Rated R 103 Minutes Released February 24   Get Out is unexpectedly a beautifully made movie. One of its assets is its simplicity. It was a low budget production ($4.5 million) made without elaborate special effects. Most of the shock value is created in the editing room without a lot of the ubiquitous blood and gore that... Read more →


Culture Watch: Fun Home, Nowruz, Spring Break

I can’t remember the last time a musical moved or impressed me so fully on so many levels. “Fun Home,” now at The Ahmanson Theatre, is that musical. This is one remarkable piece of theatre. It’s rightfully been called “groundbreaking.” Based on Alison Bechdel’s 2006 autobiographical cartoon (aka graphic) memoir of the same... Read more →


Coast festival is clear for 2017

At least one day a year traffic will not be a problem in downtown Santa Monica. After a successful launch last summer, Santa Monica’s first open streets event is coming back for round two. The City will merge last year’s popular Coast Open Streets with Santa Monica Festival this fall, according to a newly released staff report. Staff... Read more →


One big party for four park projects

Santa Monica will celebrate Parks Day on Saturday, Feb. 25 with a morning of activities spread across four parks. The day will include the grand opening of Ishihara Park, renaming of Gandara Park (formerly Stewart St. Park), reopening of Reed Park and the conclusion of construction at Los Amigos Park. Karen Ginsberg, Director of... Read more →



Best Director, Best Picture With so many awards shows leading up to the Academy Awards, I’m sure everyone is feeling a bit of “Awards Fatigue.” However, the Oscars are the Super Bowl of Awards Shows, coming up on Sunday February 26th, so get your cinematic waterfowl in a row in anticipation for the voting results of the members of... Read more →


“As I Remember It”

If my editor will indulge me, I should like to tell you about a book today rather than a play or film. The book is called “As I Remember It” and it is my memoir which has just been published. As the publisher describes it, the book "chronicles the author’s adventures in the Philippines, Spain, South Africa, India, Norway, Ethiopia,... Read more →


Culture Watch: Making movies, changing lives

If it hadn’t been for Geraldine Gilliland, owner of Finn McCool’s and Lula Cocina on Main Street, I might never have heard of Cinemagic. Which is strange because Cinemagic has been around for nearly three decades, has served half a million young people since its inception and is now a worldwide force. A Gala for the Belfast,... Read more →

Play Time

Two for the Road

  Two road pictures this weekend and I’m exhausted. The first was the awesome “Lion,” a film that’s up for an Oscar as the Best Film of the year. It covers the travels of a five-year-old boy from India to Tasmania and back. The second road trip was the repetitive daily bus ride through the town of Paterson, New Jersey,... Read more →

Culture Watch

An Epic Theatre Weekend

  Is “Zoot Suit” L.A.’s “Hamilton?” It’s been extended twice and it just opened. This remarkable revival of a play set in, about and created in L.A. premiered at the Taper nearly 40 years ago and may be more relevant now. It shattered all box office records in 1978 (not in New York, though), was made into a movie, and is... Read more →

Movie Reviews

Film Review: A United Kingdom

Rated PG-13 111 Minutes Released February 10th   The true story depicted in A United Kingdom follows a mixed race couple with the courage to risk challenging the system of white supremacy that existed in southern Africa in the late 1940’s. It is similar to the story of Oscar-nominated Loving, yet set within a different culture... Read more →


Valentine’s Day Round Up

  Valentine’s Day is in the horizon and Santa Monica offers the sunset, the beach, and the perfect places to visit to celebrate the holiday. The Daily Press put together a brief list of activities and restaurants to enjoy your loved ones. Westside Comedy’s is showing their Funny Valentine show. Watch comedy from the nationally... Read more →


Shockingly easy ways to get personal training

  Burning calories is part of many Santa Monicans’ lifestyles and their New Years Resolutions but some need a little extra help. A new fitness studio, Manduu, opened on Main St. at the end of last year. The studio offers personal training to everyone, regardless of age, or fitness level. Whether working on your beach body or just... Read more →

Culture Watch

Circus and Spectacle

  There are some amazing performance events taking place in Santa Monica and around town this week and beyond. Not the usual stage dramas but rather dance, music, spectacle, acrobatics and more. Let’s start with The 7 Fingers (Les 7 doigts), whose “Cuisine and Confessions” will dazzle the Broad Stage in Santa Monica with four... Read more →

Play Time

Ibsen’s Wild Duck Becomes “The Daughter”

In the first half of the 20th century the Brits, with their impeccable enunciation and dramatic gestures, set the standard for theater performances —Shakespeare and all the rest. In the last half of the century Canadians, with their informal American vernacular, added a generation of comedians to the mix. And in more recent times some very... Read more →


Love and Devotion to Gray Whales

    Love is all around the Santa Monica Pier. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Heal the Bay’s Santa Monica Pier Aquarium will celebrate the love of the Pacific gray whale this weekend. Heal the Bay is an environmental non-profit, dedicated to making the coastal waters of Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy and... Read more →