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F I N E

L I V I N G

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T H E

G R E A T E R

P A S A D E N A

A R E A

FEBRUARY 2011

LOVE Off the Grid PROJECT RUNAWAY

WHAT TO WEAR TO YOUR NEXT DIVORCE

DANGEROUS BEAUTY

A 16TH-CENTURY COURTESAN COMES TO LIFE ONSTAGE IN PASADENA

UNHOLY MATRIMONY

WHY LOVE GOES WRONG


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ARROYO VOLUME 7 ~ NUMBER 2

M O N T H LY

23 LOVE OFF THE GRID 8 PROJECT RUNAWAY Dashing attire to wear to your next marital dissolution –By Nancy Spiller

11 UNHOLY MATRIMONY Why do more marriages fail than succeed? An expert explains why, for many Americans, love hurts. –By Bettijane Levine

23 DANGEROUS BEAUTY The provocative true tale of a 16th-century courtesan comes to the Pasadena Playhouse. –By Lynne Heffley

FASHION 27 FEET FIRST Burbank shoe designer Rafi Balouzian of Cydwoq believes it’s silly to suffer for beauty. –By Brenda Rees

DEPARTMENTS 7 FESTIVITIES Brokeback Mountain at the Autry, L.A. Children’s Chorus, the Kiwanis Club and Rosemary Children’s Services

31 KITCHEN CONFESSIONS The never-ending duel between chocolate and vanilla

41 DINING Monopole Wine, Pasadena’s new destination for oenophiles 48 THE LIST The Year of the Rabbit at The Huntington, Camino Real at Boston Court, Pasadena Civic Ballet, puppets and more ABOUT THE COVER: Photo by Marisa Howenstine (marisahowenstine.com)

ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 5


EDITOR’S NOTE

AH, LOVE. FOR MANY PEOPLE, THAT’S THEIR FAVORITE four-letter word. (For others, it’s “sale.”) But alas, this most precious commodity can be the proverbial sticky wicket. It’s no coincidence that Hollywood’s fluffy happily-ever-after films end after the couple crosses the threshold. So with Valentine’s Day upon us, we contemplate the perils that lie on the other side. More often that not, that includes divorce. Think you’ve heard everything on the subject? Think again. In this issue, Bettijane Levine talks to a top marriage expert, Dr. Benjamin Karney of UCLA and the Rand Corporation, about why Americans can’t seem to make any progress on the grim divorce stats. You’d expect the money stresses of the Great Recession to send couples packing, but you might be surprised to learn that there’s another economic trigger that will send the divorce rate even higher. Find out what it is on page 11. And if you’re planning your own quick escape, you might consult the wardrobe suggestions offered by the always delightful Nancy Spiller in her illustrated feature, “Project Runaway.” We also look at another exception to the rule of living happily ever after, which we call “love off the grid.” The siren song of 16th-century Venetian courtesan and poet Veronica Franco has echoed through the centuries to inspire a book, a movie and now, a musical, which is opening at the recently revived Pasadena Playhouse on Feb. 13. Lynne Heffley talks to the creative team and cast of Dangerous Beauty. On the fashion front, Brenda Rees profiles Rafi Balouzian, the designer of Burbank’s distinctive high-end leather-goods line, Cydwoq (pronounced “sidewalk”), a cult brand among fashionistas that’s gaining traction in the world of style. — Irene Lacher

ARROYO MONTHLY Altadena, Arcadia, Eagle Rock, Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta, Montrose, Sierra Madre, Pasadena, San Marino and South Pasadena

EDITOR IN CHIEF Irene Lacher PRODUCTION MANAGER Yvonne Guerrero ART DIRECTOR Joel Vendette JUNIOR DESIGNER Eisen Nepomuceno WEB DESIGNER Carla Marroquin COPY EDITOR John Seeley CONTRIBUTORS Leslie Bilderback, Michael Burr, Michael Cervin, Scarlet Cheng, André Coleman, Mandalit del Barco, Patt Diroll, Gary Dretzka, Jenn Garbee, Lynne Heffley, Noela Hueso, Katie Klapper, Ilsa Setziol, Kirk Silsbee, John Sollenberger, Nancy Spiller, Bradley Tuck PHOTOGRAPHERS Johnny Buzzerio, Teri Lyn Fisher, Gabriel Goldberg, C.M. Hardt, Melissa Valladares ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Dina Stegon ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Fred Bankston, Carolyn Johansen, Leslie Lamm, Heidi Peterson, Cynthia Vazquez ADVERTISING DESIGNER Carla Marroquin VP OF FINANCE Michael Nagami HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGER Andrea Baker

CONTACT US ADVERTISING dinas@pasadenaweekly.com EDITORIAL arroyoeditor@pasadenaweekly.com PHONE (626) 584-1500 FAX (626) 795-0149 MAILING ADDRESS 50 S. De Lacey Ave., Ste. 200, Pasadena, CA 91105

BUSINESS MANAGER Angela Wang ACCOUNTING Alysia Chavez, Monica MacCree

ArroyoMonthly.com

OFFICE ASSISTANT Claudia Solano PUBLISHER Jon Guynn

©2011 Southland Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved.

FOR THE RECORD: A story about acupuncture facelifts in the January issue of Arroyo Monthly incorrectly stated the cost of a facial rejuvenation session at Dr. Cathryn Hu’s Arcadia office. It is $180.

6 ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ ARROYO


FESTIVITIES

A dozen Kiwanis Club of Pasadena members celebrated the holidays on Dec. 20 with six at-risk foster teens at the Green Street House, a group home owned by Rosemary Children’s Services. In keeping with a yearly Kiwanis Club tradition, club members provided a spread of lasagna and brownies and gifted the girls with Kiwanis messenger bags and wooden jewelry boxes for them to decorate.

1

12

The Autry National Center partnered with

1. Diana Ossana

Focus Features on Dec. 11 to celebrate the fifth

2. Group reading

anniversary of the groundbreaking Western

MAIN: Jeffrey Richardson, Diana Ossana and Gregory Hinton

PHOTOS: Abel Gutierrez (Autry National Center); Lee Salem (LA Children’s Chorus)

Brokeback Mountain. The evening — part of “Out West at the Autry,” an events series focusing on

1

Four celebrated alumni of the Los

lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and

Angeles Children’s Chorus reprised

culture in the West — included presentations by

their connection to the Pasadena-

Brokeback’s producer and Oscar-winning screen-

based group at a “Holiday Salon

writer, Diana Ossana; Daniel Finley, Autry presi-

Concert” at the Dorothy Chandler

dent and CEO; “Out West” creator and producer

Pavilion on Dec. 19. The guest per-

Gregory Hinton; and David Bohnett, philanthro-

formers were soprano Ariadne Greif,

pist and technology entrepreneur, whose partner,

flutist Albert Wonjae Pae, pianist

Tom Gregory, has loaned the museum shirts from the film. After the film was screened, Ossana addressed the crowd: “It is a universal love story, but the reason it affects people is because it’s specific about two men and it cuts to our hearts.” A staged reading of excerpts from the book Beyond Brokeback: The Impact of a Film followed.

12

1. Deborah Berman and Sara Scheidemantle with her parents, Cheryl and David Scheidemantle.

Andrew Wonjun Pae and soprano Adrienne Pardee. LACC Artistic Director Anne Tomlinson conducted.

2. Andrew Wonjun Pae, Ariadne Greif, Anne Tomlinson, Adrienne Pardee and Albert Wonjae Pae MAIN: Anne Tomlinson conducts LACC’s Chamber Singers ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 7


FASHION

2. Over My Dead Body Sweat Pants: Complete with designer ketchup and mustard stains, embarrass her all over again!

1. Hit the Road Jack Jet Pack: Make a smooth getaway from marital misery with the latest in personal transport technology.

1. I’m Keeping the House Dress: Let that loser know your intentions with this cotton waspwaisted judge-pleaser. June Cleaver and Donna Reed wore one daily and NEVER had to give it up. Those were the days!

2. Deep-Freeze Hoodie: For a cool head and cold shoulder. Earbuds in the drawstrings let you listen to Divorce for Dummies on your pocket iPod instead of that tedious three-letter-name-for-a-donkey.

Fo

For

r e rH

6. The Law Suit:

H im

From our Last Resort Wear collection, this double-breasted Kevlar creation will tame any shrew. Set your precedent in this!

3. Irreconcilable Differences Shirt:

6. Blame-Game Camisole and Tap Pants:

This buttoned-down clashingcolors stunner is expertly tailored from years of exhausting arguments.

Made of the finest non-stick, heat-resistant Silpat, these will never let you down, unlike that lying sleazeball.

4. Man Up Manx-tard: 3. Cruel & Unusual Bustier: Erupts in flames or fireworks depending on the settlement. Deliver heat and light without regrets!

Your one-piece ticket to a slimmer profile and firmer spine. You’ll never need to tread her frozen tundra again!

5. Spousal Support Hose. Take these fishnets from daytime property division to after-dark sucker trolls. Decree granted, you jerk!

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One size fits all in this classic wood-slat-andsuspenders symbol of extreme poverty. What better way to say Poor Me?

These cuties will keep you comfy no matter how much mud is slung. 8 ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ ARROYO

ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 9


FASHION

2. Over My Dead Body Sweat Pants: Complete with designer ketchup and mustard stains, embarrass her all over again!

1. Hit the Road Jack Jet Pack: Make a smooth getaway from marital misery with the latest in personal transport technology.

1. I’m Keeping the House Dress: Let that loser know your intentions with this cotton waspwaisted judge-pleaser. June Cleaver and Donna Reed wore one daily and NEVER had to give it up. Those were the days!

2. Deep-Freeze Hoodie: For a cool head and cold shoulder. Earbuds in the drawstrings let you listen to Divorce for Dummies on your pocket iPod instead of that tedious three-letter-name-for-a-donkey.

Fo

For

r e rH

6. The Law Suit:

H im

From our Last Resort Wear collection, this double-breasted Kevlar creation will tame any shrew. Set your precedent in this!

3. Irreconcilable Differences Shirt:

6. Blame-Game Camisole and Tap Pants:

This buttoned-down clashingcolors stunner is expertly tailored from years of exhausting arguments.

Made of the finest non-stick, heat-resistant Silpat, these will never let you down, unlike that lying sleazeball.

4. Man Up Manx-tard: 3. Cruel & Unusual Bustier: Erupts in flames or fireworks depending on the settlement. Deliver heat and light without regrets!

Your one-piece ticket to a slimmer profile and firmer spine. You’ll never need to tread her frozen tundra again!

5. Spousal Support Hose. Take these fishnets from daytime property division to after-dark sucker trolls. Decree granted, you jerk!

5. Back Off Rain Barrel: 4. Wading Through the Muck-luks:

One size fits all in this classic wood-slat-andsuspenders symbol of extreme poverty. What better way to say Poor Me?

