Monthly Archives: November 2011
As it turns out, my plant based holidays video was very popular. So I am totally psyched to shared more fun suggestions and an opportunity to stock your fridge with a contest for a Whole Foods gift card – like $1500 worth! The lovely people over at Earth Balance shared this new information with me today and I am passing it on. Because who can resist a little bit of sinfully healthy (does that really go together?) dessert suggestions along with those healthy meals? Check these out. And don’t forget Black Friday is only days away. This would be the best time to get a head start on your food lists if you are cooking for the big days or throwing a mostly apps holiday soiree for friends.
Enjoy Plant-Based Holiday Cheer this Year!
This year, leave traditional desserts and heavy holiday meals behind, and enjoy a more nutritious, plant-based menu. From dinner dishes, to appetizers, to delicious desserts, there are a multitude of plant-based options out there to celebrate this special time of year.
When it comes to cooking and baked goods, Earth Balance Buttery Spreads andSticks, Shortening and Coconut Spread are plant-based options that can replace traditional ingredients used in Holiday recipes.
Making appetizers, dips or creamy sauces? Try our MindfulMayo(TM) Dressing & Sandwich Spread for a tangy touch. Peanut and Almond Butter work great in desserts, and Soymilk is a wonderful dairy replacement.
What would the Holidays be without some Nog? Enjoy our organic, Non-GMO Project Verified version, made with USA grown soybeans. For recipe ideas using Earth Balance products (including Nog!) check out our plant-based online community, MadeJustRight.com.
For those of you creating your own plant-based recipes this year, sign-up for our Holiday Bake-Off on MadeJustRight.com, a four-week competition that evaluates original, plant-based dessert recipes using at least one Earth Balance product. Each week will feature a different dessert theme, including pies, cakes, cupcakes and cookies, with two winners chosen for each category, receiving Whole Foods gift cards and a year’s supply of Earth Balance. One lucky winner will take home a $1,000 Whole Foods gift card grand prize! For more information about the contest, click here.
About Earth Balance:
Based just outside Boulder, Colo., Earth Balance produces a line of delicious buttery spreads, shortenings, nut butters, soymilk, coconut spread and alternative mayos. All Earth Balance® products are plant-based, vegan, made without artificial ingredients or hydrogenated oils, free of gluten, lactose and eggs, offering a delicious alternative for those with food sensitivities and individuals looking for healthier alternatives to everyday foods. Earth Balance strongly supports the Non-GMO Project and sustainable agriculture practices, and all Earth Balance products are made without genetically modified ingredients. Earth Balance promotes a plant-based diet and earth-friendly lifestyle through the online social community Made Just Right™. Earth Balance is a division of GFA Brands, Inc., a subsidiary of Smart Balance Inc. (NasdaqGM: SMBL). For more information, visit http://www.EarthBalanceNatural.com and http://www.MadeJustRight.com.
“Awesomeness” wins the day in the current production of Crumble (Lay Me Down Justin Timberlake) written by Sheila Callaghan and directed by Jeremy Aluma (and I still have no idea why he makes an appearance in this show…But who cares! Cool and chemicals Set The Mood. Dude you rule! )
Managing to elude the creep factor of a vengeful, languishing apartment with its own personal opinion of cleanliness and living, a spiteful and troubled little girl with a death wish and a mom who can’t see past her own panic attack induced hysteria or the kitchen, Sacred Fools Theater turns in an amusing, South Park style rendition of a family in turmoil and falling apart in every possible way.
Full review appears here as a reprint from LA Theatre Review:
Reviewed by Tracey Paleo, Gia On The Move
Managing to elude the creep factor of a vengeful, languishing apartment with its own personal opinion of cleanliness and living, a spiteful and troubled little girl with a death wish and a mom who can’t see past her own panic attack induced hysteria or the kitchen, Sacred Fools Theater turns in an amusing, South Park style rendition of a family in turmoil and falling apart in every possible way in its current production of Crumble, written by Sheila Callaghan and directed by Jeremy Aluma.
