<![CDATA[NBC Southern California - Dining, shopping and nightlife]]> Copyright 2016 http://www.nbclosangeles.com/entertainment/the-scene http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC4_40x125.png NBC Southern California http://www.nbclosangeles.com en-us Fri, 29 Apr 2016 16:37:41 -0700 Fri, 29 Apr 2016 16:37:41 -0700 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Early Cinco: Olvera Street Celebrates]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 11:40:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/olveracincoGettyImages98873337.jpg

One of our city's most historic districts possesses a profound sense of the passing of time, a trait many landmarks naturally have.

Which is to say this: When Olvera Street marks a major occasion, the purveyors and performers don't stick to a few hours of celebrating. Rather, the party is likely last for a number of days.

There's nothing not to like about this take on time's passing, especially when Cinco de Mayo arrives. To honor the holiday, which commemorates Mexico's victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, the shops and restaurants of thoroughfare will start the festivities early, and renew them again when May 5 arrives.

May 5, by the by, is a Thursday in 2016, so look for the holiday happenings to grandly unfurl the weekend before the actual date. That's Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1, two days that will see a history-tinged host of to-dos, from mariachi performances to folklorico dance presentations to the booths found near the plaza.

The goings-on will also fill time, in the sense that each day will be out-sized, clock-wise: 11 a.m. to 9 o'clock are the scheduled Cinco hours for both weekend days.

But if observing this venerable occasion ahead of May 5 isn't in the cards for you, fret now: Olvera Street will bring back the fiesta spirit on the actual date.

The to-dos will be threaded through with tradition, as befits a commemoration that has its roots in the 19th century. As with all Olvera gatherings, it is free to attend, but make sure you've got some cash for tamales and margaritas and paletas and icy horchata, which will hit the sweet spot on the sunny, April-into-May weekend.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Iconic Lanes: Highland Park Bowl Opens]]> Fri, 29 Apr 2016 08:56:03 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/HighlandParkBowlphotoWonhoFrankLee.jpg Did you hang out at Mr. T's Bowl & Nightclub back in the day? The venue has had a vintage-modern redo, courtesy of The 1933 Group.

Photo Credit: Wonho Frank Lee]]>
<![CDATA[Unicorn Melt: Rainbow Grilled Cheese Hits LA]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 18:23:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/unicorngrilledcheese123.JPG

There was a time, back when we were tots, when we would sprinkle rainbow-hued jimmies upon our sundaes, and down rainbow-speckled cereal (which turned the milk sorta kinda pink), and devour rainbow taffy, and deem any food striped like a rainbow as our mostest favoritest ever of all time.

Then we grew up, and outgrew rainbow'd foods... Strike that. Nope. Didn't happen.

The fact is that few eaters truly outgrow foods that look like rainbows, for edibles that boast the multiple bright colors rule, especially when the foodstuff in question is, surprisingly, not of the sugary variety (the area where rainbows have long dominated).

Meet the Rainbow Grilled Cheese, a recent sensation in Hong Kong and, in turn, on Instagram, too. Like the famous Rainbow Bagel from Brooklyn's The Bagel Store, the Rainbow Grilled Cheese is a chromatic wonder, but not sweet. Mind blown? Tastebuds tempted? It intrigues, no doubt.

Now Angelenos will have a chance to chow down upon this colorful comfort food at Chomp Eatery in Santa Monica. The restaurant unveiled the Unicorn Melt on Thursday, April 28, and it is just as gooey and garish as you might hope. 

What's in a Unicorn Melt? Why unicorn milk, of course (but let's call it provolone and white American cheese for the purposes of non-magical meal clarity). The happy hues spring from food coloring, and the toasted sourdough bread holds the flavorful rainbow in place.

Well, mostly in place; this is a grilled cheese, after all, and we like our grilled cheeses to be a bit on the stringy, melty, see-ya-bread-y side.

The surreal sandwich's cost is six bucks, which, anyone knows, is about what it costs to cover unicorn feed for a day, if you happen to keep a unicorn as a pet.

Ready to welcome rainbow-enchanted hues to other edibles, even those beyond the dessert course? It's happening, Southern California. Like the rainbow itself, color-wow dishes may pop up and surprise us at the most random times.



Photo Credit: Chomp Eatery]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Dapper Day at Disneyland]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:58:11 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/scavodapperday15.jpg

Dapper Day: Disneyland's Monorail, thus far, doesn't travel back and forth through time, but you may wonder on Sunday, May 1. That's Dapper Day at the Happiest Place on Earth and, as is tradition, thousands of park goers will ride Haunted Mansion and eat churros while rocking their very vintage-iest, parasol-pretty, bowtie-coolest outfits. There's a two-day expo, too, at the Disneyland Hotel, on April 30 and May 1. You'll need to pay park admission, do note. 

TCM Classic Film Festival: Don't stow those vintage togs, or at least the vintage spirit, just yet. Hollywood is the spot for cinematic favorites from several decades, and the stars who made them. It's the annual multi-screening, multi-party to-do that's has its HQ at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and its heart in the silver-screen gems of yore. Through May 1

UCLA Celebration of Iranian Cinema: The movie love continues in Westwood Village with a slate of premieres, director appearances, and events spotlighting some of the fantastic films emerging from Iran nowadays. Be at the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum to see the West Coast premiere of "The Sale" (Haraj) on Sunday, May 1, as well as a bevy of other works.

A Street (Af)fair: Saunter through the West Hollywood Design District on Saturday, April 30 and soak up styles and pieces that summon the concept of "East Meets West." It's an outdoor marketplace, with vendors lining North Almont Drive near Melrose. Call it a quick/cool study of the design going down in the district, and, of course, what's next on the visual splendor scene.

West Adams Art Tour: Hop on a guided tour, one that takes in a quintet of galleries and working artist studios dotting the historic neighborhood, and get acquainted with what is happening in this creative nexus. Design East of La Brea is presenting, and tickets for the Saturday, April 30 happening are twenty five bucks. Call it a glorious gallery day with a touch of behind-the-scenes cred.

Hollywood Bowl Single Tickets: Wondering if summer is well and truly on its way? Here's one of the biggest local signs: Single tickets for the 2016 Hollywood Bowl season go on sale on Sunday, May 1. If you've been waiting to nab a seat for your Steely Dan or Diana Ross or your dream show, and didn't go subscription package or 5-or-more, your moment is nearly here. As is summer, dear music lovers of SoCal. As. Is. Summer.



Photo Credit: Laurie Scavo/Dapper Day]]>
<![CDATA['The Walking Dead': Universal Attraction Tryouts]]> Thu, 28 Apr 2016 10:15:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/202*120/031309+Weird+News+Black+Friday+zombie.jpg

If you're well-schooled on your pop culture monsters, you know that each baddie is famous for a set of nuanced, highly specific physical actions.

A werewolf crouches and snarls. A vampire bears his or her fangs. And those famished walkers from AMC's "The Walking Dead"? They've got to successfully shamble, stare, and congregate.

If this is something you're incredibly skilled at -- perhaps, after viewing an episode of the show, you regularly entertain your spouse with your walker-style skillz -- then shamble over to Universal Studios Hollywood on Thursday, May 5 or Friday, May 6.

The theme park, which has made "The Walking Dead" a maze-tastic centerpiece of the annual Halloween Horror Nights spectacular over the last several years, is creaing a permanent attraction based on the series. And the dread-filled destination, set to open in the summer of 2016, will need "scare-actors" to play both the moaning, hungry walkers and those humans who are constantly trying to outrun them.

"(O)ver 1,000 prospective walkers" are expected at the auditions, which will be helmed by John Murdy, the Creative Director of Halloween Horror Nights. 

Wait: So is the creative outfit behind the TV series involved in the eerie attraction? You bet: Greg Nicotero, the show's executive producer, is rounding up his team to make the make-up, effects, and world fraught with frightful sights, sounds, and scares.

You'll want to note all the to-dos and not-dos before heading for the theme park's Globe Theater for your audition, but know this: Do not, repeat, do not arrive dressed as a walker or rocking walker make-up.

Do, however, wear garb that is easy to move around in. The full list of asks is here, as is the place to schedule your audition appointment.

Feeling the moan? Stirred by the shamble? Are you simply an awesomely skilled walker and/or post-apocalyptic human survivor? Show your spine-tingly stuff off at Universal Studios Hollywood's terrifying tryouts. 

Happy Halloween -- er, spring!

Universal Studios is owned by NBCUniversal, the same parent company as NBC4.



Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Earth from Space: A New IMAX Experience]]> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 20:43:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/ABP_03045654.jpg

Since our days are flush with variety, from errands to work to leisure time, it is difficult to say, with certainty, what a stranger does or does not have on their personal plate during any 24-hour period.

But we'll say, with some confidence, that most earthlings, save an individual or two every now and then, will not be visiting the International Space Station during their daily rounds.

It's just a guess, really, but probably pretty accurate. If you're a bit bummed about this, that tomorrow's to-do list doesn't include calling upon the International Space Station, then prepare to perk up: IMAX is unveiling a new film that's centered around the celebrated, astronaut-tastic satellite.

"A Beautiful Planet 3D," which is narrated by Jennifer Lawrence, debuts at the California Science Center and other select IMAX cinemas on Friday, April 29, just in time for the close of Earth Month. But, of course, when Earth is right out your window much of the time, as it is on the space station, every month is Earth Month (as, really, it should be for the globe below).

The film is lush with epic imagery, including vast snapshots of clouds, mega land masses, azure oceans, and that ol' peek-around-the-edge curvature of our round-ish home turf.

Will you see the glowing lights of our big cities? You shall. Might you spy astronauts at work, and hear their thoughts on caring for our one-and-only address? You absolutely will. Is NASA involved? Oh, you bet; the agency was a major part of the making of the film.

Nifty weather and natural phenomenon, including thunderstorms and the Aurora Borealis, also make memorable cameos. (We've all seen storms from below, but how do they appear when viewed from above?)

And while the Earth is a wee bit larger than the California Science Center's IMAX screen, the 7-story screen is still mighty impressive. Take time, after the credits, to stroll the idea-packed place and discover more about our world.

Ready to head out to the International Space Station, at least via IMAX? No need to pack any special gear or clothing; just some wonder, some hope, and some comfy, movie-watching pants'll do.



Photo Credit: IMAX SpaceWorks Ltd.]]>
<![CDATA[Tinseltown Vintage: TCM Classic Film Festival]]> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 13:28:31 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tcmfilm2016123.jpg

Film fans will sometimes proclaim that a decades-old film is unusually "contemporary" or "modern." It's the kind of statement you hear in the bathroom at a vintage movie palace, after the credits roll, as your fellow film goers pick apart the plot and characters.

Timeless films aren't screened solely at vintage movie palaces, however; Turner Movie Classics keeps the celluloid stalwarts on constant rotation, every day of the week, on the widely viewed cable network.

But TCM blithely hops off the television, once a year, to throw a grand Tinseltown party, one lush with films and stars and fans and discussions on lighting and directors and musicals and sets vs. location shoots. It's the TCM Classsic Film Festival, and it is once again turning on the proverbial searchlights at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

The dates? Be there from April 28 through May 1, 2016. The happenings? Look for a celebration for the 90th anniversary of the Vitaphone, an Academy conversation regarding the '50s-era "War of the Worlds," screenings of "Bambi" and "All the President's Men" and "Horse Feathers" and "The King and I," and a conversation with Elliot Gould.

Director Francis Ford Coppola will also enjoy a TCL Chinese Theatre handprints ceremony during the festival's run.

There are more conversations, like stars reminiscing about when they arrived in Hollywood, and some book signings and thematic talks are in the movie mix.

And look for loads of great, genre-influencing movies from all quarters. Choosing will be challenging for buffs of 1930s-to-'80s flicks. It's like a weeklong TCM schedule just popped off of your TV and landed on the big screens off Hollywood Boulevard.

