Showing posts with label Los Angeles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Los Angeles. Show all posts

29 July 2018

WAITRESS Arrives in LA on Thursday!

Coming THIS WEEK to Hollywood!

Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team, this irresistible new hit features original music and lyrics by 6-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles ("Brave," "Love Song"), a book by acclaimed screenwriter Jessie Nelson (I Am Sam) and direction by Tony Award® winner Diane Paulus (Pippin, Finding Neverland). "It's an empowering musical of the highest order!" raves the Chicago Tribune.

Inspired by Adrienne Shelly's beloved film, WAITRESS tells the story of Jenna (Desi Oakley). A waitress and expert pie maker, Jenna dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. A baking contest in a nearby county and the town's new doctor may offer her a chance at a fresh start, while her fellow waitresses offer their own recipes for happiness. But Jenna must summon the strength and courage to rebuild her own life.

Dates: 2 - 26 August 2018
Tickets: $49+
Location: Hollywood Pantages, 6233 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, CA
Parking: See Hollywood Pantages' parking suggestions here.
Appropriate Ages: 16+ due to adult languages and thematic content
Accessible Questions: See Hollywood Pantages' accessibility page here.

And if you are looking for a Spotify playlist as you head into LA to see Desi and the cast of Waitress in August, try her "Baker's Dozen" Spotify Playlist here.

24 October 2017

Bright Star! .... One of the Best Musicals EVER!

Wow. I am still in awe of the amazing production of Bright Star, the 2014 musical by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, that has opened in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre this past weekend.
Carmen Cusack in Bright Star. Photo by Craig Schwartz.
This was unfortunately a short lived musical on Broadway despite winning the 2016 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and Best Score and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music. However perhaps it is a show that will be best appreciated on the road where audiences are not having to necessarily choose between it and big flashy blockbuster shows such as Hamilton and Wicked

Yes, the show only has a 10 member bluegrass band, boasts no extravagant dance numbers and revolves around the "cliche" transforming power of love and redemption. But those three things are actually some of the best elements of the production.
The Band. Photo by Craig Schwartz.
The band is housed in set designer's Eugene Lee's brilliant see-through wooden cabin on wheels that also serves as one of the most prominent set pieces. They bring great energy and fill the theatre with their beautiful bluegrass music that had the opening night audience tapping their toes endlessly and at some times you could see a great majority of the audience clapping along. The infectious music by Steve Martin I have no doubt was worthy of his two awards in 2016.

Photo by Craig Schwartz.
There are two large dance numbers choreographed by Josh Rhodes that are equal parts entertaining and equal parts memorable. But I would suggest that it is actually the smaller ensemble pieces that serve to provide the most beautiful and breathtaking moments while providing great fluidity to the musical. And what a gorgeous troupe of dancers!

Allison Briner-Dardenne, Carmen Cusack and Stephen Lee Anderson. Photo by Craig Schwartz.
Some reviewers might suggest that this is a musical too wrapped up in cliches and predictable conclusions. Yes, to some degree I would agree that Martin's book is riddled with triteness and that the majority of Brickell's lyrics would leave you singing along days later. I argue however that the show's power and beauty comes from leading lady Carmen Cusack's versatile performance as Alice and the show's refreshing homage to classical Broadway where morals were either black and white. 

Some might suggest the Act One finale is melodramatic and over the top. In shock for the entire intermission, I wondered about it myself and without giving anything away I would argue that it is likely meant to be shocking and thought provoking. Maybe we like to limit our views on evil to extreme terrorists but each of us commit evil in our lives on a different scale and Steve Martin's book is not afraid of getting dirty bringing up atrocities we commit and the effect that those actions have on our lives. The most gorgeous moment of the musical is one you would probably not see coming. Again without going into too much detail I am referring to the Act Two scene between father (Stephen Lee Anderson) and daughter (Carmen Cusack) when even though Daddy Murphy is unable to forgive himself for his past actions Alice is able to quietly reach out and offer her own forgiveness. Pow!

