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Looking ba ck on 20 years of c o vering the N ewport
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inside » 04/26-05/02 » 2019 VOLUME 24 | NUMBER 35 » OCWEEKLY.COM
KANYE WEST TAKEOVER AT COACHELLA YEEZUS SAVES
06 | MOXLEY CONFIDENTIAL |
Vietnamese teen became role model after “ecstasy” pills rap and only now faces deportation. By R. Scott Moxley 07 | A CLOCKWORK ORANGE |
Disneyland is Knott so affordable. By Matt Coker 07 | HEY, YOU! | Chumming the waters. By Anonymous
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08 | FEATURE | Looking back on 20
years of the Newport Beach Film Fest. By Matt Coker
13 | EVENTS | Things to do while wandering between screenings.
17 | REVIEW | Nishi Poke & Ramen
Bistro does both ramen and buildyour-own poke in Buena Park. By Edwin Goei 17 | WHAT THE ALE | The return of OC Beer Week. By Greg Nagel 18 | LONG BEACH LUNCH | Lou & Mike’s refreshes the breakfast game on Los Coyotes. By Erin DeWitt 19 | EAT & DRINK THIS NOW |
Playground’s dry-aged seafood is Wagyu of the sea. By Greg Nagel
20 | FEST | What to watch at this
year’s Newport Beach Film Fest. By Aimee Murillo 21 | SPECIAL SCREENINGS |
Compiled by Matt Coker
23 | THEATER | The Chance Theater teams up with a British playwright for a historic matchup. By Joel Beers 23 | ARTS OVERLOAD | Compiled by Aimee Murillo
25 | FILM | Documentary Pick It Up! examines the roots and revival of OC’s sunniest music era. By Nate Jackson 26 | PROFILE | The Verdoros rev up an old-school sound that’s fun to drive. By Nate Jackson 27 | CONCERT GUIDE | Compiled by Nate Jackson
EDITO ASSO Pat SENIO INV STAFF Gab MUSI FOOD CALEN EDITO PRO CONT Dav Lille Hei Cha Erin Edw Can Ada Gre Nic Pan And Van Chr EDITO Stev Lau
29 | SAVAGE LOVE | By Dan Savage 31 | TOKE OF THE WEEK |
Sherbinskis Pink Panties. By Jefferson VanBilliard 34 | PAINT IT BLACK | Well Groomed brings candy-colored canines to Newport Beach Film Fest. By Lisa Black
on the cover Photo and design by Michael Ziobrowski
online»ocweekly.com ORANGE FEATHERS »
CONTRIBUTING ARTISTS AlGae, Leslie Agan, Bob Aul, Rob Dobi, Jeff Drew, Scott Feinblatt, Felipe Flores, Bill Mayer, Luke McGarry PHOTOGRAPHERS Wednesday Aja, Ed Carrasco, Brian Erzen, Scott Feinblatt, John Gilhooley, Eric Hood, Nick Iverson, Allix Johnson, Matt Kollar, Isaac Larios, Danny Liao, Fabian Ortiz, Josué Rivas, Eran Ryan, Matt Ulfelder, Miguel Vasconcellos, Christopher Victorio, William Vo, Kevin Warn, Micah Wright
ART DIRECTOR Michael Ziobrowski LAYOUT DESIGNER/PRODUCTION ARTIST Mercedes Del Real
PUBLISHER Cynthia Rebolledo SALES DIRECTOR Kevin Davis SR. SALES EXECUTIVE Jason Hamelberg SALES EXECUTIVES Eric Bergstrom, Kathleen Ford, Daniel Voet, Jason Winder
SALES COORDINATOR Megan McElroy DIGITAL COORDINATOR Dennis Estrada
PRESIDENT & CEO Duncan McIntosh VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER Jeff Fleming AR COORDINATOR/HR MANAGER Herlinda Ortiz ACCOUNTING MANAGER Alisha Miller
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“I thought the title ‘Subsidize Me Mas’ was more appropriate.” —Kris Moore, commenting on Lauren Galvan’s “Building the American Dream at NBFF Puts a Human Face on the Plight of Immigrant Workers” (April 22) We respond: Shouldn’t you be getting arrested at the border in some bogus military attire?
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EDITOR Nick Schou ASSOCIATE EDITOR Patrice Marsters SENIOR EDITOR, NEWS & INVESTIGATIONS R. Scott Moxley STAFF WRITERS Matt Coker, Gabriel San Román MUSIC EDITOR Nate Jackson FOOD EDITOR Cynthia Rebolledo CALENDAR EDITOR Aimee Murillo EDITORIAL ASSISTANT/ PROOFREADER Lisa Black CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dave Barton, Joel Beers, Lilledeshan Bose, Josh Chesler, Heidi Darby, Stacy Davies, Charisma Dawn, Alex Distefano, Erin DeWitt, Jeanette Duran, Edwin Goei, Taylor Hamby, Candace Hansen, Daniel Kohn, Adam Lovinus, Todd Mathews, Greg Nagel, Katrina Nattress, Nick Nuk’em, Anne Marie Panoringan, CJ Simonson, Andrew Tonkovich, Jefferson VanBilliard, Brittany Woolsey, Chris Ziegler EDITORIAL INTERNS Liam Blume, Steve Donofrio, Morgan Edwards, Lauren Galvan, Lila Shakti
Vietnamese teen became role model after ‘ecstasy’ pills rap, now faces deportation
ive years after arriving in the U.S., Long Bao Ho, a Southern California-based Vietnamese refugee, directed a 2004 narcotics deal that would bring him pain and anguish—and, years later, make him the face of a growing cause célèbre in Little Saigon. Ho organized the sale of 10,000 banned ecstasy (or MDMA) pills for $60,000. But the then-19-year-old college student didn’t know that one of his co-conspirators unwittingly tried to sell the partyconfidential circuit drugs to an undercover Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent in a Riverside parking lot. That crime pror scott duced a staggermoxley ing 379 months in federal-prison sentences for the seven arrested defendants. Given Ho’s key role, he faced the harshest potential time: a maximum of 151 months of incarceration. But he negotiated a deal: In exchange for pleading guilty before trial in 2005, the government dropped some charges and reduced his time to 70 months, plus a $10,000 fine. Ho later contested the fine and sentence, arguing they were unfairly greater than ones given to his co-defendants. In 2007, a U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit panel rejected his complaint. The judges ruled the stiffer sentence was reasonable because Ho was “more involved in the conspiracy” than the others, who’d agreed to testify against him. They also upheld the fine. More than 65 percent of freed inmates in California commit additional crimes and return to custody within three years. After his release in August 2009, Ho proved an exception to that high recidivism rate. He earned education degrees, found a wife in 2012, fathered two boys, managed an Irvine company and created his own side business that produced around $80,000 in annual income. Ho also donated to charities, treated his family to luxury vacations and kept himself out of trouble. But the Westminster resident is now living in a nightmare. Nine years after securing his freedom and molding himself into a model green-card resident, Ho was re-arrested, this time by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents acting on a stale September 2009 deportation order the government previously
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failed to enforce. During his first year in office, President Donald Trump issued orders to crack down on non-citizens who’ve committed aggravated felonies as well as convinced Vietnam to accept more deportees. His target? About 8,500 Vietnamese living here. “After Trump’s election, everything changed,” Ho declared in court. “[Deportation] will permanently separate me from my wife and children. Additionally, I am anti-communist because of what they have done to my family. I have made anti-communist posts on my Facebook page, and I am friends on Facebook with actively anti-communist persons.” Ho says one of his grandfathers served as a high-ranking government official in what was South Vietnam and endured persecution—including the loss of a family estate—when the North Vietnamese communists took over in 1975. Initial efforts by his family to flee by boat through Thailand were unsuccessful. But in 1998, at the age of 13, he made it to Los Angeles with his dad, stepmother and two step-siblings. To block deportation, Ho hired James D. Riddet, one of Orange County’s elite defense attorneys. Riddet campaigned against his client’s forced removal. He highlighted Ho’s rehabilitation and importance to his wife and kids. He even asked prosecutors to show compassion by reducing the conviction to an offense that didn’t qualify for deportation, but his efforts failed.
According to Lewis, Ho signed a 2009 document that guaranteed he would leave and not re-enter the U.S. for 20 years without permission from the Attorney General. He also “has not provided any evidence that the government would have permitted him to plead to a non-deportable offense or that he would have insisted on going to trial when all six of his co-defendants pleaded guilty before trial,” she observed. Last July, Fischer sided with Lewis. “While Ho asserts that he would have proceeded to trial if he had known that deportation was ‘mandatory,’ the court finds this assertion to be incredible on its face and that there was no reasonable probability that he would have proceeded to trial. Ho was facing a sentencingguideline range of 121 to 151 months if he had gone to trial, but the plea agreement lowered his range to 70 to 87 months. It is MICHAEL ZIOBROWSKI not credible that he would have Undeterred, Riddet last year took gone to trial with a strong chance of the case to U.S. District Court Judge conviction and an additional 50-plusDale S. Fischer, arguing Ho wouldn’t month prison sentence in exchange for have pleaded guilty in the non-violent a small chance of acquittal and escape drug case if he’d fully understood the from deportation.” deportation consequences. “Mr. Ho pled Ho—who is being held in a federal guilty to conspiracy to distribute MDMA detention center in San Bernardino— after being affirmatively misled by his likely will be deported in the coming days. appointed criminal-defense counsel that Agents have advised him to have his bags his guilty plea was unlikely to lead to his prepared for the one-way trip. His plight deportation,” Riddet advised Fischer. earned coverage on April 16 in Little Sai“Mr. Ho realized he had been misadvised gon’s Nguoi Viet, the largest Vietnameseafter the election of Trump, the U.S. Gov- language daily newspaper in the nation. ernment’s ensuing roundup of deportThe paper published numerous endearing able Vietnamese citizens and Trump’s photos of Ho and his family, sad quotes extensive efforts to ensure that deportfrom his wife about her anxiety, and a able Vietnamese citizens would actually story ending that goes like this in translabe deported.” tion: “America is extremely humane. But Assistant United States Attorney FranAmerica is also cruel for what is happences S. Lewis believed Ho hadn’t been mising to families like Ho’s.” led, wondered why he’d waited 12 years Some people see this deportation as to challenge the conviction and urged his counterproductive. deportation. “At his  sentencing, Ho “[Ho’s] dedication and passion toward unsuccessfully argued for a downward rebuilding a better community is the variance [from 70 months to 46 months perfect example of people who make a of incarceration] before this court, in part, mistake in life, who paid for it through because he faced deportation to Vietnam incarceration and, most important, after his release,” Lewis told the judge. who turned their terrible experiences “ICE initiated removal proceedings after into something beneficial to save lives,” he served his 70-month sentence. In those according to Tung Nguyen, founder of proceedings, the defendant requested Asians and Pacific Islanders Re-Entry of immediate removal to Vietnam, stating Orange County (APIROC), a nonprofit under penalty of perjury that he undergroup that helps former inmates re-adjust stood he was removable and that he did not to life outside of prison. “The community believe he would be persecuted or harmed needs people like Ho.” RSCOTTMOXLEY@OCWEEKLY.COM if he returned to his home country.”
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a clockwork orange» Knott’s Affordable
n what shouldn’t surprise anyone, the cost of a day at Disneyland is way more expensive than a day at Knott’s Berry Farm, according to a new survey. More eye-opening in the report from vacationplanning website Home-ToGo (hometogo.com) is that the Buena Park theme park is the most affordable theme park in California. Home-ToGo’s California Theme Park Index is based on the average costs each member of a family of four would pay for parking, admission tickets, meals and overnight lodging on June 1. Added in is the flat parking fee for each park. The average Knott’s stay is pegged at $129 per family member, while it’s $249 for either Disneyland or Disney California Adventure. Amazingly, there is a theme park in the state with an even higher average than the Anaheim industry trend-setters: Universal Studios Hollywood, which would set each family member back $290. That’s largely thanks to hotel or motel rooms in Los Angeles near Universal Studios costing an average of $430 per night. At an average of $130 per night for all four family members, overnight lodging near Knott’s is the least expensive among
» MATT COKER the theme parks in the state. For Disney’s Anaheim parks, it’s $230. The highest hotel rate in the state is $600 near California’s Great America theme park in Santa Clara. However, when it comes solely to admission, that Bay Area attraction has the cheapest ticket in the state at $40, according to the survey, which has the Disney parks being California’s most expensive at $149 each. At $20, the parking pass at Knott’s is among the most affordable in the state. If your family is on a Knott’s budget, but you want to venture to other California theme parks, the next two most affordable are Six Flags properties: Discovery Kingdom ($138) in Vallejo and Magic Mountain ($196) in Valencia. But Six Flags Discovery Kingdom also has the most expensive parking in the state at $30. None of the Orange County theme parks topped a separate Home-ToGo list that is based on thrills. Six Flags Magic Mountain is the most thrilling theme park, according to the vacation planners, who have California’s Great America second and SeaWorld at No. 3. MCOKER@OCWEEKLY.COM
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» ANONYMOUS Chumming the Waters
ou are the neighbor whose yacht is next to mine. My wife and I were coming home, arm in arm, after a fun night on the town when our romantic interlude was rudely interrupted by a roar I can only describe as something out of a bad science-fiction movie. You were hanging over the side of your boat above a rapidly
spreading circle of whatever dinner or drink disagreed with you. Thanks for reminding me of the merits of moderation, but please stop feeding the sharks.
