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An Art Walk Change | 5 Downtown Dog Potties | 24

OCTOBER 7, 2013 I VOL. 42 I #40

NOW FEAR THIS Part Haunted House, Part Theater Experience, The Purge: Fear the Night Haunts the Variety Arts Center.

Photo by Gary Leonard


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2 Downtown News



Moses Strikes Again With Dance-Cocktail Bar


dult beverage baron Cedd Moses is adding another specialty cocktail bar to his Downtown roster: Honeycut. The part speakeasy, part discotheque totals 3,000 square feet and is divided into two rooms located behind 819 S. Flower St. To find the entrance, walk down the alley parallel to Flower; it’s accessible via Eighth or Ninth streets. Moses and Eric Needleman of 213 Ventures, which created Downtown bars including Seven Grand, the Golden Gopher and The Varnish, are partnering on the deal with Alex Day and David Kaplan of Proprietors LLC, which owns New York City’s Death & Company. Honeycut features a billiards table, upholstered diamond-tufted booths and an upright piano; the cocktail component will have occasional live music and hold up to 65 people. The dance arm has a 90-person capacity and is anchored by an analog LED dance floor, a long open bar and raised booth seating. Bands and DJs will perform. Honeycut began serving on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

Now It’s Official: Grand Park Is a ‘Great Place’


rand Park has won plenty of plaudits since opening 15 months ago, but now the 12acre attraction stretching from the Music Center


celebrates a year of countless friendships made in the heart of LA. Jeremy Sole of KCRW, Ethio Cali, Cedric Watson and Sidi Toure join forces, along with the most important guest - YOU!


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October 7, 2013

CELEBRATING 40 YEARS to City Hall is officially great. The American Planning Association on Friday, Oct. 4, named Grand Park one of its 10 Great Public Spaces for 2013, part of the organization’s Great Places in America program. The APA selected Grand Park, which was built by the development firm Related, because of its collaborative redesign process, accessibility, features and views of Downtown. The park opened in July 2012 after a $56 million transformation. It is operated by the County Music Center and has hosted a slew of well-received public events, including the recent inflatable walk-through sculpture Exxopolis. “Grand Park is the embodiment of the people, diversity and culture of Los Angeles. It is a place for celebration, reflection and camaraderie,” said APA CEO Paul Farmer. Other 2013 “great spaces” include New York’s Grand Central Terminal, the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail in Anchorage, Alaska and the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Mass.

Property Sells, Astani Move Forward on 640-Unit Complex


eveloper Sonny Astani has had his ups and downs in Downtown. A low point was when he lost the Concerto, a high-rise he developed in South Park, during the depths of the recession after his lender got into financial trouble (the property was eventually opened by a different owner as the Apex). Now, there’s another high point. Astani last week announced that his Astani Enterprises and parking company L&R Group have sold a lot at 12th Street and Grand Avenue for $45 million; they spent $29 million to acquire


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the property last November. The three-acre site has been sold to the Scottsdale, Ariz.based private equity firm Wolff Company. Astani had previously revealed to Los Angeles Downtown News that he would develop the site as a project dubbed G12. Astani now plans to partner on the $245 million project with Wolff Company. Plans call for the complex to break ground in January and be completed within two years. The project will have 640 units along with 40,000 square feet of retail space, a screening room and two pools. Plans also call for having 740 bike parking spaces, and just 595 slots for cars.

City Hall

October 03, 2013

Video Arcade and Bar Coming to Arts District


tart saving your quarters and get ready to answer that question from the golden age of the arcade: What’s your high score? EightyTwo, a bar and old-school video arcade, is expected to open in the Arts District by January. The venue at 718 E. Third St. will offer more than 40 fully restored arcade games and pinball machines from the 1960s to the ’90s. Founded by native Angelenos Scott Davids, 33, and Noah Sutcliffe, 32, EightyTwo will Continued on page 5

October 7, 2013

Downtown News 3


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4 Downtown News



October 7, 2013


Urban Scrawl by Doug Davis

Remarkable Radar


hen it comes to theater in Downtown Los Angeles, the dominant force is Center Theatre Group. This makes sense, considering that for more than 40 years CTG has been luring crowds to the Ahmanson Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum for well-known new and touring shows, often with high-profile actors. The Roy and Edna Disney Cal Arts Theater, or REDCAT, doesn’t have the crowd-drawing appeal (or the budget) of CTG. Still, the entity in the back of Walt Disney Concert Hall, which also turned 10 last week, has become a very important player in the Downtown cultural scene. For a decade now, it has delivered a consistent lineup of boundarypushing theater, film and music. Late last month, a remarkable thing happened: REDCAT and CTG teamed for the Radar L.A. Fes­ tival, a magnificent event that will go a long way toward putting Downtown on the international theater map. Radar L.A. wasn’t for everyone, as its 18 productions, many mounted by companies from other nations, were a mix of solo vehicles, non-linear narratives and, sometimes, just strange stuff — there were even puppet-fueled pieces. There wasn’t a celebrity-driven, toe-tapping musical number in sight. Still, the organizers managed to activate a bevy of Downtown spaces and buildings (the majority of the productions took place in the Central City). In the process they showed or reminded people — including a lot of first-time visitors — just how much the area has to offer. Some shows took place at traditional venues such as REDCAT or the Los Angeles Theatre Center, a former bank that has become a performing arts hub in the heart of the Historic Core. Other productions utilized some largely forgotten spaces. For six days, the Tower Theatre on Broadway was home to Hospital, a collaboration between the Dutch company Wunderbaum and the Skid Row performance group the Los Angeles Poverty Department. The Tower is rarely used these days for anything except film productions; this was a great way to bring in people. Also on Broadway, a couple former grand movie palaces had another opportunity to shine. The surrealist comedy/opera El Gallo took place in the Million Dollar Theatre, while Stones in Her Mouth, from New Zealand, reactivated the Palace for four nights. Anyone who caught these shows saw not just a performance, but a piece of Downtown’s history. Then there was a show in which the creators took theater to the people, rather than the other way around. Sometimes I Think, I Can See You was held during the day in Grand Central Market. Those buying produce or grabbing lunch became fodder for writers who would use them as inspiration; their instant text was projected on the market’s walls. Making Radar an annual occurrence is probably impossible — it’s a huge amount of work and a lot of money has to be raised. Still, if CTG and REDCAT can pull it off every other year (the inaugural event took place in 2011), Downtown and the rest of L.A. will be lucky indeed.

Our Cultural Cup Runneth Over


hen it comes to entertainment, summer is prime time in Downtown. In this way the Central City is similar to many other communities in Southern California: The long days and temperate evenings make it easy to bring people together with family-friendly outdoor concerts, theater and events. Now that the seasons have changed, one might expect the cultural calendar to slow down. Well, surprise: Downtown may actually have more action during the fall than the summer, even if a number of the activities have moved indoors. Los Angeles Downtown News this week is publishing its Fall Arts Preview, a rundown of 40 highlight concerts, museum exhibits, events and more. However, that is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg, as many of the organizations that get mentioned one time in our rundown actually have dozens of dates over the next three months. Just consider Aloud at the Central Library, which offers two or three free readings or lectures with leading writers and thinkers almost every week. Then there’s the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which regularly packs the now 10-year-old Walt Disney Concert Hall with its stellar performances and a standout lineup of guest artists. Curiously, it’s easy both to overlook and to take for granted all that Downtown has to offer on the cultural front. The community has been the region’s go-to destination for “upscale” activities for so long that it now seems normal rather than special. Coming Downtown to see the Phil at Disney Hall, Los Angeles Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion or a musical or play at the Ahmanson Theatre or Mark Taper Forum has become a habit for many. These institutions, based at the Music Center, continue to make Bunker Hill an entertainment hub. Other providers may have lost the shine of the new but continue to work hard to bring people into the area. The Museum of Contemporary Art lures visitors both to Little Tokyo and Grand Avenue with its many exhibits (the current Room to Live showcases highlights from the permanent collection). In Little Tokyo, the Japanese American National Museum is trying to attract a younger audience; this month’s exhibition Marvels and Monsters, detailing how comic books depicted Asian Americans over four decades, should accomplish that mission. Another element that makes Downtown stand out is its lineup

of speakers and panel discussions. As mentioned above, there is Aloud, which thanks to the Library Foundation of Los Angeles has staged free events for more than two decades. Then there’s Town Hall Los Angeles, which has been doing it even longer: The 77-year-old organization routinely brings all manner of leaders — political, business, etc. — to Downtown luncheon events. New arrivals are also finding an audience. The Live Talks Business Forum is making a name for itself with its breakfast events — this week writer Malcolm Gladwell appears at the headquarters of architecture firm Gensler. Over in the Arts District, SCI-Arc holds a free weekly series with prominent names in the architecture and design field. Downtown continues to have an advantage on the concert front, with a collection of new and historic venues. In South Park, Anschutz Entertainment Group remains the dominant force in the region with Staples Center, the Nokia Theatre and Club Nokia. However, those are not the only destinations for popular local and touring bands. The Orpheum Theatre holds a few shows, and the Mayan and the refurbished Belasco also draw some notable acts. Then there are the small rock clubs. Expect the local lineup to expand, and get louder, when the Regent Theatre on Main Street opens; it could occur by the end of the year. While the list could go on and on, there’s another cultural destination that deserves particular mention: Grand Park. The $56 million attraction that connects the Music Center and City Hall opened in summer 2012 and had a steady lineup during its inaugural year. However, the county-owned and operated park shows no sign of reducing its cultural calendar. After a busy summer of family-friendly activities, it has a full fall lineup. Smartly, some of the events will take place not on weekends, but at lunch during the workweek, giving the legions of area visitors and employees some cultural flair. This is a pretty good time to live or work Downtown. There’s al­ways something to do — much of it free — and the providers mentioned above are just the start. We think those who reside in many other neighborhoods would be envious if they realized just how much is available in this compact community. If they miss out, too bad — it just means more for us.