A.J. Shively, Kaitlyn Davidson and Jeff Blumenkrantz. Photo by Craig Schwartz.
So... If you are a fan of bluegrass music, love Steve Martin's effortless humor, and want a musical with both heart and conscience then you need to get your tickets fast to see the U.S. Tour of Bright Star!! And please do yourself a favor and do NOT read show spoilers nor listen to the spoiler riddled soundtrack until after you've had a chance to experience the show yourself first.

Dates: Today through 11/19/17
ACCESS Performance: 18 November 2017 at 2pm
Tickets: $30 – $130 (Ticket prices are subject to change.)
LocationThe Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012

Accessibility FYI:

**At the Ahmanson, all levels offer wheelchair accessible seating (call the Disability Line to buy tickets). There are accessible restrooms at all levels. 
** Handicapped Parking is available for patrons displaying a handicapped placard at both The Music Center Garage AND valet parking. The charge at both locations is $9.

**To arrange wheelchair accessible seating and/or mobility services from The Music Center garage to the Ahmanson Theatre call the Disability Line at 213-972-0777
**Ushers will stow your walkers away during the performance and bring them out to you during intermission and after the show.

18 October 2017

Bright Star Opens at the Ahmanson on Friday!

Tony Nominee CARMEN CUSACK, probably best known to U.S. audiences as Elphaba in Wicked (U.S. Tour/Chicago), is set to reprise her role as Alice Murphy in Bright Star at the Ahmanson Theatre (and later the San Francisco Curran Theatre) that opens this Friday, 20 October 2017!

With music and book by Grammy and Emmy winner Steve Martin and music and lyrics by Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Edie Brickell, direction by Tony winner Walter Bobbie and choreography by Josh Rhodes, Bright Star won the 2016 Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Musical and Best Score and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music. It also received five 2016 Tony Award nominations including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, Best Lead Actress in a Musical and Best Orchestrations. 
Carmen Cusack. Photo by Craig Schwartz.
Charles Isherwood of the New York Times wrote:
[Carmen Cusack's] singing, trimmed with a slight twang, is impeccable both in the bloom in her voice and the emotion she invests in the lyrics.
The Onstage Band: George Guthrie, Wayne Fugate, Martha McDonnell, Skip Ward, Anthony De Angelis and Eric Davis. Photo by Craig Schwartz.
Elysa Gardner of U.S.A. Today praised Steve Martin's book:
Martin, a master ironist, captures some of that old-school spirit with a book that's as forthright as it is smart, funny and charming.
Jeff Blumenkrantz, A.J. Shively and Kaitlyn Davidson with the Cast. Photo by Craig Schwartz.
Alexis Soloski of The Guardian (U.K.) wrote:
Josh Rhodes’ choreography, which has a nice narrative bent, is spirited and graceful. 

Dates: Today through 11/19/17 (Opening Night: 20 October 2017)
ACCESS Performance: 18 November 2017 at 2pm
Tickets: $30 – $130 (Ticket prices are subject to change.)
Location: The Music Center, 135 N. Grand Avenue in Downtown L.A. 90012

Accessibility FYI:
**At the Ahmanson, all levels offer wheelchair accessible seating (call the Disability Line to buy tickets). There are accessible restrooms at all levels. 
** Handicapped Parking is available for patrons displaying a handicapped placard at both The Music Center Garage AND valet parking. The charge at both locations is $9. 
**To arrange wheelchair accessible seating and/or mobility services from The Music Center garage to the Ahmanson Theatre call the Disability Line at 213-972-0777.

See you opening night!! xo

14 July 2017

Dodgers: Wheelchair Royalty

Hi guys!
Hope everyone is having a great 1st half of July so far. Can you believe how quickly this summer/year has gone by? Unfortunately do to the heat and my health, I was not able to post this review last week as I would have liked to but boy are you guys in for a treat now so pull up a chair and lets chat about the fabulous and I do mean fabulous royal treatment accessible patrons receive at the LA Dodgers Stadium!

