Culture Watch

Art, Paradise, Heaven And Hell

  You’re going to the 11th Annual Santa Monica ArtWalk at the SM Airport, aren’t you? Of course you are, why wouldn’t you? It’s a day of free entertainment and education about the arts of theatre, ceramics, photography, painting, sculpture, food trucks, music, crafts and more. It all takes place on Saturday, March 18 with... Read more →


Stairway of the Stars returns

  The Santa Monica Malibu Unified School District will present the 68th Annual “Stairway of the Stars” concerts series this month. The event showcases the music education programs within the district as an estimated 1,000 SMMUSD elementary, middle, and high school students will participate in three separate... Read more →


Married People: Laughing and Listening

  Sometimes middle-aged couples who have been married for a decade or two will admit that there have been periods of time when they didn't love their partner at all.  They get caught up in the “is this all there is?” malaise and begin to wonder what possessed them to commit all the rest of their life to this one stranger. In a... Read more →

Culture Watch

A Watershed Event

  Lucy Blake-Elahi is an artist engaged in both public art commissions and painting. She spent three summers as Artist-in-Residence in Yellowstone National Park and has long been involved with local community art and environmental concerns. When she returned to Culver City, she made her way to the only nearby place she could find... Read more →



Rated R 103 Minutes Released February 24   Get Out is unexpectedly a beautifully made movie. One of its assets is its simplicity. It was a low budget production ($4.5 million) made without elaborate special effects. Most of the shock value is created in the editing room without a lot of the ubiquitous blood and gore that... Read more →


Culture Watch: Fun Home, Nowruz, Spring Break

I can’t remember the last time a musical moved or impressed me so fully on so many levels. “Fun Home,” now at The Ahmanson Theatre, is that musical. This is one remarkable piece of theatre. It’s rightfully been called “groundbreaking.” Based on Alison Bechdel’s 2006 autobiographical cartoon (aka graphic) memoir of the same... Read more →


Coast festival is clear for 2017

At least one day a year traffic will not be a problem in downtown Santa Monica. After a successful launch last summer, Santa Monica’s first open streets event is coming back for round two. The City will merge last year’s popular Coast Open Streets with Santa Monica Festival this fall, according to a newly released staff report. Staff... Read more →


One big party for four park projects

Santa Monica will celebrate Parks Day on Saturday, Feb. 25 with a morning of activities spread across four parks. The day will include the grand opening of Ishihara Park, renaming of Gandara Park (formerly Stewart St. Park), reopening of Reed Park and the conclusion of construction at Los Amigos Park. Karen Ginsberg, Director of... Read more →



Best Director, Best Picture With so many awards shows leading up to the Academy Awards, I’m sure everyone is feeling a bit of “Awards Fatigue.” However, the Oscars are the Super Bowl of Awards Shows, coming up on Sunday February 26th, so get your cinematic waterfowl in a row in anticipation for the voting results of the members of... Read more →


“As I Remember It”

If my editor will indulge me, I should like to tell you about a book today rather than a play or film. The book is called “As I Remember It” and it is my memoir which has just been published. As the publisher describes it, the book "chronicles the author’s adventures in the Philippines, Spain, South Africa, India, Norway, Ethiopia,... Read more →


Culture Watch: Making movies, changing lives

If it hadn’t been for Geraldine Gilliland, owner of Finn McCool’s and Lula Cocina on Main Street, I might never have heard of Cinemagic. Which is strange because Cinemagic has been around for nearly three decades, has served half a million young people since its inception and is now a worldwide force. A Gala for the Belfast,... Read more →

Play Time

Two for the Road

  Two road pictures this weekend and I’m exhausted. The first was the awesome “Lion,” a film that’s up for an Oscar as the Best Film of the year. It covers the travels of a five-year-old boy from India to Tasmania and back. The second road trip was the repetitive daily bus ride through the town of Paterson, New Jersey,... Read more →

Culture Watch

An Epic Theatre Weekend

  Is “Zoot Suit” L.A.’s “Hamilton?” It’s been extended twice and it just opened. This remarkable revival of a play set in, about and created in L.A. premiered at the Taper nearly 40 years ago and may be more relevant now. It shattered all box office records in 1978 (not in New York, though), was made into a movie, and is... Read more →

Movie Reviews

Film Review: A United Kingdom

Rated PG-13 111 Minutes Released February 10th   The true story depicted in A United Kingdom follows a mixed race couple with the courage to risk challenging the system of white supremacy that existed in southern Africa in the late 1940’s. It is similar to the story of Oscar-nominated Loving, yet set within a different culture... Read more →