Hello Dear Readers! We’ve got a wild variety of subject matter to talk about today so let’s get started with our topics and not waste a single moment. Here’s what we’ll be discussing:
Goodbye • Billy Elliot • Gawk At The Rock • A Is For Zebra • Inner Visions
Tomatoes • 60 Years • Dapper On The Subway • Run! Zombies! • Gumball
Any Disney fan, any music fan, must have been, as I was, terribly sad to hear the news the other day that Robert Sherman passed away. We are all lucky though, he left behind a huge legacy of music for us to enjoy for all the rest of time. Tony, Grammy, Emmy winning and Oscar nominated American composer, lyricist, and performer (Hairspray, the South Park movie), Marc Shaiman had a few thoughts about Robert Sherman, I can’t say it any better than he did:
It is the brilliant music and lyrics of The Sherman Brothers that touched me, as millions of others can say. There are now many generations (mine was only the first) that feel like The Sherman Brothers scored our childhood. Robert Sherman and his brother had an extraordinarily complicated relationship, but there is nothing complicated about the relationship between his work and millions of folks like myself, who felt like they had lost a family member when we heard the news of his passing. Could there be any greater testament to a creative person then to know that your work could generate that kind of feeling in millions of strangers?
Read all of Marc’s thoughts about Robert Sherman at this link. Al has provided links below to; a comprehensive 2CD collection of Sherman Brothers material that Walt Disney Records issued a few years ago, a DVD of the recent documentary their sons filmed, as well as the hard to find book the Brothers wrote on their careers. (David Mumford/Bruce Gordon edited Walt's Time, and were also the authors of Disneyland: The Nickel Tour.)
When I received the information about the Another Spoonful of Sherman concert, I decided I would not include it in today’s column. I decided this because shortly afterwards, I got word that Robert Sherman had died and I figured brother Richard Sherman would cancel his fundraiser performance this coming Sunday with the Golden State Pops Orchestra. But I have since learned that Richard Sherman is not canceling and says, “On with the show!" Sounds like a nice way to celebrate Robert Sherman’s life and the amazing musical legacy of the two brothers. It's a fundraiser for the Golden State Pops Orchestra and tickets, priced at $100.00, are very limited. Another Spoonful of Sherman takes place this Sunday at 520 W. 8th Street in San Pedro, CA from 2:30 PM to 5:30 PM. To purchase tickets, call: 310-732-0010.
Billy Elliot The Musical will soon be on stage at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. It runs April 10th through May 13th.
Set in a small town, the story follows Billy as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, discovering a surprising talent that inspires his family and his whole community and changes his life forever.
New York Times theatre critic, Ben Brantley, said of the show, “The most inspiring show I’ve seen in years,” and if you’ve ever read one of Brantley’s reviews, you know how harsh he can be, so this show may be one to put on your “must see” list. The show runs 2 hours and 50 minutes long and is recommended for ages 8 and up — with some adult language; no one under 5 will be admitted to the theatre. For more information on the show or to purchase tickets, visit this link.
Inside the Pantages Theatre
Before Billy Elliot was a Broadway musical though, it was a film and since it’s always nice to see films the way they were meant to be seen — on the big screen, so there will be a screening of the movie prior to the musical’s opening:
The Chinese Theatre will host a special screening of the 2000 Oscar-nominated film, Billy Elliot. Following the screening will be a special 'chat back' with the 2009 Tony Award winning original Broadway cast members Gregory Jbara and Kiril Kulish. Tickets are only $15 so don't miss out on this fantastic opportunity.
The screening will take place at 7:00 PM on March 12th. To purchase tickets for the special Billy Elliot screening at the Chinese visit this link, or you can get them at the theatre’s box office on Hollywood Blvd.