October 7, 2013

Downtown News 5


Art Walk Loses Its Leader Joe Moller, Who Brought in Corporate Sponsorships, Departs After Three Years By Donna Evans hen people descend on the Historic Core this Thurs­ day for the Downtown Art Walk, they’ll see the big crowds, the dozens of galleries and the corporate logos and sponsors. What they won’t see is the guiding hand of Joe Moller, who spent nearly the last three years running the high­profile event. On Sept. 27, Moller abruptly stepped down from his $70,000­ a­year job as executive director of the happening that takes place on the second Thursday of every month. He’ll be at Art Walk this week, he said, but only as a guest. A statement from the Art Walk board said that Moller is leav­ ing to focus on his company Joe Moller Events, and that he could not give adequate time to the business while running Art Walk. Moller said the departure was his idea. The change coincided with the election of five new board members: Andre Miripolsky, Diego Cardoso, Brady Metcalfe, Patrice Russell Hopper and Rod Aiken. Art Walk Director of Operations Qathryn Brehm declined further comment beyond the board’s initial statement. Art Walk board president LaTanya Spann did not return a phone call seeking comment. Brehm has been named interim director. It remains unclear if the board will look for a new permanent head. Moller, a 38­year­old Downtown resident, was hired in De­ cember 2010 and became the first paid executive director since Art Walk was formed in 2004 by gallery owner Bert Green. Previ­ ous leaders had all been volunteers, and before Moller arrived the organization was in turmoil — he was the third head in little more than a year. Moller said by phone last week that he inherited “a fledgling nonprofit in crisis mode.” He responded by bringing in corporate sponsors, revamping the website and creating a social media platform. The operating budget now hovers at about $250,000 a year. The only other paid employee is Brehm, whose salary be­ fore the management change was $40,000. “In the last three years, Art Walk has made tremendous prog­ ress,” Moller said in an interview. “I feel like the organization has never had more infrastructure and it is the most sustainable it has ever been.” Blair Besten, executive director of the Historic Downtown Los Angeles Business Improvement District, said that Art Walk has remained a very “organic” event. The biggest difference she has noticed is in the crowd: A few years ago people filled the streets at 5 p.m. Now, they hold off until about 9 p.m., she said. One component Moller brought to Art Walk was Art Mart, a retail platform at 514 S. Spring St. where up to 25 artists sell their wares. While the goal is to connect artists with an audience, Moller said revenue generated from the sales has helped the monthly event cover its costs. Over the years Art Walk has been dismissed by some as more of a party than an art walk; some Downtown residents stay indoors on event nights, saying they want to avoid the legions of intoxicated visitors. Moller rejects the assertion, saying that shortly after he started, he visited the participating galleries


AROUND TOWN, 2 offer an arcade, full bar and pinball machines in two rooms spanning 4,000 square feet. The project will also have a 1,700­square­foot patio. Architect Darin Johnstone will design a modern edifice from the 1980 storefront in the effort to showcase the machines as playable objects of art. Davids and Sutcliffe said they have been playing video games since they were toddlers. “The arcade culture changed the world and then, with a blink of an eye, arcades were replaced by more modern technology and home computing. It’s an era that should not be forgotten,” said Davids. As in 1982, games will cost two bits. Larger

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Joe Moller abruptly resigned as executive director of Art Walk on Sept. 27. During his nearly three years in the position, he helped make the monthly event pencil out financially.

and asked them not to give away free wine. Because there are more bars, restaurants and stores Downtown now than in 2010, he posits that Art Walk has been good for area businesses, with Art Walk luring more patrons through their doors every second Thursday of the month. Under Moller, Art Walk brought in a wealth of programming such as this week’s Pioneer DJ Art Mix. The paid sponsorship will feature popular DJs Laidback Luke, Dada Life, Kaskade and Zedd, among others. Art Walk will exhibit the custom pieces they created. “The reality is, art is still very much the spine of Art Walk,” Moller said. “Name another nonprofit that’s lasted 10 years, con­ stantly reinvents itself and doesn’t have a marketing budget.” The low point of Moller’s tenure, he said, was the July 2011 death of 2­month­old Marcello Vasquez, who was killed when an unlicensed driver, using a friend’s car that was uninsured, drove onto the curb, and knocked over a parking meter on Spring Street south of Fourth. The meter struck the child, who was be­ ing pushed by his parents in a stroller. He died within hours. Marcello’s parents, Jimmy and Natasha Vasquez, have filed a lawsuit in civil court alleging that the city and Art Walk organiz­ ers were aware of public safety concerns tied to the event’s high attendance, but failed to take proper safety measures to protect pedestrians. A year later, LAPD officers donned riot gear and clashed with Occupy L.A. protesters. Authorities arrested a dozen people and blocked off streets. Art Walk organizers and police braced for another confronta­ tion the following month, but everything proceeded smoothly.

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Downtown Panel Looks At Transit Oriented Development


n recent years, the transformation of dead buildings into housing and the concept of tying in high­trafficked cor­ ridors to mass transit have been big issues in Downtown. This week, those topics come together, and get an in­ depth treatment. On Thursday, Oct. 10, ULI Los Angeles, the local chapter of the Urban Land Institute, will hold an event dubbed Transit Oriented L.A. Also known as ToLA, it will take

place from 7:30 a.m.­12:30 p.m. at the Japanese American National Museum (100 N. Central Ave.) in Little Tokyo. The event will feature the release of two studies: The Corridor Project, which focuses on linking transit sta­ tions and improving streetscapes, in part by making them more walkable, and The Building Reuse Partnership, which explores increasing adaptive reuse in Los Angeles, among other subjects. The event will include panel discussions and presentations with various design, development and planning officials. Mayor Eric Garcetti and County Supervisor Mark Ridley­ Thomas will also appear. Registration and additional information is at (213) 221­7827 or




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October 7, 2013


Downtown’s Tower of Terror Variety Arts Center Mixes Scares With a Story in The Purge: Fear the Night

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By Eddie Kim n decades past, a Halloween haunted house just needed a couple of jumpy scares, a few gore-stained rooms and a handful of actors in costume to satisfy those with a craving for terror. The somewhat recent proliferation of carefully constructed — and increasingly graphic — horror experiences have changed the game. Universal Studios has its Hollywood Horror Nights, where wait times for certain attractions can last more than two hours. Then there’s the L.A. Haunted Hayride, Knott’s Berry Farm’s Halloween Haunt and hardcore Downtown newcomer Blackout; the latter requires that participants sign a waiver before entering. While these attractions provide plenty of scares and bloody special effects, they frequently lack a compelling narrative. That’s precisely what the creators of The Purge: Fear the Night hope their Downtown Los Angeles venture will offer. Part haunted house and part immersive theater experience, Fear the Night fills six floors of the historic Variety Arts Center at 940 S. Figueroa St. Created by Jason Blum of Blumhouse Productions, which produced the Paranormal Activity, Insidious and Sinister franchises, the show opened Sept. 27 and runs through Nov. 2. The experience stems from Blum’s summer film The Purge, which is set in a future America where crime and unemployment are rectified by allowing all unlawful activity for one 12-hour period each year. Though many will come expecting a traditional haunted house, they’re in for a surprise: Fear the Night runs between 90 and 120 minutes and tells the backstory of how the New Founders of America created The Purge — and why the shadowy government remains in power. “What spoke to us was that it was a really rich and deep world to experience that isn’t really explained in the film,” said Fear the Night co-producer Josh Simon. Second Visit Fear the Night represents a return to Downtown for Blum. Last year, he used the Variety Arts Center for a more traditional experience dubbed the Blumhouse of Horrors. The 40-minute haunted house had a plot concerning a magician and a missing woman, but it was still largely focused more on scares than on story. To pull off Fear the Night’s ambitious vision, Blum and Simon turned to the writer/director duo of Josh Randall and Kris Thor, the creators of Blackout. Blackout took place last year in a building on Broadway and this year is also being held in the Variety Arts Center, though with a separate entrance point and admission. Randall and Thor don’t hail from horror backgrounds. Instead, they come from the theater world: Randall has served as the producing artistic director of New York’s Vortex Theater since 2004, while Thor owns a master’s degree from Columbia University’s theater directing program and has a resume stacked with stage productions. “Blackout was not our world, but we wanted to treat horror as theatrically as possible,” Thor said. “So this is kind of an extension of that. We had a lot of staging ideas we couldn’t use in Blackout.” The duo’s stage experience shows in Fear the Night. Audience members are cast as special delegates to a New Founders gala on the night of The Purge and receive VIP treatment as they arrive. Their encounters with revolutionary forces, as well as the top figures of the New Founders government, provide a jumping-off point for plenty of disturbing scenes. While audience members will often be traveling in a group of around 10 people,


photo by Gary Leonard

The show fills six floors of the historic building near L.A. Live. A visit can take as long as two hours.

photo by Gary Leonard

Producer Jason Blum with three of the actors out to scare visitors to a haunted house/interactive theater experience based upon his summer film The Purge. It is at the Variety Arts Center through Nov. 2.

some individuals will be pulled out of the pack and forced to complete tasks or face frights on their lonesome. Planning for Fear the Night began around February, with the actual build-out starting in August. Some elements had to be changed on the fly — the show was originally intended to have an expansive, free-roaming portion in the second half, but opening-weekend audiences clamored for a more linear experience with heightened scares. The retooled production tries to provide that while maintaining the concept and action of the original plan. The richness of the show’s world is a critical part of what makes it immersive, Randall said. “We’re trying to shape what you can and cannot see or hear, especially by having so many things happening at once,” Randall said. “It melds the immediate focus of film with the eye-wandering nature of theater.” Risk Management The producers recognize that there’s a risk in letting audiences get so close to the production’s workings. “You have to be so detailed because we’re letting people say, ‘Hey, what’s under here?’” Randall said. “You better have something under there.” There’s another risk, in terms of price. Regular admission to Fear the Night is $65, and though discounts are available through promotions and websites such as Goldstar, it is still more expensive than most haunted houses. Part of the cost has to do with the format: Since it takes up to two hours to complete the experience, fewer people see the attraction each night than at other haunts, said Simon. The scope of the production also plays a big role in price: The show requires approximately 150 people, including about 40 actors. Blum wouldn’t divulge the cost, but did say that it is “pretty close” to the budget for the Blumhouse of Horrors. Then there’s the performance challenge. Actors must adapt to dozens of potential interactions with audience members. Each actor also has the freedom to explore nuances in motivation and possible actions over the show’s run. “It’s a little head-exploding,” Thor said with a stressed exhale. Though they are less than two weeks into the run, the creative team is already thinking big, saying they hope to see a show like Fear the Night take hold in Los Angeles for more than just the Halloween season. Randall points to the L.A. production of Tamara, an immersive show that ran from 1984 to 1993. Simon goes in a slightly different direction. “We’re trying to build the Cirque du Soleil of horror,” he said. “Circuses were always around, but the Cirque guys came with a goal of really telling an immersive story. That’s what this is about.” The Purge: Fear the Night perhaps holds fewer in-your-face scares than its competitors. But its creators hope that audiences walk away with something far more compelling: the nightmarish imagery and stories of a dystopia that linger long after they walk out the doors. The Purge: Fear the Night runs through Nov. 2 at the Variety Arts Center, 940 S. Figueroa St. or

October 7, 2013

Downtown News 7




photo courtesy of Angels City Jazz Festival


The Terence Blanchard Quintet plays at the Colburn School on Oct. 12 as part of the Angel City Jazz Festival.