These cuties will keep you comfy no matter how much mud is slung. 8 ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ ARROYO

ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 9


ILLUSTRATION: ©istockphoto.com/Magdalena Tworkowska

LOVE OFF THE GRID

Unholy Matrimony WHY DOES A HIGH DIVORCE RATE CONTINUE TO PLAGUE THE AMERICAN MARRIAGE DESPITE THE BIG-TICKET ADVICE-AND-THERAPY INDUSTRY AND YEARS OF HANDWRINGING? AND HOW CAN COUPLES KEEP THEIR VOWS ON TRACK? ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 11


LOVE OFF THE GRID

THERE’S GOOD NEWS AND BAD NEWS ON THE MARITAL MAYHEM FRONT. On the upside, Americans’ belief in true love seems to reign unabated. Most of us continue to seek more perfect unions, marriages that endure ’til death do us part. On the downside, we continue to be disillusioned about all of the above. We watch as friends, parents, politicians, celebrities of all stripes repeatedly take holy vows and then break them, sometimes in merciless ways. (Think John and Elizabeth Edwards, or Sandra Bullock and Jesse James.) We all know that divorce wreaks all kinds of financial and emotional havoc, but we continue to make the mistakes that cause it. Why? Do we choose the wrong partners, for the wrong reasons? As our life spans grow longer, has the concept of lasting love become obsolete? Are today’s spouses really as interchangeable as the apps on our iPads?

Social scientists are toiling to come up with answers, their research publicized for readers apparently ravenous for such news. A recent story on “the ‘Me’ Marriage” in The New York Times stayed on the paper’s most-emailed list for one full week, until the Arizona shootings knocked it off. The story, based on psychologists’ new findings, explained that the longest-lasting marriages may be those in which each partner finds self-expansion and a more interesting life because of the spousal relationship. Other recent research classified love into four different types, and suggests that only one kind — romantic love — will lead to an enduring and fulfilling marriage. Okay, but how does one know if one’s love is “romantic,” rather than the other three less desirable types, all of which offer the same euphoric high in the early stages? Even the international online dating service eHarmony, founded right here in Pasadena in 2000, is seeking more definitive data on how to build a marriage that won’t end in divorce. The firm’s senior research director, Dr. Gian Gonzaga, has embarked on a longitudinal marriage study touted as one of the largest and most comprehensive ever conducted. To help Arroyo Monthly readers get a handle on all this Cupidcaused chaos, Bettijane Levine spoke with marriage expert Dr. Benjamin Karney, professor of social psychology at UCLA and adjunct behavioral scientist at the Rand Corporation. Arroyo: Is the divorce rate higher now, or does it just seem that way from the glut of gossip about divorce in the media and on the Internet? Dr. Karney: Of all people getting married now, it is estimated that a little less than half of those marriages are likely to end in divorce — a little less than 50 percent. That’s actually an underestimate, because about 10 percent of marriages end in permanent separation without getting divorced. So if you add the two together, a little over 50 percent of all first marriages are estimated to end, either in divorce or permanent separation. A: Has that percentage gotten better or worse? K: The divorce rate has remained fairly stable in recent years. We expect it to

rise when the current financial crisis is over. Couples under financial stress have difficulty resolving problems and managing negative emotions. Traditionally, in any economic crisis, there is an increase in the divorce rate when the crisis is over. Some suggest that’s because there are couples suffering who can’t afford to get a divorce right now but who might divorce when their own financial situation recovers. It’s kind of ironic that the first thing you see when the economy rebounds is marriages ending. You’d expect the opposite, that the divorce rate would go down when economic pressure is relieved. —CONTINUED ON PAGE 21

12 ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ ARROYO


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QUICK, WHAT’S THE SHORTEST DISTANCE BETWEEN TWO POINTS? If you paid attention in Math class, you’ll almost certainly reply “a straight line.” However, if you advanced to astrophysics, terms like space-time curvature and wormholes – which Wikipedia defines as “shortcuts” through space – might come to mind. Meanwhile, those of us of a less mathematical bent who have spent any significant amount of time on a three-lane highway suddenly barricaded down to one winding, frustrating exercise in gridlock will especially appreciate the wry aptness of this answer: “The shortest distance between two points is under construction.”

JOHN CAIRE CONSTRUCTION

Yet while potholes and roadblocks confront most any driver in Southern California on a far too frequent basis, homeowners embarking upon a construction project

Questions to ask during this investigative stage include “How long have you been

need not accept that detours, blowouts and long delays will be part of their journey.

in business?” and “How many projects like this have you done?” Bill Judson, an

Better yet, our experts just may suggest a path – a shortcut or “wormhole” or two –

architect with HartmanBaldwin Design Build, also recommends making use of

that will save you not only time but a heap of aggravation, stress and money.

resources like the Better Business Bureau and GuildQuality.com.

Like a good paint job, a good home remodeling/building experience begins with

“As an independent third party, GuildQuality interviews every client about their

taking the time to do the necessary prep work. And that means, says JR Delgadillo of

experience, then relays back the results to the builder,” explains Judson, adding

JR Construction, selecting a licensed contractor. A good resource is www.cslb.ca.gov.

that HartmanBaldwin has received a GuildMaster Award for exceptional customer

Once you find a contractor, adds Dan Mikolasco of Dan Mikolasco Construction,

service for the past three years. “For HartmanBaldwin, being a GuildQuality member

investigate him or her thoroughly. “Check out the contractor’s reputation and refer-

provides us with valuable, actionable customer feedback so we can monitor the

ences,” Mikolasco advises. “Are they licensed, bonded and insured? Most impor-

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clients’ needs in a timely manner.” —CONTINUED ON PAGE 19

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—CONTINUED FROM PAGE 17

But your prep work doesn’t stop here. Ask to speak to past clients, Judson suggests. Ask an array of questions about each contractor you’re considering. Are they a quality builder? Did they listen to what you wanted? Did you get what you wanted? Did the project add value to your home and lifestyle? Did they do what they said they would do? Were they accurate in their cost estimates? Would you recommend them? “Don’t be shy about asking these questions,” Judson urges. John Caire of John Caire Construction believes that homeowners should also visit a project or two the

“You need to have trust in your contractor’s ability and quality.”

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contractor has built. “You should also consider if the builder has experience constructing the ‘style’ of home you are building,” adds Caire. “For instance, if you’re building a Spanish style home, you might not want to hire a builder who only builds Craftsman or Ranch homes. For Jim Romani of Romani Construction, honesty and a good reputation are key considerations. “A builder who is hesitant to give references should be avoided,” Romani cautions. “Also, consider that a contractor’s reputation is built not only on his personal reputation of honesty and efficiency but on the quality of subcontrac-

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LOVE OFF THE GRID

—CONTINUED FROM PAGE 12

A: Yes, but if the marriage was good before the economy tanked, and a couple’s money problems are finally over, can’t they recapture the rapture? Can’t they get back to where they were before the financial crisis? K: The damage that partners do to each other in intimate relationships is not

easily healed. So no, it isn’t easy to recapture what they once had. A: Can couples therapy be helpful?

A: How can we predict, from the start, if bad changes in a marriage will occur? K: Newlyweds are all really, really happy. Some resolve problems well, some

don’t. One question we must ask is which couple doesn’t resolve problems well? What matters a lot in the ability to solve problems is the history of each partner. People whose parents divorced, on average, communicate less effectively in their own marriages and have higher divorce rates themselves. And it’s no mystery why: If your parents got divorced, you may have no model to follow from when you were a child. That makes it difficult to avoid divorce.

K: Research on the effectiveness of marital therapy indicates that about 50 per-

cent of couples who go to therapy for marital distress experience some improvement. But even for those couples, improvements are often small, and once they leave therapy the improvements tend to fade. As I said before, relationships once distressed are very difficult to heal. The better investment is not to try and fix distressed relationships, but to try and prevent them.

A: What are some other factors involved? K: Some couples have more to deal with — chronic illness, big financial problems, jobs that are very stressful, that require long or odd hours or that take one partner away from home a lot. Some couples have easier lives than others. The more demands on a couple, the more their ability to resolve problems together is really going to matter. If we have to deal with serious problems, our communication ability will become a big issue.

A: How is it possible to prevent torn relationships? What are people doing wrong, that they end up in divorce? K: Part of the problem is that people

just don’t want to avoid divorce. They want a good relationship. They believe they deserve one. That’s why divorce is common. A lot of relationships start out good. People who divorce will tell you it stopped being good. It changed. We have to understand that good relationships can go bad. That’s scary to acknowledge, but it’s true. A: Why do they change? K: We have to answer by acknowledg-

PART OF THE PROBLEM IS THAT PEOPLE JUST DON’T WANT TO AVOID DIVORCE. THEY WANT A GOOD RELATIONSHIP. THEY BELIEVE THEY DESERVE ONE. THAT’S WHY DIVORCE IS COMMON. A LOT OF RELATIONSHIPS START OUT GOOD. ...WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THAT GOOD RELATIONSHIPS CAN GO BAD.

ing a few things: Even when couples are at their most in love, most enamored of each other and of their relationship, it doesn’t mean that they love everything about that other person or that relationship. Even newlyweds who say ‘I love him (or her) completely’ will acknowledge that there are certain things about the partner they don’t like. At the beginning of a relationship, we focus on what we like. Those things are what’s important. Things we don’t like are unimportant. But the things we don’t like don’t disappear. If we’re lucky, they remain unimportant, they don’t change a lot and they are things we can continue to ignore. But for some spouses, the parts of the relationship they are unhappy with become things they actually have to deal with. Or the things they’re unhappy with start to get worse. So, for example, if we love each other but we don’t communicate all that well, don’t solve problems all that well, it’s no big deal if we don’t have lots we disagree about. But if there’s something we do disagree about and it’s an issue we have to resolve, then the fact that we don’t resolve problems well becomes a big issue.

A: Back to your comment about our parents’ marital success (or lack thereof), are you saying that that’s an accurate predictor of our own? K: I’m saying we have to assess three

big things when we wonder why some marriages are more successful than others: First, what are the two people like, what are their personalities, their histories? Second, how well does the couple communicate with each other? And third, a really big question, is what does this couple have to deal with in life? Is their path easy or hard? That’s partly a matter of luck.

A: Yes, but some couples seem to have ease of communication as well as relatively easy lives. Or at least that’s how their situations appear from the outside looking in. Someone like John Edwards or Jesse James, who so publicly humiliated his wife, Sandra Bullock. There are dozens of confounding examples, of both genders, from sports and movie stars to media moguls and corporate tycoons. What’s up with those types of people? K: The predictors of being satisfied in a marriage are not the same as those for

being dependent on it. So I can be very satisfied with my relationship, but if I have a lot of access to other partners, I am not dependent on it. I can easily seek another satisfying relationship. And if I’m one of those stars or tycoons, I know —CONTINUED ON PAGE 22 ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 21


LOVE OFF THE GRID

—CONTINUED FROM PAGE 21

I’m likely to find another one. On the other hand, I might be in a terrible relationship, but if I have no other options, then I’m dependent on that relationship. Wealthy celebrities have easy access to other partners. If Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie don’t work out, they don’t think they’ll be alone. They’re probably pretty sure they’ll find someone else.