So, what makes an older movie "so contemporary"? And what if we were to pay a similar compliment to newer flicks by calling them "nicely vintage"? If a modern feature offers snappy dialogue, fabulous acting, and a strong point-of-view, we could accurately compare it to some of the best films of a half century back.

For the full grid, and all the talks and Hollywood-filled hubbub, don your fedora and saunter over here.



Photo Credit: TCM Classic Film Festival]]>
<![CDATA[Taste of the Eastside: Food Fest Favorite]]> Wed, 27 Apr 2016 09:54:04 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/207*120/tabletasteoftheeastside.jpg

The word "eastside" and the word "eat" were in existence long before food festivals focused on the east end of town came into existence.

But it wouldn't be out-of-bounds to refer to Taste of the Eastside, the annual spring-sweet food festival devoted to area cooks and restaurants and bakeries, as Taste of the Eatside, just for giggles.

Once those giggles trail off, and you sigh and wipe your eyes, you'll want to get down to the business of noshing upon a plethora of bites with eastside cred. The date is Sunday, May 1 -- an ideally iconic day for an alfresco gathering of the gourmet sort -- and the spot is the Los Angeles River Center & Gardens in Cypress Park.

Yep, several Highland Park spots, and Echo Park eateries, and Silver Lake supperies, and brewhouses of all sorts will stake ground in one place, meaning you don't need to bop around to get your fill. 

You'll only need to stroll among the tables to try out the chowdownable goods from Donut Farm and Kitchen Mouse and Gigi's Bakery and My Vegan Gold and Diablo Taco and Malo Restaurant and The Greyhound and several other stalwarts and newcomers that make the eastside so edibly diverse and delicious.

Tickets are $40/$50 for general admission -- $40 before, $50 there -- and kids ages 2 to 12 get in for eight bucks (there shall be face painting, yeahhh).

DJs -- Garth Trinidad'll be in the house, er, gardens -- and other entertainmentful options will keep the vibes as sweet as you like 'em on the first of May.

As for the time? It's an afternoon-into-evening thing, which, science may surely one day reveal, is the loveliest time of any Sunday, and especially a May Sunday.

For all of that foodie goodness, and socializing flow, and neighborhood-y togetherness, alight upon your Taste of the Eatside -- we mean Eastside -- ticket now.



Photo Credit: Teresa Plaza]]>
<![CDATA['The Exorcist' to Haunt Halloween Horror Nights]]> Tue, 26 Apr 2016 23:49:56 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/exorcistposterdetail123.jpg

C'mon, Universal Studios Hollywood. We mean, really now.

One minute we're traipsing about, picking daisies, thinking about ice cream while enjoying the spring-sweet sunshine, and the next minute you tell all of us, out of the blue, that "The Exorcist" will make its first-ever maze debut at Halloween Horror Nights, the annual get-scared spectacular at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Out of the blue? Er... We mean out of the fog, of course.

We weren't ready, is what we're saying. We hadn't yet covered our eyes and put our popcorn bucket on the floor and made the necessary preparations one must make during a fright-filled flick.

Though it kind of makes macabre sense, that the first Halloween Horror Nights maze reveal would arrive even in sunny April, what with recent announcements involving other terrifying treats like ScareLA and Midsummer Scream and year-round "The Walking Dead" attraction headed for USH in the summer of '16.

If you know the William Peter Blatty novel, and the sensation-spurring 1973 film, you know that the story centers around a girl named Regan, her mother Chris, and a host of priests, doctors, and police officers who get involved over the course of the possession-themed plot.

It's scary, so much so film goers famously ran from cinemas during its headline-making first run, and time has not dimmed its fright-making flame.

So are you up for entering that world? Via a scene-filled maze? Do you need a half year or so to ponder whether you can? You've got it: Halloween Horror Nights traditionally debuts around the third week in September.

More mazes will soon come down the announcement pike, so stayed tuned, and keep a well-oiled supply of "eeks!" handy, because the autumn-time theme park event has a way of summoning them, scare after scare.

Universal Studios is owned by NBCUniversal, the same parent company as NBC4.



Photo Credit: The Exorcist]]>
<![CDATA[Guns N' Roses to Rock Dodger Stadium]]> Tue, 26 Apr 2016 11:31:51 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/181*120/GettyImages-521781584.jpg

What's hotter: The Empire Polo Club in Indio on a sun-intense spring day? Or Elysian Field in the middle of August, a time that's typically one of the toastiest stretches of the year?

It's a bit of a trick question, because the answer is actually C) Guns N' Roses. The iconic band performing a turn-it-up, hit-laden, riff-big spectacular is, in theory, way hotter than both of those aforementioned places, for the simmer arrives both in sound and showmanship, two things no thermometer can compete with.

Axl Rose, Slash, and the crew of the hard-rockin' outfit just came off two headlining weekends at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. Next up, at least for Southern California-based fans? A Dodger Stadium concert on Thursday, Aug. 18, as part of the band's multi-city "Not in This Lifetime" tour.

Feeling the fiery experience now? It'll be major, as Dodger Stadium performances have proved to be. The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Madonna have all sung at the hey-batter-swing landmark.

That GNR is a cred-laden Los Angeles band will only sweeten the show further for the fans who've been with the outfit since the mid-'80s, from "Appetite for Destruction" to "November Rain" to the group's 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.

Will those same fans do the classic California bounce-around, as devotees do when their favorite band has announced San Francisco and San Diego shows in addition to the LA date? Then check out the full calendar, soon to appear on the back of a concert tee near you, we're sure: San Francisco's AT&T Park comes a week and change ahead of Dodger Stadium, while Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego will host the traveling music-makers a few days post-Los Angeles.

Tickets, packages, info, everything Guns N' Roses? Point your drumsticks in this direction.

Deciding which is hotter: Coachella in April, LA in August, or GNR's legendary hard-rocking-ness? 

Debate this topic among your friends as you make your way to Dodger Stadium on Aug. 18. (The answer, of course, is C.)



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[New: Broad Museum Ticketing Change]]> Tue, 26 Apr 2016 20:13:13 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/broadnightiwanbaan.jpg

If you're on Grand Avenue near 2nd Street on any sunny Saturday, you'll likely behold three things: The gleam of Walt Disney Concert Hall's silver sails, the beauty of LA's skyscraping buildings, and a sizable queue in front of The Broad.

This shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with the contemporary art museum, its worldwide fame, and its founders, Eli and Edythe Broad. After all, The Broad, long before its September 2015 debut, announced that admission would be free, which almost guarantees, in any situation, there will be lines.

The museum's advance reservation system eased the flow, but spots to see the pieces by Alexander Calder, Chuck Close, Kara Walker, and Andy Warhol were filling up months ahead of time, and most notably on weekends.

But here's a bright light, as twinkly as the multitude of bulbs that give Yayoi Kusama's beloved "Infinity Room" its sparkle: The Broad has announced a new ticketing schedule, starting on May 1, 2016.

How does it work? It's all about A) booking at the start of the month for B) the following month.

So if you want to go in July, count on a ticket release starting on June 1. Want to plan an October visit? You'll want to book your slot at the beginning of September.

Each timed ticket release will happen at noon, local time, on the first of every month, for slots in the next month. Good? Yes. Easy. It feels like it bears repeating, but we're satisfied that all is clear here. 

Oh, except this: The Broad is closed on Mondays. Know that.

A museum representative says that the schedule was "designed to make it easier to plan a visit," a nice thing, indeed, given that queues have been turning the corner and wrapping around large swaths of the honeycomb'd structure.

A separately ticketed Cindy Sherman exhibit is just ahead, by the by, as is the wrap-up of the inaugural exhibit. (The Sherman tickets are $12 per adult and free for those 17 and under.) 

And if you still want to do the stand-by thing, and line up, out of the blue, without a ticket? No worries; that'll stay put. Some people awake thinking they'd to see something spectacular that day, perhaps Ms. Kusama's "Infinity Mirrored Room--The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away" (the full name for the piece, of course).

Spontaneity and a Broad swing-by are still a vital twosome, but if you know truly and definitely about a later date you'd like to go, this new ticketing schedule should provide more opportunities and sooner.

Any plan that eases the path to art, no admission required, is as grand as Grand Avenue, which can out-grand most fairly grand things, any Angeleno knows.



Photo Credit: Iwan Baan]]>
<![CDATA[LA Bacon Festival: Afternoon Chowdown]]> Mon, 25 Apr 2016 18:35:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/219*120/052609baconvodka001.jpg

Who was the first person to pluck a strip of bacon off the breakfast plate and place it inside a sandwich or atop a cheeseburger?

Culinary annals are complicated, and knowing exactly how the morning staple became a lunch and dinner hallmark — and a favorite in heartier cocktails, too — may spur a hundred different stories. But the facts are that A) bacon has long appeared in luncheon dishes, including the BLT, and B? People will celebrate the strip-shaped favorite regardless of the time on the clock.

Look to the 4th annual LA Bacon Festival, an afternoon party that eschews — yes, eschews — some tried-and-true breakfast classics for all of the nouveau 'n noshable things bacon can do.

This isn't to say you might see some spins on eggy, cheesy bacon-rife goodness at LA Center Studios on Sunday, May 1, but note that you'll spy other meaty creations, things like bacon cupcakes and bacon ice cream and bacon salt and bacon sliders and bacon-wrapped dates and other bacon-wrapped edibles that had never occurred to you before.

Do tickets fly as fast as a rasher of bacon disappears in a house full of weekend guests? You bet. Are there two sessions to pick from? Yep, one beginning at noon and one starting at 4 o'clock. 

Are there foamy adult beverages to wash all of the bacon cupcakes down? There are, more than 20 in all, so call your bacon-loving bud and ask her/him to serve as your designated driver pronto. (You'll buy their ticket, of course, because that is polite.)

And ponder this: Will bacon ever go back to starring solely on the breakfast plate? While eggs and bread also make cameos later in the day, the presence of bacon at dinner, in some form, is still apt to start a conversation.

And if the savory meat gives a dessert its zing? Rest assured it is what everyone will be discussing the next day.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Urban Light': Final Week Before Restoration]]> Tue, 26 Apr 2016 18:01:02 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/160*120/UrbanLightChrisBurden_LACMA_.jpg

UPDATE: "Half of 'Urban Light' will be lit and accessible throughout the repainting process," reveals LACMA. A decision was made to keep some of it open at all times "(i)n light of overwhelming reaction to 'Urban Light' going dark."

You may not always spy dolphins while out on a boat trip, and seeing those famous wild parrots of Pasadena during a Crown City visit isn't guaranteed.

But drive by 'Urban Light' at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and you will, for sure, like 99.999% sure, to the max for sure, encounter frolicking people posing for photographs.

The walk-through art installation, which includes 202 historic street lamps, has become, if such a thing were quantifiable, just about the most loved-upon, interact-with-y artwork on the planet, if Instagram photos might serve as hard evidence. 

But when something is doted upon, over and over and over, well, a spa day is in order. Only the Chris Burden artwork, which first began to glow in front of the Miracle Mile art museum back in 2008, is about to be rewarded with some spa months, as in two months, as in the run of time from May 1 through June 30, 2016.

Yep, it is closing for a restoration.

There's some "ish"-ing involved here, as the re-open date, at this juncture, is a bit soft, but plan on the end of June as about the time that the lamps will re-open.

Ah yes, that's the message here: If you're going to snap a photo or make a video within/around the lamps, as so many Angelenos and visitors do, you've got a week to go, as of this typing, before the May 1 lights-out date.

For once the restoration work commences -- think a major clean-up and paint re-do, well beyond the mere "touch-up" category -- the lamps'll be closed to the public.

We know, it is hard to believe, given that 'Urban Light' is just so darn accessible, night or day. Believe it, though: One of the shining symbols of our city is about to take some R&R, the better to return looking even spiffier.

