Pier hosting STEAM innovation expo

Why open an umbrella with your hands when you can create a series of 20-plus chain reactions using science and technology skills to accomplish the same goal? That's the challenge put forth by the Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, a highlight of the innovation expo taking place March 12 on the Santa Monica Pier. Students from Santa Monica High... Read more →

Culture Watch

Tempest tossed and stringed inventions

“Tempest Redux” reimagines one of Shakespeare's most beloved and complex plays, now onstage at The Odyssey Theatre in West Los Angeles. John Farmanesh-Bocca, who ran Shakespeare Santa Monica for 10 years (staging the Bard's classics on a municipal tennis court), is the director and choreographer of this reconstructed rendition of “The... Read more →

Play Time

A funny film about family follies

In the children's nursery song the cheese stands alone. Hi-ho the derry-o, the cheese stands alone. In the Jewish home it is the mother who often stands alone, because her children frequently see her as opinionated, pushy, stubborn, and embarrassing. As seen by those children who grow up to be comedians, however, those negative... Read more →

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 →