8 Downtown News

October 7, 2013


Holiday Party for n Kids Downtow pe Park

InvIsIble CItIes Oct. 19Nov. 8 at Union Station

Oct. 31 at Grand Ho

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Marvels and Monsters

jean Magaz

Opening Oct. 12 at JANM

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Comics are big in pop culture these days. The Japanese American National Museum takes advantage of this with the thought-provoking show Marvels & Monsters: Unmasking Asian Images in U.S. Comics, 1942-1986. The exhibit, which opens Oct. 12, explores how Asians have been portrayed in comics over four decades, touching on, for example, their treatment during times of war and unrest. The exhibit even digs into a number of Asian comic archetypes such as Guru, Brain, Kamikaze and Lotus Blossom. Marvels & Monsters, curated by Asian Pop columnist Jeff Yang, culminates with a library of modern graphic novels by Asian Americans. At 100 N. Central Ave., (213) 625-0414 or

#1 (October

Even in a community that embraces the avant-garde, there has never been anything like Invisible Cities. Upstart company The Industry is using an Italo Calvino novel as the jumping-off point for a site-specific opera in which performers will weave through Downtown’s historic train station. You may ask, won’t it be hard to hear the gorgeous voices in a busy transit hub? Of course, which is why audience members will wear wireless Sennheiser headphones. The story concerns a meeting between the emperor Kublai Kahn and explorer Marco Polo. The dancers come from Benjamin Millepied’s L.A. Dance Project. This limited run will likely be talked about for a long time. At 800 N. Alameda St. or

Yellow Claw

photo by Dana Ross


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drawin Downtown has one big Celebrating Halloween t’s why the Tha . s for trick-or-treating back: There are no house ows an thr t tric Dis ess Improvement Downtown Center Busin 5-8 p.m. The k. Par pe Ho nd nanny at Gra herannual Halloween hoote gat ly nd ay this year) is a family-frie , ng nti event (it falls on a Thursd pai e fac bounce houses, games, d ing with candy, hot dogs, nee s Kid . ors do nch of trick-or-treat a puppet show and a bu well — are urged to dress up as s -up wn costumes and gro it -un 250 a as e com ne else and just don’t be like everyo x. ple com ent rtm apa n tow under-construction Down $5. is n ssio Admi At 919 S. Grand Ave. or

Trent Reznor was an angry kid with a love of dark, industrial yet catchy music when he burst onto the scene in 1989 with the album Pretty Hate Machine. Nearly a quarter century later he seems pretty much the same, except for being older and having an Oscar for scoring The Social Network. The new record Hesitation Marks is unmistakably Nine Inch Nails, and when Reznor and his band hit Staples Center on Nov. 8, they’ll find an adoring crowd, 99% of whom will be wearing black. Reznor is a ferocious performer, so expect him to attack hits from his back catalogue (think “Head Like a Hole” and “March of the Pigs”) as well as the new material. On this night, there might be blood. At 1201 S. Figueroa St. or

S y o B e n SunShi on Theatre

Theh Nov. 3 at the Ahmans Throug

photo by Craig Schwartz

r Berlin by Iko Freese / dram

Mozart’s fantastica l creation is amon g the most delightful in all of opera. In Downtown , L.A. Opera Music Director Jam es Conlon will cond uct a highly stylized productio n directed by Barri e Korsky in combination with the British troupe 1927 — in addition to beautiful singing, expect liv e performers to coexist with film animation. It’s all hig hly unusual and filled wi th spectacle, but so mehow that sounds fitting for a show set in a da rk forest and featuring a characte r known as the Qu een of the Night. Laurence Br ownlee plays Tam ino and Erika Miklosa is the quee n — for the record , she has sung the part mor e than 400 times. At 135 N. Grand Av e., (213) 972-8001 or

Nine Inch Nails Nov. 8 at Staples Center

photo by Baldur Bragson

photo from the Komische Ope

The Magic Flute

Nov. 23-Dec. 15 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

As the decades pass, Neil Simon remains a staple at the Ahmanson Theatre. So it is again with The Sunshine Boys, which opened last week. The play directed by Thea Sharrock is a revival of Simon’s 1972 work (it became a movie three years later starring George Burns and Walter Matthau) about a couple of Vaudeville performers — amusingly named Lewis and Clark — who had an acrimonious split but, wouldn’t you know it, have the opportunity to come together one more time to make some money on television. Art mirrors life with the casting: The roles are assayed by former “Taxi” actors Danny Devito and Judd Hirsch. At 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-4400 or

Downtown News 9


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October 7, 2013


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photo by Rahi Rezvani

10 Downtown News

October 7, 2013

he -20 at t er 8 1 . t c O dl y Chan h t o r o D n Pavilio

Roy Choi gets a lot of credit for kicking off the L.A. mobile food craze with his Kogi BBQ taco truck. He deserves that praise, but that is far from the sum of his accomplishments. He’s been a kitchen wizard for years, and most recently opened Chego! in Chinatown, which draws long lines of hungry foodies. Choi has a new book, L.A. Son, and on Nov. 13 he drops by the Central Library to discuss it with Evan Kleiman as part of the Aloud series. As usual, this is just one of Aloud’s many seasonal highlights. Anther standout event takes place Nov. 7, when Aloud curator Louise Steinman discusses her new book The Crooked Mirror: A Memoir of Polish-Jewish Reconciliation. At 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7500 or

Can the Dutch dance? Why yes, they can, and pretty impressively, too. See the proof when the stalwart contemporary troupe Nederlands Dans Theater takes over the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion for three performances as part of the series Glorya Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center. The 30-member company will tackle the works “Same Difference” and “Shoot the Moon” (shown here), both choreographed by Sol Leon and NDT artistic director Paul Lightfoot and set to the music of Philip Glass (who gets feted a week earlier when L.A. Opera mounts Einstein on the Beach). Also on the bill is the West Coast premiere of choreographer Medhi Walerski’s “Chamber.” At 135 N. Grand Ave. or

Roy Choi Nov. 14 at Aloud at the Central Library

image courtesy AEG Live


Kanye West

Oct. 26 and 28 at Staples Center

So there’s this Kanye West guy, and he gets in a lot of tiffs, runs his mouth and does crazy things like have a baby with Kim Kardashian. You may have heard his name before. It’s all a bit wiggy, because the dude frequently allows spectacle to overwhelm some groundbreaking hip-hop. He broke out with the 2004 album The College Dropout and has pushed the envelope ever since, including on the 2010 effort My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy and this year’s Yeezus. The daddy of the baby North West brings his thing to Staples Center on Oct. 26 and 28. Also on the bill is current big name Kendrick Lamar. Expect the joint to be packed with celebs. Expect the music to be dark, twisted and, yes, beautiful. At 1111 S. Figueroa St. or

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October 7, 2013

Downtown News 11


Yo Gabba Gabba ! Live

Okia theatre

photo by Tyler Golden

9-30 at the N NOv. 2

If you don’t have kids, skip this entry. If you do, then all you need to know is that Muno, Brobee, Plex and the rest of the Yo Gabba Gabba! gang are stampeding into the Nokia Theater on Nov. 29-30 for four shows. A Very Awesome Yo Gabba Gabba Live! Holiday Show has DJ Lance Rock and rapper Biz Markie onstage with the costumed characters, and the L.A. Live crowd will get into anthems including “I Like to Dance” and “Party in My Tummy” (it is too an anthem). Get ready for 80 minutes (including intermission) of Nick Jr.-inspired singing, dancing and ear-splitting squeals. At 777 Chick Hearn Court or

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OCT 18

Bruckner’s Eighth

Debussy & Bartók


Lakers All-Access Nov. 20 at StapleS CeNter

photo by Gary Leonard

Most NBA experts predict the Clippers will be much better than the Lakers this season. Still, Laker fans outnumber their Staples Center co-tenants by a ratio of about 273:1. That’s why Los Angeles turns out again and again for Lakers All Access. Staged by the Los Angeles Sports & Entertainment Commission, the 10th annual event will take place in the arena on Nov. 20. Speakers will include Kurt Rambis and Jeanie Buss (more will be announced as the date approaches) and the event traditionally includes, among other things, free-throw shooting on the court, photo ops with the Laker girls, a Wolfgang Puck buffet dinner, some sort of on-court tutorial, and a no-holdbarred discussion with players and coaches. Yes, you can ask about Kobe’s Achilles. Individual tickets start at $550. At 1111 S. Figueroa St. or




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12 Downtown News

October 7, 2013


image courtesy Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

photo cour tesy Lori Lieberman

You may not know the name Lori Lieberman. But you do know the radio anthem with the refrain “Killing me softly with his song.” That’s Lori, and the native Angeleno will make her first live appearance in the city since 1985 at the Grammy Museum on Oct. 19. Lieberman has a new CD, Bricks Against the Glass, and in addition to playing songs from her 40-year career, there will be plenty of stories and even some rare video from her early years. Expect to learn a lot about a voice you already know well. At 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or

Lori Lieberman Oct. 19 at the Grammy Museum

Edward Sharpe’s Big Top

Room to Live

Oct. 17-20 at Los Angeles State Historic Park

At MOCA Grand Avenue

For all its many battles, MOCA has a fantastic, super-deep collection of art created after World War II. That is apparent again in Room to Live, which shows off some of the highlights that the Downtown-based museum has acquired, many of them in the past few years. Curator Bennett Simpson has organized a display that features some compelling works, including a 45foot abstract painting by Rodney McMillan and a new installation, “The Fireplace,” created for the exhibit by Los Angeles artist Samara Golden. Other pieces come from artists including William Leavitt (his installation “Warp Engines” is shown here), Lee Friedlander, Bob Thompson, Marnie Weber and Nan Goldin. Prepare to lose yourself for hours in the galleries. Room to Live runs through January. At 250 S. Grand Ave., (213) 626-6222 or