HEY, YOU! Send anonymous thanks, confessions or accusations—changing or deleting the names of the guilty and innocent—to “Hey, You!” c/o OC Weekly, 18475 Bandilier Circle, Fountain Valley, CA 92708, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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LOOKING BACK ON 20 YEARS OF COVERING THE NEWPORT BEACH FILM FEST
BY MATT COKER
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY NEWPORT BEACH FILM PT WHERE
FEST EXCE NOTED
hat a 20th anniversary Newport Beach Film Fest (NBFF) is happening Thursday, April 25 through May 2 is amazing when you consider the cinextravaganza’s humble beginnings. There had been a Newport Beach International Film Festival, which went belly-up in 1999 after a four-year run, leaving unpaid vendors, pissed-off volunteers and much ill will in its wake. However, Gregg Schwenk, an investment banker and Newport Harbor High School graduate, and Todd Quartararo, the pride of Irvine’s Woodbridge High working in marketing as a San Diego transplant, still believed a seaside film festival was viable, even in Hollywood’s back yard. “We were not big entertainment guys starting this up,” Quartararo says at NBFF’s headquarters off Quail Street, “but we had a love for this community.” Such love normally would not be enough to convince city leaders and visitors-bureau representatives to buy into an untested film-festival team’s vision, especially after one so recently crashed and burned. But a funny thing happened at Newport Beach City Hall: Schwenk and Quartararo were welcomed with open arms. And coffers. “Thank God for the city,” Quartararo says. “Without the city and the City Council, it would not be happening,” Schwenk agrees during a separate interview. After the official blessing came the really hard part: starting a new festival. “International” was dropped from the name, but not from the mission to present global programming, and a juried competition to honor film excellence was launched. Schwenk remembers working out with Quartararo how they would acquire operating funds as they sat in the investment banker’s 20th-floor office at Citibank. A tiny office across from John Wayne Airport was donated to the festival. Looking around the roomy work space he now shares with another festival employee, Quartararo estimated NBFF’s first headquarters—which was stuffed with banners, promotional materials, stacks of videos and desks on top of one another—“was literally the size of this room,” which just happens to be around the corner from the original space.
Schwenk, from his current office, which is not as large as Quartararo’s (but there is only one of him), recalls at first having only two computers and two phones in the original HQ. If both lines were in use, you’d have to wait until a phone was hung up before making a call out. “When they were showing us the office,” Schwenk says, “there was a copy machine. I asked, ‘Do we get the copy machine?’ We had that copier for 15 years. How far we’ve come.” How far, indeed. Thanks to a team of mostly volunteers who hit established festivals such as Palm Springs, Sundance and Toronto International; introduced themselves to filmmakers; and lobbied to get them to bring their movies to a place most had never heard of, NBFF has risen to become the largest film festival between San Diego and Los Angeles, the biggest in Southern California celebrating a 20-year anniversary, and a Moviemaker magazine choice as an annual fest worth a filmmaker’s entry fee.
his was very rag-tag in the beginning,” Quartararo says. “We had our hat in our hands for a lot of things. I used to rent searchlights [for opening night and festival parties] in San Diego, put them in the back of my car and drive them to Newport. There was no money to have them delivered. I’d arrive in my suit, take them out, plug them in, and then take them to the next event. That’s how we rolled.” In the early days, films arrived as 35mm prints in such heavy canisters that much of the festival budget had to be dedicated to the postage to mail them and to the able-bodied who could hand-deliver them. Entries later arrived as much lighter VHS tapes, but their use also necessitated the painstaking process of splicing onto every tape commercials for sponsors and the annual NBFF trailer that precedes each program. When I first volunteered to be an NBFF screener, I picked up a gift bag filled with videotape submissions, which I was to watch via my home VCR before rating each film on a sheet of paper that I was to turn in when I returned the bag. I grabbed one bag on my way to the Bay Area for Thanksgiving, but, overcome by vacation brain, I left it in the back of a San Francisco taxi, something I did not realize
until hours later. Convinced that, at best, I would be fired as a volunteer or, at worst, face a prison term (have you read the small print on the FBI piracy warnings?), I sheepishly called the cab company, and to my utter amazement, the driver arrived at the door with the gift bag. “Thinking back to the days of VHS tapes, I am kind of getting a knot in my stomach about it,” Quartararo says. “It was humbling. We did not know any other way.” Later in my screener career, as DVD players started overtaking the consumer market, discs began filtering into those gift bags. Later, you got a choice: all tapes, all DVDs or mixed. Then the VHS tapes disappeared altogether; later, so did the gift bags. Today’s festival screeners rely on an online “key” that unlocks links to content that can be played on laptops and, if it wins admission, in projection rooms. “Thankfully, as we’ve grown,” Quartararo says, “[the process has] become more sophisticated.”
Ziegler was 86ed from the event. He and three friends were standing front and center, yammering happily (and drunkenly) to one another about how glad they were to see the famous gross-out filmmaker, forcing Waters to ask them at least four times to shut up. Enter the security guards who tossed Ziegler, who was bewildered at the time.
long line to the outdoor bar, a bright light clicked on for an impromptu, on-camera interview with Crash writer/director Paul Haggis, who stood about 2 feet from me. The journalist in me probably should have fired him some pointed questions
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veryone agrees that the 2005 festival was the real game changer because NBFF scouts at the Toronto International Film Festival fell head over celluloid for a little-known LA drama oozing with racial tensions. That led to the U.S. premiere screening at NBFF of Crash, which would go on 11 months later to win the Best Picture Oscar. “That was the year that catapulted us to the national stage,” Quartararo says. “It was pretty cool.” I thought it was pretty cool free Absolut Vodka cocktails were being served at the Fashion Island opening-night gala after that screening. As I stood at the end of a
about his controversial film, but daddy needed to get his drink on. (I’m beginning to detect a theme with Weekly reporters at the festival.) Having premiered a top Academy Award winner had Hollywood calling the NBFF brass to schedule films during the 2006 festival, as opposed to the other way around, as it had been in the previous years. Heading into that NBFF, the Weekly received press releases from film studios and distributors announcing their titles had won selection nods—with each noting this was the same festival that premiered Crash. Schwenk’s ’05 highlight was “hearing Richard Sherman play music, considering he and his brother composed the songbook for most children I know.” Richard and Robert Sherman are famous for their songs in Disney movies, although their most famous tune is “It’s a Small World (After All)” for the Disneyland ride. The festival honored Richard Sherman, and Schwenk found him to be “such a great raconteur. He’d talk about how he wrote songs while talking with Walt Disney for a motion picture, and then . . . he’d sit down at the piano and
estival staffers for the 10th-anniversary NBFF in 2009 prodded me into checking out a little indie dramedy called Spooner. It was directed by former Santa Ana resident Drake Doremus and starred former Tustin resident Matthew Lillard in the title role. As I was trying without success to wrangle a press screener, I was contacted by Doremus’ mother, Cherie Kerr, whom I’d corresponded with for years because the former Groundling founded and runs the Santa Ana-based Orange County Crazies improv-comedy troupe. This time, Kerr didn’t want Crazies coverage; she wanted Spooner coverage. Without having seen the film, I bumped into Kerr and Doremus at a pre-festival party for directors. I explained I needed to see the film so I could ask intelligent questions for a “hometown-boy-donegood” story. Doremus hand-delivered a screener the next morning, explaining the earlier delay was caused by a producer fearing the film was getting overexposed before its playdate. I was exposed to one of the best, freshest and quirkiest romantic comedies I had seen in a long, long time. But the festival had by then opened, and I was really up against the deadline gun, turning around a story before Spooner’s playdate. In the festival’s hospitality suite, which had computers to share, I checked my emails for Doremus’ cell number and, getting ready to punch in the numbers, overheard someone in the bay next to me say, “Matt.” Looking at the next-door computer screen, I saw a publicity still of Lillard from Spooner and, bending my neck around, spied Doremus and his co-writer Lindsay Stidham. We did the interview right there, the Spooner story made the deadline, and it led to me tagging along with Doremus and his cast and crew for his next picture, Douchebag, to the 2010 Sundance Film Festival for a Weekly cover story. (A giant, framed copy of our cover with John Gilhooley’s portrait of Doremus hangs in our Fountain Valley office.) The following year, Doremus’ Like Crazy won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize, a journey covered in real time for the Weekly by Corona del Mar’s Ben York Jones, who co-starred in Douchebag. Jones and his childhood pal Doremus wrote Like Crazy, which starred Anton Yelchin. Doremus is back at NBFF this year as the producer of a documentary about the late actor, Love, Antosha.
don’t recall Schwenk ever sounding fearful he might not be able to pull off a festival until 2010. Just before Christmas, the Irvine Co. revealed out of the blue that the six-screen Edwards Island Cinemas at Fashion Island would undergo months of remodeling, much to the dismay of Schwenk’s NBFF schedule makers. City funding dictated the festival be confined
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With his patented two forefingers typing style, and after having sobered up from being “an Orson Welles sort of drunk that ably edited out all but the most essential bits of plot,” Ziegler banged out the following: “[T]he way I remember it—or the way I remember the parts I remember—is nothing but lovely times until John Waters waves his spotty hand and two big dudes hoist me up by the underarms and—just like the movies!—toss me out on my actual ass, which is something that should happen to everyone at least once just so you can wince knowingly when you see it happen onscreen to Jim Rockford.”
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he NBFF has gained a reputation for off-the-hook opening-night galas, after-parties and closing-night blowouts. Muldoon’s Irish Pub, which is behind Big Newport, is always the place for the Irish Spotlight films’ after-parties, which in my humble opinion are the funnest NBFF open-bar parties. Schwenk recalls that after he popped into Muldoon’s on an errand just days after one Irish Spotlight party, he found an Emerald Isle film’s cast and crew were still darkening the pub stools. “I asked them, ‘Don’t you guys ever go home?’” Tasked with choosing one, all-time favorite festival memory, Schwenk did not cite a party or even a film screening, but rather the night in 2001 the NBFF honored “a director’s director.” “One of the greatest things was listening to Robert Wise talk about editing,” he says of the late director of West Side Story, The Sound of Music and Star Trek: The Motion Picture (among many others). Before sliding into the director’s chair, Wise had edited Citizen Kane, The Magnificent Ambersons and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (among many others). His conversation led to NBFF working with the Motion Picture Editors Guild to bring other top Hollywood cutters to speak at later festivals and establish editing awards. That formula was repeated for cinematography, music and screenwriting. In 2000, or year one, about 15,000 people showed up for 45 feature films and 100 shorts that rolled over eight days. By the 2002 fest, 19,500 ticket buyers were lured by 73 features and 110 shorts from 27 countries over nine days. One highlight from that fest “was absolutely insane,” according to Quartararo. “We had the Polyester 20thanniversary showing with scratch ’n’ sniff cards at the Lido, and then, at the Hard Rock Café, ‘An Evening with John Waters,’ which was nuts. People were hanging on every word coming out of his mouth.” Hopefully, neither Waters nor Quartararo recalls that Weekly music writer Chris
play every song. Wow! That was such a rare opportunity with someone who had influenced so many people.”
