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Century City/ Westwood June 29 – July 12, 2018

NEWS

CenturyCity-WestwoodNews.com

Family Fun at the Annenberg

A look at the Annenberg Space for Photography. By Michael Ray

Saturday June 23, the Annenberg Space for Photography kicked off the first weekend of Summer with Family Fun Day, an afternoon of sights, sounds and activities for parents and families. From music to bubble blowing, the event transformed the outdoor lawn of 2000 Avenue of the Stars with a bevy of stations for lounging, snacking and playing. As activities concluded many attendees migrated from outdoors to indoors for the current exhibit, “Not An Ostrich and other images from America’s Library.” Until the very end, big bubbles soared across the lawn to the delight of giggling children, the oversized wands and large pools of bubble juice were a bit hit, as were face painting, and various arts and crafts. “Between five of us, we painted over 200 faces,” said face-paint artist Carmen Orozco. Unicorns, tigers and colorful masks were among some of the designs painted onto the faces. According to Orozcco, the team of face painters were brought together by Rainbow Painted Smiles, however she has been painting faces throughout the area for six years. Best friends Madison (6) and Ava (5) were among the hundreds to have had their faces painted. Prior to their arrival at Family Fun Day, the duo and their families had a playdate at Aiden’s Place, a fully-accessible playground modeled after “Shane’s Inspiration” in Griffith Park. “We played at Aiden’s playground for a little bit, then we came here and got popcorn and [a] snow cone and got face paint, and got cotton candy and blew bubbles” said Madison joyfully. Ava added that the she was wearing cat ears and Madison was wearing dog ears and both shrieked with delight as they spoke about playing with bubbles. While some children participated in bubble blowing and face painting, others circled around the craft tables. Henry (3), walked his completed artwork to Kathy Balzer, one of the volunteers with the Assistance League of Los Angeles. The artwork, a red caterpillar with the caption “VROOM! You’ve got this” was written in bold blue marker by his father Tom. As the two migrated to another activity table, Balzer added the completed art card to the mass of cards that others had created. “Today we were collecting school supplies for kids that are going to be starting school in September, but don’t necessarily have markers and crayons and pencils; so we’re going to distribute those through our services, and the kids are writing cards to go with that,” stated Balzer. In addition to the school supplies Balzer told Mirror Media, “We have Operation School Bell where we supply new school clothes – including uniforms, shoes,

Pools and buckets of bubble solution were a big hit with kids.

Photos: Michael Ray.

Best friends Ava (left) and Madison (right) with matching unicorn face paint.

underwear – a week’s worth of clothing for kids in K through [grade] five” The volunteer organization of women will begin celebrating their centennial anniversary this July with live a performance at the Assistance League of Los Angeles Theatre for Children. Additional activities at Family Fun Day included live music by duo Andrew and Polly, who played kid-friendly pop music, a magic show with Christopher T. Magician, and a performance by The Hallow Trees who played classic Americana music. As the schedule of events concluded, some made their way indoors for the Annenberg’s latest exhibition. For more information, visit: www.annenbergspaceforphotography.org

Henry holds up his completed art card before handing it to the Assistance League of Los Angeles.


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CENTURY CITY-WESTWOOD NEWS

JUNE 29 – JULY 12, 2018

Las Madrinas Announces 2018 Debutantes In the midst of springtime celebrations and graduations, Las Madrinas announced the 28 families and their daughters who will be honored for their service to the Southern California community and Children’s Hospital Los Angeles at the Las Madrinas Ball on Friday, December 21, 2018. Debutantes and their families gathered at The Saban Research Institute of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles recently for an informational meeting and tour. Paul Viviano, President and CEO of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, spoke to the families about the impact that giving to Children’s Hospital has both for research and patient care. Dr. Robert Shaddy, Pediatrician-in-Chief of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles then spoke about the ten previous programs Las Madrinas has funded over the years and what these programs are still doing for the hospital today. Dr. Shaddy introduced a video of highlights from the Neurological Institute Epilepsy Program, narrated by Dr. Mark Krieger. After the presentations, the Debutantes and their families had the opportunity to tour the Epilepsy Monitoring Unit, watch a live EEG

demonstration and learn about some of the latest dietary therapies, particularly the ketogenic diet, in the treatment of epilepsy. The Debutantes, their mothers, and their grandmothers were guests of honor at a Tea given by Las Madrinas at the home of Mrs. Stephen Fitzmaurice Bennett (Chantal) on June 13, 2018. The President of Las Madrinas, Mrs. Douglas Andrew Thompson (Kathy), formally welcomed the families and thanked them for their contributions and commitment to the Southern California community. This year the Debutante Chairman is Mrs. Steven David Kolsky (Missy), and the Ball Chairman is Mrs. Berkeley George Harrison (Kristin). For more information head to: www.lasmadrinas.org. Photo: Nick Boswell Photography.

