Arts/Cultural Marketing Intern
Monday, March 12, 2007
Wednesday night I hobbled (I'm still hobbling from my previous ExperienceLA Adventure: LA Marathon) with my friends Bill and Nick to the Ahmanson Theatre for Center Theatre Group's current show Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? featuring Kathleen Turner and Bill Irwin. It was nice seeing a traditional play for the first time in a long while and this production was particularly superb given the characterization of actors Turner and Irwin.
Friday night I went to a birthday gathering at the Mai Tai Bar in Long Beach. A quaint, easy-going atmosphere, the Mai Tai Bar is located at the Pike in Long Beach, near the Aquarium of the Pacific and the Rainbow Harbor. It's a great place to meet up with friends and listen to a live band. Plenty of large flat screen TVs are available to watch any number of sporting events.
Saturday I spent the day in Disneyland with my friends Jessie, Jason, and Jay. We ate at Cafe Orleans and enjoyed the rides in Tomorrowland. The recently remodeled Space Mountain currently features a rock music theme with the music of the Red Hot Chili Peppers. A nice surprise was being able to run into my friend Andy who was working at the park that day.
I followed up my whirlwind day at Disneyland with a nice evening out at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) with my friend Adam. The museum is currently featuring films in a their Fifty Years of Janus Films series. Adam and I caught a screening of the Akira Kurosawa classic Rashômon.
-Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? runs until March 18th at the Ahmanson Theatre
-Red Hot Chili Peppers rocks Disneyland's Space Mountain (and California Adventure's Rockin' California Screamin') until April 26 2007.
-LACMA's Fifty Years of Janus Films runs Friday and Saturday evenings until April 7th. Visit ExperienceLA for specific dates/times/shows.
-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator
Friday, March 09, 2007
Encounters takes place in an upscale restaurant where three different stories are told simultaneously and ugliness is quickly revealed. In "Rich Bitch", Jean (Teressa Taylor) is wealthy, dresses in designer clothes and lets a good bottle of scotch go by. She comes across Janna (Aba Arthur) an impeccably dressed professional who gets irked when called by her southern name, Hattie. The two women have more in common than they realize and soon the whole restaurant knows. "The Launching of Katie Garrison" is a sweet tale of Katie (Kia Skrine), a country girl meeting an old family friend Alma (Vonna Bowen) for a job interview where it turns out that Alma has her own problems to deal with. The story that stood out of the most was "Digital Natives" where The Blogger (Sean Cory), the Buppie (Leslie Miller) and the Kid (RJ Jones) are heavily involved into their technology, only to soon realize the value of human contact.
Jeff Stetson likely based his work "The Meeting" on either, the rumor that civil rights leaders Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. met secretly, or the picture where Malcolm and King are caught shaking hands in 1964. Regardless of his source of inspiration, he creates this powerful meeting in his work. One week before Malcolm's murder, Malcolm (Rico Anderson) invites the Reverend (Abner Genece) over to his hotel room for a discussion. When they meet, a verbal boxing match occurs where both share, discuss, argue, and accuse. The two opposing leaders are fighting for the same cause but with very different strategies.
The flip side of the evening, Retrospectives provides a snapshot of 'free slaves' mentally trapped in captivity. Biscuit (Sammie Wayne IV), C.B. (Darius Dudley) and Whatshisface (Mack Miles) are runaway slaves on their way to
All the playwrights stretch their phenomenal talents to the beyond. Stetson and Jones tell a rarely acknowledged part of history and society. Artistic director Nancy Cheryll Davis-Bellamy and producing partner Nancy Renee should be applauded for making these powerhouse performances accessible and valuable. TST is a bold company providing magnificent stories.
Encounters/Retrospectives plays at The Stella Adler Theatre. The show closes March 11th.
-Mary Emerita Montoro, Contributing Writer
Thursday, March 08, 2007
The exhibition features works by 20 artists, celebrating the recent artistic revolution that has transformed the cultural production in Tijuana. Some of the highlights include an on-site installation that explores and blurs the concept of public and private space, a map interpretation that increasingly reveals itself to you from the moment you walk in, and a sculpture created from car mufflers (in Tijuana, these mufflers are often painted and modified for use as intricate shop signs that boast the abilities of the shops).