Now's the time, photo-ready frolickers of Southern California. Best get to the Miracle Mile favorite before the first of May arrives, or wait for July to snap those engagement photos.



Photo Credit: LACMA]]>
<![CDATA[Free: Make Music Pasadena's Line-up Announced]]> Mon, 25 Apr 2016 09:29:35 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/189*120/makemusicpasadena12.jpg

Coachella may have wrapped for another year, but the season of alfresco concerts is just revving up. Next on the scene? Stagecoach, also in Indio, with BottleRock Napa Valley and San Francisco's Outside Lands on the guitar-laden summertime horizon.

But as for the grandest and freest of outdoor stage scenes, at least on this side of the United States? That's Make Music Pasadena which, at a year shy of its 10th birthday, is billed as "the West Coast's largest free music festival."

The Junetime extravaganza, which sets up the amps and lights in Old Town Pasadena on Saturday, June 11, just announced its 2016 line-up. On the roster? Atlas Genius, Bear Hands, The Mowgli's, Small Black, Nahko and Medicine for the People, James Supercave, Papa, and a host of other artists that fill out both the headlining categories and the up-and-coming side of things.

For sure, there are over 30 stages, from the main venue on Colorado Boulevard -- as in, on the boulevard itself -- to museums and restaurants around downtown Pas. 

Past year's have seen performances at Vroman's Bookstore, the Armory Center for the Arts, and the Playhouse District.

So while the festival is a full half day -- think 11 (when it is sunny) to 11 (when the moon is out) -- picking your shows will be a necessity, given the breadth of both place and style.

Eye all the acts, and start dreaming of your second Saturday in June, the one where you'll pay nada to see a bunch of songs played live. Well, you'll pay for your Metro ride, which you'll want to consider, since parking will, no doubt, be a challenge around Pasadena.

Is your favorite band on the list?



Photo Credit: Make Music Pasadena]]>
<![CDATA['Purple Rain' Returns to AMC Theaters]]> Sat, 23 Apr 2016 12:05:33 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/princeinconcertap.jpg

Learning about the death of an iconic artist can instantly spur disbelief, and a search for answers, and a longing for true connection with other fans, those people who've been moved by the music like you have been for so many years.

Such was the case on April 21, 2016, when the world learned of Prince's passing at his Paisley Park Studios at the age of 57. Soon, devotees were reminiscing about the Minnesota musician's spectacular live shows, his sing-along-able hits, and, of course, "Purple Rain," a 1984 tour de force that brought the artist cinematic acclaim, not to mention an Academy Award for Best Original Song Score.

Many fans, however, have likely not seen the tune-laden drama since it first played on the big screen over three decades ago. That will change over the last week in April as AMC Theatres, in partnership with Warner Bros., brings Prince's moving opus to 87 screens across the country from April 23 through 28.

The sound-filled drama not only feature Prince in the role of a Minneapolis rocker, but also includes terrific turns by Morris Day, Apollonia, Wendy Melvoin, and Lisa Coleman.

The songs? You know them all, by heart. "When Doves Cry," "Darling Nikki," "Let's Go Crazy," and so many more fill out the scintillating, Oscar-garnering soundtrack.

We've seen, since the news broke, impromptu fan gatherings in several cities, the kind of gatherings that are all about connection (and, yes, the chance to sing a few songs, in public, with plenty of feeling).

The "Purple Rain" AMC screenings will likely invite some of that spirit, too, as fans revisit a film they saw on the big screen in '84, or see it in a cinema for the very first time.

In the Los Angeles area, the following AMC theaters will be playing "Purple Rain":

  • Atlantic Times Square 14
  • Broadway 4
  • Covina 17
  • Norwalk 20
  • Ontario Mills 30
  • Orange 30 W/IMAX
  • Promenade 16
  • Rolling Hills 20
For more information, visit amctheatres.com/purple-rain.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Rooftop Cinema Club: June Flicks Announced]]> Fri, 22 Apr 2016 14:12:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/rooftopcinemahwood1.jpg

Oodles of famous film scenes happen on terra firma, whether two characters are chatting while strolling along a big-city sidewalk or running through a flowery field.

But rise in elevation, to the top of a building, and you get some truly major movie moments, from the proton-tacular closer of "Ghostbusters" and the Jerome Robbins-choreographed dance from "West Side Story" to the leaping chimney sweeps of "Mary Poppins."

A structure's zenith, by fanciful extension, makes a fitting place to enjoy a film. And The Rooftop Cinema Club, which screens a caboodle of popcorn-y classics atop The Montalban when warmer weather arrives, has more than embraced the concept of a lofty location serving as a temporary screening room.

The June 2016 schedule has just been revealed, so if you're hoping to spend a soft-of-breeze Hollywood night reveling in the likes of "Clueless" or "Raiders of the Lost Ark," best book your spot more-than-soon-ish. (April qualifies on the "more-than-soon-ish" scale, and May does, too.)

So what else is on the list? "Spice World" zig-ah-zig-ahs as the cinema club's series opener on June 1, while "Trainspotting," "Hail Caesar" (a BAFTA presentation), and "(500) Days of Summer" dot the schedule. 

There are to-knows about attending, like what to wear (June nights can be cool/damp) and such, so bone up on all of your rooftop-movie-watching knowledge.

Costumes are also met with enthusiasm, so obviously you'll need to decide if you're going as Ginger Spice or Sporty Spice. Like, soon. This is not a decision to dillydally over.

Making it all the niftier? London and New York are our Rooftop Cinema Club siblings, in that they, too, screen flicks above various streets, so call the alfresco festivity an event with international mojo. 

Goosing it even further up the nifty scale? The Montalban, being just a skoosh south of Hollywood & Vine, sits grandly among some of the Tinseltown's most iconic rooftop and neon signs.

The views are supreme, the surrounding structures are historic, and the very setting has oodles of vintage Hollywood cachet.

Will that enhance your movie-watching experience, up on the roof? Well, only if you let it, which we most emphatically recommend. Movies and Hollywood, you might have heard, are a rather tight twosome, and to enjoy both, all at once, is better than a bucket of hot buttered popcorn.



Photo Credit: Rooftop Cinema Club]]>
<![CDATA[Cracker Jack Replacing Toy Prize With Digital Codes for Mobile Games]]> Fri, 22 Apr 2016 12:02:24 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/Cracker+Jacks+Prize.jpg

It's the end of era.

The iconic prize found in a bag of Cracker Jacks will be replaced with stickers containing digital codes for mobile games, the company announced Thursday.

Cracker Jack, which is owned by the Frito-Lay division of PepsiCo, said the company is taking a new approach to their prizes with "baseball-inspired mobile digital experiences directly from the sticker inside."

"The new Prize Inside allows families to enjoy their favorite baseball moments through a new one-of-a-kind mobile experience, leveraging digital technology to bring the iconic Prize Inside to life," Cracker Jack said in a statement.

The new prizes will require fans of the caramel-coated popcorn and peanuts snack to down the Blippar app, available for iOS and Android, and will come in four themes: Dot Dash, Dance Cam, Get Carded and Baseball Star. Cracker Jack will also debut restyled logo and packaging.

The announcement comes as baseball season gets into full swing.



Photo Credit: Cracker Jack]]>
<![CDATA[Shakespeare: 400th Anniversary Celebrations]]> Fri, 22 Apr 2016 08:09:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/212*120/AP359630576609.jpg

You don't need to wear a corset, or a farthingale, or a ruff, or a doublet, to feel a connection to the time of William Shakespeare. 

Nor must you unleash the occasional "thine" or "wherefore" to understand that the Bard's words, themes, notions, and world view still weave into our day-to-day fabric, whether we're catching some Shakespeare in the Park or simply watching a sitcom (which probably owes some of its internal rhythms to works created long ago).

The world's most famous playwright died four hundred years ago, on April 23, 1616, but his playful and pointed plays are as piquant today as ever. With that in mind and heart, fans around Southern California will mark the anniversary of Shakespeare's passing over the fourth weekend of April 2016.

The Paley Center for Media: The scribe behind "Richard II" and "The Taming of the Shrew" is not only celebrated on the stage but on the screen, and the Beverly Hills-based museum for television will present a number of lauded televised works over the April 23 and 24 weekend. Look for the aforementioned plays, as well as "Twelfth Night," "The Tempest," and more.

Kingsmen Shakespeare Company: Join the group of thespians as they celebrate Bard Day with a host of happenings at California Lutheran University's Overton Hall. A tour, a cabaret, and a "Sonnet Brunch" are on the words-alive rundown, one that covers both days of the anniversary weekend.

Arena Cinema: Long to get your fill of Shakespeare's scintillating words, over a full week, and not pay to do it? This Hollywood spot is your place. "As You Like It," "A Midsummer's Night Dream," and more classics are just ahead. No money's required, but a reservation is (so make it now).

If Bardly beauty is your bag, and you want more dramatic treats throughout the calendar, and beyond this special anniversary weekend, best give a "forsooth!" and follow Shakespeare in LA, which regularly casts a (candle)light on William-wonderful goings-on across ye olde Southern California.



Photo Credit: AP]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Earth Day Festivals]]> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 22:34:54 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/earthday_2.jpg

Earth Day: It's a positive turn that what started as a single 24-hour observation back in 1970 has now become Earth Month, with a full spectrum of celebrations around the planet. Those parties began mid-month around California, but there are more to come, including a two-day Earth Day Celebration in Long Beach on April 23-24, an Earth Day 5K at Descanso Gardens (plus a plant sale and other nature-y haps) on April 24, and a bouquet of to-dos at local state parks. High five our home turf, and all of its epic-o-sity, starting here.

Fiesta Broadway: Cinco del Mayo is just about two weeks away, but the largest street fair anywhere will rev up the scene early, as is tradition. Pablo Montero is the grand marshal, Villa 5 and a host of top acts will play, and the admission? It's free. The Sunday, April 24 street party festively fills several downtown blocks, so before you go best eye the map.

America's Family Pet Expo: Without a doubt this dogly and catly and fishly and birdly spectacular is one of the biggest pet-themed bashes around. One important note? This is not for your pets, so best leave your fur babies home. Once at the OC Fair & Event Center, though, get ready to see police dog demos, adoptable cuties, expert talks, and a bevy of booths with everything for your companion animal. April 23 and 24

BROKE LA: Not headed to Indio for weekend #2 of Coachella? There's lots of music downtown, at this six-years-along indie tunefest, a one-day gathering that's priced economically -- $20 ahead of the April 23 date, $25 there -- and full of vibes-y flow. Look for comedy, food trucks, and a dog adoption fair, too. Have an afternoon and evening for alt-style soundsmithing? Click.

Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival: Concerts, costumes, and clip-cloppery, of the horsey kind, are some of the out-on-the-range hallmarks of this long-running lark. Bluegrass tunes, awesome banjos pluckery, the kind of chow you'd want to eat from a chuckwagon, ten-gallons by the truckload, and plenty of spurs-style sparkle fill Old Town Newhall through Sunday, April 24.



Photo Credit: Earth Day]]>
<![CDATA[Passover Treats, From Matzo to Macaroons]]> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 17:13:40 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/valeriepassover2016.jpg

Finding that ideal end-of-the-meal matzo or macaroon or babka or loaf to serve at your seder dinner, or to present to the host as you arrive at the door, is part of the sweet springtime search.

Several Southern California bakeries and restaurants lend some love to that search via a vibrant array of desserts, some traditional, some not so much. But if you prefer chocolate, or fruit, or a decadent treat that's based around a luscious breadstuff, you can find it at a local eatery. 

Passover begins on the evening of Friday, April 22. Best stop by one of the following, or your favorite neighborhood bakery, before arriving at the seder dinner.

Schwartz Bakery: So many scrumptious cakes to decide upon, and so many snapshots to ponder. The bakery, which has five locations, has been serving Angelenos for over 60 years. So, what sort of cake will you with for your dinner? Chocolate, or vanilla, or something with a flourish of frosting or fruit? Start perusing the pretty plates.