If you live anywhere in the LA area and you watch the news, you’ve probably seen report after report about that huge rock LACMA is moving inch by inch from a quarry in Riverside, California up to the art museum in LA for its installation in artist Michael Heizer’s piece, Levitated Mass:
Levitated Mass by artist Michael Heizer is composed of a 456-foot-long slot constructed on LACMA's campus, over which is placed a 340-ton granite megalith. As with other works by the artist, such as Double Negative (1969), the monumental negative form is key to the experience of the artwork. Heizer conceived of the artwork in 1968, but discovered an appropriate boulder only decades later, in Riverside County, California.
At 340 tons, the boulder is one of the largest megaliths moved since ancient times. Taken whole, Levitated Mass speaks to the expanse of art history, from ancient traditions of creating artworks from megalithic stone, to modern forms of abstract geometries and cutting-edge feats of engineering
So … they’re moving this giant bolder and each night, as the rock has stopped on its journey from Riverside to LA, tons of people have turned out to have a look-see. I have to admit, it is rather intriguing. There are only a couple of days left to gawk at the rock. Here’s where you can see it should you be intrigued as well:
• Thursday, March 8: After touring Long Beach in the middle of the night, the transporter will come to rest at Vermont Avenue just north of Carson Street, in the city of Carson (not far from UCLA Harbor Medical Center). Tip for gawkers: This stretch of Vermont will not be especially conducive to stopping, but there are residential streets nearby.
• Friday, March 9: From Carson the transporter will make its way to Western Avenue, for a more or less straight shot north, eventually parking itself at Figueroa Street, north of Florence Avenue, between 63rd and 65th Streets. Tip for gawkers: If you live near USC this is a good chance to drive past the transporter and get a look at the rock. Its parking spot is just a few blocks south of Exposition Park, so you could also fit in a visit to the Natural History Museum, California African American Museum, or the California Science Center. This is a busy street lined mostly with houses and a couple of auto shops.
• On Friday night the megalith will make its final leg of the journey, traveling up Figueroa (right past Exposition Park and USC), turning onto West Adams, then up Western, before turning onto Wilshire Boulevard and proceeding to its final destination at LACMA (and it is final—you better believe no one is moving this thing again!). This relatively short distance will take most of the night, starting at 11 pm and tentatively arriving to the museum around 4 am.
For more information about the art installation, Levitated Mass, visit this link.
And while we’re on the subject of LACMA installations, here’s one that’s not on display at the museum but certainly sounds worth a mention because it’s out in the community and it exposes the kiddies (and everyone else) to learning through art:
As part of Art Programs with the Community: LACMA On-site, LACMA presents A is for Zebra, an exhibition about alphabets making sense and non-sense. The exhibition, installed at the Charles White Elementary School, features works from the museum´s collection by John Baldessari, Mel Bochner, Guy de Cointet, and Hans Grohs, as well as facsimiles of Francisco de Goya's Caprichos and the Aztec codex Tira de la Peregrinación.
LACMA also commissioned new works by Michele Dizon and Camilo Ontiveros, Kirsten Mosher and Stephanie Taylor as part of the exhibition. Dizon and Ontiveros created a mural, inspired by those in East LA. In video and installation work, Mosher introduces gumheads, a set of characters who dwell in overlooked areas of the gallery, assembling an unconventional alphabet. Taylor designed an alphabet with objects that sound like letters and composed a song, imagining a story told by these objects. The exhibition also includes a room dedicated to Stripsody, a song made of mostly onomatopeic sounds and comic strips composed by singer Cathy Berberian.
What’s kind of cool about the exhibit is that visitors to the gallery are invited to don special glasses allowing them to read text and labels throughout the exhibit in either English or Spanish. The Charles White Elementary School Gallery is located at 2401 Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. The gallery is open to the public weekdays 2:30–6:00 PM, and the exhibit will continue through March 30, 2012.
The school opened in 2004 on the former campus of Otis College of Art and Design, and named for the artist Charles White (1918–1979), who lived in the area and who taught at Otis for many years. LACMA has been programming exhibitions at the school since 2007. For more information, visit this link.
