Archive for May, 2010

ABBY TRAVIS & HER BAND Molly Malone’s 6/1

May 31, 2010

Abby Travis will be swagging anyone who says the password: “Goldfarb.”  Come support the live show, and walk away with a free cd.

Abby Travis- vocals, bass, songs,

Jon Skibic- guitar

Jebin Bruni- keys

Denny Weston-drums

Thematic content includes: live music

6/1 9:30pm $8
map of Molly Mallone’s
visit ABBY TRAVIS on myspace
visit Molly Mallone’s website


SHOCKWAVE RIDER plays The Scene at La Cita 6/1 Free!

May 31, 2010

If you have not had your fill of good times this Memorial Day weekend, consider topping it off with a free rock show Tuesday night, at La Cita.  For your entertainment, The Scene presents the pschedelic blues rock explosion that is SHOCKWAVE RIDER.


Thematic content includes: live music

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT!!! FROM Misty Kueneman CORRECTION for tonight’s show—–I will be the one singing in my underwear and bandana. It won’t be onstage but around the corner with the homeless dude living in the cardboard box. (he likes me) Roger will be fully clothed and at La Cita.

Tuesday 6/1 Free!
map of La Cita
DRIFTED on myspace
Fbook event page


May 28, 2010

Join Sacred Fools for the World Premiere of FORBIDDEN ZONE: LIVE IN THE 6TH DIMENSION, adapted from one of the greatest midnight movies of all time! A surreal and bawdy journey to the Sixth Dimension, featuring the music of Danny Elfman and the Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo.  The show was adapted by Michael Holmes, directed by Scott Leggett, and features the Musical Direction of Ryan Johnson and choreography of Natasha Norman.

FORBIDDEN ZONE: LIVE IN THE 6TH DIMENSION is adapted from the motion picture Forbidden Zone, originally
produced and directed by Richard Elfman.

runs 5/21 to 6/26 $25
F Sa 8pm
Special Sn performances 6/13 and 6/20 7pm
map of Sacred Fools
Purchase tickets
Visit the event’s web page

BORN TO BE ALIVE a new solo show starring Selene Luna

May 28, 2010

Photo credit:  Tim Palen

Selene Luna is at it again.  Her new solo show, BORN TO BE ALIVE, opens this weekend at the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Lily Tomlin /Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center, in the Davidson / Valentini theater.

Proceeds from BORN TO BE ALIVE will benefit the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.  These monies will be donated to homeless youth.  Selene speaks to the importance of support for LGBT kids’ health, education, safety, and future in a blog post here.

BORN TO BE ALIVE is directed by Derick LaSalla, from a script by Selene Luna and John T. Stapleton.

Thematic content includes:  Comedy, Dance, Love, Sex, Nudity, Highbrow, Lowbrow, Humor

F, Sa at 8pm Sn at 7pm $20
May 28, 29, 30
and June 4, 11, 12, 13, 18, 20, 25, 26, 27

map of the Davidson / Valentini Theatre
Purchase tickets
Visit the event’s web page
Follow Selene Luna on Twitter

Thomas Hampton Reviews THE EVENT Needtheater at the Hollywood Fringe Festival

May 27, 2010

Needtheater is bringing special encore performances of THE EVENT to the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

This production of John Clancy's short one man show, directed by Ian Forester, is certainly written for a crowd that has already fallen in love with the theater.  Paul Dillon narrates our communal experience, slowly unraveling the artifice of the performance, the relevance of the crew, and the unspoken contract between the audience, actor, and critic.

Dillon's brash, no nonsense attack on Clancy's words is the perfect fit.  None of the simple, yet effective, theatrical tricks up their sleeves are forced.  And the result is incredibly effective.

THE EVENT attempts to preempt and silence the thoughts in your head, muffling your inner dialogue.  And then it steers you towards the understanding that the event itself is the simple act of communication.  And the only way to truly communicate is face to face; live and in person.  A give and take including physicality as well as emotion, information, personality, disorder, and discomfort.

Thus the question; what are we in danger of losing as we avoid true communication through technological complication? Or perhaps, have we passed the tipping point, and our loss, quite simply, has not yet been understood?

Thematic content includes:  Highbrow, Humor, Singing

THE EVENT  $10 runs
6/18 8pm
6/19 6:30pm
6/24 7:30pm
6/26 7:30pm
6/27 7:30pm
Map of the Paul G. Gleason Theatre
Buy Tickets

Visit the Needtheater website

Visit the Hollywood Fringe Festival website

BALLAD OF SAD YOUNG MEN CoA inside the Black Box at The Alexandria

May 25, 2010


Ballad of Sad Young Men tells the story of Joe, a soldier without direction, who revisits a childhood haunt on the eve of his return to war. On the verge of Joe’s personal destruction, his childhood friends do the best they can to save his life before he’s shipped off to combat. Featuring the Company talents of Juanita Chase, Joshua R. Lamont, Rudy Marquez and Tina Sanchez, Ballad of Sad Young Men is a daring look at the loss of innocence and how salvation can come from unlikely places.