The Las Madrinas Debutantes include Chloe Antonia Spain, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jeffrey Richard Spain (Brentwood) and Isabella Catherine Tracy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John David Tracy (Brentwood). Left to right Isabella Catherine Tracy, Chloe Antonia Spain.

I KEEP LOSING OUT TO AN ALL CASH BUYER

By Ron Wynn

If you’re a buyer in today’s crazy Westside market, I truly have empathy and feel your frustration. If you’re a seller no doubt, “it’s your time,” but please remember, you were a buyer once and please have a heart for these young people with kids who are desperately looking for a home. Of course, you want to sell for top dollar and you deserve to, but all things equal, give them a chance if they are preapproved and have proven to you that they can match the offer of a builder who is going to tear down your lovely home to the ground. Ok now, I’ve tried to help these desperate “owner user clients,” with my appeal above but first, I agree, these buyers must really put their best foot forward. Some will really go beyond expectation to draw your attention. For these buyers, I want to offer special applause and recognition. I recently got a buyer referred to me who lost out 8 times, offering well above list price each time. Unfortunately, they didn’t have $2 million dollars in cash like the typical builder has. Thank goodness we are in escrow after their 9th attempt. We were very fortunate to also have a seller who really wanted an owner user client but by the same token understandably wanted top dollar. The buyer started by getting a preapproval letter from Chase Bank and provided full verification of their funds for the down payment. Next, they wrote a beautiful letter with a photo of their family personalized to the owner, and to my surprise, their six year old

daughter also wrote the sweetest letter to the owner saying, “I love the pink bedroom and hope that bedroom can be mine.” She also wrote, “I love the tree in your yard and hope my dad can build a treehouse for me and my little brother.” It was an adorable letter. The buyer said, “we will pay $5,000 more than your highest offer up to $1,500,000, which was amazing, considering the asking price was $1,300,000. That’s a motivated buyer, wouldn’t you agree? The buyer also agreed to close escrow in the time period of seller’s choice from as short as 30 days to as long as 120 days. They also agreed to let the seller retain occupancy for up to 10 days after close of escrow, rent-free, to give them time to move without rushing. They kept the contingencies few and short in time and agreed to sign a full contingency waiver within 20 days, then releasing their 3% deposit to the seller with a signed deed in escrow. How could a seller say no to all of this? As it turned out the seller had an all cash offer of $1,455,000 with a full contingency waiver, but they were really moved by this buyer. Amazingly, the seller not only accepted my buyer’s offer, but agreed to accept a price of $1,445,000, $15,000 less than the buyer had committed to pay. The deal is about to close and not only is everyone happy, but the buyer and seller are even scheduled to have a celebration dinner at the end of this month. Beautiful true story. Buyer will be moved in shortly after their “9 offers ordeal” that ended in their dream come true. “A real story with a happy ending.”

THEATRE REVIEW

Photo: Lawrence K. Ho.

The Blake family gather for Thanksiving Day: Cassie Beck (Aimee Blake,) Reed Birney (Erik Blake,) Jayne Houdyshell (Deirdre Blake), Lauren Klein (Fiona “Momo” Blake,) Sarah Steele (Brigid Blake,) and Nick Mills (Richard Saad).

“The Humans” at The Ahmanson Theatre CCENTER ENTER STAGE S TA G E

With Beverly Cohn, Editor-At-Large

When a Tony Award for the best play winner and finalist for a Pulitzer travels out west, one can’t help feeling excited at the prospect of seeing it. I didn’t even mind the one-and- a-half hour drive time to the Ahmanson Theatre, and armed with my notebook, I was ready to see what I thought would be an extraordinary theatrical presentation. However, what unfolded on stage was an engag-

ing, extremely well executed, albeit predictable, slice of life dramedy.* Despite a very well written script by Stephen Karam and deft direction by Joe Mantello, who guided a highly professional cast in delivering top-notch performances, I found myself wondering why this play had received such acclaim. Granted, Karam took an ordinary slice of life theme and elevated it to an entertaining theatrical level, but were it not for the outstanding performances by this gifted cast, it could have fallen into a well-written soap opera.