Eilat Bakery: This longtime go-to for gorgeous and delicious delectables has a full Passover-ready menu to peruse, from walnut macaroons to honey loaf cakes to mandel bread to several strips (think linzer, mocha, tiramisu). Visit the two Pico locations and go deeper into the dessert choices.

Delice Bakery: Delice, called the "fine French kosher bakery," is also on Pico and also boasts a plethora of yummy desserts. Gaze upon the almond cherry cookies, the black & white cookies, and the variety of fruit tarts. Want to see all, including photos? Daydream over your dessert now.

Taste of Melrose: Chef Brian Sheard is creating a host of kosher goodies for the 2016 holiday, including matzo ball soup to an apple and pomegranate salad. If you're a budino buff, ask about the chocolate budino, which includes "coconut milk, fresh berries, and meringue kisses."

Valerie Confections: Chocolate plus matzo is, to many eyes (and palates), the ultimate pairing. The richness of the confection sings alongside the flavor and consistency of the unleavened flatbread, something that this sweet-maker is doing via chocolate-dipped matzo. 

Huckleberry Bakery & Café: But does a candy-lovely matzo pair well with macaroons? The two classics are often seen side-by-side on holiday tables come Passover. Make for this Santa Monica stop for both traditional and chocolate macaroons, or pick the eatery's take on an upside down cake, a dessert flush with apple and honey.



Photo Credit: Valerie Confections]]>
<![CDATA[Rain (Room) to Continue at LACMA]]> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 10:23:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/rainroom12345678.jpg

"When will this rain ever end?" is a common, sigh-filled refrain often spoken by those who wish to play outdoors or host an alfresco party or stage a garden wedding.

It isn't, however, something art aficionados have been saying in the vicinity of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art these days. That's where the hugely buzzed-about "Rain Room," a wet, walk-into-the-weather installation, has been pouring since the fall of 2015.

Pouring and accommodating about 7 or 8 people at any one time, which means it has been one popular ticket, with booked-up slots aplenty.

One extension, announced in January, stuck an additional seven weeks on the end of its initial run. And back in January, well, April 24 looked like a long time a way, giving those people who longed to experience the unusual artwork a chance to see it.

April 24 is nigh -- so, so nigh -- but the weather report is positive for those who remain curious about the installation, which was created by Random International in London: Another extension was just announced, so don't stow those galoshes just yet.

But as so often happens with real-life rainstorms, there will be a brief break in the steady drizzle: "Rain Room" will briefly go dry, with a re-opening on Thursday, May 19 "for a limited engagement." 

That short-run extension concludes on July 12, so really and truly and honestly and we-mean-it-ly, this is the time you'll need to book your ticket. (Timed tickets are separate from museum admission and must be reserved ahead of time.)

Did you hear all the talk about the artwork that simulated rainfall back when it was at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City a few years ago? Have your Southern California neighbors been raving about it since November? Aren't you a bit curious about how it feels to step into a wall of falling water, only to have that water stop over the place where you stand?

Yes/yes/yes seem the likely answers, we'll wager. So don your mack, poncho, or slicker, if you like, or simply arrive as you are, as most people do, and enjoy one of the dazzling and damp experience before it dries up in the hot days of early July.



Photo Credit: Random International]]>
<![CDATA[Hollyhock Guest House: Restoration Ahead]]> Wed, 20 Apr 2016 18:05:58 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/residenceAbarnsdall.jpeg

Thousands of historic homes around Los Angeles boast buildings in the backyard, smaller structures designed with the sole purpose of housing temporary visitors.

Of course, many guest houses are now used for storage, or as makeshift exercise rooms, or are rented out, but few get the full redo when the main house is updated.

There are exceptions, of course, like when a guest house is created one of the best-known architects in history. We speak of Frank Lloyd Wright, the visionary who not only designed Aline Barnsdall's beloved Hollyhock House at Barnsdall Park but two adjacent buildings, Residence A and Residence B.

Residence B was razed decades ago, but Residence A still stands not far from the freshly renovated main house. The nearly century-old landmark, which is perched upon a hilltop in East Hollywood, has been attracting new and longtime fans since its post-spiffy-up debut in February 2015.

Many of those Hollyhock-loving fans have strolled by the shuttered Residence A, knowing its general background but wondering about its future, a future that, in many respects, mirrors the future of historic buildings everywhere: It needed a whole bunch of TLC.

That's coming, in the form of a major renovation, starting in the fall of 2016.

The $3.2-million dollar project will be funded in part by the Community Redevelopment Excess Bond Proceeds, while Project Restore, in partnership with Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell, will "identify the balance of funds to complete the Project."

The through-and-through renovation, which will include deeper "structural enhancements" as well as surface touch-ups, doesn't yet have a completion date. But once the tools are stowed, and the final inspection is wrapped, count on the opportunity to stroll through Residence A as part of your Hollyhock House tour ticket.

It's one of two Frank Lloyd Wright-designed homes in LA that may be accessed by the public -- the other being the Hollyhock House, of course -- so architecture aficionados from all over will surely make the journey up that big, boulevard-close hill, in Hollywood, to see Residence A in all of its newly burnished, historically accurate splendor.



Photo Credit: Undersell Photography]]>
<![CDATA[In-App Adorableness: Find Adoptable Pups]]> Thu, 21 Apr 2016 07:30:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/210*120/barknborrownkla.jpg

If you are obsessed with dogs, there is no other way about it: That's going to be your one true pup-happy path for life, and hooray for that.

Not everyone, however, can be with a dog at all times, every single day, even if they want to be (no "hooray" given, for obvious reasons). But Bark'N'Borrow, called "an Uber-type matchmaking service" by the New York Times, has been working on that sad, pup-free gap by pairing pooches with people who want to hang out and cuddle them, at least for a bit.

On the fly cuddle time? With a canine near you? For a few hours or a day? Within a 50,000-person network of devoted dog fans? That does deserve a "hooray."

Now Bark'N'Borrow has teamed up with NKLA, the shelter overseen by Best Friends Animal Society LA, to create another dogly dimension to the free app: Matching adoptable pups with forever homes.

These would not be tail-waggers you'd visit with for an afternoon before returning your new friend to his or her family, just to be clear. Rather, these collar-less cuties are shelter residents who need to find a permanent address. Permanent and adoring, too, if addresses can be adoring. (For now, let's say they can be.)

And that's "collar-less" in the more philosophical sense, of course. These adoptable dogs don't yet belong to a human, but surely would like to find a person to love.

If you're that person, consider perusing the app, which will continue to cover dog-borrowing and dog-sitting, as well as local Lassies and Laddies who'd love to not be so much "borrowed" for a day but hugged close for always.

Yep, you'll be swiping as you see these sweeties, but be sure to pause on each, for a moment, to get the fuller picture.

Want some background on Bark'N'Borrow and how finding a Fido near you to play fetch with works? Or more on the shelter dogs now front-and-centered within the app? Wag your tail in this direction.



Photo Credit: Bark'N'Borrow]]>
<![CDATA[LA River CleanUp Photo Contest]]> Wed, 20 Apr 2016 13:48:08 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/cleanupcontestphoto2928232.jpg

A contest revolving around the positive promotion of a famous but TLC-requiring natural landmark is good, but, let's be honest: Two contests kind of rock even more.

So if you didn't get a chance to enter The Great LA River Photo Contest back in March -- remember, it was all about stirring up excitement for The Great LA River CleanUp, a longtime April tradition -- there's another grab-your-camera chance going on now.

But there's a twist, much like a twist in a river (though, of course, less damp): While The Great LA River Photo Contest involved shutterbugs posting any of their favorite LA River-themed photos, with a hashtag, to win nifty Adventure 16 Adventure Packs, the photography contests happening on Saturday, April 23 and Saturday, April 30 are all about the ongoing cleanup itself.

Here's the outline: Snap some great pictures while volunteering along the mid- and lower river banks, then tag your photos (#GreatLARiverCleanUp), then post them to Twitter and/or Instagram, then possibly score prizes from Gondola Getaway, REI, and LA River Kayak Safari, if your picture wins.

So what will your photo's theme be? Some of the 25 tons of rubbish hauled out of the river each April by dedicated, perspiration-awesome, let's-do-this volunteers? Or will you capture those volunteers as they wade down to the water's edge in a dramatic moment of anticipation?

What garbage will be pulled out of the river next? (Cue thrilling music.) Be there, with your camera, to find out.

Take a peek at the April 16 winner, from the cleanup's first 2016 Saturday. It's a sweet photo, and should inspire anyone to join in and help out.

There are a lot of ways to capture the important giveback effort, and if your photo involves humans, birds, water, trash, or all of the above, you'll have told an interesting visual story about the cleanup in one single snapshot.

For all the details on the photo contests, and to volunteer, head over to the Friends of the Los Angeles River online HQ.



Photo Credit: FOLAR]]>
<![CDATA[Flying Reptiles Head for SoCal]]> Wed, 20 Apr 2016 09:59:14 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/pterosaurGettyImages-102265792.jpg

If you're a kid, and you own a pair of pajamas covered in Triceratops, and the sheets on your bed depict the Tyrannosaurus Rex, and your walls are covered in Stegosauruses, then you likely think nothing is quite as cool as a giant, ancient land roamer.

With one notable exception: A giant, ancient flying reptile.

Pterosaurs, those winged, on-the-wind beasties who once roamed the skies of the later Triassic and Cretaceous periods, capture the fancies of both kids and former kids in a way that few creatures can, fictional or real (and pterosaurs were definitely real).

And they're making their way to Exposition Park, and the Natural History Museum, for a summertime opening of a major exhibition, one that's organized by the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

"Pterosaurs: Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs" will alight at our venerable science institution on July 3, 2016, with a close date of Oct. 2.

The show, which will feature a host of life-size models as well as videos and exhibits, is described as "the largest exhibition in the United States dedicated to exploring these incredibly diverse winged reptiles." Some were as small as the wee birds we know today, while some boasted prodigious wingspans of 30-plus feet or more, making them the size "of a two-seater plane."

Aaaawesome.

Recently discovered information about the diversity of these long-ago flyers will also be presented in the exhibition, which will highlight the 150 species that reigned, in various forms and numbers, for some 150 million years. 

Where were they? All over the planet, pretty much (pterosaurs had a knack for getting around and not encountering too much gridlock, as we know it, as you might guess). The exhibit will delve into their geography, as well as the deep research about these early vertebrate animals, which were not, repeat not dinosaurs.

Not. Dinosaurs. "Closely related" but not. Very dino-looking, true, but doing their own prehistoric, not-a-dinosaur thing.

So how long ago did the pterosaurs make their final flights? About 66 million years in the past, an amount of time that inspires a small sigh of relief for modern earthlings, as the idea of getting buzzed by a reptile that's the size of a two-seater plane while walking to the market does bring a spot of consternation (as cool as they are).

Count on loads of fascinating tidbits to roll out at NHM, including news on contemporary findings, like the how "an unknown species of giant pterosaur" was "unearthed in Romania in 2012." 

Aaaawesome, part two.

Clearly there's so much more to learn, and discover, with these massive-of-wings icons of the wayback skies. For sure, we'll keep putting them on bedroom posters, and pajamas, and creating toys and puzzles in their likenesses, because flying reptiles will never not intrigue.

But that enduring appeal and mystery doesn't preclude us from grabbing the proverbial spade and digging deeper into the pterosaurs' stories. The info-digging begins in early July at the Natural History Museum.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['Dazed and Confused' at The Wiltern]]> Wed, 20 Apr 2016 14:30:46 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/dazedandconfused123.jpg

Nostalgia and authenticity aren't always close neighbors, nor do they often reside on the same block. In short? How we remember life, when we were younger, can take on rosier tones the more we journey down the road, leaving realness out in the cold.

