Friday, November 16, 2012

Plan 9 from Outer Space at Maverick Theater

It was billed as the best play about the worst movie ever made - how could it be bad?!

Maverick Theater's production of Plan 9 from Outer Space was OUT OF THIS WORLD!! Hysterical, creative and wacky, all at the same time.

If you don't know Ed Wood's P9FOS movie, it is a mish-mash of cheezy 1950s Martians reanimating the recently dead to become zombies, with some Bela Lugosi vampire action woven in for some good fun. It was known for its horrible production values, lame effects and awful dialogue.

Maverick Theater takes it to the next level with this adaptation, making the best of the worst of P9FOS. For example, in case the action on the stage wasn't enough to keep you entertained, you could watch stage left for the techs - one with "Special" and one with "Effects" on the t-shirts - create the special effects that were projected on the screen behind the actors. For a visual sampling, think about your kitchen sink drainer reimagined as a radar detector with one of the techs twirling it around. Super creative!

Bela's vampire was crafted as a cape on a rolling coat rack. If you've watched the movie you know the scene where he walks into the couple's bedroom and just stands in the corner, with the ditzy wife screaming her head off. Just imagine this coat rack adaption!

Or, when the same ditzy wife - who was captured by a George "the Animal" Steele-esque zombie - was reintroduced to the audience as a blow-up doll and was launched by a police officer then "beach-balled" over the heads of the audience to keep her away from the Martians. Too awesome!

I could keep going, but I think you need to check them out for yourself! And, I've already bought my ticket for their production of Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, which is probably the worst Christmas movie ever made. I'm so ready for another slice of Maverick cheeze!!

Click here to go to Maverick's Web site.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Printmaking Workshop at Craft and Folk Art Museum

One of the awesome things about living in LA is that you can locate a class to learn just about anything. I've found courses on animation, children's book design, storyboarding, stained glass, and black and white photo printing, just to name a few, to satisfy a curiosity about how something works. (And we can't forget my bagpipe sessions, but I won't dally on that here!) Now, I've stuck my toe into the world of printmaking, and first up is linoleum relief printing.

The Craft and Folk Art Museum (CAFAM), across from the Tar Pits on Wilshire, offered a Printmaking Workshop this fall, and it was fantastic! About a dozen or so students, all at different levels of experience and each with his or her own idea of what to accomplish, took part. For $25 per class, we got access to all the supplies and materials to dig right in. With linoleum printing, you use a super-sharp tool like a cuticle cutter to carve out the shape, cutting away what you don't want to print. My three modified Mackintosh roses took four weeks to pull off. I'm looking forward to the spring sessions to further the pursuit of making my own WPA-style prints. Hey, if you can't buy 'em, print 'em!

Click here to go to CAFAM's Web site.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Octopus Japanese Restaurant

I busted out for lunch today with a work pal, and off we went to Octopus Japanese Restaurant in Encino for some sushi.

YUM! Here you see our eel plate, with the tasty Vegas Roll (California Roll with spicy tuna and deep-fried eel outside) in front, and fresh water eel sushi at back. We also chop-sticked our way through asparagus rolls, spicy tuna rolls, tuna and salmon sushi, and the tastebud-tingling seared garlic tuna. In short, lots of fresh, delish chow! There is so much more to sample on their menu. Who wants to join me?!

Click here to go to Octopus' Web site.