On most occasions, you pick one form of entertainment: Maybe it’s music, perhaps the circus, or even performance art. On Oct. 17-20, all of those and more are under one tent, literally. Big Top, powered by Alex Ebert’s band Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, will feature five circus/vaudeville-like performances over four days, each one culminating with a concert in the round by the indie folk group. In addition to music there will be comedy, contortionists, puppetry, a beer garden (of course) and more. Along with the four evening shows there is a Saturday family matinee. At 1245 N. Spring St. or photo by Brian Forrest

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October 7, 2013

Downtown News 13


The Purge: Fear the Night Through Nov. 2 at the Variety Arts Center The summer film The Purge received mixed reviews, but that hasn’t stopped its producer, Jason Blum, from using it as the basis for a massive Downtown haunted house. Visitors to The Purge: Fear the Night, which opened Sept. 27, are immersed in an event that is part theater, part tabernacle of terror. They can explore six floors of the historic South Park building, and visits are expected to last around two hours. The plot concerns a night in a future America where all crime is legal for 12 hours. There’s also a second haunted house in the building, dubbed Blackout. It took place on Broadway last year and was supposed to be hella scary. Yes, hella scary. At 940 S. Figueroa St., or

a a h h c c u LL. 3u0-31 at the Mayan Theatre Oct


photo by Gary Leonard

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$7 Movies Every Tuesday at Regal Cinemas at L.A. Live Perhaps the most annoying thing about movies is paying for them — few films these days seem worth the expenditure. The Regal Cinemas L.A. Live Stadium 14 offers a cure for the common overpriced movie with its $7 Tuesday special, which is exactly what the name promises, with no loopholes: $7 films all day every Tuesday through the end of 2013. There is no 3D surcharge and the price is the same even if the showing is in the complex’s “premiere house” with the 70-foot screen. Regular admission is $14.50 and there’s a $4 premium for 3D glasses, which means that with the Downtown Tuesday offer, overpriced popcorn no longer feels so galling. At 800 W. Olympic Blvd. or


If you’ve ever seen Lucha VaVoom then you are already converted. On the off chance that you’re a stranger, think of it like this: Wackily dressed and sometimes saucy Mexican wrestlers square off in a ring. Between matches, creatively dressed and usually saucy burlesque dancers strut their stuff. Through it all, sharptongued and definitely saucy comedians provide cutting commentary. Lucha occupies the Mayan a few times a year and the Halloween shows always stand out. There’s a bonus this year: a “Mini-Monster Battle Royale,” in which a bunch of wrestlers try to chuck each other out of the ring, and the last one standing wins. At 1038 S. Hill St. or

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14 Downtown News



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Gregory Maqoma/Vuyani Dance Theatre Nov. 7-10 at REDCAT

the Gordon W. Ba

iley Collection


image courtesy

Wild Wichita



Oct. 11-13 at REDCAT and the Colburn School

Oct. 11-Nov. 3 at The LATC



photo courtesy Angels City Jazz Festival

The bad news about the Angel City Jazz Festival is that the first weekend took place at LACMA, UCLA and the Ford Amphitheater. The good news is that it powers into Downtown for the second and final weekend, with some seriously talented acts. REDCAT is the spot on Oct. 11 with an 8 p.m. set by Jim Black, Tim Lefebvre and Chris Speed and a 9:30 p.m. performance by the Claudia Quintet. On Oct. 13 the venue in the back of Disney Hall hosts the Dafnis Prieto Sextet. In between, on Oct. 12, it’s the Terence Blanchard Quintet, featuring the top-tier trumpeter (shown here). The show at the Colburn School’s Zipper Hall starts at 8:30 p.m. At 631 W. Second St. (REDCAT) and 200 S. Grand Ave. (Colburn) or


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Think you’re not in Kansas anymore? Well, think again. Lina Gallegos’ play, which has grabbed prizes including the 2012 Hola Award for Outstanding Achievement in Playwriting, revolves around an elegant Puerto Rican woman and an irreverent Mexican caballero. OK, that’s quasi-normal, but the kicker is that they are the only Latinos stuck in a nursing home in the city of Wichita. How’d they wind up there, why do they stay and where are their families? All will be revealed in the romantic comedy staged by the Latino Theatre Company and directed by Denise Blasor. At 514 S. Spring St., (213) 489-0994 or

photo courtesy Latino Theatre Company

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All those complaining about Downtown’s lack of exploration of colonial oppression and 19th century Xhosa warriors can finally remove that bee from their bonnet — REDCAT is picking up the subject. Choreographer Gregory Maqoma is coming back to Downtown for four performances of Exit/Exist. Maqoma is teaming with the South African vocal ensemble Complete for a show is part theater, part dance. Inspired by Maqoma’s own ancestry, Exit/Exist incorporates traditional and contemporary dance from Africa and Europe, and the onstage musicians become part of the show. At 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or

October 7, 2013

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October 7, 2013

Downtown News 15


Art wAlk



salonEn REtuRns

photo courtesy L.A. Phil

Everyone loves Gustavo Dudamel, but before he arrived, the Los Angeles Philharmonic was in the very capable hands of then-Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen. As part of the celebration of the 10th anniversary of Disney Hall, Salonen returns for two weekends. On Oct. 18-20, he takes on pieces by Debussy and Bartók, as well as the premiere of a new Phil-commissioned work by Magnus Lindberg for cello and orchestra. The following week, the fantastic Finn guides the troops through his own Violin Concerto, featuring Leila Josefowicz, along with Sibelius’ Fifth Symphony. For those new to town, this is a reminder of what made the Phil great in the first place. At 111 N. Grand Ave., (323) 850-2000 or laphilcom.

photo by Gary Leonard

Oct. 18-20 and 25-27 at Walt Disney Concert Hall

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Oct. 10, Nov. 14 and Dec. 12 in the Historic Core The Downtown Art Walk slows down in the fall. Then again, “slow down” is a relative term, and while the streets are not as crowded as they are during the summer, thousands of folks still come out to gander at the output of creative types, nibble at the offerings of various food trucks and meet up with friends. Exactly what you get changes each time, but the center of the evening action is always the Art Walk Lounge at 634 S. Spring St., where there is a mix of artwork, giveaways and more. Art Walk may not be what it was seven years ago, but it does prove that Downtown can thrive after dark. Throughout the Historic Core or

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16 Downtown News






eT Thea P P u P a T z r c e e T Th e




October 7, 2013


Nov. 16 at the Disney Hall Keck Amphitheater


World City continues to be one of Downtown’s most awesome series, with free outdoor weekend performances featuring international acts you’ve never heard of but that always impress. Coming Nov. 16 is a double bill straight outta Poland: First up is the Tecza Puppet Theatre, which started in 1946 and specializes in performances related to the country’s history and traditions. The puppet posse is followed by the Warsaw Village Band, which delivers what has been touted as hardcore Polish folk music. While this may be more clever than descriptive, know that the instruments include the 17th century Suka violin. As with all World City events, there are 11 and 12:30 p.m. shows, with tickets dispensed about an hour beforehand. At 111 S. Grand Ave. or


at SC 3 1 . Nov

Silver Lake-based Michael Maltzan isn’t as well known as starchitects such as Frank Gehry or Thom Mayne. Still, over the course of a decade Maltzan has designed some of the Central City’s most fascinating buildings (think of the circular New Carver Apartments), and once Skid Row’s Star Apartments open this fall, his name will be on many lips. Maltzan speaks on Nov. 13 at SCI-Arc as part of the architecture school’s free weekly series. In addition to the Star, he is designing the giant One Santa Fe in the Arts District and is on the team for the Sixth Street Viaduct replacement. Yeah, he’s busy. At 350 Merrick St., (213) 613-2200 or

This automotive love-fest is the biggest four-wheel celebration of the year, with more than 1,000 domestic and imim ported vehicles on display. In addition to glimpsing the latest from the likes of Saab, Mercedes, Ford, Honda and many more, there will also be test drives. From newfangled family sedans to eco-friendly green machines to high-tech concept vehicles, the Auto Show may actually be that rare event that has something for everyone — yes, everyone, as there is even a Spongebob Squarepants Toyota Highlander. At 1201 S. Figueroa St. or

nny Dam an’s Elf

Ms oF il F e h t M o r F Music

ise, since the British band It’s been a long time, 11 years to be prec ed States. On Oct. 15, the Unit the in thing their Simple Minds did dway’s gorgeous group returns, starting a short tour in Broa Simple Minds Kerr, Jim by Orpheum Theatre. Fronted collection sed relea ntly rece the nd is touring behi out the Celebrate, so they’ll certainly be tossing About et (Forg You ’t hits, most notably “Don d on esse impr libly inde me beca Me),” which part g bein after s brain of n ratio gene a . of the Brat Pack film The Breakfast Club than er pow ng stayi The group had more ng many other bands of the era, also scori e a hit with the eminently sing-alongabl (yes, we know it’s not a word) “Alive and Kicking.” Welcome them back. At 842 S. Broadway or

n o T r u B m Ti

Oct. 29-31 at Nokia Theatre The last time Danny Elfman played live in the United States was in 1995. For three nights this month he returns, in a spectacular way. The former Oingo Boingo mastermind has become a big name in movie music, and the event dubbed Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton will have him playing selections from some of the 15 films in which he collaborated with the visionary director. Elfman himself will perform songs from The Nightmare Before Christmas, and additional selections will come from, among others, Beetlejuice, Batman and Edward Scissorhands. Elfman won’t be alone on stage, or even close to it: He’ll appear with the 87-piece Hollywood Symphony Orchestra and the 45-member Page LA Choir. John Mauceri will conduct. At 777 Chick Hearn Court or

Nov. 21-Dec. 1 at the Ahmanson Theatre

photo by Mikah Smillie

photo by Paul Cox

photo courtesy Danny Elfman

photo by Gary Leonard

photo by Gary Leonard

Bourne is back! Not Jason Bourne, though he’s good too, but Matthew Bourne, the brilliant choreographer whose dance-theater spectacles rip apart expectations about what dance or theater should be. Bourne, who in the past thrilled Downtown audiences with his takes on Swan Lake, Edward Scissorhands and The Nutcracker, now turns his attention to the classic fairytale-turned-ballet by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. Bourne’s version features a heroine, Aurora, and appearances by fairies and vampires. Yes, a girl is still cursed to a deep sleep, but then the decadent opulence and gothic tension take over, so leave your preconceived notions at home. At 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-4400 or