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A: This is all pretty depressing. Whatever happened to the notion of commitment, of making a marriage work because you took sacred vows, or because you have children who deserve an intact home? Or simply because you still feel love? Is it even realistic to believe that marriage can last for the long haul? K: Of course. It is clearly realistic. Millions of marriages last. You just have to

decide if it’s realistic for you. Everybody who goes into marriage wants it to last and to work. On that level, everybody is committed, at least at the start. But there’s the kind of commitment that says, when things start to go wrong, I’m going to do what it takes to make this marriage work. That intention does seem to be associated with more successful relationships. Some have it because they care about the institution of marriage. Others have it because they care about the person who is their partner. A: Where does love enter into all this? K: People fall in love all the time. It’s fairly easy to do. But lasting love is hard, and it comes from a lot of things going right. You have to assess those three big things I mentioned above. You have to have two partners who are both capable of sustaining intimacy, two people who are capable of interacting together effectively. You need life circumstances that support the relationship. All of that has to be right. And all of it changes over time. In love, you need to be lucky. AM


LOVE OFF THE GRID

PHOTO: Jim Cox

Jenny Powers plays 16th-century courtesan Veronica Franco in Dangerous Beauty.

THE PROVOCATIVE TRUE TALE OF A 16TH-CENTURY COURTESAN STILL RESONATES IN A NEW MUSICAL AT THE PASADENA PLAYHOUSE. BY LYNNE HEFFLEY ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 23


LOVE OFF THE GRID

A 16th-century courtesan, famed for her beauty and intellect, rises to a position of power in patriarchal Venice, faces the Inquisition and is tried for witchcraft. Throw in the Black Plague and internecine strife, and this heady brew adds up to Dangerous Beauty, a lavish world premiere musical opening Feb. 13 at the Pasadena Playhouse, recently resuscitated after a bout with

ABOVE: Composer Amanda McBroom and director Sheryl Kaller AT RIGHT AND OPPOSITE PAGE: Cast members Jenny Powers and Laila Robins (wearing a scarf) in rehearsal

24 ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ ARROYO

Dangerous Beauty, which runs through March 6, is based on the 1998 film of the same name about real-life Veronica Franco; that was in turn inspired by The Honest Courtesan: Veronica Franco, Citizen and Writer in Sixteenth-Century Venice (University of Chicago Press; 1993), a historical biography by USC professor Margaret F. Rosenthal. Directed by 2010 Tony nominee Sheryl Kaller (Next Fall), the new musical features a book by the film’s screenwriter, Jeannine Dominy, and an original score by noted singer-performer and Golden Globe–winning songwriter Amanda McBroom (“The Rose”) and composer Michele Brourman, who collaborated on the songs for most of the Land Before Time films. This period musical with contemporary overtones has taken more than a decade to percolate into being. McBroom was first inspired in 1998, when she saw the film and recognized its stage potential. “It’s about the Christian world, the Muslim world and the emergence of women in power,” McBroom said. “It is soulful, sexy and intelligent, and unbelievably timely.” She brought the idea to Brourman, and the pair began exploring the characters in song. “Veronica and her mother are written on my belly now, as my husband [stage veteran George Ball] would say. I understand those women really well.” Dangerous Beauty’s development spans the 2004 West Coast ASCAP Workshop, a Rubicon Theatre reading and a 2005 presentation for Vassar’s New York Stage and Film Powerhouse Theatre season. That was when director Kaller came on board. In 2006, it was part of the National Alliance of Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals, and in 2008, Kaller directed a staging for Northwestern University’s American Music Theatre Project. When Kaller first joined the Dangerous Beauty club, she said, “there wasn’t even a second act. But from the second that I heard Amanda and Michele’s music, I said, ‘Oh my gosh, this piece is so rich and fertile and honest.’ It is a dissection of female empowerment” and a view of an empire facing polarization and political and social upheaval that’s timely “because I feel that’s what’s going on in the United States now.”

PHOTOS: Peter James Zielinski (Sheryl Kaller); Jim Cox (rehearsals)

bankruptcy in early 2010. Kaller found her Veronica in Jenny Powers (Broadway’s Little Women and Grease) in 2005; at the same time, she cast Megan McGinnis, Powers’ Little Women co-star, as Beatrice, a key role. (The 20-member cast also includes James Snyder, Laila Robins, Bryce Ryness and Michael Rupert.) “I’ve had years to get the score in my bones, and the voice in my soul,” said Powers, a former Miss America contestant. “And I spent this past fall in Veronica Franco boot camp, dancing and sword fighting. I feel not only ready, I’m bursting to bring her to life.” Pasadena Playhouse Artistic Director Sheldon Epps responded as Kaller did when he first heard selections from the Dangerous Beauty score. “I found it wonderfully evocative and emotional and, well, luscious,” Epps said. “I thought, too, that although the story is placed in a period that’s hundreds and hundreds of years ago, it has a contemporary resonance.” Because diversity underlies Epps’ core vision for the Playhouse, the themes of ethnic and gender diversity in Franco’s story “were very attractive to me. And I found it fascinating that words, language and literacy were used by women of that time to achieve equal stature with men. That is still a truth for the underprivileged and underserved in contemporary society.” Presented in association with producers Susan Dietz and Tara Smith, Dangerous Beauty marks the Playhouse’s first major production since its Chapter 11 reorganization last year. When the theater reopened in October, it was on a relatively small scale, with Ed Asner’s solo play, F.D.R., followed by Leslie Uggams’ autobiographical musical, Uptown, Downtown. Yet, while a full-fledged world-premiere musical may seem a more definitive comeback after the theater’s “intermission,” as Epps wryly calls it, he prefers not to burden Dangerous Beauty “or anything that we’ve done already or will do, with the responsibility of having to re-declare a standard. “The theater has always exerted every effort to do wonderful, interesting work,” Epps said, although he acknowledges that some have criticized his eclectic, often commercial programming. “People would say, ‘You do plays and musicals and new work and work by artists of color — I can’t get a handle on what you

do.’ Some of the same people” now appreciate the variety, he said. “Theatrical diversity is a hallmark of the work that we do.” And Dangerous Beauty, Kaller pointed out, “hits about everybody who could possibly want to come to the theater. It’s about love, family, sex and politics.” For the director, premiering “Dangerous Beauty” at the Pasadena Playhouse “is a dream come true,” Kaller said. The richly historied Pasadena Playhouse and an “A-plus list” of veteran New York and Los Angeles talent “give us a wonderful opportunity to find our play here with the luxury of working with some of the best people in the business.” The creative team also includes choreographer Benoit-Swan Pouffer, artistic director of the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, a New York–based company dubbed one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2008; music director Fred Lassen (conductor of Broadway’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels); Bruce Coughlin (9 to 5: The Musical) doing the orchestrations; scenic designer Tom Buderwitz; and Emmywinning costume designer Soyon An (So You Think You Can Dance). For his part, Epps is “thrilled that we’re back to the point where we can offer our audience the excitement of seeing a premiere presentation on our stage and the chance to be actively involved in it.” Audience response to a first production, he said, “helps to define what it’s going to become as it moves forward.” And the list of shows that the Playhouse has launched is growing. It includes Looped (Broadway, 2009); Vanities: A New Musical (Off Broadway, 2009); Baby It’s You, Unchain My Heart, The Ray Charles Story and, following its West End run, Sister Act: The Musical. The latter three are slated for Broadway openings this year. “We’ve done pretty well giving birth to things, or contributing to the development of things that have gone on to have a longer life,” Epps said. “And that is the hope with Dangerous Beauty as well.” AM The curtain rises at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $49 to $69 ($15 rush tickets go on sale one hour before the show and are subject to availability). The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Call (626) 356-7529 or visit pasadenaplayhouse.org. ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 25


LOVE OFF THE GRID

A 16th-century courtesan, famed for her beauty and intellect, rises to a position of power in patriarchal Venice, faces the Inquisition and is tried for witchcraft. Throw in the Black Plague and internecine strife, and this heady brew adds up to Dangerous Beauty, a lavish world premiere musical opening Feb. 13 at the Pasadena Playhouse, recently resuscitated after a bout with

ABOVE: Composer Amanda McBroom and director Sheryl Kaller AT RIGHT AND OPPOSITE PAGE: Cast members Jenny Powers and Laila Robins (wearing a scarf) in rehearsal

24 ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ ARROYO

Dangerous Beauty, which runs through March 6, is based on the 1998 film of the same name about real-life Veronica Franco; that was in turn inspired by The Honest Courtesan: Veronica Franco, Citizen and Writer in Sixteenth-Century Venice (University of Chicago Press; 1993), a historical biography by USC professor Margaret F. Rosenthal. Directed by 2010 Tony nominee Sheryl Kaller (Next Fall), the new musical features a book by the film’s screenwriter, Jeannine Dominy, and an original score by noted singer-performer and Golden Globe–winning songwriter Amanda McBroom (“The Rose”) and composer Michele Brourman, who collaborated on the songs for most of the Land Before Time films. This period musical with contemporary overtones has taken more than a decade to percolate into being. McBroom was first inspired in 1998, when she saw the film and recognized its stage potential. “It’s about the Christian world, the Muslim world and the emergence of women in power,” McBroom said. “It is soulful, sexy and intelligent, and unbelievably timely.” She brought the idea to Brourman, and the pair began exploring the characters in song. “Veronica and her mother are written on my belly now, as my husband [stage veteran George Ball] would say. I understand those women really well.” Dangerous Beauty’s development spans the 2004 West Coast ASCAP Workshop, a Rubicon Theatre reading and a 2005 presentation for Vassar’s New York Stage and Film Powerhouse Theatre season. That was when director Kaller came on board. In 2006, it was part of the National Alliance of Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals, and in 2008, Kaller directed a staging for Northwestern University’s American Music Theatre Project. When Kaller first joined the Dangerous Beauty club, she said, “there wasn’t even a second act. But from the second that I heard Amanda and Michele’s music, I said, ‘Oh my gosh, this piece is so rich and fertile and honest.’ It is a dissection of female empowerment” and a view of an empire facing polarization and political and social upheaval that’s timely “because I feel that’s what’s going on in the United States now.”

