• The Town Hall Affair Debates Culture Wars

    By Melina Paris, Contributing Writer

    The Wooster Group’s The Town Hall Affair, based on the 1979 documentary, Town Bloody Hall plunges its audience into the women’s liberation movement of the early 1970s. The REDCAT Theater presented the play, capping Women’s History month.

    The play opens with a first-person account from the perspective of Jill Johnston, a panelist who was also a dance critic at the Village Voice (cofounded by Norman Mailer). She explains why she participated in the debate.

    The play that depicts the film as the world’s first reality television show set in a loosely structured space with known antagonists and provocateurs as they broadly engage in conversation about sex and women’s liberation. All of it was moderated by Trump-like public intellectual Norman Mailer.

    Germaine Greer, left, and Norman Mailer in “Town Bloody Hall.” Credit Pennebaker/Hegedus Films

    The Town Bloody Hall is set in the wake of Kate Millett’s feminist exposition, Sexual Politics, which was published in1970.

    In Sexual Politics, Millett argues that “sex has a frequently neglected political aspect” and she goes on to discuss the role that patriarchy plays in sexual relations. She particularly takes shots at the works of D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller and Norman Mailer. She called Mailer “a prisoner of the virility cult.”

    Mailer publishes Prisoner of Sex as a retort to Millett and a defense for himself, Miller and Lawrence. This is the crucible that made possible the 1971 panel debate.

    Somewhere along the line, someone (likely Mailer) thought that this battle of the sexes that was taking place in the world of ideas might make for a lively panel discussion. The film received critical acclaim when it was released several years later. The place the film holds as an influence in activist and liberation circles bears this assessment out.

    “(This) could be a disaster for women and a minor triumph for me,” Johnston said. “I’m not sure I want to further acknowledge Mailer by promoting his sport … women’s liberation as a debatable issue. It has the pretense of a trial.”

    Millet refused to debate Mailer. So did radical feminists, Ti-Grace Atkinson and Gloria Steinem.

    Johnston probably had similar thoughts, but she ultimately joined literary critic Diana Trilling, author Germaine Greer, Village Voice columnist Jill Johnston, president of The National Organization of Women  Jacqueline Ceballos, and Norman Mailer. The three hour event was sponsored by the Theatre for Ideas, a series of events which hailed as the forum for New York’s intellectual elite which Mailer moderated. Greer referred to it as an idea founded on privilege.

    Johnston promoted the idea of “lesbian feminism,” which consists of understanding womanhood as perpetual lesbianism. Johnston argued liberation follows the ability of women to love themselves and from that position, practice self-determination. This makes them lesbians.

    Trilling focused on the intersections of gender and sexuality, arguing that women’s sexuality is consistently repressed and that sexual liberation, regardless of orientation, is required for women to be liberated from social norms.

    Ceballos focused primarily on second wave feminism, without any intersectional approach.

    Greer deconstructed gender roles and argued that women should strive to free womanhood, rather than for women to strive to become equal to men.

    It’s been said that Mailer was adept at identifying social and political phenomena but struggled to describe the experiences of women, African Americans, and other groups in his works without typecasting them from his own experiences.

    This particular attribute of Mailer’s combined with the explosive emergence of the women’s liberation movement in all of its diversity, served as a perfect foil for the drama that played out during that three hour panel discussion.

    “Are we good debaters? Do we hear each other?” is what the play ultimately asks its audience.

    In this reality show of sorts, Mailer provoked feminists with his responses to the panel’s’ opinions. He claimed more than once that they had misunderstood his writings.

    When Johnston launched into a stream of conscious monologue during her allotted time to speak and declared that “all women are lesbians except those who don’t know it naturally,” Mailer interrupted and cut her off. He took an audience vote to see if anyone wanted her to continue. In response, two women suddenly ran onto the stage and began cavorting, rolling, kissing and groping in a display of sexual affection with Johnston.

    Mailer frequently offered soundbite descriptions on panelists’ philosophies and positions. He called Greer’s exposition of a feminist revolution, “Diaper Marxism.”

    When Trilling noted that nothing in the recent sexual culture has been more justifiably attacked than the idea of a single definition “normal” sexual desire or response, Mailer called it “left-wing totalitarianism.”

    Wooster’s Town Hall Affair provides a striking addition to the dialogue by making the footage of the original panel debate part of the play. As each actor approached the podium to speak— reciting highlights of the panelists’ speeches. They spoke in unison with the panelists in the film — every pause, stumble and laugh. Their voices, as well as the panelists in the film, were simultaneously audible. The skill in doing this accurately and emotively was remarkable. And it worked well leaving the unsettling effect that we still haven’t progressed.

    LeCompte noted that while these people could debate in public and make loud coherent responses, they were all intellects from the same race and class. Reality shows and social media have now opened the “debate” setting for all races and classes to talk.

     

    Read More
  • Dark Vision:

    • 04/13/2017
    • Paul Rosenberg
    • News
    • Comments are off

    Trump’s Environmental Attacks Imperil the Planet

    By Paul Rosenberg, Senior Editor

    The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum is going solar.

    By embracing the future of renewable energy, the museum, owned by Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College, represents the antithesis of Donald Trump’s malicious attack on the environment — epitomized by, but hardly limited to, his promise to bring back coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel.

    This is why Trump recently ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to eviscerate the Clean Power Plan, which would reduce carbon emissions from power plants by almost one-third by 2030.

    Coal is responsible for so much damage that a 2009 study of local mortality rates (“Mortality in Appalachian Coal Mining Regions”) found “The human cost of the Appalachian coal mining economy outweighs its economic benefits.” A broader 2011 study (“Full cost accounting for the life cycle of coal”) found that “the life cycle effects of coal and the waste stream generated are costing the U.S. public one third to more than one-half of a trillion dollars annually … [which] conservatively doubles to triples the [real] price of electricity from coal.”

    The Coal Mining Museum with its new solar modules is a bridge connecting the past and the future where Trump would build a wall, trapping all of us on the wrong side of tomorrow.

    “We believe that this project will help save at least eight to 10 thousand dollars off the energy costs on this building alone, so it’s a very worthy effort,” Communications Director Brandon Robinson told local station WYMT earlier this month.

    That practical assessment reflects just how removed Trump is from reality. If he really wants to create “jobs, jobs, jobs,” then he ought to be increasing support for solar energy, which is already creating jobs 12 times faster than the economy as a whole.

    The museum is a site for learning about history and culture, as well as technology. It’s in the former coal camp town of Benham, in Harlan County, Ky., made famous by the union organizing anthem, Which Side Are You On? The song was written in the middle of the night back in 1931 by Florence Reece, after company thugs raided her house, searching for her union organizer husband, who had fled.

    In contrast, Trump’s closest actual connection to the museum comes through his Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who shut down six union mines taken over in a bankruptcy proceeding in 2004. The proceeding voided $800 million in health insurance benefits owed to more than 3,000 active and retired United Mine Workers of America union members. That’s which side he’s on.

    Trump tries to pretend otherwise.  He says he’s on the miners’ side. But Robert Murray, owner of the largest privately held coal-mining company in the United States, knows better. He was quite pleased with the prospect of Trump reviving the coal industry, beginning with scrapping Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, also known as CPP, designed to cut the power sector’s carbon emissions by 32 percent by 2030. But helping his own business and bringing back mining jobs are two completely different things.

    “I suggested that he temper his expectations,” Murray told the Guardian, after meeting with Trump in March. “Those are my exact words…. He can’t bring them back.”

    In contrast, sustainability jobs — energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste reduction, natural resources conservation and environmental education — now represent an estimated 4 to 4.5 million jobs in the United States, up from 3.4 million in 2011, according to a January report from the Environmental Defense Fund.

    “Average wages for energy efficiency jobs are almost $5,000 above the national median, and wages for solar workers are above the national median of $17.04 per hour,” the report states.