5/24 to 5/30

M T W Th 8pm  Sa Su 3pm

$8 for one, $12 for two

Map of the Black Box at The Alexandria

Buy Tickets

Visit the Company of Angels website


May 23, 2010

Grand Ole Echo         May 16, 2010

The crowd had the feel of a family reunion about them as they settled in for an afternoon of fun.  Lots of hugs and hearty handshakes were given and received.  A young rocker-to-be carried in his Dad’s hardcase as parents kept their own hands full with bottles of beer.

A rare appearance on the Left Coast for William Lee and the Modern Primitives was the perfect start to this season’s opening of the Grand Ole Echo, a seasonal, weekly, Sunday afternoon show for all ages at The Echo, in the heart of Echo Park.  Javier, a long time attendee, has taken over as your host, introducing each act, and playfully enticing the audience to pick up a cd or other swag.

Like all good Western/ Blues bands, William Lee and the Modern Primitives move you to tap your toes, bob your head, and sway to and fro with the steady beat supplied by G.J. Garcia’s drums and guest bassist D.A. Foster.  Even a youpster (young hipster) with blonde hair to his shoulders, ran around and danced with his dad to the yodeling antics of the band.

William C. Lee sang songs about being in love, and keeping the world at bay, shifting styles from straight ahead honky-tonk to shamanistic prayer chant; even touching on a groovy cattle drive/ truck convoy instrumental reminiscent of the scene in The Blues Brothers when the band loops the theme to Rawhide to pacify the rowdy crowd.  Needless to say, no bottles were thrown, nor chicken wire safety curtain needed at this show.

Socio-economic politics were at the core of many of the lyrics…

Where do the old cowboys go
When they can no longer ride?
Out to pasture
With Social Security and plastic in their sides.

…as well as a diatribe against a hipster “music machine” contingent that makes music completely devoid of a singular, personal style.

But the most moving aspect of William Lee and the Modern Primitives’ voice was the desire to- and peace found in a- return to the country after time lost in the city.

If moving back to the country brings the peace and creative fuel necessary to nurture the new songs on display, then by all means, the creative forces behind this band need to stay out of urban centers unless they are on tour.

William Lee and the Modern Primitives served up a cohesive set of songs that continually pushed its audience further and further, opening them up to a worldview where story and substance take precedent over popularity and profit.  For an encore, they serenaded a lovely couple who danced all by themselves in front of the band; arm in arm, twirling around each other again and again, in time to their slightly southern lilts.



May 12, 2010

This Sunday, May 16th, WILLIAM LEE AND THE MODERN PRIMITIVES play the Grand Ole Echo.  This is one in a series of family friendly, FREE Sunday afternoon shows at Echo Park’s The Echo.

Playing a rare Los Angeles gig, WILLIAM LEE AND THE MODERN PRIMITIVES is made up of William C. Lee, G.J. Garcia, and a series of rotating guests.  Also on the bill are Dan Janisch, David Serby, Homesick Elephant, and 50 Cent Haircut.

Start times:
William Lee – 5:30
50 Cent Haircut – 6:30
David Serby – 7:30


William Lee and the Modern Primitives were formed out of the ashes of a Band of Americans in 2002, first playing September 3rd of that year in Silverlake CA, of which a recording exists. Soon after a small holiday secret tour of the South was undertaken from Knoxville Tennessee to Austin Texas. One of the highlights of the tour was playing on New Years eve in the rain on Beale Street, being paid in whiskey. The Middle Years…. The last show as a band was played at The Scene in Glendale CA January 2003 with special guest A.G. Olmstead. William Lee played a few pick-up shows around Los Angeles during 2004 then disappeared to produce Lost Blues and Forgotten Ballads . Recent years to the present… Lost Blues and Forgotten Ballads was completed in 2008 with the assistance of the great Professor Y, who will for now remain anonymous. A thousand copies were independently pressed at the JVC plant in Alabama in early 2009. Three unique shows were played in 2009. The First in Claremont CA at the Press Restaurant played by William Lee and G.J. Garcia alone. This was the first the two had played together in public in six years. The Second was played at the American Legion Hall in Highland Park CA with the band Ovideo. The musicians for this show were Foster on Bass, Yvette on lead guitar, Jerry on Drums, and William on rhythm guitar and vocals. The last show was played at the Pilot Light in Knoxville TN. The musicians for this show were Daniel on drums, Big Kitty Williams and William Lee on vocals and guitars.

Thematic content includes:  Bring Kids, Live Music, Singing

Sunday, May 16th, 5pm
FREE  All Ages  Family Friendly
Map of The Echo
Visit this event’s page on The Echo’s Website

Thomas Hampton Reviews SECOND

May 11, 2010

“We are just real people making real mistakes.”