October 7, 2013

photo courtesy Grammy Museum

photo by Paula Court

Downtown News 17


iCk: Me! r T T n p a a e W Ch u To eum o Y T us i Wan ammy M r At the G

It’s about time someone gave Cheap Trick the attention they deserve. The Grammy Museum honors the power-pop artistes who have been dishing out hookheavy tunes for 35 years. Cheap Trick: I Want You to Want Me! opened last month and offers costumes, photographs, original lyrics, outfits and more from the band whose can’t-get-that-tune-out-of-yourhead hits include “Surrender” and “The Dream Police.” As should be expected, the exhibit is heavy on vocalist Robin Zander, drummer Bun E. Carlos and guitarist Rick Nielsen, and features many of the latter’s specially crafted axes. The show continues through next June. All together now: Mommy’s all right, daddy’s all right, they just seem a little weird… At 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or

So You Think You Can Dance Oct. 24-27 at REDCAT Some creative types get inspiration from their friends or hanging out in bars. Alpert Award-winning performer Cynthia Hopkins found the genesis for her current work by visiting the Arctic for three weeks on a century-old, double-masted Dutch ship. This Clement World addresses the devastation being wrought by climate change, though it does so with a soulful performance propelled by a 15-member chorus and band. Get ready for fiction, folk songs, a multimedia approach and plenty of things you can’t even begin to fathom. At 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or

While some scoff at the Fox reality/competition show “So You Think You Can Dance,” it has legions of fans who not only boost the ratings, but come out for annual tours featuring performers from the past season. The most recent crop is now on the road, hitting an impressive 42 cities, and they’ll high-step into the Nokia Theatre on Nov. 27. Expect impressive, high-energy and sometimes even sultry salsa, foxtrot, hip-hop, modern and more moves. Season 10 performers on the bill include winners Amy Yakima and Fik-Shun (probably not his real name). At 777 Chick Hearn Court or


photo courtesy FOX

Nov. 27 at the Nokia Theatre

18 Downtown News

October 7, 2013


Einstein on the Beach

Stan Lee’ Comikaze

Oct. 11-13 at L.A. Opera Ph

oto by

A le x Evan


It’s not an overstatement to say that the three performances of Einstein on the Beach are monumental and historic. The Los Angeles Opera presentation at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is a four-and-a-half-hour, intermission-less epic (though audience members are allowed to leave and return as they like). Einstein on the Beach was a 1976 collaboration between director Robert Wilson and composer Phillip Glass, and they have stated that the Downtown shows will be the last time either one personally takes on the production. Lucinda Childs is in charge of the abstract dance sequences in the definitively non-narrative opera. At 135 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-8001 or

Nov. 1-3 at the Convention Center

Bob Baker’s Halloween Hoop-Dee-Do

Let’s be honest: San Diego rules and always will with Comic-Con. That said, Stan Lee’s Comikaze is garnering plenty of buzz. Last year’s celebration of comics, sci-fi, fantasy and horror drew more than 45,000 people to Downtown Los Angeles. This year’s lineup is scheduled to include Lee, Todd McFarlane, Kevin Smith, Elvira, “Weird” Al Yankovic and dozens of others who are sure to make the fanboys drool. There will be loads of booths, panel discussions, a $5,000 cosplay contest (for the uninitiated, dressing up), video game tournaments and a lot more. People are planning their costume as you read this. At 1201 S. Figueroa St. or

Halloween shifts from scary to cute at City West’s Bob Baker Marionette Theater, where octogenarian string puller Bob Baker guides his cohorts through a show that features the Purple People Eater, the Invisible Man and some dancing skeletons. This marks the 50th anniversary of Bob Baker’s Halloween Hoop-Dee-Do, which means that some of those who caught it way back when may be taking their grandchildren. There will be puppets and plenty of songs, and as with all Baker productions, it concludes with ice cream in the party room. At 1345 W. First St., (213) 250-9995 or

H. Robert Reynolds

James Walker

photo courtesy Stan Lee’s Comikaze

photo courtesy of 2012 Pomegranate Arts

Through Nov. 3 at the Bob Baker Marionette Theatre

Frank Ticheli

Diana Newman

Carl St.Clair

Formosa Quartet


Bring a friend to a USC Thornton event.

OCT 07

USC THORNTON EDGE Frank Ticheli, conductor 7:30 PM - Alfred Newman Recital Hall

A performance of Pulitzer Prize winner Jennifer Higdon’s Zaka, Thornton faculty Andrew Norman’s Gran Turismo, and George Crumb’s Madrigals Book IV featuring soprano Diana Newman, and music by Composition Chair, Donald Crockett.

OCT 17

USC THORNTON SYMPHONY Carl St.Clair, artistic leader and conductor 7:30 PM - Bovard Auditorium

A theatrical exploration of the life and music of Tchaikovsky with a multimedia performance of the composer’s final piece, Symphony No. 6 in B Minor, “Pathétique.” Sponsored by Visions and Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative.

OCT 25


Viola faculty Che-Yen Chen is joined by the Formosa Quartet and Thornton faculty members Paul Katz and Tien-Hsin Cindy Wu in Dana Wilson’s Hungarian Folk Songs, Wei-Chieh Lin’s Pasibutbut, and music by Mozart and Brahms.

Sponsored in part by Classical KUSC 91.5 FM.

All events are free.

Venue locations

October 7, 2013


Grand Park's Got Moves photo courtesy Invertigo Dance Company

The $56 million Grand Park opened in July 2012, and 15 months later the folks at the county-owned facility continue to make it one of Downtown’s most active and exciting public spaces. There’s a full fall lineup, and one of the highlights is the Grand Park’s Got Moves series, which takes place over three successive Thursdays. On Nov. 7 the Invertigo Dance Theatre (shown here in a previous performance) will deliver

Nov. 7, 14 and 21 At Grand Park

an interactive dance experience, and the following week the Ate9 Dance Company presents “Sheila,” in which performers dress as pedestrians and appear and disappear amidst the crowd. Expect plenty of surprised courthouse visitors and county employees. On Nov. 21 the group Wookey & Tang presents a piece titled “Action-scape.” At 200 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-8080 or

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Downtown News 19

Nov. 15-Dec. 8 At The LATC

The world premiere Ser! is about soccer and a pilgrimage to meet futbol great Diego Maradona. No, it’s about sex and love and a woman discovering herself. No, it’s about finding a place called home when home could be Argentina or Los Angeles. Actually, and in case you haven’t figured it out, Ser! is all of these rolled into one. Writer and performer Karen Anzoategui’s personal narrative features a musical collaboration with figures including Louie Perez of Los Lobos. Yeah, this could go in a lot of directions, but Anzoategui and director Marcos Najera are aiming straight for the net. Look, a soccer pun! Goallllllllll! At 514 S. Spring St., (213) 489-0994 or



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photo courtesy Hard Events

20 Downtown News

Hard Day of the DeaD Nov. 2-3 at Los Angeles State Historic Park

There have been plenty of big, loud electronic dance music festivals at Los Angeles State Historic Park, but Hard Day of the Dead may be the biggest. Dozens of DJs and EDM acts will get the crowds shaking, moving and dancing. The first day’s headliner is Skrillex, but he’ll take the stage only after appearances by Nero, the Bloody Beetroots and a host of others. Day two, meanwhile, is topped by Deadmau5 and Calvin Harris; also on the bill are Pretty Lights, Giorgio Moroder and many more. The park on the edge of Chinatown will be open from noon to midnight each day. Stay hydrated. At 1245 N. Spring St. or

October 7, 2013


Disney Hall Turns 10 With Stars and Magic As the Landmark Hits a Milestone, Frank Gehry Is Again Front and Center By Eddie Kim he avant-garde composer John Cage once famously said, “I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.” Architect Frank Gehry, who designed the Walt Disney Concert Hall, certainly could relate to that statement. In fact, Cage’s words might just sum up last week’s triumphant 10th anniversary concert for the now-treasured Downtown venue. The Walt Disney Concert Hall’s anniversary gala on Monday, Sept. 30, was more than just a celebration of how far the shimmering Grand Avenue building has come since opening in 2003. The evening’s combination of music and video, assembled by director Netia Jones, also pondered the project’s tumultuous path to existence and explored criticisms of Gehry’s design. It wasn’t just symbolism, of course. There was plenty of star power, starting with Los Angeles Philharmonic Music Director and conductor Gustavo Dudamel and guest cellist Yo-Yo Ma. They “opened” with Cage’s 4’33.” Instruments floated to cheeks, lips and chests as Dudamel raised his hands, but no music burst forth, and for the Continued on page 21



photo courtesy Matthew Imaging

Although Gustavo Dudamel conducted the 10th anniversary concert for Walt Disney Concert Hall last week, the most enthusiastic response was reserved for building architect Frank Gehry.


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October 7, 2013


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$ next four minutes and 33 seconds — cheekily split into three movements — there would be no music. Still, Dudamel flicked his hands in the smallest of waves, bobbing his chin in time as the hall revealed its ambient being: the stuttering percussion of coughing, gentle groans from chairs and wooden floors. From there it was on to Bach’s prelude from Cello Suite No. 3. As Ma played, Jones projected swooping early concert hall sketches onto three screens above the stage. It served as a smart complement to Ma’s galloping performance. An audio recording of Gehry rang through the hall as an in­ troduction of sorts for the next composition. “So you get an idea. A stupid idea, but you like it,” Gehry said as his words filled the screens. The Phil then dove into Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme, which saw Ma playing like a man possessed, throwing his head and bow arm back in joy. Images of Gehry’s wooden models again added a visual touch. Next, Dudamel led the troops in Adé’s crashing cacophony These Premises Are Alarmed. Three­dimensional renderings of the hall provided the context for the discordant composition, which spoke to the complexity in building Gehry’s design. The dramatic scherzo of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9, meanwhile, was paired with projected doom­and­gloom newspaper clip­ pings from the time when the building was in doubt. Dudamel conducted with a furious energy that gave extra punch to the magnificent work. The orchestra members mirrored their leader, playing with precision and swagger throughout. The swagger continued into the last piece, the finale of Saint­ Saëns’ third symphony (Organ). A montage of former musicians and conductors — Dudamel’s predecessor Esa­Pekka Salonen was prominently portrayed — filled the screens. Dudamel practically jumped along to the rhythm as the Phil played, and he threw his arms out wide as the timpani boomed out over the closing measures of the piece. The final notes gave way to rapturous applause, replete with whistling and yelling more common in a nightclub than a concert hall. The cheers escalated as Dudamel escorted Gehry up to the stage. The architect laughed as he picked up the conductor’s baton and gave a few joking swipes at the air. Then, in a surprise move, Dudamel returned for a tribute to Lillian Disney, whose $50 million donation led to the birth of the hall. A sweet, pitch­perfect performance of “When You Wish Upon a Star” sounded as large confetti stars descended from the rafters, glinting in the stage lights. Audience members laughed and pulled out their phones to snap photos. It was a fitting end to a spectacle­filled concert. Even Dudamel was not immune to the night’s magic, apparently: As he exited the stage, he grabbed a few shining stars off the floor, offering a sheepish grin and a small salute.


