Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Maui feeling effects of Big Island Kilauea hawaiivolcanic eruptions

It's not as bad on Maui but tourists and locals are being advised to take precautions
Patti Pietschmann

A voggy morning in Maui

Well I just wrote yesterday that "first and foremost only the Big Island is affected by Pelee's eruptions so far. Lava flows, of course, won't hit the other islands, but wind changes could cause odors and ashes to hit the other islands."  And  it's happened. 

While Maui is 91.8 miles from the Big Island, residents and to tourists are being warned to  take precautions due to air pollution caused by  toxic ash flying onto the beaches  and the island. In my post yesterday I wrote that Hawaii Governor Ige was  under playing the situation saying there was no cause for alarm. Well perhaps not "alarm"  but the lava the spewing from Pelee is putting a haze into the atmosphere that contains microscopic shards of glass that is quite perilous to breathe. 

This morning, May 23 ,tradewinds were pushing those poison clouds into the sea causing health concerns for people with heart or lung disease, the elderly and children. The air cleared up somewhat later in day but still some hotel and condo renters have reported cancellations due to this latest revelation.  The areas of Kihei  and Kaanapali have been hit hardest but winds can change again.

What is vog all about?
Vog is a form of air pollution that results when sulfur dioxide and other gases and particles emitted by an erupting volcano react with oxygen and moisture in the presence of sunlight.

Vog is no stranger to  Hawaii and reared it's head at the first outbreak of the Big Island volcano. It may cause asthma and uncomfortable condition. Vog is always a problem in Kona, and sometimes a more milder version is found on Oahu. 
 Maui officials have  posted this health message:
 Avoid outdoor activity and exercise during vog conditions. Stay indoors and close windows and doors. If an air conditioner is used, set it to recirculate.  Avoid smoking and second-hand smoke. Stay hydrated (always a good idea in the tropics). 
For  more about emergency preparedness or to sign up for Maui County’s Maka’ala alert system, call 808-270-7285 or visit

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Alfred Hitchocks 39 Steps heading to Long Beach

For your summer entertainment

Patti Pietschmann

 Hitchcock meets hilarity in this fast-paced comedy mystery thriller filled with train chases, plummeting planes and old-fashioned romance that head toward a death-defying finale as a cast of four actors breathlessly reenacts hundreds of characters, locations and famous scenes from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film of the same name. 

Winner of the 2007 Olivier Award for Best New Comedy and the 2008 Drama Desk Award for Unique Theatrical Experience, 39 Steps opens June 22 at International City Theatre Performing Arts Center, 330 East Seaside Way in
Long Beach, California.

• Adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel by John Buchan
• Based on the Alfred Hitchcock movie and an original concept by Nobby Dimon and Simon Corble
• Directed by Jamie Torcellini
• Starring Bo FoxworthLouis Lotorto, Ashley MortonEric Wentz
• Produced by caryn desai [sic]

• Honorary Producer: Keesal, Young and Logan
• Presented by International City Theatre

Note: previews June 20 and June 21 at 8 p.m.• Fridays at 8 p.m.: June 22 (Opening Night), June 29, July 6
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: June 23, June 30, July 7
• Sundays at 2 p.m.: June 24, July 1, July 8
 Call: 562-436-4610 or
• On Facebook--
• Twitter  @ICTLongBeach 

• Opening Night (June 22): $55 (includes post-show reception with the actors)
• Saturdays and Sundays: $49
• Thursdays and Friday (except June 22): $47
• Previews: $35


Monday, May 21, 2018

Cool cocktail recipes to ramp up Memorial Day barbecues

A few good drink recipes that will make the party more festive
Patti Pietschmann

Ginger Monkey
Cheers folk! It's getting time to celebrate the slow entry into summer and end of May so some booze makers have come up with cocktail ideas to help sell  their product and at the same time amp up  the fun while stoking the fire on the grill.

Here you go:

 Ginger Monkey
1 ½ parts Monkey Shoulder Scotch
2 ¾ parts Ginger Ale
Orange wedge

Fill long glass with ice. Pour ingredients in glass and gently stir. Garnish with orange wedge.
Sailor Jerry Lemonade
2 parts Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum
Top with lemonade

Serve on the rocks or in a pitcher for large groups.

