Los Angeles

Orlando NapierShaun B Belting out lyrics

Double Header of Talent: Shaun B and Orlando Napier at Harvelle’s

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He is a thin, handsome man in a striped shirt and jeans, sipping on Stella Artois and bobbing to the music–and I realize it’s the second headliner of the night, Orlando Napier–and since we are standing inches from the speakers, I flip into a blank page of my notebook and write “Break a leg up there” and hold it up to him. He smiles and shakes my hand twice before hopping on stage, embracing a glistening-with-sweat Shaun B. who concludes his set with supercharged covers of Stevie Wonder and The Turtles’ “Happy Together.”

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I Think It’s Raining

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It is with this in mind that I was struck by how at odds I felt about the actors’ ability in conjunction to the film’s style and narrative. Undoubtedly a by-product of the director’s decided dismissal of maintaining strict coherence of his script, throughout the narrative Renata and Val carry on Linklater-esque conversations in an awkward, pause-filled manner that initially induces a sort of ticking time-bomb dread.

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Cirque-A-Palooza!

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This is the show that the performers would put on for each other. The juggler dropped his pancake (more on that later), the sword swallower even choked up just a little bit of the spaghetti from his dinner (I’ll leave that one alone). That said, even before the show started, I felt like I was in on the jokes, maybe even sitting in Stefan’s living room, dancing a little too wildly and drinking more than I should. So along with other performers, the audience and I cheered the successes, forgave foibles, and generally had a delightful time doing so.

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Letter From the Editor – Issue No. 4

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That said, this issue is just about the articles we’ve written this past couple of months that took place in and around Los Angeles. It will continue to grow and there will never be a shortage of things to write about in this city. So to the city that holds my heart, thank you for always embracing me even when you spit me out – because hey, that’s just part of being in this city – AND in this industry – thank you for showing me the world in one central location. Thank you for welcoming every ethnicity, every economic range, every color, every shape, every size, every smile, every story, every bite, every culture, every artist, every musician, every struggling actor, every wanting filmmaker, every theatre enthusiast, every remarkable human being.

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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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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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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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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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Belz!

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“Story of the life of Hugo Schwarts, a fictional Jewish comedian from the Galician shtetl of Belz. We follow his successes, hart-breaks, marriage, love affairs, children, laughter and tears…

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LOVE Bites.

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We’ve all been through some torrid relationship where we love entirely or hate entirely, been overly emotional, blown things out of proportion, made tragic mistakes that cost us the ones we love, or – if you’re lucky – learn to just laugh it all off as “experience”, a “life lesson”, or the reason you won’t make the same mistakes twice. LOVE. It can be beautiful but it can, as it most often is in today’s world, bite.

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A Night of Magic and Wine with David Minkin

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David enters the room and situates himself no more than 2 feet away from the audience. He is up close and personal and without a beat, greets us all in his relaxed and warm way and voila! The magic begins. Literally. It muse be said – again – that I’m a cynic and an over-thinker. I pride myself on wanting to know how everything works.

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Lovesick

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The play moves with a transcendence of space and time, with this out-of-the-world reproach, dialogue that leaves your soul craving more – like words dripping off of a juicy apple smothered in honey, and a story that makes you feel things you weren’t expecting to feel – your heart, your soul, your mind is running right along with every scene.

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