COLUMNS

The Rainmaker: Who Cares if its Not Feminism—Its True

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With such an excellent cast, it’s easy to nitpick. The only off note comes from Robert Standley’s Starbuck. Starbuck is supposed to be a charming con man, but on Standley, the snake oil is a little too thick. Still in later love scenes, he embodies the hope and confidence of a true “confidence man”—one that is able to inspire the confidence of others.

The tale is a familiar one—resting on the idea that nobody can love you until you love yourself. But of course this internal struggle to believe in ones own beauty comes much easier when surrounded by people who already believe in it for you.

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PASADENA PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS Justin Willman

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As seen as the HOST o Food Network’s, “Cupcake Wars”, PASADENA PLAYHOUSE PRESENTS Justin Willman – TRICKED OUT! A Magic Show like you’ve never seen – AND – ATOD Magazine Readers are getting a special offer and discount on the tickets thanks to those at Pasadena Playhouse. This is a show you do NOT want to miss!

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Nothing Standard About Micah

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We pause at the bar to order a glass of wine and ask to let Micah know we’re here. A Pinot Noir – easy. Out walks Micah (because he’s not a fan of being called “chef” which makes him even cooler in my book), he smiles that boyish smile, we hug because it’s been a long journey to finally get to the tasting, and we look at the space to figure out if we’re sitting inside or out. Greeted with a tranquility and easy-going appeal, a smile that lets you know he’s genuinely happy to have you sit down at his table, and the passion and curiosities he embodies in the fare he prepares – I knew this wouldn’t be a boring excursion – nor would it be predictable. I was NOT disappointed. We decide the ambiance inside is more our speed tonight. When we sit down in the beautiful, modern, opaque space at the Restaurant, one can’t help but have the desire to want to touch things…

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Smiling Through the Apocalypse

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Smiling Through the Apocalypse, if you haven’t already Googled it yourself already, is a documentary that focuses on Esquire magazine during the sixties. Specifically, during the sixties under the helm of editor Harold T.P. Hayes. The story goes something like this: during one of the most turbulent decades unseen since the Civil War era, editor and provocateur Howard Hayes is remembered as having stepped up to take the falling star that was Esquire, and put it back in the sky. The film’s summary goes on to describe a man who not only led a team behind some of the most varied polemical writing styles and iconoclastic subtleties, but did so under the caveat that each and every day could easily lead to (and oftentimes did) disaster riddle in controversy.

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The Comedy and Magic Club

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Andrew Norelli followed, and made the smart move of using very locally weighted topics like health nuts and social media. Since he was the performer we were primarily going to see, I had done some research on him, watching a few video clips of previous performances (including his spots on The Late Show with David Letterman and Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham) and I was impressed that everything I heard was fresh material, even making me cry over a flaxseed oil joke.

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FASHION: A Night of Old Hollywood Cool

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It was sticky night as the moisture of the heat and the primal desires began to surface. It was Thursday night and the muck of the air rested on my dampened flesh this June evening. Tonight is the big event and it’s the night I get to slip into a dress made by Laura Byrnes and the Designers of PinUp Girl Clothing. Black material cut for bodies like mine, a velvet upper bodice draping my shoulders, binding my neck, and accentuating my bountiful decolletage with amplified elegance. A caterpillar green cymbidium orchid lined with sexuality nestled in my ginger hair. Everything is about how you feel in your own skin and tonight, in this dress, I planned on being ready … for any urge that beckoned.

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Searsucker San Diego

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In the mood for beer, I ordered the Malarkey Hunter Ale. It was slightly hoppy with a mellow finish, refreshing and complimentary to our food, rather than competing with it. My stepbrother Danny ordered the Coyote, made with Cinnamon Bourbon, lime, ginger beer, and bitters. Between the spice of cinnamon and ginger, it had an almost apple cider like flavor, which made it very smooth and almost dangerously easy to drink. My stepfather Will ordered a Skinny Ginny, which tasted like a lighter Moscow Mule, and my mother Renee and friend Whitney ordered a Snake in the Grass, a “better” mojito, made with Cucumber gin, fresh bruised mint, lime and soda.

