Music | Theatre

Feeling Ravenous

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In the heart of Downtown, an evening of live music, art, cocktails, food, and a crowd abundant in sophistication gathered. Celebrating the 1st official party of the year for the Magazine, I had the pleasure of curating my first official space. Working with brothers, Drew and Cory Jacobsen of Ebanos Crossing in the heart of DTLA, we began to plan an event that would allow me to feature art, bring in a phenomenal band, work with the best tequila brand around, offer tasty bites, and encourage every guests to tap into all of their senses.

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The Byrd Series – The Dustbowl Revival

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WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA – Imagine a boutique hotel tucked away in the streets of West Hollywood, an entrance, a man, a list, an elevator, a rooftop – you pass a pool all too inviting and follow the strings of Edison bulbs dangling overhead in rows of ambient wonder, down the steps. You see a large fire pit made of tiles and stones nestled cozily on the planks of wooden flooring amidst rows of over sized tangerine cushioned chairs, a corner bar with bartenders buzzing about the abundant crowd inquiring of cocktails and wines and plates of fare. Now imagine all of this as a band is arranged at the front of the deck; music and sound traveling with an undulated swing of sheer playful delight – that is tonight’s Byrd Series and the band: The Dustbowl Revival.

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LA Meets Nashville

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While there are major bands living and playing all throughout the city, there are smaller indie musical artists that take you by surprise. The kind that envelop the more unfiltered parts of ourselves. The singers, songwriters, and musicians that play with a hunger within to simply tell their story – the kind of music that comes from Nashville or Chicago or another time altogether and somehow, when lucky enough, you get 3 in one night!

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TOTEM Cirque du Soleil

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Somewhere between science and legend TOTEM explores the ties that bind Man to other species, his dreams and his infinite potential. Uniquely beautiful costuming, golds, eccentric, feathers, bowls, juggled balanced passed from performer to performer with a skill absolutely bewildering.

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Matthew Morrison Impresses Segerstrom Audience

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The set pieces all come from Morrison’s latest album release, Where it all Began, which can aptly be described as a collection of standards, many first made famous in Broadway musicals. An appropriate assemblage when you consider that the singer/dancer/actor himself got his comeuppance in the Great White Way many years prior to his television namesake.

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Musical Artist Doreen Taylor

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Doreen Taylor is one of the fastest rising stars in music. The award winning musician/songwriter grew up in upstate New York, she has a tremendous background. She is a classically trained opera singer who has appeared on Broadway in Phantom of the Opera and Ragtime. Now she is turning heads in the country music arena. Her beautiful, angelic voice speaks to everyone, and her songs surpass the barriers of musical genre; they speak to people, a difficult task in an art form that so often gets categorized.

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1st Annual One Starry Night

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PASADENA, CA – There are events that happen in life that you never forget: Your first crush, your first concert, your first victory – and if you’re lucky, you get to add meeting a few childhood inspirations to that list. Last night, invited to attend Pasadena Playhouse’s 1st Annual One Starry Night Benefit Concert, I not only experienced one of the most incredible benefit events to date, I met inspirations that are among the reasons I create – and – the reason most of us still believe in a little magic.

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A Tale of John Barrymore

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The evening begins with the presence of a man. A man with charisma and charm and conviction as he reaches towards the mobile cocktail tray and makes himself a martini. The man is John Barrymore played by Gordon Goodman (who is a psychologist by day). With a two hour monologue, this one-man show takes you through the many phases of Barrymore’s life. His childhood hurt, his family legacy, his love for the theatre and comedy, his desire for love, addiction to marriage, and uncanny ability to nearly sabotage all of the above in some charming and unforgettable way.

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Pacific Symphony’s “Rodrigo’s Concierto”

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In the center of the lobby, classical guitarist Joseph Yashar crawls his fingers across guitar strings in a masterful rendition of Romance Anonimo, one of the most gorgeous and recognizable Spanish guitar pieces of all time, yet sadly attributed to an unknown composer. Others in the lobby are creating their own poetry with large magnetic tiles boasting phrases from Federico García Lorca’s poetry. The activities are an enticing precursor to the night’s main event and a burst of applause and the raising of wine glasses begin to emerge as the guitarist concludes, echoing the last note with precise fingertips.

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Wild in Wichita

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“Act your age.” It’s a phrase all of us have heard at one point or another, usually voiced by a parent or other magisterial figure upon discovering some sort of uncovered mischief. Many times, the phrase is as warranted as it is stiff in meaning, especially in regards to children, young adults, and even the middle-aged authoritarians that youth often finds itself in subjugation to. But when does staunch despotic naysaying apply to the elderly: those who for most of our lives would keep us from swallowing gum or “borrowing” items that don’t belong to us? Watching Denise Blasor’s Wild in Wichita, the answer might surprise you.

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We Got Lucky

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“We Got Lucky” is a play about two best friends, Brad and Aaron, who live the bachelor lifestyle in Los Angeles. Aaron, played by Matthew Gilliam, is an unapologetic womanizer and alcoholic, who has a tremendous fear of commitment; in fact, the only thing he is committed to is his friendship with Brad. Aaron is boisterous and crass at times, but this works extremely well because it is his overt carelessness that gives him his “charm.”

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Sitting Down With UB40

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The story of UB40, and how this group of young friends from Birmingham transcended their working-class origins to become the world’s most successful reggae band is not the stuff of fairytales as might be imagined. The group’s led a charmed life in many respects it’s true, but it’s been a long haul since the days they’d meet up in the bars and clubs around Moseley, and some of them had to scrape by on less than £8 a week unemployment benefit. The choice was simple if you’d left school early. You could either work in one of the local factories, like Robin Campbell did, or scuffle along aimlessly whilst waiting for something else to happen.

By the summer of 1978, something else did happen, and the nucleus of UB40 began rehearsing in a local basement. Robin’s younger brother Ali, Earl Falconer, Brian Travers and James Brown all knew each other from Moseley School of Art, whilst Norman Hassan had been a friend of Ali’s since school. Initially, they thought of themselves as a “jazz-dub-reggae” band, but by the time Robin was persuaded to join and they’d recruited Michael Virtue and Astro – who’d learnt his craft with Birmingham sound-system Duke Alloy – the group had already aligned themselves to left-wing political ideals and forged their own identity, separate from the many punk and Two Tone outfits around at that time. The group had nailed their colours to the mast by naming themselves after an unemployment benefit form. Their political convictions hadn’t been gleaned secondhand either, but cemented in place whilst attending marches protesting against the National Front, or rallies organised by Rock Against Racism.

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