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to Newport Beach, but even combined, the Lido, Edwards Big Newport and pop-up spots such as the Orange County Museum of Art did not have enough screens for 300-plus films. With opening night weeks away, Schwenk kicked around the idea of taking the year off, but he feared such a stoppage would be the death of a festival that relied on year-to-year momentum. Close to zero hour, and after much pleading, Schwenk got the city to agree to allow festival screenings just across the Newport Beach border, at Starlight Triangle Square Cinemas in Costa Mesa. The 2010 run would attract 51,000 ticket buyers, who were obviously unaware the festival came close to shutting down, possibly forever. What is now The LOT Fashion Island luxury cinema is back in the NBFF rotation, along with the Lido, Big Newport and Starlight Triangle Square. Speaking before a packed Lido Theatre house during NBFF 2011, Aaron Sorkin whipped out one-liners and funny stories concerning his career as a playwright, Emmy-winning television writer (The West Wing) and Oscar-winning film writer (The Social Network). He spoke about his past projects, new projects and rumored projects. He acknowledged, “I’ve been accused of writing dialogue like a guy on a first date desperately trying to get a second date. And [he] probably won’t.” He received approving applause after saying, “I’d love to see a day come when people go to a movie because of who wrote it.” I recall it being very inspiring, and it’s also one of the 20-year highlights cited by Schwenk, who let me in on a secret: He was able to connect with Sorkin because his assistant is the daughter of the NBFF CEO’s sixth-grade teacher. “She told me, ‘Mrs. Carpenter says hi.’ It’s Hollywood. It’s who you know.”
he unofficial lowlight of that year’s NBFF, which came the night before Sorkin, was Andy Dick showing up drunk off his ass at the Newport Lexus dealership after-party, just before midnight. The comic actor unzipped his pants, took out his junk, started rubbing himself against a table, went inside a display booth, peed, and then tore the booth down. He was last seen chewing on decorative rubber plants. Without a doubt, though, the 2012 festival goes down as the glitchiest NBFF to date. The first sign there was trouble came on the second night, as folks stood in line atop the Fashion Island parking structure for half an hour after the scheduled start time in Island Cinemas of the movie Hick. Volunteers finally informed the ticketholding crowd that the screening of the latest from director Derick Martini, whose Lymelife opened the 2009 NBFF, was canceled. Broken Kingdom rolled at Island
Cinemas the next night, after its audience had to wait a half-hour beyond its scheduled start time. Like Vinyl, another film that screened at Island Cinemas that night, Broken Kingdom repeatedly froze or skipped ahead. The next night, Jake Schreier’s Robot and Frank was a no-show at the same theater, although the film starring Frank Langella went on to fill a closing-night slot. Some interruptions were caused by film distributors being protective of movies headed for theatrical release, but most were attributed to projection equipment at the time being unable to play Blu-Ray versions of the films. Quartararo attended one screening where that was the problem. “I remember being absolutely devastated the film was not playing correctly,” he says. “I had a packed theater. My heart went out to them. They had gotten sitters so they could go out for the night. We made sure we made good, that everyone left happy.” At a different showing, a screenwriter saved the program by whipping out a DVD he had on him to replace the Blu-Ray, although the results onscreen were grainy and “do not copy” messages flashed. The audience didn’t seem to mind, including the one at home enjoying NBFF’s first “online festival,” with digital versions of select motion pictures available for viewing on the web.
he biggest news as the Newport Beach Film Fest opened its 15th run in 2014 had nothing to do with the world premiere of the rom-com Lovesick starring Matt LeBlanc and everything to do with Absolut no longer being the official vodka sponsor. After more years and hangovers than I can remember, the coveted slot was being filled by Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which back then was a little-known liquor from Mockingbird Distillery in Austin, Texas. The Tito’s-NBFF relationship is still going strong. “They’ve grown with us,” Quartararo says. “Everyone at Tito’s knows us by name.” During the 2015 NBFF, I moderated a fascinating discussion with scholars from UC Irvine and Orange Coast College as part of the Orson Welles Centennial Tribute. As I was leaving, I could see in the Island Cinemas lobby that Jared Harris was posing for photos against the NBFF backdrop, like a movie star or something. Schwenk had just led a separate talk in a different theater with the actor and son of the late, great Richard Harris about his amazing career (Mad Men, Lincoln and many, many more). As Schwenk and Harris walked outside, I bumped into my pal Leslie Feibleman, the NBFF director of Special Programs & Community Cinema, who demanded we pose for our annual photo together in front of the festival backdrop (as though we’re wannabe movie stars or something). After I broke the camera, I headed outside and unknowingly into Schwenk, who quickly called me over to introduce Harris. I told Harris how much I enjoyed his interview on the WTF With Marc Maron podcast, which was recorded in
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the standup comedian’s Highland Park garage. The actor replied that Maron was a rather “strange fellow” who seemed shy and withdrawn in his kitchen before the interview, but once the mics were hot, he lit up. I then told Harris I had just read he directed the Mad Men episode that was airing that night. After Harris informed me there were only three episodes of the much-lauded series left, I got nervous and, after an uncomfortable pause, blurted out something about how great he was on the show—along the lines of “Remember when you were hanging on the door? That was awesome!” That caused a look of “Oh, no, fanboy” to come over Harris’ face as I heard Schwenk remark, “Jared needs to get to his room.”
the closing-night picture, John Hyams’ All Square, which is about a small town’s bookie (Michael Kelly of House of Cards) taking action on Little League games, NBFF Director of Programming Sarah Sleeger nailed it when she told me, “It’s really, really funny.”
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For more details on the Newport Beach Film Fest, including screening titles, locations and show times, visit newportbeachfilmfest. com or find the special insert in this issue.
ocweekly.com | | OCWEEKLY.COM
ide, n, & we ront re fter nd kly
he 19th-annual Newport Beach Film Fest brings 300-plus films from 50 countries to our shores starting Thursday, April 25. Luce, the opening-night picture, is already sold out if you just wanted to see the movie, but you can still get in with a $225 package deal that includes the gala afterward, when free food, Tito’s (and other booze) and entertainment will be served. The May 2 closing-night documentary, Part of Water, is about Ben Carlson, the Newport Beach lifeguard who died saving a drowning swimmer. Let us hope the Lido is well-stocked with hankies for that one. As we spoke about four weeks before NBFF 2019, Schwenk recognized the time we were in. “Even after 20 years, you plan and plan and plan, and now it’s a little calm before the storm.” It energizes him that staffers such as Feibleman, Festival Director Riki Kucheck and Director of Shorts Programming Dennis Baker “have been with us 15 to 18 yearsplus, and they are still excited by it. They are still excited finding and reviewing films. In some cases, they are just as passionate, if not more so, than when they started.” He then thought back to all the times NBFF has featured films from foreign countries, which bring their respective expatriates to Newport Beach—as well as their native cuisines. “I love that. That’s truly what we wanted 20 years ago,” Schwenk says. “It’s not our festival. It’s everyone’s festival.”
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doubt anyone could have predicted how well Dirty Old Wedge would do at NBFF 2016. Producer/director Tim Burnham had mounted a Kickstarter campaign to fund his documentary on Newport Beach’s world-famous surf break at the end of the Balboa Peninsula. Feibleman, who programs the action-sports movies, knew local surf films historically sell out their debut screening, which leads to a second, but interest was so keen so early for Burnham’s first project that three showings were scheduled before the festival even opened, and tickets to all of them were snatched up. Fortunately, Dirty Old Wedge is a damn fine movie, giving a historical perspective on the manmade-wave phenomenon and its, ahem, fervent protectors. Quality over homerism explains why a fourth screening was added during the festival; it, too, immediately sold out. Facing the boisterous audience at the Lido Theatre, Schwenk announced that the actionsports documentary had just become the biggest ticket seller in the festival’s 17-year history. An unprecedented fifth and final showing was also scheduled. Last year, NBFF was loaded with comedy, so much so that the Weekly played up that programming decision and featured an image on the cover from Kyle Rideout’s Adventures in Public School, which would be making its world premiere in Newport. Unfortunately, in the sobering atmosphere of a darkened theater, I found Rideout and Josh Epstein’s story about the relationship between a smothering mother (Judy Greer) and her socially awkward son (Daniel Doheny) a mess. That’s the thing about film festivals: Movies that read promising on paper (or cellphone) don’t always deliver. But when it came to
HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU
[food & drink]
All’s Fair in Love and War
California Wine Festival
Every couple has their own way of working through marital issues, from therapy to long conversations. But if you’re Nan in Lauren Gunderson’s Exit, Pursued By a Bear, your methods are a little . . . unorthodox. In this comedic revenge play, Nan confronts her dreary husband, Kyle, by tying him to his LaZ-Boy armchair one night; she then enlists best friend Simon and a stripper named Sweetheart in helping her re-enact scenes from their relationship for his viewing. Kyle also faces an ultimatum: If he doesn’t choose to work on himself and see Nan’s point of view, he will be eaten by a bear. And with the whole room dressed with raw meat and honey, Nan is serious, too. Exit, Pursued By a Bear at Long Beach Playhouse, 5021 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, (562) 494-1014; www.lbplayhouse. org. 8 p.m. Through May 25. $10-$20. —AIMEE MURILLO
night nation Run
If you enjoy the excitement of running a marathon but have neither the experience nor endurance to actually participate, then now’s your chance to get in on this pseudofitness, all-party Night Nation Run.The traveling event makes a stop at Angel Stadium, so expect to encounter DJs spinning at various stops along the way, light shows, bubble zones, a neon and black-light show, a huge music festival, and party zone waiting for you at the finish line. Inexperienced runners are welcome to walk, jump, dance or jog throughout the hypnotic running course (with various selfie stations throughout, of course). A portion of funds from each Night Nation Run goes toward Stand Up to Cancer, which promotes cancer research. Night Nation Run at Angel Stadium, 2000 E. Gene Autry Way, Anaheim, (714) 940-2000; nightnationrun.com. 6 p.m. $29-$60. —AIMEE MURILLO
Pop-Punk Parade Back to the Beach
If you’re down for some fun in the sun while rockin’ to your favorite tunes of (somewhat) yesteryear, then Back to the Beach isn’t rolling the clock back too far— just enough to have you long for ska-punk’s heyday. Headlined by blink-182, with a set that Mark Hoppus says may include a performance of Enema of the State in full, this KROQ-curated event is actually fairly family-friendly. Kids younger than 10 are free, so if you’re down to introduce your youngsters to the likes of Goldfinger (with promised guests), Reel Big Fish, Save Ferris, Less Than Jake, the Aquabats, the Wonder Years and Streetlight Manifesto, then this is a safe, sterile environment at which to do so. You never know which special guests from OC history might pop up. Back to the Beach at Huntington State Beach, 21601 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach; backtothebeachfest.com. Noon.; also Sun. $39.99-$249.50. —WYOMING REYNOLDS
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Exit, Pursued By a Bear
Don’t Stop the MuSic
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Rosé all day? Puh-leaze. The California Wine Festival is anything but basic. It starts today with the ultra-fancy Sunset Rare & Reserve Tasting event, during which guests can enjoy sips of “hard-to-find trophy wines” while gazing at the Pacific. There’s a dress code for this one, so come in whatever you’d wear if you were going to be in the background of a Real Housewives cocktail party/fight scene. The delights continue Saturday with the Beachside Wine Fest at Lantern Bay Park, which is a little more casual, with guests choosing samples from hundreds of wines (and beers) available, plus a ton of food. That is, unless you drank too much trophy wine the night before. California Wine Festival at Dana Point Yacht Club, 24399 Dana Dr., Dana Point, (949) 496-2900; www.californiawinefestival. com. 6:30 p.m.; also Sat.-Sun. $70-$175; designated drivers, $35.