    Trump’s Rearview Future vs. a Just Transition

    Trump is promising Appalachian coal miners—and those who identify with them — a rearview-mirror future that has three strikes against it: Coal-mining today is far less labor-intensive than before; natural gas is making it uncompetitive now; and renewables will make it even more so as their growth accelerates.

    Strike one: Productivity more than tripled from 1980 to 2015, while employment plummeted by more than half from 1980 [242,000] to 2000 [102,000]. It has fluctuated ever since. Wyoming — an open pit mining state — now produces roughly three times as much coal as West Virginia, with far fewer mine workers.

    Strike two: In 2000, coal accounted for three times as much energy generation as natural gas: 51.7 to 15.8 percent for natural gas. Last year, natural gas pulled ahead for the first time, 34 to 30 percent.

    Strike three: As Bloomberg News explained: “The cost of solar power has fallen to 1/150th of its level in the 1970s, while the total amount of installed solar has soared 115,000-fold.”

    The Kentucky Coal Mining Museum is just one drop in an ocean of examples.

    Ye’r out: SNL Financial reported in June 2015: “The market value of publicly traded U.S. coal companies was sliced nearly in half over the past year,” and that “more than three dozen coal operations have been forced into bankruptcy in just over three years.”

    If all of the above means that Trump’s promises ring hollow, it doesn’t mean there’s no future for those he’s led astray. It just means they’ll have to look elsewhere — and strike new alliances — to fight for it.

    An article in the American Prospect this past summer — “A Just Transition for U.S. Fossil Fuel Industry Workers” written by Robert Pollin and Brian Callaci — points the way, building on a concept first articulated by the late Tony Mazzocchi, a prominent leader within the Oil, Chemical and Atomic Workers International Union:

    The global climate stabilization project must unequivocally commit to providing generous transitional support for workers and communities tied to the fossil fuel industry. The late U.S. labor leader and environmental visionary Tony Mazzocchi pioneered thinking on what is now termed a “Just Transition” for these workers and communities. As Mazzocchi wrote as early as 1993, ‘Paying people to make the transition from one kind of economy to another is not welfare. Those who work with toxic materials on a daily basis … in order to provide the world with the energy and the materials it needs deserve a helping hand to make a new start in life.’

    This would require a mere one percent of the annual $50 billion needed for a successful climate stabilization program, Pollin and Callaci explain. “[T]his level of funding would pay for income, retraining, and relocation support for workers facing retrenchments as well as effective transition programs for what are now fossil fuel–dependent communities.”

    A just transition for coal miners and other fossil fuel workers is just one of at least four significant facets of climate justice. The other three are: First, the climate dimension within the larger framework of environmental justice, the fair treatment and meaningful participation of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income in shaping environmental laws, policies and decisions; second, the just pricing of greenhouse gases, within the larger framework of just pricing for the social costs of environmental harms (Trump has ordered resetting the government’s estimate of such costs to an outdated 2003 standard); and third, intergenerational justice, so that future generations are left with a world at least as beneficial for their welfare as the one that we have inherited.

    Trump’s game — on climate issues and the environment generally, as on everything else — has been to stir up anger and resentment, point fingers, lay blame, promise simple, painless solutions, and claim that he alone can fix things. But if it’s really so simple, why is he the only one who can do it? And why don’t the numbers add up? Why is he so eager to say “You’re fired!” to a quarter of the EPA workforce — thousands of people who’ve devoted their lives to protecting the environment and the American people — and to roll back the protective regulations they’ve enforced?

    Trump’s Early Actions Set the Tone

    Trump’s actions and proposals are so damaging on so many fronts, it’s almost impossible to grasp, but a few examples from his first days in office set the tone.

    On Day 1, Jan. 20, Trump’s White House issued a memorandum enforcing a regulatory freeze, regulations Trump routinely blamed for harming the economy. But four Department of Energy regulations put on hold that day were energy efficiency standards, approved under a law projected to save consumers enormous sums — $1 trillion by 2020 and $2 trillion by 2030 — Michael Wall, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council, told Random Lengths.

    “That’s an extraordinary record that shows that good environmental policy is good for the pocketbook as well,” Wall said. “And I don’t think that would’ve been achieved under this president’s apparent policies.”

    Also held up were 30 completed EPA regulations, whose implementation dates were delayed, plus a rule regulating mercury discharges into our waters, which had been signed and sent to the Federal Register but never actually printed. The Natural Resources Defense Council is now suing to have it enforced.

    That was just on Day 1. On Day 4, Trump issued two memoranda to expedite the approval of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines, directing action to be taken recklessly fast. (Two months later, following Trump’s instruction to act within 60 days, the State Department issued a permit authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline.)

    On Day 10, Trump issued an executive order instructing agencies to identify two regulations to repeal for every new one and to ensure that the total incremental cost of all new regulations is no greater than zero.

    The absurdity of the two-for-one rule was obvious.

    “Just because we discovered that asbestos is unhealthy, doesn’t mean that suddenly mercury and lead were healthy,” Wall pointed out. “The reason we promulgate these rules is to protect people, protect communities, protect families, to protect workers…. We promulgate these rules because the benefits outweigh those costs. Congress has enacted statutes that require rules to protect people in these situations.”

    The order just assumes that rolling back regulations is good.

    “But there’s nothing to support that,” Wall said. “It’s certainly not lawful; they can’t rollback rules just because they want fewer rules. They have to comply with the underlying statutes. And, none of the underlying statutes allow an agency to decide to repeal two rules just to get an additional one rule. That’s not lawful, and that’s why we sued Trump.”

    The suit is now pending in the District of Columbia Circuit Court.

    Haste Makes Waste In Pipeline Decision

    As for the Keystone XL Pipeline decision, it’s also tied up in litigation for broadly similar reasons. It was found to not be in the national interest in 2015, but under Trump, that finding was simply tossed out without any rhyme or reason.

    “In their haste to issue a cross-border permit,” the complaint filed on March 29 alleged, the State Department “violated the National Environmental Policy Act and other laws [including “the Administrative Procedure Act (APA)] and ignored significant new information that bears on the project’s threats to the people, environment and national interests of the United States.”

    As Jared Margolis, an attorney with the Center For Biological Diversity, told Random Lengths, the State Department actions depended on an earlier environmental review from 2014, but “there are several things that have changed really drastically” since then. The law requires a careful review to make decisions based on current information. This includes a much lower price of oil and drastically reduced chances that oil train shipments could provide a viable alternative, given the string of oil train disasters that’s occurred since then.

    The complaint alleged, “Keystone XL will enable the mining, transport, refining, and consumption of millions of additional gallons of tar sands crude oil per day and cause significant environmental harm that would not occur otherwise.”

    Trump’s initial 60-day time-frame “seems to be why they didn’t choose to do a reanalysis,” Margolis explained.

    “They were pushed very hard to approve this within that 60-day time, even though if they had done a proper reanalysis and provided public input and all that, there’s no way it could have been done,” he said.  “Rather than go through the correct process, they pushed it through without allowing [a reanalysis] to take place. So that’s one of our complaints.”

    Further issues may be added in an amended complaint.

    The violations of NEPA seem clear-cut, but the APA applies only to agency actions, and Trump could argue that this provides all the wiggle room he needs.

    “We’re expecting an argument that this was a presidential action and that that doesn’t apply to presidential actions,” Margolis noted, even though the State Department carried it out.

    However, Wall points out that there’s a parallel requirement that does apply to the president, which will be argued in the 2-for-1 case.

    “One of the things President Trump swore to do when he took office was uphold the Constitution,” Wall said.

    There are very few duties this explicitly entails, he noted, but “One of those duties is to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed.’ Trump’s executive order directs agencies in effect to violate the law, not to faithfully execute them.”

    The same could well be argued in the Keystone XL case and possibly others. Trump has a well-documented habit of careless, impulsive actions which courts have note of, by striking down his Muslim travel ban, for example. Courts usually are highly sensitive to proper procedure, which is one thing that gives Wall a sense of hope.

