Art in the city…

Some of the reasons to love LA are the endless options for art in the city. As an L.A. culture vulture, I’m often found in the audience of a concert, show, private screening, performance or whatever piques my interests. Lately, I’ve seen some really great stuff…

My friend T. is from Boston. She is a television writer by trade and wine snob by hobby. I love her company and the clever things she says that give me plenty to giggle about long after I’ve gone home or hung up the phone. Last month, she invited me to see a play called Good People, written by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, David-Lindsay Abaire. The play was about a woman from South Boston (played by Jane Kaczmarek, the mom from Malcolm in the Middle) who can’t catch a break. Good People was playing at Santa Monica’s Geffen Theater. We caught one the last shows. It was phenomenal. The acting and the writing were genius in this play about whether opportunity is granted or earned. It was funny and totally brill. I loved it, and even noticed T’s Boston accent made an appearance on the drive home.

I spent a really lovely Mother’s Day afternoon at The Pasadena Playhouse. My mom, sister, brother-in-law, and I went to see a play called The Heiress, starring Richard Chamberlin (the priest from The Thorn Birds), and Young and the Restless star, Heather Tom. Set in the 1850s, The Heiress is a story that proves even back then, revenge is a dish best served cold. In my opinion, the hopeless romantic and matchmaking aunt stole the show from the head-lining stars, but everyone executed their part well. I loved this play, even with its predictable but still delicious ending.

Next, my friend R. invited me to a play put on by Corner Stone Theater Company called Café Vida. We met up in downtown LA for this play about a chola / addict / x-con trying to restart her newly sober life after prison and addiction. It was honest and horrifying, yet really funny in the way humor offers comfort and softens the face of abuse, scarcity and the pain of rebirth. The best part of the play for me was the amazing singer who accompanied the heroine on her journey, narrating her thoughts and feelings by belting out songs like 18 with a bullet and Daddy’s Home. Orale homes, this was a great show

In LA, seeing art by accident is easy and always a pleasant surprise. The other day in Silverlake, attached to a little gift shop called Dust Muffin, my friend S. and I found The Gallery at 3517 W. Sunset Blvd, a cute hidden little art gallery tucked in a nook at the back of the shop. On display was the morbid yet enchanting tiny replica world of Catherine Coan’s Canary Suicides. Her website explains, “Catherine Coan’s Canary Suicides are meditations on captivity, miniature embodiment, the pet as fetish, and the relationship between death and delight.” Each little cage is a miniature replica of a suicide scene complete with a real dead canary, some tiny money, a tiny suicide note, a pet owned by the canary, and other unique surprises. It was magical and gross, beautiful and horrifying, and definitely delightful all at once. For the record, all canaries used died of natural causes. This exhibit is highly recommended for anyone with a dark sense of humor and appreciation for the amazing skill, vision, and talent it took to create this teensy and creative exhibition.

Finally, I attended the LA Opera to see La Boheme. I have to say that I’ve wanted to see La Boheme since the mid 90s when I saw RENT for the first time and learned that Giacomo Puccini’s romantic masterpiece set in Paris around 1830, was the original inspiration for the show . I loved Rent and put La Boheme on my ‘to see’ list way back then, however it was better than I could have dreamed. Poetic, timeless and romantic, it literally made my heart flutter. It was dazzling. By the end I was balling. While I didn’t exactly do the ugly cry, I had to muffle my sobs for sure. Cheers to the Music Center and LA Opera for bringing such a jewel to our city. Now La Boheme is on my ‘to see again’ list.

While I’m happy to share my experiences with you, the real reason for this post is to inspire you to experience all of the art that is within your reach. This includes those of you not in LA. Where ever you are, keep your eye out for summer concerts, community theater, large-scale productions, art exhibits, and various performances going on in your city. Support the arts in your community and don’t let finances be an excuse to limit your culture seeking. Many exhibits and shows are free or by donation. This summer venture out and celebrate the Muse. She is alive all around you…

For the culture seekers in LA, I leave you with a small list to inspire your quest… Enjoy! xo

DTLA Art Walk

First Fridays on Abbot Kinney


The Getty

The Hollywood Bowl

Sawdust Festival

The Greek Theater

The Pasadena Play House

The Art Crawl

Los Angeles Summer Festivals

Los Angeles Art Gallery Guide


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