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22 Downtown News


When Cowboy Met Samurai


The tale of big-nosed Cyrano de Bergerac is timeless and capable of being twisted in many ways — consider the 1987 Steve Martin film Roxanne. Now, the troupe Artists at Play has gotten in on the action. Cowboy Versus Samurai, directed by Peter Kuo, is built around Travis Park, a high-school English teacher living in Wyoming who attends meetings for the two-member Asian American Alliance. Then a pretty girl comes to town from New York and her dating preferences are, you guessed it, not guys like Travis. It’s a tale of love, struggle and ethnic identity. The show continues through Oct. 20 with performances this week on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. At 720 Kohler St. or artistsatplayla.



Thursday, October 10 Art Walk Historic Core, (213) 617-4929 or 5 p.m.: The galleries are all atwitter and bar bouncers are on high alert. It’s Art Walk, so come on Los Angeles. Give us your tired, your weary, your aesthetically inclined. Grand Park Turns One Grand Park, 200 N. Grand Ave., (213) 972-8080 or 7-10 p.m.: Free cupcakes have been promised to visitors who attend this birthday celebration, but allow us to pique your interest further with visions of KCRW’s Jeremy Sole, Ethio Cali and a blues fusion project who will all be on hand to perform in honor of Daniel Pearl World Music Days. Thursday, Oct. 10 Alice McDermott at Aloud Mark Taper Auditorium, 630 W. Fifth St., (213) 228-7500 or 7:15 p.m.: The National Book Award winner barnstorms into Downtown (OK, maybe Alice doesn’t barnstorm) with her new novel Someone, about childhood, adolescence, motherhood and more. She’ll be in conversation with playwright and director Brighde Mullins. Saturday, October 12 Snap Judgement Nokia Theatre, 777 Chick Hearn Court, 8 p.m.: If you’ve enjoyed the collection of jams and personal narratives on KPCC, there’s a good chance you’ll dig the hit NPR show live and in person.

ROCK, POP & JAZZ Blue Whale 123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka St., (213) 620-0908 or Oct. 8: Sangster. Oct. 9: Nick Mancini Residency II. Oct. 10: Billy Mintz, Joey Sellers, John Gross, Roberta Piket and Putter Smith. Oct. 11-12: Three Decades of Freddie Hubbard Alumni play the music of, who could it possibly be? Freddie Hubbard! Oct. 13: Arto Tuncboyaciyan, Vardan Ovsepian and Artyom Manukyan. Bootleg Bar 2220 Beverly Blvd., (213) 389-3856 or Oct. 7, 8 p.m.: This month’s Monday residency features homegrown, good-vibes dream pop from Max and the Moon. Oct. 8, 8 p.m.: Hipster indie meets grimy funk in Spirit Animal. Oct. 9, 7:30 p.m.: Imagine our relief to discover that tonight’s Southern Exposure showcase featuring Oh Mercy and the Delta

photo by M Palma Photography

6th Annual Halloween Party for Downtown LA Kids Grand Hope Park at FIDM, 919 S. Grand Ave. or www. This annual event for Downtown LA’s children and families includes trick-or-treat doors, face painting, crafts, a bounce house, video game truck, puppet shows, hot dogs, and candy. Avoid the lines and buy your tickets today! Hosted by the Downtown Center Business Improvement District, FIDM, and Ralphs Fresh Fare. Thursday, October 31, 5-8pm.Tickets are $5 (children under 2 free). Wednesday, October 9 John Perez at Town Hall Millennium Biltmore Hotel, 506 S. Grand Ave., (213) 6288141 or 11:30 a.m.: Town-Hall L.A. hosts a discussion centered on California, and who better to talk about it than the Speaker of the State Assembly, John A. Perez. He’ll talk about the state, the budget and field questions on Gov. Jerry Brown and why California is so resoundingly awesome.

October 7, 2013


Riggs was highlighting recent Australian talent and not tired, derivative purveyors of rehashed American folk music. Oct. 9, 8:30 p.m.: Tiny Hearts’ boisterous electro hodgepodge comes courtesy of KCRW golden boy Anthony Valadez, who’ll be on hand to DJ a bit. Oct. 10, 8 p.m.: Lucy Rose’s subdued acoustic helps her bare her soul and proves to us Yanks that the meds are finally starting to kick in over in the UK. Oct. 11, 9 p.m.: Subsuelo is a world bass fusion party featuring guest slots from Money Mark, Mark de Clive-Lowe and DJ NuMark. Oct. 12, 8 p.m.: Guitar-based ensemble Tal National have traveled far from their home in Niger to show Los Angeles what it’s like to have genuine emotions and not spend a good portion of the day staring into a mirror. Good luck! Casey’s 613 S. Grand Ave., (213) 629-2353 or Oct. 13, 10 p.m.: Don’t miss your opportunity to check out Cherry Glazerr, a band that’s proud to play music from the always rare “vintage” category. Club Nokia 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-7000 or Oct. 7, 8 p.m.: See if you can guess what sort of instruments Croatian duo 2cellos will be playing. Oct. 8, 8 p.m.: Apparently the Pechanga Casino’s concert venue was all booked up, because country crooner Easton Corbin will be playing Downtown Los Angeles. Colburn School Zipper Hall, 200 S. Grand Ave., (213) 621-2200 or 7:30 p.m.: New Orleans’ own renowned jazz master Terence Blanchard and company will be kicking out the jams as part of the Angel City Jazz Festival. Escondite 410 Boyd St., (213) 626-1800 or Oct. 7, 9 p.m.: Monster Mondays are but a prelude of the dimensions of your Tuesday hangover. Oct. 8, 10 p.m.: Creative blues rock solutions by Boom Boom Boom. Oct. 9, 10 p.m.: It should be fascinating to see the Vibrometers attempt to fit on the corner stage. Oct. 10, 10 p.m.: Blackwater Jukebox and Trip Rezac are the Escondite’s sanctioned Art Walk alternative. Oct. 11, 9 p.m.: Boom Boom Boom are back for a double dip with Third Seven. Oct. 12, 10 p.m.: Charlie Chan & the SOB’s will be trying their hardest to appear surly when we know they’re just big old teddy bears. Oct. 13, 10 p.m.: Honky Tonk Sunday features Rachel Goodrich opening for RT & the 44s. Exchange LA 618 S. Spring St., (213) 627-8070 or Oct. 11, 10 p.m.: To celebrate the recent détente in the U.S.Iran relationship, Exchange will be hosting Roger Shah.

Oct. 12, 10 p.m.: Victor Calderone will be spinning tonight as an audition to become Vladimir Putin’s “fun” body double. Grammy Museum 800 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 765-6800 or Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m.: Rock and Roll Hall of Famers the Rascals will be chit-chatting about their career, answering some audience queries and laying down some vintage tunes. Oct. 9, 8 p.m.: Taj Mahal: jazz legend, genre fuser and all around good guy. He’ll be sitting down with Grammy Museum VP Scott Goldman for a nice discussion on music. Ham and Eggs 433 W. Eighth St. or Oct. 10, 9 p.m.: Burlington Family & Guests. Oct. 12, 9 p.m.: LVMRKS, Stalins of Sound and Exorcisms. Nokia Theatre 777 Chick Hearn Court, (213) 763-6030 or Oct. 10, 8 p.m.: Any male child taken to see John Fogerty would be a fortunate son indeed. Oct 11, 8 p.m.: Mexico’s own Espinoza Paz has finally gotten his braces off. Expect a newly heightened set complete with metal free vocals. Nola’s 734 E. Third St., (213) 680-3003 or Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m.: Angela Parish. One-Eyed Gypsy 901 E. First St., (626) 340-3529 or Oct. 8: Hot Club Vignati. REDCAT 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or Oct. 11-13, 8:30 p.m.: The Angel City Jazz Festival features sets from some of the city’s most distinguished players and special pre-show panels to increase the overall jazziness of the whole affair. Redwood Bar and Grill 316 W. Second St., (213) 652-4444 or Oct. 9: American Lies, Adder, Walter Gross and Dirty Bandits. Oct. 10: Sweet Hay Ah, Early Bizrd & The Bees and The Steady 45s. Oct. 11: The Dogs, Black Widows and the Rough Kids. Oct. 12: Murderland, Bombpops, Burn Burn Burn, Code 415, DC Fallout, Lowbrow and Ryan Davidson. Oct. 13, 3 p.m.: Fools on Stools with Skip Heller, Anny Celsi, Owen Jenkins, Karen Nash and Hollywood Blues Destroyers. Oct. 13: Woolly Bandits, The Rosalyns and The Neumans. Seven Grand 515 W. Seventh St., (213) 614-0737 or Oct. 7, 10 p.m.: Big bodied guitars, bigger bodied beers and a mess of scotch to wash it all down. Yes, the Katisse Buckingham Oddsemble is back. Oct. 8, 10 p.m.: The Makers would not miss a party. Oh no, they would not. Oct. 13, 10 p.m.: Violin aplenty with Nora Germain.

Staples Center 1111 S. Figueroa St., (213) 742-7326 or Oct. 11, 7:30 p.m.: Just in case you missed your chance to see them in April, Bon Jovi will be returning to fill your ears with the same songs they played in 1991. Oct. 12-13: Pink’s “Truth About Love” tour promises to brim with perspectives as new and refreshing as the demi-diva’s music. The Smell 247 S. Main St. in the alley between Spring and Main or Oct. 8: Paul Baribeau, Kids, Arjuna Genome and Huxley Anne. Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 S. Grand Ave., (213) 972-0777 or Oct. 7, 8 p.m.: Femme fatale Fiona Apple and guitarist Blake Mills join forces for a one-night show entitled “Anything We Want.” Gee, what will they play?

