A teen’s drive to get licensed

  DMV ‚Äî Being a teenager, the one milestone that somehow seems more important to me than the bat mitzvah or even high school graduation is the attainment of a driver‚Äôs license. It‚Äôs a symbol of independence. However, it‚Äôs also a complete hassle to obtain. A year ago, in the summer of 2011, I began the... Read more →


Mid-summer roundup

The big events around town include ¬ìWar Horse¬î at the Ahmanson Theatre and ¬ìThe Exorcist¬î at Geffen Playhouse. But much of note takes place in smaller venues. I hope you¬íll go out and discover one near you. How the devil do you turn ¬ìThe Exorcist¬î into a stage production? The Geffen¬ís answer attempts to render... Read more →


Pier Concert Series 2012

The temperatures are rising, the days are longer and the music has returned to the Santa Monica Bay. The Twilight Concert Series is back for its 28th year with as eclectic a lineup as ever before. When crowds flock to the historic Santa Monica Pier for this annual Westside tradition they will find a stage inhabited by a wideranging lineup... Read more →


Grief of a different sort

There¬ís no way to put this delicately: ¬ìThe Irish Curse¬î by Martin Casella, at West L.A.¬ís venerated Odyssey Theatre, is about grief over the size of a particular part of the male anatomy and its effect on men¬ís lives. It¬ís not typically the kind of thing that men talk about ¬ó their feelings, that is. Dubbed the ¬ìwee... Read more →


Bach, Cage back to back

If John Cage had not been born with his name, he would have had to invent it. It serves as a reminder of all the conventions he was trying to break free of in his music, his spirituality and his life. A Zen Buddhist, his open-mindedness allowed him to consider not just notes, harmonies, melodies, and rhythms but all sounds ¬ó traffic, jet... Read more →


Give them a hand

¬† You might think that a play hinging on the essential nature of language would pose a challenge for deaf artists.¬† But ¬ìCyrano,¬î a world premiere collaboration between The Fountain Theatre and Deaf West Theatre, has been extended twice, more than doubling the length of its initial run. In his classic 19th century romance... Read more →


Sexy sirens and comedic kings

When I was a UCLA undergrad studying literature in the 1970s, the feminist movement was in full flower across the cultural spectrum. Women protested at New York¬ís Museum of Modern Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art about the lack of female artists in their collections. Bras were burned, Ms. Magazine was born, and women¬ís... Read more →


Theatre on the ‘Fringe’

The Hollywood Fringe Festival, an annual celebration of independently produced emerging arts across all genres, is premiering new music, film, theatre and other performance events in multiple conventional and unorthodox venues from June 14 through June 24. More can be found at On Sunday, I attended a Fringe... Read more →


History with a side of schnitzel

The actual name that everyone uses, "Got Kosher," doesn‚Äôt really do justice to it, because it‚Äôs not like other kosher restaurants. The bakery is very special, and the restaurant serves authentic Tunisian foods. And that‚Äôs what makes it interesting. I‚Äôm talking about Got Kosher Caf√©. The great cuisines of... Read more →


Moving on or moving up

Dear New Shrink, I am a young working professional in my early 30s. Throughout my career I have seen several people around me advance their careers quite quickly while I have been passed up for promotional opportunities. I receive strong recognition during my annual performance review and have been a loyal and dependable worker. I am very... Read more →


L.A. Zoo has something new

Every year, students in Lincoln Middle School’s seventh grade life science class take a field trip to the Los Angeles Zoo. They’re lucky to have a teacher like Bob Seymour. He told me in an e-mail that his students have been studying “evolution, natural selection, taxonomy, DNA and genetics.” Class members will be... Read more →


Officer attempts to break Ferris wheel riding world record

SM PIER — A Los Angeles Police officer will ride the iconic Ferris wheel on the Santa Monica Pier for 25 hours straight later this month in an attempt to break the Guinness World Records title. Gus Martinez plans to hop aboard the Pacific Wheel May 31 and ride it from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. on June 1, according to a press release... Read more →


Advocates educate and inspire for better nutrition, health

CITYWIDE — Revolution came to Santa Monica, but it wasn’t televised. Representatives and acolytes of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s “Food Revolution” gathered in Santa Monica Saturday for Oliver’s first Food Revolution Day, 24 hours dedicated to breaking people out of bad eating habits and putting them back... Read more →


Making way for the ducklings

CIVIC CENTER — The mother duck rose to her feet and ruffled her feathers, prompting shaky imitation from her ducklings. With that, the family of 10 marched across the third floor patio at the RAND Corp. building toward a shady bench hideout, complete with plastic bowls of water and platters replete with duck mash, mealworms and... Read more →


No need to run south of the border

L.A.’s appetite for Mexican fare is as old as the city itself. From the hole in the wall taquería to the corner taco truck, it’s pretty easy to score some good Mexican grub. And for a culture that has worked its way up the restaurant ranks from dishwashers and line cooks to managers and executive chefs, it can be argued... Read more →