Culture Watch

Beating the odds in ‘KooKooLand’

“It was all about finding the right voice,” Gloria Norris said at a recent book party celebrating her new memoir “KooKooLand,” published this month by Regan Arts. It’s a dazzling feat of writing, a riveting personal history and an impressive story about overcoming long odds. For a long time, it was her father’s voice that... Read more →


Making your New Year’s fitness resolutions stick

Betsy Mendel doesn't believe in New Year's resolutions. At least not when it comes to fitness. The Santa Monica-based personal trainer says that, in her experience, they just don't stick. “Most people break their resolutions,” Mendel said. “And, personally, I don't think it's a great way to try and lose weight. Gyms are full until... Read more →


‘Clever’ way to fundraise

As an active parent in the Santa Monica-Malibu school district, Shannon Gabor knows how much of a struggle it can be to fundraise. As an entrepreneur who runs an area business, she felt she could provide some help. “When I became a mom, I realized there was an opportunity to blend my professional passion with what I was seeing as an... Read more →

Culture Watch

Culture Watch: The original lounge act

You may not know the names behind the original 1950s Las Vegas lounge act, Louis Prima and Keely Smith, but you've definitely heard of a duo they influenced: Sonny and Cher. Like Keely, Cher sang and played deadpan to Sonny's goofier persona. Both women have Native American ancestry, were the superior singers in their duos, and went on to... Read more →

Culture Watch

Culture Watch: Rainn’s Pain

I first saw actor Rainn Wilson on HBO's groundbreaking series “Six Feet Under” in his role as a dark, quirky mortician. Most of you know him as the edgy, eccentric character, Dwight Schrute on the beloved NBC sitcom “The Office.” Rainn Wilson is appearing on stage at The Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, in a one-man show by playwright... Read more →


Washing away 2015 with a New Year’s Day ocean swim

You can ring in the New Year with champagne, football bowl games and parades on television. Or, you can go for a dip in the Pacific Ocean. Scores of people from across the region will usher in 2016 by participating in the 56th annual Penguin Club Swim, a New Year's Day tradition organized through Southern California Aquatics. The free... Read more →

Play Time

A whole bunch of on-stage ‘Nunsense’

You don't have to be Catholic to love “Nunsense” and its six hilarious sequels. It's “The Flying Nun” on steroids, dancing on the head of a pin. And if you've never seen any of these iconic musical comedies, you've got a terrific treat in store, I must confess.  It's almost sinful to be so outrageously funny! The perpetrator of... Read more →

Culture Watch

A feast of culture at ‘Dinner Party Download’

From a 15-minute podcast to a nationally broadcast, hourlong weekly public radio show (and podcast), “The Dinner Party Download” (on 89.3FM KPCC and wherever podcasts are served) is a fast hour of food, culture and conversation that will help you “win your dinner party.” On Jan. 28, hosts Rico Gagliano and Brendan Francis Newnam... Read more →