Two of the nation’s top tribute bands to face off Oct. 14 at the Downey Theatre.Read More
DOWNEY – The Downey Civic Theatre released its 2018-19 schedule Tuesday, highlighted by performances by English R&B star Billy Ocean, a Christmastime show by the Mariachi Divas, and a performance by the Villalobos Brothers.
Below is the full schedule, with show descriptions provided by the Downey Theatre.
“Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical”
Saturday, Nov. 10, at 11 am and 2 pm
Sunday, Nov. 11, at 11 am and 2 pm
‘Tis the season for Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the Downey Theatre. Rudolph returns, live on stage, for four November performances.
A beloved TV holiday classic, “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer” soars off the screen and onto the stage. Join us in celebrating Rudolph’s 50 years on television and come see all your favorite characters from the well-known tv special including Santa and Mrs. Claus, Hermey the Elf, the Abominable Snow Monster, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and, of course, Rudolph, as they come to life in the all new musical.
It’s an adventure that teaches us that what makes you different can be what makes you special. Don’t miss this wonderful new holiday tradition that speaks to the misfit in all of us.
Mariachi Divas Christmas
Saturday, Dec. 15, at 8 pm
Directed and founded by trumpet player Cindy Shea in 1999, under the musical direction of Grammy Award-winning Alberto “Beto” Jimenez Maeda, the Mariachi Divas have made big waves on the national and international music scene.
With two Grammy Awards, five Grammy nominations, and one Latin Grammy nomination, the Mariachi Divas are a unique, multicultural, all-female ensemble imbued with the true flavor of Los Angeles.
The Divas’ discography includes nine albums released through Shea Records and East Side Records. This year marks the 15th anniversary of the founding of the Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea.
Hotel California - A Salute to the Eagles
Friday, Jan. 25, 2019 at 8 pm
This band, comprised of five respected, multi-talented top music industry professionals, presents a dynamic exciting show saluting the music of The Eagles, a super group whose music has proven to have a staying power that few bands lay claim to. Finally, audiences can once again experience the energy and magic of this timeless music.
This highly acclaimed presentation has a great reputation and excellent references. Hotel California has become one of the most sought-after acts in the world, with name recognition and true marquis value paralleling today’s modern recording artists.
Each concert presents an exciting showcase of The Eagles mega-hits such as “Take it Easy”, “Heartache Tonight”, and “Hotel California” as well as newer releases “Get Over It” and “Love will Keep Us Alive”. The group also performs select titles from the solo works of Don Henley, Glen Frey, and Joe Walsh.
This timeless music is appealing to audiences of all ages, bringing back memories and touching the hearts of every generation. So join us now on a trip down a dark desert highway, feel the cool wind in your hair, and experience the Grammy Award winning sounds that defined a generation.
The Villalobos Brothers with Flor de Toleache
Saturday, Feb. 2, at 8 pm
The Villalobos Brothers (Ernesto, Alberto and Luis) use their violins and voices to define contemporary Mexican music. Their original compositions masterfully blend elements of jazz, rock, classical and Mexican folk to deliver a powerful message of love, brotherhood and social justice.
Artistic Director and guitarist Humberto Flores, drummer Rosa Ávila and bassist Leo Sherman complete the line-up.
The group’s virtuosic performances have delighted listeners from Latin America, India and Russia to Lincoln Center’s American Songbook, Carnegie Hall and the Latin Grammy Awards. Their work has been recognized by numerous awards including the Vox Populi Award by the Independent Music Awards and the Ultimate Winners in WNYC’s 2013 Battle of the Boroughs.
In 2015, the group was chosen as Musical Artist in Residence for Lincoln Center Education, 92st Y, Latino Arts, and The New York Botanical Garden’s record-breaking exhibit “Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life.”
Blue Oyster Cult
Thursday, March 14, 2019 at 8 pm
For over four decades, Blue Öyster Cult has been thrilling fans of intelligent hard rock worldwide with powerful albums loaded with classic songs. Indeed, the Long Island, NY based band is revered within the hard rock and heavy metal scene for its pioneering work.
Blue Öyster Cult occupies a unique place in rock history because it’s one of very few hard rock/heavy metal bands to earn both genuine mainstream critical acclaim as well as commercial success.
BÖC’s canon of hits include the truly haunting “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper” from 1976’s Agents of Fortune, the pummeling “Godzilla” from 1977’s Spectres and the hypnotically melodic “Burnin’ for You” from 1981’s Fire of Unknown Origin.
Other notable BÖC songs include “Cities on Flame with Rock and Roll,” “Then Came the Last Days of May,” “I Love the Night,” “In Thee,” “Veteran of the Psychic Wars,” “Dominance and Submission,” “Astronomy,” “Black Blade” and “Shooting Shark.”