See and download the full gallery on posterous

Photo Credit Joe LaRue

At it’s heart, SECOND is a post 911 redemption song.  It asks if belief can heal us out of our time of grief, and wonders if we are ready to be reborn.  Most importantly, are we able to recognize and move past our own sins as a more open, honest, loving society?

The Filament Theatre Company’s ensemble cast displays fantastically controlled, realistic performances that play well in person, or on the live video feeds that show you the action in the rooms you are not seated in.

The action takes place in three rooms of a lovely Echo Park home, and the set up creates a fabulously intimate venue.  Be forewarned, the only seating is on cushioned benches without backs.  While the run time is only 90 minutes, if you have back issues, I recommend bringing your own folding chair.  Some of the sound cues can also be a bit loud.  If you have sensitive ears, sit away from the large speakers that play the audio feed from other rooms.

I wonder if an LA audience is as keen to experience this as a group of New Yorkers would be…  Unfortunately, Neal Utterback’s script, while able to toy with the ways that a secular society accepts, understands, and incorporates miracles in to their personal belief structures, struggles to sink its hook in to the cheek of the audience.

SECOND asks each of its characters to rationalize the unbelievable.  Some will attempt to begin life anew, and start fresh in the hopes of creating a better future.  Others will self destruct and fall victim to delusions of immortality.  But the most important choice that the audience can make lays outside of the theater, after the show.  Will we be able to come together to work towards a communal utopia as good neighbors and citizens?  Or will we fall deeper in to our own whirlpools of greed and isolation, seeking redemption from a golden calf, or whatever false idol we choose to worship.

Thematic content includes:  Redemption, Love, Adultery, Sex, Violence, Self Destruction, Singing, Humor.

SECOND runs 5/6 to 5/29
Th, F, Sa (and W 19th & 26th) 8pm  $20
Map of Laveta Villa
Buy Tickets
Visit the Filament Theatre Company website
Read the press release for SECOND

Thomas Hampton Reviews ENCORE L’AMOUR!

May 7, 2010

Love drives us to live our life to the fullest.
ENCORE L’AMOUR! is a box of fancy chocolates, all wrapped up pretty in a bow, and hand delivered to your door unexpectedly by the most attractive of messengers.  At first, you are overwhelmed by the grandiosity of your new gift.  But as you tear open the wrapping, and try each confection, you find that each truffle and treat has wondrous magic inside.  Your hunger, desire, and curiosity increase exponentially with each bite.

Nathalie Broizat and Jean-Paul Monsche have built an amazing evening of movement and music musing on love, loss, regret, redemption, and letting go.  Each vignette was a fully thought out meditation on different aspects of love:  romantic love, the love of friends and family, the love of music, lust, the love of movement, of self expression, and at its core, the joy of love itself.

Each member of their ensemble exhibited top notch physical control, exuding a unique, open, inviting, and expressive presence.  The confluence of skilled mime and clown work throughout the evening proved the continued relevance of the form.  This work, steeped primarily in story, not contrivance, will be a necessary revelation to many audiences who have only experienced more derivative American clowning and/ or classic mime.

Here are a few of the confections offered to a dazzled and dumbfounded audience:

A lover takes a running leap, sliding across a table to rest face to face with his sweetie, only to steal a glass of wine.

A pair find themselves entangled in the messy complexity of coupling as a rollerblading lover wraps his partner in a tangle of ribbon; a present he can unwrap in good time.

Two lovers dance a joyous farewell, as one accompanies their movements by playing an accordion worn as a backpack by his dance partner.

Heart headed lobster/ love monsters chase after objects of desire.  Confetti sprinkles the air in an attempt to intoxicate the audience as an aphrodisiac. 
All the while, a French Gypsy band transports you to a place where Michel Legrand has been appointed Minister of Music, and quality and quantity are derigeur.
As a final grace note, the last number opened on Nathalie setting a dinner table for a celebratory meal with close friends.

One by one, each cast member came in, sat down, and was served a salad dressed at the table, with bread and cheese, and wine.  And then The Mad Alsacians, one by one, came on stage, sat down, and began to eat.  Suddenly, the entire audience was invited to join in, and we all broke bread together, drank wine, and celebrated the love we share with each other, and the love we have for the performing arts.

By forgoing spoken language, ENCORE L’AMOUR frees your mind and opens your heart.  The audience is invited to move beyond personal hangups and baggage, sympathize with the players, and empathize with their unique conundrums, desires, disappointments, and triumphs.  Our participation in the finale/ onstage after show dinner party drives home the fact that it was our own personal brushes with love that we saw played out in each short love story.

Love crosses all societal boundaries.  Love is love.  Regardless of social class, caste, economic standing, race, gender, age, political ideology, language…  This show will reach any audience given the opportunity to perform for it.  If it arrives in your town, treat yourself to something wonderful.

Photo Credits:  Leo Garcia

Thematic content includes:  Dance/ Movement, Love, Highbrow, Live Music

ENCORE L’AMOUR! was presented in April of 2010
at Highways Performance Space
Visit the Nathalie Broizat website