It’s easy to laugh at the cat lady with 57 felines instead of children because of a defective husband and a defective womb, jealous of the sister who “got it all” and somewhat happy about her troubles. It’s bizarrely and curiously funny observing the private, and quite often dirty, machinations of a little pre-teen girl carrying on during play dates with her dolls. It’s easy to relate to any mother worrying incessantly about – well – everything when it comes to money, surviving a dilapidated, unheated apartment, how she will get on after the loss of a loved one and most of all, not being able to get through to her child. But add in the narrative voice of a woe begotten, creaky, apartment, living in past grand memories of lace and lust, who quietly begins to plot the demise of them all in order to make way for someone new to move in and bring it back to life, a slightly dark, satire begins to arise.
Crumble as a title is certainly effective, describing the state of affairs not only with the apartment but the lives within. Like the apartment which is falling apart, their lives are crumbling from neglect, lack of attention, despair, accusation, envy. The apartment even confesses to not liking the dad as he “touched milady in the night.” Although mostly begging for attention and much needed repairs it eventually alludes, as a jealous lover of sorts, that it, as hidden truth would have it, had a more active involvement in dad’s fatal accident when floor boards gave way underneath the stool sending dad out a glass window to his death; the blame for which rests solely upon mother according to her little girl who lost the one man in her life while hanging lights on Christmas; the one man who could make her laugh most when things were worst. Everyone is living in their own little fantasy which gets them through the day. And then, for no apparent reason whatsoever, in come Justin Timberlake and Harrison Ford.
In an ironic comedy of events, the men of two women’s dreams enter the scene with their “awesomeness,” endowed with the qualities that both women miss in husband and dad. Harrison Ford inspires mom, with his strength, masculinity, wisdom and light-heartedness, to relax. Justin Timberlake of INSYC thrills daughter, Calamity Janice, with cool affection, compliments and even sex to pull them out of the void of nothingness. Through the dialogs with both characters each hatches her own little plot to change the status quo. Mom wishes to be exactly like her deceased husband, laughing in the face of any disaster – Janice giving her mother a Christmas gift wish list full of chemicals in order to blow them up for the holidays. Effective as they were ridiculous, these visitations champion the actions these women take that foil the house from carrying out its own plans to murder them both.
The entire mini-drama plays itself out strangely to everyone’s satisfaction and everyone gets their wish including the house who gets clean up and repaired, the sister who decides to not live alone and isolated any longer, and even Darwin the cat, who manages to bring about the “miracle of Christmas” by giving birth after having been spaded. Evolution.
But in between, the brilliant timing and delivery of understudy Lisa Rothschiller as cat-loving sister, Barbara, the droll and capricious vicissitudes of the genuinely amusing Brendan Hunt as the apartment, poetry spouting mom played steadily by Carrie Keranen, and slightly grotesque conversations between the quite childishly proficient Janice with her personal supporting cast of slamming back-talk baby boy doll along with Barbie, who are constantly “getting it on” and socially shunning Janice in her dirtiness and weirdness, there lacked a real strong climax in this production. Some jokes went on a little too long, the drama a bit flat and at times had a feeling of disconnectedness and lack of character depth. The poetic vignettes were an inspirational addition of spontaneity pulling us away from the ever deteriorating abyss, but felt a bit non-cohesive, as the language and ideas were difficult to follow in the delivery.
That’s not to say that the performances were lacking. They most definitely were not. Everyone here put in a great show, from directing to acting to sound and lighting effects. As a whole presentation, just not outstanding. Crumble presents a bizarre tale effectively and humorously, with a mediocre resolution but none-the-less succeeds as an audience pleaser as a laughable good time.