REVIEW, see page 10


CENTURY CITY-WESTWOOD NEWS

JUNE 29 – JULY 12, 2018

What You Can Buy in the $3,000,000s

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PRESENTED BY

975 Mariposa Lane, Montecito Upper $3,595,000 Surrounded by multi-million dollar estates, this remodeled pied-a-terre, nestled by heritage oaks, boasts outstanding ocean views while exuding a feeling of luxurious privacy. A sunken living room with picture windows leads to an expansive deck on which to take in the views. A new sleek chef’s kitchen features gourmet appliances, custom textured cabinetry, and a functional island and breakfast bar. The home features a downstairs master suite connected to a lovely sitting room; an en-suite guest room is also located on the main floor. Two more spacious bedrooms are located upstairs, overlooking the terraced and beautifully landscaped backyard.

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2121 Summerland Heights Lane, Montecito $3,095,000 The panoramic ocean views will welcome you home to this Contemporary Craftsman in eastern Montecito, which has been recently remodeled with European oak floors and a designer kitchen with custom Italian cabinetry, quality quartz countertops, Gaggenau appliances, and “NanaWall” doors and windows. The layout lends itself beautifully to outdoor entertaining; you and your guests can sit and enjoy tranquil views overlooking the Pacific. The 2,700 sq ft home boasts an ideal floor plan with three spacious bedrooms, two-and-ahalf bathrooms, formal and casual living areas, a spacious dining room adjacent to the expansive kitchen, and a lofted den.

KELLY MAHAN HERRICK, Lic# 01974836 | 805.208.1451 | Kelly@HomesInSantaBarbara.com

Do you know your home’s value? Visit bhhscalifornia.com ©2018 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Info. is obtained from various sources and will not be verified by broker or MLS. Sellers will entertain and respond to all offers within this range. Buyer is advised to independently verify the accuracy of that information. Lic# 01317331


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CENTURY CITY-WESTWOOD NEWS

JUNE 29 – JULY 12, 2018


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CENTURY CITY-WESTWOOD NEWS

JUNE 29 – JULY 12, 2018

Saving Big with Home Beauty Remedies

aids. Can’t wait to try them! Facial Scrub 3 medium size strawberries, 1 tablespoon of honey. Mash strawberries and fold in honey. Using small circles, ma$age the mixture into your With Barbara Bishop face for 3 minutes; then rinse with warm water. I am tired of spending thousands of dollars a The natural fruit enzyme in strawberries sloughs year looking “younger than 50.” Over the past off the dull top layer of the skin. The honey hyyear, I purchased four different eye creams (one drates dry patches. $$ saved: $300 annually was $400) and they all have worked really well, or Teeth Whitening at least I thought so. Over the past year, I acquired Mix baking soda and peroxide in a small conseveral different facial moisturizers – one for day, tainer to form a paste. Add your toothpaste to the one for night, one for summer, one for winter, one mixture. Brush with this at least 2x a week. I hear when my face is drier than usual, one when my it really works! $$ saved: $1,000 annually face is more oily. Damn that Barney's cosmetics Hot Oil Hair Treatments counter! They sure know how to sell their product. Pour olive oil on your hair and cover it with Then there’s the deep hair conditioners, the foot plastic. The oil “heats up” under the plastic. Rinse cream, the hand cream, the body cream, the body and shampoo, leaving you with soft, shiny hair. $$ scrubs, facial masks, astringents, pore minimiz- saved: $300 annually. ers, facial brighteners, vitamin C cream, and teeth UV Damage Repairing Mask whiteners. Damn, I have spent so much on stuff. Mash 10 blueberries with a spoon, and add And I've only used half of it; used the Vitamin C yogurt. Spread on your face, remove with water cream once, facial brightener a few times. after 15 minutes. Vitamin C from the blueberries My neighbor is the president of a private label repairs and moisturizes the skin and yogurt's laccosmetics company and said that many products tic acid helps exfoliate the UV-damaged skin. $$ we use in the kitchen can double as beauty aids. saved: $200 annually Love that! As a person who does many things at Foot Exfoliator the same time, I like that I can look younger, eat 2 tablespoons of cornmeal, 1 tablespoon and save a lot of money all at the Innovative same time! Professionals ofLending a mashed banana, mix together. Ma$age Through several hours of talking with my the paste all over feet, working into calTailored Financial Products neighbor and others in the beauty business, luses for about 30 seconds, until skin feels here's my short list for home remedy beauty smooth.Competitive Cornmeal exfoliatesRates and the ba-