Sunday, April 7, 2019 at 7 pm
Born in Trinidad, Billy Ocean settled in London’s East End when he was a seven-year-old calypso crazy kid. He soon got turned on to soul singers like Otis Redding and Sam Cooke, as well as pop groups like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.
Billy Ocean went on to become the biggest black recording star Britain has ever produced, one who has sold over 30 million records in his lifetime. The million selling American No.1 single “Caribbean Queen” won Billy a Grammy for best R&B Vocal. It was followed by “Loverboy” and “Suddenly,” which became the first of Billy’s killer ballads.
The album from which these singles came spent a year in the US charts selling double Platinum. More hits were to follow with the now classic “Get Outta My Dreams; Get Into My Car,” another US No. 1 hit, “When the Going Gets Tough,” “Love on Delivery,” “Stop Me,” and “Red Light Spells Danger.”
ASERE! Havana Cuba All-Stars
Wednesday, April 10, 2019 at 8 pm
ASERE! - A Fiesta Cubana features the Havana Cuba All-Stars - some of Cuba’s greatest musicians. With rhythms and melodies from the cha cha to the rumba, from “Son Cubano” style to the salsa, musicians and dancers showcase a wide variety of Cuban beats in a joyous spectacle.
The group is inspired by and dedicated to promoting the entire tapestry of Cuban music through a fresh, contemporary lens. In their upcoming “Asere”- or “Friendship”- tour, the All-Stars will be backed by three of Cuba’s finest dancing couples.
With the greatest dancers and musicians of Cuba working in tandem, the American encore of the Havana Cuba All-Stars’ tour will be a spirited spectacle of song and dance, exemplifying Cuba’s greatest musical traditions.
Los Chicos del 512 - Selena Tribute
Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 7 pm
It is a mind-blowing experience and the closest you can get to a live Selena concert. Simply, the best Selena tribute band out there.
All of its band members have lived and played the remarkable music that Selena brought to us for at least 15 years. After living through her music, they wanted to have an opportunity to bring this incredible show to all of her fans.
For the past two years, they have performed this amazing experience to Selena fans across the country. These musicians came together and orchestrated an extraordinary show that will have you back in 1995 within seconds of their first song.
Los Chicos del 512 will bring to you the finest Selena tribute that you can possibly imagine. Now, get ready to sing, dance and relive Selena.
Prolific country music queen Martina McBride kicks off the 2018-19 season at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts (CCPA) with a concert of her greatest hits on Friday, Sept. 7, at 8 p.m.Read More
CERRITOS – Bestselling author Peter Blauner will discuss his latest novel, the twist-laden thriller “Sunrise Highway,” at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 11, in the Cerritos Library Skyline Room A.
The action-packed “Sunrise Highway” follows a lone cop hot on the trail of a killer who is determined to stop her and make her pay. “Publishers Weekly” praised the book: “This is a page-turner of the highest order.”
An ex-journalist for “New York Magazine,” Blauner won an Edgar Allan Poe award for best first novel for “Slow Motion Riot.” He also penned “The New York Times” bestseller “The Intruder” and “Proving Ground.” Blauner’s other books include “Slipping Into Darkness,” “Casino Moon,” “The Last Good Day” and “Man of the Hour.”
Blauner also has written for the television shows “Law & Order: SVU” and the CBS series “Blue Bloods.”
Copies of Blauner’s books will be available for purchase.
SANTA FE SPRINGS – The third and final evening of The Green Salon Short Film Festival 2018 is Saturday, August 25, at 7 pm, at the art studio of Roy Anthony Shabla in Santa Fe Springs. All are welcome.
The Green Salon is the longest-running monthly cultural event in the Downey area and it is free and democratic. It is funded by Shabla himself and always features live music, an open mic, a featured reader, and the exhibition of local artists.
During the summer months (June, July, and August), it also includes short films by local filmmakers.
As a special treat, Donna Hilbert and Tamara Madison, two writers from Southern California, will be co-featured readers this month at The Green Salon..
Hilbert is a local sensation, lives and works in the City of Long Beach, and guides fledgling writers to fly. Her latest book is “Gravity: New & Selected Poems,” Tebot Bach, 2018.
Madison is a “multi-lingual sea goddess and poet.” Her latest book is “Moraine” and her next is a manuscript about growing up three miles from Mecca.
The books of both poets will be available for purchase.
The featured filmmaker for this last evening of the festival is Jennifer Abod who will screen the short version of her documentary film, “The Passionate Pursuits of Angela Bowen.”
Angela Bowen was a pioneer dance instructor, a pioneer Long Beach State Women’s Studies professor, and a pioneer equal rights activist whose reputation reached across the country and back again. She died one month ago.
