Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Unemployed Elephants-A Love Story premiers at Victory Theatre Centre in Burbank

A comedic odyssey that follows two would be lovers on a hunt for a missing monk

Patti Pietschmann


It's a travel tale. A love story. An intriguing play about a  chance meeting in an airport lounge  that leads to a Burmese odyssey and a search for a missing monk… and maybe love. Maria Gobetti directs the world premiere of Unemployed Elephants – A Love Story, a romantic comedy byWendy Graf (No Word in Guyanese for Me, Please Don’t Ask About Beckett).

Unemployed Elephants opens on March 9  at the Victory Theatre Center in Burbank and continues until April 15 (which might prove great relief after paying your income tax). . The Victory Theatre Center is located at 3326 W. Victory Blvd in Burbank, Califorrnia. Get tix by calling  818-841-5422 or going to www.thevictorytheatrecenter.org.


 Performances begin on March 9 at The Victory Theatre Center in Burbank, where they continue through April 15. Three low-priced previews take place on March 1, 2 and 3.

Two strangers lost, hidden… and found? Brea Bee(Mutual Philanthropy at EST/LA) and Marshall McCabe(Lincoln Center’s Chicago production of Six Degrees of Separation, lifetime member of The Actors Studio) star as Jane and Alex, both on the run from loneliness and the truth. This might be their last chance to find true love — if only they can seize it!

“As soon as I saw a reading of this play, I knew the Victory wanted to produce it,” says Gobetti. “The locations are enchanting and exotic, the dialogue is nimble, and it possesses a lovely, gentle wit. I want audience members to feel they are entering another world when they come into the theater. We need that now. We need to be able to laugh.”

Graf is best known for writing dramas that explore themes of family, identity and home within the context of contemporary politics. Elephants is her first comedy, inspired by a trip she took to Myanmar in 2015.

“The trip highlighted and encapsulated for me our modern sense of feeling adrift, seeking something without knowing quite what, trying to ground oneself in the constant barrage of apps and crazes and shoulds and how-tos,” she says. “I felt as if I had walked headlong into a strange new world, a monsoon, not knowing what would happen next.”

Graf is quick to point out the play was written (and therefore set) nearly two years prior to the flight of more than 400,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh to escape a military counter-insurgency offensive the United Nations has described as “ethnic cleansing.”

“Some people might question a romantic comedy set in a country currently at the heart of what many are calling genocide,” she acknowledges. “Looking back, I now recognize the turmoil roiling beneath the surface during my visit. But at the time, we saw nothing, we heard nothing. The trip was planned because I had just watched a segment on 60 Minutes that was all about hope for democracy in ‘The New Burma’.”

The creative team for Unemployed Elephants includes set designer Evan Bartoletti, projections designer Nick Santiago, lighting designer Carol Doehring, sound designer Noah Andrade, costume designer Meagan Evers, graphic designer Jennifer Logan and photographer Tim Sullens. The dramaturg is Gail Bryson, the stage manager is Sean Spencer, and Tom Ormeny, Maria Gobetti and Katie Witkowski produce for The Victory Theatre Center.

Wendy Graf is an award-winning playwright whose plays include Please Don’t Ask About Beckett, All American Girl (Stage Raw Award nomination for Playwriting, Los Angeles Times Weekend Pick; LA Weekly “GO!”, StageSceneLA 2015 Outstanding Solo Performance Production; Bitter Lemons 2015 Ten Best); Closely Related Keys (directed by Shirley Jo Finney); No Word In Guyanese for Me (GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding L.A. Theater, Bitter Lemons “Top Rated” production); Behind the GatesLessons (L.A. production directed by Gordon Davidson); Leipzig (L.A. Drama Critics Circle nomination, Back Stage Garland award, Dorothy Silver Playwriting Competition finalist); The Book of Esther (San Fernando Valley Artistic Director Award nomination for Best Play, ASK Theater Projects Grant Award); and Bethany/Bakol (Attic Theater One Act Winner).  Graf is a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA and Pacific Resident Theatre writing units and the Dramatists Guild of America.

