Culture Watch

The Ten Commandments: Take Two

As predicted, it's a laugh a minute at the Ahmanson Theatre, with the body of actor Sean Hayes taken over by God in “An Act of God.” The writer, David Javerbaum, who won 11 Emmy Awards for his work on Jon Stewart's “The Daily Show,” proves his worth as blasphemer in chief, focusing his satirical barbs on the mayhem mankind has made... Read more →

Play Time

Play Time: Big Bang in Barcelona

It all starts with a big bang. Not the astronomical one. The sexual one. An attractive middle-aged Spaniard (Carlos Leal) picks up a blonde American (Betty Gilpin) in a bar in Barcelona and invites her back to his apartment. They are already physically entangled as they enter and they proceed, in the dark, to continue their activities on a... Read more →

Movie Reviews

‘Tumbledown’ is a touching passion project

By Kathryn Whitney Boole "Tumbledown" is the passion project of husband-and-wife team Sean Mewshaw and Desiree Van Til. Van Til had worked in film development in Los Angeles for years. Mewshaw got his start as a production assistant with Martin Scorsese's "Gangs of New York," and had directed some short films. They made a decision to move... Read more →

Culture Watch

Culture Watch: So much to do!

Some weeks there's just too much to do, to see, to absorb. This is one of those weeks. On Wednesday night I'll attend the opening of “An Act of God,” one of the highest-grossing hits on Broadway in many years, now making its West Coast debut with Sean Hayes. He's the multi-award winning comedic actor whose outsized personality was a... Read more →

Play Time

Play Time: No missteps in ‘Altman’s Last Stand’

Franz Altman is making his last stand. Which is to be expected, because when a man is 90 years old there probably aren't too many stands left for him to take. Or the energy to take them. But then, Franz Altman is a unique 90-year old. As portrayed by Michael Laskin, he rambles on at the Zephyr Theatre for 90 minutes, supposedly telling his... Read more →


Activist memorial saved during mural removal

Safety concerns have prompted the removal of a mural from Joslyn Park, but at least part of the display will be retained and relocated within the area. The mural is located on a retaining wall adjacent to Kensington Road. Water damage has cracked the wall and damage to the surrounding area has forced the City to remove the painting to... Read more →


Samohi grad to run in Olympic Trials marathon

Chris Chavez has made running a sacred part of his daily routine, so it's hardly surprising to find him on the move. But when the Santa Monica High School alumnus answers his cellphone on this particular Tuesday afternoon, he's not covering ground on foot. Instead he's in the car, driving to the doctor's office for his daughter's 4-month... Read more →

Culture Watch

Culture Watch: ‘Lear’ for the digital age

Once again, Santa Monica's own ambitious, cutting edge theatre company, City Garage, is striking out in a unique direction. Part two of “The Winter of Our Discontent: Shakespeare in the Digital Age” focuses on “Lear,” interpreted by provocative playwright Young Jean Lee. I recently wrote about Lee's “Straight White Men” at the... Read more →

Play Time

Play Time: A ‘dream’ of a play at the Fountain

Once again the amazing and consistently fabulous Fountain Theater has mounted a play that, like most of their others, is a must see! This one is called “Dream Catcher” and it was created by the Fountain's award-winning playwright and co-founder, Stephen Sachs, whose plays are often perceptive and thought-provoking explorations of the... Read more →

Community Profiles

Santa Monica key to local author’s spy novel

The Cold War is at its height as graduate student Nick Butler, a CIA recruit, heads to the beach in Santa Monica. Operating as a spy in the military aircraft industry, he's been given fake stealth bomber designs by U.S. and allied intelligence officials. The beautiful girl he meets on the sand, a Russian spy, thinks they're real. “What... Read more →

Culture Watch

Culture Watch: Laemmle returns to Santa Monica

I'm so excited that this news came in before I finished writing this week's column! Laemmle Theatres announces the re-opening of the cinema complex formerly known as the Monica Twin and Monica 4-Plex, now renamed the Monica Film Center, Friday night Jan. 29. The venue has been in its 2nd Street location for 44 years, and was always my... Read more →