[HEALTH & FITNESS]
When Hari Met Brea Hari Kondabolu
Wrap up your weekend with an hour of intellectual hilarity. Queens-raised comedian Hari Kondabolu takes the Brea Improv stage a year after his special, Warn Your Relatives, debuted on Netflix. Whether he’s being heckled by Tracy Morgan, chased by bats, or expressing his
deep love of mangos, Kondabolu opens your mind and leaves you laughing for days. He was hailed by The New York Times as “one of the most exciting political comics in standup today” and has sold out multiple headlining tours. With tickets going for only $20, this is a can’tmiss event. Hari Kondabolu at the Brea Improv, 180 S. Brea Blvd., Brea, (714) 482-0700; improv.com/brea. 7 p.m. $20. 18+. —MORGAN EDWARDS
The Fine Print
Print Fair & Festival The Museum of Latin American Art hosts its first Print Fair & Festival to support its current exhibition, “Gráfica América.” Different printmaking artists will be highlighted in several workshops and demonstrations, along with panel discussions on such topics as “Gender, Printmaking
and Activism” and how the process contributes to community building. Some workshops feature gelatin mono printing and Cyanotype printing, so come add to your artistic repertoire with these and more forms of the craft. Other items on the agenda include live performances and face painting. Print Fair & Festival at Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, (562) 437-1689; www.molaa.org. 11 a.m. Free. —LILA SHAKTI
Back to Pawnee
Parks and Rec Trivia Night Treat yo’self to Brain Party Trivia’s Parks and Rec-themed night at Alex’s Bar. If, like April Ludgate, you love games that turn people against one another, then grab five friends and get ready to put your pop-culture knowledge to the test. The undeniably hilarious show is full of relatable characters and quotes, so beware of Parks and Rec diehards. Unfortunately, Snake Juice won’t be available for purchase, but there will be happy hour specials all night long. Brain Party Trivia Presents Parks and Rec Trivia Night at Alex’s Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim Blvd., Long Beach, (562) 434-8292; www.alexsbar.com. 8 p.m. $5. 21+. —LAUREN GALVAN
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At Your Door
Portland, Oregon’s Chromatics are passing through Orange County during their Desire & In Mirrors Double Exposure Tour, and we’re totally here for it. Although their early career saw the group dabble in loud and lo-fi punk, the quartet now rely on heavy synthesizer for a haunting sound, so much so they were featured in an episode of David Lynch’s newest season of Twin Peaks (and rightfully so—lead vocalist/guitarist/synth player Ruth Radelet has the icy harmonies of Julee Cruise, making their inclusion in the show utter perfection). Their wonderful dream-pop sound just begs to be heard in person. Chromatics at the Observatory, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600; observatoryoc.com. 8 p.m. $33.50. —AIMEE MURILLO
A Spirited Occasion
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[HOME & GARDEN]
WelCome to the Jungle
Exotica is on parade next week at Instant Jungle nursery’s annual open house, Jungle Fest!Tired of your water-sucking lawn? Planting posies that don’t really pass the muster? Now’s your chance to shed your squareness and dress up your front and back landscapes with fabulous planty things that truly reflect your inner adventurer. Slip on comfortable shoes (the nursery is located on a dirt lot) and join other aspiring horticulturalists for workshops, games, prizes and special discounts—with plenty of food trucks on hand to keep you fueled up and shopping.Your home may be your castle, but your yard doesn’t have to be a moat, so go get your funky flora on and wow your soon-to-be envious neighbors! Jungle Fest at Instant Jungle, 2560 S. Birch St., Santa Ana, (714) 850-9227; www.instantjungle.com. 11 a.m. Free, but RSVP required. —SR DAVIES [film]
Speak of the Devil I Trapped the Devil
Although I Trapped the Devil takes place during Christmas, it’s far from a traditional feel-good holiday movie (as the title suggests). Matt and his wife, Karen, pay an impromptu visit to his estranged brother, Steve, to celebrate the holidays. At first, they notice that Steve is acting paranoid and that his house is a mess, but it doesn’t take long for him to confess that he is actually holding a more man (whom he online believes to be OCWEEKLY.COM the devil) captive in his basement. The film then unfolds through a series of coincidences and psychological plot twists, as Steve’s accusation becomes increasingly convincing. Sure, this is technically a Christmas horror film, but don’t expect any Gremlins. I Trapped the Devil at the Frida Cinema, 305 E. Fourth St., Ste. 100, Santa Ana, (714) 285-9422; thefridacinema.org. 10 p.m. $7-$10. —STEVE DONOFRIO
Folks looking for a kooky, spooky hiking tour will get a kick out of the Original Black Star Canyon Ghost Walk. Though other walking tours of OC’s allegedly haunted Black Star Canyon are out there, OC Ghosts and Legends proclaims it's the “#1 and Original” tour. There are no costumes or gimmicks, but organizers maintain Black Star Canyon is the source of “disembodied voices, strange light anomalies” and other curious phenomena that challenge reason. The tour is available three times throughout May for those who wish to venture forth into the darkness. Original Black Star Canyon Ghost Walk at Black Star Canyon, Silverado, (949) 6671957; www.ocghostsandlegends.com. 7:30 p.m. $15-$185. —SCOTT FEINBLATT
Can’t Be tamed
Even if you tried to catalog the Oklahoma-bred Broncho within the indierock genre, their wide musical output says otherwise. The group produce tunes that blend influences such as New Wave, art punk, electronic, folk, pop and other inspirations, but they finesse it all so cleanly the result is something that just makes you want to dance. Music writers and critics could easily spend a sizeable word count explaining the technical wonders at play, but the conclusion remains the same: infectious rhythms and creative beats that instantly hook you. Broncho’s music has also been featured in television commercials and on HBO’s Girls, proving their appeal transcends mediums. Catch them tonight at the Wayfarer with fellow musical miscreants Los Mysteriosos and Kevlar. Broncho with Los Mysteriosos and Kevlar at the Wayfarer, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 734-0039; wayfarercm.com. 8 p.m. $15. 21+. —AIMEE MURILLO
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03 S. 600;
The Original Black Star Canyon Ghost Walk
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food»reviews | listings
» greg nagel
OC Beer Week Returns
f all the boring weeks of the year, we’re granted 10 glorious, consecutive days devoted to locally made, independent beer. The festivities start Friday, and a multitude of daily events go until Cinco de Mayo. Here are my top picks:
Of Rice and Ramen
PHOTOS BY MORGAN EDWARDS
Nishi Poke & Ramen Bistro does both ramen and build-your-own poke in Buena Park
bered slurping at the Rancho Park branch. But when I ordered a bowl, the cashier turned on the burner to boil up a serving of it in a small pot to ensure it scalds on the first sip. Once assembled, the ramen came with the familiar charred pork belly, a sheet of nori, a scattering of green onions and a wad of greens I suspect were bok choy. If you order Nishi’s vegetarian ramen expecting the depths of flavors that HiroNori manages to achieve with its revolutionary vegan bowl of noodles, you will be disappointed. Nishi’s broth struggles to hit every note that HiroNori’s vegan soup sings with barely any effort. The tofu, corn and mushroom toppings will, however, make up the difference. But if you’re carnivorous, don’t miss what I think is one of OC’s best chicken karaages, which the kitchen staff deep-fry into perfectly tender, juicy, lightly crisp morsels that never need the mayo-based dipping sauce the dish comes with. The fried calamari were excellent, too, served in thick, meaty spears that suggest they’re actually cuttlefish. And of course, you won’t want to miss out on the essential ramen add-on of the soft-boiled egg—the yolk straddling the tenuous balance between liquid and solid. It’s done perfectly here, and it’s a fitting symbol of how this growing chain has managed to walk the tightrope of two genres, yet still be good at both. NISHI POKE & RAMEN BISTRO 6242 Beach Blvd., Ste. A, Buena Park, (714) 522-2667; nishipokeramen.com. Open Mon.-Sat., 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Ramen, $10.50$12.50; poke, $10.95-$14.95. No alcohol.
Visit the OC Brewer’s Guild at ocbrewers. org to find newly added events, as well as how to become a member.
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other good things, including two pieces of generously thick, broiled pork belly gilded with charred edges. Since my visit, Nishi Poke & Ramen Bistro has expanded. It now has a second shop in LA and another in Buena Park, marking its first foray into Orange County. The latter takes over the space of another poke shop, but upon entering the Buena Park location, I realized Nishi had evolved beyond its title. The menu here also featured bento boxes with pork, beef and chicken. And to the right of the register was a small fridge with prepackaged sushi rolls that you can apparently also order as a party platter. The dining room at the Buena Park store was also more utilitarian than the one in LA. A self-serve soda fountain stood in one corner, and empty to-go containers were stacked to the right of the cashier. On a dominant wall, glossy pictures of karaage and gyoza functioned as both art and advertisement. But it was the presence of the bagged chips on a rack just as you’d find at a Subway that suggests the place isn’t interested in being considered a hallowed ramen temple among the likes of Kitakata, Shin-SenGumi and HiroNori. Instead, it aims to be the Japanese-restaurant equivalent of a neighborhood diner that has something for everyone. This isn’t to say the ramen isn’t worthy of being compared to the rest. Although the noodles were now uniformly thin and soft, the broth was a balanced blend of long-simmered porkiness and seafoody umami. Not too rich, too thick or too salty, this was decidedly a lighter tonkotsu broth than what’s served everywhere else. It’s even different than what I remem-
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first encountered Nishi Poke & Ramen Bistro two years ago in LA— well, really, it was Rancho Park, a neighborhood I can honestly say I’d never heard of. A friend told me about the eatery, and I was immediately intrigued; as Southern California crawls with buildyour-own poke joints and ramen shops, this restaurant was among the first I’ve seen that attempts to do both. Ramen and DIY poke are two vastly different operating models. So, this was a completely new concept: a two-in-one. It was as though Chipotle started offering burgers. The restaurant was set up exactly as I thought it would be. The poke bar was on one side, and the ramen counter, with its own menu, was on the other. But the dining room resembled a very charming uptown bistro. Fanciful sketches of commissioned art decorated walls made of blackboard. I could tell the owner invested in remodeling, making the restaurant sunny, chic and fashionable for sunny, chic and fashionable Westsiders. Even the poke assembly line was upgraded. It offered not only the usuals of ahi, salmon and shrimp, but also crawfish, which, in my opinion, is as good as lobster. In addition, there were complimentary toppings I’d never seen before, such as tamagoyaki, as well as some I have, such as Hot Cheetos. While I liked the poke, I loved the ramen more. The noodles hit the chewy sweet spot: not too firm, not too soft. And they’re substantial—thick, almost udonlike—with the consistency of the Chinese, hand-pulled variety. And I knew I was in for a treat when I saw the shifting pools of fat floating above the creamy, 24-hoursimmered tonkotsu broth. There were
By Edwin GOEi
The Fourth Annual OC Brewers Guild Invitational: This is the group’s largest fundraiser, with each brewery inviting another from outside the region, allowing attendees to sample the best of the best. Elks Lodge, 11551 Trask Ave., Garden Grove, (714) 534-0226; events.ocbrewers. org. Sat., noon-4 p.m. $15-$50 (use code nagel15 online for a nice little discount!). Brews & Bowl: Enjoy heavy-handed, lane-oiled high-fives with various bearded brewing giants. Sign up your team at (714) 666-2695, extension 238. Concourse Bowling Center, 3364 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim; www.concoursebowling.com. Mon., 6-10:30 p.m. Culinary Quest CO-OP Beer Dinner: Chef Andrea Machuca and the Culinary Underground join GameCraft’s kitchen for a special interactive dinner that features fare from the fantasy and game world. GameCraft Brewing, 23301 Avenida de la Carlota, Ste. C, Laguna Hills, (949) 7340910; www.gamecraftbrewing.com. Wed., 7-9 p.m. $75-$85. Daily tap takeovers: It starts Monday with Green Cheek and Riip Beer Co., then continues Tuesday with Bruery, Offshoot and Beachwood; Wednesday with Artifex and Stereo. The rest of the week will let the beers ride. Haven Craft Kitchen + Bar, 190 S. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 221-0680; www.havencraftkitchen.com. May the Fourth Be With You: The Star Wars-themed party kicks off with a Blue Milk cask, costume contest, bites and more. Lost Winds Brewing Co., 924 Calle Negocio, Ste. C, San Clemente, (949) 361-5922; www. lostwindsbrewing.com. May 4, noon-10 p.m.
Welcome to the Neighborhood
Lou & Mike’s refreshes the breakfast game on Los Coyotes
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here’s a quiet residential section of East Long Beach that, unless you live there or have an optometrist appointment, you won’t travel through too often. So for occupants of the well-maintained little neighborhood, having a restaurant—any restaurant—on the block is welcomed. Ferraro’s Italian Kitchen held that honor for well more than a decade, but the old-school Italian eatery closed about two years ago, leaving the only sitdown space in the immediate area vacant. That’s when the team behind the nowdefunct River’s End Café in Seal Beach, which was more a destination patrons went to for the beach and ocean view than the greasy-spoon-type food, stepped in this past February. Right from the start, it was apparent Mike and Carolyn Balchin had upped their game with Lou & Mike’s. The interior, for one, is a vast improvement. The previous restaurant’s dated burgundy-and-darkwood décor has been sanded away and painted a bright white. It’s clean, airy and minimalist. The outdoor patio, enclosed with glass and overlooking storybook-cute single-level homes, is spacious but still cozy and comfortable. The menu is pretty identical to River’s End’s (save for a few tweaks, such as rechristening the Huevos de River dish as Huevos de Los Coyotes—that’s white fish in a garlic-basil sauce served over eggs, by the way—after the street the café sits on), with many items keeping the same wordfor-word description. But there’s something about this new location—everything’s somehow much better now. Consider it a refresh. The plating is neater. The dishes arrive piping-hot. The service is faster and more attentive. The kitchen kept the de facto melon-slice garnishes. Lou & Mike’s serves a motley assortment of lunch items, including fish and
LongBeachLunch » erin dewitt
chips, enchiladas, and clam chowder, but at its heart, this is a breakfast joint. Open at 7 a.m. every day, the café closes by 2:30 p.m. during the week and an early-bird rebuffing 4:30 p.m. on the weekends. Among the breakfast options, the huevos rancheros comes with crispy, seasoned, cubed potatoes topped with a swirl of orange-tinted, spicy sour cream. Three eggs are served with perfectly runny yolks over a heap of black beans and warm, soft corn tortillas. Sauce comes Christmasstyle, with one side fiery red and the other a tangy verde. The Super Oatmeal is a chooseyour-own-adventure dish. A bowl of steaming oats comes with an array of tiny ramekins holding toppings such as brown sugar, milk, raisins, granola, walnuts, blueberries and bananas. If you skip the milk, this is one of the only vegan options available, though there are plenty of vegetarian dishes, including the massive spinach omelet or the hangovercuring chilaquiles. The coffee is thick and strong. And there’s actual chilled cream served with it (no plastic, room-temperature tubs of creamer here, thankfully). It’s a nice touch. So though the Balchins traded in a large, beachfront venue for a smaller one nestled in a sleepy part of town, the downsizing seems to be a business move in the right direction. And given the crowds even on cloudy midweek mornings, the locals are glad to have a neighborhood eatery again. LOU & MIKE’S 3500 Los Coyotes Diagonal, Long Beach, (562) 420-0010; louandmikes.com.
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eading the menu at Playground is usually accompanied by at least one quick Google search that somehow turns up with one result: a link to the menu you’re already viewing. On my latest visit, there were two instances of food bewilderment that struck, so I asked. What the hell is a carrot urfa molly? And a 17-day, dry-aged white sea bass? Is that a thing? Luckily, the search results for the latter brought me to the name Josh Niland, a young Australian chef that is sort of a rock star when it comes to serving fish that has been dry-aged as though it’s a prime cut of beef. “Chef is really excited about his seafood right now, so he flew to Australia for a few weeks to work at a restaurant to learn the dry-aging technique,” notes manager and barman Brock Woolsey. Playground chef/owner Jason Quinn worked directly with Niland. “They believe water kills a fish’s quality,” Quinn says as he giddily flips through images on his iPhone. He shows me at least 50 photos and videos of dry-aged fish porn, naming each species we can’t get in the States. “They have this huge walkin cooler with at least 50 King George Whiting on hooks, mahi-mahi, Spanish mackerel, and trays and trays full of other fish. The selection we get here is boring in comparison.” But what does dry-aging bring to the table? The first thing I noticed is the quality of the skin. It takes on this
Eat&Drinkthisnow » greg nagel
papier-mâché quality that, when broken, sounds as crunchy as a dry leaf. It resembles a pie crust with bits of brown sugar caramelized to a perfect crisp. Then there’s the steamy white sea bass, dripping with juice as I take the first bite. It’s as saturated and succulent as Uncle Lou’s fried chicken (still the only menu item you can’t send back), and if there was ever such a thing as Wagyu of the sea, this is it. The unctuousness dissolves across your palate, leading you to subsequent bites of flaky, flavorful mouthfuls. Playground’s beverage program is equally as strong as the food menu, with a trifecta of craft beer, wine and some of the best cocktails in the county. To match, I thought of something ginbased to work with the buttery legumes that came with the fish, but Woolsey offered up a light and bright Veggie Miller cocktail, with Abre Ojos Tequila, Yellow Chartreuse, house-pressed fennel, Verjus blanc and lemon. It’s sort of herbal and floral, with the kick of peppery tequila adding to the spice of the whole thing. I still don’t know what the eff an urfa molly is. PLAYGROUND 220 E. Fourth St., Ste. 102, Santa Ana; playgrounddtsa.com.