    “I think many Americans who care about the environment and care about the health of their kids woke up discouraged the day after the election, because Trump has promised to launch an assault on bedrock environmental protections. I certainly did,” Wall recalled. “But by the end of the day I was buoyed…. Because the federal judge in Michigan had issued a preliminary injunction, declaring the state of Michigan to deliver bottled water door-to-door in every household in Flint, Mich., to address the local contamination in that city’s water supply.”

    That was a turning point for him.

    “I knew at that moment that the federal judiciary would be enforcing the law, said Wall.  “Judges don’t care what the president tweets. Evidence matters, facts matter, the law matters. And, the judiciary will be a bulwark against lawlessness and efforts to take action to harm America’s environment health and economy.”

    Perhaps. Harbor Area residents have seen the courts work well but have also seen them badly misfire over the years. But they are one form of reality-based check on Trump’s anything-goes fantasy-based approach to governance. And the marketplace, as noted above, is another one. Yet, courts and markets are politically malleable, as the just-completed theft of a Supreme Court seat reminds.

    People Power, the Ultimate Clean Energy

    “I need to pour cold water on the idea that ‘it’s going to be ok because of the market,’” said RL Miller, founder of the Climate Hawks Vote super-pac, a key early endorser of Rep. Nanette Barragan. “Politics has shaped policies, which shape the market, and will continue to do so.”

    This means that if the market is going to save us, it will take a lot of political struggle to ensure that result. And, time is running out.

    “This isn’t one step forward with Obama, one step back with Trump in a linear fashion the way it is with most other issues. This is one step up a mountain that is collapsing around us, because of the nonlinear acceleration of [climate change],” Miller said.

    But she does see cause for hope in the political response to Trump so far.

    “I see lots of pluses — the Indivisible movement, the collapse (so far) of the Obamacare repeal, everything that’s happening in California, the explosive growth at Climate Hawks Vote and many other organizations, the general sense that a previously silent majority has woken up and donned pink pussyhats and is prepared to march until the Trump regime ends,” she said. “But it’s not enough. I’m an optimist and a fighter by nature, but we haven’t been able to stop the head of Exxon Mobil from running the State Department, and that really says it all.”

    The way forward she pointed to echoes the message of “Which Side Are You On?”

    “Join the movement — your individual actions won’t save you,” Miller urged. “Take the fight to the state legislatures for the next year. Fight the rollbacks. Then get out to the midterms and vote like your life depends on it, and take back the House in 2018.”

    “At Climate Hawks Vote, we’re already vetting potential 2018 candidates,” added Miller to show how serious she is. “And, we’re running a candidate training at the People’s Climate March in D.C.”

    Trump’s attacks on climate science have spawned not one, but two major actions — the People’s Climate March on April 29  and the March for Science on April 22. Both have hundreds of sister marches. (For local details see Community Announcements.)

    There are marches in Kentucky, as well. But none in Harlan County. Yet.

    “Don’t scab for the bosses
    Don’t listen to their lies
    Us poor folks haven’t got a chance
    Unless we organize.”

    Read More
  • May We All Join Hands

    • 04/13/2017
    • James Preston Allen
    • At Length
    • Comments are off

    Out of respect for the traditions of Passover and Easter, which coincide this week, and for this month of remembrance that reminds us of the humanity of the Arabs who helped save thousands of Armenian Christians from the first genocide of the 20th century, may we all join hands across the secular/religious divide and agree that Sean Spicer, press secretary for President Donald Trump, is one of the most ignorant morons to ever stand at a podium in Washington, D.C.?

    Spicer is the perfect example of why there must be a division between church and state — for his own ignorance of the Jewish holocaust, or anything else outside of his very narrow understanding of self-interest politics, is a threat to anyone he perceives as “other.”

        What is, of course, more horrifying is that Spicer’s ignorance embodies the lack of tolerance expressed by his master, who now holds the future of our country and the world in his small hands. Trump is attacking people of color, women and regulations that protect the people he has sworn to protect, and even climate change itself.  These are all expressions of his arrogance and ignorance. It is because of this and much more that I am donating my editorial column this week to those who are challenging these prejudices, delusions of the soul if you will, with a more sane approach to global warming — saving our planet for all of humanity regardless of religion, nationality or race.

    — James Preston Allen, Publisher

     

    As White House Rolls Back Climate Rules, Congress Must Step In

    By Mark Reynolds, Executive Director of Citizens’ Climate Lobby
     
    Earth Day arrives this year with serious questions about America’s commitment to preserve a clean environment and limit the risks posed by climate change. That’s because on March 28, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to start the process of dismantling several initiatives started during the Barack Obama administration to reduce emissions that drive  climate change and pollution that jeopardizes the air we breathe and the water we drink.

    These initiatives became necessary when Congress failed in 2010 to enact legislation to price carbon. When control of the House of Representatives shifted to Republicans in 2011, efforts to legislate climate solutions came to a screeching halt. Faced with numerous impacts from climate change — rising seas, warmer temperatures, more severe weather, wildfires, health risks — Obama took several steps to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions under the Climate Action Plan.

    The most important of these steps was the Clean Power Plan, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. power plants 32 percent by 2030. The plan became an essential element in the U.S. commitment to the Paris Climate Accord, whereby America pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent to 28 percent by 2025.

    Without the plan, the U.S. is unlikely to meet its Paris commitment, a tremendous setback in global efforts to keep temperatures from warming more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Crossing that threshold, scientists warn, will lead to catastrophic consequences that the world is ill-prepared to handle – food shortages, coastal flooding, epidemics, mass migrations, destabilized nations.

    With the executive branch now shirking any responsibility to deal with climate change, Congress must step into the breach. America can meet its obligation — and then some — with a market-based solution that appeals to policymakers across the political spectrum: a steadily rising fee on carbon with revenue returned to households.

    Known as Carbon Fee and Dividend, the policy would assess a fee on the carbon dioxide content of fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – at or near the first point sale. The fee would start at $15 per ton of carbon dioxide and increase $10 per ton each year, sending a powerful signal to the marketplace that moves investments and behavior toward clean energy and efficiency. At the same time, revenue from the fee would be returned equally to all households, shielding families from the economic impact of the carbon fee, with many households actually coming out ahead.

    A study released in 2014 by Regional Economic Models Inc., examined this proposal to determine its environmental and economic impact over a 20-year period. The REMI study found that after 20 years, the policy would cut carbon dioxide emissions by half. In a finding that shatters the myth that carbon pricing would destroy the economy, the study showed that Carbon Fee and Dividend would add 2.8 million jobs.

    A similar plan was proposed in February by the Climate Leadership Council, a conservative group led by Republican luminaries that includes former Secretaries of State and Treasury George Shultz and James Baker. While the council plan is slightly different – the price starts higher and increases more slowly – the basic pillars are the same: Put a fee on carbon and give the revenue back to households.

    What are the chances that a Republican-controlled Congress will consider climate legislation? Much better than most people realize.

    With each week, more and more Republicans are joining the bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus, a place free of the toxic rhetoric surrounding the climate issue, where equal numbers of Republicans and Democrats come together to listen to one another, share ideas and find common ground for effective solutions to climate change. The caucus has 38 members, 19 of them from the GOP side of the aisle.

    This Earth Day, as we take stock of the state of our world and the steps needed to preserve a hospitable climate, Americans should be alarmed by the callous disregard the Trump administration has toward the threat of global warming. Fortunately, we have another branch of government that can correct Trump’s misguided policies. By enacting a fee on carbon with revenue returned to households, Congress can avert disaster, create jobs and reassert U.S. leadership on the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced.