But both nostalgia and authenticity showed up to star in Richard Linklater's "Dazed and Confused," a made-in-1993 film that was all about the last day of school circa 1976.

It was one of those rare movies that was deemed a classic early on, a label that's stuck as easily as a glittery comb stays inside the back pocket of a favorite pair of patchwork jeans.

Fans will celebrate the feathered hair, and the tube socks, and the turn-it-up FM songbook of the film when it plays on The Wiltern's big screen on Wednesday, April 20. 

Tickets? They're $10 at the door.

And, yep, that would be 4/20, which is now something of a wink-wink holiday for the film, as far as return screenings at various cinemas go. 

Not every encore showing, however, features a full-on costume contest. Prepare for the tube tops, and muscle tees, and wide-collar polyester shirts, and prairie dresses to be out in dazzling sartorial force. 

Still have your ruffled tux shirt, the powder blue one, the dressy job you wore to prom? That would be beyond rad, or out of sight, if you prefer.

It's an all-ages show, but there is a full bar for the 21-and-over crowd.

As for nostalgia and authenticity working in tandem in other feature films? It's a phenomenon that doesn't occur too often, but it so happens that Mr. Linklater's "Everybody Wants Some!!" is also out right now, in wide release.

That, too, like "Dazed and Confused," is a movie that captures some of the good feelings of growing up, as well as the accuracy of how people dressed/lived/hung out circa 1980.

Gazing back is not always easy, but a smokin' soundtrack, some appealing acting from the outsized cast, and a setting anyone familiar with being a teen around 1976 will recognize makes this memory-charged movie one for the ages.



Photo Credit: Dazed and Confused]]>
<![CDATA[In-Town Music Fest: BROKE LA]]> Tue, 19 Apr 2016 13:42:34 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/IMG_1121_PhotoBaker-ed965ab4de8bd59a89cbdc083dfd1b3d.jpg

Many fans have their own personal reasons for not making a famous April music festival, the one out in the desert, including but not limited to the following: work, obligations, budget, or some combo of the three.

But a fourth entry? Some music mavens simply aren't into a bigger scene. BROKE LA (formerly Brokechella), has been the in-town go-to for people seeking a springtime spate of shows for the last six years.

A spate of shows for only twenty bucks a pop, we'll add, if you buy your ticket in advance. You can also pay at the door -- it's $25 -- if you make your way to Imperial Arts Studios in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, April 23.

This is not a multi-day, weekend-long affair; think of BROKE LA as an intense, art-filled, music-laden afternoon/evening sound submersion. Those sounds will be provided by DWNTWN, and Vinyl Williams, and a host of alt acts on the rise or already there or doing the up-and-coming thing after being already there for awhile. It's a varied and vivacious slate of indie music-makery.

Comedian Quincy Jones, who was just on "Ellen" discussing his brave stance in the face of cancer, is also due to perform a set.

And Bark LA will also be a part of the party, and daytime adoptions will play a role. Might you meet your next BFF while enjoying BROKE LA? It could happen, because music is often said to be magic. Maybe that's the ideal arena for pup-person matchmaking.

And beyond the puppies, and stand-up, and tunes, there shall be food trucks, and plenty of them. Look for over a dozen choices including Swami's, Coolhaus, and The Beignet Truck.

There's no doubt about it: We're passionate about the music we dig. But we can also be passionate about how we experience it, live, with the artist on stage, in the moment.

Whether that's a huge desert festival -- which it is for many -- or a more intimate and indie affair -- hello, BROKE LA -- is up to the listener. For some it could easily be both, depending upon the day of the week and mood.

Want to still get your April indie music-fest-a-tude on? DTLA's homegrown bash is popping up again like a springtime daffodil.



Photo Credit: Photo-Baker]]>
<![CDATA[How to Throw a Kentucky Derby Party]]> Fri, 22 Apr 2016 08:32:45 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-471857186.jpg

Year after year, there is a flurry of excitement leading up to the Kentucky Derby, with an endless series of parties and celebrations. It is the one American race that inspires the spectacle and pageantry of a bygone era.

Derby Fashion 

In 1875, Colonel Meriwether Lewis Clark Jr. fashioned the Derby after glamorous European horse races. These races required full morning dress for all who attended. The high society women of the day came to the Derby to debut new spring fashions – especially hats. These women were invited to the race as part of Clark’s strategy to brand the Derby as an upscale event. In the 1960’s television gave women a reason to go all out with their hats, which deepened the “see and be seen” culture.

Unlike the Royal Ascot races, which restrict the size and type of hat for adult women (fascinators are not allowed!), there are no hat restrictions for the Derby. Hats bring good luck to the race, so let your imagination run wild when choosing or creating your hat.

Men also put on their Sunday best for race day, wearing bright, sunny colors, and donning a bow tie and fedora, bowler, or a natty straw Homburg or boater.

Hosting a Kentucky Derby Party 

Invitations reveal the color scheme for your Derby Party, as well as what kind of party it is – a brunch, backyard get-together or formal event. Send your invitations well in advance to give you and your guests plenty of time to plan for race day.

Atmosphere lies at the heart of the Kentucky Derby. In 1904, the red rose became the Derby’s official flower. Any red rose will work, but for authenticity, use red Freedom Roses, known for their rich, bright color in your décor. If you need inspiration for your party’s color scheme, look to colorful jockey silks.

  • Freeze rosebuds inside ice cubes, and use them to fill the champagne bucket. When the Derby winner is announced, pop open the bottle to celebrate!
  • Decorate the bases of wine glasses with miniature hats for the ladies and bow ties for the gents.
  • Fold napkins in the shape of a bow tie, using bright colors that coordinate with your party scheme.
  • Dress up your drink stirrers with miniature hats and bows of ribbon.
  • Use a lavishly decked-out hat as a table centerpiece.

Activities:

Photos — Rent a photo booth for your party, or create a picture perfect backdrop with playful props. Take photos of guests in their race day finery, adding trophies, riding crops, fascinators and clip-on bowties as photo booth accessories. Get some giggles out of your guests with a life-size horse and jockey cut-out for their faces. Make your party’s hashtag part of the display.

Crafts — Little Derby party guests and adults will have fun crafting hats out of paper plates, ribbons and flowers.

Games:

  • Corn Hole is an all-American way to bring guests outside for some competition. Customize your Corn Hole board for the Derby.
  • Put a twist on Pin the Tail on the Donkey with fun alternatives, like “Pin the Jockey on the Horse” or “Pin the Garland on the Horse.”
  • Play some rounds of Horseshoes to get in the Derby spirit!
  • Play some Derby trivia. 

Prizes — Trivia winners of all ages can receive a virgin “Mint Julep” – pour Junior Mints in a traditional silver mint julep cup, and top it with a sprig of mint.

Tradition  As the horses parade to the gate, sing along to “My Old Kentucky Home” with the band and audience on Television.

Lyrics below:

The sun shines bright in the old Kentucky home,

Tis summer, the people are gay;

The corn-top's ripe and the meadow's in the bloom

While the birds make music all the day. The young folks roll on the little cabin floor

All merry, all happy and bright;

By'n by hard times comes a knocking at the door

Then my old Kentucky home, Good-night! Weep no more my lady.

Oh! Weep no more today!

We will sing one song for my old Kentucky home

For the old Kentucky home, far away.



Photo Credit: Bloomberg via Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Hot Dog on a Stick: Lemonade Stomp-A-Thon]]> Tue, 19 Apr 2016 11:05:21 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/IMG_8563stompathon.jpg

Southern Californians' lives brim with repeated movements, those brief actions that are performed again and again, actions that have become part of the hum of the city.

Catching a wave applies here, as does flipping your blinker to merge onto a freeway. The snap of a clapboard on a film set counts, as brandishing a phone to snap a selfie at a red-carpet premiere.

Let's also add lemonade hand-stomping to that hallowed list of small SoCal actions that are oft-repeated. Hot Dog on a Stick first opened next to the Santa Monica Pier in 1946, and its signature beverage is made by pushing down on a lever to mix all of that tart citrus-y goodness, with the end result being sunshine in a cup.

The old-school method of drink-making has its fans, and many of those lemonade lovers will be out at the original Hot Dog on a Stick stand at Muscle Beach on Thursday, April 21 to try their hand at hand-stomping lemonade.

The Lemonade Stomp-A-Thon is a day-long fundraiser for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and everyone from celebrities to former Hot Dog on a Stick employees to bigwigs to regulars will take a turn at the stomper from 11 a.m. to 6 o'clock.

That's seven hours of straight-up lemonade hand-stomping.

The "seven" is no randomly chosen number, of course. It's Hot Dog on a Stick's 70th anniversary, and the company, which sells its batter-dipped dogs at locations across the country, hopes to raise $70,000 for LLS via the seven-hour fundraiser.

Want to join in and do some hand-stomping for a very important cause? Pick a half-hour window and throw your name in. 

And if you can't make it, but can donate online, you'll get a coupon for one dollar.

Seven hours, Santa Monica, and a whole bunch of stomping of the citrus-sunshiny sort, for a sweet reason. Nice. Also nice that it's a true Southern California classic, the Hot Dog on a Stick lemonade.

It's as local as catching a wave or merging onto the 405 or closing a clapboard on a film set or snapping a selfie in Hollywood.



Photo Credit: Hot Dog on a Stick]]>
<![CDATA[Rock Legends May Play New Desert Fest]]> Tue, 19 Apr 2016 14:37:20 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/pmmjbdGettyImages-521108870-horz.jpg

While the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival flowers anew each spring, like so many fresh desert blossoms popping up around Indio's Empire Polo Club, huge music festivals, as an art form, go back a few years.

The multiday, multi-band sound spectacular, that outsized, often outlandish performance-based event with many adjacent moving parts, was famously shaped in the late 1960s and early '70s.

This was the storied era that saw Paul McCartney and The Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan and Pink Floyd's Roger Waters and The Who and Neil Young rise to pop culture prominence. But the notion of rock titans uniting for a modern classic-packed festival, one to rival, or complement, if you prefer, the likes of Coachella and its contemporary ilk, has remained just a daydream.

It's not just a notion, however, that a "new" version of Coachella may spring up at Empire Polo Field in the fall of 2016. This festival would be a sibling, of sorts, to the spring festival (it won't replace it, let it be known, but rather offer a different slate of programming).

The aforementioned acts, from Mr. McCartney to Mr. Young, are all in play as possible performers at the weekend-long three-nighter, which may potentially unfurl over the second weekend in October, per the LA Times.

Goldenvoice, the company behind Coachella, is busily putting the starry scenario together.

There has been no set list, no times, nor any official bold-name announcement on the promoter's site as of this typing, but the proverbial phone lines are hotly lit up, with music mavens discussing what a titan-packed festival could/would mean. 

It would mean this, surely: A lot of fans would be over-the-top excited. Cancel-absolutely-everything excited. Change-important-plans excited. Let's-book-a-hotel-room excited.

Super excited.

Much hay will likely be made over the relatively youthful scene at the springtime Coachella, as opposed to those longtime fans looking to enjoy their idol's performance in a powerhouse festival setting.

Some may even want to make it a generational showdown, spring vs. fall, electronic dance music vs. '60s folk/'70s prog rock, simply to stir up a desert-style dust devil.

Let's let those dust devils alone, the better to honor the spirit of festival-style good feelings. Copacetic? Cool.

Instead, here's hoping that everyone embraces the timeless motto of "come together," which worked pretty well back in the day, and still has the inspirational chops nearly a half-century later.

For "come together" is a solid idea, one that deftly points out what all music lovers already know: Tunes are good, performers are awesome, festivals can deliver a lot of soul-emboldening music all at once, and the songs that connect us to one another, and the important times in our lives, can unify.

So get excited, fans, and stay close to the phone lines: A classic rock festival is on the wind.

(To check out Goldenvoice's other large-scale festivals, from Stagecoach to FYF, click.)