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nana softens the skin. $$ saved: $300 3-Ingredient Facial Oil Moisturizer Choose a base oil. A great base oil is jojoba oil, because it's very healing and nourishing, very light, sinks into your skin without any feeling of greasiness, and it’s great for all skin types. Choose a nourishing oil. A great one is Rosehip seed oil. It’s incredibly regenerating and is known for its firming and anti-aging abilities. It’s good for dry, aging, and normal skin. Add an essential oil. You only need a couple of tiny drops to get an amazing benefit for your

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JUNE 29 – JULY 12, 2018

CENTURY CITY-WESTWOOD NEWS

Rated R 116 Minutes Released June 13

FILM REVIEW: Superfly

“Superfly” – A Great Escape BEHIND THE SCREEN By Kathryn Whitney Boole

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“Superfly” is a striking movie and compelling story in which the world depicted at the beginning will change before the end. The tale follows a young man drawn into the realm of drug deals, who just wants to get out – to do “one last score so big, we will never have to look over our shoulder again.” The story of Superfly is based on the 1972 legendary film “Super Fly”, which was shot in Harlem and the East Village in New York. The current film’s director, Director X, decided that the story translated easily into today’s culture. The 1972 star was Ron O’Neal, a serious actor with Shakespearean training who had won awards for his work on stage, yet was finding success difficult to reach in the film business. An excerpt from a bio of O’Neal describes his performance in the film: “Shot on a starvation budget, ‘Super Fly’ became a surprise box office hit. The gifted actor’s remarkable performance brought a great measure of class and depth to the role, which, if done by a lesser actor could have easily become cartoonish.” “Super Fly” initiated the “Blaxploitation” genre of film, which was never taken as seriously by its contemporary audience as it should have been. O’Neal found it hard from then on to be considered for important film roles because his identity as a performer was so strongly linked to his Super Fly role of “Youngblood Priest.” The current “Youngblood Priest” is a 21-yearold actor with a similarly impressive theatrical background. Trevor Jackson is a singer, actor, songwriter and dancer who has been acting since he was a child. At the age of eight, he won the role of “Young Simba” in the national tour of The Lion King. Since then he has appeared in television shows, including “Black-ish” and “Grown-ish” in which he plays series regular “Zoey’s” boyfriend. Jackson auditioned twice for “Priest” and was turned down as being too young and “not a big enough name,” so he was shocked when Director X finally offered him the role. Jackson’s performance, along with those of

the other cast members, gives power to this film. Jackson has the soul of someone twice his age and his musical theatre background gives him a pronounced magnetism. Most of the actors in the current “Superfly” do not have extensive experience on film. However their strong portrayals make this movie work, and Director X’s background helming lush music videos infuses the visuals with richness. Maybe you’ve never been a drug dealer, you have no ties with the cartel and your friends aren’t gangsters. That life does exist, and it’s worth understanding it. One of the greatest values of film is to remove you from your comfort zone and introduce you to environments that are out of your sphere. “Superfly” is a roller coaster experience – it also has the value of taking you into someone else’s world – or perhaps of depicting a world that is closer to you than you like to think. Kathryn Whitney Boole has spent most of her life in the entertainment industry, which has been the backdrop for remarkable adventures with extraordinary people. She is a Talent Manager with Studio Talent Group in Santa Monica

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JUNE 29 – JULY 12, 2018

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CENTURY CITY-WESTWOOD NEWS

It’s a New Day at the WLA VA Village for Vets – Looking Ahead By Marcie Polier Swartz This month Village for Vets spotlights next year and the programs we hope to bring to fruition. Dogs! Did you know that dogs can be trained to sense and interrupt deleterious PTSD episodes? If you want to see healing in action, go here: http://www.healveterans.com/ and have a visit with Vicki Topaz who is documenting the healing effects of the Operation Freedom Paws’ program we are hoping to bring to VAGLAHS. The link to this program’s landing page is here https://operationfreedompaws.org. Watch the short video of the effect this program has on Veterans facing hopelessness after returning home from service. $15,000 matches a dog and a Veteran. Contact us at info@villageforvets.org. Our Fundraiser: This coming December we will hold our first fundraiser. Our plan is to bring a new style to the VA and we need you to do it. Volunteer for our committee and help us mount this amazing event for Vets and the Community alike. You can volunteer here: https://villageforvets.org/contact.html Hospital Visits: A core group of us have been making the hospital and nursing home

Veteran's participate in the first Operation: Buzz and learn beekeeping.

rounds at the VA once a month. This program will be expanded with an instruction tutorial and docent led visits. Take the hand of a Vet recuperating in the hospital. Most have no family or visitors. The smiles are unforgettable. You can volunteer here:

Photos: Courtesy.