Flor de Caña Pineapple Daiquiri
2 parts Flor de Caña 7
2 parts pineapple juice
1/3 part fresh lime juice
2/3 part extra-fine sugar

Combine the pineapple juice, rum, lime juice, sugar, and ½ cup ice in a cocktail shaker and shake to chill. Strain into a stemmed cocktail glass. Garnish with pineapple wedge.
El Bandido
1 Part Fresh Lime Juice
½ Part Simple Syrup

Combine all ingredients and shake well. Serve over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a lime wheel, mint sprig and avocado salt dust.
 Reyka Pimms Cup
1 Part Cucumber-infused Reyka Vodka
1 Part Pimms
¾ Part Fresh Lemon
¾ Part Ginger Syrup
Top Soda
Garnish: Cucumber Ribbon and mint
Glass: wine
Method: pump and upmp
Combine all ingredients into cocktail shaker. Shake, garnish, serve.

 El Rey de Reyes
1 part Ancho Reyes Verde
1 part Ancho Reyes Original
1 part Fresh Lime Juice
1/3 part Rich simple syrup 2:1 Sugar:Water
Small pinch salt
1 dash Angostura
Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker, add ice, shake hard and strain into a cocktail coupe. 
 The Exene

1.5 parts Hudson Baby Bourbon
1 part Aperol aperitif
.5 part fresh lemon juice
.5 part honey syrup
Half-dropper of Bittermens Elemakule Tiki Bitters (comes in dropper format—2 dashes if decanted into dasher bottle )
Add ingredients to shaker with ice and shake to chill.
CENTER: shaken with egg white or .75 oz aquafaba (chickpea water), strained into cocktail glass, and garnished with lemon twist
LEFT: strained over ice and topped with soda and garnished with lemon wedge
RIGHT: strained over the rocks and garnished with lemon wedge and cherry

My personal favorite drink to sip while the steaks are barbecuing   is a margarita made with 100% agave tequila, organic Tres Agaves Margarita mix, a dash of real lemon, and spiced with Grand Marnier. Serve on the rocks straight up no salt.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

A summer night's entertainment this way comes at Theatricum Botanicum by way of Arthur Miller's The Crucible

Play strikes an eerie modern day chord

Patti Pietschmann

Opening June 16-The Crucible — Arthur Miller’s classic parable of mass hysteria that draws a chilling parallel between the Salem witch hunts of 1692 and McCarthyism, which gripped America in the 1950s, remains eerily timely in today’s climate of fake news. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, its own history firmly rooted in the McCarthy-era Hollywood blacklist — when actor Will Geer and his wife, Herta Ware, created the theater as a haven for blacklisted actors — opens a new production of Miller’s modern classic directed by Will’s daughter, Ellen Geer, and featuring family members Thad Geer, Willow Geer and Melora Marshall in the cast.

• Directed by Ellen Geer, starring Kate Adams, Gabbi Beauvais, Maya Brattkus, Thad Geer, Willow Geer, Cindy Guastaferro, Tim Halligan, Christopher W. Jones, Bethany Koulias, Mark Lewis, Melora Marshall, Franc Ross, Jacquelin Schofield, David Stifel, Frank WeidnerLaura Zenoni 
• Also with Jessamyn ArnsteinTavis LBakerElizabeth GeorgeEthan HaslamHolly HawkCaitlin KilgoreGabriel Anthony PalmaBrandi Lynn ReinhardLawrence Sonderling

Performances: June 16–Sept. 30:

• SaturdayJune 16 at 8 p.m.
• SaturdayJune 23 at 8 p.m.
• SaturdayJune 30 at 4 p.m.
• SundayJuly 8 at 8 p.m.
• SundayJuly 22 at 8 p.m.
• FridayJuly 27 at 8 p.m.
• SundayAug. 5 at 4 p.m.
• SundayAug. 12 at 8 p.m.
• FridayAug. 17 at 8 p.m.
• SundayAug. 19 at 4 p.m.*
• SaturdayAug. 25 at 8 p.m.
• SundaySept. 2 at 8 p.m.
• SundaySept. 9 at 4 p.m.
• SaturdaySept. 15 at 4 p.m.
• SaturdaySept. 22 at 8 p.m.
• SaturdaySept. 29 at 8 p.m.
• SundaySept. 30 at 8 p.m.
*Prologue (pre-show discussion):SundayAug. 19 from 3 p.m.–3:30 p.m. (included in ticket price) 

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum,
 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd..
Topanga  (midway between Pacific Coast Highway and the Ventura Freeway)

Ticket information: 
 (310) 455-3723 or
• Adults: $38.50 (lower tier); $25 (upper tier)
• Seniors (65+), Students, Military Veterans, Teachers, AEA Members: $25/$15
• Children (5-15): $10
• Children 4 and under: Free

