Monthly Archives: October 2011

Art Card LA Goes Live in Long Beach is excited to announce an outrageously spontaneous ArtCard installation at Dana Neighborhood Library in Long Beach. The display features hundreds of 4×6 inch artworks submitted from across LA County and is open to the public until November 26th 2011.

Exhibition Location and Hours
Dana Neighborhood Library
3680 Atlantic Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90807
Library Hours / Map

ArtCard is a community based art project initiated by ArtCards are pre-addressed postcards that are distributed across LA by volunteers.  There are no guidelines and every ArtCard received is published and exhibited. Anyone can do it. Get out there and be seen.  Connect and interact!

If you have any questions regarding the installation or if your community would like to host the collection please contact, Oliver Shipley at

Spring Fashion Challenge

Looking through my latest Vogue email sent more than a few waves of excitement through me and I can’t say that I was all that impressed with unmitigated tack of all the bejeweled Spring accessories ready to sparkle their way into Spring. Not to be confused with someone who doesn’t love and adore sparkle, I am just feeling a bit style embellished -ly, underwhelmed.

Giving a new meaning to “Glitter and be Gay.”
Transparency on the other hand is looking to be one of the more fresh and fun accessory ideas in 2012.  Notwithstanding, the nod to 70’s and 80’s styles (yes my mother already wore these and I think still has them in her closet), plastic panels and inserts definitely heat up the style meter with clear cool.
There is sure to be a frenzy in mini fans for all of those sweaty toes next year, but didn’t someone say, “It’s more important to look good than to feel good”?  Correct and accurate shoe sizing, long gone by the wayside in women’s shoes except for only the most meticulous designers, to prevent that old, ‘slip slidin away’, may actually, by necessity, be the sale closer on these lovely ephemerals.
On the other hand (and I mean this literally) other wearables add just the right impact and appeal for everyday and night too.

Monkey Adored at the Rogue Machine

Through allegorical collage, puppetry, projection and “animal magnetism”  playwright Henry Murray explores the ideas of experientiality versus DNA, sexuality and violence, and prejudice in Monkey Adored, a humorous, modern day Animal Farm, farce.

The following is a reprint of the original review on LA Theatre Review:

by Tracey Paleo~

Tracey Paleo, Gia On The MoveIn 1947 George Orwell wrote Animal Farm, an allegory about events leading up to and during Stalinism. It contained a very human story played out by animals, who attempted to address corruption, wickedness, indifference and greed, doing so by liberating themselves from human bondage, but whose chief characters in the end become very human and ultimately come to embody the lowest characteristics of their oppressors.

By comparison, Monkey Adored, currently in its world premiere at Rogue Machine, an original, much more humorous fable by Henry Murray, elucidates the politics of gender, love, humans and animalistic behavior.

Through allegorical collage, puppetry, projection and “animal magnetism” Mr. Murray explores the ideas of experientiality versus DNA – are we who we are because of our parents, environment, experiences or simply because we are “born this way?” Is it possible to overcome ourselves, our emotions, our sexual identities, our prejudices and our genetics? It also reveals our ultimate need for very human connection with one another regardless of which side of the argument you choose. And it addresses the relationship between sexuality and violence. To say it is a reflection of ourselves as human beings is an understatement and yet Murray mirrors us all brilliantly here.

Mr. Murray’s prime suspects in this tale are a monkey – Sonny Bonobo, a cat – Madeline Kahn, and a dog – Brown Spot, who are partly caught up in, then choose to become very active in, plotting the revolution against humans who brutally “torture” and use them for “animal testing.” Like humans these creatures’ lives are complex: they fall in love, in lust, they cross species and cross genders.

The story begins seemingly “just another day” for all where the ever desirous and monogamous, Brown Spot (David Mauer) is in love with sexually liberated Sonny Bonobo (Edward Tournier), just mysteriously released from a lab and virtually unharmed except for a painful head wound, who takes “turns” with everyone including loose kitty, Madeline Kahn (Amanda Mauer), who in turn, after carnally cuddling with everyone else, sour from Sonny’s repeated abandonment of her needs, and against all reason, falls for stalker, terrorist, rat, James Rat (Patrick Flanagan).

Their lives are mostly ordinary, so it seems, meeting and flirting at Le Café Café, run by the lively cancer survivor Elaine Ostrich played by Jennifer Taub and the positively, postulate spouting, Penguinito played by Ron Bottitta, atmosphered by the occasional homemade bomb causing the diner to go dark to avoid discovery. Most of the time each characters’ problems and dilemmas, skittishes and slight skirmishes are solved sexually and peacefully among all with the occasional joke, irony and universal wisdom that manages to go right over their (dog, monkey, kitty) narcissistic, needy heads, until James Rat, through a secret rendezvous, convinces Bonobo, who is normally and characteristically (as the Bonobo monkey species goes) passive and carefree, to fight for the cause by showing him an escaped tortured Ape hiding in the sewers.

