Deep thoughts occurred last night at the Laundromat, one that is equipped with TV’s to help pass the time folding towels. In our lifetime will we ever see the demise of either Jeopardy! or Wheel of Fortune?
I returned last night from an extended weekend out of town and am happy to be back in the City of Angels. I traveled to Florida on Thursday night amid many hacking and sniffling persons and am happy to report that I survived the germ infested tube without succumbing to the obvious. It’s funny to think back to when I was a young’un and had a desire to be a Flight Attendant. Why? Because everyday is a sunny day! Yes, I thought up that motto….
Happily though, on my return flight I received a wonderful gift from the flying gods, just a step away from an upgrade and a free flight….I had no one sitting in the 2 seats beside me!!! Ah, the pleasures of flying on a Monday evening versus Sunday evening when everyone in the world is returning back at the same time and it takes you ½ hour just to get out of the B satellite parking Lot.
And yes, I am quite aware of the alternate airports and regularly utilize them however when you gotta do LAX you gotta do LAX, generally speaking it’s not all that horrendous, unless it’s a major Holiday. I feel LAX is far better in the security line aspect (excluding Terminal 1) than most other large airports because what we have 7 of most others have 2. Let's count MCO as one of those with a 45 minute security line wait to boot! UGH.
I may get converted to whiskey/burbon/scotch sooner than expected if I keep up this Seven Grand stint I'm on these days....once a week for the past 3.
My Wednesday started with an email from a fellow swing dancer asking about restaurant recommendations in Downtown as he and his wife would be having dinner with a visiting dancer this evening and heading over to Seven Grand afterwards. I sent him a laundry list of ideas within the vicinity and he invited me to tag along. I jumped at the chance because more often than not I'm forced to decline due to various extenuating circumstances.
Upon sitting down at the bar I immediately went into "the usual" mode. Then I had a sip of a specialty drink that had a name that sounded like a lovely jazz singer from a previous era, and it was tasty....and it was made with one of those dark alcohols listed above. Upon a second perusal of the menu I noticed a specialty drink made with blackberries and burbon. On a whim I tried it, and it was deeeelish! And with that I'm temporarily converted, at least when it comes to whiskey bars named Seven Grand.
It’s no secret around here that I’m an avid fan of, and hang out quite a bit at, a local Irish pub. I have dubbed myself the assistant manager who doesn’t get paid because when I’m there I like to look over the place and make sure things are running smoothly. I’ll tidy up the bathroom if it’s particularly messy, alert the MOD that the phone is ringing if it’s loud and answer random questions from patrons about whatever. Many other regulars tend to do the same, as we all care to some extent about the bar. Or maybe it’s because a lot of the regulars are in the service industry and work at other places in the immediate vicinity. With that in mind, I like to patronize these other establishments and visit my friends while they are in action.
One such friend happens to work at another Irish pub in the neighborhood, one that I’ve never been to....partly because I thought I’d feel like I was cheating on a significant other. Stupid I know, but I fall in love with buildings and their history and to patronize another pub is blasphemy. But I finally got tired of hearing my empty promises and on Sunday night I did the deed. I cheated on Tom.
Leaving my apartment I thought, OK – one drink and that’ll be it, quick and easy. As I walked into the joint I was met with a big room, long bar and lots of brick. I immediately liked it. Good feel and vibe. Plus, I knew the bartender! I bellied up to the bar and got a drink and within 2 minutes of being there I saw a theatre acquaintance at the opposite end of the room. I went up to her and said hi and she’s like “Oh, you’re here to see Steve’s band right?” I replied with “No, actually I just stopped in to see my friend behind the bar.”
I knew the Steve she spoke of so I wandered into the adjacent room and quickly realized it’s filled with actors from various shows that I’ve Stage Managed throughout the years, and they are all there to see this band. Small world huh? So I stuck around and watched a few songs and then they decided to take a 10 minute break. By now my first drink was long gone so I went back into the main room to get another and the place is PACKED, all the people watching the band have the same idea as me, and my bartender friend is the ONLY person behind the bar. He has no other help. Again, the bar is 2 deep...and it’s a big bar. Somehow he catches my eye and I mouth “I feel like I should help you.” His response was a nod of the head and a “come on back” wave of the arm. I then got a 20 second run down on how to pour a beer and ring it up and for the next 10 minutes I was slinging pints.
After the rush was over I went back to my spot on the patron side of the bar and watched my friend work a normal crowd and pace. But this time I watched with a whole new sensibility. And what was supposed to be just a quick jaunt into uncharted territories was just that, in many ways than one.
The 3rd in an ongoing series - What I Did on my first Saturday of freedom from the theatre....yes kids, I went to the theatre....but as a patron.
My theatre company opened their most recent show on Valentine’s Day so I decided to go and support the cause on Saturday evening. The show is called Love Bites (Vol. VI & VII) and it’s a compilation of original short plays written, directed and performed by Elephant Company Members with the tagline being “When it doesn’t kiss, suck or blow, it BITES.”
For opening weekend both volumes played all nights however for the rest of the run it will be broken up in the following manner: Thursdays (Vol. VI), Fridays (Vol. VII), Saturdays – Double the BITE (Vol. VI & VII).