https://villageforvets.org/contact.html Operation Buzz: Keith Roberts from Valley hive is launching a Beekeeping Training Program which is free to Veterans. The initial introductory event, held on Sunday, May 27th, was eye opening as Vets donned Bee Suits,

learned a lot about honey, looked closely into the wax honeycomb to examine the queen laying live eggs and older bees tending the flock. Buzzworthy. Donate to support here: https:// villageforvets.org/donate.html Food Pantry: our large VA can use a permanent food pantry where Vets in need can go to stock up. We are working together with a local donor and the VA Central Office to see if we can open one. This might be a beacon to attract more Homeless Vets to trust and welcome VA services into their lives. Income Stipends: We are expanding our Income Stipend Program from one to three. That means raising $30,000 by December 31. Join us to prop up Veterans who have a hard time working in conventional settings with Income Stipends. We need more words in the English language for citizens who uplift the community but are unable to work…want to suggest vocabulary? Email us at info@villageforvets.org. Just put “new words” in the subject line. Next month’s issue will be our last article in the series we’ve been authoring to keep our communities eyes and hearts focused on the amazing changes going on at our VAGLAHS Take pride in helping the VA. We look forward to your support.

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2018 v. 2017 17 DOWN 10.53% $2,326,000 UP 5.86% $2,625,353 UP 3.93%


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CENTURY CITY-WESTWOOD NEWS

JUNE 29 – JULY 12, 2018

Frank Stallone Rocks, Heros of Hollwood and More! SOCIAL

CITY NEWS by Marci Weiner

Photos: Marie Foti.

ABOVE – Frank Stallone performing. RIGHT – Marie Foti with Frank Stallone FAR RIGHT – Jeremy Irons with Lesley Manville.

The Riviera 31 at the Sofitel Beverly Hills was the place to be when Frank Stallone presented an evening of songs and stories that thrilled the standing room only audience of friends, fans and celebs. The gorgeous Golden Globe- and Grammy-nominated recording artist introduced his songs with interesting anecdote stories of his life and career. He performed many of his original music pieces, including “Far From Over” from “Rocky” and the hit from “Rambo” “Peace in Our Life”. Do you know Frank has recorded over 200 songs, and his style includes Rock, Country, Jazz and Blues? You must hear his imitation of big bro Sly – these guys are quite a team. Some of the celebs enjoying the food and fun included legendary game show host, Wink Martindale and his lovely wife, Sandy. We shared the same agent, Fred Wostbrock, who recently passed away. Also in attendance was Jeraldine Saunders, Creator of “The Love Boat,” publicist Edward Lozzi, and composer Richard Addrisi, who wrote

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“Never My Love”. We were pleased to be seated with our pal, Marie Foti who posts photos and videos on Facebook under “Everything Stallone”. And what an extraordinary family that is! Academy Award winner, Jeremy Irons and Olivier Award winner, Lesley Manville, are reason enough to see “Long Day’s Journey into Night” at the Wallis Theatre in Beverly Hills. These two fine actors are the leads in Eugene O’Neal’s iconic play that also features Matthew Beard, Rory Keenan and Jessica Regan. This powerful play about a family caught up in a cycle of love and resentment, will still be playing at the Wallis until July 1. Don’t miss seeing performances that will knock your socks off! And last, but not least, TV Legend Diahann Carroll and Comedian Rich Little were honored at The Heroes of Hollywood Luncheon at the Taglyan Cultural Center.

These prestigious awards are given to the stars who have made a difference in the entertainment industry and the Hollywood community. Funds raised from the event allow Hollywood’s Chamber Community Foundation to give out $50,000 per year in grants to non-profits that help the community. Among the celebs in attendance were Paul Sorvino, Burt Ward and Donelle Dadigan, owner of The Hollywood Museum, who presented an award to PR Pro Roger Neal, who coordinated the event. Nice to see that talent and hard work are appreciated on the Hollywood Beat.


CENTURY CITY-WESTWOOD NEWS

JUNE 29 – JULY 12, 2018

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SANTA MONICA COLLEGE

CELEBRATE AMERICA JUNE 30, 2018 LIVE MUSIC & FIREWORKS COME PICNIC ON THE FIELD EVENT SCHEDULE

SPONSORS

4 P.M.

Platinum Circle

Parking Lots Open

5 P.M.

Gates Open to Corsair Field and Stadium Bleachers

6 P.M.

Entertainment Starts on the Corsair Field Stage • Disco Shrine • Top Shelf Brass Band • LA Follies

Gold Circle

8:15 P.M.

Parking Lots Close

8:45 P.M.