Maria Gobetti has directed over 80 productions, including, most recently, the world premieres of Resolving Hedda, The Engine of Our Ruin and Pie in The Sky — all Los Angeles Times “Critic’s Choice” picks and all Ovation-nominated in several categories. Other directing credits: The Shoplifters; the world premiere of The Miss Firecracker Contest; the West Coast premiere of Ten Cent Night by Melissa Wegrzyn; My Old Friends by Norman Sachs and Mel Mandel; and the majority of BareBones Productions at the Victory. Together with Tom Ormeny, Maria founded and built The Victory Theatre Center. She is the director of the Gobetti-Ormeny Acting Studio, coaches at various major studios, and also teaches at the New York Film Academy. Maria is a member of the Directors’ Guild of America; Women in Film; Women in Theatre, which awarded her its 1992 Outstanding Achievement in Theatre Award as well as, together with Tom Ormeny, its Red Carpet Award for excellence in Theatre; AEA; and SAG/AFTRA. Maria, who served as chair of the 99-Seat Review Committee until this past year, as well as for the ATLAS organization where she presses onward in support of more, and all theater in Los AngelesIn 2017 Maria, received Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre and for Direction. She and Tom Ormeny were honored with the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award from Stage Raw.

Details at a glance

Phone 818-841-5422 or www.thevictorytheatrecenter.org
•Facebook: www.facebook.com/victorytheatrecenter/
• Twitter: @Victory_Theatre

Tickets are reasonably priced, too
• General Admission: $24
• Preferred Seating: $34
• Previews: $20


Get ready to run in the Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN March 11

All levels of runners welcome

Patti Pietschmann

Want some fun exercise? Join the 6th annual Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN  on Sunday, March 11 for a race that starts at 9 a.m.  on the ocean side of Kapiolani Park, fronting Waikiki Beach and continues alongside awesome Diamond Head, passed historic lighthouse before returning to the relay hand-off and finish line.

Each relay team must have a minimum of three members, and a maximum of five members. Those who enter individually will be selected to participate in a “Friendship Team” with other individual runners from Hawaii and other countries. Members must present a valid school or military ID upon packet pickup.

Deadline to sign up online is March 4, 2018. Entrees are also accepted at the Expo during the following dates and times:
  • March 9 – 2 p.m,  to 6 p.m.
  • March 10 – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Each 5K-race participant will receive a Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN t-shirt, commemorative medal and complimentary refreshments. 

The Fun Run & Walk is recommended for those interested in a scenic stroll, leisurely walk or a fun jog along the 5K-relay course. The Fun Run & Walk is non-competitive and teams are not required.

The Kid’s Challenge, open to ages 6-11, provides young athletes an opportunity to get up and move during a half-mile, kid-friendly race. All participants will receive a medal and refreshments upon completion of the course. Participants are welcome to have a parent or guardian accompany them during the race. Walk-ins are welcomed.
To register for one of the Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN events and for pricing information, visit https://flpregister.com/297. Student and military rates are also available.


Ekiden, a tradition in Japan for more than 90 years, is a long-distance relay race in which teams of runners take turns running by passing a sash to the next runner at the end of each leg. For the Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN, each runner will run the same course and the team will run a total of 25 kilometers (15.5 miles).

The event will culminate with an awards ceremony, honoring the top three teams of the race. Awards will also be presented to the most spirited teams, as well as the first place wahine, senior, student, and company teams.

Upcoming  EKIDEN events 
.
Aloha DANCE CONVENTION (Saturday, March 10 – 5:00 – 9:00 p.m.)
As Hawaii’s biggest dance competition showdown, the Aloha DANCE CONVENTION showcases up to 30 talented teams of all genres from around the world. Each team must consist of at least two members, and may register up to 30 members per team. The entry fee is $150 per team. Teams will receive 2 – 3 minutes of performance time. A panel of judges will select the top two teams to perform at the Honolulu Festival Grand Parade on Kalakaua Ave., Sunday, March 11. A free dance workshop will also be held on Saturday, March 10 at 10:00 a.m. Admission to this event is free.

The Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN
The Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN complements the 24th Annual Honolulu Festival, March 9-11 (www.HonoluluFestival.com). Under this year’s theme “Harmony Over the Ocean, Journey to Peace,” the Honolulu Festival features dynamic and fascinating cultural dance performances, music, exhibits and crafts for free, along with a Grand Parade through Waikiki and Nagaoka Fireworks Show over Waikiki Beach.
The Honolulu Rainbow EKIDEN relay race is sponsored by JTB Corp., supported by JCB, Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach Resort and Spa, and the Honolulu Festival Foundation.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Gordon Ramsay HELL's KITCHEN opens at Caesars Palace Las Vegas

Restaurant is super chef's first ever HK at CP in Vegas  (Video)
Patti Pietschmann

Caesar Palace presents Gordon Ramsay HELL'S KITCHEN

They had a soft opening earlier this month and a huge, pyrotechnical blowout to make it' official. The first ever HELL'S KITCHEN  is now serving lunch and dinner at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The highly-anticipated eatery got almost y 25,000 reservations since opening.  Which mean you better call for your table well in advance.

Gordon Ramsay HELL'S KITCHEN looks right out of  the studio set of the globally popular FOX television show with its  signature fiery pitchfork at the entryway and  life-size video screen of Chef Ramsay that greets guests upon arrival, to the chef uniforms and menu items. "We responded to fans of the show who were hungry for a real-world HELL'S KITCHEN restaurant for some time – pun intended," said Ramsay. "What we didn't fully realize was just how enthusiastic the response would be. We are thrilled with the reservations and interest since announcing our opening, and excited to welcome guests to experience the best of HELL'S KITCHEN – great food, and great cocktails."  

Designed by Jeffrey Beers International, the first-of-its-kind restaurant boasts floor-to-ceiling windows that face the Strip and the hotels iconic fountains.  Other engaging  design features is of course the  centerpiece kitchen framed  with mosaic tiles.  Chefs and cooks wear identical  uniforms from the show – red and blue jackets with coordinating bandanas. To further bring the electric atmosphere of the studio into the dining room, additional key elements of the show are infused in the design, such as fire and heat and custom designed lighting that combine brass rods with pitchfork features and runs across the high ceilings. HELL'S KITCHEN's iconic "H" and pitchfork symbols are cleverly featured throughout the custom-designed, laser-cut screen partitions and soft charcoal and ash-hued wallcovering. 

"Creating unique and world class-dining experiences is one-way Caesars Entertainment is strengthening the integrated resort concept," said Mark Frissora President and CEO of Caesars Entertainment. "A key element of this is building strong partnerships and Gordon is not only a great partner but also one of the biggest talents in culinary."
Several of the most successful signature menu items and recipes featured on the television show can now be experienced during lunch and dinner including Pan Seared Scallops, Lobster Risotto, Beef Wellington, Truffle Arancini, Brick Pressed Chicken and Crispy Skin Salmon. Special menu items direct from the show will be added as new episodes air.
No Vegas restaurant is complete without a bar and HELL'S KITCHEN  has one big, sprawling fixture where you can sip signature creations such as  the gin-based Notes from Gordon, garnished with a scroll printed with a surprise note from Gordon Ramsay; the citrus and rosemary laden Chef's Stew, served bubbling and steaming from dry ice; and the rye-based Smoke on the Blvd, which arrives in a cherry-wood smoke-filled glass cabinet. There is also a well curated wine list with over 20 wines offered by the glass. The beer list is also notable with more than 30 options, and includes an exclusive HELL'S KITCHEN Special Brew IPA from Stone Brewing.
"With Gordon and his team, we created a unique dining experience based on one of the most popular shows on television. I'm very proud of what we have achieved. The room has been transformed and feels just like the set of Hell's Kitchen, and the food and service is worthy of the Gordon Ramsay," said Gary Selesner Regional President Caesars Palace. "The response from guests so far has been very gratifying. They are delighted with the menu and love the concept.  It looks like we have another big hit on our hands. I can't wait for everyone to try it."




Thursday, January 25, 2018

Beautiful St. Barth's is back in business apres Hurricane Irma


Many hotels have reopened along with beaches and businesses


Patti Pietshmann



The chic Le Toiny Hotel is scheduled to reopen in the fall with some new additions


C'est dommage, my favorite tropical island, St. Barth's, in the French West Indies, was ravaged by Hurricane Irma closing many hotels and businesses. But life is slowly returning to the chic playground.