Live music for the event is supplied by Eldorado Collective, a martini-jazz quartet influenced by Herbie Hancock and Santana. At the end of this summer evening, Eldorado Collective will improvise music with Esmoladera’s Gabriel and Steven Armenta, and other guest musicians.
A small art fair accompanies the film festival with local artists exhibiting their work. Also, local poets and writers will offer their books for sale. Arrive early to appreciate everyone’s work.
Roy Anthony Shabla will exhibit his series, Ordinary Time – small paintings and sculptures from found and recycled materials influenced by Louise Nevelson, Christo, Grandma Prisbrey, and many others. It is the first time this series has been shown.
Studio GalleRoy is located at 11210 Greenstone Avenue in Santa Fe Springs, near Florence and Bloomfield.
Summer is coming to end but that doesn’t mean the fun is over quite yet. We made a list of awesome concerts in Los Angeles that would make for a perfect addition to your 2018 summer bucket list.
Hip Hop artist, J Cole, will be performing at the Staples Center. Get your tickets here.
Go back in time to the 1980’s with the electronic group, Erasure at The Wiltern. Here’s the link.
The Beach Boys
What better way to enjoy the last bit of summer than listening to one of the most famous surf bands in the U.S. Check out their concert at the Los Angeles County Fair.
Performing in the Observatory, R&B artist, Kali Uchis’ tickets can be purchased here.
Tickets to see this unique artist can be found here, where he will be performing at the Greek Theatre.
Beyonce and Jay Z
The ultimate duo will be performing together at the Rose Bowl Stadium. Get your tickets here.
Childish Gambino with Rae Sremmurd
This duo will be entreating guests at the L.A Forum. Here’s the link.
Performing great reggae music is Ziggy Marley who will be at Roxy Theatre. Get your tickets here.
Another great concert for reggae fans is the group Rebolution. Here’s the link for their performance at the Pacific Amphitheater.
Indie favorite Mac Demarco will be performing at the Telegram Ballroom. Get your tickets here.
DOWNEY -- Season tickets are now available for the Downey Symphony’s 60th anniversary season, which kicks off this October.
The 60th season includes three concerts, all at the Downey Theatre.
Kicking off the season Oct. 20 is the return of composer Oscar Navarro, who wrote the internationally renowned “Downey Overture.” Titled “Viva la Musica!”, the concert includes a performance by clarinetist David van Maele.
The next concert, “Stories in Song,” is Jan. 19, 2019.
This concert bring back Downey resident Lars Clutterham as a featured composer and Anthony Moreno as narrator. This will mark the world premiere of Clutterham’s latest work, “The Arc of My Life.” Music by Mozart also will be performed.
The season wraps April 6 with a special solo by pianist Bernadene Blaha.
Titled “Gershwin!”, this concert features performances of Gershwin’s most noted works, plus Gershwin favorites sung by Rachel Lorenzetti.
The opening piece will be conducted by Christopher Parks, winner of the symphony’s 2018 baton auction.
Season tickets to all three concerts are $25 for students and $85-$95 for everyone else. Individual tickets are also available.
To purchase tickets, call the Downey Theatre box office at (562) 861-8211 or go to downeysymphony.org.
During the summer time, California’s famous PCH is a beautiful place to take a road trip! Driving down the west coast is a unique experience unlike any other.
Our team, Famous DJ Agency, gets to see the beauty of California as we drive from city to city providing people all over the state with great DJ’s, as well as unique and unforgettable party experiences.
Here’s our California playlist for your next drive!
1. California Love by 2Pac
2. Let’s Go Crazy by Prince & The Revolution
3. The Complete Knock by Blood Orange
4. Ocean Bed King Krule
5. PPP by Beach House
6. Alter Ego by Tame Impala
7. Chamber of Reflection by Mac Demarco
8. 2am by Slightly Stoopid
9. Electricity by Iration
10. Doin’ Time by Sublime
For this edition of “Southeast Eats Explores,” we’re expanding our reach to various places throughout Southeast LA, all with the purpose of ranking the top 5 burgers you can find in the region.
This is a comprehensive list, judging each burger based on flavor, meat quality, and the uniqueness of the burger.
Without any further ado, let’s dive in and see which burger joints were told, “You just made the list!”
5. Stewart & Grub - Downey
Stewart & Grub is relatively new to the area, but it makes the list due to being one of the best at creating a simple, down-to-earth burger.
Our favorite is the “Carpenter”, a shout-out to an all-too-familiar Downey staple; this burger boasts a 100 percent angus beef patty, bacon, barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese and their own house-made thousand island sauce. This smoky, carnivorous combination will give you the genuine burger diner experience at a fraction of the price.
7380 Stewart and Gray Rd, Downey, CA 90241
4. Nexx Burger - Downey
Downey once again makes the list with yet another newbie, Nexx Burger.