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Playground’s dry-aged seafood
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Wagyu of the Sea
COURTESY OF SUNDANCE INSTITUTE
See You at the Movies
What to watch at the 2019 Newport Beach Film Fest BY AiMee Murillo
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ach year’s programming for the Newport Beach Film Fest is stellar, so it makes sense that for its banner 20th-year anniversary, the organizers would bring yet another fantastic slate of films. The parties, the filmmaker Q&As, and red carpets are all engaging and fun side attractions to enjoy, but the films always come first. Where’s a cinephile to start when it comes to knowing what’s especially good to watch this time around? Let this humble roundup be a start, a glimpse into some of the great films you can watch. Here’s to 20 more years!
LOCAL STORIES Any One of Us
Professional mountain biker Paul Basagoita was left paralyzed by a spinal cord injury after an accident, and this documentary follows Basagoita’s determination to undergo physical therapy and slowly regain his motor functions, while trying to make the best out of the situation with his mental health intact. It was filmed partly in Laguna, with many locals appearing, including noted scientist and stem cell researcher (and onetime contender for Dana Rohrabacher’s congressional seat) Dr. Hans Keirstead. Honey West: The Gloria Fickling Story
One of the most impressive stories of the “you’ve never heard of” variety centers on
Laguna Beach’s Gloria Fickling, who wrote a series of crime novels with her husband under the combined pseudonym G.G. Fickling. The books’ heroine, Honey West, would be adapted for a television series in the 1960s starring Anne Francis, becoming one of the most beloved of all time. In this short doc, Fickling recounts her stylish life and meeting her husband, as well as how she developed the first female answer to James Bond. SEX AND LOVE STORIES Down Her Shorts
This cheeky block of short films is a recent addition to the festival’s lineup. The eight short narrative films based on female sexuality and love are meant specifically for adults (although probably less explicit than the Dan Savage Hump! adult-film showcase) and are titled Serpentine; Eggs, Zombies and Bacon; Library Hours; Untitled Groping Revenge Fairytale; Girl Talk; The Looking Ceremony (El Miramiento); Labial Quintet; and Dressed for Pleasure. The Pink Wall
Starring one-half of the indie-film duo the Duplass brothers, the fest’s Friday Night Spotlight follows the relationship between two people (Jay Duplass and Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany) in love over six years, told through various moments that illustrate their mutual passion and love for each other. But as time marches forward,
it’s increasingly clear how the weight of adulthood puts a strain on their relationship, a common theme among Duplass films (Mark Duplass’ film The One I Love premiered at the fest a few years ago). DOMESTIC AND GLOBAL FEATURES Day and Night
A young man’s family is sent in a tailspin after the patriarch suddenly commits suicide. When the man meets Kitamura, an orphanage worker, the two strangers become partners in avenging his father and saving the children at the orphanage. (Japanese Spotlight) DeadTectives
This comedy spoofs paranormal-investigation shows, as a team of TV investigators are dispatched to a legendarily haunted mansion in Mexico. They are fully prepared to fake the scares for the audience with their phony sight gags and special effects, but the house in question has real scares in store, and it’s up to the DeadTectives to survive until the next episode. (USA) Let Me Introduce You to Sofia
This out-of-the-box romantic comedy begs to be seen to be believed, as the premise involves a devoted father to young Sofia, whom he must convince his newfound girlfriend, who doesn’t like children, is his sister. (Italian Spotlight)
Previously seen at the Sundance Film Festival, this intense feature focuses on a band of misfit teens who form an alliance called “the Organization” and arm themselves with weapons on a remote but picturesque mountain. They mentally and physically train themselves for battle while enjoying the freedoms of living on the margins. But after they capture an American engineer and keep him hostage, the real war is about to begin. (Colombian Spotlight) Too Late to Die Young
A group of youths come of age in the summer of 1990, while Chile undergoes its own tumultuous social upheavals. (Chilean Spotlight) FASCINATING SUBJECTS
This year’s selection of documentaries especially piqued my interest. Worlds of Ursula K. LeGuin charts the life and influential work of the sci-fi writer. Parallel Love: The Story of a Band Called Luxury tells the story of an indie band whose claim to fame was derailed by an accident, sending each member to join the church. And Carlos Almaraz: Playing With Fire details the life and work of the Mexico City-born, East LA artist who died in 1989 of AIDS-related causes. AMURILLO@OCWEEKLY.COM
For more information on screenings and show times, visit newportbeachfilmfest.com or find the special insert in this issue.
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Vampira On the Loose in Hollywood
PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE
COURTESY OF VALIANT PICTURES
Steamboat Bill, Jr. + Live Accompaniment. Buster Keaton’s 1928 silent classic screens as Wurlitzer whiz Dean Mora performs the soundtrack live. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema. org. Sat., 4 p.m. $7-$10. Bombs Away Live! Presents Plan 9 From Outer Space. Ed Wood’s so-badit’s-still-awful horror/sci-fi flick about aliens reanimating the dead to destroy the Earth’s living. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Sat., 7 p.m. $15. The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The car of sweethearts Brad and Janet (Barry Bostwick and Susan Sarandon) breaks down near the eerie mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter (Tim Curry). Live shadow-cast troupe Midnight Insanity performs. Art Theatre; arttheatrelongbeach.org. Sat., 11:55 p.m. $9-$12. Kingdom Men Rising: No More Excuses. This documentary shares the opinions of pastor/author/speaker Tony Evans, Grammy winner Kirk Franklin, retired Raider Tim Brown and others. Various theaters; www.fathomevents. com. Mon.-Tues., 7 p.m. $12.50. Beetlejuice. Tim Burton’s 1988 paranormal comedy begins with a couple (Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin) dying much too young, then turning to Betelgeuse (Michael Keaton) to rid their home of the obnoxious cityfolk who’ve moved in. Cosplay-friendly film-lovers transform the Frida lobby into Delia Deetz’s art gallery, and a string-quartet musical tribute precedes the screening. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema. org. Mon., 8 p.m. $15.
A Star Is Born. In Bradley Cooper’s 2018 feature directorial debut, he plays a seasoned musician who discovers and falls in love with a struggling artist (Lady Gaga). As her career takes off, he fights his inner demons. Fullerton Public Library, (714) 738-6327. Wed., 6 p.m. Free. BroadwayHD Presents: 42nd Street—The Musical. The largestever production of the Broadway musical is captured for the big screen. Various theaters; www.fathomevents. com. Wed., 7 p.m. $18. High Noon. Marshal Will Kane (Gary Cooper) disregards the pleadings of townsfolk and his own new bride (Grace Kelly) when he faces a gang of killers and their leader (Ian MacDonald), whom the lawman sent up years earlier. Starlight Cinema City; also at Starlight 4 Star Cinemas; and Starlight Triangle Cinemas; starlightcinemas.com. Wed., 7 p.m. See website for ticket price. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Convicted murderer Sirius Black
(Gary Oldman) breaks out of Wizards Prison and comes after Harry (Daniel Radcliffe). Regency South Coast Village, (714) 557-5701. Wed., 7:30 p.m. $9. Made for a Purpose: Gospel Patrons Film Night. Four shorts screen at this event, which is followed by a mixer. Yost Theater; gospelpatrons.org. Thurs., May 2, 6:30 p.m. Free. Community Voices Documentary Film Screening. Each semester, film students produce short documentaries that highlight the causes of local partner organizations. Chapman University; chapman.edu/dodge/. Thurs., May 2, 7 p.m. Free. El Chicano. East LA twin brothers (Raúl Castillo in a dual role) choose to live their lives differently and wind up on opposite sides of the law. Starlight Cinema City; also at Starlight Triangle Cinemas; starlightcinemas.com. Thurs., May 2, 7 & 9:40 p.m. Visit website for ticket prices. MCOKER@OCWEEKLY.COM
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War Z. A former UN employee (Brad Pitt) seeks to stop a zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments and threatening the world. Santiago Canyon College; ocbiotecheducation.org. Fri., doors open, 6 p.m.; screening, 6:30 p.m. Free, but first come, first seated. 2019 International Film Festival. In A Quiet Place, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt star as parents trying to protect children from monsters with ultrasensitive hearing in a post-apocalyptic world. Santiago Canyon College; sccollege.edu/internationalfilmfestival. Fri., 6 p.m. Free. October 13, 1937. The life and works of celebrated Iranian-Armenian composer and conductor Loris Tjeknavorian. Presented in Persian with English subtitles, the film is followed by a discussion and audience Q&A, wine, and treats. UC Irvine, (949) 824-6117. Fri., 6:30 p.m. Free, but RSVP required. Bali: Beats of Paradise. Grammy winner Judith Hill and Indonesian composer Nyoman Wenten pull back the curtain on Gamelan, a traditional Indonesian music. A post-screening panel includes director Livi Zheng and executive producer Julia Gouw. The Source OC; thesourceoc.com. Fri., 7 p.m. Free. Senior Thesis Cycle 6 Film Screenings. Titles are subject to change, and the films are also live streamed. Chapman University; chapman.edu/dodge/. Fri., 7 p.m. Free. Fury Failed Entertainment Release Party. See on the big screen the Orange County hardcore band’s 16mm music video for “Angels Over Berlin” from their new album, as well as a film they handpicked. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri., 7:30 p.m. $10-$25. Police Story + Police Story 2 Double Feature. A Hong Kong police inspector (Jackie Chan), who is framed for murder, takes on a crime syndicate to capture its leader and clear his name. In the sequel, the now-disillusioned cop is about to walk away from law enforcement when he stumbles into a terrorist plot to bomb crowded parts of Hong Kong. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri.-Sat., 10 p.m. $7-$10. I Trapped the Devil. A couple (AJ Bowen and Susan Burke) arrive uninvited on Christmas at the home of his brother (Scott Poythress). They discover someone trapped in the basement who may be . . . SATAN! The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Fri.-Sat., 11 p.m.; Sun.-Thurs., May 2, 10 p.m. $7-$10.