Crumble (Lay Me Down Justin Timberlake) plays Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm (and Sunday, Nov. 18 at 7 pm) through December 11th
Sacred Fools Theater is located at 660 N. Heliotrope Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90004 just south of Melrose and three blocks west of Vermont
Tickets: $20 General Admission $16 Students & Seniors
Reservations online athttps://sacredfools.secure.force.com/ticket#details_a0JG0000007TGgsMAGor by phone at (310) 281-8337
House of Gold is a dark comedy inspired by the JonBenet Ramsey murder touching upon the actual murder and the current exploitation of children in our fame obsessed culture, where children are publicly overly sexualized, humiliated, paraded, derided as objects of humor and made to feel like it is all just normal. A scathing behind closed doors, kaleidoscope of Toddlers & Tiaras mega drama proportions on stage that completely illuminates our society, our values and ourselves..read the review
The following is a reprint from the original review which appeared on LA Theatre Review:
by Tracey Paleo~
First impressions count. Isn’t that what we all hear growing up? Make sure you look good, look pretty, dress well, act nice, smile, so that everyone will like you – even your own parents. And so it was, walking into the Ensemble Studio Theatre in Atwater Village, met by a triptych of screens, staged in a semi theatre-in-the-round, set in a stadium-like view, ready to experience the West Coast premiere of, House of Gold written by Gregory Moss. Cut to video imagery of picturesque scenes, back yard, water, instantly and quite enormously immersed in an innocence that in every unfathomable way was also portentous and bone chilling.
All that glitters is not gold in the affair of beauty, especially when you are a naïve child whose parents are existing in a sort of fugue of dullness, anger, resentment, and non-fulfillment, evidenced by a usual daily coffee, eggs, sausage, toast and morning paper, served dully and meanly by “has been” feeling mom and completely unaware and un-attentive dad, living quite vicariously through their perfect doll of a little girl.
“Honey what’s in the sausage?
“Jon Benet Ramsey”
“Well it’s good.”
House of Gold is a dark comedy inspired by the JonBenet Ramsey murder ten years ago which eerily touches upon the actual murder and also the modern and current exploitation of children by none other than their own parents in our fame obsessed, Reality TV culture where children are publicly overly sexualized, humiliated, paraded, derided as objects of humor and made to feel like it is all just normal. If you’ve seen Toddlers and Tiaras you’ll know instantly how disturbing it really is to watch a hair-sprayed, falsies stuffed, glue stick of a mini-me strut her stuff on stage for critical judges and the big win. House of Gold hits the mark in its exposé of the child beauty pageant culture and yet goes further by telling the back story of what life really might be like behind closed doors.
“No one ugly allowed.”
There are two main child characters in this play who find an unlikely commonality with each other. Where JonBenet )played by Jacqueline Wright) gets too much attention, her angry, foul language, acting out all the time friend Jasper (played by Alex Davis) is completely neglected by his parents. The duo create a marked juxtaposition that sadly concludes the same horrible end for both.
Mr. Davis finds his way into the psyche of a little kid quite well, mouthing off to the local gang of beautiful and much too rough football playing older “Apollonian” boys (Chris Arvan, Josh Heine, Matt Little, Eric Schulman) in the neighborhood. His antics get him plenty of negative attention.
But what sizes up, quite literally, the show, is Ms. Wright, as a waif of a woman who by all accounts is very much older than the character and yet who incandescently manages to suspend our disbelief with her behavior and child-like nuances, speech and movement in every single way. Ms. Wright is so thoroughly ingenious in her portrayal of JonBenet, also interacting at times with the media screen, that we only see a vivacious little girl skipping around, making silly and absurd gestures and comments, laughing, giggling and struggling to make wide eyed sense of what are in truth pointed, deliberate psychological attacks and physical molestation on her little person. She is taken advantage of by everyone, the perverse predator, ice cream man (Graham Sibley), her violent mother, her own father (Tony Pasqualini), even the detective who investigates her murder (Keith Arthur Bolden). All except for Jasper. They are both merely victims in this story.
The mother (woman) sagaciously played by Denise Crosby is full of rage and pent up frustration. Living life through prescription painkillers and anti-depressants because her own beauty, now dulled with age, is useless. She sits at the kitchen table writing the ransom note where she addresses herself, “we didn’t take you because we didn’t see you. You are invisible. That’s why we took your daughter.” Again, more than a mere reflection of ourselves, our values and our society. It is so well written. So well done.
