Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The War of the Worlds at KPCC Family Forum

I had lots of Halloween activities available this year, but I had to hear (and see!) The Long Beach Shakespeare Company's performance of The War of the Worlds at KPCC's Family Forum.

If you don't know the War of the Worlds' story, on October 30, 1938, Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre on the Air broadcast the radio drama that stirred up the listening public into believing that Martians were attacking the U.S. Told in "breaking news" format, with calls in from the field, unidentified "experts," and realistic sound effects, radio listeners panicked at the thought of interplanetary invasion. Although there were multiple mentions that this was a fictional broadcast, the majority of listeners thought it was really happening.

Tonight, it was super cool to watch the actors switching characters, making the sound effects, and attacking the imaginations of the audience. Special shout-out to Rocket Fizz for donating bags of old-school candies for us all to chomp on during said invasion.

(I didn't stick around for the discussion with Jill Tarter, who was the inspiration for Jodie Foster's character in Contact. I'm sure it would have been cool, but it was already a long day.)

Click here for the Mercury Theatre's Web site, including the broadcast of The War of the Worlds.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bob Baker's Halloween Hoop-De-Doo

I first saw Bob Baker's Marionette Theater back in March 2005, when Charles Phoenix offered a slide show there to a group from the Los Angeles Conservancy (see March 2009 post). We also got a taste of Bob's marionette mastery, including meeting Bob, taking a peek in his workshop and having ice cream in the party room.

Since then, I've heard about tough times for Bob and his puppets, including the potential sale of the Theater. I was thrilled to hear about his Halloween Hoop-De-Doo show and knew I had to go while I had a chance. It was fantastic! I sat in the adults-without-kids section (there actually were several of us there) while it was mostly parents or grandparents with toddlers. All ages had a great time, cheering and laughing for the full hour.

Here you see Dracula and Vampira (with their human companions holding the strings) entertaining the audience. We also saw multiple blacklight acts which were totally cool, plus the Purple People Eater and the Invisible Man, courtesy of Bob's troupe. And, yes, we all got ice cream in the party room afterward.

The Theater dates back to 1960, and most locals haven't seen a show since childhood. I'm going back for Bob's Nutcracker show over the holidays, while I still can. I'll hope to see you there!

Click here to go to Bob Baker's Web site.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Patakan Thai

Yum, more soft food! This time, it comes courtesy of Patakan Thai in South Pas. I forget about them with all the crazy Fair Oaks traffic, and it has been awhile since I've dined there. So glad I remembered!

This is their fantastic Pad Kee-Mow, which is flat rice noodles pan-fried with chili sauce, chicken, bean sprouts and basil. Chicken potsticker appies also hit the spot. Both so tasty and easy to chew! I'm taking about half of the noodles home with me, and I'm already looking forward to an easy lunch tomorrow.

Click here to go to Patakan's Web site.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Eddie Izzard at USC

Back in April, I posted about seeing Eddie Izzard with an awesome assemblage of Brits at the wacky What About Dick? at the Orpheum. Tonight, it was all Eddie at his one-man show at USC's Bovard Hall.

One of my chums works at USC, and she nabbed the poster you see here, which now lives on my work bulletin board. Good thing, because this must've been a secret show. I'm on Eddie's mailing list AND a Facebook liker, and I heard nothing about it through those sources. Anyhoo, I'm glad I got the inside scoop because he was hysterical!

For the Eddie fans, he was in total boy mode, with jacket and jeans. But the stream of consciousness-esque ad libbing, conversations voicing both characters–sometimes in different languages!, and sound effects that he is known for were all there in force.

Some highlights included pipe smokers–think Sherlock Holmes' scholarly pipe compared to crack pipe smokers, moles versus voles, the implications of ordering "release the kraken" from the 1981 Clash of the Titans movie, spending hours on Wikipedia  scanning for the blue text and looking for "the finger" to bounce to the next subject, the benefits of being agnostic as opposed to declaring atheism, some Latin, and "carrying the M" when doing math with Roman numerals. I'm still busting up as I type!

Click here to go to Eddie's Web site.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sweet Guy

Let the Halloween games begin! I couldn't resist this adorable chocolate cupcake covered with the fondant ghost "sheet" from Sweet Guy to get me in the spirit of things.

Sweet Guy is a fantastic new cookie shop and bakery on Ventura in Sherman Oaks; they've only been open a month or so. This cupcake was delish, as was the chocolate chip cookie my friend chose.

Sweet Guy's baked goods are all hand-decorated and range from the beautiful to the whimsical. I look forward to trying out the lemon tart when we're between seasons. Who needs an excuse to meet the Sweet Guy?!

Click here to go to Sweet Guy's Web site.