Romeo and Juliet as you’d like it

What do Stephen Sondheim, Franco Zeffirelli, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Sergei Prokofiev and Charles Gounod have in common? They have all created popular works in their own time based on William Shakespeare’s end-of-the 16th century play, “Romeo and Juliet.” In Shakespeare’s own time, however, the prolific Spanish... Read more →


Breaking into Tinseltown

Dear New Shrink, I am a college student who will be graduating with a degree in English this May. I would like to work in the entertainment industry but have no idea how to get started. Do you have any advice on what I can do now to get my foot in the door? Signed, Industry Wannabe Dear Wannabe, Breaking into the industry will take time... Read more →

Book Review


Every year for the past nine years Santa Monica has had a Citywide Reads. In the past we have had “The Time Traveler’s Wife” and “Little Bee,” to name a few. All provided much discussion among various groups held around the city. The Santa Monica Citywide Reads this year is a book by Dolen Perkins-Valdez told in... Read more →


It’s all about confidence

Folks who see my Facebook page know that I’m constantly “checking in” to Burn Fitness, so they see my level of dedication. But just so all of you know how dedicated I truly am to getting my workout on, the other day, I actually pushed a car out of the way to get to the gym. That’s correct. You heard me right. Believe... Read more →


‘Impossible’ is the word

Chelsea Sutton’s play “99 Impossible Things” should really be called “100 Impossible Things.” The hundredth being the play itself. Filled with faux fey characters, almost all of whom are nuts in one way or another, the play presumably aims to add a little amusing fantasy to your otherwise drab life. But what it... Read more →


What’s the right thing to do about Valentine’s Day?

Dear New Shrink, I have a question regarding Valentine’s Day. It is something that has bothered me for years now. I am happily married to a man I generally get along with quite well. We have two lovely children and overall, I am satisfied and believe that he is too. But we have a total disagreement regarding Valentine’s Day and... Read more →


A guide to Santa Monica’s delicious delis

What’s the difference between a Jewish deli and an Italian deli? It sounds like the first line of a joke. But it’s not: this is serious business. Each kind of deli has its own specialties, and the food is quite different. There is one traditional Italian deli in Santa Monica — the Bay Cities Italian Deli. Actually... Read more →


Penguins? What’s not to love?

Mina Badie is the most authentic pregnant woman who isn’t pregnant that I’ve ever seen. She slouches on the sofa, belly in air, she rises sideways, clutching the arm of the sofa, and she waddles around her spectacularly tacky apartment bracketing her belly in earphones to soothe the baby with music. She calls him “the... Read more →


How to make the most of online job search

Dear New Shrink, I am interested in finding a new job but am not sure how to get started. A few of my friends have suggested using online websites to find out about local job openings. Do these sites really work? Signed, Online Jobseeker Dear Online Jobseeker, Online job search websites can be helpful, however, they should not be your only... Read more →


Dinner and a show at Typhoon

For me, not every meal has to be a gourmet sensation. Sometimes I like fast food, snacks, an occasional donut when my wife’s not looking, and all kinds of fried food. Typhoon at the Santa Monica Airport is no gourmet heaven, but there’s a great menu with tremendous variety, and it’s just plain fun to eat there. There’s... Read more →


Coping with the loss of a friend

Dear New Shrink, I am at a loss. My friend and I have known each other 20 years. He moved away four years ago, but we talked regularly. I must mention he is bipolar and bisexual. We had an ongoing affair after his first divorce, and we both enjoyed that aspect of our lives. Before Christmas we talked and he never mentioned anything to me... Read more →


More than a trace of brilliance

The show is called “Traces,” and you’ve simply got to see it. It’s like Cirque de Soleil, but without the razz-matazz. Like a troop of Chinese acrobats, but with personality. Like a ballet with somersaults.  Seven young people, all in their 20s, (six men and one small 112-pound woman) plunge onstage and... Read more →


Twilight in winter

CityTV Santa Monica is bringing some warm vibes to the month of February, airing concerts from last summer’s Twilight Dance Series. Airing at 11 p.m. nightly on Channel 16, plus back-to-back music marathons on Saturdays starting at 8 p.m., viewers will be able to experience a wide variety of musicians from around the globe playing... Read more →


Not another Italian restaurant

BROADWAY — Whenever a new restaurant opens, my sister says, “Not another Italian restaurant!” A friend who works at Cal Tech claims that when man finally gets to Mars, he or she will find a Starbucks on one corner and an Italian restaurant on the other. And so with trepidation I went to the new Hostaria del Piccolo on Sixth... Read more →


Tour a Farmers’ Market with Michael from Michael’s

I have often heard of Michael’s in Santa Monica and have walked by it many times but never had a chance to visit until recently and was pleasantly surprised. I met a friend for a late lunch and we were seated in the back garden, which was beautifully decorated for the holidays; full of poinsettias and little white lights. This is a... Read more →