One more art event and then we’ll move on to gardening. On March 17th, Inner Visions: Women Artists of California will open at The Irvine Museum. It looks like it’s going to be a pretty terrific exhibit:
California, in the early 20th century, had more women artists than other regions of the country. In the East, the entrenched art establishment had existed for more than a century and it consisted solely of men artists. It was deemed inappropriate to have women earning a living and pursuing a career in the arts. By contrast, there was no entrenched art establishment in Los Angeles as both men and women artists began arriving at the same time. Artists who lived here in the early 1900s were part of a close circle of friends and included men and women. Here are just a few of the important women artists of California: Jessie Arms Botke (1883-1971), Meta Cressey (1882-1964), Marion Kavanagh Wachtel (1870-1954), and Anna Hills (1882-1930)
The museum will display works by women in three major periods: the Tonalist style of the late 1800s; the Impressionist period of the early 1900s, and the Regionalist style of the 1930s and 1940s. The central attraction in Inner Visions will be the 7 foot by 26 foot mural by Jessie Arms Botke, the gift of The Oaks at Ojai, for which it was painted in 1953.
Inner Visions: Women Artists of California runs from March 17th through June 7th, 2012. The Irvine Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 AM to 5:00 PM and is located at 18881 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 100 in Irvine, CA. General admission is $5.00, children, students, and seniors (60+) are free of charge. Admission is free the 2nd Wednesday of every month. The Irvine Museum validates parking for its visitors. For more information, visit this link.
Moving on to gardening — Disneyland has some of the most beautiful gardens you’ll ever see, including the areas planted with veggies. It’s the time of year for Southern California’s backyard gardeners to figure out what they’re going to plant. Tomatoes, for a start, right?
Just north of Disneyland, next to the Cal State University Fullerton’s campus is a wonderful arboretum that I’ve been going to since it opened years and years ago. There’s a lot to see at the Fullerton Arboretum — children’s gardens, woodlands and desert gardens, a pond full of swimming turtles, rose gardens, wisteria, and a gorgeous heritage house, originally built by one of Fullerton’s pioneer doctors, Dr. George Crook Clark, in 1894. The Eastlake-style cottage was built to house both his bride, Edith, and his office, and he and his family occupied the home for about ten years.
Beside all that plant and history goodness, the Fullerton Arboretum holds several plant sales every year. One of the favorites is happening March 16th, 17th, and 18th — The Monster Tomato Sale:
The Fullerton Arboretum hosts its annual “Monster Tomato and Pepper Sale” at The Potting Shed, located on the grounds of the Arboretum. The sale is open to the general public on March 16, 17 & 18 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. This is the largest annual plant sale in the region that focuses exclusively on tomato and pepper plants. Over 250 varieties of tomato plants will be for sale this year, including every size from currant to beefsteak and every color from white to black.
The Arboretum’s Annual Tomato and Pepper Sale will have over 40,000 plants on sale, including rare varieties and heritage tomatoes. Try some in your garden and enjoy a taste of tomatoes that the Victorians dined on. The Arboretum is located at 1900 Associated Road in Fullerton, CA, just west of the 57 Freeway off of the Yorba Linda exit, just off of the intersection of Associated and Yorba Linda Blvd. For more information, visit this link.
Let’s go to the zoo. I often mention the Santa Ana Zoo in this column and now there’s another reason to visit this lovely little place — they’re celebrating a 60th birthday and they want you to come party with the animals this weekend:
On Saturday, March 10th & Sunday, March 11th 2012, the Santa Ana Zoo, home of the 50 monkeys, is excited to celebrate its 60th birthday. The activities will take place from 11:00 AM — 2:00 PM on both days rain or shine, and the event is free with the price of admission for general public, and free for Members. In addition to all the wonderful animals at the zoo, you’ll be able to see a spectacular train display by Del Oro Pacific Railroad Club, birthday themed crafts, animal presentations, and entertaining puppet shows. It’s going to be the wildest birthday bash of the year and it’s practically in your back yard. $3 Wristbands will be available to ride unlimited rides on the Conservation Carrousel and Zoofari Express Train from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
The Santa Ana Zoo is located at 1801 E. Chestnut Ave, in Santa Ana, just south of Disneyland off the 5 freeway. For more information, visit this link.