Buying Tickets:
If you are buying accessible seating at the Dodger Stadium for the first time, please go online to ADA Tickets where you can select which game you want to attend and a standard ticketing "select your seats" page will pop up. Make sure you can see the warning in red about this being for ADA accessible seating! Once all is confirmed, you will have a handful of seating options from around the field (with the majority of the seats being in Loge Box level). Each accessible guest of the Dodgers may choose to sit with family/friends in the accessible seating area but please be mindful that there are only 4 seats in each "box" and seats are limited, especially in the cheaper top deck options.

Navigating the Field/Parking Lot:
Once we arrived at the Dodgers Stadium, my friend and I asked the friendly parking attendant if there was a spot for handicap parking and he said to show our placard to the attendant who would be guiding us as to where to park and they'd help us out. Sure enough, he saw our placard, asked where our seats were (so thoughtful! even I hadn't thought of that as being necessary) and guided us to the front row of the closest section meaning the least amount of walking needed. Thank you friendly Dodgers Stadium parking attendants!

After proceeding to the main entrance, I was amazed by the great service from start to finish. A lady employee spotted me in my wheelchair and told my friend and me to use the first set of metal detectors as that would be easier and what do you know? Within less than a minute (no joke!) a female security guard was there smiling and ready to pat me down so I could move right into the park without further hassle. Incredible service and such friendly attendants! You'll see this is a common trend.
For those sitting in the Loge section, you are directed to go directly behind home plate where you'll find a hallway with ADA elevators and a few staff members on hand to help out. The first time we walked right by it (Oops!) but never fear the signage is excellent and employees are eager to help out when asked questions. We had a decent wait since there were only 2 ADA elevators and both in constant use. But that is no big deal since you'll find yourself smack dab in the art and collectible store with vintage photographs and paintings of all your favorite Dodgers moments so that was a nice treat while waiting.

After the elevator arrives, a smiling attendant asks where you are going to and pushes the button before presto! the elevator is moving on its merry way. Old school service! Very nice. We were quickly let off on the Loge Box level and found our seats immediately, thanks to the help of the friendly EMT team.

More specifics from the website are below:
Accessible ParkingThe accessible parking spaces required by law are located in parking lots B, D, G, L, N, & P and are reserved for those properly holding and using a valid, state-issued disabled parking placard or license plate, whether or not the drivers have paid for preferred parking in any of those lots. Parking cashiers and attendants are happy to direct drivers of eligible vehicles to these areas. Accessible parking stalls are available on a first-come and first-served basis. Once full, fans will be directed to the nearest lot where regular parking stalls are still available. 
The Los Angeles Dodgers offer a courtesy ADA shuttle that is reserved for our guests with disabilities. This ADA shuttle operates from the various parking lots to the areas near the entry gates. In order to arrange for this service once you have parked, you may call the Dodger Hotline at (323) 224-2611 to have the shuttle dispatched to your location. 
Shuttle/Golf Cart ServicesThe Los Angeles Dodgers offer a courtesy ADA shuttle that is reserved for our guests with disabilities. This ADA shuttle operates from the various parking lots to the areas near the entry gates. In order to arrange for this service once you have parked, you may call the Dodger Hotline at (323) 224-2611 to have the shuttle dispatched to your location.

The Boxes:
The boxes are setup with 4 movable chairs (forward to sideways) meaning you can EASILY slide a wheelchair into place without much hassle.
And the best part for me is the ample and i do mean AMPLE leg room for stretching out my legs.
The only negative about the seats, if any, has to be the overhang that can get in the way of your view. I had originally wanted to get Friday Fireworks tickets but my friend wisely pointed out that the view would have been obscured by the overhang. Personally from our seats in 139LG, the American flag and the top portions of the jumbo-trons were partially obscured and the mini television screens above the wheelchair seating only showcased the live television broadcast.

All in all, I was really impressed with the fabulous guest service at the LA Dodgers Stadium and the ample seating space for their accessible patrons. If you are eager to catch a sporting game this summer, I would 500% recommend checking out the LA Dodgers!