FILM Downtown Independent 251 S. Main St., (213) 617-1033 or Oct. 7, 10:40 p.m., Oct. 8, 4:30 p.m., Oct. 9, 7 p.m. and Oct. 10, 5:30 p.m.: Dario Argento presents the aptly titled Argento’s Dracula 3-D. Oct. 7, 6:30 p.m., Oct. 8, 3 p.m., Oct. 9, 9:30 p.m. and Oct. 10, 10 p.m.: Blue Caprice is a harrowing yet restrained psychological thriller about an abandoned boy lured to America and into the shadows of a dangerous father figure. Oct. 11-13, 5 and 7 p.m.: Haunted by a traumatic history, photographer Kevin Wolfe struggles to forget all his bad memories, seeking a girl who can help him with the endeavor. All this and more happens in Forgetting the Girl. Oct. 10, midnight, Oct. 11, 3:15, 5:15, 9 and 11 p.m., Oct. 12, 5:30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Oct. 12, 1, 6:30 and 8:30 p.m.: In Escape from Tomorrow, a supernatural horror manifests itself in Disneyland. This is the one film the Walt Disney Company would like you to not see. IMAX California Science Center, 700 State Drive, (213) 744-2019 or Explore the remnants and wisdom of an ancient empire in Mysteries of Egypt. Ice and polar bear enthusiasts will likely dig To the Arctic 3D. Experience the gripping story full of hope, crushing disappointment and triumph in Hubble 3D. REDCAT 631 W. Second St., (213) 237-2800 or Oct. 7, 8:30 p.m.: The Black Radical Imagination arrives in Los Angeles after a U.S. tour and installation in Basel, Switzerland. Ranging from video art to experimental and narrative films, the collection is inspired by a futurist aesthetic that explores issues of identity in postmodern society. Oct. 12, 6 p.m.: A panel discussion on French auteur Henri-

October 7, 2013


Georges Clouzot features a screening of 1960 Oscar nominated film La Verite. Regal Cinemas 1000 W. Olympic Blvd., (213) 763-6070 or Through October 10: Captain Phillips (8 and 11:30 p.m.); Machete Kills (8 and 11 p.m.); Gravity (3:50 p.m.); Gravity 3D (11:30 a.m., 1, 1:40, 2:20, 4:30, 5:10, 7:20, 8, 10:10 and 10:50 p.m.); Pulling Strings (1:30, 4:20, 7:10 and 10:20 p.m.); Runner Runner (11:20 a.m., 1:20, 2 and 4 p.m.); Baggage Claim (11:40 a.m., 2:10, 4:50, 7:30 and 10:20 p.m.); Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2, 7:30 and 9:40 p.m.); Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 3D (6:50 p.m.); Don Jon (11:50 a.m., 2:10, 5, 7:50 and 10:40 p.m.); Rush (12:40 and 4 p.m.); Battle of the Year 3D (11:30 a.m., 4:40 and 10 p.m.); Prisoners (6:30 and 10 p.m.); Insidious: Chapter 2 (12, 2:30, 5:20, 8:10 and 10:40 p.m.); Instructions Not Included (12:50, 3:40, 6:40 and 9:30 p.m.).

Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: • email: facebook: L.A. Downtown News


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THEATER, OPERA & DANCE Bob Baker’s Musical World The Bob Baker Marionette Theater, 1345 W. First St., (213) 250-9995 or Oct. 10-11, 10:30 a.m. and Oct. 12-13, 2:30 p.m.: The musical genre gets the full marionette tribute as Bob Baker leads his bestringed constituency through yet another electric routine.

MORE LISTINGS Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris

GENErAl HundredsMANAGEr: of listings ofDawn fun andEastin interesting things to do in Down-

town Los Angeles canJon alsoRegardie be found online at ladowntownnews. ExEcutivE Editor: com/calendar: Rock, Pop &Evans, Jazz; Bars & Clubs; stAFF writErs: Donna Eddie Kim Farmers Markets; Events; Film; Sports; Art Spaces; Theater, coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn MaeseDance and Opera; ClascoNtributiNG writErs: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, sical Music; Museums; and Tours. Kristin Friedrich, Kylie Jane Wakefield Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins

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AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez

Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins

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AccouNtiNG: Tara LaPlante AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez circulAtioN: Danielle Salmon distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla

Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie stAFF writErs: Donna Evans, Eddie Kim coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Kylie Jane Wakefield

©2013 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles.

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Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard AccouNtiNG: Tara LaPlante AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez circulAtioN: Danielle Salmon distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla

Editor & PublishEr: Sue Laris GENErAl MANAGEr: Dawn Eastin

Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: • email: facebook: L.A. Downtown News

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ExEcutivE Editor: Jon Regardie stAFF writErs: Donna Evans, Eddie Kim coNtributiNG Editor: Kathryn Maese coNtributiNG writErs: Jeff Favre, Greg Fischer, Kristin Friedrich, Kylie Jane Wakefield Art dirEctor: Brian Allison AssistANt Art dirEctor: Yumi Kanegawa ProductioN ANd GrAPhics: Alexis Rawlins PhotoGrAPhEr: Gary Leonard AccouNtiNG: Tara LaPlante

Los Angeles Downtown News 1264 W. First Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026 phone: 213-481-1448 • fax: 213-250-4617 web: email: facebook: L.A. Downtown News twitter: DowntownNews ©2013 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles.

One copy per person.

AdvErtisiNG dirEctor: Steve Nakutin clAssiFiEd AdvErtisiNG MANAGEr: Catherine Holloway AccouNt ExEcutivEs: Yoji Cole, Josie Damian, Catherine Holloway sAlEs AssistANt: Claudia Hernandez circulAtioN: Danielle Salmon distributioN MANAGEr: Salvador Ingles distributioN AssistANts: Lorenzo Castillo, Gustavo Bonilla ©2013 Civic Center News, Inc. Los Angeles Downtown News is a trademark of Civic Center News Inc. All rights reserved. The Los Angeles Downtown News is the must-read newspaper for Downtown Los Angeles and is distributed every Monday throughout the offices and residences of Downtown Los Angeles.

One copy per person.

24 Downtown News

October 7, 2013


Pet Potties Have Dog Owners Seeing Green

Downtown, it’s not just big business anymore!

Historic Core Pilot Program Uses Artificial Turf for Canines on the Go

It’s our business to make you comfortable... at home, downtown. Corporate and long term residency Call Now Fo is accommodated in high style at the Towers Apartments. Contemporary singles, studio, one r bedroom and two bedroom apartment homes provide fortunate residents with a courteous full service lobby attendant, heated pool, spa, complete fitness center, sauna and recreation room Move-In Spec with kitchen. Beautiful views extend from the Towers’ lofty homes in the sky. Mountain vistas and ial slender skyscrapers provide an incredible back drop to complement your decor. Far below are a host of businesses s ready to support your pampered downtown lifestyle. With spectacular cultural events nearby, even the most demanding tastes are satisfied. Downtown, it’s not just big business anymore. Visit the Towers Apartments today.

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photo by Gary Leonard

Three patches of artificial turf in the Historic Core are being used as pet potties. Blair Besten, shown here with Nathan McCusker’s dog Keiran, started the program in the effort to make the streets more pleasant.

By Donna Evans our-year-old London padded south on Spring Street Wednesday morning, past a pack of pooches. She approached a green square in a former tree well and did her business — number one, fortunately. The terrier mix and her owner, yawning with a cup of coffee in one hand and the leash in the other, had no idea how this simple act would validate what Blair Besten literally saw in a dream. Besten, the executive director of the Historic Downtown Los Angeles Business Improvement District, launched a pilot program in August that placed three 50-inch by 50-inch pieces of artificial turf in tree wells around the Historic Core: Sixth and Main, Seventh and Main and Seventh and Spring street. Yes, those blocks of inviting green are not real grass. “The story of my life is dog poop,” said Besten. It sounded like a joke, but Besten’s smile fell as she pointed out that the BID receives hundreds of complaints a year from area residents and business owners about the lack of discretion some dog owners show in letting their pets mark their spots: metal trashcans, restaurant columns, planters and walls. It got so bad that, during the summer, Besten actually had a dream about Downtown dog potties. It only took a couple months — and $250 apiece in BID money — for the patches to go from her REM sleep stage to the streets of the Historic Core. In a community where 30% of residents own dogs, according to the 2013 Downtown Demographic Study, the stench can get pretty putrid, said Besten, a dog lover whose two elderly animals recently died. She opines that once urban canines are trained to use the artificial turf (or go in the gutter), city streets will smell better and there will be fewer hazards to sidestep. The patches are hosed off and deodorized daily. That helps neutralize, if not totally absorb, the smell, Besten said. Under the surface is dirt. On Wednesday, as London hurried toward the green, her owner Nalini Arora said it’s a routine stop. “She loves it, I love it,” Arora said, noting the convenience factor: If Arora doesn’t have time to take London to the park that day, “I know she likes to go here.” Chay Jones’ dog, Bennett, was more wary of the synthetic green patch. The 3-year-old gray and black Schnauzer is still getting acclimated to Downtown, Jones said, as the two just moved here from New York. Jones is hopeful Bennett will come around, but, as was the case with a handful of other curious yet reticent canines, it was not happening Wednesday. “He almost used it,” Jones said. Besten hopes that the pilot program will be successful and the city will sign on for dozens more green patches all over Downtown. With a big buy, she said, the cost would drop.