Entry Gates Close

Silver Circle

9 P.M.

Bronze Circle

Fireworks by Pyro Spectaculars Entertainment

FOOD DRIVE

Sponsored by the Associated Students of SMC to assist students in need. Please bring non-perishable items. Multiple drop-off locations!

More Community Supporters

SMC WELCOME LOUNGE

Find out about all things SMC — including its awardwinning NPR member radio station KCRW (89.9 FM) and acclaimed performance venue The Broad Stage at the SMC Performing Arts Center. PARKING $5 Enter at Pico Blvd. & 17th St.

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PROHIBITED Animals, alcohol, and chairs with pointed legs.

SANTA MONICA COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT BOARD OF TRUSTEES Barry A. Snell, Chair; Dr. Margaret Quiñones-Perez, Vice Chair; Dr. Susan Aminoff; Dr. Nancy Greenstein; Dr. Louise Jaffe; Rob Rader; Dr. Andrew Walzer; Alexandria Boyd, Student Trustee; Dr. Kathryn E. Jeffery, Superintendent/President

Santa Monica College 1900 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405 smc.edu


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JUNE 29 – JULY 12, 2018

CENTURY CITY-WESTWOOD NEWS

THEATRE REVIEW ... continued

REVIEW,

from page 2 Here’s the story line. It’s Thanksgiving Day and the Beck family is gathering at the new split-level apartment of Brigid Blake (Sarah Steele) and her boyfriend Richard Saad (Nick Mills). Beautifully designed by David Zinn, it is located in New York City’s Chinatown, not far from Ground Zero. One by one, each family member arrives. There’s the dad, Eric Blake (Reed Birney,) his wife Deirdre (Jayne Houdyshell,) the other daughter Aimee Blake (Cassie Beck,) and Eric’s mother, wheelchair bound Fiona “Momo” Blake (Lauren Klein,) who is in the advanced stages of Alzheimer’s and periodically shouts out incoherent mumblings. One is immediately struck with how devoted her son and daughter-in-law are in taking care of her, wiping saliva from her mouth and making sure she’s comfortable. The festivities begin with lots of funny one-liners. Dad is trying to make a call on his cell phone and is instructed by Brigid to lean into the wall if he wants reception. Despite his friendly demeanor, Dad is often distracted, sometimes gazing out of a window overlooking a dark alley filled with cigarette butts. Eventually he reveals that he is facing severe financial problems after being fired from his job for an indiscretion and the family home back in Scranton, Pennsylvania now has to be sold. He is resentful that his future son-in-law comes from a wealthy family and is a trust-fund baby who will receive his full inheritance in just a

few years when he turns 40. Dad is not impressed that his future son-in-law is currently working on his Master’s Degree in social work and comments, “Rich people are pretty messed up.” Faced with the prospect of downsizing, he laments, “Don’t you think it should cost less to be alive?” Meanwhile, Richard is in the kitchen slicing and dicing. Aimee, an attorney, paces around a lot and is clearly in physical discomfort, forcing her to flee to the upstairs bathroom for multiple potty breaks. Eventually, she casually blurts out that “I am not on the partner track,” and later reveals that she’s been fired because of her health issues and needs surgery. If that wasn’t enough, her girlfriend Carol dumped her. Mom, who is the backbone of this lower middle-class Irish family, comes bearing a care package full of useful and not so useful gifts, including a lantern and a statue of the Virgin Mary, which goes over like a lead balloon. As a staunch Catholic, she defends her gift, saying, “She’s appearing everywhere.” There is continuous light banter from mom with amusing non-sequiturs. “I’m back on Weightwatchers.” She comments on a Lifetime movie about a lesbian who gets AIDS, and regarding happiness, “It’s better to be unhappy with someone than to be unhappy alone.” She also manages to get in a dig about her daughter’s unmarried lifestyle. There is an amusing discussion on how to pronounce Carnegie. Is it Carna-gie, with the accent on the middle two letters or Car-na-gee, with the accent on the first three letters. Trivial? Yes. But it appears that the playwright deliberately wrote stream of consciousness funny dialogue to establish lightness in the open-

RON WYNN

Photo: Brigitte Lacombe.

