Columns

BEATON: FINDING THE BEAUTY

  “Love, Cecil” captures the essence and aesthetics of Cecil Beaton’s life; it opens at the Nuart on Friday, July 20. A Renaissance man of the 20th century, he was a costume designer, writer, photographer and painter. He shot Hollywood celebrities, the British Royal Family, brought his artist’s eye to war as well as fashion... Read more →

Columns

I HAD A DREAM ABOUT SHRIMP

Did you ever dream about shrimp?  Did you know there are at least 32 kinds of shrimp in the shrimp family?  There are probably even more ways than that to cook shrimp. Looking back on a recent Sunday afternoon, it seems like a dream.  Looking for some shrimp for lunch, I landed at Bubba Shrimp on the Santa Monica pier.  I wasn’t the... Read more →

Culture Watch

TICKLE YOUR INNER ELMO

Jim Henson’s life work is being celebrated at The Skirball Cultural Center through September 2, and what a life he led. I had no idea about the longevity and breadth of his career, not just as the guy who created the Muppets, but as an early TV pioneer, using techniques never before attempted. “The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination... Read more →

Columns

Sacred Resistance, Sacred Nature

Vicki Juditz (pronounced YOOD-itz) did not know, till she was in her 20s, that in German her name meant “Jew.” An actor, writer, voice-over artist and activist, she was a lapsed Lutheran who became a Presbyterian, and her spectacular one-woman show “Sacred Resistance,” produced by Jewish Women’s Theatre at The Braid Performance and... Read more →

Columns

TWO MUST-SEE DOCUMENTARIES

“Three Identical Strangers” will blow your mind, while “Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf” will bring it down to earth and calm it. Both open tomorrow and in a sense, they’re about the same thing: nature versus nurture. In Three Identical Strangers, it’s about a horrendously unethical study done on a number of unknowing,... Read more →

Food

ORTO (“vegetable garden”)

What? Another Santa Monica corner taken up by an Italian restaurant? When Elon Musk finally gets to Mars no doubt he will find an Italian restaurant on the nearest corner and a Starbucks nearby. But wait! This one is a step ahead of the others, run by a real Italian restauranteur, and with a superior menu to most of the others. You’ll... Read more →

Play Time

American Animals

American Animals by Cynthia Citron In another era the film “American Animals” might have been booked as a comedy. Maybe with Jerry Lewis leading his bumbling crew through an ill-conceived adventure at Transylvania University in Lexington, Kentucky. (This is not part of the “comedy”, there really is such a place.) Oh, where is... Read more →

Columns

SHAKESPEARE AND LYSISTRATA

I know I’m the odd one out but watching Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles’s “Henry IV” on June 8, I was not nearly as impressed as other reviewers have been. I felt the production was uneven, that the actors were not completely connecting with one another, and while there were moments achieving some Shakespearean heights, generally it... Read more →

Columns

Culture Watch

We Need Mr. Rogers Now Let me confess. I did not grow up watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, but I harbored dark, unfounded suspicions about him based on how “nice” he seemed. Now that I have seen the wonderful new documentary, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” I am ashamed of my thoughts. In these ugly times, we need a genuinely kind... Read more →

Columns

DAVID DINES

FORMA 1610 Montana Avenue Santa Monica, CA 90403 (424)231-2868 Reservations required I couldn’t get a table at Forma when I first tried. It was 7:30 on a Thursday night, and I thought I’d go try this “great cheese place” as it was described to me. Without a reservation, there was no love for me that night. Now I really... Read more →

Columns

Culture Watch

PEAK PIZZA Stop the (panini) presses—I’ve found pizza’s Holy Grail! Chef Daniele Uditi of Brentwood’s Pizzana has transformed Neapolitan pizza into neo-Neapolitan pizza and taken it from humble to awesome. His Neo Margherita is now my all-time favorite pizza, rivaling my childhood memories of New York and New Haven pies. Pizzana... Read more →

Play Time

Mr. Pim Passes By Without Winnie-the-Pooh

Mr. Pim Passes By Without Winnie-the-Pooh by Cynthia Citron on May 10, 2018 Would you rather have “Hamlet” and “Macbeth” immortalized as some of the world’s greatest characters but have people four hundred years later still quibbling over whether you are the one who actually created them? Or would you rather have your plays... Read more →

Columns

The Re-View

Fig at the Miramar Some restaurants are so busy that they don’t need to advertise, and really don’t want more people to come in than they already get. I suspect that FIG, in the Miramar hotel at the corner of Ocean and Wilshire, is like that. The food is so good, the setting so beautiful, and the happy hour so affordable, that people... Read more →

Culture Watch

Culture Watch

HIGH CAMP AND KUBRICK DEVOTION Charles Busch’s campy noir classic “Die, Mommie, Die!” at the Kirk Douglas Theatre and Leon Vitali, the subject of the documentary “Filmworker,” opening at the Nuart tomorrow, have one thing in common: they’re both ALL IN. Vitali gave up a successful acting career to become Stanley Kubrick’s... Read more →