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Annihilation. An ex-soldier biologist (Natalie Portman) lands in a mysterious zone where the laws of nature do not apply. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., April 25, 2:30, 5 & 7:30 p.m. $7-$10. Big Fish. A son (Billy Crudup) tries to separate fact from fiction in the life story told by his dying father (Albert Finney and, as a younger man, Ewan McGregor). The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., April 25, 2:30, 5 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 5:30 & 8 p.m. $7-$10. Satan & Adam. Shot over 20 years, this documentary is about the unlikely pairing of a harmonica master and a one-man band—before the latter suddenly disappears. Art Theatre; arttheatrelongbeach.org. Thurs., April 25, 7 p.m. $9-$12. Senior Thesis Documentary Screenings. Student-made documentaries premiere and are also live streamed. Chapman University; chapman.edu/ dodge/. Thurs., April 25, 7 p.m. Free. Newport Beach Film Festival. The 20th-anniversary cinextravaganza kicks off with Julius Onah’s new drama, Luce. Newport Beach Film Festival Opening Night at Edwards Big Newport; www.newportbeachfilmfest. org. Thurs., April 25, 7:30 p.m. $225. Babylon. The trials and tribulations of black youth in early-1980s London. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., April 25, 10 p.m. $7-$10. Sleepy Hollow. Ichabod Crane (Johnny Depp) is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate three decapitations blamed on an apparition. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema.org. Thurs., April 25, 10 p.m.; Sun., 10:30 p.m. $7-$10. Red Joan. Recruited by the KGB in the 1930s, Joan Stanley was finally exposed after spying for the Russians for more than half a century. Directors Cut Cinema at Regency Rancho Niguel, (949) 831-0446. Opens Fri.; call theater for show times and ticket prices. High Life. A father (Robert Pattinson) and baby daughter live in isolation in deep space, where they struggle to survive. Art Theatre; arttheatrelongbeach. org. Fri.-Thurs., May 2, 1:30, 4, 6:30 & 9 p.m. $9-$12. Little Woods. An ex-con (Tessa Thompson) must decide whether to resume smuggling illegal pills so she can save the family home from foreclosure as her sister (Lily James) reels from an unplanned pregnancy. The Frida Cinema; thefridacinema. org. Fri. & Mon.-Thurs., May 2, 2, 5 & 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 2 & 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 2 & 5 p.m. $7-$10. Bioscience Theater 3000: World
By Matt Coker
» aimee murillo
The Chance Theater teams up with a British playwright for a historic matchup By JoeL Beers
AMERICA’S FAMILY PET EXPO: Animal-
lovers can interact, touch and play with a large range of pets. Visitors are also invited to learn all about the different breeds of dogs, cats, lizards and insects, as well as how to care and provide for them. Fri. & Sun., 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-7 p.m. $11-$16; kids 5 and younger and members of the military, free. OC Fair & Event Center, 88 Fair Dr., Costa Mesa, (714) 708-1500; www.petexpooc.org. “POETS, PROTESTERS AND PANTHERS”: Showcased here is the pho-
tography of Jim Coke and Takashi Suzuki, both of whom captured 1960s countercultural figures, political rallies, protests and radical sitins. Fri., 6-10 p.m. Page Against the Machine, 2714 E. Fourth St., Long Beach, (562) 588-7075; www.facebook.com/patmbooks. TOMAS KUBINEK: CERTIFIED LUNATIC & MASTER OF THE IMPOSSIBLE: The multitalented performer shows off his comedic and circus-magician skills. Fri., 7:30 p.m. $30. Irvine Barclay Theatre, 4242 Campus Dr., Irvine, (949) 854-4646; www.thebarclay.org. IMAGINATION CELEBRATION: An arts event for the whole family, with activities related to current exhibitions. Sat., 1-4 p.m. Free. Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach, (949) 494-8971; lagunaartmuseum.org. THE SIREN SONG OF THE SILVER COURTESY THE CHANCE THEATER
old twins). “But now we’re starting to think about ‘How do we get it to a place where it can survive without us?’ We’re talking about sustainably, and that’s why the space is so important. I can’t tell you how many theater companies have been destroyed by a lease.” But don’t be surprised if, instead of moving somewhere such as Santa Ana’s arts district or the Paris of North Orange County known as Fullerton, the Chance stays where it’s always been—a flat, northeast-ish part of Anaheim with as much in common with the rest of that town (including the rest of Anaheim Hills) as South Coast Plaza has with Santa Ana. “We didn’t know it at the time, but this is an amazing place to be,” Nguyen says. “If you’re coming from South County, you take the toll road, which pretty much ends at our front door. People from Riverside and Corona drive against traffic. It’s much closer to LA than South Coast Repertory, and you don’t have to deal with the 5 and 22 [exchange]. We feel very lucky to be here.” He really said that. About Anaheim Hills. SKYLIGHT at the Chance Theater, 5522 E. La Palma Ave., Anaheim Hills, (888) 455-4212; chancetheater.com. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m. Through May 19. $20-$39.
SCREEN: Iris Rose presents a cabaret per-
formance of music from films ranging in genre from James Bond to horror to cult. Sat., 7 p.m. $20. Found Theatre, 599 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, (562) 433-3363; foundtheatre.org. LIVING WAX MUSEUM: Girl Scouts from Troop 4134 will present interactive talks as inspiring women who have made impacts on history. Sun., 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Cypress Library, 5331 Orange Ave., Cypress, (714) 8260350; www.ocpl.org/libloc/cyp. “MOVING WALLS: THE BARRACKS OF AMERICA’S CONCENTRATION CAMPS”: This photography exhibit
documents the Heart Mountain barracks in Wyoming, a site of terror for Japanese Americans who were incarcerated there during World War II. It’s become one of calm and respite for local homesteaders who have settled there since the war. Open Wed.Sun., noon-4 p.m. Through May 31. Free. OC Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum at Fullerton Arboretum, 1900 Associated Rd., Fullerton; fullertonarboretum.org. PHYSICAL GRAFFITI: Undergraduate students in UC Irvine’s School of Dance present a showcase of their choreography, with artistic direction provided by Loretta Livingston. Thurs., May 2, 8 p.m. (also May 3, 8 p.m.; May 4, 2 & 8 p.m.) $11-$18. Claire Trevor Theatre at UC Irvine, 4000 Mesa Rd., Bldg. 711, Irvine, (949) 824-2787; www.arts.uci.edu.
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market-loving restaurateur and his former lover, a female schoolteacher who works with underprivileged kids, together, love keeps them apart in Skylight, Nguyen explains. That’s why his focus isn’t on amplifying the meaning of their words as much as what they “need from each other. What they’re talking about are just tools and tactics,” he says, but it’s their connection—or lack thereof—that is more important. Just as Skylight came at a pivotal point in Hare’s writing career, this production comes at such a time for the Chance. It has grown to such a point that, including landing a contract to use union actors, paying everyone who works on a show and cultivating a generous donor base, it no longer has to worry about respect or whether it will make the rent next month. It’s no longer the little engine that thinks it can; it knows it can. But, Nguyen says, that only means it’s time to think about the next mountain. In five years, the lease expires, and the theater has an option to renew for another 10. But Nguyen likes the idea of owning a building that would include a 250-seat and a 100-seat theater (currently, its two spaces hold 150 and 50). “We worked hard and sacrificed a lot,” says Nguyen, who delayed starting a family with his wife until three years ago (they now have 2-and-a-half-year-
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wenty years ago this month, a group of earnest thespians in a tiny space in Anaheim Hills were wrapping up their first production, an original play whose title most of them probably have long forgotten. Meanwhile, nearly 5,500 miles to the east, British playwright David Hare was sitting atop the theater mountain. Often mentioned with Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard as the greatest of post-World War II British playwrights, three of his plays made Broadway the year before and he’d won or been nominated for nearly every prestigious writing award. Hell, two years before, he’d been knighted! Two decades later, those thespians remain earnest, but they’re no longer hopeful wannabes. The Chance Theater has a regional, even national profile; by any measure, it’s one of OC’s greatest artistic success stories. And Hare? At 71, he’s still writing plays, and he’s had 10 film or TV scripts produced since 2007. And it’s finally time for them to meet. The Chance opens Hare’s 1995 play Skylight this weekend. The choice is fascinating. While a hit for Hare, it also signaled a major shift in his writing. Long a fierce critic of Britain’s ossified class structure and Thatcherism, in Skylight, Hare demonstrated that while ideas were still important, the people talking about those ideas were just as important. As he wrote in his 2015 memoir, “Drama is not and cannot be a cartoon form of exhortation. It is about people; it is not about types.” That didn’t sit well with the experimental, highly politicized theater from which Hare sprang, nor with many lefties who feared a literary champion’s fire was waning. But the focus on people, not the political, is a key reason why Chance artistic director Oanh Nguyen chose Skylight as the first non-musical play he’s directed since 2015. “The politics are in there, in that you have a self-made character whose focus is on making money and another one concerned with taking care of others in need, and when they talk about things like privilege and misogyny, it feels like this play could have been written today,” Nguyen says. While the play has a larger conversation, “it also feels so intimate,” he continues. “Rarely do you see a play where true love is the obstacle; it’s usually what [drives] a play.” Rather than keeping the older, free-
April 26-May 2
music»artists|sounds|shows AARON BARRETT AND HIS REEL BIG GUITAR
Shining a Light on Ska
COURTESY POP MOTION PICTURES
Documentary Pick It Up! examines the roots and revival of OC’s sunniest music era By Nate JackSoN
of the ’90s are explained through animation and archival footage, touching on the evolution of original ska music in Jamaica and its migration in to the U.S. via 2-Tone and the cultural factors that led to ska being one of the most racially inclusive genres despite how it’s often characterized after the record industry overmarketed it to the point of the sound becoming a parody of itself. But even after the 2000s hit, people’s affinity for bands such as Voodoo Glow Skulls, Big D and the Kids Table, and Hepcat helped keep ska’s spirit alive. “The scene was always for the weird kids and the outcasts, and that gave people like me a sense of ownership over it and a sense of belonging,” Morden says. “It’s not for everybody, and I get that, but the people who love it really love it.” Part of Pick It Up!’s value is in its dedication to showing viewers where the oversaturation of third-wave ska went wrong, as well as how bands outside the U.S., such as Maldita Vecindad in Mexico and Tokyo Ska Paradise Orchestra in Japan, are keeping the torch burning. A member of the band the Pie Tasters, Morden admits he learned a lot about the power of ska and, more important, the strength and connection of the community that still supports it. During the crew’s first road trip to film interviews in Orange County, Morden says, he and his crew were able to crash with ska bands who just wanted to help them out. “We actually slept on T-Bone Willy and Tahlena [Chikami] from Bite Me Bambi’s floor while we were making this movie. It
felt like being a touring band in the ’90s,” Morden says. “I had no idea the ska scene was so connected and thriving, even though I’ve been playing in bands on the East Coast for 10 years.” On Friday, Pick It Up! premieres at the Newport Beach Film Festival, just a few miles from where the second-annual Back to the Beach festival—which celebrates ska, emo and hardcore—will be going off the next day. Morden has already staked out a spot for a Back to the Beach booth, from which he can meet fans, hang out with the Kickstarter backers who helped him finance the film and thank a few of the bands for being part of Morden’s love letter to the genre. There will probably be more than a few recognizable band members whooping it up in the crowd at the Newport Beach Film Fest, as well. Morden hopes new ska fans will see his documentary and gain some valuable knowledge of the genre, then pick it up for themselves. “I think the film is a testament to the genre and the fans and the community that [ensure] ska bands will always have a place,,” Morden says. “I imagine if you listen to the Interrupters, and that’s the first thing you’ve heard, you’re probably gonna pick up a Rancid album and go from there.” NJACKSON@OCWEEKLY.COM PICK IT UP! screens as part of the Newport Beach Film Fest at the Lido Theater, 3459 Via Lido, Newport Beach, (949) 673-8350; newportbeachfilmfest.com. Fri., 8:30 p.m. $16.
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bands that generally means to “pick up” the beat of a song. From the simple explanation of ska terminology to the more nuanced reasons why the music vanished from the mainstream as quickly as it exploded, the documentary is a definitive time capsule on the origins of third-wave ska from the mouths of the people who inspired it, originated it and continue to stoke its creative fires. Through interviews with Mike Park of Skankin’ Pickle, Angelo Moore of Fishbone, Goldfinger’s John Feldmann, ska encyclopedia and radio personality Tazy Phyllipz, Tom Dumont of No Doubt, plus dozens of others, the film examines the story behind this genre’s birth in OC and the East Coast and looks at its current home in places such as Mexico, Japan and Europe. “Ska never went away, but if you’re watching the mainstream, you would’ve thought it did,” Morden says. “We started the movie in 2017, and we never could’ve predicted the Back to the Beach festival [in Huntington Beach] drawing 30,000 people to watch ska music again or the Interrupters hitting No. 1 on Canadian radio.” Since Morden started filming, Reel Big Fish and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones—two of the biggest, longest-lasting ska bands on either coast—have put out new albums. “We had no idea that was gonna be happening,” Morden says. Narrated by Tim Armstrong of Rancid and iconic ska/punk band Operation Ivy, the film opens with the image of hands popping a mix CD of third-wave ska into a clunky Magnavox Discman. The origins of what it took to become part of the zeitgeist
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nyone who has ever had to argue the cultural merits of third-wave ska is inevitably questioned about the genre’s authenticity. For decades after its mainstream run in the mid-’90s, this kind of snobbery was woefully predictable, as the sunny clash of brass and major-chord punk was thrust back underground by the powers that be. Little did many people know that this is where it thrived the most, especially in Orange County. Ska spent years biding its time, maintaining its diehard fan base while pulling in new generations of band geeks looking for outcast music made just for them. Throughout third-wave ska’s existence, fans and musicians such as Taylor Morden refused to let it die. The Oregon-based documentary film director and musician grew up emulating such bands as Reel Big Fish, Save Ferris and No Doubt. As he watched new generations discover the music of his youth without any preconceived notions, he decided it was important to share the history of the music that defined the scene that raised him—because somebody had to. “I’d watched a ton of ska documentaries, but there hadn’t really been one I’d seen about American, ’90s, third-wave ska,” Morden says. “It was such a cultural phenomenon for so many people, but young people today don’t really know about it, so we wanted to do something that could preserve that story and have it told by the people who lived it.” The result was Pick It Up!, its title an homage to a common phrase among ska
music» GREEN AND GOLD AND OLD
Keeping the Motor Running
The Verdoros rev up an old-school sound that’s fun to drive
reating new fire out of classic combinations is the key to success for a band such as Verdoros. The name itself, in honor of the late-’60s Pontiac color that blended green and gold into shimmering, workman-style retro perfection, was inspired by their notion to put the sounds of Amy Winehouse and Chuck Berry in a blender and pour it over their punk-rock roots. The result is a mix of classic and combustible cover tunes with heart, soul and edge. Mere months ago, former Cadillac Tramps members Brian Coakley (guitar) and Warren Renfrow (bass) joined forces with vocalist Harlis Sweetwater, saxophonist Geoff Yeaton and drummer Nick Colliflower. And this weekend, the group are crashing the New Blues Festival. We spoke with Coakley about how these local all-stars got their motor running.