October 7, 2013

Downtown News 25


More Than a Meal Artisanal LA Event Showcases Small-Batch Food Products and Explains Why They Matter

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ity in L.A. and other cities, and Seligman credits consumers’ compulsion to better understand where and how their food is produced. “The pendulum has swung so far the other way in the sheer amount of technology and other digital tools we interact with,” she said, “and there’s a growing desire from city dwellers to be grounded by working with the earth and with real products.” Seligman has worked with people who haven’t really touched soil and kids who aren’t sure where milk comes from. “To them, milk just comes from Vons,” she said with a chuckle. Artisanal LA, she says, doesn’t just provide Angelenos access to quality products. Instead, she said, it gives them a chance to learn why quality, and getting hands-on with your food, matters. Artisanal LA is Oct. 12-13 at the L.A. Mart, 1933 S. Broadway. Additional information is at


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Noxon is a TV writer and producer by trade, best known for her work on “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” as well as “Mad Men” and “Glee”; Kohler is a pastry chef who most recently worked at Sweet Butter. The two came together over a shared fascination with fresh, high-quality flour. It begs the question: How much of a difference could it make in baked goods? According to Noxon, it’s “immediately obvious.” “We want to educate people on why fresh, carefully sourced flour is exciting. Commercial flour is so processed and most wheat is grown to be hearty rather than flavorful,” she said. “People deserve to know that. We’re just trying to bring the good stuff back.” That sentiment also rings true with Sian Seligman, the founder and president of urban farming company Sow Swell, which will have a pop-up farm at Artisanal LA. She, too, references education as a key component of her mission. Urban farming is growing in popular-



photo courtesy of Artisinal LA



their families eat. Dawson expects the trend to continue. “People are only going to become more and more curious about where their food and food products are coming from and how and where things are made,” she said. This week’s gathering runs the gamut. A mini version of the Altadena Farmers Market will offer local produce, while 4505 Meats is making the trip from San Francisco to show top-notch butchery. L.A.’s Greenbar Distillery will even host tastings of its organic spirits. One of the best aspects of the event, Dawson said, is hearing from vendors who finally made the plunge into the artisanal food scene. After all, a goal of Artisanal LA is to provide a platform for those who don’t have a fullfledged business yet still want to show their products to the public as well as to distributors, restaurateurs and other outlets. “There are so many incredible stories that come out of this event, from the makers taking a leap from a day job to their hobby… to the people who reach out to us to share that they were inspired to start their own business after attending one of the events,” Dawson said. Flour Power Nan Kohler and Marti Noxon certainly understand the thrill of diving into a new business: They’re the team behind Grist & Toll, a smallbatch flour mill. The duo come from disparate backgrounds:


By Eddie Kim hese days, a lot of people in Los Angeles are interested in eating organic food. Similarly, the area is host to frequent discussions of sustainability. Proclamations of buying locally grown produce, or having chickens that lay eggs in the backyard, are no longer so rare. Still, finding and eating so-called artisanal goods in 2013 is markedly different than it was even three years ago. Just ask Shawna Dawson, the founder of Artisanal LA, a gathering this weekend that will offer nearly 200 vendors selling everything from locally sourced honey to organic pet treats to smoked bread. Dawson heads the food consulting and event management group Sauce LA. In 2010, when she decided to put together the first Artisanal LA to highlight handcrafted foods and their makers, she had a hard time finding vendors. She finally pulled together 70. “We had to search under lots of rocks to find them,” Dawson joked via email. At the Artisanal LA that takes place SaturdaySunday, Oct. 12-13, at Downtown’s L.A. Mart, Dawson will have 178 vendors. The gathering near Broadway and Washington Boulevard will also have another 40 workshops, demonstrations and book signings. The growth comes with a rise in the number of artisan makers as well as a boom among those paying more attention to what they and

The Artisanal LA event taking place Oct. 12-13 at the L.A. Mart will have 178 vendors selling everything from fruits and vegetables to smoked bread.

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26 Downtown News

Restaurant Buzz

At 122 W. Fourth St., (213) 687-0300 or

The Parish Closes, Centeno Takes on Fine Dining and Other Food Happenings

Though Casey Lane seemed to have a good thing going with the gastropub The Parish, he sold the property and shut it down. The last day of service was Sept. 30.

photo by Gary Leonard

By Eddie Kim ugging for Bugis: Singaporean cuisine is a mash-up of Chinese, Malaysian, Indian and other Asian influences, and the Millennium Biltmore Hotel is bringing those many-splendored tastes to Downtown with its new Bugis Street Brasserie. The restaurant, which is in the soft-opening phase and is scheduled to officially debut on Oct. 15, features a diverse menu of Singaporean favorites alongside a selection of starters, Chinese dishes and, oddly, Japanese and Korean meals. The restaurant, which can seat 150 people, has replaced the former Sai Sai Noodle Bar. Highlights include the Hainanese chicken rice and laksa, a spicy noodle soup. Bugis Street Brasserie is actually part of a chain of restaurants, though the four other outposts are all in the United Kingdom. The Downtown restaurant is open Monday-Friday from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. At 506 S. Grand Ave., (213) 624-1011 or


Dearly Departed: Despite some positive reviews and what appeared to be a bustling clientele, chef Casey Lane’s gastropub The Parish has closed. The restaurant at the wedgelike intersection of Spring and Main streets by .A. service on abruptly shut down after the Lfinal Do wn because Monday, Sept. 30. That’s apparently tow nN Lane and his partners received a deal for ewthe sR ade property — which they owned — that was etoo rs good to pass up. Business was also inconsistent: “It made some money, it lost some money;

we decided to move on,” Lane told L.A. Weekly. It is unclear what the two-story building that served dishes such as fried chicken and poutine will become. Before opening as The Parish, the space held French eatery the Angelique Café. Three-for-Three: Chef and restaurateur Josef Centeno has become one of the most noticeable faces on the Downtown food scene, heading Little Tokyo’s acclaimed Lazy Ox Canteen before leaving to open Bäco Mercat and Bar Amá. Now, Centeno has made it an Old Bank District hat trick, though this time he’s angling toward fine dining. The roughly 30-seat Orsa & Winston opened on Wednesday, Oct. 2. It features four dining options: a five-course meal for $60, a nine-course tasting menu for $95, a prix-fixe family-style offering, and the kicker: a $195, 20-course expanded tasting menu known as the “super omakase,” which is only available for those who snag a reservation in the four-seat chef’s counter. Extra wine pairings are available with each meal. The cuisine is a blend of Japanese and Italian influences with a contemporary spin; one early standout is a risotto of prized Koshihikari rice with geoduck clam and San Diego uni (“My favorite right now,” Centeno said in an email) garnished with tangerine “lace.” Though two other restaurants will demand his attention, expect to see Centeno primarily in the kitchen of Orsa & Winston. “I am a fixture here,” he says. “This is me getting back to my roots.”

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Bird Is the Word: Angelenos hungry for chicken and waffles often head to Roscoe’s. Now, chef Jason Harley, formerly of Pici Enoteca, is trying to get in on the act with an upcoming South Park eatery. Mabel’s Chicken and Waffles is set to open in early November on Olympic Boulevard between Olive and Hill streets. Expect a clever all-in-one twist on the dish, as Harley dunks his chicken in waffle batter and coats it in waffle crumbs before frying it up. “After Pici I wanted to get back to a comfortfood style, and there’s a renaissance in Downtown dining right now,” Harley said. “I want to be part of that final frontier, and I hope more high-caliber chefs come to the area.” He also hopes to expand Mabel’s into a franchise and is looking at other opportunities Downtown. Coming to 314 W. Olympic Blvd. Fall Into Bourbon: The onset of autumn means several things: chilly weather (well, chilly for L.A.), changing foliage and the

onslaught of way-too-early holiday sales. But perhaps most importantly, it provides an excuse to trade the gin-and-tonics for a libation more suited to fall: bourbon. Enter Downtown steakhouse Nick + Stef’s, which has introduced a new “dare to pair” menu option that features the American whiskey. OK, it’s not really that daring, but every Monday and Tuesday in October, diners can get three sliders (“vintage,” “steakhouse” and pork belly) alongside a flight of three bourbon whiskeys (1 oz. each) for $17. If you’re not in the mood for sandwiches, then pair the flight with three kinds of oysters ($16). The restaurant has also brought back its Meat 101 program, where the course load involves more than open mouth, chew, repeat: For $40, executive chef Megan Logan guides diners through an exploration and tasting of various cuts and aging styles of meat. The next session, themed “A Well Aged New York,” is on Oct. 25. At 330 S. Hope St., (213) 680-0330 or Got any juicy food news? If so, contact Restaurant Buzz at

The Central City Crime Report A Rundown on Downtown Incidents, Trends and Criminal Oddities By Donna Evans n the Central City Crime Report, we survey the recent week in public safety. All information is provided by the LAPD’s Central Division.


Thousands Stolen at Señor Fish: In what police believe could be an inside job, a burglar, wearing a bag over his head, pried open a floor safe inside Señor Fish at 4 a.m. on Sept. 28 and made off with $40,000. A surveillance camera captured the incident at 422 E. First St., but the video “was not downloaded due to lack of technical knowledge,” according to an LAPD report. The Perils of Smoking: A 53-year-old man who was smoking crack rented his room to an unidentified woman who told police he threatened her with a knife just before 1 a.m. on Sept. 23 and demanded money. The woman fled the scene, on the 600 block of South San Pedro Street, and called police. The man was arrested. Bad Fight: On Sept. 23 at around 4:30 a.m.,

two men in the 500 block of San Julian Street began arguing over money. One man, identified as Norman Cooper, then allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed his friend in the upper right shoulder. Cooper’s brother called police. Cooper was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. Bad Fight II: An argument at the corner of Fifth and Crocker streets just after 7 p.m. on Sept. 24 escalated when a 33-year-old woman grabbed a pair of scissors belonging to a 57-year-old man. The woman, Tanishana Wallace, allegedly tried to stab the man, but he repelled the attack and restrained her until the police arrived. She became combative with responding officers, police said, and was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. Backpack Bandit: An unidentified man snatched a backpack off a 50-year-old man, who had slung the bag over his right shoulder, at Sixth and San Pedro streets. The suspect fled southbound on San Pedro following the 2:30 p.m. incident on Sept. 26.


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October 7, 2013


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To place a classified ad in the Downtown News please call 213-481-1448, or go to Deadline classified display and line ads are Thursday at 12pm. FORfor RENT All submissions are subject to federal and California fair housing laws, which make it illegal to indicate in any advertisement any preference, limitation, or discrimination because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry, familial status, source of income or physical or mental disability. We will not knowingly accept any advertising for real estate which is in violation of the law. All persons are hereby informed that all dwellings advertised are available on an equal opportunity basis.

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Downtown News 27


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To qualify for this program you must: • Have been laid off from one of the listed employers* • Have a valid CA ID/License & Social Security Card, or a valid US Passport • If not a US Citizen, Right-to-Work documents/Permanent Residency Card/Green Card • Unemployment Insurance documents (EDD); Lay-off Notice (if applicable) • Be registered with available Selective Services (for males only) * Sodexo, Inc, Los Angeles Superior Court, Los Angeles Unified School District, American Airlines, Solar Integrated Technology, Dunn Edwards (Compton, Los Angeles, Vernon) City of Los Angeles, Solar Integrated Technology, Compton Unified School District, Bank of America, Mattel Inc. (City of Industry) And More!!! For a complete list of employers please go to: http;//

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28 Downtown News

October 7, 2013


State of the Art


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For more information, or to schedule a property tour, please contact:

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Cushman & Wakefield of California, Inc. • CA Lic. #00616335 • 601 South Figueroa Street, 47th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90017 • (213) 955-5100


Los Angeles Downtown News is a free weekly newspaper distributed in and around downtown Los Angeles.

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