Quite frankly, the exhibit is refreshing to see in an industry where exhibited art has the tendency to stay on the safe side. And the struggle with identity and changing realities is a hard issue to tackle and translate successfully (I wanted to bawl my eyes out several times while thesising on this very topic as a studio art major); oftentimes, this theme is explored in mundane ways that disrupt for the sake of shock value. These artists, however, convey their struggles in an honest way - no pretentious qualities nor cries for pity. The exhibit, in some ways, enables you to get a sense of the movement due to its honest nature.
Santa Monica Museum of Art is located at the Bergamot Station Arts Center, a former trolley station that used to be a stopoff for Red Line trolleys during the 1870s. Bergamot Station also houses many other galleries. The exhibit runs until April 7th, so you still have some time to check it out.
Two other events related to the exhibit that SMMoA is hosting:
-March 9th: Making Art in Tijuana
-March 23rd: Exteriors/Interiors
-Sarah Koo, ExperienceLA Arts/Cultural Marketing Intern
Monday, March 05, 2007
In addition to the euphoria of accomplishment - and aside from the sheer havoc reeked on the human body - by finishing a 26.2 mile race, I learned that the City of Los Angeles Marathon is a true Los Angeles experience.
As a car-less Angelino and frequent Metro rider, I find myself experiencing Los Angeles all the time. Whether by bus or subway/light rail that leads to my wanderings on foot, Metro has taken me through much of LA's diverse landscape. In fact, it even took me to the marathon, which started off of the Universal City Red Line Station.
But for all my ExperienceLA adventures, I learned the other day that there's nothing quite like experiencing LA through the City of Los Angeles marathon.
I was fortunate enough to run in the event's first point-to-point route - fortunate because this meant the race stretched its terrain into more areas of LA, creating a fuller understanding of the city's mixture of history, culture, and people.
While I'm used to wandering through specific and nearby LA destinations, I don't believe I've ever seen so much of Los Angeles in one fell-26.2-mile-swoop: from the start at Universal City uphill and down towards Hollywood's Vine and Highland streets to the homes that border Beverly Hills at Rossmore onto Olympic and toward Koreatown then into the Leimart Park/Crenshaw area to USC and toward Downtown where the route runs through the Fashion District, Historic Core, Jewelry District, Little Tokyo, and the Financial District. All along the way there are shifts in historical architecture, changing landscapes from residential to metropolitan, and different languages on passing storefronts.
But the marathon is more than just these destinations and the changing sights of Los Angeles' bevy of art and culture. What keeps the runners going and the walkers walking is the true spirit of LA: the people - the people you run with, the volunteers handing out water and Gatorade, the friends and families and strangers that cheer on the participants, the performance artists performing their hearts out, the oranges, bananas, and extra water from volunteers on their own volition. And it's the people that you come home to when crossing that finish line (or hobbling toward it as my own memory recollects).
And in this, my first Los Angeles Marathon experience, I found that the world unexpectedly came full circle for me: the volunteer who cut my timing chip from my shoe was an old friend who I hadn't seen in over 7 years.
According to my chip, it took me 7 hours, 7 minutes, and 45 seconds to cross the finish line. According to my current physical state, it has - and will - take more than that for me to recover. But in the end, it is an experience that will last me a lifetime.
-Charity Tran, ExperienceLA Web Coordinator
Friday, March 02, 2007
Believe it or not I was having a chocolate éclair contemplating having a glass of almond chocolate milk as I combed through a newspaper when I discovered an advertisement of taking a course at Pasadena City College - the course?: "The Art of Chocolate". Quickly I flipped open my cell phone and got in contact with the school and was kindly transferred to the instructor teaching the course.
Daood: Hello Ms. Williams and how's everything coming along since the inception of the course.
Ms.Williams: God has blessed me tremendously since the inception of this course. I've met some of the most extraordinary students. My biggest reward is when the students are praised by their families regarding their chocolates.
Daood: With an assortment of sweets and other delectables, why chocolate?