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No Room For the Ordinary

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As the band fades out, the man in the bowler derby starts to climb a ladder to where the tightrope begins. He stops to sweep out his arm over the audience, clutching a bouquet of flowers, and begins his trek across the tightrope above faces draped in cherry lipstick and blue eye shadow, everyone frantically trying to capture the moment with their camera phones, and me scribbling details in an orange notebook. The crowd and I reward the tightrope walker with a much deserved crackle of applause and it is after this moment that the co-owner of the bar, Mark Houston, arrives, blazing through the crowd in a grey suit and whirlwind of smiles, hugs, and handshakes from the many friends who have come to support him. And although I have never met him before, Mark sets aside time to speak with me, giving me a tour of the location and tells me of his vision for No Vacancy, explaining how he wants the bar to rise above the cheesiness of Hollywood Boulevard as well as restore a treasured landmark and era of Los Angeles history.

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A Man of MUCH Importance

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I’ll admit that I was swept away by the music but when I started to truly understand what was happening in the story, when Alfie clearly shows he is in love with Robby, things begin to really fall into place. With a bizarre but dutiful relationship between Alfie and his sister, Lily, the protector, anchor, and opinionated powerhouse; the friendship between Alfie and Robby that is seemingly innocent and true; the importance of the theatre to every character involved; societal persecution; the unfortunate backdrop of conservatism rearing it’s head to take the freedom and swell of joy right out of it – this was a play/musical that leaves you full of thought, a bit of sadness, and a reason to feel your voice needs to sound.

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Stone and Sadie

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Sarah’s voice drips out into the microphone like honey, sweetening the deliciously dark lyrics of “Kiss the Cuts (Disco No. 6 for Charles Bukowski) as Jazzmin, Andrew and Anders moved in sequence with the pulse. Once the clapping quiets, Sarah announces that “Kiss the Cuts” and the tongue-in-cheek song “I’m Nobody’s Baby (& You Ain’t Nobody’s Fool)” are available to purchase on their official “double”, of which I highly recommend. That way, their finger snapping and toe tapping tunes can follow you home in entirety, instead of just a catchy chorus looping in your head.

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Magic and Mixed Drinks

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After a long week of event planning and coordinating, Dawn and I decided we needed a fun “ladies night out” as a reward for our hard work. Two of our favorite magic men, Chris Korn and Ben Seidman, were scheduled to perform at The Magic Castle, and since Dawn and I had only seen their magic briefly in the studio during their ATOD Radio appearances, and on the Travel Channel’s “Magic Outlaws”, we decided this would be the perfect opportunity to pay them a visit.

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The Ruby Cabaret

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As I breach the intersection where “blvd.” meets “way”, I notice an adjacent baseball field where middle school adolescents play a game next to fenced off basketball courts and children playing tag. It is memorable to me because the rays of sunlight peeking through the chain links surrounding the field cause me to raise a hand in order to see. But the sun soon goes down, and soon I no longer need to shield my eyes. Just in time, too – a crowd is beginning to form outside one of the Elephant Stage’s five doors I had mistaken for a restroom entrance earlier in the evening.

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Absinthe Incognito with Chef Lawrence Kocurek

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The evening had arrived, the torrential downpour now washed over me after an incredible event: Rock Your Taco. I walked out onto the Austin scene, feet now bare and soaked, my dress so beautiful now basking in fresh rain water, and my hair once perfectly tailored now soaked and dangling like more of a wet mop than a tress of manicured vintage. I put my wet shoes in the grip of my fingers and see this pedi-taxi. The driver, hair in a ponytail, shorts, and a smile that I can’t ignore. He says, “I’ll take you wherever you want to go. Come on.” I smile. I tell him where and then tell him I only have $5 cash. He says, “Look at you! You were dancing in the rain! I’ll take you anywhere!” The moon glistens through the fluent beads of rainy strings pouring down from the sky.

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The GREAT Gatsby

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We sit silently living and hoping, waiting for the shards and broken pieces to weld themselves back together. The vacancy of wonder, elusive and misleading; in the end all we strive for is for one person to understand us. To see the color inside the storm, the liquified beauty inside of the chaos. We are, fools for love. And yet we watch as it wavers, sliding from our grasp, and some of us cling to the tattered threads because somehow – we still believe there is a way to piece us back together.

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Oliverio at Avalon Hotel

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The Hotel is easy to pass which makes it all the more intriguing when you pull up the curved driveway, hand your keys to the valet and walk into a naturally lit entry with the flooding calm of whites and turquoises in hues of glass, smooth surfaces, and rich woods. You feel more fluid and awakened as the pieces of furniture adorning the room speak of modern simplicity by way of the subtle curves on the arm chair or the movement of the varying pieces of art strategically placed about the space.

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