The latest update on St. Barth's is that all roads are open as are the following businesses

Restaurants: See Details

La Plage, Le Ti St Barth, Shellona, L’ll Rock, Baz Bar,
Bar L’Oubli, Isola, Bagatelle, Eddy’s, Maya’s to Go, Le Select, La Cantina, Black Ginger, La Langouste, Le Bouchon, Tamarin, L’Entracte, The Hideaway, Orega, Esprit de Jean Claude, Le Village St. Jean, La Guerite, Yo Sushi Mania, 25 Quarter, Galawa (ex Pipri), Le Jardin, Isoletta, Le Repaire, Le Vietnam, Ociela St. Barth, Island Flavors, Grain de Sel, Le Piment, Fresh West Indies, Chez Joe, Le Glacier, Bistro Josephine, Au Regal, L’Ardoise, Burger Palace, Tom Beach Bar, Papa’s Pizza, La Creperie and Les Bananiers. Local bakeries open include La Petite Colombe and Boulangerie Choisy bakery.
Re-opening in 2018 – Maya’s, Bonito (March), Nikki Beach (March), Mango (March), Le Toiny Beach Club (Spring 2018). Check back daily for updates.
Grocery Stores: Marché U in St Jean, AMC in Gustavia, the Airport Superette in St Jean, Jojo Supermarket in Lorient, and Le Rendez Vous in St Jean are all open. Organic store, La Vie Clair in Anse des Cayes will reopen on December 7th. The Mini Mart in Lorient is still closed, and the U Express in the Oasis shopping center is still closed.
Flights: St. Barts’ Gustav III airport (SBH) is open for commercial operations. Call WIMCO’s air department at 1-888-997-4880 to schedule flights.
St Barth Commuter – Is operating daily scheduled flights from St Martin and Guadeloupe.
Tradewind Aviation – Flights from San Juan to St Barths resumed on Oct 1. Flights from Antigua to St Barths resumed on Oct 2.
Winair: Winair has 3-4 daily scheduled flights from St. Maarten to St. Barth.
Air Antilles – Flights to St Barths from Guadeloupe are active.
Air America and Paradise Air – Operating charter flights from San Juan to St Barths.
Hotels:
Open now! – Tom Beach Hotel, The Sunset, Ti Morne, Auberge de Terre Neuve, Le Village St Barth, Villa Lodge 4 Epices, Baie des Anges, Les Ondines, Saline Garden, Les Sucriers, Les Ilets de la Plage and Le Nid d’Aigle. Call 1-888-997-4880 for reservations

Reopening in 2018, dates TBD – Christopher (February 20th), Villa Marie (March 9th), Eden Rock, Cheval Blanc, Le Barthelemy, Le Toiny, Emeraude Plage, Tropical.
Beaches, such as my favorite Shell Beach, are all cleaned up and ready for sun bathing, swimming, snorkeling.




For more updates click here.




And Le Toiny, The gorgeous hideaway of the rich and famous has just announced it is taking reservations for the fall from October 2018 and on.

The reopening will include eight new Villa Suites , tucked into the hillside, designed for discerning vacationers.

If you have any questions about reservations or the reopening of Le Toiny, you can email reservations@letoiny.com. You can also drop by our Instagram (@hotelletoinystbarth) to follow along with the hotel’s progress – and receive a daily dose of St. Barth sunshine!






Wednesday, January 24, 2018

The Oscar nominations are out and Piper Heidsieck is still in

The popular bubbly will grace the tables of  Hollywood's A-list

Patti Pietschmann




Now that you know who is nominated for this year's coveted Oscars, want to know what the A-list will be drinking at the event?  Piper-Heidsieck Champagne but of course. For the gilded 90-year-old event, Piper-Heidsieck has created a limited edition magnum bottle commemorating the Golden Age of Hollywood. With a 360-degree golden applique mirroring the Art Deco architecture of legendary Los Angeles theaters like the Crest, Pantages and the Wiltern, each bottle is also engraved with "90th Oscars" in golden lettering.
"We are particularly proud to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Oscars," declared Benoit Collard, Executive Director for Piper-Heidsieck. "This anniversary bottle represents the history of excellence that unites the Academy and Piper-Heidsieck. These magnums, bottled in Reims and enjoyed in Los Angeles, are the very expression of the universal magic of cinema, to which we are paying tribute."
As always,  the the limited edition magnum boasts the House's signature Cuvée Brut, and will be poured exclusively at the awards ceremony and Governors Ball; the Academy's official Oscars after-party. This is the fourth year of a long-term partnership between Piper-Heidsieck and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In addition to the awards ceremony on March 4, Piper-Heidsieck champagne will be poured at Academy events in Los AngelesNew York and London, including the Oscars Nominees Luncheon on February 5, as well as the Governors Ball.
Need to know more? Go to  http://Piper-Heidsieck.com or follow it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
And watch Jimmy Kimmel give his take on this year's Academy Awards...