Ms. Williams: Why chocolate? Chocolate is a self-indulgent treat. It's a delicacy to be shared. My way of exchanging a little bit of happiness. You could go to a local chocolate shop and pay up to $2 for a chocolate-covered strawberries or $20 for a box of chocolates. In my case, I became a fisherman, and I'm teaching students how to do the same. You see, chocolate is a great commodity and I receive a tremendous amount of business because specialize in chocolate-making as well as designs.
Daood: The children learn what techniques on how to prepare "The Art of Chocolates?"
Ms. Williams: My students learn 4 basic techniques of melting chocolate. Microwaving, which a convenient and easy way of melting chocolate; double boiler, filling a lower pan with water and placing another pan on top; slower cooker, Crock Pot; and lastly, A Warming Tray.
Daood: Which chocolates seemed to be the favorites among the children to prepare?
Ms. Williams: I've introduced to the class different chocolates. By the way did you know that chocolate comes in every color of the rainbow? The class is split...while some of the students enjoy dark chocolate, the others enjoy milk-chocolate.
Daood: Traveling back into time, how and when did your introduction of chocolate transcend from the exquisite taste of it to actually preparing them yourself?
Ms. Williams: As a child I remember being in the kitchen with my mother baking cupcakes and yellow cakes. I loved the taste of Betty Crocker Creamy Chocolate Icing. Today, I use what's called Candy Melts which is known as confectionery coating. It's made of sugar, milk solids, vegetable oils, flavorings and colors. It also contains cocoa powder. The flavor is as rich as cashmere!
Daood: Fast forwarding to the present, whence forth came the idea of teaching a course at Pasadena City College?
Ms. Williams: The idea stemmed from my sixteen-year-old, daughter Amani. I made samples of my candy for her and her friends at school. Some the of the football players loved my candy and asked if I could give them private lessons. That's when I had the idea of contacting Pasadena City College with a proposal.
Daood: For more information regarding the course who should people get in contact with?
Ms. Williams: People can log on to www.pcclearn.org, they can contact Jill Williams.
Daood: Well thank you for taking your time out of your busy schedule to be with us here at Experiencela.com.
Ms. Williams: It was my pleasure.
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Nancy and John (Julie Lancaster and Derek Voy) are a married couple whose 20-year-old marriage is shaky due to John's recent affair. The relationship becomes further strained when John runs into Liz (Kaily Smith) a former student who has returned to her hometown. She turns to him for life advice, which doesn't make Nancy too happy. This couple try to leave on their planned vacation to Maine both with different hopes on how to save their marriage. The two are at a crossroads until Liz comes in with a seemingly perfect solution.
Elsewhere, Liz's one-time boyfriend Dean (Dylan Osean), who chose to stay behind in Texas as a construction worker instead of going to college, baby-sits his coke addicted brother Bobby (David Weidoff) and his wife of seven months Mary (Dara Goldman), whose drug habit threatens their unborn child. Their home is a powder keg ready to explode. Dean and Liz 'casually' meet up and both are curious about each other's choices. She's surprised he stayed home when he had the chance to leave for school; he's suspicious why she is back in town when she made a big deal in leaving after graduation.
Osean, in his first play, portrays Dean with the right amount of stubborn and vulnerability. Dean is all around facetious, a big drinker but watches out for Bobby like a big brother would do. Osean and Weidoff work off from each other like a polished comedy duo. As Bobby, he is a fountain of truth and hysterical amusement, but he cannot say no to drugs. I liked how child-like and sweet he was when the moment called for it and then back to the cokehead with the sharp remarks. Goldman was heart wrenching as the troubled Mary, who doesn't back down when faced with the educated Liz. The country girl who got knocked up makes a worthy adversary. She stands on her own, although wobbly against the college dropout.
Voy and Lancaster are amazing and convincing as the troubled couple. She portrays well the wife who doesn't know if she can continue in a marriage but knows she wants to be a mother. Voy tolerates her fury as patiently as any man would when he knows he slipped up.
So, what is the good thing in the Good Thing? It looks a lot like life itself. As young adults, we map out our lives to the letter and don't account for any mishaps. Crushed dreams and disappointments are not part of the plan. Then life laughs its hysterical head probably wondering when we're going to get it right.
Good Thing plays at Hudson Main Stage Theatre. The show will run until March 17th!
- Mary Emerita Montoro, Contributing Writer