For those who are interested in service animals, assistive listening devices and wheelchair assistance, see below:
Hearing and Visually ImpairedAssistive listening devices for fans with hearing and/or visual impairments are available for checkout at any Fan Services Station. 
Service AnimalsService animals are welcome in all public areas of the stadium where the guest using the service animal may go. A service animal shall be under the control of its handler at all times. A service animal shall have a harness, leash, or other tether, unless either the handler is unable because of a disability to use a harness, leash, or other tether, or the use of a harness, leash, or other tether would interfere with the service animal´s safe, effective performance of work or tasks, in which case the service animal must be otherwise under the handler´s control (e.g., voice control, signals, or other effective means). Guests with service animals are responsible for cleaning up after their animals and for their appropriate behavior toward other guests and Dodger personnel at all times. A failure to do may result in the animal's removal from the stadium. The Dodgers are not responsible in any way for the care or supervision of a service animal. 
Wheelchair AssistanceWheelchair and Accessible seating can be purchased by calling the Dodgers' ticket office at 866-DODGERS or online at Guest using wheelchairs (or other mobility devices) who prefer to sit in non-accessible seating may check in and store their wheelchair or other mobility device by bringing them to designated areas on the Left and Right Field plazas on Field level, adjacent to the Fan Services Stations, or behind home plate on all other levels.   
Escorts for those using wheelchairs are available inside the stadium from any gate on a first-come, first served basis by contacting any security personnel or ticket taker.
Guest who use other mobility devices such as Segways are provided escorts to their seats and storage for their devices in the same locations as the wheelchairs. Electric scooters can be accommodated in ADA seating areas or stored in the same manner and in the same locations as the wheelchairs.

I hope you enjoyed this review and are looking forward to enjoying your own royal treatment care of the great customer service at the LA Dodgers' Stadium.

Disclaimer: I received my tickets for review purposes but all opinions and photographs are my own.

30 April 2016

BritWeek: A Royal Treat!

Hi Lovelies! Remember how yesterday I went to a tasting and preview of Royal Chef Darren McGrady's royal inspired desserts for Sunday's BritWeek Gala? Well it's time to unveil some of the scrumptious and mouth-watering goodness. Get out your imaginary forks and enjoy!

29 April 2016

BritWeek: A Tasty Sneak Peek

Yours truly with Royal Chef Darren McGrady.
BritWeek has officially wet my appetite and I bet you too will be salivating over these scrumptious royal desserts whipped up by Royal Chef Darren McGrady who worked in the Royal Kitchen at Buckingham Palace for the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh and their guests for 11 years before becoming the Private Chef for H.R.H. The Princess of Wales for four years until the tragic death of Princess Diana...

BritWeek is Making a Splash in LA!

Hi lovelies! Have you heard of Brit Week? If you are like me and hopelessly clueless, it is an annual celebration of the creative fusion between the United Kingdom and California (and now Miami) founded by Nigel Lythgoe (of So You Think You Can Dance fame) and then Consul General Bob Peirce ten years ago. Every Spring, Brit Week hosts a program of events that promotes British creativity, innovation and excellence in California across multiple categories including, film & television, music, art, fashion, design, retail, sport, philanthropy, business, and more.

This year's LA festivities are happening from 23 April - 8 May. That means that there are still plenty of interesting events worth checking out including:

29 March 2016

Gentleman's Guide is GENIUS!

Kristen Beth Williams, Kevin Massey, Adrienne Eller. Photo: Joan Marcus
The equity national tour of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder is playing at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles through 1 May.

You are not going to want to miss out on this rollicking fun and ingenious musical romp starring John Rapson and Kevin Massey. So grab yourself a cuppa and keep reading...

15 March 2016

Paradise Cove: Lunch on the Beach

LAers, have out of town guests visiting you? Travelers, are you making plans to come out to LA?

If either of those is the case, PARADISE COVE in Malibu is a fabulous lunch spot right on the beach!

01 October 2015

MUST SEE: Sound of Music on Tour

The verdict is in. This gorgeous new equity tour of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Sound of Music is a breathtaking and heartbreaking love song to the soul! Captained by Jack O'Brien, this new production had the opening night audience on our feet before the first bows were complete and for once in a long time I can attest this cast was well deserving of said standing ovation -- everyone from the nun ensemble to O'Brien's spectacular find, the riveting Kerstin Anderson (Maria), were all vocally strong and full of life and rich passion.