    Read More
  • Rob Flax

    • 04/13/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    April 15
    Rob Flax
    “One Man Band” Rob Flax is an award-winning multi-instrumentalist composer and educator from Evanston, Ill. He uses live looping of violin, percussion and other instruments.
    Time: 8 p.m. April 15
    Cost: $20
    Details: www.alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W 8th St., San Pedro

    April 20
    Local Band Hangout
    Enjoy food, drink and great music from Red Eye Redemption, Cali Conscious and Kevin Miso. They are performing at the Queen Mary’s Local Band Hangout.
    Time: 7 p.m. April 20
    Cost: $15
    Details: http://queenmary.com
    Venue: Queen Mary Seawalk Pavilion, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

    April 22
    Jim Curry
    Jim and Anne Curry deliver the multi-platinum hits of the great John Denver in an evening full of familiar songs. You’ll be invited to sing along, share in the memories, learn new songs and howl at the moon.
    Time: 8 p.m. April 22
    Cost: $25 to $30
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    April 22
    Frank Stallone
    Grammy and Golden Globe nominated artist Frank Stallone is one of the most versatile actors, singers and musicians in the business. His explosive voice and his range from comedy to drama and rock to blues to big band, leaves audiences entertained and captivated.
    Time: 8 p.m. April 22
    Cost: $28.50 to $60
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/lxbjpr8
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    April 22
    L.A.vation
    Check out the world’s greatest tribute to U2.
    Time: 8 p.m. April 22
    Cost: $20
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    April 22
    Miki Aoki, Rolf Haas
    Classical Crossroads’ The Interludes concert series presents Beverly Hills National Auditions winners, pianist Miki Aoki and violinist Rolf Haas.
    Time: 3 p.m. April 22
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 316-5574; www.palosverdes.com/ClassicalCrossroads/TheInterludes.htm
    Venue: First Lutheran Church & School, 2900 W. Carson St., Torrance

    April 22
    Jim Curry
    Today’s top performer of John Denver’s vas legacy of multiplatinum hits will show of his talent.
    Time: 8 p.m. April 22
    Cost: $25 to $120
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    April2
    John Rzeznik
    John Rzeznik will be stopping by Fingerprints what he’s calling a “one-time only acoustic set.” It seems like we shouldn’t have to say much more about the Goo Goo Dolls, other than that they’re the Goos.
    Time: 7 p.m. April 22
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 433-4996
    Venue: Fingerprints, 420 E. 4th St., Long Beach

    April 23
    Love Stages
    Love Stages is a musical story of a woman’s journey through love with it’s highs and lows.
    Time: 4 p.m. April 23
    Cost: $25
    Details: https://alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: Alvas Showroom, 1417 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    April 29
    Doo Wop Legends
    Come out for a night of music with Doo Wop legends The Original Medallions singing their hits Magic Mountain and The Letter.
    Time: 8 p.m. April 29
    Cost: $30 to $40
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/Doo-Wop-Legends
    Venue: Marina Seafood Restaurant, 1050 Nagoya Way, San Pedro

    THEATER

    April 14
    The Promise
    Romeo and Juliet meets Puerto Rican black magic. In a Puerto Rican enclave in the United States, over-protective and superstitious Guzman finds out that his daughter has fallen in love with his rival’s son. Guzman formulates a treacherous scheme using black magic traditions from Puerto Rico to keep the young lovers apart. However, he quickly learns that his manipulation has led to consequences he never imagined.
    Time: 8 p.m. April 14, 15, 21 and 22, and 2 p.m. April 23
    Cost: $10 to $15
    Details: www.csudh.edu/theatre/tickets
    Venue: Edison Studio Theatre, California State University Dominguez Hills, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    .

    April 19
    Uncanny Valley
    Drawing on current research in artificial intelligence and robotics, Uncanny Valley charts the relationship between Claire, a neuroscientist, and Julian, a non-biological human. As Julian is “born” a few body parts at a time over the course of the play, Claire teaches him how to be as human as possible. Uncanny Valley explores the painful divide between creator and creation, and how we are redefining what it means to be human in the 21st century.
    Time: 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, April 19 through May 7
    Cost: $25 to $35
    Details: http://ictlongbeach.org
    Venue: International City Theatre, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach

    April 22
    Earth Tales
    Earth Tales, presented by We Tell Stories, will delight kids of all ages with its educational and entertaining stories. This one-hour show is free and open to all members of the community, but seats are limited, so reservations are required.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 22
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 495-4595; ict@ictlongbeach.org
    Venue: Beverly O’Neill Theatre, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach

    April 23
    Nora
    Nora, the adaption of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House shows a world where independence and feminism are outrageous ideas. The three-act play concludes with Nora, the protagonist, walking out on her husband and children to find herself.
    Time: 8 p.m. through April 23
    Cost: $14 to $17
    Details: http://tinyurl.com/mh3vm2e
    Venue: Cal State Long Beach, University Theatre, 1250 E. Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach

    April 30
    Romeo and Juliet
    Elysium Conservatory Theatre opens in their new home with a fantastical reawakening of the greatest love story ever told, William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Artistic Director Aaron Ganz has chosen to dive into the very essence of love — weaving stunning choreography, poetry and music into a theatrical adventure that pushes the very boundaries of possibility.
    Time: 8 p.m. through April 30
    Cost: $25
    Details: (424) 535-7333; info@fearlessartists.org
    Venue: Elysium Conservatory Theatre, 729 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro

    May 6
    Seaward Ho!
    Long Beach Playhouse presents Treasure Island, the beloved classic by Robert Louis Stevenson. For many of us, most of what we know about pirates, buried treasure and adventure came from Stevenson’s novel.
    Time: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays, through May 6
    Cost: $14 to $24
    Details: (562) 494-1014
    Venue: Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach

    FILM

    April 23
    Hahn Sponsors Crows of the Desert for Armenian History Month

    On April 23, Supervisor Janice Hahn will partner with the LA Harbor International Film Festival to sponsor a special screening of the acclaimed film Crows of the Desert in honor of LA County Armenian History Month.  The screening will take place at San Pedro’s Warner Grand Theater.
    The film tells the true story of Levon Yotnakhparian’s struggle to survive and save others during the Armenian Genocide.   The film’s director, Marta Houske, and several of her colleagues credited in the film will be present for a conversation and Q-and-A after the screening.
    In March, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors unanimously supported a motion offered by Supervisor Janice Hahn and Supervisor Kathryn Barger to name April Armenian History Month.  The screening also takes place on the eve of Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
    “It has been our honor to create this documentary based on the heroic efforts of Levon Yotnakhparian, who saved thousands of innocent lives during the Armenian Genocide a century ago,” said film’s director Marta Houske.  “His bravery is an inspiration to all, and what we can aspire to do to help one another in times of strife, regardless of race, religion or creed.”
    Time:  4 p.m. April 23
    Cost: $8 to $10
    Details: www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2928432
    Venue: Warner Grand Theatre, 478 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    ARTS

    April 16
    Wearable Expressions

    .