L-R: Sarah Steele as Brigid Blake and Cassie Beck as her sister Aimee enjoy a few private moments with each other.

ing scene, which for me, telegraphed that there would be serious issues coming down the Blake family pike. Adding to the comedic moments is the running gag of the unseen upstairs neighbor who is constantly dropping heavy items on the floor, making a loud thud on the apartment’s ceiling. Oh yes. Then there’s the cockroach crawling on the floor, which causes pandemonium, and the light bulbs that keep burning out, eventually leaving the apartment in complete darkness. Dad sits at the table in the pitch-black room holding the lantern, thus ending Thanksgiving Day on quite a

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bleak note. What we see over the course of this 90-minute play is a microcosm of the human condition as it deals with everyday problems to which we can almost universally relate – health problems, financial challenges, student debt, weight issues, sexual orientation, the care of aging parents with severe mental incapacity, marriage, religion, and infidelity. I believe that covers it. What saves this play from falling into sitcom is the snappy comedic dialogue delivered by this exceptional cast, with special kudos to Tony Award winners Reed Birney and Jayne Houdyshell, whose characters are central to the action. Creating interesting stage business,** Joe Mantello’s acute direction keeps the action moving at a fast clip, while at the same time, insuring that everything we see on that stage is authentic with no “dead spots” in the action. There is no clear resolution to the individual challenges faced by this family, nor is there a perceivable arc to the characterizations developed by this excellent ensemble. Finally, “The Humans,” is an enjoyable slice-of-life theatrical experience but runner-up for a Pulitzer Prize? I don’t get it. *Dramedy: A movie or play, that combines elements of drama and comedy. **Stage business: Activities performed by an actor. The Humans Ahmanson Theatre 135 N. Grand Avenue Los Angeles, CA 90012 Run: Tuesday – Friday: 8 p.m. Saturday: 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday: 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets: $30 – $130 Closing: Sunday, July 29, 2018: 1:00 pm? Directed by: Joe Mantello Scenic Design: David Zinn Costumes: Sarah Laux Lighting Design: Justin Townsend Sound Design: Fitz Patton Reservations: (213) 972-4400 or www.CenterTheatreGroup.org Groups: (213) 972-7231. Deaf community: CenterTheatreGroup.org/ ACCESS.


CENTURY CITY-WESTWOOD NEWS

JUNE 29 – JULY 12, 2018

11

NY TIMES CROSSWORD PUZZLE

RUSH-HOUR HEADACHES

BY RUTH BLOOMFIELD MARGOLIN / EDITED BY WILL SHORTZ

90 Bit of dangly jewelry 91 “Star-bellied” Seussian 1 “Me too” creature 6 Expert on jingles 93 Net fisher 11 U.K. V.I.P. 96 Song lead-in to “di” or “da” 15 Corp. leadership 97 Rural turndown 19 Baby’s woe 98 “This tollbooth line will 20 Nap for a loafer? make me late!”? 21 “Cien ____ de Soledad” 103 Portal in “Alice in (Gabriel García Márquez Wonderland” novel) 106 Shellac and myrrh 22 Bailiwick 107 Rule against singing 23 Lane restricted to allow 108 Toodle-oos motorcades through? 111 Peddle 26 Ribs 27 Jerry’s adversary, in cartoons 112 115 Where Scarlett got a 28 ____ colada letter? 29 Night vision? 116 Split an Uber? 30 Early online forum 120 Fun-run length, for short 32 Honolulu’s historic ____ 121 Last thing said before Palace eating? 34 Current 36 Pressing and shoving me as I 122 Washington, but not Jefferson enter the subway? 123 Any local in “The Music 41 Sounds before sneezes Man” 42 Word repeated by Romeo in “As mine on ____, so ____ is 124 Matter of interest? 125 Spot set on mine” 43 Brown v. Board of Education 126 Like legalized marijuana city 127 Alternating-current motor inventor 44 Last words of a pep talk, perhaps 48 Not taking a bow? DOWN 51 New Haven collegian 1 ____ no. 52 Mousetrap brand 2 Home of many Big Apple galleries 54 Take a hit 3 One with ’18 after one’s 55 Highway obstructed by name, say accidents, detours and construction? 4 Alma mater of Wm. Hewlett of Hewlett-Packard 59 Things sometimes stolen in Hollywood 5 Colorful summer treat 61 East Berlin’s land: Abbr. 6 Like the “s” in “aisle” 62 Prosperous period 7 Dodge S.U.V. 63 Standing Rock tribe 8 Brave adversary 65 Pays attention to 9 Condition for some distracted kids, for short 66 Rope for strangulation 10 Not e’en once 69 Package sender to an enlistee, maybe 11 Like some oil money 71 Kosher 12 Canine coat? 74 Title kitten in a Key and Peele 13 “Hmm, the oven was on. Did action comedy ____ didn’t …” 76 Not stay in the pail, say 14 Time release 77 Youth org. since 1910 15 Get to Grand Central right at 5:00? 80 They sit in front of a cox 16 Tool for a blacksmith 82 Took public transportation while one’s wheels were at 17 Jason’s wife in myth the shop? 18 Finger-licking good 86 City near Provo 24 Thread: Prefix 87 “Time ____ a premium” 25 San Francisco : BART :: Philadelphia : ____ 89 Grp. with a co-pay ACROSS