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a pr il 26- may 2 , 20 19
OC WEEKLY: You guys are playing the New
Blues Festival, but would you consider yourselves a blues band? BRIAN COAKLEY: No, this band isn’t like your regular grandma’s blues band. We actually don’t even really play much blues. We’re doing a bunch of different covers that are more rock & roll and soul. We do Chuck Berry, Little Richard, an Amy Winehouse tune and one Cadillac Tramps song, a Bo Diddley song. We’re playing ’em pretty straight, too, but with our lineup, everything always comes out with a little bit of a bite. We’re not playing punk either, but for whatever reason, it comes out with a bit of an edge. How did the band come about? Harlis hit me up maybe a year ago and said we should do an old-school rock & roll band, and it was one of those things that sounded cool, but we never talked about it again—until the Blasters were playing on Super Bowl Sunday at Gallagher’s, and Scott [Tucker] and Vanessa [Turbay], who run that place, said they needed an opener, something kinda special, so we literally
By Nate JacksoN formed the band to do that show. How did you decide on the name Verdoros? Harlis suggested the name, and I said, “What’s that?” and he sent me this ad [for a Pontiac] from the early 1970s . . . and it came out in this certain color they called Verdoros—it was like verde green and duro gold, like green gold. It sounded like a cool name. What made you confident to start moving forward with the new band? Warren and I decided to do this on a whim and have fun without any pressure, and when we played together at the first Verdoros practice, we walked out of there saying, “That was really cool. Let’s do more of this, not just one show.” Right away, everyone felt like this was gonna work. We’ve only played one show . . . and it was a phenomenal success. It started out with us not thinking much about it, but then it blindsided us and really became a lot of fun. What other bands do the members of Verdoros play in when you’re not onstage together? Everybody in the band has serious projects. For Warren and I, Blind House is more of the serious project that we do together; Warren’s also in Greg Antista and the Lonely Streets, which he’s also committed to. Harlis has the Harlis Sweetwater Band, but he’s also got a group called Coyotes del Barrio. And Geoff has the Legendary Swagger, and Nick has the Snake Oil Salesmen. We’re all super-committed to our main bands, but this project is like dessert. You get to go and have fun and be relaxed; there’s not a lot of stress or pressure, but we’re still able to do it at a really high level. Our first show was with the Blasters, and our second show is on the main stage of a festival. NJACKSON@OCWEEKLY.COM THE VERDOROS perform at the New Blues Festival at the HB Sports Complex, 18100 Goldenwest, Huntington Beach; www.newbluesfestival. com. Sat., 9 a.m.-9 p.m. $40-$125. All ages.
concert guide» WILD BELLE
LESLIE KIRCHHOFF/ILLUSTRATION BY MICHAEL ZIOBROWSKI
A TRIBUTE TO JAMES BROWN’S FUNKY DIVAS:
BACK TO THE BEACH, FEATURING THE USED; THE STORY SO FAR; ANTHONY GREEN; THE WONDER YEARS; LESS THAN JAKE: noon,
8 p.m., $10-$12, 21+. Alex’s Bar, 2913 E. Anaheim St., Long Beach, (562) 434-8292; www.alexsbar.com. ANOMALIE; ROB ARAUJO: 9 p.m., $15-$65, all ages. The Constellation Room, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600; www.observatoryoc.com. ARCHITECTS: 6:30 p.m., $26.50, all ages. House of Blues at Anaheim GardenWalk, 400 W. Disney Way, Anaheim, (714) 778-2583; www.houseofblues.com/anaheim. BLAQK AUDIO: 9 p.m., $25-$55, all ages. The Yost Theater, 307 N. Spurgeon St., Santa Ana; www.yosttheater.com. EX HEX: 9 p.m., $17.50, 21+. La Santa, 220 E. Third St., Santa Ana, (657) 231-6005; www.lasantaoc.com.
FOLIAGE; CATHEDRAL BELLS; THE PANTONES; LIL JINRO: 7 p.m., $10, all ages. Garden Amp (The
Locker Room), 12762 Main St., Garden Grove, (949) 415-8544; gardenamp.com.
RUBY BOOTS; ROBERT JON & THE WRECK; MOONSVILLE COLLECTIVE: 8 p.m., $8, 21+. The
Wayfarer, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 764-0039; www.wayfarercm.com.
all ages. Huntington State Beach, 21601 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach; backtothebeachfest.com. KENNEDY HOLLOWS; ELYZR; MASH: 8 p.m., $5, 21+. La Santa, 220 E. Third St., Santa Ana, (657) 2316005; www.lasantaoc.com. POLYPHIA (LIVE); Y2K (DJ SET, FEATURING DELIVERY BOYS); UMRU (DJ SET); I THE MIGHTY; TIDES OF MAN: 8 p.m., $18, all ages.
RODNEY MOON & THE LITTLE DIPPERS; THE BARSTOW BOYS: 8 p.m., $8, 21+. The Wayfarer,
843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 764-0039; www.wayfarercm.com. SKULLCRACK: 5 p.m., $6.66-$10, all ages. Garden Amp (The Locker Room), 12762 Main St., Garden Grove, (949) 415-8544; gardenamp.com. ULTRA ‘80S LIVE EXPERIENCE: Depeche Mode and New Order tribute synth covers, 6 p.m., $10, all ages. Garden Amp, 12762 Main St., Garden Grove, (949) 415-8544; gardenamp.com.
I PREVAIL: 6:30 p.m., $33, all ages. House of Blues at
Anaheim GardenWalk, 400 W. Disney Way, Anaheim, (714) 778-2583; www.houseofblues.com/anaheim. IAN & ERIC SHOW: 8 p.m., free, 21+. The Wayfarer, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 764-0039; www.wayfarercm.com.
CHROMATICS; DESIRE; IN MIRRORS: 8 p.m.,
$33.50, all ages. The Observatory, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600; www.observatoryoc.com.
BABY BASH; MC MAGIC; LIL ROB: 8 p.m., $25, all
ages, The Observatory, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600; www.observatoryoc.com. EZRA FURMAN; GIRL FRIDAY: 8 p.m., $15, 21+. La Santa, 220 E. Third St., Santa Ana, (657) 231-6005; www.lasantaoc.com.
Thursday, May 2
BREATHERRR; HAUNTED SUMMER; VERY CRUSH; KOIBITO: 9 p.m., $5, 21+. Alex’s Bar, 2913 E.
Anaheim St., Long Beach, (562) 434-8292; www.alexsbar.com.
BRONCHO; LOS MYSTERIOSOS; KEVLAR: 8 p.m.,
$15, 21+. The Wayfarer, 843 W. 19th St., Costa Mesa, (949) 764-0039; www.wayfarercm.com. BUMPIN UGLIES: 8 p.m., $12, 21+. La Santa, 220 E. Third St., Santa Ana, (657) 231-6005; www.lasantaoc.com. ZARA LARSSON; ASTRID S: 8 p.m., $25, all ages. The Observatory, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600; www.observatoryoc.com.
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The Observatory, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600; www.observatoryoc.com.
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BACK TO THE BEACH, FEATURING BLINK-182; GOLDFINGER; REEL BIG FISH; THE AQUABATS; SAVE FERRIS; THE ENGLISH BEAT: noon, $39.99-$199.99,
$39.99-$199.99, all ages. Huntington State Beach, 21601 Pacific Coast Hwy., Huntington Beach; backtothebeachfest.com. TECH N9NE: 8 p.m., $35, all ages. The Observatory, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600; www.observatoryoc.com. VALLEY QUEEN: 9 p.m., $12, all ages. The Observatory, 3503 S. Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600; www.observatoryoc.com. WILD BELLE: 8 p.m., $15, 21+. La Santa, 220 E. Third St., Santa Ana, (657) 231-6005; www.lasantaoc.com.
| OCWEEKLY.COM | A PR IL 26- MAY 2 , 20 19
The Liked Boys My best friend’s father is an avid user of social media. He’s retired and spends most of his day posting memes on Facebook and Instagram. Recently, I realized he might not know how Instagram works. I noticed over the past week or so that he has been following, liking and commenting on a lot of Instagram pictures of young gay men. At first, I was worried, not because he might be gay or bisexual, but because he may still be “in the closet.” He’s married, with a son (my friend), and to my knowledge, if he is bisexual or gay, nobody knows. I thought about warning him that his activity is public, but then I saw more: He’s also been liking and following accounts of very young boy models. Underage boys. I’ve gone from wanting to warn this guy that he may be accidentally outing himself by not knowing how apps work to feeling morally obligated to tell my friend that his dad is into dudes and might be a pedophile. Best Friend’s Dad
» dan savage
Listen to the Savage Lovecast every week at savagelovecast.com. Contact Dan via email@example.com, follow him on Twitter @fakedansavage, and visit ITMFA.org.
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tions, problems holding down a job, problems in adult relationships, unreliability and criminal behavior. My hypothesis is that someone who doesn’t show these signs is unlikely to offend against a child. They might look at child pornography, though, which is illegal and problematic, or they might look at legal images of children—like on social media—as a sexual outlet.” Viewing child pornography is hugely problematic because it creates demand for more child pornography, which leads to more children being abused. But even if no new child porn were ever created, sharing images of the rape of a child is itself a violation of that child. And while it may not be pleasant to contemplate what might be going through a pedophile’s mind when they look at innocent images of children, it’s not against the law for someone with a sexual interest in children to dink around on Instagram. “Returning to BFD’s question about whether to disclose, I don’t think it’s an easy yes-or-no answer,” said Dr. Seto. “It depends on what else BFD knows about the father. I’m required by law and professional ethics to report [someone] if I believe an identifiable child is at imminent risk. This mandatory reporting requirement is NOT triggered simply by knowing whether someone is sexually attracted to children. Instead, I have to consider information such as whether the person has ever expressed fantasies or urges about a specific child, whether they work with children regularly, whether they live with children who are in their attraction category, or whether they have ever engaged in suspicious behavior such as direct messaging with a child.” Does your friend’s dad work with underage boys? Does he sometimes look after underage boys—say, grandsons? Do they have sleepovers with friends at grandpa’s house? Has he ever behaved in an inappropriate manner around underage boys—e.g., inventing reasons to be alone with them, offering them booze or drugs, or making suggestive comments offline or online? “In the absence of these kinds of red flags, what we have here is someone who might be sexually attracted to underage boys but who might not pose a serious risk to children,” explained Dr. Seto. “So while not disclosing might mean some risk of a child being harmed, disclosing could definitely cause harm to the best friend, to the father and to their relationship.” You’re in an agonizing position, BFD. You essentially have to weigh the chance—most likely very remote— that your friend’s dad would harm a child against the near certainty that telling your friend about his father’s behavior would do irrevocable harm to their relationship. Your relationship with your friend would also be at risk; this is definitely one of those circumstances where the messenger risks being shot. Figuratively speaking. I hope. Personally, BFD, in your shoes, I would err on the side of protecting even a hypothetical child. I would say something to the dad, perhaps via direct message (you could create a throwaway account and reach out anonymously), and I would also say something to my friend. But I would emphasize what the best available research tells us about pedophilia: It’s not something a person chooses, and most pedophiles never sexually abuse children. (And not everyone who sexually abuses a child is a pedophile.) So even if your best friend’s father is attracted to prepubescent boys—if he’s looking at prepubescent children and not teenagers who happen to be just under the age of consent— that doesn’t mean he’s harmed a child or would ever harm a child. He may need help to avoid offending—if, worst-case scenario, he actually is attracted to children—and being held accountable by loved ones is one way pedophiles avoid offending. Dr. Seto is the author of Pedophilia and Sexual Offending Against Children: Theory, Assessment, and Intervention. Follow him on Twitter @MCSeto.