Their burgers are simple, opting not to go for the over-the-top combinations commonly found nowadays, but what they do, they do very well. Their bacon cheeseburger has an unprecedented level of freshness not found so easily, unless you’re making it yourself. You also have the option to add special ingredients, like avocado or their house made chili.
Not to mention, they’re the only burger location in SELA that we know of that offers the “Impossible” Burger, a burger made entirely of plant-based ingredients.
7414 Florence Ave, Downey, CA 90240
3. Grub Burger Bar - Whittier
Now it’s time to get crazy.
You want variety, Grub Burger Bar has got it. For us, it doesn’t get much more innovative than their Mac N’ Cheese Burger. To be specific, you get macaroni and cheese on a burger; combine that with additional melted cheese and topped with an onion ring, and you’ve got yourself a burger worthy of an appetite for destruction.
13815 Whittier Blvd, Whittier, CA 90605
2. Burgerim - Vernon
Remember the days when everyone saw White Castle as the gold standard for sliders? Not anymore.
Burgerim not only produces sliders with a flavor that makes White Castle taste like high school cafeteria “Colossal Burgers,” but they do it with a variety of meats. Take, for example, exhibit A: the slider 3-pack with a spicy seasoned Merguez beef burger, prepared caliente style with pepper jack, jalapeños, and habanero mayo.
Alongside it is a lamb burger with bacon, cheese, BBQ sauce and an onion ring. And of course, as you can probably tell by now, we’re suckers for the classic beef burger. Without exaggeration, each burger makes your mouth water, and melts in your mouth as you’re enjoying it.
2550 Alameda St #2544-2546, Vernon, CA 90058
1. World Famous Grill - Bell
In our humble opinion, in the diverse melting pot that is Southeast Los Angeles, you cannot, and will not, find a better burger than at World Famous Grill.
This restaurant is more commonly known for its exquisite mediterranean cuisine, but do not sleep on their burgers. Each burger is made with 100 percent Halal beef, guaranteeing superior flavor and texture. Each burger on the menu can stand alone as their signature dish, each having something special that makes them unforgettable.
Take, for example, the Inferno Burger with pepperjack cheese and jalapeños, guaranteed to test your bravery; or the famous burger (pictured), with two beef patties, cheese, and a fried egg, only for those who are in the business of taming beasts; and if size matters to you, take on their one-pounder burger. You read correctly: ONE. POUND. This monstrosity comes with all the fixings, ready to conquer those who stand in its way.
4143 E Florence Ave, Bell, CA 90201
And there you have it, 5 of the best burgers you can have in the southeast. Do you agree or disagree? Share your best burger spots with us on Instagram @southeasteatsla!
SAN DIEGO -- Cosplayers, comic readers, toy collectors, and general nerd and geek fandom consumers will descend upon the San Diego Convention Center this weekend for the annual San Diego Comic Con event.
The yearly spectacle is quite the scene to behold, as the event consumes the entire downtown San Diego area if not a bit more, filling the streets with color, activity, excitement, and overweight men squeezed into spandex that they ought not to be wearing.
The impact on the region alone is eye-opening; as much as $150 million, according to a CNBC article from 2016. I wouldn’t be surprised if that number hasn’t already increased in two years.
I myself have attended the convention several times over the last eight years or so, and many of my friends and colleagues have become accustomed to me making the two-hour trek down the 5 Freeway south. Around this time of year, I always get the same question.
“Are you going this year?”
The answer this year? No.
Let’s not get this twisted right from the beginning; I’m not bitter about not being able to secure a badge. If we’re being honest, I didn’t even try this time around.
It’s not as though I’ve outgrown my love for comic books, action figures, movies and all other things nerdy; one look at my desk would prove otherwise (as my coworkers often lovingly tease me about).
So, you may ask what soured me to the whole ordeal.
I won’t deny that Comic Con is fun on initial observation, but while attending last year’s convention I realized something: the con itself has just about outgrown the hassle it requires.
Let’s start with the obvious: the crowds.
Comic Con is great for the fact that it surrounds you with a bunch of likeminded individuals. The problem is that you’re surrounded like a sardine packed in a can of sardines. Often times, it smells just like that too.
While it’s nice to know that being a “nerd” or “geek” or what have you finally has some acceptability to it, fighting with the crowds to get to that panel or exclusive you want can easily suck the energy out of you, and put a damper on the fun.
Speaking of panels and exclusives, lines are ridiculous; they make a summer-crowd day at Disneyland without a Fast Pass seem like a walk in the park.
To be able to secure certain collectibles and exclusives or seats at popular panels, you better be in line early; way early. If you’re not in line before the sun comes up (or in some cases, in line the day before), you can forget getting to buy or see what you want.