Suddenly Bonobo becomes anything but phlegmatic and elects himself as the suicide bomber who will take the humans at the lab down. Ah, a behavioral change has quite unpredictably occurred in Bonobo. This variation partly confuses and frightens his friends, especially his devoted lover Brown Spot who pleads with him not to do it – essentially “change.” So desperate is Brown Spot to have Bonobo live that he, characteristically loyal to the humans (as dogs go), leads the lab technician who arrives in the form of a giant and frightening Puppet to re-capture the monkey. Finally out of guilt and love Brown Spot attempts to take Bonobo’s place, but fails, compelled by his “man’s best friend” faithfulness. The cause is lost and the rest are left to makes sense of what has happened – in Madeline Kahn’s (cat) case, to raise and create a new future for the offspring of all three of her lovers.

Comedic, tragic and dark, Monkey Adored is superlative in execution, story and performance. The use of puppetry was brilliant, adding a skillful, critical element and artistry to stagecraft that thoroughly intrigued and plainly worked – the coup de gras of this piece.

The ending had less impact than hoped for in winding up this tale, but it never-the-less leaves us with a sanguine view of animal-kind /mankind.

Every collaborator in this production deserves a well earned note:

Music by composer Michael Wells from one of our LA favorites, Lost Moon Radio, and Sound Design by Joseph Slawinsi, added levity and subtlety throughout along with the additional humorous intermission tunes like “What’s New Pussycat” by Tom Jones and “Shock the Monkey” by Peter Gabriel.

Projection designs by Adam Fleming were seemless and effective as was the set design by Stephanie Kerley Schwartz and lighting design by Dan Weingarten. Puppeteers, David Combs, Linda Hoag and Angela Verzello (assistant). Assistant Costume Design, Dian Camarill, Vanessa Erlich. Scenic Artist, Hillary Bauman. Assistant Scenic Design, Hazel Kuang, Hillary Bauman, David Mauer.

Magnificently done.

Monkey Adored is performed Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 3pm through November 20, 2011

Rogue Machine is located at 5041 Pico Blvd. (West of La Brea), Los Angeles, CA 90019

Tickets: $25

For Reservations call: (855) 585-5185 or visit:


Read the review at LA Theatre Review (click here)

Color Me Fashionable!

Spring is the air  in New York and Paris with colors, prints and metallics.  And who knows what LA’s Fashion Weekend will unleash for Summer on the runway this Friday, October 21st.

“But it’s only fall Gia?!  How could I ever even think such a thing?”

No need to think my bashful Bambi – just wear.  We already know what the trends are so why wait to see what your friends are doing.  Star strut your red, whites and blues and your prominent prints.  And shine the gloom right out of those somber blacks already (!) with dimension and embellishment.  Get a clue here from Lanvin, Donna, Diane and Custo:

Footage courtesy of Vidicom and                                                               New York and Paris Fashion Week 2012