The whole show, like all of the relationships in it, is warped, demented, twisted, and manipulative. It is revelatory polychrome of self-evacing truths.
Jon Benet is just a little girl, naïve and wanting only to please, and most of all be a little girl – but never gets the chance.
“Look at me.” “I’m sexy.” “My parents want me to look a certain way. They are proud of dressing me. They want me to look sexy. That’s what they want.” “Every man wants me to look at his thingy.” “They humiliate me.”
House of Gold is intense, illuminating and powerful.
A+ for all:
Written by Gregory Moss, directed by Gates McFadden. Set Design by Kurt Boetcher; Animation by Drew Christi;e Video Design by Alexander Mibecki; Projection Design by William Parks; Lighting Design by Elizabeth Harper; Sound Design by David B. Marling; Costume Design by Christina Haatainenen-Jones: Choreography by Gates McFadden
House of Gold is performed Friday & Saturday @8pm, Sunday @2pm and 7pm through December 4th, 2011
Tickets: General Admission: $25. Sunday matinees at 2pm are pay what you can.
The Ensemble Studio Theatre, Atwater Village 3269 Casitas Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90093
On site parking is free. Street parking also available.
For reservations and information call: 323-644-1929 Or visit:www.ensemblestudiotheatrela.org
(click here) to go to LA Theatre Review
Laura Pels Theatre, New York, NY
Reviewed by Carlos Stafford, The Model Critic
Fate has been unkind to both Joseph and Charles Douaihy, gay brothers of Lebanese descent living in eastern Pennsylvania. A thunderbolt of trouble has staggered their seemingly ordinary lives in suburbia, and they need answers.
In a bright new play by Stephen Karam, Santino Fontana capably leads the way as Joseph, the elder brother, talented runner and potential qualifier for the Olympic Trials. Joseph works at a book packing company alongside his eccentric and emotionally unglued boss, Gloria, played with hilarious quirkiness by Joanna Gleeson. Gloria’s husband has recently taken a fatal flying leap off their balcony, and she’s barely coping; obsessed with pain and suffering, and a faltering book business, she wants to write a book on the Middle East, and Joseph’s family history–they being direct descendents of the famous spiritual poet, Khalil Gibran, who wrote “The Prophet.”
Fontana lives Joseph’s snakebitten character with clear intelligence and
understanding, while his younger more flamboyant brother, Charles, played by Chris Perfetti, adds great energy, color, and fluid talent as a Broadway newbie. Now, both are suffused with grief and confusion at the loss of their mother earlier in the year, and the untimely death of their father in a freak car crash. To add to their misery, Joseph has been stricken with knee ailments that mysteriously points to a more serious underlying illness, and perhaps a tragic end to his running career.
With an intimate, off-Broadway feel, scant sets, often consisting of mere sliding panels for various scenes, and a general pared down look, the play succeeds perfectly in conveying the mundane outer surfaces vis-a-vis the complex underlying psychological issues. Director Peter DuBois gets to the heart of the proceedings with openness and honesty and creates a worthy drama as he leads the characters through a minefield of circumstances beyond their control.
Added to the menu, the brothers have an ailing uncle move in. As adamant touchstone to the past, portrayed as an old -fashioned bigot, he nonetheless tries to keep the family upright while being barely ambulatory himself. He especially tries to keep the boys focused on their spiritual past, and St Rafka, the blind patron saint of pain and suffering. As a family heirloom, her portrait hangs darkly in Charles’ room, somewhat more sinister than uplifting.
With all the lugubriousness and small town gloom, the play is brilliantly saved from the abyss of sentimentality by its constant sweet, dog-earned humor giving the proceedings breathing room, hope and backbone. Presented with commitment, energy, and love this well written play is a must see, and ends with a positive message from Gibran: The most massive characters are seared with scars. All is well.