I’ve told you about Dapper Day at Disneyland and although this event is not planned by those sharp dressers, it’s inspired by their stylish ways. And I have to say, it sounds like a real fun time. This event, hosted by railLA, hits the subways of LA, in dapper dress, of course:
Dapper Day on the Subway is a whistle-stop tour of historic Los Angeles. We will dress up in dapper clothes and enjoy a bygone era of sophisticated leisure on the MetroRail lines. We’ll stop at historic locations along the way. All that is required is a ticket to ride the rails and you - dressed up in your dapper attire of choice. Part performance art, part cultural experiment, Dapper Day on the Subway is about exploring the lost luxury and convenience of rail travel, embracing rail as a gateway to culture, and having a lot of fun while doing it!
So on April 29th plan to get dolled up in your Sunday best, grab the kiddies, dress ‘em in their dapper best too, and head out to LA’s MetroRail for the first Dapper Day on the Subway — this year on Sunday, April 29, 2012. For event schedules, dress suggestions and more information, visit this link.
This next event just amuses me so, it’s just a simple 5K run. You know how those are, they’re fun. But this one’s got a little something extra, it’s not your average Disney Family Fun Run with happy Disney characters cheering you on. Nooo, it’s the Run For Your Lives 5K — Zombie Infested Race:
Protect your brain and run for your life. This is one race where your legs giving out are the least of your problems. Run For Your Lives is a first-of-its-kind event, one part 5K, one part obstacle course, one part escaping the clutches of zombies — and all parts awesome. Runners will navigate a series of 12 obstacles throughout a 5K course in an attempt to reach the finish line — all while avoiding zombies. At the end of this adventure race, you get to celebrate survival (or zombie transformation) with live entertainment and music, local celebrities, vendors, food, and of course, beer!
The Run For Your Lives 5K takes place here in the southland quite a ways in the future (October) but since race-type events seem to fill up rather quickly (it’s already 50% sold), I figure mentioning it now is a must. And, well, it involves zombies chasing the runners. Can it get any more enticing? Here’s a little more enticement — if you don’t want to run, you can be a zombie lumbering after the runners. Now how cool would that be?
The San Diego/Los Angeles area Run For Your Lives 5K will take place on October 20th, 2012 in South Temecula. For information about cost, signups, course, visit this link. Not into running and want to be a zombie? Use this link to find the info for that. And if you don’t live in Southern California but are also dying to run from zombies, there are races taking place in other parts of the country. Check this website, you just might find there are zombies lurking in a race near you.
We’ll wind it up today with a mention of a very popular event, MiceChat’s very own Gumball Rally. Sign-ups have started, and in past years the rally fills up fast. Now you don’t be left behind in a pile of gum wrappers, empty handed, do you? Form your team and start planning a strategy now:
What's a Gumball Rally? Well, it's the coolest, biggest, best and most exciting Disney fan event in the known universe, that’s all. The Rally is a race to find out who can ride the most attractions at Disneyland in a single day. Sounds fun, right? Well, it is even more fun than you can imagine. Yes, it is harder than it sounds. Yes, it will challenge you physically. But, it's one event that folks of any age can compete in and have a great time in the process. Whether you win or lose, you are always a winner when the race takes place on your favorite rides at your favorite place on earth.
This year’s rally takes place on May 19th, 2012 at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California. The cost is a mere $24.99 per person. But hurry — early registration is to your advantage as after March 31st, prices will go up to $29.99 per person. For all the Gumball Rally info, use this link.
Okey dokey, that’s it for this week, thanks so much for stopping by. I’ve got lots of dapper dress planning to do (where are those long gloves??) so I’ll leave you and say good-bye till next week.
In the mean time, if you want to know what I’m up to, you need to follow Pressing Matters on Twitter. You never know what you’ll find there — food, museums, shopping, Disneyland, Zombies, Gum! Follow along as I search for the all the latest Pressing Matters & tweet about what I find: