Friday, April 25, 2014

Wondercon 2014: A Re-Cap in Convention-Attending Tips

Wondercon 2014

Last weekend I ventured out to the Anaheim Convention Center for a geeky staycation - Wondercon 2014.  Wondercon is an excellent place to head out to learn about pop culture, comic books, superheroes, upcoming artists, and even to just check out the great cosplay. Unlike previous years, I attended the convention for all three days - adventuring as per lately with Elizabeth, the Nerdlush Diva! All in all I had a great weekend at Wondercon - I purchased a stack of comic books, learned about artists, enjoyed time with friends, and even made new friends!

As I was getting ready to write this post, it dawned on me that perhaps it would be more helpful to make this a casual recap including some hints and tips for experiencing conventions in general.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Catching Up with New Orleans Based Gal Holiday and The Honky Tonk Revue

For fans of Louisiana music, whether it be jazz, country, americana, swing, zydeco, cajun, or blues, and living in Southern California, we are blessed with great festivals and music clubs, that are constantly booking touring Louisiana based bands.  Thus, when "Where's Andrew" from National Geographic Traveler posted on his twitter account in November 2011 that he had just witnessed the best music in the New Orleans French Quarter, I was very curious and intrigued.  This was Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue fronted by Vanessa Niemann playing old-time countrified swing.  I found the band's website and YouTube videos, and saw that they had taken up a music residency in Los Angeles, splitting their time in New Orleans, and noted that in December 2011, they were doing some very late night performances at Taix in Echo Park.  I was planning on seeing one of those performances, but I was just too tired to make the late night trek to Echo Park, but then I got lucky, and Gal Holiday and the Honky Tonk Revue got booked for Harvelle's in Long Beach.  Playing Harville's under the Congregation Ale House was like being booked into a roaring 20's speak-easy.

I was mesmerized hearing and seeing Gal Holiday perform country swing at Harvelle's, and at times, it was like hearing Patsy Cline channeling Wanda Jackson's rockabilly, and below are the pictures from that night.  Her small space dance moves on stage became hyptnotic, and later learned, they were a trademark of her performances.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

LA Heritage Day (4/27)

 Head out to El Pueblo Historical Monument to celebrate and learn more about Los Angeles history.  With over 200 heritage organizations participating, L.A. Heritage Day offers Southern California history through exhibits, booths, tours, museums, children's activities, presentations, giveaways, food, and more.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Editorial: Los Angeles Theatre is Not Dead

If you have to do the following to argue for the virtues of one theatrical show in Los Angeles, perhaps you shouldn't:
  • Begin the article, claiming that Los Angeles Theatre is bad.
  • Heavily suggest that the following ingredients of this one show, might  "save" LA Theatre -
    • Hollywood starlets (a number of whom are children of more established stars)
    • film-based stories
    • famous Hollywood director
  • Close the article, by now claiming that Los Angeles Theatre is dead, but the show you just reviewed is not and might even establish people's careers (assuming they're an actor) 
These are the focal points of one Jimmy Im article on Vanity Fair regarding For the Record.   I haven't seen this show, so I won't go into any details on how entertaining it might be.  A cabaret show based on a mash-up of one director's Hollywood films sounds entertaining enough by itself, so I don't quite understand why Im thought it necessary to be a flamethrower toward the community where that show resides.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Review: "A Song At Twilight" is a Must-See

(L–R) Roxanne Hart, Sharon Lawrence, Bruce Davison Photo by Michael Lamont

I viewed A Song of Twilight without knowing much of the background story or the timeframe.  My understanding of the show was that it was about a celebrated author Sir Hugo Latymer (Bruce Davison) in his later years, who - after living a life of wealth, fame, and luxury - is confronted about the details of a past love.  At first we think this might be Carlotta Gray (Sharon Lawrence) who is having dinner at Latymer's suite, set-up by his secretary-wife of twenty years Hilde Latymer (Roxanne Hart), but as the best of plays reveal, the story is much more complicated than the set-up.
It is 1960s Europe and Hugo has formed an image that has conformed to its standards.  In this later point of his life, he is confronted with the fact that his actions have not been without consequences.