    Wearable Expressions explores the unbreakable bond between Art and Fashion portraying boundary-pushing works in fiber, jewelry and accessories by creative minds from around the globe.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, through April 16
    Cost: Free
    Details: wearableexpressions.com
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 W. Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes

    April 24
    Content
    Cal State Dominguez Hills’ annual senior design showcase and senior studio art exhibition features works of graduating seniors. An opening reception is scheduled 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 24.
    Time: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 24 through May 4
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 243-3334
    Venue: CSUDH, University Art Gallery, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    April 26
    Creative Expressions
    Creative Expressions, featuring glass artist Howard Schneider, local painter Kathie Reis and abstract artist Lois Olsen opens at the Artists’ Studio Gallery at the Promenade on the Peninsula.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, through April 16
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 265-2592; www.artists-studio-pvac.com
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center/Beverly G. Alpay Center for Arts Education, at 5400 Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes

    April 30
    Ann Weber, Sculpture
    TransVagrant and Gallery 478 present Ann Weber, Sculpture. Ann Weber’s organic sculpture is abstract, formally elegant, and composed of inelegant salvaged cardboard. Weber’s technique is disarmingly direct.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, through April 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 600-4873;  www.transvagrant.com
    Venue: Gallery 478, 478 W. 7th. St., San Pedro

    May 14
    Threesome
    The exhibition Threesome featuring multimedia artist Brian Bernhard, ceramic artist Nora Chen and mixed media and digital artist Miyuki Sena opens at the Artists’ Studio Gallery at the Promenade on the Peninsula. The exhibition continues until May 14.
    There will be an opening reception from 4 to 8 p.m. on April 8.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, through May 14
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 265-2592; artists-studio-pvac.com
    Venue: Promenade on the Peninsula, 550 Deep Valley Drive, #159, Rolling Hills Estates

    May 20
    Artist/Mother
    Artist/Mother is a multi-media exhibition that presents the works of Calida Rawles and Mother Naturalist, Julia Barbee, Camilla Løhren Chmiel and Megan Schvaneveldt. These artists are confronted with the challenge: “What do my identities of both artist and mother mean for my practice?”
    Time: 6 to 9 p.m. through May 20
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 429 0973; www.southbaycontemporary.org
    Venue: South Bay Contemporary at the Loft, 401 S. Mesa St., 3rd Floor, San Pedro

    May 21
    Dreamland
    The Museum of Latin American Art presents a retrospective of the work of one of the original Los Four founders, Frank Romero, in the exhibition titled Dreamland. Romero’s most iconic works — including his mural work, such as Driving to the Olympics on the Hollywood Freeway — address life in the barrios of Los Angeles.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, through May 21
    Cost: $7 to $10
    Details: (562) 437-1689; molaa.org
    Venue: Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach

    COMMUNITY

    April 14
    2017 Green Prize Festival

    The Green Prize Festival is a one-day event celebrating and highlighting more than 75 green entrepreneurs in building, renewable energy, urban farmers, chefs, technology and environmental organizations. There will be live entertainment, educational workshops, demonstrations and guest speakers. Entertainment lineup includes Vibrant Heights MBT (MajicBulletTheory), Sazon and Slushbox Longbeach.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. April 22
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.facebook.com/events/206863013119395
    Venue: Houghton Park, 6301 Myrtle Ave, Long Beach

    April 14
    Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt
    Take a selfie with the Easter Bunny and join in on an evening of fun with games and activities for the whole family. The event is free for children between the ages of 4 to 15 years old. Bring your own flashlight.
    Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 14
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 329-7717
    Venue: 703 E. Del Amo Blvd., Carson

    April 15
    Sustainability Fest
    Join Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in celebrating the caring for Earth. Drop by to interact with local agencies and environmental groups, and find out what you can do to make a positive impact on our community’s environmental footprint.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. April 15
    Cost: Free
    Details: www.cabrillomarineaquarium.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro

    April 15
    Orange County Chapter presents James Preston Allen
    The Orange County Chapter of Americans United for Separation of Church and State presents James Preston Allen, founding publisher of Random Lengths News.  He will speak on What Does It Mean To Be a Patriot in The 21st Century? Join in for this interesting discussion. Seating will be on a first-come, first-seated basis.
    Time: 1:45 p.m. April 15
    Cost: Free
    Details: (714) 299-4551; www.au-oc.org
    Venue:  15500 Sand Canyon Ave, Irvine

    April 15
    Long Beach Craft Beer & Oyster Festival
    Long Beach Beer & Oyster Festival is a unique event celebrating craft beer, Oysters, Gourmet Food and live music. The event is a collaborative effort of Chugginbrews and many breweries combining to raise money for a local non-profit organization. The event will showcase multiple local and regional breweries as well as local bands and DJ & local chefs competing for your catering business.
    Time:12 p.m. to 6 p.m. April 15 and 16
    Cost: $10 to $89
    Details: www.lbcape.org, http://tinyurl.com/Craftbeer-OysterFest
    Venue: Shoreline Aquatic Park, 200 Aquarium Way, Long Beach

    April 22
    The 12th Annual Freestyle Festival
    The Freestyle Festival 2017 will feature Naughty By Nature, Montel Jordan, Trinere, Debbie Deb, The English Beat, Stacey Q and Chubb Rock.
    Time: 3 p.m. April 22
    Cost: $15
    Details: http://queenmary.com
    Venue: Queen Mary Seawalk Pavilion, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach

    April 22
    Barns in Spring
    Come see the Rancho animals. Learn about their care and about each animal’s role on the ranch. Space is limited. Advance reservations are required.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. April 22
    Cost: $7
    Details: www.rancholosalamitos.com
    Venue: Rancho Alamitos Ranch, 6400 E. Bixby, Long Beach

    April 23
    Quartermania for Relay For Life
    This event is a mix between an auction and a raffle. Bust open that piggy bank and bring out those quarters because there will be tons of prizes. This will benefit the American Cancer Society.
    Time: 12:30 p.m. April 23
    Cost:  $7 to $15
    Details: (310) 920-0354, (310) 346-8968
    Venue: Carson Community Center, 801 E. Carson St., Carson

    April 29
    IWW Joe Hill Memorial
    Joe Hill was convicted of murder in Utah in 1914 and was sentenced of death by firing squad. Many believed Hill was being railroaded for his association with the Industrial Workers of the World — otherwise known as the Wobblies. Join in the celebration honoring Hill and his life’s work in San Pedro. Speakers include local labor historian Art Almeida and Matt Hart of the Los Angeles General Membership Branch of the IWW. Musical guest includes the Moon Bandits.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., April 29
    Cost: Free
    Details: (323) 374-3499, www.iww.org/branches/US/CA/lagmb
    Venue: 5th Street at Harbor Boulevard, San Pedro

    April 29
    KJLH Women’s Health Expo
    Ladies!! This is a day of health information, free testing, fellowship and even healthy food. A live broadcast kicks off your day first thing in the morning with panel discussions from medical and health professionals from a variety of disciplines.
    Time: 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 29
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://kjlhradio.com/kjlh-womens-health-expo
    Venue: Long Beach Convention Center, 300 E Ocean Blvd, Long Beach

    April 29
    This Fight Is Our Fight
    Sen. Elizabeth Warren will be reading from and discusses her new book This Fight Is Our Fight. Every ticket includes a pre-signed copy of the book; the program does not include a book signing.
    Time: 4 p.m. April 29
    Cost: $35
    Details: http://www.alextheatre.org/
    Venue: Alex Theatre, 216 N Brand Blvd, Glendale

    Read More
  • Gabble Ratchet

    • 04/06/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Calendar
    • Comments are off

    ENTERTAINMENT

    April 7
    Amicus Trio
    This top ensemble emerged from the USC Thornton graduate program. It is comprised of violinist Melody Chang, cellist Coleman Itzkoff, and pianist Alin Melik-Adamyan.
    Time: 12 p.m. April 7
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 316-5574; www.palosverdes.com/ClassicalCrossroads/FirstFridays.htm
    Venue: First Lutheran Church and School, 2900 W. Carson St., Torrance

    April 8
    Gabble Ratchet
    Gabble Ratchet has been the West Coast’s premier Genesis tribute band since 1999. This will be the band’s first performance in two years and will feature Genesis material mainly from the early Peter Gabriel/Phil Collins era of the 1970s.
    Time: 8 p.m. April 8
    Cost: $25
    Details: www.alvasshowroom.com
    Venue: 1415 W. 8th St., San Pedro

    April 22
    Jim Curry
    Jim and Anne Curry deliver the multi-platinum hits of the great John Denver in an evening full of familiar songs. You’ll be invited to sing along, share in the memories, learn new songs and howl at the moon.
    Time: 8 p.m., April 22
    Cost: $25 to $30
    Details: www.grandvision.org
    Venue: Grand Annex, 434 W. 6th St., San Pedro