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31 Sweater damage 32 “No more for me, thanks” 33 Force onward 35 Utah’s ____ Canyon (locale of petroglyphs) 36 Kale alternative 37 Fix, as a golf green 38 Pianist Rubinstein 39 Rise above the din, say 40 Somewhere over the rainbow they’re blue, in song 45 Carry-____ 46 Scraped (out) 47 Cleanup target 49 Tax ____ 50 Queen dowager of Jordan 52 ____ Homme (fashion line) 53 Awkward 56 Decision point 57 Simple life? 58 Through

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60 “Quantico” actress Priyanka ___ 64 Prefix with -phone 66 “I’m scared by the speed you’re going in this traffic!”? 67 Not sagging at all 68 No-nonsense quartet? 70 Pout 71 Elton’s johns 72 Bring in 73 Special soldier 75 Did some theater work, casually 77 Good ol’ boy 78 Certain vodka order, informally 79 Up 81 Neighbor of Hond. 83 Radiate 84 Campaign supporter 85 Expressive facial features 88 ____ Tzu (dog)

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92 Doofus 93 Take care of 94 Put on a pedestal 95 Sister of Snow White 99 Delaying response to “Is it time?” 100 Comic Boosler 101 ____ qua non 102 Sends a breakup text, say (tsk!) 103 Helicopter feature 104 Refrigerator handle? 105 Snacks during hora feliz 109 N.Z. neighbor 110 Mlle., in Managua 112 House work? 113 ____ cavity 114 Golden Globe winner Dunham 117 Friend of Francine 118 Kind of paper 119 Help make the bed?

Last Week’s Answers C U T S I T

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N E E D A K E E N A N T R E N D E R

STAR GAZING

By Samuel Prince

ARIES (March 21-April 19) Aries will meet today in a beautiful mood. You will enjoy everything: the end of the working week, and the fact that in a couple of hours you will go on an exciting trip. And, this trip will not disappoint you at all. TAURUS (April 20-May 20) Taurus will change their habitual behavior. While you are at work, the main attraction for you will be flirting with a new colleague. This attractive person will kindle an ardent passion in your soul, and you will want to win them over immediately. GEMINI (May 21-June 21) Gemini today is destined to receive wonderful news about the fate of their creative endeavors. It turns out that one of your projects has been a huge breakthrough, gaining high popularity with a wide audience. This encourages you to work harder. CANCER (June 22-July 22) Cancers today are destined to experience the strongest boredom. It will appear at the very moment when you will be at an event in the house of one of your relatives. You ask yourself, “What am I doing here, surrounded by people who I have nothing in common to talk about?” LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) Leos today are not allowed to show sloth and slowness in official affairs. How successfully you execute your current project affects not only your current salary, but also on your upcoming career future. Catch yourself if at some point you want to surrender. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Virgos today refuse to listen to anyone’s advice about their love life. You, of course, are free to dispose of your personal destiny independently, but you still should listen to the recommendations of close people. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) To Libra this day will bring complete emotional rest. Having finished work, you will warmly say goodbye to your colleagues and dash off to where you are welcomed by a gentle pond, warm sun and a person whom you love more than life. SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 21) Scorpios use today to solve complex financial issues. Thinking about where to invest your capital, give up risk and adventurism. In your environment there is a person who has a small but stable income which his personal enterprise brings him. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21) Sagittarius will tire of this busy day. It will begin with difficult professional work, and finish at a noisy entertainment event. You will only come here persuaded by your regular partner, but soon you realize that this party is appealing to you. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) Capricorns will be puzzled when assessing the unpleasant changes in the behavior of their partner in marriage. They will take to criticizing you about what you do without them, tearing into your psyche with these ridiculous insults. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18) It is not advisable for Aquarius to strain their bodies with heavy physical work on this day. If your profession is amenable to it, alternate work and rest. In the evening, you are recommended to take full rest. PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20) Today will bring Pisces a lot of pleasant minutes spent in the arms of his better half. At the end of this romantic evening, nevertheless, there will be a minor conflict. You can prevent it if you do not enter into an altercation with your partner.


CENTURY CITY-WESTWOOD NEWS

12

JUNE 29 – JULY 12, 2018

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