Friday, January 19, 2018

Koi chefs outdo themselves with delectable dineLA menu


Every dish was a pure delight 

Patti Pietschmann


 What a meal. Four luscious courses for just $49 a person plus, for us, a bottle of $64 Foley Johnson wine 


Sinfully rich and delicious cheesecake

DineLA Restaurant Week happens twice a year at top restaurants throughout Los Angeles. So far we've done one lunch at Laurel Point in Studio City and one dinner at Koi (featured here) but we have until Jan. 26 to complete our foodie fest.




Thursday, January 18, 2018

It's cozy 'fire pit' season at Saguaro Palm Springs, aw just call it winter

Sunny days, chilly nights personify Palm Springs this time of year
Patti Pietschmann


On one  of my earlier trips to Palm Springs, many magnificent moons ago (the views of the  sun and moon   are simply awesome in the Desert), I was so cold that I took a fully clothed steam bath before going out to dinner. We were staying at Melvyn's Ingleside Inn and the cottage had a shower that converted to a steam.  I was dressed to dine and when we opened the door a cold blast hit me and I ran back inside  to de-ice.  Hey, I have thin blood.

Anyhow today I get a release from a cool PR firm that says it's not winter in the Springs but rather fire pit season. I can dig it, I love sitting around an outdoor fire on a crisp Desert night with a good red wine in hand and my honey to keep me warm. 

Joe, my PR pal reps the hip Saguaro where they  light up the pits at nights and people party with hot  beverages and snacks. He writes, "All winter long, the Saguaro embraces the coolest weather of the year under clear star-lit skies with an evening menu of beverages including Mexican Hot chocolate with mezcal, Hot Spiked Cider with whiskey, and Mulled Wine, accompanied by favorite winter snacks like Fondue Fries with Oaxacan cheese, Pulled Pork Sliders, and our very own version of Make Your Own S’mores."  I will stick to wine but, it does sound good. 






Through February, the Saguaro also offers special evenings of outdoor movies and entertainment on the San Jacinto Lawn, with the Moonlit Mojave Music Showcase featuring our favorite local band The Flusters performing on Saturday, January 27, along with special guests Eevaan Tré and Sabio, and again on February 23, with guest artist Jesika von Rabbit. The shows start at 5:30PM.

Movie nights include a screening of “The Birdcage” on Saturday, January 20, and on February 16, in honor of Modernism Week, we’ll be showing the ultra-classic “Valley of the Dolls”.

The Desert Nights menu complements hotel’s patio brunch and anytime dining that features  menus focused on fresh, local ingredients for Mexican, Southwest-inspired dishes, including burgers, tortas, salads, and of course the tacos which the restaurant is known for.  Additionally, the Saguaro is also serving some of the most popular coffee and espresso on the West Coast from Verve Coffee Roasters in Santa Cruz.

The Desert Nights menu is served Friday-Sunday around the Saguaro’s fire pits and on the Palmetto Patio from 6-10 pm.m, and by request in El Jefe during dinner hours seven days a week.

We've stayed at the Saguaro Palm Springs (that's me at the bar)  which  opened in February 2012, and found it very trendy and inviting with its bold color palette--the work of architects Peter Stamberg and Paul Aferiat, who have infused the property with hues that reflect the indigenous flowers that bring color to the desert landscape. There''s a very nice pool that is well utilized in summer and spring and the chefs do a great job on breakfast and dinner (we didn't have lunch there).

There are 44 rooms,  originally constructed in 1977,  a buzzing pool scene and a Mexican cantina, El Jefe.   Saguaro is located just a tad out of the mainstream part of town at 1800 E Palm Canyon Drive, (760) 323-1711. It's a great getaway for party animals who want to meet people who enjoy having fun.  That you? Make a rez and tell them Joe sent you. You can use my name, too, if you want.


Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Plays in Los Angeles to catch in February and March


Add these two productions to your 'play' dates
Patti Pietschmann



What--the world premiere of Two Fisted Love. The year is 2008 and Hollywood A-lister, Caroline Connors (Serena Scott Thomas), having recently been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, braves her descent into an uncertain future while attempting to navigate her relationships with her ultra-conservative and less than politically correct husband and her defiant and idealistic daughter in this premiere of David Sessions’ dark comedy about a modern family in a state of moral crisis.

• Presented by Range of Light Productions

When--previews: February 1-2
Performances: February 3 – March 11
• Thursdays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 1 (preview), 8, 15, 22; Mar. 1, 8
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 2 (preview), 9, 16, 23; Mar. 2, 9
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 3 (opening night), 10, 17, 24; Mar. 3, 10
• Sundays at 3 p.m.: Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25; Mar. 4, 11

Where--Odyssey Theatre. 
2055 South Sepulveda Blvd., Los Angeles,just north of Olympic Blvd. on the West side of the street

Tickets-- www.odysseytheatre.com or www.twofistedlove.com or 866-811-4111; email to boxoffice@odysseytheatre.com  
All performances: $34 with previews: $15. Parking is $5 .

Also Playing

California premiere of The Happiest Song Plays Last — Set to the joyful sounds of traditional Puerto Rican folk music, this poignant play — the final installment in Hudes’ three-play “Elliot cycle,” which began with the Pulitzer Prize-finalist Elliot, A Soldier’s Fugue and Pulitzer Prize-winner Water by the Spoonful — chronicles a year in the life of two kindred souls as they search for love, meaning and a sense of hope in a quickly changing world. At the dawn of the Arab Spring in an ancient Jordanian town, an Iraq War veteran struggles to overcome the traumas of combat by taking on an entirely new and unexpected career: an action-film hero. At the same time, halfway around the world in a cozy North Philadelphia kitchen, his cousin takes on a heroic new role of her own: as the heart and soul of her crumbling community, providing hot meals and an open door for the needy. Directed by Edward Torres, who directed the world premiere production at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and featuring live music by Grammy Award-winning tres guitar player Nelson González. 
WHEN: 

Previews: Feb. 17 – Feb. 21
Performances: Feb. 22 – March 19

• Tuesday at 8 p.m.: Feb. 20 ONLY (preview)
• Wednesday at 8 p.m.: Feb. 21 ONLY (preview)
• Thursday at 8 p.m.: Feb. 22 ONLY (Opening Night)
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 23, March 2, March 9, March 16
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Feb. 17 (preview), Feb. 24, March 3, March 9, March 17
• Sundays at 3 p.m.: Feb. 18 (preview), Feb. 25, March 4, March 10, March 18
• Mondays at 7:30 p.m.: Feb. 26, March 5, March 11, March 19

Where--The Los Angeles Theatre Center, Tom Bradley Theater, 514 S. Spring Street. Los Angeles

Tickets-- $24 to $52 at 
 (866) 811-4111 or go to http://thelatc.org/
• For group sales, call (213) 489-0994
• Like on facebook: www.facebook.com/theLATC
• Follow  on twitter and instagram: @theLATC

Parking costs  $5 with box office validation, Joe’s Parking structure, 530 S. Spring St. (immediately south of the theater)
• Metered parking available on streets surrounding the theater.
• Take the Metro: nearest stop is Pershing Square (two blocks west of The LATC).

Saturday, January 13, 2018

DineLARestaurant week eat like a celeb for less through Jan. 26

Top chefs create affordable menus for annual foodie fest
Patti Pietschmann


Wolfgang Puck offering $95 a person dinner at Spago BH (photo by Patti Pietschmann)
It's the Diva's favorite time of the year, the winter edition of DineLARestaurant week when super chefs lower their prices a bit so foodies with limited budgets can get to dine where celebrities usually thread.  We've already booked a few lunches and dinner via OpenTable. And you might want to consider a dine around for yourself, partner and friends.

