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 →

Culture Watch

Underground no more

From a classroom at John Adams Middle School to the basement of the Cayton Student Center at Santa Monica College, Santa Monica's own public radio station KCRW  (89.9 FM; can finally say it will no longer be, quite literally, an underground radio station. I started at KCRW as a volunteer in 1983 and retired as a staff member at... Read more →

Play Time

If not now, then?

“If/Then”, the Broadway musical that opened the other night at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood is a very mixed bag. It stars a delightful lesbian couple (LaChanze and Janine DiVita), and an earnest gay couple (Anthony Rapp and Marc Delacruz), and the fabled Idina Menzel, whose character can't seriously commit to anything. She even has... Read more →

Culture Watch

Straight White Men and Festive Food

Every time I turned on the radio last week, there was an interview with Young Jean Lee, talking about her most accessible stage work, “Straight White Men” in its West Coast premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Why? Because of the strong ensemble performances, the realistic language and a premise that leads to much audience... Read more →

Culture Watch

Standing in the rain

Yes, friends, I finally made it to “The Rain Room” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Is it art? A feat of engineering? An amusement park-style attraction? All of the above. It's wildly popular, that's a fact. But what is the Rain Room? It's a space in which a continuous stream of water falls through holes in a ceiling grid but... Read more →

Play Time

Jack’s Christmas surprise

So young Jack comes home from college for the Christmas holiday with a dreadful confession: he has been accused of rape by a girl he slept with back in September. And for the next 75 minutes his family reacts to the news. The play is “A Good Family,” now having its world premiere at the Lounge Theater in Hollywood. Its author, who wrote... Read more →


Family focus at Ox & Son

EDITOR'S NOTE: Leading up to Thanksgiving, The Santa Monica Daily Press has complied a series of seasonal recipes from several local restaurants. The following features Brad Miller from Ox & Son. Chef Brad Miller's maple glazed pork belly is an example of his very specific vision for winter cooking. “This recipe incorporates... Read more →