Spielberg Posts A Skosh From the Vietnam War

Meryl Streep, Tom Hanks, Steven Spielberg. Who could ask for anything more! The film they've made together is called "The Post" and it is thought by many to be 2017's Best Picture in a year filled with an overwhelming collection of exceptionally fine films. The Post refers, of course, to the Washington Post and its historical role in... Read more →


Restaurant Review: MEAT

One of our pleasures over the decades has been a trip to New York to see great shows and eat at great steak houses. I don’t know why the steak houses there seemed so much better than in Los Angeles. Boa is good. Ruth’s Chris is good. And I hear that Cut is good, but out of my price range. But there was something better in New York. No... Read more →



THIS WEEK AT THE BROAD STAGE Two Broad Stage productions caught my attention this week: “Small Mouth Sounds” on the main stage and “Shakespeare, His Wife and The Dog” at the Edye, the smaller black box theatre. I spoke with Philip Whitchurch, who wrote “Shakespeare, His Wife and The Dog,” and stars in it with his real-life... Read more →


Culture Watch

BUSTED-DOWN FORD AND PLATFORM HEELS Sometimes life is defined by a single incident. And when that incident is tragic, things change abruptly. Author, poet and playwright Susan Hayden’s beloved husband, Christopher Allport, a well-respected and busy actor of stage, screen and TV, died in a freak avalanche while skiing at Mountain High in... Read more →


Giving Voice To Local History (Part 2)

  At lunch with his wife Katherine (Kat), our mutual friend Ted Bonnitt, who brought us together, and me, Noel Blanc was doing what he does best, sharing personal reminiscences of our area as he experienced it. (This column is a continuation from Dec. 21). There once was a time when Ocean Park was an entity unto itself, Noel says,... Read more →



  Once at dinner at El Bulli, then considered the best restaurant in the world, we were served a course simply called “countries.” It consisted of three small porcelain spoons with a spoon-full of liquid in each. As you put the spoon in your month it was instantly clear what country it represented. And so it is with Indian... Read more →

Culture Watch


CULTURE WATCH Dec. 21, 2017 By Sarah A. Spitz   Noel Blanc once blow-dried the athletic field at Santa Monica College. With his jet helicopter. For real. It was in the 1980s and Noel—whose name in French means “White Christmas” and who was Bar Mitzvah’ed at the original Casa del Mar—was called upon to help with an... Read more →

Play Time

As the Wonder Wheel Churns

by Cynthia Citron If you were a child growing up in New York in the 1950s, one of the peak adventures of your childhood might have been a trip to the beach at Coney Island and a ride on the Wonder Wheel, the 150-foot Ferris wheel that dominated the beach's horizon. (As well as the joy of chomping on a Nathan's hot dog, of course.) Now,... Read more →


A Queer Time in Rotterdam

The play is intelligent and sensitive. Well presented, especially by the two principal actors. And it's genuinely thought-provoking. But in spite of all this it just may not be your cup of tea. "Rotterdam," written by Jon Brittain, is now having its West Coast premiere at the Skylight Theatre in Los Angeles and it deals with the emotional... Read more →



FILM REVIEW WONDER WHEEL Rated PG-13 101 Minutes Released December 1 I saw Wonder Wheel at a screening that featured a live Q&A with the lead actors afterwards, and I got to thinking (often a dangerous development). Why is it that Woody Allen’s films seem a bit lacking in thrills and chills, very cerebral, yet the greatest... Read more →



DAVID DINES BY DAVID PISARRA LITTLE RUBY 109 Santa Monica Blvd Santa Monica, CA 90401 424.322.8353   The Aussie invasion, via New York, has landed on Santa Monica Boulevard, just a few feet away from ocean vistas in the form of a hip new burger joint called Little Ruby. This West coast offshoot of an East coast small... Read more →

Movie Reviews


DARKEST HOUR Rated PG-13 125 Minutes Released November 22 As I was growing up, I was fascinated by a set of six thick volumes on my parents’ bookshelf (yes, we had books in those days,) each written by Winston Churchill, detailing a period of World War II. Reading excerpts from those works gave me great respect for the... Read more →

Culture Watch

Misses and Hits

CULTURE WATCH By Sarah A. Spitz Misses and Hits OK, call me the Grinch. “Something Rotten” at the Ahmanson Theatre just did not float my boat. Having recently seen both “Hamilton” and “Spamilton,” the bar for true theatrical innovation, as well as satire and parody of Broadway, is very high for me. I am vastly in... Read more →