This wouldn’t be so bad if you hadn’t already probably spent at least $1000 on a hotel room for the duration of the convention (and that’s around low-end if you’re lucky). Before factoring in other necessities such as food and drink, travel, and convention tickets, it’s important to factor in that it’s not uncommon for a room that would cost you less than $100 on a normal day to cost you nearly $200 at the time of the convention; a fact not easily forgotten at 4 a.m. in the morning.
I’ve stayed out on the lawn overnight before only to not be able to get an exclusive item I wanted, when I could’ve been in bed not wasting hundreds of dollars on a bed and room I wasn’t in.
When I came home from Con last year, I didn’t feel like I had been on vacation. In fact, I almost felt like I had worked harder there than I do at actual work.
It was an easy decision to skip out on SDCC this year, just because it seems like the convention is no longer worth the time, effort and energy to make it a “success,” especially with so many local cons like Wondercon and Long Beach Comic Con around and easily accessible.
For those of you going to Comic-Con this year, I definitely encourage you to make the best of it. Buy cool stuff, see amazing panels, meet your heroes and celebrate all the things that you enjoy. Just be prepared for the gauntlet that you are about to throw yourself at.
I’ll be back here at home, sleeping in my warm bed at the end of the day, and thinking about all the money I won’t be spending.
I adore the Jurassic Park/World franchise, so it was a very quick and easy decision when it came time to purchase my ticket for the opening night of "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom."
Back in 2015, I enjoyed "Jurassic World." While it wasn’t a direct rehash of the films that I knew and loved, it was similar enough that it still felt like a Jurassic Park movie: There were questions on ethics, drama, horror, dinosaurs, and - naturally - people being eaten by said dinosaurs.
However, with the latest installment into the franchise we, unfortunately, circle back around to the age-old adage by Dr. Ian Malcolm: movie makers have become so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should. Paraphrasing, of course.
"Fallen Kingdom" lacks the charm and poise that a Jurassic Park film should have, and in consequence feels the least like a natural part of the franchise.
What I’ve always loved about the Jurassic Park movies is there’s a grey area surrounding who the antagonist is (save for maybe in "The Lost World"). It’s not really the dinosaurs; I’d even hesitate to even consider them “movie monsters.” Sure, there are shady people with bad morals in each film, but in reality, the films’ core struggle is against chaos and against mother nature. “Life finds a way,” remember?
My point is that there shouldn’t be a “bad guy dinosaur.”
The first Jurassic world got away with villainizing a dino because the centerpiece of the film – the Indominus Rex – was surrounded by a moral, ethical dilemma on whether or not it should have been created in the first place (pay no mind that the debate was wrapped in razor-sharp teeth).
I was surprised early on in Fallen Kingdom’s advertising before release that we would once again be dealing with a newly manufactured dino. Didn’t we learn this lesson in the last film? Making a bigger, badder dinosaur is a no-no.
Instead, the new “Indoraptor” takes away from two new intriguing questions to ask in the Jurassic film universe: What should come of the dinosaurs already on the island, and what if they were weaponized and monetized?
Both these questions are tackled in the film, although one is used almost more as a means to an end than an actual plot point.
The weaponization (and sale) of dinosaurs was briefly touched on in Jurassic World, and could easily feature as the main antagonistic plot point in its own film. Instead, it’s smushed in with several other plots and subplots, including the unnecessary “bad dino.”
The other (and far more interesting) question surrounds the dinosaurs that are already living after the events of Jurassic World. Do they have animal rights? Should they be saved? Should they be let to go extinct again? This entire idea could easily be made into its own story. In many ways, the concept had a compelling beginning, middle and end already written into "Fallen Kingdom" that could have been fleshed out so much more.
Instead, this question is merely used as a device to get Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) back to the island of Isla Nublar.
Along with the loss of the entire point of the Jurassic movies, "Fallen Kingdom" also comes across as rather goofy in spots, feeling more like a lampooned Indiana Jones with a prehistoric backdrop. Sure, even Indiana Jones has its comic relief moments, but I never wanted Short Round or Sallah to get offed in the way I desperately wanted Justice Smith’s Franklin character to get swallowed by a T-rex.
"Fallen Kingdom" also pays a fair amount of fan service by alluding back to the original film, which this year is celebrating its 25th anniversary. Unfortunately, these recreated scenes feel more like a poor attempt to gain fans’ favor in the middle of a mediocre film. The return of Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is also rather an ironic letdown, as Malcolm is used to bookend the entire film. It’s rather sad that for the role he plays in "Fallen Kingdom," the movie itself so misses the mark on everything the character stands for.
Worst of all, everything seems to end abruptly. Villains long established (whether in this movie or the last movie, minor spoiler) are toppled quickly. For a movie surrounding another “bad dino,” the indoraptor’s time in the movie is rather minimal and rushed.