This enchanting, outdoor venue sits terraced into the hillside of the rustic Topanga Canyon. Do dress casually (warmly for evenings) and bring cushions for bench seating. Make it more fun by going early with a picnic.:

 • Visit  on facebook:' follow on twitter: @theatricum and instagram: @theatricum_botanicum

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Ford Theatres present TAIKOPROJECT where Bollywood joins Japanese barrel drumming

Here's an idea for some heart-throbbing entertainment
Patti Pietschmann

On Saturday night June 23, apanese taiko meets Bollywood with the return of TAIKOPROJECT  to the Ford (2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, in Hollywood-- thrilling, heart-pounding and joyous blend of percussion and choreography, joined by youth performing group Kitsune Taiko and special guest Blue13 Dance Company. The show opens with new and favorite taiko songs, followed by an exhilarating, fun and inspiring mix of percussion and contemporary Indian dance.

Showtime's at 8 p.m.,  the grounds open at 6 p.m. for picnicking.You can buy  food and beverages  on site,or bring you own (wine and beer are allowed). 

 Tickets are available at or 323-461-3673 (for non-visual media 323-GO-1-FORD).
Group discounts for 10 or more available  at

How much?
• Reserved seating: $25, $35, $50
• Students*/Children: $15$20, $25
*Student tickets must be purchased in person at the box office. Students must present a valid student ID. Limit one ticket per ID.
• Onsite parking is limited and stacked: $12 per vehicle for evening shows.
• Carpool and save: three or more people per vehicle pay only $7 for parking at evening shows. • A FREE shuttle to the Ford services the Universal City/Studio City Metro Station at Lankershim Blvd. and Campo de Cahuenga. The Ford shuttle stops in the “kiss and ride” area and cycles every 20 minutes.
• For non-stacked off-site parking, a FREE shuttle services the parking structure located at 3330 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Los Angeles, CA 90068; parking costs $12, cash only.

This is outdoors folks, so be sure to wear warm attire. 

 This event is part of the Ford Theatres 2018 Season, an eclectic series of music, dance, theater, film and family events that represent the diversity of the region. Ford programs nurture artists, arts organizations and audiences through initiatives designed to encourage participation in the arts. A complete season schedule, onsite dining options, directions and parking information can be found at
• The Ford is disabled accessible. Portable wireless listening devices are available upon request. The Ford Theatres is a smoke-free facility.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

A Midsummer's Night's Dream returns to Theatricum in LA's Topanga Canyon

Signature Shakespearean  production opens in June

Patti Pietschmann

Courtesy Theatricum Botanicum

Will Geer's charming  Topanga  Canyon Theatricum is once again staging its signature production,starting June 3.  An audience favorite with a set design unrivaled by any other theater the venue, which provides the most magical outdoor setting in Los Angeles,  is once again transformed into an enchanted forest inhabited by lovers both fairy and human. 

Shakespeare conjures a world of wonder, fantasy and romance where comical misunderstandings and the pain of unrequited love are resolved, and all is reconciled through midsummer night revelries and the enduring power of nature. 

Buffet dinners with a costumed cast of fairies in attendance take place in the theater's adjacent gardens prior to Thursday evening performances on Aug. 2; Aug. 9; Aug. 16; and Aug. 23. (Separate admission, or combo packages available.)

Performances: June 3–Sept. 3:
• Sunday, June 3 at  4 p.m.
• Sunday, June 10 at  4 p.m.
• Sunday, June 17 at  4 p.m.
• Sunday, June 24 at  4 p.m.*
• Sunday, July 1 at  4 p.m.
• Sunday, July 8 at  4 p.m.
• Sunday, July 22 at  4 p.m.
• Thursday, Aug. 2 at 8 p.m.**
• Thursday, Aug. 9 at 8 p.m.**
• Thursday, Aug. 16 at 8 p.m.**
• Thursday, Aug. 23 at 8 p.m.**
• Monday, Sept. 3 (Labor Day) at 6 p.m.

*Prologue (pre-show discussion):SundayJune 24 from 3 p.m.–3:30 p.m. (included in ticket price)

**Pre-performance buffet dinners, served in the Thearicum gardens and attended by costumed fairies, will be available for purchase by ticketholders prior to three Thursday evening on Aug. 2Aug. 9Aug. 16and Aug. 23 at 6:30 p.m. Advance reservations required.

Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga CA  (midway between Pacific Coast Highway and the Ventura Freeway).  Call  310-455-3723 or facebook:; Twitter @theatricum and instagram: @theatricum_botanicum

• Adults: $38.50 (lower tier); $25 (upper tier)
• Seniors (65+), Students, Military Veterans, Teachers, AEA Members: $25/$15
• Children (5-15): $10
• Children 4 and under: free
• Mediterranean buffet dinner/play combo: call theater for pricing, advance purchase required

FYI; this is an outdoor venue on a terraced  hillside and it does get chilly at night,  so bring something warm and even a blanket.

Odyssey Theater to present world premier of Thomas Bird's 'Bearing Witness'

Summer night's entertainment in Los Angeles
Patti Pietschmann

Opening at the Oddysey Theater June 1st: Vietnam veteran and founder/artistic director of the Drama Desk Award-winning Vietnam Veteran’s Ensemble Theatre Company (VETCo) Thomas Bird’s autobiographical solo show--the moving father-son story of Bird’s relationship with his World War II veteran dad and their mutual healing from the traumas of battle and the Holocaust. In the play, Bird travels to Mauthausen concentration camp to honor the memory of his father, an Army doctor who cared for survivors upon the camp’s liberation. As Bird conjures the spirits of his father and the camp’s victims, he recalls his own wartime experiences in Vietnam along with a long-held secret his dad revealed just before his death. In “bearing witness” himself, Tom is finally able to find some peace.

“Nothing at all ordinary in this text and performance… a wholly unique and arresting meditation on World War II, the Vietnam War and the Shoah” — Samuel G. Freedman, Tablet magazine

Thomas Bird is a Vietnam War veteran who served with B Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regime and 1st Cavalry Division in 1965-66. He was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with palm, and all Vietnam Service Medals. On his return to the United States, he created VETCo, the Vietnam Veteran’s Ensemble Theatre Company, and, as the company’s artistic director, presented 26 plays off and off-off Broadway, including the highly acclaimed Tracers at the Public Theater, for which the company won a Drama Desk Award for “giving voice to the trauma of Vietnam.” Tom co-produced the Peabody, Ace and Emmy Award-winning documentary Dear America, Letters Home from Vietnam. At HBO, Tom developed a number of film scripts, as well as created further programs to give Vietnam Veterans a voice in society and to help less fortunate veterans deal with life after war. In 1981, Tom was one of the first four veterans invited to return to war-torn Vietnam. His travels back to Vietnam were memorialized in the documentary “Going Back.” When Bird traveled back yet again, this time accompanied by Public Theater artistic director Joseph Papp — Bird’s mentor and “artistic father” — it was covered on 60 Minutes with Mike Wallace. Currently, Bird is mentoring veterans from all wars, most recently from Iraq and Afghanistan, using the arts (theater, fine art, music, comedy) as a means to get them to express themselves and facilitate their healing processes. He has several scripts in various stages of development and he is working on a memoir.

• Developed with and Produced by longtime VETco board member Barbara Ligeti
• Directed by Brian Delate
• Creative Consultant David Schweizer
• Presented by the Odyssey Theatre EnsembleRon Sossi Artistic Director

When and where:
June 1 – June 17:
• Thursdays at 8 p.m.: June 7, June 14
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: June 1 (opening night), June 8, June 15
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: June 2, June 9, June 16
• Sundays at 2 p.m.: June 3, June 10, June 17

Odyssey Theatre, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd.Los Angeles

Tickets $25 to $35: 
• (310) 477-2055 ext. 2 or
• Visit us on Facebook:
• Follow  on Twitter: @OdysseyTheatre_

Monday, April 30, 2018

Top Oahu Chef Mavro setting tables for memorable Mother's Day dinner

Moms will love Chef Mavro I know we do

Patti Pietschmann

Reserve Your Table             
Sunday, May 13th is coming up fast! 