PHOTOS: Peter James Zielinski (Sheryl Kaller); Jim Cox (rehearsals)

bankruptcy in early 2010. Kaller found her Veronica in Jenny Powers (Broadway’s Little Women and Grease) in 2005; at the same time, she cast Megan McGinnis, Powers’ Little Women co-star, as Beatrice, a key role. (The 20-member cast also includes James Snyder, Laila Robins, Bryce Ryness and Michael Rupert.) “I’ve had years to get the score in my bones, and the voice in my soul,” said Powers, a former Miss America contestant. “And I spent this past fall in Veronica Franco boot camp, dancing and sword fighting. I feel not only ready, I’m bursting to bring her to life.” Pasadena Playhouse Artistic Director Sheldon Epps responded as Kaller did when he first heard selections from the Dangerous Beauty score. “I found it wonderfully evocative and emotional and, well, luscious,” Epps said. “I thought, too, that although the story is placed in a period that’s hundreds and hundreds of years ago, it has a contemporary resonance.” Because diversity underlies Epps’ core vision for the Playhouse, the themes of ethnic and gender diversity in Franco’s story “were very attractive to me. And I found it fascinating that words, language and literacy were used by women of that time to achieve equal stature with men. That is still a truth for the underprivileged and underserved in contemporary society.” Presented in association with producers Susan Dietz and Tara Smith, Dangerous Beauty marks the Playhouse’s first major production since its Chapter 11 reorganization last year. When the theater reopened in October, it was on a relatively small scale, with Ed Asner’s solo play, F.D.R., followed by Leslie Uggams’ autobiographical musical, Uptown, Downtown. Yet, while a full-fledged world-premiere musical may seem a more definitive comeback after the theater’s “intermission,” as Epps wryly calls it, he prefers not to burden Dangerous Beauty “or anything that we’ve done already or will do, with the responsibility of having to re-declare a standard. “The theater has always exerted every effort to do wonderful, interesting work,” Epps said, although he acknowledges that some have criticized his eclectic, often commercial programming. “People would say, ‘You do plays and musicals and new work and work by artists of color — I can’t get a handle on what you

do.’ Some of the same people” now appreciate the variety, he said. “Theatrical diversity is a hallmark of the work that we do.” And Dangerous Beauty, Kaller pointed out, “hits about everybody who could possibly want to come to the theater. It’s about love, family, sex and politics.” For the director, premiering “Dangerous Beauty” at the Pasadena Playhouse “is a dream come true,” Kaller said. The richly historied Pasadena Playhouse and an “A-plus list” of veteran New York and Los Angeles talent “give us a wonderful opportunity to find our play here with the luxury of working with some of the best people in the business.” The creative team also includes choreographer Benoit-Swan Pouffer, artistic director of the Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, a New York–based company dubbed one of Dance Magazine’s “25 to Watch” in 2008; music director Fred Lassen (conductor of Broadway’s Dirty Rotten Scoundrels); Bruce Coughlin (9 to 5: The Musical) doing the orchestrations; scenic designer Tom Buderwitz; and Emmywinning costume designer Soyon An (So You Think You Can Dance). For his part, Epps is “thrilled that we’re back to the point where we can offer our audience the excitement of seeing a premiere presentation on our stage and the chance to be actively involved in it.” Audience response to a first production, he said, “helps to define what it’s going to become as it moves forward.” And the list of shows that the Playhouse has launched is growing. It includes Looped (Broadway, 2009); Vanities: A New Musical (Off Broadway, 2009); Baby It’s You, Unchain My Heart, The Ray Charles Story and, following its West End run, Sister Act: The Musical. The latter three are slated for Broadway openings this year. “We’ve done pretty well giving birth to things, or contributing to the development of things that have gone on to have a longer life,” Epps said. “And that is the hope with Dangerous Beauty as well.” AM The curtain rises at 8 p.m. Tuesday through Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $49 to $69 ($15 rush tickets go on sale one hour before the show and are subject to availability). The Pasadena Playhouse is located at 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Call (626) 356-7529 or visit pasadenaplayhouse.org. ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 25


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FASHION

Feet First HIGH-END SHOE DESIGNER RAFI BALOUZIAN OF BURBANK’S CYDWOQ BELIEVES IT'S SILLY TO SUFFER FOR BEAUTY. BY BRENDA REES

Some designers seek to enhance the curve of a slender waist or the beckoning hollow between a woman’s shoulders. Rafi Balouzian prefers to celebrate one of mankind’s more useful anatomical parts — the foot. As owner and designer of the high-end leather-goods line Cydwoq (pronounced “sidewalk”), Balouzian has been considering the curve of the ankle, the architecture of the heel and the geometry of the arch since 1996, when he first opened his shoe factory in a small Burbank facility near Bob Hope Airport. Now housed in a 14,000-square-foot building in a bustling Burbank industrial area, Cydwoq has grown into an internationally known maker of distinctive handmade shoes, handbags and belts. It’s mainly the shoes, blending handmade appeal, green values, vintage style and edgy design, that have placed Cydwoq squarely on fashionistas’ radar. “They are very earthy but sophisticated at the same time,” says Barbara Phillips, owner of Venice and Culver City specialty clothing stores Minnie T’s, and she should know. “I have so many pairs and they are so comfortable,” she says. “I stand on cement for nine hours a day and my feet love them.” Phillips is in good company — she has a long list of folks who want to know when new models hit the store. “I call them up and some come that day to buy the latest.” Cydwoqs’ comfort is a signature of the line. An avid walker, Balouzian typically logs as much as 50 blocks a day, so he wanted to design shoes

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Cydwoq

—CONTINUED ON PAGE 28

ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 27


Alpha

Cedar

Rafi Balouzian

Gaudi

Iota

—CONTINUED FROM PAGE 27

known as someone who could fix any broken machine. “I have that kind of brain — half-design, half-mechanical,” he says with a smile. He also recalls traveling to Italy and France with his father to attend leather and shoe exhibitions where he forged early memories of materials and techniques he would tap later in life. The Lebanese Civil War prompted Balouzian to emigrate to the U.S. in 1978. He settled in Los Angeles, where he studied production and operations management and started three clothing stores. Tired of the seven-day-a-week grind, he went back to school and studied interior architecture and environmental design. After launching a Melrose shop for a British fashion designer, he suggested adding shoes to the clothing line and was pleased to see his initial five designs sold briskly. That, he says, gave him the confidence to chart his own path. With the help of his wife, Zela, a certified public accountant, Balouzian decided to open his own factory. On a trip to Italy to purchase shoemaking machinery, he was surprised by an encounter with shoe suppliers who remembered him and his father. “It seemed like a bit of a sign of good fortune,” he says. “Can you believe it? After all these years.” Cydwoq’s first customers came mainly from abroad — Japan, Germany, France and Switzerland. “American companies were too skeptical of the shoes; about 75 percent of our product went overseas,” he says. But, as the brand’s reputation grew, so did American sales numbers. Today, about 70 percent of Cydwoq’s business is on home turf, mainly in San Francisco, New York and Chicago — cities, notes Balouzian, where walking is hard to avoid.. For the designer, nothing is better than making walking as pleasurable for his stylish customers as it is for him. And that means two months of the year stand out on his calendar — January and July. That’s when he sits down at his design table and creates new styles to bring to shows locally and abroad. “It’s the most intense time for me, but I love it,” he says. “I can be creative and expressive and the time flies by.” AM

for women and men that would make his favorite pastime a pleasure. He decided such a shoe would be more like walking barefoot, without an artificially flat sole, manufactured cushions or high heels. The style would embrace a playful use of color, shape and form. Trained in architecture, he based his model on his own empirical study — hours spent simply watching people walk and scrutinizing the mechanics of how they lift their feet and place them down. He discovered a circular motion and experimented with designs and materials before he hit on the right combination worthy of the Cydwoq name. “Our shoe soles are more like nature,” he says, describing their rounded wavelike bottoms that flex and eventually mold to the wearer’s foot. “These shoes are an extension of your feet; the leather we use makes it seem like they are a part of your own skin. I know customers who don’t wear socks in our boots because they like how the leather feels against their own skin.” When the subject is feet, Balouzian speaks with an almost evangelical passion, jumping up to punctuate his points. His strategy of embracing high style rather than trendiness has enabled him to grow his line because he needn’t retire designs after a flash-in-the-pan season. There are currently about 400 different styles to choose from, such as the multi-toned d’Orsay Beach flat; the closed-toe, kitten-heeled sandal/pump hybrid, Climax; and the Victorian snubtoed short boot, Jump. Every year, he introduces 70 new models (35 in the spring, 35 in the fall). In addition to finding the shoes in small clothing and boutique stores around the world — Japan, France and Spain are big importers — clients can communicate directly with the factory online and custom create their own footwear, selecting from a vast selection of organic vegetable-tanned leathers. The green company also uses water-based glues. “Back when we started, I only wanted a healthy environment for our workers,” Balouzian says. “I never saw it as jumping on a bandwagon.” While handmade shoes can be pricey (usually starting at about $600), Cydwoq’s typically range from $240 to about $550. Handbags cost from $225 to $500; belts, $85 to $152. Balouzian grew up in the shoe business as a young Armenian in Beirut, Lebanon. He remembers hanging out at his father’s shoe factory, where he became 28 ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ ARROYO

Cydwoq is located at 2102 Kenmere Ave., Burbank.. Store hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Call (818) 848-8307 or visit cydwoq.com. Cydwoq shoes are also available at Rue de Mimo, 1514 Mission St., South Pasadena, (626) 441-2690.

PHOTOS: Courtesy of Cydwoq

FASHION


“These shoes are an extension of your feet; the leather we use makes it seem like they are a part of your own skin. I know customers who don’t wear socks in our boots because they like how the leather feels against their own skin.”

ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 29


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KITCHEN CONFESSIONS

Ebony and Ivory CHOCOLATE VS. VANILLA, TO YOUR CORNERS. HERE’S MY VOTE IN THE NEVER-ENDING DUEL OVER DESSERT. BY LESLIE BILDERBACK | PHOTOS BY TERI LYN FISHER

I’m not a huge fan of chocolate. I mean, it’s good and all, but I don’t see what all the fuss is about. I am told that chocolate contains a chemical compound with an effect similar to that of caffeine, but I’d still rather have a cup of coffee. I am also aware of its popularity as an aphrodisiac. Reports indicate that chocolate melted on the tongue produces a heart rate more than twice as intense as the

is considered socially acceptable, and even funny, to add “holic” to the end of it? Just because you have no self-control when a Snickers is put in front of you does

heart rate during kissing. On that, I call shenanigans. The only way

not mean you are ill. What’s next? Prescription Choc-o-rette gum?) Chocolate does have a sexy history, which perfectly illustrates Western

chocolate could make my heart race is if it were fed to me by

Civilization’s finders-keepers mentality. The Spanish came upon cocoa trees that had long been flourishing in the tropical forests and islands of the Americas, the

George Clooney. Winter is chocolate season, but our house is under a strict chocolate embargo. On Valentine’s Day, I prefer to waste my money on items with a lower calorie count, like shoes. No good can come from a box of chocolate, unless it is used as a blunt object to thwart attackers. Of course, it could be that I am simply sick of it. As a pastry chef, I knew that

beans of which had been used as food and currency for centuries. Moctezuma had amassed a chocolatey fortune by the time Cortés opened his can of whoopass in the 1500s. It took a lot of really warped thinking to take that bean from currency to candy. Early people discovered (probably on a dare) that cocoa beans on the ground rotting in the sun tasted better than the freshly plucked ones. Fermented, roasted, shelled

anything chocolate was always going to be the top seller. That’s because chocolate

and ground, the bean paste was mixed with water and spices into a delicious drink

is America’s default flavor. When you are too chicken to try something new, but too

called xocolatl. With over 50 percent fat, the paste created a sludgy, lumpy concoc-

weak-willed to forgo dessert altogether, chocolate is the go-to choice.

tion when mixed with water and required copious whisking to emulsify into a frothy