One thing "Fallen Kingdom" does do well is provide probably the most diverse collection of dinosaurs than any of its predecessors. While it’s nice to see so many dinosaurs that have never been seen on screen before, it still doesn’t make up for the rest of the muddled content, however.
"Fallen Kingdom" falls flat more than it provides a compelling “next chapter” in the Jurassic franchise. If there is to be another Jurassic World movie, filmmakers need to look back at how and why the original Jurassic Park became such a beloved classic, before patenting it, and packaging it, and slapping it on a plastic lunchbox.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is rated PG-13 and runs for 128 minutes.
SANTA FE SPRINGS – The Green Salon Short Film Festival returns to Santa Fe Springs on Saturday, June 23 at 7 p.m. The festival, which features the work of local filmmakers, happens the fourth Saturday of each Summer month – June, July, and August – at Studio GalleRoy, the painting studio of Roy Anthony Shabla.
It is a free-admission event.
The Green Salon is a monthly gathering of artists, poets, musicians, filmmakers, and other cultural enthusiasts. It is usually located in Downey, in the private garden of Roy Anthony Shabla, but moves to Santa Fe Springs for the Short Film Festival each Summer. It is the longest-running monthly cultural event in the immediate area.
The Green Salon always hosts an open mic and featured reader. This month, the featured reader is Jo Scott-Coe, author of Teacher at Point Blank, Listening to Kathy and most recently, MASS: A Sniper, a Father, and a Priest. She is an English professor at Riverside City College and facilitates community writing workshops for the Inlandia Institute.
The Green Salon will also host favorite filmmaker Dustin Michael Krapes this month/ Krapes gravitates toward the surreal, comedic, and absurd. His film this month, Beverly Sauce 90210, is an absurdist romp through the difficult life of being a condiment.
This ties into a food theme to much of the work this month. Wear a lobster on your head and receive a free glass of wine.
This year, the festival is combined with a small art fair. Local artists and craftsmen will exhibit and sell their work on site. Drawing and painting, sculpture, jewelry, and ceramic art will be featured. Studio GalleRoy itself will exhibit a different series of large paintings each month, encouraging the public to attend all three evenings of film and art.
One of the Art fair featured artists is Anthony Cano, a self-taught ceramicist and painter who will exhibit a variety of objects d’art including tile and ceramic sculpture – especially depicting sea life, organic material face-masks, and recycled bottle art. His work emphasizes the natural world and shines a spotlight on the ecological issues of our time.
Also, Studio GalleRoy shares space with Gallery Frames, a fine-art framer. Any framing job brought and booked the evenings of the festival receives a 20 percent discount.
Studio GalleRoy is located at 11210 Greenstone Avenue, Santa Fe Springs.
Grammy nominated Khalid has been featured in a new song by DJ Martin Garrix. The collaborative song “Ocean” was released June 15th, and was also released with a music video. Garrix is set to play at the Belfast Vital music festival in August.
While the song was only released until recently, it had been spoken of on Twitter a while ago when a fan asked the two to collaborate and Garrix respond by quoting the fan. In response, Khalid said, “let’s do it.”
During an interview at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards, Garrix released the date and song title. Here is the official music video of “Ocean.”
Released on the same day, Norwegian DJ Kygo released his new song collaborating with pop rock band Imagine Dragons.
The song was teased prior to the release when Kygo posted the members of Imagine Dragons on social media. On the following day, the song titles and cover art were released.
These DJs are kicking off the summer with great songs which we love to hear at Famous DJ Agency. This is what we’ve been listening to; let us know your favorite songs by your favorite DJ in the comments or on Twitter (@famousdjagency)!
DOWNEY – Barriles RestoBar (BRB) celebrated its grand opening in downtown Downey last Friday.
Located at 11040 Downey Avenue, the modern Mexican eatery replaces Mi Cielo, an upscale lounge and steakhouse.
“Downey is such an exciting place to be right now. We wanted to add to the excitement by providing a venue that delights guests with hand-crafted speciality cocktails, unique dishes, and a lively rooftop to create a one-of-a-kind experience,” said co-founder Fernando Vasquez, who owns the restaurant with Mario Trujillo.
“This is a destination for socializing, enjoying great drinks and sharing delicious food,” Vasquez added.
Vasquez and Trujillo said the inspiration for BRB came from their upbringings, when their families would enjoy lunadas (casual get-togethers under the night sky) in Los Altos de Jalisco, Mexico.
“We wanted to create an environment that allows guests to form memorable experiences under the night sky,” said Trujillo.
Jerry Tou is the restaurant’s executive chef. His modern technique is influenced by traditional, Mexican, Asian and French cooking methods. Signature dishes from the menu include bone-in carnitas, a chilaquiles burger, ramen pozole, and vegan tortillas.
