In Pictures: Bond, James Bond
A look back at the many 007s, Bond girls, and villains of the iconic film franchise.
December 09, 2012
Experience A Snow White Christmas
Lythgoe Family Productions brings British-style Panto theater to Pasadena.
November 28, 2012
Ariana Grande, Neil Patrick Harris, and Charlene Tilton star in A Snow White Christmas.
Celebrate the season with a taste of British Panto theater at the Pasadena Playhouse’s production of A Snow White Christmas, opening December 13. The show is a retelling of the classic fairytale, set to an array of hit songs like Katy Perry’s “Firework,” and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” And—unlike traditional theater—Panto is an upbeat British style of performance that incorporates humor, dance, and audience participation into every show (think: vaudeville).
The show was brought to Pasadena by way of Lythgoe Family Productions, who were eager to share Britain’s unique theatrical style with Angelenos. Cast members include Nickelodeon star Ariana Grande as Snow White, Dallas' Charlene Tilton as the Wicked Queen, and Neil Patrick Harris as the on-screen magic mirror. Best known for their work on So You Think You Can Dance, director Bonnie Lythgoe and choreographer Spencer Liff have staged the production, while American Idol’s Michael Orland handled the music direction.
A Snow White Christmas debuts with a gala opening on December 12, then goes on to run December 13-30. Before each performance, the theater has arranged a winter wonderland event in the Engemann family courtyard, featuring holiday music, crafts, activities, and more. For tickets ($32-100) or more information, head to pasadenaplayhouse.org. 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena, 626-356-7529
Photography by F.Scott Schafer
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion's Anniversary
Fifty years ago, Dorothy Chandler was charged with bringing culture to LA...
November 13, 2012
The always glamorous Dorothy Chandler Pavilion celebrates an anniversary.
Los Angeles is a city full of names, but Dorothy Chandler is one that every Angeleno knows. Her arts-focused namesake, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, located atop Downtown’s Bunker Hill, serves as the largest theater at The Music Center and is the heartbeat of the city’s performing arts scene. But before terra firma was cracked 50 years ago, LA was still a city playing second fiddle because of its dearth of cultural institutions. Chandler, who married into the Los Angeles Times publishing dynasty, sought to remedy that; in 1967, five years after ground was broken, the last of the three original buildings on the The Music Center campus opened.
In a relatively casual city, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is one of the only places in LA where you can still bust out the black Galliano. In fact, the structure has a history of Hollywood glam, having hosted the Academy Awards 26 times in the 20th century. From humble beginnings, the LA Opera, which has called the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion home since its inception in 1986, has become the fourth-largest opera company in the country. The Pavilion also plays frequent host to Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at The Music Center, whose 2012–2013 season celebrates its 10th anniversary of bringing the world’s best dancers to the venue. The end of the LA Opera’s 2012–2013 season will also mark a decade for Plácido Domingo as its general director. Domingo is also noted as the tenor with the most roles performed in history, with chops that have won him seven Grammys. Needless to say, this is an annum of anniversaries for The Music Center… Brava, Dorothy Chandler!
photography courtesy los angeles public library photo collection
GuestHaus Offers Artists a Retreat
Curator Chloë Flores is giving artists a home away from home.
November 01, 2012
Chloë Flores welcomes artists to her GuestHaus.
Nestled in Mount Washington, with a stunning view of Downtown, GuestHaus Residency took hold in 2011, offering free housing to visiting artists, scholars, and cultural producers who are completing projects or research with local institutions like RED CAT and the Mak Center for Art + Architecture. Organized by curator and writer Chloë Flores, whose partner Tim Lefevre built the detached guesthouse below their own Eastside digs, GuestHaus Residency provides nonmonetary support for cultural producers by providing a place to stay while executing a project, with residencies lasting up to three weeks.