I prefer vanilla. (No, I am not racist, I am a flavorist.) I find vanilla’s subtle

drink. This method is still used today throughout Mexico, Central America and Olvera

essence more versatile in both sweet and savory cooking. And not to be snooty, but

Street. The Spanish recorded the practice in great detail (paying particularly close

good vanilla takes a more sophisticated palate to appreciate than does chocolate.

attention to the solid gold cups and flasks used in the process). The drink’s stimulat-

(Yes, I just called all you chocolate lovers unsophisticated. I guess I am snooty after

ing quality didn’t go unnoticed either. Cortés noted that one cup kept his soldiers

all. So be it.) Frankly, I am a little miffed that chocolate lovers use vanilla as a syn-

fresh for an entire day. All the better to conquer you with.

onym for plain and boring. I think chocolate is boring, so there! (And by the way, I would like to state for the record that there is no such disease as chocoholism. First, I have never heard of “chocohol.” Why is it, when a person loves something, it

It might surprise you to know that xocolatl means “bitter water.” I submit that the Aztecs were trying to outsmart the Spanish through reverse marketing. Need —CONTINUED ON PAGE 32 ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 31


KITCHEN CONFESSIONS

—CONTINUED FROM PAGE 31

more proof? Their word for gold was teocuitlatl, which means “poop of the gods.” Hard to believe it didn’t work. Spanish guy: “Is that hot chocolate?” Aztec dude: “No, it’s bitter water. You wouldn’t like it.” Spanish guy: “Is that a big pile of gold?” Aztec dude: “What, this? No. It’s poop. You wouldn’t be interested.” The original xocolatl recipe included my beloved vanilla, another ingredient previously unknown to, and therefore stolen by, the Spanish. It is the seed pod of a climbing orchid whose white flowers are followed by long green pods that have few redeeming qualities when picked. They must be cured and fermented before they emit the familiar fragrance. The guy who discovered this was no doubt from the same Fear Factor clan as the guy who first tried the rotten cocoa bean. When cocoa hit Europe, it was a rock star. Dandies in powdered wigs drank cocoa seasoned with fashionable spices, and chocolate shops sprouted like Starbucks. But it was not until the mid-19th century that chocolate was processed into candy. It was the Swiss who combined all previous chocolate technologies into the chocolate we know today. Watches, banks and chocolate. Why bother to commit to anything political when you’ve cornered the market on time, money and deliciousness? You go, Switzerland! Of course, vanilla was a hit too. The French tried unsuccessfully to propagate vanilla on the islands of Madagascar and neighboring Réunion (formerly Bourbon), but in a stunning turn of fate (probably due to a curse by the God of the Golden Poop), the orchid could only be pollinated by the Mexican varieties of bees and hummingbirds. To make matters worse, the orchid flowers opened for only a short time. But where there’s a will, there’s a way, and the cunning Frenchies began hand-

AZTEC HOT CHOCOLATE

pollinating, forever guaranteeing vanilla’s high price. There are three vanilla beans on

This red-hot chocolate milk will warm your insides, to say the least.

the market: Madagascar beans are used mainly for extract production; Tahitian

INGREDIENTS

beans have more aroma than flavor and are widely used for perfumes; Mexican

4 dried pasilla chile pods 4 cups boiling water 1 quart half-and-half ¼ cup brown sugar

beans are fat, fragrant and flavorful. The extract from Mexico is the best, but it is hard to find in America because it sometimes contains the potent anti-coagulant Coumarin, which is banned here. (Stupid bleeders ruin everything!) Look for vanilla beans that are thick and tough but pliable. They should be pounded gently to crush the millions of inner seeds and activate the oils before splitting them lengthwise. Once scraped, spent pods can be stored in sugar to harness as much of the oil as possible. Most people use vanilla in extract form, which is made by macerating the beans in alcohol. I like to do this myself with spent pods and rum. Vanilla is also available in a paste, which is concentrated extract with added seeds; a powder, which is made from ground-up dried pods; and an imitation extract, which is crap. Choosing chocolate is more complicated. (Another mark against it). Proper

2 cinnamon sticks, crushed ½ teaspoon anise seed 1 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped fine 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped

METHOD 1. Preheat the oven to 400˚. Spread chile pods on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes or until soft. Cool, remove stems and seeds. Cover chile pods with boiling water, and steep for 30 minutes. 2. In a large saucepan, combine half-and-half, brown sugar, anise and cinnamon sticks. (Mexican chocolate has cinnamon in it already, so if you decide to use it, omit the sticks.) Simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Add chocolate and vanilla beans, and stir to melt. 3. Transfer soaked chiles to a blender. Blend until smooth, adding a little chocolate mixture if needed to facilitate blending. Combine chile paste with remaining chocolate mixture, stir and strain. Rewarm before serving.

chocolate is made with cocoa solids, additional cocoa butter, milk (for milk chocolate), sugar (in varying degrees to create sweet, semi-sweet, bittersweet, etc.) and

Oaxacan Mole, the rich, smoky, spicy sauce traditionally served over wild game

vanilla. (Yep, you need vanilla to make chocolate, which further validates my prefer-

birds. Clever modern chefs use unsweetened chocolate to intensify bitterness in rich

ence. You don’t need chocolate to make vanilla, do you? Ha!) Each confection is

stews and braises; sweet chocolate adds richness and balances acid.

available with varying proportions of cocoa, which, along with bean variety, country

Vanilla’s exquisite essence, while clearly benefiting all things sweet, also favors

of origin and roasting method, all determine the chocolate’s flavor. And yes, white

seafood, game meats, pork and root vegetables. Toss a bean with your roasted

chocolate is not technically chocolate, because it does not contain any cocoa

new potatoes, or use it with citrus zest, bay and butter as a dip for shellfish. I guar-

solids, just cocoa butter, milk, sugar and (ahem) vanilla.

antee it will entice you over from the dark side. AM

Most people enjoy chocolate as a sweet treat in dishes that shamelessly tempt your weakness for misbehaving with names like “decadence this” or “that indul-

Leslie Bilderback is a certified master baker and chef, a cookbook author and lead

gence.” (I prefer giving my dishes names that are descriptive rather than rebellious.)

pastry instructor at École de Cuisine in Pasadena. A South Pasadena resident,

But chocolate has its place on the savory side of the kitchen too, most famously in

Bilderback teaches her techniques online at culinarymasterclass.com.

32 ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ ARROYO


ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 33


—CONTINUED FROM PAGE 19

tors he uses. You want to find a builder who has subcontractors who have been with him for many years and know that he expects only the best work from them.” Yet ultimately, Romani adds, the buck stops with the contractor. “Your contractor should be available to you whenever necessary,” Romani maintains. “A contractor/custom home builder should be knowledgeable in every field of construction and able to answer any questions that arise, directly and to the point That way, he or she is able to counteract any problems that may occur.” And be prepared. The number of decisions you’ll encounter throughout the construction process will total – literally – in the thousands. “This is where a good designer becomes so important,” says Caire. “In the last five years, my company completed refocused our business toward design/build. By doing this, we now facilitate the design decisions along with the building decisions. Decisions are made in a timely manner, products are available when we need them, and the job never suffers from costly delays and stoppages.” Many others in the construction industry share Caire’s philosophy. “The modus operandi of the industry was the mainstream approach of ‘finish the drawings and then I’ll give you a price’,” explains Judson. “We quickly realized this was fraught with pitfalls. We were ignoring the fact that our own craftsmen had a lot to offer during the design process — especially with constructability issues, materials, costs, and sometimes design. So we set out to get them involved right from the beginning. This way, the team of owner, architect, and builder remain a cohesive creative group until your project is complete and everyone is happy.”

34 ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ ARROYO

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this strong sense of trust should extend well beyond feeling comfortable having the contractor in your home seven-plus hours a day.

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“You need to have trust in your contractor’s ability and quality,” Judson advises. “Trust that they are actively listening and seeking to understand you and what you want. Trust that they won’t leave your project until you are completely happy and that they’ll be there if something goes wrong in the future.” It’s a two-way street, however. A contractor needs to trust the client as well. “It is important to take the time before you begin construction to work with your builder and be clear on the scope of work, the design, the materials and then ask for the real cost of what you want,” says Judson. “A builder who has done similar projects to yours in the past should be able to give you some cost assurances and be transparent with how they estimate these prices.” Remember, too, that selecting the lowest bidder is not necessarily the best approach. “You may get stung on a ton of ‘extras’,” Dan Mikolasko cautions. Realism, in other words, is needed from the beginning. “More jobs and owner/builder relationships are ruined,” says Caire, “because home owners refuse to accept the true costs while builders give unrealistically low estimates trying to win the job.” Be aware as well that changes in your project can lead to a change in the cost. This may sound obvious but often isn’t. “Homeowners believe that one price will get them what they want when sometimes they decide to make changes,” Delgadillo

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JOHN CAIRE CONSTRUCTION

Avoiding confusion extends beyond the change order process, however. Careful planning and clear communication before starting construction will ensure that pitfalls like higher costs than expected – or, worse yet, not winding up with what you envisioned as you began the process – are avoided. “The sooner your architect and builder start talking and working together the higher your chances of avoiding these problems,” says Judson. “Your architect should be able to listen to what you want and produce designs and drawings that help to communicate the look and feel of the project to you and the builder. They may not nail it the first time, but these early conversations should allow you to react to what you see. The builder should be brought in to give input as to constructability and costs.” —CONTINUED ON PAGE 38

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A critical skill for a builder, at this stage, is that he or she be a good listener. “Your contractor should respect you enough to take the time to understand what you want before they start to offer solutions,” Judson explains. The benefit of conversations like these is that stress is considerably reduced. Homeowners don’t wind up discovering they need to select things like appliances, fixtures, granite, and tile in the middle of the construction whirlwind.

Design Build

“Early in the building process, I make a list of all the choices the homeowners need to make and give them an allowance figure based on the budget we have previously agreed upon,” says Romani. “Then I steer them to reputable suppliers who can further help with selecting the custom pieces for their home.”

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Here, once again, the issue of quality arises. “True quality has to begin with the basic structure of the house,” Romani insists. “It is the hidden quality of a construction job that makes the home last with no problems. I see some contractors today who avoid dealing with shortfalls during the construction process and just make

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DINING

A Glass Act OENOPHILES – BOTH VINTAGE AND NEW – CAN SATISFY THEIR THIRST FOR A GREAT GLASS AT PASADENA’S NEW STORE AND TASTING ROOM, MONOPOLE WINE. BY BRADLEY TUCK

THE LITTLE BLOCK OF BUILDINGS ADJACENT TO THE PASADENA PLAYHOUSE ON SOUTH EL MOLINO AVENUE IS A GEM OF SPANISH COLONIAL REVIVAL COMMERCIAL ARCHITECTURE, IN A CITY NOT EXACTLY SHORT ON SUCH TREASURES. Named the Lockwood Building after the physician who commissioned its construction in 1927, the structure originally housed Dr. Lockwood’s offices; the other units were rented out to prominent interior decorators and dealers in fine china and art. It’s amusing to speculate what chatter went on in the doctor’s office, or what the daily gossip was among the customers poring over fine tea services. The 18th Amendment to the Constitution prohibiting “the manufacture, sale or transportation of intoxicating liquors” had been passed several years earlier. The genteel folks holding bone china up to the light to examine its translucency probably had little inkling of the enormous crash in the stock market looming on the horizon. Some of them would no doubt be turning to the good doctor for Prohibition-era prescriptions for “medicinal” alcohol in the years ahead.