This month's event goes through Jan. 266 and includes various price fixed menus.  “The focus of Winter dineL.A. aims to reflect upon the remarkable growth and accomplishments of Los Angeles’s dining scene over the past 10 years,” explained dineL.A. Director, Stacey Sun. “During our Summer 2017 program, we saw a record number of new restaurants participate and learned that three out of four diners tried a restaurant that was new to them. We’re seeing locals and visitors embrace the city’s geography, year-round seasonal ingredients, and multiculturalism—all of which contribute to L.A. becoming the country’s most exciting food city in 2018.”
The current foodie fest showcases 10 notable restaurants and chefs that have played a large role in the evolution and innovation of the city’s diverse and distinctive dining scene over the past decade. Joining the roster  of more than 300 restaurants are  Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken’s Border Grill, which has participated in dineL.A. from the very first season, along with Mélisse, which was among the first to join dineL.A.’s Exclusive Series. 
Many dineL.A. bastions who have arguably shaped the city’s dining scene over the past decade include Michael Cimarusti’s Providence, Suzanne Goin’s Lucques and a.o.c., and Roy Choi’s Kogi Taqueria. Some of L.A.’s newest restaurants that are participating in Winter dineL.A. include the Nozawa Group’s new HiHo Cheeseburger and UovoLunetta Dining Room and Bar by Chef Raphael Lunetta, and Quinn and Karen Hatfield’s The Mighty.
Some food for thought from past dineLAResaurant weeks photographed by Richard Pietschmann




To commemorate the anniversary year, American Airlines is introducing a dineL.A. Golden Dish Contest, awarding one winner 100,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles. During the event one lucky diner will discover a special course served on a gold commemorative plate that will mean they won the AA prize--so keep your eyes open. The more you participate the more chances to win.  
Okay, here's what to expect: lunch menus  from $15, $20, and $25, dinner menus priced at $29, $39, and $49, and an Exclusive Series starting at $95.  The Exclusive Series presented by American Express offers diners a chance to enjoy some of L.A.’s most luxurious restaurants across the city, including Providence, Spago Beverly Hills, The Royce, BOA Steakhouse, and The Arthur J. Diners may visit the dineL.A. website to book reservations starting today. 
For more information about Winter dineL.A., visit dineLA.com.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Club Med kicks off new year with deep discounts

All-inclusive resorts offering great deals

Patti Pietschmann


Wow, it's been a decade or more since I went to a Club Med. We used to go often and loved it but then started doing more cruises and other travel.  But this new promotion just might motivate us to go again:

 It's a Club Med  bucket list dreamslimited time offer  with savings of up to 45 percent off bookings made between  now through February 28.  The special offer offers include free room upgrades, up to $400 in air credit, waived single supplement fees and free stays for children under the age of four.  The offer is valid on new bookings for travel through May 4, 2019.
 Club Med is also offering an early booking deal for travel between August 2018 and May 2019.  Now through February 28, guests can book one of Club Med's beach resorts with confidence and receive early booking rates starting at $109 per person, per night, based on double occupancy for the best rate possible.

Pick your getaway:
  • Club Med Cancun Yucatán, Mexico 
    Soft, white sand beaches and warm, azure-colored seas made this Yucatan resort area magical. The club sits at the tip of the iconic Riviera Maya, and offers fun for the whole family fun spiced up with Mayan culture and a variety of activities for all ages.  Rediscover the recently redesigned property with the new locally inspired restaurant, Taco Arte Beach Lounge. Relax and take a plunge in the resort's main pool and lounge area and indulge in the Jade 5 Trident luxury space. Guests can snorkel in the world's second largest coral reef, explore Mayan gems including one of the Seven Wonders of the World and wakeboard through a mangrove lagoon. 
       
  • Club Med Sandpiper BayFlorida, U.S.A. 
    A quick drive from Miami or Orlando, this Club Med resort is a sports lover's paradise   and home to the world-famous Club Med Academies, internationally known sports instructors and premier equipment for tennis, volleyball, golf and more.  The premier destination for a local staycation or a getaway with a healthy twist, Club Med Sandpiper Bay offers an 18-hole onsite golf course, adults-only infinity Zen pool, and sports oriented treatments and massages at the L'Occitane Spa.
      