“The value of both means of support—nonmonetary and monetary—transforms the economic conditions of artistic and cultural activities,” says Flores. “Housing is an expensive part of staying in Los Angeles. Residency at the GH R means that the money allocated for housing can go back into the production of the artwork, performance, event, etc.” Flores has already worked with artists and scholars like Ming Wong, A.L. Steiner, Sam Gordon, and Nicole Miller, all of whom were selected through a rigorous application process. “We had the space and there was a need. Los Angeles is a city of private spaces, when compared to cities with vast public spaces. The GH R opens up our private space to public possibilities.”
Creative Office Space on the Rise
The “Google effect” has forever changed office space in LA.
September 05, 2012
Usually at opposite ends of the negotiating table, developer Wayne Ratkovich, an expert at repurposing historic properties (he made his mark on LA by rescuing the Wiltern Theater building), and commercial real estate broker Gerald “Jerry” Porter of Cresa Los Angeles, one of the US’s largest corporate real estate firms that places clients in top office locations, sat down in billionaire entrepreneur Howard Hughes’s former headquarters (known as The Hercules Campus, a project Ratkovich is currently revitalizing into modern offices) in Playa Vista to discuss LA’s hottest commercial real estate sector: creative office space.
JERRY PORTER: Creative office space is very characteristic of a lot of the demand in Los Angeles in the growth sector of technology and entertainment. These businesses have gravitated away from the perimeter-window office to more open-plan environments, and larger floor plans in general. That model—the perimeter office space, with secretarial services at the core—is inefficient and defies collaboration. Pretty much all our office stock has to get reworked, and a certain subset of it is functionally obsolete due to lack of infrastructure. There’s approximately 40 million feet of office space in LA County that probably needs Wayne and others to redevelop it.
WAYNE RATKOVICH: Nice opportunity, isn’t it? And an interesting one: If you look at the plans the tenants have for these buildings—Google/YouTube for one and 72andSunny—what Jerry referred to as collaborative space is a big part of it. The workplace is a different place today; there’s been a lot of value placed on the idea of putting brains, time, and conversations together, and sharing ideas that influence the way office space is designed today.
JP: One of the other big changes is the way we work: From computers to mobile, everybody at every level has become tremendously more mobile than they were. They are not tied to their desk. I think all the conventional space is going to mutate over the next 20 years; it’s simply economically inefficient.
WR: A lot of our tenants have their employees sitting at tables, their dogs down below them, buds in their ears, in front of small computers, and they are working away. The first tenant who came to see this space [on The Hercules Campus] asked: “Are you dog-friendly?” First question. They wouldn’t even look at the new buildings across the street, which is kind of revealing.
JP: What Wayne has done well is to pick properties that are architecturally interesting and are attractive to this audience.
WR: Companies are expressing themselves: This is our home; this is our office. Where we are is an expression of the company’s culture and the way they attract employees. Design becomes very much a part of their thinking when relocating.
JP: They want to be unique. There is only one of each of these buildings.
WR: Hot emerging markets in LA are media, entertainment, and technology, and we’re in that belt here. So there’s a universal market for it here on the Westside, meaning almost everyone looking for space here is looking for creative space.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY DICKERSON (PORTER)
The Book of Mormon in LA
Hilarious musical opens for 12-week run.
August 29, 2012
The nine-time Tony Award-winning musical The Book Of Mormon comes to The Pantages Theatre starting September 5. This 12-week performance (through November 25) is a stop on the musical's much-anticipated national tour.
From South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, in collaboration with Robert Lopez who cowrote and cocomposed Avenue Q, The Book Of Mormon has been hailed as one of the best comedies to ever hit Broadway. The show follows two young Mormon missionaries spreading their prophecies in Uganda. Hilarious encounters—punctuated by musical numbers—ensue when the religious hopefuls are unable to connect with the locals. Although the show was notoriously sold-out during its New York run, tickets for the LA performances are still available at broadwayla.com. 6233 Hollywood Blvd., LA, 323-468-1770
War Horse Play Arrives at Ahmanson Theatre
The Tony Award-winning play begins its national tour with LA.