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“I’m sympathetic to BFD’s concerns,” said Dr. Michael Seto, director of forensic rehabilitation research at the Royal Ottawa Health Care Group and an expert on pedophilia and sexual offending. “I know many people wonder what to do if they suspect someone is sexually attracted to children. And I understand how much of a burden it can feel like to keep a big secret, especially from a best friend.” But before we discuss your options and responsibilities here, BFD, let’s get our terms straight: If by “young boy models,” you mean teenage boys past puberty but under the age of consent, then your friend’s father’s behavior is icky and inappropriate— but it is not, by itself, evidence that he’s a pedophile. “Clinically, pedophilia refers to attraction to prepubescent children,” said Dr. Seto, “though I know it’s still commonly used in public to refer to attraction to anyone underage.” Actually, the term “pedophile” gets tossed around so indiscriminately these days that some of my own readers have used it to describe (or condemn) people in their 40s or 50s who are attracted to (or fucking) grown men and women in their 20s and 30s. For the record: An attraction to younger/youngish adults does not make someone a pedophile. If that were the case, almost everyone on Earth could be described (and condemned) as a pedophile. Dr. Seto estimates that just 1 percent of men are in fact attracted to prepubescent children. So depending on your point of view—depending on whether you’re a glass 99 percent empty or 1 percent full kind of guy—pedophilia is either exceedingly rare or alarmingly common. “Attraction to underage teens—boys or girls—is more common,” said Dr. Seto, “though it’s hard to estimate how common because it’s a taboo subject. We get hints from the popularity of certain porn genres such as ‘schoolgirl,’ ‘twink,’ ‘barely legal’ and so on. We also have a hint from how so many fashion models begin working in their teens.” But Dr. Seto emphasizes that sexual attraction does not equal sexual behavior. “The Instagram follows and likes may indeed suggest an attraction to underage boys,” said Dr. Seto. “And it may even be pedophilia if the models are that young. But that doesn’t mean his friend’s father is going to do anything beyond following or liking.” Understanding what separates pedophiles who’ve offended against children (read: pedophiles who’ve sexually abused children) from pedophiles who’ve never inappropriately touched a child is an important focus of Dr. Seto’s research, BFD, and his insights could inform your course of action. “One thing we know is that people who are low in self-control are more likely to act on sexual as well as nonsexual impulses,” said Dr. Seto. “That low self-control shows up in other ways, including addic-
alt med» TOKEOFTHEWEEK
» JEFFERSON VANBILLIARD Sherbinskis Pink Panties anties is a weird word. The last time P I heard anyone call them anything other than underwear was in a video I
found in my father’s closet when I was 7. Even though my prudish ways steer me away from companies that use sexual overtones to sell products (I’m talking about you, Carl’s Jr.), I still have to endorse Sherbinskis Pink Panties as some of the best flowers I have ever set on fire and inhaled. From the moment you get your hands on these perfectly trimmed trees, you’ll be in love—I know I was. Make sure you’ve cleaned your pipe or grab a friend who can roll a perfect jay because buds this goddamn good deserve respect. Someday, when the earth isn’t boiling over and people finally figure out how to let each other live, I imagine this will be the strain that helps bring about a new age of love and understanding. At the very least, we will all be stoned. Get ready for a rush of creativity, euphoric bliss and maybe even a little sexual stimulation, if you’re into that kinda thing.
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EMPLOYMENT Powertrain Electronics Manager sought by Karma Automotive in Irvine, CA. Master’s plus 6 months exp. in related field. Send resume to: Jennifer Jeffries, Director, HR, 9950 Jeronimo Road, Irvine, CA 92618 or email careers@ karmaautomotive. com Concerto Healthcare, Inc. of Aliso Viejo, CA seeks a Sr. Data Architect. Requires Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, Computer Eng., or related & 5 yrs. of SQL exp. with at least 1 yr. exp. working for a Healthcare or Managed Care company. Must be a certified Scrum Master. Concerto Healthcare, Inc., Janelle Mitchell, 85 Enterprise, Suite 200, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656. HV Battery Systems Engineer sought by Karma Automotive in Irvine, CA. Master’s plus 6 months exp. in related field. Send resume to: Jennifer Jeffries, Director, HR, 9950 Jeronimo Road, Irvine, CA 92618 or email careers@ karmaautomotive. com
Acupuncturist (Buena Park, CA) Diagnose patient's condition based on symptoms & medical history to formulate effective oriental medicine treat plans. Insert very fine needles into acupuncture points on body surface and maintain related care. Apply herbal treatment, acupressure & other therapy for patient's specific needs such as back, neck, shoulder, knee pains, headaches, etc. 40hrs/wk. Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine & Acupuncture, Acupuncturist License in CA required. Resume to Loma Clinic, Inc Attn: Kang Hyun Choi, 6301 Beach Blvd #111, Buena Park, CA 90621 Office Manager: Bachelor’s Degree in any major, req., $40,622/yr, F/T, Resume to Soo Young Lee, Brooks, Inc., 1240 W. Whittier Blvd., La Habra, CA 90631 Sr. Auditor: conduct audit, review & prepare reports; BA/ BS in accounting or rlted w/ 4 yrs exp. as auditor or rlted; 40hrs/ wk; Send resume to Hall & Company CPAs & Consultants, Inc. Attn: HR, 111 Pacifica, Ste. 300, Irvine, CA 92618 K&D Graphics seek Financial Manager in Orange, CA: Assist in the development of the divisional budgets and the processes and procedures to improve the quality of financial analysis. Fluency in Thai required. Mail resumes: Don Chew, 1432 N. Main St., Ste C. Orange, CA, 92867. Accounting Clerk: Classify & record accounting data. Req’d: Bachelor’s in Accounting, Economics, or related. Mail Resume: Biz & Tech International Trading, Inc. 800 Roosevelt, Irvine, CA 92620
Business Development Specialist: F/T; Research market conditions & gather info. to determine demand of accounting/tax services; Req. Bachelor’s Degree in Bus. Admin, Computer Science or related; Mail resume to: JC&COMPANY PC, 10 Corporate Park Suite 210, Irvine, CA 92606 Research Analyst needed at United AMG Partners Insurance Services. Job location: Newport Beach, CA. Send resume: 4675 MacAurthur Court, Suite 710, Newport Beach, CA 92660 Attn:HR Database Administrator (Downey, CA) Test programs/databases, correct errors, and make necessary modifi cations. Plan, coordinate & implement security measures to safeguard information in computer files against accidental/ unauthorized damage, modification or disclosure. Modify existing databases & database management systems. 40hrs/wk, Bachelor's degree in Computer/Information Science or related required. Resume to ZAMOZUAN, INC. Attn. Nam Gyoun Kim, 12401 Woodruff Ave #15, Downey, CA 90241 Transpacific Financial, Inc. seeks Market Research Analyst. Bachelor's in marketing or related field. Gather & collect data re. sales & market trends. Work site: Irvine, CA. Mail resume to: 185 W. Chestnut Ave., Monrovia, CA 91016 Customer Services Rep Customer Service Center *Answer incoming calls from customers needing assistance in a variety of areas. *Fulfill customer service functions. *Answer questions, give explanation, and solve problems for customers. *Complete special projects as assigned. Send resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
FINANCE AND OPERATIONS DIRECTOR (Laguna Beach, CA) for importer of specialty bicycle products (saddles, shoes, pedals, wheels and other accessories). Directs finance, accounting, banking, procurement strategies, supply chain, and process optimization in addition to the coordination of the daily finance and operations activities, HR management and miscellaneous business operations. Requirements: Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration (or foreign equivalent); minimum 36 months’ experience as Finance and Operations Director; minimum 24 months’ experience in bicycle accessories industry (international) at manager level or higher. Software Applications: MS Excel, VBA, SAP B1, Infor Q & A, Cyberplan MRP, Workfront, Accellos WMS. Fax resume to: 949 607 4221 Administrative Assistant High School Diploma Req., $40,622/ yr, F/T, Resume to Seunghyun Nam, Alisha & SH Investment, Inc., 6301 Beach Blvd. #304, Buena Park, CA 90621 Concerto Healthcare, Inc. of Aliso Viejo, CA seeks a Sr. Solutions Engineer. Reqs. Bachelor’s Degree in Comp. Sci., Comp. Engr., or related & 5 yrs. of exp. as a Salesforce Administrator, Software Developer, or Programmer using Salesforce Sales & Service cloud configuration, Salesforce toolkit & Force.com platform technologies. Must be a Certified Salesforce Developer. Resumes to Concerto Healthcare, Inc., Miranda Gaines, 85 Enterprise, Suite 200, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656.
CybEye, Inc. seeks Software Development Manager. MS in Eng. reqd. 24 mths exp. in eng. job reqd. Analyze cust. reqt., test and design software. Work Site: Torrance, CA. Mail resume to: 21515 Hawthorne Blvd., Ste. 690, Torrance, CA 90503 Sales Engineer: provide technical support to sales team. 40hrs/wk; Send resume to Neotec USA, Inc. Attn: HR, 20280 S. Vermont Ave, Ste 200, Torrance, CA 90502
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ACCOUNTANT sought by Rip Curl, Inc. in Costa Mesa, CA. Lead efforts in the monitoring and management of advanced accounting responsibilities using Simply Accounting and Payworks. Send Resumes to: Shannon Hoang, Rip Curl, Inc., 3030 Airway Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.
196 POSITION WANTED
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Senior Design Release Engineer, ADAS sought by Karma Automotive in Irvine, CA. Bachelor’s plus 2 years exp. in related field. Send resume to: Jennifer Jeffries, Director, HR, 9950 Jeronimo Road, Irvine, CA 92618 or email careers@ karmaautomotive. com
Market Research Analyst: Bachelor’s Degree in Economics or related req., F/T, Resume to Jake Sejin Oh, Needcare, Inc., 5681 Beach Blvd. Ste 100, Buena Park, CA 90621
paint it black»
First In Show
Well Groomed brings candy-colored canines to Newport Beach Film Fest BY LISA BLACK
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COURTESY OF CATTLE RAT PRODUCTIONS
with the final cut. “Becky did a really good job of showing how everyone had proud and happy moments, everyone had sad moments and disappointments—she did a good job of making you look disappointed but not a bad loser.” “I have an aversion to tons of gear, so we kept everything almost too light,” says the director. “We also filmed in very small places with many dogs around, so we knew the gear had to be flexible. At Alexander’s suggestion, we also used a vintage Canon 11.5-135 mm lens that allowed us to zoom closely into fur and eyes or at competitions without spooking the dogs.” “The dogs loved Rebecca,” adds Opson. “And they loved Alex, the cameraman; he was great with them. He was intuitive enough to see if he was getting too close, and if it made the dogs nervous, he would back up. Kobe sometimes is not into the really big cameras like they have on Jimmy Kimmel.” The two have appeared on the show numerous times for its annual Canine Costume Parade. Kimmel makes a joke each time about a woman named Cat who grooms dogs. One year, Opson created a Scooby-Doo theme, with a monster
chasing the dog on the dog, prompting the host to make an Inception joke. Well Groomed was completed in February and had its world premiere the following month at SXSW Film Fest. “They put us all up in the same house, so I got to meet Nicole [Beckman] and her husband,” says Opson. “They’re a really fun couple. One of my favorite moments in the movie isn’t even mine; it’s hers. She’s shaking and crying and singing [during the presentation], and he puts his hand on her shoulder and rubs her shoulder so supportively. It’s so sweet, such a sweet moment.” The presentation portion of the creative competitions is the most baffling part, heartfelt but a little cheesy. Once “scissors down!” is called, the judges make a close inspection of the coloring and cutting techniques. Then friends or family members wearing costumes join in with a song or acrobatics or props in hopes of the coveted People’s Choice award, which comes with a monetary prize and a cover shoot on Groomer to Groomer magazine. “There are only two rules,” explains Opson. “You can only have two minutes max, and you’re not allowed to bring any
animals that aren’t dogs—because that’s happened before. Someone brought a bunch of snakes. She had real snakes, and she had a fake snake in the basket with the real snakes, and she threw that fake snake into the audience, and people were terrified. So they made the rule no more animals that are not dogs.” Kobe and Opson have taken a break from creative competition since shooting on Well Groomed finished, and his multiple hues have finally grown out to white. “But with the film festivals happening,” Opson says about the dog-friendly screenings, “I gave him a rainbow Mohawk and a rainbow tail.” He’ll be at both NBFF screenings if you want to get an autograph, a grin, or a hand lick. LBLACK@OCWEEKLY.COM WELL GROOMED screens as part of the Newport Beach Film Festival at the Triangle’s theater 5, 1870 Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa. Sat., 2:30 p.m.; also at THE LOT’s theater 3, 999 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach. Mon., 12:30 p.m. $16. For more information about the festival, visit www.newportbeachfilmfest.com.
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KOBE CHECKS OUT THE SURF IN DANA POINT
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rom Southern California to upstate New York, South Carolina and Arkansas, Well Groomed takes viewers deep into a tiny niche of canine-related Americana. The feature-length documentary follows four dog-loving groomers over the course of a year as they push their craft into a competitive, technicolor art form. The constant tail-wagging and apparent grins on the poodles who are their models and beloved pets leave little doubt the dogs are as into it as the humans. “I was motivated to tell this story because of a lot of loves,” says first-time director Rebecca Stern. “The love of dogs (and cats!), the love of traveling around the U.S., the love of creative people, and of exploring something I had no idea even existed.” Not many people have an inkling about creative grooming, “creative” for short, but somehow after seeing Well Groomed, you get the impression of course this exists, makes perfect sense. Despite being banned in some states and countries, the pooches competing in this film are absolutely cherished. From a just-right original score by Dan Deacon featuring glockenspiel and vibraphones to the obvious trust established among Stern, director of photography Alexander Lewis and the champion groomers on long drives from their homes to the competitions, it’s an intimate and charming excursion into a world that is devoid of political animosity. We meet Adriane Pope, the most charged-up about winning; newbie Nicole Beckman; Angela Kumpe, O.G. of creative grooming and mentor who supplies fiercely vetted products for coloring and adorning the dogs; and award-winner in both breed and creative grooming, Cat Opson of Dana Point. “We’ve had a lot of people do documentaries or TV shows on creative,” says Opson, who appears in the film with her competition partner Kobe. “And most of the time, the questions they’re asking and the things they try to get you to say are reality-TV type—really catty, a lot of drama. But there’s not a lot of that in the creative grooming world.” Stern’s queries made it clear from the get-go she wasn’t interested in manufacturing any hoopla or hatred. “You could tell that she honestly wanted to know the story and wasn’t looking for drama,” continues Opson, who owns Estrella Pet Grooming in San Juan Capistrano, where we spoke among dozens of trophies. “So I trusted that.” Having a mic on all the time, even in your own home, worried her during the filming, but she’s happy