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Eat. Drink. Be an Angel Day.]]> Mon, 18 Apr 2016 12:34:48 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/eatdrinkbeanangelday.jpg

If you've volunteered with Project Angel Food, or you've participated in its food-delivery program, or you've donated money or raised awareness, you likely know that over 10 million meals have been delivered to Southern California residents since 1989.

It's just a huge deal on every measurable scale, and brimming with heart in all of the essential, unmeasurable ways. And as it heads into the final years of its third decade, Project Angel Food continues to serve its important mission, which is providing "FREE nutritious meals delivered daily for homebound individuals around Los Angeles suffering from serious illness."

Some 10,000 meals a week are made and delivered, and all foodstuffs, and their prep, are supported through donations and fundraising. And one of the biggest fundraisers on the Project Angel Food calendar involves a host of restaurants, eateries that donate a portion of a day's proceeds to helping those living in Southern California "who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves."

These meals are often created with the specific medical needs of the recipient in mind, and "nutritional counseling" is part of the widespread program.

It's important, it's soon, and it's called Eat. Drink. Be an Angel Day. Some 65 restaurants are on board for the Wednesday, April 20 event, and each will "donate a portion of sales that day" to Project Angel Food.

The 2016 restaurants include Redbird, the Hugo's Restaurants around town, WeHo Bistro, Off Vine, and several others. The whole list is here.

If going out to eat on April 20 isn't in the cards for you, consider ordering from Postmates, which is donating 10 percent of its proceeds that day to the organization.

Or ponder joining up as volunteer with Project Angel Food, which needs and values helping hands throughout the year. Over 3,600 Angelenos give their time to helping their neighbors through cooking, prepping, gardening, and the many essential tasks that need doing each and every day.



Photo Credit: Project Angel Food]]>
<![CDATA[Tax Night: Evening Deals Around SoCal]]> Mon, 18 Apr 2016 11:19:50 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/sassafrasoldfashioned123.jpg

Wrapping up a major project, such as the annual completion of your taxes, typically deserves a moment of contemplation, of conversation, and, yes, of celebration.

But filling out your forms is only one step of the process; you need to get those forms off, lickety split, when the day arrives.

That day in 2016 is Monday, April 18, which means many people stuck close to home over the middle weekend of the month, dotting those all important i's. How best, then, to raise a glass to another tax season well-wrapped?

Well, by raising a glass. As is tradition, a number of taverns and night spots around Southern California will offer Tax Day deals on drinks and bites. So line up your designated driver or find your Metro pass and make for...

The bars of The 1933 Group: While these stylish niteries look as though they might have seen several decades' worth of Tax Days, thanks to their vintage decor, artfully worn booths, and old-fashioned Old Fashioneds, they are, in fact, on the newer side.

Still, you can sip your $1 cocktail and feel as though you've been transported back to, yes, 1933 (the year Prohibition ended). Not every beverage at every 1933 bar will be a dollar on the evening of April 18, select sips shall be discounted.

Harlowe on Santa Monica Boulevard, Sassafras on Vine, and both the Bigfood Lodges have a one-dollar Old Fashioned, if that's your pleasure, while La Cuevita of Figueroa is doing a Tequila Press for a buck. Find your post-post office place to relax here (the group has bars dotting the city, so one could be close).

Times for these 1933 specials? Pick your place and be there from 5 to 7 o'clock.

If you're near Beverly Hills, there's another swanky spot, this one that's been around for a number of decades, that's doing up Tax Night just right: La Dolce Vita is offering 66-cent cocktails (the "66" is in honor of the year it opened). The offer is good with the purchase of any food item.

Can't make it on April 18? This opening-honoring special will continue on Throwback Thursdays -- so each Thursday -- throughout the remainder of 2016. 

And if you're near the gourmet-hot-doggery Dog Haus, look for one-dollar PBRs on April 18.

Which, of course, will be just about the time when we start pondering our upcoming taxes. So raise that glass to another year nicely completed, and the long-standing tradition of Tax Day celebrations.



Photo Credit: Sassafras]]>
<![CDATA[25 Tons of Trash: Great LA River CleanUp]]> Fri, 15 Apr 2016 21:48:29 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/FoLARDSC5610s.jpg

Of the many gifts and benefits of El Niño -- several Northern California lakes that filled out noticeably, as compared to spring 2015, and all of that needed Sierra snowpack is delightful -- one recent plot twist remains less than positive.

There's quite a bit of flotsam/jetsam in and around the Los Angeles River, due to the storms. "El Niño swept through the watershed washing up months worth of trash into the channel," reveals the Friends of the LA River (FOLAR). Rather than fretting over this development, however, some 9,000 volunteers, give or take, will roll up their sleeves and make for 15 sites along the river's banks over three April Saturdays.

Why? Well it's in the very name of the event: The Great LA River CleanUp.

The first 2016 Saturday is April 16, the final Saturday is April 30, and the effort on April 23 falls closest to Earth Day, if you'd like to make pitching in a part of your observance.

So what happens? You sign up, so FOLAR knows to expect you. There are over a dozen locations to choose from, so ponder whether you'll visit Glendale Narrows Riverwalk or Bette Davis Picnic Area or the Sepulveda Basin Sports Complex. One note: The 15 cleanup sites are broken down by days, so it won't be 15 places per Saturday, but rather four or five spots depending upon the date.

Once you're there, how much trash will you personally pull out? Hmm. Will "a bunch" suffice? No?

Okay, check this out: About 25 tons of trash have emerged from the LA River during the cleanup in the past. That's tons, as in T, O, N, S, as in a massive amount of stuff that should be promptly vamoosed from the verdant, nature-important setting.

Plastics, vehicle parts, and random head-scratching items all make cameos. 

And, for sure, the trash isn't just chucked. It's sorted, weighed, and registered by a team that's standing by. We all want to know what going into our main watery thoroughfare, right?

Mysteries are for novels, but real-life birds and fish call the LA River home. We need the full picture of what's happening, and that involves understanding the river's garbage.

Ready to lend a hand? Eager to see our waterway's recreational profile continue to rise? And for the creatures living in and around it to thrive? Getting even a fraction of that aforementioned tonnage out is a really big deal.

A big deal to your fellow Angelenos, and to the permanent inhabitants of the river. If they could send you a thank you note, you know they would.

But perhaps the general spirit of gratitudie will be found later this summer, when you spend a nice afternoon at the river, simply watching the feathered residents at splashy play, with no trash in sight.



Photo Credit: FOLAR]]>
<![CDATA[Toyota Grand Prix: Off-Track Fun]]> Fri, 15 Apr 2016 13:27:15 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/175*120/cheaptrick.jpg

The rather obvious thing about a sleek race car zipping by you on a street normally reserved for day-to-day traffic is this: It's pretty hard to look in any other direction.

That's what captivates the tens of thousands of fans who attend the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach each year, those ferociously fast vehicles taking turns and twists near Shoreline Park and Rainbow Lagoon that lend the top-notch speed showdown its international reputation (that reputation being, in short, the place to see some extreme street circuit action and the pros who can deliver).

But should you attend the April 15 through 17 odometer-awesome extravaganza, and you find yourself not looking at the cars for a moment, you may be looking at the many booths of the Lifestyle Expo, where well over a hundred exhibitors will set up shop.

Or you could be looking at a concert, as shows will take the big Long Beach Performing Arts Center's Terrace Theater stage on both April 15 and 16. The Tecate Light Fiesta Friday Concert features Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich & Fussible," while the Saturday performance features Cheap Trick.

As for the forever bustling Family Fun Zone? Look for "rock climbing walls, games, video games and racing simulators" as well as "action sports demonstrations."

Every devotee does the Grand Prix in their own way, with a mix of food, sunshine, speedy machines, and a little expo or concert time, too. What will your perfect combo be? Just glance away from the whooshing cars, for half a sec, to plan your weekend in the stands and at the other off-the-street to-dos of the Toyota Grand Prix.



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA['CSI: Criminal Investigation': Mega Prop Auction]]> Fri, 15 Apr 2016 11:29:07 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/rs_560x415-150427120845-1024.csi.cm.42715.jpg

Every place on the planet has its stuff -- "stuff" being defined as vases and bookends and purses and such -- but Los Angeles has both stuff and made-for-TV stuff, which adds another delightful dimension to a city that is built, rather outlandishly, on the making of fantasy.

Hearing, then, that a watch or a necktie or a rubber thumb from a favorite dramatic series is up for auction is very much par for the course 'round Southern California, though of course -- wait, wait? Did we say "rubber thumb" earlier?

We did, in fact, because the major prop auction of the week is all about "CSI: Criminal Investigation." The long-running police procedural, which had its debut on CBS in 2000, has had a lot of time to amass a lot of neckties and watches and, indeed, the occasional prop that might give your guests a startle, if you haven't briefed them, ahead of time, that you scored an item in the ScreenBid auction.

The auction opened on Friday, April 15 and will run through Friday, April 22. What's on the block? Over 600 props, including a desk phone seen in Russell's office (a character played by Ted Danson) as well as a lamp.

A pair of Sara Sidle's sunglasses -- Jorja Fox's character -- will be auctioned, as well as well as a briefcase belonging to Grissom (hello, William Petersen).

Even if you don't plan to bid, a thorough scroll of the many props will likely take devoted fans back through some favorite episodes. It's a good question, whether a longtime follower of a complex procedural can name the episode just from the prop, but given the serious "CSI" fandom, one believes that auction items will jog the memory.

Past TV-themed ScreenBid auctions have included "Mad Men," "Boardwalk Empire," and "True Blood."

For the full rundown of what's now at auction, turn your high-beam flashlight this way, drama devotees.



Photo Credit: CSI]]>
<![CDATA[Rrowr: Dinos Rule the LA Zoo]]> Fri, 15 Apr 2016 07:45:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/GL-Suchomimusbillings.jpg

If you had rounded up your crew some 65 million years ago, and made sure everyone had sunblock on and their best-loved snacks and juices in tow, what would you have seen if you visited your local zoo?

Oh, probably a few Carnotauruses hanging out near the entrance. Maybe a nursery section full of hatching Triceratops eggs. And possibly a Tyrannosaurus Rex, noshing upon her midday meal over by the picnic area.

Zoos weren't around millions of years ago -- nor were we, of course -- but we can find something of that fantastical experience at the Los Angeles Zoo beginning on Friday, April 15. 

That's the day when "Dinosaurs: Unextinct at the LA Zoo" makes its rrowr-worthy debut.

The Griffith Park destination has not created a "Jurassic Park"-type scenario where the dinos are alive, let it be known. It's a nifty concept, on paper, but one that didn't work out quite so well in the films.

Rather, the 17 new/old beasties are animatronic, "brought to life with electronic 'brains,'" which should give visitors a view into what life was like eons ago.

Are they life-sized? You bet -- these aren't your tabletop, toy-play dinosaurs.

Is there a Fossil Dig section, lending light as to how modern-day science pieces together clues of how these massive creatures once roamed and ruled all they surveyed? There is, which is way cool, as the kids say. (Surely "way cool" will never go out of style in kid-ese?)

Is there a Stegosaurus robot that guests can control? Indeed. Wasn't this on your birthday wish list as a kid? A Stegosaurus robot? Because a Stegosaurus robot is way cool.

Look for a kitted-out app to enhance your visit. And the zoo says the snapping of a #SelfieSaurus or two is absolutely permitted, if you dare.

Tickets to the experience are five bucks, in addition to your zoo entrance fee.

We may never be able to visit a zoo that was built 65 million years ago, but we can visit the LA Zoo of today, which will be the home to 27 real-esque dinosaurs through Oct. 31, 2016.

Don't be scared of that Halloween-y date; dinosaurs are way cool, even if T. Rex's toothsome grin is very, very big. See for yourself, starting on April 15.