Monopole Wine 21 S. El Molino Ave. Pasadena (626) 577-9463 monopolewine.com Store: Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Wine Bar: Every day from 6 p.m. until store closing.

Thankfully, we no longer have to run afoul of the law in order to enjoy a drink. And here to help us in the search for what Ernest Hemingway called “one of the most natural things of the world that has been brought to the greatest perfection” is Monopole Wine. Part wine shop, part wine bar, part tasting room, Monopole opened in November as a paean to the simple joy that is a great glass of wine. Twenty-five-foot-high ceilings give the space a church-like ambience, and Pasadena architect Chris Peck enhanced the aesthetic with four cylindrical chandeliers salvaged from a mid-century church in Laguna Beach. Tall, dark wooden shelves, reminiscent of those found in a distinguished vintage bookstore, are arranged to create alcoves along the length of the room at one end, almost like an altar, stands the tasting bar. Bobbing among the shelves or pouring a tasting behind the bar are owners Peter Nelson —CONTINUED ON PAGE 42 ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 41


DINING

—CONTINUED FROM PAGE 41

and Hiro Tamaki. Their goal at Monopole was to “create a serious wine store, with hand-picked selections from great small producers, but also a fun place to learn, explore and enjoy wine by the glass,” Nelson says. With that in mind they encourage tasting before buying and will happily spend time talking customers through prospective purchases, enlightening them as to a wine’s character, provenance and food compatibility. Both Nelson and Tamaki are Wine & Spirit Education Trust advanced certificate holders and certified wine educators. Nelson is also a certified sommelier. If you find the thought of all of this knowledge a little daunting, you might like to enroll in one of their regular

THANKFULLY, WE NO LONGER HAVE TO RUN AFOUL OF THE LAW IN ORDER TO ENJOY A DRINK.

classes. Perched overlooking the store on a charming mezzanine is a room the pair use for events and classes. It has low ceilings that create the feel of a cellar, despite its lofty location, and a small fireplace that will soon be flickering and functional, say the owners. Classes cost from $40 to $60 per person, depending on the wines, and the space can accommodate up to 20 people around a U-shaped group of tables set with linens. The classes start in the bar with a glass of bubbly, then move upstairs for a 20to 30-minute lecture on the wine and its region while tasting the first drink. “Then we go through all of the other wines in detail, tasting, comparing, explaining what to look for, what people are smelling or tasting,” Nelson says. “It gets very interactive and fun. I take questions and solicit comments, questions, discussion from others.” Good cheeses are brought in for pairings, and it’s all very unintimidating. The focus is on allowing people to form their own opinions on what they do or don’t like, rather than forcing their hand. That said, Tamaki and Nelson clearly have their favorites, and the wine menu at Monopole is Eurocentric, but there’s also a good selection of “New World” wines, focusing on “character, balance and artisanal producers,” as Nelson puts it, along with a very healthy Champagne section. AM 42 ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ ARROYO


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The Captain’s Table of Caribbean Cuisine TV TO SHOW KINGSTON CAFÉ RELAUNCH BY DAN O’HERON For years dining at Kingston Café has well served a select crew — the kind you’d find aboard a great white yacht, jubilant with flags, hitting the major ports o’call among the Caribbean’s floral necklace of 7,000 islands. But recently, following a consultation and a four-day make-over by restaurateur and TV personality Gordon Ramsay, a new menu is emerging to court a wider patronage, like those varied appetites aboard a big luxury liner. Ramsay’s engagement has also included staff retraining and design changes. Don’t look for a Caribbean sun smiley with sunglasses: the meandering rooms are a bit more minimalist than before. Famous for rescuing troubled kitchens, Ramsay was invited to Kingston Café by Keone Chong, managing partner. Chong thinks that it should pay to listen to a person whose fine restaurants around the globe have been awarded 12 Michelin stars. All the whys and wherefores in dealing with Kingston’s workplace issues will be seen on Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares” Fox-TV show KINGSTON CAFÉ 333 S. Fair Oaks Ave. sometime in March or early spring. In efforts to perfect the menu, Ramsay has cut the numPasadena (626) 405-8080 ber of major entrees from 15 to 10. He’s installed two exhibition mesquite barbeque grills that turn out “jerk” chicken with the tantalizing sauce on the side, plus tamarind skirt steak and kingfish. At the same time, he’s added three sandwiches: jerk chicken, island burger and red stripe fish. Word is out that the most interesting new entree might be Ramsay’s tapioca-crusted red snapper. And for any of those dishes whose spicing ranges from tingle to whiplash, Ramsay’s icy mint melon.soft drink is the most marriageable partner. Despite all the changes, there’s still live reggae music on Saturday night. On Kingston Cafe’s tradition of hospitality and generosity to guests, where there was scant space for improvement, no Ramsay tutoring was needed. ■

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Formerly known as Ugo’s Cafe, Zugo’s offer gourmet Italian cuisine with a charm for dessert, plus fine wines, Zugo’s dishes come fresh from farm to fork. All entrées also include a side salad and Zugo’s own artisan bread.

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CUISINE Argentina is world famous for its cuisine, and Malbec Argentinean Bistro brings that cuisine to Pasadena with their homemade salads, pastas, fish and an abundant selection of their signature free range meats prepared on a wood-fire grill.

Enjoy a staggering array of 99 dim sum dishes and 122 exquisite dinners in a dazzling setting. Featuring everything from affordable shared platters to shared “set” dinners for groups of up to 10, to exquisite delicacies like bird’s nest soup, there is something to delight every palate and price.

DINERS’ FAVORITES

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DINERS’ FAVORITES 1. Empanadas ($5.95) 2. Canelones de Pollo y Portobello ($14.95) 3. Gran Brochette Argentina ($28.95)

VIBE With 12 tables, an intimate bar crannied in a room marked with family-and-friend memorabilia, and a romantic classical guitarist on weekends, owners Chez & Sherri create the experience of a cozy café in Italy.

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1. Pork Shiu mai topped with orange fish eggs ($3.88) 2. Scallop with Sweet & Sour Sauce ($4.00) 3. Lobster Salad ($12.00)

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ARROYO

RESOURCE GUIDE HEALTH & BEAUTY CHRISTINE WON, M.D. What is Concierge Medicine? It’s a type of practice that allows you to spend 30 minutes for office visits (rather than 8 minutes in a traditional practice). You’ll be treated like a person instead of a number. We’ll focus on preventive care to maintain your good health through a comprehensive annual physical that includes extensive blood tests, EKG, metabolic test and much more. Call us for info and how to join at (626) 793-8455.

DR. MARILYN MEHLMAUER Having smooth, youthful skin is the first step to feeling great about your appearance. Dr. Marilyn Mehlmauer offers a wide variety of solutions for any problem areas on your face. Whether you have lines, wrinkles or acne, we have a remedy to restore the elasticity and refine the appearance of your skin. Visit us and explore our facial rejuvenation treatment options. Call and schedule your consultation today, (626) 585-9474.

ing your home improvement dreams a reality. Remodeling your home is one of the most important decisions you will make. We maintain a standard of excellence in our workmanship, customer service and professionalism. We guarantee that we will do the job right the first time and we won’t be satisfied until you’re satisfied. Visit our website at dmchomeimprovements.com (626)338-0244

ROMANI CONSTRUCTION & DEVELOPMENT Whether your dream home is traditional or modern, a mansion or a cottage, Romani Construction will work with you from design to completion. Since 1984, Jim Romani has worked to create a reputation of excellence in building custom homes, with the added personal touch of being on-site daily to ensure a smooth process. Call for a complimentary consultation or brochure (626) 442-2292, find us on facebook, or visit romaniconstruction.com

MAUDE WOODS Stepping into Maude Woods: Artful Living, shoppers may feel they’ve entered someone’s beautiful home. Owner Carrie Davich mixes new upscale furnishings with vintage and renovated secondhand treasures. Within this “home” shoppers can find a unique hostess gift for $25, a $5,000 table and a variety of beautiful items in between. 55 E. Holly St., Pasadena. Call (626) 577-3400 or visit maudewoods.com

MODERN LIGHTING Modern Lighting has been serving Southern California’s lighting needs since 1946. With all types of fixtures in every price range, you’ll find what you want. If not, we do custom design. We have stocks of light bulbs to compliment your fixture and we continually watch the marketplace for the best buys. Our staff has decades of lighting experience.. Feel free to contact us if our service is what you are looking for: call (626) 286-3262.

INTERIOR DESIGNERS WELLS FARGO CAROL COBABE JAMES COANE & ASSOCIATES Since 1994, James V. Coane, has specialized in: custom residences, estates, historic renovations and expansions, residential and apartment interiors, multi-family residential, corporate interiors, retail and small commercial building design. American Institute of Architects award winners, and named Best Architect by Pasadena Weekly, their projects have been in Architectural Digest and other magazines and used as locations for filming and fashion shoots. Well-versed in historical and modern architecture and design and known for attention to detail on all projects. Visit jvca.com or call (626) 584-6922.

HARTMANBALDWIN DESIGN/BUILD HartmanBaldwin Design/Build is a fully integrated Architecture, Construction and Interior Design Company specializing in upscale remodels, additions, historic restorations and new custom homes for highly discerning individuals that are passionate about their home and lifestyle. We pride ourselves in being chosen by clients who look for a full service firm that will provide them with outstanding design services, cutting-edge materials and products, quality construction that is sustainable and energy-efficient, as well as a relationship that goes beyond the duration of a project. Call 626.486.0510 to schedule your complimentary design consultation. HartmanBaldwin.com.

MARK HOUSTON ASSOCIATES, INC. Mark Houston Associates Inc. provides residential planning and design services in San Gabriel Valley, San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles and surrounding areas. With Mark Houston Associates Inc. you are an integral part of the design process. We work with you to create a residential environment that expresses your personality, values and vision. This collaboration begins with discerning your needs and flows through to the completion of construction. Call (626) 357-7858

BUILDERS & REMODELERS DAN MIKOLASKO CONSTRUCTION (DMC) A family owned & operated company and a member of the BBB. We are committed to mak-

With a philosophy of “good design resulting in the creation of harmony in one’s environment,” Carol’s work has been published in countless publications. She has participated in several showcase houses, the Los Angeles Assistance League Design House, the Venice Family Clinic Design House and Little Company of Mary Design House in Palos Verdes. Carol is also a winner of the coveted First Place Award of the L.A. Chapter of the American Society of Interior Designers. Call (626) 441-6052.