    THEATER

    April 7
    Carousel
    Musical Theatre West presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical masterpiece.
    Carousel explores the timeless messages of love, hope, forgiveness and redemption.
    Time: 8 p.m. April 7 and 8; 1 p.m. March 26, April 2 and 9
    Cost: $20
    Details: (562) 856-1999, ext. 4; www.musical.org,
    Venue: Carpenter Performing Arts Center, 6200 E. Atherton St., Long Beach

    April 7
    The Promise
    Romeo and Juliet meets Puerto Rican black magic. In a Puerto Rican enclave in the United States, over-protective and superstitious Guzman finds out that his daughter has fallen in love with his rival’s son and he formulates a treacherous scheme using black magic traditions from Puerto Rico to keep the young lovers apart. However, he quickly learns that his manipulation has led to consequences he never imagined.
    Time: 8 p.m. April 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 21 and 22, and 2 p.m. April 9 and 23
    Cost: $10 to $15
    Details: www.csudh.edu/theatre/tickets
    Venue: Edison Studio Theatre, California State University Dominguez Hills, 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson

    April 22
    Earth Tales
    Earth Tales, presented by We Tell Stories, will delight kids of all ages with its educational and entertaining stories. This one-hour show is free and open to all members of the community, but seats are limited, so reservations are required.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 22
    Cost: Free
    Details: (562) 495-4595; ict@ictlongbeach.org
    Venue: Beverly O’Neill Theatre, 330 E. Seaside Way, Long Beach

    April 30
    Romeo and Juliet
    Elysium Conservatory Theatre opens in their new home with a fantastical reawakening of the greatest love story ever told, William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet. Artistic Director Aaron Ganz has chosen to dive into the very essence of love — weaving stunning choreography, poetry, and music into a theatrical adventure that pushes the very boundaries of possibility.
    Time: 8 p.m. through April 30
    Cost: $25
    Details: (424) 535-7333; info@fearlessartists.org
    Venue: Elysium Conservatory Theatre, 729 S. Palos Verdes St., San Pedro

    ARTS

    April 8
    Threesome
    The exhibition Threesome featuring multimedia artist Brian Bernhard, ceramic artist Nora Chen and mixed media and digital artist Miyuki Sena opens at the Artists’ Studio Gallery at the Promenade on the Peninsula. The exhibition continues until May 14.
    There will be an opening reception from 4 to 8 p.m. on April 8.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, through May 14
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 265-2592; artists-studio-pvac.com
    Venue: Promenade on the Peninsula, 550 Deep Valley Drive, #159, Rolling Hills Estates

    April 9
    Frank Brothers: The Store That Modernized Modern
    The exhibition relates the story of Southern California’s largest and most prominent mid-century retailer of modern furniture and design. Based in Long Beach from 1938 – 1982, Frank Bros. embodied the optimistic postwar ethos of the American consumer.
    Date: 12 to 5 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, through April 9
    Cost: Free
    Details: csulb.edu/org/uam
    Venue: California State University Long Beach, University Art Museum, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach

    April 16
    Wearable Expressions
    Wearable Expressions explores the unbreakable bond between Art and Fashion portraying boundary-pushing works in fiber, jewelry and accessories by creative minds from around the globe.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, through April 16
    Cost: Free
    Details: wearableexpressions.com
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 W. Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes

    April 16
    Creative Expressions
    Creative Expressions, featuring glass artist Howard Schneider, local painter Kathie Reis and abstract artist Lois Olsen opens at the Artists’ Studio Gallery at the Promenade on the Peninsula.
    Time: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays, through April 16
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 265-2592; www.artists-studio-pvac.com
    Venue: Palos Verdes Art Center/Beverly G. Alpay Center for Arts Education, at 5400 Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes

    April 30
    Ann Weber, Sculpture
    TransVagrant and Gallery 478 present Ann Weber, Sculpture. Ann Weber’s organic sculpture is abstract, formally elegant, and composed of inelegant salvaged cardboard. Weber’s technique is disarmingly direct.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, through April 30
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 600-4873;  www.transvagrant.com
    Venue: Gallery 478, 478 W. 7th. St., San Pedro

    May 20
    Artist/Mother
    Artist/Mother is a multi-media exhibition that presents the works of Calida Rawles and Mother Naturalist, Julia Barbee, Camilla Løhren Chmiel and Megan Schvaneveldt. These artists are confronted with the challenge: “What do my identities of both artist and mother mean for my practice?”
    Time: 6 to 9 p.m. through May 20
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 429 0973; www.southbaycontemporary.org
    Venue: South Bay Contemporary at the Loft, 401 S. Mesa St., 3rd Floor, San Pedro

    May 21
    Dreamland
    The Museum of Latin American Art presents a retrospective of the work of one of the original Los Four founders, Frank Romero in the exhibition titled Dreamland. Romero’s most iconic works, including his mural work, such as Driving to the Olympics on the Hollywood Freeway, address life in the barrios of Los Angeles.
    Time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, through May 21
    Cost: $7 to $10
    Details: (562) 437-1689; molaa.org
    Venue: Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach

    May 22
    Knockdown Dash and Broken Ground
    Angels Gate Cultural Center hosts two new exhibitions that address distinct issues concerning housing and development in Southern California through a variety of mediums and visual strategies. In Knockdown Dash by Nicole Capps and James McCarthy and Broken Ground by John Hulsey and collaborators, the artists draw on their personal experiences to explore structural concerns.

    Time: 1 to 4 p.m. through May 22
    Cost: Free
    Details: http://angelsgateart.org
    Venue: Angels Gate Cultural Center, 3601 Gaffey St., San Pedro

    COMMUNITY

    .

    April 7
    Discovery Lecture Series
    Cabrillo Marine Aquarium and Altasea present a lecture by Dr. Kristy L. Forsgren of California State University Fullerton on the importance of understanding fish reproduction. Understanding fish reproduction may be the key to protecting the world’s fisheries.
    Time: 7 p.m. April 7
    Cost: Free
    Details: lecture@cmaqua.org
    Venue: Cabrillo Marine Aquarium, 3720 Stephen M. White Drive, San Pedro

    April 7
    Toyota Long Beach Grand Prix
    The roar of turbocharged engines heralds the return of three days of nonstop racing excitement to the city streets at the 43rd Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach..
    Time: April 7 to 9
    Cost: $65 to $90
    Details: www.gplb.com
    Venue: Downtown Long Beach

    April 8
    Fantasea:
    Step aboard for a celebration of mystifying magic and imagination as world class magicians and award-winning illusionists come together for one spellbinding day. Enjoy parlor shows and close up magic World Famous Magic Castle magicians.
    Time: 12 to 6 p.m. April 8
    Cost: $29 to $99
    Details: (310) 833-3336
    Venue: The Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Hwy, Long Beach

    Curator’s Tour
    Join Battleship Iowa’s Curator Dave Way on this never-before-seen in-depth look at the Battleship IOWA. This four-and-a-half hour tour includes a short film on the tow of Iowa from San Francisco to Los Angeles, an hour-long history presentation, an hour-and-a-half guided tour to decks that are off limits to everyday guests, a behind the scenes presentation of compartments that are still off limits, a Q-and-A session, souvenir photo and a buffet lunch.
    Time: 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 8
    Cost: $17.95
    Details: www.pacificbattleship.com
    Venue: Battleship USS Iowa, 250 S. Harbor Blvd., Berth 87, San Pedro

    April 14
    Flashlight Easter Egg Hunt
    Take a selfie with the Easter Bunny and join in on an evening of fun with games and activities for the whole family. The event is free for children between the ages of 4 to 15 years old. Bring your own flashlight.
    Time: 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. April 14
    Cost: Free
    Details: (310) 329-7717
    Venue: 703 E. Del Amo Blvd., Carson

    Read More
  • STUPID F*CKING BIRD @ the Garage Theatre

    I like metafiction and various ways of playing with/against convention as much as the next guy—more, probably—but these are dangerous games when you’re trying to get people to feel something. After all, the whole point of (for example) the alienation effect—a major component of Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird, which is a sort of modernist retelling of Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull—is to remind the audience that what they’re seeing is not real, that those people crying and dying onstage are just actors. That can be a helluva barrier to empathy.