Photo Credit: Billings Productions]]>
<![CDATA[Weekend: Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach]]> Fri, 15 Apr 2016 13:01:25 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/tgpGettyImages-167107611.jpg

Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach: As far as street circuit, pedal-to-the-metal races go, this springtime zoomer is one of the planet's biggest. And starriest, too, thanks to a phalanx of celebrities — both from the racing world and from the screen — who drive. If you're not catching the fast fly-bys, or you want to add gas to your weekend to-dos, there are the concerts — hiya, Cheap Trick — and the mega Lifestyle Expo. Things shift into go-go-go gear from April 15 through 17.

Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival Opens: Stunning sculptures, a raft of parties, and posh dining choices are all on the docket as thousands of tune fans decamp to the Empire Polo Club in Indio to catch headliners, indie acts, and the fab bands that people thought belonged only to them. LCD Soundsystem, Guns N' Roses, and Calvin Harris have the top spots on the April 15/22, April 16/23, and April 17/24 shows, respectively. 

Record Store Day: Music mavens sticking closer to town will have plenty to see/hear on Saturday, April 16 when recorded music's annual holiday pops up at independent shops across Southern California (and beyond). Amoeba Records in Hollywood will welcome some big-name DJs, while other spots will offer a whole bundle of specials, special releases, and come-out-and-hang happenings. It's not Small Business Saturday — that's in November — but Record Store Day rocks a lot of that spirit.

The Great LA River Cleanup: It's nice to give a place in your house a freshening up every year, perhaps that closet where all the coats congregate. Now picture that on a much larger scale, as in our urban waterway, and you know how helpful an annual freshen-up can be. Volunteers will take to 15 different sites along the river's banks over three Saturdays, all with the aim to pull a bunch of trash out. You can almost here the river sighing in gratitude. Date one: Saturday, April 16.

Obscura Day LA: We all know Los Angeles is as funky and as offbeat as megalopolises come, and the local legends run deep, wide, and weird. The regional chapter of the Obscura Society digs digging into such stories, and on Saturday, April 16 you can join a tour into one of SoCal's stranger corners. So many delightful discoveries await, from puppets to neon signs to the old zoo. Get curious, if you're not (you so are).



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Disneyland's 'Star Wars' Lands: Ground's Broken!]]> Fri, 15 Apr 2016 13:04:04 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/221*120/04-14-2016-star-wars-land-360-1.JPG

Members of the Rebel Alliance, come in, are you reading this transmission? Come in, come in, we've got important news: That massive tower-like structure you may be seeing in the distance, with the Imperial AT-AT in the foreground? 

That's no moon... That's Big Thunder Mountain.

So hang onto your helmets, your light sabers, and your droids, because April 14 is one auspicious day: Ground has officially been broken at Disneyland Resort, in advance of the anticipated-around-the-universe 'Star Wars' Lands.

A 360-degree image, released by the Anaheim theme park, shows what appears to be a fresh construction site, with a dirt road, some hard-hat'd employees, and the expected heavy machinery.

The not-so-expected heavy machinery in the photo comes in the form of the AT-AT seen near the employees, and the TIE Fighter. Do the people in the image know those are in the near vicinity? Perhaps R2-D2, who also cameos in the snapshot, should warn them at once, in his inimitable excitable way.

BB-8, why you're there, too! Droids to the rescue.

As for an opening date on the widely obsessed-over 14-acre spread? That's very TBD, though gazing a few years down the road -- er, asteroid belt -- is probably within range.

As for when a number of attractions around Disneyland closed down -- some permanently, some temporarily -- in advance of the 'Star Wars' construction? That happened a few days into 2016.

The Disneyland Railroad and the iconic vessels on the Rivers of America remain closed, for the time being (though you can visit the stationary trains at both Main Street Station and New Orleans Square, as well as the at-the-dock Mark Twain Riverboat).

And the presence of the Force is already felt within the gates of The Happiest Place on Earth, thanks to perennial favorite Star Tours as well as the recently introduced Season of the Force, which boasts character meet-and-greets. (Yes, you could actually hug Chewbacca, don't cry, hold it together, it's true.)

For now, though, pore over the picture and get a feel for where the new 'Star Wars' Lands will be, what they might look like, and how cool it is to see Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the distance.

The mine train roller coaster has been a Disneyland hallmark since 1979, the very era when 'Star Wars' mania first captured our Force-filled fancies. It has been, for decades, "the wildest ride in the wilderness," though the coaster may have a cosmic run for that title when its new neighbor makes its big debut.



Photo Credit: Disney
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<![CDATA[Vinyl's Big Holiday: Record Store Day]]> Fri, 15 Apr 2016 15:31:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/gettyrecordstore.jpg

Your knowledge of lyrics is laudable. Your acumen about the subtext of deep-cut songs is astounding. And your scholar-like grasp of a popular band's history, from various member changes to subtle style shifts, could serve as the basis for a university seminar.

But who to share all of this big-brain'd music info with nowadays, live and in person? The owner of your local record store, is the short and complete answer. 

For the venerable, vinyl-filled corner shop isn't just a place to find some fresh tunes; it has long been a place of community, of the sharing of enthusiasms, a spot to rave about new discoveries and long-loved groups.

Want to honor your local shop and its continuing legacy as both a place that sells recording music and a place for fans to connect? Saturday, April 16 is Record Store Day, an annual occasion that both trumpets these enduring and important businesses while giving customers some sweet reasons to stop by.

Or perhaps we mean "suh-weeeet," which has long been one of the terms unleashed upon hearing a truly epic song. Record stores across the land, including several around Southern California, will offer deals and live performances, all in celebration of a shop that has not gone away, even in this digital-everything age.

And thank goodness. Where else could we buy, in person, a hip-hop CD from 1996, a vintage iron-on patch from 1972, and that poster we had on our wall back in '88? 

Of course, record stores aren't all about looking to the past. Many a ballyhooed band still releases vinyl versions of their albums, and the occasional CD and cassette tape, if they're especially enamored of the technologies that once reigned supreme.

Some 2016 highlights? Metallica has been named the ambassador of this Record Store Day go-around (they're appearing at Rasputin Music in Berkeley, in honor of the holiday). A few stores are doing all-day dance parties. And Amoeba Records has a full slate of specials and happenings, with bunches of limited releases and some starry DJ sets (Fred Armisen of "Portlandia" will be at the turntables, yep).

What's your store? What will it be up to on April 16? And have you ever found a better place to share your passion for early '80s New Wave-Metal? Record stores remain vital hubs in our art-loving communities, for their merchandise, yes, in part, but because they are always the go-to place for shooting the breeze on your most-favorite-ever bands.

Time to celebrate.

Angrum Kay contributed to this report.



Photo Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
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<![CDATA[On Sale Now: Last Remaining Seats Tickets]]> Thu, 14 Apr 2016 10:55:00 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/219*120/043009TopGun01.jpg

Nothing, not even a F-14 Tomcat pushing its airspeed indicator to the limit, can zoom any of us back to 1986.

But we can jet some 30 years back into the past, in cinematic spirit, via the opening night film of the ever-popular, ever-enduring, happily historic Last Remaining Seats film series.

The summertime LA Conservancy event, which sees six or seven movies land in a number of vintage movie palaces around downtown LA, began as a film fundraiser juuust about 29 years ago, in 1987, only mere months after  "Top Gun" first hurtled through multiplexes around the world in the spring of '86.

They make a solid duo, then, Last Remaining Seats and the Tom Cruise-led blockbuster, as the series opens its 2016 run on Saturday, June 4 at the Los Angeles Theatre.

Tickets for all seven films in the series are now on sale to the general public. 

Worth nothing? Half of available tickets were sold to LA Conservancy members ahead of the general public sale date (Wednesday, April 13). Thus you'll want to move with the speed of a fighter plane if you want to ensure you have a seat at your favorite movie.

As for the five films to follow the '80s classic? They go a bit further back in time, as is tradition with Last Remaining Seats. "To Kill a Mockingbird" follows on June 8 at the Million Dollar Theatre, "Some Like It Hot" laughs it up on June 11 at the Los Angeles Theatre, "Dos tipos de cuidado" unspools at the Palace Theatre on June 15, "Singin' in the Rain" and "Double Indemnity" at The Theatre at Ace on June 18 and June 22 (respectively), and "Safety Last!" at The Orpheum on June 25.

The final film on the 2016 was famously shot around downtown Los Angeles nearly 100 years ago, in 1923, so consider that as you step back onto Broadway after the credits roll.

As for returning to 1986 via this film series, which is now, like "Top Gun," three decades along? That's the beauty of the pictures: They're little time travel capsules, at least for a couple of hours.

Plus, by going back in time, via a movie, we don't accidentally alter the future, which, of course, must always be considered in actual time travel.

Food for thought. But think this: Tickets do sell out. Best not count on time travel to get you a seat to this popular cinema series.



Photo Credit: Top Gun]]>
<![CDATA[Adventures Around LA: Obscura Day]]> Wed, 13 Apr 2016 17:39:32 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/valleyrelicsmuseum1.jpg

Ask just about anyone living in Southern California to describe a piece of interesting artwork in their neighborhood, or a local legend, or some combination of the two, and you're bound to hear tales that astound and intrigue.

In short? SoCalers adore the offbeat, and treasure those things that do not conform, and value all of the vivaciously individual hot spots and happenings that make our region the sort of place where one can never, ever claim boredom.

Delighting in the beautiful and outlandish, Obscura Society LA makes it a regular practice on weekends to go in search of plucky puppet theaters and modern ruins and repositories of fast-food signage. Saturday, April 16, however, is Obscura Day LA, which means a whole caboodle of quirky and memorable outings will all happen at once with the Atlas Obscura Society chapter at the lead.

So finding which you'd like to join, even if there are four or five you'd like to sign up for, is paramount. They're strewn across the city, like so many pretty petals, but dally not on staking your spot: This annual day has a way of filling up with urban adventurers seeking art, ideas, and a transcendent experience, if transcendence can be found on a Saturday day trip (it often can be).

There are "15 awe-inspiring events" to choose from, so peruse the whole roster. A visit to a letterpress studio, a wander through the Workman-Temple Homestead, some exploring of the old zoo in Griffith Park, and some time spent at the beloved Bob Baker Marionette Theater are some of the Obscura-fun events.

The LA-based society isn't alone in its April 16 jaunts; there are 160 Atlas Obscura-helmed happenings in 35 states, as well as 25 countries.

Which means this: While you're connecting with LA's lively localness, other people elsewhere will be doing the same in their cities. 

And isn't that what is so often recommended? Area roots run deep, and those roots are strengthened, in part, by loving what is so particularly, and unusually, Southern California in spirit.

Which is a pretty unusual place to begin with. Ready to start, adventurers?



Photo Credit: Valley Relics Museum]]>
<![CDATA[New: Drinks Inspired by '80s Movie Villains]]> Wed, 13 Apr 2016 12:27:47 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/80smovievillaindrinks.jpg

The middle of April, back when you were a movie-loving teenager, was all about what upcoming summer movies had blockbuster potential.

Would there be extreme action? Would there be a few thrilling car chases? And, most important, would the villain be as excellent as all of those old-school '80s antiheroes that audiences still know by name?

Now that you're a grown-up, who still digs an over-the-top flick, there's a different way to raise a toast to those incorrigible rapscallions of the silver screen : By sipping a cocktail created in their dramatic, devious honor.

A series of cinematic libations just debuted at Messhall Kitchen in Los Feliz, and if you know every line to "Die Hard" (you do) or "Lethal Weapon" (ditto), you'll know exactly where the villain-saluting drinks got their memorable names.

There's the Jerry Dandridge cocktail, from the original "Fright Night," and, yes, Chris Sarandon's vampiric turn is still emblazoned on many a mind. Roy Batty of "Blade Runner" has his own Messhall cocktail, too, as does Vilos Cohaagen of "Total Recall."

