Friday, June 27, 2014

Stoneface at Pasadena Playhouse

Sorry for the last minute nudge, but Stoneface at Pasadena Playhouse is a really great show, and it closes on Sunday.

Stoneface is a nickname for Buster Keaton to describe his deadpan expression. The play tells the story of Buster's rise to stardom, then fall, then return to fame. I certainly didn't know this history, but my Keaton-fanatic friends confirmed it was all true. What's cool is the way the story is told, including the actors "interacting" with projected film clips, and the recreation of some classic Keaton scenes. The physicality is amazing! I don't think I'm spoiling anything if I tell you that you get to see a version of the train scene from "The General." And, the live piano playing makes for a really fun experience.

Just go! Your face will be smiling, laughing and cheering for Stoneface!

Click here for Pasadena Playhouse's Stoneface Web site.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Route 66 exhibition at the Autry

Have your gotten your kicks on Route 66? If so, gear up for a trip down memory lane at the new Route 66: The Road and the Romance exhibition at the Autry National Center. If you haven't, this show will inspire you to take a spin.

With really fun artifacts and ephemera, the Autry displays the who, what, why, when and where of the iconic Route 66. From its commission in 1926, through 1985 when federal funding and maintenance stopped, Route 66 was the trail of dreams. John Steinbeck first used the words "the mother road, the road of flight" in 1939's The Grapes of Wrath. Inside the gallery, see a page of Steinbeck's tight cursive writing, as well as a typewritten scroll of Jack Kerouac's 1951 original manuscript from On the Road.

So that you'll go see it yourself, here are are few more highlights: contemporaries Woody Guthrie and Roy Rogers, and their dueling guitars; the paralleling obsession and embarrassment of the road; how Cars reinvigorated the vibe with the 2006 Pixar animated film; plus this classic Corvette and neon sign.

I'll happily share that I'm made the drive on the 10-15-40-44-55 interstates multiple times heading back and forth between LA and Indiana. I had a series of posts from my last roadtrip in 2012, documenting my off-the-beaten path adventures on Route 66. Take a looksie to share my memories.

Luckily, this is not the end of Route 66! The exhibition runs through January 4, 2015. I'm going back for another run. Who's with me?

Click here for the Autry's Route 66 page.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Lake Hollywood

It's National Running Day (the first Wednesday each June), and, although I'm not running today, I am getting out for a nice walk. The destination is Lake Hollywood off Barham Boulevard.

I can't believe that I've never made this trek after living here almost 24 years! Today was a beautiful opportunity to take the 3.5 mile loop around the reservoir with multiple clear shots of the Hollywood sign, some wildlife: deer, waterfowl and turtles, and very few other people. YAY!!

For the history buffs out there, the Mulholland Dam was completed in December 1924. I was standing on the dam when I took this picture; it was designed to hold 2.5 BILLION gallons of water from the Owens Valley River Aqueduct and SFV groundwater. Note that it wasn't holding nearly that amount today, but you could see the water marks from our more fluid days.

On the other side of the dam, take a looksie for the concrete bear heads. I'm not joking!! Around another corner, you're overlooking Hollywood. Other views include some pretty incredible homes in the Hollywood Hills.

The reservoir is free to enter, and there's no charge for parking. Keep in mind that you can't get down to the water, as it is fenced off other than when you're standing on the reservoir. Who's with me for another loop or two?

Click here for more Lake Hollywood history.