5-course menu made for Moms!

chef mavro restaurant
a Mother's Day tradition


mother's day dinner menu

5 course menu 135.00
4 course wine pairings 48.00
complimentary amuse bouche
provençal pistou soup
spring beans, ham, basil, tomato, country bread croutons
recipe from chef mavro's mom, served tableside 

5 courses

bigeye ahi & opah poke
ogo, chives, aleppo pepper, taro crisp
foie gras parfait 
hibiscus, granny smith apple, yuzu, malasada
choice of:
island free range chicken
chicken breast, tarragon mousse
island cream corn, sunchoke chips, sunflower seed chicken jus
niihau lamb
roasted lamb saddle loin, english peas à la française  
black & green tapenade, jus
grade A5 wagyu (add 50.00)
green apple, fresh wasabi, crème fraiche 

goat cheese
hawaii island goat cheese mousse, poha berry jam, ogo
kiawe rare white honey
island watermelon in champagne gelée, fresh mint
waialua estate chocolate crémeux,  lilikoi, basil
 greek yogurt, chili

* * * * *

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Summer in the city means taking the gang on a road trip to magical Mendocino

Start planning your summer escapes

Patti Pietschmann

We're spreading the news: luxury lodges,   working ranches and cozy cabins kissed by ancient redwoods welcome lovers and families to Mendocino County --a playground spread on 90 miles of classic California shoreline with 24 state and national parks.

Lots of lodging choices such as Harbor House Inn, a nine-room hotel with a head-turning chef (Matt Kammerer/Saison, San Francisco) manning a 30-seat restaurant and a line-up of activities keen on keeping kids off the tablet and into the tribe.   Built in 1916 as a luxury escape shrouded by ancient redwood forests, the inn debuts in May 2018 with staggering Pacific views, guestrooms set in a modern palette and bespoke excursions including group fungi foraging, sea kayaking, horseback riding and morning yoga.

Fort Bragg's newest gem - Noyo Harbor Inn - is ready for its close-up with 15 guestrooms and the added plus of an ideal base for local exploring. Extended families will feel at home here with rich cherry wood interiors, original oil paintings and commanding views of the working harbor. The lively restaurant focuses on fish-to-fork and a variety of seasonal activities - from whale watching to sea kayaking, foraging, hiking and rebooting among the redwoods - round out a visit. In nearby Fort Bragg, scouting Glass Beach, horseback riding at Richochet Ranch or an optional tastingat North Coast Brewing Company is on tap for the adults on board.

 Vintage California is reflected  at Big Bend Lodge and cabins in northern Mendocino County. The remote resort is the ideal Rx for families seeking a reboot. The private drive delivers nine 1940s cottage-style lodgings with colorful kitschy interiors, decks, barbeques and fully equipped kitchens. Set on the south fork of the Eel River, this is the spot to relive those retro family forays or create new ones. On site is the requisite deep swimming hole, old oak tree swing and miles of meandering river for all-day floats; intentionally absent are televisions, Wi-Fi and cell service making a stay here truly unplugged.
                Families with fat wallets can rent the entire  Inn at Newport, a new 2,000-acre private preserve and cattle ranch fusing luxury lodging with off-the-charts pampering.   Set along the Pacific just north of Fort Bragg, the inn offers seven unique guestrooms, an onsite chef and dining room seating 28, daily ATV tours, horseback riding and daily alfresco wine and canapes as the sun sets.  An architectural passion project, the main guesthouse features heavy use of custom redwood paneling up to five feet wide with flooring set in 30-inch old growth redwood planks.  Design standouts include a 20-foot wide walk-in stone fireplace, a building supported by 24 individual redwood trees from base to cathedral-like ceiling and hot tub perched atop of the water tower with commanding views of sea. For children under 14, full two-day buy-out required.
At the other end of the dollar drop is Howard Creek Ranch, an 1867 Registered HistoricSite and heavenly hideaway set on 60 oceanfront acres just north of Westport. An original land grant for sheep and cattle farming, today, horses, sheep, llama and pygmy goats graze the pastures. The ultimate family fun camp, the ranch offers award-winning gardens, fireplaces and wood stoves, a 75-foot swinging foot bridge, hot tubs, hiking, sauna, massage, horseback riding and the warm embrace of 1,000-year old redwood trees. On site are nine guest accommodations set in a meandering 1871 farmhouse as well as a smattering of private cottages overlooking the sea with large comfortable beds, antiques and a sumptuous daily cowboy
     Mendocino Grove is the stop for modern camping with an edge. Tucked on 37 redwood-rich acres just a quarter mile from the village of Mendocino, this unplug-meets-unreal outpost boasts 60 safari-style tents, fully outfitted comfy queen beds, down comforters, cotton linens and sling back chairs. For larger groups, the Family Tents offer a queen plus twins or bunk beds (sleeps six). Each tent is housed on a wooden platform with a redwood deck, leather butterfly-chairs and enough space to call it your own. Hot showers, gas barbeques, picnic tables, fire rings and activities such as bocce ball, horse shoes, hiking and hammock time are also on tap.
 For more information, visit