"The Goonies," "Manhunter," "Highlander," "Robocop," and "Platoon" also have been given sippable spotlights on the special drink menu.

As for the ingredients? Think high-end spirits and cocktail creativity worthy of any splashy plot twist. The Hans Gruber "combines Rittenhouse Rye, Yellow Chartreuse, Pimento Dram (all spice liquor), and hopped grapefruit bitters." The restaurant notes the drink was created as a loving homage to the great Alan Rickman, who passed away earlier this year.

The actors who made these great roles even greater, and the movies themselves, have remained in our minds, our hearts, and occasionally upon our bedroom walls for years. (Do you still have posters of some of the '80s best toughies, back at your parents' place? Own up if you do.)

These adult takes on beloved films, and the fiesty, dirty-dealing characters who've become legends in pop culture, were created by Austin Mendez, the BarMaster of Messhall. Mr. Mendez digs those classic villains, as does anyone who watched the films back in their youth or discovered them later.

Want to sip a beverage in honor of your best-loved baddie? They're available now to 21-and-over guests, at the Los Feliz Boulevard tavern.



Photo Credit: ghost.la]]>
<![CDATA[Fried Chicken Yum: New at CityWalk]]> Tue, 12 Apr 2016 22:15:42 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/LudoBirduniversalcitywalk.jpg

All eyes have been on the much-anticipated April 7 opening of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, the new enchanted land inside Universal Studios Hollywood.

One of the reasons, of course, are some of the magical flying creatures associated with the J.K. Rowling books, from the loyal owls to the majestic Hippogriff (a beastie whose name is attached to the land's outdoor roller coaster). 

But not too far from The Flight of the Hippogriff, just a skip and a jump over at Universal CityWalk, another winged creation has alighted, this one very much about the thrill of the table (as opposed to coaster-style thrills).

It's LudoBird, from Chef Ludo Lefebvre, and if you've called upon the LudoBird at Staples Center, you know that the centerpiece dish is a much-buzzed-about fried chicken sandwich.

In fact, it's the Provençal Fried Chicken Sandwich, a savory concoction that's got food critics' eyes — and palates — thanks to its luscious batter, its big-flavor kapow, and the host of sauces that complement both.

Those sauces include béarnaise, an unusual but perfect choice for a fried chicken sandwich, and the gold-standard of saucedom, honey mustard. A spicy sauce, a special sauce, piquillo pepper, and cool-it-all-down ranch lend some zazzy love to the hearty dish.

Yep, there's slaw, as there should be alongside any fried chicken entree, and there are biscuits, too, with honey lavender flair. (Chef Lefebvre hails from France, hence tony touches like the Provençal style of his fried chicken and the countryside-esque herbiness of those beloved biscuits.) Potato salad and chips are also sandwich siders.

Need to fill up before seeking out your first Butterbeer at Wizarding World? Make a beeline — or birdline, rather — for Universal CityWalk's newest entry into its eatery scene, one with fabulous French flair and hearty 'wich-filling goodness.



Photo Credit: Michael Owen Baker]]>
<![CDATA[Queen Mary's 80th Party]]> Tue, 12 Apr 2016 10:33:59 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/qm80thGettyImages-52464380+%281%29.jpg

If you had to buy an 80th birthday gift for the Queen Mary, what might you pick out for the celebrated landmark?

Something in tartan, given its Scottish background? Something from the 1930s, since the famous ocean liner had its royal launch in 1934? Or perhaps a memento from 1967, when the Queen Mary arrived in Long Beach, its new forever-and-always home?

Any gift-giver would face a bouquet of possible choices. But the lovely thing about honoring the 80th anniversary of the ship's first voyage, which is up in May, is this: No gift is required, on behalf of the public. After all, when you're one of the world's grandest and most recognizable vessels, you've got it all going on already, history-wise and stature-wise and design-wise, too.

The Queen Mary's 80th Maiden Voyage Public Day is scheduled for Friday, May 27, which comes a day after a gala Anniversary Party in the Queen's Salon. You can stroll its woodsy decks, learn about its important role in World War II, and discover how two years passed between its completion in 1934 and its official 1936 launch. 

There was, in that time span, a lot of tweaking, re-working, and "fitting out," as you might expect with a ship of her prominence, size, and nobility.

To honor the liner's World War II role as "The Grey Ghost," and as Winston Churchill's office-at-sea, the prime minister's great-grandson Randolph Churchill will visit the ship for the anniversary events, and to help dedicate a new gallery space on the ship where paintings by the prime minister himself will be displayed.

Lord Alan Watson, an expert on the prime minister's work and life, will also be in attendance.

These are paintings done by Mr. Churchill, not of him, to be clear, so they carry an extra connection to the ship that once served as his home and office for weeks at a time. (If you're wondering if the prime minister turned to making art as a way of dealing with the many stresses of his complex calling, you'd be correct.)

Ready to celebrate Sir Winston's artistic and WWII legacy and the era of great ocean liners aboard the Long Beach attraction? Stop by the grand, smokestack'd structure on the Thursday or Friday ahead of Memorial Day Weekend (a weekend that also has much meaning for the many American servicemen who sailed aboard the ship during the war.)

Tickets and info can be found at the Queen Mary's online HQ. Also? As is tradition, the ship offers free admission over Memorial Day Weekend for veterans and active military personnel. 

For more information on all of the Queen Mary's Maiden Voyage events, sail your own ship into this dock. 



Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Lobster Grilled Cheese Deal]]> Mon, 11 Apr 2016 18:44:28 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/214*120/bigberthalobstergrilledcheese.jpg

Very few foodstuffs simultaneously occupy several positions on the "easy-to-extraordinary" cuisine continuum.

Some edibles, like peanut butter eaten straight from the jar, fall on the easy end of the enjoyment scale, while Baked Alaska, with its dramatic fire and intensive prep time, could be deemed extraordinary.

Grilled cheese, however, rules all sides of the equation, a legacy worth celebrating on Tuesday, April 12. That would be, of course, as you well and completely know, National Grilled Cheese Day.

On the easy end of grilled cheese goodness? You have the classic two slabs of buttered bread with a slice of orange yum in the middle, melted.

But on the other side of the sandwich? 

Hoo boy, where to start? Grilled cheeses run the gourmet gamut these days, with fancy fillings aplenty, but let's pause and raise our buttery fingers in savory salute to Knuckle and Claw, which just might knock it out of the park — er, pan — where extraordinary grilled-cheese making is concerned.

Meet The Big Bertha, a grilled cheese that's also a lobster roll, or a lobster roll that's also a grilled cheese, if you prefer. On Tuesday, April 12, in honor of the special cheesy occasion, the Silver Lake seafoodery will serve the delectable, which is "a behemoth version of their classic Knuckle Sandwich — stuffed with lobster, shrimp, blue crab, and Cotswold Cheddar for $25."

That's one day only. A single date. April 12. Cheese. Lobster. Crab. Shrimp.

Other promos are to come during April, which is also National Grilled Cheese Month, so keep an eye on Knuckle and Claw's social media.

And as for how your typically prefer your grilled cheese, whether easy or extraordinary? Each end of the grilled-cheese spectrum works. Sometimes we want easier, sometimes something a bit more complex, and sometimes we want a plainer 'wich with a posh cheese (meaning something in the middle).

That's the beauty of the grilled cheese, and all of its prismatic, complicated ways. Mark the holiday how you will, whether it's with square of melty orange-o-sity or a primo seafood-stuffed job complete with Cotswold Cheddar.

It's all good, all the time, in the Land o' Grilled Cheese fandom. After all, they don't call grilled cheese an ultimate comfort food for nothing.



Photo Credit: Knuckle & Claw]]>
<![CDATA[Free Cone Day's Almost Here]]> Tue, 12 Apr 2016 12:50:17 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/210*120/freeconeday.JPG

You may have worn a jacket over the last few days. You may have even donned a scarf, or, if you visited a higher elevation, a pair of gloves.

But your clothing choices cannot change the calendar, and the calendar says this: Free Cone Day, the Ben & Jerry's pay-nothing springtime holiday is nearly here. And, yes, it involves one of the coolest foods in the freezer section, ice cream.

So just because Southern California has recently experienced some cooler, damper conditions doesn't mean you can't step up to the plate — or into your nearest Ben & Jerry's shop — for a gratis scoop of your go-to flavor on Tuesday, April 12.

Say it again: Tuesday, April 12. Ben & Jerry's. Free. (Continue to say the word "free" as much as you like; it never wears out its welcome.)

A few to-knows? 

The huge dessert-themed holiday began in 1979 in Vermont, with its first out-of-Vermont debut in 1984. The dates have hopped around a bit, but mid-April-ish has been the standard for several years now.

Some most-requested flavors? Cherry Garcia, of course, and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

The time? Noon to 8 o'clock. Eight hours of cone-y awesome-a-tude.

And hello: One scoop is, wait for it, not the limit, but note that you'll need to hop back in the queue for treat numero two. "Why wait for next year's Free Cone Day?" asks the company's site. "Just get back in line for another free cone. Over and over. We're not counting. Really, go for it."

Will you have to wear a scarf while licking the cold stuff? That depends on the thermometer. But who says "nope" to Free Cone Day just because the temperature isn't acting all August-like? (No one says "nope," is the only right answer.)

Need to find your shop? Don your scarf and start here.



Photo Credit: Free Cone Day]]>
<![CDATA[Write Club: 7-Minute Word Showdown]]> Mon, 11 Apr 2016 12:03:49 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/writeclubla_12345.jpg

When we're called upon to write something, a piece that others will hear, we often find ourselves second-guessing, sighing, shaking our heads, and starting over, again and again and again.

And while these screen-centered days don't find us crumpling sheets of paper and tossing them in the nearest trash can -- a surefire sign from the past that a writing project was not going well -- the act of penning a short presentation remains fraught with frustration and sometimes fear.

Enter Write Club Los Angeles, which takes any frustration or fear felt by a writer and uses both to grow fruit and other fabulous things. 

Imagine being given seven minutes to sum up a series of well-written words, words that provoke, humor, and ultimately make sense, and then present them live before an anticipation-filled audience. 

If your palms aren't sweating a bit at the thought, then you've never faced writing something for public consumption. And honestly? We have to believe that palm sweat ultimately aids the process.

Writers will do just that at the Bootleg Theater on Monday, April 11. It's subtitled "Literature as Bloodsport," so believe it: This highbrow tussle comes with an edge not typically found at lit-proper readings nor evenings celebrating the written word.

Who chooses the victor after a pair of scribes present passionate pleas on opposing notions (think "water" vs. "wine")? You do, along with the rest of the audience. 

These opposing notions just to make the proceedings all the more juicy and fracas-filled, of course. Who wants a spirited showdown where everyone agrees out of the gate?

So what's at stake? Some dough, which goes to the charity chosen by the ultimate triumpher. ("Triumpher" isn't an actual dictionary-approved word, of course, but in a heated word match-up, you sometimes must resort to a few unexpected twists.)

Will these writers, with their bravery, their boldness, and their impressive brevity, inspire you the next time you have to craft a wedding toast or a conference introduction?

Picture not the crumbled sheets of paper of yore, the ones that used to clutter the area around a typewriter. Think instead of the night you spent with Write Club Los Angeles, at the Bootleg Theater in Echo Park, and of the wordy warriors that didn't let sweaty palms, nor those stress-inducing audience expectations, get in their story-spinning way.



Photo Credit: Write Club Los Angeles]]>
<![CDATA[Hundreds Gather for Corgi Beach Day]]> Mon, 11 Apr 2016 07:12:06 -0700 http://media.nbclosangeles.com/images/213*120/corgi5.PNG Saturday's chilly and rainy weather didn't stop hundreds of corgis, their owners and other dog lovers from having a blast at the largest corgi "pawty" of the year in Huntington Beach, California.

Photo Credit: KNBC-TV]]>