    But not an insuperable barrier. That’s part of the magic of such game-playing. Done right, such framing devices can extract the essence of empathy (or whatever the playwright means to get across) and deliver it to the audience through unexpected pathways, a trick that can increase the return on emotion. High risk, high reward.

    Twenty-four hours later, I’m still unsure about Posner’s success on this score. But the fact that I’m still wrestling with it is a mark in his favor.

    That compliment is not quite as backhanded as it sounds, especially in regards to the Garage Theatre’s production. First off, the cast is first-rate. I’m loath to single anyone out because of the solidness of everyone’s work. With both the most lines and the greatest range to deliver therein, Joey Millin is surely fab, but it really is the tightness of the ensemble that got me. Posner’s dialog is full of overlapping line and characters cutting each other off, along with some neat bits of speaking in unison, and every cast member seems in sync with every other from curtain up to finale.

    Not a little of the credit here goes to director Matthew Anderson. Along with his ensuring that the script has been well understood by his cast, he (with an assist from movement coach Lis Roche) has done a notably fine job with blocking. Yes, at times the back of an actor’s head obscures another’s face—tough to avoid that if you’re going to work stage depth in the Garage’s tiny space (but the fact that the audience is seated on three sides means you no angle is consistently problematic)—the movement is almost always interesting, and the timing is always impeccable.

    Because the Garage’s limited confines and thin walls (you will hear motorcycles driving down 7th Street at least a couple of times during a show there, that’s a guarantee) present a high degree of difficulty in truly transporting an audience (although they’ve managed it on occasion, such as with their world-premiere staging of Tom Stoppard’s Darkside a couple of years ago) Stupid Fucking Bird and its explicit reminders that you’re watching a play are not out of place.

    Now, about those reminders…. Which reminds me: this is pretty deep in a review to have said nothing about the plot. Then again, the plot—what with being undercut by all those reminders—is not why you come to see a play like this. Chekhov himself said that The Seagull has “a great deal of conversation about literature, [and] little action”—and The Seagull is far more plot-driven than Stupid Fucking Bird, whose action concerns aspiring boundary-breaking playwright Con (Millin), who’s in love with aspiring actor Nina (Acacia Fisher), who is in love with a famous writer (Paul Knox) who is in a relationship with Con’s actor mother (Kate Felton), all while Con is loved by Mash (Nori Tecosky), who is loved by Dev (Seven C. Martin), all of which transpires on Con’s uncle’s estate (which I mention mostly so that Allen Sewell isn’t the only actor who shall remain nameless. That would be just rude). None of this is externally very interesting, serving more as the background qua launching pad for rumination on our struggles with love, desire, authenticity, and recognition.

    And let’s not forget art-making, because Posner won’t let us. This is where knowing a little bit about The Seagull—not its plot, so much as its place in history—probably helps. With The Seagull, Chekhov was consciously breaking with some of the predominating theatrical conventions of his time (the play premiered in 1896), as well as creating a main character (Konstantin) who himself was a playwright trying to break with convention. By pounding through the fourth wall and employing other alienation effects—devices developed much more fully in the 20th century and that remain recognizably “unconventional”—Posner is working reincarnate that spirit of The Seagull (which today is a highly conventional piece of dramaturgy (partly because he helped to shape today’s dramatic conventions)) in his retelling.

    But he may be working a bit too hard for that. In masterful hands, so much of what Posner’s going for can be grabbed without repeatedly telling the audience that we’re watching a play (I didn’t count, but the number of such reminders at least approaches double-digits). Stoppard’s Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead is classic case in point, but even way back in 1921 Luigi Pirandello, in his Six Characters in Search of an Author, managed to perform the same kind of trick without beating us on the head with the wand the way Posner does in this 2013 work.

    For all that, Stupid Fucking Bird does not fall flat. Ham-handed as his prestidigitation can be, Posner sends us away thinking about our own turn upon the stage that is all the world, about what it is we’re doing—inside and out—while we’re here, as well as just what “here” is. You won’t fly off from Stupid Fucking Bird with much feeling for the characters and story, but you’re likely to carry with you a feeling (about yourself, the world, art, what have you) nonetheless. And that is indeed a bit of magic.

    STUPID FUCKING BIRD THE GARAGE THEATRE • 251 E 7TH ST (JUST OFF LONG BEACH BLVD) • LONG BEACH 90813 • 562.433.8337 THEGARAGETHEATRE.ORG • THURS-SAT 8PM • $15–$20 (THURSDAY TIX ARE 2-FOR-1) • THROUGH APRIL 29

    (Photo credit: freshframefoto.com)

    Read More
  • Public Advocates Accuse LBUSD of Mismangement

    • 04/05/2017
    • Reporters Desk
    • Briefs
    • Comments are off

    LONG BEACH — Children’s Defense Fund-California, Latinos in Action and parents Marina Roman Sanchez and Guadalupe Luna recently filed a complaint against the Long Beach Unified School District for allegedly misspending as much as $40 million, which was supposed to help needy students.

    The complaint states that LBUSD spent state money on district-wide programs, instead of using it for low-income, English learners and foster children.

    The district defended their spending stating that most of their students fall into one or more of the groups the money was supposed to target. The district serves about 78,000 students.

    Read More
  • Gain Confidence in the Kitchen at Chefs Studio

    By Richard Foss, Cuisine and Restaurant Writer

     

    The dining public rarely sees chefs at the everyday practice of their trade. There are occasional exceptions, such as restaurants with open kitchens, but even there the view is usually of the backs of working employees. Many chefs like it that way because they can focus on cooking without interruptions. Christine Brown, who owned the famed Restaurant Christine, was different. Restaurant Christine brought adventurous dining to Palos Verdes.

    “At my restaurant, I used to have a station right by the dining room where I could chop and cook and still talk to customers,” Brown said. “I wasn’t teaching them about techniques, but it did give me a chance to interact with them one-on-one and answer questions.”

    The gregarious chef gained confidence in her teaching skills over the course of wine dinners and culinary events at her restaurant. She was recently front and center at a cooking class for the Chefs Studio series in San Pedro. Brown sees these classes as a chance to educate a segment of the population that has lost the skills of preparing food, or possibly never learned them, and that are now discovering that something is missing in their lives.

    “Up until about six years ago, a lot of people were just dining out, getting take-out orders, or buying prepared food,” Brown said. “There has been a whole resurgence of people wanting to learn to cook, whether for community with friends or as a familial thing. Those who have learned to appreciate food in restaurants want to nourish themselves now and they want to do it well at home.”

    Family dinners and dinner parties used to be common events for everyone, but the default now is to invite people out to dinner, not invite them to enjoy something we make, or to ask them to contribute. Asked how to encourage such a return, Brown said that she takes an active role.

    “You have to initiate it, because people don’t take the time,” Brown said. “They’re too busy to have dinner parties once a week, because everyone’s working. There’s no time, the way there was when you had one person in the family staying at home. We have a group of friends that gets together once a month. There are six couples and we do six courses, and everybody brings a bottle of wine to suit one course.”

    Before you do something like that, of course, you have to be confident in your own skills at cooking. That’s where the classes come in. The Chefs Studio series is presented in an art deco space on Pacific Avenue that was once a Montgomery Ward department store. The concept came from a chance meeting at a concert in the building’s basement theater. A chef named Mario Martinoli attended an event there, and after the show he started chatting with Patti Kraakevik, who co-owns the building. Martinoli didn’t know it, but there was a beautiful and lavishly equipped kitchen upstairs, which opens to a living room big enough to easily seat 50 people with a good view. As Kraakevik tells it, Martinoli also didn’t know he was talking to someone with a passion for the culinary arts.