The Patsy Grant Team at Wells Fargo Home Financing meets your needs. Because your home is one of your biggest investments, it’s important to ensure that your mortgage fits you. This is our specialty — helping you find mortgage solutions that meet your current situation while complementing your long-term financial goals. We will help you determine what mortgage options work for you, guide you through the loan process and answer your questions. Patsy: (626) 577-3721; Jim: (626) 577-3703

CYNTHIA BENNETT

DAY OF DESIGN WITH TERRI JULIO Day of Design with Terri Julio — Imagine the opportunity to consult with a professional designer for an entire day. Now you can for a fixed flat fee. Let Terri’s expertise be the first thing you call upon when considering any project. It is a worthwhile investment and a good dose of prevention considering valuable dollars and time can be lost when improvements go awry. Call (626) 447-5370 or visit terrijulio.com.

INTERIOR SPACES

GARDEN VIEW LANDSCAPE Specializing in landscaping, nurseries and pools, Garden View Inc. can take you from a design idea to a finished, detail-oriented garden. Garden View & their clientele are recipients of 60 awards from the California Landscape Contractors Association. The intent of the company is to provide high-quality interrelated outdoor services. The synergy between having their own designer/project managers, in-house crews, their own large nursery, and being a licensed pool builder provides for efficiency, competitive pricing, quality and schedule control. Call (626) 303-4043.

GAROCCO POOLS Plan for your new pool or pool remodel. The time is now to start the process of building your new pool. Your family and friends will thank you at the beginning of the summer as you start to enjoy the beautiful new addition to your home and yard. Garocco, Inc. is well known for their outstanding pool design and construction. Call now to set up an appointment for a design consultation: (626) 359-5050 or visit garocco.com

AMERICAN WINDOW COMPANY Since 1999, American Window Company has supplied builders, general contractors and homeowners with a wide variety of door and window options. We can enhance the current style of your home or help you create an entirely new look. We offer the very best manufacturers’ products. They are beautiful, efficient, affordable, dependable and long-lasting. We want to be the door and window replacement supplier for the life of your home. 803 N. Glendora Blvd., in Covina. 909-967-4043 americanwindowcompany.com

Today’s hottest outdoor trend is the outdoor living room ... a favorite for hotels & resorts for years and now available for residential settings. Why go to an expensive resort for the weekend when you can turn your back yard into one? Invest in something that will bring comfort and style for the long run! Teak Warehouse boasts over 16 varied collections of deep seating, offering teak and wicker at the best prices in California. 133 E. Maple Ave., Monrovia. Call (626) 305-8325 or visit teakwarehouse.com

REAL ESTATE Lin Vlacich of Sotheby’s, a 25-year veteran in the real estate profession, is known for her reputation and success as a leader in the San Gabriel Valley brokerage community, as well as for high professional ethics, superior negotiating skills, innovative marketing plans and extensive knowledge of real estate sales. Committed to excellence in representing buyers and sellers throughout Pasadena, San Marino, South Pasadena and the surrounding communities. Call (626) 688-6464 or (626) 396-3975 or email vlacichs@aol.com

JEWELRY, ART & ANTIQUES ARNOLD’S FINE JEWELRY

OUTDOOR LIVING Cynthia Bennett & Associates has been a celebrated design and build firm for almost 30 years. They specialize in innovative kitchen and bath design, general construction, historical renovation, project management and interior design. With all areas of residential design and construction being taken care of by Cynthia Bennett and Associates, Inc., each detail will be thought of and coordinated. Call for a consultation at (626) 799-9701.

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and insured, 3-time winner of HGTV’s “Landscaper’s Challenge,” and a member of the California Landscape Contractors’ Association, Angie’s List, and the Better Business Bureau. Call (626) 296-2617, or visit mothermagnolia.com.

MOTHER MAGNOLIA A private residential landscape design and construction firm operating here since 1999, Mother Magnolia’s passion is creating an outdoor space for you to enjoy. Your outdoor space should be your refuge, a place with power to rejuvenate. Our reliable and dedicated in-house designers, experienced masons, irrigation specialists, and landscape technicians will make your landscape vision a reality. Or, if you have a design prepared, we will provide construction bids. Fully bonded

Celebrating their 100th year in Pasadena are inviting shoppers to help blow out the birthday candles. On Dec. 10 from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m., third generation gemologist and jewelry design expert Bruce Arnold and his knowledgeable staff will be raffling off a string of 100 Pearls, one for each year in the crown city. Entries may be taken in the store starting Nov. 2 through Dec. 10. One per household only. Wine and hors d’oeuvres will be served. 350 Lake Ave., Pasadena. (626) 7958647 arnoldsfinejewelry.com.

FANCY THAT! This Valentine’s Day, enter the Archway of Hearts at Fancy That! and discover the splendor of our cozy boutique. For this romantic holiday we feature Mark Robert’s Fairies, Bethany Lowe vintage table top, Peggy Karr Hearts fused glass trays, Winifred Cole Collection Jewelry and Hammonds Candy that will surely inspire you. Fill your loved one’s heart, and your own, with the joy of giving a special gift from Fancy That! 2575 & 2573 Mission St. in San Marino. (626) 403-2577 fancythat.us.com

JOHN MORAN AUCTIONEERS A full-service auction house for over 40 years, John Moran Auctioneers is internationally recognized as a leader in sales of exceptional antiques, fine art, jewelry and eclectic estate items. In addition to monthly Estate Auctions, Moran’s conducts triannual California and American Art auctions featuring top 19th and 20th century Impressionist and Western artists. Clients value Moran’s for expertise and dedication to top-quality personalized service. For information about consigning, purchasing at auction, estate services, appraisals, and free walkin Valuation Days, please call (626) 793-1833 or visit johnmoran.com. ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 45


English

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Western

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Boarding Training

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Children’s Camps

FUN FOR ALL!

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46 ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ ARROYO

EDUCATION& ENRICHMENT Altadena Stables Altadena Stables is a full-service facility and offers a safe and friendly environment for your riding enjoyment. Boarded horses are attended to 24/7 by experienced caretakers who live on the property. The location is next to the Arroyo and its beautiful forest trails. Instruction is provided on reliable stable horses by two professional horsewomen and trainers, who offer lessons, camps, clinics and groups for riders of all ages and skill levels altadenastables.blogspot.com Delphi Academy Delphi Academy is a K-12 school on a beautiful 10-acre campus surrounded by equestrian trails that offers an exciting summer program of fun and enrichment. Activities include adventurous camping & day trips to the beach, aquarium, Imax, Greyhound Rescue, Castaic Lake, a wild animal show, hiking, sports, cultural theme weeks, movie making, urban outdoor survival week, music cafe and more. A wide range of challenging courses include study skills, science, math, literature, and SAT & college prep. Call (818) 583-1070. Drucker School of Management The Drucker School of Management in Claremont offers a world-class graduate management education through our MBA, Executive MBA, Financial Engineering, and Arts Management degree programs. Our programs infuse Peter Drucker’s principle of management as a liberal

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art along with our core strengths in strategy and leadership. We offer individualized, flexible course scheduling, an innovative curriculum focusing on values-based management, and the opportunity to learn from world-renowned faculty. To learn more, visit us at drucker.cgu.edu. Maranatha High School Maranatha, a college preparatory Christian high school, offers an educational experience where individual talents are celebrated and nurtured. The school’s athletic program boasts 44 competitive teams in 18 sports and features state-of-the-art facilities. Performing arts students showcase their talents on stage at the renowned Ambassador Auditorium. Students are challenged with 29 AP and Honors courses, and every student can find their niche in one of the 19 student clubs. Discover the Maranatha Difference. Maranatha-hs.org. 169 South Saint John Ave. Pasadena (626) 817-4000 Renaissance Academy Renaissance Academy is located in La Canada. We are fully accredited by WASC. We provide a safe and loving environment where children can grow into self-reliant, competent individuals. We create a customized educational program that embraces the child’s own goals. We give them ONE ON ONE attention and guide them through their education. Students learn study skills that ensure they can learn anything they desire enabling them to be successful individuals contributing to a better society. renaissanceacademy.com ■

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ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 47


A SELECTIVE PREVIEW OF UPCOMING EVENTS

THE

LIST COMPILED BY JOHN SOLLENBERGER

Through Feb. 19 — Tanna Frederick, star of Henry Jaglom’s recent films, leads the cast of A.R. Gurney’s Sylvia, a humorous tale of love, marriage, jealousy, dogs and a mid-life crisis, at the Sierra Madre Playhouse. Dircted by Gita Donovan, the play tells the story of an empty-nest couple in a big city and a love triangle involving their poodle. The curtain rises at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through Feb. 19. Admission costs $20 for adults, $17 for seniors and students and $12 for children 12 and under. The Sierra Madre Playhouse is located at 87 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Call (626) 355-4318 for reservations or visit sierramadreplayhouse.org.

SADDLE UP SUNDAYS WITH COWBOYS OR INDIANS Ongoing — The Autry National Center in Griffith Park offers Family Fun Days year-round on the first and third Sundays of every month. The first Sunday is American Indian Culture Day, with stories by Native American storytellers, tours, games and music played on traditional instruments. Activities run from 1 to 4 p.m. The third Sunday of the month focuses on Western fun. Discover the myths and realities of the California Gold Rush as you pan for gold, do crafts, check out the Western Music Association’s monthly jam, hear frontier sagas, dress up like a cowboy or cowgirl and mount a life-size horse replica for a keepsake photo, view the Our West Children’s Art Gallery and visit the hands-on, interactive Family Discovery Gallery. Activities run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and are free with Autry admission of $9 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and $3 for children ages 3 to 12 (free for members). Feb. 13 — Author, historian, writer and editor Douglas Brinkley (pictured) discusses and signs his latest book, The Quiet World: Saving Alaska’s Wilderness Kingdom, 1879–1960, at 2 p.m. The book, a follow-up to his bestseller, Wilderness Warrior, looks at past and present battles to preserve Alaska’s wilderness. Free with museum admission. The Autry National Center is located at 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park. Call (323) 667-2000 or visit theautry.org.

FLOWERS, FEATHERS AND FUNGUS FUN AT DESCANSO Classes and romance bloom at Descanso Gardens this month. Call (818) 949-7980 to register for all activities. Feb. 5 — Take a walk and hear a talk on mushrooms by Florence Nishida of the Natural History Museum from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Nishida lectures on America’s favorite fungus, then leads a one-hour walk through Descanso Gardens to identify various species. In the Enchanted Forest from 9:30 a.m. to noon, Descanso’s faeries offer flower facts, enchanting stories and surprises. Descanso camellia horticulturist Wayne Walker leads a camellia walk and discussion through the Camellia Garden at 1 p.m. All above activities are free with Descanso admission. Also at 11 a.m. Walker demonstrates the culinary and wellness uses for the Camellia sinensis plant used to produce Chinese tea. The cost is $20 ($10 for members). Feb. 12 — Joe Kertes teaches a beginning class in birding, including species identification and appreciation of the numerous varieties living at Descanso, from 8 to 10 a.m. Bring binoculars and walking shoes. The fee is $20 ($10 for members). Feb. 12 and 13 — Cuddle up and take a romantic Tram Tour of Love at 4 p.m. either day, just in time for Valentine’s Day. Visit Descanso’s romantic locales and indulge in two glasses of Champagne or cider. The cost is $35 per couple ($20 for members). Descanso Gardens is located at 1418 Descanso Dr., La Cañada Flintridge. Call (818) 9494200 or visit descansogardens.org.