Tickets are either $15 for the single nights or $20 for Double the BITE....quite the deal if you ask me. Plus, if you bring a picture of an EX you get $5 off the price of the ticket at the door (cash sales only) and prior to the show they will rip it up for you and the rest of the audience to enjoy. As of Saturday night there were numerous pictures of chicks ripped in half and posted on the board outside the theatre so that leads me to believe either girls are psycho or there are a lot of dudes coming to see this particular piece of theatre.
As the title would suggest the theme of the evening is about LOVE, be it good or bad but definitely with a touch of the comedic and sometimes stretching from the absurd to the dramatic. Just like real life right?
Love Bites Volume VI & VII
Elephant Space Theatre
6322 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
(south side of Santa Monica, between Cahuenga & Vine)
Street Parking Only
February 14 – March 8
In the newly created and ongoing saga of my life outside the theatre, I now present you with What I Did...on my first Friday of freedom.
I have been bugging Neon Boy and The Gentrifier about checking out Colori Kitchen for oh, I don't know, maybe 3 months. The one problem being that dinner hours for the restaurant are somewhat limited to nights when I have shows....Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Not so last night, so we decided to check it out.
We arrived just a smidge before 8pm and were able to get seated immediately, the place was packed but they were able to shove two tables together to accommodate us. That was nice. The restaurant is tucked into a little storefront along 8th just a few steps from the Golden Gopher. The interior is inviting with brick walls, dim lighting, an open kitchen and an atmosphere that is decidedly not Los Angeles. I kept feeling as if I were in another city, like San Francisco or Seattle.
We perused the menu, came up with our selections and then were promptly shot down when 2 of the requested items on the specials menu were already sold out. That was a bummer but ultimately a blip on the radar as everything else was incredibly delicious. For starters we all shared a bowl of Tortilla Soup that was "lick the bowl clean" amazing. Now mind you, prior to leaving for the restaurant Neon Boy asked if I had my camera, which I did, so we left his at home. Unbeknownst to me, my battery was in serious demise and the ONLY picture I was able to get of the evening was of the empty soup bowl:
So do you think we liked it? We used the bread to sop up any remaining soup. Yes, we liked it. A lot.
Next up was the main course. I had the salmon with veggies, perfectly grilled with a mustard seed sauce drizzled lightly on the fish. Neon Boy had pasta with tri-color cauliflower and The Gentrifier had some sort of salmon and pasta dish. I'd have taken pictures but I couldn't. I can tell you though that there was not a morsel of food on our plates when they were cleared from the table. And darn it, we all agreed that we would have to go back with a functioning camera sometime soon, real soon. We also agreed that it was just good cookin' at reasonable prices. Granted there's no alcoholic beverage service (however you can bring your own wine, free corkage) but dinner for the 3 of us with an appetizer AND dessert was under $50.
So with all the money we saved at Colori Kitchen we decided to have a nightcap at Seven Grand afterwards as our good friend George was one of the many behind the bar.
Overall it was a lovely evening that started with frantic phone calls from my theatre people as we were arriving at dinner and ended with a toast to good food and good friends at a whiskey bar.
In my newfound freedom from the ties that bind, otherwise known as Shannon's Not Stage Managing Anymore, I found myself with a free evening last night to do as I pleased. So with that as the impetus, here's the beginning of What I Did - chronicling my new adventures outside of the theatre world. Instead of having to say "sorry I've got a show" I now have the option of saying "yes, I just might show (up)."
To inaugurate my first Thursday of freedom I attended the Downtown Art Walk which takes place the second Thursday of every month, and it's free. I've threatened to go numerous times before but never actually made it during the "official" art walk portion of the evening. Last night was different, spurred on in part by needing to rectify the obvious as well as wanting to support a fellow 3BN'er, Dave Bullock (aka eecue), who had an opening at Niche Video Art.
I made my way to Downtown from Burbank and arrived just after 7pm scoring the most perfect parking spot. From there I popped into MJ Higgins #2 and said hi to Richard before making my way over to Niche. Soon thereafter Jim & Celia showed up and that's when the fun began. We attempted to go to Morono Kiang but found it closed upon arrival. From there we headed down to 4th and Main and hit MJ Higgins, Crewest, the lovely DLANC office, the Dale Youngman Gallery, Bert Green Fine Art and MJ #2.
One of the many highlights of the evening came as we were visiting with Ginny in the DLANC office; a rather large and entertaining Marching Band strutted by, who I would later find out was Killsonic. I wanted so very much to join them on their march-about-town but we were thick in conversation about something terribly important at the time. Later on, as we were having dinner at the non-hip but tasty Ensenada Restaurant, Celia spotted the DASH shuttle bus driving down the street with the band in tow. The LAist crew captured the adventure on video and has posted an edited down version of the fun. Here's to hoping they make repeated appearances at Art Walk in the future...both the LAist crew and Killsonic.
It was a fantastical sight to see so many people out on the street, at night, that it felt like a different city altogether. My usual experiences with the area are during daylight hours on weekends and the varied night about town, but this, this was altogether magical. It was a fun night, and one that I can now wholeheartedly endorse after finally experiencing the full set of festivities firsthand.