The Model Critic Review: Man and Boy

photo courtesty of Roundabout Theatre

  The Roundabout Theatre in New York opens its 2011-12 season with a sober, well-written play by Terence Rattigan from l961.   The ever reliable Roundabout, has decided to offer a play for our times that starkly makes its point, doesn’t belabor its message, and wraps up neatly, no apologies. With occasional humor and icy reality, we are presented with a Rasputin-like international financial wizard from the 1930’s, and his relationship with his estranged son.
    In a word, you are led to think of these modern day figures from recent history:  Bernie Madoff, Bernie Ebbers, Samuel Israel, Jeffrey Skilling from Enron, Ken Lay, Scott Rothstien, Tom Peters, Alan Stanford, Jerome Kerviel, etc., characters all famous for over consumption, and feeding at the trough of public gullibility .Man and Boy is reputedly based on the life of Ivan Kreuger, an earlier version of a ponzi scheme artist, who killed himself for this same form of gluttony.
    Stage icon, Frank Langella plays Gregor Antonescu, and does another great theatrical turn; he gives  the feeling that the role was created for him because of his obvious physical bearing, wit and sophistication. A few seasons back, before Nixon/Frost, he played Sir Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons; a supremely ethical man in the Court of Henry Vlll, who is led to the gallows for his beliefs.  Here, he plays the polar opposite–an intriguing Romanian-born financier, who as his resume states, saved the post-war French Franc, brought roads to Yugoslavia, and electricity to Hungry. However, like a sophist, he is likely to bend the truth; for his raison d’etre is not in doing good, but at winning at all costs, no matter the method.  In other words, his truth is another man’s slippery slope. For him there are only two kinds of people, those who do and those that don’t. As an actor, Langella certainly does, and is riveting in his theatrical skills and believability; his diction, behavior, and command of the stage even makes his character sympathetic.
    Antonescu has made a fatal mistake. His vast empire is collapsing.  The world has caught on to him–he has a severe “confidence and liquidity” problem; the stakes are enormous and pressure is mounting–his stock has dropped 23%, national financial calamity is eminent. Gregor Antonescu has already survived many set backs in his career, even numerous assignation attempts–can he survive this challenge?  In the face of it all, he remains calm, detached, and even charming.
    In a  well conceived single-set play, we find Boris (Adam Driver), Gregor’s son, living with his girlfriend in a depression-era basement apartment, Greenwich Village, early 1930’s.  A Socialist, Boris hasn’t seen his estranged father in five years. Suddenly, he receives a visit from his father’s assistant, Sven (Michael Siberry);  the media of New York is hounding them for information, and need a safe house for an urgent middle-of-the-night meeting with the president of American Electric, in a last ditch effort to save the faltering merger with Manson Radio. It would be the most important meeting of Antonescu’s life, and he seeks his son’s help.  Shocked to see his father in these circumstances, and remembering wounds from his demeaned past, Boris reluctantly agrees.
    As the meeting unfolds, we see the characters emerge.  Mark Herries ( Zack Grenier)  president of American Electric plays his smallish role with quiet aplomb as the secure and knowing rival to Antonescu’s
pitch.  Antonescu convinces, befuddles, and masterfully digresses in his cool, desperate attempt to reach an agreement, and as he does, he even astonishingly uses his own son as a homosexual lure for the executive he knows to be a closeted “fairy.”
    Let’s put it this way:  Plato, Buddha, Jesus, Gandhi, or Mother Teresa wouldn’t ever go to Starbucks with Gregor. But if they did, Plato would say, did you ever consider that happiness does not follow from injustice?
Buddha would silently nod in agreement:  Or that desire is the cause of suffering?  Jesus listening would say, did you ever hear of my idea, Gregor my son, that man cannot live by bread alone?  Yes, I always thought that too says Gandhi, and that oppression of others destroys the soul of man? Finally Mother Teresa hands Gregor a cookie, and says, come give your mother a hug, and remember even the rich are hungry for love.
    But enough of this!  This is exactly what the play doesn’t do–moralize. The direction is crisp and to the point, the actors don’t lay on sentiment or sermonize. Man and Boy is not presented as a morality play, but a play that tries to mirrors life, about choices people make from their own point of view.  Langella and Driver, man and boy, or better, father and son, have an unbridgeable gap separating them.  Antonescu’s life is driven by one passion only: to be recognized, to obey his dictum that says, appearances are all that count; love, as he states, is a commodity he cannot afford. His first wife, mother to Boris, was a Romanian burlesque dancer; his present wife, plucked from the London typing pool, received the title of  Countess for a little money on the side. She, portrayed in broad strokes of cynical humor by Francesca Faridany, appears in a brief scene towards the end, to make sure her interests are secure; base and disloyal, she sees Antonescu as a meal ticket mostly, and desserts him when the pressure mounts. Faridany plays her as a hyperbole of a disloyal wife, that is very entertaining in an unedifying way  Sven, his long time “loyal” assistant, also abandons Gregor, but not without showing some form of humanity in his mostly snaky self interest. Siberry does well here, as we see him transformed into a Svengali-like character.
    As negotiations fall apart, as the tabloids of London report of Antonescu’s indictment for arrest, Antonescu is left alone without support.  Only his son, the person Antonescu has abandoned as a boy, belittled as weak and worthless, comes to his aid with an open hand.  Gregor senses his son’s love and humanity, and becomes his haunting conscious.  As in Wordsworth’s poem, the child becomes father to the man, and in another sense, tries to help his father escape. But this will not do–it is much too late.  There is no room for love.  Alone in his son’s apartment, he examines a earlier photo of the two in a happier time–a lost moment on a beach in Biarritz.  Gregor has always know this day would arrive.  He puts on his hat and coat, and without excuses, slips cold steel into his pocket and disappears into the night.
    It was a sobering affair, with a quick double scotch to make it go down easier.  Audiences should see works like these, as well as frothy ones like Anything Goes, for the full affect of what theatre can offer.

Hairy Bikers Get Hungry!

They’re hairy, they’re hungry…and they’re hitting America’s back roads…one bite at a time…

Hungry?  Finally a food show that takes America back to its roots of down home cooking and rebel adventure with savior fare. 

Paul Patranella is a 4-star, classically trained French chef who loves motorcycles. Bill Allen, a renowned motorcycle mechanic, is passionate about food. These two long-time friends know that food is the ticket to the American experience and motorcycling is the only way to get there.

 In Hairy Bikers, premiering Friday, October 14 at 10pm ET on HISTORY, Paul and Bill embark on an amusing and informative road trip along back roads to immerse themselves in local American history and long-standing traditions. But they don’t just cook and eat with the locals – they do everything it takes to put the meal on the table. They spear bullfrogs, trawl for shrimp and capture gators with a cross bow; they clean road kill, harvest wheat for beer, and track down wild boars.

In this 12-part series produced for HISTORY by BBC Worldwide Productions, also producers of the network’s hit series Top Gear, Bill and Paul explore the different old-school eating habits of various regions, from the southern Louisiana coast to South Carolina’s Low Country, from the Great Smokey Mountains to central Oklahoma and beyond. They learn folklore and age-old customs as they hunt, gather, cook, and eat side-by-side with a colorful assortment of local characters.

Back on the open road, the boys camp, fix up motorcycles, stop at roadside attractions, and swing by local biker events – all part of the Hairy Bikers mission to experience first-hand why eating and biking are some of America’s favorite pastimes.