SURREAL CITY AT BOSTON COURT Feb. 12 — Tennessee Williams’ Camino Real opens at The Theatre @ Boston Court. This co-production with CalArts explores a surreal walled city that serves as purgatory for the play’s numerous characters –– some famous historical and literary figures, others from Williams’ imagination. Jessica Kubzansky directs. Camino Real continues through March 13. Performances are at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets cost $32, $27 for students and seniors. The Theatre @ Boston Court is located at 70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena. Call (626) 6836883 or visit bostoncourt.com.

HOP OVER TO THE HUNTINGTON AS YEAR OF RABBIT DAWNS Feb. 5 and 6 — Welcome the Year of the Rabbit at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. both days. The Chinese New Year Family Festival includes performances by lion dancers, martial arts demonstrations, shadow puppet theater, music, mask-changing performances and more. Free with Huntington admission. Feb. 12 — Art educator and chef Maite Gomez-Rejón presents “A Taste of Art: A Culinary Grand Tour” from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tour paintings portraying ancient Rome, Greece and Egypt, then join Gomez-Rejón in preparing and enjoying a classic Mediterranean meal. The cost is $90 ($80 for members). Call (626) 405-2128 to register. Feb. 12 and 13 — The Huntington’s 39th annual Camellia Show and Sale showcases a wide selection of camellias in competition and for sale. Visitors can also tour acres 48 ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ ARROYO

of blooming camellias in the North Vista, Japanese Garden Canyon and Chinese Garden. Free with Huntington admission. Feb. 23 — Brad Owen of Le Cordon Bleu School of Culinary Arts presents a lecture and wine tasting featuring “Pinot Noir from Around the World” from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Learn about areas of production and how wines differ by region. The cost is $90 ($80 for members). Call (626) 4052128 to register. Feb. 26 and 27 — The “Bonsai-a-Thon” offers exhibits, demonstrations, prize drawings, auctions and more from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free with Huntington admission. The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens is located at 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino. Call (626) 405-2100 or visit huntington.org.

PHOTOS: Martha Benedict (Welcome the Year of the Rabbit); Lia Pearson Photography (Sylvia); courtesy of Descanso Gardens (Tram Tour of Love); courtesy of Boston Court (Camino Real)

LOVE LIFE GOES TO THE DOGS


PHOTOS: Tad Motoyama (“Sex and the City Zoo 2”); courtesy of Project Trio; courtesy of Pasadena Pro Musica; courtesy of Deaf West Theatre (The Adventures of Pinocchio)

FROM BRAZIL, BACH TO BAROQUE WITH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA

BOOK BACKERS HOST SIERRA MADRE FOODFEST

Feb. 18 — Friends of the Sierra Madre Library host their 41st annual Wine and Cuisine The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra presents a trio of tasting fundraiser from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at Sierra Madre’s Alverno High School Villa. A concerts this month: variety of fine wines will be available, plus food from various local restaurants. Guests Feb. 12 — The “Bach to Bossa Nova” concert gala at the can peruse works by local artists, such as this year’s featured artist, Djbril N’Doye. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion features music of Bach, Derek General admission tickets are $60 for the 7 p.m. entry; premier admission allows a Bermel and traditional Brazilian songs. Jeffrey Kahane con6 p.m. entry for an additional charge. (Friends members receive a $5 discount on ducts and tickets purchased at the library.) Tickets plays keyare available in Sierra Madre at The boards; featured performers are vocalist Bottle Shop, Iris Intrigue, Savor the Luciana Souza and clarinetist Bermel. The Flavor, the Sierra Madre Library and event starts at 5 p.m. with cocktails and sierramadrelibraryfriends.org. a silent auction preview, followed by the Alverno High School Villa is located at concert, silent and live auctions and dinner 200 N. Michillinda Ave., Sierra Madre. and dancing. Tickets cost $750 to $2,000. The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is located CAGE, STRAVINSKY EXPLORED AT NORTON at the Music Center, 135 N. Grand Ave., SIMON Los Angeles. Feb. 13 — LACO partners with Kidspace Feb. 18 — Pianist Polli Chambers-Salazar Museum to present its first family concert presents “From Stravinsky to Kandinsky: of the season, “Hip-Hop Peter and the Music in the Time of the Blue Four,” at Wolf,” at 2 p.m. at the Alex Theatre. Young 7 p.m. The program explores artistic members of Project Trio (pictured) –– experimentation among composers and including flutist Greg Pattillo, featured on fine artists during the early 20th century. Nickelodeon’s iCarly –– put a modern spin The Blue Four refers to a group of artists on the Prokofiev classic. The guest conpromoted by art dealer, collector and ductor is Lucinda Carver. Kids can create scholar Galka Scheyer: Wassily Kandinsky, their own animal tracks and learn to identiLyonel Feininger, Paul Klee and Alexei fy species by their unique prints. In addiJawlensky. Chambers-Salazar expresses tion, Culture Shock L.A. Dance Troupe a connection between the period’s visual performs and teaches hip-hop dance and musical arts in music. Free with moves. Tickets cost $10 to $16. museum admission. The Alex Theatre is located at 216 N. Feb. 26 — In “Saying Something about Brand Blvd., Glendale. John Cage,” Jeffrey Saletnik, lecturer and Feb. 17 — The orchestra presents Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow in Columbia “Baroque Conversations 3,” part of a fiveUniversity’s Department of Art History and Feb. 13 — Celebrate Valentine’s Day at the L.A. Zoo with “Sex and the City Zoo 2,” a lightconcert series, at 7 p.m. at the Colburn Archaeology, discusses Cage’s musical hearted look at animal mating from 5 to 7 p.m. open to adults only. Jason Jacobs discusses School’s Zipper Concert Hall. The program and artistic experiments, exemplified by relationships in the animal kingdom. Champagne and chocolate refreshments are available. includes works by Muffat, Handel, Bach, his piece 4'33", known as his “silent Tickets cost $35 ($25 for members of the Greater Los Angeles Zoo Association). Royer and Rameau. The conductor and piece.” He also explores the relationship The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park at the intersection of the Ventura (Interstate 134) harpsichord soloist is Jory Vinikour. Tickets between Cage’s musical creativity and and Golden State (Interstate 5) freeways. For reservations, call (323) 644-4781 or visit lazoo.org. cost $45. work as a writer and printmaker. The Zipper Concert Hall is located at the Colburn School, 200 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. 4 p.m. lecture is free with museum admission. For tickets to all LACO events, call (213) 622-7001, ext. 215, or visit laco.org. The Norton Simon Museum is located at 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Call (626) 449-6840 or visit nortonsimon.org.

ALIVE AND WELL IN L.A. Feb. 13 — Pasadena Pro Musica continues its 47th season with “Alive and Well and Living in L.A.,” a concert at Pasadena's Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church at 4 p.m. The program is an eclectic tour of choral works by living composers who call the city home, including Eric Whitacre, Frank Ticheli, Elaine Bearer, Morten Lauridsen and Stephen Grimm. Tickets cost $15 in advance, $20 at the door. The Neighborhood Unitarian Universalist Church is located at 301 N. Orange Grove Blvd., Pasadena. Call (626) 628-2144 or visit pasadenapromusica.org.

PUPPET TALE UPDATED Feb. 19 — Deaf West Theatre’s production of The Adventures of Pinocchio, a new adaptation of the classic story dramatized by Lee Hall and directed by Stephen Rothman, opens at 8 p.m. today and continues through March 26. Hall employs the Italian physical comedy tradition of commedia dell’arte, which lends itself to the company’s signature combination of signed and voiced theater. The show, rated PG for mild language and dark themes, goes on —CONTINUED ON PAGE 50 ARROYO ~ FEBRUARY 2011 ~ 49


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A SELECTIVE PREVIEW OF UPCOMING EVENTS

THE

LIST

—CONTINUED FROM PAGE 49

at 8 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $25 for adults, $15 for children 12 and younger. Deaf West Theatre is located at 5112 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood. Call (818) 7622773 (voice) or (866) 954-2986 (video phone) or visit deafwest.org.

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DANCING PRINCESSES Feb. 26 and 27 — The Pasadena Civic Ballet Company presents a new work, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, who dance through forests of gold, silver and jewels to find the secret palace where they dance until dawn. Animated sets, regal costumes and more than 150 characters cast a fairy tale spell at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. A Princess Tea starts at 4:30 p.m. Saturday and 11:30 a.m. Sunday; performances start at 6 p.m. Saturday and 1 and 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $20 for the tea; ballet tickets range from $23 to $29. The San Gabriel Mission Playhouse is located at 320 S. Mission Dr., San Gabriel. Call (626) 792-0873 or visit pcballet.com.

FLAMES AND SURROUND-SOUND AMP UP CHAMBER MUSIC Feb. 26 — Southwest Chamber Music continues a season of avant-garde performances with a concert celebrating the works of composer Wadada Leo Smith (pictured) at The Colburn School. Selections include “Taif — Prayer in the Garden of the Hijaz,” which incorporates a four-speaker surround-sound computer montage with string quartet, trumpet and percussion. The program also includes his fourth string quartet, “In the Diaspora,” and “Moths, Flames & the Giant Sequoia Redwood Trees.” A pre-concert talk starts at 7:30 p.m.; the concert starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $38 for general admission, $28 for seniors and $10 for students with ID. The Colburn School is located at 200 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. Call (800) 726-7147 or visit swmusic.org.

SCORING EXTRA POINTS AT STAPLES Feb. 27 — For the past 85 years, the Harlem Globetrotters have spiced up the game of basketball with comedy and amazing physical feats. Their virtuosity includes the “alleyoop,” the slam dunk and behind-the-back pass. Now they bring the four-point shot to Staples Center and other Southland venues. When basketball’s clown princes play the Washington Generals at noon at Staples Center, the court will include two designated four-point shooting spots, one on each side of mid-court, 35 feet from the basket, 12 feet beyond the official NBA threepoint line. Tickets range from $29.95 to $95.15. Staples Center is located at 1111 S. Figueroa St., Los Angeles. Call (800) 745-3000 or visit ticketmaster.com for tickets. AM

PHOTOS: Christian Steiner (Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio); Frank Noack (The Twelve Dancing Princesses); courtesy of Southwest Chamber Music (Wadada Leo Smith)

“Simple Elegance”

Feb. 20 — The Da Camera Society’s Chamber Music in Historic Sites program visits the Pasadena Civic Auditorium Gold Room for a concert by the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio (pictured) performing masterworks for three pianos, including Beethoven’s “Ghost Trio,” Mendelssohn’s Trio in C, Op. 66 and the “Trio of Ravel” at 4 p.m. Tickets range from $45 to $49. The Pasadena Civic Auditorium is located at 300 E. Green St., Pasadena. Call (213) 477-2929 or visit dacamera.org.


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Arroyo Monthly February 2011  

Love Off the Grid