  • Club Med Punta Cana, Dominican Republic 
    Located on the lush island of the Dominican Republic, Club Med Punta Cana caters to both couples and families.  A plethora of activities and immersive experiences like Club Med CREACTIVE by Cirque du Soleil, an interactive playground with 30 recreational acrobatic and artistic activities for guests of all ages to try, dining at the over-water INDIGO Beach Lounge, and an on-property barbershop make for an unforgettable vacation.  For those looking for an adults-only experience, Zen Oasis is a section of the property with a private pool, bar and suites with sea-sweeping views.
For more information visit www.ClubMed.us, call 1-800-ClubMed (1-800-258-2633) or contact a preferred travel professional. Travel agents may visit www.clubmedta.com. For an inside look at Club Med, follow Club Med on FacebookTwitterInstagram, or subscribe to Club Med on YouTube.
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Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Cookies and Cream popcorn from Maddy & MaIze


About the best tasting popcorn I ever ate


Patti Pietschmann



And it all  thanks to  #Secretroomevents pre #GoldenGlobes gifting lounge last Friday where I picked up four bags of the yummy treat. Maddy and Maize Cookies and Cream made with pieces of organic chocolate cookies and organic cane sugar. And it's just 140 calories a serving. Of course its  hard to stop at just one serving.

4 Play comes just in time for Valentine's Day

Sexy play premiers Feb. 14 at Actors Company

Patti Pietschmann
Photo by Jason M. Hammond

Looking for a Valentine's Day date to motivate your mojos? Here's one that might turn you on. It's called '4Play:Sex in a Series' and it's coming to Los Angeles by way of of a SRO performance in Chicago.


The delightful romcom blurs the lines between art and life, (photo by Michele Stine)between gay and straight. 

trip. brings  the audience a  not-so-simple story of boy meets girl, boy meets boy, girl meets girl — and all the little things that can ruin a perfectly good dinner party — in a fresh and uniquely theatrical way. Show Business Weekly called the New York production “an all-around feel-good, fun night out, which leaves you wanting more… The romances are steamy, the characters are lovable, and the performance is expressive, lively and animated.” TheWashington Square Newslabeled it “a rare find with superior acting and writing. A must see,” and TIME OUT Chicago hailed “the endearing characters, the honest and playful performances and the credible chemistry between everyone in the cast.” Chicago’s The Fourth Wall found it to be “so perfectly executed that the audience may well forget they are watching a play.”

“We’re so excited to bring this very special show to L.A.,” says trip. founder and artistic directorGraham Brownwho created 4Play together with Nathan Faudree and Lisa Roth. Brown also directs and appears in the production as a member of the ensemble. In addition, the Los Angeles cast features Ariana AndersonBevin Bru, Eve Danzeisen, Zoë Simpson Dean, Marian Frizelle, Dustyn Gulledge, Lara Helena, Kaitlin Large, Zoquera Milburn, Cameron J. Oro,Christi Pedigo, Kirstin Racicot, Kelsey Risher, Robert Walters and Dan Wilson.

A meta-theatrical, play-within-a-play, 4Play explores the meaning of personal entanglement, focusing on three couples — one gay, one lesbian and one heterosexual — and referencing everything from quantum physics to the Infield Fly Rule, William Shakespeare and Cole Porter. Performances will take place in The Actor’s Company flexible “Other Space,” where the theater seats will be removed and replaced with cocktail tables to create a heightened experience. With an intimate acting style and environment, trip. seeks to draw the audience into the action, rather than push them away with spectacle or pretension.

“trip. has developed a reputation for our highly realistic style,” explains Brown. “Because the action takes place in the audience, the show is constantly evolving and adapting itself to its surroundings. In a sense, the actors never really stop rehearsing, even after the production is open. They are constantly trying new things with nothing set in stone — choices are fresh, without presentation.”

4Play was originally produced in 2004 at Tribe, a small club in New York’s East Village. The company continued to re-visit the project every few years, performing in back rooms, theaters, galleries — anywhere they could find space. In 2014 they brought the show to Chicago, where it sold out, and according to Time Out, became the number two show to see in Chicago.

Founded in 1995, trip. is a not-for-profit production company dedicated to reaching out to a new audience by producing original work that is vital, challenging and relevant. trip. strives to consistently provide audiences with a unique, truthful and engaging experience through a commitment to the actor, particularly the actor as a part of the ensemble. Equally dedicated to developing and nourishing a sense of community, trip. seeks to bridge the gap between artist and audience. trip., a place we have not been before.
Performances are onThursdays at 8 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 8 p.m. through March 17. All tickets are $25; a Valentine’s Weekend “Lover’s Package” is available Feb. 14-17 for $70 that includes two tickets, champagne, chocolates and a naughty/nice surprise package. 

The Actors Company is located at 916 A North Formosa AveLos Angeles CA 90046. For reservations and information, call (800) 838-3006 or go to www.tripnyc.org.