Cocktails are infused with locally sourced citrus that is squeezed fresh daily. The cocktail menu includes a celery serrano margarita, the Downey Bellini and El Smash, along with traditional cocktails and an array of local and international draft and bottled beer.
The interior of BRB was designed by Retail Design Collaborative of Long Beach and features wood surfaces and plush seating with an industrial decor that pays homage to the agave and mezcel cultivation and fermentation processes.
The new restaurant is expected to create 60 jobs, including a security team largely comprised of Downey veterans.
“Hiring veterans is not just smart business, it’s the right thing to do,” said Trujillo.
BRB is open Tuesday through Sunday, and its rooftop lounge Thursday through Sunday.
DOWNEY -- In honor of its 60th anniversary, the Downey Symphony is throwing a cabaret celebration July 1 right on the stage of the Downey Theatre.
Guests will be offered a glass of champagne and enter the auditorium to listen to oldies but goodies from Three’s Company, a trio made up of local composer Lars Clutterham on piano, Bill Hare on drums, and Mark Artusio on bass.
Guests will then proceed to the decorated stage, where they will find their seats arranged in sections that match the layout of instrumental sections for the Symphony when it performs. There will be hors d’oeuvres and complimentary wine as Clutterham continues to entertain.
After time to mix, mingle and greet friends, the trio will be joined by vocalist Rachael Lorenzetti and renowned local jazz saxophonist Fabian Chavez. As the party continues, guests will be given toy instruments corresponding to their “orchestra” section. Concertmaster Carolyn Osborn and orchestra manager Mark Artusio will “tune” the players prior to a rousing rendition of “Happy Anniversary” under the baton of Music Director Sharon Lavery as a 60th anniversary cake is rolled out.
“Everyone is invited to join the party and have a great time with friends while congratulating Downey’s very own Symphony Orchestra’s diamond anniversary,” said Joyce Sherwin, chair of the board’s organizing committee.
Festivities begin at 4 p.m. Reservations are $60.
“The event is not a fundraiser,” said board President Don Marshall. “We just aim to cover costs and give the community an opportunity to gather and enjoy celebrating this historic moment with us.”
For reservations, call Joyce Sherwin at (562) 928-4122. Reservations can also be made online at downeysymphony.org.
DOWNEY -- Guacamaya Oasis is one of the latest businesses to join the gastronomic movement in Downey and throughout Southeast L.A.
This new restaurant brings something new to the community: food that is fresh, healthy, unique and most of all, delicious.
Guacamaya Oasis is home to culinary creations unlike anything ever made: torta sandwiches with soy chorizo, natural aguas frescas, and salads with all-organic ingredients. Since its grand opening in February, Guacamaya Oasis has been met with overwhelming success, according to restaurant owner Andrew Vizcarra.
Vizcarra said, “The city of Downey has really been looking for something like this, and the community has been supporting us; it’s been a hit ever since.”
The restaurant began as an idea by Vizcarra and his family, with the vision to bring a culinary experience from his family’s native home of Leon, Guanajuato, Mexico to Downey. Their vision turned into a business revolving around one particular dish: the Guacamaya.
Named after the native bird of the region, the Guacamaya torta is a type of sandwich that features pork rinds, both fried and pickled, and a trademark salsa, created by the Vizcarras daily. “You really can’t find a dish anywhere else, which is why I wanted to bring something new to Downey and to all of Los Angeles,” Vizcarra bragged.
For those looking for healthy fare, Guacamaya Oasis also offers organic salads. Customers have the option to choose from several of their creations, or have the ability to create their own, with ingredients including chicken, shrimp, and tofu. Cooks at the restaurant are constantly preparing ingredients throughout the day, tirelessly working to ensure freshness and quality, without compromising taste or cost.
Above all else, Vizcarra is proud to share this experience with his family; he shares day-to-day operations with his mother, two sisters and his girlfriend.
Regarding the business being a true family affair, Vizcarra said, “Every single person in my family has a specific role in creating this; right now, I feel closer together because we’re on a mission to share our flavors to the world and share our lifestyle.”
Guacamaya Oasis is located at 8826 Imperial Hwy. It is open daily from 9 am to 9 pm.
DOWNEY – Soroptimist International of Downey will host a “Totally Awesome 80’s” casino night fundraiser on Friday, June 1 at 6 p.m. at the Rio Hondo Event Center.
Tickets are $50 per person.
For sponsorship, donations, tickets, or more information visit www.soroptimistdowney.org.
LA MIRADA -- “Newsies,” the Disney musical that won a pair of 2012 Tony Awards for its score and choreography, will play the La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts beginning June 1.
The musical is based on the 1992 film “Newsies,” which in turn was inspired by the real-life Newsboys Strike of 1899 in New York City. The stage adaptation premiered on Broadway in 2012 and was nominated for 12 Tony Awards, winning two.
