Movie Reviews

Film Review: Moonlight

Rated R 110 Minutes Released October 21st Moonlight is the poignant tale of a sensitive youth growing up in a challenging home life situation in a dangerous Miami neighborhood. He has nearly impossible odds stacked against ever achieving success in life. The film is based on an unproduced play called “In Moonlight Black Boys Look... Read more →

Play Time

Kick Up Your Heels For the Lizzie Borden Murders

A musical based on the murder trial of Lizzie Borden in the last years of the 19th century would seem to be an intriguing idea. After all, everyone is familiar with the jump-rope rhyme: “Lizzie Borden took an axe And gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one.” Playwright... Read more →

Culture Watch

Welcome to the Worm Yard

What lies beneath — beneath the ground, behind the mask, below the surface of superficial appearance? That’s what the astonishing Irish performer Pat Kinevane, back in town for a very brief run, addresses in his latest one-man show, “Underneath,” at The Odyssey Theatre in West L.A. In April this year, Kinevane, a member of... Read more →


Politics on the Pier

By Marina Andalon This has been a year of extreme opinions in politics but locals who want a more nuanced and informative approach to contentious issues can take advantage of a new debate series on the Santa Monica Pier. The series is designed and organized by, a nonprofit public charity based in Santa Monica. They provide... Read more →


Mr. Santa Monica wants to hit the big screen

Does the name Nat Trives ring a bell? How about Mr. Santa Monica? Trives, earned his nickname due to his love and commitment to the city and that devotion has brought him to the big screen. The short film, Mr. Santa Monica A Story of a Man Who Cares, was produced and directed by Mark Lawson Shepard. Shepard specializes in filming and... Read more →

Play Time

Ronnie and Rachel Reconnect

  The film is called “Is That You?” and the answer is “It most certainly is!” Winner of a well-deserved Israeli Academy Award last year for Best Independent Film, this delicious cinematic treat explores love, the road not taken, and the unfulfilled dreams one may come to acknowledge as regrets later in life. For... Read more →


Cycle of life for local senior

Michael Lukich can leg-press 600 pounds, ride his bike uphill for miles at a time and get his heart rate up to 190 beats per minute during intense cardio. He’s 76. “Everybody is good at something,” he said. For Lukich, a longtime Santa Monica resident and personal trainer, that “something” is athletic competition. He’s... Read more →


St. John’s NICU saves and reunites the miracle babies

Isaac Lincoln Soppe was born premature, 27 weeks gestation and spent 95 days at Saint John’s Health Center in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). He weighed two and half pounds, healthy aside from being born prematurely. It was the work efforts by the NICU that helped deliver Isaac. The NICU at St. John’s is considered a safe... Read more →

Movie Reviews

Film Review: The Birth of a Nation

Rated R 120 Minutes Released October 7th Let’s say you got on the California Screamin’ Roller Coaster at Disney’s California Adventure and were stuck on the speeding ride for eight hours – you ride it over and over and over. How would that feel? Go see Nate Parker’s The Birth of a Nation and you may find out. The camera pans... Read more →


Blindness and Autism, together on one stage

Two Santa Monica based charities have joined forces to produce a play featuring blind actors and autistic musicians. Organizers said the play is unique in its use of artists who perceive the world differently from most and they hope the experience is as inspiring as it is challenging for everyone involved. The two charities, Theatre By... Read more →


‘Friends’ de-stigmatizes depression

Sadness, discouraged, grief, these are all normal human emotions. Everyone has those feelings from time to time and they usually go away within a few days, maybe even hours. Depression is something more; a period of overwhelming sadness, can often involves a loss of interest in things that usually bring pleasure. The UCLA Center for Health... Read more →

Book Review

Local authors explore ambition, abuse, adventure

  Reality bores Pasha Adam, so he writes fiction. But the locally based author, who this month is releasing two novels — “American Asshole” and “Keep Santa Monica Clean” — still uses real locations to bring his characters to life. He mentions the Big Blue Bus system, the construction of the Expo Line and numerous... Read more →

Culture Watch

Movies Worth Your While

I had a profound experience watching the documentary “The True Cost” last week at a Sustainable Works screening at the Aero Theatre. “The True Cost” is about consumerism at its most destructive, the ethics of “fast fashion” that forces people in developing countries to work in unsafe, horrendous conditions for as little as $2 a... Read more →

Play Time

Natalie and the Dysfunctional Writers

At least it’s not about a dysfunctional family.  This time it’s a group of dysfunctional writers who are blocked, burnt out, and distracted. The play is “The Portman Delusions”, which stars Adam Mervis, who also wrote it.  He is a good actor (he plays Roy), whose head appears to be on upside down:  shaved on top and... Read more →


Local square dancing group angling for growth

The auditorium at Marine Park isn’t usually as crowded as it used to be. Santa Monica’s officials square dancing club, the Red Ribbon Squares, has seen its numbers dip in recent years as people have moved away, pursued other interests or given up the hobby to care of their families. And the group now organizes dances just once each... Read more →