June 13, 2012
The captivating Broadway play War Horse launches its national tour on June 13 at LA’s Ahmanson Theatre. Sure to be a must-see for summer, War Horse has been a critical darling in both its stage and film versions. The piece swept last year’s Tonys with five awards, including Best Play, and Steven Spielberg’s film masterpiece earned six Oscar nominations.
Based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and adapted for the stage by Nick Stafford, War Horse portrays the poignant story of a young boy and his horse in World War I-era England. The cast is comprised of 30 performers and a series of life-sized equestrian puppets created by Handspring Puppet Company. Bob Boyett and the National Theatre of Great Britain serve as the lead producers of the US-wide tour.
War Horse first premiered to rave reviews in London in 2007, and will remain in LA for this leg of its tour until July 29. For tickets, visit centertheatregroup.org.135 N. Grand Ave., LA, 213-972-7401
Advice on Finding the Perfect Real Estate Ally
Ernie Carswell provides advice on finding the perfect real estate ally.
June 11, 2012
Even though I’ve been at the high end of this business for more than three decades, I still have to prove my chops with new clients—something all agents must do, really. It doesn’t matter if they are celebrities or not, my goal is to treat everyone with the utmost honesty and fairness, and give them realistic advice and creative strategies to shorten the length of the buying or selling process.
A referral by a friend or business manager means there is built-in trust from the outset. Treat your first call to an agent like an audition—give them about 30 seconds to prove they are confident, knowledgeable, and well informed. A good agent will then present a clear, organized plan for marketing and listing your property.
It also helps to find common ground. I saw an article about Moby being famous for his pancakes, which caught my interest since I’m a pancake-maker myself on weekends. When he came to see a chateau in the Hollywood Hills, I sought some pancake-making tips from him. It turned into a fun exchange—he was happy to wax on about pancakes and was immediately comfortable with me. He bought the house.
Because top brokers require a name prior to showing a house, it’s difficult to keep information private in this town, so look for an agent who is discreet and respects your privacy. One way to be creative and honest is to provide a business manager’s or attorney’s name.
Additionally, hire an agent who has a sophisticated understanding of the marketplace and is a good communicator. Ultimately, however, it’s most critical to establish a long-term relationship with someone who has the personality and skills to make you confident you can weather any transaction storm with them as your guide. erniecarswell.com
Graffiti Artists Tag Restoration Hardware
Check out the new inspirational graffiti exhibit at the brand’s Beverly Boulevard gallery.
May 16, 2012
Restoration Hardware is exhibiting two colossal pieces of graffiti art in The Gallery on Beverly Boulevard, located in the brand’s West Hollywood store, this month. The two 12- by 24-foot pieces, specially commissioned by Restoration Hardware chairman and CEO Gary Friedman, are a collaboration between graffiti artists CMENTONE (Matt Boal) and GE-OLOGY.
Works are emblazoned with Japanese Sumi-inked tags of inspirational quotes written by Friedman to reflect the Restoration Hardware brand. “When we are open and giving of our light, we create an endless reflection that outlives our human existence,” reads one of the two quotes, titled Endless Reflection. Edge and inspiration, isn’t that what all LA abodes need more of? 8772 Beverly Boulevard, West Hollywood, 310-652-0323
CicLAvia Encourages City to Walk
Initiative to alleviate city congestion makes fourth appearance in LA.
April 13, 2012
Downtown LA becomes a “walking city” when CicLAvia comes to town on Sunday, April 15. From 10 AM-3 PM, Angelenos are encouraged to ride, run, walk, or skate along a 10-mile stretch of car-free streets in an effort to de-stress from traffic and reconnect with the neighborhood.
CicLAvia started over 30 years ago in Bogotá, Colombia in an effort to alleviate the city’s congestion and pollution. Today, the events take place across Latin America and the US. This is the fourth installment in Los Angeles.
Fashion shoot: December 2013 issue of Los Angeles Confidential magazine.