“Newsies” will run June 1 through June 24. Performances are Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m.; Fridays at 8 p.m.; Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m.
There will be an additional performance on Friday, June 22, at 1 p.m.
There will be an open-captioned performance June 16 at 2 p.m. and an American Sign Language-interpreted performance on June 23 at 2 p.m. Talkbacks with the cast and creative team will be June 6 and June 20.
Tickets range from $20-$84 and can be purchased online at lamiradatheatre.com or by calling the theater box office at (562) 944-9801.
Student tickets for $15 are available for the first 15 performances.
Ten years. Nineteen movies. Six stones.
We may not have initially known it when we sat down in theaters and were introduced to Tony Stark / Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) back in 2008, but this is the moment that we’ve been slowly building to over the last decade: The Infinity War.
This movie isn’t for those who have never seen a Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) movie before (and if you haven’t, what rock have you been under?). The film isn’t built for epic story progression or character development – all of that can be found between Iron Man (2008) and Black Panther (2017).
No, instead Infinity War thrusts you immediately into the chaos that is left in the wake of Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his quest for the Infinity Stones.
Actually, let’s talk about Thanos for a minute.
Thanos is Tony Stark’s worst nightmare come true. It’s beings like “The Mad Titan” that caused the formation of The Avengers. They didn’t know it at the time, but he’s the reason Tony and Bruce Banner / The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) created Ultron (even if that didn’t go particularly well) back in Avengers Age of Ultron (2015).
Thanos is a madman; he’s practically “space-Hitler” (and no, that’s not just me trying to be funny).
The end game for Thanos surrounds the completion of the Infinity Gauntlet, an all-powerful weapon that he needs to carry out his plan for humanity.
The worst part of it all: the movie almost makes you feel for Thanos at certain points. He actually has some humanity within him.
He’s not just some cookie-cutter villain who wants to rule the world; that’s not it at all. Instead, Thanos sees a problem in the world and he aims to fix it. His ultimate goal is barbaric in every sense of the word; however, it is a cause that he believes in fully. Thanos truly believes he is doing the right thing for the world.
So, who’s going to try and stop this seemingly unstoppable bad guy? Literally everyone.
Infinity War had all the makings to be a giant cluster you-know-what with its stacked, star studded cast.
Thankfully, it’s not.
Save for a couple exceptions, if a character was in an MCU movie before and wasn’t killed off, then they’re likely in this film. While this may seem like it would be overwhelming, Infinity War balances its cast extremely well – instead breaking up several characters into unique little units that follow their own sub-plots.
There are pretty much three story arcs that occur within the film, and for the most part they all happen simultaneously to one another. The awesome part is that each arc and its band of characters tend to weave in and out of one another almost flawlessly.
This leads to several hero team-ups that you never expected you’d see. Frankly, you won’t know you wanted some of these team ups until they happen, and then when they do you’ll be glad they did.
But what about the elephant in the room?
More than anything else, it seems as though the big question on everybody’s mind leading up to the film has been who’s going to bite the dust: Captain America (Chris Evans) or Iron Man.
Anyone who’s asking that is asking the wrong question.
Infinity War quickly makes it clear that everyone has a whole lot to lose should Thanos succeed. Without giving much away, let me just say this - no one leaves this movie unscathed.
Infinity war is probably not going to sweep the movie award shows, and it shouldn’t by any means. This isn’t a film for the academy, it’s a film for the fans.
It was in my second viewing of the film (yes, I’ve already seen it twice) that I realized the brilliance of what Marvel Studios has done.
For 10 years we’ve been invested in these characters. We’ve watched the characters fight, grow, grieve, and love.
The arrival of Thanos has raised the stakes not only for the Avengers, for the Guardians, for Spider-Man and for Dr. Strange; it has also raised the stakes for audiences as well.
Avengers: Infinity War is rated PG-13 and runs for 149 minutes.
DOWNEY -- Downey’s Dia de los Muertos festival will return Sunday, Oct. 28, with an art festival component, organizers announced.
The festival will open at 11 a.m. outside the Downey Theatre when a troupe of 35 Aztec dancers “imbue the area with good spirits.”
Other highlights include:
■ A sampling of Mexican music formats on the Zocalo stage in the theater courtyard
■ An “urban art alley” featuring 20-ft. tall sculptures and a parade of 10-ft. tall catrinas
■ Variety acts on the community stage, including mariachi bands, singers and ballet folklorico
■ A fine art exhibit in the theater lobby
■ Car altars
■ A papel picado demonstration by artist Aurora Sanchez
■ Calaveras decorating stations
■ 20 booths for local merchants, stores, products and services
■ 50 vendors selling Dia de los Muertos merchandise
Admission to the festival is free. The festival is entering its sixth year.