    “I had wanted to do this for a long time but didn’t know how to go about it,” Kraakevik said. “I showed him our kitchen, he thought it would work, and that’s how it got started.”

    Kraakevik is different from Brown and Martinoli in that not only had she never run a restaurant, she hadn’t learned to cook when she was young.

    “My mother wasn’t a great cook when I was growing up, but in her later years she decided to buy cookbooks and wanted to learn how to cook,” said Kraakevik. “Her health didn’t allow it, but she would look at the books… After she passed away, I had more cooking equipment and cookbooks than you could imagine. I just decided, ‘Why not use them?’”

    Kraakevik developed a passion for cooking. She will be co-leading a class with collaborator Rexx Lipman later this year. She shares Brown’s assessment of the importance of social entertaining and retold a story of a recent encounter with people who are ignorant of the culinary arts.

    “I had tenants at one of my properties who lived there for three years,” said Kraakevik. “After they moved out, I looked and there was dust in the oven. They ate fast food every day, and I can’t imagine that. They are not the only example…. There are a lot of people out there who might want to learn how to cook but don’t know where to start. Rexx and I have thought about doing a class about boiling water — what can you do with boiling water? All kinds of things!”

    Kraakevik’s enthusiasm for running this program and teaching was so evident that it seemed natural to ask if she’s planning a career change. Her answer was negative, though there was a slight hesitation before she spoke.

    “I’m not ready to retire; I like what I do,” Kraakevik said. “Still, after up to 70 hours a week doing real estate appraisals, I need a creative outlet.”

    Cost: $65
    Details: (310) 387-3460; info@chefsstudio101.com

    Read More
  • Where Union Women in Solidarity Gather

    • 04/05/2017
    • Terelle Jerricks
    • Briefs
    • Comments are off

    More than 110 women belonging to the ILWU Locals 94, 63 and 13 gathered March 9, at Raffaello’s Ristorante in San Pedro.

    Attendees included Kathy Bridges, the daughter of ILWU founder Harry Bridges, a Rosie Riveter from Todd shipyard, Esther Ramirez, and her daughter Carolyn Moen.

    ILWU member Valerie Zaks formed Union Women in Solidarity, first as Facebook group, following the 2015 longshore lockout “to provide a platform for Union women to share, vent and create new friendships.”

    The Facebook group includes almost 3,000 members.

    “Experiencing mutual support from our members firsthand has brought me a sense of purpose and the community that has formed goes beyond measure,” said Zaks about the group. “I’m looking forward to what the future holds and willing to be first to the line along with my sisters and brothers if need be.”

    The March 2017 attendance was triple the attendance of the inaugural event.

    Photos by Elizabeth Fairbanks, ILWU Local 19, Seattle

    Read More
  • The Space Provides a Cutting-Edge Venue

    • 04/04/2017
    • Melina Paris
    • Culture
    • Comments are off

    By Melina Paris, Music Columnist

    The first time I attended an event there I was struck by the venue’s size, the different activities and multiple mediums employed inside. It’s genius! Known as The Space, it accommodates a theater, live television studio and even a spaceship.

    The stretch of buildings on the east side of Pacific Avenue on which The Space resides is bookended by the Warschaw Building on 6th Street and the 8th Street Loft building on 8th Street. This stretch of Pacific has been trying to become an arts, culture and entertainment anchor for the San Pedro Arts District for years. Thus far, it has failed.

    The Warschaw Gallery was home to the curated shows of TransVagrant, which opened in 2006. Somewhat contemporarily, the ground floor of the 8th Street Lofts was transformed into a food court. By 2013, a kind of arts district trifecta was completed when comedian James Blackman III opened the San Pedro Theater Club at 624 S. Pacific Avenue.

    Today, 8th Street Lofts is empty and TransVagrant no longer operates out of the Warschaw Building. James Blackman and his San Pedro Theater Club disappeared almost a dozen months after opening.

    Ron James used The Space to fill that void, building up a venue where multiple artistic and elaborate endeavors happen.

    I made it a point to return for a sit down interview to learn more about The Space and how James is making his theater and studio available to artists and businesses. He wants to provide a resource, which they do not  have. The full name of the facility is The Ivolve Media Arts Center. James said it really is all about a combination of cutting edge media approaches.

    James’ main business is creating online programming for internet TV. He produces nine original shows, several of which are in the world mystery field. His show The Bigger Questions explores what science is now beginning to tell us about things that we can’t explain, such as life after death and the nature of reality.

    “My entire media career is based on … the  most important questions facing humanity, [such as], ‘Are we alone in the universe?’ ‘Is there life after death?’” James said. “I believe that once the answers to those questions are cemented into the collective psyche, it’s going to be a paradigm shifting event for humanity that could very well illuminate the path that we need, to have a positive outcome without calamity.”

    Every piece of media James creates is about exploring those ends. He said he specializes in “conscious media,” which is distinctive from mainstream media. In his opinion, mainstream TV and organizations that produce content are in the business of selling a product. The entertainment and content are nothing more than filler for the ads.

    “We have a situation where we have squandered the largest human communication resource the planet has ever seen on dumbing down the population and turning us into a bunch of consuming slaves,” James continued. “There are people who want more from the media that they enjoy. They want it to apply to their personal lives.”

    That’s where The Space’s community-centric internet show  San Pedro Now comes in. The show creates an online visitor information loop where people can go to a website and watch original San Pedro programming with commercials from local businesses and attractions. Artists, business owners and activists can come and do a segment on the show. Their plan is to grow this show into the San Pedro Television Network streaming online.

    The theater is used for live-streaming, during which James hosts various speakers. It’s also used for live jazz concerts, which they have recently started presenting in partnership with Thin Man Entertainment. All of their equipment is state-of-the-art and includes livestream virtual reality. They can utilize The Space where they are pre-wired and streaming wherever necessary.

    “I build and create online television networks,” James said. “I have two of them right now, Ivolve TV and MUFON TV (Mutual UFO Network), which is a joint venture with the people behind the show, Hangar One. It’s one of the very first shows that’s ever been shot in the spaceship.”

    James has written, produced and directed more than 250 of his own DVD productions. He has worked on documentaries as a producer, camera man or key player in major music shows. He also produced and associate produced award-winning films including, Travis: The True Story of Travis Walton. The film won both People’s Choice and Best UFO Feature Film awards in the 2015 EBE Film Festival (Extraterrestrial Biological Entity).

    Endeavors at The Space include documentaries and music videos. Angelica Bridges from television show Baywatch  is shooting a documentary on the extraterrestrial phenomenon in the space ship. Grammy winning artist Kendrick Lamar also shot the music video  Ain’t That Funkin Hard on You? in the ship.

    James also works with hip-hop legend Dame Dash.

    “[Dash] helped found Rockefeller Records with Jay-Z,” James said. “He and I have a show we do together called no lines. It’s like the uptight white guy meets the godfather of hip-hop and we talk about anything from two completely opposing viewpoints.

    “We put together good shows about things that people care about …. We might have a small audience but we have the ability to produce content cost effectively. I’ve designed an entire production pipeline [that] cranks out good quality content very inexpensively.”

    James’ content includes raw food, science fiction and esoteric, new age content like feng shui and tantra. The latter focuses on how to bring a spiritual aspect to your relationship.

    “There’s a growing market for this type of content which large entertainment companies don’t cater to because the audiences are too small,” James said.

    Much of The Space’s programming is under subscription only websites, where they can track viewers. James also puts content on YouTube and on distribution outlets like Film On.

    “When I moved to San Pedro I was looking for a space, saw this theater and thought, ‘Wow! I could combine this all and succeed in doing it’,” James said. “This place provides all the resources I need for the next level of programming that I produce.  So my message to the community is to come by The Space and see what we have to offer.”

    Details: http://thespaceonpacific.com, http://consequenceofsound.net

    Read More
  • 1 2 3 218