24 September 2015

Coming Soon: The Sound of Music

Kerstin Anderson. Photo by Matthew Murphy.
The wait is over! Jack O'Brien's new and lavish tour of The Sound of  Music is here in L.A. at the Ahmanson Theatre starring Broadway favorites, Ben Davis ("La Boheme", "Violet", "A Little Night Music") and Ashley Brown ("Mary Poppins"), as Captain von Trapp and The Mother Abbess respectively.  Alongside newcomer, Kerstin Anderson, as Maria Rainer, they helm this production that is currently in previews before the grand opening on Wednesday, 30 September 2015, at 8pm.

18 July 2015

Oklahoma! Comes to Thousand Oaks

Cabrillo Music Theatre's current production of Oklahoma! opened with great fanfare on the 17th of July 2015 at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. 60 years since Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae lit up the screen in Oklahoma!, a new generation of actors are given the chance to make the iconic American musical numbers their own. And what a treat it was for the enthusiastic audience!

03 June 2015

Matilda Opens in LA on Sunday!

LA, Roald Dahl's Matilda opens at the Ahmanson Theatre this Sunday (7 June) at 4pm!
Mia Sinclair Jenness, Gabby Gutierrez and Mabel Tyler in the National Tour of "Matilda The Musical."
You're not going to want to miss TIME Magazine's #1 Show of the Year that has won 50+ international awards including the Olivier and Tony Awards.

Performances run through the 12th of July 2015 before the first equity national tour crosses the country bringing this gem to families all over the nation.

Location: Ahmanson Theatre, 135 N. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Tickets: $25-130, available in person, online or by phone (213-972-4400)
Recommended Age: 6+

I can't wait to share with y'all my review of opening night. Hope to see some of you there!

21 April 2015

Mary Poppins: Q&A with Wesley Alfvin

Mary Poppins is taking the Conejo Valley by storm! Wesley Alfvin (the whimsically charming Bert) nearly stops the show with his combined vocals, good looks, and tap dancing skills. So it was with delight that this blogger had the chance to interview Wesley and ask him some of my own burning questions as well as those you lovely readers came up with. So pull up a chair, grab a cuppa and maybe a biscuit or two and enjoy getting to know this actor all the more...

17 February 2015

Pancake Day!

Happy Pancake Day 2015! Who doesn't love a yummy freshly made pancake? 

Today I decided to indulge in an American staple, Krusteaz Buttermilk Pancake Mix. Nothing could be simpler or nicer. However, if you are looking for a good place to eat a pancake - may I recommend Londoners visit My Old Dutch (see below) and LA friends visit BLD Restaurant (see below).

17 May 2014

Getty Museum: Spring has Sprung!

In April while home in Los Angeles, my mum and I took off for an afternoon at the Getty Museum. The sun was shining and bees were buzzing.
The gardens at the Getty Museum have a decided southwestern flavour complete with cacti and rocks. Robert Irwin, the artist who designed the central garden, is quoted to have said that the garden, "is a sculpture in the form of a garden, which aims to be art."
 The best part of the garden has to be the views it offers of Los Angeles.
One of the museum's current exhibits is on A Royal Passion - Queen Victoria and Photography which is open until 8 June 2014.  Photographs, on loan from HRM Queen Elizabeth II, fill several galleries and paint a story of how Queen Victoria became an early photography enthusiast and the first ruler to have his/her reign documented by photographs.
One room is dedicated to the Great Exhibition that took place in 1851.  According to the exhibition, the Great Exhibition was the first time many people ever saw a photograph.  Of the 13,000 works on display, over 700 were photographs.

Would I recommend the exhibition? Yes! The variety of photographs is impressive and for those in LA who might not have an opportunity to see similar artwork in London this is a great learning opportunity -- historical.
Would I recommend the gardens? Yes, if you are fascinated by gardens and/or are visiting the museum already. If not, I would caution that the parking cost is $15 per car and that the Huntington Library Gardens far surpass these gardens.
Cost? Free (Parking fee: $15 per car)
Location? Getty Museum, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90049